Archive for the ‘Daraga’ Category

Camarines Sur farmers’ 444 kilometer march to Malacanang

December 1, 2008

There is sympathy elicited by the pictures of about 50 poor farmers from Banasi, Bula, Camarines Sur who embarked on a march to press their demand that Malacanang reverse the order of Executive Sec. Eduardo Ermita which kept them out of the land awarded to them 11 years ago under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

The basis of Ermita’s decision was that the 123 hectare property previously owned by the Fajardo family of Baao Camarines Sur didn’t qualify to be awarded to the farmers because it was used for grazing cattle, instead of agriculture.

This led to the revocation of the certificates of land ownership award (CLOA,) of 57 farmers who were beneficiaries of the land distribution. Ermita’s decision ignored the earlier Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) rulings in 1999 and 2007 which favored the farmers.

Started on November 17, 2008, the 444 kilometer walk includes 82-year old Pobleo Clavero, the oldest of the group of farmers who wants to leave his 1.7 hectare land to his grandchildren when he dies. Their leader, Jess Bergantin, says they have to resort to what the farmers from Sumilao, Bukidnon did a year ago to get Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo’s favorable decision. The group are still negotiating the dangerous winding highway towards Manila where they hope to get a solution to their land problem.

The case of the Fajardo Estate farmers shows the limitations of the CARP, which continues to pose problems to farmers 20 years since the program was started. Though there have been successes in the awarding of land to worthy beneficiaries, many however are blocked by landlords and the system of CARP implementation.

The bureaucracy of the DAR that impedes the acquisition of land, the reversals of award decisions like the Sumilao and Fajardo Estates, the controversial land use, conversions and funding of the program are among the problems that stand on the way for the full CARP implementation. For lack of education and know-how, many farmers have no sufficient means to make their acquired land productive. About half of the beneficiaries end up not tilling, decreasing productivity, and illegally selling the land.

As I watched the photos of the Fajardo Estate farmers marching from Banasi, Bula Camarines Sur, I could only think whether their lives had improved since CARP was instituted. Some who walked barefoot were very tired, their calloused feet endured the searing heat of asphalt in the highway; others had their skin abraded by friction caused by cheap sandals they wore. From their faces, I could guess most of the farmers had meager education preventing them of fully understanding their rights under the land reform program. Their looks made me suspect their financial position didn’t improve. They had been as poor as the days when CARP wasn’t part of their lives. Photo Credit Pakisamagallery)=0=

RELATED BLOG: “Nuns abducted in Kenya, farmers from Camarines Sur march to Malacanang & the US national debt of $10,664,871,159,771.01 bogs the nation”Posted by mesiamd at 11/28/2008


Mutya ng Ibalong: Are Daraguenas the fairest of them all?

November 4, 2008

LEGAZPI CITY- It’s all happening with noticeable regularity and all too familiar results. Another lass from Daraga out of the 101 towns and 7 cities in the Bicol region, emerged as this year’s Mutya ng Ibalong as candidate no. 18- Patrixia Sherly De Lumban Santos stamped her beauty, talent and class over a field of 20 candidates to win the coveted crown. It must be remembered that in April and September this year, Miss Melody Adelheid Gerbasch, another Daraguena, won the prestigious Mutya ng Magayon and Miss Bicolandia pageants. Daraga, which is composed of 54 barangays, has retained its reputation of being the most progressive town not only in the province of Albay but in the whole of the Bicol Region. For decades it has enjoyed the air of progress, being a long time first class municipality in the province.

Patrixia pocketed the top prize of P100,000 aside from winning the Miss Photogenic and Miss Talent awards during the Coronation Night held last October 29, 2008 at the air-conditioned Albay Astrodome in Legazpi City. Candidate no. 15- Dianne Samar Necio from Polangui, Albay was the first runner-up and won P75,000 aside from being named as “Model of the Year”. Meanwhile candidate no. 8- Catherine Dominique Lagrimas of Nabua, Camarines Sur was the 2nd runner-up and came home P50,000 richer. Patrixia garnered an average score of 94.24%, Dianne got 93.34% and Catherine averaged 89.90%. Patrixia who admitted she’s an Anime fanatic is also the reigning Miss BU and won as Miss Cagsawa in the Mutya ng Daraga Pageant held last September. On the other hand, Dianne was a runner-up in the Miss Bicolandia 2007 aside from being a majorette of USANT which won the overall championship in this year’s Penafrancia Military Parade.

Candidate no. 19- Jane Riel Banares was the Best in Long Gown while candidate no. 5- April Armamento Santillan was voted as Miss Friendship and won as Best in Swimwear. Aside from the 5 aforementioned candidates, those who made it to the finals were candidate no. 7- Lizi Louise Resoles, candidate no. 13- Sarah Syed, candidate no. 16- Kelly Obligacion, candidate no.17- Ma. Rochelle Perez and candidate no. 20- Ma. Rochell Ruth Rebeta.

The pageant was different and unique in more ways than one. In a departure from the usual format, the 10 candidates who did not make it to the finals were the ones who asked the finalists the questions in the dreaded Q&A portion. Also, the mothers and guardians of the candidates became more than just background supporters as they were thrust in the limelight and were asked questions themselves by the three emcees that are stars in their own rights. Paolo Bediones is a well-known talent of Network giant GMA and hosts the popular Survivor Philippines series. Tintin Caballero was the Mutya ng Pilipinas 2002 while Jean Harn was the Miss Earth Philippines 2007.

The Pageant was truly a night to remember filled with great music. Jonathan Badon, known as the Philippine Prince of Operatic Pop sung Josh Groban’s “You raise me up” accompanied by virtuoso violin playing that seems to emanate from heaven and followed this up with Pavarotti songs sung in Italian that only artists of his caliber can deliver. Even the candidates were dancing and swaying to the beat of the music and the sizable crowd was ecstatic. The lighting was sufficient and appreciated by the photographers who were able to take magnificent images in available light. The gigantic LCD background was new and creative and beautifully complements the action onstage. We credit this to the genius and great partnership of Renee M. Salud, the Project Director and Mutya ng Ibalong Chairperson Geraldine B. Rosal who were not afraid to innovate and do what is necessary to make the Mutya ng Ibalong Pageant memorable and worthy of being considered as one of the leading pageants in the whole of Bicolandia.