Naga, Home of a Proud People
A Quarterly Magazine of the
City Government of Naga
Naga is undeniably among the oldest storied cities of the Philippines. And it is also among the country’s JOHN G. BONGAT
fastest-growing economies, always heading for change and transformation. City Mayor
GABRIEL H. BORDADO, JR.
Perhaps the best witness to its evolution from a quaint riverine settlement to a bubbling trading powerhouse is City Vice Mayor
the Naga River which flows through the heart of the city’s two business districts --- the old and the new, both
racing to achieve more progress and prosperity while always enabling to do their share in making the city a bet- JOSE B. PEREZ
ter place to live in. Oldtimers tell us that the river once brimmed with cargo-laden boats and half-naked steve-
dores loading and unloading bales of products and commodities from other towns, especially those that lie ALEC FRANCIS A. SANTOS
along the banks of the connecting Bicol River downstream to San Miguel Bay. The scene, now enhanced by Executive Editor
time and modern technology, becomes even more dynamic today, earning for Naga the titles of being most JASON B. NEOLA
business-friendly while at the same being a most livable city. Managing Editor
ANSELMO B. MANO~
After over three hundred years of Spanish colonization and forty years of American rule interrupted by Layout/Graphics
Japanese invasion that saw the bombing of its imposing colonial structures, the city through the years has RANDYVIC C. VILLAFLOR
triumphantly risen from the ashes. Its birth and rebirth are largely because of its people whose natural instinct
to survive and eventually to excel in our chosen fields of endeavor are both our vice and virtue. 4 From Riverine Village
to Throbbing Urban Center
JOSE B. COLLERA
Thus, Naga has produced heroes, martyrs, poets, entrepreneurs and outstanding leaders who altogether, in This riverine village is now a bustling city ALNOR ROGER A. ALCALA
their own pace and time, were and are contributors to the city’s success and development.
Today, we, at CityHall, in harmonious collaboration with our fellow Nagueños, are committed to give our
6 Naga City’s Historical Landmarks
Historic sites speak of a rich culture
SHIENA M. BARRAMEDA
JUAN ESCANDOR, JR.
ERNANI B. SURON
humble share in preserving and nurturing the glory of the city’s past by hurdling the demands of everyday life NICOLAS C. MOTOS, JR.
FELIMON O. BATURIANO, JR.
as productive citizens because we believe that we ourselves are the builders of our city’s future. Because we are
proud, the Nagueño in us has all reason to celebrate for the bounty that we received from the Almighty, hard- 12 7th Bicol Business Week /
The 2nd Great Naga Sale
RODERICK D. REFORSADO
earned blessings that we all deserve to enjoy as we all link arms in building one proud city we can truly call our The biggest trade fair combines with huge price cuts REUEL M. OLIVER
home. FLORENCIO T. MONGOSO, JR.
ALLEN L. REONDANGA
13 3 Green, Business-Friendly Projects
Environment and economic development are twin goals
This magazine is published
by the City Government of Naga
JOHN G. BONGAT thru the City Publications and
18 2011 Mayoral Awards
Outstanding citizens are honored on Charter day
External Relations Office, with
editorial office at 2F RSR Library,
City Hall Compound, J. Miranda
Avenue, Naga City 4400
TEN LITTLE THINGS A NAGUENO SHOULD DO 26 Tracing Family Roots Becomes Tel +6354 473-4432
Fax +6354 811-1286
By Mayor John G. Bongat Easy in Naga Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Inspired by Atty. Alex Lacson’s 12 Little Things A Filipino Should Do. Genealogical records are accessible at Library
1. I THINK POSITIVE and SAY POSITIVE THINGS THE COVER
2. I keep my surroundings CLEAN and GREEN.
31 The Story of Two Streetchildren
Success comes to two dreamers SHE deserves to take
the center stage, as far
3. I RESPECT THE ELDERLY and MY FELLOW MEN as this magazine’s
at all times. cover and our high
4. I am ON TIME, and I WORK HARD and SAVE
for my future.
38 Naga, CamSur Welcome
regard for the humble
and yet proud Naga
5. I am HONEST in my dealings with others. concerned. She, whose
Big media event to draw 5,000 persons happy face and radiant
6. I STAY AWAY from DRUGS. smiles speak reassuringly of the hustle and bustle of a
7. I OBEY TRAFFIC RULES and REGULATIONS
and City ORDINANCES. 37 Tourism: Stepping up the Game
City and province attract more tourists
city where the true winners are the hardworking and
honest, regardless of how big or small one’s enterprise
is. After all, most, if not all, of the giant businesses that
8. I REPORT ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES to protect myself, we see today took a humble beginning which reminds
my family and my community. us of the ancient merchants, known as ‘Halyao’, by the
9. I PAY MY TAXES promptly.
10. I BUY LOCALLY MADE PRODUCTS and
39 Naga, CamSur Top Tourist Arrivals Anew
Big plans amidst tourism boom
Naga River in pre-Hispanic times: their strong sense of
entrepreneurship and industry continues to thrive up to
this day. Because a community’s greatest resource are
PATRONIZE the Naga City People’s Mall. its people, we are not at all surprised that for over 450
years of Bicol’s recorded history, Naga has been and
48 LBO: Serving where it “Hearts”
City Hall comes to Barangay heartland
will continue to be the region’s center of trade, com-
merce and industry.
Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 1
43 Naga receives US$321,000 grant to revive river
44 Bayan Muna, Kabataan partylist to help expand Naga City Youth
EWS Center services
44 Naga adopts CBMS to keep track of economic reforms
11 CA affirms possession of lot by City Hall 46 Naga cited for highest local revenue collection in Bicol
12 MNCCI, exhibitors to stage 7th Bicol Business Week 50 BSP Naga, a symbol of the city’s financial strength and growth
13 Maogmang Naga: On the go for 3 ‘green’ business-friendly projects 51 City celebrates 37th Nutrition Month; top achievers honored
14 How Naga cut garbage collection by half 52 Mayor Bongat activates “Defenders of Naga River”
The “Naga SMILES to the World” Evolving from “An Maogmang
logo is composed of the two 16 Joint Operations Center for Peñafrancia reactivated 53 Almeda Highway lights up! Volunteer group greenlighted Lugar” (The Happy Place),
baybayin characters, “na” 16 DepEd and Naga to construct more school buildings 53 Naga City Homeowners Board: A Sounding Board for Maogmang Naga aims to portray
and “ga”. more than a happy place but a
17 Pilimania: Greening the city while providing source Homeowners’ Concerns happy people as well.
for economic development
“Na”, shaped like a mountain, 54 Tour guides trained for surge in tourist arrivals
provides a strong foundation for the 25 City pushes milk feeding program The first letter of the word
54 Naga, finalist in national search for Best Performing PESO
Narra tree which grew abundantly 26 Tracing family roots becomes easy in Naga “Maogmang”, an adjective meaning
along the Naga River while a zigzag “Happy” (Maogma), is a dancing
line denotes majestic Malabsay 27 New chapel rises at Naga City People’s Mall human character, signifying the
Falls. 28 Naga fetes 63rd year of cityhood EATURES dynamic nature of Naga. The sun
denotes the warm and cheerful
29 Naga’s project monitoring is Bicol’s best
“Ga”, shaped like a farmer’s personality of the Nagueños.
plow, is symbolic of the Nagueño’s 29 City Hall hires 107 locally-funded teachers 4 Naga: From a riverine village to a throbbing urban center
agricultural roots and hardworking 30 Scholarship program takes big leap, gets stronger The name of the City itself
6 Naga’s historical landmarks
personality. is composed of the “Voyadores”,
33 Secretary Ona to honor CHO’s accomplishments 18 Mayoral Awards conferred on 14 Outstanding Citizens male devotees cheering Our Lady
The baybayin Naga characters 33 LGUs emulate Naga’s GROW Negosyo 23 naga.gov.ph: Most visited LGU city website in the Philippines of Peñafrancia as their brethren
rest on a wave-like element which carry the image of “Ina” on their
36 Nagueños run for Naga River 24 Bicol Express Redux
represents the Naga River and the shoulders.
serpent, which is read in Sanskrit as 36 Naga River Project Team lauded in Singapore 26 Naga City Hospital: Best primary hospital in Bicol
“naga”. 38 Naga, CamSur welcome AdCongress participants Colorful “banderitas” or festive
31 CSWDO: The story of two successful street children
flags adorn the logo to show the
39 Naga, CamSur top tourist arrivals anew 32 Smart Buddy: Success comes to those who work for it vibrancy of Maogmang Naga – the
40 Local dish gives hope to ‘backyard’ business 34 Revitalizing the Naga River City of warm and friendly people.
41 Naga LGU to create database for vision-impaired Nagueños 37 Stepping up to the game
42 Public-Private Partnership in Metro Naga’s socio-economic development 40 NCPO’s station 2 chief named national awardee during 2010 Lead PNP Award
42 Mayor Bongat pushes for gambling-free Naga 46 ALS: A ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ to Naga’s out-of-school youth and adults
48 Lingkod Barangay: Serving where it ‘Hearts’
2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 3
This was the reason why PROUD SONS.
These outstanding leaders and
Bishops of Caceres and the Arch- policy makers are products of
bishop of Manila were sometimes Naga schools. From left, the late
engaged in interesting controver- Senator Raul S. Roco, DILG
Now on its 436th year sies as in such issues as canonical Secretary Jesse M. Robredo,
: Fromthrobbing urban center
ga to a
a riverine village visitation and the secularization of
parishes. As papal delegate, Bishop
SolGen Jose Anselmo I. Cadiz
and Mayor John G. Bongat
Francisco Gainza, then concur-
rently Bishop of Caceres, sat in the So on the eve of the fiesta, they This may be so because Naga is home
By Jose B. Perez Editor
| special ecclesiastical tribunal attacked the Spanish officers’ quarters, to prestigious universities and
which passed upon the civil routed them and did battle with the rest colleges, some of which are among the
authorities’ petition to divest Fa- of the Spanish community who had first to be established in the country.
thers Burgos, Gomez and Zamora established themselves in the convent of These include the Seminario Conciliar del
Santissimo Rosario (now better known as
of their priestly dignity. Gainza San Francisco Church (just opposite
ECLARED as a pilgrimage city by no less than President Benigno S. Aquino III in time for last year’s did not only refuse the petition but today’s Plaza Quince Martires). When the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary) founded in
300th year of the Bicolanos’ devotion to Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia, this original Spanish also urged the three priests’ words of the Spanish surrender reached 1793 and the Escuela Normal y Colegio de
colonial city 377 kilometers south of Manila has continually transformed itself into a vibrant urban pardon. Partido, Legazpi, Sorsogon, and Catandu- Sta. Isabel (now Universidad de Sta.
center in the heart of Bicolandia. But despite its evolving landscape, Naga City manages to sustain anes, all Spanish forces and officers in Isabel), the first normal school for women
its quaint charm, its proud heritage and rich history made evident by its ancient churches, an old museum, At the time of the Philippine Bicol withdrew to Iloilo which marked in the Orient, founded in 1868. Also
hallowed plazas, and a winding river whose strategic significance dates back to the pre-Spanish revolution, Nueva Caceres was the the end of 300 years of Spanish rule in located in Naga is the University of Nueva
colonial era. center for political discourse in the the region. Caceres, the first private university in
region. Growing nationalism in the Luzon outside Metro Manila. Ateneo de
local populace culminated in the The Spanish regime was soon replaced Naga University, alma mater of many of
arrests of prominent personalities, by the Americans under whose adminis- today’s leaders and policy makers such as
Naga has been, for hundreds of It was by this name that the ciudad This city became the administrative the late Sen. Raul S. Roco and Sandigan-
capital of the region, the seat of epis- mostly coming from Nueva tration the city was reduced to a
years, the center of trade, educa- was identified in the Papal Bull of Caceres, who were executed on municipality, officially regaining its old bayan Justice Francis Garchitorena,
tion and culture, eventually August 14, 1595 that erected the See copacy and the trading center of the incumbent DILG Secretary Jesse M. Ro-
riverine villages…” suspicion of conspiring against the name Naga in 1919. Under the
becoming the seat of faith that of Caceres (together with those of Spanish rulers. Actually, Bicol’s Americans, Naga was brought to the bredo, Solicitor-General Jose Anselmo
once radiated to as far as the rest of Cebu in the Visayas and Nueva martyrs of freedom number in mainstream of a more dynamic socio-eco- Cadiz and Naga City Mayor John G. Bon-
the Bicol peninsula and the former Segovia in North Luzon) and made it BISHOPS
hundreds but fifteen have been nomic environment. gat, is the only Jesuit school in Bicol and
Southern Tagalog province of the seat of the new bishopric. singled out as symbols of the rest Southern Luzon.
Tayabas, now known as Quezon. The bishops of Caceres occupied a
unique place in the Philippine because on January 4, 1897, just ITS PEOPLE
In time, the Spanish city and five days after Dr. Jose Rizal was An outstanding facet of the city,
On his second expedition to this native village merged into one com- Catholic hierarchy during most of the according to researchers and visiting
Spanish regime. By virtue of a papal executed, eleven of these At the core of Naga’s growth and
region, the great conquistador, Juan munity divided only by a river and academicians, is the presence of a vibrant
brief of Gregory XIII, all ecclesiastical Bicolanos were likewise shot in glorious history are its people. Brave, civil society. Pioneered in Naga is the
de Salcedo discovered in 1573 a became popularly known as Nueva Bagumbayan field (now Luneta) in highly literate, religious, resilient,
flourishing village called by the Caceres during the entire Spanish cases originating in the Spanish Indies Naga City People’s Council, a remarkable
which ordinarily were appealed to the Manila while the others died in Nagueños are also known for their innovation in people empowerment and
natives as Naga. colonial period. prison or exile. A monument was friendliness and hospitality.
Pope, were ordered to be dynamic and inclusive local governance.
terminated there and no longer built in their honor which is Atty. Soliman Santos, formerly of the
In 1575, Capt. Pedro de Chavez, According to an introduction to the otherwise known as the Plaza A high value of maturity permeates Institute of Popular Democracy, attributes
the commander of the garrison left book, “Naga, the Birth and elevated to Rome. Decisions of bishops this to “Naga’s long democratic tradition
were made appealable to the Quince Martires in downtown their political and civic consciousness as
behind by Salcedo, founded on the Rebirth of a City” by Danilo Madrid Naga. seen in the way they choose their leaders of struggling for freedom, of debates and
site of the present central business Gerona, “(a)s a village transformed archbishop and those of the latter to free press, and pluralism and activism.”
the bishops of the nearest See. Thus, and take side on national issues. At the
district (centro) a Spanish city into a city, Naga became the citadel of Over a year after the martyrs’ same time, Nagueños are seen as critical
which he named Ciudad de Spanish colonial power in Southern in the Philippines, the decisions of the Significant dates and facts were culled
Archbishop of Manila were subject to execution, on September 18, 1898 while being civic-minded. They are open from published articles written by Fr.
Caceres, in honor of Luzon. when Nueva Caceres was celebrat- to new ideas and respectful of other
Francisco de Sande, review by the Bishop of Caceres James O’Brien, S.J., Luis General, Jr., and
whose jurisdiction then extended to ing its Peñafrancia fiesta, Corporals people’s opinions. Danny M. Gerona.
the governor gen- Elias Angeles and Felix Plazo of the
eral of the archi- the province of Tayabas (now
Quezon). In this sense, bishops of guardias civiles convinced their
pelago who fellow Filipino guards not to suffer
came from Bicol were delegates of the Pope and
could be considered primates of the the same fate as had befallen the
the city of Daet patriots in nearby Camarines
Caceres in Church of the Philippines.
Norte in what was to be
Spain. infamously known as the “Daet
4 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 5
Down Memory Lane
Naga’s historical landmarks By Jose V. Barrameda, Jr.
SITE OF THE CASINO ESPANOL,
Fearful about the ravages of time and man’s short memory, the author, a respected Bicol historian, lists down at CORNER ELIAS ANGELES AND
least ten interesting sites and landmarks in the city worth remembering and preserving for future generations to come. ARANA STREETS SITE OF THE CASA REAL
AT GENERAL LUNA STREET
On this site stood the Casino Español, a spacious
THE NAGA CITY POLICE STATION AT BARLIN STREET building of piedra china and wood that served as the so-
Site of the Cuartel General of the Guardia Civil in cial and recreational center of the male Spanish popula- By 1588, the Casa Real stood at this site. It was origi-
Camarines. It was constructed of granite blocks and tion of Nueva Caceres and neighboring towns. nally constructed of light indigenous materials. By 1655,
wood in 1870. the Casa Real was of bricks and lime. The Alcalde Mayor
Following the discovery of the Katipunan in Manila in still resided in the building. Because Nueva Caceres was
August 1896, the Spaniards in Nueva Caceres organized the capital of the province (which at various periods
themselves into homeguards called the Cuerpo de included Camarines Norte and Albay) the Alcalde Mayor
Voluntarios. Patterning themselves after the Cuerpo or Civil Governor also thereby exercised administrative
SITE OF THE CASA TRIBUNAL
AT ELIAS ANGELES STREET Casino Español in Manila, the local voluntarios made the control over the Spanish city which counted as compo-
During the mass arrests in September 1896, Florencio Casino Español here their headquarters. nent pueblos the pre-Hispanic native villages of Naga,
Lerma (who was also held in the Casino Español); Tabuco, and Camaligan.
Cornelio Mercado; Don Tomas Prieto, alcalde of Nueva When Civil Governor Ricardo Lacosta ordered the
Caceres; and Macario Valentin were among the first to mass arrests all over Camarines starting in mid-Septem- By 1792, the Casa Real had been constructed with
be brought to and tortured in the cuartel. ber 1896, the Casino Español became one of several hold- more durable stone materials. After the river’s course
ing areas for harsh interrogation and violent torture. was straightened and the area up to the present Plaza
Around midnight of 18 September 1898, Civil Guard Among those taken to the Casino were Antonio Arejola, Rizal cleared of homes and elevated with earthfill by
Captain Francisco Andreu, his wife and children, as well Camilo Jacob (from the infirmary of the San Francisco 1839, a new government building replaced the nearly
as two European Civil Guards, and a Spanish voluntario Church), Florencio Lerma (who was subsequently trans- century-old Casa Real in 1887. By then it was more
died in the cuartel when Filipino Civil Guard corporals ferred to the nearby Cuartel General of the Guardia Civil), popularly referred to as Casa de Gobierno.
Elias Angeles and Felix Plazo led an uprising of Bicolano Macario Melgarejo, Mariano Ordenanza and Manuel Pas-
and Tagalog Guards in Nueva Caceres. The action resulted tor, and from Daet, Roman Cabesudo, Ponciano Caminar, Slightly damaged like other Spanish-vintage buildings
in the formal surrender of the Spanish colonial govern- Diego Liñan, Valentin Lipana, Gregorio Luyon, Adriano in the 1898 uprising by Filipinos in Nueva Caceres, the
ment in Camarines, after more bloodshed, to the Filipino Pajarillo, and Pedro Zenarosa. Casa de Gobierno was enlarged and remodeled under the
forces in the afternoon of 19 September 1898. Ciudad de American colonial regime following the cessation of the
Nueva Caceres and the province of Ambos Camarines In 1898, Nagueños attacked the Casino during the Filipino-American War in Camarines Sur in the early
thus became the first in the Bicol Region to be liberated bloody uprising led by Elias Angeles and Felix Plazo. The 1900s. The invading Imperial Japanese Army took over it
by arms after three and a half centuries and prior to the building survived intact until World War II. American in 1942, and an all-Filipino guerrilla force in Camarines
arrival of General Emilio Aguinaldo’s republican army in bombs destroyed it in 1945. Sur wrested it back, first in May 1942, for the second
the city. Until 1839, the Casa Tribunal or “common house” stood time on 13 April 1945 before American soldiers arrived
at this site, on grounds prone to flooding from the Naga in Naga. Damaged by American bombing raids, the
Following the organization of a Philippine Constabu- River that originally ran just behind the building. edifice was reconstructed and enlarged under the new
lary Detachment in Ambos Camarines on 1 September The Becerra Law gave Nueva Caceres and six other Philippine Government and remained the provincial
1901, the cuartel became the PC provincial headquarters. Following Alcalde Mayor Manuel Esquivel y Castañeda’s principal towns in the Philippines the authority to capitol building of Camarines Sur until a fire destroyed it
The Constabulary returned to it as its headquarters after project which rechanneled the twisting river into its organize their ayuntamiento similar to those in on 26 June 1976.
present course and reclaimed the low-lying area from
World War II that saw Naga liberated from the Japanese municipalities in Spain.
Occupation forces on 13 April 1945 by guerrillas of Padre Burgos to Dinaga, an improved, beautiful Casa
Camarines Sur, before American forces got to Naga Tribunal which provided free rooms to travelers stood on
which at that time was the capital town of the province. less soggy grounds by 1887. The Becerra Law of 12 Novem-
ber 1889 gave Nueva Caceres and six other principal towns
in the Philippines the authority to organize their
On 30 March 1978 the century-old building, by then PLAZA RIZAL WITH THE OLD PROVINCIAL CAPITOL IN THE BACKGROUND.
ayuntamiento similar to those in municipalities in Spain.
the headquarters of the defunct Philippine Constabulary-
The ayuntamiento in Nueva Caceres transacted official
Integrated National Police (PC-INP) in Camarines Sur,
was totally razed by fire caused by faulty electrical business in the Casa Tribunal. On 19 May 1893, the Maura
wiring. Law changed the name Tribunal del Pueblo to Tribunal Mu-
nicipio, and in Nueva Caceres people began to refer to the
elegant ayuntamiento edifice of bricks and wood at the site
as the municipio.
During the American colonial regime and the
Commonwealth period, the building became the Municipal
Presidencia. Destroyed by American bombs in World War
II, it could not be immediately rebuilt as the city hall of the
new city government of Naga. After the century-old Span-
ish cuartel being used by the PC-INP burned down in 1978,
the city government transferred the Naga City Police De-
partment to a new building constructed at the cuartel site.
The former police headquarter building on this site then
became the Naga City Library until the latter’s transfer
to its new, modern building at the City Hall
PLAZA BISHOP JORGE BARLIN complex.
