Philippine Eagle Foundation

The annual celebration of the Philippine Eagle Week (and Philippine
Independence Day) is just around the corner!  May we ask for your support
for our endangered Philippine Eagle by helping us disseminate information
about our Davao celebrations.  The more people who know about our lineup
of activities, the more people participate, the more advocates for the
eagle we can have!

Of course, our advocacy would be more effective if YOU join our activities
and lead your families, friends, neighbors or work colleagues in
celebrating Eagle Week.  Please send a contingent to GreenMob on June 4,
form a team for the adventure race for Pag-asa on June 6, sign up for the
Wildviews Wildlife Photography Workshop, or simply visit the Philippine
Eagle Center
 sometime during the week.  It will be a big help.

To our friends in media, we hope you can be our media partner by providing
some space in your publications/ programs not just to promote the
activities but facilitating learning and discussions on how climate change
affects us, and how, by using the Philippine Eagle as a flagship species
for conservation, we can mitigate these effects.  We will be releasing
data and more information on this issue in the days leading up to the
Eagle Week.

Thank you for forwarding this to your friends and Happy Eagle Week to all!

Ms. Tatit Quiblat
Communications Officer
Mobile 09177122895
INTERVIEW WITH HENRY  From  Davao City Living
In short, these visits to the Philippines have opened a whole new world to me. I've never ventured outside the United States until my first trip in 2008. Call me a late bloomer in that regard, but I'm happy I waited. I was never one to take the initiative on such a personal quest. For me, I was comfortable here at home in Chicago. After completing my undergraduate degree in International Business, I knew the next step was to go abroad. However, I needed more of a push to get the wheels in motion. I guess my desire to visit the Philippines stemmed from a Filipina I once dated here in Chicago many years ago. Although that relationship didn't work it, it was enough to compel me to go to the Philippines. Taking fate to the wind, I set out to find, perhaps myself, on a trip to the Philippines. In my learning strategies, I did a lot of online chatting as well as frequented a few websites. I corresponded with a few ladies mostly from Davao. That said, I decided to fly over to meet a particular lady in person. Fast forward to present day and I've fallen for this lady as well as Davao City. As I focus on my retirement plans, I see myself living in Davao with my better half. Each visit there present new wonders and fascination. True, it will be an adjustment, but I'm looking forward it.

-Henry   Full article  HERE

Bruce in USA

From Bruce Linder from his site  American in Davao

As you know from reading this site, I just moved back to America a little over a week ago. Now I am preparing to file for my wives Petition for Alien Relative, or better known as Spousal Visa.
To file you need to send an I-130 form “Petition for Alien Relative” and an I-325a “Biographical Data” form for both your wife and yourself.
The rest of this article can be seen  here



I am an alien whose country has an immigration reciprocity agreement with the Philippines. I am also married to a Filipina. Am I qualified to apply for a permanent residence visa?

Yes, under the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, Section 13 (a) you are eligible for permanent residency in the Philippines. This visa is issued to an alien on the basis of his valid marriage to a Philippine citizen.

To qualify for this visa, the applicant must prove that:
  • He contracted a valid marriage with a Philippine citizen.
  • The marriage is recognized as valid under existing Philippine laws.
  • There is no record of any derogatory information against him in any local or foreign law enforcement agency.
  • He is not afflicted with any dangerous, contagious or loathsome disease.
  • He has sufficient financial capacity to support a family and will not become a public burden.
  • He was allowed entry into the Philippines and was authorized by Immigration authorities to stay.

This visa is only available to citizens of a country which grants permanent residence and immigration privileges to Philippine citizens.

How can I apply for 13 (a) visa?

Ask for an application form (Form number RBR 98-01) from the Public Assistance Unit of the Office of the Commissioner Window One (1) or from the Makati Extension Office and accomplish the form properly. If you will be accompanied by your unmarried minor children they must fill up a separate form.

All documents to support your application must be properly certified as true copy. Sworn statements or affidavits should be notarized.

