opinion

Team OKKA to file candidacies today

October 16, 2018

Belief in feng shui influenced Team OKKA to file their certificates of candidacy for next year's elections today, Oct. 17. That and the color green and white were adopted as campaign colors for the slate of incumbent Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno, said Gusa Barangay Captain Marlo Tabac. These colors will be worn by 5,000 supporters from the city's 1st district and another 5,000 supporters from the city's 2nd district. Three of the candidates---Rep. Rolando Uy of Cagayan de Oro's 1st district,Vice Mayor Joaquin Uy and City Councilor Alam Lim who will run for the city's 2nd district are of Chinese descent. 2019 is the Year of the Earth Pig/Boar,  According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, numbers considered as lucky under Feng Shui are 11, 168, 14,12, 13, 10 and 17. The number 17 is a natural number following 16 and preceding 18, a prime number.  In science 17 is the minimum possible number of givens for a sudoku puzzle with a unique solution. The Chinese also believe that 17 represents responsibility for a job, insight, self discipline for wisdom and a desire for peace and love for all humanity. It was learned that Carmen Barangay Captain Lorna Uy, wife of Congressman Rolando Uy chose the number 17 and other details of the filing pursuant to Chinese tradition and Christian values. Team OKKA's first district candidates will walk from Carmen Hall starting at 7 am to the Cathedral headed by Congressman Uy and his son Vice Mayor Uy. The second district candidates led by Mayor Oscar Moreno will walk starting at the Abellanosa Bar 17 passing through Velez Street. 

READ MORE
Rectifying the 'piso-piso' sham

October 16, 2018

In my previous life as a media practitioner covering news stories in Cagayan de Oro City for more than two decades, the piso-piso land program of the unlamented (at least to his critics) administration of former mayor Vicente Emano became my specialty so to speak. Why do you ask dear readers? Because in my mind it was a scam plain and simple. It was a near perfect political trick mean to deceive the poor, hapless and hopeless settlers who longed for a house and lot they can call their own. I was never tired with discussing the pros and cons of the project. It sounded too good to be true to anyone who heard it especially to the voters of this City of Golden Friendship. That people of other cities and provinces who heard about it envied the beneficiaries was inevitable since the former mayor touted it as a cure to the perennial problem of homelessness. As the program went, the settlers were given white paper bearing the settler's name and the signatures of every officer of the then ruling Padayon Pilipino party. The settler is then charged P1 and he or she gets to stay (squat) in the land they occupy so long as he or she votes for Emano's Padayon in the elections and he or she is willing to do anything asked of them by the party. No vote, ibot (leave) your house was the battle cry of Padayon Pilipino's barangay leaders in the field before the elections. That poor Dr. Jose Rizal's image in the Philippine peso was used as a campaign pitch was bad enough.  Those not from Cagayan de Oro City who had no opportunity to support themselves and yet occupy these lands will be tied up in political bondage to Padayon Pilipino on the strength of that signed white paper.  It is a program I will never forget in all my years as a journalist. I don't own land and I want to own one but I want a title signed by the Director of Deeds and recorded in that office. I discussed the piso piso project almost daily in my radio program if only to create awareness and awaken the voters on its falsehood and illegality.  But I was the lone voice in the media wilderness. I made enemies on the administration side but I shrugged it off because I believed then and now that it was a political scam. I talked about the land acquisition of the late mayor Pablo "Ambing" Magtajas intended to distribute land it to qualified beneficiaries. He was unable to finish it but incumbent Mayor Oscar Moreno picked it up instead. The piso-piso program was a boon to the Padayon Pilipino party as it ensured their political survival. They may have considered making it legal but they sat on it too long, thinking they will perpetuate their hold on City Hall. In the end I guessed correctly that they won't do it. Even practicing lawyers during the Emano years were muted in their response to the piso-piso program. All except for former councilor Edgar Cabanlas, Emano's former political lieutenant, who sensed that it was wrong. Cabanlas waited for the right time to rectify the plight of the piso-piso occupants and it came when Mayor Moreno appointed him to head the task force to title the lands occupied by these settlers. This "land emancipation" bore fruit with Cagayan de Oro winning the 2018 Galing Pook Award for outstanding governance. About 2,000 land titles were distributed since 2013, a record high and it freed the settlers from being obligated to whoever sat in City Hall. Who would have thought that it can be done? What made the Moreno administration's initiative different is that the beneficiary will pay for the lot at the same price bought by the city.  Which is legal and reasonable because one could not really buy a piece of land for P1. Again, the piso-piso land program is a political sham and tool used by Padayon Pilipino to maintain its viselike grip on the beneficiaries. So long as they have a roof over their heads, their loyalty to Padayon Pilipino is complete and unquestioning. Congratulations to Atty. Edgar Cabanlas for delivering these settlers out of Padayon Pilipino's bondage. I see no reason why he won't return to the City Council in next year's elections.  Congratulations to the City Council under Vice Mayor Kikang Uy for amending and revising the ordinance on the piso-piso program. And congratulations to Mayor Oscar Moreno for making it possible for the settlers to acquire the land titles to legitimize their stay in their lots. This alone gave meaning to genuine governance and public service. Let me greet a special friend Jelbeth B. Via who celebrated her 40th birthday at the La Bella Luna Ristorante of Primavera Residences in Pueblo de Oro subdivision last Saturday. Jelbeth was raised in Manolo Fortich town in Bukidnon province and is married to an Italian with a big heart named Marcello Via. I was touched with the love shown and spoken by Marcello to his wife during the party. Me Amore. Beth is looking forward to spending part of each year in Italy and in the Philippines so they can have the best of both worlds. Beth was so lovely that night as she was dressed in a striped black dress. Her other wish is a long and happy life with Marcello and health and happiness for her family.

