Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Central Luzon flooding leaves 41 dead

Central Luzon flooding leaves 41 dead,
27,523 people forced to flee to evacuation centers and
affected 1.3 million people in 18 provinces, 19 cities,
152 municipalities and 1,317 barangays
according to Office of Civil Defense

Monday, August 30, 2004



Updated News for Subic Bay Area will continue on the URL provided herein


Solons ask GMA to extend Payumo's term at SBMA

SOLONS yesterday welcomed the overwhelming sentiments among their colleagues to extend the term of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman Felicito C. Payumo whose term expired recently, as chairman and administrator of the Freeport.
At the same time, solons ask Malacañang to seriously consider reviewing Executive Order 340 which seeks to reorganize SBMA specifically separating the powers of the Chairman and the General Manager of the Freeport.
Batanes Representative Henedina Abad said that "it's about time we give attention to the continuity of good work as what the Chairman did during his incumbency." Abad said that "he should be allowed to continue the programs that he has started at the Freeport saying this programs may discontinue once the government appoint another personality."
"Ang problema sa atin kapag may nasimulang magandang programa ay nababalewala na oras na mapalitan ang pinunong nagsulong nito," she added. The lady solon's views were shared by several solons like Bataan Representative Antonino Roman, Tarlac Rep. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino, Quezon Rep. Rafael Nantes, Zambales Rep. Milagros Mitas Magsaysay, Antonio Diaz and many others. Earlier, more than 50 solons, especially from Central Luzon have filed a resolution urging President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to extend the term of office of Payumo as the SBMA head.
They said that several programs have been implemented during Payumo's incumbency, especially the implementation of the Subic-Clark Corridor which has merited inclusion in the 10-point agenda of President Arroyo.

Sunday, August 29, 2004


A friend sent this to ensure that we keep women happy
(just do it!)

To keep a woman happy, a man only needs to be:
1. a friend
2. a companion
3. a lover
4. a brother
5. a father
6. a master of everything
7. a chef
8. an electrician
9. a carpenter
10. a plumber
11. a mechanic
12. a decorator
13. a stylist
14. a sexologist
15. a gynecologist
16. a psychologist
17. a pest exterminator
18. a psychiatrist
19. a healer
20. a good listener
21. an organizer
22. a good father
23. very clean
24. sympathetic
25. athletic
26. warm
27. attentive
28. gallant
29. intelligent
30. funny
31. creative
32. tender
33. strong
34. understanding
35. tolerant
36. prudent
37. ambitious
38. capable
39. courageous
40. determined
41. true
42. dependable
44. give her compliments regularly
45. love shopping
46. be honest
47. be very rich
48. not stress her out
49. not look at other girls
50. give her lots of attention, but expect little yourself
51. give her lots of time, especially time for herself
52. give her lots of space,
never worrying about where she goes
53. Never to forget:
* birthdays* anniversaries* arrangements she makes

Good Luck!

Make sure to consult this list at least once a day
because the rule is, if you miss one out, you pay double!

Saturday, August 28, 2004


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Click to view 2004 Fiesta Celebration

Subic Customs Under Fire

After having been literaly burned last February 2004, the office of Bureau of Customs in Subic is again under fire, this time because of the Probe on missing cellphones

SUBIC Bay Freeport -- Customs Commissioner George Jereos has tasked Deputy Commissioner Ray Allas of the Intelligence Enforcement Group to conduct further investigation into the missing 138 units of imported cellular phones which was placed under the custody of BoC Subic. The 138 cellular phones worth some P3 million were part of a ton of imported 7610 and 7650 cellular phones from Thailand shipped via Federal Express which were confiscated by the BoC examiners for lack of proper documents.
The shipment was transported to the BoC offices which in turn move them to the Auction Cargo Disposal Division for custody, under BoC police escorts, after being inventoried at the FedEx. BoC District Collector Arnel Alcaraz evaded reporters who tried to reach him for comment on the missing items. A certain BoC officer Noble said, "Bawal ang mag-istambay dito" and asked the reporters to keep out of the area while allowing other people to stay outside the BoC offices. The case of the missing cellphones is just one of the many cases of shipments smuggled out of the Freeport despite very tight security measures being imposed by the BoC police in the Freeport.

Johnny R. Reblando
People's Journal

Friday, August 27, 2004

BIR issues warrants to 2 Subic firms over taxes

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT , Zambales, Philippines --
Officials of the Bureau of Internal Revenue have served warrants of garnishment to two investors here for unpaid excise and value added taxes.

The warrants, signed by Revenue Commissioner Guillermo Parayno, were served at the depository banks of Subic-based companies Asia International Auctioneers Inc. (AIAI) and Subic Bay Motors Corp. (SBMC). In a statement, the BIR said the move was done to "satisfy the claim of the government in the form of unpaid taxes."
However, investors here, particularly those engaged in vehicle importation and the auction business, condemned the BIR operation, calling it as an "arrogant display of power." In a separate statement, lawyer Estanislao Cesa Jr., counsel of AIAI and SBMC, said the investors were frightened by the BIR operation. Cesa said Parayno was imposing excise and value added taxes to freeport investors despite the tax incentives provided by Republic Act 7227 or the bases conversion law.

The law, he said, states that the allowable taxes to be collected from investors should only be 5 percent of gross income. The tax incentive was imposed to lure foreign and local investors to put up businesses in this premier freeport zone, he said. "The law clearly provides tax incentives which are in lieu of all taxes," Cesa said in the statement. He said a case is still pending before the Supreme Court and the Court of Tax Appeals to resolve the conflict with the BIR and other revenue collection agencies.

"The BIR should have waited for the decision of these courts before issuing the warrant of garnishment. (This) has virtually (stopped) the operations of the legitimate investors in the freeport zone," he said.
Inquirer News Service
Editor's Note: Published on the Philippine Daily Inquirer

Thursday, August 26, 2004

100 'Taba' Metro cops off to Subic

Spelled out, the tag reads "Tamad, Abusado, Bastos, Ayaw-madisiplina (lazy, abusive, discourteous, indisciplined)." It is being slapped on rogue and inept Metro Manila policemen who will be banished to a retraining camp for a month starting next week.

Their number had reached 100 only three days after the change in leadership in the Philippine National Police. PNP Director General Edgar Aglipay yesterday said the final list was still being prepared by the directors of Metro Manila's five police districts. "The policemen [they] have recommended [so far] are really lazy," Aglipay said in a press conference. He said the Taba cops "will go through an extensive moral, spiritual, cultural and physical" reorientation in a mountainous facility in Subic, Olongapo, before they can return to active service. Except for those facing criminal charges, the participants will receive their regular salaries while in the program.

