Monday, August 29, 2016

8 Towns In Benguet To Be Hit By 12-Hour Brownout On August 31 (Wednesday)

In a notice of scheduled power interruption released on Sunday, the Benguet Electric Cooperative Inc. advised the public that eight towns in the province will be hit by a 12-hour brownout on August 31 (Wednesday). The whole towns of Atok, Kapangan, Kibungan, Bokod, Kabayan, Buguias, Mankayan and Bakun (except Kayapa Proper) will have their electrical power cut off from 6:00 in the morning to 6:00 in the afternoon.

According to BENECO, the power interruption will enable them to implement the following maintenance activities: tapping of new disconnect switches along the La Trinidad-Mankayan 69KV lines, replacement of rotten poles and cross-arms, and replacement of damaged insulators due to lightning strikes related to the previous line outages along La Trinidad-Mankayan 69KV lines.

In addition, parts of Baguio City will be affected by scheduled power interruptions on September 1 (parts of Sarok, Lexber Heights, Camp 7) and September 2 (Campo Sioco, Ferdinand Barangay, Woodsgate Subdivision, Camp 7).

Thursday, August 25, 2016

2 Dead, 1 Injured In A Car Accident Along Halsema Highway In Caliking, Atok, Benguet

Two people died and one person was injured when their car fell off a 100-meter ravine along a stretch of Halsema Highway in Kilometer 30, Caliking, Atok, Benguet. The accident occurred Friday morning (August 26). According to Bombo Radyo Baguio, a local radio station, the fatalities have been identified as Clifford Valdez (36 years old) and Estelita Valdez Sanchez. The one injured is Bradley Valdez. Bradley is currently being treated at the Benguet General Hospital (BeGH).

The three were reportedly on their way to Baguio City after attending a wake the night before in the nearby town of Buguias. Clifford, who was driving the vehicle, momentarily slept while holding on to the wheel, causing the car to swerve off the road and fell down the ravine.

Clifford Valdez was a police officer with a rank of SPO1 and Estelita Sanchez was a doctor. Bradley Valdez is the younger brother of Clifford.

Motorists plying the Halsema Highway are being advised to be more careful when driving through the road which is notorious for its sharp curves and drop-offs. If you are feeling sleepy, let someone else handle the wheel or better yet have some rest before going on the journey. Just a few seconds of dozing off while driving can cause the car to go off a cliff. Most of Halsema Highway isn't that wide, either. So the moment you get your bearings together, it would likely be too late.

So drive safely. And get some sleep before you hit the road.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Collection Of Kankana-ey Poems By Writer From Sagada Wins NCCA Writers' Prize

A writer/poet from the tourist town of Sagada in Mt. Province was announced as the winner in the Poetry: Kankana-ey Language category of the NCCA Writers' Prize. Gawani Domogo Gaongen earned the recognition for Sukat, a collection of poems penned in the Kankana-ey language. Gaongen received the certificate of recognition from Felipe M. De Leon Jr. (Chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts) and Christine Godinez Ortega (Chairman of the NCCA's National Committee on Literary Arts) during an event recently held at Barbara's Heritage Restaurant in Intramuros, Manila. Gaongen received the certificate wearing the traditional Igorot attire.

Gaongen is one of three winners announced by the NCCA. The other two winners are Estelito Jacob in the Novel: Rinconada Language category and Ritchie Pagunsan in the Drama: Kinaray-a Language category. The winners will receive a writing grant amounting to 250,000 pesos which will assist them during the writing stage of their projects. The writing grant is part of the NCCA's mission to directly foster the development and growth of Filipino literature. The NCCA Writers' Prize is staged every two years.

Gaongen has one year to write and complete the collection of Kankana-ey poems. When completed, the manuscript should contain at least 30 poems
Image credit: National Commission fro Culture and the Arts
What is the NCCA Writers' Prize?
"The NCCA Writers’ Prize is a biennial award given to five (5) writers, one for each category. For 2015, the award will be given to following categories: Poetry (Kankana-ey language), Novel (Rinconada language), Essay (Meranao language), Short Story (Kapampangan language) and Drama (Kinaray-a language). The award, in the gross amount of TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (PhP250,000), will assist the winner during the writing stage of the project. The award is good for one year, after which a manuscript of the writing project will be submitted to the NCCA for possible publication or staging." [Source]

Monday, August 15, 2016

Bid To Declare Kalinga Tattoo Artist Whang-od As A National Artist Gains Momentum

There's a good chance that the traditional Kalinga tattoo artist Whang-od will be awarded the distinction of being a National Living Treasure anytime soon. According to the Philippine Information Agency, representatives from the National Commission on Culture and the Arts will be conducting a review of Whang-od and her art to determine if she is deserving of the award. After validation, the nomination to include Whang-od in the country's growing list of recipients of the National Living Treasures Award will be forwarded to President Rodrigo Duterte for final approval. 

