Happy Easter from FOM

As Mindanao shuts down for the Holy week, I just like to remind you that Zacca will be the chairperson on Wednesday 7th at

Gardena Fresca

From NCCC mall Matina (Ma-a), travel south (away from down town towards Toril) on MacArthur Hwy. Apporx 1km or 1/2 mile to Tulip Drive on left (Buffet Palace on left.

Turn right at Jetti Station on Morales Village Road. There is a large Coca Cola sign with Morales Village at the corner.
Breakfast and coffee p100

The agenda will include.
A report of the trips to Father Franco and the Samal trip, and the prison trip this coming Friday.

Zacca will announce his guest speaker, and we will be talking about May's activities, and of course we will be saying goodbye to Bruce and Louis too, as they return to the US.

We will also have an update on the language courses, and be discussing ideas of a musical night soon too.

Anything you want to put in the agenda then please get in touch with myself , or Bruce as soon as possible.

Remember to bring your books too, as Ken will be delighted to see them, and REMEMBER to bring your flyers too, and hopefully Paul S will bring some more for us to give out, wherever we go in Davao.

Have a great Easter and see you Wednesday.

Bruce is leaving

After a number of years here in Davao and supporting FOM, Bruce is leaving to go back to the US in May.

Matalam update

Ian would have been proud of his sons.

This from Bing in Matalam.

Hi guys!:))) It's summer holidays for the boys. Here's some photos from Louie's graduation from high school..going to college next school year (June)...I'm expecting JC to be home today or tomorrow:)

Joshua had his school closing ceremony few days ago...he was so excited he received a medal..he was wearing it all day long telling everybody.."Look...I've got a medal..I'm a winner!!!:))) That was not it...before he went to sleep that night, he asked me to go downstairs with him, took his medal...we went outside the house...raised his medal towards the stars and said..."Hey Papa IAN look here...I received a medal...I'm a winner!!!" After that he silently went back to his bed....smiled sweetly and slept soundly...while I cried myself to sleep:))

We are thinking of you....lots of love...BING, JC, LOUIE & JOSH oxoxoxo

Lake Sebu

Vienna & I had a trip to Lake Sebu over the weekend. Has to be one of the nicest places I've seen in the Philippines. First thing I noticed was the roads, all very good with little traffic once we passed General Santos City. Round trip was a bit over 500 K's, we did a few side trips as well.
Really lots to see and do from the 7 Falls, Museum and Brass Foundry to Tboli tribal shops for souvenirs.
Vienna is thinking of putting together a tour package which may include transport from Davao and including two nights stay at the Punta Isla Resort. Will also include a couple of escorted tours around the area to see the local sights as well as a boat trip on Lake Sebu.


P4.5-million farm-to-market road

The Philippine Army has completed the rehabilitation and construction of a P4.5-million farm-to-market road project in the province of Davao del Sur, military officials said.

Capt. Emmanuel Garcia, Army's 10th Infantry Division public affairs officer, said the four-kilometer farm-to-market road project was turned over Friday afternoon to the municipal government of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.

Garcia said the project, which was undertaken by the Army's 512th Engineering Construction Battalion, was funded by the Department of National Defense (DND) through the Kalayaan sa Barangay Program (KBP) with the recommendations of the 39th and 72nd Infantry Battalions.

The DND’s programs are aimed at uplifting the living conditions of the residents in the countryside and geared towards the attainment of peace by way of providing the basic services to the people.

The peace and development infrastructure projects of the DND range from farm-to-market roads, school buildings, barangay water systems, rural electrification projects, day care centers and health centers.


Yesterday the 24th of March 15 members ( & 2 kids ) of Friends of Mindanao had a day on Samal Island. First stop was breakfast at Punta Del Sol resort. Service was slow however the food was Ok. We then set off to find Hagimit Falls with myself driving the lead car and we some how got lost ( Americans can't navigate ) and ended up on the other side of the Island. Nice place with great beaches and clean water but no where near the falls even after stopping and asking directions several times from the locals. Seems like they can't understand Ozlish.
Back tracked and found the Falls. Hagimit Falls is a great place to visit with clean cool water to swim and lots of amenities for the family but I wouldn't want to go there on a weekend. Near to 100 steps to climb up on the way out. Take plenty of food and drink as there is not much to be purchased there. P40.00 entrance fee.
Next was the Bat Cave and guess what? we got lost again but this time only a little bit as a helpful local on a motorbike came to our rescue. The road has changed since I was last there 2 1/2 years ago. The Bats still smell and the place is a little more organized with souvenir sales and volunteer guides who will tell you there are 1.8 million bats living there. Entrance fee P20.00
All in all an enjoyable day.