It was in the same Subic facility that at least 200 Pasay City policemen were sent for retraining in 2002 following a bungled operation in which they killed a drug-crazed man and his 4-year-old hostage.

Aglipay launched the repackaged campaign against undesirable law enforcers in a desperate effort to arrest the dwindling level of public confidence in the force. He said the idea was to get off the streets not only "kotong" or "hulidap" (extortionist) cops, but also those who seemed to have lost all motivation to do their job well. Apparently expecting a lot of the latter, the PNP is preparing a similar facility on Corregidor island.

Until there are enough centers to accommodate target re-trainees, the new PNP chief is also experimenting with an incentive program. He said cops who incur no absences for two months straight would each receive a new uniform set.

It looks like a great trade, considering that the P5,000 replacement clothing allowance is given every three years. A policeman is issued a "general office uniform" (GOU) upon admission to the service. The set includes an overseas cap, blue polo, dark-blue pants with light blue piping, black socks and shoes, and a "comablue" uniform for training exercises.
During the press conference, Aglipay announced that he has required all police officers-from top officials to patrolmen-to wear the GOU at least for the next six months, the minimum term that President Macapagal-Arroyo has given him. He assumed the post on Wednesday. Low-ranking cops seemed to like this. "It somehow bridges the gap between us and the bosses," one told the Inquirer. It had been a while since PNP generals and colonels, or third-level officers, slipped into their GOUs, the required outfit in the first place. Also ongoing is a physical exercise program. Aglipay proudly said cops who complete this one would be given a brand-new ... set of training clothes.
By Christian Esguerra
Inquirer News Service
Editor's Note: Published on the Philippine Daily Inquirer

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Subic road redesign favors Lopez group

THE LOPEZ-CONTROLLED Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) stands to gain from a proposal by the National Economic and Development Authority to interconnect the Subic-Clark-Tarlac-Expressway (SCTE) project with the existing North Luzon Expressway (NLE), according to the head of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).

The BCDA is the proponent of the SCTE project. "By forcing us to connect the SCTE with the NLE, the government would be coerced to yield operations to MNTC," BCDA president Rufo Colayco said. "This could put us in a position of granting undue benefits and advantage to the private sector from a major infrastructure project whose investments were shouldered solely by the government," Colayco said.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri acknowledged that MNTC would automatically take control of the toll operations of the 94-km SCTE if it was redesigned and linked up with the 84-km NLE based on the terms of MNTC's toll operations deal with Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC). The deal runs through 2030.

MNTC spent $371 million (mostly in government-guaranteed foreign loans) to rehabilitate the NLE, which runs from Balintawak, Quezon City, to Sta. Ines, Pampanga. The tollway group is 64.3-percent owned by First Philippine Infrastructure Development Corp. of the Lopez family, 20 percent by PNCC and 15 percent by Egis Projects. In an interview with the Inquirer, Neri said he had already discussed the linkage of the yet to be built SCTE and the NLE with MNTC president Jose de Jesus, who expressed full support for the proposal.

De Jesus said in a statement that connecting the NLE with the SCTE made a lot of sense "because it would mean seamless travel." Formal negotiations for the link-up, however, had yet to start, according to MNTC spokesperson Marlene Ochoa.

Neri suggested linking the NLE and the SCTE in a letter to the BCDA on Aug. 16. He reiterated his call for a redesign and rebidding of the superhighway that would link Clark and Subic, the two former American military bases in Central Luzon.

In his letter to Colayco, Neri said the BCDA should "explore anew the possibility of connecting the project to the existing North Luzon Tollway." Neri said the redesign of the project should be made with "the end view of reducing the total project cost without sacrificing the intended benefits of the project." He explained that a connection would cut the SCTE's length by 5 km to 89 km as originally designed for the project.

While Neri cited cost-savings for the link-up, the assumption by MNTC of the new superhighway's toll operations is likely to have a dire impact on the BCDA's ability to recover the money it spent on building the SCTE.

The BCDA was planning to bid out the toll contract to get the money up-front and defray the cost of construction, which was being financed by a soft loan from the Japan Bank for
International Cooperation.

But in his reply to Neri, Colayco said that reverting to the original design "would not produce any cost reductions" because the revised plan the BCDA was implementing "essentially has the same construction scope and content approved in the 2001 feasibility study."

Colayco explained that the revised alignment, which eliminated the direct connection to the NLE, "provides superior access to the proposed logistical hub in the airport and sub-zones."
"It is this reason which motivated our adopting the revised alignment more than concern over potential conflict with MNTC," Colayco said.

Aside from the link-up with the NLE, Neri proposed that the BCDA overhaul certain sections of the SCTE "to make the alignment more straight from Subic to Clark in order to shorten the roadway length and reduce the earthworks, thereby reducing project costs."
He said a more direct route would cut travel time by 15 minutes.

Bataan mountains

But Colayco argued that Neri's suggestion would make the SCTE cut through the Bataan mountains, specifically Mount Malasimbo (one of the range's tallest peaks), and that this would entail greater earthwork and require the use of very expensive elevated spans to run through deep gorges.

Also, Colayco said that a rerouting through the mountains instead of the foothills would force the SCTE to miss out on the ridership traffic from the Roman-Olongapo-Gapan highways at the Dinalupihan interchange.

Colayco said it would be incorrect to state that there would be no connection between the SCTE and the NLE because there would be a super road interchange to link both.
"But when we studied the project, we came to the conclusion that the original plan did not adequately exploit the potential benefits that Clark would obtain from the expressway," he said.
White elephant
Colayco said the SCTE's revised design provided the "most efficient possible access to the planned logistics hub to be developed in Clark." It would also provide the economic spark to erstwhile white elephant projects such as the "bridge to nowhere" in the Sacobia valley and the idle Centennial Expo.

Neri and Colayco had been at loggerheads over the SCTE project after the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) chief called for a rebidding nearly five months after the BCDA started negotiations with a Japanese contractor (which gave the lowest bid price for the project) to trim its offer further.