6 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 7
His most visible legacy is the present Universidad de
Santa Isabel which he established first as a primary CALLE DE LEGASPI
school for girls in 1868, then as the first Normal College (WESTERN PORTION OF
for women in the Philippines, called the Escuela Supe- PANGANIBAN DRIVE)
rior, in 1875. Appropriately, the school later featured a
gate to Via Gainza. Until the 1830s, this street did not exist. It was part of Following its passage by the Sangguniang Panlungsod
CALLE VIA GAINZA
(PENAFRANCIA AVENUE) the marshy land of the pre-Hispanic village of Naga then on 18 October 1989, Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo
On the same year that he opened the Escuala Superior, bordered by the eastern bank of the Naga River. approved the ordinance that changed the name of the
Bishop Gainza organized and successfully held in Nueva bridge to honor the memory of Lt. Delfin C. Rosales who
Peñafrancia Avenue was first known as Via Gainza in Caceres the first agricultural and industrial exposition By 1839 when the river had been straightened to its sustained mortal wounds from enemy fire while rescuing
honor of Bishop Francisco Gainza, O.P. (1863-1879), the ever in the Bicol Region during the Peñafrancia festivities. present course and the swampy land all the way to a fallen guerrilla soldier on the bridge during one of the
25th and considered by many to have been the greatest He extended the novenary in the Metropolitan Cathedral Dinaga had been filled up, a rudimentary road from the most significant events of the city’s history in the 20th
Spanish bishop of the See of Caceres. to Saturday, a practice observed to this day and opened side of the ayuntamiento building appeared. It served as a century—the Battle for Naga in April 1945.
with the annual traslacion of the Lady of Peñafrancia short cut from Calle Real to the new western bank of Rio
Until around the second quarter of the 19th century, down the length of what is now Peñafrancia Avenue that Naga. A light bridge of wooden planks and bamboo
the thoroughfare was an unpaved road that stretched once was named Via Gainza in his honor and memory. railings provided the first direct link to the other side of
the river, to the Camino Real (now Panganiban Drive)
from the Peñafrancia Shrine in present-day Barangay SITE OF THE HOUSE OF BICOLANO
Peñafrancia to the San Francisco Church in front of what that led to Pili and points beyond. A solidly constructed
MARTYR TOMAS PRIETO (CORNER
is now the Plaza de Quince Martires. Under his prelacy, bridge around the middle 1800s eliminated the need for _
PANGANIBAN DRIVE AND
Gainza widened and paved the road with cobblestones CALLE REAL heavy, wheeled vehicles to take the roundabout way via PENAFRANCIA AVENUE)
and extended it to its present junction with the western (ELIAS ANGELES STREET) Pueblo de Tabuco road to reach the Camino Real in the
end of Panganiban Drive that was then known as Calle Pueblo de Naga. Vehicular traffic through the short cut
Legaspi. Bishop Gainza’s design had the road provided increased and it gained importance as a commercial ar- Around half a century after Governor Manuel
with two outer lanes for opposing vehicular traffic and a tery. When the colonial authorities during the second Esquivel’s reclamation project, Don Tomas Prieto
middle lane for pedestrians. Calle Real was one of the earliest streets in Spanish half of the 19th century began to improve roads and acquired a residential lot on which he built a large house
Nueva Caceres. It was laid out at about the time that the name them after illustrious Spaniards, the once lowly of stone and wood on this site. On the ground floor he
His episcopal rule saw the improvement of the Metro- Castilian settlement was established as a city towards the footpath became Calle de Legaspi. put up his pharmacy store, the first one in the province.
politan Cathedral along with various churches in his See close of the 1500s. His botica soon became a commercial success and also a
that at the time encompassed the Bicol Region and the favorite meeting place for resident and visiting ilustrados.
eastern seaboard of Luzon up to Palanan, Isabela. Bishop Originally, Calle Real ran in a northwesterly direction. PUENTE DE NAGA Gifted with a photographic memory, he entertained his
From the eastern end of present-day Caceres Street (origi- (LT. DELFIN ROSALES BRIDGE) friends and guests who included a Freemason and fellow
immediate, particular nally Calle Padian), it skirted the western bank of the pharmacist from Cavite, Victoriano Luciano (likewise
emphasis to the original course of the Naga River at the central downtown executed in 1896), with verbatim recitations of passages
Before Alcalde Mayor Manuel Esquivel undertook his
reconstruction and area. It ended just beyond the Casa Real, and was and even chapters of politically banned publications,
reclamation project, the area bisected by the Rio Naga
beautification of the connected by an unpaved road (in the area of P. Burgos including Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.
east of Calle Real was part of the Pueblo de Naga. At that
Peñafrancia Shrine Street now) along the northern side of the same river to
time, Naga was accessed from the Ciudad de Nueva
which he found on the San Francisco Church in the east. Born on 18 September 1867, Tomas Prieto was the
Caceres via Tabuco or by another bridge of wooden slabs
arrival in a state of utter youngest of six children of Dee Se Co, a Chinese from
at the river’s original bend south of the San Francisco
disrepair. A born linguist, By the first half of the 19th century, Calle Real had Amoy, China, who took the name Marcos Prieto upon his
Church. This latter bridge led to a road that is now
he wrote the definitive history of been reoriented and lengthened in a more northerly baptism, and Juana Antonio, a resident native of Nueva
approximately Balintawak Street and ran in a north to
the Patroness of Bicol in the direction that it retains to the present. The paved Calle Caceres. He spent his early years in the family house
southwest direction to the Pueblo de Tabuco. Perpendicu-
vernacular in 1866, which Real provided a wide and impressive avenue to the which was then at Calle Padian in what is now a part of
lar to the road in Naga was the Camino Real going to Pili.
provided a tremendous impetus present site of the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Seminario the Naga City public market. Following his studies in the
to the increase of devotees to the Conciliar, the bishop’s palace, and the Colegio de Santa Seminario Conciliar de Nueva Caceres, he enrolled in the
Following the completion of Esquivel’s project around
Ina. On that same year’s fiesta, Isabel. University of Santo Tomas in Manila where he earned a
1839, a road was laid out on the new western bank
he delivered his sermon in the Bachiller en Artes degree. He pursued further studies in
opposite Camino Real. It became Calle de Legaspi. With
Bicol language. On 15 January 1929, the Municipal Council of Naga pharmacy and passed the examinations with the highest
the appropriation of government funds in 1844 for the
(the name which had replaced Nueva Caceres) grades (sobresalientes) in 1888.
construction of a sturdier link between the two points,
unanimously passed a resolution asking for
the existing light bridge was replaced with a massively
authorization to conduct a drive for public voluntary By 1895 he was alcalde (equivalent to mayor) of
designed one of concrete with work starting in 1847. The
contributions to fund the construction of a Nueva Caceres. He still held the position when Spanish
bridge was named Puente de Naga, and until the early
monument to Elias Angeles. Twenty-nine years later, voluntarios from the Casino Español arrested him in his
parts of the 1900s people referred to it by that name. In
in 1958, the proposal remained unacted on. In the fairly new residence late in the evening of 16 September
the 1920s the bridge, together with the Camino Real, was
meantime, Calle Real had been renamed Calle Elias 1896.
renamed in honor of Bicolano Jose Maria Panganiban, a
leading light in the Propaganda Movement.
LT. DELFIN ROSALES BRIDGE
General Luna Street in the 1960’s.
8 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 9
On 11 November 1896, Don Tomas Prieto’s house on the Filipino Guardia Civil contingent led by corporals Elias
this site and the properties of others arrested and eventu- Angeles and Felix Plazo rose up in arms against the colonial
ally executed with him were confiscated by the govern- government towards midnight of 18 September 1896.
ment on grounds of rebellion and disloyalty. Nearly two Following another attack by the Angeles-Plazo forces the
months afterwards, a Spanish military tribunal on 29 next day, Civil Governor Vicente Zaidin sent a letter from
December pronounced him and his fellow-accused guilty San Francisco accepting the demand for the surrender of the
of the crime of rebellion as defined in Articles 229, 230 Province of Ambos Camarines to the Filipinos. In the after-
and 232 of the Codigo Penal para Filipinas. He was exe- noon of 19 September, a delegation of Spaniards proceeded
cuted by firing squad at 7:00 o’clock in the morning of 4 from San Francisco to sign the protocol of the surrender in
January 1897 at Bagumbayan Field in Manila together the Colegio de Santa Isabel, which became the seat of the
with his elder brother, Rev. Fr. Gabriel Prieto, and nine new Filipino government of the province formed by Elias
others from Nueva Caceres, namely, Rev. Fr. Severino Angeles that same day.
Diaz, Rev. Fr. Inocencio Herrera, Manuel Abella,
Domingo Abella, Camilo Jacob, Florencio Lerma, Mariano Reduced to rubble by the heavy bombing of Naga in
Melgarejo, Cornelio Mercado, and Macario Valentin. World War II, the church remained in ruins until the
With his priest-brother Gabriel, Don Tomas Prieto present new edifice was constructed.
epitomized the sacrifice and invaluable contribution of
the Chinese-Filipino mestizos to the cause of Philippine SOURCES AND REFERENCES
CA affirms possession of lot by city hall
independence. He left behind his wife, Filomena
Pasion, a niece of Mariano Arana, another martyred Domingo Abella. Bikol Annals: The See of Cacere, Vol.1. Manila, 1954. By Juan Escandor, Jr.
Bicolano from Nueva Caceres, and four young children. Leon Sa. Aureus. “Third Annual Report of the City of Naga. Fiscal Year Ending
He was twenty-nine years old. June 30, 1952.” (Mimeo)
LAIMING a major victory against an “ejectment to an event beyond the control of parties concerned, or force
order” issued by a regional trial court (RTC) here majeure, bad faith could not be attributed to the City.”
Jose V. Barrameda, Jr. “A Filipino-Chinese Martyr.” Encounter in favor of private claimants regarding a five-
Magazine, January 1989.
hectare lot occupied as the city’s seat of governance since “Here lies the modification of our previous judgment on
SAN FRANCISCO CHURCH the finding that the deed of donation was lost without bad
Julian B. Jose. “The Filipino Martyrs from Kabikolan.” Encounter Magazine, 1954, an amended ruling of the Court Appeals (CA) “annulled
January 1989. and set aside” the RTC decision that ordered the city govern- faith on the part of the City, and therefore, the latter must be
ment to vacate the premises and pay private claimants the allowed to present secondary evidence to prove the gratuitous
Codigo Penal y Ley de Enjuiciamento Criminal. 3ra edicion. Madrid: Centro
amount equivalent to monthly rentals of P250,000 beginning conveyance in its favor,” the new CA ruling declared.
Editorial de Gongora, Calle de San Roque,1. 1896.
The church and parish of San Francisco antedated the Nov. 3, 2003 “for the use and enjoyment of the questioned
erection of the Diocese of Caceres in 1595 by nearly two Francisco Gainza, OP. The Lady of Peña de Francia. Jose V. Barrameda, Jr. property.” The appellate court accepted the secondary evidence of
decades. (trnsl). Naga City: Synergetic Communication Systems, 1981. donation presented by the city government comprising seven
Naga City Mayor John G. Bongat, a lawyer by profession, letters and resolutions of the city council mentioning the
Danilo Gerona. Naga: The Birth and Rebirth of a City. Naga City: LGU Naga, donation of the five-hectare property.
Initially of bamboo and other light materials, the 2003. announced in a press briefing that the latest ruling of the
church was built on this present site originally on a Fourth Division of the CA, which copy the city legal counsel
north-south orientation. Its puerta mayor faced its parish, Marcos Gomez, OFM. A Friar’s Account of the Philippine Revolution in Bicol. received on July 28, 2011, has reversed its earlier unfavorable “To the mind of the Court, aside from the foregoing docu-
the pre-colonial pueblo of Naga which lay across the Apolinar Pastrana Riol, OFM (trnsl). Manila: Regal Printing Co., 1980.
decision by acknowledging the donation of the five-hectare mentary evidence, the entry of the City into the property and
Naga River that at that time curved from its southerly property and the forfeiture of claim since it took the private subsequently, by the other government agencies which had
Felix de Huerta. Estado Geografico, Topografico, Estadistico, Historio-Religioso,
course to a westerly direction before winding southward de la Provincia de San Gregorio Magno . . . Binondo: Imprenta de M. Sanchez claimants to question after 49 years possession of the land constructed their office buildings thereon, without objection
again alongside present-day Elias Angeles Street. y Cia, 1865.S by the city government. from Don Macario or that of the other officials of the Subdi-
vision who were privies to the donation, is solid proof that,
Legajo 52 #12 – Camarines Sur. The Philippine National Archives. indeed, the donation in question was consummated,” the CA
In the mass arrests of September 1896, the infirmary Judge Felimon Montenegro, of RTC Branch 26, in his deci-
and basement of the San Francisco parish house were Francisco Mallari. Vignettes of Bicol History. Quezon City: New Day Publish- sion on June 20, 2005 ordered the Naga City government and ruled.
used for the interrogation and torture of some of those ers, 1999. other government offices situated therein to “immediately
arrested in Nueva Caceres and from as far as Libmanan. vacate” the five-hectare property that according to him be- The CA ruling further stated: “In addition, respondents
Pambansang Surian Pangkasaysayan. Kalendaryong Pangkasaysayan 1521- [heirs of Mariano] can also be said to be guilty of laches. Pe-
Among the detainees were Mateo Antero, Leon Hernan- 1969. Manila, 1996. (1st ed. 1970) longs to the heirs of Don Macario Mariano.
dez (who was transferred to the provincial jail where he titioner’s [Naga city government] possession cannot be said
died from more torture), Camilo Jacob (transferred to the Juan Francisco de San Antonio, OFM. The Philippine Chronicles of Fray San Montenegro set a P2.5M monthly rental for the five- to have been merely tolerated. It must be stressed that the
Casino Español), Eugenio Ocampo, Severo Patrocinio, Antonio. Manila: Casalinda and Historical Conservation
hectare property from November 3, 2003 (the date the eject- construction of the city hall and the other government build-
Society, 1977. ings happened gradually, or one building or office at a time.
Pablo Perpetua (later also taken to the provincial jail), ment case was filed) until the city government vacates the
Celedonio Reyes, Juan Razonable, and Vicente Ursua. Carmen San Buenaventura. “The Revolt in Naga.” 1934. (Typescript) questioned property, the amount to be paid to the heirs of Yet, respondents nor their predecessor in interest never ques-
Mariano led by Danilo Mariano, one of the petitioners. tioned the on-going construction. Even after the death of Don
The infirmary, convento, and the church itself became Jacinto Ursua and Ignacio Meliton. “Martires Bicolanos: Un Episodio de la Macario in 1971, respondents did not take any action to re-
Revolucion del ’96.” Naga, Camarines Sur, 1940. (Typescript) cover the questioned lot from 1971 until 2003 when the
the refuge of some 400 men, women and children when The CA affirmed on March 7, 2011 Montenegro’s decision
Manuel Villanueva y Sarremo. Declaracion Jurada. 1938. but modified the monthly rentals to P250,000 from P2.5M. ejectment suit was instituted despite their insistence that the
SAN FRANCISCO CHURCH AND PLAZA QUINCE MARTIRES (Handscript) donation of the lot to the city did not push through as the
Since then both the Mariano heirs and the city government contract to build the government center was not awarded to
Notes taken during interviews with Hon. Gabriel P. Prieto in them.”
Quezon City, 1959. filed their motions for reconsideration that resulted to the
CA reversing its earlier decision to affirm the RTC’s “eject-
Ramon Olaño provided documentation on the date of the Provincial Capitol ment order”. But the CA ruling emphasized that “pursuant to Section
fire on 26 June 1976. 18, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court which states that judgment
Asked to comment on the latest CA decision, Danilo Mar- rendered in a case for ejectment shall be conclusive with re-
iano said they will elevate the case to the Supreme Court. spect to possession only and in no wise binds the title or af-
fect the ownership of the land.”
In its earlier decision, the CA averred that the supposed
donation of the property dated August 16, 1954 was not con- Councilor Nelson Legacion, also a lawyer and one of the
summated due to the absence of original or certified true battery of lawyers who helped defend the city government,
copy of a donation document. said they will hence file in court the “quieting of title” of the
five-hectare property, even as the Marianos are elevating the
Reversing itself, the CA said that the non-production of case to the Supreme Court. Bicol Mail, Aug. 4, 2011
the original or certified true copy of the donation “was due
10 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 11
volunteers from private sectors
Great Naga Sale, Halyao Awards among trade show’s highlights will be joined by the personnel
of the Philippine National Police
Maogmang Naga: and the Philippine Army.
MNCCI, exhibitors stage 7th Bicol Business Week On the go for The follow-on activity will be
held in agricultural and residen-
By Jason B. Neola
tial zones of the city’s 27
‘green,’ business- barangays, especially in the open
spaces along urban poor sites,
friendly projects housing subdivisions and vacant
public school lots. An economic
By Jason B. Neola greening movement, Pilimania is
under the city’s Greening, Envi-
ronment Protection, Entrepre-
neurship and Tourism (GrEET)
Program sanctioned under
Mayor John Bongat’s Executive
Order No. 2011-13.
The Bicol Business Week, on the HE City Government is vigorously City Engineer Leon B. Palmiano
other hand, is best known for its pursuing three environmental IV said that with the proposed road, Madam Farah Bongat, chair-
Best of Bicol Expo, Construction projects in line with its vision of a which has a width of 15 meters and
Materials Show, Inventor’s Fair, Job person of the Pilimania 2011 Ex-
Maogmang Naga. a length of 1.2 kilometers, there will
Fair, Businessmen’s Symposium, ecutive Committee, said the
Technology Investment Forum, and the The projects will allow the city to con- be no need for garbage trucks to pass planting of pili trees is expected
Halyao Awards, a night of tribute to Bicol’s outstanding vert its garbage into environment-friendly through Bgy. San Isidro proper to to improve the city’s air-shed
businessmen. energy, strengthen its campaign for clean unload their trash to the energy fa- quality as it would lessen the ill
air and place community-based entrepre- cility, shortening the route by 2.6 effects of carbon monoxide since
The Halyao Awards gives honor to Bicol’s top business neurship on a wider plane while raising kilometers. the plant exhibits a high carbon
icons of the year, each representing a Bicol province, whose absorption rate.
outstanding business acumen, character and interaction the people’s consciousness towards envi-
ronment protection and conservation. City ENRO Oscar P. Orozco said
with his/her community are worth emulating by fellow the Korean firm CJ Global promised
businessmen and the people that he/she serves. As a component of a multi-
to finance the P16-M road pronged program that advances
Imperial said the BBW continues to become an excellent The updates on these projects: construction once the land donation the city’s environmental and
avenue for investors from various national and multina- has been completed. economic goals, the tree planting
tional companies who see the potential of exploring oppor- On waste-to-energy, the City Environ- activity aims to have planted and
ONNING this year’s battle cry, “Bicol Heats Up!,” the tunities and partnering with entrepreneurs. Apart from electricity, the waste-
ment and Natural Resources Office had grown at least 30,000 pili trees
7th Bicol Business Week is seen to become a “riot” to-energy facility can also produce
begun negotiating with 19 landowners in by December 2012.
for both shoppers and retailers as Naga establish- Fortunately, this year’s BBW almost coincides with the asphalt and methanol as by-
ments once again sell their products at bargain 20th South Luzon Area Business Conference organized by Langon, Cararayan, this city, for possible
donation of land that will serve as road products for road construction and Pilimania Project Officer
prices. the Camarines Sur Chamber of Commerce and Industry fuel for LPG, engines and motor
which will be held at the Camarines Sur Convention Center right of way. Michael D. Rico said alongside
This, after the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and vehicles, respectively. the environmental gains,
from August 25 to 27, 2011 at the Camarines Sur
Industry (MNCCI) announced that this year’s biggest trade fair Convention Center. Mayor John G. Bongat said the proposed bigger opportunities to enhance
will be more dynamic and colorful “since we have included the construction of the road facility, once CJ Global has already established the city’s One Barangay One
Great Naga Sale as major part of the activity and have designated Already, the Camarines Sur Chamber of Commerce and completed, will shorten travel time in an office in the city in preparation Product Program (OBOP) can also
separate booths for the garage sale to be managed by entrepre- Industry has disclosed the setting up of 30 booths for going to and from the proposed $70-M for the construction phase of the be achieved by nurturing the
neurs coming from various provinces and cities in the Bicol exhibitors and entrepreneurs attending the South Luzon plant that will produce, through gasifica- waste-to-energy plant. plant since pili nut is now fast
Region.” Business Conference. becoming a favorite delicacy
tion, low-priced and environment-friendly
energy out of the city’s garbage. Based on the memorandum of among domestic and foreign
MNCCI President Philip T. Imperial said all the six Bicol Among the important persons invited to attend the agreement entered into by and
biggest business conference in South Luzon are presidential tourists.
provinces and the City of Naga will have their exclusive between the city and CJ Global, the
“nights,” including Iriga City which will share with Catandu- sister Ballsy Aquino Cruz, inspirational speaker Bo Yeon-Joo Choi, chairman of CJ Global
Sanchez, Gov. LRay Villafuerte, Francis Kong, Congressman Co., Ltd., said the facility will generate an facility will start operation by 2013. The Pilimania portfolio also in-
anes on the sixth night of the event. The City Government of
Naga is fully supportive of the Bicol Business Week, having al- Luis Villafuerte, Senator Pia Cayetano, Cong. Teddy Casiño estimated output of 18 megawatts daily cludes plans for the establish-
lowed the free use of the Coliseum (for 7 days) on top of the fi- and US-based Bicolana businessman Ms. Loida Nicolas from more or less 200 tons of solid waste Unlike the ordinary process of ment of protected areas in the
nancial assistance it provides to the chamber every year Lewis. collected from the city’s homes and busi- incineration, gasification is zero- city called “Protected Pili Green
ness establishments.The converted energy waste and there would be no toxic- Spots” to be managed by
A festive opening for the Great Naga Sale will be held at the produced “will be made available to local fume emission or effluent that will barangay councils’ Pilimania
Plaza Quezon in the city’s old business district which will be power users.” end up on the ground or run patrollers, civic groups, and
followed immediately by a parade of floats to be participated in through any body of water. private corporations under a
by all the six provinces in Bicol. The parade will wind up at the public-private partnership.
