Saturday, December 29, 2012

Boholano boxer named 
ESPN Boxer of the Year 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, December 27, 2012 (PIA)—Boholano by roots and Filipino in spirit, pugilist Nonito Donaire is now named Boxer of the year (2012), hands down. 

The bigger feat still is that he is the only one boxer in the world who steps in to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association for random urine test and blood testing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year, a report confirmed by 

ESPN, or the less popular Entertainment, Sports and Programming Network is an American global cable television network that focuses on broadcasting sports-related programming including live and recorded telecasts is also considered the premier sports news authority. 

According to ESPN, Donaire, also called the Filipino Flash, who is now wearing the junior featherweight title belt was an easy pick, among contenders that also include Mexican fighter Juan Manuel Marquez and another Filipino fighter Brian Viloria. 

Donaire, whose family traces its roots from Talibon, moved to General Santos, in the southern Philippines where he studied until late childhood. 

His father, Nonito Sr. then migrated to the United States and his family followed. 

In the US, Donaire started as amateur boxer and then punched his way to the big leagues. 

According to, Donaire (31-1, 20 knockouts) began 2012 having vacated his bantamweight belts and preparing to move up to junior featherweight. 

Four fights later, in an exceptionally busy year by modern standards for an elite pound-for-pound champion, the quick-fisted and powerful Donaire stands atop the 122-pound division and was the easy pick for 2012 Boxer of the Year, the sports website stated. 

Donaire, 30, easily handled the move up in weight, winning all four of his fights in dominant fashion. He dropped each of his foes -- scoring seven knockdowns in all -- won twice by knockout and collected two world titles. 

Add to that his trailblazing approach to drug testing: He is the only fighter in the world who has signed on with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association for random urine and blood testing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. 

As an opening fight for the year, Donaire stepped off from his usual comfort weight zone to face Puerto Rican Wilfredo Varquez Jr., whom he dropped in the ninth round to win the vacant title. 

Five months later, in July, he faced South Africa's Jeffrey Mathebula, whom he also sent to the canvas in the fourth round, to earn a unification belt. 

Donaire again scored two impressive knockdowns against a Japanese titleholder whom he also sent out for good in the ninth round, two months later. 

Weeks ago, Donaire sent Mexican former titlist Jorge Arce to the canvas twice before giving him the haymaker which left the challenger out for good. 

Donaire’s feat is the fourth Boxer of the year award given to a Filipino. Three of the awards were for Manny Pacquiao (2006, 2008, 2009). 

For the award, Donaire lorded over Juan Manuel Marquez (55-6-1 with 40 Kos), Danny Garcia (25-0 and 16 KOs), Roberto Guerero (31-1-1 with 18 Kos), Leo SantaCruz (23-0-1 with 13 Kos), Andre Ward (26-0, 14 Kos), Brian Viloria (32-3, 19 Kos) and Carl Froch (30-2, 22 Kos).

Merrier Christmas for BHWs, BNS and DCWs 
Catigbian gives P500k aid 
To low-paid brgy workers 

CORTES, Bohol, December 28, 2012, (PIA)—Catigbian town dipped from its own coffers to make Christmas merrier for their barangay health workers (BHWs), nutrition scholars (BNS) and daycare workers (DCWs). 

During the Joint Local Government Unit Christmas Party last Thursday, December 20, Mayor Roberto Salinas along with local officials handed to 22 Catigbian Barangay Chairmen a total of P500,000.00 as a Christmas “one shot aid” to these low-paid community workers. 

Salinas said the aid is hoped to augment the minimal benefits these workers get for their untiring services. 

On the move, Vice Mayor Rey Lacea and several town councilors agree that the aid, although meager according to standards, is a gesture of local leader’s concern for the front-liners who are dependent on barangay honoraria for their service delivery. 

Although among the wonder economies in Bohol, Catigbian is still held down by issues of poverty, one that economists say is owing to the development ripples which do not affect the people in rural areas right away. 

At the Joint Local Government Unit Christmas Party held at the town Cultural Center, Salinas said he hopes the aid would help barangay workers celebrate Christmas better. 

Barangay health workers and nutrition scholars work as quasi-medical officers in the barangays, bringing crucial government services like preventive health services, dispensing advice as prenatal and post natal services, disseminate health and nutrition information, disease control and prevention as well as keep track of the health and nutrition status of people in smaller units in the barangays. 

On the other hand, day care workers, many of them not yet under the Department of Education are paid by municipal or barangay funds to deliver pre-school services including dispensing of government supplementary feeding programs to toddlers enrolled in the public preschools. 

