Saturday, August 4, 2012

DTI opens helmet sticker 
Issuance desk at the ICM 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, August 3, 2012 (PIA)—Intent on easing out access to consumers and motorists securing the proper stickers on their previously bought crash helmets, the Department of Trade and Industry opens up a desk at a local mall here to enhance its services. 

DTI Consumer Division Chief Jose Hibaya bared this at the Kapihan sa PIA just as the country implements the mandatory motorcycle helmet law August 1, upon all motorcyclists and their back-riders while on the road. 

The DTI opens up a Product Standards (PS) mark or Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) marks in hologram stickers at the Activity Center of the Island City Mall for the whole month of August, Hibaya revealed. 

This is to ease out access of consumers and motorists who find it hard to get to the DTI in its second floor office at the FCB Building along CPG North Avenue. 

The refunds on certification fees for those who have previously paid to the DTI is still served at the local office however, Hibaya said. 

Motorists who have seen this development hailed the decision as a sign of goodwill for the government to the motorists who have yet to secure the proper marks on their helmets bought before the law took effect. 

In the implementation, by joint memorandum with the Department of Transportation and Communication, the DTI is mandated to check on the standards of each motorcycle helmet in the market while making sure that proper and standard crash helmets are used in the streets. 

According to Republic Act 10054 or the Motorcycle Helmet Law, the DTI, through the Bureau of Products Standards conducts a mandatory testing of all manufactured and imported motorcycle helmets in the Philippines. 

A PS or ICC mark is issued to all manufacturers and importers of standard protective motorcycle helmets whose products pass the standards tests,” said DTI Bohol provincial director Ma. Elena Arbon. 

On the other hand, Hibaya bared that by law, all motorcycle helmets that can be secured in the markets today should already have the ICC or PS marks, as mandated by law. This means, the DTI is not anymore issuing the standard stickers to new helmets without stickers, he warned. 

However, some enterprising businessmen have sold in the market helmets of dubious origins, these having no PS or ICC marks. This makes the DTI task equally challenging, admits Vierna Teresa Ligan, DTI Bohol spokesperson. 

Also, according to Arbon, the local DTI is tasked to issue certifications to previously purchased crash helmets that have passed the Bureau of Products Standards (BPS) of the Philippines but of which, the product have not been stamped with the correct markings. 

The task has been centered at the DTI office, which is not as accessible compared to the mall venue. 

The DTI issues the certification to old helmets based on a partial list of accredited helmet manufacturers whose products passed Philippine standard tests from 2009 to 2012. 

This means that manufacturers of helmets which had secured the BPS green-light earlier than 2009 may not be in the list anymore. 

On this, Hibaya said the BPS list has grown to 64 certified local and imported manufacturers, a list which can be available at the DTI. (30)

Traffic at Junction-Cortes road 
Closes Monday, road works on 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, August 3, 2012 (PIA) – Finally, a dangerous portion of the highway that has already claimed lives of motorists and commuters in the past gets its long overdue corrective measure. 

The characteristic dangerous curve branching off the highway in Cortes immediately takes an ascent which has caused engine failures in the past. 

Recently, the landslide in sitio Lilo-an has caused a reroute where all types of vehicles headed to Tagbilaran North road and Tagbilaran to Sagbayan were diverted to the junction road, causing the asphalt road to deteriorate fast, jeopardizing a sub-base that was net designed for heavy traffic. 

Beginning Monday, August 6, Cortes access from junction Salvador to Cortes Central Elementary School would be closed to traffic due to construction of the portion of the highway. 

In a notice sent to the Philippine Information Agency by the contractor’s General Manager Venus Manigsaca, Ven Ray Construction informs the public that the Junction Road at Cortes going to Balilihan (kilometer 8+892 to kilometer 9+434) would be closed for the concreting project. 

According to the Bohol Engineering District 1 of the Department of Public Works and Highways, the job would need the contractor to do some alteration of the grade of slope and some corrective engineering to the sub-base to stabilize the soil upon which the concrete highway would be laid. 

Over this, the contractor advises those who wish to travel through the area to take the National Road along Tagbilaran North Road until Sitio Lilo-an Poblacion and then go up by the Southern Industrial Project (SIP) onward to their destinations. 

For those who would be inconvenienced by the development, especially that Cortes would be celebrating the feastday of Saint Roche (San Roque) on August 15-16, the contractor also assured that the road section would be partially opened after the completion of the excavation works and as soon as the safety of passing vehicles and commuters can be assured. (30)

Cajes named senior 
presidential adviser 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TRINIDAD, Bohol, August 3, 2012 (PIA) –The National President of the League of Municipalities (LMP) of the Philippines (LMP) appoints Boholano Chapter president Atty. Roberto Cajes as Senior Presidential Adviser. 

The appointment, signed by no less that the LMP National President Mayor Reynaldo S. Navarro elevates Cajes to the LMP National Executive Committee (NEC) and allows him some privileges and perks allowable to the NEB. 

