2018 International Men’s Day: 23 Different Men of Milagros

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein DiffAll        In celebration of 2018 International Men’s Day, TMA selected 23 Milagreños men of varying and unique backgrounds across the world. “Positive Male Role Models” is this year’s theme and inspired by this, I asked TMA members to name Milagreno men whose inspiring stories are truly worth mentioning. With 42 individuals as initial nominees, and shortlisted to 30. These shortlisted individuals were formally informed through Facebook messenger about the selection process. Some did not want to be included as they chose to remain private about their lives, which I respected.

      The following stories were sewn in unique ways by time, personal challenges and victories, passion, diligence, perseverance, consistency, and positive behaviour toward success. I personally collected and curated these stories amidst everyone’s busy life. Beyond perfect but worth the time of reading through.DiffRey

     Rey Arcenas who is a Florida-based (USA) medical doctor, remains humble despite of his scholastic and professional achievements. Dr. Arcenas graduated Magna Cum Laude at Velez College in Cebu City with a degree in Nursing. He finished fourth nationally for the Philippine Nursing Board Exams in 1994. He created remarkable history for himself and for the Province of Masbate, as being the first Masbateño to hit the top place in February 2001’s Physician Licensure Examination. I will definitely write a more substantial item about Dr. Arcenas comes 2019. DiffJoveno      Dr. Joveno Galvez is a cardiologist by practice who chose to serve his province, most especially providing medical service to his fellow Milagrenos with discounted professional fees or completely free of charge. He served as former Medical Director of Masbate MMG Hospital Cooperative in Masbate City and presently the Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine of the same medical institution. 

     Drs. Arcenas and Galvez are today’s most sought after medical practitioners in the US and Masbate, respectively.

      DiffLeoGarra        Next in line are the two honorable gentlemen with 4H (handsome, hardworking, honest and humble) practicing the principle of political will gearing toward social change in their own humble ways. Leo Garra served as Brgy. Captain Greater Lagro (District 5) in Quezon City. Serving as member of the barangay council for many years before winning the seat of the Barangay Captain in May 2018 elections. In an effort to maintain the awards that his predecessors received in 2016 and 2017, Kap Leo received the same Gawad Dangal ng Lungsod for Barangay Seal of Good Housekeeping Award, making Barangay Greater Lagro as a Hall of Famer. Presently, he is one of the Board of Directors of League of 142 Barangays of Quezon City.DiffJoseleo          Meanwhile, in Barangay Poblacion East, Milagros — Chairman Joseleo “Bibiboy” Tan — also committed to bring different air in the name of public service and social change to his local jurisdiction. Evident to this commitment are infrastructure realized throughout his leadership. To name these wonderful undertakings which his constituents are enjoying are concreted pathways, footbridge, street lights and CCTV installations, constructions of chapel, multipurpose building, barangay plaza, health center, and emergency response vehicle that is not only limited within Poblacion East but also accessible by other barangays. Kap. Bibiboy Tan also advocates for environment protection and preservation. Among his achievements, Pob East was the first barangay to successfully achieve Zero Open Defecation (ZOD) under the partnership of Department of Health (DOH) and  the United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) aiming to end open defecation. He is a recipient of awards of appreciation  from different organizations such as ACF (Action Centre la Faim) International, UNICEF and the Local Government of Milagros. I will definitely support his causes in Milagros. 

DiffPaul          I also believe that Milagreños can globally compete. Remember TMA Most Admirable Bachelor finalist Paul Germar Espinas who presently resides in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam?  He is making a name, internationally. He is the founder of the UpUp App, an interactive project management and HR services company that rewards employees for completing tasks and hitting KPIs. Before the idea of starting his own business, Paul was the Director of Marketing of VietnamWorks.com. Recently, he travelled to many different countries to market his successful app. DiffArtag        Another Milagreño in the Middle East is also emerging as the only Masbateño to date to hold such highest position. Sir D’Artagnan Bantiling Oliva is the current Operations Manager of MERAAS Dubai, one of the best real estate developers in UAE. He was the former General Manager of the famous Burj Al Arab. “Kuya Tag” as I fondly call him, helps his relatives and our kahilungsod to find employment in the region. 

DiffRasti       While in the City of Makati, Philippines is Erasto Lupango Panes tasting his own glory of success as the current Director of AFS Philippines Inc., an international brokerage firm with offices in Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and The Netherlands. Early in his career, Rasty worked as a Consultant of Rural Banks and other lending companies engaged in Microlending and SMEs operations. He spent his more than ten years in CARD Bank Inc and held various positions such as Regional Director, Assistant Vice-President for Learning and Development at CARD MRI Development Institute, and Internal Technical Provider at Partner MFIs in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 

Paul, Kuya Tag, and Rasty are in demand in a corporate world precisely because of their bright minds and strong decision making.

Jumping to next set of talents, our noble teachers, are:DiffGregorio         Sir Gregorio Apues Legal, the School Principal of Mary Perpetua E. Brioso National High School (MPEBNHS)  of Tigbao, Milagros, has brought honor to this school for bagging the 2017 and 2018 Brigada Eskwela Best Implementing School Winner for Secondary Medium Category. The said award is an annual program initiated by DepEd aims to promote volunteerism among the members of community and to ensure that the school is safe and clean learning environment for the students. Legal, is the man behind the success of the school electrification through the solar electrification project provided by One Meralco Foundation. Last September 2018, MPEBNHS is also one of the beneficiaries of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Medicine Donation Program held in Manila. Sir Gregorio was a graduate of Bachelor of Secondary Education in Osmeña College and placed top 10 in the April 2009 Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). 

 DiffJoseOliva        The next educator worth of respect, is an Industrial Engineer. Jose “Boy” Lacson Oliva, for most of his friends is a mathematician. Most of his teaching career (Mathematics, Calculus and Physics) revolved around academias in Metro Manila (San Sebastian College (Manila), University of the East, Arellano University, Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP Manila), AMA Computer University, Siena College (Quezon City), National College of Business and Arts, Ortanez University, Perpetual Help System University in Laguna, PATS School of Aeronautics, Jose Rizal University (Mandaluyong), and Rizal State University). He is currently teaching at Mariners Polytechnic College Foundation in Legazpi City, where he was awarded as Best Performing Professor of the Year and Student Choice Award for 2015. 

DiffJoey       Another teacher included in the list is Joey Cabarles Canaway of Sitio Mapili, Barangay Tawad. He focuses on his teaching career to help his family needs as he is the family’s breadwinner. This 2014 Mr. Pagdangan fourth runner-up was a scholar of LGU Milagros when he was studying in DEBESMCAT. He passed the March 2017 LET. Currently, he is a Junior High School teacher at Sulpicio T. Condor Sr. National High School in the municipality of Cawayan.

DiffAlvinDelaCruz         The next professional teacher I selected was born and raised in Bara, Milagros. Alvin excelled academically and very active in co-curricular activities. He was his class salutatorian in Melchor B. Burlaos Memorial High School in Bara and a recipient of “President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Award of Outstanding Achievements” during the 2010 graduation ceremony.  He once brought pride to the Division Province of Masbate after representing the province to the Regional Skills Development Competitions where he was crowned 1st Runner-Up in the Mr. and Miss STEP (Student Technologists and Entrepreneurs of the Philippines) 2009 held at Camarines Sur National High School, Naga City. He also successfully represented the Municipality of Milagros during the Mr. and Miss Rodeo Masbateño 2011 where he bagged the 1st Runner-Up spot. He was sent to the said competition after winning the first ever title of Ginoong Pagdangan 2010. He obtained his Bachelor in Secondary Education major in English at City of Malabon University and eventually passed the Professional Licensure Examination for Teachers in September 25, 2016.

