By Apolinario B Villalobos


Itinuring na lupang ipinangako –

Ng mga Pilipinong dito ay napadako

Mga naglakas-loob na makipagsapalaran

Hindi inalintana panganib na madadatnan.


Maraming kuwento ang aking nalaman –

May mga kulay ng lungkot at kaligayahan

Nguni’t lahat ay puno ng hangarin, ng pag-asa

Sa lupang ipinangako’t magigisnang bagong umaga.


May mga Pangasinense, Kapampangan, Ilocano

Mayroong Bicolano, Bulakeño, Caviteño, Batangueño

Mga taga-Luzon silang dala ay lakas ng loob, kasipagan

Hindi ininda ang init sa  pagbungkal ng tigang na kabukiran.


Mayroon ding galing sa Antique, Negros, isla ng Cebu

Sumunod ang mga taga-Leyte, Antique, Guimaras at Iloilo

Ano pa nga ba’t sa malawak, mayaman at luntiang Mindanao

Magkaiba man ang mga salita, pagkakaisa ay pilit nangingibabaw.


Hitik sa kwentong makulay ang buong isla ng Mindanao

Unang tumira’y mga kapatid nating sa relihiyon, iba ang pananaw

Silang mga  taal na katutubo, makukulay, matatapang at mahinahon

Tanging hangad ay mabuhay ng matiwasay, tahimik, sa lahat ng panahon.


Ang mga  Kristiyano, Muslim, Lumad – lahat sila ay nagkakaisa

Nagtutulungan, nagbibigayan, mga paniwala man nila ay magkaiba

Nguni’t dahil sa makasariling hangad ng ilang gahaman sa kapangyarihan

Animo kristal na nabasag, iningatang magandang samahan at katahimikan.


Nguni’t tayo ay Pilipino, iba tayo – lumalaban na may masidhing pag-asa

Sa harap ng masalimuot na mga problema, matatatag na kalasag ay nakaamba

Ito’y ang masidhing paniniwala sa Maykapal, malalim at marubdob na kapatiran

Ugaling nagbuklod sa mga taga-Mindanao, magkaiba man ang pananaw at kaugalian.


Ating isigaw-

Mabuhay ang Mindanaw!

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!



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.

The PAL TOPIC Magazine, PALakbayan Tours and PAL’s Total Effort in Promoting Philippine Tourism

The PAL TOPIC Magazine, PALakbayan Tours

And PAL’s Total Effort in Promoting Philippine Tourism

By Apolinario Villalobos


TOPIC which stood for “Tours and Promotions Information Office” was the publication conceived by the Marketing and Sales- Philippines during the time of Mr. Ricardo Paloma as a tool for the promotion and “selling” of the tourist destinations; festivals; tourist facilities such as restaurants, hotels, pensions, transport services; festivals; outdoor sports such as mountaineering, spelunking (cave exploration), bird watching, trekking, scuba diving; festivals; dive spots and mountains. It was administered by Mr. Vic Bernardino, the Manager of the Tours and Promotions Division. The early issues were edited by Alex Enrile, which was later on taken over by this writer. The magazine is the epitome of the typical Filipino “bayanihan” or cooperation spirit, as the whole staff of the Division contributed their skills to make every issue interesting.


As if by coincidence, the staff of the Division had various expertise in the fields of scuba diving, mountain climbing, cave exploration and birdwatching, not to mention outdoor photography. Thelma Villaseἧor was for instance, a scuba diver and mountain climber, and so were Ed Buensuceso, John Fortes, Reggie Constantino, Bong Velasco, and Julio Luz, Jr.  Aside from diving and climbing, John Fortes and Ed Buensuceso were also spelunkers (cave explorers), who pioneered the exploration and mapping of the Palawan Underground River (formerly, St. Paul Subterranean Park), with the help of a caving team from Europe.


Ed Buensuceso, together with the Kennedy National Geographic Team recorded the first-ever in-flight mating and breeding of the Philippine Eagle (formerly, Monkey-eating Eagle), for which close coordination was made with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through its Baracatan Breeding Station in Sta. Cruz, Davao City. For such effort, the Department of Tourism-Davao was also involved. On the other hand, John Fortes was exerting his own effort in promoting mountaineering in the country, the penultimate of which was the organization of all mountaineering clubs into the National Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines (NMFP).


