Thursday, March 31, 2011

National chessfest goes to Aklan
So, Gomez, Paragua to play in chess tourney


KALIBO, Aklan – Close to 30 chess teams across the country will participate in the 2011 National Inter-Province Chess Team Championships hosted by the province of Aklan for the second time from April 1 to 5.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), headed by its president Prospero Pichay, and Aklan Governor Carlito Marquez are expected to make the ceremonial moves during the formal opening rites on April 1 at the Gov. Cozaron L. Cabagnot Tourism and Training Center in Barangay Old Buswang, this town.

Grandmasters Wesley So, John Paul Gomez and Mark Paragua, who brought honors to the country, will play top board for their respective teams in the five-day nine-round chess competition.

So, the highest-rated Filipino chess player, will carry the banner for Tagaytay team while Gomez heads defending team champion Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA)-Quezon City. Paragua will play for Misamis Oriental.

According to Provincial Sports Coordinator Wilfredo Neri, the prestigious chess team tournament is expected to draw 30 chess teams as compared to 19 teams last year. The tournament sanctioned by NCFP is open to all provinces, cities and municipalities, schools and clubs.

"This is the second time for our province to host the star-studded chess competition. We are ready to host more than 150 chess players and officials who will participate in one of the biggest events in NCFP's chess calendar," he said.

The team champion will bring home the top prize of P100,000 and trophy and the runner-up and the third placer will receive P70,000 and P50,000, respectively.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Boracay spa named Asia's best

Tirta Spa in Boracay was named “Day Spa of the Year” for 2010 in the Asia Spa Baccarat Crystal Awards in Hong Kong, scoring a three-peat in the prestigious award-giving search.

The Asia Spa Awards was created in 2005 to set the benchmark for quality and innovation in the region’s booming spa industry.

Regarded as the best in the popular beach resort island, the three-year old spa opened in 2007 and won the Day Spa of the Year Award in 2008 and 2009.

According to Tirta Spa owner and director En Calvert, the award is a result of the spa’s use of high-quality products, innovative treatments with therapeutic benefits, its opulent Asian architecture and interiors, and its impeccable personalized service.

Tirta Spa promotes authentic, holistic spa product and educates clients that the treatments and therapies offered are focused on long-term wellness and rejuvenation.

She said that the spa uses organic Asian herbs and spices, luxury aesthetic products such as Biodroga Systems from Germany, Australian botanical skin care products, pure aromatherapy essential oils and sweet almond base oil.

Calvert, an internationally-certified therapist, said that as part of their expansion, Tirta Spa recently opened a sub-brand, Prashant Spa, which offers the same high-end therapies to the middle-end market.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Six teams barge into the quarterfinals of Aklan Governor's Cup

KALIBO, Aklan - Six teams led by defending champion Numancia advanced to the quarterfinals at the close of the 15-team elimination round of the 2011 Aklan Inter-Municipalities Basketball Tournament.

Billed as Governor Carlito S. Marquez Basketball Cup, three top teams each from Eastern and Western groups moved closer to the tough semifinals after dominating the single round-robin elimination.

The basketball teams of Kalibo, Banga and Altavas kept the fire burning for the Eastern group while Ibajay, Tangalan and Numancia in the Western group also stayed in the hunt for the championship.

The towns of Batan, Balete, Madalag and Libacao (Eastern) and Lezo, Malinao, Makato, Nabas and Malay (Western), however, failed to advance to the second round.

The top six squads will be grouped together for another single round-robin quarterfinals. The teams will play each other to determine the top four teams who would play for the semifinals.

After the quarterfinals, the top two-ranked teams automatically earn the twice-to-beat advantage against the No. 3 and No. 4 teams in the cross-over semis. The winners will clash in the best-of-three titular series.

Kalibo is scheduled to play against Altavas in the curtain raiser at 2 p.m. while Tangalan battles Banga at 3:30 p.m. at the start of quarterfinal matches on April 2 at the Gov. Augusto B. Legaspi Sports Center.

To kick-off its title-repeat, defending champion Numancia will face off unpredictable Ibajay at 5 p.m.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Boracay is Best Island Resort and Best Resort Destination in Southeast Asia for Russians

BORACAY - The island of Boracay was cited as the Best Resort Destination in Southeast Asia and Best Island Resort in the annual consumer tourism award held at the 18th Moscow International Exhibition on Travel and Tourism (MITT) in Expocenter Krasnaya Presnya in Russia.

Department of Foreign Affairs announced the recent awards from Travel.ru, the first and unique consumer award in travel industry in Russia. The Philippines was also recognized as Discovery of the Year for 2010.

The winners were selected via online voting by travellers and tourists in travel.ru website, one of the popular internet tourist resources in Russia. Philippine Ambassador in Russia Victor Garcia III received the awards during the “Travel.ru Star” ceremony.

The awardees got votes from more than 9,000 Russian tourists where they named 264 Russian tour operators, 203 beach hotel resorts, 320 beach destinations, 176 tourist places in 57 countries, 92 airlines, many Russian and foreign airports, dozens of travel guides, papers and magazines, tv channels and thematic websites.

Irina Turina, press attaché of Russian Union of Travel Industry said "there is no doubt that Travel.ru Star is notable for its impartiality and independence. Nor participants nor winners are paying for their participation and victory."

Among the winners in Southeast Asia were Singapore for Best Foreign Airport (Singapore Changi Airport) and Best Airline by Destination Southeast Asia, Australia and Oceania (Singapore Airlines) and Best Travel Company Operating in Russia by Destinations (TEZ Tour).

Since 2003 it is the customers who name the best of the best among travel agencies, hotels, resorts, airlines, countries and sources of information. Every year thousands of Internet users participate in the online voting.

Currently there are 70 nomination categories for the “Travel.ru Star” award. The founder of the "Travel.ru Star" award and the facilitator of the contest is Travel.ru Direct Ltd.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Aklan Media Bowling Cup draws nine teams, set for action on April 9 BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL
KALIBO, Aklan - Nine bowling teams will see action in the 4th Aklan Vice Governor Gabrielle Calizo- Quimpo Aklan Media Bowling Cup on April 9 at the Q-Zone Bowling Center at Capitol Site, this town.

Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) and Aklan Photographic Society (APS) confirmed its participation in the weeklong bowling tournament next month, bringing to nine the total number of teams in this one-of-a-kind tourney.

Aklan Police Provincial Office, Alpha Media, Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Aklan Chapter, Charlie Media, Judiciary I, Bravo Media and Judiciary II complete the bowling cup cast.

The tournament format calls for the nine teams to play in a single round robin eliminations. The top six finishers after the eliminations gain outright tickets to the semifinals.

The top bottom-ranked teams will play a knockout game for fifth place while the top four-ranked teams will play cross-over knockout games to earn outright passage to the finals on April 16. Now on its 4th year, the bowling cup aims to foster camaraderie, friendship and sportsmanship among the players.

Organized under the auspices of Aklan media organizations, the friendly bowling tournament opening ceremony starts at 3 p.m. on April 9 with Aklan Vice Governor Gabrielle Calizo-Quimpo invited to deliver her inspirational message to more than 70 bowling players.

