Claveria town village chairman's son lands 2nd placer in Vet Med Board exam

August 20, 2019

PATROCINIO, Claveria town - The government and the people of Barangay Patrocinio, this municipality, has proudly celebrated the success of one of its young professionals. In Claveria town's official Facebook page, the people of Claveria posted messages congratulating the success of one of the healthcare professionals and future leaders of their place. This, as Paul Valcorza,Jr, son of Brgy Patrocinio Chairman Paul Valcorza, Sr topped the recently concluded Veterinary Medicine Licensure Examination.  Paul Jr just graduated and finished his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree course at Central Mindanao University in Maramag, Bukidnon, and he took the board examnation in August this year. Luckily, the Board of Examiners has already posted the results and Paul, Jr. bested over a thousand examinees and landed as second placer. CHALLENGES BEFORE SUCCESS Paul Jr's father was only a Barangay Chairman of Patrocinio, a small barangay in Claveria town, Misamis Oriental. The challenge of supporting the dream of his son was tremendous. But as a father who is always there to support his son, Paul's father did everything he could to support his son's education at a very prestigious university in Bukidnon Province - the Central Mindanao Unversity. Paul's family knew very well how hard it is to sustain his education. More so, that his school is very far from their hometown in Patrocinio. The finances to be incurred for tuition fees, board and lodging and all other miscellaneous were really a difficult challenge to handle every month. But Paul Jr's parents work hard in order to sustain and augment the monthly finances their son can incur while schooling at CMU in Bukidnon Province. PAUL JR'S PROUD MOM, MARVIC VALCORZA, ALSO SHARED HIS HAPPINESS DURING HIS GRADUATION DAY AT CENTRAL MINDANAO UNIVERSITY. IN A RECENT VET MED EXAMINATION RESULT, PAUL JR LANDED 2ND PLACER.  FULL OF MOTIVATION But Paul Jr was full of motivation to succeed and to follow his dream of becoming a healthcare professional. He always made sure that the hard efforts of his parents to sustain his education will be reciprocated with finishing his degree with flying colors, so he studied very hard and stay away from all temptations of being a student, such as just enjoying with friends and joining circle of people which might only ruin his education. As Paul, Jr was a picture of a good and outstanding student, he always follow the worthwhile advice of his parents to concentrate on his chosen profession so that all the money and support coming from his parents would pay off. He studied hard believing that finishing his degree would really make his future brighter, aside from the constant reminders of his hardworking parents, even if he was away from home. REAPING THE FRUIT OF SUCCESS Luckily, the family's hard efforts in sustaining his education as well as Paul Jr's patients, perseverance and determination to succeed paid off when he finally graduated his degree in Veterinary Medicine. Paul's mom, Marvic Valcorza was a classmate of MDN President and CEO Dante M. Sudaria, who was also a native of Barangay Patrocinio, it was learned. Paul Jr took the board and landed second placer among the more than 1000 examinees who took the board exams held in selected cities in the country.  