Naga City Coliseum. Lewis PILIMANIA EVENT
Mrs. Bongat calls on
The August 26-September 2 trade show with the Naga City On Pilimania, First Lady Farah various groups to volunteer as
Coliseum as the main venue, will highlight new opportunities Bongat and the Pilimania movers patrollers that will adopt a site
through business matching among exhibitors and entrepre- from the public and private sectors
neurs who may come from as far as Manila Cayetano
where they can plant and
will hold another simultaneous nurture pili trees, donate funds
citywide planting of pili trees in for grafted pili and seedling
A brainchild of Naga City Mayor John G. Bongat which is
now on its second year, the Great Naga Sale aims to re-energize October or Noveber, this year. acquisition, or buy Pilimania
local businesses by offering 10% to 50% sales discounts to paraphernalia like t-shirts, key-
customers and shoppers during the lean month of August, chains, car hangers, commemo-
preparatory to the hyperactive month of September when the This time, the members of the rative pins, bag tags, mugs,
city plays host to the annual Peñafrancia Festival, Bicol’s barangay councils and other tumblers and the like.
12 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 13
A waste-picker earns an average of P200 a day selling the MATERIALS RECOVERY
AIR POLLUTION CONTROL
items collected to recyclers and compost makers. The group also
Requiring a clear-cut policy
on and best result from the
Garbage collection sells to Manila-based recycling establishments and local malls
with environment-related projects, according to Martin.
Lately, he says, many food businesses have almost
altogether stopped using Styrofoam and plastic utensils,
city’s clean air campaign, Mayor
Bongat promised to provide two takes an efficient The creation of the group is actually part of the waste
diversion goal and waste segregation scheme of the city. So far,
opting instead for washable plates, utensils and glasses.
Another factor that adds to the decline in garbage is the
units of smoke-testing machines
for diesel and gasoline fuelled
vehicles that crisscross the city’s
turn By Shiena Barrameda coupled with the operation now of some materials recovery fa-
cilities, they have been instrumental in decreasing the average
of garbage collected per day by the city by more than 50
materials recovery facilities or MRFs, including the new one
put up at the Naga City Peoples’ Mall (public market).
percent,” he adds. The MRCs are common points in villages or places
where residents bring their garbage and sort them
Through the smoke-testers, LMOST every night at around 9, a couple with their two young Martin says that even before the SWMO was created as a out, separating the reusable or recyclable ones
ENRO personnel will effectively boys in tow are on a bicycle with a sidecar, stopping at Jaime separate independent department from the City Environment from the residual wastes which have no use
determine whether or not Hernandez Avenue in front of the first gate of University of and Natural Resources Office in January this year upon the di- anymore.
motor vehicles plying the Nueva Caceres in Naga City. rective of Mayor John Bongat, average daily garbage collection
streets of the city are within the
They are a common sight around the place, periodically stopping at piles of in Naga from January to October last year went down to 57.1 These residual wastes are the ones that the
smoke emission standards
trash contained in plastic bags or in trash bins (ready for pick up by dump trucks) tons—thanks to the waste-pickers program that was started that garbage trucks pick up and take to Balatas
allowed by the Philippine Clean
along the road, and inspecting the entire heap for recyclable items and those that year. Dump in Barangay Balatas on the outskirts.
Air Act of 1999.
can be turned into compost.
SEGREGATION WORKS Naga has six functional MRFs in
In a dry run conducted last
This done, they load the dirty treasures into the sidecar and rearrange the Barangays Sabang, Triangulo,
June 26, this year, only 8
trash they do not need into a neat stack before leaving it behind and proceeding This figure was only a dream in 2008 and 2009, when the Calauag, Mabolo, Bagumbayan Sur
vehicles passed the test for
to scour the streets for more trash. daily garbage collections were 140-160 tons and 100-120 tons, and public market.
anti-smoke belchers among the
respectively, he says.
27 vehicles flagged down by the
The couple are among some 70 “waste-picker” volunteers of the Naga City “We are planning to put MRFs in
city ENRO. 19 automobiles or
Solid Waste Management Office (SWMO), who have been trained by the city Martin also credits the significant decline in collected garbage all barangays of Naga,” Martin says.
70 percent of the total number
government to help its 27 barangays reduce garbage on pick-up points in side- to the people’s newfound awareness on waste segregation, thru
of vehicles tested failed.
walks or road shoulders on the streets before they are eventually picked up by effective information dissemination down to the household He acknowledges some problems
dump trucks. level. of disciplining most residents on
The campaign for clean air is
how to properly dispose of their
mandated by City Ordinance
WATCHGROUP Our residents have realized that they could benefit greatly trash, but he adds that he
No. 99-084, otherwise known
from reusing some of their trash,” Martin says. “I think this is remains hopeful that more and
as “The Anti-Smoke Belching
“These people are mostly former regular scavengers until we detained them already the result of all our efforts in campaigning for the more people will eventually be-
Ordinance of the City of Naga,”
for leaving in disarray the garbage piles around Naga which is violative of local recycling and reusing of garbage, upon instructions of the come concerned with environmen-
authored by former City
ordinance,” says Joel Martin, head of the SWMO and the Naga City Motorpool. Mayor.” tal protection issues.
Councilor Simeon F. Adan.
Martin says the scavengers have been transformed into “responsible” waste- He calculates that if Nagueños continue to subtract from their “As for now, we do our job so we
The Ordinance covers all
pickers and are now called the “environmental watch group.” household refuse all the reusable and compostable products, can deliver the best service that we
types of motor vehicles,for pri-
the daily garbage collection may even go down to 40 can give for a cleaner Naga.”
vate use or used as a public util-
The group is composed of poor and unemployed people who make a living percent in the next few months.
ity vehicle, whether registered
with the local Land Transporta- through salvaging and selling nonbiodegradable or recyclable trash, such as plas-
tics, to junk shops and making compost fertilizers out of those biodegradable, Martin believes that the stricter monitoring of establish-
tion Office or elsewhere in the
such as corn husks. ments, particularly food businesses, has helped the SWMO in
country as long as they traverse
its waste management campaigns.
any highway, road or street
within the territorial jurisdic- Before being registered into the group, its members undergo a weeklong
tion of the city. training at the SWMO, where they learn how to recycle garbage and how to
restack residual or remaining trash in a cleaner way, Martin reveals. Actuaries to hold 52nd nat’l convention in Naga
Stationary engines like
generators, waterborne vehicles NIGHT WORKERS OLLOWING the footstep of other prestigious organiza- t Life insurance and pre-need firms are required by law
like motorboats and motor tions holding their national conventions in this part of to engage the services of an actuary. There are more than a
launchers as well as agricultural They are then assigned to areas close to their communities. They are seen the region that serves as a convenient hub to other hundred such companies and only 64 actuaries (Fellows of
equipment are likewise covered usually at night, before the garbage trucks arrive, wearing green and yellow tourist destinations in Bicol, the Actuarial Society of the the Actuarial Society of the Philippines) to service their
by the provisions of the T-shirts. Philippines has slated to hold its 52nd annual convention here in needs. In addition, actuaries work as consultants, designing
Ordinance. Naga City on November 10-11, 2011 with the Avenue Plaza Hotel and pricing employee benefit programs. Health insurance
as the venue of its national gathering. companies also employ actuaries.
Orozco said actual tests on
anti-smoke belching will soon An actuary is a trained professional who analyzes the financial The society’s membership is categorized into fellow,
be conducted once the remain- impact of future events such as accidents, natural catastrophes, associate, and affiliate. As of April 2011, there were 246
ing important details of their illnesses and other occurrences, as they relate to the business of members composed of 64 fellows, 58 associates, and 124
operations have been threshed insurance. affiliates.
out and finalized with partner
government agencies like the The society’s theme for the convention is “Leading through City Mayor John G. Bongat will give the welcome mes-
LTO and the Department of Changing Times” which focuses on many significant changes that sage when the convention opens on November 10 at the
Environment and Natural the actuarial profession experienced in recent times, and the Avenue Plaza Hotel here. This event takes place a few days
Resources. changes expected ahead. before another grand event kicks off on the same month
in Naga City and the CamSur Watersport Complex at the
Actuaries formulate statistical models and combine these with provincial capitol in Pili, Camarines Sur: the 2011 Philip-
their knowledge of business practices and human behavior to pro- pine AdCongress – the biggest gathering of the country’s
vide such estimates. They are essential members of the manage- top advertising outfits and media networks held once every
ment team of life insurance and pre-need companies. 2 years.
14 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 15
Joint Operations Center
for Penafrancia reactivated
By Jason B. Neola
CITY MAYOR John
MPRESSED by its success last year when the city celebrated G. Bongat and
First Lady Farah
the tercentenary of the Bicolanos’ devotion to Our Lady of Pe- led the ceremo-
nafrancia, Mayor John G. Bongat, in close coordination with nial planting of
the Archdiocese of Caceres, issued Executive Order No. 2011-026 Pili seeding at the
reconstituting and reconvening the Peñafrancia Inter-Agency Task Naga City Hall
Group- Joint Operations Center (PIATG-JOC) that will ensure the last April 2011.
smooth and safe conduct of this year’s 301st Peñafrancia festivities.
Last August 27, at the Archbishop’s residence, Most Rev. Leonardo
Z. Legaspi, O.P.,D.D., Archbishop of Caceres, and Mayor Bongat led
the formal signing of a memorandum of agreement that calls for the
collective role of all concerned stakeholders in the maintenance of N the early morning of June 17, 2011, a day before Naga’s 63rd anniversary
peace and order during the September fiesta. The agreement also celebration as a chartered city, city hall employees and barangay officials
sought to enhance quick response in times of emergencies and other trooped to their specific areas of assignment for a simultaneous citywide
eventualities that may erupt when over a million guests, devotees planting of pili tree seedlings.
and pilgrims come to the city annually for the 3-week religious and
civic festivities. The activity signaled the formal launch of “Pilimania,” an advocacy that will even
more popularize the health and economic potentials of the indigenous Bicol-grown
The partner agencies that have enlisted their commitment and nut.
specific tasks as provided for in the memorandum of agreement are:
Philippine National Police, Army, Navy and Air Force; Coast Guard; First Lady Farah R. Bongat who chairs the Pilimania 2011 Executive Committee
PNP Maritime Group; PNP Highway Patrol Group; Naga City Police said the activity is but part of a multi-pronged program to advance the local
Office; Bureau of Fire Protection; Bicol Medical Center; City Engi- government’s environmental and economic targets by planting 30,000 pili trees
neer’s Office; City Environment and Natural Resources Office; City throughout the city by December 2012.
Motorpool Division; Camarines Sur II Electric Cooperative; Metro
Naga Water District; Kabalikat 645; Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa
Pilipinas; and Public Safety Office.
Public Safety Officer Lito del Rosario who has been designated
Greening the city while providing
executive officer of the Center explained that clusters will be created
for security, medical services, and information assistance. A fluvial
source for economic development
By Jason B. Neola
task force will also be created to focus on concerns regarding the flu-
vial procession with the Philippine Coast Guard as the lead team for Mass planting primarily took place in agricultural and residential zones of the city’s 27
this task. barangays, including open spaces in urban poor sites, housing subdivisions, and vacant
A Pilimania Gallery and Maogmang Naga Job and Trade Fair at Plaza Quezon was also Farah R. Bongat
opened in cooperation with Bionet, DA, DOST and DTI which jointly conducted updates
Naga & DepEd to construct on the Pili Industry sector and lectures on Pili nutrinomics, particularly on livelihood and
nutritional benefits of pili.
more school buildings The First Lady said the planting of pili trees is expected to improve the city’s air-
shed quality as the tree lessens the ill effects of carbon monoxide since the plant
By Ernani B. Suron
PEACEFUL FIESTA. exhibits a high carbon absorption rate.
Archbishop Legaspi (above photo) and Mayor Bongat meet
DUCATION Secretary Armin A. Luistro and City Mayor John G. with men in uniform to ensure orderly conduct of the Pilimania Project Officer Michael D. Rico says that apart from the
Bongat recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement on Peñafrancia Fiesta. environmental gains, the city will also obtain bigger opportunities to
National and Local Counterparting for Classroom Construction, enhance its One Barangay One Product (OBOP) program because the
which initially will see the rise of at least ten classrooms in the city’s pili nut is now a fast-growing delicacy among domestic and foreign
elementary schools. tourists.
Under the agreement, the city and DepEd will bear Also included in the Pilimania portfolio is the establishment of
Beneficiaries of this first set of new classrooms are: Tabuco Central
the cost of the project on a fifty-fifty sharing, the first protected areas called “Protected Pili Green Spots” to be managed by
School (two 2-storey classrooms); Grandview Elementary School
barangay councils, Pilimania patrollers, civic groups, and private
(completion of two 2-storey classrooms); Balatas Elementary School half to be borne by the city government while the
corporations under a Public-Private Partnership.
(completion of two 2-storey classrooms), and Teodora Moscoso other half will be released by DepEd upon certification
Elementary School (two 2-storey classrooms). The entire project costs by the city that the latter has already expended fifty Green spots planted with less than a hectare of pili trees will be
about P6,724,000. percent of the project cost and that such project had managed by the barangay while those validated to be one hectare or
been 50% completed based on the program of works. more will be placed under the supervision of the city agriculture
Underscoring education as a top priority of his administration, office.
Mayor Bongat said that the counterparting agreement “will put The completed classrooms will eventually become
premium in the further improvement of the quality of basic and func- the property of the Department of Education as Supported by Mayor Bongat’s Executive Order No. 2011-13, Pilimania
tional education here in the city and the best way to start it is to ad- provided for in the same agreement. as an economic greening movement is being pushed under the city’s
dress the problem of classroom shortage in the public schools.” Greening Environment Protection, Entrepreneurship and Tourism
16 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 17
14 Mayoral Awards
Her sacrifices earned her prestigious awards such as Amidst these obligations, Engga still finds time to serve
Gintong Ina Award, Outstanding Bicolana given both by as a catechetical volunteer at the Carolina Elementary
Outstanding Citizens conferred this year’s the Philippine University Women Association and Zonta,
and Outstanding Doctor by the Philippine Women’s Uni-
School upon the request of the Catholic Sisters of Mt.
versity Medical Association.
This unassuming Gilda “Engga” E. Orlina, the widow, the
The humanitarian services of this public-spirited Doctor Mother, the lavandera, the market cleaner, the canteen
continue even after semi-retiring from medical practice cook, and the community volunteer worker, is the model
T La Piazza of the posh Avenue Plaza Hotel, fourteen outstanding citizens hogged the limelight as they within the confines of her medical clinic in her home, of a hard-working, family-centered, single mother whose
received their medallions and plaques for the 2011 Mayoral Awards. offering as much comfort and help especially to senior simple life made a difference in the lives of her children.
citizens, the handicapped and indigents of the City.
The awards night was the culminating segment of Naga’s 63rd foundation anniversary as a chartered
city that its proud citizens celebrate every 18th day of June.
Solicitor General Jose Anselmo I. Cadiz, himself a mayoral awardee seven years ago, was this year’s guest of honor and
speaker. As model citizens, he encouraged the awardees to continue the good deeds they have been doing so that others will
emulate them and thus help our city truly become a happy place proud of its heritage where happy people live.
Mayoral awards committee chair J. Antonio A. Amparado said that the committee for over two months screened, validated,
and evaluated all the nomination papers and personal circumstances of some 24 nominees.
They were weighted on their (a) personal qualifications, (b) moral integrity, (c) community involvement, (d) degree of
commitment, and (e) positive contribution to the city’s growth, honor and glory.
There were four award categories conferred: 1) Distinguished Mayoral Award, 2) Special Mayoral Citation, 3) Mayoral
Recognition, and 4) City Excellence Award.
The Distinguished Mayoral Award is the highest city award given to only one Nagueño awardee each year for one’s
outstanding performance or service during the past ten years.
GILDA EBRADA ORLINA
Special Mayoral Citation
ROTARY CLUB OF NAGA EAST
DR. LOURDES V. ASENCE A WIDOW FROM BARANGAY PACOL, Naga City, is the Special Mayoral Citation
Distinguished Mayoral Award epitome of a true Filipina Mother, caring and self- IF A SINGLE PHRASE COULD SUMMARIZE the advocacies
The Special Mayoral Citation is given to no more than five awardees sacrificing.
KNOWN BY MANY MONIKERS LIKE Doktora of and deeds of the Rotary Club of Naga East (RCNE), the words
each year for one’s outstanding performance and service for the past
the indigent Nagueño and the Mother of the Naga City “service” and “education” would portray the best line. It is
five years. Although Engga, as she is fondly called, finished only
Hospital, Dr. Lourdes V. Asence has become synony- a perfect combination where the act of service to the people
mous with the title “Public Servant”. second year high school, she has strongly believed and is to educate and share the fruits of learning experience
The Mayoral Recognition is given to no more than ten awardees an- impressed upon her children the saying: “Education is the with others.
nually for one’s extraordinary act of heroism, valor, and/or civic duty, Key to Success.”And this was her guiding principle in life.
including act of honesty worth emulating. When the good “Doktora” graduated from UST, she
opted to pursue her medical practice here in Naga The appeal imbued by the Rotary Club of Naga East among
City. It was a way of giving back to the City and the Even with a simple and austere way of life, she engaged the Nagueño people has reached the different ends of
The City Excellence Award, on the other hand, is given to a Nagueño herself as a “lavandera” for her neighbors and as a Naga City
people she loved and thanking God through her communal service. Its countless book donations to different
who has brought singular honor, recognition and positive impact to Public Market cleaner. But through motherly care and
undying compassion for poor patients. elementary schools, driven by the advocacy for the love to
the city by the award given the nominee at the national or interna- guidance, all her children became not only college degree- learn, has helped students of endless potentials to take a
tional level (i.e. top 10 in national Board or Bar examinations, winners holders but also successful professionals.
Her dedication and love for the poor is evident in step closer towards success. Their SPED Development and
in sports and other competitions). This award is given within the cal-
the practice of her profession, through free medical Continuation Programs sewed the ends and goals of both
endar year immediately preceding the city awards presentation. Her eldest, Efren, is now a Police Chief Inspector assigned
services offered to the countless who cannot afford students and instructors.
the high cost of health services, the initiation and to Naga City Police Office. Janet, her second child, now
The following are this year’s Mayoral awardees: works in a Manila publishing house. Her youngest, Myra, is As Naga SMILES to the world, RCNE brings rich SMILES
conceptualization of affordable medical services to
Nagueños through the establishment of the Naga City now a researcher in the University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba City to our community. No matter how we perceive its size, the
Hospital, and with her work in women’s awareness in Japan. smiles RCNE brings cannot be contained by any limits or
and role in nation building and development thru the boundaries.
RIC programs and family planning, agriculture and She now raises the young minds of her grandchildren.
livelihood, all deserve a lasting recognition. At present, she works at the Naga College Foundation
canteen to provide for their basic needs.
18 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 19
RICARDO E. PEREZ
RICARDO E. PEREZ CLAIMS THAT he was born from a
family with Aeta blood, tracing this heritage from his
grandmother who was taken by a Spanish officer to be his
wife. Due to this undeniable kinship with the tribesmen
in Iriga that he and his family had invariably adopted as
an extension of their own family since 2001, Perez or
“Kasag” (short for Kastilang Agta) has been a constant
visitor in the settlement area as the Aeta’s protector,
consultant, philanthropist and resident anthropologist.
He used his talents as a journalist and summoned sup-
port from different sectors for the improvement of the
lives of the Aeta. With financial, legal and medical assis-
tance from supporters, Perez was able to transform the
community into a semi-progressive settlement which now
SENTRO NG ALTERNATIBONG LINGAP PANLIGAL has a multi-purpose hall, several additional dwellings
Special Mayoral Citation ROSANNA MERLITA E. ILAGAN places for its 40 or more residents, and fishponds full of
IN A COUNTRY WHERE POWER and influence reign over Mayoral Recognition carp and tilapia fingerlings which were donated by the
society’s common people, SALIGAN serves as a shield of “MAN HAS NO LIMITS. In fact, he can define and re-define his Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
protection woven from commitment and knowledge by its own capacity to achieve.”
volunteer-members and supporters. Perhaps the greatest contribution that Kasag was able
This is the guiding principle that gave Ms. Rosanna Merlita E. to give to the Oyanggo tribe was the electrification of the
The SALIGAN Bikol is recognized as one of the few non- Ilagan the strength and the courage to pursue a life devoted to entire community by the Camarines Sur Electric Coopera-
government organizations in the region that interacts with providing a bright future for her children. tive (CASURECO) III which willingly placed lines on the
the local government through membership and participa- humble settlement for free after Perez’s intensive cam-
tion in various groups which are geared towards the Ms. Ilagan’s passion for service has paved the way for her be- paigning.
improvement of life for women, farmers, workers, coming one of the essential movers of the Parents and Teachers
fisherfolk, and other basic sectors of society. Association of the Tinago Elementary and High School. Drawn by Aside from livelihood projects, Perez is also responsible
destiny to a life of service, she firmly believes that there should for the education of several young members of the tribe.
Here in the City of Naga, SALIGAN forged an even be no child left idle or inactive. A strong learning foundation is He and his family have sponsored the education of around
stronger partnership with the LGU with its inclusion into the key to success. To assure this development, she believes that 30 elementary pupils and five Aeta high school students
the board of the Naga City People’s Council since 1998. It JUSTICE RAMON A. CRUZ parents, teachers, and the government should provide proper who are all studying in Naga City.
has also taken part in vital developments in the Naga City Mayoral Recognition guidance for growing students.
Urban Development and Housing Board, as well as the Naga
City Council for Women. IF MAN’S DESTINY IS written in the stars, then Justice Ramon Ms. Ilagan is a graduate of the University of Nueva Caceres and
A. Cruz’s constellation would shine brightly in the darkness of former CAT officer. A product of her alma mater from one of the
It was also responsible for the drafting and advocacy for space. top sections, she became a proponent of childhood development.
landmark policy measures that led to the creation of the In- Once an inspiring teacher, Ms. Ilagan is the ultimate icon of a
vestment Board, Implementing Rules and Guidelines of the A true-blooded Nagueño in deed and in thought, and a talented mother, a teacher, and a model citizen.
Kaantabay sa Kauswagan, and Women Development Code. basketball athlete, Justice Cruz is the epitome of the perfect
It has played a role in the establishment of Barangay citizen, responsible and devoted to the rule of law. A commited educator. A true Nagueño.
Women’s and Children’s Desks in the 27 barangays of the
city and Local Sectoral Representation that will give voice The first Nagueño to become a Court of Appeals Justice, Justice
to marginalized sectors of society. Cruz is an alumnus of Naga Parochial School and Ateneo de Naga
High School. He took up AB Political Science as his pre-law course
Due to active participation of SALIGAN, Naga City has at the University of Nueva Caceres. After passing the Bar Exams
attracted the attention of the Ford Foundation to include it in 1982, he started his law profession at his own law firm, Cruz
and SALIGAN in the Paralegal Education Skills Advance- and Cruz Law Offices. He also worked as a legal counsel for
ment and Networking Technology (PESANTech) in the different groups and companies.