Mayie Santos an intrepid writer who was among the original staff of the Division contributed her share of effort by attending festivals and making reviews on resorts, pension homes, hotels and restaurants. Even Vic Bernardino, the Manager, would lend a hand in gathering information as needed, by attending important touristic activities. Furthermore, the staff was also trained to speak in seminars on Philippine tourism aided with slides presentation and handouts. Information given to participants were first-hand, hence, even the Department of Tourism, the UP Asian Institute of Tourism, embassies, consulates, tour and travel organizations, and educational institutions would request for the group’s assistance.


Later, in line with the tourism-centered effort of the airline, Mr. Paloma also conceived the PALakbayan Tour Program which consolidated all the efforts, this time, with the cooperation of the domestic stations. The program was divided into several “modules” such as Excursion, Education and Culture, Conventions and Seminars, and Sports. During this time, the exhaustive endeavor in exploring tourist spots was doubled, bringing to light non-traditional destinations such Sorsogon, Romblon, Mamburao, Palawan, Fuga Island, etc. Development of outdoor activities which were new among local tourists involving study of butterflies, migratory habits of birds, and culture of tribal communities were also developed to stir their interest. Schools were encouraged to consult the office for their planned educational tour program and other out-of-town activities, for which PAL stations were tapped for assistance.


The PALakbayan Tour Program virtually catered to all the needs of air-travelers within the country…the airline’s proud legacy to the industry, and considered as “Asia’s First Airline”, which initially operated using rehabilitated post-war DC-3’s.

The Double-Whammy Misfortune of Kidapawan City

The Double- Whammy Misfortune of

Kidapawan City

By Apolinario Villalobos





Kidapawan has been the traditional jump-off point of trekkers who delight in scaling the slopes of Mt. Apo any time of the year, but most especially, during summer. The attraction of the sacred mountain has been enhanced by the various exotic fruits of the locality and the tribal festival….all those have put the city in the map of adventurous tourists, both local and foreign.


The village of Ilomavis that used to be just pockmarked with huts of Lumads became the site of a thriving resort that extended up to the hot springs of Lake Agko. Unfortunately, with the conflagration that started at the camping area, halfway to the summit, and which did not spare the “moss forest” where thrive indigenous orchids the famous of which is the “waling-waling” (vanda sanderiana), patches of wild strawberries, and the meadow carpeted with dwarf bamboos, the mountain has become just an object of admiration from a distance, with all its sorry parched state. Another hundred or more years are needed to develop another “moss forest”, for the meadows to coax dwarf bamboos back to life, and for the patches of wild strawberries to take root.


The cool slopes of the mountain have provided exotic tropical fruits such as durian, rambutan, mangosteen, and that of rattan vine’s, with a blissful haven. But this will now be just a thing of the past. The Lumads and the various indigenous tribes that used to live peacefully in the slopes and who used to eke a living from the fertile volcanic soil are now left with no recourse but seek inhospitable nooks in the valleys farther away from the convenience of Kidapawan City where their children go to school and where hospitals are for their sick. Worst, if they will be helped by the non-government organizations (NGOs) that are suspected by the government military to belong to the “red side”, as the Department of Social Welfare admits its difficulty in penetrating the inhospitable valleys, these peaceful tribal Filipinos and Lumads will be accused of cuddling communists.





Even while the conflagration of Mt. Apo is going on, another misfortune has put Kidapawan in a bad light due to the so-called “Kidapawan massacre” that resulted from the killing of farmers who were just asking for the promised rice, to help them through the devastating effect of the El Niἧo. Instead of a few kilos of rice, bullets were unscrupulously sprayed to them that resulted to the death of some and the wounding of others. The dilly-dallying of the provincial government has caused it all, despite the calamity fund for the promised rice to have been approved in January 2016, yet. People then began to ask where the calamity fund went. Unfortunately for the North Cotabato provincial governor, because of the incident, her records were checked which yielded an anomaly, forcing the Ombudsman to file a graft case which could eventually land her in jail. The provincial governor is Emmylou Taliἧo- Mendoza.


The anomaly is about governor Mendoza’s direct and unauthorized purchase of diesel fuel from the gasoline station owned by her mother…all without the pre-requisite approval of the Bidding Committee that should have approved the qualified bidder/supplier. The Ombudsman found her guilty of the graft amounting to more than Php2 million. The case made many eyebrows rise and sarcastic comments that connect it to the calamity fund for the purchase of rice intended for farmers who are suffering from the effect of El Niἧo.