Oro Designers look to break glass ceiling

August 19, 2019

ALL PHOTOS CREDIT TO CHRIS GOMEZ Designers in Cagayan de Oro are eyeing to break the glass ceiling[1] that has constrained them from attaining their full potential to breach the event horizon[2] and define a Kagay-anon Design Paradigm instantly recognizable anywhere in the world. Senior Kagay-anon designers Patrick U. Gabutina, Shine J. Casiño and Chris L. Gomez figured prominently in the 3rd Habi Kadayawan Design Competition Final Runway Event and Awarding Ceremony held August 9, 2019 at the Ayala Abreeza Mall Activity Center, Davao City. Chris Gomez (center in white) with local designers who joined the HIMO Product Design Exhinbit at CU Art Gallery. Gabutina of Tinabuan Arts & Crafts won the Grand Prize in the Fashion Accessories Professional Category while Shine J. Casiño, a founding member of the Oro Fashion Designers Guild (OFDG) was first runner up in the Luxe Apparel Category.  Chris Gomez of his eponymously named Creative Design based in Burgos, Cagayan de Oro was a finalist in the same category as Gabutina. However, even as they bask in their laurels, these first generation designers are already immersed in helping push the envelope to develop a broader base of designers in Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao. Foremost among these efforts are the Certificate Program on Design Competency workshops at the Capitol University in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Misamis Oriental Provincial Office (DTI Misor), Capitol University Business Incubation Center, Design Center of the Philippines (DCP), and Chris Gomez Creative Design. The DCP was established in 1970 to promote the use and appreciation of good design by strengthening the Philippine design industry and improving the range, quality, and thus the competitiveness of Philippine services and products. Gomez is a multi-disciplinary creative and advocate of Sustainable Design. Among his many laurels: Finalist, 2011 National Philippine Art Awards; Grand Prize winner (water-based category) 2012 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence Awards, and Finalist, 2014 Look of Style Awards (British Council/Look Magazine). He is a Product Development Mentor accredited by the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, and a Product Design Specialist of DCP. Habi Kadayawan 2019 Winners  Co-located Exhibit at the SM Lanang Premier. 1st & 2nd from left are the winning entries of Shine Casiño & Patrick Gabutina   (Emi Englis photo)   Design de Oro Already, the workshop has trained two groups of aspiring designers in the region and organized them into Design de Oro, composed of graduates from the two workshops which aims to do further capability building through trainings with designers from outside the region. “With design you have to be updated with trends, techniques, manipulation, up to the prices of saleable products,” Gomez noted. The successful graduates have already also held two product exhibits of their designs dubbed BulawOne and Himo at the CU Art Gallery. “The products on display are beautiful and innovative. The execution is excellent. For the design aficionado, this exhibit is a must see,” Gabutina noted. None of the novice designers who graduated from the two workshops had any formal training in design. They are a multi-disciplinary group including senior artists, engineers, architects, event organizers and even nurses, who share a common love for art and dabble in one medium or another. Aily A. Parojinog is a 21-year event organizing veteran who’s focused on paper for kids party favors (Kids & More) and decors with partner Donna Ocampo (also a graduate who convinced her to join the second batch). “I have many ideas but can’t execute then due to my lack of knowledge on materials and technologies,” she said, since she prefers to have personal hands-on knowledge of processes and materials.”I’d like to do interior decoration and makeovers in the future to move on from event organizing which is very stressful. Hopefully these design classes would open my mind to do more things.” Ramon R. Gumapon, a Civil Engineering & Architect graduate and contractor by trade, teaches at the Cagayan de Oro College (COC) and worked overseas for 10 years as a civil engr. /architect in the Middle East. “At present I focus on doing small-scale contracts for interior work for low cost houses and condos,” he said. “Looking forward, I want to integrate my design learnings to broaden my skills and capabilities beyond interior works.” Nicolas Aca is an architect by training and Cagayan de Oro’s pre-eminent