1990s as among the 21 areas in the Philippines benefited
by the projects KAISAHAN and BALAOD. At present, Naga His judicial career started in November 1999 when he was
is among the eight pilot areas being handled by SALIGAN appointed as the Presiding Judge of Branch 21 of the Regional Trial
and PLAN Philippines under the project funded by the Eu- Court in Quezon City where he would soon become the president RODOLFO S.B. VIRTUS, JR.
ropean Union called Strengthening Civil Society in Elimi- of the Judges’ Association. His judicial career soared further when City Excellence Award
nating Violence Against Children in the Philippines. It also he was appointed as a Court of Appeals Justice in 2009.
paved the way for the inclusion of Naga among the 14 part- For representing the country in two international events,
ner cities in the project. Institutionalizing Local and His college Dean Corazon A. Tordilla describes him as one of namely, the 5th World Youth Congress in Istanbul, Turkey
National Partnerships to Address Urban Poverty and Home- the most outstanding men in Naga. Aside from excelling in his and the ASEAN Youth Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam, both in
lessness in the Philippines, supported by the Fund for field, Justice Cruz has also mastered the way of balancing a 2010, where he was hailed for his active involvement as
International Development of the United Kingdom through tedious life of public service with his family life, with his wife youth leader in addressing the challenges of the Millennium
partnership with the Philippine Support Service Agencies. Grace and three children. Development Goals as envisioned by the United Nations.
His participation in these prestigious events underscores the
As the refuge of the common people, SALIGAN has “He is not out there to please anyone. In fact, he is a very fact that the Nagueño is truly globally conscious of his
become a champion of people’s rights, taking the lead in low-key guy and that makes him charming, simple and humble,” important role in the international community.
defending the weak and the oppressed against injustice. says Dr. Marilou Cruz-Sarmiento, Justice Cruz’s sister.
20 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 21
Most visited LGU city website in the Philippines
By Anselmo B. Maño
OVETAILING the Internet phenomenon in the websites, emulating Naga’s tool for informa- dialogue among Naga’s stakeholders, inside
D 1990s, the city government of Naga promptly
joined the bandwagon, creating its own
tion, transparency and accountability in local
the country and those overseas, as well as
invite other people worldwide, especially
website in 1997, in time for the Palarong investors and tourists who would like to
Pambansa that the city hosted at that time. Traffic into the most admired website know more about the place even before they
consistently progressed and remarkably out- have actually set foot in the city, known as
TRISHA NICOLE T. AMAN TATYANA MARIE U. GONZAGA Starting off with a 56 KBPS modem and a ran even the websites of bigger and relatively “Maogmang Naga”.
City Excellence Award City Excellence Award Pentium II server, the city’s naga.gov.ph has more popular cities in the country.
since then become an innovator among LGUs Indeed, with its enhanced content and new
For having won the Bronze Medal in the 2010 China Junior For garnering the Bronze Medal in the 2010 China Junior in the use of technology as a tool for Drumbeating his “Naga SMILES to the design, the website continues to draw more
High School Mathematics Olympiad held in Tianji, China High School Mathematics Olympiad and subsequently being governance. World” promotions, advocacy and marketing visitors, making naga.gov.ph the most visited
and subsequently for being conferred the 2010 YES Award conferred the 2010 YES Award by the Department of program, Mayor John Bongat who took over and admired LGU website in the country, as
by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) that Science and Technology (DOST) that undeniably brought For that trailblazing effort, the city the city’s helm in July 2010, accordingly shown by number charts, related statistics,
brought honor, recognition and positive impact to her glory and honor to the City of Naga through academic ex- received so far 4 national and one introduced a new concept design as he and other information found below.
fellow Nagueños and her beloved City of Naga. cellence. international web awards. More sought to make it more interactive
LGUs came to set up their own to reach out and encourage more
IMELDA R. BRAZAL RYAN A. OLIVA
City Excellence Award City Excellence Award
Naga has a three-month global Alexa Traffic Rank of 505,516.
For her exemplary achievement by placing 5th in the For topping the National Nursing Licensure Examination It is estimated that 93% of visitors to this site come from the (1) The rank is calculated using a combination of average daily
National Board Examination for Librarians, and receiving given last December 20, 2010, an honor that has been Philippines, where it has attained a traffic rank of 1,851. About visitors and pageviews over the past 3 months. The site with the
the Local Service Award as Outstanding Student Assistant received with so much pride and recognition by his fellow 8% of visits to the site are referred by search engines. Visitors highest combination of visitors and pageviews is ranked #1.
and Iskolar kan Ciudad from the Naga City Scholars Guild Nagueños, which shows once more that the City of Naga is spend approximately 65 seconds on each page view and a total
that brought honor, recognition and positive impact to her truly a center for quality education and academic of 20 minutes on the site during each visit. (2) The rank by country is calculated using a combination of
average daily visitors and pageviews from users from that
fellow Nagueños and beloved City of Naga. excellence. ALEXA INTERNET TRAFFIC country over the past 3 months. The site with the highest
combination of visitors and pageviews is ranked #1 in that
country and updated daily.
The website is TOP 490 in the Philippines Alexa Internet, Inc., a California-based subsidiary of
with a 3-month aggregated historical traffic Amazon.com is known for collecting complex data on browsing.
data of 507,687 from millions of users world- It computes traffic ranking by analyzing the web usage in millions
wide based on the similar Alexa Traffic of its toolbar users. The information is sorted, sifted, anonymized,
counted and computed to get the traffic ranking worldwide and in
Ranking. JULY 2011 a particular country, such as the Philippines.
The website Royal Pingdom reported that there
are 234 million websites all over the world as of
December 2009 where in that year alone 47
million were added to the previous count.
MICHAEL GLENN E. FUENTEBELLA JOGAR B. TOSOC
City Excellence Award City Excellence Award Google in the later part of 2008 announced that they had indexed
over a trillion unique URLs indicating how massively information
For being chosen as one of the Most Outstanding Civil For receiving the Model for Innovation Award, First Place, in the worldwide web are circulating every second to over 2 billion
Engineering Students of the Philippines in 2010, that high- in the East-West Knowledge Leaders Program sponsored by Internet users. The biggest users by far in the Asian zone are China
the Japan-American Institute of Management Science in (with around 420 million Internet users), followed by the Philip-
lights once again the Bicolano youth’s academic excellence ines, Malaysia and Taiwan.
and campus leadership which presages a future society of Honolulu, Hawaii last October 2009 to January 2010; and
responsible and productive citizens whose vision and goal recognition for academic excellence and potential
is to advance a sustainable and progressive community. contribution to international understanding and goodwill
given by the Fujitsu Scholarship Program last January 12,
2010 in Tokyo, Japan.
The other members of the awards committee chaired by Mr. J. Antonio Amparado are: Fr. Rex Andrew C. Alarcon of the Arch-
diocese of Caceres, Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Philip T. Imperial, respected Bicol historian
Jose V. Barrameda, Dr. Elna N. Chia of the Camarines Sur Medical Society, Metro Naga Development Council
Executive Officer Sieglinde B. Bulaong, and DWNX Station Manager Al Ubaña.
22 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2
Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 23
The Bicol Express did safely bring the two of I am certain that Austen’s obser-
us back to Naga but our lives – and the lives of vation still proves relevant to those
the rest of the group – would be drastically al- who have experienced the thrills and
tered. spills of the legendary Bicol Express.
If only for this then, the national gov-
Since then, the Bicol Express alternately un- ernment must ensure the long-term
derwent periods of rehabilitation, neglect, and viability and stability of the newly
even decay – which did not necessarily mirror resuscitated train line so that the
the stages of my life. Yet its sights and sounds current and coming generations will
still linger in my mind, bringing with them also have their collective memory of
By Gabriel Hidalgo Bordado, Jr. | Vice Mayor a reliable yet economical transport
memories, both joyous and sad, that nourish
the soul. mode – and not just of a spicy dish of
chilis and native anchovies cooked in
Yes, memories mean a lot. As Jane Austen coconut milk!
The Bicol Express seemed to wrote almost two centuries ago, “if any one
faculty of our nature may be called more pow- First published in the Sunday
bookmark the times of my life.
erful than the rest, I do think it is memory. Inquirer Magazine, August 7, 2011
There seems something more speakingly in-
comprehensible in the powers, the failures, the
inequities of memory, than in any other of our
THEN AND NOW.
intelligences. The memory is sometimes so re- Photo above right is an old Prestige rolling
tentive, so serviceable, so obedient; at others, stock during PNR’s heyday in the 70s
so bewildered and so weak; and at others
while below is the new Hyundai Rotem
T was the summer of 1964 and I had just completed my third year diesel multiple unit Bicol Commuter
of elementary education. My parents bundled us up – the entire ca- again, so tyrannic, so beyond control! We are,
Express (Commex) train that goes with
boodle of six kids with me as the eldest – and two aunts who served to be sure, a miracle every way; but our power the on-going rehabilitation of the Naga-
as our nannies. We were bound for Manila on board the storied Bicol of recollecting and of forgetting does seem pe- Manila run.
Express. culiarly past finding out.”
I don’t recall how we all managed to squeeze into two economy seats. What I PHOTOGRAPHY
still vividly remember was the exhilaration of riding in a train and the rising Vic Nierva
expectation of seeing the great city, a big deal for me who grew up amidst the Ron Cruz
ricefields and dusty streets of the then parochial Calabanga in Camarines
While my elders complained of the heat, I simply soaked in the
ever-changing scenery (including the awe-inspiring view of Mt. Bana- Battling malnutrition
haw) and the cacophony of sounds emanating from the train which,
for a 9-year old barrio kid, further heightened the excitement and even
City pushes milk feeding program
By Jason B. Neola
the mystery of the summer outing. The Bicol Express did live up to my
URTHER enhancing its award-winning that the program has two components: com-
As I grew up, the Bicol Express seemed to bookmark the times of my anti-malnutrition program, the City munity milk feeding and school-based milk
life. In the early 1970s, my girlfriend Gina (who eventually became my Population and Nutrition Office is imple- feeding. Under the first component, bene-
wife) and I used to take the Bicol Express back to Naga during semestral menting its Community Milk Feeding ficiaries are preschool malnourished chil-
breaks at the University of the Philippines at Los Baños. Having hopped Program that Mayor John G. Bongat expects will dren aged two to six years old. Target
onto the train at the College (the name of the barangay where UPLB is MILK FEEDING PROGRAM bear significant results. beneficiaries for the second component are
Mayor John Bongat, assisted by City Councilor Grade One pupils regardless of age and nu-
located) station, we usually found that seats were no longer available. Nene de Asis and Population and Nutrition
We made do with the platform connecting two train coaches. Oh, we This took off after the enactment of City Ordi- tritional status.
Office Manager Teresita del Castillo, distribute
didn’t mind the 10-hour ride and the danger lurking on that platform. milk packs to some 250 children as part of the nance 2011-016 that provides funds to bring milk
Of course, for people in love, nothing else matters – and the Bicol city government’s milk feeding program, in to undernourished children in the city’s 27 The beneficiaries under both groups will
partnership with Land O’ Lakes. The milk barangays. receive 200/180 ml. fresh or chocomilk per
Express could very well attest to that! packs, processed by Land O’ Lakes, are pur- child per day except Saturdays, Sundays and
chased by the city government for the feeding
When President Marcos declared martial law in 1972, the Bicol program in Barangays Calauag and Recently, the city government and the National holidays for a duration of 120 days.
Express again played a role (supporting or otherwise) in what could Cararayan where a high malnutrition rate has Dairy Authority inked an agreement where the
been noted among children by the City city will purchase milk from the NDA whose City Population and Nutrition Officer Tere-
turn out to be an unraveling chapter in my young adulthood. Population and Nutrition Office. The program, coordinators will also assist in the monitoring of sita A. Del Castillo said CPNO personnel and
launched April 11, 2011, is meant to improve
pre-feeding, feeding and post-feeding procedures. the Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) were
Distraught by the uncertainties of the times but somehow consoled by the unexpected and protracted vacation, I, along the nutritional status of children of vulnerable
age, particularly pre-schoolers, and provide able to register 210 program beneficiaries
with 14 other UPLB schoolmates who were members of the UP Sarong Bangui, decided to go home via the Bicol Express. As livelihood opportunity, to member-farmers of These specific procedures include: identification from Barangays Calauag and Cararayan.
the train stopped at the Lucena station, a squad of Army troopers in full battle gear boarded the train coach we were in and the dairy cooperative that produces of target areas and children beneficiaries and de-
arrested 13 of my companions. The experience was terrifying, to say the least. And so traumatized was the other guy who the local milk for the feeding pro-
worming of identified beneficiaries; and orienta- A primer on the government’s milk feed-
wasn’t arrested that he actually joined the Philippine Marines a few months later. gram. Due to its sustained feeding and
nutrition program, Naga City has been top tion on milk feeding among Barangay Nutrition ing program states that healthier children
performer as far as the national government’s Scholars, Barangay Health Workers, school and wealthier farmers are the twin goals of
nutrition program is concerned. The Naga City nurses/teachers, collaborating agencies, parents the NDA which strives to generate funds
Government has been awarded a Hall of Fame
in the Nutrition Honor Roll by the Nutrition and beneficiaries. from government and private sources for the
Council of the Philippines. Raquel Buere Philippine Milk Fund as mandated by the
City Nutrition Officer I Raquel Buere explained National Dairy Development Act of 1995.
24 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 25
Tracing family roots Naga City Hospital: Nominated Chief of Naga City Hospital Luningning Luciano, M.D.
becomes easy in Naga for best primary hospital in Bicol
and her staff.
By Shiena Barrameda
By Jason B. Neola
PRIMARY hospital that offers services
under the areas expected of a
secondary hospital and manned by a
workforce that seriously pursues and
raises the level of its professional
An inspection team from the regional office of
the Department of Health saw the Naga City Hos-
pital a notch higher when it evaluated the hospital’s
nomination in the search for the best government
hospital in the primary hospital category in Bicol
RACING one’s family origins is now easy in Bicol
after the Naga City Family History Center was
opened to the public last April 11, 2011.
But to Dr. Luningning A. Luciano, chief of
The Center, which is located at the Raul S. Roco Library hospital, the nomination comes only secondary to
next to the newly inaugurated Bienvenido N. Santos the more challenging task of seeing to it that the The chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe sits on the second floor of the
Special Section, was transferred by the Church of Jesus hospital’s mission and vision are satisfactorily met. Naga City People's Mall (formerly the Naga City Public Market),
Christ of Latter-Day Saints from Panganiban Drive to the First to be certified as breastfeeding hospital in through contributions by stallholders and private donors for the
City Hall compound to make the microfilm archive of birth The Naga City Hospital, the only hospital funded Camarines Sur, the Naga City Hospital was also among marketgoers’ and traders’ religious obligations and services.
and death certificates available to anyone who would like and operated by a local government unit (LGU) in the pioneering government hospitals to be accredited
to do research on the origins of their family. Southern Luzon, has of late reported a 612 percent by PhilHealth. It was also graded very satisfactory to
increase in the number of patients attended to, excellent in terms of personnel performance.
City Mayor John Bongat signed the Memorandum of treating an average of 285 patients per day com-
Agreement on behalf of the City Government for the pared to 40 when it began operating in 1991. Luciano said the achievements are offshoots of
establishment of the Center together with Floro Gamil of various initiatives undertaken by the hospital designed
Philippines Stake Zion and Councilor David Nathan Casper As a primary hospital, the NCH also renders to enhance the hospital’s information, leadership and
Sergio, proponent of the city resolution that made the services in General Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics, human resource management, including performance
transfer possible. and minor surgery. improvement of personnel who undergo regular
orientation on proper care of patients and their rights,
The Family Center here, according to City Librarian Luciano explained that the the hospital adopts including ethics in public service.
Federico Vinluan, is the second of its kind in the Philippines new measures every year so that necessary upgrad-
after the one in Makati City. ing in its services can promptly be met, including On physical development, the hospital has recently
the performance targets of the personnel. completed the construction of a spacious and comfort-
Vinluan said the records present in the microfilmed able waiting area for patients and clients and the expan-
archive were provided by the Archdiocese of Caceres, span- This year, the NCH seeks to continuously pro- sion of the laboratory section where drug tests are being
ning more than 100 years into the past. vide quality curative care thru a more efficient and conducted, including hematology, clinical microscopy,
responsive technology-driven medical service blood chemistry and microbiology.
“I believe that this endeavor would add more pride in “which can be attained by taking necessary actions
the hearts of Bicolanos and Nagueños by bringing them based on the outcome of satisfaction surveys given
to patients and other stakeholders periodically.” Fr. Rex Hidalgo leads the opening prayer with Archbishop
closer to their roots,” Sergio said. “Aside from this, it is a
Leonardo Z. Legaspi, O.P., D.D. witnessing the rites.
better system of keeping records. Instead of having our
records on paper that will some way or another be easily
destroyed by time and the environment, we now have them
The DOH inspection team has found out that
NCH, though a primary hospital, is well-equipped New chapel rises at
on sturdy microfilms.” with facilities that are required of secondary
hospitals like pharmacy, dietary, laboratory, x-ray
Naga City People’s Mall
Sergio disclosed the Church of Latter-Day Saints here and ultrasound, which are added factors that made
provided the two microfilm viewing machines and two new the city-run hospital worthy of nomination as the
sets of desktop computers in the RSR Library while the city best government primary hospital in Bicol.
pon the initiative of stallholders, private citi-
offered the location for the center. zens, and the local Church, a small chapel
The latest of these facilities is the newly-acquired
funded by private donors and consecrated to
P456,000-Autoclave Machine, a device that
Our Lady of Guadalupe was constructed at the
sterilizes medical equipment to prevent the spread
second floor of the Naga City People’s Mall (formerly called
of infection before it can be used.
the Naga City Public Market).
Thru these “secondary area” facilities, NCH has
Mayor John Bongat, First Lady Farah, and other city offi-
a formidable ancillary unit “which is being kept
cials attended the consecration last April 10, 2011 with
along with other equipment and apparatus
Archbishop Leonardo Z. Legaspi and Msgr. Zosimo Sañado
previously acquired from the time the hospital was
The Family Center has a network of 4,500 facilities leading the ceremony.
accessible through http//familysearch.org which offers the established in 1991,” Luciano added.
public access to genealogical records all over the world. It
already has centers in more than 80 countries the first of Mayor John Bongat and First Lady Farah Bongat cut the ceremonial
which is found in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States. ribbon at the newly-built chapel.
26 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 27
City Hall hires 146
Naga fetes 63 rd year Naga’s project monitoring
is Bicol’s best
and 41 non-teaching
of cityhood By Shiena M. Barrameda
personel By Neil Romano Manaog
MBUED with a deep sense of pride and patriotic
fervor, the city government here, in partnership
with various sectors of the community, includ-
ing barangay officials, church leaders, the
academe, and the youth, has lined up an array
Mayor Bongat, Vice Mayor Gabriel H. Bordado, Jr., city of-
ficials and special guests led by DILG Secretary Jesse M. Ro-
bredo as guest of honor, proceeded to Plaza Quezon for the
raising of the Philippine flag and the Naga City banner to sig-
nal the start of the parade and program at Plaza Quezon, fea-
T HIS city’s Project Monitoring Committee was once
again selected as Outstanding Local Project Moni-
toring Committee for 2010 by the Regional Project
Monitoring Committee (RPMC) of the Bicol Regional
T O help address the lack of teachers in the Divi-
sion of City Schools this school year, the city
government of Naga, through Mayor John G.
Bongat, hired 146 teachers and assigned them to
the different public elementary and secondary
of activities leading to the city’s 63rd charter anniversary turing dance and musical numbers and a fancy drill and schools in the city.
In his earlier letter to Mayor John G. Bongat, RPMC Chair-
on June 18 and the national celebration of Dr. Jose Rizal’s majorette exhibition by students from the city’s different
man Atty. Romeo C. Escandor said the Naga City PMC would Last year, Naga’s public schools, enrolment totaled
150th birth anniversary on June 19. schools.
be conferred the outstanding local project monitoring com- 39,115 and is expected to increase in the succeeding years.
With the tri-color as the overarching motif, the cele- mittee under the city category. According to Mayor Bongat, the hiring of locally-funded
Before noon was the groundbreaking ceremony for the teachers by the city seeks to address the lack of plantilla
bration actually kicked off as early as May 28 with the
proposed Rotonda de Naga at the Roxas-Panganiban- teaching positions, in order to lower the teacher: student
hoisting of flag at Plaza Quezon for the celebration of the This year’s project monitoring committee of Naga City is
Magsaysay avenues intersection, where a Pilgrimage City ratio to a manageble 1:45 and improve the learning envi-
National Flag Day. From there on followed the ‘Dugo ng headed by topnotch City Councilor Cecilia de Asis who
monument has been planned to be erected. ronment.
Bayan’ or Blood Donation drive at the Naga City People’s replaced erstwhile City Councilor Bongat when the latter was
Hall at the City Hall compound, the GSM Barangay Night elected mayor in the 2010 local election. Each year, teachers for local funding are recruited,
The much-awaited 2011 Mayoral Awards took place at
on June 10, the public presentation of the finalists and evaluated and appointed before the start of the school year.
6:00 o’clock in the evening at La Piazza Hall, Avenue Plaza
judging of submitted designs for the Pilgrimage City Land- The city government had been awarded with similar recog- From January to April, teacher applicants take examinations
Hotel with Solicitor-General J. Anselmo I. Cadiz as guest
mark at the proposed Naga City rotonda on June 11 and the nition during Bongat’s chairmanship of the committee and proficiency tests and conduct teaching demonstrations
speaker. and interviews before they are recommended by principals
meaningful 113th Independence Day program at Plaza because of its close monitoring and vigilance on how public
Quezon last June 12. funds were spent in the implementation of all the infrastruc- to the division. So that teachers could prepare the lessons
For the first time last June 19, the Naga City government on time for the school year, they are appointed prior to the
ture and non-infra projects in the city.
and the provincial government of Camarines Sur jointly opening of classes. This also prevents backlogs in compe-
Also last June 12, Mayor John Bongat and the city offi- tencies that should be achieved in the classes.
commemorated the 150th birth anniversary of our national
cials led the groundbreaking of the Centro Naga Welcome The award, which was conferred by the RDC on May 27,
hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, at downtown Naga’s Plaza Rizal, in
Arch at the foot of Puente de Claveria Bridge in Bgy. Tabuco, 2011 at the Estevez Hall, NEDA Region V, in Legazpi City, is According to DepEd Naga Schools Division Superinten-
collaboration with the Knights of Rizal and the Naga City
followed by another flag-raising ceremony at SM City Naga the city’s fourth. dent Diosdado M. San Antonio, hiring of locally funded
Division of the Department of Education. teachers is one of his priorities. He expresses his gratitude
and, in the evening, ballroom dancing at the people’s hall.
