Passing on the value of social and moral responsibility to DWCL graduating students

DWCL Students Forum on Mining

Words and photos by Donna Rabang Peta

Graduating students of Divine Word College of Laoag (DWCL) gathered at the St. Freinademetz Theater on March 16, 2015 for the “Students Forum on Mining” to commemorate the 20 years of the Philippine Mining Act 1995, enacted during the presidency of Fidel Valdez Ramos.

Born and raised in a mining community area in Ucab, Itogon, Benguet, and a former small-scale miner, Mr. Fernando “Ampy” Mangili, now a member convenor of AMIANAN SALAKNIBAN, or the Northern Luzon Mine Watch and Human Rights Network, served as guest speaker.

Manong Ampy and his katribu in Itogon, Benguet have been fighting for more than 100 years to protect their environment. In his testimony, Manong Ampy said, “Ang ganda ng Ilocos Norte ikumpara nyo sa lugar namin na may mining. Ang pangit ng lugar namin, nasira ang aming mga bundok, walang nang tubig at kahit nga ang munisipyo namin ay ang pangit kung saan ay dito nagmina ng mahigit 100 years.”

Manong Ampy added, “In three years alone, masisira na ang kalikasan dahil highly mechanized na ang sistema at operasyon ng pagmimina. Wala pang kahit anong mining company, from Mindanao to Aparri, who rehabilitated the river system at mga bundok na nasira nila. One question to these mining companies is their identity claiming that they are responsible and friendly, and yet they never returned back to the communities na sinira nila.”

At the end of his speech, he encouraged the students of DWCL to support their advocacy, struggle to protect the environment and to defend the future.

The challenge of Manong Ampy was concurred by Ms. Romana L. Bitancor, Vice President for Academic Affairs of DWCL.  She said, “Kayo dapat ang manguna na may concern sa environment dahil you are going out after you graduate. Professional kayon ton… you have the credibility to talk about it. You should treasure what you should have learned in this gathering and tell the world when you go outside the school. Being concerned of the environment is a social responsibility”

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

NWU holds Governance forum on Tree Cutting with Father Robert Reyes

Save the Trees

Father Robert Reyes. He was noisy, yes. Not so visible like he was before very recent years, the running priest is back. Still noisy, yes.

He looks 2 decades younger than his actual age of 60 years. I presume his natural beauty and youth come from his being a true people person and living by his faith.

He says, “The roads are my pulpit. The trees are my altar. My church is the universe.”

NU Governace on Tree Cutting Forum

Father Robert Reyes joined local environmentalists, journalists, a broadcaster, students and educators of the Northwestern University; and the lone representative of the provincial government, Board Member Joel Garcia, who was gentleman enough to stand up for his own personal beliefs, government’s position and the economic gains on the other side of the coin, at a forum, facilitated by the school’s KWAGO Society. PENRO de los Reyes, like in last year’s NWU environment forum, was a no show.

Social and environment advocate and researcher Shermon Cruz says, “The forum was aimed to provide key actors the space to discuss the issue and to collaborate in exploring alternatives and options to prevent the killing of 1200 trees covering around 60 hectares of forest land in Currimao. The purpose is to get the real score from proponents, advocates and governmental authorities on the issue and to engage concerned citizens and communities by increasing awareness on the tree cutting controversy in the province of Ilocos Norte.”

Ilocos Times and KWAGO Society MOA signing

At the highly charged forum, a memorandum of partnership between the NWU-College of Arts and Sciences and the Ilocos Times (the oldest running community newspaper in Ilocos) was also signed to advance good governance, transparency and accountability in local development and environment management projects in the province of Ilocos Norte. “Like a watchdog, it hopes to impact the different aspects of policy-making and project development in the province,” adds Shermon Cruz.

Ilocos Times Editor-in-Chief Jay RamosIlocos Times editor-in-chief and a barangay captain of Laoag City Jay Ramos.

“Who are willing to die for a tree?” Father Reyes asked.

I raised my hand. Who is afraid of dying for the life and strength of a tree? How many lives, how many thousands of trees have been murdered in the last 5 years or so?

Bombo Bernard VerHappy to meet speaker Bombo Bernard Ver in person

Madonna Rabang Peta of DEFEND Ilocos comments about the just-concluded environment forum, “Nagpapakita lamang ito na dumadami na ang mamamayan ng Ilocos Norte na nagtatanggol sa kalikasan sa hanay ng mga kabataang estudyante, mula sa akademiya at kasama na rito ang mga taong simbahan. Patunay lamang ito na lumalawak na ang naabot na kampanya ng mamamayan ng Ilocos Norte kasama na ang mga na ang mga komunidad kung saan sila ang direktang apektado sa epekto ng pagkasira ng kalikasan.”

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

Laoag’s The Boodle Fight

Laoag Street Boodle Fight

Approximately 4.5 km of pinakbet, igado and rice laid on banana leaf-lined tables for everyone to partake at major streets in Sunshine City Laoag was the highpoint of the month-long Pamulinawen Festival celebration. It was a good fight, a major boodle fight aimed to break records.

There’s a secret to eating kamayan style — get with your left and eat with your right. The event was a success if no status barrier is taken into account. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed selfieing, eating, selfieng. Even Marc Logan came!

Congrats, Laoag!

Tambur Idtoy LaoagInapoyIgadoPinakbet ken IgadoMakan diay Boodle FightLaoag City Mayor ChevylleThe indefatigable Laoag mayor, Chevylle Fariñas and her daughter Mikee, the young Laoag ABC President, in photo below. Spotted: Mikee FarinasGirl at the street boodle fightDrumsDerick and KateDrizzlePinakbetBoodle Fight: PinakbetMMSU studentsSistersBoodle Fight!Get with your left hand and eat with the right.HandsSelfieliciousDrumLaoag Boodle FightStreet FightMy StreetLittle HandStreet EatingFight!The Boddle FightPanganMarc Logan in LaoagHahah, Marc Logan in Laoag!Rizal Street, LaoagNaimasSunshine City LaoagUntitledPangpanganLaoag Boodle FightBarangayLaoag's Longest Boodle FightStaringLaoag Street Boodle FightLaoag Boodle FightBoys at the longets boodle fightWaterLaoag Street Boodle Fight
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

The new Laoag Parklane Hotel’s Cafe Bonita

Cafe Bonita

Another enjoyable place to stay or to have tea or coffee with someone is the newly redone Laoag Parklane Hotel and the Cafe Bonita.

Parklane underwent a total transformation through the creative hands of the same people behind companies such as Red Dot and MODi. I look at it as a boutique hotel, very contemporary, yet quiet, and so pleasingly comfortable. There’s that subtleness about it that’s refreshing, maybe it’s that young vibe. Will post more photos next time and hopefully will get to talk more about the food.

Parklane HotelCafe BonitaMODi and BonitaMODi

MODi (Modern Ilocano) items and other nice pasalubong items that speak about Ilocos occupy a space at Cafe Bonita. Check out those pouches, well shy, but I have a cute story to share on the next post.

Below is my good friend and was my travel buddy in Cagayan de Oro, Lis Pascua, the assistant marketing manager, who you can also talk to about bookings about your stay or events. The function room is sizeable and lovely, so, again, I will have to post another set of photos from a coffee party last night.

Expand your view

Laoag Parklane Hotel Brgy Barit, Gen. Segundo Ave., Laoag City For inquiries and reservations, please call (077) 677- 1099 / +639178832999 / +639175598858 or email

“Expand your view” photo by Ace Rumbaoa
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015