Iloilo’s 2012 Kasadyahan Festival goes regionwide

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 13 (PNA) –- Expect a more grandiose Kasadyahan Festival next year following the expected participation of best festivals not only from the province of Iloilo but from other provinces of Western Visayas.
Iloilo City Tourism Officer Benito Jimena announced that the Department of Tourism (DOT) currently under the auspices of Atty. Helen Catalbas, OIC regional director has committed support to the project.
He added the DOT will be the one to send out invitations to various provinces. It will also extend subsidies to participating groups and provide accommodation to accompanying local government officials.

If realized, the 2012 Kasadyahan Festival will be a showcase of the region’s best festivals.
The Kasadyahan Festival is staged during the second day of the three-day highlights of the Dinagyang Festival.
It used to be participated by schools and local government units from Iloilo. (PNA)

Photos courtesy of Hawili Hurom (from Aztik Photography)

San Joaquin, Iloilo celebrates 101st Foundation Day

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 13 (PNA) – The southernmost town of Iloilo, San Joaquin, is now celebrating its 101th foundation anniversary.

The celebration kicked off Monday with Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. gracing the opening program.
Gov. Defensor lauded San Joaquin Mayor Ninfa Garin for her sterling performance in making her town progressive as he assured full support to all the endeavors of the mayor and the municipal government.
Coinciding with the opening of the town’s Foundation Day celebration was the inauguration of the municipal covered gym called Garinasium.

The Garinasium is a gift to the people of San Joaquin with the help of Rep. Janette Garin.
Mayor Garin said the Garinasium is “another feather in our cap as San Joaquinhon”.
She said that the highlight of the celebration will be the 7th Bayluhay Festival, originally held as part of the town’s fiesta celebration in January.
Garin said they tried to move the Bayluhay Festival to December to give prominence to the event which is usually sidelined by the Pasungay during the fiesta celebration.
Various activities have also been lined up from December 12 to 24 in celebration of the founding of San Joaquin as an independent municipality. (PNA)

Photos courtesy of Hawili Hurom

Dr. Miriam Defensor Santiago Tops Election for International Criminal Court Judges

13 December 2011 - The Philippine Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York reported that Professor Dr. Miriam Defensor Santiago was overwhelmingly elected as Judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in elections held on December 12 in New York.

Dr. Santiago becomes the first ever female judge from a developing state in Asia to join the ICC as Judge.

She topped the first round of elections, making it to the Court with 79 votes out of 104 valid votes, an indication of the strong support from States Parties.

To be elected, candidates had to receive two-thirds majority of the total number of votes cast, with majority of States Parties voting.

She was the first to be elected out of 18 candidates vying for six seats on the Court. For the first round of voting, she bested candidates from every region.

During the four month campaign and run-up to the elections, Dr. Santiago gained the support of States Parties for her pre-eminent expertise in the international law and outstanding experience as trial court judge.

"Dr. Santiago is eminently qualified. She has shown competence and commitment in defense of the rule of law. She has demonstrated her intelligence and legal acumen through her decisions that have been cited by the Philippine Supreme Court. She has shown independence and integrity in her actions. She is more than qualified for this position," Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said.

"This is the message that we emphasized in the campaign. We are pleased that the international community has listened to us. Indeed, it is a new day for the Philippines, a day of pride for our country and a day of honor, knowing that this is a tremendous responsibility and mandate placed upon our compatriot," he added.

"The Philippines has found its rightful place in the International Criminal Court. As a strong democracy dedicated to the fight against impunity, the Philippines - under President Benigno Aquino III - considers this victory historic, as historic as the day we ratified the Rome Statute," Secretary del Rosario stated.

In her remarks during the events organized for her campaign, Dr. Santiago was candid with her experience and expertise, and also passionate and articulate in her ideas about what the ICC should be doing.

"I believe that justice delayed is justice denied, so this is one area that the Court should work on," she said.

During the campaign, Dr. Santiago was also seen as a symbol of women empowerment. In her statements, she emphasized too the unique perspective she could give as a female judge, citing that many crimes of impunity were directed at women and that many complainants were women.