This year's edition, Alpha Media has the inside track to the championship as it will try to defend its Aklan Media Bowling Cup title. Last year's runner-up Aklan Police Provincial Office and third placer Charlie Media also face tough challenge against the top bowlers of Aklan SP, Judiciary I, Bravo Media and Judiciary II.

IBP Aklan and APS are the teams that could pull off huge upsets in the bowling tournament.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Aklan retains 3rd place finish in 2011 Western Visayas Athletic Meet

KALIBO, Aklan - The province of Aklan ranked third place in the final medal tally in the elementary and secondary divisions of the 2011 Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) Meet held in Iloilo City from March 20 to 24.
Aklan settled for third place with 168.5 points in the elementary division behind champion Negros with 354 points and Iloilo with 332 points. Antique came in 4th with 105 points followed by Capiz with 95.5 points and Guimaras with 35 points.
Negros also emerged as champion in the secondary division with 354 points, Iloilo finished second with 332 points followed by Aklan with 134.66 points. Capiz tallied 118.66 points, Antique with 115.66 points and Guimaras with 35 points.
In the elementary girls division, Aklan reigned supreme in arnis team single weapon, 800 meters, high jump, 4 x 100 meters relay and 4 x 400 meters in athletics, chess, 50 meter butterfly and 100 meter butterfly in swimming.
Aklan team also took 20 silver medals in 50 meter freestyle and 100 meter individual medley in swimming, mixed doubles badminton, long jump, 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 1500 meters and 100 meters hurdles in athletics, anyo individual single weapon, anyo individual double weapon, anyo team double weapon, mixed solo baston, mixed double baston and the six individual events for arnis.
It brought home 17 bronze medals in doubles and team competition for tennis, kyorugi-Group 1 to Group 3 in taekwondo, 200 meter medley relay, 400 meter freestyle, 200 meter freestyle, 100 meter breastroke, 100 meter backstroke and 50 meter backstroke in swimming, singles and doubles badminton, team tie badminton, triple jump, 800 meters and 200 meters in athletics.

In the elementary boys division, Aklan amassed two golds in kiddie category in boxing and one individual event in arnis.

It got 13 silver medals in volleyball, mixed doubles and team tie in badminton, high jump and javelin throw in athletics, anyo event individual single weapon, anyo event individual double weapon, anyo event team single weapon, anyo event team double weapon, mixed solo baston, mixed double baston and two individual events in arnis.

Aklan bagged bronze medals in team competition tennis, poomsae individual-group A, kyorugi-Group 1, 4,5 and 6 in taekwondo, individual competition table tennis, 400 meter freestyle relay in swimming, football, chess, baseball, badminton doubles, long jump, triple jump, discus throw and javelin throw in athletics, boxing and two individual events in arnis.

In the secondary girls division, Aklan harvested five golds in long jump in athletics and anyo individual double weapon, anyo team single weapon, anyo team double weapon, full contact extra light weight in arnis,

It had eight silvers in tennis doubles, high jump in athletics, mixed doubles, doubles and singles badminton and full contact half light weight, full contact pin weight, full contact feather weight in arnis.

Aklan also got eight bronze medals in olympic round (team) in archery, 200 meter and 400 meter medley relays in swimming, softball, singles badminton, 4 x 100 meters relay in athletics and full contact bantamweight and anyo individual single weapon in arnis.

In the secondary boys division, Aklan bagged four gold medals in pinweight boxing and full contact feather weight, full contact bantam weight and full contact half light weight in arnis.
Volleyball, mixed doubles badminton, high jump in athletics, Olympic round (team) in archery and full contact pin weight, anyo event team double weapon, anyo event individual single weapon, full contact extra light weight and anyo event individual double weapon in arnis contributed nine silver medals.
It had 11 bronzes were in powder weight, mosquito weight and light flyweight in boxing, team tie and doubles badminton, javelin throw, 800 meters and triple jump in athletics, anyo event team single weapon in arnis, 30 meters and 50 meters in archery.
Meanwhile, Dapitan City will be the host of the 2011 Palarong Pambansa on May 8 to 14 where thousands of elementary and high students from other regions are participating.
Top chess grandmasters square off in Aklan tourney

KALIBO, Aklan - Just one week to go before the country's finest chess grandmasters square off for the 2011 National Inter-Province Chess Team Championships here, Tagaytay team bannered by GM Wesley Barbasa So (ELO rating 2667) has been installed as early favorite to clinch the coveted title.
The 17-year old chess whiz kid, the world's No. 4 junior player, is vying for honors with 24-year old GM John Paul Gomez (ELO rating 2538) of reigning titlist Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA)-Quezon City and 27-year old GM Mark Callano Paragua (ELO rating 2547) of Misamis Oriental.
The chess championship is sanctioned by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) in coordination with the Aklan provincial government under the leadership of Governior Carlito Marquez from April 1 to 5 at the Gov. Corazon L. Cabagnot Tourism and Training Center in Barangay New Buswang, this town.
This marks the second consecutive year the province of Aklan and the town of Kalibo will host the Inter-Province Chess Team Championships.
The top prize of P100,000 and trophy will be disputed by reputable chess players, among them, National Master Cesar Mariano of South Cotabato, International Master Kim Steven Yap of Cebu, Fide Master Roderick Nava of Laguna, National Master Jony Habla of DepEd-Pasig, National Master Francis Jocson of Capiz, International Master Oliver Barbosa of Rizal, David Elorta of Makati, National Master Rodrigo Atotubo of Club 64-Iloilo, National Master Rhobel Legaspi of Antique, Fide Master Roderick Nava of Laguna and National Master Rhobel Sarip of Lanao del Sur.
Other chess teams players in the hunt for the top prize are Women National Master Jedara Docena of LWUA-Quezon City C, National Master Leonardo Aldani of Mandaue, National Master Edmundo Gatus of Bulacan, National Master Reggie Olay of Cotabato, National Master Paulo Bersamina of LWUA-Quezon City B, National Master Fernandito Pialan of Iligan City and Horizon Villanueva of Iloilo City.
According to Provincial Sports Coordinator and National Master Wilfredo Neri, the host province of Aklan may opt to field at least 10 chess teams in the five-day competition. Each team can field four regular players and one alternate where one titled player - GM, IM, FM or NM - can only play on top board.
NCFP has announced the runner-up team will take home cash prize of P70,000 and the third placer will receive P50,000. The other cash prizes are: P30,000 for fourth place, P20,000 for fifth placer; P10,000 to the sixth placer; P9,000 to the seventh placer; P8,000 to the eighth placer; P7,000 to the ninth placer; and P6,000 to the 10th placer.
The top individual performers from boards one to five will also get P2,000 each and medals.
Pampering at SunSpa Boracay