The “Kidapawan massacre” has greatly tarnished the amiable and peaceful image of the city because of the provincial government leadership’s irresponsibility. Reports are rife even about the provincial leadership’s refusal to accept donated rice for the farmers, when all that the Provincial Crisis Committee that Mendoza heads was suggest that the donation be brought to custody of the Methodist Church that has been all out in helping the farmers ever since, if she does not want her administration to handle the distribution. The grossly despicable attitude of the provincial administration is capped with the “massacre” of farmers…. a tarnish of a lifetime in the image of Kidapawan City, though clearly, not of her own doing.

Ode to Mt. Apo

Written during my first climb and included in my first book, “Beyond the Horizon”….



By Apolinario Villalobos


You could have just been a dream…

Yet, here I am, biding my time

from where I’ll start my trek

over hills, mountains

thick forests, hot springs and lakes.


Please consider me one of your people…

those who dwell at your foot –

Bagobos, Manobos, and others

whose smile, warm and sweet

vanishes the fear and fatigue

of intruders like me and the rest.


Uncertain of what to find….

I don’t mind at all

for I know, I’m among a good people.


I don’t mind the trek from Makalangit –

past the Fourteen Stations

to Mt. Zion

or the nerve-rending leaps

from boulder to boulder

sixteen times across

the gurgling Marble River

that girdles your waist.


Ah, beloved Apo…

your sonorous Twin and Malou Shih Falls

delightfully blend

with the songs of birds

and chirps of cicadas

music that no man can feign.


Lake Venado, unruffled…

serenely mirrors your soul

and the seemingly drop of tear, Lake Jordan

furtively glistens under the searing sun.


Even for a moment while up here…

on the summit

I become part of you

as my wary soul is soothed

by your enchanting Lake Agko.


But there’s more to these…

Things that I need to understand –

those behind the curtains of moss

and orchids that hang

from the limbs of century trees;

those beneath your soft carpet

of lichens and grass

that swallow our steps

as if to muffle whatever

sound they might make.


You are the ultimate answer desired

by those who long

for adventure and mystery;

and, it may take a long time

for you to be transformed

from a dream into reality…


Mountain Ranges, River Systems, and Volcanoes of the Philippines

Mountain Ranges, River Systems

and Volcanoes of  the Philippines

By Apolinario Villalobos

For the Filipinos, it is important to have a bird’s eye view of their country for better understanding and appreciation. For the foreigners, it is equally important, so that they will have an idea why the Philippines is called, Emerald Isles of the Pacific, Pearl of the Orient Seas, Land of the Rising Sun, etc.

For one thing, the archipelagic country is composed of more than 7,000 islands and islets, depending on the tide. The irregular coastline is about 10,850 statute miles. The Philippine Deep located 40 miles northeast of Mindanao is the deepest ocean depth at 37,782 feet, which is deeper than Marianas Deep which measures 36,640 feet. Volcanic in origin, the total land surface is 114, 830 square miles. The country is divided into main groups such as, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.


Luzon is the northern chunk of the archipelago with Batanes as its northernmost province. The mountain ranges that dominate the Central Plains are: Caraballo del Sur, with the apex located between Abra, Ilocos Norte, and Cagayan. The Caraballo  Occidental is divided into the northern and central, traversing the western area of the Cagayan River. The Sierra Madre which is known in some history books as Pacific Coast Range originates from Baler and covers Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Cagayan, making it the longest range in the Philippines. The eastern and southeastern mountain ranges, meanwhile, starts from Caraballo de Baler to San Bernardino Strait, and ends in Mayon volcano in Albay and Bulusan volcano in Sorsogon, both of the Bicol region in the southern tip of Luzon mainland.

The mountain range that begins at Tagaytay, passes through the rest of the province of Cavite, onward through Batangas, ending in Mt. Makiling. Meanwhile, the Zambales range, begins at Cape Bolinao, running along the China coast up to the Bataan peninsula. On the island of Mindoro, the sierra range starts at Mt. Halcon, forking into three, with the northwest ending at Calavite Point which for centuries has been used as a landmark of mariners that cruise through Manila Bay and Mindoro Strait, the eastern fork from Naujan Lake, and the western fork that follows the Mindoro Strait

The river systems of Luzon are: Rio Grande de Cagayan and its tributaries that flow towards Cagayan Valley: the Agno Grande that flows to Benguet and the valleys of Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, and Tarlac; the Abra River while serving as the catch basin of tributaries from the Cordillera, flows to Lepanto, Bontoc and  Abra; and, the Rio  Grande de Pampanga and its tributaries that flow towards the valleys of Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Bulacan.