READ MORE
POWER OF A NAP

October 16, 2018

If ever there is a chance, I take a nap. Five minutes, maybe ten. Without it, I would be giddy, grumpy, or both. Spencer, a neuro-scientist focusing on sleep at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, wanted to investigate the science behind this anecdotal experience. “The observation of a lot of people is that a napless kid is emotionally dysregulated,” she says. “So that spurred us to ask this question of, ‘Do naps actually do something to process emotions?’” Research has already shown that, in general, sleep helps us make sense of emotions. Sleep plays a key role in encoding information based on experiences from the day, making sleep critical for preserving memories. And emotional memories are unique because of the way they activate the amygdala, the brain’s emotional core. “Amygdala activation is what allows your wedding day and the funeral of your parents to be a day better remembered, more than just any other day of work,” Spencer says. The amygdala tags these memories as significant, so that during sleep they’re processed for longer and reiterated more than more trivial memories. The upshot is that the memories of emotional significance become easier to retrieve in the future. As we could learn from a BBC-report researchers are learning that even a nap can improve how we process emotional experiences. At sleep labs like this one, researchers are learning that even a nap can improve how we process emotional experiences. Ultimately, the best prescription for a broken heart or a clouded mind may be having a kip. Five minutes "nalang" ... Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn or visit my www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .

