Where Can I find These Mountains?

While looking for relevant articles in the net, I found a web page about the mountains in Sorsogon:

Mount Bulusan (5,134 ft / 1,565 m) • 3 summits • Mount Bulusan is a 5,134 ft / 1,565 m mountain peak near San Roque, Sorsogon, Philippines. Based on peakery data, it ranks as the 1st highest mountain in Sorsogon and the 218th highest mountain in the country.

Mt. Bulusan. Image via Wikipedia.org

Sharp Peak (3,273 ft / 998 m) • 1 summit • Sharp Peak is a 3,273 ft / 998 m mountain peak near San Roque, Sorsogon, Philippines. Based on peakery data, it ranks as the 2nd highest mountain in Sorsogon and the 583rd highest mountain in the country.

Rock Dome (2,248 ft / 685 m )• 0 summits • Rock Dome is a 2,248 ft / 685 m mountain peak near Brgy. Osiao, Sorsogon City. Based on peakery data, it ranks as the 3rd highest mountain in Sorsogon and the 940th highest mountain in the country.

Volcanic Cone (2,027 ft / 618 m) • 0 summits • Sorsogon, Philippines Volcanic Cone is a 2,027 ft / 618 m mountain peak near Brgy Santo Niño, Sorsogon City. Based on peakery data, it ranks as the 4th highest mountain in Sorsogon and the 1033rd highest mountain in the country.

Mount Caloumutan (1,748 ft / 533 m) • 0 summits • Mount Caloumutan is a 1,748 ft / 533 m mountain peak near Quezon, Sorsogon, Philippines. Based on peakery data, it ranks as the 5th highest mountain in Sorsogon and the 1190th highest mountain in the country.

Mount Sujac (1,488 ft / 454 m) • 0 summits • Mount Sujac is a 1,488 ft / 454 m mountain peak near Quezon, Sorsogon, Philippines. Based on peakery data, it ranks as the 5th highest mountain in Sorsogon and the 1337th highest mountain in the country.

Mount Homahan (920 ft / 281 m) • 0 summits • Mount Homahan is a 920 ft / 281 m mountain peak near Gabao, Sorsogon, Philippines. Based on peakery data, it ranks as the 7th highest mountain in Sorsogon and the 1741st highest mountain in the country.

Mount Culangalan (540 ft / 165 m) • 0 summits • Mount Culangalan is a 540 ft / 165 m mountain peak near Sabang, Sorsogon, Philippines. Based on peakery data, it ranks as the 8th highest mountain in Sorsogon and the 1884th highest mountain in the country.

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Heart, ipinarada na ni Sen. Chiz sa Sorsogon!

Heart, nag-enjoy sa buhay-probinsiya!

Makikita sa Instagram account ni Heart Evangelista ang bakasyon na ginawa nila sa mismong probinsya ni Sen. Chiz Escudero, ang Sorsogon. At base sa mga post na pictures ni Heart, super-enjoy talaga siya, sa ilang araw na buhay-probinsiya na ipinatikim sa kanya ni Sen. Chiz.

Heart Evangelista, Senator Escudero’s amore. Image via http://www.abante.com.ph

Para ngang first time niyang uminom ng sabaw ng buko na galing mismo sa shell nito, at tumikim ng masasarap at sariwang lamang-dagat.

Pero, kaaliw talaga si Heart, dahil kahit sa byaheng ‘yon ay bitbit pa rin niya ang kanyang mga alagang aso. At todo-pictorial din.

Ipinakilala na rin ni Sen. Chiz sa ilang pulitiko sa Sorsogon. At ano pa nga ba ang meaning nun? Puwede na ngang isipin na naghahanda na talaga si Heart na namnamin ang buhay pulitika, o buhay ng isang first lady, na siya namang sinasabi ng iba, na magiging kapalaran ni Heart, sa piling ni Sen. Chiz.

Well, si Madame Imelda Romualdez Marcos kaya ang peg ni Heart? Eh, si Heart naman, sanay na sa showbiz, at knows na talaga niya kung paano makisa­lamuha sa lahat ng klase ng tao.

The original article is published at Abante Online on August 23, 2014.