Foreign documents must be duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate at the place where they are issued.

You may submit the duly accomplished application form with the supporting documents to window (1) located at the ground floor of the main building of the Bureau of Immigration or to the Makati Extension Office.

NOTE: Filing fee should first be paid before an application is filed.

Hi FOMer's,

The month of June offers us a unique opportunity; five (5) Wednesdays, I thought we could put the regular (June 2nd) meeting off a week to 9 June and use the first Wednesday for an evening get-together/dinner at a nice western style restaurant for a meal, drinks and some socializing. Bring the wife, girlfriend or significant other and the kids and/or friends along. Maybe someplace like Coca's at about 6 or 7pm. (please suggest other restaurants you might prefer, we are open to new experiences).

The regular monthly meetings will fall on June 9th and the 23rd at our regular Matina location..

The location is  
Gardena Fresca
Garden Pond and Grill
#114 Morales Compound, Morales Village, Matina, Davao City
Tel. 297-4628, 301-6842 

Steve Baker at

More Brown Outs

The Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC), the main power distributor here and nearby provinces in the region, is bent to continue its rotating brownout schedules should there be no enough rainfall next month when Mindanao’s coal-fired thermal power plant will undergo preventive maintenance.
Engineer Rodger Velasco, the firm’s vice president for engineering, said the power distribution of DLPC will be affected if the Mindanao coal-fired thermal power plant in Iligan City will undergo maintenance, and as contingency measures, they have to fully run their hydroelectric plants.
More from
Police and military officers affirmed the big contribution of the gun ban implementation to the conduct of peaceful and orderly elections in this city. Speaking at the regular AFP-PNP Press Corps briefing at the Task Force Davao Headquarters at the Sta. Ana Wharf here, Senior Supt. Rene Aspera, director of the Davao City Police Office, said the gun ban has limited the movement of individuals with criminal intent to roam around the city. He said even gun enthusiasts opted to keep their firearms because of the gun ban policy. “The carrying of firearms by unauthorized persons was truly observed. Perhaps, the awareness of the consequences of violating the gun ban policy is high, so many gun-holders, including criminal elements, were restrained,” Aspera said.
More from

Bad trouble but good food

The Philippine military is now launching a pursuit operation against unidentified gunmen who burned down four school rooms in the country's volatile south after Monday's elections, the military said on Thursday.
Capt. Steffani Cacho, spokesperson of the military's Western Mindanao Command told Xinhua by phone from Zamboanga that authorities are now investigating to determine who torched four classrooms in Akbar town, in the island-province of Basilan.
More from English news
NEW People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas snatched three unarmed soldiers and a militiaman while they were attending the birthday party of their colleagues’ son in Compostela Valley on Wednesday, the military said.
Cpl. Marcial Bawagan was visiting his family in barangay Sawangan, Mawab, for the birthday party of his three-year-old son, along with Cpl. Ariel Asumo and Cpl. Eduardo Alcala and militiaman Victor Pitogo, when they were abducted at about 12 noon.
Capt. Emmanuel Garcia, spokesman for the Army’s 10th Infantry “Abila” Division, said the four were forcibly taken into a waiting black van that sped toward barangay Sangab, also in the province.
More from Business Mirror

Gensan brownouts

From a faxed message from SOCOTECO II, is the notice that effective May 17, 2010, there is arevised schedule of Power Interruptions in General Santos City.

First, the good news! Brownouts will now occur twice daily instead of the usual three or four times a day.

But the bad news is, these rotational brownouts will happen on a straight six hour basis!!!


To understand why this is being done, here is the POWER ADVISORY from the Manager of theInstitutional Services Department of SOCOTECO II and the REVISED GENSAN BROWNOUT SCHEDULE.

More from

Kidapawan Election death

KIDAPAWAN CITY— A supporter of an incumbent lawmaker died while his companion was wounded in a strafing incident at 1:05 a.m. Monday, the first reported incidence of violence on election day, local police said.

