TEXT by ROLLIE L. ESPINA
PHOTOS by NONOY Ll. ESPINA
The opening of the ArteKalye Festival at the Pope John Paul II Tower on Sunday, February 2, could be the spark that will signal a revival of interest in the arts, not just in Bacolod City, but in Negros Occidental.
Two of the street paintings at ArteKalye 2014.*
The ArteKalye is part of the celebration of Bacolod Arts Month, a joint project between the city government led by Mayor Newks Puentevella and the Art Association of Bacolod (AAB)-Negros headed by Marisol Alquizar, and the participation of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on History, Arts and Culture chaired by Councilor Jocelle Batapa.
Young artists paint on the street in front of the Pope John Paul II tower.*
CHRISTMAS IS ANYTIME. Christmas is anytime of the year, one finds the urge to share gifts or whatever with fellowmen that can improve their lives. There were members of the Bacolod Lions Club led by Honorato Tonogbanua and Lions Jules administering to the small town of Sagay City’s islanders whom they feted recently. Lions Estela Lopez helping the lady Lions distribute the good items they have brought to the Molocaboc Islanders.*(Rolly Espina photos)
The other day, I went to the ABS-CBN and discovered a flood of student-volunteer packagers crowding in the courtyard of the television network. And the students, early in the morning, did not show any sign of being disturbed by the piles of goods they were supposed to help pack into individual packages.
The one that caught my attention was the joy on the faces of the young boys and girls who had volunteered to work the whole day. And they were discussing how they were going to help the victims of super typhoon Yolanda.
Such enthusiasm contrasted sharply with the DWD-PAF wives who had gone into a tiff and led to the temporary, albeit brief, transfer of the processing of the Leyte evacuees from Villamor Air Base to Camp Aguinaldo.
If there was something which made me grateful to God for having spared as much destruction as supertyphoon Yolanda had done elsewhere in the Eastern Visayas, it was the fact that Bantayan was spared from the sweep of the typhoon.
In short, while Bantayanons lost the bulk of their sources of income and business - eggs – still there are much they can be proud of. They are still prepared to rebuild their chicks coops and start supplying traditional markets the eggs that they need.
You may wonder what happened? How come an island that is small could produce that much number of eggs daily? So that it ended up as the eggs capital of the country?
I remember that I was skeptic about the ambition of Bantayanons to do it. But they did manage to attain their ambition.
Actually, since I was a young boy, I had already known about Bantayan. We have several relatives there. The Mabugat family, for example. I had also several relatives and close friends from there.
President Benigno Aquino III should ask Budget Secretary Butch Abad about the hundreds of millions poured into Batanes province in Luzon.
In short, the suggestion – how come that such a small place with hardly much population was entitled to so much largesse from the government?
This is something which Secretary Abad should be able to answer and clarify and not for the President to take up the cudgels for him. Abad has a lot to explain in details about the disposal of billions of pesos under his agency.
Now that there is an ongoing investigation into the PDAF, and the debate over the DAP, things should be clarified to the people.
August 23 was a red letter day for me and my family. Everyone agreed that it deserved to be cozy observed with festivities.
No, not the concerts for which the Espina children had often feted me on my birthdays since several years back. This time just a sort of birthday bash at the round at the PLDT area.
But the decision was kept from me. Thus, I was given only two days to invite my close friends and acquaintances. Not that I really wanted to – but I thought that it was too close for me to be able to get in touch with close friends and relatives.
Bacoleños who excelled in their respective fields were recognized by Mayor Monico Puentevella and the Sangguniang Panlungsod members and was one of the highlights of Saturday’s 75th Charter Day Anniversary Program at the Bacolod City Public Plaza.
PILLARS OF JOURNALISM. Ely delos Santos (left photo above), Rolando Espina (middle photo above), William Henry Streegan (right photo above), and Ruperto "Pert" Galvan Toga Sr. (photo below, left, represented by his son NDB editor Arman Toga), received their "Brilyante" plaque from City Mayor Monico Puentevella and Vice Mayor Greg Gasataya at the 75th Charter Day Anniversary program Saturday.*
The Brilyante Awards pay tribute to trailblazers who have brought with them in their success the name of the city and to those personalities who helped elevate the status of Bacolod in the field of sports, medicine, culture, journalism and community development.
For his innovation, originality and for coining the name "MassKara" to the now world famous fiesta, the late artist Ely Santiago was first to be awarded by Puentevella who, during his first few days as City Mayor pushed the idea for Santiago to be credited as the "man behind MassKara".
NDB’s Rolando Espina, Chairman of the Board and columnist, Ruperto G. Toga, President and Editor-in-Chief, and W. Henry O. Streegan, Editorial Con-sultant and columnist will receive the Brilyante Award in connection with the 75th Charter Anni-versary of the City of Bacolod.
The Brilyante Award will be paying homage to several sectors and personalities from the public and private sectors, "who made exemplary contributions to the development and trans-formation of our beloved city."
By holding up Customs Chief Ruffy Biazon, President Benigno Aquino III virtually tells the entire country that the Customs Bureau revamp is on hold.
Why? Because Brig. Gen. Danny Lim, BOC intelligence officer, had earlier submitted his resignation and bewailed the powers that be for their failure to clean up the Customs bureau.
The problem is that Lim, himself, refused to name names. The courageous officer became tongue-tied. So, I suppose that he must have told Ruffy their names and their approaches to him to toe the line.
Thus, what is strange is that the President himself has virtually extended the protection of his arm to Biazon. Why?
Normally, confronted by such circumstances, the President should have asked Lim to name names or simply ask Biazon who are the ones Lim refused to divulge perhaps out of differences to his superior official.
The Bacolod City Water District (BACIWA) just yesterday escaped getting into a debt trap that would have taken 15 years to come out of.
And this was something which the Miya-Maynilad did by withdrawing from its partnership agreement with BACIWA to undertake the water district’s non-revenue management and expansion project.
Maynilad president Victorino Vargas last July 5, said that after careful review of outstanding issues they had decided to withdraw from their partnership agreement to undertake a non-revenue management and expansion project for BACIWA.
He considered it "unfeasible and contrary to the best interest of the stakeholders," said Vargas in his letter furnished the BACIWA.