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Town mayors back grassroots budget process

MANILA, Philippines–Town mayors have come out in defense of the grassroots participatory budgeting process (GPBP), describing the new budget strategy as transparent and output-oriented, and an effective way to cut red tape to prevent wastage of public funds.

Mayor Jess Burahan, secretary-general of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), said the GPBP, previously known as Bottom-Up-Budgeting (BUB), originates from the actual needs of the people, thereby insuring that funds are spent wisely for priority projects.

In a press statement, he said public expenditures under the GPBP call for fiscal discipline, effective allocation of resources to solve underdevelopment and attainment of desired outcomes with the active participation of civil society and the people in the community.

Burahan said local chief executives consider the GPBP as the most democratic experience in allocating public funds, pointing out that development projects proposed by local government units in consultation with the people are being funded without any consideration at all to political affiliations.

Big difference 

He said the P20.9-billion outlay allocated for the GPBP will spell the big difference in accelerating economic development especially in the municipalities where at least every municipal government is provided with a P15-million budget for poverty reduction projects.

“The projects are identified by the people themselves, who are also active in monitoring their implementation. This is the most transparent and most accountable system ever introduced to stimulate economic growth in our municipalities,” said Burahan.

Manual Fortest Jr., mayor of Bercelona, Sorsogon. Image is via Pamana.net

Manual Fortest Jr., mayor of Bercelona, Sorsogon. Image is via Pamana.net

LMP spokesman Mayor Manuel Fortes of Barcelona, Sorsogon, said the league will make representations with the national government to download directly to LGUs some of the funds under the GPBP to empower the local governments in the implementation of the projects that are labor-intensive to provide work for their constituents.

He said the pilot implementation of the GPBP showed a lot of promise as incidence of poverty in areas where the nationally funded projects were implemented has been greatly reduced, while the actual and urgent needs of the people were directly addressed.

The original article is published at Philippine Daily Inquirer on August 7, 2014.

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Groups propose ban on feeding of sharks

Government agencies, LGUs and nature conservation groups are recommending ofbanning the feeding of sharks. Image is via pafbicol.org

OFFICIALS of government agencies, local government units and nature conservation groups recommended yesterday a ban on feeding of sharks.

The feeding ban was among the recommendations during the first Philippine Shark Summit, held in Cebu City. The summit was organized by Greenpeace in cooperation with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Cebu Capitol and other conservation groups.

Feeding affects the behavior, health and reproduction of sharks, said AA Yaptinchay, director of Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines.

In Oslob, Cebu, a group of fisherfolk feeds whale sharks, locally known as tuki, as a tourism activity.

Yaptinchay said whale sharks are migratory species. Feeding them might prevent them from migrating, he added.

Temperature

Yaptinchay said whale sharks spent most of their time 50 meters below the surface of the water. During feeding, they are forced to stay close to the surface, which affects their body temperature.

He said shark tourism standards require minimal intrusion into the habitat of the creatures. Feeding and interaction, he added, are forms of intrusion.

Oslob Mayor Ronald Guaren said the fisherfolk-shark tour guides give krill to the whale sharks so that tourists can see the creatures.

He said the feeding only happens during the whale shark tour, which is from 7 a.m. to noon.

The mayor said the municipality enacted an ordinance to regulate the activity and protect marine wildlife, especially the whale sharks. He stressed that the provisions of the ordinance are strictly implemented.

Tourism

Yaptinchay said whale sharks are also present in Sogod Bay in Leyte, Palawan and Donsol, Sorsogon.

Whale shark tourism in Donsol began in 2007 and attracted 8,6005 visitors on its first year of operation. In Oslob, 98,295 tourists came to see the whale sharks on the first year of its operations in 2011.

Summit participants who tackled tourism during the workshops, noted that enforcement of laws and regulations remains weak in shark tourism activities. They also said there is a general lack of understanding of sharks and their importance to the marine ecosystem.

BFAR 7 assistant director Allan Poquita said the agency is strengthening its information drive on the need to protect sharks by reaching out to remote coastal communities.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, 25 percent of 468 shark species known at present are threatened with extinction.

Rep. Joseller “Yeng” Guiao (Pampanga, first district), told the summit’s 150 participants that he is willing to file a bill related to the protection of the sharks. He said inputs for the bill has to come from people.