In a statement, Philippine Permanent Representative Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan said, "Dr. Santiago's triumph is a victory for the entire Philippines and a demonstration of the international community's complete faith and confidence in her outstanding abilities and of the country's commitment to the global fight against impunity."

"In our campaign, we were tireless in our pursuit, believing strongly that this was a campaign of the entire country. We are happy that all the hard work paid off. We are elated that a Filipina will sit as Judge at the International Criminal Court," he added. 

Text from GKGK FB account, Photo from MDS FB Account

Iloilo City is best Pantawid Pamilya Program implementer in Western Visayas

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 6 (PNA) – This city has been chosen by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as outstanding implementer of the national government’s Pantawid Pamilya Program in Western Visayas.
Being the best program implementer in the region, Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog was invited to share this city’s best practice in the National Consultation Workshop with City Mayors (with Pantawid Pamilya Areas) organized by DSWD in Davao City on Tuesday.
“We are honored that in the whole region our implementation of the program has been recognized thereby showing our city’s concern for the welfare of indigent families,” Mabilog said.
Alfredo Villanueva, department head of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), said the smooth and effective implementation of the program here is due to the harmonious relationship between the implementers and beneficiaries.
“So far we have no major problems or complaints here when it comes to implementing the program,” Villanueva stated.
It is very easy to access households in the validation, conduct assessment and even the delisting of beneficiaries, he added.
Iloilo City now has a total of nearly 8,000 beneficiaries, with 4,828 during the program expansion this year, and 2,812 grantees since 2008.
DSWD’s consultation dialogue gathered more than 70 local chief executives and their representatives to draw together inputs and recommendations to further improve the program next year.
It intends to strengthen the relationship between the national and the local government in order to reach the objectives of Pantawid Pamilya.
Aside from Mabilog, others who shared their best practices were Mayor Philip Tan of Tangub City, Mayor Amelita S. Navarro of Santiago City and Mayor Cecilia V. de Asis of Naga City.
The Pantawid Pamilya Program invests in the education and health of children aged 0-14 years old through conditional cash transfer.
It is implemented by the DSWD in partnership with other national government agencies in coordination with local government units. (PNA)

5 die in motorcycle crash in Iloilo

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 5 (PNA) - Five persons were killed while another injured in a bloody motorcycle crash midnight of Saturday in San Enrique, Iloilo.
SPO1 Nerio Gecoli of San Enrique Municipal Police Station, identified the victims as Aron Casamayor y Aguilay, 25 and his four backriders Arvie Maritana y Alaro, 19; Jenelle Sucaldito y Perez, 17; Michael Angelo Satonino y Lamera, 17, all residents of Brgy. Madarag, Passi City; and Warren Palmes y Casamayor, 14, of Brgy. Hagimitan, Passi City. The fifth backrider, Rogelio Albasete y Alaro, 19, also of Brgy. Madarag was injured.
Gecoli said the Honda 155 motorcycle driven by Aron Casamayor with five backriders on board was speeding when it crashed into the big talisay tree at the roadside in Brgy. Asisig, San Enrique town.
The violent crashed resulted to the fatal injuries of six persons onboard the ill-fated motorcycle. They were rushed to the Don Valerio Palmares Sr. Memorial Hospital in Passi City where the attending physicians pronounced the five of the victims dead on arrival.
Albasate is presently confined at the hospital in Passi City. (PNA)

Iloilo City police now ready for ‘Simbang Gabi’

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 5 (PNA) – The Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) is now ready for the traditional "Simbang Gabi" starting December 16.
ICPO director S/Supt. Marietto Valerio said that there will be maximum police visibility in all thoroughfares where there are churches aside from plain clothes personnel who will be deployed to neutralize crime elements.
Nevertheless, he said that they are not expecting much cases this month as even in Metro Manila, Director-General Nicanor Bartolome also announced during his visit to Negros Occidental last week that the volume of crime incidents has declined by around 18 percent.
Last year, crime cases in this city reached around 158.
The low incidence was attributed to the police integrated patrol system, implementation of special laws, checkpoints, arrests of wanted persons, maximum police visibility and the police’ performance of its other mandatory functions. (PNA)