Make your Boracay vacation a relaxing and invigorating one by visiting SunSpa Boracay, which offers a wide assortment of rejuvenating spa treatments to pamper your body and soothe your sense.
SunSpa Boracay offers relaxing massages that let you recharge after a tiring day under the sun. Wash away the cares of the day and emerge refreshed with a Boracay Body Massage. Give your feet that much-needed attention with a Foot Spa (Scrub & Massage).
If you’ve had too much of the sun and want to soothe your skin, then the Sun Treatment packages are a definite must-try.
SunSpa also offers a host of other treatments that include body scrub and waxing services, to give you healthy and great-looking skin that’s perfect for the beach.
All treatments at SunSpa are conducted by highly-trained and experienced therapists to ensure optimal results.
SunSpa Boracay is located in three of Boracay’s most idyllic locations: at the White Beach in Station 1 (near Starbucks); Sun Village Central at Station 2 (near D’Mall, D’Boracay), and at The Sun Villas along the Main Road (in front of Regency Lagoon Resort and near D’ Talipapa). Spas are open from 10am till 12 midnight daily.
Call 036-288-5541, 026-288-5800 or 036-288-1306 to book your reservation and you’re on your way to a Boracay pampering experience you deserve.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kalibo mayor lauds Kiwanis K-Kids of Kalibo Pilotianz

KALIBO, Aklan – Kalibo mayor William Lachica hailed the newly installed officers of Kiwanis K-Kids Club of Kalibo Pilotianz during the Charter Presentation and Installation of Officers and Members yesterday morning.
Kiwanis K-Kids is a global service-oriented group of school children, aged 6 to 12, that aims to instill leadership among children and to encourage them to be active in the community through volunteer programs.
The charter officers of K-Kids of Kalibo Pilotianz were president Adrian Rigor, vice president Rexiel John Tingga, secretary Paula Teesha Suaboksan, assistant secretary Kae Mark Domingo, treasurer Mary Cyrene Lerio, assistant treasurer Precious Fe Matorres, press relations officer Ivann James Irodestan, business managers Micah Althea Magallanes and Ma. Myles Aina Francisco and sergeant-at-arms Amiel Ryle Rembulat, Bryan Jake Atienza, Brian Ray Diego, Vince Kendrick Mijares and Joshua Francis Ramos.

Some 70 charter members from Grade 5 and Grade 6 were also installed by Philippine South District Immediate Past District Governor Rufino Leyson.

The charging of officers and members was witnessed by school principal Nenita Bicera and the teaching staff of Kalibo Pilot Elementary School.

Mayor Lachica, in his message, has lauded the efforts of three Kiwanis clubs – Kalibo, Kalibo Ati-Atihan and Kalibo Jewels for organizing the first K-Kids in Western Visayas for the Philippine South District.

The chief local executive also thanked the Kiwanis volunteers for initiating the laudable Balay ni San Jose feeding program for some 100 under nourished school children of Kalibo Pilot Elementary School.

“I am encouraging the Kiwanis clubs to replicate the feeding program in other barangays and schools to feed our growing and young children,” the mayor said.

The feeding program is a project of Philippine South District of Kiwanis International in partnership with Risen Savior Missions founded by Gerald and Barbara Krosnowski in 2006 and the Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit Christian organization founded in 1987.

The fortified rice packs are sourced from Minnesota in USA for distribution to nearly 70 countries the world including the Philippines.

Aklan's pro boxer in "Tunay na Lakas Boxing Tour" main event

BORACAY - Twelve promising and young professional boxers will exchange jabs and punches in the "Tunay na Lakas Boxing Tour" presented by Cebu-based ALA Promotions and Cobra Energy Drinks this Saturday in the island resort of Boracay.
The first beach professional boxing tour features Marjhun Macahilig, a flyweight prospect from Kalibo, Aklan native in the 10-round main event fight against Ryan Tampus of Metro Manila (7-5).
Macahilig (9-1 with five knockouts) debuted in 2009 and before turning into a professional boxer, he was a product of the boxing program of the provincial government of Aklan.
Meanwhile, Agusan del Sur Jerson Mancio (11-1-3 with four knockouts) slugs it out with Rodel Tejares of Cagayan de Oro (9-16-3, 1 KO) in a 10-round main supporting bout.
In the undercard, Jomar Cordinillo (8-1, 3 KOs) is fighting Ryan Makiputin of Cagayan de Oro (9-3-1, 3 KOs); Romeo Orpanel (0-3) to clash Jicky Gako (2-2, 1 KO), unbeaten Ryan Canillas (1-0-1) takes on JV Villan of Iloilo City (0-1) and Peter Aldrin of Tagbilaran City clashes with Ramie Crisostomo of Bacolod City.
The six boxing events are supported by the Aklan provincial government and the local government of Malay. It will be held in Barangay Balabag at Boom Boom and Pat's Bar at 7 p.m.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Negros rules WVRAA’s badminton,
Aklan captures three bronzes and one silver

KALIBO, Aklan – Negros ruled the elementary and secondary badminton events at the close of 2011 Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) Meet at Smallville Badminton Court in Iloilo City.
Aklan finished with silver in secondary girls doubles and two bronzes in elementary girls singles and secondary boys doubles.
Negros had 6-4-0 gold-silver-bronze haul in the five-day event.
In elementary girls singles, the gold and silver went to Negros after Danielle Grace Lopez defeated Mitzi Joy Sun in straight sets, 21-17, 21-18. Joby Loreen Agapito of Aklan settled for bronze.
In the secondary girls singles, Nikki Therese Servando of Negros came back from a first set defeat for a 15-21, 21-17, 21-14 win over Merry Joy Fernandez of Negros. Gianina Isberto of Aklan and Leibnitz Aurelio of Antique ended up for the bronzes.
Meanwhile, Dhessa Mae Arino and Aprille Bibiano of Negros took the gold in secondary girls doubles after they dominated Faith Alejaga and Jerille Panado of Aklan in straight sets, 21-11, 21-7.
Krisha Wee and Mary Elizabeth Chua of Iloilo and Rosanna Lei Malagkit and Jasmine Joy Bacani of Antique bagged the bronze.
In the distaff side, Alem Palmares and Louie John Medina of Negros pocketed the gold against Iloilo doubles Aaron Paul Malata and John Robert Lozada, 21-17, 21-13.
Jeril Panado and Kits Recaforte of Aklan and Mar Palec and Jacob Sanchez of Antique snatched the bronze in the secondary boys doubles.
In the elementary boys singles, Kerr Longno and Patrick Sinope of Negros Occidental took home the gold and silver medals while Iloilo bets Clifford John Baxinela and Dave Keith Lagua captured bronzes.
Robert Aloyan of Negros also defeated his teammate Christian Sison in straight sets to capture the gold in secondary boys singles. Joseph Adrian Diaz and Keanu Glenn Taclas of Iloilo settled for third place.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Aklan chess team shines in WVRAA Meet,
elementary girls declared champion

