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Mindanaoan Update

Thank goodness! May the dela Paz family finally get justice!

Controversial, Lanao del Sur, Mindanaoan Update, News, Opinion
Finally, the long wait is over! Today, fifty six year old businessman Delfin dela Paz and his 14 year-old son, Bino, have finally lodged before the Antipolo courts separate charges of physical injuries against the Pangandamans. Named as respondents to the case are the two sons of Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Nasser Pangandaman Sr. - Hussein and Nasser Pangandaman Jr., the mayor of Masiu, Lanao del Sur, Mindanao. The family’s legal counsel is Raymond Fortun, who's known to represent high profile clients such as former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada. According to the Inquirer, Fortun said they were set to go to the Ombudsman on Wednesday to seek the preventive suspension of Pangandaman Sr. "so as not to derail the investigation." Atty. Fortun also said the secretary ...

What’s the government doing against the Pangandamans?

Controversial, Government, Lanao del Sur, Mindanaoan Update, News, Opinion
I'm sure that many of you have heard of the Dela Paz - Pangandaman alleged brawling incident last December 26, 2008 (yes, a mere 1 day after Christmas!) Just in case you haven't, you may want to read this. You may also want to read Bambee Dela Paz's blog entry here - Bambee is the sister of the 14-year old boy who allegedly got mauled, along with his 56-year old father, by Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman Sr. and his son Mayor Nasser Pangandaman Jr. of Masiu, Lanao del Sur, Mindanao. Apart from the facts that the incident involved a 14-year old boy, government officials and their gun-toting bodyguards and that the younger Pangandaman is a leader of a town in Mindanao of all places (it's controversial and embarrassing, really, especially since we Mindanaoans wan...

Lighted Christmas tree in Divisoria Cagayan de Oro

Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanaoan Update, Photos
I've been so preoccupied during the holiday season that I now only had the chance to post this picture! Well, better late than never, eh? :) Here's a picture that I took of the large Christmas tree found in Divisoria, Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao. I took this on a Friday, which coincidentally was also "Night Cafe" day in CDO. "Night Cafe" is a regular Friday and Saturday event in the City of Golden Friendship. Most roads within the Divisoria area are closed to traffic and various vendors put up shop along the streets. So without further ado - here's the lighted Christmas tree. Pretty, yes?

Review: Southwinds Hotel Cagayan de Oro City near Centrio Mall

Cagayan de Oro City, Hotels, Mindanaoan Update, Reviews, Travel
Southwinds Hotel is located along Capt. Vicente Roa Street Extension in Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao, Philippines. It is a hotel known for its very strategic location - Southwinds Hotel is right behind the new Centrio Mall Cagayan de Oro or the Ayala Centrio Mall, it's just a few meters away from Gaisano Mall Cagayan de Oro (walking distance) and a few blocks away from Robinson's Mall Cagayan de Oro and Lim Ket Kai Mall CDO (you can just ride one of the local trisikads or padyaks for 5 pesos per person) It's also in front of the main branch of Graphic All-In-One (a large chain of stores that sells cellular phones, cellphone accessories and the like). Just this week, my mom, brother and I stayed in Southwinds Hotel. It was my second time to stay there, the first one was during a media t...

Filipino version of Twilight: Takipsilim is this for real?

Bukidnon, Entertainment, Mindanaoan Update, Movies, News
Good Lord, did ABS-CBN Channel 2 really pay US $1 Million (that's roughly 47 million pesos!) to be able to do a so-called "remake" of the hit movie "Twilight"? The Lopez family-owned broadcasting network will reportedly co-produce with Ignite Media a Filipino version of the movie Twilight. Can you seriously, SERIOUSLY imagine Rayver Cruz as Edward Cullen and Shaina Magdayao as Isabella "Bella" Swan? OMG - the Philippines will seriously be the laughing stock of the entire world if this will push through! And get this - the Twilight Pinoy version will be entitled "Takipsilim" (DUH!) The taping will reportedly start by February 2009. The Province of Bukidnon, which recently played host to the cast and crew of the Star Cinema production "Love Me Again (Land Down Under)", will reportedly...

Malipayong Pasko kaninyong tanan!