2 guards shot dead, another wounded in Passi City heist

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 5 (PNA)– The Passi City police has launched a manhunt against a group of armed men who tried to rob a warehouse of Pepsi Cola Bottling Company in this city and killed its two security guards Saturday night.
Supt. Noel Dumalag, Passi City police chief, said the armed robbers, brandishing handguns and 12-gauge shotguns, swooped down on the bottling compound along Simeon Street, Passi City at about 8 p.m. last Saturday by cutting the barbed wire at the back of the warehouse.
An exchange of gunfire ensued after security guard Augustos Montefreo, who was detailed at the guardhouse, spotted the group's entry.
Unfortunately Montefreo was felled by bullets from the intruders, Dumalag said.
After gunning down Montefreo, the armed suspects proceeded to the warehouse office where they also gunned down the flat-footed guard Roy Padernal and wounded Charlie Salvania who were viewing television program at that moment.
The suspects went on and ransacked the office of cash but hastily left empty handed after they failed to open the safety vault containing the money.
Meanwhile, the responding policemen rushed Montefreo and Padernal to the nearby Don Valerio Palmares Memorial Hospital where the attending physicians pronounced them dead on arrival.
The 30-year-old Montefreo of Barangay Nabitasan, Leganes, Iloilo sustained fatal gunshot wound on his breast while Padernal of Barangay Bitaugan, Passi City succumbed to a bullet wound on his back.
On the other hand, the 17-year-old Salvania from Barangay San Jose, San Miguel, Iloilo is presently confined at the Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao, Iloilo City for further treatment from the bullet wound he sustained during the incident.
Dumanlag said the suspects sped away aboard two motorcycles towards the direction of the adjoining towns of San Enrique and San Rafael.(PNA)

Aquino underscores importance of improving PHL criminal justice system

President Benigno S. Aquino III underscored the importance of improving the country’s criminal justice system to be up to date and in tune with the rigors and necessities of solving crime in this day and age.In his speech keynoting the 1st National Criminal Justice Summit on Monday at the Manila Hotel, the President said this gathering of stakeholders of the justice system was an opportune time to reexamine institutional criminal justice issues and forge strategies towards the enhanced delivery of justice.
“Ang pagtitipon natin ngayong umaga ay isang pagkakataon para higit na masuri ang lakas at kahinaan ng ating kasalukuyang criminal justice system, at makalikom ng mga makabago at napapanahong inisyatibang pangkatarungan,” the President said.
The President cited the timeliness of holding the Summit as it brings to fore the important role clerks of court, lawyers and judges play in our democracy.
“Masasabi nating napapanahon ito: dahil sa mga araw-araw na headline sa diyaryo at telebisyon, nasasaksihan din ngayon ng buong bansa kung gaano kasalimuot ang trabaho ng mga clerk of court, abugado, at huwes. Walang duda sa halaga ng inyong trabaho: ang inyong mga desisyon at hakbang ay may makabuluhang implikasyon sa ating demokrasya,” the President said.


Once again, Pototan Iloilo Will shine this December as the Municipality of Pototan will hold its annual IWAG FESTIVAL (FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS).

Iwag festival started in 1997 organized by a group of private individuals.  The popularity of IWAG Festival increased as the years goes by.  More and more lights are placed each year, people from nearby municipalities and Cities visit Pototan and explore the magnificent beauty of IWAG.

Iwag has become a tradition every Pototanons look forward.  Now Pototan tag as the Christmas Capital of Iloilo.

Photos courtesy of Pototan FB and Discover Panay (Rod Lee)


This video produced by COCA COLA.. really made me cry!

I hate to say this but it made me cry from start 'til the video ends.

One of the beneficiaries is also an Ilonggo.

Please Watch

Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral: Iloilo’s Grand tower of Faith!

Jaro District is one of the most popular Districts of the City of Iloilo.  The Popular Millionaires’ row is found in this district, the Lopezes, Montinolas, Jalandonis among others.