Performance Artist, and currently curator of the Capitol University Art Gallery. He joined the design workshop to expand his knowledge of design such as product presentation, design and production, and marketing. “I was sponsored by CU for this training. Now I’d like to pay forward my learnings through projects like CU Marker and Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) using locally available materials. There are many design learnings I can use in CU enhanced with modern techniques and technologies which I can apply to design challenges.” Gomez is encouraged so far by what the first two batches of novice designers have learned and applied. “Most of them are interested in translating their drawings into actual things. For instance, for this year, most of their designed products are furniture. Their products are also more mature, end products which did not require much revision.” Chair by Mon Gumapon   Design Assembly Next up is a design assembly to determine the further needs of the novice designers like new designs, new materials, the process of design, with DTI and DCPC (upcoming project digital artisans). After this, Design de Oro looks to conduct a huge exhibit this November at a local mall which would include industry practice, product packaging, and new products.  “In the next two years, there’s going to be huge demand for designers in region 10. We have to develop local capability and not rely constantly on Manila,” Gomez notes. “I think there is a need for training for another set of designers next year,” Gabutina said. “The designers should be engaged and supported by government and other institutions.” However, Gomez believes it not yet the right time to train a third batch. “Let the existing ones take off first, boost with trainings, depends on them if they want to go solo or be part of a group to undertake projects, industry practice is very important,” he noted. “We also want to inspire other aspiring designers to undergo formal design competency training. ” Oro Design Initiatives Besides Design de Oro, other groups seek to expand the local base of designers in their specific niches like fashion design and styling, and graphics design. The Oro Fashion Designers Guild (OFDG) was organized in 2006 with Casiño as one if its founding members. They started the Mindanao Fashion Summit as a six-day show by then president Gil Macaibay III, VP Mark Christopher Yaranon, Alma Mae Roa, Benjie S. Manuel and Joshua Guibone in 2011. Although the first edition also featured capability building events like talks on current trends and the like, Yaranon admits the subsequent summits were unable to maintain such initiatives but said OFDG remains open to collaborative opportunities to design initiatives to widen the vision and capabilities of local fashion designers and stylists. Similarly, the first Oro Design Conference was organized by CDO-based graphic designer Karl Adrian Aguro last February as an avenue for local artists, particularly in graphic design, to learn from experts and meet with fellow artists in the region for future collaborative projects. “This was meant for the growing community of designers in Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao,” Aguro said. “We have a diverse set of talents here.” A fine arts graduate of the University of San Carlos in Cebu,  Aguro runs a design studio that specializes in branding and identity, print and publishing, and packaging design. Inspired by similar design conferences in Manila, Cebu, and Davao, Aguro and his team envisions Cagayan de Oro to have its own annual design conference. The HIMO Product Design Exhibit at the CU Art Gallery showcased designs by the 2nd batch of Design Competency Graduates.   Later this week, a Digital Artisan workshop will be held from Aug 22-28 at the FAB LAB Mindanao in Iligan City to train designers to use digital tools to collaborate with and encourage SMEs to avail of FAB LAB services to improve the quality and design of their products. The workshop is sponsored  by DCP with DTI with Swiss-American architect, design educator and author Architect Tobias Guggenheimer as main speaker. CEO of School of Fashion and the Arts, he was formerly professor and administrator at Pratt Institute School of Architecture, Parsons School of Design and Fordham University. FAB LAB Mindanao aims to be the venue where researchers can craft prototypes of their designs. Through its equipment, FAB LAB Mindanao also aims to assist in the product development of the small and medium enterprises in the region. Future Plans Gomez is already brainstorming with other senior designers for a Design