In 2007, the city government garnered the award for the to the local government for its readiness in filling the gap
Sir Simeon F. Adan, regional deputy commander of the in teaching manpower. The city government. likewise hired
Early morning on June 17, city hall employees, private most outstanding PMC which was followed in 2008 when it
Knights of Rizal in Bicol said that the good thing about the 41 non-teaching personel (security guards, clerks, etc.)
sector participants, and barangay officials lined up the city’s got the second place and in 2009, again as most outstanding. needed by the schools.
celebration was that after so many years, both the provincial
major streets, school grounds and vacant lots for the mass
and city officials were celebrating together in one venue an
planting of pili seedlings as Pilimania rolled off to its core City Councilor de Asis said the monitoring committee is Conceived under the Local Government Code, the Naga
honored day for the national hero.
of activities, including the Pilimanialympics and the Kinalas requesting the Department of Public Works and Highways City School Board (NCSB) draws 1% from the income
Food Festival at Plaza Quezon in the afternoon. (DPWH) to direct all its regional directors and district derived from real property taxes to support the local edu-
engineers to furnish all the local project monitoring cation system.
On Saturday, June 18, a “Diana” all over the city committees with programs of work as a tool for promoting
greater social accountability. Its P50-million annual allocation does not only allow
welcomed the dawning of the golden rays off the sun,
NCSB to provide for locally funded teachers. It also
presaging a very important day, the Naga City Charter finances the conduct of teacher enhancement programs and
Anniversary. As if on cue, a fun run (Dalagan para sa Salog), De Asis further said that they are also requesting the mem- provides support funds for student development projects,
sponsored by the Camarines Sur Bankers Association reeled bers of the Bids and Awards Committee in the city (BACs) to classrooms, IT equipment and additional books and learning
off along the city’s major streets, and wound up in time for furnish the monitoring committee copies of all infrastructure resources. NSCB likewise caters to special projects like feed-
the thanksgiving mass at the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral projects so that necessary monitoring can be undertaken even ing, alternative learning and summer enrichment programs.
while contingents for the civic and military parade arrived before the projects are completed.
for the ensuing parade. The Board is composed of two private school
principals, the president of the Metro Naga Chamber of
Commerce and Industry, the chairman of the Naga City
Peoples’ Council and eight official members representing
the community’s various sectors, and chaired by no less
than the Mayor himself. (with inputs from NCSB Adminis-
trator Ernani Suron).
City Councilor Nene de Asis, Chair of
the City’s Project Monitoring Commit-
tee, along with PMC Member City
Councilor Jose Tuason, receive
the trophy for Outstanding
Local Project Monitoring
Committee in the Bicol
Region. Others in photo
(from left) are Rosario
Reodique, Rose Ciudadano
and Angel Gonzales, all of the
City Planning and Development
Office that provides technical
support to the PMC.
28 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 29
Scholarship program takes big leap, CSWDO: The story of two
successful street children
gets stronger By Ernani B. Suron
By Jason B. Neola
F OR 20-year-old Neil Breech Lalas and Mario V. Sadia,
19, there is more to the City Social Welfare and De-
velopment Office than doling out rice, cash or med-
ical assistance, tiklad and relief goods to indigents,
especially during typhoons and other calamities.
For them, the CSWDO is a beacon that guides lost
and Development Officer of the Philippines. Reblando was
also awarded as Outstanding Men-Public Sector of Naga City
by the Naga City Jaycees during that same year.
Thru the CSWDO, Neil was enlisted in the city govern-
ment’s Sanggawadan program while Mario and his other
younger brother and sister were taken into custody when he
individuals to brave life’s tough journeys and send them clearly refused to go to school. Many times Mario would stow away
to a shore of peace and contentment. because he felt he could sustain himself by straying in the
Indeed, the CSWDO, through the exemplary performance
of its duties has brought honor to the city with the following Being a Sanggawadan beneficiary, Neil was able to pursue
awards: 1st Place, Child Friendly City in the Bicol Region; his elementary education with free school supplies and free
Second Runner Up, Child-Friendly City (component city cate- supply of rice based on his actual attendance in school. Mario
gory) in 2002; First Runner-Up, Child-Friendly City in 2004; was finally endorsed to stay and study at the School of Don
and eventually the Most Child Friendly in the National Search Bosco in Alabang which helped him take the Alternative
for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities in 2007 and, again, Learning System (ALS) that qualified him to enroll in second-
the Most Child-Friendly City (highly urbanized city category) ary and vocational courses.
HE city’s tertiary scholarship program is in 2008.
INSPIRING THE CITY SCHOLARS.
getting stronger and more responsive to the Mayor John Bongat, together with the Because of the assistance extended by the city
needs of the young populace under the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod How Neil and Mario came to love the CSWDO began when government thru the CSWDO, both young men are now
dynamic leadership of City Mayor John headed by Vice Mayor Gabby Bordado, they were as young as 6 and 5 years old. Personnel from the better equipped to face life’s challenges.
Bongat. congratulates all the city scholars and office, seeing their sorry plight offered help to send them to
The City Mayor, in his State of the City Report on their parents during the Welcome and Neil, who had graduated salutatorian at Tabuco
Orientation Program last June 4, 2011 at
January 25, 2011, underscored the need for an the newly constructed Naga City People’s
Elementary School, valedictorian at the Naga City
increased budget for the tertiary scholarship program Hall. In his message, the City Mayor CSWDO workers had since then been conducting “rescue Science High School in 2007, and Magna Cum Laude with
in the wake of economic difficulties and rising cost of called on all city scholars to study hard operations” for children straying in the streets or skipping distinction in Accountancy and Achievement Award at
college or tech-voc education. and complete their studies until they school to earn a living. Ateneo de Naga University last March 2010, will now be
become professionals and skilled workers taking this coming October the licensure examinations for
From 173 scholars last school year, a total of 460 which are vital in the city’s economic Today, LGU Naga has promised to become even Certified Public Accountants.
students have been awarded scholarship grants for this growth. more aggressive in protecting the welfare of
school year, a manifestation of the city’s resolve to children, especially the indigent ones who need Mario who had the opportunity to completely reform his
effectively implement Ordinance No. 2010-063, National Secondary Achievement Test stronger hands to help them. image from a naughty and playful street child to one of Don
otherwise known as Naga’s Tertiary Scholarship Pro- (NSAT) or at least 80% average with no Bosco’s diligent students is now among the best and trusted
gram. This ordinance, which was enacted last failing grade in any subject or has not Only recently, City Mayor John G. Bongat sought bakers of a well-known bread shop in Naga and Bicol, Baker’s
December 7, 2010, was authored by City Councilor yet completed a tertiary course, except to finalize plans to provide shelter to abandoned Plaza.
Nelson Legacion and co-authored by Councilor Ray-an for vocational scholars; (c) should have and neglected children through its Center for Chil-
Cydrick Rentoy with the full support of the members a weighted average of at least 2.5 or dren at the Metro Naga Sports Complex in Barangay Neil, who feels grateful for what he is now, vows: “I want
of the Sangguniang Panlungsod headed by Vice Mayor 80% in the last semester in college; (d) Pacol where they can participate in worthwhile to be an instrument of change to other youth who have the
Gabriel Bordado, Jr. should have passed the entrance exam- endeavors while waiting for the next passion for learning but cannot afford the
ination, if required, of the school where enrolment under the close watch of cost of education. I want to support
The city scholars underwent qualifying examination he or she intends to enroll in; (e) the CSWDO. those who are like me
and screening administered by the Education, Scholar- gross annual income of his/her for I know their feelings.”
ships, and Sports Office (ESSO), a new office created parents/guardians must not be more Growing up without a father’s
under Ordinance No. 2011-001. Records show that 335 than P180,000.00; and (f) is not affection and guidance, Neil had to For Mario, he wants to reunite
of these scholars are enrolled in bachelor degree presently enjoying any scholarship or peddle his mom’s homemade “yema” with his family. He said his family
courses while 125 of them are taking up technical study grant. to augment his family’s daily is the greatest gift by God to man
vocational education and training (TVET). subsistence while Mario worked as and that he would do everything to
In his message during the Welcome watch-your-car boy to help his ailing search for his family so that they
Poor but deserving students enrolled or are and Orientation Program for scholars mother feed his other siblings. can live together again.
enrolling in any college or technical vocational last June 4, 2011, the city mayor assured
education courses are eligible for admission to the the scholars and their parents that edu- The “rescue” mission is part of the SUCCESS STORIES.
scholarship program. A qualified applicant (a) must be cation will always be on top of the mandated task of the local government Neil Breech Lalas and
a Filipino citizen and resident of the City of Naga who agenda of his administration, proof of to extend special protection to children Mario Sadia, despite
is not more than 25 years old (at the time of the filing difficulties, have chosen
which is the passage of the 2011 Exec- and spare them from abuse, exploitation and
to tread the right path.
of application), with good moral character and does not utive-Legislative Budget of Naga City discrimination as provided for in RA 7610. At right is CSWDO Head
have any derogatory record; (b) must be a high school where the education sector was given Jaime Reblando.
graduate with 75% percentile rank or above in the substantial budget allocation compared The CSWDO is headed by Jaime R.
to previous years. “Let us put our money Reblando who has been named 2004
where our mouth is,” stressed Mayor Outstanding Local Social Welfare and
30 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 31
But the CPA-lawyer was quick to add that he doesn’t feel At the 2nd Salud Bicolnon Award rites
bitter about his being a former janitor, a job that he faith-
fully delivered for almost 10 years to keep him in school.
He said the lowly task helped him build his dreams and de-
Secretary Ona to honor LGUs emulate
velop the low-profile nature in his character. CHO’s accomplishments Naga’s GROW
“I told myself that I would not sweep the floor for the and Mayor Bongat’s efforts
Negosyo By Jason B. Neola
Success comes to those who work for it
rest of my life and that I have to pursue my education no
matter what happens if only to find the way out.” in Emergency Management
By Jason B. Neola By Jason B. Neola
Although he regarded his being a city councilor a twist NE of the best ways for an LGU to win the
of fate since his elective position was outside his chosen ca-
HE regional office of the Department of Health in fight against poverty is to empower micro-
reer path, he said, “I can assure the public that I am doing entrepreneurs in the barangays.
E is known to many as Smart Buddy. He is friend and Bicol will give due recognition to the City Govern-
my utmost to be an effective public worker.”
brother to everybody and took the smart path to rise ment of Naga under Mayor John G. Bongat as an ef-
from poverty so that he could help more, especially fective partner in the DOH’s “Iligtas sa Tigdas ang This was stressed in the forum organized by the
One of the best legal minds in the city council, Councilor Philippine Commission on Women in Davao City last
those that have less in life but whom he hopes would someday Pinas 2011” campaign.
Buddy chairs and co-chairs key committees as he also Aug.17, this year, for concerned government workers
live a better life that he enjoys now. authored and co-authored significant measures that are The 2nd Salud Bicolnon Awards which will honor other from Luzon and Mindanao where the city government
mostly related to finances of the city government. deserving LGU partner-implementers, non-governmental of Naga was the assembly’s resource LGU.
City Councilor Salvador “Buddy” del Castillo had served as
organizations and other national agencies and members
janitor in the same corridors of the Naga City Hall where he is Life was tough then for young Buddy that he had to work of the health sector, will be held on September 1, this The Naga City Government shared with the partici-
now looked up to as a distinguished and honorable member of as janitor if only to send himself to college where he spent year, at the Concourse Convention Center in Legazpi City. pating government workers the best practices of the
the Sangguniang Panlungsod while he keeps his same amiable six years – from 1971 to 1976 – to finish his 4-year Bachelor city’s Barangay GROW (Growing Opportunities for
bearing and personal touch that bespeak of his humble begin- of Science in Commerce major in Accountancy course at the The Naga City Health Office, headed by Dr. Vito ‘Butch’ Wealth) Negosyo project.
nings. University of Nueva Caceres. Borja II, has been successful in the implementation of its
Measle Rubella Supplemental Immunization. He will be Metro PESO Project Development Officer Mike Rico
“I feel I am on cloud nine every time I see my situation now “Yes, I was a janitor at City Hall, but I didn’t sweep my accompanied by EPI Coordinator Rosalina Rillo to receive said a similar event will be conducted for LGUs in
as one of the policymakers in the city government, a very rare way to reach a higher level of employment, everything went the awards in behalf of the city government. Luzon and Visayas on August 31 to Sept. 1 at the
opportunity which is entirely different from when I was here through a process until I became a Certified Public Ac- Manila Century Park Sheraton Hotel, where the city’s
at the same hall 41 years ago working as janitor,” he said. countant,” he said. DOH Secretary Enrique T. Ona will be the guest of success story will again be put in the spotlight.
honor during the award rites.
Buddy’s motto in life Carpe Diem, “Seize the day!”, had Naga City’s GROW Negosyo is a collaboration of the
taught him to be realistic in responding intelligently and ap- Bicol DOH Regional Director Nestor F. Santiago, M.D.,
city’s 27 Punong Barangays, and the Sanggunian’s Com-
propriately to the challenging needs of his career. in his letter to Mayor John G. Bongat said the city mayor’s
efforts as partner in health emergency management will
mittee on Livelihood and City Government livelihood
also be acknowledged in the ceremonies. program implementers like the Naga City Council for
The former City Accountant said he became a lawyer Women which pushes for women micro-entrepreneur-
without even thinking of becoming one. “What was in my The DOH, as part of its mandate, has been initiating ship policies and programs.
mind was to study law to obtain some basic knowledge health reforms in close partnership with various sectors
which I could apply to some official actions that needed of society which “provided us significant accomplish- GROW Negosyo is one of the centerpiece projects of
legal understanding. He successfully passed the ments for our clientele and across sectors of our the Bongat administration which seeks to raise the
bar and the rest is now history. communities.” barangay level employment rate, establish improved
household income levels, develop a proud
He rose as chief of the City Accountant’s Office in 1993 Dr. Borja attributed the success of the city government’s barangay-owned product, encourage the emergence of
after 23 years in service as laborer-janitor, Internal Central campaign to the nurses and midwifes at the City Health model entrepreneurs and attain the city government’s
Officer, Auditing Examiner, Accountant II, and Accountant Office who are indefatigably “working in the barangays vision for economic empowerment.
IV in the city government, in that order. and coordinating with the barangay officials, including
Barangay Health Workers as partners, in order to provide Among the key strategies being adopted to ensure
He was appointed Acting City Administrator in 1998 until significant accomplishments for the well being of the the continued operations of identified micro-enter-
he was elected City Councilor in 2004. city’s residents.” prises are capability-building trainings and seminars,
consultation/business counseling and constant project
For his integrity and exemplary track record as monitoring of beneficiaries, identification of barangay
a dedicated public servant, he was a recipi- ME champions and role models, and identification of
ent of the prestigious “Dangal ng Bayan” industry business counselors from among the liveli-
Award in 1995 given by the Civil Service hood program implementers.
Metro PESO’s Enterprise Development Center
But Buddy’s luck and hard work do recommends policies and directions as regards projects
not end there. Reports said he is being and advocacies while strengthening the city’s income-
eyed to head the Bureau of Local generating programs to ensure stable fund source. The
Government Finance (BLGF) by the Center has forged strong partnerships with the private
Aquino administration. sector, NGOs/POs, NGAs and the Barangay Councils to
ensure significant triumphs in the furtherance of en-
Councilor del Castillo has laid the groundwork The former janitor who now trepreneurship and livelihood development in the
for the codification of various revenue stands shoulder-to-shoulder barangays to help families uplift their standard of living
generating ordinances of the city from 1974 to with peers in both the law and build self-confidence among them as members of
and accountancy professions a productive community.
2004, which eventually led to Ordinance No. is not about to rest on his
2004-123, also known as “An Ordinance laurels, as more good
Codifying and Revising the Various Revenue opportunities continue to
Ordinances of the City of Naga, and for other come his way.
DOH Secretary Enrique Ona
32 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 ” Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 33
The DARE course, as pointed out mayor) and the rest of Team Naga any undertaking. The NRRP
by Dr. Tuminez, would try to were determined to implement it. apparently has the authority, with
enchance the participants’ Barely three weeks after their no less than the city government
knowledge and skills while at the Singapore sojourn, they managed of Naga, the Roman Catholic
same time encouraging them to to get a resolution from the City Church, and even the Regional
“learn from the experience of Council declaring the Development Council backing it
the Naga River
Singapore and from direct expo- revitalization of the Naga river as up.
sure to this city-state.” She also a top priority project of the city
advised them to “network with government of Naga. The Catholic Public acceptance on the other
one another to share insights and Church, through Archbishop hand, has been gaining tremen-
explore opportunities for mutual Leonardo Z. Legaspi himself, also dous headway with almost all
By Gabriel Hidalgo Bordado, Jr. support and learning in the expressed unequivocal support for sectors of the community
future.” the project. By all indications, the endorsing the project. The ability
(This article formed part of the presentation made by the project was off to a good start. angle, however, remains a bit
author, with Mayor John Bongat and City Planning and TEAM NAGA hazy considering the estimated $8
Development Officer Wilfredo Prilles Jr. at the 2nd Leader- Bongat then issued an executive million capital outlay for a project
ship in Local Government Program at the National Univer-
sity of Singapore last May 30, 2011. The program was Team Naga (as it was dubbed in order creating a multi-sectoral task cycle spanning five years. But the
sponsored by the World Bank Institute (WBI) and the Singa- Singapore) was composed of then force headed by the CPDO to over- World Bank had noted the
pore Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SMFA). Incidentally, Team incoming and now Mayor John G. see the implementation of the earnestness of Team Naga and the
Naga (Bicol)-Philippines was adjudged by the WBI and the Bongat, a lawyer; City Planning project. The new mayor decided to vast potentials of NRRP.
SMFA as the top performing team in the first edition of the and Development Office (CPDO) take the bull by its horn, so to
FOR CLEAN RIVER.
program in 2010, which drew participants from 5 nations.) Bordado, Prilles and Bongat in Singapore forum. Chief Wilfredo Prilles Jr., a speak, and address head-on the In a letter dated April 14, 2011
graduate of Cambridge Univer- “squatters problem,” i.e. the and addressed to Mayor Bongat,
sity; City Engineer Leon informal settlers on the river- WB official Jose Eduardo Campos
Palmiano IV, concurrently the banks. And he was taken aback by disclosed that “ over the course of
W HEN the Naga River overflowed at
the height of typhoon Bebeng’s
fury, 22 out of the 27 barangays
of Naga City were inundated,
forcing more than a thousand
families to seek shelter and surcease in strategically
located evacuation centers in this heartland of Bicol.
Despite (or because of) its
strategic importance, the Naga
River has to contend with
siltation, pollution and atten-
dant problems spawned by
and results) piloted at the pres-
tigious National University of
Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew
School of Public Policy.
dean of the college of engineering
of a local university; City Budget
Officer Francisco Mendoza, who
also handles the city’s agriculture
portfolio; and this contributor.
After the 10-day DARE Course,
the team audaciously unveiled
the settlers’ willingness to pull out
of the restricted area for as long as
they would be given by the city
government a place where they
In the ensuing months, partner-
a 12 month follow-up, the Naga
City Leadership Team continually
impressed the DARE program with
plans to revitalize the Naga River.
Specifically, we were impressed
by your team’s enthusiasm to
identify adaptive leadership and
human transgressions all “This program begins with what would be known as the Naga ships with other sectors were communication strategies to
STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE through the decades. Now, it is the premise that urbanization is River Revitalization Project forged, a conceptual design address the Naga City River
a mere shadow of its former self a driving force for change in the (NRRP). contest launched, consultations in Challenges.” He likewise informed
Bane or boon, the river has been inextricably with a water quality barely sus- world. Cities are engines of . the 10 riverine barangays the mayor that Team Naga was
intertwined with the history of the ancient city taining aquatic life. During the growth, but they also pose THE NRRP conducted, and the “Run for Naga selected by the WB and the Lee
formerly named Ciudad de Nueva Caceres, one of incumbency of Mayor (now serious challenges for River” series held to further raise Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
the five original Spanish settlements in the country Department of the Interior and governance and infrastructure Among other things, the project public awareness. Negotiations as the top performing team in the
established way back in 1586. The river actually Local Government Secretary) for economic growth and will entail the crafting of a with the United Nations Educa- first ever DARE program in 2010.
bisects the city into two distinct districts. In the Jesse Robredo, he implemented quality,” Dr. Astrid Tuminez, comprehensive urban infrastruc- tional and Scientific Organization
olden days, the northern district was the seat of the the “Save the Naga River” assistant dean for executive ture program, the physical upgrad- (UNESCO) and the Cities Develop- All these may augur well for
local civil Spanish government and the Catholic program aimed at reversing the education of Lee Kuan Yew ing of the riverbanks, and the ment Initiative for Asia (CDIA) are “the river that runs through the
ecclesiastical entity whose power and influence, deleterious effects of the School of Public Policy, said in establishment of water treatment underway to secure technical and heart of Bicol”, as one blogger
according to historical records, spanned as far as unhampered and, for certain her welcome remarks. facilities to address river pollution. financial assistance. aptly puts it. And with some help
Nueva Ecija in Central Luzon. On the other hand, periods in history, unregulated The CPDO contends that the NRRP from Ina (the Bicolano term of
Chinese merchants and artisans, along with the na- use of the waterway. It proved According to Dr. Tuminez, will dovetail with the initiatives THE 3 A’s endearment for Our Lady of
tives, congregated in the southern district. to be an uphill battle until last the city government officials “in poverty alleviation as well as Peñafrancia), it can truly be
year when Naga, still under the “will play a key role in creating good governance and responsible For sure, the project won’t be a transformed into the river of life.
