Monday, September 13, 2010

Catagbacan's first cruise

ship is Spanish galleon?


IF things run as planned, the first "international cruise ship" to call on the port of Catagbacan in Loon is a Spanish Galeon.


Governor Edgar Chatto said this, as the first phase of the cruise port project has been completed, and in no time at all, will be ready to berth a Spanish sailing galleon.


The galleon, which is set to arrive in Bohol a few days after October 8, would have students on an educational tour of the country, revealed event organizers from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.


On October 8, as the country and Madrid in Spain as well as Acapulco in Mexico commemorates the Dia del Galeon to bring up the historic journey Manila-Acapulco galleon trade, which started in 1565.


The cruise ship port of Catagbacan in Loon in a natural harbor of deep waters and is seen as the most ideal port for international cruise liners as it would not hamper with the operations of a regular port serving trade and commerce, Chatto explained. 


And as the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade lasted for another 250 years after 1565, history would tell that the extensive commerce brought about by the trade also gave way to cultural exchange, and became a vehicle for religious missions.


Because of the scope and historical significance of this historical episode in the country, "Dia de Galleon" was conceptualized, as Senator Edgardo Angara who initiated steering committee to forward "Dia de Galleon" was quoted in government websites.

Since the return route of the galleons from the Philippines to Mexico happened sometime November or October it was suggested that the official "Dia de Galleon" day will be on the first week of October, Angara was quoted again.

And as the Manila-Acapulco galleons served not just as carriers of trade but transmitters of culture, the commemorative run would reestablish the link it has created with Asia and the Americas, Europe and Africa, said UNESCO Jakarta director Hubert Gaijzen last July.


It may be recalled that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) through Jakarta Director Gijzen launched the Dia del Galeon in Bohol last July 22.


The launching also complemented the series of activities set for the celebration of Bohol Day.


The commemorative runs by the galleon is also seen in the light of the declaration of 2010 as the "International year for the Rapprochement of Cultures", which highlights the important links amongst and the diversity of cultures.


Meanwhile the completion of the second phase of the Catagbacan Port would surely establish Loon town as a new hub of tourism, trade and intercultural exchange activities, asserted Mayor Lloyd Peter Lopez. (racPIABohol)

Danao finally breaks habit,

Go for sanitation, hygiene


PERHAPS an out-building made of coconut and nipa leaves for a toilet merits no news at all.

But when it eloquently shows a community's first tentative steps to break a habit that kept generations from learning the benefits of sanitation and hygiene, it surely gives them the print space.

In Danao, Bohol, communities have started to dig the truth behind health, sanitation and clean environment, a fact that makes Danao Mayor Thomas Louis Gonzaga hopeful in his drive to bring his town off the hooks of poverty.

"I believe in good health starts with a clean environment" the mayor said and adds, "education is the key to good health."

Unsuccessful in their initial attempt to get the people digging for their own sanitary toilets despite the town providing toilet bowls, cement and technical help, the need to get people understanding the value of cleanliness finally got to them through the government's Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program (4PS).

Implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the 4Ps in Danao town also allowed beneficiaries, whom the town granted toilet construction materials, to sit on community assemblies and family development sessions.

It was through DSWD's Family Development Sessions (FDS) that program partners sa Department of Health, LGU and Department of Education picked the opportunity to deal with educating the beneficiaries the importance of having toilets.

Here, what the town could not do: educating their people was unwittingly advanced by the 4Ps.

Educating the people to contribute to a cleaner environment in line with the town vision of a brisk extreme eco-tourism activity as an engine for over-all development was then a big problem, Mayor Gonzaga admitted.

We want the communities to install sanitary toilets for health and hygiene purposes, but habit seems to get on the way, the athletic town chief executive confessed.

Adopting an approach called community driven development, communities identify their problems and map out solutions to them, explains a municipal social welfare officer of one of the DSWD 4Ps beneficiary towns.

4P is a national government poverty alleviation program that provides social assistance in conditional cash grants to extremely poor households to help them break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.

Its long-term objective is for communities to improve their health and education particularly of children aged 0-14 years old.

To continually avail of the cash grants, the government ascertains that family beneficiaries attend health and pregnancy assistance sessions, regular preventive health check-ups and vaccines for children, responsible parenthood sessions, mother's classes, parent-effectiveness seminar and family development sessions.

To keep the children informed, children of beneficiaries must attend day-care, pre-school, elementary and high-school at least 85% of the time. (rac/PIABohol/DSWD7)

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