The position also gets Trinidad Bohol mayor Cajes to report directly to the president on matters regarding LMP and local government organizational policies and reform agenda needing presidential attention and support. 

Through the efficacy of an appointment signed by LMP National President dated July 6, Mayor Cajes has also been directed to efficiently discharge of the duties and functions of the office effective immediately. 

Mayor Reynaldo Navarro, LMP National President said the Cajes’ appointment is pursuant to the provisions of Section 120 of the Article VIII of the LMP By-laws. 

But before anyone thinks the appointment is already a neat opportunity for local government officials to be merry as the appointment frees a seat vacated by the mayor. 

Put that in a milleau when the filing of electoral intent to be elected closing in, the implications become politically critical. 

Trinidad Administrative Officer Judith Cajes said the mayor does not need to resign or relinquish his post in the town as the appointed does not need to be there more often. 

The Cajes appointment also came in as the LMP discovered the need to fill in vacant positions in the National Executive Board 

For Mayor Navarro, positions which were unattended need to be filled to ascertain the participation of the most diverse reactions from people attending their group activity. 

In an executive committee resolution, the LMP said the Execom members see the importance of filling up all vacant positions in the NEC who can help in crafting of policy decisions and in implementing much needed programs and projects that are beneficial to its members.. 

On that account, Mayor Cajes sits on the slot left by Bacoor Mayor Strike Revilla, whose town has just been elevated as component city. 

Trinidad town Administrator Judith Cajes said the appointment came to them as a major surprise. (30)

Catigbian is second best Sandugo 
street dancers four times in a row 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

CATIGBIAN, Bohol, August 4, 2012 (PIA) – Consistent even to the dot, Catigbian’s Tribu Katigbawan bagged the first runner up in the annual Sandugo Street dancing Festival Competition held Sunday at the CPG Complex here. 

For the feat, Mayor Roberto Salinas said the accomplishment is enough for the town’s young dancers to gain the confidence to appear in front of large crowds and perform top the best of their ability like professionals. 

Not showing any remorse even with some insinuations that there was something wrong with the judging compared to the crowd response during the competition, Mayor Salinas admitted that they tried their best against three other equally good dancing contingents. 

It can be recalled that since 2008, the Municipality of Catigbian consistently participated in the Sandugo street Dancing and competition and the Search for Ms. Sandugo. 

This enthusiastic participation gained so much honor and prestige to the locality, Mayor Salinas admits. 

"We are not discouraged in sending contingent simply because we are not after the awards, he said. 

What we always envisioned is for the total personality development of our student-participants" the mayor strongly pronounced. 

Tribu Catigbianon represented by the students of Immaculate Mary Academy even bagged Best in Production Design in the recently concluded 2012 Sandugo Street Dancing and showdown. 

Catigbian’s Tribu Katigbawan bowed down as second best after new dancing contingent from the Bohol Island State University, which bagged this year’s championship award. 

Never lacking in participants, Catigbian has an annual celebration of the town's Katigbawan Festival every 3rd week of June which lays the ground for major street dancing talents. This also eases out the town's chances of sending contingent to Sandugo street dancing competition, said town tourism officer Ardessa Estavilla. 

At the very least, we have consistently shown that we can entertain audiences, the ecstatic mayor Salinas shared, a good five days after the competition. 

"We are very proud of our students who displayed enthusiasm and impressive performance despite the meager financial funds we have allocated to the group", Mayor BertSal pointed out during the convocation program held a day after the event. 

In a decision that choreographers claimed to be dubious, Mayor Salinas, whose euphoria has obviously not settled down admitted that he has been told to file a complaint on the judging, but confessed he has high respects for the organizers and that winning second best unburdens them of the responsibility to defend the trophy next year. 

In an informal turn over ceremony of trophy and plaque of recognition held last Monday during the convocation program, Fr, Danilo Maniwan, IMA school director and Mrs. Amelia N. Anunciado, school principal, expressed heartfelt gratitude to the local government unit for the financial support amounting to 135,000 that was budgetted for the contingents' needs. 

Mayor Bertsal emphasized that the LGU will not dip a finger on how the contingent utilizes the cash prizes, however, he requested that he will be informed as to where the amount of 180,000 will be allocated so he can also answer, if there are inquiries, on the utilization of the prizes. (30)

How nature tried to stop us and failed 
Capturing Beauty under the PPURing rain 

I came to the famed Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) with enough feeling of dread. 

First, because I am no photographer in the strictest sense of the word. 

Second, I was born with a belief that says when taking pictures of the realm of the mysterious, you would be lucky to get one good shot. 

But the famed beauty of Palawan’s Puerto Princesa Underground River is like attempting to get a picture, even of the yeti’s blurred apparition. 

It is totally assuming for a non-photographer, impossible for one with the minimum equipment and unthinkable when one would not even realize what he has gotten himself into. 

The thought of possibly catching in pixel the mystery of Beauty which the master sculptor has hidden to man’s eyes in millions of years, is in itself, daunting. 

