Tourism

Open Letter to the Honorable Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama

CENTER ISLAND AT POPE JOHN PAUL II AVE. FOR DEMOLITION/JULY 7, 2015: Cebu City mayor Michael Rama will meet DENR Secretary Paje to issue a permit for the removal of or cut the trees and demolish the center island at Pope John Paul II Ave. in time for the APEC Summit.(CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

CENTER ISLAND AT POPE JOHN PAUL II AVE. FOR DEMOLITION/JULY 7, 2015: Cebu City mayor Michael Rama will meet DENR Secretary Paje to issue a permit for the removal of or cut the trees and demolish the center island at Pope John Paul II Ave. in time for the APEC Summit.(CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Dear Mayor Rama,

Not long ago, Cebuanos were overjoyed when a road beside the Mabolo Parish was renamed into the Pope John Paul II Avenue. Fronting the Seminario de San Carlos and Carmelite Monastery, it truly deserves being labelled after a well-loved Saint who once visited our city which is also known as Asia’s Cradle of Christianity.

The renaming becomes even more significant because this road will host the convention center that serves as the main venue of the 2016 International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) which will hopefully be graced by Pope Francis, the successor of John Paul II.

The avenue itself speaks of humble dignity. Although not very wide, it is quite far from being heavily populated or polluted compared to others in the city. A vital link to various points of interest, this avenue’s charm comes mainly from a center island that hosts graceful fire trees.

Since these trees are among a few that remain in our streets (similar ones mysteriously disappeared when the Serging Osmena Boulevard was widened), I was therefore dismayed when you sought permission from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to cut them so that the road could be widened for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Summit (APEC).

Mr. Mayor, please do not cut these trees. Doing so would not only be sacrilegious to Saint John Paul II; it would be bad for a city that’s trying to show itself as liveable and earth-friendly. Besides, no amount of tree-cutting will ever compensate for good traffic planning and enforcement. Otherwise, we might as well cut all the trees in our city and trust that our traffic situation will improve right away.

I do believe that our APEC visitors will appreciate tree-lined streets better than wide highways devoid of trees. In their respective countries, these visitors surely have environment-friendly roads that feature trees. I even doubt that they will be happy knowing that their visit here will cause the cutting of our trees. I’m sure there are other ways to improve traffic management for APEC, the IEC and other events that Asia’s Cradle of Christianity will be hosting.

I leave this matter to those who are officially mandated to do it, but let’s not include tree-cutting as the shortcut solution to this concern, as if it would suffice in solving congestion now and in the distant future.

To better emphasize my point, may I thus remind you of a timely and relevant quote from Saint John Paul II: “The earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations.”

Mr. Mayor, I trust that you will heed the words of the beloved Saint who once passed through this historic avenue that now bears his name.

Very truly yours,

Ka Bino Guerrero

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Categories: Environment, Tourism, transport | Tags: , , , , , | 39 Comments

Mayor Paz Radaza STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS 2014

Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Mayor, Lapu-Lapu City

Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Mayor, Lapu-Lapu City

STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS 2014

August 27, 2014 – 9:00AM

Hoops Dome, Lapu-Lapu City

Former Congressman Arturo O. Radaza

Congresswoman Aileen C. Radaza

Vice-Mayor Marcial A. Ycong and the City Councilors

Barangay Captains and Barangay Officials

Department Heads and Fellow Government Workers

Teachers

Students

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

Good Morning!

 

Lapu-Lapu: The Historic Resort City is no doubt one of the fastest growing places in Cebu.

 

Investments are not just coming in, they are knocking on our door daily.

 

Investor confidence and economic growth did not just happen overnight.

 

When I assumed office, I endeavoured to reach out to the business community.

 

I extended my hands in partnership.

 

I did not just tell them that I will work hard to create a favorable investment climate.

 

I did not just assure them that my administration will espouse good governance and accountability.

 

I did not just promise them that I will serve the Oponganons well.

 

I did the best thing that I knew I could do. I walked the talk.

 

It is to my view  that we must go back to the basics and that is to serve the people.

 

There is no other clear mandate that you, the Oponganons, have given me except to be a servant-leader.

 

This is the legacy that I want to leave behind as I enter the last part of my second term.

 

I want to instill a culture where investor confidence is paramount.

 

I want to create a favorable condition of inclusive growth for the Oponganons.

 

I want to institutionalize good governance and accountability in City Hall.

 

Today, allow me to give you the state of the city.

 

I will lay down the work we have done together and will continue to do until 2016.

 

These are the initiatives that  we have started and the progress and development that our city is experiencing under the principles of servant-leadership.

There is no progress and development, no matter how big or small,  if it is not done in the right manner, if it is not done through good governance and accountability.

 

As my administration journeys into the last part of my second term I will continue to zealously follow the process, observe the rule of law and keep in mind the needs of our people.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the state of the City

 

ECONOMIC GROWTH

 

We will soon have a resort-like airport.

 

Megawide-GMRC is pouring in 17.5 billion pesos to construct the country’s iconic airport.

 

Big companies like Ayala, SM and many of our country’s taipans have set foot on our soil.