Colayco said the BCDA had successfully haggled with the Japanese proponent to slash the project cost from its initial offer of P27 billion to P22 billion. Continuing negotiations could further whittle down the project cost to P20.08 billion, the budget contract for the project approved by Neda.
The project is being funded by soft loans from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.
Procedural lapses
Neri is insistent on rebidding the SCTE project because of alleged "procedural lapses" on the part of the BCDA, including changing the design and bidding out the project way above the P18.7-billion budget that Neda approved in 2000.
The project was only bid out in late 2003. Colayco said this was the reason for the cost increases and not the major changes claimed by Neri.

On Colayco's warning that a rebidding could rankle the Japanese government and its investors, Neri said he "can't blame them" for feeling bad about this.
"We have to do this the proper way. I don't want another Piatco in our hands," said Neri, referring to the Supreme Court's nullification of the $650-million contract involving the German airport operator Fraport for passenger terminal 3 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Neri also quashed allegations that he was pushing for a rebidding of the SCTE project because another local construction company had been coveting the contract.

Neri has come under fire for allegedly having double standards in approving major infrastructure projects.

In contrast to his stance on the SCTE project, Neda has been relatively lenient in approving the North Rail project, which would be built at nearly P1 billion per kilometer even before the Chinese contractor had submitted a detailed engineering design on the 32.1-km project that would run from Caloocan City to Malolos, Bulacan.
By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.Inquirer News Service Editor's Note:
Published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Former City Mayor, Honorable Geronimo B. Lipumano peacefully joined his Creator

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Former City Mayor, Honorable Geronimo B. Lipumano peacefully joined his Creator on August 22, 2004 at the age of 78
With an accomplished 12 – year stint as the Chief of the Olongapo City General Hospital, Dr. Lipumano conquered the political race of 1972 and took the mayoralty seat until 1980;

The man who was always “on call,” Mayor Lipumano took every opportunity for his services to be fully accessible to his constituents and provided free medical attention or consultation even surgery to countless indigent patients;

It was during his administration that the Olongapo City Framework Development Plan, a program portfolio approved by then Ministry of Human Settlements, was formulated, approved and implemented, which now serves as guide for the City’s strategic directions; The City also looks back on the benefits brought by the Manpower Development Center, the establishment of training centers under the City Development Assistance of then Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG), implemented during his term, where countless individuals acquired basic and advanced office and technological skills that significantly qualified them for job placements inside the Subic Naval Base and various businesses in the City;

As a sportsman himself, his ardent support to the sports program of the City during his term, made the City contingents garner numerous awards and medals in various sports competitions, for which Olongapo City is forever grateful;

His graceful political exit in 1980 paved way for a more challenging post at the Department of Health, where he received the baton as the next Assistant Regional Director for Region IV, where he again lent his expertise;

He reaped the fruits of his extensive training, whetted acumen and long service in the government, as he was eyed to be one of the Directors of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), a position he held from 1998 up to the present;

Even as a private individual, Dr. Lipumano never gave up his passion in serving and helping people. More so, he accorded them with due respect regardless of their status, educational background or political affiliation;

The former mayor fostered a 44-year robust married life with his wife, Dra. Luz Lipumano, and lovingly nourished his 6 children, who are now carving significant niches in the medical field, with guiding principles to live by;

The City Government and the people of Olongapo pay its last respect and highest honor to one of the key fabricators of our society, former City Mayor, Honorable Geronimo B. Lipumano and join the entire family in this moment of grief;

As a token of our sincerest condolences, the City hereby enjoined all government offices, including the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and public schools within the City to fly the Philippine Flag at half mast on August 26 and 27, 2004.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

56 Solons for Payumo Retention

At least 56 congressmen have endorsed the retention of Felicito Oayumo as SBMA Chairman.

In a resolution, the congressmen said that SBMA generated $1 billion in exports and created 55,000 jobs excluding SBMA employees.

SBMA is home to 996 companies with total committed investments of $4.136 billion or P26.6 billion or 30 times the equity contribution of the national government.

Payumo strengten SBMA by inculcating customer service among employees, thus making is a recipient of ISO9001; 2000 CERTIFICATES FOR QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Subic Tax Collections up 7%

Taxes collected from locators at the Subic Bay freeport zone rose 7 percent to Php1.5 billion in the first six months of the year, SBMA reported.

SBMA report said more than 98 percent of the BIR's total tax collection were in the form of withholding taxes of the more than 58,000 workers within the freeport.

Apart from cash collection, a total of PhP1.5 billion in non-cash revenue was also generated during the period w/c was derived from deferred payments and govt to govt transactions like importation by National Food Authority and Dept of Public Works.

In 2003, collections in the freeport reached P3.3 billion from P2.8 billion in 1998.

Friday, August 20, 2004


Leaders and Legislators from the Province of Zambales and the City of Olongapo attended an Executive Forum yesterday (18 August 2004) at Capitol Building, Iba, Zambales.
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On Vice Governor Lacbain’s welcome address, he stressed that this was the first time decision makers of Olongapo and Zambales sat down to discuss the future of Subic Bay, specifically on the issue of its human resources.

Code of conduct, ethical standards and core principles of civil service were discussed by CSC Under-Secretary Nelson Acebedo, this was followed by an open forum.

Governor Vic Magsaysay was not in the forum because of the death of former first lady, Mrs Luz Banzon Magsaysay.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Former Philippine First Lady Passed Away

Mrs. Luz Banzon Magsaysay, widow of the beloved President Ramon Magsaysay, "Man of the Masses," passed away at 5 p.m. yesterday at the age of 89

Mrs. Magsaysay's remains lie at the National Shrine of the Divine Child, La Salle Greenhills, Mandaluyong City. She will be buried beside her husband. Interment is set on Saturday at the North Cemetery, Manila, after 9 a.m. Mass

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


Suspected txt-mate murderer Alfredo Castillo surrendered to City Councilor Brian Patrick Gordon after series of negotiations with his family and exchage of text messages with Alfredo.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Castillo (inset) was presented by Brian Gordon to Mayor James "Bong" Gordon, Jr 9:20 this morning at Olongapo City Hall. Castillo, who went into hiding in Cavite, confessed of the killing and told investigators that he smoked Marijuana and was under the influence of shabu when he commited the crime. Police are still investigating other suspects who may also have to do with the killing since they are in the same house when the crime was committed.

Castillo is now detained in Camp Cabal under Criminal Case IS# 04-A-1800

Tuesday, August 17, 2004


Although the authorities said that the killer does not appear to be a single person, the 3rd victim of the so called “txt-mate murderer”, 19 year-old Mary Ann Briones was found with 29 stab wounds inside a bathroom in 5th street, Brgy West Tapinac, Olongapo City last Saturday, 14 August 2004.