Show featuring architects, interior designers, visual artists, fashion and product designers, and all other designers who are part of the regional design ecosystem to meet up in a Getting To Know You (GTKY) fellowship, celebrate design and showcase Metro Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao. “We envision a Multi-disciplinary Design Event like Cebu’s which intersects performance and visual arts, architecture and interior design, product design, fashion designers and stylists, and graphic designers in one venue which made Cebu one of the creative cities of Asia in 2006.” Eventually, Gomez said they envision a regional showcase along the lines of the iconic Manila FAME showcasing products with design driven products with superior quality and raw materials from Metro Cagayan de Oro. Design Philosophy Fe Quiblat-Gonzales, a retired designer from the Design Center of the Philippines, said that while she admires the upcoming batch of designers for being mostly self-taught, she believes a further focus on design philosophy would help them even more. Personally mentored by National Artists Arturo R. Luz (who established the DCP in 1970 as its founding executive director) and Jerry Navarro Elizalde (former DCP Director for Graphics), Quiblat-Gonzales  served as DCP’s Research Division Chief of Product Development for over two decades where she was charged with design workshops that stressed the critical need for discussion before execution given the inherent limitation of the design processes. “She piloted the development of Handmade Paper in the Philippines and is the brains behind various design projects such as Hinabi, Philippine Ethic Motifs and softened natural fibers,” added daughter Clara Marie Asuncion G. Elizaga, herself an industrial design cum laude graduate of De La Salle University-College of St. Benilde and ran Nazca Design Studio in Cagayan de Oro with her husband Elson during the 1990s. “They should integrate a design philosophy into their individual design capabilities because based on what I’ve seen they are still wanting in this aspect of the design process,” Quiblat-Gonzales noted. “All designers should have a design philosophy. Most of them have that in their heads though they probably just don’t realize or cannot verbalize it, especially considering how most of them did not have any formal schooling in design. A design philosophy can improve their designs because it give them something to lean on.” Since she was a chemical engineer by training, Ms. Quiblat-Gonzales initially had misgivings about her ability to  design but DCP Design Director Nicolaas Al de Lange, the first Filipino Industrial Designer graduate of Pratt University in the US advised her “ You know your materials and processes, go on!. I am forever thankful to him.”  The retired DCP designer said budding designers should emphasize their individual design philosophy to strengthen their mind sets once they start designing. “They will be more confident if their design philosophy which is the foundation of their design concern is mentioned or emphasized,” she added. “Every designer has that in their minds once they start stating the design problem. For instance, if I provide inputs to our designers (as the head of the DCP research division for product development whose function is to provide data/information to be used by designers in their design works),  I should always aim to provide them a combination of new techniques/new material,  updated design trends, information or work on any drastic change or deviation from the existing.” Thus, some may say simplicity guides them to sophistication; others follow "form follows function” while still other believe "forms goes with function.” Others who are focused on marketing will focus on understanding their customers. As Yves Behar, often regarded as one of the most influential industrial designers alive (and chief creative officer of Jawbone) likes to say “the work of a designer is really at the intersection of commerce and culture”. For young designers, it is important to imbibe this philosophy — that designs are good only when they are a part of culture, not just commerce.   [1] The glass ceiling is a metaphor for the invisible barrier that prevents some people from attaining their full potential. It's a subtle but damaging form of discrimination where you cannot attain the opportunities you see in front of you, despite your suitability and your best efforts.   [2] Event horizon is a theoretical boundary around a black hole beyond which no light or other radiation can escape, or metaphorically a point of no return.  