Iloilo’s pride, GRACIANO LOPEZ JAENA is also a native of Jaro, Iloilo City. Biscocho Haus a popular pasalubong delicacy is found in Jaro and the famous Central Philippine University housed the biggest Library in Western Visayas is also in Jaro.

Historic Jaro also houses a symbol of  Ilonggos’ Faith, The Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral. 

Jaro Cathedral was built in 1874 under the management of KKG. Mariano Cuartero O.P., the first Bishop of Jaro.  The church suffered destruction brought by an earthquake in January of 1948 and was repaired in 1956 by the order of KKG,  Jose Ma. Cuenco, the first Archbishop of Jaro.

Jaro Cathedral is one of the most unique churches in the Philippines, the belfry is separated from the church itself.  The belfry is located across the street.  Its belfry is e tallest edifice in the area serves as a watch tower for sea raiders.

Jaro Catheral became famous when then, Pope John Paul VI celebrated a mass in 1982.  Visitors and church goers never leave the church without going up to the Balcony and take a little prayer on a life-size statue of “Nuestra Senora Del Candelaria”.  This statue believes to be miraculous.  According to the locals, the statue was placed in a small niche atop the churchfront, over the years they noticed that the statue have grown in size, thus when the statue is longer fit the niche, it had to be brought down to where it is place now.

Every February 2, Jaro District celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Candles.  Grand celebration is held every year.  

Come VISIT Jaro!

Photos courtesy of HAWILI HUROM

JICA to pilot Iloilo irrigation system on future ICT assistance

LOILO CITY, Dec 1 (PNA) - The river irrigation system (RIS) of Sta. Barbara, Iloilo was identified by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as pilot area for Western Visayas on its survey for future assistance on Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
The JICA survey team headed by its co-team leader Tatsuya Ieizumi is currently in Iloilo where they met with concerned agencies, particularly the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) in line with the project implementation, according to Sunshine Jamero, information officer of NIA.
He is joined by Hitohiro Sakurai, ICT Expert and Hideaki Hiruta, Agriculture Extension Expert.
Ieizumi said they are gathering data on how to utilize ICT to improve irrigation water management and extend agriculture extension services. Through the survey, they can conceptualize a project where JICA will extend support.
On the other hand, Isidro R. Digal, local consultant on irrigation water management for JICA, said that Sta. Barbara RIS was chosen because there is a big potential area for improvement in the system.
There is also a proposed project for Sta. Barbara RIS under the National Irrigation Systems Rehabilitation and Improvement Project and the JICA is considering the application of ICT as a combination project for NISRIP.
“The ICT component may accelerate the approval for NISRIP,” Hiruta said.
The federation of irrigators’ associations of Aganan-Sta. Barbara RIS has previously received assistance from JICA to improve its post harvest facilities. It now boasts operating one of the largest post-harvest facilities in the nation.
JICA is hoping to finish the survey by March next year and if considered, the ICT project will be implemented in 2014. (PNA)

Mayor mulls water rationing to curb shortage in Iloilo City

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 1 (PNA) – Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog here is eyeing water rationing as an option to serve city areas seriously affected by water shortage especially in the city proper.
The city mayor also acted with dispatch and called Local Waterworks Utilities Administration (LWUA) chairman Rene Villa regarding the critical water supply situation, saying that almost 50 percent of barangays in the city proper has no water supply from the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD).
Villa, an Ilonggo, immediately called up MIWD general manager Le Jayme Jalbuena and ordered to do everything to solve the water crisis immediately.
The problem has seriously affected 22 barangays in the city proper, or more than 50,000 people. The water crisis is also felt in some areas in Jaro, Molo and Arevalo.
Seriously affected with water shortage are city proper barangays of Tanza Baybay, Tanza Timawa Zone 1, Tanza Timawa Zone 2, Rizal Palapala 1, Rizal Palapala 2, De la Rama, Muelle Loney, Gen. Hughes, Concepcion-Montes, Zamora-Milleza, Monica, Ma. Clara, San Jose and Ortiz.
Mabilog said he is requiring MIWD to come up with a contingency plan and explain why there is not enough water supply when the country is still in the wet season.
Through his spokesman Jeffrey Celis, the city mayor said among the contingency measures will be the emergency water supply rationing which MIWD is capable of doing so with several units of big water tankers.
“MIWD has the capacity for temporary outsourcing units to deliver water to areas especially in 12 waterfront barangays. The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) also assured assistance to deliver water in the affected barangays,” Celis said.
Regarding the truck ban which prohibits delivery trunks and tankers to the city, Celis said the MIWD had never coordinated with the city mayor’s office regarding exemption from the truck ban.
“The city mayor assured that the Traffic Management and Transport Regulation Office (TMTRO) will allow the entry of MIWD tankers to deliver water here,” Celis said. (PNA)