KALIBO, Aklan - Aklan chess team was declared champion in the elementary girls division with a silver and a bronze haul in the five-day 2011 Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) Meet in SM City Iloilo.
Aklan also tallied seven points in the elementary boys to capture the bronze while Iloilo had 15 points for the gold and Negros Occidental with 10 points for first runner-up.
Aklan scored 15 points to lead the elementary girls while Iloilo had 10 points and Negros Occidental with 7 points followed by Guimaras with four points, Capiz with three points and Antique with two points.
Alea Bianca Garingalao of Aklan went home the silver medal in Board 1 while her teammate Trina Grace Regalado got the bronze in Board 2.
Rica Dianne Famillaran of Guimaras ruled the Board 1 for the gold and Claudine Beloria of Iloilo for the bronze in Board 1. Salia Magno of Iloilo also got the gold behind Marilyn Cabuncag, who settled for the silver in Board 2.
In the elementary boys, Kris Oswald Olbido of Iloilo had the gold in Board 1 while his teammate Julius Selibio took the silver in Board 2. Capiz' pride Winston Garino had the silver followed by Harvey Caspistrano of Negros Occidental for the bronze in Board 1.
Stevenson Garong of Negros Occidental won the gold in Board 2 while Mica Dawal of Aklan got the bronze in Board 2 of the elementary boys division.
In the secondary boys, Iloilo team led by John Bermo Baron dominated Board 2 for the gold and Noel Vincent Crucero for silver in Board 1.
Negros had a gold courtesy of Jerich Cajeras in Board 1 and Lyster Franz Andador for the silver in Board 2. Antique's Lou Vincent Baculna received the bronze in Board 1 while Capiz bet John Ivan Escalada secured the bronze in Board 2.
Aklan chess players - John Laurence Iratay was in 6th place in Board 1 and Xandrix Gonzales in 5th place in Board 2.
In the secondary girls, Mira Mirano of Aklan settled for third place in Board 1. Jesse Queen Villaflor of Antique sealed the top spot for the gold while Paulin Joy Aquino of Iloilo prevailed for the bronze in Board 1.
Angelyn Binan of Negros Occidental bagged the gold in Board 2, Pegah Cam of Capiz took home the silver and Denny Canja of Antique got the bronze.
114th death anniversary of '19 Martires de Aklan'

KALIBO, Aklan - In 1897, 19 Katipuneros, all martyrs for Aklan freedom, armed only with a few guns, bamboo spears and bolos, were executed by Spanish authorities on March 23.
They were the first Katipunan leaders outside Luzon who fought bravely against the Spanish rule. Over a century had passed, the town of Kalibo and the province of Aklan once again pay tribute to the ultimate sacrifices, heroism and patriotism of the 19 Martyrs of Aklan.
The freedom shrine erected in their honor at the corner of Veterans Avenue and Desposorio Maagma Sr streets is the main venue of the formal ceremonies. Among the 19 martyrs were Roman Aguirre, Tomas Briones, Valeriano Dalida, Domingo dela Cruz, Claro Delgado, Angelo Fernandez, Benito Iban, Candido Iban, Simeon Inocencio, Isidro Jimenez, Catalino Mangat, Lamberto Mangat, Valeriano Masinda, Maximo Mationg, Simplicio Reyes, Canuto Segovia, Gavino Sucgang, Francisco Villorente and Gavino Yunsal.
A memorial mass for the martyrs and patriots of Aklan at Saint John the Baptist Cathedral, civic military parade, floral offering and a commemorative program highlight the 114th martyrdom anniversary.
Kalibo mayor William Lachica, Aklan Governor Carlito Marquez and the whole of province of Aklan remember the courageous deeds and bravery of the 19 Martyrs and General Francisco Castillo.
Also gracing the commemorative program are Aklan Rep. Florencio Miraflores, Vice Governor Gabrielle Calizo-Quimpo, Kalibo vice mayor Madeline Regalado and Kasangga Partylist Rep. Teodorico Haresco, Jr.
In the evening, Gahum ag Himaya dinner and cultural presentation takes centerstage at the Aklan Freedom Shrine. The night of cultural patriotism is spearheaded by Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-Atihan Foundation, Inc. (Kasafi) and the local government of Kalibo.
19 Martyrs of Aklan commemoration on March 23 of every year is a special public holiday in Aklan by virtue of Republic Act No. 7806 signed by then President Fidel Ramos.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Negros, Iloilo swimmers bag 15 golds, lone gold for Aklan

Negros and Iloilo tankers are dominating the 16 swimming events of the 2011 Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) Meet at Iloilo Sports Complex Swimming Pool yesterday.
At the start of the swimming events, Negros topped the competition with 13-8-4 gold-silver-bronze haul in the elementary and secondary divisions.
Leading the charge for Negros were Luis Vincent Evangelista, Mark Arian Juson and Christianne Andrea Jerez (elementary), Joshua Balinas, Hillary Jovette Tan and Alfred Valentin Rojo in the secondary.
Evangelista and Jerez have two golds each in 200 meters freestyle and 100 meters backstroke while Balinas and Tan clinched the golds in 100 meters backstroke and Rojo contributed gold in 200 meters butterfly.
Iloilo team salvaged golds in 4x50M medley relay in the elementary boys and secondary girls.

Isabella Selyn Ibarreta of Aklan triumphed in 50 meters butterfly in elementary girls.

She also bagged bronze medals in 100 meters backstroke and 200 meters freestyle. Aklan's relay team also won two bronzes in 4x50M medley relay in elementary and secondary girls.

The official results of the 16 swimming events:

200 meters Freestyle (Elementary Boys)
Negros Luis Vincent Evangelista 2:26.70
Negros Jude Anthony Itonze 2:34.58
Capiz Richard Dinan Chaves 2:36.51

200 meters Freestyle (Elementary Girls)
Negros Christianne Andrea Jerez 2:32.78
Negros Regine Adriane Garbanzos 2:36.43
Aklan Isabella Selyn Ibarreta 2:46.12

400 meters Freestyle (Secondary Boys)
Negros Joshua Balinas 4:38.88
Antique Mario Hezron James Calauor 4:44.20
Negros Karlo del Carmen 4:50.30

400 meters Freestyle (Secondary Girls)
Negros Rosemarie Occeno 5:02.84
Negros Hillary Jovette Tan 5:19.12
Iloilo Jhannah Kaye Espelca 5:29.16

100 meters Backstroke (Elementary Girls)
Negros Christianne Andrea Jerez 1:20.51
Antique Pearl Frances Perlas 1:26.68
Aklan Isabella Selyn Ibarreta 1:28.70

100 meters Backstroke (Elementary Boys)
Negros Luis Vincent Evangelista 1:16:37
Iloilo JJ Willrichson Casidsid 1:17.21
Iloilo Jiro Duran 1:19.63

100 meters Backstroke (Secondary Girls)
Negros Hillary Jovette Tan 1:17.03
Negros Rimcelle Limaco 1:17.15
Iloilo Zen delos Reyes 1:19.93

100 meters Backstroke (Secondary Boys)
Negros Joshua Balinas 1:08.80
Antique Mario Hezron James Calauor 1:10.16
Iloilo Ruzelle Rej Onang 1:11.29

50 meters Butterfly (Elementary Girls)
Aklan Isabella Selyn Ibarreta 34.78
Negros Julienne Marie Brigoli 36.29
Negros Erika Joy Eslafor 36.82

50 meters Butterfly (Elementary Boys)
Negros Mark Arian Juson 33.57
Antique Guillfer Clemente 36.49
Negros Jude Anthony Itona 36.51

200 meters Butterfly (Secondary Boys)
Negros Alfred Valentin Rojo 2:26.69
Antique Guillermo Clemente 2:30.99
Iloilo Cedric Cabasac 2:31.29