Superintendent Chino Mamburam, the city police director, identified the fatality as Johnny Magbanua, 28, single and resident of Barangay (village) Meohao this city.

Leo Laguindanom was injured and was later reported to be in safe condition at the Kidapawan City Doctors’ Hospital Inc, Mamburam said.

Magbanua’s group was reportedly chasing a white multicab with supporters of Rep. Bernardo Piñol’s rival congressional bet Nancy Catamco when unidentified men fired at them.

Catamco’s camp was allegedly distributing anti-Piñol campaign materials. The congressman's supporters were following Catamco's group when the attack occurred.

“This is the first election-related violence that occurred in Kidapawan," Mamburam said.

Police investigators recovered two empty shells and slugs of a cal-.45 pistol from the crime site.

Catamco is the president of NCTV cable and is running as 2nd district Representative under the administration party Lakas-Kampi.

Nccc Davao

Election update

An explosion at a mosque killed one and wounded more than a dozen, including three critically injured ones in Cotabato, southern Philippines, on Sunday evening.

When the blast occurred, the victims had just finished evening prayers inside a mosque, a local resident said.

Camp Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City (10 May) -- Soldiers recovered an Improvised Explosive Devise (IED) planted by New People's Army (NPA) on a bridge in the village of Maligaya in Columbio town in Sultan Kudarat province 10:30 AM Sunday.

Residents said they saw armed men below Mauno Bridge which prompted them to inform soldiers of the 27th Infantry Battalion headed by Lt. Col. Joshua Santiago who immediately responded. Soldiers discovered a hastily laid IED on the side of the bridge indicating that the NPAs may have immediately left upon seeing the soldiers coming.

Santiago said they also received information regarding IEDs planted by NPAs in other parts of Columbio town. "We are currently verifying those reports to clear those places of IEDs planted by NPAs so that our people will be safe from harm." Santiago added.

Davao City (10 May) -- Regional election Officer Rey Somalipao bared a 45 percent voters turn-out in the region, as of 2 this afternoon.

He said that voters flocked to voting precincts so early that they waited for hours just to be accommodated and to cast their vote.

"They even arrived earlier than the Board of election inspectors," he said.

More from PIA

DAVAO CITY–Foreign observers said they’re aware that Filipinos will be braving bullets and bribes in today’s first ever automated elections but hope that their presence will deter electoral fraud.

“I am here to observe, to monitor and to report what I see,” said Lawyer Radhika Sainath, a civil rights lawyer from Los Angeles, California. “Filipinos will be braving bullets, bribes and voting machine breakdowns to make their voices hear,” she said. “We hope that our presence will help deter and expose any potential election-day fraud.”

More from Davao Today

MATI CITY, Davao Oriental, Philippines—Heavy downpour hampered some voters from going to the polling precincts here Monday morning.

In the polling places, there were reports of poll counting optical scan machines malfunctioning.

There were also reports of vote-buying in the town of Lupon, with votes for certain candidates priced at P1,000 and three kilograms of rice.

Commission on Election regional director Rey Somalipao confirmed that less than 10 percent of the PCOS machines in the region conked out.

With 3,431 PCOS machines distributed region-wide, about 300 of which did not function during the start of election this morning.

Common cause is the battery load that leads to the conking of machines.

In Davao City, Smartmatic confirmed that they replaced five PCOS machines as of 1pm.

DIGOS CITY, Davao Del Sur, Philippines—Clustered precincts in the village of Colorado here are jampacked with voters.

Voting was smooth except for some ballots being rejected by the machines. It was learned that the ballots were stained as they were being shaded.

In Cagayan De Oro City, voting at a precinct at the Gusa Elementary School was slow with the board of election inspectors giving out priority numbers to people.

After an hour after the precinct opened, only 32 people have voted. Senior citizens and pregnant women were allowed to vote first.

Election pressure

MALITA, Davao del Sur, Philippines—Three persons were wounded when soldiers fired at the convoy of a vice mayoral candidate here, the police said Thursday.

