Ilocos Norte’s Paoay Lake is new international rowing site

Cherry Joy Discaya-Garma


PAOAY, Ilocos Norte – Once again, the town’s legendary Paoay Lake came back to life during the three-day invitational rowing event last week.


The panoramic lake has become popular among athletes as a rowing site following the holding of the International Regatta here last year,


The three-day event was organized by the Paoay Boat Club (PBC), the first boat club in the province. The group was simultaneously launched during the



The competition was participated in by various international boat clubs and rowing personalities in the country.


These were the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, the Manila Boat Club (MBC), representatives from the Philippine Rowing Association, the Ateneo Rowing Team and other delegates from Singapore and Australia.


Quintin Pastrana, the director for the MBC and one of the event’s core organizers, said the competition served as a training ground for participants especially the youth for a larger scale of rowing competition.


“The event aims to maximize the emerging potential of Paoay Lake as an international rowing center which is possible due to the upbeat tourism industry in the province, the scenic nature surrounding the lake and its size which is good for Olympic competition,” Pastrana said.


On the other hand, Mike Diaz of the Manila Boat Club said that Paoay Lake is very ideal for rowing events.


“The site is very apt for an international competition because it is close to the airport, very wide and meets international standard,” Diaz said.


Diaz, who is also a PBC co-founder, said that the group has purchased 20 world-class rowing boats that were used for the invitational regatta.


“Paoay Lake is a natural reservoir. This is a very ideal place to row so this even gives more potential for more rowers to come in and at the same time we have a lot of good boats for everybody,” Pastrana added.

The participants including locals were trained by top coaches from the international team and the Philippine Rowing Team which recently won silver and gold in the recent SEA Games.


Paoay Lake, a 387-hectare body of water located a few kilometers south of Laoag City, is a host to diverse biodiversity and some migratory birds including the Great Cormorants.


Its potential as a premier venue for water sports was first realized during 1970s where the opportunity to do ‘kayak’ was entertained.

“This Paoay Invitational Regatta is just a preparation for a bigger event, a major international regatta we are planning to have here in June,” Pastrana said. (MCA/CJDG, PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)


“Ilocos Sur Hotline” patuloy ang pagtulong sa mamamayan

 Ben P. Pacris


VIGAN CITY – Umabot na sa 4,712 na itinuturing na  “indigenous  people” o katutubo mula sa mga kabundukan sa Ilocos Sur, ang natulongan ng “Ilocos Sur Hotline”  na inilunsad ng pamahalaang probinsyal para maiparating ang mga programa at serbisyo ng gobyerno sa mga liblib na pook.


Ito ang iniulat ni Provincial Social Welfare Officer Ferdinand Concepcion sa naganap na pulong ng mga kinatawan ng iba’t-ibang ahensya ng gobyerno at nongovernment organizations (NGO’s) para sa validation ng Poverty Reduction Prrogram sa Sangguniang Panglalawigan Sesssion Hall sa Kapitolyo noong Enero 29.


“Sa pamamagitan ng Ilocos Sur Hotline, ipinapamalas ng gobyerno na hindi pinababayaan ang mga mahihirap nating kababayan na nasa kabundukan,” idiniin ng opisyal ng DSWD.


“Pati sa mga upland towns at coastal areas, ipinaparating ang mga programa at serbisyo ng pamahalaan para maiangat ang pamumuhay ng mga mahihirap nating kababayan,” dagdag ng opisyal.


Sinabi ni Concepcion na sa makasaysayang bayan ng Del Pilar, na kung saan napaslang ang bayaning Gen. Gregorio del Pilar sa kamay ng mga sundalong Amerikano, umabot ng 1,590 na katutubo mula sa mga itinuturing na “poorest of the poor” ang natulongan ng naturang programa noong nakaraang taon.


Ang mga iba pang lugar na natulongan ng Hotline ay ang Sugpon na may 958 katutubo ang nabiyayaan; Alilem, 1,458 beneficiaries; at 756 sa Sigay.