       Their talents, skills and characteristics are the qualities that made them a good and great mentors. 

DiffJulius         I have three nominees working as seafarers, however, the two asked me not to include them. Thank you to Julius Galvan Galve for responding and accepting my challenge. This very generous seaman who is presently working for Crossworld Marine Services Inc. He donated a portion of his land in Sitio Imbudo, Barangay Jamorawon to be used as a small plaza. Julius also loves farming so in April 2018, he registered the first Jamorawon Vegetables Farmers Association (JVFA) through Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) which he organized himself. The organization’s objectives are to unite all farmers, to further improve the knowledge in modern farming, and to help market their local produce. His ultimate vision is to make Jamorawon as one of the big vegetable producers in Masbate. 

DiffChristianLuzong        In the same field, another young farmer is Christian Alvarez Luzong of Barangay Narangasan, Milagros. His parents, currently managing the Lucky CJ Farm, were the ones who motivated him to continue the family business. Christian became a  Facebook sensation because of his Urban Container Gardening platform advocating for organic and natural farming system. Through this he was invited to present in many seminars, trainings, and conferences on the same topic throughout the Philippines. He believes that sharing gardening knowledge can help eradicate our country’s food security issues. Christian presently lives in Finland with his wife and will go home back soon to Masbate. 

DiffRadam        Next highlight is for performing professionals. The first is Radam “Bong” Almoguera, a professional dance instructor who now lives in Imus, Cavite. Since 2011, Almoguera is the Dance Instructor Head for Senior Citizens of Dasmariñas. He works as well  as a dance consultant for Congresswoman Jennifer  Barzaga of the 4th District of Cavite. He joined and won in different ballroom competitions. He was the Grand Champion during the 2016 Region 4 Carnation Ballroom Competition.

DiffAlvinCaca        Another dance enthusiast is Alvin Sia Caca who loves to hit the dance floor with his hip-hop and modern dance Filipino group in Kuwait City. In December 2016, he was officially launched as member of Next Episode Crew after he passed the audition. His group was hailed as grand champion last September 2017 during the Salmiya Talent Hunt 2017 (Dance Category) in Kuwait. Alvin is the Chef Supervisor of The Kind Ones Restaurant in Kuwait.  Radam and Alvin are proven that Milagreños can do classic, ballroom or modern dance anywhere in an overwhelmingly big crowd.. 

DiffNoel        Our snappy salute to our roster of Law Enforcers who made to the list. Senior Police Officer 2 Noel Villegas Dalanon II and Philippine Army Murito Danao gave a positive response. October 3, 2005 when Noel was successfully admitted to the PNP service. In his thirteen years in the service, he was promoted and awarded with Best Police Non-Commissioned Officer (PNCO) in 2009, Best Police Community Relations (PCR) and Police Non-Commissioned Officer (PNCO) in 2011. He had been part of many law enforcement operations and anti-criminality campaigns throughout the province that he received total of 23 awards and medals such as Medalya ng Paglilingkod laban sa Kriminalidad (1), Medalya ng Paglilingkod sa Luzon (4),Medalya ng Papuri (8), Medalya ng Kasanayan (7) and Medalya ng Kagalingan (3). Currently, SPO2 Noel is assigned at PHQ, Masbate PPO, designated as Foreign Liaising Section Police Non-Commissioned Officer (FLS PNCO). 

DiffMurito

Meanwhile, on August 1, 2003 Murito Danao joined the Philippine Army service. Last year, this tough guy was in Marawi, fighting the Maute terrorists. Our gratitude to Noel and Murito for serving and protecting our town and country. 

diffEking             The next Milagreño who made in the list is a dedicated and a great father. Mr Enrique “Eking” Valenzuela is a proud fish vendor. This man raised his children with many learnings in life. According to his daughter who is now a licensed teacher “Papa is the man who always reminds us that family always comes first. He chooses “bulad” rather than meat. If life would give me another chance to live and will give me the oppurtunity to choose a father, I would choose him again not because I already knew that I was once his daugther but because I know that he will give his all and his best to raise his family.” Wonderful father like Tay Eking will make home a better place.

DiffJoshua           Two young dreamers captured my heart by their stories. First is Joshua Grico Acaba who is now enjoying his job as a Restaurant Crew of Banaple. Joshua did not give up after he failed twice to finish his dream to become a teacher. He was a CHED scholar in Bicol University taking up BSED major in Physics and then transferred to Dr. Emilio B. Espinosa Sr. Memorial State College of Arts and Technology (DEBESMSCAT) to continue his goal. Because of financial problem he decided to stop his studies and worked in different establishments in Masbate and Manila. He knows that education is very important so he enrolled in Access Computer College, passed the assessment and certificate for Hotel and Restaurant Services NCII. He plans to work abroad to fullfill what he promised to his mother who passed away last year.
DiffCaezarAnother young man who has a big dream and full of hope is Caezar Vibar De Castro II. Caezar is an independent software developer based in Laguna. He finished his BS Pharmacy degree from Centro Escolar University but pursued his interests in internet and business. It was in 2016 when he started his own business by creating a website: www.bytes-crafter.com where it offers web hosting solutions, games and mobile applications, film and animation, graphic design and music and sound fx. Most of his projects are BPO websites and e-commerce. He is also currently studying BS Computer Science in AMA Computer College – Online Education. I am pretty sure these two optimistic guys will soon succeed.
DiffRichard
The last three Milagreños to complete this group of men are consist of an Engineer, a Fire Officer and a Writer. Engineer Richard Doctolero Fallega is in Romblon working as a Project Manager of ALGIMAR Construction and a part time instructor at Romblon State University. He is a licensed Civil Engineer, a registered Master Plumber, certified Material Engineer and safety officer.
DiffMarcelo        Another talented and pride of Barangay Bara is Fire Officer 3 Marcelo Andaya Lagsa II. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts major in Philosophy and minor in religious studies from the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary in Naga City. He earned units for Master of Arts in Teaching and Master in Public Administration from Osmeña College, Masbate. In 2006, he applied and was appointed as Fire Officer 1 (FO1) at the Bureau of Fire Protection, National Head Quarters. After OJT and Fire Basic Recruit Course Training, he was down loaded to the BFP Provincial Office serving as finance clerk. In 2009, he was reassigned to Aroroy Central Fire Station holding the office job under the Admin Section at the same time as Nozzleman in the Operation Section. After a year, he was designated as Assistant MFM for Admin and conceptualized the edition of the only newsletter of Aroroy Central Fire Station, “SIGYABO” under the instruction of the MFM Insp Nepthalie L. Pusing BFP. As Editor-in-Chief, his advocacy is to promote Masbateño Pop Culture by inserting sections on the newsletter dedicated for the Legends and stories with direct foundation from the three islands of Masbate like the True Legend of Masbate, Enchanted Snakes of Masbate, and Enchanted Stories of Masbate. Also, he also dedicated portions of the newsletter to promote Masbateño Poems. He was also designated as Fire Truck Driver and Station’s Training Instructor for Rescue (Ropes and Knots, Vehicular Accident Response, Collapse Structure, Water Safety and Rescue, High Angle and Below Grade Rescue, Disaster Preparedness and Response), Medical First Responder (Bandaging and Splinting).
      After almost 9 years as FO1, he was promoted as FO2 and after schooling in Fire Arson Investigation and Inspection Course (FAIIC), he was designated as OIC Municipal Fire Marshal of Balud Fire Station which was then a station which is soon to be founded. He solely founded and established the newly opened Balud Fire Station in September 08, 2016. On December 2016, he was promoted to FO3. Today, after establishing the Balud Fire Station, he now serve as Chief Finance, Petty Cash Custodian, Fire Arson Investigator, Fire Safety Inspector, Chief Operation Section and Chief Fire Safety Enforcement Section. Of his twelve years in fire service, he has earned  three (3) Medalya ng Papuriand one (1) Medalya ng Kasanayan and multitude of  certificates and recognitions in service and different trainings.
DiffEnrique
         The last but not the least is a poet and writer. Enrique “En” Sia Villasis is a recipient of 2011 Maningning Miclat Poetry Awards and 5 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial awards in different categories (Second Prize 2006: “De-Lata” (Futuristic Fiction -Filipino), First Prize 2011: “Agua” (Tula), First Prize 2012: “Crocopedia” (Tula), First Prize 2013: “Manansala” (Tula) and Second Prize 2014: “Marina” (Tula). In 2015, his first book “Agua: Collection of Poems” was launched and published by Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika at Anyo (LIRA) where he is an active member since 2007. Villasis is now working at ABS-CBN Star Creative Unit (TV Production) where he is a regular writer for Kapamilya Teleseryes. Among his projects are “Bagani”(2018), “Dolce Amor”(2016), “Bridges of Love (2015), “e-boy” (2012) and “Guns and Roses (2011). His “Bridges of Love” was nominated in 2016 International Emmy Awards for Telenovela Category. En is a graduate of Electronics Engineering (ECE) from Mapua University (formerly Mapua Institute of Technology) and earned his Master of Arts (Filipino: Malikhaing Pagsusulat) units from UP Diliman. He unselfishly shares his expertise to our future writers in fact he was the speaker of   TMA project dubbed as “ANI: Milagros Harvest of Young Talents” last May 2014.