Mindanaoan Update, Personal
From my family to yours - Merry Christmas! (Malipayong Pasko) I hope the past year has been fruitful, peaceful and definitely merry for you and your family. My 2008 has been (and still is!) amazing - I have traveled to more places this year, attended more events and festivals around Mindanao, met more interesting people around the Philippines and tried my hand on more things such as photography, white water rafting and Photoshop dabbling! I intend to continue this amazing journey next year, 2009 - the Year of the Ox. Hopefully, I will travel even farther, increase my list of friends, meet more people, help more strangers, hone my talents more and just become a well-rounded, warmer, more confident, more courageous person. Expect bigger things here in Mindanaoan as well! Once again, Merry...

Bukidnon provincial government employees receive P50,000 Christmas bonus

Bukidnon, Controversial, Government, Mindanaoan Update, News
So how much did you receive as Christmas bonus this year? If you think your ten or twenty thousand pesos is already a big amount, think again. Government employees in Bukidnon received fifty thousand pesos for their bonus this December. Yes, Provincial Government of Bukidnon (PGB) employees received P50,000.00 each (more than a thousand US dollars) this year. Don't be too surprised, though, because the said amount is actually LESSER than what the regular Bukidnon provincial government employees received last year. The year 2007 saw each and every regular provincial government of Bukidnon employee receiving a staggering eighty thousand pesos (P80,000.00) Interestingly, some of my friends working in the PGB said that the P50,000.00 still wasn't enough. They said that they still have to...

Busy Christmas shoppers flock to Gaisano Mall Davao

Consumer, Davao City, Mindanaoan Update, Photos
Have you been to Gaisano Mall of Davao lately? Because I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say that you will never think there's a financial crisis going on when you see the throngs of Christmas shoppers in that mall. Actually, the scenes in other malls aren't different either. A lot of Dabawenyo Christmas shoppers are also busy checking out the Christmas sales in SM Davao, Chimes, 168 Mall Davao, NCCC Mall, Times Square and in other shopping centers around Davao City, Mindanao. I also spotted a lot of people along San Pedro Street (does anybody remember Mantex? What about A & M?) Anyways, here are some photos I took over the weekend when my family and I bought some gifts at G-Mall: See? You can't help but wonder, "Crisis? What crisis?" I guess CRISIS-mas isn't "uso" in Pin...

Two of my most favorite Visayan Christmas carols

Mindanaoan Update, Music, Personal
Kasadya Ni-ining Takna-a and Ani-a Kami are two of my most favorite Visayan Christmas carols. These songs bring back so many childhood memories - from my father cradling me on his lap to the glee clubs which want to raise money for their groups by singing Christmas carols around our subdivision to the children who bring their homemade musical instruments. I bet all Mindanaoans, Visayans and even Luzonians love these songs! Just in case you're also in the mood to sing Christmas carols, here are the lyrics of Kasadya Niining Takna and Ania Kami: KASADYA NIINING TAKNA-A Kasadya niining taknaa Dapit sa kahimayaan, Mao ra’y among nakita Ang panagway nga masanagon. Bulahan ug bulahan Ang tagbalay nga gi-awitan, Awit nga halandumon Sa tanang Pasko, magmalipayon. Bag-ong tuig, bag...

Win a laptop and 5 iPod shuffles! Get $45.00 as well!

Advocacy, Consumer, Contests, Internet, Make Money Online, Mindanaoan Update, Technology
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Giant Christmas Tree at People’s Park Davao City

Davao City, Mindanaoan Update, Photos, Tourism
I got the chance to snap a couple of photos of the giant Christmas tree within the vicinity of People's Park, Davao City. The Christmas tree was adorned with a lot of trimmings and lights and can be found between the huge Durian dome and the fountain area. You won't miss it! This Christmas tree is also near the benches. Go to People's Park (right beside the Apo View Hotel along Camus Street) and check out this pretty Christmas tree. Better if you go there at night. Don't forget to take pictures! :)

The one question I want to ask General Santos City Mayor Pedro “Jun” Acharon

General Santos City, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Opinion, Personal, Travel
A few months ago, my brother and I went to General Santos City, Mindanao. AFTER 14 LONG YEARS. It was a trip planned within a few days - I wanted to take pictures during the Tuna Festival and at the same time, perhaps see some of our relatives (father's side) whom we haven't seen in that long a time. What supposedly was a "reunion" turned out to be a depressing visit. My brother and I learned that some of our relatives are now homeless. Yes, HOMELESS. Their homes in Lot 2, Barangay Apopong, General Santos City have been demolished and they have been living in makeshift shanties for more than a year now. By makeshift I REALLY mean makeshift - they merely took whatever they could retrieve in the heat of the demolitions (there were two in a span of a few months) and they literally just pie...