Superintendent Rey Niemes Cuevas, Malita police chief, said that based on military report, the convoy of vice mayoral candidate Alfredo Mante ignored a checkpoint when they crossed Lower Kinangan around 7:20 p.m. Wednesday, forcing the soldiers to fire their guns.
Cuevas said bullets shattered the glass of one of the vehicles, which in turn injured the victims, who were all supporters of Mante.

More from Inquirer

Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte has asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to place the city under its control following reports that some of his supporters have been targeted for assassination.

Mr. Duterte made the call after former city administrator Wendel E. Avisado went before the poll agency saying that he is the target of enemies of the mayor.

Mr. Avisado based his complaint on the revelation of seven individuals who executed affidavits naming Rep. Pastor M. Alcover of the Alliance for Democracy Partylist and Jovito S. Palparan, a former general and the leader of the Bantay Partylist, as those behind the alleged assassination plot.

More from Business world

Communist insurgents on Friday opened fire on government troops guarding polling machines in the southern Philippines, wounding two infantrymen, officials said.

Officials said New People’s Army insurgents attacked the soldiers in the village of Taguibo in Davao Oriental’s Mati town where security forces were guarding the precinct count optical scan machines which will be used in the country’s first automated elections on Monday.

The New People's Army (NPA)' s Medardo Arce Command claimed responsibility over the kidnapping of a town mayor and his four military and police escorts in southern Philippines today.

The incident occurred in the morning, when Roberto Luna Jr., mayor of Lingig town, Agusan del Sur Province and his bodyguards were snatched as he was en route to visit an ailing child confined at a Davao City Doctors Hospital, the military said.

The NPA said its men had also confiscated five rifles and 4 pistols from the mayor's group.

More from Philstar

Suspected New People's Army (NPA) on Wednesday night abducted and disarmed campaigners of House Speaker Prospero Nograles in Tugbok district, Davao City.

Police identified 2 of the victims as barangay councilman Eddie Villamor and Daniel Nemiera.

More from ABSCBN

Notes from Mindanao Part Two

This is the second article from Migs Bassig.

Make sure you enjoy more of his writing style at

Day Two

7:28 AM: We start the day at a more reasonable time. But it’s still only seven. And I’m not a morning person. It’s going to be a long day. We’re still in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. Bob and Evelyn are surveying the Mindanao map at a separate table in the yellowish hotel lobby. I’m staring at a Nokia mobile phone, left on a stool; I’m staring in a way that non-morning persons are wont to do: without purpose. Someone was charging it. That someone comes in, and he’s wearing a United Nations t-shirt. He retrieves his phone and drives off in a red pickup truck with United Nations stickers on its doors. Bob, too, watches all this happen and says, “See, if I stole that phone, the wronged owner would still have pointed at Migs. I’m American. Evelyn is British.” Bob is right. I’m Filipino, the kind of person your mother warned you about.

10:01 AM: We’re in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte. The so-called “Bottled Sardines Capital of the Philippines”. Minutes earlier Bob got rid of the vile thing called Dodol. Left it at the gas station. Well, I volunteered and left the thing under someone else’s car. The snack was successful in looking like a pile of shit. I relished the feeling of doing something obnoxious. It was just like that of a teenager.

Then we drove until we got here, here being Dipolog’s foreshore boulevard. Why, of course there’d be sardines in this city. I can smell it in the open air.

It is a lovely place, I must admit that. On one side of the boulevard there are al fresco seats under summery parasols that accommodate the food kiosk customers. Kind of like what I’d expect to see in Florida, except there’s fish instead of fruit. Not that I’d ever been to Florida. On the other side, the waves of the Sulu Sea crash against the esplanade. Surfer’s waves, maybe stronger – crashing, then ebbing, then crashing again, the water lapping up the concrete shore in a loud calming rhythm. A number of locals are casting their fishing poles into the water. The men are wearing sweaters and baseball caps. The wind is even stronger and cooler today than yesterday in Parang.

