3-in-1 Today

Three important events are being marked today, 37th anniversary of Martial Law in the country, celebration of Eid ‘l Fitr, and UN International Day of Peace.

Here are some activities in Davao City:

9 a.m. – Aksyon Mindanaw and Mindanaons for Noynoy Movement interfaith prayer and Kaduli at Shanghai Bro’s Restaurant;

1-5 p.m. – Task Force Detainees of the Philippines Human Rights Forum at the UP-Mindanao Anda Campus;

3 p.m. – Kabataang para kay Noynoy Aquino (K NA!) Free t-shirt printing at Centennial Park;

5 p.m. – Candlelight ceremony at Centennial Park to honor victims of martial law and promote the International Day of Peace

Washington Sycip in Davao

The SGV, the country’s and perhaps Asia’s best accounting and business consulting firm, marked its 50th year in Davao with a lavish dinner last night at the Marco Polo Hotel.

The golden anniversary was complete with songs and dances, tributes to past and present employees, thank yous to all clients and guests, and sumptuous dinner with an open bar.

What was unique about the event was the message of its founder, Washington Sycip, one of the most respected business leaders in the country and in the Asian region.

His words were not about the glory of the firm he built after the war to become was it is today. His speech was a tale of lament and a challenge.

He said the country was seen 50 years ago as the leading country in Asia after Japan. He said being democratic and a Christian nation were seen as the country’s asset for development. But now, he said the country lagged behind our neighbors, and has become a bottom-dweller in almost all categories in Asia. He cited though that the Philippines was No. 1 in corruption!

He expressed worry about the continuing decline in the quality of education, the rising poverty, and the ballooning population.

He said the country is now realizing that being “democratic” and a Christian nation have become instead obstacles to development.

The anniversary may not have been appropriate to promote his passion for certain advocacy such as education and raising the living standards of the Filipinos.

Yet, he said he was concerned about the country that we will leave behind for our children.

It was a message that struck the hearts and minds of most in the audience of accountants, business leaders and government officials.

SGV gave out copies of his new bio “Wash: Only a bookkeeper” as the program closed. I rushed to get mine and had it autographed by this great man, who at 88 was still sharp and witty. His citation of statistics during his speech was admirable.

I told him his speech was great. He just smiled knowing that he has inspired or challenged another human being, a fellow Filipino.

City grants incentives to 3 big projects

The Davao City Investment Incentive Board led by Vice Mayor Sara Duterte granted yesterday the application of three projects for local government incentives.

The projects are all property development, namely:

Abreeza, the Ayala Mall in Davao, a joint venture between Ayala Land and the Floirendo Group, and with a project cost of P2.4 billion;

Santiago Villas of Kisan Lu Realty, Inc. with a project cost of P253 million; and

Deca Homes Resort and Residences of 8890 Housing Development Corporation with a project of P586 million.

They were granted exemption from payment of local taxes, building permits fees and other charges for three years and property taxes for two years.

Projects processed by the local Investment Incentive Board for this year have already reached P4.1 billion, way above its goal.

Software Freedom Day in Davao

Davao is once again celebrating Software Freedom Day on September 19.

The SFD is an annual event celebrated worldwide to honor contributors to Free/ Open Source Software.

The event is spearheaded by Holden Hao of DabaweGNU, Inc., a non-profit organization of ICT professionals and enthusiasts promoting the use of Free/ Open Source Software or FOSS.

Hao said the event aims to promote awareness on the advantages of using FOSS compared to proprietary software, which are expensive.

This year’s Software Freedom Day will be celebrated at the University of the Immaculate Conception (UIC) Gym at Bankerohan from 1 – 5 pm. Last year, we held the event at the University of Southeastern Philippines (USP).

The event will feature various presentations on the technical and social issues on using FOSS.

Davao OTOP conference

The Davao City One-Town One-Product or OTOP convergence conference will open today at Apo View Hotel. It would feature one-on-one consultations with experts.

This is to give some 50 OTOP entrepreneurs in the city a chance to bring out their problems to the experts.

Available to give their expert advise are representatives from the DTI Designers Pool who are experts on designs, labeling and packaging; MASICAP who are experts in business plans and feasibility studies; and PBSP for enterprise development and corporate social responsibility.

The OTOP conference would also discuss issues taken up during last year’s convergence of micro-small-and medium enterprises, local and national government agencies, and civil society groups.

To cap the conference, recognition to outstanding OTOP practitioners would be handed out by the DTI Davao City Field Office.

I would be representing Mayor Rody Duterte in the conference.

Alumni Induction


Atty. Wendel Avisado (2nd from left) administers the oath of office of the new board of the Davao City National High School Alumni Association.

Inducted were (from right) Directors Norma Occena (Class 1969), Allan Fernandez (1980), PIO Henry Babiera (1973), Auditor Rainerio Gomez (1985), Treasurer Lourdes Monteagudo (1948), Assistant Secretary Atty. Arlene Lorejo Cosape (1984) and me (exteme left) as President (1974).

Not shown were Executive VP Fr. Jose Marie Escuadro (1983), Internal VP Aurelio Marasigan (1956), External VP Engr. Armando Matuguinas (1960), and Advisers Immediate Past Presidents Nestor Purugganan (1960) and Tess Yu-Javellana (1973).

Only for the brave!

Are you brave enough to love?

Do you have the heart and the skills to build?

Well, here is your chance to help, to build a house, to build friendship and to build a nation.

Join the 4th Gawad Kalinga GK1MB Bayani Challenge 2009: Only for the Brave!

The event to build houses will be held in far away Sulu, where recent kidnappings led to more military actions and excitement. But this is not about the adventure, according to Ricky Villanueva of GK Davao City. He says this is “challenging ourselves to go beyond our comfort zones so we can make a difference in the lives of others.”

Go get in touch with him at gkdavao@gmail.com or call +63823042009.

I cannot go myself but I am willing to help provide tools for those joining on April 13-17.