Other river systems are: Magat River flows across Isabela and Nueva Ecija with tributaries flowing from the Mountain Province to Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, and Tarlac; Laoag River in Ilocos Norte; Abra River in Abra; Tinig River, Amburayan River, and Chico River in Mountain Province; Tarlac River; Angat River in Bulacan; Marikina River and Pasig River in Metro Manila; Pagsanjan River in Laguna; Maragondon River in Cavite; Tayabas River in Quezon; Labo River in Sorsogon; Pitogo River in Occidental Mindoro; Boac and Mogpog rivers in Marinduque; and, the most famous, Underground River in Palawan.

The volcanoes of Luzon are Mt. Iraya in Batanes, Taal in Batangas, Banahaw in Quezon, Mt. Bulusan in Sorsogon, and Mayon in Albay. Mt. Mayon has erupted more than 30 times since 1615; Taal, the smallest volcano in the world has erupted about 30 times, as well, with the most destructive in January 30, 1911 which killed more than 1,300 people, and its last eruption occurred in September 3, 1976.


Negros island is partitioned by a mountain range with northwest to southwest orientation with the protrusion of Mt. Kanlaon as the highest, and the rest are:  Mt. Razor, Mt. Silay Mandalague, and Mt. Malapantao. Panay Island has a north to south orientation of a mountain range that separates Iloilo, Aklan and Capiz provinces from Antique, and with Mt. Madjaas as the highest peak, with the rest: Mt. Agudo, Mt. Lantuan, Caniapasan, Mt. Malinao, Mt. Nangtud, Mt. Nausang, and Mt. Usigan.

The river systems of Visayas are: Panay River in Pan-ay, Sibalom River in Antique, Suaque River in Iloilo, Bago River in Negros Occidental, Mabanga River in Bohol, Ulut and Catubig rivers in Samar.


The four mountain ranges of Mindanao are: Surigao mountain range that follows the outline of the Pacific coas; Butuan range that serves as the water shed of the Agusan River on the east, and Pulangui river on the west; the Mt. Apo range located in the central and western portion of the island; and the western range, from Iligan Bay up to the shores of Basilan Strait. In Lanao, north of Mt. Iniaoan is Mt. Catmon, while south of Lake Lanao is Mt. Butlig. Separating Cotabato and Lanao are Mt. Maraturang and Ragang volcanoes. Other mountains in Cotabato are Mt. Dinaca, Mt. Bulik, Mt. Magolo and Mt. Matutum. In Bukidnon, the two highest peaks are Mt. Kintanglad west of Malaybalay, and Mt. Kalatungan. Aside from Mt. Apo, another active volcano in Mindanao is Mt. Makaturing in Lanao.

The Rio Grande de Mindanao, fed by the outflows of two lakes, and the largest river system in the Philippines flows to the central plain of Mindanao. The Agusan River which is the second biggest, next to Rio Grande de Mindanao, flows to the basin of Surigao. Other rivers in Mindanao are: Buluan River in Maguindanao, Kapingkong River in Sultan Kudarat, Dansalan River in Cotabato, and Clarin River in Misamis Occidental. Ligwasan marsh occupies a vast tract of area in Cotabato to which some water of the Rio Grande de Mindanao also flows.

Lately, the Philippines has become a favorite mountaineering destination of trekking enthusiasts from other countries, and whose number swelled that of the locals composed of professional bloggers, students and young professionals. Among the most popular are:  Mt Iraya in Batanes, Mt. Dos Cuernos in Cagayan, Mt. Pulog in Benguet, Mt. Halcon in Mindoro, Mt. Cristobal and Mt. Banahaw in Quezon, and Mt. Makiling in Laguna; Mt. Madja-as in Antique; Mt. Guiting-guiting in Sibuyan (Romblon); Mt. Manunggal in Cebu; Mt. Kanlaon in Negros; Mt. Apo in Davao, Mt. Hibok-hibok in Camiguin, Mt. Kitanglad in Malaybalay, and  Mt. Matutum in South Cotabato. I know that more mountains, though not impressive in height but equally challenging, are just waiting to be explored, aside from what I have mentioned.

It is fascinating to know that outdoor sports bloggers do their share in promoting the sport to boost the tourism industry of the Philippines, by posting their discovered peaks as they trek around the country. Browsers need only to use the tags: “Philippine mountains”, “Philippine mountaineering”, “Philippine trekking”, and “Philippine tourism” to access their sites.