READ MORE
HUNGER

October 13, 2018

Global hunger relief back-tracking, especially in war zones. World efforts to lower hunger to zero by 2030 are being negated by warfare and climate change, warn nutritionists. Their latest global index categorizes 51 nations, mainly in Asia and Africa, where hunger is alarming. It's hard for me and my family to believe and understand  that millions of people worldwide are dying because of hunger. What a crazy world. Germany's Welthungerhilfe (World Hunger Relief) aid organization published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) in Berlin Thursday, warning that gains made since 2000 have gone into reverse, with 821 million people, many of them children, undernourished. Zero hunger by 2030 is one of 17 UN-agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Data from 119 countries, including child stunting, was used to calculate the placing of each nation on the GHI scale. "Without political solutions the battle [against hunger] will not be won," Welthungerhilfe President Bärbel Dieckmann said, adding that the African Union, the UN and the EU were primarily responsible, not non-governmental organizations. One of the most known reasons of hunger: land losses threaten indigenous communities. Data on undernourishment, child wasting, stunting and mortality, which last decade showed average improvements, began receding early last year. Warfare as well climate change are the key factors. "And this is mainly due to war zones: where there are armed conflicts and some areas that are suffering massively from the consequences of climate change. Yes, it's painful to accept reality, but hunger double in war zones. Hunger was twice as prevalent in war-torn countries. Drought in eastern Africa, once at 10-yearly intervals, now struck every two years. Corruption and poor governance were also factors. Worst-placed on the GHI hunger severity index was as we could learn in today's news (October 12, 2018) the Central African Republic - where inter-militia conflict lingers despite a French-led UN intervention - followed by Madagascar, Chad, Zambia and war-torn Yemen. Sixteen nations exhibiting no improvements and even regressive trends were identified in the data sets from 2016 and 2017 analyzed by the International Food Policy Research Institute, the Irish entity Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe, which is based in Bonn alongside numerous UN agencies including its climate secretariat. Strong improvements in tackling hunger were, however, recorded in Angola, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Myanmar, said the authors of the GHI report. Child mortality and undernourishment due to insufficient calorific intake prevailed in Africa south of the Sahara. South Asia exhibited stunting and wasting among children under five, in part due to  lack of essential vitamins and minerals, the report concluded.  Gerd Müller, federal development aid minister and Bavarian conservative in Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet, the resurgence in world hunger was a "scandal because our planet has the potential to feed all people." Yes, the German minister is very much right. I strongly agree. It's indeed a scandal. Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin or visit my www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .

READ MORE
The talent and commitment to serve

October 12, 2018

The great  American football player and coach Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers once said that individual commitment to a group effort is what makes a team work.  That saying also applies to both companies and society at large. It also finds meaning in Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno's unveiling of his lineup for next year's midterm elections. Moreno presented his complete lineup to the local media in last week's press conference and said the administration slate wasn't formed “to challenge the opposition" but to "serve the people." He said he won't be surprised if the opposition also presents a united lineup to challenge him. "We are in a democracy so its expected that there will be people who will challenge us," he said. I attended the press conference and noticed that he kept using the word “we" instead of “I" for emphasis. The administration lineup has incumbent Rep. Rolando Uy of Cagayan de Oro's first district and Councilor Yam Lam Lim who will run for the city's second congressional district. Moreno said he needs both men to win so the city can secure more funding for its projects from the national government. Uy's record speaks for itself and he continues to deliver services to his constituents in the city's first district which is why Moreno is ecstatic that Uy sided with him along with Vice Mayor Kikang Uy in the City Council. Kikang Uy is no barrier to any projects and he knows his time will come when he will run for mayor. Lim, on the other hand, is no stranger to the city since he is popular in the grassroots level even before he ran for office. Lim also is said to be popular to the incumbent Palace occupant across the Pasig river and there is no doubt about his winnability since the Chinese community can be relied on to support its own. In terms of legislation, the administration councilors of both the first and second districts have been doing their work and can show to their constituents that they are working for them.  Councilors like Suzette Magtajas Daba and Dr.Malou Gaane to name a few are known to be hard workers and I often wonder if they have a day off since they seem to be on the road all the time. I don't blame Councilors Bong Lao and Eric Salcedo for deciding to run again. They serve to counter check any abuses and their loyalty to the party ends when their loyalty to the public starts.  I asked Lao why he aligned with Moreno and he said that he personally "saw some of the basic services which were delivered to the people.” Former city councilor Edgar Cabanlas is also poised to make a comeback in the council to represent the second district. I must personally thank Cabanlas for doing a great job in facilitating the titling of the lands occupied by settlers under the Piso-Piso program. This is one issue close to my heart during my media days in Cagayan de Oro. I used a line made famous at the Max and Ruby cartoon  show when Ruby would tell Max “I know this for a fact: that the people were used for political reasons." I believed then as I do believe now that the settlers under the program cannot legally own the land they occupied without titles unless they stayed there for more than 30 years and their possession is uncontested legally.  Call it whatever you want had not it been for Mayor Oscar Moreno these people will be politically indebted to the previous Emano administration for nothing.  But things did change when Moreno took over City Hall and Cabanlas facilitated the issuance of land titles for the settlers and for that they deserve the people's vote. To make things clear, even those who didn't vote for Moreno and Cabanlas can rest easy knowing that they have land titles to legitimatize their claim to the lots they now occupy. The same vote of confidence can also be cast for Councilor Roger Abaday. Moreno is right, his administration's lineup is a talented cast that is all united in serving the people of Cagayan de Oro. Using another sports analogy, I conclude my article by pointing to what NBA legend Michael Jordan said about being a champion. He said while talent wins games, teamwork wins championships. 