To these 23 gentlemen and all men of Milagros who have contributed big time to our society, thank you for leading an example, for bringing honor to our hometown,  and for demonstrating the truest attitude of being a Milagreño and as a Filipino – may respeto, maabilidad at lumalaban sa hamon ng buhay! HAPPY INTERNATIONAL MEN’S DAY!

Note: All photos were grabbed from the respective FB accounts.

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Milagros Vice-Mayor faces suspension pendente lite.

Love4Dr. Natividad Isabel Revil Magbalon, the incumbent vice-mayor of the municipality of Milagros was ordered suspended pendente lite for 90 days by the Sandigan Bayan in connection with her trial for withholding the representation and transportation allowance (RATA) allotted for the Office of the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (OMSWD) in 2013, in violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).

In a three-page Resolution issued by Associate Justice Rafael R. Lagos, the anti-graft court ordered Magbalon to be suspended from performing any public office which she may now or hereafter holding for a period of 90days, such as functions, duties and privileges as vice-mayor of Milagros.

On August 10, 2016, the office of the Ombudsman posted that Magbalon was indicted for withholding allowance of Mrs. Diodidita Arcenas , who was the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO) of the said town. The Ombudsman said that Magbalon’s act was tainted with malice and bad faith because “no proof was adduced to prove such allegation [partisan political activity] nor did she notify complainant of her removal as MSWDO.”

Copy of Sandigan Bayan resolution was furnished to Masbate Governor Antonio Kho, for the implementation of the said suspension.

Continue reading “Milagros Vice-Mayor faces suspension pendente lite.”

20 Most Beautiful Bachelorettes of Milagros 2016

After enjoying and served with extremely sizzling hot plateful of handsome Milagreño bachelors (so far!!), TMA members are now craving for something even better, their counterpart, the most eligible, gorgeous and sought-after Bachelorettes of Milagros. Well, before they even demanded it, I was already considering it definitely. Undoubtedly, Milagros is gifted and flourished with beautiful and talented women. Beautiful not because they are drop gorgeous and whatever attractive physical attributes but most importantly the impact they have done to their families, friends and community that they should be proud of. The success they achieved for themselves have made them very inspiring and remarkable role model of their own rights. Not to mention, the virtues that they valued.20

Last February 2016, We posted a challenge to come up with nominations for the most eligible, beautiful, young and talented ladies of Milagros. You have provided an overwhelming turn-out of seventy one (71) personalities and we cut it down to sixty one (61) as we laid out beforehand some requirements like age, status and the likes. The decision-making stage was not really fun at all and honestly a tough job. Good thing we have friends who know how to scrutinize the looks and the real meaning of beauty. To the rescue, here they go. We all agreed to trim down the ladies into twenty (20). These equally gorgeous ladies were rated accordingly to their Personal appearance (50%), Personality (30%) and Facebook Likes (20%).
Without much ado, here they are!! The chosen ones, the inspiring, the admirable, the most voted, the most gorgeous and the most eligible bachelorettes of Milagros!! First time ever in the history of Milagros and TMA!!

Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy their beauties. Be inspired!!

20B                20 Jayda Francisco Montuerto, 25
Parents: Mrs. Gina Francisco and Mr. Dominico Montuerto

Jayda hails from Cawayan but her family migrated to Milagros in 1996. She finished her elementary education in Calasuche Elementary School and received her high school diploma in Masbate School of Fisheries. She took up BS Commerce major in Management at Masbate Colleges and finished it in 2012.

          She is now the Business Client Relation Assistant at Cebuana Mlhuillier in Milagros.

GAS: What is the most beautiful thing about you?
Jayda: My attitude

GAS: Name one person you dislike.
Jayda: Mystica

GAS: Book or Facebook?
Jayda: Book.

Bache19              #19 Mary Jean Barruga Cervantes,22
Parents: Mrs. Shirley Barruga and Mr. Julie Cervantes Sr.

Mary Jean is the most silent type among her siblings. She is very friendly and funny to her circle of friends. She’s very helpful to her mother who is making one of the best and tastiest “carmelados” in town. She used to seal and pack the products whenever she is free because she knows that through this business her parents were able to send them to school.
This appealing lady graduated last 2015 from Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College (NIPSC) in Estancia, Iloilo with the degree of BS Computer Science. Right now, she is working as a teller at MLhuillier – Milagros.

GAS: What is the most beautiful thing about you?
Jean: The most beautiful thing about myself is being true to everyone.

GAS: Name one person you dislike.
Jean: Reeve

GAS: Book or Facebook?
Jean: Facebook.Bache18              #18 Hanna Joyce Mortel Tan, 26
Parents: Mrs. Linda Mortel and Joseleo Tan

Hanna is an engineer by profession, an entrepreneur and fascinating. She grew up in Poblacion East where her father is the Barangay Captain. She believes that a single lady like her should try all the possibilities that come her way. Despite of her achievements, she keeps her feet on the ground. She is approachable and generous in fact, she’s one of the silent sponsors of TMA projects. She’s always on the go and loves swimming and outdoor adventures.
After finishing her elementary education in Milagros West Central School, she moved to Cebu to pursue her high school studies in St. Louis School of Mandaue. In 2012, she got her diploma from the University of San Carlos and passed the Electronics Engineer Licensure Examination the same year.

GAS: What is the most beautiful thing about you?
Hanna: I guess my attitude, I’m passionate on helping kids specially in our
town.

GAS: Name one person you dislike.
Hanna: The addicts and criminals.

GAS: Book or Facebook?
Hanna: I’m not really a book person so I prefer Facebook.