12:21 PM: Done with lunch. Went to Chowking, the one inside the mall here at gritty Osamis City, Misamis Occidental. We all ordered Spicy Beef Chao Fan with spring rolls on the side. Evelyn finished the rice, which was a minor surprise.

2:31 PM: Seem to be stuck here at the RoRo terminal. Restlessness boiling within me like water in a cauldron. We’re waiting for the ferry that will take us to Lanao del Norte. I mean to say, we’re still waiting. On the way here, I noticed that the tricycle drivers have had their rest schedules painted on the back of their vehicles (“Day Off: Tuesdays”). Very peculiar. It must be some kind of traffic scheme and not a God-then-rested-on-the-seventh-day sort of thing.

“Bob,” I mutter from the backseat, “what does RoRo stand for? And can I bring my laptop with me?” I also wonder about security in the parking area. It turns out that RoRo stands for “roll-on/roll-off”, an arrangement in which the ferry is designed to carry wheeled cargo – meaning the car, meaning the car with all our belongings, meaning even cars with frightfully dumb passengers from Manila.

3:47 PM: Happiness is a thirty-minute ferry ride from one island to the next. Osamis to Lanao del Norte. The wind is blowing furiously, and storm clouds have gathered above, forming a crown of what looks like thick, slightly used cotton buds licking the mountaintop. I am astonished by how lovely all this is. I’m actually on a RoRo boat! I don’t mind that the splashes of water from both above and below are slapping my face wet. Somehow I feel like I have been taken back to the best parts of childhood. I promise myself to report the experience to mother.

7:33 PM: Then another long drive. This time, from the seaport all the way to the former capital of Lanao del Norte, which is Iligan City. It was raining all the way. Bob, Evelyn, and I are now inside Gilee’s Café on San Miguel Street. Cozy. Candle light. Paintings and maps of Italian seaside communities on the wall. The soft and teasing pitter-patter of drizzle on the roof. Outside, groups of young and energetic Iliganons walk the lamp-lit asphalt streets and take advantage of the numbered cool summer nights.

Our group is rather interracial, and gathers a few of Bob’s friends in the city: freelance photojournalist and coffee connoisseur Bobby Timonera, French-American Marc de Piolenc and his wife Sharon, and of course Gilee. Gilee is Italian, I think. Or French. Doesn’t matter. Both will work for me. Later someone points out to me that he’s Swiss. Of course I don’t say it doesn’t matter. The Persian kebab pasta, served by Gilee himself, is all kinds of delightful.

I’m starting to get sleepy, but I manage to catch tidbits of conversations on, among other things, American Idol, homosexuality, driver’s license pictures, Iligan’s many famous waterfalls, the city’s thriving steel and cement industries, and the challenges expats have to deal with while living in as misunderstood an area as Mindanao. Such scattered talk, and for me it feels quite right to think it European.

11:56 PM: The taste of coffee lingers. I can still taste it. I’m writing alone in my Oriental-style Wi-Fi-ready P450-a-night room at Famous Pension House and I’m wide awake because of that coffee. After dinner at Gilee’s Café, Bobby took our group to his exquisitely furnished Iligan City home. This guy, apart from having arranged in his parlor a library that betrays his intelligence and good taste, also has all delicious sorts of coffee to offer his guests. Monk’s Blend from Bukidnon? Critically acclaimed beans from Sagada? Yemeni? Civet? We settled for something. I don’t remember what it was. Well, I didn’t need perking up. I didn’t want perking up.

Yet I ended up with coffee and cupcakes. Falling asleep seems unlikely now. That’s a particular danger. I’m in the blessed islands of Mindanao and I might not be able to close my eyes again. Or, at the very least, I might not be able to close my eyes for the rest of this night.

Dancing prisoners

Blogger edward said...

just like to comment,on our jail visit.What a pleasant surprise,i was all set,after the visit,to be really sad and down for the next couple of days.Instead i found the opposite,inmates both men and womens prison,determined to show us foriegners that they may be down but not out.What a show they put on for us.I for one felt really humbled,and remembered the saying,there but for fortune go i.