Para mapalapit ang gobyerno sa mga naninirahan sa mga depressed areas, nagbuklo-buklod ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno para maiparating ang medical at dental services, pagbibigay ng gamut, kagamitan sa pagtatanim ng mga magsasaka, reading glasses, wheel chair at tungkod sa mga matatanda, skills training at livelihood projects sa mga kabataan at walang trabaho at iba pang social services.


Ang “Ilocos Sur Hotline”  ay sinimulan noon ni dating Gob. Luis “Chavit” Singson na itinuloy ni Gob. Ryan Singson  at Vice- Gov. Deogracias Victor “DV” Savellano na napapakinggan ang programang ito tuwing Sabado, 9 a.m. – 12 noon, sa  dwRS Commando sa Heritage City ng Vigan.

Sa naturang programa, iba’t-ibang ahensya ng pamahalaan sa pamamagitan ng mga department heads ang tumatalakay sa kanilang mga programa at serbisyo sa mga Ilokano. May tumatawag din sa telepono o nag-te-text para maiparating ang mga karaingan, reklamo o mungkahi ng mga mamamayan para sagutin ng mga taga- gobyerno. (MCA/BPP/PIA -1 Ilocos Sur)

Authorities seize P.5M worth of dried marijuana

Miriam P. Aquino


SAN FERNANDO CITY  – Authorities seized P500,000-worth of high quality dried marijuana during a buy-bust operation along the national road in barangay Mameltac, Diversion Road this city last week.


Bismarck Bengwayan, of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, said the suspect identified as Moises Cortez, 31 and a native of Sitio Lib-Libo, Kayapa, Bakun, Benguet, was arrested during the buy-bust.  


Bengwayan said the suspect tried to evade arrest but was later captured by joint operatives from PDEA, the Police Regional Office 1 Regional Intelligence Division and the San Fernando City Police.


The suspect told the police he was merely ordered to deliver the drugs in exchange for a fee.


“The mere fact that he knew the contraband he was carrying and the money involved makes him responsible,” PDEA Regional Director Adrian G. Alvarino said.

Cortez was detained at the San Fernando City Jail and faces charges of violating the Dangerous Drugs law. (MCA/MPA/PIA1 La Union)


Pangasinan puts cap on dwindling carabao population

Elsha Marie Soriano


LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – The Pangasinan provincial government has started regulating the sale and slaughter of female carabaos to address the dwindling carabao population in the province.


Pangasinan was the first province in the country to pass and implement a regulation on the sale and slaughter of female carabao.


Gloria dela Cruz, Philippine Carabao Center director, said the number of female carabaos is diminishing in Pangasinan and in the entire country.


“Pangasinan’s carabao population comprises 60 percent of the carabao population in Region I,” de la Cruz said.


Based from the data of the Philippine Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, the total carabao inventory in the country has decreased by 1.62 percent from 2.93 million in 2012 to 2.88 million as of July 2013.


Records from the Provincial Veterinarian’s Office (PVO) showed that the carabao population in Pangasinan decreased by 29.5 percent from 110, 268 in 2010 to 77, 794 in 2013.


The PPC and PVO jointly conduct supervision and regular monitoring of carabao registry to address the decreasing rate of carabao and help save the carabao industry in the province.


De la Cruz said the PPC has chosen Pangasinan as point of development of the genetic improvement program (GIP) to increase its carabao population rate as the center eyes the province to be the Center of Carabao Dairy of the North.


The program includes artificial insemination and bull loan.


Dela Cruz added that the members of the two dairy cooperative in the province will undergo training and seminar on carabao raising and will be given cross bred Italian carabaos.


The regulation prescribes guidelines and procedures that will ensure continuous herd build-up as production base for the carabao-based enterprise development.


Eric Perez, officer-in-charge provincial veterinarian, said Provincial Ordinance No. 170  will provide the establishment and maintenance of provincial and municipal animal registry for carabaos, riverine buffaloes and crossbreds carabaos for carabao-based enterprise development.


Under the ordinance, an owner of a female breedable carabao shall obtain clearance from the City or Municipal Agricultural Office before the animal is sold or slaughtered.


