Storm Surge Hazard Map: Sorsogon City (Poblacion)


Hazard map for storm surge in downtown Sorsogon City. Screenshot from the ARKO apps (DOST’s Project NOAH).

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Storm Surge Hazard Map: Bacon Poblacion


Hazard map for storm surge in Bacon (Poblacion). Screenshot from the ARKO apps (DOST’s Project NOAH).

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Loida Nicolas Lewis and Her Love of Lobster

The philanthropist Loida Nicolas Lewis grew up by the sea, in Sorsogon, in the Philippines, listening to her father bargain with fishermen for sapsap (ponyfish) and “fresh shrimp, still jumping.” But the first time she tasted lobster was at Max’s Kansas City, the artist and punk refuge in downtown Manhattan.


This was in 1969. Andy Warhol may have been in the back room. No matter: Ms. Lewis had eyes only for her date and soon-to-be husband, Reginald F. Lewis, and the lobster. It cost $4.95. She ate it down to the shells.

Mr. Lewis, a corporate lawyer who would go on to be hailed as the first African-American to head a billion-dollar company, watched her, mesmerized. (His life is chronicled in the book “Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?”) He didn’t fancy lobster himself. “Too much work,” recalled Ms. Lewis, now 72.

Ever since, Ms. Lewis has served lobster to family and friends visiting from the Philippines, to share her discovery. Her Fifth Avenue apartment, overlooking Central Park, is equipped with silver picks and crackers, for wresting every scrap of flesh, and disposable plastic bibs bearing a life-size image of the creature about to be devoured.


A former immigration lawyer, Ms. Lewis helped found the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund andmultiplied the profits of her husband’s business, TLC Beatrice International, after his death, at age 50, in 1993.

She has never prepared a lobster. For this she relies on Delia Juarez, a native of Iloilo City in the Philippines, who presents it simply broiled, with a finger bowl’s worth of melted butter and half a lemon, carved into a flower.

Ms. Lewis did cook for her husband and their two daughters when they were little. “I had three dishes,” she said. “Fried chicken, pork chop, sinigang” (the last one a distinctively sour Filipino soup). For her grandchildren, she occasionally slips a tablespoon of brown sugar into spaghetti sauce or bastes ribs in hoisin and sautés broccoli with lobster sauce (which contains no lobster).

“I cook pretty good,” she said. “They eat it all.”

Her father, a lumber and furniture magnate, wanted her to enter politics. “Maybe congresswoman, then mayor,” Ms. Lewis said with a laugh. When she was 7, he built and named a movie theater in their hometown after her, hoping that voters would remember “Loida” in a future election.

Years later, when she passed the bar exam, he sent her on a round-the-world tour that culminated in New York, where she was supposed to while away a few months while her sister studied art history at Columbia.

Instead, bored (“You don’t sit around”), Ms. Lewis found a job at a civil rights organization. Her boss set her up on a blind date with Mr. Lewis. (Her father’s hopes were not entirely dashed: Ms. Lewis’s sister, Imelda Nicolas, is a cabinet-level secretary in the government of PresidentBenigno S. Aquino III.)

At a recent lunch, Ms. Lewis efficiently dismantled her lobster and encouraged guests to try tomalley, the green minerally paste inside the carapace. She said, “At any dinner the fish head is reserved for me.”

Afterward, Ms. Juarez handed out Häagen-Dazs ice cream bars. Ms. Lewis wasted no time. Within minutes, only the stick was left.

Original article is published at The New York Times on December 7, 2015,

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Negosyo center set up in Sorsogon

SORSOGON CITY, Nov. 10 (PIA) – Individuals who will start up a business to make money in Sorsogon will now find it easier to register their enterprises with the opening of a Go Negosyo center in this city.

Launched last Oct. 22, the Negosyo center is located at the lobby of the City Hall Bldg. in Barangay Cabid-an.

The center is linked to the Philippine Business Registry System (PBRS) to make it easier and faster for entrepreneurs to start and register their businesses at the local level.