This was the ladies dancing at our recent trip to MA A prison

So sorry about the camera angles.

Lights for Mindanao, and light on a murder plot

The Department of Energy (DOE) has allotted two million energy efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) for households across Mindanao in an effort to help reduce power consumption and to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change in the country.

In its continuous campaign for energy efficiency, DOE recently forged a memorandum of agreement (Moa) with eight electric cooperatives from Davao, Cotabato and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) for the distribution of the CFLs to their respective consumers.

From Davao Today

Murder plots against members of the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod party led by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte were uncovered after persons allegedly ordered to carry these out spilled the beans, disclosing even the mastermind.

Party-list Rep. Pastor Alcover of the Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD), quickly dismissed the plots and his alleged key role as nothing but drama

More from The Inqurer

From Migs Bassig part one

Today I found and opened a notebook I’d taken with me on a trip two years ago to Mindanao – a many-paged notebook, reporting a (more or less) three-day road trip. I didn’t take pictures. I remember that I’d hardly had any pocket money, and that I’d initially feared for my life.

Mindanao is the easternmost island group in the Philippines, just after Luzon and Visayas. It’s made up of a bunch of smaller islands, and it makes the world headlines frequently enough as a place that, sadly, continues to be disturbed by a number of extremist and militant Muslim groups. No one would dispute that Mindanao is a beautiful place, but at the time I was worried less about scenery than about having my name on a news ticker.

Reading these notes again, however, I remember too how I’d had the absolute time of my life. Fear, once it proved itself to be unnecessary, did not threaten to leave its traces on the pages. The notes are politically undisturbed and brave. I’m not always a brave man, and that’s why I hope you welcome these notes I now share.

Day One

4:07 AM: Sunday morning. Sun hasn’t risen. Just accepted invitation to go on a three-day road tour of the island of Mindanao with Bob (American friend) and Evelyn. Groggy and slightly uncomfortable in Bob’s car, a Nissan Adventure. Nissan Adventure: an appropriate vehicle for this trip. More sleepy than scared or excited, though. At least right now. Should be an eye-opener, especially for this Manila rat. A Kerouacian journey! Nasty motorcycle accident on Diversion Road here in Davao City, or the edge of it. Bloody helmet. Metal parts littered across the road. I can’t see the driver.

So awhile ago Bob played Chicago. Now it’s Jimmy Buffett. Na-na-na, na-na-na. Margaritaville.

I need coffee, even if it’s durian coffee.

7:31 AM: We’re in Cotabato – already. North? Or is this South Cotabato? Or Cotabato City? I’m not sure, but when was I ever sure. My first impressions of this province have been caricatured by news reports and editorials and scenes on TV and in the papers. Bombings, episodes of rebellion. Violence. Murders. Armed Muslims in intimidating skullcaps and color-coded scarves.

Seriously? This is Cotabato? Doesn’t seem as dangerous now, or as unfriendly, as its general reputation. On the contrary! Au contraire! I must learn more stylish-sounding French phrases. All the fruit vendors along the road smile. They’re pretty infectious. I wish more Filipinos would smile like that, and not just as a welcome to foreigners.

It’s so beautiful here. So beautiful, I feel like I haven’t been living. We saw the City Hall building awhile ago: very nice and mansion-y, but what do I know about architecture?
The only fears I nurture, passing through, are: Bob running over these cute chickens that hurry funnily across the mountainous road (“Watch out for that chicken!”); the orthopedic implications of unhinging my jaw at the length of Rio Grande de Mindanao; my committing faux pas in encounters with surprisingly friendly Muslims. Can I never talk to them about religion? Will they get offended if they see me make the Sign of the Cross? They’d probably be more tolerant.

The scenery here is luscious and green, like a golf course, with no holes, stretching to infinity.