Briones was invited by her txt-mate (on a Friday the 13th) to a party in the house where she was raped and murdered. City Police Director warned parents to be vigilant and recognize who their children are “texting” or “chatting” with as this seem to be the abusers’ latest modus operandi to lure their victims into their lair.

The suspect identified as Alfredo Castillo is now the object of massive police manhunt.

Row between school officials and Congresswoman Magsaysay erupted

Weng Quejada, a close aide of Congressman Mitos Magsaysay was furious of what she calls libelous pronouncements by top ranking City Schools Superintendent Dr. Perlita Basa and Principal of Olongapo City Elementary School (OCES) Mrs. Merle Ellano.

In a radio interview over DWHL this morning, Quejada claims reports reached their office that the two high ranking school officials maligned their names during the monthly meeting of school principals held at OCES last week. Three of the school principals who attended the meeting have given her sworn statements narrating the incident, because of this, she will be filling charges as soon as she returns to Olongapo this Wednesday.

Sources close to the two principals however claimed that they were just giving pertinent information to the principals and clarifying that the office of congressman does not have direct supervision over the city schools, it is the mayor who actually has this responsibility.

They were just trying to warn the principals against the false hope being given by Magsaysay who have promised so many things to every Parent Teachers Association meeting that she have attended in the past weeks, the source added. The officers feared that their operation might be affected in case Magsaysay fails to deliver her promises since the parents are already expecting a lot. They were concerned when after initial meeting with Magsaysay, the lady solon brought up the issue when she spoke in congress and misinformed the public when she said that free education is not being implemented in Olongapo.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Inky Reyes to visit SBMA tomorrow

Words are getting around that Inky Reyes, who may become the next SBMA Chairman or more probably its new Administrator (Chief Executive Officer) will make preliminary visit tomorrow to check current status of the Freeport.

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Shown here standing (2nd from left) during signing of Federal Express deal in October 9, 1994. He is the former Chief of Staff of SBMA and Administrator of Cagayan Economic Zone, he's knowledge, experience and dedication is unquestionable.

Volunteers close to the Gordon administration are planning to wear blue shirts to signify their support to the incoming officer.

Meanwhile, insider from Payumo’s camp said that their group will have a vigil rally at San Lorenzo Church (Naval Station Chapel) to protect Payumo and make last ditch effort to convince the President not to replace Payumo. This in addition to a petition paper they signed and earlier forwarded to PGMA’s office.

Everyone in the city and the Freeport are eagerly awaiting what’s going to happen to SBMA in the next few days. Many are asking that a professional executive manager and not a politician should be appointed to the highest SBMA post.

We think Inky perfectly fits the profile.

Good skill!!!

Sunday, August 15, 2004


The following is from a western journalist stationed in the Philippines. His observations are so hilarious!!!! This is rather long... but worth every letter! Just in case you haven't see this one before...

Matter of Taste by Matthew Sutherland

I have now been in this country for over six years, and consider myself in most respects well-assimilated. However, there is one key step on the road to full assimilation which I have yet to take, and that's to eat BALUT. The day any of you sees me eating balut, please call immigration and ask them to issue me a Filipino passport. Because at that point there will be no turning back. BALUT, for those still blissfully ignorant non-Pinoys out there, is a fertilized duck egg. It is commonly sold with salt in a piece of newspaper, much like English fish and chips, by street vendors usually after dark, presumably so you can't see how gross it is.
It's meant to be an aphrodisiac, although I can't imagine anything more likely to dispel sexual desire than crunching on a partially-formed baby duck swimming in noxious fluid. The embryo in the egg comes in varying stages of development, but basically it is not considered macho to eat one without fully discernable feathers, beak, and claws. Some say these crunchy bits are the best. Others prefer just to drink the so-called 'soup', the vile, pungent liquid that surrounds the aforementioned feathery fetus... excuse me, I have to go and throw up now. I'll be back in a minute.

Food dominates the life of the Filipino. People here just love to eat. They eat at least eight times a day. These eight official meals are called, in order: breakfast, snacks, lunch, merienda, pica-pica, pulutan, dinner, and no-one-saw-me-take-that-cookie-from-the-fridge-so-it-doesn't-count. The short gaps in between these mealtimes are spent eating Sky Flakes from the open packet that sits on every desktop. You're never far from food in the Philippines. If you doubt this, next time you're driving home from work, try this game. See how long you can drive without seeing food and I don't mean a distant restaurant, or a picture of food. I mean a man on the sidewalk frying fish balls, or a man walking through the traffic selling nuts or candy. I bet it's less than one minute.

Here are some other things I've noticed about food in the Philippines. Firstly, a meal is not a meal without rice-even breakfast. In the UK, I could go a whole year without eating rice. Second, it's impossible to drink without eating. A bottle of San Miguel just isn't the same without gambas or beef tapa. Third, no one ventures more than two paces from their house without baon and a container of something cold to drink. You might as well ask a Filipino to leave home without his pants on.
And lastly, where I come from, you eat with a knife and fork. Here, you eat with a spoon and fork. You try eating rice swimming in fish sauce with a knife. One really nice thing about Filipino food culture is that people always ask you to SHARE their food. In my office, if you catch anyone attacking their baon, they will always go, "Sir! KAIN TAYO!" ("Let's eat!"). This confused me, until I realized that they didn't actually expect me to sit down and start munching on their boneless bangus. In fact, the polite response is something like, "No thanks, I just ate." But the principle is sound - if you have food on your plate, you are expected to share it, however hungry you are, with those who may be even hungrier. I think that's great. In fact, this is frequently even taken one step further. Many Filipinos use "Have you eaten yet?" ("KUMAIN KA NA?") as a general greeting, irrespective of time of day or location. Some foreigners think Filipino food is fairly dull compared to other Asian cuisines. Actually lots of it is very good: Spicy dishes like Bicol Express (strange, a dish named after a train); anything cooked with coconut milk; anything KINILAW; and anything ADOBO.
And it's hard to beat the sheer wanton, cholesterholic frenzy of a good old-fashioned LECHON de leche feast. Dig a pit, light a fire, add 50 pounds of animal fat on a stick, and cook until crisp. Mmm, mmm... you can actually feel your arteries constricting with each successive mouthful. I also share one key Pinoy trait ---a sweet tooth. ! I am thus the only foreigner I know who does not complain about sweet bread, sweet burgers, sweet spaghetti, sweet banana ketchup, and so on. I am a man who likes to put jam on his pizza. Try it! It's the weird food you want to avoid.