Solane brings Kitchen Hero Chef's Edition to Kumbira Masters 2019

August 15, 2019

SOLANE - the leading LPG solutions brand - is taking its grandest culinary competition to Mindanai as it kicks off a series of regional cook-offs for the Solane Kitchen Hero Chefs Edition, the first ever cooking competition that aims to discover the next big name in the culinary world.   "Mindanao is home to some of the country's culinary treasures and the most talented chefs in the country," said Isla LPG Corp. CEO Ruben Domingo. "Through the Solane Kitchen Hero competition, we aim to recognize these chefs who are vital in bringing Filipino cuisine to the world stage. At the same time, we are on a quest to explore and highlight Filipino specialties that are unique to our provinces."   For this one of a kind cook-off, participants must be Filipino professional chefs with at least three years of kitchen experience gained locally or abroad and must be currently employed in a hotel, restaurant or any food service establishment.   It was based on the following criteria: 50 percent featured ingredients and 50 percent originality and creativity.   The culinary creations were judged by renowned chef and Solane Kitchen Hero ambassador Chef Sau del Rosario and competition director Nancy Reyes-Lumen.   Winners will compete in the grand finals on September 7, 2019 at Eastwood City, Manila.

Babu Kwan’s Asian Plates pays homage to BIMP-EAGA

August 15, 2019

CAGAYAN de Oro’s signature Halal restaurant serving Moro cuisine has now expanded its menu to Southeast Asia. And what more auspicious date to launch the new dishes than the holiest of Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide? Babu Kwan chose August 11 to launch five new “Asian Plates” it being Eid al-Adha or the "Festival of the Sacrifice". The festival honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham)  to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God's command. However, before Abraham could sacrifice his son, an angel intervened and God gave Abraham a lamb to sacrifice instead. In commemoration of this intervention, an animal is sacrificed ritually and divided into three parts. One share is given to the poor and needy, another is kept for home, and the third is given to relatives. In the Islamic Lunar Calendar, Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of  Dhu-al-Hijjah . This year, Eid al-Adha in Philippines began in the evening of Sunday 11 August and ended in the evening of Monday 12 August. However, we were fortunate to be invited by BK for food sampling of their new Asian Plates a day earlier on August 10, along with some friends. As explained by our host for the day,  Babu Cecile Mambuay, former Faculty Regent of MSU-Marawi she was pitching in for daughter Khal and son-in-law Abde Campong who were delayed by weather in Basilan. Babu Cecile is doing a research paper on Halal Tourism that schools and accrediting agencies can use as a guide to develop the Halal foods market in the Philippines. “Being in the food service business is an infinite love affair with different cuisines in the PH as well as other countries,” she said. “One should have an insatiable quest for knowledge about food and culture. And there’s the necessity to provide for a growing Muslim market for halal food.” “Halal is for everyone. Halal in Arabic means something  allowed or permissible. It is clean, good for our body and soul, and acceptable to everyone. Total Halal concept covers Halal Food, Halal Finance, Halal Pharmaceuticals, Halal Garments, Halal Tourism, Halal Restaurants, Halal Transport and Halal Housing.” “We want to promote Moro Cuisine as characteristic of a particular people, mix and match to present to you something palatable, very attractive and very halal. Food culture is the last to be forgotten that’s why we always long for something homey, we want BK to be the home of Maranaos who have lost their homes and are now in Cagayan de Oro,” Babu Cecile stressed. “We serve Maranao food, we also serve other dishes but our best sellers are Beef Randang, which is also very common to ASEAN countries and is our link to the region. This is our link to Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, and Malaysia because when we go to these countries we find dishes they have in common with us.” “Now we are introducing five Asian plates as a gesture of oneness with the Cagayan de Oro Hotel and Restaurant Association (COHARA)’s signature KUMBIRA (the longest running and biggest culinary event outside Metro Manila) whose theme for this year is The Food Baskets of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines (BIMP) which aims to promote the cuisines of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the flavors and regional recipes of Mindanao.” “We are already on our 23rd year with Kumbira and we’d like to level up, we have to connect with other countries, especially our neighboring ASEAN community,” said COHARA Past President Nelia Lee. “Our