Language lessons two

To all Friends of Mindanao Members, here is the lesson plan and information for our next lesson.

Unfortunately Caesar was unable to decipher all email addresses.

If you attended the last lesson, or will join us this Thursday morning, please reply to me and to Caesar for us to develop a separate list.


Hello guys,

Please be guided that on March 25, we will start our class with a brief
review on Lesson 1 and we then start with Lesson 2. . Also, please print a copy of the files attached. This
will serve as your own personal notes.

I would like to apologize for those people whom I was not able to
include in the mailing list. The attendance list last time was a bit
unreadable.(a certain John B) I could not make it out your hand writing.
Likewise, there was also an invalid email address. (Kenneth C.)

I would suggest that for those who can print an extra copy for your
fellow classmate, please do so.

If you have questions, please contact me (cemacahilig@yahoo.com or
+639067050628) or Bruce. Do acknowledge upon receipt of this email so
that I can make sure each person has his own copy of the lesson.

Thank you very much.
I look forward to see you guys on thursday.
Caesar Erel O. Macahilig
Davao City, Philippines

Say hello to Kenneth

Live in Davao Philippines. Retired nurse from McAllen Texas. Love my retirement.
Trying to learn the language here, and some music. I have a new set of Lee Oskar Diatonic Professional harmonicas to learn.
Spend a lot of time now at the Bo's Coffee at the SM mall in Davao.


The United Kingdom’s visa hub here is now the largest in Asia Pacific, and is projected to take in 89,000 applications this year from six different places, including the Philippines, UK’s border and immigration official said.

In a press conference Friday, Barbara Woodward, director of UK’s Border Agency International Group, said the Philippines was chosen as a regional visa hub because Filipino staffers tended to be more flexible, able to speak English, are good communicators. She said competitive salaries and a strong underlying business culture were other plus points for the Philippines.

At the same time, she said the number of visa applications from the Philippines has been high over the years—47,000 in 2008, more than 45,000 in 2009, and already around 7,500 for the first two months of 2010.

And comparable to its global approval rate of 81 percent, the approval rate for visa applications from the Philippines has been around 80 percent.

Woodward said the bulk (around 70 to 75 percent) of the applications have been from students, seamen, and people who want to visit their relatives in UK or who just want to visit UK.

And Mark Date, another UK border official, said most rejections are due to the applicants’ inability to show that they would be able to support and maintain themselves once in the UK. “London is not cheap and applicants must show financial means of support,” he said.

Another common mistake, especially for student visa applicants, is applying for this type of visa with the intention of finding work there.

“This distorts the labor market and puts applicants at risk of not getting paid good wages or getting health and safety provisions,” Woodward said.

The solution, she said, would be to apply under the so-called Tier 2 category, or employment as nurse, engineer, seaman, or even fisherman.

At the same time, Woodward warned visa applicants against people promising UK visas that won’t require the applicant to go to their office. She said anyone making that offer is a fraud, as UK visa applications require that the applicant’s biometrics (10 fingers and digital photo) are taken at the UK visa office.


Hi I came across a few sexonds of Ian talking to Tim, not long befores Ians death, and some more footage of our trip to the boys school at Panacan.

Language lessons

We all had a good time and received an excellent introduction to the Bisaya Lesson by Caesar.

Mike Bindi is graciously offering his apartment again this coming week.

Caesar informed me he has an air conditioned room at his office where we can hold our lessons, but I feel it would be difficult for some since the location is in Panacan near the airport. We can discuss it at our next class.

We are keeping day, time and location the same. The next lesson will be at Mike Binidi's home, Riverview Townhouses on Ma-a Road.

Attached is the file from Caesar from our first lesson and will distribute via email our next lesson prior to the class. If you have a printer, please print a copy to bring to class.

Davao Jeepneys


One of the pure delights of my adopted country is the pleasure of looking and riding on these fantastic machines.

