May 25, 2006 at 6:31 AM #32417
AGRIBUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES Bicol’s treasured abaca earns RP dollars Published on Page B2-4 of the April 24, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
DARAGA, ALBAY-ABACA is a wonder plant as far as Med Vallejo-Villanueva and husband Shel-don are concerned. The thousands of workers who have helped make the couple’s Shelmed Cottage Treasures a successful abaca craft enterprise in the Bicol region over the past decades would agree. The Vallejos, from Med’s grandparents to her parents, are among the pioneers in the abaca industry here. Shelmed started after Med’s parents, Antonio Vallejo and Leticia Punsalan-Vallejo, decided to quit and pass on the business to Med and Shel-don when the two got married in 1973. P3,000 capital Med, a teacher, and Don, a mechanical engineer, were probably the youngest exporters when they went into the production of abaca placemats and doormats. The couple, who put up P3,000 as initial capital for Shelmed, later expanded their products into rattan and buri furniture, baskets and other handicrafts made from abaca fiber. From three employees from the old Vallejo company, where Sheldon used to work as a technical assistant, Shelmed grew to an estimated 60 full-time employees, 1,200 in-house artisans and a &nb
May 25, 2006 at 6:26 AM #32416
Sense and Sensibility : Viva Albay!
First posted 00:50am (Mla time) Sept 03, 2005 By Bambi Harper Inquirer News Service
JUST when I was about to write finis to the cause of Filipino heritage, seeing as the nation is losing both the Mehan Garden and the Arroceros Forest Park in one fell swoop with not a single public official protesting the carnage, along comes a letter from Albay Gov. Fernando Gonzalez informing me that the province was launching the Albay Architectural Heritage Project together with the Aquinas University on Aug. 29. Delighted to get out of the Manila snake pit, still I nearly missed the plane due to a dysfunctional alarm clock and the malfunctioning owner. Leaving the house at 6:15 a.m. for the 7 a.m. flight, we reached the Naia 2 airport terminal in 15 minutes, making me seriously wonder while en route whether I would end up splattered all over the dashboard. I did get there on time, but rattled by the porter who said the passengers on the flight were boarding, I zoomed into the plane like Darna — only to find I was the second passenger to board. (From now on, I’m not going to believe anyone who tells me I have to be at the airport an hour before departure.) But back to the conference and the project. Research and documentation comprise the first phase divided into two areas: historical and architectural documentation. Dreaming big, the group hopes that this will eventually lead to restoration projects and the publication and use of historical writings in the schools. The intended outcome of this first phase will be a catalogue of historical structures, “complete with historical data, photographs and architectural plans.” The people of Albay feel that it is a project of national importance, given its nature and scope since nothing of this kind has been done. Once finished, other provinces could use it as a reference and model. Aquinas University’s College of Architecture and Fine Arts, headed by its dean, Rino Fernandez, initially documented buildings and ruins in Albay, including the Tabaco Cimborio (I used to think the name referred to tobacco, but the word is actually “tabac,” meaning bolo or knife), the churches in Tabaco, Sto. Domingo (this was a town called Libog, but with everyone mispronouncing it and having a good laugh, the townspeople decided to change it), Daraga, Camalig, Ligao and the Albay Cathedral and the ruins of Colegio de San Buenaventura in Gu
May 25, 2006 at 6:23 AM #32415
My administration strongly believes that the development of Daraga will not occur in isolation of, but in accordance with, other factors that will highly influence the extent and direction of our development efforts. Based on this perspective, two (2) recent national pronouncements will have a direct bearing on our development decisions for the near future. One is the nationally conceived project of relocating the existing airport in Legazpi to Barangay Alobo, Daraga. The other is the relocation of the present PNR terminal in Legazpi to Daraga. In both cases, these are seen as a boon that will benefit the Municipality of Daraga. Undeniably, these developments will primarily spur economic activities in this township and bring along with them vast opportunities for employment and progress.