The law also imposes a penalty on the failure to register carabaos to the Province Carabao Herd Registry (PCHR) and non-cooperation in the monitoring of status and performance of carabaos.


The agricultural office shall issue a prescribed form approved by the committee to be filled-up by the owner.


Perez said a livestock inspector will determine whether the animal is breedable or not, if so, prospective seller will be offered with a buy-back scheme within two days.


Those who fail to comply with the rules and regulations set by the ordinance will receive a reprimand from the City or Municipal Agriculture Office, Provincial Veterinarian Office (PVO) and the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) in La Union and a one hour-orientation regarding carabao development plan.


A second offense means revocation or cancellation of license to transport livestock.

Copies of the ordinance will be distributed to all cities and municipalities of the province through a two-day caravan that will start in Western Pangasinan on February 13-14. (MCA/EMS/PIA-1, Pangasinan)

Ilocano athlete eyes Olympics after hurdling SEA games

Freddie G. Lazaro


LAOAG CITY (PIA) – Decathlete Jesson Ramil Cid of Dingras, Ilocos Norte is setting his sights on the Olympic Games after winning the gold medal in the 27th South East Asian Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar in December last year.


Cid, who just returned from training, expressed optimism he will compete in the Olympic decathlon noting that he needs to gain enough points to qualify to the event.


“I am very much happy to represent our country in the 27th SEA Games. But I still need to work hard to join bigger competitions. I will not stop. Instead I will work hard and pray and hopefully someday, I can compete in the Olympics,” he said.


After setting a new record of 7, 038 points in the field of decathlon, Cid was named as the “New Iron Man” of SEA Games. He broke the national mark of 6,963 points set by Fidel Gallenero in 2001.


According to Cid, decathlon was his chosen field as it challenges him to do multiple events.


“Multiple events challenge me that’s why I chose decathlon,” he said.


Joining the decathlete had opened the doors for Cid to compete for bigger events, such as the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) where he was awarded as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for three consecutive years and the recently concluded 27th SEAG.


Cid led the awardees of the first ever Sirib Youth Awards in the celebration of the 196th foundation anniversary of Ilocos Norte last February 2. 

The Sirib Youth Awards is a tribute to young Ilocanos whose contributions made the province and the country proud. (MCA/FGL PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)


Organikong pagtatanim, panlaban sa Climate Change

Ben P. Pacris


VIGAN CITY – Hinamon  ni Asst. Regional Director  Cesar Escobar ng Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 1 ang mga Ilokanong magsasaka na panahon na para maitaguyod ang organikong pagtatanim bilang panlaban sa matinding epekto ng Climate Change na pumipinsala sa sektor agrikultura.


Ito ang idiniin ni Asst. Dir. Escobar sa naganap na  Balikatan  at Agricultural Night bilang bahagi ng  taunang  Kapistahan ng Heritage City noong nakaraang Linggo sa Plaza  Salcedo na dinaluhan ng mga grupo ng mga magsasaka at kababaihan.


“Lumiliit, umiiksi na ang mga taniman sa Ilokos dahil sa sobrang paggamit ng chemical fertilizers at pestisidio na nakakasira sa mga lupain,” iginiit ng opisyal ng DA.


May mga lupaing pang-agrikultura  na dapat sanang  tamnan ng mga magsasaka ngunit itinayo na ang mga istrakturang pang- negosyo  o pribadong tahanan kaya lumiliit na ang mga lupain maliban pa sa apekto ng Climate Change.


Sinabi ng direktor na maigting na  inilulunsad  ang kampanya ng DA  tungkol sa  Organic Farming para mapangalagahan ang kapaligiran at maisalba pa ang mga natitirang lupain para sa Food Production Program ng gobyerno.


Hinikayat pa niya ang mga magsasaka na magtanim ng mga hybrid crops o mataas na uri ng pananim tulad ng mais, palay, gulay at iba pang produkto para tumaas ang ani at income ng mga magsasaka.