A hybrid of the American Jeep it has been designed perfectly to adapt to the needs and even the future needs of this country.

The fantastic designs and the obvious pride that go into them makes it a joy to watch them pass by you, sometimes four or five at a time all colourful all with people shouting some with live stock on too.

I remember going to a village fiesta last year in a small village near Davao City, that was great and fantastic and honour to be in, UNTIL it came to go back home.

Despite my hosts assurance there were no Taxis, the only vehicle was a Jeepney at 4am, so on we got and after half an hour of travelling on non roads we ended up where we had started to await those needing to go to market early.

Within minutes the whole Jeepney was full inside and out, with people hanging from the sides too, and there we continued our 45min journey back to DAVAO CITY, all the local people were waking up for a hard days work at the markets and me, well I am ashamed to say I was on way home to bed, and some of my fellow passengers were very amused at my attempts to stay awake after many RED HORSE drinks and may hours dancing.
I really marvelled at this system, there are no timetables, or not many scheduled stops. It stops when YOU need it to, the cost is great and the journeys views were wonderful and I now often use them, although sometimes I admit I never quite work out the routes that will be my next learning cycle for the next millennium!!

I would love to own one and travel the beautiful Philippines like a gypsy, although my UK routes and work ethics are still hard to shake off.

Easter break

So we can all enjoy the LONG Easter break,there will NOT be a meeting on the 31st.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday April 7th.

9am Gardena Gardens.

Your chairperson for the day is Zacca,be gentle with him.

Have a great Easter

More pictures from Bukidnon

Thanks to Liz Newport for these beautiful pictures of the FOM trip to Father Franco

For Sale:

Kia Rio 4 door Sedan
2007 Model, purchased December 2007
Gray Exterior and Interior
Low Mileage: 18000 Km
Up to date on all scheduled maintenance
Full Insurance coverage through December 2010
450,000 pesos or Best Offer
The car in picture is similar to mine.
5 Speed manual transmission
Get a good deal and help a fellow Expat.
Contact Bruce at:
Cell: 0919-984-0374
Landline: 222-4723
email: bruce.linder@gmail.com

Bumpy bus

More from Toril

What fun at Father Franco

12 Members of FOM journeyed to Buda to feast on Father Franco's lunch. Trip was just on 90 K's from the Garden Fresca starting point and took about 1 1/2 hours. No rushing and a pleasant drive with some intermittent rain which lasted most of the day and helped with the present ambiance and great climate there in Buda.
The food was near to Gourmet standard starting with Pizza and salad followed by Pasta and Soup. The soup had us guessing as to the secret ingredient which gave the soup it's unique taste. Turned out it was ripe Cavendish Bananas. Finally Roast Pork again flavoured with Father Franc's unique flavourings. All local grown at his small farm.
Father Franco gave a short but delightful talk on his mission with the Lumad Tribes of the area and gave some interesting views and news on possible future developments in the area.
Lots of local vegetables were purchased from some of the many road side stalls on the way back to Davao.
All in all an extremely interesting and delightful day with a great all round guy who is by all tests one of life's natural gentlemen.
Thank you Father Franco.

Bisaya lessons by Caesar

To all interested:

The Bisaya lessons by Caesar will start this coming Thursday, March 18th.

Mike Bindi's apartment in Riverview at 10am
Riverview is off Ma-a road just a short distance from NCCC mall.
If you are coming from Macarthur Hwy, turn on Ma-a. Approx 1/2 mile on right site is sign for Riverview Apartments
Turn in at sign and after passing Guard shack, make first left turn. The unit number is 15
There is parking at the beginning and end of the street.
Please do not park in front of other units.

If there is a problem contact me or Mike:

See you there,


Jacks Ridge

More killings in Gensan

A journalist has been bludgeoned to death at a radio station in the southern Philippines, the latest fatality in a spate of media killings, police say.

Broadcaster and columnist Chito Abuzo was beaten to death with a rock in the southern city of General Santos late on Saturday, in the compound of DXGS radio station, said city police chief Senior Superintendent Marcelo Pintac.

Although Abuzo was known as a critic of local politicians, police said on Sunday the killing was likely motivated by a personal grudge, adding that they were hunting for a suspect.