Bache17               #17 Jade Oliva Young, 23
Parents: Mrs. Oliva and Mr. Marlon Young
Jade was born and raised in Barangay Bangad. She graduated from Masbate National Comprehensive High School and went to Bicol University for her degree. She wanted to reach out the less privileged, to understand the real issues not only in our town but our country as whole, that she took up BS Social Work. In 2014 she passed the Social Worker Board Exam. Currently, she is working in LGU-Milagros as Social Welfare Officer.
Bache16               #16 Bianca Franziska Zafra Wolz, 18
Parents: Mrs. Grace Zafra & Mr. Uwe Wolz

The secret of her classy beauty is the mixture of German and Filipino features. Bianca was born and raised in Germany but her heart will always be for Philippines. This Eurasian lady who just turned 18 last month loves baking, dancing, playing piano and has special heart for animals also.
Lately, she enrolled in one of the prestigious schools in Germany (Wirtschaftsgymnasium Göppingen ) and decided to take up International Business course instead of Fashion Designing.

GAS: What is the most beautiful thing about you?
Bianca: I’m a very patient person.

GAS: Name one person you dislike.
Bianca: Justin Bieber!

GAS: Book or Facebook?
Bianca: I love Facebook.

GAS: Do you know some Tagalog/Masbate words?
Bianca: Yes like “salamat po, kaon na kita, sobra init, grabe.”

GAS: Give me Filipino habits you also practice in Germany.
Bianca: I used to point on something using my lips, sometimes I’m sitting with my own feet (Kating-Kating) while eating. And of course, the very common “Filipino time” (laughs).

Bache15                  #15 Gellen Del Valle Gatuteo, 26
Parents: Mrs. Evelyn Del Valle & Mr. Glenn Gatuteo

Gellen is an independent woman, she fights for what she believes in specially if it is about her love. But despite of her strong personality she has a good heart and very friendly. I bet, you will agree with me that the most scrumptious thing on her face is her smile paired with dimples.
In 2011, she graduated from Asian College of Technology in Cebu City with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Information Technology major in Programming. Currently, she works as Receptionist in RPM Luxury Cars in Dubai, UAE.

GAS: What is the most beautiful thing about you?
Gellen: My contentment…I’m happy even a simple thing.

GAS: Name one person you dislike.
Gellen: I cannot give you now.

GAS: Book or Facebook?
Gellen: I enjoy Facebook

Bache14

#14 Judith Evangelista Doctolero, 21
Parents: Mrs. Julma Evangelista & Mr. Edwin Doctolero

Judith was a representative of Milagros to the first Miss Masbate Province pageant 2016. It was not her first time to join a beauty contest because she was the Miss Pagdangan 2013 2nd Runner-up, Miss DEBESMCAT 2013, Miss SCUAA 2014 Finalist and Mutya ng Turismo 2016 First Runner-Up held in Mandaon, Masbate.
She just finished her college education at DEBESMCAT with the degree in Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education. Judith is now busy reviewing for the upcoming LET exam. This long-legged and confident lady from Barangay Tawad is really beautiful and extremely sexy who wishes to get the major title like Binibining Pilipinas in her next fight.

GAS: What is the most beautiful thing about you?
Judith: I think the most beautiful thing about me is having a good and loving
heart.

GAS: Name one person you dislike.
Judith: Mendoy Tayawan.

GAS: Book or Facebook?
Judith: Book and Facebook.

Bache13              #13 Abbygale Montecillo Zaragoza, 19
Parents: Mrs. Riezl Montecillo & Mr. Vic Zaragoza

She appeared in various TV commercial such as Bingbing Choco bar, Holiday Cheese and also played as main character in “Gilid” music video of Moonstar 88.
Abbygale is a senior student at Lyceum of the Philippines University-Cavite taking up BS in International Tourism and Travel Management. This mestiza was among the finalists for Miss Teen Tourism Philippines 2013 held at PAGCOR in the City of Parañaque.

GAS: What is the most beautiful thing about you?
Abby: My personality, I know how to get along with different people with different attitudes.

GAS: Name one person you dislike.
Abby: I dislike those who are not true and loyal.

GAS: Book or Facebook?
Abby: I love reading books generally fiction and specifically romantic novels.

GAS: What’s your plan after graduation?
Abby: I am planning to go back to California and have my Internship there and probably go to Dubai after, to be with my Dad and eventually get myself a job.

GAS: Any plan to enter showbiz?
Abby: If there is a chance, why not!

Bache12              #12 Leslie Sujede Rocia, 22
Parents: Mrs. Judy Sujede and Mr. Leonerico Rocia

At first glance you’ll say that this lovely lady is a shy type person. Well, that statement is partly not true because she is actually friendly and fun to be with.

Leslie is the second child of the present Barangay Captain of Matagbac. In 2015, she finished her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education major in Physical Science in Bicol University and passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers on the same year. Right now, she is doing her Master’s Program in Chemistry at the same university.

Bache11                #11 Jade Villa Zafra, 26
Parents: Mrs. Julie Villa & Mr. Rey Zafra

2013 SEA Games gold medalist Jade V. Zafra proved to herself that determination, discipline and perseverance are important to make her dreams come true. She is one of the best among the current crop of Filipino fighters for Taekwondo who competed locally and internationally. However, she suffered in a freak accident while on training in preparation to the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. She was supposed to bring gold again for The Philippines.

Jade is not only a sporty woman, she is lovely, beautiful and intelligent, as well. She graduated last 2013 from the University of Santo Tomas with the degree in BS Journalism. She received several awards and recognitions such as “UST Benavides Outstanding Achievement Award” in 2009 and “Rookie of the Year” for Taekwondo Women’s Division by the University Athletic Association of the Philippines in 2014. She was honored by the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) for her victory in the 27th SEA games held in Myanmar.

Her statuesque beauty should be in a world of beauty pageant but her interest is for Taekwondo. Aside from being a professional coach for a Taekwondo enthusiast, Jade is also enjoying her life as a blogger and sports contributor in Spin.ph.

Bache10             #10 Adhora Jean Medina Aganan, 23
Parents: Mrs. Mevida Medina & Jimmy Victor Aganan

Her name tells how adorable she is. This fifth child of Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Aganan of Sitio Mapili, Barangay Tawad, is very sweet and loving daughter.

Adhora definitely got the look and slenderness, no wonder why she is one of the models of the Philippine Ambassador of Fashion and was chosen to cover the Asia’s Next Top Fashion Star ads. Last year, she bagged Miss Photogenic and placed second runner-up in Miss Magdalena 2015 pageant.
She studied in Tawad Elementary School and Masbate School of Fisheries. In 2013, she obtained her Computer Science major in Programming Degree from Metro Business College in Manila. Right now, she is working as Pharmacy Assistant at Mercury Drugs.

GAS: What is the most beautiful thing about you?
Adhora: They say I’m a very kind person.

GAS: Name one person you dislike.
Adhora: My workmate…Joemar.

GAS: Book or Facebook?
Adhora: Facebook and book.

GAS: I almost failed my training because I always mispronounce
Phenylpropanolamine HCL. What drug generic name you find very hard to say?
Adhora: PROPYLTHIOURACIL so most of us say it PTU.

GAS: Apart from modelling, are you wishing also to enter showbiz?
Adhora: Yes, in fact I auditioned in PBB (laughs), I will always try my luck if there’s an opportunity.

Bache9                 #9 Kriziah Chloe Zurbito Danao, 25
Parents: Mrs. Evelyn Zurbito & Mr. Thomas Danao

Kriziah for me is simply an epitome of a natural Filipina. Gorgeous beyond compare, “morena” but don’t get her wrong if she’s quiet and shy because in contrast, she has totally a strong personality. She presently works as Human Resources Administrative Assistant at Aboitiz-Jebsen Company Inc. in Manila. She graduated Cum Laude from Far Eastern University with BS Psychology degree.

