Tuesday, September 27, 2016

No Classes In All School Levels In Benguet On September 30 (Friday)

It's going to be a long weekend for students and teachers in the whole province of Benguet. Governor Cresencio Pacalso has issued an executive order declaring no classes in all school levels on September 30, 2016.

This suspension of classes is part of the province's observance of Teachers' Day. The order affects both public and private educational institutions. Teachers' Day is a special day set aside for the appreciation of teachers and their contributions to society.

The provincial government has activities lined up for the celebrations which include educational talks, presentations, and a pageant dubbed Search for Mr. and Ms. DepEd Benguet.

The Cordilleran Sun file photo.
Here's a part of the executive order by Governor Pacalso dated September 6: "Pursuant to Provincial Ordinance No. 15-170 entitled "An Ordinance Declaring Last Friday of September Every Year as Official teachers' Day in the Province of Benguet and Appropriating Funds Thereof", by the virtue of the powers vested in me as the Provincial Governor of Benguet, I hereby declare that there will be no classes in all levels of public and private schools within the province of Benguet on September 30, 2016, in celebration of Teachers' Day."

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Public Advisory: Kennon Road To Be Closed From September 27 To October 3

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has released an advisory stating that Kennon Road will be temporarily closed to vehicular traffic from September 27 (Tuesday) to October 3 (Monday). According to the agency, this is because urgent rehabilitation work needs to be done on the bridge located in Camp 5. 

Kennon Road is among the three major access roads that connect Baguio City and Benguet to the lowlands via the towns of Pugo and Rosario in La Union. With the road's closure, motorists and commuters are being advised to take Marcos Highway instead.

Because of the accidents and landslides that occur on Kennon Road every year, it's considered as one of the most hazardous roads in the Philippines. Majority of these accidents happen during the rainy season.

The DPWH expects the rehabilitation work to be finished on October 3. For motorists or commuters who have further questions, you can contact the regional or provincial offices of the agency.
A portion of Kennon Road. Photo by Ryan Cruz via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Kalinga Tattoo Artist Whang-od Likely To Receive National Living Treasures Award

Maria "Whang-od" Oggay, the 97-year-old traditional tattoo artist from Kalinga is just a hair's breadth away from receiving the National Living Treasures Award (Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan) from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Whang-od is one of the few people who still practices traditional tattooing in the Cordillera region. She is now teaching her unique craft to two of her young granddaughters.

According to Ferdinand Isleta, the head of the Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts section of the NCCA, they are now in the process of completing the documents and records necessary for Whang-od's recognition as a national artist. It can be recalled that a week or so ago, representatives from the NCCA visited Whang-od in Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga as part of the validation process. The final step in the process would be the forwarding of the documents to President Rodrigo Duterte. If signed by Duterte, only then will the award be conferred to the recipient. The awarding ceremony is usually held at the Malacanang Palace.

If given the award, Whang-od will be the second artist from the province of Kalinga to receive such a recognition. Alonzo Saclag, a dancer and musician from Lubuagan, Kalinga was conferred the award back in 2000. So far, only thirteen people have been given the award. The most recent one was awarded in 2012 to Magdalena Gamayo, a weaver from Ilocos Norte.

A larger than life photo of Whang-od displayed during an art exhibit at the Royal Ontatio Museum in Toronto. Canada last April. Photo courtesy of Kayleen Kwet.
If given the award, Whang-od will receive a customized golden medallion, an initial grant of 100,000 pesos, and a monthly stipend of 10,000 pesos for the rest of her life. She will also receive medical and hospitalization benefits.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Baguio City Artists to Mount a Street Art Exhibit for a Cause

Several artists in Baguio City are coming together to mount an art exhibit meant to raise funds for art tools and materials that will be given to one of their own: Alex Musni. Alex, in his own right, is an accomplished artist. Alex has lost both of his arms but this doesn't stop him from drawing, painting, and creating his own art.

The art exhibit is called Pasa-Kalye and it will be held at the Bookends Bookshop on September 24 and 25 (Saturday and Sunday). Works of art from a variety of disciplines - painting, sculpture, photography - will be on display at the exhibit. Artists will also be on site for sketching and painting sessions. You can have your portraits sketched or painted during the exhibit.

Organizers of the event are also accepting book donations which will be used in another project called Libro Mo, Inspirasyon Ko. This is an outreach program with the mission of building libraries in far-flung schools within the Cordillera region.

Artists who want to be involved in the art exhibit can contact Maricar Docyogen of Bookends for additional details. You can view the event page for the exhibit here.
Photo by Carl Taawan [Baguio Smile]

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Duterte Supporters Inventing Quotes For Vladimir Putin

The photo is spreading on Facebook like a wildfire on a drought-infested African savanna. It shows a somber image of Vladimir Putin - President of the Russian Federation - on the cover of Time magazine. Photo-shopped into the image is a quote that says, "I admire President Duterte. Drug lords and notorious criminals are not humans, therefore they are not entitled to human rights."

Although it wouldn't be surprising to hear such an utterance from the Russian leader, he never said it. A quick Google search for the quote shows it belongs to someone named Jose Alejandrino. Apparently, one skewed Duterte warrior decided to copy the man's commentary then claim that it came from the mouth of the Russian leader.

As to the Time magazine cover, it's from way back in 2007. What's baffling is that thousands of Filipinos believed the statement.

Here's just a few of the comments posted by those who swallowed the hoax:
1. "Cguro konti lang ang nakaka alam na c pres. F.E.Marcos ang unang nag bukas ng relasyon natin sa Russia."
2. "I go with that! Actually, if one chooses to be a criminal, he should be automatically stripped off of his civil and human rights. What a wonderful world it would be."
3. "Mas excited c ttay digong n mkilala at mkausap c president putin kesa obama dhil iisa ang knilang pananaw ukol s paglaban s kriminalidad. Glit c obama kay putin dhil d cya agree s gusto ni obama." 4. "nong say niyo TAE ROSALES,CHR,Lai lai na de Lima pa ang lalaki mo, Risa HontiVIRUS sa sinabi ni Putin?"
5. "True leader and great men are like birds of the same feathers flocks together the same leadership advocacy and principles."

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.