northern mindanao

Miss Opol 2016 crowned

September 6, 2016

Erika Glaiza Tablizo, fondly called Kay-kay by people close to her, was the beautiful maiden representing barangay Malanang bested 14 other deserving candidates in the pageant which was part of the 2nd Opol Ostrich Festival. Known for its fine beaches, not many people know that Opol town in Misamis Oriental is also home to the largest ostrich farm in this part of the country.   Photo show (from left) outgoing Miss Opol 2015 Alexa Patriana, Jo Palabao of Businessweek Mindanao and Mindanao Daily, Opol Mayor Maximino Seno, newly-crowned Miss Opol 2016 Erika Glaiza Tablizo and Vice Mayor Chizarina Ortigoza. photo by mark francisco If you want to be awed and experience the thrill of being in the middle of a nest of giant birds, then come to the ostrich farm in Opol.   A thousand of these 8-foot flightless yet swift-running African birds can be found in none other than Tablizo’s beautiful home village of Malanang. Owned by the Limketkai family in Cagayan de Oro City, the ostrich farm is a food-producing business yet at the same time a tourist spot. The farm features more than ostriches – it also has 50 crocodiles, peacocks, Chinese chicken, sheep and hyacinth Macau parrots. The farm, which opened in 1966, are visited by tourists and Cagayanons on family or friend getaways mostly on weekends. In 2015, the local government of Opol led by Mayor Maximino Seno instituted an annual Ostrich Festival to give homage to the unique tourist spot found only in their town. Ostrich meat is good for health-conscious people since they are low in cholesterol, fat and calories compared to chicken.

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Shell Bike Fair 2016 leg held in Cag. de Oro

September 6, 2016

The recent rise in number of motorcycle riders for the past couple of years has cemented the popularity of the two-wheeled vehicle, making it an indispensable mode of transportation for Filipinos all over the country. Coming from a successful celebration of all things motorcycle last year, Pilipinas Shell takes things to the next level by hosting a bigger and grander Shell Bike Fair 2016. To show Shell’s appreciation for the motorcycle community, this year’s Shell Bike Fair is a series of three grand events in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The second leg of the three-part celebration was made possible by Shell Advance, Shell V-Power Nitro+, and Shell Select. Shell Bike Fair 2016 Last September 3, the second leg of the Shell Bike Fair 2016 was held at the Limketkai Atrium in Cagayan de Oro through a day filled with games and entertainment for the company’s valued customers. Upon entering the world-class location, the attendees were treated to fun demos and games at the different booths set up throughout the venue. Exciting performances by Callalily and Gracenote plus other surprise celebrity appearances brought the house down, with the crowd partying along to their favorite hits. The event ended on a high note as several motorcycle clubs received special prizes and three lucky guests brought home their brand new motorcycles. Partners on the road Shell aims to demonstrate that it is a trusted partner of motorists in their every ride. Using Shell Advance can help provide easier engine starts, as well as long-term cleanliness and overall maximum protection, for a smoother ride on the road. Shell’s world-class lubricants go hand in hand with the use of Shell V-Power Nitro+, Shell’s premium performance fuels, which are designed to fight gunk and corrosion. And lastly, Shell aims to make every visit to a gas station worthwhile through the wide array of snacks, refreshments and hot meals that Shell Select offers for riders on the go. “For over 100 years, Pilipinas Shell’s products and services have evolved to meet the current needs of Filipino motorists. We want our customers to know that Shell is every Filipino motorist’s partner on the road. Aside from quality lubricants and fuels, offerings such as the Shell Select convenience store, Shell Helix Oil Change+, and other integrated services, Shell has evolved into more than just a gas station – it is a pit stop that fuels both you and your motorcycles,” said Anthony Lawrence Yam, Pilipinas Shell Vice President for Retail. Don’t miss out on the final leg of the Shell Bike Fair 2016 as it culminates in the World Trade Center, in Metro Manila on September 24. For more information, visit www.shell.com.ph. PR