200 meters Butterfly (Secondary Girls)
Negros Rosemary Occeno 2:47.80
Iloilo Tam Marie Castante 2:50.70
Negros Kyla Isabelle Mabus 2:52.75

4x50M medley relay (Elementary Boys)
Iloilo Duran/Lee/Publas/Hembra 2:28.02
Negros Sy/Juson/Itona/Jarder 2:28.17
Capiz Hugueriza/Flores/Chua/Chaves 2:46.04

4x50M medley relay (Elementary Girls)
Negros Jerez/Gracilla/Brigoli/Eslafor 2:32.10
Capiz Dasas/Bernada/Delotavo/Dela Cruz 2:42.15
Aklan Ortega/Ibarreta/Ibarreta/Magbiro 2:44.51

4x50M medley relay (Secondary Girls)
Iloilo Delos Reyes/Neptuno/Tablan/Castante 2:25.98
Negros Tan/Jacinto/Mabus/Villanueva 2:27.64
Aklan Dela Cruz/Ibunes/Ureta/Zambrona 2:38.27

4x50M medley relay (Secondary Boys)
Negros Del Carmen/Mabus/Gelanga/Bacaobo 2:08.41
Iloilo Onang/Roxas/Guillergan/Arcangeles 2:09.55
Capiz Manzanillo/Chavez/Milino/Yap 2:15.60

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mayor Lachica inducts new APS officers, hails APS' role in tourism promotion

The members of Aklan Photographic Society (APS) with Kalibo mayor William Lachica at the induction ceremony / PHOTO BY RAMEL BUNCALAN

KALIBO, Aklan – Mayor William Lachica has inducted on Sunday evening the new set of officers and board of directors of Aklan Photographic Society (APS).
Inducted into office were president Ramel Buncalan, vice president Mark Leslie Laguna, secretary Shiela Tamado, treasurer Arnie Mae Dangan, auditor Juler Fernandez, press relations officer Boy Ryan Zabal and business managers Kristine Gaspar and Christian Darvin Seraspi.
Lachica also administered the oath of office of the new members of board of directors. They were chairman Nolyn Yap, vice chairman Joel Juliano and the members were Bart Baylon, Lyn Laguna, Michael Chrency Magallanes, Mark Cirlou Menez, Christian James Abogadie and Nelson Talidong, Jr.
APS members – Juvy Popes, Rocky Chu, Reynan Villareal, Clemence Dalida, Jess Marquez, Mark Jonathan Tienzo and Paul John Mirto were also inducted by Lachica.
In his speech, Buncalan urged his APS members to support the activities of the organization, primarily, in the promotion of tourism in the province of Aklan.
Founded in 2008, APS is a mix of amateur and professional photographers in the province of Aklan. Among the activities of APS are field trips that provide opportunities to photograph the great outdoors in Aklan, seminar-workshops by local and national photographers to enhance the skills of APS members and photography exhibitions.
Mayor Lachica said APS has been the partner of the local government unit of Kalibo in tourism promotion and he expects more joint collaboration between the municipal government and APS, especially in tourism events of Kalibo, throughout the years.
Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-Atihan Foundation, Inc. (Kasafi) chairman Albert Menez, who was present during the induction, also recognized the voluntary efforts of APS members in the 2011 Kalibo Ati-Atihan festival, adding, the 2012 photo contest “Faces of Ati” will be supported by Kasafi to encourage local and international photographers to showcase the pageantry of the Kalibo festival.
Kasafi officers Lilibeth Goboy, Judith Malapit and Jemina Trinidad and Libacao Sangguniang Bayan member Vincent Navarosa also graced the affair at Buncalan’s residence in Barangay Andagao, this town.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

3,000 athletes ready for 2011 WVRAA meet

KALIBO, Aklan - Iloilo City and the province of Iloilo will host this year's Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) Meet for elementary and secondary divisions from March 20 to 24.
Iloilo Sports Complex will serve as main venue of the five-day Palaro for 3,000 athletes competing in 15 sports events.
The athletic meet was last hosted by the province of Aklan in Calangcang Sports Complex.
This year's theme of the multi-sports event is "Enshrining School Sports in Western Visayas." WVRAA is composed of athletic delegations from six provinces - Aklan, Guimaras, Antique, Iloilo, Negros Occidental and Capiz.
Iloilo Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Raymundo Lapating said the annual competition does not only center on the events but on the crystallization of the essence of sports in the life of the young and promising individuals who shall be showcasing their abilities.
"We want to hone their skills and maximize their potentials and at the same time inculcate love for sports not for just winning but for the love of the game itself. Above all, we want to indoctrinate desirable attitude, excellent behavior and admirable character among each athlete," he said.
"Today, competitors in the Olympics promise that they shall abide by the rules of the games, will act in an honorable and sportsmanlike manner, and not use any performance-enhancing drugs. Likewise, our young athletes also swore to compete with dignity and honor. We hope that they will live a life of a true sportsman, not merely inside the sports arena but in the real battle of the human race."
In the opening program today, the parade of athletes and participants start at 4 p.m. from Jaro Plaza to the Iloilo Sports Complex in La Paz District.
Iloilo City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog along with 2011 WVRAA Meet Honorary chairman and Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. will deliver the welcome remarks for thousands of spectators, guests and delegates.
Deped regional director Dr. Mildred Garay will formally open the biggest sporting event in Western Visayas.
Aside from the main venue Iloilo Sports Complex, the designated venues for 15 WVRAA events are:
Arnis - Division of Iloilo City Social Hall
Archery - WVCST New Site
Athletics - WIT New Site (Throwing Events) / Iloilo Sports Complex
Baseball - Central Philippine University grounds
Badminton - Sportsville badminton courts
Basketball - Iloilo Sports Complex
Boxing - Plazuela (beside SM City Iloilo)
Chess - SM City Cinema Lobby
Football - Iloilo Sports Complex
Sipa - Iloilo Sports Complex
Softball - West Visayas State University grounds
Swimming - Iloilo Sports Complex swimming pool
Taekwondo - Gaisano City Activity Center
Table Tennis - SM City Activity Center
Tennis (elementary) - La Paz Plaza
Tennis (secondary) - Iloilo Sports Complex Tennis Courts
Volleyball - SM City Parking Area / Iloilo Sports Complex Volleyball Courts

Boracay - small-town feel, big-time beach fun BY ABBIE KOZOLCHYK The Chronicle San Francisco