The PBRS is a government project that integrates the services of all agencies involved in business registration, such as the Department of Trade and Industry, Securities and Exchange Commission, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Social Security System, Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG), Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and other permit and license-issuing agencies to facilitate registration.

DTI is also closely collaborating with Department of Science and Technology, University of the Philippines–Institute for Small Scale Industries, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with business research.


Sally Lee, the new Sorsogon City Mayor for 2013-2016. Image is via

DTI has also partnered with Cooperative Development Authority to help MSMEs gain easier access to financing solutions.

All this ensures that the center’s services to entrepreneurs does not only include  one-stop registration services with government but also all other equally important components of running a business—from finding financiers and markets to developing products and services.

With the newly reconstituted Sorsogon Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Council at the helm, the center is expected to be fully functional.

Jocelyn Blanco, DTI regional director for Bicol, said the establishment of a Go Negosyo center is provided for under RA 10644, or Go Negosyo Act.

Go Negosyo Act mandates the DTI to work with local government units to establish Negosyo centers in all provinces, cities and municipalities.

“We congratulate the city government of Sorsogon for accepting the challenge of establishing a Negosyo Center. It is the first in the province (of Sorsogon),” Blanco told the Philippine Information Agency.

Blanco expressed optimism “that the rest of the municipalities in Sorsogon will follow (the lead of City Mayor Sally Lee).”

The Negosyo centers provide MSMEs extra push to expand operations, she said.  (EAD/BAR/PIA5-Sorsogon)

The original article can be found from this link.

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Orosipon: De Vera circa 1952

Sorsogon City received an email from Alfred Yrastorza after encountering the article on the De Vera house. Apparently, his father lived here and it also confirmed the story being told that it was a warehouse before. Here’s the content of his email:

I was born in this house 1952, My Father lived here and was working in Cocacola. After he was assigned in Naga.

From my knowledge (i)t was occupied by a certain Abelardo Zuniga also working in Cocacola San Miguel brewery

They have larged rooms uptairs with wide windows (Kapiz-sliding) nce in early 60’s thru Mr. Zuniga it was made a lounging place for Bacs Meet for Colehalas of CSI and NPS (Naga Parochial). Then my Dad already experienced paranormal activities there and in an expansion project he said they excavated a coffin  which looked like a child , who must have died young.  In fact, those days 1951-52 , the area which was by the bay avoided passing there as they could see an old woman in a rocking chair in the  veranda. I am not sure of the late Senator Devera were the original owners though. I a(m) glad to share this as part of heritage files for Sorsogon.


The De Vera house back in 1952. Photo is courtesy of Mr. Alfred Yrastorza.

Salamatunon tabi sa impormasyun, Mr. Yrastorza!

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Full Moon as Sorsogon Bay


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Shabu palaman sa siopao

Arestado ang isang lalaki matapos na ipalaman nito ang shabu sa siopao na dadalhin sana sa isang bilanggo sa loob ng Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) sa Sorsogon City kamakalawa ng hapon.

Matapos na madiskubre ang ilang sachet ng shabu ay agad pinosasan ng mga tauhan ng BJMP ang suspek na nakilalang si Edgardo Garcia, 45, drayber, at residente ng Barangay Cabid-an ng nasabing lungsod.

Sa ulat ng pulisya, dakong alas-4:20 ng hapon nang magtungo sa Sorsogon BJMP ang suspek upang dalawin ang inmate na nakilalang si Rey Lagata, bitbit ang apat na piraso ng siopao.

Subalit sa ginawang pag-iinspeksyon ng mga tauhan ng BJMP sa nasabing pagkain ay nakuha sa loob nito ang isang sachet ng pinaniniwalaang shabu kaya agad na binuksan ang tatlo pa at doon nagpositibo na mayroon ding mga nakapalamang shabu sa loob ng mga siopao.

Dahil dito ay agad dinakip ang suspek na hindi na nakatanggi at inamin na ang nasabing mga shabu ay para panggamit umano ng inmate na si Lagata.

The original article has been published at Abante on October 9, 2015.

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