Department of Tourism would also like to promote Halal, because there are already a lot of Muslim markets, but we don’t have many certified Halal outlets here.” Currently, there are only six private Filipino-owned halal certifiers in the Philippines:  Islamic Dawa Council of the Philippines, Halal Development Institute of the Philippines, Mindanao Halal Authority, Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification Board, Halal International Chamber of Commerce, and Prime. However, these certifiers are only recognized in the Philippines and not by other countries. To introduce the Asian Plates, BK Chef Hasanah Sani Macapaar, an outstanding graduate of Monster Kitchen Academy (MKA) and who now teaches in MKA, explains why BK chose to introduce Asian Plates. Chef Has  won the Bronze Medal with team mate Chef Vahnja Babia-Flores in the prestigious Chef Wars at the 10th National Food Showdown held October 2016 in Baguio City. She won the right to represent the city in the national competition when she and team mates Ivy Ann P. Duldulao and Jade Charmaine P. Mangao won Silver, the highest award in the Chef Wars, during the 20th Kumbira,  in August 2016. “We have been planning to introduce Asian Plates for some time now,” Chef Has explained. “For our first Asian Plate, we would like to introduce you to Nasi Kerabu, a Malaysian dish, which comes with rice cooked with coconut milk (gata). And we used Tilapia which is a very common ingredient of Maranao dishes. For sambal we make our own with local ingredients. We also make our BK peanuts with dilis and secret sauce also with local ingredients. These ingredients are common in similar recipes in Indonesia and Malaysia but we use locally sourced ingredients.” Actually BK’s five Asian Plates Nasi Lemak, Nasi Kerabu, Nasi Kyuning, Black Nasi Lemak and Nasi Tomato are five variations of what is essentially the same dish, Nasi Lemak, considered the national dish of Malaysia although it is also common with various twists in other ASEAN countries. BK’s Asian Plates share the same common ingredients in that all have fresh cucumber and tomato slices with sambal, your choice of boiled or fried eggs, keropok (Kropek) and BK’s spicy-sweet peanuts and anchovies. Sambal is a chili sauce/paste typically made from a variety of chili peppers with secondary ingredients such as shrimp paste, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, palm sugar, and lime juice. Various recipes of sambals usually are served as hot and spicy condiments for dishes, and there are no less than 212 variants of sambal in Indonesia, mostly coming from Java. While the dish in itself is already savory, everyone agreed the BK spicy-sweet peanuts is a winner and would go well with cold beer. Alas no beer in a halal restaurant! Not to worry. We may be seeing bottled BK peanuts very soon which you can bring home to savor in the comfort of your den while enjoying your favorite shows on cable TV. Nasi Kerabu is served with blue colored rice as a result of the blue ternate flower (commonly known as butterfly pea or Balog-Balog in Bisaya)  reputed to be a natural memory booster, antioxidant, anti-glycation, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, prevents fatigue, analgesic, anti-asthmatic, reduces stress and anxiety, good for the skin and hair and anti-ulcer. The healthy blue rice is paired with fried wild-caught tilapia. Tilapia is good for the bones, brain, thyroid gland, skin and heart. It has antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C and E which can fight skin aging (you’re welcome), and it has more protein and less carbs which can help in weight loss! So the major variations for BK’s five Asian Plates are its main ingredients: NASI TOMATO (Shrimps) is served with rice sautéed in spices and tomato paste and BK Shrimps. BLACK NASI LEMAK is packed with health benefits from the black rice (whole-grain rice that’s rich in anthocyanins, antioxidant pigments that give the rice its black color) to the grilled squid (rich in protein, high in antioxidants too, chock full of vitamins and minerals to fight anemia). NASI KYUNING (Beef) has BK’s flagship Beef Randang (its most popular item in the menu) with premium rice cooked in turmeric giving it the characteristic yellow color usually served in households in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur called Kyuning. NASI LEMAK (chicken) is renowned as the National Dish of Malaysia. BK's twist has fragrant white rice cooked in coconut milk (gata) and served with fried chicken, which Babu Cecile explained is a concession to kids who usually look for fried chicken wherever they dine outside their homes. Babu Kwan is found on the ground floor of G/F Vines Pension House Building, Yacapin Ext. corner Aguinaldo St., Brgy 32 (1.13 km), 9000 Cagayan de Oro, Philippines. It is open  Monday to Saturday 11am-2pm for lunch, then 5-9pm for dinner. For inquiries please call mobile # 945 135 5270 or visit their website at or Facebook page at