GAS: What is the most beautiful thing about you?
Kriziah: Being compassionate, as I sincerely felt that a person is in need, I instantly find way to reach out and help in any way I can, be it time, money or knowledge.

GAS: Name one person you dislike.
Kriziah: Irresponsible people.

GAS: Book or Facebook?
Kriziah: Book and Facebook.

Bache8                 #8 Dawn Hope Alburo Bantillo, 20
Parents: Mrs. Epifania Alburo Bantillo & Mr. Nelson Bantillo

Dawn is the first and only female from Milagros who entered the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and is actually now on her third year. She spent a year in Bicol University as a Biology student before entering the Academy.

This opinionated and strong woman graduated Salutatorian in Milagros West Central School and Valedictorian in Masbate School of Fisheries. If your sport is badminton then I suggest you to play with her, she is our local version of Carolina Marin of Spain.

Bache7                 #7 Jazztine Masangkay Artizuela, 20
Parents: Mrs. Sherly Masangkay & Mr. Andres Artizuela

Without a doubt Jazztine is not only a beautiful woman, she’s smart and multi-talented. She can dance, sing well, and play instruments. She’s a freelance writer, a Disc Jockey at Spirit FM 98.3 Masbate and a blogger. After winning Mutya ng Pagdangan 2014, she represented Milagros in Mutya ng Lapay 2014 where she landed First Runner Up.

In 2015, Jazztine graduated cum laude from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. She earned herself a Journalism Degree. Currently, she is on her second year at San Sebastian Law School in Manila.

GAS: What is the most beautiful thing about you?
Jazztine: I believe the most beautiful thing about me is my character.

GAS: Name one person you dislike.
Jazztine: Manny Pacquiao (blind adherent to his faith, homophobic)

GAS: Book or Facebook?
Jazztine: Books

GAS: What’s your plan after you pass the bar exam?
Jazztine: I want to work in Supreme Court and maybe later on put up my own law firm.

GAS: What about joining the political arena?
Jazztine: I’ve had it in my mind when I was younger, but I was discouraged seeing how dirty it is (laughs). But once we are in a federal form of government I will.

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#6 Kristine Torrefiel Cristobal, 24
Parents: Mrs. Eleanor Torrefiel & Mr. Ramon Cristobal

She has a captivating smile and charming face that will definitely change your mood. Kristine is a member of Singles for Christ- Milagros and she is a former SK Kagawad of Brgy. Tagbon. She earned her BS Computer Science degree from Osmeña Colleges in Masbate City. This CSC Professional Passer is currently working as Crime Registrar in PNP Milagros since 2014.

GAS: What is the most beautiful thing about you?
Kristine: I think the most beautiful thing about me is my ability to seek the goodness in others and how I value my family.

GAS: Name one person you dislike.
Kristine: Donald Trump.

GAS: Book or Facebook?
Kristine: Book.

GAS: Did you know anyone from those guys who bowed down to President Duterte’s war on drugs in our hometown?
Kristine: Yeah, but it’s confidential.

GAS: Were you surprised that this particular person surrendered?
Kristine: Not that much! Heard stories about him before even this madness right now.

Bache5                 #5 Ronalyn Bisnar Fajardo, 25
Parents: Mrs. Nanily Bisnar & Mr. Ronald Fajardo Sr.

She started her career in television in 2011 as part of the popular gag show “Wow Mali” of TV5. In 2012, she moved to ABS-CBN’s top-rating game show “Kapamilya: Deal or No Deal” as one of the 24K girls with Kris Aquino.
Cute-Cute as she is fondly called is not only an actress and model. She is also a beauty queen, in fact she was the first ever Mutya ng Pagdangan winner in 2008. She graduated at Trinity University of Asia in 2012 with the degree of BS Psychology. While in university, she worked as a freelance model and endorser of SkinDiva.

She worked in Air Asia as flight attendant from 2014 to 2016. As of this writing, Cute-cute is enjoying her new company, the Oman Air.

GAS: What is the most beautiful thing about you?
Renee: I can say that the most beautiful thing about me is my faith in God. God as the author and finisher of my life makes all things beautiful in His time.

GAS: Name one person you dislike.
Renee: I specifically don’t hate anyone, maybe a person who doesn’t know how to be humble.

GAS: Book or Facebook?
Renee: I prefer book.

GAS: What precipitate your decision to leave Air Asia?
Renee: I left Air Asia simply because I want to broaden and enhance my knowledge better. I believe there’s more instore for me where I can travel the world and to provide for my family better. However, I will never forget where it all started, my first love, which is Air Asia.

GAS: What’s in your mind whenever the plane takes off?
Renee: Whenever the plane takes off, I think of coming back home safely.

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#4 Vanessa Jane Gatpatan Villasis, 25
Parents: Luisa Gatpatan & Mr. Narcisso Villasis

After winning Mutya ng Pagdangan in 2011, Vanessa represented Milagros in Miss Rodeo Masbateño 2012 and won the title. The following year, she represented Masbate Province in Mutya ng Daraga 2013.

She attended Cayabon Elementary School and Masbate School of Fisheries during her elementary and high school years and went to Quezon City Polytechnic University where she obtained her degree on BS Information Technology major in Management Information System.

This glamorous lady is now working as a Customer Service Representative at Concentrix in Quezon City.

GAS: What is the most beautiful thing about you?
Vanessa: I always remind myself to look into the positive traits of a person.

GAS: Name one person you dislike.
Vanessa: Vice Ganda.

GAS: Book or Facebook?
Vanessa: Book

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#3 Maritoni Paglinawan De Jesus, 25
Parents: Mrs. Tessie Paglinawan and Mr. Ramon De Jesus

Third spot was coveted by this bubbly, flawless and adventurer lady who works under the NDP (Nurse Deployment Program, formerly RNHeals) of Department of Health. She has worked as a Nurse in Milagros since 2012. Her altruistic act and great community service together with other RHU staff is obviously worthy of commendation. Unfortunately, this amazing opportunity to serve her people is a bit shaky due to politicized issues out of her control. The chance of being relocated is strong.

She brought honor not only to her De Jesus and Paglinawan Family but to Milagros as well, when she placed top 18th in the 2011 Nursing Licensure Examination. Maritoni graduated as Salutatorian at Milagros West Central School and Masbate National Comprehensive High School (BEC Curriculum) in 2003 and 2007, respectively. She earned her degree from Bicol University College of Nursing in Legazpi City, Albay.

GAS: What is the most beautiful thing about you?
Maritoni: My sense of humor

GAS: Name one person you dislike.
Maritoni: I have two in my mind…MJ and MT

GAS: Book or Facebook?
Maritoni: (Pocket)book, I love reading novels.

GAS: Your thoughts on Mayor Magbalon’s demand of re-assigning you to another municipality instead?
Maritoni: It’s not my loss (laughs) but kidding aside I would love to work here in our hometown and serve my fellow Milagreños.

GAS: Coincidentally, you and the persons you dislike are on the same pew in the church. They stared, glared at you and gave you a poker face as you exchange the peace sign with them. What would you do?
Maritoni: I’ll just smile!

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#2 Shiela Marie Cañete Sasuman, 22
Parents: Mrs. Salvacion Canete & Mr. Silverio Sasuman

Her natural beauty and her beatific smile captured the heart of TMA members; as a matter of fact she got the highest number of Facebook likes (352 likes) among the nominees.

Shiela won several pageant crowns like Mutya ng Pagdangan 2009 (Milagros), Miss University of the Philippines – College of Arts and Sciences 2013 (Iloilo City) and a finalist in Miss Rodeo Masbateño 2010 (Masbate City). She was also a model for University of the Philippines – Visayas Hinugyaw. Just very recently, she strutted at the catwalk as one of the models for “To Infinity and Beyond Bridal Fair” Fashion Show in Manila.