To me, I look upon them as a challenge, a challenge to be proactive and arouse local support initiatives to address the eventualities resulting from these outcomes. What are these local support initiatives? I shall initiate the realization of the following:
§ The establishment of an Integrated Bus Terminal, the feasibility studies of which have been updated;
§ In consultation with the City Government of Legazpi and the PNR, the conversion of soon-to-be abandoned rail road tracks into a cemented highway to serve as an alternate road to Legazpi;
§ To push through with the aspiration of converting Daraga into a city to better address &n
May 25, 2006 at 6:19 AM #32414
New International Airport to Begin Construction in Philippines
DARAGA, ALBAY-THE CONstruction of the first international airport in Southern Luzon has been set for the last quarter of the year following the approval of the 2006 General Appropriations Act.The 2006 GAA or national budget includes the P2-billion allotment for the airport in Daraga.Site development could be started before the year ends, according to Daraga Mayor Gerry Jaucian.Called the Southern Luzon International Airport, the project will cover some 24 hectares in barangays Alobo, Kinawitan, Mabini, Burgos and Inarado in this town.Areas for the runway, airport terminal and control tower are currently being identified in these villages.The Special Technical Working Group headed by Air Transportation Office chief Frisco Sto. Domingo is handling the technical aspects of the proposed project, Jaucian said.He disclosed that aside from the P150-million initial funding from Albay 3rd district Rep. Joey Salceda, House appropriations committee chair, Camarines Sur Gov. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, concurrent Regional Development Council (RDC) chair, has pledged P100 million as equity for the project.The mayor expressed optimism that the international airport, which was expected to spur economic development in this part of the country, would be realized because of the support from the local chief executives in Bicol.Earlier, members of the RDC-composed mostly of mayors and governors from all over the region-promised to extend whatever resources they could share to the project.Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal, for his part, said the city government accepted Daraga as the site of the international airport.Rosal said the port would not only benefit the host town and Albay, but also the entire region and Southern Luzon area in terms of business and tourism, once it is fully operational.The project is expected to be completed by 2009. Edgar Alejo, PDI Southern Luzon Bureau
Philippine Daily Inquirer — 03/27/06
May 22, 2006 at 12:16 AM #32283
Search for Japanese roots led to better lives May 03, 2006 Updated 11:49pm (Mla time) Juan Escandor Jr. Inquirer
DOMINGO Sasaki San Lorenzo, 67, an elder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Milaor, Camarines Sur, shows no bitterness about the adversities he had encountered in the past. The youngest of four children of Marcelina San Lorenzo, Domingo lost his father, Takezo Sasaki, who died in their two-story house in Tabuco, Naga City when American planes bombed the capital on May 1, 1942. Domingo was then only 3 years old. After the defeat of Japanese soldiers in World War II, Domingo’s family experienced poverty for the first time. His mother struggled hard to earn a living so the children could finish high school. To avoid ridicule and persecution after the war because of his Japanese ancestry, the family members did not use Sasaki as surname. But by a twist of fate or what he believes to be God’s hand leading him along life’s uncharted pathways, Domingo found an opportunity to “reclaim” his father’s surname. That was in 1974, or 32 years after the war, when Domingo was installing a doorbell at the house of a client-friend in Naga as a part-time job. He was introduced to Nobuo Fukazawa, a Japanese and chief of Bayer operations in the Philippines, who was staying at the house of his friend in Monterey Village, a middle-class subdivision in the city. While talking with the Japanese executive, Domingo mentioned his longing to reestablish links with his father’s relatives in Japan, whose whereabouts his family in the Philippines had little knowledge of. Fukazawa learned that the Japanese parliament had passed a law recognizing and bestowing citizenship on descendants of Japanese nationals and soldiers who died during the war. He asked Domingo to provide him proof of his Japanese ancestry to help him locate the Sasakis in Japan. Domingo returned the following day and gave Fukazawa his father’s full identity, photos and marriage contract. In just two weeks after the business executive left for Japan, Domingo received a telegram from the Japanese Embassy informing him that a round-trip ticket and travel money had been sent by his relatives to him through its Manila office. He flew to Japan on the same month that the ticket and invitation arrived. Touching reunion “I [arrived] at the Narita Airport in 1974, overwhelmed with emotion [when] I saw my relatives waving placards bearing my name,” Domingo recounted. He passed out for a second or so, before he could even greet his grandparents, other next of kin and everyone else who welcomed him. His Japanese male relatives were quick to catch him before he slipped on the airport lobby. He was brought to a waiting car where he regained consciousness. Later, Domingo found out through his Japanese relatives that his search for his father’s family in Japan had been broadcast on national television, using grabs of the photos and other documents he had given Fukazawa. At 35, Domingo came to know more about his father, this time from the stories of his Japanese relatives. Takezo, the father he knew only through countless tales from his mother, was the eldest in a brood of six children. He was born on &nbs
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