For me, it is that same feeling of tiptoeing to the sanctuary of St. Paul’s Basilica: you would never know what kind of lightning an insignificant transgressor hits you anytime. 

After all, beauty, like anything beyond the commerce of man should never be imprisoned in the flat confines of a canvass, the three dimensional world of film or the pixel-filled image of the digital world. 

But, so that the Beauty of mystery be approximated in human expression, I, with humblest intention, asked the Master Sculptor to get me a glimpse of his masterpiece, even if it is for only half a second. (a click of the shutter release button at 1/1000 would be more than enough for me.) 

Armed with a Canon 1100D with its normal 18-55 mm lens and a lens hood that should shield my exposures from unwanted light, I eagerly (I have to admit) recalled the most probable things I would need. 

Then I realized, I had my first turn off. (this must be nature’s way of frustrating my good intentions, but I was determined) 

You would ask why? Because of all the equipment I would terribly need inside a cave, I missed the most important. 

I could not find my Canon 270 EX Speedlite external flash from among my camera accessories in the pack. 

It would have been very useful as I was imagining a bounced flash lighting as a way of showing the contours of a stalactite or stalagmite. 

My second turn-down: the day we were to get to Sabang, a barangay in Puerto Princesa a hundred kilometers away from the city proper, rain “PPURed” in torrents, if only to mix and match the “raining cats and dogs things” with the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) in my blog. 

The thought of rains, heavy at that, made me imagine the van’s roof getting pelted with airsoft ammunition, is a downer. 

No normal photographer would ever expose even a nominal equipment with the sound of a Canon in that environment, unprotected. 

The thought of carrying an unprotected camera in the rain (with nothing but a thin rain coat) is stupid enough. But I was so determined to capture that elusive beauty, especially of the seldom photographed subterranean river, a allowed myself to be stupider than stupid. 

The rain, it would seem to compound my problem inside the cave: you put out your camera and a drip from an unseen stalactite could ruin your equipment. The drip, according to Nonoy, out boatman guide (no?) is induced by the rain outside. But that is getting ahead of the story. 

Yes, it was raining at the port of Sabang, some hour and forty five minutes from Legend Hotel in Puerto Princesa. 

And then I saw my third turn down: the flimsy boat that would ferry six of us to the cave entrance could not convincingly protect my camera from getting wet. 

By now, you must have asked why the obsession to the P30K equipment when Canon line carries the P200K to half a mil kind of professional cameras. 

Yes, I have to admit. I lost a Nikon D40 then, to the way I pursue my ambition, even risking my equipment in the process, just like now. 

And I do not earn that much to simply cast the 1100D aside and surrender like I did with the Nikon. 

Never the less, I managed to hide my cam, bulging behind my thin raincoat and a sogging wet orange life vest. Yes, the waves were unusually turbulent on this side of the country, the coves and rock formation jutting out of the water creating foams that spray mist two stories high. 

That should be my turn down last turn down, I told myself. 

For how could I heap all the “bad luck” in the world in a day? 

After an agonizing wait for our turn, we fitted our butts in a fiberglass paddle boat. Ah yes, a paddle boat. Meaning it should be shaky, and I could kiss my memorized aperture or shutter settings goodbye. My fifth turn down. 

The boat has a light though, a spotlight powered by a car battery. 

Yes, spotlight that emits you usual car light where there are patches of thick and thin lenses that cast ghastly play of lights and shadows in the cave walls. 

I was imagining; as the boat glides, these shadows and lights may be masked by the contours of a cave, no big deal. 

Then I heard the boat man that the tourist sitting aft would operate the light, manually. 

Big deal. Or no Big deal. 

A good lightman would know where to beam the light to attain the correct perspective. Beaming it on the water would provide a good bounced light. A yellowish stalactite or cave wall would highlight an entirely different world. 

But the lightman, with the huge responsibility on his hand, sweeps the light like he was holding a paintbrush and doing a gigantic graffiti on the cave walls instead. 

I sat alone on a seat for two before the stern paddler. Right in front of me are six heads; I mean helmets, white, just the right kind that would spoil my composition when that swinging beam of spotlight hits the helmet. Sixth turn-off. 

Maybe, the Master Sculptor really does not want what I will be doing so he stacks up the odds. All against me. 

But, I told myself, whoa, I could always time my shots when that light doesn’t hit the helmets. No big deal. 

So I still went in the cave; our boat and some four others, with about ten more boats, lights swash-bucking like the return of the Jedi in na surreal world of tungsten induced illumination. 

These other lights, I could not direct. 

In fairness, some “light-men tourists” may know the basics. But the other lightmen in other boats may have not the faintest idea their lights could ruin my shots. That would be my seventh turn off. 

Then I said, Master (for the master sculptor), you have done yours. Let me do mine. 

True. I failed. Immensely. Yet I am sharing you my shots, if only to tell you how tricky catching beauty and putting her in pixels so you will have something to tell friends: Hey I saw it. 

I mean, the blurry tail of the mythical beauty at the PPUR. (30)

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