Who is Whang-od and why does she matter?
Born and raised in the village of Buscalan in Tinglayan, Kalinga, Whang-od is a tattoo artist who employs a traditional style in her craft. Her tattoo ink is a mixture of charcoal, ash, and water. And instead of a metal tattoo needle, she makes use of a thorn plucked from either a calamansi or pomelo tree. For the last few years, local and foreign tattoo enthusiasts have been traveling all the way to Kalinga to be inked by the grizzled 97-year-old artist. She has also been featured in various television shows, newspapers, and travel magazines. Just recently, Whang-od was prominently featured in an art exhibit held at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada. Whang-od is widely considered as among the very few people left who can still apply traditional Kalinga tattooing techniques. The good news is that Whang-od has been teaching her unique craft to young people in her village.

The road to being recognized as a national artist.
The campaign to have Whang-od recognized as a national artist took root sometime in 2015. An online petition was started and thousands of people signed to signal their support. The petition gained more traction when Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago filed a resolution urging the Senate to nominate Whang-od and Ligaya Fernando Amilbangsa as national living treasures.

The perks of being declared a National Living Treasure
Aside from being recognized as national artists and getting additional exposure to their works, recipients of the award will be given a customized golden medallion, an initial grant of 100,000 pesos, and a monthly stipend of 10,000 pesos for the rest of their lives. The awardees will also be receiving medical and hospitalization benefits and funeral assistance.
Whang-od gracing the cover of a travel magazine last year.
What are the requirements/qualifications in becoming a National Living Treasure?
The NCCA states that the nominee should possess the following attributes.
a. He/she is an inhabitant of an indigenous/traditional cultural community anywhere in the Philippines that has preserved indigenous customs, beliefs, rituals and traditions and/or has syncretized whatever external elements that have influenced it.
b. He/she must have engaged in a folk art tradition that has been in existence and documented for at least fifty (50) years.
c. He/she must have consistently performed or produced over a significant period, works of superior and distinctive quality.
d. He/she must possess a mastery of tools and materials needed by the art, and must have an established reputation in the art as master and maker of works of extraordinary technical quality.
e. He/she must have passed on and/or will pass on to other members of the community their skills in the folk art for which the community is traditionally known.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

3 Team Lakay MMA Fighters Score Victories In ONE Championship: Heroes Of The World

Three homegrown mixed martial arts fighters under the Team Lakay banner - Eduard Folayang, Honorio Banario and Joshua Pacio - scored impressive victories at the ONE Championship: Heroes of the World event which was held last night (August 13) at the Cotai Arena in Macau, China. In thoroughly dismantling Adrian Pang of Papua New Guinea, Folayang sent the message that he should be considered as a serious threat to the promotion's lightweight division which has been ruled by Shinya Aoki of Japan for the last three years. For his part, Banario continues his dramatic resurgence by grinding out a win over Eddie Ng of Malaysia. And last but not the least, Pacio proved once again that ONE Championship made the right call in signing him up by notching a submission victory over Kritsada Kongsrichai of Thailand.

Eduard Folayang vs Adrian Pang
This was a match-up between a striker (Folayang) and a grappler (Pang). What's interesting about the resulting clash was the fact that for most of the fight, Folayang dominated both the striking and grappling exchanges. The Team Lakay fighter mixed up his offense with kicks, jabs, and spinning back elbows. He was even able to pull off a perfect judo throw. Folayang was able to take Pang to the mat a few times to unleash his own version of ground-and-pound. Not Tito Ortizque in delivery but enough to cause damage and score points. Pang had his moments but never in the duration of the fight did he push Folayang into dangerous waters. With the win, Folayang is a step closer towards the golden opportunity: the chance to challenge Shinya Aoki for the ONE Championship lightweight title.

Honorio Banario vs Eddie Ng
Banario's stint in ONE Championship is weird, for lack of a better word. He took home the ONE Championship featherweight belt when he defeated fellow Cordilleran Eric Kelly in 2013. He lost the belt a few months later to Koji Oishi of Japan. He then lost four fights in a row (five if you include the one when he lost the belt). Banario started his resurgence early this year with a hard-fought victory over Vaughn Donayre. With his win over Ng last night, Banario has shown that he isn't yet ready to be counted out. It was a gritty tussle with both combatants nearly gassing out in the second round. Going into the third round, the big question was which of the two fighters has more left in the tank. Banario did and he even scored a knockdown. However, Banario has a lot of miles to go if he's planning to make another run for the featherweight title. This is considering the fact that the featherweight division is stacked with talented murderers, a bunch of whom was responsible for Banario's losing streak in 2013 to 2015.