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KYMCO Day with Hale and Jaime Dempsey

September 5, 2016

 The Taiwanese firm treated the attendees to live entertainment, some refreshements and various raffle prizes. Everyone had a chance for a quick meet and greet with History Channel’s Ride N’ Seek host Jaime Dempsey who is also one of KYMCO’s brand ambassadors. The event also served as the launch pad for the brand’s latest offering, the Racing King 180. Dubbed as “the beast”, a detailed audio-visual presentation was conducted by KYMCO Philippines General Manager Allan Santiago highlight its impressive features. KYMCO Philippines President Charles Tseng was also present to grace the occasion. The day ended with an energetic performance by the Hale band and the much anticipated raffle for one unit of KYMCO Agility RS125.

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My City My SM My Art holds Oro stopover

September 2, 2016

In partnership with the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), director Brillante Mendoza’s Center Stage Production, Shell Philippines and Metropolitan Museum of Manila, My City My SM My Art in Cagayan de Oro features works of the following artists: Abdulmari Asia Imao, Oscar Floirendo, Michael Bacol, Christopher Gomez, Nicolas Aca Jr., Nonoy Estarte, Jake Vamenta, Errol Balcos and Michelle Lua. As a painter and sculptor, Imao infused traditional Islamic design with modernist patterns, resulting in vivid works that yearn for local color and the dream of a unified nation. Known for his unique adaptation of traditional Mindanaoan motifs – the ukkil, the naga and the sarimanok, combining all of these with cubism. Imao’s efforts got him the conferment as National Artist for Sculpture in 2006. His son Toym, whose name was inspired from the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines annual awards, is also an artist in his own right. Toym, who follows the footsteps of his father, can be found in major cities in the Philippines, Vietnam, the United States and Europe.

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Organic farming: Only way to arrest global soil crisis