She finished her elementary and secondary education in Milagros East Central School and Masbate School of Fisheries, respectively. She took her Bachelor of Science in Statistics from the University of the Philippines in Visayas, Miag-ao, Iloilo. Currently, she now enjoys her job as Statistician at Department of Health in Manila.

Bache1#1 Cathy Shane Llamazares Lupango, 20
Parents: Mrs. Estrellita Llamazares & Mr. Noel Lupango

Taking the number one spot on our list is a natural beauty and is a sweet princess inside. Born in Barangay Tigbao and grew up in Poblacion Milagros where her parents has a small business. She studied grade school in Milagros West Central School while finished as one of the 10 most outstanding graduates of Masbate National Comprehensive High School. Shane joined the MNCHS Drum and Bugle Corps as a majorette. She was an active member of SPA (Special Program in the Arts) where her dancing skills was developed.

Graduating last April 2016 with Cum Laude Honors from Far Eastern University, Shane has now a degree in Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management under her collar. She earned this degree enjoying a Full Scholarship Program. Right after graduation she applied at Cebu Pacific Air and as expected, she passed all the hiring procedures and got the job offer but has not made a decision yet as she is still awaiting the results from her job application with Philippine Airlines, too. From there she could figure herself out what are her best options.

What inspires me most about Shane is her character and extraordinary passion to help our fellow Milagreños by sharing her blessings. Every first day of the year, Shane celebrates her birthday with the less fortunate kids in selected barangays of Milagros like Tigbao, Bacolod and Bangad. She’s been doing it for the past five years and she plans to continue it. “Gusto ko mag start yung year nila na masaya. Seeing those beautiful smiles from the kids because of happiness is definitely priceless!” she said. Her family supports her charitable projects and she sees herself as future Philanthropist and people of Milagros as the beneficiary.

GAS: What is the most beautiful thing about you?
Shane: My sense of humor.

GAS: Name one person you dislike.
Shane: Maine Mendoza

GAS: Book or Facebook?
Shane: Book.

GAS: You dislike Maine but you made yourself dub smash video, too. I saw it and it was cool.
Shane: Thank you, but I did that just for fun.

GAS: You’re pretty, you should join a beauty contest.
Shane: My friends wanted me to but it’s not really my cup of tea.

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As the cliché says, “Beauty fades, dumb is forever!” A beautiful woman without substance, no character, no values, no aspirations or no purpose is nothing. We judge by our own set of standards, I may have different from yours but one thing is for sure that these 20 stunning ladies is of our very own tribe. They are someone that we can be proud of and an inspiration among us. They are all unique, classy and amazing. I know there might be more beautiful, young and promising Milagreño ladies out there whom we havent noticed yet they do not have to prove themselves to us because we are indeed created beautiful and unique from each other.

I hope you have a great time reading this and until next time.

Note: All Photos were grabbed from their respective Facebook Accounts.

Former Masbate mayor indicted for withholding allowance

MilagrosLogo

The Office of the Ombudsman has affirmed the indictment of former Milagros, Masbate mayor (now vice mayor) Natividad Isabel Magbalon for withholding the representation and transportation allowance (RATA) allotted for the Office of the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (OMSWD) in 2013, in violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).

Investigation revealed that Magbalon issued a memorandum in January 2013 designating an officer-in-charge (OIC) for the OMSWD in lieu of the duly appointed Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO) who was placed on “floating status” on account of purportedly partisan political activities. Thereafter, the OIC started receiving the monthly RATA of P8,000.00 despite the absence of express authority for the purpose.

In affirming the charge, the Ombudsman said that Magbalon’s act was tainted with malice and bad faith because “no proof was adduced to prove such allegation [partisan political activity] nor did she notify complainant of her removal as MSWDO.”

“Contrary to the view advanced by respondents, RATA is attached to the position and not to the person. Clearly, when complainant was put on floating status, she was merely prohibited from performing her actual duties for reasons beyond her control and not of her own volition, but she still holds the position as MSWDO which entitles her to receive RATA,” stated the Resolution.

Source: http://www.ombudsman.gov.ph

The Leaders We Need: A TMA Campaign Ads

The May 9 national and local election is just around the corner and everyone wants a peaceful, clean and honest election. Like many other concerned organizations with the future of our country, TMA initiated an online campaign dubbed as “The Leaders We Need” to remind the people of Milagros to meticulously choose the right leaders. So I asked selected Milagreños from different walks of life who and what leaders they would prefer to lead not only our hometown. Let’s hear their voices:

DorisDalanon

GlennLazaro

SisterElvi

MarlonVacante

IreneEsquillo

ChachaBapilar

Rediscovering Guinluthangan

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It was intensely hot Tuesday morning, power was out and a frustrating slow mobile network service that I needed to put my smartphone atop our main door. While waiting for my fiancée’s text, Mama suddenly wondered what would be my plan for the day, sitting down at our bamboo sofa and joyfully playing candy crush on her old iPad. I took my phone and checked my bucket list only to realize that the most beautiful beach of the Philippines was still unchecked. And so I told her that I might be leaving the following day for Boracay. She gave me a look as if she was about to blurt at me with that are-you-serious? but behind it was a hidden statement “you can’t just leave now”. So, she helpfully and willfully suggested a long list of where to go just within the province. “Bakit di ka na lang pumunta sa Paraiso de Palani sa Balud, maganda doon para ka lang nasa Boracay,” recommending with a poker face. “Thanks Ma pero baka may alam kang magandang puntahan dito lang sa Milagros, ayaw ko na magbiyahe ng malayo,” I said trying to convince her. And she bluntly said “Guinluthangan, try mo!”

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With Ate Ruth Beluso and Brgy. Captain Nora Beluso.

The next thing I know, I found myself right in front of Beluso Residence in Masbate City waiting for Ma’am Nora and Ate Ruth to come out. I was to arrange my trip to their family owned island. Their empire! The first was no longer a stranger to me because I meet her countless times with my Lola Edith Rosero during their old days as public school teachers in Milagros East District. While the latter was, presumably, my first meeting or at some point our paths might have crossed already but was never given a chance of proper introduction or whatsoever. Ma’am Nora, as she was fondly called, is a retired principal and currently serving as an elected Brgy. Captain of Guinluthangan. Ate Ruth was very accommodating and won’t leave me until I haven’t devoured every single food that they have ordered from a well-known fast food restaurant. She told me that everyone in the island was informed and all were arranged already and so another adventure for me is totally underway. She promised me that this experience will definitely be worth remembering.

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The Guinluthangan Island

History:

“Guinluthangan” is a Hiligaynon word means “Pinagbarilan.” The island spans 42 hectares of coastlines with 205 households residing on it. The small piece of land was originally owned by Mrs. Emperatris Lim Zafra and Adriano Zafra. The couple then sold the island to Mr. Fermato Medina, former district supervisor of Milagros. About 40 years ago, Mr. Medina decided to sell the island to Mr. Amado Beluso of Roxas City. Before Mr. Amado died, he entrusted Remedios Beluso and Roberto Beluso to take care of the island.

Since then, the Belusos were never ever replaced as ruler for the barangay governance. “May pagkakataon po ba na may lumaban sa family nyo during the election? I asked politely. “So far wala naman, the people know that we own the island and we govern it accordingly,” Mrs. Beluso replied.

Fishing is the islanders’ main source of income, making Guinluthangan as the second biggest supplier of “dried Bolinao” (Dilis) in the municipality of Milagros. Some do business through their sari-sari stores and some prefers planting vegetables at their small backyard.