READ MORE
Let's attend 'Pink Day@SM'

October 11, 2018

Tomorrow or Saturday, Oct. 13 I will be hosting the “Pink Day @SM” program to be held at the SM CDO Downtown mall at 10 am. Bengie Sarmiento, a fellow breast cancer survivor, will co host the program sponsored by breast cancer awareness advocacy group Thrive CDO. I consider it an honor and privilege to host the program and big thanks to a friend Mercelita Jandayanhan-Labial who introduced me to this group. As anyone of you who followed my account of my journey to breast cancer treatment knows, it is a life-changing experience for me. Mercelita aka Mercy is the daughter -in-law of the late regional director Ben Labial of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA). A year ago, it was a personally crushing moment for me to be diagnosed with stage 111A breast cancer on my left breast. It made a 360 degree change in my life plan and one of the things I promised myself should I get the doctor's clearance is to join or start a breast cancer awarness advocacy group in Cagayan de Oro. I later learned there is one such group in Thrive CDO founded by Karen Lluch, who was the Miss Cagayan de Oro titlist in 1994. She started the group after she saw a similar group while she underwent treatment for breast cancer in Cebu City. She believed that it was the Holy Spirit that guided her to form such a group and she came home to Cagayan de Oro with a mission to do so. Lluch said she was no longer scared or ashamed when someone would stare at her with her cancer cup. Through acceptance, she started the group on June 22, 2012 to help and empower female breast cancer survivors in Northern Mindanao. She did this through pink ribbon activities and partnerships with organizations that believed and shared in her advocacy for early breast cancer detection and treatment. Tomorrow, a free breast checkup will be held from 1:30 pm to 4 pm starting at 10 am when the mall opens. “Pink Day @SM” will carry the theme “Emotional Wellness During, After and Beyond Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment.” Yes, my dear sisters and fellow breast cancer survivors, emotion well being should be taken cared off during the treatment period and beyond. I promised myself that I would help in spreading that message to others. Breast cancer is treatable if detected early so treatment can start as soon as possible. Someone once said that cancer is a word, not a sentence. During the program, two breast cancer survivors--Mars B. Guibone and Jannice Sanz of Thrive CDO—will talk on their journey to physical and emotional wellness. It will certainly be an eye opener and one thing I like about Thrive CDO is that it is a patient-initiated and non partisan apolitical advocacy group.  Councilor Maria Lourdes S.Gaane, a doctor by profession, will speak in her capacity as chairperson of the City Council's health committee.  Ophelia Gumahad Paano, president of the Rotary Anns of Cagayan de Oro, will also deliver a message and formalize a partnership with Thrive CDO to promote breast cancer advocacy to the public. For additional incentive, gifts will be distributed to mastectomy survivors and  chemotherapy patients. I am inviting all of you readers to attend the event and for breast cancer patients, please join and be encouraged as well as to encourage others to overcome the disease.

READ MORE

Subscribe Now!

Receive email updates from Mindanao Daily News.