Tuloy-tuloy din ang ipinapatupad na pagsasanay ng mga magsasaka tungkol sa mga modernong teknolohiya at siyensya ng pagtatanim dahil ito na ang hamon sa makabagong panahon, sinabi ni Escobar , maliban pa sa mga seminar na tumutukoy sa mga “Best Parctices in Agriculture.”


Samantala,  inihayag  ni Provincial Agriculturist Teofilo Quintal na bumaba na rin ang bilang ng mga magsasaka dahil nabibilang sa daliri ang mga nag-eenroll ng kursong agrikultura.


“Tumatanda na ang mga magsasaka, tumatanda na rin ang mga agrikulturista sa DA, sino pa ang papalit sa kanila kung ang mga anak nila ay kukuha ng kursong engineer, teacher, accountant at iba pang  profession,” ani Quintal.


Nababahala ang opisyal ng DA na  b aka darating ang panahon na wala nang mamamahala sa mga  bukirin dahil mas in demand ang mga kursong pang- professional kaysa  pang- agrikultura. (MCA/BPP/PIA -1 Ilocos Sur)




Vigan Heritage Village, dapat mapreserba at maitaguyod- Drilon

Ben P. Pacris


VIGAN CITY – Hinikayat ni Senate President Franklin Drilon ang bawat mamamayang Filipino hindi lang mga Ilokano  na magkaisa at magbuklo-buklod para mapreserba at maitaguyod  ang Vigan Heritage Village bilang simbolo ng kasaysayan at magneto ng turismo at kalakalan.


“Dapat  mapreserba at maitaguyod ang cultural heritage   dahil nakaukit na ito sa World Heritage Sites ng UNESCO at alay para sa hinaharap na henerasyon,” idiniin ni Senador Drilon bilang panauhing pandangal sa naganap na  inagurasyon ng Dancing Fountain Phase 2 sa Plaza Salcedo sa Heritage City noong nakaraang Linggo.


Sinabi ng Ilonggong mambabatas na dapat suportahan ng mga  kapuwa Filipino sa lahat ng sulok ng mundo ang kampanya para mapili ang Vigan Heritage Village  sa “New 7 Wonders- Cities of the World.” Ang Vigan City ang pambato ng Pilipinas para sa prestihiyosong pandaigdigang paligsahan ng mga Heritage Cities.


Sinabi ng kaalyado ni Pres. Benigno Aquino III na ang Vigan ay nagsisilbing magneto ng turismo na bumibighani sa mga local at dayuhang turista para masilayan ang mga makasaysayang “Bahay Kastila” o Castillan Homes na pangunahing atraksyon sa Ilocos Sur na itinuturing na Primera Klaseng Probinsya.


Inihayag pa ni Senador Drilon na susuporta sa mga adhikaing pang-turismo para umangat ang ekonomya at makalikha ng hanap-buhay sa mga kababayan na ito rin ang adhikain ng administrasyon ni P-noy.


Ayon naman kay Gob. Ryan Singson ang “Dancing Fountain” ay pandagdag atraksyon sa turismo maliban lang sa main attraction na Vigan Heritage Village at iba pang tourist spots at historical landmarks sa lalawigan dahil ang eco-tourism ang pinag-uukulan din ng pamahalaang probinsyal.


Ang city government ng Vigan na pinamumunuan ni Mayor Eva Medina ay pinarangalan ng World Heritage Centre nang ipinagdiwang ang ika- 40 na World Heritage  Convention sa Kyoto, Japan noong  Nobyembre  8, 2012 bilang “Best Practice  in Heritage Conservation, Preservation and Management.”


Ayon kay Mayor Medina na sa pamamagitan ng Heritage Conservation Program nakatulong para makilala sa buong daigdig na buhay pa rin ang kasaysayan mula sa panahon ng Kastila hanggang ngayon ditto sa Vigan.

Dahil din sa epekto ng turismo, nabiyayaan ang mga Bigueno sa progreso na tinatamasa ng Heritage City na nanalo rin ng “Gawad Pamana ng Lahi” award dahil sa kakaibang   kontribusyon  sa larangan ng “good governance “ at “ excellence in local governance” (MCA/BPP/PIA 1- Ilocos Sur)