Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Iloilo Dinagyang Festival Update

The Dinagyang fever is on with the official launching of Iloilo's prime festival on Monday.

Sounds of drums filled the air as the caravan participated in by drummers of 18 tribes that signed up for the Ati-Ati competition passed along the major thoroughfares of Iloilo City.

The caravan was also participated in by organizers, sponsors and other stakeholders passing through J.M. Basa, Ledesma Streets, Timawa Tanza, Infante Ave., Lopez Jaena, Molo M.H. Del Pilar, Gen. Luna, Bonifacio Drive to Lapaz, passing through Huervana, Rizal and Luna Streets, to Jaro, passing through E. Lopez Street, Plaza Jaro, EL 98 Street to Sen. Aquino Avenue and ended at the SM City Activity Center, launching program venue.

The Iloilo Dinagyang Festival 2009 executive committee reiterated its commitment of a fun-filled celebration despite a little delay in the implementation of lined up activities in its table of operation.

"Facing constraints of time, manpower and funds, the IDFI Board of Directors and Officers, together with its principal partners, the Iloilo City Government and the religious sector are working double time to lay the groundwork to enable the working committee groups implement their activities according to the festival's trademark of excellence," Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Incorporated (IDFI) vice president Ricardo Andrada said.

The festival's national launching will be held in Manila from Dec. 12-14 at the Mall of Asia, Tiendisitas and Greenhills Shopping Complex. 

Visit OK Bicol Showroom

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regional office in Bicol is set to launch the "Orgulyo Kan Bikol" (OK Bikol) on December 5, which will showcase all available possible products in the region.

Regional director Jocelyn Blanco said the idea of establishing a permanent showroom will serve as venue for possible buyers for new introduced local products.

"We will refer prospective buyers to our local producers," Blanco said.

The launching of OK Bikol showroom will coincide with the Exporter's Week celebration.

Blanco also said that new innovative indigenous products will also be introduced in the market. "The introduction of new products will help promote the Orgulyo Kan Bikol not only in terms of trade and industry but tourism as well."

Director Blanco added that association of exporters in the region have agreed to make their local products more attractive and competitive. "Our goal is to strengthen our business industry in the region to cope up with the economic crisis." - PNA

Ilocos Sur Road Accident Deadly

Two persons were killed and two others were injured critically in a vehicular accident along the national highway in Barangay San Vicente, Magsingal, Ilocos Sur Sunday night.

Police said the incident happened when an XRM motorcycle and a Honda Big Bike motorcycle traveling from the opposite directions collided.

Senior Inspector William Nerona, chief of police of Magsingal, identified the fatalities as Jay Pleto, 28, driver of the XRM motorcycle and native of Barangay Sacuyya, Santa, Ilocos Sur; and Reximelle Tabil, a backrider of the Honda motorcycle, of San Ildefonso, Ilocos Sur.

Nerona identified the injured as Diana Martinez, an occupant of the XRM motorcycle and resident of Barangay Nansuagao, Caoayan, Ilocos Sur; and Viron Purisima Tabisula, driver of the Honda Big Bike motorcycle, and resident of Barangay Puerta Real, Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur.

Investigation disclosed that the accident occurred at about 10:20 p.m. Sunday. Due to the strong impact, all of the victims sustained head and body injuries.

Responding policemen rushed the victims to the hospital but Pleto was declared dead on arrival at Magsingal District Hospital, while Tabil died on arrival at the Metro-Vigan Cooperative Hospital. - PNA

Aklan Weavers Ready for Global Demand

Local weavers in this province are bracing for possible global demand that might arise as the environmentalists' campaign for the mitigation of the impact of climate change.

India Dela Cruz-Legaspi of the Heritage Arts and Crafts said that Aklan province has been identified as one of the areas that produce the best natural fibers, abaca (Manila hemp) and pina, which are being supplied to malls as woven textiles and even to other companies.

"The year 2009 has been declared by the United Nations as the year of the natural fibers to also address the growing concern on climate change or global warming. Being one of the organizers of the annual fiber festival in Aklan, we hope to showcase our natural fibers that are abundant in the province," said Legaspi.

She admitted then that the province natural fiber resources could not cope with the global demand.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which is one of the organizers of the fiber festival, representatives of big companies such as Rustan's and Shoe Mart came to the province last year for the festival. The Aklan products are also now being exported to countries such as Indonesia, Japan, Germany, among others.

Currently, other multi-national companies are turning from the use of synthetics and plastics to natural fibers. Among the products that needed to be converted from plastic material to natural fiber are surgical masks, vehicle parts, currency, among others. 

Olangapo's Basic Emergency Obstetric Care and Newborn Care

Officials of Olongapo City inaugurated Tuesday the fifth Basic Emergency Obstetric Care and Newborn Care (BEMONC) center here that will provide high-risk pregnant mothers with adequate and affordable emergency delivery service.

"This project aims to help further reduce maternal mortality, one of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), by providing emergency birth delivery services even for cases in areas far from Olongapo City's center," said City Vice Mayor Cynthia Cajudo who was guest of honor during the inauguration.

Olongapo City's latest PhP2.5-million BEMONC center is located in Barangay Barretto, a village where some 30,000 people reside.

Among the facilities the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) donated to this center are a suction machine, delivery table, infant weighing scale and minor surgical kit.

"These facilities can help bring about safer deliveries," said UNFPA City Project Coordinator Bel Dado.

She noted UNFPA also donated similar facilities to the city's other BEMONC centers in Kalaklan, Kababae, New Cabalan and Gordon Heights villages.

City health chief Dr. Arnildo Tamayo lauded Barangay Barretto's officials for establishing the center as he said this village is about 20 minutes' drive from the city center where the 350-bed James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital (JLGMH) is.

"In ensuring safe motherhood, time is of the essence," he said.

According to Tamayo, a 24-hour patrol group of doctors will be on hand at Barretto BEMONC to assess if emergency deliveries can be done there or if these must be referred to more advanced health facilities like the JLGMH. - PNA