Beyond its historicity, the 1.5- kilometer (even stewardship of Mayor Robredo, structures and implementing citizenship” with the end in view walk in the park—although mini-
stretching up to 15 kilometers at its headwaters, was selected, through a highly strategies for more inclusive of enhancing the city’s “livability.” parks and walkways along the PHOTOGRAPHY
according to a technical paper) Naga River plays a competitive process, by the growth and development.” But riverbanks will form part of the Bong Bajo
significant economic role, irrigating the city’s fertile Ministry of Foreign Affairs of she posed some intriguing The proposed project, widely grand design. As pointed out in
upland barangays where vegetables and other cash Singapore and the World Bank queries regarding fund sourcing, acclaimed in Singapore, was the DARE program, one needs the
crops thrive, and nurturing the once expansive rice- Institute to represent (along upgrading service delivery and certainly not a flash on the pan- or 3 A’s—authority, acceptance and
fields of the lowlands. It is also the venue of the with Quezon City) the quality of life of city residents, a ripple in the river. Lawyer ability – to insure the success of
annual fluvial procession in honor of Bicolandia’s Philippines in the 5-nation and getting the support of the Bongat (by then a full-fledged
patroness, Our Lady of Peñafrancia. Incidentally, this executive program on leader- people to sustain development
devotion, which draws almost a million devotees, ship in local government code- programs and projects.
has been going on for 300 uninterrupted years, its named DARE (decision, action
tercentenary having been marked last year.
34 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 35
Naguenos run Naga River Project Team How Naga is boosting its tourism efforts
for Naga River lauded in Singapore Stepping up to the game
By Shiena M. Barrameda By Alec Francis A. Santos
OME three thousand participants joined the “Run Bong Bajo
for Naga River” last April 16, 2011.
B ICOL has taken great strides in the tourism world, becoming the “must go to” place in the country. Right at the heart
of the land of volcanoes and chili is Naga City, a premiere destination city visited by millions of travellers every
year. The City’s charming allure, with a much simpler pace of life is complemented by its cosmopolitan nature.
As the undisputed center of trade
and commerce, education, culture
Through effective and regular
dialogue with the private sector thru
ACTO also conducted preliminary ocular
inspections upon request by owners and
and the arts, as well as religion in various tourism-related organiza- provided recommendations to help improve
Southern Luzon, Naga once again tions, as well as developing standard their establishments. By helping local
took center stage during the tourism tour packages and itineraries businesses comply with DOT standards, the
boom in the province and in the re- anchored on Naga’s unique history City Government aims to ensure a high
gion, owing to its dynamic economic and rich natural biodiversity on Mt. probability of accreditation approval by the
environment and wealth of quality Isarog, the ACTO has set the stage for DOT.
amenities catering to the needs of the successful development of Naga’s
tourists. tourism landscape. The City is also poised to develop the lush
forests and rumbling waterfalls of Mt. Isarog
A large majority of visitors who Aside from its usual function as a into an eco-adventure destination. Barely 30
head to the province to experience tourist assistance center for visitors minutes from downtown Naga, Mt. Isarog
HE World Bank has selected the leadership team extreme water sports and athletic in Naga, the ACTO is also imple- Natural Park boasts of at least four waterfalls
The project, a joint effort of the Archdiocese of behind the Naga River Revitalization Project events stay, dine and shop in Naga, menting regular tour facilitator within 45-minutes of each other, thick forest
Caceres and the City Government of Naga, was aimed at (NRRP) as top performer under its inaugural DARE boosting the local economy and trainings for college students, canopies, a breath-taking sunset view of
raising funds and awareness in the rehabilitation of the training program, earning Mayor John G. Bongat and Vice further promoting the City. Market- professionals and even retirees. Metro Naga and even Camarines Norte and a
storied Naga River. In enjoining everyone to take part in Mayor Gabriel Bordado, Jr. an invitation to share their ing studies have shown that personal Given the large number of visitors, wide variety of endemic flora and fauna.
the rehabilitation program of the river, Caceres Arch- experience before international participants for this year’s referrals, particularly through social conventions and national and inter-
bishop Leonardo Z. Legaspi said: “We are reviving not edition of the event. networking sites and the internet, national events in the province and Part of the East Highland Tourism Zone,
only a body of water but we are reviving the life and are four times more effective than the City, there was an urgent need to the slopes of Mt. Isarog is home to several
identity of Bicolanos as well.” Jose Edgardo Campos, World Bank Institute manager advertising, reaching four times train a pool of highly-qualified tour resorts, the most notable of which is the
in charge of the program, said Team Naga was selected in more people than conventional facilitators to ensure the comfort and Panicuason Hot Springs Resort where guests
He said the Naga River is not only integral to the a competitive process because “it made the best use of (the advertising. Banking on this research safety of guests in Naga. can immerse themselves in geothermal pools
devotion of Our Lady of Peñafrancia (where a fluvial DARE) program to enhance your knowledge and skills; finding, Naga City Mayor John G. reaching 39°C (102°F) while listening to the
procession is held in Her honor every September) but learn from the experience in Singapore and from your Bongat ordered the creation of the With R.A. 9593 or the Tourism Act mighty rush of the Inarihan River, bringing
also vital to every Bicolano. direct exposure to this city-state; and apply the concepts Naga City Marketing and Promotions of 2009 in full swing, local govern- endless torrents of cool rainwater from Mt.
to explore opportunities for your team and city’s future.” Group, headed by Mr. Reuel Oliver, ment units were empowered to take Isarog to San Miguel Bay.
Mayor John Bongat emphasized that through unified head of the Naga City Investment bigger responsibilities and become
efforts to revitalize the River that gave Naga its life, “we DARE is shorthand for “Decisions, Actions, Results: Board (NCIB). stakeholders in the quest for a Guests who have taken in Naga’s rich
can ensure the future of Naga as a vibrant community.” Leadership in Local Government,” a program launched in robust tourism industry and conse- history thru its old buildings and churches
2010 jointly sponsored by the WBI, the Singaporean The group was a crack team of quently, a more progressive and who have experienced jungle fever thru
“What we will do next will define our future as a city Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Lee Kuan Yew School City Government officials as well as economy. In support of the eco-tourism destinations can unwind at the
and as a people,” the mayor added. of Public Policy. employees tasked to study ways to Department of Tourism’s (DOT) goal Magsaysay Lifestyle District where dozens of
effectively promote Naga not only as of ensuring that tourism-oriented restaurants, cafes and bars await avid visitors
The formal run kicked off shortly after a brief “Over the course of the 12-month follow-up, the Naga a tourist destination but also as a establishments comply with interna- longing for entertainment and a plain good
program and pre-run stretching exercises at Plaza City Leadership Team continually impressed the DARE magnet for investors. The group tional standards, Mayor Bongat time. Establishments offer everything from
Quezon that started at about 4:30 a.m. Opening Program with project plans to revitalize the Naga River. incorporates marketing principles issued Executive Order 2011-005 to signature cocktail drinks and beer buckets to
messages were imparted by Mayor Bongat and Mgsr. Specifically, we were impressed with your team’s with viral marketing strategies and effectively implement the guidelines international coffee brands. Guests can also
Zosimo Ma. Sañado, Run for Naga River project chair. enthusiasm to identify adaptive leadership and communi- studies in detail the City’s target for DOT accreditation. take a bite of Bicol and Naga with many
cation strategies to address the river’s challenges.” Campos market segments for focused restaurants offering hot and spicy Bicolano
All runners wound up at Porta Mariae, the designated added. promotions. To realize the City Government’s dishes like laing, pinangat, Bicol Express, and
finish line, at the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral grounds, objective of high-standard services kinunot.
where there was a brief program and awarding of prizes Inspired by the Naga River project, this year’s DARE The Arts, Culture and Tourism from establishments catering to
and trophies to winners. program will be held in Singapore from May 22 to June 2, Office (ACTO), on the other hand, set tourists, the ACTO has adopted and Guests often realize that one visit to Naga
2011, focusing on “Riverfront Re-Development and Water out to implement the functions and updated DOT guidelines for dissemi- is never enough and that the City is better
The activity is part of the main project, “Salog Kan Management.” duties it was entrusted with during nation to primary tourism establish- experienced with friends and families. Naga
Buhay” which initially gathered and named the best the office’s creation (pursuant to E.O. ments like hotels, tourist inns and may not be as large as other urban centers in
concept designs to be used and modified in the Mayor Bongat and city officials presented the City’s 2010-007, June 30, 2010) in the travel and tour agencies. Guidelines the country but it is jampacked with every-
revitalization of the now polluted and crowded river. experiences under NRRP on May 30, capped by the early months of the Bongat adminis- were also distributed to secondary thing and anything visitors can ever wish for
presentation of the Top Performer Award by Dr. Liu Thai tration, defining its functions, tourism establishments like – a truly Maogmang Naga.
Runners took the main streets around the city proper Ker, the man behind the successful implementation of goals and objectives while formu- restaurants, cafes and bars to help
and crossed the seven bridges of Almeda, Magsaysay, public housing in Singapore and the formulation of a lating plans to address problems en- owners assess their facilities, The Arts, Culture and Tourism Office (ACTO) is
Colgante, Delfin Rosales, Tabuco/Puente de Claveria and countered by the City’s tourism products and services. Staff from the located at the ground floor of the Raul S. Roco
vision for the current and further urban development of Library Bldg., City Hall Compound. Questions?
Sabang that span the Naga River. the city state. industry.
Please email email@example.com, or call +63 54
4783987 or fax +63 54 4722652.
36 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 37
5,000 delegates to arrive in November Mayor Bongat and AdCongress chair Sandy Prieto-
Romualdez visit the ‘Pasalubong’ Center at the Naga
City People’s Mall during the latter’s familiarization
Naga and CamSur welcome AdCongress participants visit to the city. JOSE COLLERA Naga, CamSur top tourist
By Jason B. Neola PEACE AND UNITY.
Photo Below. CamSur Gov. LRay Villafuerte and Naga Mayor John G. arrivals anew
Bongat flash the “peace” sign along with members of the AdCongress22
executive committee headed by Sandy Prieto-Romualdez (seated,
AGA and CamSur will be home to the second from right) and Andre Kahn (seated, third from right). NCE again, Camarines Sur and this city topped the regional
22nd Philippine Advertising Congress!” distribution of incoming travelers for the year 2010, ac-
cording to the latest data released by the regional office of
Thus announced Sandra Prieto-Romualdez, 22nd PAC chair-
the Department of Tourism based in Legazpi City.
person, during a forum held at the Marriott Hotel in Parañaque
City last August 23, this year, before newsmen and members By an overwhelming margin, Camarines Sur and Naga City posted a
of key media organizations “who are hosting this year’s Ad- total of 2,330,116 domestic and foreign tourist arrivals for the period
Congress with the Advertising Board of the Philippines (Ad- January to December 2010. This is 48.75 percent higher than previous
Board).” year’s performance of 1,566,447.
The event, which is being held every two years, has invited Tutssel of Leo Burnett Worldwide, and Geoff Tan of On foreign travelers, Camarines Sur and Naga City churned out a
world-class speakers “who are expected to provide the atten- Singapore Press Holdings. Mayor Bongat has prepared a 2-day total of 461,053 arrivals for 2010, a figure that is four times over than
dees with inputs to face the unique set of challenges and real- heritage and eco-adventure tour to bring the what Albay/Legazpi City produced during the same year which stood
ities that the industry is facing nowadays.” Local speakers include broadcast bigwigs Eugenio Lopez AdCongress participants and visitors to the at 116,011. The regional total in foreign tourist arrivals for 2010 was
III of ABS-CBN, Felipe Gozon of GMA and Manuel V. city’s major tourist destinations. posted at 681,134, which was 36.49 percent higher or 233,493 more
Prieto-Romualdez, president/chief executive officer of the Pangilinan of TV5. than the previous year’s 447,641.
Philippine Daily Inquirer, said: “AdCongress22 expects 5,000 Bongat said the city, which plays host to
delegates and guests to troop to Camarines Sur and Naga City GAME CHANGERS close to a million Peñafrancia visitors every Camarines Sur/Naga’s combined tourist arrivals, as in previous three
as the big event which is slated on November 16-19, this year, year, is ready with its 4,593 star-rated hotel years, represent more than two-thirds of the Bicol regional total, which
will be held at the CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC).” Filipino “game changers” in the arts and sports will also room capacity to accommodate the guests, ex- for this year was pegged at 3,122,156, the highest so far since tourism
share their learnings in a panel discussion. hibitors, VIPs and tourists that are coming to was given a serious look as a major industry in Bicol.
Camarines Sur along with the City of Naga is the No. 1 tourist the AdCongress.
destination in the country according to the latest data released They include award-winning film director Brillante Albay and Legazpi City combined placed second in the ranking of
by the Department of Tourism. Mendoza, furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, and Gov. Villafuerte added that apart from the tourist arrivals with a total of 299,363 for both domestic and foreign
Philippine “Azkals” national football team members beautiful experience that the visitors will get tourists, and a 27 percent growth rate over previous year’s 235,857.
The biennial event is being organized by the Advertising Alexander Charles Luis Borromeo and brothers Phil and from the province they will also be awed by
Board of the Philippines to promote development and greater James Younghusband Naga’s Spanish colonial churches and other Third place is the island province of Masbate with 160,584 tourist
interaction among players in the industry. ancient landmarks. arrivals. Unfortunately, the figure is 7 percent lower than what the
Panelists representing the fashion industry include province registered in the previous year which was better at 172,242.
“It is a chance for all practitioners to learn new techniques designer Marlon Rivera, president and chief creative The governor said the provincial govern-
in marketing communications from world-class, local and officer of Publicis Manila; and Preview Magazine’s Pauline ment is currently building 80 units of new Camarines Norte placed fourth with a total of 138,151 tourist arrivals
international speakers,” Prieto-Romualdez said. Suaco-Juan and Vince Uy. wood cabins to bolster CWC’s Villa del Rey for 2010, a 15.56 percent improvement over its 2009 performance of
accommodations. “These extra rooms are 119,542 tourist arrivals. Fifth is Sorsogon which mustered a total of
This year’s local and international speakers include leading Hosting this year’s AdCongress with the AdBoard is the designed to house a minimum of two guests 101,799 tourist arrivals, a 21 percent growth over previous year’s
voices in marketing, advertising, mass media, and sports and United Print Media Group, the Internet and Mobile Mar- per room which should allow us therefore to 84,354.
the arts. keting Association of the Philippines, the Independent accommodate additional 200 delegates.”
Blocktimers Association, the Cinema Advertisers Associ- The island province of Catanduanes, which is at the bottom of the
A featured speaker, Charlene Li, is a coauthor of the best- ation of the Philippines and the Outdoor Advertising Business Mirror Vice-President on Corpo- regional ladder, suffered a 15 percent decrease in tourist arrivals in
selling book “Groundswell.” A pioneer in social media, Li was Association of the Philippines. rate Affairs Ricky Alegre, chairman of the 2010, with only 92,143 tourist arrivals compared to previous year’s
cited in 2010 as one of Top 100 Most Creative People in Special Events Committee, said the race to 108,923.
Business. Camarines Sur Gov. LRay Villafuerte has called on the CamSur and Naga begins November 14. “And
prospective AdCongress22 participants “to come over and in the middle of seminars and exciting games, According to Tourism Regional Director Nini Ravanilla, the region’s
Also addressing the congress is Patrick Shult, president of feel that rock star treatment being given traditionally by there will be trade exhibits, very much unlike banner tourist attractions, which she dubbed as Bicol’s tourism icons,
FremantleMedia Southeast Asia, the company that brought the province to its visitors and guests.” the traditional tiangge, which will be the best remain to be Camarines Sur’s Watersports Complex and the Caramoan
smash TV franchises like “American Idol” to Asian households. place for brands to really show off what peninsula, Naga City’s Peñafrancia Festival, Albay’s Mayon Volcano, and
Naga Mayor John G. Bongat, for his part, assured the they’ve got.” Sorsogon’s Butanding interaction.
Other foreign speakers include Charles Cadell of McCann participants that “your stay in Naga is one hell of a good
Worldgroup; Ricky Ow of SPE Networks-Asia; Laura Wendt of time” because of Nagueños’ hospitability, good food and “Special tents will be built around CWC for The comparative data for the regional distribution of travelers are
Disney Channels; Jason Choi of Chell Worldwide Inc.; John accommodation, and exciting places to visit. the showcase – and this time, we are encour- based on figures submitted by accommodation establishments, such as
Miller of Nestlé Philippines Inc.; Joeri Van den Bergh, co- aging trade exhibitors to make their designs hotels, inns, beach resorts, and other billeting facilities where tourists’
founder and “Gen Y” expert of InSites Consulting; Mark as game-changing as possible,” he added. stay are accordingly recorded in the establishment’s logbook.
Bicol Mail, June 2, 2011
38 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 39
Toasted siopao, like kinalas, is an innovation by
Nagueños from the ordinary steamed siopao or Chi-
Naga LGU to create database
nese meat buns. The toasted version has a longer
Local dish gives hope shelf life compared to the steamed ones. Although a
variation of siopao, it has a different kind of dough
to ‘backyard’ business which can be described as creamy, as well as
crunchy. for vision-impaired Nagueños
By Shiena M. Barrameda
Both the kinalas and toasted siopao are sold in
small “carinderias” (canteens) or “turo-turo” around
HE Naga City Government is setting up a
Naga City at low prices ranging from seven to fifteen
database on vision-impaired individuals in
pesos per piece or bowl.
NAGA’S FINEST. the city while it is mulling to extend more
The men and women of Naga PNP Station 2 projects and services to the sector.
Leandro “Chef Doy” Sto. Domingo, an interna-
are proud of their badge and uniform.
tional chef and owner of a local high-end restaurant
in Naga, said that kinalas is incomparable to other Fil- Tess B. Domer, officer-in-charge of the City Hall-
ipino dishes due to its exotic ingredients that might based Resource Center for the Blind, said an out-
OLICE Chief Inspector Benigno F. Albao, Sr., chief of
seem revolting to other people. reach program is presently being carried out, giving
Naga City Police Station 2, was adjudged winner of
way for the holding of evaluation and identification
the 2010 Lead PNP Award “for his commendable of skills, proficiencies and capabilities of vision-
“The main ingredient of kinalas, which is the skin performance worthy of emulation by every member of the
of a boar’s head or sometimes the brain of a pig or impaired persons in the city.
Philippine National Police.”
cow, is often met with disbelief by other Filipinos,
She said data are being collated to make available
and most especially the foreigners,” Chef Doy said. “I PNP Director General Raul Bacalzo, during ceremonies held all relevant information regarding every visually
am not locally from Naga so I can say how Manileños at the PNP Training Service at Camp Crame, last July 27, 2011, challenged individual who might be found useful for
like me would feel when they learn about what’s in said Albao’s records stood out as an inspiration for all police- possible employment in the future.
the bowl of a kinalas. But now that I have been living men and policewomen to continue to encourage reform,
here for five years and have already acquainted my- change and excellence in service. She said the undertaking is in line with Mayor
self with the dish, all I can say is that it is the richest John Bongat’s call for providing the visually-
tasting native food we ever had.” What impressed more the members of the screening and challenged the opportunity to harness and develop
the national selection committees were the commendable their potentials and become productive just like a
Bongat added that as the most popular native food accomplishments obtained by Albao’s police station whose regular person.
of Naga, kinalas reflects the character of the common personnel did not stop from performing their duties to ensure
Nagueño who is innovative and resourceful with the peace and order in their assigned area despite the limited The Center also conducts training and counseling
drive to rise above his simple beginnings toward a equipment and logistical support coming from the to clients who wish to achieve personal growth and
government. develop their potentials. Counseling involves break-
ing down fears, misconceptions, and overprotection
In an interview, Albao attributed the station’s exemplary that ironically are being perpetrated by members of
HE most popular local dish endemic in this city was given
NCPO’s station 2 chief named performance to the station’s indefatigable personnel and the the visually-impaired’s own family.
its very own annual festival in order to celebrate its
unique origin and give more hope to ‘backyard’ or house- members of the Barangay Intelligence Network who are
Domer pointed out that even parents of visually-
national awardee during 2010
hold businesses. extending all-out support to maintain the peace and order
handicapped preschoolers and out-of-school youths
situation and public safety in the 11 barangays under the
The first “Kinalas” Festival, launched in honor of the tasty and are encouraged to participate in the activities they
Lead PNP Award
saucy dish that goes by the same name, was celebrated last June 17, are doing in the community “so that we can come
2011 by the local government under the leadership of Mayor John up with effective family counseling and promote
He said members of the police force and the Barangay positive attitudes among them.”
G. Bongat with the help of Nagueño small businessmen engaged in Information Network volunteers would even use their
the production of “kinalas” and toasted siopao. personal motorcycles in conducting beat patrols. She said that through strong partnership with
parents, we can help them develop themselves
The objective is to promote the native dish and eventually elevate Named as 2010 Mentor Leader for the prestigious Lead PNP through educational techniques and activities and
it to the same popularity status that other Filipino foods like La Paz Award, PCI Albao was accorded with medal and trophy by the the stimulation of their senses despite their impair-
Batchoy and Sisig enjoy nationwide. PNP command group and directorial staff led by PNP Chief ment.
Director General Raul Bacalzo during the thanksgiving dinner
A native dish that is described as a “common man’s meal” due and awarding ceremony hosted by the PNP Project Manage- The project, headed by Dr. Josephine Robredo-
to its inexpensive recipe consisting of unusual ingredients like beef ment Office. Bondoc, is a joint undertaking of the Jose Robredo
bulalo and the skin of a pig’s head or cow’s gradually boiled in beef Foundation, City Councilor Nathan Sergio who is the
broth until extremely soft and syrupy. Local historians ascribe to it He also received a P250,000 cash prize, laptop, .45 caliber chairman of the group called Persons with Disabilities
as one of the oldest cooking practices of ancient Bikolnons. pistol, and a scholarship for a graduate course. (PWD) and the Resource Center for the Blind. The
center is located at the ground floor of the Raul S.
The festival was meant not only to celebrate the decades of Roco Library, City Hall Complex, Naga City.
Director General Bacalzo also announced that the PNP will
existence of the native noodle soup, which was an innovation give Albao’s police station four sets of desktop computers, a
brought about by the hard times during the 1970s when Martial Bicol Mail, May 12, 2011
multimedia projector, and a brand new patrol car to be taken
Law was still at its height, and even earlier, City Tourism Officer from the 2011 procurement budget and donations from
Alec Santos stressed. The festival coincides with the celebration of private organizations.