10:18 AM: After rolling past places like Pikit, Pagcawayan, Sultan Kudarat, and a long line of what should be the tallest coconut trees I’ve ever seen in my life (and I’ve seen a lot of them), we arrive at Parang. Parang is in Maguindanao. Bob says something about this being the site of Camp Abubakar, former headquarters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Evelyn and I are too busy looking at the crowded wet market. It’s like everyone who lives in this place works in this market. It’s like a real provincial neighborhood and everybody knows everyone’s name. I wouldn’t really know how to describe it. A man in fatigues stands in the middle of the road, directing the flow of the traffic, even though there isn’t much of it. He makes Bob roll down the driver’s window for a quick check. (“Americanos!” No, not really, the guy doesn’t ask a single question.)

On a muddy street (there’s a slight drizzle), hoards of vendors are sun-drying fish and plying their trade in Bisaya. Well, it sounds like Bisaya. Rata-tata, rata-tata. Evelyn says he can’t distinguish it from my Tagalog anyway. Mine is also rata-tata, rata-tata.

We find more vendors when we stop five minutes later at a cemented bay walk that fronts the Moro Sea, across which we’re offered a glimpse of the hills of Lanao del Sur. Manila seems so far away. The wind is making my clothes dance. I’m flying! And someone’s fishing.

1:40 AM: Bob missed the Jollibee in Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur’s capital city. Yes, we're somehow in Zamboanga del Sur now. I’m starving. I should’ve opened my mouth when I saw the sign. Jollibee, McDonald’s, it doesn’t even matter. The next civilized commercial area is in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay province, over a hundred kilometers away. At least two hours! It’s rather amazing that hamburger chains have reached these far-flung areas. Well. I must be so narrow-minded I’ve always thought they existed only in Manila.
In the meantime, I make do with carrot muffins and raisin-spotted banana biscuits, courtesy of Bob’s wife, Feyma. She sent us off with these home-made delights. Lovely: there’s always so much “home” in home-made.

Bob, meanwhile, is eating something called Dodol, which is a brown, thick, and sloppy Muslim delicacy. He bought it from a Muslim lady with a sort of mobile kitchen cart on the side of the road. The thing is supposed to be akin to toffee. Dodol. Frankly it looks like shit. Shit in a green plastic bag on a dashboard of a Nissan. (Bob will eventually dump the leftover in Dipolog City.) The three of us have a terrible time containing our laughter.

6:16 PM: In Ipil. Having my Jollibee fix. Finally! Two-piece Chickenjoy with extra rice.
Looking out the window, I notice that there are motorbikes everywhere. Pedicabs. Festive, many-colored buntings that hang from telegraph wires. (What is this, Saigon?) And, on the sidewalks, barbecue grills with pork intestines and chicken feet on sticks. Yummy. The rising smoke mingles with the falling rain. I come from Manila where these sights aren't really rare, but everything here feels strange and seems beautiful, as in a pleasant dream. Like I’m in a Kazuo Ishiguro novel set in the tropics or something. Malleable. That’s the word I’m looking for. Malleable.

No place to sit down for a cup of coffee, though. Even Julie’s Bakeshop has run out of sachets of three-in-one. I’m absolutely stunned there’s even a Julie’s Bakeshop in here.

The men and women outside are looking at Bob and Evelyn with such curiosity! They haven’t even laid eyes on my, ahem, fuchsia shirt (pink being politically incorrect). I feel invisible now. Joe! Joe! It’s a kind of general welcome cry. For foreigners. If every Filipino can be called Juan then every foreigner can be called Joe.

7:20 PM: It’s still raining. Soaked now. I have like two t-shirts left. I couldn’t even find an umbrella in the only mall.
Oh, and someone just tried to talk to me in Bisaya. I was at once flattered and stumped. Funny, because among the three of us, I’m probably the one with the vaguest idea of where we are. I can’t say someone else from my university has been here, which should make me proud of my inability to decline. Not that I have a clue where this municipality is on the map. I’m the one asking the white guys for directions!

I do know where we’re staying for the night. Metro Ipil Mandarin Hotel. Inexpensive, such as hotels in Manila never are.