Cagayan de Oro Designers Shine in Habi Kadayawan 2019

August 11, 2019

Three Kagay-anon designers figured prominently in the 3rd Habi Kadayawan Design Competition Final Runway Event and Awarding Ceremony held August 9, 2019 at the Ayala Abreeza Mall Activity Center, Davao City. Patrick Gabutina of Tinabuan Arts & Crafts won the Grand Prize in the Fashion Accessories Professional Category while Shine J. Casiño, a founding member of the Oro Fashion Designers Guild (OFDG) was first runner up in the Luxe Apparel Category.  Chris Gomez of his eponymously named Creative Design based in Burgos, Cagayan de Oro was also a finalist in the same category as Gabutina. Gabutina won P100, 000, trophy and certificate with an opportunity to showcase his designs at the Manila FAME on 17-19 October 2019 at the World Trade Center in Metro Manila. As the Philippines’ premier design and lifestyle trade fair, Manila FAME promotes the country as a reliable sourcing destination for high-quality and design-oriented home, fashion, holiday, and interior products. It supports local small- and medium-scale enterprises and artisan communities by working with local designers to create new product collections and providing a professionally managed platform to present export products to the global market. Manila FAME provides a unique sourcing experience to both local and international buyers with its trademark Filipino hospitality at every touch point. Casiño won P75, 000.00 as 1st Runner up. As one of four honorable mentions in the Fashion Accessories Professional Category received P5, 000.00, certificate and medal. A joint project of the Davao LGUs Kadayawan Executive Committee and the Davao Fashion and Design Council Foundation, Inc. (DFDCFI), Habi Kadayawan 2019 paid homage to the journey of Davao’s 11 migrant tribes across the diverse terrain of their ancestral homes in Mindanao to a newfound home in Davao City. For this year, entries from other parts of Mindanao were invited to showcase their obras to open opportunities for designers across the island to showcase their ingenuity and their global ready fashion designs.  “This will be an opportunity for designers to not only showcase their vision and be guaranteed with a start-up capital but also allow them to bring their vision to Manila FAME, the hallmark of Philippine Design Excellence, through the Manila Trade Expo Pavilion,” said Dodjie L. Batu, Chair, Organizing Committee for Habi Kadayawan 2019 and President, Davao Fashion and Design Council Foundation, Inc. Gabutina’s entry “Purong Bag” was inspired by the head dresses of the tribes of Bukidnon and Davao (Purong means head dress in Visayan) and is made of indigenous materials like hinabul (woven abaca fiber) with tikog (reed grass) fringes, leather straps and carved wood. One of the most respected senior designers from Cagayan de Oro and Mindanao, Gabutina credited his design chops to his mentor and mother, Esmerna Uyguangco Gabutina, who started Tinabuan Arts & Crafts in their hometown in Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental. He also acknowledged Jeanie Palermo, Gangga Ranalan, Monette Sagaral, Marvin Arocho, Jerry Sumangay, and Chris Gomez, who was also a finalist in the same category. Gomez mentored Gabutina on the latter’s award winning design from its concept to its presentation to the judges. He also mentored the Grand Prize Winner during the first Certificate Program on Design Competency workshop held last year at the Capitol University in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry Misamis Oriental Provincial Office (DTI Misor), Capitol University Business Incubation Center, and Chris Gomez Creative Design. Gomez is a multi-disciplinary creative and advocate of Sustainable Design. Among his many laurels: Finalist, 2011 National Philippine Art Awards; Grand Prize winner (water-based category) 2012 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence Awards, and Finalist, 2014 Look of Style Awards (British Council/Look Magazine). He is a Product Development Mentor accredited by the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, and a Product Design Specialist of Design Center Philippines (DCP). For his part, self-taught fashion designer and stylist Shine J. Casiño is clear eyed on where he wants to bring his fashion ideas following another breakthrough milestone in his journey which includes stops with mentors Melvin Lachica, the late Cesar Gaupo and Avel Bacudio. “I wanna go global. I want to bring the Mindanao Look to the World,” he said in an earlier interview. This would entail modernizing the Mindanao Look focusing on the colorful tapestry of Mindanao’s history and culture, he explains. Mix and match various elements of Mindanao’s various cultures one step at a time depending on his inspiration. Not only for materials, colors but also fashion accessories. For instance for his Habi Kadayawan 2019 entry, Casiño drew inspiration from the Maranao Okir and Langkit motifs  and  made liberal use of the Mindanao Silk being produced in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental. “Through my fashion ethic I want to highlight the History and Heritage of Mindanao Culture,” he notes. “I love of my city, my hometown Tagoloan, and I am proud of Mindanao’s culture, people and its colors.” Not the least, Chris Gomez’s Ranao Handbag was conceived around the culture of his childhood and design exposure in Lake Lanao. Made from denim, wood, shell, cocoon balls, silk tassels, acrylic gold and beads, it is designed for women who treasure timeless fashion. “The gold aquatic images are inspired by the Lake that symbolizes royalty and prestige. This is my homage to the artisanal skills of the Maranao by bringing their craft to the world,” Gomez shared. “The bag’s hardwood handle inlaid with shell was developed in the town of Tugaya, Lanao del Sur, famous for its brass and wood bauls with shell inlays.” “This design uses raw materials with integrity to arrive at basic modern shapes and forms, the creative process being an experimental journey towards imbuing traditional hand-crafted products with contemporary sensibilities.” “Habi Kadayawan is a good platform for aspiring apparel and fashion accessories designers,” said Gomez, who joined the competition for the first time. “The entry should embody good quality; use materials available in the region represented by the contestant and should have that global look for the international market.” With their impressive showing at Habi Kadayawan 2019, Oro Designers look to be on their way to the wild blue yonder of global fashion. It could be only a matter of time if it hasn’t happened yet. We will keep watch with bated breath and bring you the story when that indeed happens. Congratulations to our winning Oro designers and may your feats galvanize your students to be similarly inspired!  (with inputs from CDODev.Com and photos by Patrick Gabutina and Kadayawan sa Davao) -30-

