Curing Culion, the Island of the Living Dead

Color My World

I’ve been going to Culion often lately. To inspect our Build site over in a remote barangay called De Carabao. Habitat Philippines is constructing 160 housing units there right now, plus 2 school buildings and a water system, dedicated to our indigent community of Tagbanuas who were badly hit by Typhoon Haiyan in November of 2013.

Culion has remained a mysterious island seldom visited by the outside world, as a result of its bad reputation as a former leper colony. During the early 1900s, Culion was known as the Island of the Living Dead, or the Island of No Return, in reference to its huge leper population – the largest in the world then. Thus Culion became the world’s foremost research center for Hansen’s Disease, aka the dreaded leprosy.

Culion, Island of the Living Dead (courtesy of ironwulf.net)

Its history dates back to 1902, when the American Forces occupying the Philippines decided to address…

View original post 477 more words

Carpio: China’s Invasion is Armed Aggression

Color My World

Associate Justice Antonio Tirol Carpio is a well-known authority and popular speaker on the Western Philippine Seas issue. The article below on his thoughts on the issue was written by Jojo Malig of the ABS-CBNnews.com last June 6, 2014.

MANILA (UPDATED) – China’s invasion and occupation of Mischief Reef in 1995 and Scarborough Shoal in 2012 are acts of armed aggression against the Philippines that violate the United Nations Charter, according to Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.

20140609-223952-81592885.jpg Carpio:’ ….. an act of armed aggression’.

Carpio, in a recent speech before the Philippine Women’s Judges Association, said China is also threatening to forcibly evict Philippine Marines aboard the shipwrecked RPS Sierra Madre in Ayungin Reef within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the Spratlys.

The Philippines is not the lone target of China, according to Carpio. He said Beijing also committed armed aggression against Vietnam in the Paracels…

View original post 1,215 more words

Davao International Airport Needs Urgent Attention for the Necessary “Changes”

DAVAO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT NEEDS URGENT ATTENTION

FOR THE NECESSARY “CHANGES”

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

When Rodrigo Duterte was campaigning for the presidency, the popular caveat is: “change is coming”. Now, that he is in Malacaἧan Palace finally, it has become: “change for the better”. Indeed, there are so many things that need to be changed as part of his “house cleaning”. One of them is the Davao International Airport which is in a very sorry state. Many disappointed visitors to the Davao were heard to have commented on how in the world has such a “dilapidated” terminal become an international airport? For one thing, the decrepit signage announcing “Davao International Airport” has only with four or five lighted letters. The whole terminal building needs a repainting to put it bluntly. One lane that leads to the entrance of the pre-departure is closed forcing passengers alighting from taxis, thereby, forcing them to cross two lanes before finally making it to the unglamorous gate of the pre-dep. And, worst is the constant breakdown of the aircon system making many offices inside the terminal building akin to sauna cubicles!

 

Davao is supposed to be the premier international airport in Mindanao, but there is not even a 24-hour lounge for passengers who come from neighboring cities and towns, and who are then forced to stay in cheap downtown lodging facilities for a few hours in their desire to be on the first flight the following day. The average taxi fare from the downtown area is Php250, but for humanitarian’s sake, there should be a tip of at least Php20.00 The drivers of taxis queueing outside the airport “fence” are left on their own without, at least mobile toilets. And, to think that they an integral part of the tourism industry. I was told by many drivers that they would have to look for discreet corners every time they heed the call of nature. Aside from the mobile toilet, they should be provided with at least, a sheds of tarp with benches as they patiently wait for the visitors for 24 hours. And, there’s one signage announcing the presence of a government office in the area, but the name is shamefully printed in small letters under the name of the sponsor, a soft drink company which is printed in big letters…now, I think that is wrong because government agencies are not supposed to solicit funds for promo undertakings as they are supposedly budgeted!

 

The new secretary of the Department of Tourism, Wanda Tulfo Teo should do something about the aforementioned appalling situations. There is no problem with the peace and order of Davao, especially, with the transport service because taxi drivers are generally courteous and honest. But tourism is not all about peace and honest taxi drivers. The industry is more that those, as just like in visiting a house as guest, there is a question, such as, what can a palatable food on a grandly prepared table do if the yard is full of grass, the gate and the door are dilapidated, and the lighting fixtures are out of order?