The hotel staff at the lobby offers me the room service menu. I ask if they have caldereta. Not available. Crispy pata? Not available. Adobo? Not available. It turns out they can prepare only salty fried chicken. With mounds of rice. And cheap ketchup, the kind that’s sweet and where you can see the black ground pepper.

I order anyway. Afterwards I leave the dishes just outside the front door, because that’s what they told me. They’ll just pick it up. As I do just that, I notice a decaying piano in the middle of the third-floor hallway. Goosebumps. Maybe this is The Unconsoled or something.

Migs has his own online magazine

Tin Pan Alley

Congratulations to Paul Salvage on his recording studio, here in Davao. Its becoming so popular, that it has an online presence.

Hello and welcome to my Blog/web pages. Having lived in Davao for three years now I found that there was a lack of training in the music industry, with only two other recording studios in Davao, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share some of my experince with the local Dabawenyos as there is a multitude of talent out there waiting to be tapped. Having since starting this page, I now notice that the competion is now doing training courses, well, the more the merrier. My next project is to find outlets for all this talent, perhaps someone out there can give me some ideas on how to get this out to the public. The studio has moved from strength to strength over the past year and expansion plans are now underway (will have to have kind words with my Landlord) for more space.
As for the site keep looking back as I should be updating on a regular basis with new recordings all the time, it will soon fill up.
I have not allowed downloading of songs as copyright does exist on the majority of them but please do leave comments for the authors, as this is inspiration for them, and if like a particular CD, then buy it as it gives the musicians a wage and a job too. Individual songs may also be purchased contanct me for details
Look forward to your comments,,
PS. I will change my picture above as soon as I have a shave (probably sunday before church)

Fun at ALS

After I last visited Als and Robz diner in Davao, It so reminded me of watching Happy Days in the 1970s.

Hence this silly video

I know its silly but I enjoyed making it.

Luxury house for rent in Bajada in Davao

This has now been rented but more are available, please contact

Sunday news

Government troops overran an Abu Sayyaf camp in Basilan following a two-day clash that killed one soldier and five members of the extremist group, a military official said Friday.

The capture of the Abu Sayyaf’s encampment in Baiwas village in Sumisip, Basilan on Wednesday was a result of the continuous combat operations against the group that launched a series of attacks in Isabela City, said Lt. Steffani Cacho, spokesperson of the AFP Western Mindanao Command.

More from Inquirer

THERE is an estimated 107,000 unemployed workers throughout Southern Mindanao, or equivalent to more or less six percent.

Based on the latest monitoring of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) in Davao Region, the 107,000 unemployed do not account for the new graduates last March 2010 as the figures only represented January 2010.

More from Sunstar

What a wonderful world

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 5th MAY at Gardena Fresca 9am

I will be in Manila, but I am glad to say Ken will be chairing.

We hope to have a guest speaker on security in Davao, and we will have more flyers from Paul.

Leon will be making a short talk on Lake Sebu.

Ken will discuss the questionnaire and venue.

Lets have ideas for a FOM night out too. I think we all deserve it!!

Barangay Baluntaya and Panacan

Nacionalista Party standard bearer Senator Manuel Villar Jr. on Friday condemned the murder of one of the party's organizers in Davao del Sur.

Villar said Sabas Suansing was shot to death by three unidentified gunmen in his home in Barangay Baluntaya in Don Marcelino town Tuesday night.

"In less than two weeks, two of our coordinators have been brutally killed. I call on the police to arrest this trend of violence not only against members of the NP, but all parties as well," Villar in a press statement.
More from gma

Soldiers in Davao region began casting their votes as part of the Commission on Elections' (COMELEC) Local Absentee Voting (LAV) inside this camp 3:00 PM Wednesday.

Around 1,000 soldiers in Davao region will be casting their votes in a three-day scheduled absentee voting starting April 28 and ending on April 30. In the Army's Division Headquarters in Davao City, 70 out of the 83 soldiers who applied for LAV were approved and casted their votes inside the Enlisted Personnel's barracks supervised by COMELEC representatives.

More from PIA

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