Cotabato to Cebu, Siargao Surigao to Cebu flights for only P500

Business, Consumer, Cotabato, Flights, Mindanaoan Update, Surigao, Tourism, Travel
Want to fly from Siargao, Surigao (the renowned surfing capital of the Philippines) to Cebu or from Cotabato to Cebu for only P500.00? That's now possible but only for a limited period of time! Cebu Pacific Air just announced that they're now offering flights from Cebu to Cotabato and from Cebu to Siargao starting January 1, 2009. To kick things off, the airline company is offering a P500.00 Go Lite All-In fare. The seat sale STARTS NOW until December 19, 2008 only so book your flights ASAP! The seat sale is good for travel from January 1 to March 18, 2009. Meanwhile, starting January 10, 2009, Cebu Pacific will fly three times weekly between Cebu and Cotabato and the Cebu to Siargao flights will be thrice weekly beginning January 30, 2009. This is definitely another reason for you t...

Should Sen. Trillanes do video conferencing instead?

Government, Headline, Internet, Mindanaoan Update, Opinion, Technology
There's a proposal in the Philippine Senate these days that Senator Antonio Trillanes IV be allowed to attend the Senate sessions through the power of the Internet. If the proposal will be ratified, Sen. Trillanes can "participate" in the sessions through video conferencing. If ever this will push through, the senator, who's currently in the slammer (compulsory detention after his involvement in a recent coup attempt), will be the first Filipino elected official who will use this type of technology. As expected, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago rejected the proposal. The other senators who have yet to let their stand known include Senators Joker Arroyo, Juan Ponce Enrile, Manny Villar, Richard Gordon, Panfilo Lacson, Manuel Lapid, Francis Pangilinan, and Mindanao's very own, Juan Miguel Zu...

Tips in finding gifts for men

Features, Mindanaoan Update, Personal, Society, Style
Men are not the only ones racking their brains out as to what’s the best gift for the female loved ones this Christmas season, the women are also having a hard time too! Unlike in the past where the easiest gift to pick for men are jackets or pants, women are now challenged with the fact that men are also embarking in the modern age where there’s a lot of things to choose from. Trend expert Vincent Gregoire gave some cool tips for women in what great gifts to give to their male loved ones. He suggested that before scrimping for gifts, women should think of practical and intelligent presents. • USB memory sticks or external hard drives. Men are becoming more tech savvy and providing them additional memory in storing files is a safe bet. • Items that would look good in his pad. Y...

Pacman’s win should not mask true state of RP sports

Mindanaoan Update, Opinion, Personal, Personalities, Sports
I absolutely agree with Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero's statement that Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao's win over Oscar "Golden Boy" De La Hoya recently should not mask the real, true state of Philippine sports. While we're all happy and proud of Pacquiao's win in the recently concluded "Dream Match," (congratulations, Manny!) we should not forget that there's still so much to be done in order to really make the Filipino truly excel in different sporting fronts (and not just in boxing). It's true that Pacquiao, a certified Mindanaoan by the way (he was born in Kibawe, Bukidnon and grew up in General Santos City, Mindanao), is a genuine sports hero not only among Filipinos but among boxing aficionados all over the world. What he displayed last weekend was exemplary sportsmanship, skill and ded...

Will Davao have its own airline soon?

Business, Davao City, Mindanaoan Update, Tourism, Travel
I've been receiving buzz from various businessmen around Mindanao and in Manila that Davao City is supposedly set to have its "own airline" very soon. By own airline, I reckon they mean an entire fleet with "Davao" in its name somewhere and that it will serve as Davao City's very own answer to Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines. I asked a few well-placed personalities in Davao if they've heard of this and most of them did confirm that there are "movements" on this plan. If ever this will push through, this will definitely give Mindanao travel and tourism a big boost. I wonder, though, if the planes of this alleged fleet are as small as those of Mindanao Express' (Beechcraft 1900C)? Or if the planes are basically those of Mindanao Express' and then they'd just change the name? Is t...