Somewhere deep among the hat vendors, hair braiders, massage therapists, henna tattoo artists and Korean honeymooners (in matching leisurewear), someone was calling my name.
Again, "Abbie!"
Yelling a bit louder this time - and waving both arms - Roselle suddenly stood out from the crowd. We closed the gap of powdery sand between us and fell into the embrace of long-lost friends - an odd gesture between people who'd met only a night earlier. Except, of course, on Boracay.
On this splash of land in the strait between Panay and Tablas islands, the small-town size and funky, relaxed vibe tend to invite casual spontaneity - and friendship incubation periods that you can measure with an egg timer.
An hour's flight from Manila, Boracay was once the sole province of backpackers but is steadily morphing into something of a hot spot. Still, despite the occasional comparison to the wildly popular Phuket in Thailand (the next Phuket, the Phuket of the Philippines), Boracay's absurdly beautiful beaches and eminently diveable and kiteboardable waters are far from overrun. The island is more like a proto-Phuket, where there's still time to beat the crowds.
I'd met Roselle aboard the Bada Bong, a midnight blue speedboat detailed with multiple, outsize "mud-flap girls" with star-shaped pasties on their upturned breasts. It seemed to have taken a wrong turn at the Sulu Sea, given that almost every other vessel plying the turquoise swirl around the tiny Philippine island was a sailboat or an outrigger canoe.
But no matter. I'd found myself aboard H.M.S. T&A for a sunset cruise much the same way I seemed to find myself in a lot of situations on Boracay - at the invitation of an islander I'd just met, in this case, Bong.
The scion of a local family and general man about town, Bong spent a fair portion of the evening talking up his next big venture: a 24-hour cafe - with direct satellite feed of every conceivable sports channel - to be called the Bada Bling.
Meanwhile, the banquette at the front of his boat - and the adjacent beer cooler - were starting to look really good. So I made my way forward and sank into a cushion, where I found another guest who'd had the same idea. As the sky darkened - and the green, violet and blue lights on the island's main drag turned the water just offshore into a flattened disco ball - Roselle and I swapped life stories over San Miguel pilsners.
It turns out she'd been an environmental lawyer in Manila until she fell madly in love with Boracay on vacation, vowed to return regularly - and eventually stayed.
Throughout my visit, I heard endless variations on this theme. And the next day was no exception: When Roselle flagged me down on the beach, she was having lunch with a few other Manila transplants who'd traded in high-profile careers for gigs at Boracay's bars, craft market and community paper, among others.
Making myself comfortable in the seat she'd reflexively added to the table, I asked what had inspired everyone's move. Jack, a former marketing exec turned local directory chief, answered without missing a beat: "Take a look around."
Powdered sugar beach. Bombay Sapphire surf. And vast regiments of palm trees arched seaward just so. The guy had a point.
"Life here is like a vacation 365 days a year," he added. "I work in my flip-flops."
It was the same with Mama Lee, a onetime model and dental nurse from San Mateo who settled here in 1987 after sailing and island-hopping around the world. "I really just came here to be a beach bum but quickly realized that even beach bums need to make money," she said, cookie-laden oven rack in hand.
Word on the beach was that her baked goods were not to be missed, so I'd proceeded directly from lunch with Roselle to Real Coffee and Tea Café, the restaurant Lee runs with her daughter.
Why sandcastles are disappearing in Boracay

On one cold and windy Tuesday morning, she made her last sandcastle. It stood mighty proud till late evening. A few tourists walked past it, not knowing its impending fate.
Precy Sacapaño, a 50-year-old mother of six, used to make a living out of building sandcastles. She is one of the 31 men and women who built miniature replicas of castles along the beaches of Boracay in Malay town in Aklan–much to the delight of passersby and tourists. Even children helped build the sandcastles.
“I started playing with the white sand until I learned to make castles out of it,” Precy recalled. ”I began doing it in 2005. I was happy doing it at first until tourists were regaled by my sandcastle. I did not ask them to pay me. They just threw coins.”
She and her companions were allowed to make their sandcastles freely without restrictions until Jan. 15, 2008 when the local government started strictly implementing Municipal Ordinance No. 246.
The ordinance was enacted in 2007, regulating sandcastle-making on the beaches around the famous island resort. One reason for the passage of the ordinance was that huge quantities of sand are needed to make big sandcastles that are used as photography backdrops for a fee. The once unregulated commercial activity affected the natural terrain of the beach.
Sand sculptures have since been strictly prohibited, except for promotional or special events with a mayor’s permit. Aside from securing a permit, sandcastles could now only be built six meters “from the edge of the vegetation” and should not hamper pedestrian flow along the beach.
“It is very expensive (to get a mayor’s permit), but it’s just us residents here (who are required to do so),” Precy said. “Visitors can make sandcastles as they please without having to worry about being penalized.”
The ordinance provides that a resident who violates any provision of the sandcastle-making ordinance shall be fined P2,500. On the second and subsequent offenses, an additional penalty of 30 days imprisonment shall be imposed depending on the discretion of the court.
“It is also mandatory now for the proponents to restore the original terrain of the beach by levelling the sand and cleaning the area after the activity,” according to Glenn Sacapaño, chief operating officer of Action Center, the extension or satellite office of the mayor in Boracay.
From a daily staple at the beachfront, sandcastles eventually became a weekly sight. Nowadays, they are only to be seen on special occasions.
Vicky Gonzales, a native of Aklan and a regular visitor of Boracay, said she misses the beautiful sand creations. Her family always looked forward to seeing sandcastles and posing beside them for their souvenir photos.
“I wonder where have all the talented sandcastle-makers gone?” she asked. “How do they earn their keep now?”
Precy recounted the days when she used to earn a whopping P2,500 daily from tourists who asked her and three other companions to make a smaller-than-life prototype of a sandcastle of their choice.
After a whole day spent soaking under the heat of the sun and a night of windy cool breeze, the four of them equally would divide the earnings for their family’s daily subsistence.
She would then walk less than two kilometers to her home, which is just at the back of the staggering resorts and hotels in Zone 5, Barangay Balabag. Most of the residents there now earn a living from selling knick-knacks, and working in construction sites and resorts.
Today, Precy and 30 other Zone 5 residents now have to pay P100 daily to the municipal government for every square meter of space they use in building sandcastles. On top of that, they have to pay P600 for a special permit to make one sandcastle for a company or for a special occasion.
“Unlike before, I only do it occasionally now,” she said. “Getting a mayor’s permit is a big deal for me. Of course, I will have to make sure ahead of time that somebody will hire me to make a sandcastle.”
Precy is among Boracay residents who have to grapple with the challenge of preserving the environment, embracing modernity and, having to survive in between.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ati-Atihan in Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Festival

KALIBO, Aklan – Street dancing to the frenzied Ati-Atihan beat of drums filled the historic streets of Dublin, Ireland as the Filipino Community Network (FCN) joined the annual St. Patrick’s Festival parade on March 17.
For the first time ever, Filipinos based in Republic of Ireland showcased the Ati-Atihan concept in the modern and colourful costumes in the largest festival of its kind and artistic presentations in Europe.
A hundred FCN performers hit the streets of the capital to display their fascinating Ati-Atihan costumes and heart-thumping beats in the grand parade from Parnell Square to St Patrick’s Cathedral that also features some 3,000 performers and revellers across the country.
The annual Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Festival kicked off from March 16 to 20 to celebrate the Irish national holiday with five days and nights of music, entertainment and culture.

The festival parade theme is inspired by a children’s short story “Brilliant” by Booker-prize winning author Roddy Doyle to honour Dublin’s designation as UNESCO City of Literature.

Last year, 120,000 visitors from other countries attended the Ireland’s patron saint festival, providing an estimated return of €50.5 million to the economy.