ILOILO sided with Spain during the first outbreak of the revolution in 1896. The Ilonggo Voluntarios composed mainly by the Ilonggo elites headed by Gen. Martin Delgado gave Andres Bonifacio his first defeat. The movement was funded by realtor Don Eugenio Lopez and shipping magnate Don Felix de
la Rama. It was after this that the Queen Regent bestowed Iloilo the title LA MUY LEAL Y NOBLE CIUDAD DE ILOILO.

Therefore, the QUEEN CITY OF THE SOUTH title is a a moniker of the previously bestowed decree by the Queen Regent Maria Cristina of Spain in 1896: "LA MUY LEAL Y NOBLE CIUDAD DE ILOILO".

Such title was too long for the new American administrators of Iloilo to use in their official transactions with other English-speaking countries that Iloilo transacts business with. An English description was therefore coined to introduce Iloilo especially to the Australian merchants who are the chief buyers of Iloilo's sugar shipment. Hence the title QUEEN REGENT'S CITY IN THE SOUTH was born in 1901 after the Americans assumed government power in Iloilo.

The constant use of the long title used to describe Iloilo went on until a new one came out to simplify the writing of articles in sugar shipment manifesto and other political documentation. Hence the title QUEEN'S CITY IN THE SOUTH.

With the sugar industry flourishing even more that catapulted Iloilo's economy to enormous heights and with the American Government pouring in enormous political and economic functions to the city, Iloilo became the second major seat of power during that time with all administrative functions channeling from Iloilo & Manila only. No other province in the south was as important historically and politically and as progressive as Iloilo. Hence the title QUEEN CITY OF THE SOUTH sprung out.

The QUEEN CITY OF THE SOUTH title was then made as Iloilo's official nickname when Iloilo was legally declared a city for the second time by the virtue of the Commonwealth Act No. 158 in 1937.

Text and Photo courtesy of Iloilo: The Next Big Thing FB 

PNP says sell of firecrackers must be within identified zones only

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 1 (PNA) – Selling of firecrackers and pyrotechnics in this city will be from December 26 to 31 only in areas identified as firecracker zones, the police said.
“Selling of firecrackers beyond the schedule is prohibited. Confiscation of their displayed items awaits erring retailers and sellers,” S/Supt. Marietto Valerio, city director of Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) said.
He said the move is part the campaign “Iwas Paputok.”
According to Valerio, the areas identified as firecrackers zones are the following: * City Proper – vacant lot in front of Vic Imperial Appliance Center on Iznart Street * Molo – Molo Plaza * Mandurriao – Mandurriao Plaza fronting the police station * Jaro – Jaro Plaza * La Paz – La Paz Plaza and the Promenade * Arevalo – Quezon - JV Jocson Streets to OsmeƱa Street , and the stretch of Bonifacio and Yulo Streets.
He said firecrackers' vendors are required to have buckets of sand, pails of water and plastics to cover their display pyrotechnics materials to ensure that no accident or ignition takes place. “No Smoking and No Testing” signages are also required in every stall selling firecrackers, he added.
On the other hand, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is also monitoring minors who are possibly engaged in fireworks making. The PNP also prohibits minors from vending or buying firecrackers.
There are five licensed cooperatives in Arevalo district, known as fireworks capital of Iloilo City. These cooperatives, with more than 300 members, are into fireworks manufacturing and retailing. (PNA)