 

The international focus has been veered towards Davao where the new president came from, and also due to its reputation as the comparably most peaceful city in the Philippines, thanks to him. It is home to the highest peak in the country, Mt. Apo, at 10,311 feet above sea level: the most exotic fruit, durian: Davao coffee made from coffee beans disposed awkwardly by civets from their innards: and, not to mention the reputation of the city as the biggest in area, in the whole world at 2,444 square kilometers. The new president who is known for his hard-hitting remarks and cuss has trebled the curiosity about this city. Davao is not only about Mindanao…she now stands for the Philippines as Duterte has become synonymous to her.

Ang “Isla” sa West Philippine Sea

ANG “ISLA” SA WEST PHILIPPINE SEA

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Sa isyu ng West Philippine Sea, ang tanging layunin ng Pilipinas kaya dumulog ito sa UN Arbitral Tribunal ay upang matukoy ang tunay na hangganang karagatan ng bansa. Nagkataon lang na mayroong bahura o reef sa lugar na yon kaya atat na atat ang China na sakupin ito. Upang malubos ang kanilang layunin, ang bahura na hindi angkop na tirhan ng tao ay tinambakan ng mga dinurog na korales mula sa paligid kaya tuluyang tumaas at naging “isla”. Ngayon ay may mga pasilidad na pang-military… mga gamit pandigma, kasama na ang mahabang paliparan.

 

Seryoso ang usapin. Noon pa binanggit kong dahil sa pagpupursige ng China na makamkam ang bahaging ito ng karagatan ay siguradong hindi ito papayag na basta-basta na lang patatalo lalo na sa pipitsuging bansa tulad ng Pilipinas. Sa kamalasan naman ng China, dahil sa desisyon ang UN tribunal tungkol sa naaangkop na pagturing sa karagatang yon hindi lang Pilipinas kundi buong mundo ang kalaban niya ngayon. Solohin ba naman ang karagatang yon na ang turing ng buong mundo ay “maritime highway”. Para siyang nagbakod ng isang right of way kaya walang madaan ang mga taong naapektuhan at nakulong!

 

Para walang gulo, pabor ang Pilipinas sa pakikipag-usap ng maayos upang kahit papaano ay umabot sa “sharing agreement”. Sa ganitong punto, wala nang pinakamagandang paraan kundi gawin itong” open trading post” ng China at Pilipinas. Hindi puwedeng mag-refund ang Pilipinas kahit sa maliit na bahagi ng ginastos ng China dahil noon pa man ay sinabihan na silang itigil ang ginagawa nilang reclamation. Kung magkaroon ng oil exploration dapat ay “sharing” din ang usapan.

 

Sa isang televised interview kay Duterte, sabi niya gusto niyang ipadala si dating presidenteng Ramos sa China upang masimulan ang pakikipag-usap sa kinauukulan. Marami ang nagtaas ng kilay dahil noong kapanahunan yata niya nang magkaroon ng bentahan ng military base na ngayon ay naging tinatawag na “Global City”, ang sabi ay gagamitin daw sa military modernization ang mapagbentahan. Marami ang nagtatanong kung anong nangyari sa pangako dahil hanggang ngayon ay “antique” pa rin ang mga gamit ng military.

 

Nitong bandang huli nga, dahil sa isyu ng West Philipppine Sea, ay tila naalimpungatan ang gobyerno dahil nakita ang kawalan pala ng maaayos na barko ang Philippine Navy at Philippine Coast Guard. Kailangan pa naman ang mga ito dahil ang bansa ay maraming isla kaya napakahaba ng coastline nito. Hindi nga maeskortan ang mga gustong mangisda sa West Philippine Sea at hindi nga mapatrulyahan ang karagatang dinadadaan ng Abu Sayyaf tuwing maghakot sila ng kidnap victims mula sa karating bansa upang dalhin sa Sulu, Basilan, at Tawi-tawi. Paano na daw kung si Ramos ang makikipag-usap sa China tungkol sa isang maayos kuno na “sharing agreement”?

 

Sa ambush interview kay Ramos pagkatapos ng miting, sinabi yata niyang hindi siya interesado…..mabuti naman. Mabuti pa siguro ipadala si Lucio Tan at Henry Sy at siguradong hindi sila patatalo sa usapin kung paano pagkitaan ng Pilipinas ang artipisyal na isla dahil siguradong patatayuan ito ng airport ng PAL at Air Philippines at napakalaking Shoemart mall ….isama na rin pala ang PAGCOR para ang hindi ma-accommodate na mga casino sa Manila ay doon na lang itayo. Kung kulang pa ang artipisyal na isla, gumawa ng mga submerged casino – first in the whole world yan!