Naga as one of the municipalities of the province of Camarines Sur
until its declaration as an independent chartered city on June 18, Albao said the Naga City Police Station 2 was given honor
1948. and recognition because of its personnel’s determined effort
to bring change and transformation in the Philippine National
Bongat said that other than a cultural event, Kinalas Festival is Police. CENTER FOR THE BLIND.
also meant to enhance the economic potential of all local dishes like Not all essentials are visible to
the toasted siopao and pili nuts which could help small ‘backyard’ From the time he assumed office as PNP Chief, Bacalzo has the eye.
businesses, usually run by housewives, to grow. been pursuing the PNP-Integrated Transformation Program,
through the Program Management Office (PMO), the central
management facility for all PNP reform programs and projects.
40 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 ESB/NCPS2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 41
The DILG will designate the regional and
As espoused by MNCCI’s CorPlan 2011
provincial LED focal persons, organize the
regional and provincial economic transforma- Naga receives
tion teams, coordinate LGSP-LED initiatives at
the regional-provincial level, and identify policy $321K grant
to revive river
issues related to LED and local governance.
in Metro Naga’s socio- As for the MNDC, an alliance of 15 LGUs, the
By Juan Escandor, Jr.
economic development Council will be responsible for the issuance of
an executive order creating the LED Core Team,
By Jason B. Neola technical working group, and multi-stakehold-
USHING a step further the multi-
ers working group in the municipalities. It will
million-dollar revitalization project
HE Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MNCCI) also conduct review and finalize the organiza-
for Naga River, the city government
recently organized a meeting of public and private tion of the three groups, pass a resolution
authorizing its chairperson to enter into a here got US$321,000 grant as technical
development partners whose tactical alliance is expected to assistance by the Cities Development Initiatives
bring in various projects and activities that will spur socio- memorandum of agreement with LGSP and
DILG, and implement, monitor and evaluate to Asia (CDIA) in conducting pre-feasibility
economic growth in Metro Naga. study.
alliance LED initiatives, review and update
alliance socio-economic and ecological profiles
The July 20 activity held at MNCCI was initiated under the Chamber’s and formulate the alliance’s vision, mission and Karin Eberle, CDIA team leader, said the PHOTOGRAPHY
corporate plan (CorPlan 2011) which aims to include the building up of Wally Ocampo
goals. approved grant for Naga City was the fastest
linkages and initiatives with other sectors to realize a more vibrant approval so far since the funding agency was
economy in Naga and its neighboring towns. established in 2007 by Asian Development She said the pre-feasibility study will deal with integrated concerns in
Those who attended the meeting were: DILG Regional Director Blandino Mayor Bongat Bank (ADB) and the Government of Germany,
with additional funds from Sweden, Austria,
river revitalization including drainage, solid waste disposal, water treatment
and other infrastructure.
Maceda, mayors and representatives of LGUs comprising the Metro Naga
Development Council (MNDC), a core team from the Local Governance pushes for Spain and Shanghai People’s Municipal Govern-
ment. Eberle disclosed the CDIA project assistance to Naga City is the second
Support Program for Local Economic Development (LGSP-LED), represen-
tatives from the Bicol Association of Tourism and Hospitality Educators gambling-free “We’ve never experienced such a fast and
to be approved in the Philippines after Iloilo City which earned a similar
assistance for its central terminal.
(BATHE), Mariners’ Polytechnic Colleges and Hotels, Restaurants, Resorts
Association of Bicol (HRRAB) and Chamber officials. Naga By Shiena M. Barrameda efficient process (but with Naga City),” Eberle
mused, during a press conference last weekend The pre-feasibility study of the Naga River revitalization project will be
at the Avenue Plaza Hotel here. conducted by several foreign and local consultants who will finish the job
Referred to by the Chamber as a “simple get-together,” the gathering within a six-month period. Eberle pledged to continuously provide
effectively provided the attendees with the opportunity to seriously dis- AGA Mayor John Bongat has She mentioned Naga City’s track record in
ordered then PNP City Director Vert assistance to Naga City with regards to the financial component of the river
cuss a portfolio of projects, especially tourism-related ones, for Metro good governance and transparency practices revitalization project.
Naga. T. Chavez to stop all kinds of gam- with regards to the approval of the application
bling within the city's jurisdiction. for assistance to the revitalization project It is expected that from the result of the pre-feasibility study, specific
MNCCI President Philip T. Imperial said CorPlan 2011 is being pursued According to Mayor Bongat, he does not concerns to revitalize Naga River can be packaged independently with
in the hope that the Chamber can help alleviate poverty in rural areas. tolerate any kind of illegal gambling, consistent Eberle said the size of the city, city detailed costing that can be offered to investors.
with the main thrust of his administration. development plan, and disaster risk manage-
Thru the LGSP-LED assistance, LGUs are hopeful that they can come up ment plan were also considered in the approval Covering a wide-range of concerns, the Naga River Revitalization Project
with effective approaches to address the economic conditions of their Mayor Bongat said no permit has been issued of the application for technical assistance by the aims to improve livelihood, reduce disaster casualties, promote environ-
respective locality. to any betting-based gambling operation sanc- CDIA. mental consciousness and tourism, enhance the river’s aesthetic and
tioned by PCSO/PAGCOR in the city, so any historical value and create alternative water-based transportation.
LGSP-LED is being funded by Canadian International Development collection of betting inside the city is deemed She also noted the importance of the river
Agency (CIDA) that supports collaborative efforts among local government illegal. revitalization project to the cultural heritage of In the same occasion, Mayor Bongat announced some P60M infrastruc-
units for them to become more competitive and business-friendly in Naga City, one of the five oldest settlements in ture commitment from the national government through the Department
pursuit of a sustainable economic development. On May 4, 2011, the Naga City Council’s the country established in 1575. of Budget and Management (DBM).
Committee on Games and Amusement,
MNDC Executive Director Sieglinde Bulaong said the alliance will work presided by Committee Chairman, lawyer Sal- Eberle revealed, in a letter of approval sent Bongat said the Naga River Revitalization Project has already secured
for the establishment of an enabling environment under a Public-Private vador del Castillo, heard pending applications to Mayor John Bongat dated Feb. 15, 2011, that endorsement from the National Economic Development Administration
Partnership that encourages competitiveness and harmonious collabora- on operation of Small Town Lottery, Loterya ng the financing of the pre-feasibility study is (Neda) in which the infrastructure components are to be considered priority
tion among shareholders with common or complementary interests. Bayan, Virtual games and Casino. covered by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für in the 2012 national budget.
Internationale Zusammernarbeit (GIZ) funds at
A memorandum of Agreement has been entered into among Naga Meanwhile, DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo the disposal of CDIA. He said the budget for the infrastructure components of the revitalization
Mayor John G. Bongat as chairperson of Metro Naga Development Council, commended the city government for coming project will be sourced from the budget of the Department of Tourism (DOT).
Director Maceda and Marion M. Villanueva, field director of LGSP-LED, out with Executive Order No. 2011-023 which
that will become the basis of collaboration for the development directed the Naga City Police Office to create a
partners. Special Unit on Anti-Gambling. Such move,
according to the DILG Secrtetary, “is in accord GRANT. Mayor John
The alliance will pursue development projects in Metro Naga by with His Excellency President Benigno S. Bongat, with Karin Eberle
setting first the fundamentals for the implementation of LGSP-LED Aquino III’s vision of tuwid na landas.” of CDIA and Vice Mayor
projects to ensure satisfactory results. Gabriel Bordado, faces the
The special unit, according to the mayor’s media to explain the
Under the Agreement, LGSP-LED will provide technical and financial executive order, shall be composed of highly project grant.
assistance in the implementation of alliance-LED strategic actions, develop trained organic members of the PNP who are
training modules on sustainable local economic development, share on proven for their reputation of integrity and
related research, reports and publications on LED, and provide technical dedication to service. They will carry out the
assistance in the conduct of feasibility studies and project proposals function of enforcing all anti-gambling laws in
preparations. the City of Naga with strong determination, and
without fear or favor.
42 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 43
Bayan Muna, Kabataan Naga is pilot city to
partylist to help expand mainstream OFW issues Aside from this, Navidad said that IOM found out from the
By Shiena Barrameda Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA) that 14%
Naga City Youth Center
of households in this city have at least one family member work-
services By Jason B. Neola In response to the seemingly unstoppable phenom-
enon of migration among Filipinos to other coun-
tries, an international organization is girding up to Navidad added that the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Naga
assist local governments in mainstreaming the would play the primary role in mainstreaming migration issue
through its power of legislation that would address, among
issue of migration for better management of remittances others, the proper management of OFW remittances and the
YOUTH Center annex will be constructed to that families of overseas workers receive. flowering of enterprenuership and livelihood among OFW fam-
expand services to the city’s youth. ilies.
Last August 13, 2011, the International Organization for
Migration (IOM) hosted a Multi-stakeholder Workshop on Jocelyn Hapal, Regional Director of OWWA, confirmed that
Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño was in Naga April 15 Migration and Development in order to lay down the is- there are more or less 52,000 Bicolano OFWs listed this year.
as the guest of honor during groundbreaking ceremonies sues of migration and how they affect society. She added that around 4,500 of these are from the city of Naga.
for the planned annex, which includes provisions for a
fitness gym and office space for government agencies Mr. Ovais Sarmad, Director of Manila (Global) Admin- She added that Naga City is the LGU in Bicol with the most
catering to the youth. istrative Center and Chief of Mission of IOM, said that number of OFWs followed by Iriga City, Nabua and Pili in Ca-
they hope to make Naga City as pioneer local government marines Sur and Sorsogon City in Sorsogon province.
that will put into motion the idea of mainstreaming mi-
Mayor John G. Bongat and City Councilor Nathan Sergio gration by other LGUs in the country.
welcomed Casiño to Naga and expressed gratitude over Hapal expressed OWWA’s support for the mainstreaming of
the partylist representative’s generosity. Casiño explains migration in Naga City because it would benefit the private and
“We aim to help families of OFWs make the best out public sector that could lead to more economic developments.
that the Php 4 million slated for the construction of the of their remittances,” Sarmad said. “The success in Naga
two-story building was sourced thru the efforts of Bayan would be the start.” “We can tap these resources for the city’s development,”Hapal
Also present during the groundbreaking ceremony were Sang-
Muna and Kabataan Partylist. He also expressed delight said. “Naga has a reputation for good business climate. I think
guniang Federation President Dan Paolo Morales and City Youth Sarmad stressed that the objective of IOM is to educate
over the City’s plan to establish a fitness gym at the said it would greatly help us all.”
Mayor Jenny Orpia. Both youth leaders said that the expansion families on livelihood and entrepreneurship so they may
building. Casiño and boxing champion Rep. Manny
of the present youth center will greatly help Naga’s youth. Bayan put up business using remittances from OFWs as capital Naga City Mayor John Bongat said that the city is already doing
Pacquiao are co-authors of a bill calling for the creation
Muna members, City Youth Officials, SK Federation officers, and to generate more income for daily needs. its part in support of creating businesses owned by families of
of fitness gyms in the country’s LGUs.
youth representatives from Bicol Habitat were also present during OFWs and repatriates by speeding up processing of their appli-
the event. Meanwhile, Mayor Bongat believes that the youth Conrad Navidad, IOM representative for Naga City, cation for business licenses and permits.
The proposed structure will house the office of the explained that mainstreaming of migration does not pro-
center should really be for the youth’s benefit and not only in
City’s Sangguniang Kabataan Federation, according to mote migration itself. He stressed that the projects of the Bongat stressed that the OWWA satellite office located inside
Mayor Bongat. He says that there is also a plan to invite IOM do not necessarily encourage brain drain but intend the city hall compound and the Metro Public Employment
the National Youth Commission to transfer their to support the creation of enterprises among OFW fami- Services Office (MetroPeso) serve as focal points for OFWs and
“Our youth is our nation’s greatest resource and we have the lies to fight poverty which is the root cause of migration.
regional office to the main building. In addition, the City their Bicolano families here.
supreme obligation to ensure that they have a better and brighter
Government has secured a donation of several
future”, says the Mayor. Navidad explained that the city of Naga was specifically The IOM, after a series of consultations with various sectors
computer sets for a low-cost internet cafe housed at the
chosen as pilot LGU for the project due to its trailblazing in the city, is now in the process of drafting a development plan
Youth Center. The mayor explains that the cafe will cater efforts in local governance and economic triumphs
Both Mayor Bongat and Rep. Casiño believe that that the that will include guidelines and provisions to better address the
to Naga’s youth. characterized by its healthy business environment.
proposed building will be finished before the year’s end. issue of migration at the local government level, Navidad said.
Naga adopts CBMS to keep track of
By Nicky Mot
N AGA City is the latest local government unit (LGU) that has
adopted and implemented a unique database system that
allows policymakers to keep track of their economic reforms.
City Mayor John G. Bongat decided to adopt a Community-Based
Monitoring System (CBMS) that aims to provide policy makers and
development implementors with a good information base for tracking
the impact of microeconomic reforms and policy shocks. No less than
DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, who was the guest speaker during its For his part, Naga City Vice Mayor Gabriel Bordado So far, almost 35% of the total city households have program implementors with a good information base for
formal launch April this year, lauded Naga’s involvement in CBMS, said that CBMS will serve as their baseline in already been enumerated. Households along the Naga River, tracking the impact of various economic reforms on the
which he said, will tell the LGU “if what they’re doing is right.” monitoring and determining the impact of the city as part of the River Revitalization Program, were prioritized vulnerable groups in society.
government’s programs and services. in the survey. The data collection phase of the project is
“CBMS would guide LGUs to focus their plans on the basic and expected to be concluded before the end of October 2011. Current applications and uses of CBMS are in local
essential needs of the community,” Robredo added. “This system will also help us determine which CBMS Module II or Data Encoding and Map Digitizing will planning and budgeting, design of poverty reduction and
economic areas we should focus on to better serve soon start after computers have been set up and support staff related development programs, focused targeting, localizing
The Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) is an organized our people,” Bordado added. trained on data encoding. the Millennium Development Goals, and program-impact
process of data collection and processing at the local level and of assessment.
integration of data in local planning, program implementation and Data collection and field editing (CBMS Module I) Developed in the early 1990s, the CBMS now has a unique
impact-monitoring. It is a system that promotes evidence-based policy- started last June 2011 after more than a hundred feature which uses information technology to protect the The enumerators are composed mainly of Barangay
making and program implementation while empowering communities enumerators from the city’s 27 barangays underwent data from natural and man-made calamities and the confi- Nutrition Scholars, Barangay Health Workers, Barangay
to participate in the process. a 5-day technical training. dentiality of the data gathered to provide policymakers and Secretaries, students, and other barangay officials.
44 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 45
Rocesiel, Wyndee Shane and Marita are now among the Of course, they also credit the city government for the
ALS: A ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ to city’s 1,200 out-of-school youth and adults (OSYAs) who are enrolled
in Naga City’s Alternative Learning System (ALS). This gives
strong support and the help of of barangay councils and
various NGOs who are concerned about uplifting the
out-of-school youth and adults
them hope to see the light of education and become productive lives of those in the dark because they could not other-
citizens someday. wise go to school for economic reasons.
THE ALS Universidad de Sta. Isabel and the Naga College
By Jason B. Neola
Foundation are the two leading service providers by way
Through a memorandum of agreement signed April 2011, of implementing the basic literacy and A&E program
the city government, in partnership with the Naga City School contracted to them by the ALS and eSkwela.
Board, the Commission on Information and Communication
Technology (CICT) and the City Schools Division of the Depart- It would just take a few more months before
HEIRS are inspiring storylines that will Roseciel, Wyndee and Marita could rejoin the formal
ment of Education established the eSkwela Center to provide
encourage others who have less in life to Marita Gonzales’ story is fit for the education system and seek higher education to finally
OSYAs access to knowledge through the use of interactive
dream and pursue a better life. “Maalaala Mo Kaya” TV soap opera. A native realize their dreams to the fullest.
multimedia learning materials beside printed versions of DepEd-
of a remote village in Guinobatan, Albay, she Bureau of Alternative System’s core modules.
that compelled had never been to school.
To the family of me to skip A flagship project of the CICT, eSkwela utilizes an ICT-
16-year-old school and join enhanced education program for out-of-school learners, equips
“I was only tutored by my maternal aunt
Wyndee Shayne my teen-age them with new skills and competencies, and allows them to
tropa who to count, write my name, do housekeeping
Bico, sending review for the Accreditation & Equivalency Exam so that they
her to second- taught me to and nothing more.” With her small savings,
can rejoin the formal education system.
ary school was smoke and 21-year-old Marita traveled to Naga to look
to deprive the drink and for- for a job that would allow her to save for her Under the agreement, the city government provides funding
family of its get about my education to become a teacher. for the operation of the eSwela Center, computer units, multi-
basic needs. She dream to become media and network peripherals and air-conditioning units, while
lamented a policewoman.” She was hired as household help by a ensuring the continuous supply of power and broadband Inter-
that family who was net connections.
while For single kind enough
she parent Roseciel to enlist her Naga City, under its Alternative Learning System has so far
grew Sambajon, now 23, it in the Al- posted 135 passers in the Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E)
up she was her father’s untimely Program in 2009 and 129 in 2010, making the city Number One
found demise that forced her to quit school. in the region in terms of passing percentage.
Her ambition to become a physical Learning
in “a therapist gone, Roseciel ended up System.
At present, there are four learning session and every week
very living with a man whom she later in the eSkwela Center with at least 250 OSY and OSA enrolled
discour- broke up with after giving birth to two in each session. There has been an increase in enrollment, ac-
aging children. cording to ALS Coordinators Adelaida Bables, Arnel Evangelista
situation and Dolores Evangelista, because of the enormous campaign
waged by Ms. Felomina L. Cecilio, DepEd Naga-ALS Education
Supervisor, to bring out-of-school youth and adults into the
SOUND REVENUE COLLECTION.
Naga City Treasurer Helen Rosales, City Administrator Jun
Mongoso (in behalf of Mayor John Bongat) and City Assessor
Ramon Albeus proudly display their certificates for working hard
The awards, each given to the mayor, Mrs. Rosales
to make Naga attain the highest local revenue per capita among and Mr. Albeus, were conferred during ceremonies
cities in Bicol. Photo by Randy Villaflor held at the Tanchuling International Hotel in Legazpi
City last May 23. The awarding ceremony was the high-
light of the opening program of the 5-day 2nd quarter
2011 conference of the Regional Association of
HE City Government of Naga, through Mayor John G.
Treasurers and Assessors of Region V (REGATA V) being
Bongat, City Treasurer Helen T. Rosales and City Assessor
held in this city.
Ramon R. Albeus, has been honored with a Certificate of
Recognition for attaining the highest local revenue per capita among
cities in Bicol for the year 2010.
Naga Mayor John Bongat, Vice Mayor Gabby Bordado assisted by
This also means that Naga City achieved the lowest dependence PSO Executive Director Lito del Rosario, BMC Medical Director Dr.
on the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) among all cities in Bicol by Efren Nerva (left), and Gen. Josue Gaverza (extreme right) of the
collecting P323.17 million for calendar year 2010 against an average Philippine Army, among others, signed the pledge of support during
annual income of P366.972 million. the formal blessing of the City Central Communication Center, a
Naga cited for highest new Public Safety Office and Risk Reduction Management Office.
Others who attended and gave support were Regional Director
OIC Regional Director Florencio C. Dino II of the Department of
local revenue collection and Finance Bureau of Local Government Finance told Mayor Bongat that
Bernardo Alejandro of the Civil Defense Office, Dr Rose Rempillo
of the DOH-Health Emergency Management Staff and NTC Director
“The ratio of .881 is indicative of the continuing efforts of your city Ariel Padilla.
least dependence on IRA toward local fiscal autonomy.” RANDY VILLAFLOR
46 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 47
Lingkod Barangay Office community-based activities; Federation of all specific activity like during Christ- “Murang Palibing” is now
student fraternities in Naga City to give one mas, independence day, religious, “Disenteng Palubong” to give all
Serving where it ‘Hearts’ blood compact-type arrangement of all
school-based and non-school based frats,
pseudo frats, gangs, etc. to avoid conflicts,
Peñafrancia and sports events.