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Brgy. Calasuche Port

Adventurous Feet:

Annabelle Dadula together with Alex Cedillo willingly hopped in to this rather exciting island adventure to Guinluthangan, all agreed to depart for the island at 7AM. We had our breakfast at a small restaurant in Brgy. Calasuche. There, we rented an outrigger boat for only Php1,000.00 (a whole day trip) and had an eager boat owner Nonoy Mahusay to take us all the way to the island and on our way back to Calasuche. It took us two hours sea travel and was generally smooth and comfortable trip. We arrived at our destination at exactly 9:35AM. The crystal clear sea water along the coastline cannot be ignored as it was apparently noticeable. Such a beauty!!

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With Mrs. Erlinda Sinadjan, Mrs. Inang Beluso and Mr. Sinadjan

We went directly to Barangay Hall while we were still enjoying that tickling sensation of the stunning off-white sand of the island under our feet (kind of therapeutic). There we were greeted enthusiastically by a young girl and asked us with hesitation: “Kayo po ba ang bisita ni Kapitan Beluso?” With full excitement, I said, Yes, to our joyful greeter. She instructed us to follow her and brought us to the place where Mrs. Inang M. Beluso was waiting for us. Refreshments were served which we gleefully accepted as we were all thirsty because of the excruciating heat of the sun. We were introduced to some locals who would eventually be responsible of showing us around the island. Mr. Sinadjan, a father of my sister’s friend, came to join us too.  Later, Mrs. Erlinda B. Sinadjan came too and asked us where we want to go, “we want to wander around the island,” I replied.

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With Annabelle Dadula

“Our life here is very simple. Everyone is doing their part to make this place very clean. Early in the morning people would start cleaning the backyard, kids after school would help their parents to fix “lambat” used for fishing. Gambling is definitely a big NO NO in the island. As there was no permanent and stable power supply, houses will light up generally from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM. The garbage dumping site would be strategically located in the middle of the island. Potable water is a bit of an issue but the whole community would have their common place to get water from for daily household usage and they would have to be scheduled in fetching from deep water wheel.” Mrs. Sinadjan enthusiastically explained, as we walk on our way towards IslaBel Resort forgetting the heat of the sun.DSC_0260.JPGG20DSC_0256.JPGDSC_0265.JPGDSC_0266.JPGG7G15

Annabelle by then would exclaim: “sosyal kayo dito halos lahat naka cable” she was referring to a prepaid cable network service provider supplied using satellite dishes. At that point, we were already at “IslaBel Beach Resort” and started picking up gorgeous sea shells. We were served with a sumptuous lunch Adobong Baboy, Tinolang Manok, Sweet (sugar coated deep fried) Dilis, steamed crabs and a bountiful fresh sea foods I can’t singularly name, of course all locally produced, all were cooked with a heart by Mrs. Emily Halang.G36G37

Around 1:00 PM, we started pacing to our next destination, Puroks 3-7. As we walk, local people gave us a curious look but they would still offer their friendly and genuine smiles. Even kids on their way to school would surprise us with courtesy and politeness, as we were all bade with: “Good afternoon Sir, Good Afternoon Ma’am.” We stopped at a small sari-sari store to have some kind of a ‘soda pit stop.’ The store owner won’t accept payment initially but we insisted otherwise we will not take them, we jokingly told her. In return instead, she offered to give us free dried fish, which I don’t think she should be obliged of doing so but I would assume, it was more of a gesture of being hospitable, a trait which is very organic to us Filipinos. In that short period stay in the island, we were treated with such tenderness and importance. The local people were amazingly generous and honestly kind. Evidently, they were amazingly happy and truthfully contented with their island lifestyle. The smiles were simply organic. G31G4G17G6G30.jpg

 

By 2:00 PM, we literally wandered every possible place we have to go, so I guess it was high time to hit that inviting crystal clear turquoise waters. Swimming time!! The water was gorgeous! A stunner! Indeed, an awesome conclusion of our short but exciting island excursion. And of course, actions like these would never be complete without all our poses not properly documented. And there we go with our unli-selfies with our smart phones.G38G44G42

Such a bang, indeed! We were oblivion of the time and realized that it was time to go home. It was 4:00 PM said my watch. With a heavy heart, we need to go and should be back at Calasuche port before nightfall otherwise it would a bit unsafe for us to travel back if it would be dark.

We left with a heavy heart but definitely with a big indelible smile painted on our faces. What an awesome simple experience to cherish. We will never forget this very idyllic place with very warm hearted inhabitants. We will always look forward to live with a community away from a hedonistic lifestyle. We, therefore, claim that Guinluthangan is an island paradise!G9DSC_0269.JPGG18G23G29G21

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And hey now, I truly confer that “Mother knows best”! Like seriously!

 

Bags already packed with your beach outfit and give IslaBel Resort, Guinluthangan Island, Milagros a try??

 

Please contact Ms. Ruth Beluso through her personal Facebook account

or PM me for her contact number. Thank you for reading and would be happy to hear your share of story about the island!

amBAG Ko Sa Milagros : Love, Hope and Happiness

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The late US President John F Kennedy once said “don’t ask what your country can do for you. Ask instead, what you can do for your country.” This famous line motivated not only me but I guess 90% of the people living on the planet. If you belong to the remaining 10% then think of what the 90% did.

This quote serves as a paradigm to TMA (Taga Milagros Ako), a Facebook page created by Mark Tambal last 2010. The founder’s mission is not only linking people from Milagros but let them be part of whatever project the group may have in the future in which TMA-BULIG (Taga Milagros Ako – Building and Uplifting the Lives of In need Groups) came into existence.

Collaboration of 3 Private Groups
Love1
While the Philippines is on the verge of investigation of the PDAF Scam, three social network groups met online on January 28, 2014 not to keep pace with the anti-pork barrel movement but to make stand on their respective groups’ missions. MKET (Masbatenos, Kabataan, Edukasyon, Turismo) together with 4D3 Enterprises expressed to TMA their plans for the province of Masbate. The core group agreed the proposed project to be held in Milagros before the opening of school year 2014 – 2015. The joint project dubbed as “amBAG ko sa Milagros” catered the thirty nine (39) elementary schools in different barangays wherein around two thousands incoming grade one pupils received bag, school supplies and T-shirts. It was a very heart touching moment witnessing the joy not only with kids but the parents who accompanied their children coming from a far. Listening to the parents stories on how they get in and what they gone through to reach the area where distribution is taking place will really melt your heart, other walked how many kilometers under the heat of the sun and others crossed the river yet they told us it was worth it walking the distance for their kids.

After this successful outreach program, “we are planning to launch more projects in due time not only in Milagros but for the whole province of Masbate“said Engr. Dennis Cruel, founder of MKET. “The reason why I chose grade 1 because looking back my time as first grader, I don’t have a piece of paper, pencil and I have not seen a bag in my elementary years due to poverty. I never stopped going to school just because I don’t have those things thus it drove me more to give importance to education despite the poverty that I was going through during those days and encouraged me in doing business and this experience molded who I am today,” shared by Ms Kath Arcenas-Nuhs, 4D3 admin.

Allocating Budget and Finding Sponsors Love2
We started campaigning for the said cause shortly after the meeting and I can say that looking for good Samaritans in apropos to the project was not easy. Surprisingly, we got a positive response from Milagrenos who were now working and living abroad. More than a hundred showed their support to our planned undertaking. “Damo-damo man na salamat sa padayon na pagabulig sa aton mga kabataan sa Milagros. Kun dili sa iyo mga ideas kag sa mga maayo na kaburot-on, dili ini maisasakatuparan,” said Susan Sia-Estipona of New York, USA.