Earning mostly minimal honorarium for their services, BHWs, BNS and BHWs deserve a little more for Christmas, so we figured out sharing the little blessings we have saved for the year would be a small gesture of appreciation for their services, according to Salinas. 

During the handing over of the checks which the local government apportioned, barangay chairmen and their representatives shared that the aid came as a surprise, they never knew such was coming and timed for the holidays. 

Over this, Salinas said the aid was something the town shared just as it was able to save a little from its economic enterprises which include a properly run and managed public market, livestock auction center, hospital and an adventure park that has ably placed Catigbian on the eco-adventure tourism map of the country. (30)

Get loud on the new year 
Taking a crack 
at firecrackers 

CORTES, Bohol, December 27, 2012 (PIA)—Playing with fire has always been a no-no. 

But at this time of year, standards scrape rock bottom as people willfully take a crack at firecrackers and everyone seems not to mind. 

Even with a reported 180 cases of firecracker caused injuries in 2011, exploding such and making a lot of noise is still an in-thing in the Philippines as a method of revelry on new year’s eve. 

A scare campaign by the Department of Health did little to persuade as much people to get rid of the explosives, Health Secretary Enrique Ona admits. 

Firecrackers in the Philippines seemingly are inseparable with new years, as real as getting a quick fix is to sate a year-long travail. 

The quick tripping however is never a smooth cruise as proven by bruises, blood and burnt egos that litter along the way. 

A law in the Philippines, Republic Act No. 7183 aims to regulate and control the manufacture, sale, distribution and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices consistent with, and in furtherance of, public safety, order and national security, as well as the enhancement of the cultural traditions. 

Firecrackers that may be manufactured and sold according to law are: 

1. Baby rocket - A firecracker with a stick so constructed that lighting of the wick will propel the whole thing to lift a few meters before exploding. The firecracker is about 1 ½ inches in length by 3/8 inch in diameter while the stick is about a foot in length; 

2. Bawang - A firecracker larger than a triangulo with 1/3 teaspoon of powder packed in cardboard tied around with abaca strings and wrapped in shape of garlic; 

3. Triangle (Small triangulo) - A firecracker shaped like a triangle with powder content less than the bawang and usually wrapped in brown paper measuring ¾ inch length in its longest side; 

4. Pulling of strings - A firecracker consisting of a small tube about an inch in length and less than ¼ of an inch in diameter with strings on each end. Pulling both strings will cause the firecracker to explode; 

5. Paper caps - Minute amount of black powder spread in either small strips of paper on a small sheet used for children’s toy guns; 

6. El diablo - Firecrackers tubular in shape about 1 ¼ inches in length and less than ¼ inch in diameter with a wick; also known as labintador; 

7. Watusi - Usually reddish in color about 1 ½ inches in length and 1/10 inch in width usually ignited by friction to produce a dancing movement and a crackling sound; 

8. Judah’s belt - A string of firecrackers consisting of either diablos or small triangulos that can number up to a hundred or thereabout and culminating in large firecracker usually a bawang; 

9. Sky rocket (kwitis from Spanish cohetes) - A large version of a baby rocket designed to be propelled to a height of forty (40) to fifty (50) feet before exploding; 

10. Other types equivalent to the foregoing in explosive content. 

In the Philippines where laws are best honored on the breach, dangerous firecrackers have also been manufactured to produce the loudest boom, one that ascertains it scares the devil out of the world. 

And since a loud explosion almost always means destruction to nearby glass windows, or major injury to the usually groggy reveler who ignited the firecracker wick, these have been banned. The ban however puts them on the most sought after list. 

Bought for their notorious roles as noisemakers to scare evil spirits and bad luck for the new year, firecrackers in the Philippines are sales trends in the holidays, as if the holiday spending has never been that enough. 

New Year’s Eve is such a big bang in the Philippines in the same intensity the Americans enjoy Fourth of July. 

A tradition carried over from decades of Chinese and Spanish occupation, lighting of firecrackers and getting loud in the new year has been a pre-occupation of most Filipinos. 

The quest for the loudest seemingly has become a barometer of one’s bold statement; hey we got this, what have you? 

Recentky, lists some of today's in-demand but banned firecrackers: 

1. Pacquiao - named after Manny Pacquiao. It comes in the form of thick, black phosphorus sticks and is bigger and more powerful than the piccolo, another type of firecracker. 

2. Goodbye Gloria - named after Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Its packaging is emblazoned with the former President's face, and is said to be able to shut off street lamps and shatter glass windows. 