“Make me your errand boy in Congress,” said Guiao, also a Philippine Basketball Association coach.

Daanbantayan Vice Mayor Gilbert Arabis Jr., who participated in the summit, said the municipality plans to enact an ordinance protecting sharks, especially the thresher shark.

Conservation group Save the Philippine Seas is helping the local government draft an ordinance providing for the protection of sharks and rays.

The original article is published at Sun Star Cebu on August 14, 2014.

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Lover, misis pinagtataga ni mister, kritikal

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay, Philippines – Nasa kritikal na kondisyon ngayon sa pagamutan ang isang misis at 26-anyos na binata, na umano’y kalaguyo nito matapos na pagtatagain ng mister ng ginang nang ma­abutang magkasiping sa loob ng bahay ng lover ng asawa sa Brgy. Sampaloc, Sorsogon City kahapon ng madaling-araw.

Kinilala ang mga biktima na sina Melinda Janer, 39, at umano’y lover nito na si Renante Malazarte; kapwa residente sa lugar.

Pinaghahanap naman ang suspek na si Felixberto Janejr Jr., 44-anyos, asawa ni Melinda na mabilis na tumakas.

Sa ulat ng pulisya, dakong ala-1:30 ng madaling-araw nang sugurin ng nasabing mister ang tinutuluyan ng ka­laguyo ng asawa nang may makapagsabi ritong nakita ang ginang sa loob ng bahay ng lover nito.

Nang maaktuhan ang dalawa ay pinagtataga ito ng suspek na bagaman naka­sigaw pa ang ginang upang bigyang babala ang lover ay  hinarang ito ng kasamahan ng kanyang mister na nagsilbing look-out sa insidente.

Nabatid na ang ginang ay may isang buwan nang hiwalay sa kanyang mister matapos itong sumama sa kanyang lover. Iniimbestigahan pa ang kaso.

The original article is published at Philippine Star on August 24, 2014.

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DOT questioned on P140-M ‘roads leading to nowhere’

A Philippine Air Lines plane taxiing on the runway of Legazpi Domestic Airport. In the background is the majestic Mayon Volcano.

A Philippine Air Lines plane taxiing the runway of Legazpi Domestic Airport. In the background is the majestic Mayon Volcano. The airport will be moved in Daraga town, nearer to Sorsogon.

A proposal to allocate P140 million to construct two roads in Albay has left tourism officials stunned after being informed by lawmakers that the two projects are actually “roads leading to nowhere.”

During a congressional hearing for the Department of Tourism (DOT) budget, Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. appeared flabbergasted as he failed to give a rational response to inquiries about the inclusion of two new Albay road projects under the DOT-Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Convergence Program.

The proposed P140 million funding for the projects appeared to have been deducted from the P150 million proposed initial allocation for the construction of a new access to the Legaspi International Airport and tourist destinations in Sorsogon, popular worldwide for “butanding” (whale shark) sightings.

From the original P150 million in approved funding, the Legaspi airport access road was left with only P50 million, it was learned.

Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe questioned the inclusion of the two road projects, saying that none of these will traverse through tourism destinations.

“One will lead to a Chinese cemetery which cannot qualify as a tourist spot at all,” Batocabe said as he noted that the DOT-DPWH Convergence Program was supposed to implement the Tourism Road Infrastructure Project Prioritization Criteria (TRIPPC).

Under the TRIPPC, funding for road projects with tourism values were to be prioritized in accordance with the innovative bottoms up budgeting system. This method requires all stakeholders, from the barangay up to the provincial level, to approve an infrastructure proposal.

The P150 million Legaspi airport road was placed on top of the list of budgeting priorities under the TRIPPC. On the other hand, the two new roads were nowhere in the list.

Batocabe, chairman of the House Committee on Bicol Recovery, said they discovered the irregularity only after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) submitted the proposed P2.606-trillion national expenditure program last month.

“I do think the TRIPPC is a very good, laudable project,” said Batocabe. “ But somebody pulled a fast one here.”

The party-list solon aired suspicions that a “syndicate with strong connections” with the DOT-DPWH Convergence Program could be behind the incident.

Original article is published at Manila Bulletin on August 17, 2014.

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Paglaom, A Bicol Song

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