The Philippines is regarded as one of the world's most dangerous places for journalists, partly due to a culture of impunity that allows those in power to commit crimes with little risk of punishment.

Thirty journalists were among 57 people murdered elsewhere in the southern Philippines in November last year in an attack blamed on a local political rivalry. A local Muslim politician is on trial for the murders and many of his relatives and cohorts have also been charged.

At least 134 journalists have been murdered since the fall of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, with about 97 of the deaths occurring since President Gloria Arroyo came to power in 2001, local press groups say.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said 32 journalists were killed in the Philippines in 2009, making it the world's deadliest country for journalists last year.

Update from Panacan

If you plant love, it will surely produce a tree of love, then it will bear a fruit of love.

For me the most patient are the farmers. I never encounter a farmer who planted seed today and expect a harvest the next day. When I was 10 years of age my father told me “the coconut that you planted already bear fruit”. I cannot remember that I planted a coconut. Then he told me, “when you were 3 years old your Lolo (grandfather) planted acoconut trees then he asked you to plant one coconut yourself and that tree belongs to you.” Until now my father is still planting coconut trees, hoping to harvest it after 7 years.

The programs and services that we have in Balay Sa Adunay Pangandoy are the seeds and we try to put the component of love in each of the seeds. We are on our 6th year. I believe the love that we sown will bear fruit. It may be sooner or later, I don't know, but I believe it will bear fruit. Love is never wasted.

The greatest challenge for me in running this project is consistency. In all aspect, as a leader I must be consistent. I must be consistent in the following: to love, to be patient, to persevere, to be humble, to work, to raise funds, to give instructions, supervise, monitor and evaluate the boys, to talk to my spiritual director and many others. I can only do this with the grace of God. Thus, I must be consistent in going to mass everyday, pray everyday and renew my commitment in a 3 days retreat every 6 months. Jesus is the source of everything. He is the boss. As long as He wants me to continue with my vocation here I am willing to obey Him.

There are ten young men living with me now. I am happy they are very cooperative. Jedemar Aguhar (18) 2nd year college in finance administration is the bursar, Bernardo Cutin III (20) 3rd year High School is the supply officer, Jonibert Anastacio (20) 1st year college in Industrial Electricity is the safety officer, Junemark Casas (17) 3rdyear High school is the nutrition officer, Rodel Bughao (17) 2nd year high school is our religious officer, Jonito Opong (20) 4th year high school will be assign as the 1st store manager once the Life skills training facilities will be completed. Jeffrey Atilano (20) is the P.R.O, Gilbert Anastacio (27) is our project officer. He is the incharge of our construction that is going on. Next school year he will enroll in a special class to complete his high school education. Edward Obales (24) 1st year High school is the assistant project officer and lastly Anthony Sabordo (18) is only grade 1 but we are giving him a special training. He has I.Q problem. His special training is to learn how to maintain the beauty of the surrounding. Landscaping and trimming of plants. We give him a title as In-charge of beautification and order.

The new chapel is almost complete. The next to be constructed are the Petshop and Flower shop. We are hoping that through this project we can train them to live independently with christian values. We are still looking for regular benefactors to help us sustain the programs and services. I pray that God will send us people who are generous enough to help us. Next school year (June 2010) Jonito Opong and Jeffrey Atilano will go to college. Please help them.

Please keep us in your prayer.

Dennis T. Mabayao

Executive Director


A soldier died after a military truck was bombed by suspected New People's Army (NPA) guerrillas in Davao City, a police spokesman said Saturday.

Superintendent Querubin Manalang, Davao regional police office spokesman, said a truck carrying members of the Philippine Army's 69th Infantry Battalion was bombed while cruising along a road in Sitio Guinobatan, Barangay Pandaitan in Paquibato district around 2:50 p.m. on Friday.

Two soldiers were hurt and evacuated to Davao Medical Center.

Calamity in Minadano

President Arroyo gave the go-ahead to local governments in Mindanao to use their calamity funds for cash and livelihood aid for farmers in areas severely affected by the El NiƱo phenomenon.

Mrs. Arroyo also told reporters here late Thursday that government financial institutions like the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines have offered to provide loan facilities of as much $100 million to private firms that need to lease generator sets to keep their businesses going.

The President earlier this week declared a state of calamity in Mindanao after both chambers of Congress failed to muster a quorum for an emergency session that would have led to the passage of a joint resolution authorizing additional generation capacity.