This year, 600,000 attendees - decked in green – gathered to witness the two-hour spectacle of pageantry dancers, street theater troupes and marching bands that puts together all spiritual and historical culture of Ireland.

St Patrick’s Day is also being celebrated in Northern Ireland and in many cities in Europe, United States, Europe and Asia.

FCN, the organizer of the country’s participation in the St. Patrick’s festival, is a partnership initiative of all Filipino-related communities, organizations, associations and groups in the Republic of Ireland to build a strong and vibrant Filipino community that promotes its heritage, fosters unity, and encourages cooperation, collaboration and networking with government organizations, non-government organizations and other cultures.

2011 Inter-Municipalities Basketball Cup
Kalibo outrun Balete, 73-67
Games today
East – Balete, Aklan
2 PM Madalag vs Libacao
4 PM Altavas vs Balete
West – Lezo, Aklan
1 PM Malinao vs Malay
230 PM Tangalan vs Numancia
4 PM Lezo vs Makato

KALIBO, Aklan- Kalibo team turned to Jaymar Marte in the final period to snare a 73-67 victory over Balete in the lone opening game of the 2011 Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez Inter-Municipalities Basketball Cup yesterday morning at ABL Sports Complex.
Leading 68-67 with 1:28 remaining, Marte scored four points of his 11 points, behind a pair of free throws and an offensive rebound for a put-back, to help notch Kalibo its first victory.
In the opening quarter, guard Mark Deza came out strong in the first four minutes with five straight points to build a 7-0 lead. Forward Ace Aceras, center Dowald Delfin and forward Remar Ticar also led the first quarter-surge for Kalibo, building an 18-5 cushion.
In the second quarter, guard Jeselle Navejas nailed a running midcourt shot at buzzer to gave a 37-22 halftime edge for Kalibo.
Balete used a 30-21 third quarter run with forwards Kit Felizardo and John Rell Prado combining for 18 points behind their four three-point shots while guard Jay Oro contributed eight points to close the gap, 58-52.
Glenn Tenazas hit seven points and Prado added four points in the 13-10 run of Balete to cut the lead of Kalibo, 68-65, with 3:10 remaining in the game.

Deza came away with 15 points, Marte contributed 11 while teammates Ticar, Aceras and Navejas each scored 10 points for Kalibo.
Felizardo paced the Balete team with 15 points, Prado had 12 points and Cuadrante and Tenazas scored 10 points each, who fought back from an early 15-point deficit behind a strong first quarter offense of Kalibo.

Overall, Balete scored three more 3-pointers than Kalibo with Felizardo hitting three from beyond the arc.

Meanwhile, Governor Marquez formally opened this year’s edition of Inter-Municipalities Basketball Cup with 15 teams out of 17 municipalities joining the summer basketball tournament.

In today’s game, Madalag meets Libacao at 2 p.m. and host Balete battles Altavas at 4 p.m. In the Western side, Malinao faces Malay at 1 p.m. while Tangalan and Numancia face each other at 2:30 p.m. Lezo and Makato clash at 4 p.m.

The scores:

KALIBO 73 – Deza 15, Marte 11, Ticar 10, Aceras 10, Navejas 10, Delfin 7, Villaruel 6, Tortuya 4, Escalona 0

BALETE 67 – Felizardo 15, Prado 12, Cuadrante 10, Tenazas 10, Oro 8, Gallardes 6, Ambrocio 4, Malilay 2, Salabante 0

Quarters: 18-5, 37-22, 58-52, 73-67

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Gahum ag Himaya" to highlight 114th anniversary of XIX Martyrs

KALIBO, Aklan – A theatrical presentation titled “Gahum ag Himaya” will highlight the commemoration of the 114th anniversary of XIX Martyrs of Aklan.
March 23 of every year is a special public holiday for the whole province of Aklan by virtue of Republic Act No. 7806 signed by then President Fidel Valdez Ramos on September 1, 1994.
Albert Menez, chairman of Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-Atihan Foundation, Inc. (Kasafi), said that in fitting tribute to the heroism, bravery and patriotism of the XIX Martyrs, the local government unit of Kalibo headed by Mayor William Lachica and festival organizer Kasafi will present a cultural show and dinner at the Aklan Freedom Shrine in the evening of March 23.
In the morning, the local government unit of Kalibo has lined up activities to commemorate the historic struggle and ideals of nationalism of XIX Martyrs of Aklan.
A thanksgiving and commemorative mass at St. John the Baptist Cathedral, civic military parade and commemorative program at the Aklan Freedom Shrine also highlight the annual tribute for Aklanon revolutionaries of Katipunan.
“The month of March commemorates the memories of the first Katipuneros outside Luzon who sacrificed their lives for the true ideals of patriotism and brings all Filipinos together to fight for freedom where to this day the XIX Martys of Aklan remain an inspiration for all especially the younger generations of Aklanons,” Lachica stressed.
Menez said the cultural presentation features Kundiman songs, Aklanon dances, chorale rendition, Rigodon de Honor and fashion show from the selected elementary and high school students, local government employees and from socio-civic and religious organizations.
Honored guests at the cultural presentation are Aklan Governor Carlito Marquez, Aklan Rep. Florencio Miraflores, Kasangga Partylist Rep. Teodorico Haresco, Vice Governor Gabrielle Calizo-Quimpo, Kalibo mayor William Lachica and Vice Mayor Madeline Regalado.
The XIX Martyrs of Aklan who were executed on March 23, 1897 by the Spanish authorities were Roman Aguirre, Tomas Briones, Domingo Dela Cruz, Claro Delgado, Angelo Fernandez, Simon Inocencio, Catalino Mangat, Lamberto Mangat, Valeriano Masinda, Maximo Mationg and Simplicio Reyes from Kalibo, Valeriano Dalida, Isidro Jimenez, Canuto Segovia, Gavino Sucgang and Francisco Villorente from the town of New Washington and Benito Iban, Candido Iban and Gabino Yonsal of Malinao.
The month of March was declared by the municipality of Kalibo as the "Month of Remembering Aklanon Martyrs and Patriots" through a Municipal Ordinance No. 2008-02 to inculcate the rich historical and culturage and to instill patriotism to the younger generation.
Aklan Inter-town Basketball Cup kicks off today

KALIBO, Aklan - Basketball fans across the province of Aklan will witness the tough and exciting actions in the Inter-Municipalities Basketball Cup with 15 teams fighting for the prestigious title.
No less than Aklan Governor Carlito Marquez will officially open and welcome the participating teams of the 2011 basketball tournament. Aklan Rep. Florencio Miraflores has also been invited in the opening ceremonies at the Gov. Augusto B. Legaspi Sports Complex here.
Kalibo and Balete teams slug it out in the only summer basketball opener shortly after the opening ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. The traditional parade of 15 teams and their muses will start from the Kalibo Pastrana Park to the main venue ABL Sports Complex.