Bingo crazy at Lim Ket Kai Mall Cagayan de Oro

Cagayan de Oro City, Leisure, Mindanaoan Update, Personal
This post is the second for Mindanaoan’s “Things To Do [in a particular Mindanao city or Mindanao province]” series. Here's one thing you can do if you've done just about everything in Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao (dubbed the City of Golden Friendship) and you need something to keep yourself preoccupied - play bingo! Yup, I've been "bingo crazy" these past few weeks. First, I played at a recent charity bingo event in Casino Filipino, Grand Regal Hotel, Davao City and then a week later, I found myself playing bingo for two days (!) in Lim Ket Kai Mall, CDO. Not that all I did was play bingo, of course. I also shopped in between games, ate and watched "Twilight" (which, in my own humble opinion, by the way, was more of hype and cheesy teenybopper-kilig lines...Robert Pattinson is a bit of a...

Sony Philippines sets up display exhibits in CDO, Davao

Cagayan de Oro City, Consumer, Davao City, Events, Mindanaoan Update, Technology
All right, so because Mindanaoan has really been (and is still is!) overwhelmed by the massive traffic to THIS POST about her first Sony experience (DAGHANG SALAMAT! Many thanks!), she's also inspired to share another round of good news to all of you Mindanaoans who want to buy Sony products or gadgets for your loved ones this Christmas. By the way, NO is the answer to the question if I got a VIP invitation to the recently concluded Sony Expo in SM Mall of Asia. So, NO, my entry wasn't one of the 50 shortlisted entries. I reckon I missed the deadline. Nevertheless, I had fun sharing with you all my first Sony experience and that's all that matters :) So on to the good news...Sony Philippines will hold exhibits in various areas in Mindanao this month of December! Check out the schedule: ...

Secret ways to cut down on holiday gift spending

Leisure, Mindanaoan Update, Society
We definitely love to get a good bargain on great items this coming holiday season, considering that the world is currently facing an economic crisis. A feature on “Good Morning America Weekend” should help you on saving up on holiday gift spending. • Purchase refurbished items: Trustworthy sites such as Sony, Amazon, Apply and Best Buy reportedly offers refurbished products. These are still in very good condition and can be bought at lesser price. The good thing is that these sites offer full refunds and return periods just like when you buy new items. In this case, rely on a reputable retailer rather than those fly-by-night sites. • Buy gifts in bulk: Chances are, you will get a great discount for buying a lot of items in your preferred retail store. Check out the store’s gift pack...

Piolo Pascual and Angel Locsin cowboy movie trailer released

Bukidnon, Entertainment, Mindanaoan Update, Movies
Star Cinema, the producing outfit of the Piolo Pascual and Angel Locsin starrer "Love Me Again," has officially released the said movie's trailer. The cowboy movie, which originally had the title "Land Down Under," is part of the ABS-CBN film outfit's 15th Year Anniversary celebration. The movie was shot partly in the northern outback territory of Australia but majority of the scenes were shot in scenic Bukidnon, Mindanao. Bukidnon is located at the southern part of the Philippines. Commonly known as the food basket of Mindanao, the province is known for its rich culture, interesting ethnic history and excellent scenery that is a true reflection of the Filipino way of life. Read more about Bukidnon HERE. SYNOPSIS OF "LOVE ME AGAIN" (formerly "Land Down Under"). After working for seve...

Cebu Pacific Air adds more Mindanao-bound flights

Mindanaoan Update, News, Tourism, Travel
Cebu Pacific Air just announced that they've added new services and more flights from Cebu City to Mindanao areas and to other parts of Visayas. Starting January 10, 2009, Cebu Pacific Air will fly three times weekly between Cebu and Cotabato, with a year-round "Go Lite" fare of only Php 888 (roughly US $18) one way. On January 12, 2009, on the other hand, the airline will also begin their thrice-weekly service between Cebu and Siargao (dubbed the surfing capital of Mindanao). "Go Fares" for this route begins at P888.00 as well. I must admit, these are pretty good travel deals especially for us Filipinos. It's definitely high time for us to go see the rest of beautiful Philippines!
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