In addition to duck fetus in the half-shell, items to avoid in the Philippines include pig's blood soup (DINUGUAN); bull's testicle soup, the strangely-named "SOUP NUMBER FIVE" (I dread to think what numbers one to four are); and the ubiquitous, stinky shrimp paste, BAGOONG, and it's equally stinky sister, PATIS. Filipinos are so addicted to these latter items that they will even risk arrest or deportation trying to smuggle them into countries like Australia and the USA, which wisely ban the importation of items you can smell from more than 100 paces. Then there's the small matter of the blue ice cream. I have never been able to get my brain around eating blue food; the ubiquitous UBE leaves me cold. And lastly on the subject of weird food, beware: that KALDERETANG KAMBING (goat) could well be KALDERETANG ASO (dog)... The Filipino, of course, has a well-developed sense of food. Here's a typical Pinoy food joke: "I'm on a seafood diet. "What's a seafood diet?" "When I see food, I eat it!" Filipinos also eat strange bits of animals --- the feet, the head, the guts, etc., usually barbecued on a stick. These have been given witty names, like "ADIDAS" (chicken's feet); "KURBATA" (either just chicken's neck, or "neck and thigh" as in "neck-tie"); "WALKMAN" (pigs ears); "PAL" (chicken wings); "HELMET" (chicken head); "IUD" (chicken intestines), and BETAMAX" (video-cassette-like blocks of animal blood). Yum, yum. Bon appetit.
"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches" -- (Proverbs 22:1) When I arrived in the Philippines from the UK six years ago, one of the first cultural differences to strike me was names. The subject has provided a continuing source of amazement and amusement ever since. The first unusual thing, from an English perspective, is that everyone here has a nickname. In the staid and boring United Kingdom, we have nicknames in kindergarten, but when we move into adulthood we tend, I am glad to say, to lose them.

The second thing that struck me is that Philippine names for both girls and boys tend to be what we in the UK would regard as overbearingly cutesy for anyone over about five. Fifty-five-year-olds colleague put it. Where I come from, a boy with a nickname like Boy Blue or Honey Boy would be beaten to death at school by pre-adolescent bullies, and never make it to adulthood. So, probably, would girls with names like Babes, Lovely, Precious, Peachy or Apples. Yuk, ech ech. Here, however, no one bats an eyelid. Then I noticed how many people have what I have come to call "door-bell names". These are nicknames that sound like - well, door-bells. There are millions of them. Bing, Bong, Ding, and Dong are some of the more common. They can be, and frequently are, used in even more door-bell-like combinations such as Bing-Bong, Ding-Dong, Ting-Ting, and so on. Even one of our current Senator and Presidential Candidate has a doorbell named Ping. None of these door-bell names exist where I come from, and hence sound unusually amusing to my untutored foreign ear. Someone once told me that one of the Bings, when asked why he was called Bing, replied "because my brother is called Bong". Faultless logic. Dong, of course, is a particularly funny one for me, as where I come from "dong" is a slang word of well, perhaps "talong" is the best Tagalog equivalent.

Repeating names was another novelty to me, having never before encountered people with names like Len-Len, Let-Let, Mai-Mai, or Ning-Ning. The secretary I inherited on my arrival had an unusual one: Leck-Leck. Such names are then frequently further refined by using the "squared" symbol, as in Len2 or Mai2. This had me very confused for a while. Then there is the trend for parents to stick to a theme when naming their children. This can be as simple as making them all begin with the same letter, as in Jun, Jimmy, Janice, and Joy. More imaginative parents shoot for more sophisticated forms of assonance or rhyme, as in Biboy, Boboy, Buboy, Baboy (notice the names get worse the more kids there are-best to be born early or you could end up being a Baboy). Even better, parents can create whole families of, say, desserts (Apple Pie, Cherry Pie, Honey Pie) or flowers (Rose, Daffodil, Tulip). The main advantage of such combinations is that they look great painted across your trunk if you're a cab driver.

That's another thing I'd never seen before coming to Manila -- taxis with the driver's kids' names on the trunk. Another whole eye-opening field for the foreign visitor is the phenomenon of the "composite" name. This includes names like Jejomar(for Jesus, Joseph and Mary), and the remarkable Luzviminda (for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, believe it or not). That's a bit like me being called something like "Engscowani" (for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Between you and me, I'm glad I'm not. And how could I forget to mention the fabulous concept of the randomly inserted letter 'h'. Quite what this device is supposed to achieve, I have not yet figured out, but I think it is designed to give a touch of class to an otherwise only averagely weird name. It results in creations like Jhun, Lhenn, Ghemma, and Jhimmy. Or how about Jhun-Jhun (Jhun2)?

How boring to come from a country like the UK full of people with Names like John Smith. How wonderful to come from a country where Imagination and exoticism rule the world of names. Even the towns here have weird names; my favorite is the unbelieveably-named town of Sexmoan(ironically close to Olongapo and Angeles). Where else in the world could that really be true? Where else in the world could the head of the Church really be called Cardinal Sin?

Where else but the Philippines!

Note: Philippines has a senator named Joker, and it is his legal name.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

City Dad to be nominated to SBMA Board

A member of present Olongapo City Council, Kagawad Ted Del Rosario, is slated to be nominated by the city to represent Olongapo in the SBMA Board. This was agreed after a meeting last night between the city council and Mayor James Gordon, Jr.

Del Rosario was selected because of his previous experience at SBMA and his good relationship with the business community. Issues that will be carried by Del Rosario to the board were immediately discussed.

Aside from Del Rosario, former councilors Gregorio Manglicmot and Ernie Asuncion were also considered during the discussion. As of this writing, majority of the members of the city council are inclined to recommend Manglicmot to the post that will be vacated by Del Rosario.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Olongapo Officials Hurt by Mitos’ tirade in Congress

“Attacking her own congressional district on her first chance at the rostrum was really uncalled for.” This was the unified comment of Olongapo City officials lead by Mayor James Gordon when Representative of 1st District of Zambales, Congressman Mitos Magsaysay released a volley of accusations to the city officials when she was suppose to interpolate Gabriela Party list Representative Liza Maza on the issue of population control.