Joshua Pacio vs Kritsada Kongsrichai
Pacio had a rough start in this fight. Kongsrichai was able to tie him up and drag him to the mat quite a few times. Every time the two fighters get on a clinch, Pacio was always getting the losing end of the stick. The tide of the fight changed during the last minutes of the fight when Pacio scored a takedown, took a full mount, unleashed his ground-and-pound, took Kongsrichai's back, and went for a rear-naked choke. With the win, Pacio extends his undefeated record to eight wins.
ONE Championship
The main event of the evening was a flyweight showdown between Adriano Moraes of Brazil and Tilek Batyrov of Kyrgyztan. At stake was the ONE Championship interim flyweight belt. Moraes's took home the bacon via submission in the second round.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Joshua Pacio Of Team Lakay Wins Bout In China; Extends Winning Streak To Eight

He had a rough start but he got the job done. Joshua Pacio, a mixed martial arts fighter under the Team Lakay banner, struggled in the first minutes of his fight against Thailand's Kritsada Kongsrichai at the Cotai Arena in Macao, China on Saturday evening (August 13). He was taken down to the mat several times and he was losing the exchanges every time the two combatants go to a clinch. But with under a minute remaining in the first round, Pacio was able to secure a takedown and that was the beginning of the end for the Thai fighter. While on a full mount, Pacio unleashed some vicious ground and pound which prompted Kongsrichai to try and wriggle his way out. Pacio saw his opportunity, took Kongsrichai's back, and went for a rear-naked choke.

With the win, the 20-year-old Pacio extends his winning streak to eight. Turning pro in 2013, Pacio is yet to be beaten inside the MMA cage. His fight with Kongsrichai is his second outing in the ONE Championship promotion. He debuted in the promotion in April of this year, notching a TKO victory over fellow Filipino Rabin Catalan.

Pacio vs. Kongsrichai was on the undercard of ONE Championship 45: Heroes of the World. Two other Team Lakay fighters - Honorio Banario and Eduard Folayang - were also featured in the card. The event was headlined by a flyweight showdown between Brazil's Adriano Moraes and Kyrgyztan's Tilek Batyrov.
With two wins under his belt, Pacio is now a serious contender in the ONE Championship's strawweight division which currently has Yoshitaka Naito as the champion. Naito got the belt from Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke in May of this year.

Short Film Set In A Mining Town In Benguet Currently Showing At The Cinemalaya Film Festival

If you happen to be within or near Manila this weekend, consider catching a screening of Butas, a short film that chronicles the struggles of a widow as she tries to raise her child in a sleepy mining town in Benguet. The film is part of the ongoing 12th edition of the Cinemalaya Film Festival which will wrap up this Sunday (August 14). Those who want to see Butas before the festival ends can catch a screening in the following dates and venues:

August 14, 2:00 pm at the Greenbelt 1, Cinema 1
August 14, 2:00 pm at the Up Town Centre, Cinema 3
August 14, 7:00 pm at the Ayala Center Cebu, Cinema 4

Here's the synopsis for the film: "Is a story of a woman miner from the Mountains of Benguet, who struggles to balance life as a miner and a single parent. Butas will take you to a journey in the life of a mother who is struggling to make ends meet but is hopeful of being able to provide a better life for her son. Due to poverty in her native land she was forced to work in a foreign country but comes back to the Philippines to take care of her son after the husband died from a mining accident."

And here's the trailer:

Film credits:
Main Cast: Jill Palencia Ibuyan, Jhaykien Nuyad, Skyzx Labastilla, Paul Temperante
Director: Richard H. Cawed
Producers: Richard H. Cawed / Andy Valenzuela / Erik Salvador
Colorist: Bernard Feliciano
Scoring: Chi Capulong
Production Coordinator:Em-em Parra
Drone Operators: Michael Andres Subido / Bobby CrisologoBarodi / Richard H. Cawed
Production Assistant: Yousef Abdul-Wahab
BTS Team: Martin Andres
Camera Operator/Gaffer: Edward Anastacio
Audioman/Gaffer: Rolly “Bigboy” Zuniga
Camera Lights and Audio Equipment provided by Bigtop Productions.
Poster Design: DodongDela Cruz
Editing: Anthony Hernandez
Written by: Richard H. Cawed