3. Ampatuan - named after the Ampatuan clan, whose members have been accused of being behind the country's worst election-related violence, the Maguindanao massacre. It is described as more powerful than pla-pla, a triangle-shaped firecracker. 

4. Trillanes - named after Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. It is a 16-inch long cylindrical explosive. 

5. Bin Laden - named after the late Osama bin Laden, leader of the terrorist group Al Qaeda. It is described as a powerful baby dynamite. 

6. Goodbye Philippines - a giant triangular firecracker which can reportedly shatter a wall. 

7. Goodbye Earth - a triangular firecracker that is triple the size of an ordinary five-star. 

8. Goodbye Universe - a firecracker as large as a bucket of chicken sold in fast food chains. 

In the previous years, police authorities imposed regulations on the sale of other noise-making explosives. 

On the regulated list are super lolo (grandfather), kwitis, bawang (“garlic”), airwolf and other large firecrackers. 

Also on the regulated list are dancing firecrackers (watusi) which have been causes of children poisoning. 

To offer alternatives, authorities have pushed for the non-explosive noisemakers: pots and pans, hooters and paper trumpets, to scare away evil spirits. 

The idea is to make some noise, clarifies a police officer, so anything harmless is on. 

For this, and consistent with the tradition, expect cars, trucks and motorcycles vroomed and revved, horns tooted on the eve of the new year, to cause as much noise as possible. 

Revving and rooming engines are done in the belief that it causes engines to last longer. 

To hit two birds in one stone, motorists drag empty cans all around town, while some blow whistles. 

In the object of getting loud, welcoming the new year has been as loud and as messy, so words of caution: Meet the new year, but don’t lose a finger. (30)

Don’t sour your new year… 
Keep fortunes year-around 

CORTES, Bohol, December 27, 2012 (PIA) –This time of year, an orange sold in a fruit-stand can be priced three or four times as steep and every tradition bearing Boholano still buys it, as if it’s alright. So, don’t sour your new year, let traditions rock but let the new year roll. 

This time too, prices of most round fruits follow the same spiked trend and people still flock to the stands like crazy, after all, completing a 12 round fruit centerpiece for the new year promises more good fortunes for the family. 

In the preparation of the new year, Boholanos, as with most people who have kept Spanish-introduced or Chinese influenced traditions put up 12 smooth round fruits-one for each month. Recently, round fruits morph into a much harder search: round and sweet fruits. 

And don’t ever mess with those fruits that are sour or those with spikes lest the new year be similarly a downer. 

That means no to whole durian fruit, rambutan, guyabano, jackfruit and atis. 

Roundness signify continuous blessing while the sweetness is believed to bring in sweet fortunes. 

Now, prices of oranges, chicos, grapes (ubas), off-season star-apples, lanzones, guavas, mangosteen, watermelon, cantaloupe, pomelos, pomegranates and cherries are all spiked, but the seasons of goodwill unusually calms the all too eager buyer. 

In a place where 12 round fruits may be too tough to complete, the rule of everything goes, become the next rule of thumb. 

For want of the 12, even non circular fruits get into the list: apples, mangoes, papayas, avocados, pears, qumquats (kikiats) or Chinese golden oranges, coconut fruits and even atis, guyabano and bananas become fair game. 

For the smarter: 12 purple grapes in a bunch will do, they said. 

In the Philippines when the last day of the year is a holiday, it sets the stage for one of the most festive seasons in a year, especially the midnight table. 

New year’s eve, commonly the Bisperas sa Bag-ong Tuig is the perfect season to pick everything right to step into a prosperous new year. Here, the new-year’s eve is an occasion calling for a special food preparation. 

Eyeing a year of long life, new beginning, attracting and allowing fortunes to stick is common in the menu. 

For this, pancit or noodles in any preparation is common. Most preferred are egg noodles, which are believed to signify new beginnings, although noodles generally signify long life. 

While lechon (roast pig) still rates high among those who can afford, some believe pig or pork on new year’s eve does not auger well; a belief commonly held, due to a pig’s lifestyle. 

Best options: carabeef for hardwork. 

Fish and chicken are also downers: these endlessly scour for food the whole year and are obviously not as good for the family. 

In Bohol, a new year’s eve would not be complete as well, without the traditional delicacies, those especially made from glutinous rice. 

Malagkit: biko burned upside, biko, suman pilit: tam-is or budbod and calamay are perfect to let fortunes stick throughout the year. 

Sweet smelling food is also good: ripe langka (jackfruit) or durian, are commonly chosen to attract good fortunes. 

Then there is queso de bola, hamon and wine. 

But whatever it is, a true fare for a thanksgiving meal never has any strict menu. (30)

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