The city council will pass a resolution requesting the Philippine Congress for a chance to clear their stained reputation and will request the house’s intervention to minimize political bickering and focus on serving their constituents.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Olongapo Pursues Modernization of its Power Distribution System

Olongapo City Sanggunian unanimously approved in June 23, 2004 the modernization plan for its power distribution system, which was seen as a vote towards Olongapo’s future growth.
The City leaders showed political resolve to pursue the project through private sector participation despite criticisms from some sectors. “We’d rather be part of the solution than be part of the problem,” said Vice Mayor Cynthia Cajudo, chair of the Olongapo City Sangunian Panglungsod.
Incoming Mayor James Gordon, Jr. has also expressed his full support for the project stressing that in order for Olongapo to compete with other countries as the next investment hub, it is imperative that they bring down the cost of electricity to a more competitive level. He sees the project as a step towards the realization of this vision.
The project will not only infuse the much needed investments, it will likewise bring in private sector efficiency and expertise to address high systems losses, power interruptions, and fluctuating electric current due to antiquated and obsolete power facilities.
The City has already completed the Technical Study and Bid/Tender Documents for the Project with technical assistance from the BOT Center of the Department of Trade and Industry. Bidding is expected to commence by August 2004.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

SBMA chief’s functions split

President Arroyo signed an executive order (EO) on Aug. 4 that splits the functions of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) administrator. Under EO 340, a chairman of the SBMA board of directors will be designated to head the agency. But the day-to-day running of the agency will continue to be the responsibility of the administrator as chief executive officer (CEO) of the SBMA.
Felicito Payumo is holding the post of SBMA administrator in a holdover capacity. In splitting the SBMA administrator’s functions, the President is expected to announce soon the two new appointees who will take over Payumo’s two functions.
Under Republic Act (RA) 7227, which created the SBMA, the administrator doubles as ex-officio chair of the board of directors. Payumo, whose term had already ended, continues to run the SBMA in a holdover capacity. He has a fixed term of six years under RA 7227. Payumo was appointed to his post by former President Joseph Estrada on June 30, 1998 but only took control on Sept. 1 because of the refusal of then SBMA administrator Richard Gordon to vacate his office. Gordon, who is now a senator, justified his defiance by pointing to his unfinished term of office as a holdover appointee of former President Fidel Ramos.
Palace sources told the STAR yesterday that at least three names were being considered for the vacancies at the SBMA, namely, former representative Pacifico Fajardo; former Ayala executive Francisco Licuanan; and former Cagayan Export Processing Zone Authority chief Rodolfo Reyes, said to be a protégé of Gordon during their stint at the SBMA.
The SBMA directive was among three EOs Mrs. Arroyo signed within the span of two days. The STAR obtained copies of the EOs only yesterday. On the same day she signed EO 340, Mrs. Arroyo signed EO 341 that gives the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) administrative supervision and control over all international airports in the country. The next day, on Aug. 5, Mrs. Arroyo signed EO 343, transferring the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to the Office of the President (OP).
Opposition leaders led by former senator Ernesto Maceda have already questioned some of the reorganization moves being made by Mrs. Arroyo since she started her new term last June 30.
Returning to his dWIZ radio program after losing in the Senate race in the May 10 elections, Maceda said the powers of Mrs. Arroyo to reorganize the government under the 1987 Administrative Code apply only to government bodies attached to the OP and does not include other agencies under the executive department.
Two of the agencies affected by Mrs. Arroyo’s triad of EOs have their own charters. Both the SBMA and the MIAA have their own charters, while the CFO was created as an attached agency under the DFA by RA 8042, which passed into law in 1996. Under EO 340, Mrs. Arroyo amended Section 13 of RA 7227, which provides for the SBMA administrator to serve as ex-officio chairman of its board of directors. "Whereas, in view of the multifarious requirements, functions and responsibilities of the Administrator as ex-officio chairman of the SBMA Board and as CEO of the SBMA, and to ensure the accomplishment of the government’s target to develop the Subic Special Economic Zone as the be st international service and logistics center in the region, there is a need to reorganize the SBMA Board by separating and allocating the powers, functions and duties of the chairman of the SBMA Board and the Administrator as CEO of the SBMA," the President said in her order.
Under EO 341, Mrs. Arroyo gave the MIAA — an agency attached to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) — jurisdiction not just over the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) but also over the Laoag International Airport, the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (formerly the Clark International Airport), the Subic Bay International Airport, the Mactan International Airport in Cebu, the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao, the General Santos International Airport and the Zamboanga City International Airport. Earlier, Mrs. Arroyo promoted former MIAA general manager Edgar Manda as presidential assistant at the OP and named erstwhile Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) administrator Al Cusi as new MIAA chief.
On the removal of the CFO from DFA jurisdiction, Mrs. Arroyo said EO 343 merely reverts the CFO to the OP. In 1980 Batas Pambansa 79 created the CFO as an agency under the OP. She also justified the transfer as another step to "effectively oversee and supervise the Government’s efforts towards strengthening overseas workers’ protection" after her creation last month of a presidential task force against illegal recruitment headed by retired police Col. Reynaldo Jaylo. "Recognizing the unprecedented and phenomenal increase in the number of Filipinos overseas, the Government is committed to strengthen its efforts towards protecting the rights and welfare of Filipinos overseas, including their protection from the depredations of domestic recruiters as well as of overseas employers, agents and officials, and their protection from physical harm," she wrote in her directive. In her state of the nation address before Congress last July 26, Mrs. Arroyo said she had already abolished 80 agencies under the OP and intended to abolish or remove 30 more from direct OP supervision.
In previous EOs, she transferred from the OP the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) and the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) to the Department of Finance, and the Philippine National Construction Co. (PNCC) and the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). She also ordered the transfer of the Public Estates Authority (PEA) from the Department of Public Works and Highways to the DOF.
By Marichu VillanuevaThe Philippine Star 08/10/2004

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


THE BASES CONVERSION DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY has agreed to a rebidding of the multi-billion peso Subic-Tarlac expressway project.

BCDA’S decision fallows the recommendation of the National Economic and development authority, which said the previous project bids where to high.

BCDA president and chief executive Rufo Calayco said said I a press briefing yesterday that the agency would seek the approval of the Japan bank for International cooperation to re-bid the civil work contracts for the SCTEP.

The move stemmed Neda’s finding the original bidding was void due to palses in procedure, according to director general an socioeconomic planning secretary Romulo Neri .

Colayco said the lowest bid received in the tender, conducted late in 2003 , was substantially higher than the budget approved by the Neda-Investment Coordinating Committee in 2000.

The project originally cost P15.7 billion when the Neda board originally gave the go-ahead in 1999.

It calls for the construction of a 44-kilomater expressway from Clark to Tarlac.