GENIO NAGUEÑO evokes the
indigent Naguenos a dignified,
graceful exit. LBO is currently
undertaking a study on which fu-
By Mon Baturiano, Jr. shun violence and hazing, promote peace and inspiring message of learning and neral services to partner that will
harmony ala PACO (Peaceful Alliance for Co- education for bright boys, provide a beyond the usual package
existence of Organizations); institutionaliza- athleticism, wittiness, friendliness, for a reasonable price of P3,500-
HE Lingkod Barangay Office, under the able BOLUNTERISMO MISMO! – A quarterly IEC tool to provide tion of yearly PACO Awards for the most sportsmanship, patience, and all 4,000. With the impending over-
tutelage of its hands-on and very energetic head, Nagueños especially the willing and able volunteer “warm productive organization; and the Federation of the cardinal virtues that it could loading of the current capacity of
Ruel Ojeda Barrios, is gearing towards new bodies” and grassroots (class CDE) sectors a FORUM to learn, all homeowners in Naga City to give one exemplify to the numerous (ages 2- the only public cemetery in Naga
activities, projects and programs to effectively implement its understand, know, interact, contribute and share IEC venue for community sharing and enhanced 18) patrons. City in Concepcion Pequeña, the
mandate in bringing City Hall right within the barangay materials from the top-level cascading down to the hard-to- livability of all homeowners; institutionalize LBO will likewise make representa-
heartland and strengthening as well its linkages with all reach sectors to facilitate effective communication of top level Homeowners Green Olympics. Also in the NINA NAGUEÑA evokes the tions to the CMO/CPDO-
sectors of the community. management vision-mission, policies and other concerns. pipeline is the Federation of Kasambahay in inspiring embodiment of a little Zoning for the evaluation of new
Naga City whose significance in community- Maria Clara (Niña being a little girl site of an accessible, flood-free and
Supervising its complement of fifteen barangay develop- LBO’s Multicultural Affairs Unit which will tackle the building has been amplified by the passage of in Spanish) full of gaiety, activity, suitable public cemetery within the
ment-oriented operators, the former Sangguniang Panlungsod concerns of expats/emigrants from other cultures (including the Kasambahay Bill empowering them as playfulness, and creativity. territorial confines of the city.
city councilor on youth affairs has embarked on novel brother Muslims, Lumads, Aetas, indigenous groups) who “Kasambahay, Kasambuhay---Kasangga sa
concepts in community affairs coordination and frontline have opted to stay in Naga City (apart from the tourists/vaca- Buhay Nagueno.” As a potent IEC tool especially All these new approaches in
services delivery. tioners) by doing the referrals, outright response, corrections, among Nagueño children, it could barangay coordination and
remedies, assistance within the means of the office which Technical assistance on the drafting/up- be used for the city’s volunteerism endeavors are on top
Completing LBO’s “all-star” cast are: seasoned community could have multiplier effect in terms of building a positive dating of Barangay Services Charters that numerous health, environment, of the regular year-round programs
organizers Rolly Bosquillos, Laarni Nabua, Raymond Fuerte, outlook/image about the city in its bid to attract more will provide common template and model for- drug-free, sports and cleanliness and activities of the Lingkod
Socorro Padua, artists Ser Villegas Jr. and Nick Clidoro, Floro foreigners-cum-investors and/or brand the city as a special mat among the 27 barangays to facilitate consciousness drives aside from its Barangay Office that include: refer-
“Idol” Candelaria Jr, Rene “Barok” Templonuevo, Ana Alberto, haven for local and overseas retirees/pensioners/balikbayans. greater understanding and information usual utility in family-bonding rals on medical needs, streetlights,
Joseph Canon, Edison Dy-Cok, Jay Penas and Nestor Resurrec- dissemination for the greater good of the occasions like baptisms, birthday potable water needs of
cion. Former City Hall Matters editor Mon Baturiano, Jr. of the i-Serve SEES u!: Serving Effectively and Efficiently with a barangay residents. This will also assist the parties, visitations of sick kids, indigent/marginalized sectors to
Office of the City Administrator joined the group in August Smile. Apart from the existing routinary services provided by barangay governments in their vision- school activities and the likes. different agencies; referrals on
together with Jose Red, Jr. of the City Agriculturist Office. the i-Serve, this program as attached and linked to the mission-goals-objectives processing including livelihood assistance to concerned
Lingkod Barangay Office framework to capitalize on the barangay seal, logo, and other programs Other usefulness will be: agencies; Bayanihan sa Barangay
LBO’s programs are anchored on the tenets of good gover- wealth of survey data, knowledge and understanding of the development in partnership with the DILG– - Welcoming of dignitaries at the and the monthly sectoral
nance: (1) seamless performance that nurtures accountability; local communities to serve students, researchers, community Naga under the Barangay AGAD Program in- Naga Airport, visitors, tourists, consultations including the much-
(2) transparency, sense of ownership and informed decision organizers and other LGUs in their research studies and the troduced by DILG Sec. Jesse M. Robredo. etc. appreciated Joron Joron sa Barangay
through participation and collective actions; and (3) integrity. like. In-house researches on current social behavioural - Public and Private School-based which was pioneered and set into
deviancies (drug addiction, family size, women empower- Genio Nagueño and Nina Nagueña: activities motion by the City Mayor himself,
NEW INROADS TO OUTREACH ment) and other socio-political issues could be initiated and Power imaging and impact-messaging the - Metro Naga Coliseum-based the indefatigable Atty. John G.
Inspired by the philosophical wisdom of the “TEN LITTLE supported by the office in partnership with researchers and city’s visions and policies through Naga’s activities Bongat.
THINGS TO DO” authored by the City Mayor himself, Atty. institutes from the academe and NGOs. “Mascutes” - People’s Mall-based activities
John G. Bongat, the LBO as a team, aside from its usual routi- - City Hall activities LBO with COO Barrios at the helm
nary functions and special projects, is keen on realizing the Matuwid na Landas sa Maogmang Naga: PNoy’s Inter- Taking its cue from the highly successful - Motorcades/rivercades was very active in pushing for the
following new pursuits: face with the grassroots - This provides regular interfacing Jollibee mascot which literally carried the Naga CIty HELPLINE 3000 during its
between barangay and national agencies/offices that have im- brand on its wings, the City Government of Dignified Exit: Disenteng Pali- inception stage as well as the
SERBE (Sentro Nin Bolunterismo) Making Volunteerism pact on the lives of the simple barangay folk like DTI, BIR, Naga could replicate via the introduction of its bing for Nagueños – Long gone is geographical numbering of all
Work in Naga City - Guided by the wisdom and moral phi- PNP, DENR, DOJ, DILG, Cooperative Development Authority, localized version that cater to both gender, the parochial concept that “barato primary and secondary CASURECO
losophy of the TEN LITTLE THINGS TO DO authored by his DPWH, and National Food Authority. Perhaps the first of its thus, GENIO NAGUEÑO and NINA NAGUEÑA. na kaya, pwede na” (it’s cheap II line posts for easy and hassle-free
Honor Mayor John G. Bongat, the program is aimed at making kind in Philippine governance to bring PNoy’s Development somehow it’s ok!)---a third world location of areas during times of
volunteerism a collective, conscious effort of all Nagueños Agenda down to the grassroots. Naga’s two “MASCUTES” – the only Philip- culture that Naga City has emergencies.
and a tool for making a big difference in the lives of the pine LGU with “mascutes” for IEC delivery to gradually departed from, thus,
ordinary barangay folk. RABUZ organization’s expanded role as decloggers dur- its grassroots. The mascutes must be de- henceforth the erstwhile called Working together and serving
ing flooding, pre-flood and post-flooding as well as signed in such a way that they could be where it “Hearts”, LBO will truly
Naga City is keen on positioning itself as a bulwark of fumigators in dengue/malaria-prone areas within the city suited with attire/adornments typical of the paved the way for the vision of
volunteerism wherein various pro-bono activities, giving aid thus promoting volunteerism at the grassroots level and Matuwid na Landas sa Maogmang
and assistance to the needy, are regularly undertaken at the supporting Mayor John Bongat’s Happy Go Linig Program. Naga.
same time empowering both the beneficiaries and the volun-
teers with the latter genuinely inspired on making a differ- Organizational development of key sectors of Naga City
ence for the good of the community and not driven at all by to build partnerships and alliances with various stakeholders
any monetary incentives in return. for local development and to promote volunteerism and
marshal charitable efforts in one huge FOCUSED endeavour
To be galvanized are strong linkages with volunteer private year after year thus eliminating charity works that are
and public institutions including the national agency respon- unconnected, fragmented and with lesser community impact.
sible for the promotion and coordination of volunteerism These include the Federation of Socio-Civic Clubs in Naga,
work in the country --- the Philippine National Volunteer Federation of School Government bodies in both Public/
Service Coordinating Agency. Private Schools Associations in Naga City to give one
voice/forum to all private-public school concerns for better
Tapped as the maiden activity along this initiative is the City Hall-Public schools synergy; institutionalize PARTNER
Dalagan para sa Bolunterismo SERBE RUN 2011! (Make a dif- Award (Public-Private Assns Responsible Towards Naga’s
ference, join now and help SERBE volunteers!) to be slated Education and Revitalization) and promote volunteerism in
sometime in the 3rd quarter of 2011.
48 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 49
BSP Naga, a symbol of the City celebrates
37th Nutrition Month;
city’s financial strength and top achievers honored
By Shiena M. Barrameda By Gerald Enguero
AILED as one of the country’s top local
government units that have been successfully
TS newly-built modern edifice formally blessed last June 22, this year, implementing the government’s nutrition
the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), located along Roxas Avenue (Di- program, the city government of Naga through its Popu-
version Road) near the Central Business District II (CBD II) in Barangay lation and Nutrition Office last July 29, 2011 highlighted
Triangulo in Naga City will be fully operational in November this year, the celebration of the 37th Nutrition Month by giving
offering its services to its clients. due recognition to top performers that include outstand-
ing Barangay Nutrition Committees, Barangay Nutrition
The BSP Naga, according to Director Danilo Calumag, is already the fifth Scholars, partner civic organizations, and other stake-
modern and spacious edifice that BSP built outside Metro Manila. holders.
The BSP building’s blessing and ceremonial inauguration was graced by With the theme, “Isulong ang Breastfeeding – Tama,
Naga Mayor John G. Bongat, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr., other Sapat at Eksklusibo,” the culminating program was held
members of the BSP Monetary Board and Camarines Sur Governor Luis Ray- at the Regent Hotel Convention Center with Naga City
mond F. Villafuerte, Jr. Mayor John G. Bongat, who chairs the city’s Nutrition
Committee, commending the awardees, citing their un-
Excited about the good signs that progress is marshalling fast in the city, selfish efforts to promote best nutrition care and prac-
some Nagueños keep track of the progress of the building’s construction by tices, especially to the city’s growing children, and their
posting pictures in progressive phases on the internet’s social networking sites pregnant and lactating mothers, whose health and better
and blogs. nutrition speak well of the city’s future.
The Regional Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholar
During the same date of its inauguration, BSP Naga accordingly relaunched The Nutrition Awards Search Committee headed by (BNS) is aimed at evaluating the performance of BNS and
its Economic and Financial Learning Program (BSP-EFLP) through learning ses- Teresita A. Del Castillo, City Nutrition and Population Of- checking improvement of the nutritional status of every
sions held June 22-24 at Villa Caceres Hotel where important points and ficer, chose this year’s awardees for the following barangay in the city. Ms. Marilou P. Cañete of Concep-
banking activities were also discussed to promote greater awareness and un- awards/projects: “Taranoman sa Tamang Nutrisyon”, cion Grande was awarded Regional Outstanding
derstanding of essential economic and financial issues obtaining in the coun- “Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Committee and Out- Barangay Nutrition Scholar and took the award with a
try. standing Barangay Nutrition Scholar” and the “Search for trophy and P11,000 cash prize. Cañete was 4th among
Model Breastfeeding Barangay.” the finalists in the national Search for 2009 National
By educating stakeholders, the BSP hopes to build more effective Outstanding BNS.
partners out of its clients in maintaining effective monetary policies, as well Launched by Mayor Bongat last August 20, 2010 at
as in ensuring stronger and safer banking and payments systems. Pacol Elementary School, Taranoman sa Tamang Nu- Introduced for the first time this year, the Search for
BANGKO SENTRAL NG PILIPINAS. trisyon aims to improve the nutritional status of school Model Breastfeeding Barangay aims to promote and
BSP for students and OFWs Frontlining Bicol’s financial growth children by using vegetables as main ingredients in the encourage mothers to breastfeed their infants and estab-
and dynamism. school feeding program. It also aims to encourage school lish breastfeeding centers in the barangays. Barangay
The main targets of BSP-EFLP are students and OFWs. officials and school children to plant vegetables and Concepcion Grande was adjudged first placer, which
fruits as means of producing healthy food for home and took the cash prize of P30,000; Barangay Sta.Cruz got
A financial expo was later organized for the benefit of students who wish The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is community. The program was soon implemented by the the 2nd place and received P20,000.00. The 3rd place
to know the system of banking and how it affects the economy of the the central bank of the Republic of the different public elementary schools in Naga. Fifteen went to Barangay Carolina, which received P10,000.00.
country. Philippines. It was established on 3 July schools were cited for their commendable efforts in the The 4th and 5th placers which received Certifications of
1993 pursuant to the provisions of the implementation of the program. For Small Area Category, Merit were Barangays Mabolo and Concepcion Pequeña,
Another seminar was also put up for OFWs and their families in order for 1987 Philippine Constitution and the Naga Central School I got the first place; Teodora respectively.
them to learn the intricacies of managing their remittances from the countries Moscoso Elementary School was awarded second; Grand
New Central Bank Act of 1993. The BSP View Elementary School got the third place; the fourth Naga City’s excellent performance in health care has
they work in.
took over from the Central Bank of the place went to Tabuco Central School; and the fifth place been recognized by different national and regional or-
The Naga City Deck, a blog maintained by Naguenos for wider information Philippines, which was established on 3 to Naga Central School II. For Medium Area Category, ganizations. Last July 7, 2011, Naga was honored by the
by Bicolanos here and abroad has been following the progress of the building January 1949, as the country’s central Don Manuel Abella Elem. School obtained the first place; Philippine Association of Nutrition in Ilocos Norte as one
since April of last year. monetary authority. The BSP enjoys Dr. Domingo Abcede Elementary School was awarded of the Outstanding Implementers of the Pabasa sa Nu-
fiscal and administrative autonomy from second; Tinago Central School got the third place; the trisyon program. Ms. Ma. Lourdes Vega of the National
Now that the building is almost complete, clients may already inquire about the National Government in the pursuit fourth place was awarded to Mabolo Elementary School; Nutrition Council and Ms. Arlene Reario handed out the
the services that the bank offers even if its formal grand opening will yet take of its mandated responsibilities. and the fifth place to Triangulo Elementary School. For Certificate of Merit which the city has, so far, received
place in November, this year. Large Area Category, Panicuason Elementary School got for the third time.
the first place; Villa Grande Elementary School was
awarded second; Concepcion Grande Elementary School The Naga City government has been carrying out in-
got the third place; the fourth place was awarded to Pacol novative programs to further improve Nutrition and
Elementary School; and the fifth place went to Sabang Health Care services being offered to Nagueños. These
Elementary School. Mayor Bongat and Dr. Diosdado M. programs include Supplement Feeding, Nutrimix, Nutri-
San Antonio, OIC-City Schools Division Superintendent Dunong, Nutri-Ataman and Nutri-Nanay. Ms. Del
handed out plaques of commendation and garden tools Castillo stressed the success of all these programs lie not
to the awardees. only in the different implementing agencies but in the
active support being given by the people of the city.
50 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 51
Naga City Home-
owners Board: A
Almeda Highway Sounding Board for
Lights Up; Volunteer Homeowners’
group greenlighted Concerns By Mon Baturiano, Jr.
By Mon Baturiano, Jr.
The Lingkod Barangay Office headed by Ruel Ojeda Barrios coordinated
A T around 7pm last August 26, 2011, the
city’s circumferential road, Almeda High-
way, was illuminated by no less than
Naga City Mayor John G. Bongat who is very deeply
concerned for the safety and traffic convenience of
with various stakeholders and private as well as government agencies for the commuters, motorists and residents along the
Making the Streams of Volunteerism Flow in Naga City the successful launching of the new movement in Naga with commitments
enshrined in the signed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
new highway amid reports of intermittent vehicular
accidents and some reported highway stick-ups.
Mayor Bongat activates Mayor Bongat immediately directed the General
“Defenders of Naga River” Punong Barangay Jose Importante spoke in behalf of all the
eleven barangays and reiterated their all-out commitment to Services Office to install eco-friendly lighting system
along the diversion highway and tapped the Lingkod
By Mon Baturiano, Jr. clean up the Naga River and restore its pristine attributes.
Barangay Office headed by Ruel Ojeda Barrios and the
Mayor John Bongat, for his part, lamented the sorry state barangays concerned to organize a community-based
of Naga River in view of the absence of a sustainable program volunteer organization called the Volunteers Corps of N response to the clamor of the growing and yet
N a historic move unprecedented in the history of Naga to revitalize it. Without timely intervention by all the stake- ALMEDA HIGHWAY (VoCAH), the group is tasked to unrepresented homeowners’ sector in Naga City to
City’s riverine lifeline aptly called Salog nin Buhay, holders, its neglect could eventually lead to its eventual decay, provide back-up support to the GSD in reporting of address its pressing and unique concerns, Mayor John G.
various agencies linked arms to heed the call of Naga the mayor warned. busted, broken, defective lights and be the counter- Bongat last August 22, 2011 initiated the organization of the
City Mayor John G. Bongat for a collective cause to save and part of the BANKAT association at the Almeda Hi-way Naga City Homeowners Board whose members are composed
defend the Naga River. “Naga River”, according to the energetic Mayor, “is God’s gift area and partner of the Public Safety Office in main- of various representatives from the city’s subdivisions.
to the Nagueños having spawned its growth and development taining public safety in the said area.
More than the expected number of volunteers came from for eons and centuries and although it is scientifically classi- In attendance at the meeting held at the Senior Citizens
the cross section of the community led by the Guardias de fied as a non-living thing which cannot on its own protect it- Present in the ceremonial lighting and volunteerism Building inside the Naga City Hall compound were the presi-
Maria, uniformed personnel, maritime students from the self from irresponsible ‘acts of men,’ through the collective pledging aside from Mayor Bongat were Vice Mayor dents and officers of DECA Homes Northfield, Monterey Vil-
Mariners Polytechnic Colleges, and from the eleven riverine efforts of all Nagueños, Naga River could rise Phonenix-like as Gabby Bordado together with City Councilors, and lage, Parkview Village, San Alfonso Village, San Francisco
barangays of Naga. These are Barangays Felipe, Balatas, a living, soulful thing as a haven for both flora and fauna to Punong Barangays Andres Panis, Jr. of Concepcion Village, Aeroville, among others.
Peñafrancia, San Francisco, Dayangdang, Tinago, Lerma, give life, meaning and aspirations for the thousands who can Pequeña, Elmer Baldemoro of Concepcion Grande and
Tabuco, Sabang, Dinaga and Mabolo. find full economic use of its existence.” Jose Peñas of Del Rosario, including officers and For one, Mr. Joson, president of DECA Homes Northfield
members of homeowners associations of adjacent expressed joy over this overture of full support from the City
Gracing the event, aside from Mayor Bongat, were City The launching of the Defenders of Naga River Movement Villa Grande, Villa Concepcion, St. Jude, and St. Thad- Mayor and conveyed his subdivision’s willingness to cooper-
Vice Mayor Gabriel H. Bordado. Jr., City Councilors Nelson was in full support of the April 18, 2011 Fun Run in what has deus, among others. ate with the various activities of the city geared towards
Legacion and Ray-an Cydrick Rentoy, the Philippine Na- become the first of a series of activities aimed at drumbeating volunteerism and active community-building. He lamented
tional Police headed by its OIC-COP Police Director Antonio LIGHTED HIGHWAY. Mayor John Bongat switches on the street-
awareness among Nagueños about the City Government’s as well the lack of a garbage disposal mechanism in front of
Gardiola, Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine Army lights at the Almeda Highway with city and barangay officials.
efforts to revitalize the Naga River. their subdivision which is under the territorial jurisdiction of
and Philippine Air Force, Philippine Coast Guard, PNP-Mar- Canaman, Camarines Sur.
itime Group, Camarines Sur Bankers Club, the academe rep- The first “Run for Naga River” was conceptualized and
resented by Dr. Emelita O. Menes of the UNC Graduate planned by both the local government, under Mayor Bongat, Mayor Bongat reiterated the city’s full commitment and
School, and the Punong Barangays of the eleven riverine and the Archdiocese of Caceres, led by Archbishop Leonardo support to the homeowners’ activities more particularly on
barangays. Z. Legaspi, O.P., D.D. as a joint activity to help promote the public safety, health and cleanliness and enjoined all to par-
Naga River Revitalization Project (NRRP). ticipate in the city’s Happy Go Linig Program to assure every-
one of a clean, hygienic and healthy living.
Complementing the clean and green program is the planned
conduct of the First Mayor JGB Inter-Subdivision Homeown-
ers Greening Olympics with the aim of promoting livability,
environmental harmony and greater involvement in commu-
nity-building initiatives among homeowners.
The Lingkod Barangay Office headed by Ruel Ojeda Barrios
will undertake the organizational development and other
concerns of the new city board while Mr. Mon Baturiano, Jr.
will act as the Board’s Program Coordinator.
52 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 53
Santos said the tour service covers visits to the 17th century
Tour guides trained for Peñafrancia Shrine, 18th century Minor Seminary, Cathedral,
Basilica and museum, and general assistance from the airport
surge in tourist arrivals to hotel, around the city, until departure from the airport.
By Juan Escandor, Jr. “Initially, we have agreed at a rate of P800/day to P1,500/day
as tour service fee for a group of 12 to 25 persons,” he said.
RACING for a surge of more tourists in this city Making his first earnings from tour guide service, after years
touted as the Pilgrimage Capital of Bicol, the city of being an overseas Filipino worker in Middle Eastern coun-
government has trained and organized a core of tries and Taiwan, Benito Nate Jr. is more than happy touring
tourist guides ready to provide tour services within the city. Chinese teachers and students around the city.
Alec Santos-- Arts, Culture and Tourism Officer-- said Nate narrated he easily interacted with the Chinese because
the city government initiated last August 2011 a training he speaks Mandarin like them, and that he was even treated
program aimed at responding to the demand for tour guide just like one of them.
service brought about by some 600,000 tourists visiting this
city last year, excluding the estimated 1M pilgrims and He said he did magic tricks for the Chinese kids while they
devotees during the Peñafrancia religious feast in Septem- were on the bus in between the sites which is his additional
ber. service to his package.
Santos said the training program, built into the tourism Santos said the tour guides were given lectures on the basics
industry, would provide decent jobs to freelance workers as of tour guiding, history of Naga City and eco-tourism adventure;
they sell the city through its historical and religious sites. and tested by practical application of theories learned through
mock tours within the city. The guides were also given written
One of the oldest Spanish settlements in the country, examinations on English grammar, sentence structure, word
Naga City boasts of Spanish-period structures and religious usage and vocabulary.
artifacts for its site tour within a one-kilometer radius of the
central business district. Santos said the city tourism office will serve as the coordi-
nating and referral center of tourists and travel agencies who
Santos said whole year-round, hotels in Naga City with a are in need of tour guides.
total number of 2,493 rooms are 70 percent occupied.
He explained that the transaction of tour service is between
“We want to respond to the demand for tourist guides their accredited tour guides and their clients, travel agencies or
whom travel agencies seek to make the stay of tourists individuals.
memorable and informed,” Santos said.
Santos boasts of language-specific tour guides who can speak
He said 47 training graduates are now accredited to prac- Mandarin, Arabic, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian and English
tice and collect city government-sanctioned fees for tour among the specialized services the city-hall accredited tour
guide service. guides provide.
Naga finalist in
national search for
best performing PESO
By Roderick D. Reforsado
T HE Metro Naga Public Employment Service Office
(Metro PESO) has been nominated as finalist to the
Search for National Best Performing PESOs, the
awarding of winners to be held on October 6, 2011 during
the 11th National PESO Congress at Insular Hotel in Davao
As winner in the regional search, Naga’s Metro PESO was
chosen for its exemplary performance and achievement in
the implementation of its Employment Facilitation Pro- Evaluation period for the search covered the months of
grams that include impressive impacts on the following cri- January to December 2010.
teria: Labor Market Information; Career and Employment
Advocacy; Implementation of DOLE Programs; Employ- Metro Peso was headed by Florencio T. Mongoso until June
ment–related Awards from prestigious organizations; and 2010 when he was appointed as City Administrator by the new
Leadership in organizations which contribute to generation city leadership. The vacant position was then assumed by Reuel
of employment. Oliver as Acting City PESO Manager.
54 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 Naga SMILES Vol. 2 No. 2 55