The other teams in the Eastern side are Banga, Altavas, Libacao, Madalag and Batan while the Western side are defending champion Numancia, Lezo, Malinao, Makato, Tangalan, Malay, Ibajay and Nabas.
The top three squads in each group after the single round robin elimination will advance to the second round of the playoffs outright. The final four teams meet in semifinals with the top two seeds have a twice to beat advantage over the third and fourth-ranked squads.
The finals are a best-of-three series which is scheduled to begin on April 10 at the ABL Sports Complex.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Boracay to observe Earth Hour with party, cleanup

Boracay’s efforts to preserve its fragile ecology will highlight the annual commemoration of Earth Hour in the popular island-resort.
The Earth Day Hour, which started in 2007, is a global movement to raise awareness on the threats of climate change and the need to protect the environment.
Environment advocates voluntarily switch off lights and electric appliances for an hour every last Saturday of March each year. Last year, 128 countries and territories joined the global action.
This year, the Earth Day Hour is set on March 26.
In Boracay, Earth Day festivities will be organized by the local government of Malay, Miss Earth Foundation and Earth Hour organizers, according to a statement by event organizer Unlimited Events Inc.
Malay town Mayor John Yap said the event would help the municipality’s campaign to clean up Boracay and raise environmental awareness among the island’s visitors.
The Earth Hour commemoration in Boracay will be marked with a summer party and a fashion show.
Dubbed “Boracay: Earth, Wind and Wild,” the festivities will feature a live party patch between the island and Manila after the Earth Day count down.
The observation of Earth Hour comes amid controversy over a reclamation project that its proponents said would bring in more businesses and tourists to the already crowded island.
The absence of a sewerage system in the past has brought down tourism in Boracay in the past after its waters tested positive for coliform, which is commonly found in human wastes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Aklan athletes off to 2011 Western Visayas Palaro

KALIBO, Aklan - The 600-strong Aklanon athletes, delegation officials and coaches left to Iloilo City on Tuesday morning to compete in the region's annual sporting meet for public elementary and secondary schools.
Slated from March 20 to 24, Aklan delegation arrived at Iloilo Central Elementary School to prepare for the competition and to familiarize themselves with the playing venues of the 2011 Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) Meet.
The sporting activities are hosted by the Divisions of Iloilo and Iloilo City in collaboration with the local government units of Iloilo and Iloilo City.
As many as 469 athletes from Aklan are all ready to compete in badminton, tennis, arnis, volleyball, athletics, basketball, chess, football, sipa, boxing, softball, swimming, baseball, table tennis and taekwondo. They will be joined by some 130 accredited coaches, trainers, chaperons and school officials.
Most of the events will be held at the refurbished Iloilo Sports Complex in La Paz, Magsaysay Village, Iloilo City. Other venues are La Paz Plaza, Central Philippine University grounds, SM City Activity Center, Amigo Terrace Mall, SM City Parking Area, Jaro Plaza Gym, Iloilo National High School Multipurpose Gym, West Visayas State University grounds and Plazuela beside SM City.
Mary Ann Lopez of DepEd Aklan, in a text message, said, "with the moral support and prayers, the Aklan delegation aims to bring home the bacon in this multi-sports event."
Negros delegation was the biggest winner followed by Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Antique and Guimaras in last year's summer spectacle hosted by the province of Aklan for high school and elementary athletes.
This year's Palaro in Iloilo City fires off on March 20 with more than 3,000 competitors from six provincial delegations joining the parade. The Iloilo Sports Complex will be the venue of the grand opening of 2011 WVRAA Meet.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

DoT seeks ways to ease impact of Boracay reclamation project

The Department of Tourism is pushing for mitigating measures to address the possible impact on Boracay Island of a P1-billion reclamation project being implemented at the jump-off point to the island-resort.
Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim said the mitigating measures should be put in place to address the concerns raised by University of the Philippines marine scientists on the impact of the project on the island’'s famed white beach.
The scientists released early this month the results of a study they conducted to assess its possible effects on the strait between Boracay and Barangay (village) Caticlan, the jump-off point of ferries to the island.
The study showed that the project being implemented by the Aklan provincial government could alter water current patterns, especially in areas north of the jetty in Caticlan, and possibly harm the coral reefs that produce Boracay’'s white sand.
Lim said that while the study showed that the project had no direct impact on the island, the mitigation measures are necessary to ensure that the island’s ecosystem will not be threatened.
"It is up to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to ensure that the project will not harm Boracay’'s environment. The DoT will work with tourism stakeholders in Boracay to ensure this," Lim said in a telephone interview.
In their report, the scientists from the Marine Environmental Resource Foundation based at the UP Marine Science Institute stressed that protecting the coral reefs around Boracay will help ensure a continuous supply of white sand for its beaches.
"Marine protected areas should be established and managed properly. Fishing activities must be regulated to ensure that sustainable population of reef fish communities are maintained,” the scientists recommended in their report.
The study also encouraged the holding of awareness-raising campaigns to educate tourists about the environment especially in protecting the coral formations.
Lim said a comprehensive study should be undertaken before the implementation of the succeeding phases of the reclamation project. The initial phase, which covers Barangay Caticlan, comprises 2.64 hectares and costs P260 million.
The DENR has issued an environmental certificate of compliance covering the initial phase but the Philippine Reclamation Authority has granted authority to the provincial government to reclaim 40 hectares, including 36.82 hectares in Caticlan and 3.18 hectares in Boracay.
The 10-year reclamation and development project aims to raise revenues and provide jobs to residents by improving tourism services for Boracay, according to the provincial government.It involves the expansion of port facilities, reclamation of coastline areas, and the construction of commercial and office buildings, a health and wellness center and other businesses. It would also restore the now eroded coastal zones and prevent erosion near the port.
But the municipal government of Malay, which has jurisdiction over Boracay and business groups in Boracay, has raised concerns about the environmental impact of the project.
'No immediate threat on Japan's radiation"

KALIBO, Aklan - National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRC) provincial action officer Galo Ibardolasa allayed fears of radiation threat by a damaged nuclear reactor in disaster-hit Japan, the world's third-largest economy.
The 'hoax' text messages circulating across the country warned the public of the possible effects of nuclear leak and radioactive waste in Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) operated Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
One of the text messages allegedly from BBC News read: Japan government confirms radiation leak at Fukushima nuclear plant. Asian countries should take precautionary measures. Remain indoors first 24 hours. Close doors and windows.
"Swab neck skin with betadine where thyroid area is, the radiation hits thyroid first. Radiation may hit the Philippines starting 4pm today (March 14). Please send to your loved ones," the text scare stated.
Ibardolasa, in radio interview, said "as of now, the Philippines is safe from radiation leak since the explosion of the Japan's nuclear plant. The wind direction and water current are not moving towards the Philippines from Japan."

After an explosion at the Fukushima nuclear plant's No. 1 reactor, the Japanese government declared an atomic emergency and evacuated thousands of people living within the 20 kilometer radius zone of the facility, 240 km north of Tokyo.

Australia's nuclear safety agency, ARPANSA, said there was no immediate risk outside a 20-kilometre exclusion zone around the plants. United Nations atomic watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency also declared the radiation levels normal.

Last Friday, Japan faced its worst crisis after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake, nearly 8,000 times stronger than last month's New Zealand quake, devastated the northeast regions of the country. Hundreds of people were also killed and missing and a huge number of houses, cars and buildings were swept away by a 10-meter tsunami followed by more than 150 aftershocks.