August 30, 2016

Life, however, is being threatened by a crisis more pernicious and insidious since it exacerbates climate change, among others. If not removed, this has the power to destroy all life from the face of the Earth. This threat has been observed for millennia and is attributed to have caused the destruction of countless civilizations since the Neolithic age. But it was only two years ago that the alarm has been sounded. This threat is called the Global Soil Crisis. “If current rates of degradation continue, all of the world’s topsoil could be gone within 60 years,” said Maria-Helena Semedo, deputy director-general for natural resources of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) during a forum marking World Soil Day in December 2014. “Soils are the basis of life. Ninety-five percent of our food comes from the soil,” Semedo added. “A rough calculation of current rates of soil degradation suggests we have about 60 years of topsoil left. Some forty percent (40%) of soil used for agriculture around the world is classed as either degraded or seriously degraded – the latter means that 70% of the topsoil, the layer allowing plants to grow, is gone. Because of various farming methods that strip the soil of carbon and make it less robust as well as weaker in nutrients, soil is being lost at between 10 and 40 times the rate at which it can be naturally replenished,” said Professor John Crawford of the University of Sydney in an interview with TIME magazine and the World Economic Forum. Shortsighted agri policies blamed The unprecedented rate of soil degradation is blamed on various human activities. “The loss of over 25 billion tons of topsoil from our cropland each year is the price we pay for shortsighted agricultural policies designed to boost food output at the expense of soils, and of failed or nonexistent population policies,” lamented the Washington D.C.-based Worldwatch Institute. In his first briefing as Agriculture secretary last July, Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol discovered that the Department of Agriculture has been using a 40-year-old soils data simply because previous administrations refused to grant the financial request for soil mapping by the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM). “In the first briefing I received from officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA), I found out that the soils analysis data used by the department in waging a war against hunger were actually gathered over 40 years ago...An official of the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM) told me that they have been asking for additional budget for the soil mapping but the request was not granted,” Piñol wrote in a note in his Facebook page. He said he asked for the BSWM official “to submit to me an estimated budget requirement for the conduct of a national soil testing so that..the DA [can] come up with a Color-Coded Agriculture Guide Map.” “A national soil testing and sampling is very vital in determining which region of the country could grow which crop best based on soil components and fertility. Also, it would effectively guide the DA and the farmers in determining what nutrients are deficient in the soil in specific areas,” Piñol said. Healthy topsoil, healthy earth Soil degradation is a silent epidemic. Every nation is affected. The pressures on soil are increasing as the world population grows. Thus, keeping topsoil healthy is synonymous to keeping the earth healthy. Ultimately, it is keeping life healthy. Scholars believed that food insecurity is one of the threats that modern society must face especially since global population has grown exponentially. As of mid-2011, estimates put the world population at 7,021,836,029 and are expected to rise to 9.3 billion in 2050. Scholars also postulated that the world’s population will double in the next 50 years if the current growth rate of 1.3 percent continues. Food production, however, has continually declined. And this is blamed mostly on global warming, urban sprawl, and land degradation — which is blamed on loss of topsoil from water erosion and fertility decline. To keep up with global food demand, the UN estimates that about 6 million hectares of new farmland will be needed every year. Instead, 12 million hectares a year are lost through soil degradation. “We need to keep our soil healthy, which means we have to make it fertile, always,” Honorio Cervantes said. “To keep soil fertile, we need to add organic matters to it. In short, we need to practice organic agriculture,” added Dr. Elmer Sayre. Cervantes is the Philippine innovator of the square-foot gardening whose Square-Foot Garden in Barangay Pagatpat, Cagayan de Oro City is an Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) learning site that is hailed for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). Sayre, on the other hand, is the founder and in-house adviser of the internationally-acclaimed Water, Agroforestry, Nutrition and Development (WAND) Foundation, based in Libertad, Misamis Oriental. Topsoil, that upper layer of the earth’s surface which varies in depth from an inch to 8 inches, plays a very important part to agricultural productivity because it is where most of the earth’s biological soil activity occurs and has the highest concentration of organic matter, nutrients and microorganisms. Typically, plants generally concentrate their roots in and obtain most of their vital nutrients from this layer. Loss of topsoil, therefore, is one of the most significant barriers to agricultural productivity. Thus, keeping our topsoil healthy is one of the most critical factors in keeping the Earth healthy. “The secret to successful agriculture is giving the soil an enabling environment for water, air and micro-organisms to stay harmoniously healthy,” said internationally-recognized Jojo Rom, innovator and father of Urban Container Gardening (UCG). And this can only be done through organic farming. Organic farming is a strong economic driver in improving soils. And humans need to improve soils since soils provide ecosystems services and is very important in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, said Cristina Grandi, chief food security campaigner at the International Federations of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)—Organics International. “Organic [farming]...is the single best [solution] I can think of” to solve the global soil crisis, said IFOAM activist Volkert Engelsman. (Bong D. Fabe)

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DAR-Agnor, DTI team up for marketing seminar to farmers

August 30, 2016

Participants were some 55 farmers consisting of 32 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and 23 non-agrarian reform beneficiaries from Simbalan Rubber Farmers, Inc. (SRFI) and United Farmers of Cuyago, Inc. (UFCI) of Buenavista and Jabonga towns, respectively.   DAR-AND Point Person Lucio Juni emphasized to UFCI farmers, who are into Moringa (Malunggay) Powder production, and SRFI trainees, who produce Robusta (Barako) Coffee, that the activity is an integrated support from DAR and DTI in the province to empower farmer-beneficiaries and to help their production commercially viable. “This seminar is aimed at helping the farmer-groups in their income-generating activity that have shown success potential in the local market,”: Juni said. DTI-CARP Resource Person Joy Ordonia stressed the importance of product enhancement, product promotion, good customer services, and basic rules in trade fair participation. Virginia Montilla, UFCI chairperson, said some of her group’s women-members have now improved their marketing strategy and customer handling which is significant especially because some of them have been managing their own sari-sari store. “The seminar helped our organization as it improved our relations with customers from all over the region. I thank DAR and DTI for organizing the seminar,” she added.

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