In April, Calayco said the BCDA was negotiating wit the Japanese consortium of Hazama Corp., Taisei Corp., and Nessei steel Corp. to bring down the cost of the 44-kilometer Clark-Tarlac segment from P 11 billion to P 8 billion.

The other component of the SCTEP is the 50.5-km. Subic Clark highway, whish would link Subic’s saport to Clrak’s airport.

The new road is expected to cut travel time between the two points from as long as two hours to just 30 minutes.

The BCDA ask Neda’s approvals for cost adjustment to P18,7 billion in 2001, or a total cost of P27.4 billion , including other expenses such as land and right of way.

Colayco said cost surged because of the devaluation of the peso, drastic increase in he price of steel and the price of raw materials, as well the design is changes in areas affected affected by lahar from MT. Pinatubo.

The BCDA erilier express reluctantce to hold a rebidding , but decided to follow NEDA’s recommendation .

“We will fallow whatever Neda says. We eant to show that there is unity among government agencies,” Colayco said.

As late as last Tuesday, Colayco said Neda’s position to re-bid the SCTEP would mean a delay in the project up to two years.

He added the move would endanger relations between the Philippines and Japan.

The JBIC is funding the project while Japanese construction firms have won the original auctions for SCTEP contracts.

The contracts, however , were never awarded. Colayco said the BCDA would resubmit the subject proposals to Neda-ICC next week.

“We expect to have another bidding in three months,” he said.

By Ronnel Domingo
Thursday, July 29, 2004

GMA to put up soundstage in SUBIC

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has begun to fulfill her campaign promises to lift the film industry from the moribund state it has been languishing in.
She has started discussing with industry leaders several project to help them get back on their feet. One project that particularly interests her is the setting up a huge soundstage with state-of-the-art facilities could rent for a minimal fee so they can come up with quality films.
The President had long planned to put up such a soundstage in SUBIC, but she could not find the time for it during her time first three years in Malacanang. Now that she has a full six-year term, the project is sure to take off.
“She has been sounding off the producers on how to start the project,” say Viva boss Vic Del Rosario. “She is also keenly interested in the other pressing problems of the industry. I know that once she sets her heart to it, those problems will be addressed soon.
A self-confessed movie buff, Mrs. Macapagal- Arroyo is also aware of the socio-economic impact of films. “Movies not only are a source of affordable entertainment. They are also a source of employment. I have promised a million jobs for every year of my term. That includes jobs in the showbiz industry,” she says.
The President is also concerned about the revenues lost to film piracy and the need to reduce the amusement tax, which has discouraged small film outfits from increasing their output.
But the soundstage has caught her fancy because it could break the stranglehold of foreign movies in the box office, open more jobs and revive the enthusiasm of the local movie industry.

Saturday, JULY 31, 2004

Monday, August 09, 2004

RP clears US ship of human-waste dumping allegation

The ship, which was fined 10,000 dollars for the violation, had taken part in joint exercises with Filipino sailors which officially ended Wednesday.
But the foreign office's Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFACOM) which investigated the issue said there was no conclusive evidence against the USS Russel.
"It cannot be ascertained if the wastes came from the USS Russel or whether it was washed down the shore due to inclement weather and coincidentally swept by the said of the US vessel," VFACOM executive director Zosimo Paredes.
Investigation also showed human waste aboard US military ships was processed before being disposed properly, and not just jettisoned onto the waters.
"With inconclusive evidence and facts, the SBMA thought it just to withdraw the complaints," Paredes said.
Subic, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Manila, was a US naval base until it was shut down in 1992. It has been transformed into a freeport and tourist
attraction. American naval ships routinely visit the area.

Updated 10:11am (Mla time) Aug 06, 2004 Agence France-Presse

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Subic fines US ship for P.5m

What a load of crap!
A US navy ship taking part in joint exercises is being fined $10,000 for dumping human waste into Subic Bay, officials said yesterday.
The United States embassy, however, denied that any American ship had dumped human waste and said there appeared to be a “misunderstanding.”
Philippine officials said the guided missile destroyer USS Russel was caught discharging waste while anchored off Subic’s Alava pier last week, but its personnel allegedly accosted local officials photographing the activity.
Diskette seized
American sailors also confiscated a diskette from the digital camera used by Filipino officials without explanation, said Ametha de la Llana, who heads Subic’s ecology department.
“I penalized them $10,000 for discharging human waste into Subic Bay waters. I am still waiting for them to submit a written explanation or reaction to the notice of violation I sent them,” De la Llana told AFP.
“So far they are ignoring it,” she said, adding that her office might refer the case to its legal department. “They should remember this is no longer an American base. There is a Filipino authority here that supervises the port.”
Subic was an American naval base until it was shut down in 1992. It has been transformed into a free port and tourist attraction under the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, but US navy ships routinely visit the area for joint exercises with local counterparts.
American embassy spokesperson Ruth Urry said that during a routine transfer of sewage from the ship to a waste disposal truck last week, a leak was noticed and the pumping stopped.
A cleanup was carried out with the help of Subic authorities and “all procedures were followed during the transfer of sewage from the ship to the tanker.”
She said Subic officials had voluntarily given the photo diskettes to US navy personnel after realizing they had taken pictures of sensitive weapons systems.
Manila Standard, August 4, 2004

Saturday, August 07, 2004

US ship fined $10K for dumping human waste in Subic

A US naval ship taking part in joint exercises is being fined $10,000 for dumping human waste into Subic Bay, officials said yesterday

The United States embassy, however, denied any American ship had dumped human waste and said there appeared to be a "misunderstanding." Philippines officials said USS Russel was caught discharging waste while anchored off Subic's Alava Pier last week, but its personnel allegedly accosted local officials photographing the incident. American sailors also confiscated a diskette from the digital camera used by Filipino officials without explanation, said Ametha de la Llana, who heads Subic's ecology department. "I penalized them $10,000 for discharging human waste into Subic Bay waters. I am still waiting for them to submit a written explanation or reaction from the notice of violation I sent them," De la Llana told AFP. "So far they are ignoring it," she said, adding that her office might refer the case to its legal department. "There could be an international dimension to this case if they fail to heed the notice," she said. "They should remember this is no longer an American base. There is a Filipino authority here that supervises the port." Subic was an American naval base until it was shut down in 1992. It has been transformed into a freeport and tourist attraction, but US naval ships routinely visit the area for joint exercises with local counterparts. American embassy spokeswoman Ruth Urry said that during a routine transfer of sewage from the ship to a waste disposal truck last week, a leak was noticed and the pumping stopped. A clean-up was carried out with the help of Subic authorities and "all procedures were followed during the transfer of sewage from the ship to the tanker." Urry said US Navy personnel were coordinating with Subic officials as well as the Filipino operator of the sewage truck to clarify the issue. She said Subic officials had voluntarily given the photo diskettes to US navy personnel after realizing they had taken pictures of sensitive weapons systems.