Hospitality…essence of Philippine Tourism


…essence of Philippine Tourism

By Apolinario Villalobos


Big cities in the Philippines have sufficient rooms for tourists, provided by lodging inns and multiple star hotels. But this is not so for towns and villages that are visited by tourists during the summer months which are the season for fiestas, and even year-round for some, as in the case of destinations that boast of natural attractions such as mountains, caves, swift white rivers, as well as, indigenous flora and fauna.


During the ‘70s which was the peak of tourist promotion effort of Philippine Airlines through its Tours and Promotions Division of Marketing and Sales-Philippines (MSP), the “hospitality home” was conceived by the think tank group of Vic Bernardino who heads the said division. The concept which was integrated in the PALakbayan Tour Program was supported by the late, Mr. Ricardo Paloma, the then, Regional Vice-President of MSP. The concept was laid down for appreciation and implementation of local governments which extended their full support. Along with this concept was also the promotion of the “backyard tourism”. To differentiate it from commercialized tourism, the “backyard tourism” was the small-scale tourism-related business that far-flung towns and villages operated in line with the Department of Tourism’s effort to drum up the attractions of the country.


Among the popular destinations that overflowed with tourists during festival season then, were Marinduque with its Moriones Festival, Kalibo with its original Ati-Atihan Festival, and Bukidnon with its Kaamulan Festival. Due to the limited commercial lodging facilities, pre-chosen local families were asked to host visitors for certain fees that varied according to their facilities and offered meals. Nowadays, sufficient lodging facilities have been built by local governments to accommodate visitors.


The tourism industry of the Philippines, did not start with big hotels. The industry started from scratch, so to speak. The hospitality home type of accommodation in the provinces supported the influx of foreign tourists in Manila, Cebu and Davao, as the hordes were desirous to see and experience more of the country. The PALakbayan Tour Program of the national flag carrier, PAL, through its Tours and Promotions Office successfully distributed tourists throughout the country. This is how the St. Paul Subterranean Park of Palawan, now known as Underground River of Puerto Princesa, the “dragons” of Caramoan peninsula in Bicol, the Chocolate Hills of Bohol, the enticing waves of the Quezon Province and Camarines Sur, Mt. Apo of Davao, Mt. Mayon of Albay, Mt. Hibok-Hibok of Camiguin, Mt. Pulog of Benguet, Mt. Kanlaon of Negros, to name a few of the mountains, Sicogon Island, the beaches of Cebu, Tubbataha Reef of Palawan and other dive sites in Mindoro, Cebu, Dumaguete, Davao, the Philippine Eagle, and later, the now world-renown Boracay….became essential features of international travel brochures and magazines..


It was a hectic period of promotional effort for the Bernardino group which reaped good results. Those who sacrificed much of their time were Edgar Buensuceso who handled the cave explorations and researches on the Philippine flora and fauna for promotion to nature lovers of Europe, Australia and Japan, as well as, the promotion of awareness on the Philippine Eagle; John Fortes who handled the mountain climbing activities; and Julio Luz, Jr. and Thelma Villaseῆor, who organized dive expeditions. Edgar Buensuceso can also be credited for the development of birdwatching as a popular naturist activity in the country. John Fortes on the other hand, did much in organizing the different mountaineering organizations in the Philippines into the National Federation of the Philippines. During mountain climbs, the diminutive Joe Cobilla, a famous outdoor photographer of the Department of Tourism was always part of the groups to document every detail of the treks. The photos of Mr. Cobilla graced the pages of many travel brochures and magazines here and abroad which further boasted the concerted effort of the national government and PAL in promoting tourism.


Tourism industry is the only hope of the government in earning the much-needed revenue to bolster the economy of the country. Agriculture is out of the question, as the agencies involved are inutile in making the country rice sufficient, despite the presence of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Laguna, Asia’s cradle of knowledge for rice technology. Even the onions and garlic are imported from China, Taiwan and Thailand. The high technology is likewise out, as the country has become the receiving end for sub-standard gadgets from China. Cheap and competitive, but unfortunately seasonal labor cannot be relied on, as the meager take home pay of workers has no buying strength. The exported labor is likewise threatened due to unrests at host countries which drastically affects dollar remittance.


In pursuing the advocacy of tourism, cooperation is necessary – among the residents, as well as, the local and the national governments. And, finally, the accommodation and transport components of the industry play an important role as they must be consistent in satisfactorily serving the needs of the tourists who now include local travelers. The Filipinos showed that with their innate hospitality, both foreign and local tourists can have fun around the country. Thanks to the Filipino hospitality as it has bolstered the tourism industry that has overshadowed the badly smeared image of the government due to prevalent corruption in practically, all its branches.