“Naiintindihan ko kag nababatyagan an kadipisilan san buhay sa aton. I’m happy to be a part of this program and to be of help. Thanks,” added by Delia Delman Ramos of Windhoek, Namibia. They were just but a few of our local sponsors who motivated us to push through in making a difference for Milagros. Ironically, most of our benefactors prefer not to mention their names and identity as they believed that being generous to others in silence is more genuine and satisfying. “We are so grateful for the positive feedback of our sponsors,” said Jovyleen Asebuque, TMA administrator.

TMA – Train, Motivate and Act.Love29
Meanwhile, on May 20-21, 2014 TMA-BULIG conducted a seminar – workshop for recreational reading and creative writing. This two – day workshop entitled as “ANI: Milagros Harvest of Young Talents” was held at the Conference Hall of Milagros West Central School, aimed to mold more and enhance the skills of students specially those who wanted to pursue their careers in journalism and broadcasting. To inspire the participants, we invited our very own Enrique Sia Villasis to be the keynote speaker. Mr. Villasis is an awardee for three consecutive years of Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and currently working at ABS-CBN’s Creative Department. Milagros future writers thanked TMA-BULIG for this opportunity that made their summer vacation worthy and productive.

Uplifting LivesLove35
One of TMA-BULIG missions is to help the youth and the unemployed to find jobs abroad. Janessa Medina-Bacolod, Recruitment and Operations Manager of Aboitez Jebsen Company in Manila, is continuously helping the Filipinos in fulfilling their dreams of working abroad and her priority applicants are definitely from Milagros, her hometown. “To the students, don’t just aim to finish school, aim to earn by having a job!” Janessa was quoted as saying. Another Milagreño who keeps helping our “kahilungsod” is Cherrylyn D. Rosero, a Senior HR Officer in a group of hotels based in Dubai, UAE. Modesty aside, these two UP graduates from Milagros had already sent numbers of Milagrenos abroad particularly in the Middle East. “This is the area where I can be of big help to jobseekers from Milagros so I am doing this because of opportunity given and I know how it feels of being jobless..so why not help them in my own little way,” Che said.

Walk the Talk Quietly
After three months of working between the groups, sponsors, suppliers and volunteers, the goods were distributed to the young bloods of Milagros on May 21-26, 2014. Kath Arcenas and Jovyleen Asebuque who flew all the way from California and Texas USA, respectively, personally handed the bags to the kids.

34 kids from Bonbon Elementary Schools waiting for their crocs shoes from Rise Above Foundation (8AM May 21, 2014)
34 kids from Bonbon Elementary Schools waiting for their crocs shoes from Rise Above Foundation (8AM May 21, 2014)
10 kids from Matanglad Elementary School (9AM May 21, 2014)
10 kids from Matanglad Elementary School (9AM May 21, 2014)
34 kids of MR Espinosa Elementary School (1PM May 21, 2014)
34 kids of MR Espinosa Elementary School (1PM May 21, 2014)

Marcel Espayos and Ron Passion, both admins of 4d3 were also present. “I thought madali lang ung job but nung nasa field na kami nakakapagod, napakainit, maalikabok, so many hindrances but we surpassed and it’s all worth it when we saw the laughter in their face while extending their gratitude. I know was just a small thing but it would be of big help for those who cannot afford to buy those stuffs. I can’t express my happiness in fulfillment of this activity.” said Marcel. Volunteerism really worked on this event and wouldn’t be nice to see how people from all walks of life gathered and facilitated to make project successful.love39
44 kids of Tawad Elementary School pose with the volunteers (8AM May 23, 2014)
44 kids of Tawad Elementary School pose with the volunteers (8AM May 23, 2014)
58 kids from Capaculan Elementary School (9AM May 23, 2014)
58 kids from Capaculan Elementary School (9AM May 23, 2014)
43 kids @ Cayabon Elementary School (10AM May 23, 2014)
43 kids @ Cayabon Elementary School (10AM May 23, 2014)
Jovyleen Asebuque poses with the kids and volunteers. @Milagros West Central School (8AM May 24, 2014)
Jovyleen Asebuque poses with the kids and volunteers. @Milagros West Central School (8AM May 24, 2014)
101 kids from Milagros West Central School (8AM May 24, 2014)
101 kids from Milagros West Central School (8AM May 24, 2014)
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Kath Arcenas makes sure that school supplies are inside the bag. @ Taisan Elementary School
Kath Arcenas makes sure that school supplies are inside the bag. @ Taisan Elementary School
75 kids from Taisan Elementary School and 25 kids from Pamangpangon Elementary School (8AM May 24, 2014)
75 kids from Taisan Elementary School and 25 kids from Pamangpangon Elementary School (8AM May 24, 2014)
96 kids from Bangad Elementary School (10AM May 24, 2014)
96 kids from Bangad Elementary School (10AM May 24, 2014)
82 kids from John Miller Elementary School (10AM May 24, 2014)
82 kids from John Miller Elementary School (10AM May 24, 2014)
Milagros East Central School- 45 pupils, Capaclan Elementary School- 13 pupils, Tinaclipan Elementary School- 27 pupils, Vicente Oliva Sr. Elementary School- 54 pupils, Jose Aninang Primary School- 9 pupils  (8AM May 25, 2014)
Milagros East Central School- 45 pupils, Capaclan Elementary School- 13 pupils, Tinaclipan Elementary School- 27 pupils, Vicente Oliva Sr. Elementary School- 54 pupils, Jose Aninang Primary School- 9 pupils
(8AM May 25, 2014)
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A dance number from one of the schools of Milagros East District (8Am May 25, 2014)
A dance number from one of the schools of Milagros East District (8Am May 25, 2014)
 Their way of thanking the sponsors and volunteers.
Their way of thanking the sponsors and volunteers.

On behalf of the three groups, we would like to thank the following people for their unwavering supports, unselfish services and for getting involved in this unprecedented project. First, our anonymous sponsors, MKET and 4D3 admins, Sheila S. Madronio, Nina E. Francisco, Nonoy Bacolod, Melinda A. Orlet, Father Henry Dalanon, Ms. Ghe Canete, and Rise Above Foundation of Happy Valley, Cebu City. Our school facilitators, Ms. Gemma Lagaras, Manjie Arcenal and Jocyven Mesa. To our unknown volunteers, teachers, Arcenas family, and lastly, to someone who said “I am the way, the truth and the life”, may Your name be always glorifiedlove48love50
“I am still in disbelief up to this very moment that TMA is really making a difference, certainly living up to its description, reconnecting to its kapwa – Milagreño by these overwhelming activities from outreach programs to skills development. And I am very certain na dili lang ini hasta didi na lang kundi damo pa san maabot, mas daragko pa na mga proyekto kalooyan lang kita san Mahal na Ginoo. Maski kanay ginasabi ko an akon mantra na “basta may ginamaw-ot, may makakab-ot’, basta usad kamo tanan sani na mga pagmaw-ot. sigurado damo pa kita san makakab-ot,” says Mr. Tambal. “Sa mga kahilungsod ko and even to those who are technically non- Milagreño who were one with us, my unlimited gratefulness for the trust and continuous support to whatever we are up to. Sabi ko gani, “waran mabulig sa Taga Milagros kundi kapwa nya man lang Taga Milagros.” Padayon lang po kita san aton siyak na, TAGA MILAGROS AKO. Salamat po san damo damo gayud kag Dios Mabalos,” he added.love52love53love50

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Indeed, love, hope and happiness are things worth sharing to our birthplace and TMA will always empowers its members for progressivism in Milagros.