A journey of faith: Rev. Nelson Butron Villarin’s Journey of Faith

August 10, 2019

IT is never easy to be a servant of God, least of all become a pastor. A calling that only a few heed when they are called. Last June 2nd, 2019, Pastor Nelson Butron Villarin of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines was finally ordained a minister of his church. The simple rites held at the UCCP Cagayan de Oro Church where he currently serves as chaplain for the Cagayan de Oro Christian School marked the end and beginning of a lifelong journey of faith which tested him to the limits. Rev. Sonny, as he is better known to friends, was born and raised in Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City, the fifth child in a family of four boys and a girl of former Lapasan United Church Men (UCM) Chairman Gonzalo Tabaco Villarin and Remedios Butron Villarin. His testimony of faith started during his Christian Youth Fellowship (CYF) tenure at UCCP- Lapasan when he was just 14. Like anyone else his age, he was happy-go-lucky and didn’t really give much to his future. Indeed, serving God was not his first chosen calling, but rather architecture. He holds a diploma in BS Architecture from Cebu Institute of Technology. Even when wasn’t hired to be a regular employee in all of his many jobs in Cebu, Makati and Cagayan de Oro from 1988 to 2002, he didn’t realize at the time he had another calling. So he came home and tried again in his hometown in Cagayan de Oro. Meantime, he immersed himself in church related activities which gave him pause that perhaps he was meant for another profession. “I failed to discern at the time that even in Cebu the Lord was calling me to serve as a shepherd to his flock,” he recalls. “However, my continued failure to land a regular job as an architect finally made me realize God was calling me. Without a job, he took a great leap of faith and enrolled at the Silliman University Divinity School, graduating with a Masters of Divinity in 2006. In was touch in go for a while but his God never deserted him. Already married to Nates Fausto Villarin in April 21, 1992 and with a growing family, somehow there was always a provision when there was a need. “We accepted laundry from our colleagues and also did ironing. In addition, we prepared and sold the local sweet potato (Camote) delicacy called kamoyang to make ends meet,” he recalls. The couple is blessed with 4 children, NN Gri, Vhien Klein, Gabriel David, Chessedh Chedech; and granddaughter Coleen Angela, his pride and joy. But it seemed like Job in the Old Testament, the Lord wasn’t quite done testing him yet. He considers his failure to hurdle two of the subjects in his ordination exam in 2017 as one of the most challenging tests yet that God sent his way. “It was a one of the most challenging moments when I learned that I had to retake two subjects in my Ordination Exam when I was expecting that together with Pastor King (Rev. Beryl Sale) we would be both ordained together but it was not to be.” However, during the interview with the Examination Committee he was given an opportunity to be ordained. “A lot of things to do, a lot of patience to undertake, and lot of prayers to make, so that I would be able to win the race for my ordination,” he recalls. “After a year things went well and patience worked a lot.” Thus, during the Conference Assembly last April 2018, the Examination Committee finally endorsed him for ordination as a full-fledged Minister of the UCCP. Rev. Sonny’s day-to-day spiritual journey with God still has its ups and downs, but he knows that despite life's challenges and his faith shaken, he would not falter nor crumble. To him, it is just a way of God's testing his faith. Taking every life's turns with positivity. He is a living testimony of how God works wonders in one's life. He believes one should fear God, because to him the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom like what the psalmist said. (with Roan Gorres)


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