The declaration has automatically freed five percent of concerned local government units’ budgets for use as calamity funds. But critics have expressed fears that officials might use the proclamation to make anomalous purchases of power equipment.

Mrs. Arroyo noted that during a visit to Zamboanga del Norte on Thursday, local officials were giving rice subsidies to families of impoverished farmers.

The Prison trip confirmed

The visit to the prison is confirmed by Paul as Friday 9th April. at 10am.

The list is now closed
Those going are.......

Pat Daly, Steve Baker, Reg and Liz Newort, Bruce Linder, Paul Fuller,John Grant, Leon Andrews, Richard and Jesusa, Al Barnett, Gary Aube

Please be ready to spend at least p150 to buy something, and also it would be very helpful if you could bring items for the inmates like toothpaste, toiletries and maybe more.

Paul said
The ladies will arrange to sing and dance for us and display their handicrafts and one lady (a trustee) has been put in charge of the program. Her name is Gina Talingting.

Like most organisations they are always on the scrounge for items of cookware and other appliances like ceiling fans,an a/c unit to cool their computer room, an old sound system,a few dozen plastic chairs and a host of other small things. Incidentally they recently had a visit from some students from a Japanese university who purchased quite a lot of handicrafts which made the ladies very happy.

I asked about the men's jail and was advised to write a similar letter to the boss there asking if he would agree to allowing a couple of inmates into a safe area on that date so that they could demonstrate their skills of making Sprite plastic bottles into tree ornaments.

As I was leaving the women's jail a van load of youths were being herded into the cell block area. A few were chained in groups of four and several were handcuffed in pairs. A sobering moment which allowed me reflect on my own borderline youthful activities. "There but for fortune go you or I" as the song went.

We will meet at NCCC mall at 9.30

Check out our site Friends of Mindanao

Next meeting

Just to let everyone know that our next next normal FOM meeting on the 17th will be not be happening.

But the event mentioned in your e mails will be happening on that day.

Regards John

Updates this week

The Pot luck adventure drew one person who responded, so I think its safe to say we will not pursue that one. Maybe the good cooks do not want to give away those secrets.

The book club championed by Ken has a response from Richard,Bruce,Leon and Pat.
So a suggestion is that Ken has his meeting after the normal FOM
Others who want to join please see Ken.


We have sent out details on the Bukidnon trip, just note that the website does not carry the date like the e mail for security reasons.
The names are now final

Remember to help arrange car share, so I suggest people start doing that now.

We have sent out details too about Samal trip.
The start time will be 8am!! Full details will be sent out again in the next couple of days.

And there is more

Paul Fuller is going to try and sort out a date of the Prison trip, initial details have been sent out.

The language course is being sorted too, hope to have more on that by the end of the week.

Lets keep up at this pace, and learn and enjoy our Mindanao.

New staff for new restaurant

Congratulations to all these guys to making it through to being employed at the next tita annies restaurant in C5 Davao

Samal trip updated 8 am start

Trip to Samal Wednesday 24th March

The following thrill seekers are going to see the falls and the Bats too. Hold on to those hats.

Mike Bindi
Pat Daly and wife and daughter
Bruce Linder
Leon Andrews
Richard and Jesusa
Gary Aube
Markus and Madeline
Liz and Reg
David and Berlen Stott with their daughter Erin
Malcom and Rose Bryant
Plus Vienna, Steve ,Annie and Patty Baker,

If you want to be added to the list then please get in touch with John and let him know by this coming Friday.


We will meet at the Macdonalds just outside Victoria PLaza at 8.00 am .DONT BE LATE.

Drivers please make yourselves known to Bruce (as I will be in Manila) so we can car share.

Suggested schedule for your input

9am Breakfast at a resort Punta Del Sol. http://www.puntadelsolsamal.com
Breakfast cost p250.00
Thanks to Leon for this

10.30 Visit the Bat Cave

12.00 Lunch TBA In case of problems bring some snacks and drinks with you!!!!

1pm The falls and relax

3pm Where ever you can find to relax

4pm Afternoon food

5.30 pm Ferry Back to Davao

Bring plenty of water with you in case you get very thirsty.

Visit our site Friends of Mindanao

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