Peoples Journal August 4, 2004


Visiting ships stir Subic back to life

By Patrick Roxas , PDI Central Luzon Bureau Chief

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Ernesto Sagun appeared to be filled with nostalgia as he watched US warships berth at the Alava Pier here on Tuesday morning.
A former timekeeper at the once bustling Ship Repair Facility (SRF), when the Subic Bay Freeport was still US’s biggest military installation overseas, Sagun told The Manila Times it was a very familiar sight he had almost forgotten.
Sagun was looking at the military vessels at the pier and the people bustling with their assigned tasks, crewmen and dock workers busy securing the ships, temporary shore services being provided and ships’ provisions being loaded.
“Parang panahon uli ng SRF [It’s like the days of the SRF],” said the diminutive Sagun, now working at the seaport department of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority as he nudged his friend, Dan, who quietly watched the hustle and bustle at the pier.
Dan also works at the SBMA seaport department but used to work at the US Navy’s quality and reliability assurance department at the SRF.
Dan used to be the one responsible for ensuring that all repairs and work done on US warships by skilled Filipino craftsmen pass the highest quality standard of the US military.
The two former US base workers were among the thousands of residents who felt mixed emotions as they again saw the Freeport’s pier fill with warships.
The week before last, the British warships HMS Exeter and RFA Grey Roveras docked at the pier as part of a global deployment exercise.
The two British ships were soon followed by American vessels, the guided-missile destroyers USS Russel (DDG-59) and USS McCampbell (DDG-85), landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43) and US Coast Guard’s cutter Mellon (WHEC-717) and the salvage and rescue ship USS Salvor (ARS-52).
Local naval ships also arrived for the nine-day naval exercise, Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (Carat) 2004.
The Philippine Navy’s ships are the BRP Artemio Ricarte (PS-37), BRP General Mariano Alvarez (PS-38), BRP Lanao del Norte (LC-504), BRP Hilario Ruiz (PG-378), BRP Alberto Navarette (PG-394), BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS-35), BRP Teotimo Figuracion (PG-389) and the Coast Guard’s BRP Pampanga.
Besides the Carat naval exercises, the Philippine ships are also set to conduct separate exercises with the two British warships.
Nightclubs and bar owners and other business establishments in nearby Olongapo City welcomed reports that the servicemen will not be restricted to the confines of the former US base, but will be allowed to go out in the city for rest and recreation.
“This will be good business for the community even if only a short period of time,” a businessman in Magsaysay Drive, the former red light district of Olongapo, said.
A Chinese businessmen who owns a girlie bar on Gordon Avenue told The Times he still reminisces those days when hundreds of US servicemen walk on the streets of Olongapo and wantonly spend dollars.
“It’s so easy to make money then especially when huge aircraft carriers come to port,” he said.
Olongapo City Mayor James Gordon Jr. has reportedly told businessmen here that liberty will not be limited to the Freeport area only after the US Rear Adm. Kevin Quinn paid him a courtesy call three days ago.
Owners of business establishments immediately rushed to have their respective banners and streamers put out welcoming the servicemen.
Myrna, a 19-year-old guest relations officer in one of the bars here, said she is used to entertaining Taiwanese and Japanese businessmen but feels nervous at the prospect of American customers.
“Syempre nakakatakot mag entertain nung mga ‘Kano’ at ‘Itim,’ ang lalaking tao nun kaya lang dolyar naman ang pera nila kaya susubok na rin ako,” Myrna said.
Even tricycle and jeepney drivers see a good opportunity over the next few days. “Matagal na panahon na rin naman ng huli akong maarkila ng mga sailor. Sana kumita ng maganda ngayon habang andito sila,” said Mang Berto, a 56-year-old jeepney driver plying the Magsaysay route.


Friday, August 06, 2004

Latest in Subic Bay

Inspired by bloggers covering the 2004 US presidential elections, this Webmaster thought of starting a web log (blog) of what’s happening in Subic Bay, Philippines.
Right after PGMA had given her State of the Nation Address last July 26, 2004, controversial political bickering immediately followed. While some competition appears to be discreet, its resurgence could be an eruption waiting to happen
Clash of opinion and political positioning for the hotly contested position of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator quickly resurfaced. Felicito “Tong” Payumo is doing everything to cling to the position.
Groups of all shapes, sizes and creed wanted to influence the president’s decision in order to assure themselves a piece of the pie.The president it seems, was not comfortable in appointing any of the earlier short-listed contenders submitted by the search committee that include:
Present SBMA Chairman Felicito Payumo, former Zambales Governor Amor Deloso, former Nueva Ecija Mayor/Congressman and presently Chief of MRT Fajardo, former congresswoman and mayor of Olongapo Katherine Gordon, retiring PNP General Ebdane, SBMA Director JV Magsaysay, and SBMA COO Rex Chan. In the May 10, 2004 presidential election, Gloria Arroyo lost in provinces of the above contenders.
Amidst long list of candidates floating alternatively for the past three years, a new name surfaced Mr. Carlos S. Co, President of Cebu Chamber of Commerce & Industry This may be due to the president’s hesitation to appoint Ace Durano to top DOT post which the Cebu people (where Arroyo got the much needed vote to win the presidency) are clamoring for.
The name of former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of SBMA during Dick Gordon's time (1992-1998) and Administrator of Cagayan Freeport Zone from 1998 to 2001, INKY REYES is surfacing as strongest contender to the COO position.
Whatever happens in the next few days, one thing is for sure, people who have learned to love Subic Bay will expect nothing less than the best at the helm of Philippines’ first Freeport.


This is a joint private blog of volunteers from Subic Bay. It is being maintained primarily to collate articles that may be of importance to decision making related to the future of Subic Bay and as a source of reference material to construct the history of Subic Bay.

The articles herein posted remains the sole property of original authors and publications which has full credits to the articles.

Disclaimer: Readers should conduct their own research and due diligence before using any article herein posted for whatever intended purpose it may be. This private web log will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a reader's reliance on information obtained from volunteers of this private blog.

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