 

Megaworld’s initial investment in Mactan Newtown was 20 billion pesos but the favorable business climate we have created prompted them to increase it to 10 billion more making their investment reach 30 billion pesos.

 

When I first became mayor in 2010, four years ago, I included in my personal list of priorities to provide this city a favorable investment climate.

 

I want investors, big and small, to trust my administration and to pour in their investments here so that jobs will be created and my fellow Oponganons will benefit from a favorable economic climate.

 

I am happy to tell you that last year, we have seen our economy grow even more.

There are now over 11,000 businesses in the city this year an increase by 60 percent from last year.

The inflow of investments are akin to a stamp of approval, not just, by big investors but by small and medium enterprises or SMEs – on how this city is run.

 

White Sands Resort and Spa, a locally-owned property has added 35 more rooms.

 

A day ago, they announced a 50 million peso major face lift.

 

Last year, a third Gaisano Mall was opened and hired over 300 Lapu-Lapu City residents.

 

In barangay Basak, rose the first Outlet Mall in the Visayas-Mindanao region developed by Aboitizland.

In my previous State of the City Address, I challenged the City Treasurer’s Office to raise the target collection to a level never tried before.

Indeed, they heeded my call.

They have, for the first time, raised their target to 36 percent compared to their previous and usual 10 percent target year-on-year.

 

They were able to achieve it and even exceeded their target by five percent.

 

To the City Treasurer’s Office thank you for believing that we can do it.

 

That we can get out of our comfort zone and serve our people better.

In the early days of my first term, I announced that the city must have an annual budget of one billion pesos.

 

And to achieve it, I focused on these important things.

 

Increase investor confidence by embracing good governance  and accountability, practice servant-leadership and instill transparency.

 

My strategy has paid off, not only SMEs and big investors are coming in droves, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority or MCIAA have started to pay what is due to the  city.

 

To date MCIAA has paid almost 200 million pesos in taxes.

 

To be exact 191 million, 845 thousand, 556 pesos and 27 centavos.

 

Of the entire amount 74 million will go the city, 32 million will go to the barangays that are hosting the airport, 76 million to Special Education Fund and 8 million to the city’s trust fund.

 

Thank you MCIAA for paying your taxes. Rest assured, I will make sure your taxes will be well spent.

EDUCATION

 

In my second term inaugural speech I said we have reduced the classroom shortage by 30 percent in my first term in office.

 

I made a challenged that we bring it down to 50 percent by 2016.

As of 2013, the backlog hit a high of  468.

 

On the same year in 2013, we constructed 131 classrooms, reducing the shortage to 337.

 

We could have actually solved the backlog if not for the increased in enrolment and the institutionalization of kindergarten classes.

 

The shortage would have just been 9 classrooms in 2014 since we planned to construct 88 more.

 

While we are making great efforts in building more classrooms, I am proud to inform you that our teachers and students have been doing their share in improving our school division’s academic performance.

Records show our National Achievement Test Rate and  division rate is increasing at five percent per annum starting from school year 2011 to 2013.

 

One of the basic necessities of our students that need to be addressed is the presence of functional Comfort Rooms.

 

The standard ratio for a  CR to student is 1 is to 50 for girls and 1 is to 100 for boys.

It is worthy to note that all our public schools here in the city has an above average CR to student ratio.

 

I am also happy to tell you that in our public schools, the number of  teachers per student is well within standard.

 

In fact we have more than enough teachers in our public school system.

 

We have even increased the Additional Compensatory Allowance (ACA) of teachers, school administrator and education program supervisor by 100 percent.

CITY COLLEGE

Since the establishment of our Lapu-Lapu City College, we have achieved numerous accomplishments.

We have seen a steady increase in our enrollees. We now have over a thousand college students.

We have completed the new City College Building in Timpolok, Gun-ob.

 

It now houses the College of Education occupying 15 classrooms serving 655 education students.

On March of this year, we produced our first 177 Baccalaureate Degree Holders.

 

88 from the College of Education, 62 from Industrial Technology, and 27 from Hospitality Management.

 

 

On June of this year, our City College was granted authority by the CHED to offer BSED major in English, Filipino, and MAPEH and BEED with specialization in Early Childhood Education and General Education.

 

I am aware that many are wary of the quality of education we are producing in the city college.

 

Fellow Oponganons, there is no need for you to worry.

 

All our hired teachers are qualified and board passers.

 

We even hired part time District Supervisors to handle major subjects.

At the start of the first semester of 2014-2015, close to 75% of the faculty members have doctoral  or masteral degree.

 

Our professors have substantial experience in the academe.

 

To ensure a high quality of education we are also planning to purchase additional computers and IT equipment for the Computer Laboratory

ROADS, DRAINAGE AND OTHER INFRASTRUCTURES

 

To keep pace with progress and development, I mentioned in my second inaugural address that we have to undertake roadworks in key arteries of the city because the  city aims to attract more tourists and investors.

 

We must give importance to the basic infrastructure like roads.

Being a highly urbanized city with a fast increasing number of new business establishments, I have seen to it that our city roads are well maintained.

 

Since 2012 until today, we have repaired and concreted a total of almost 26 kilometers of various city roads here.

 

To give you an idea of the length of the city roads that we have concreted, if joined together, the 26 kilometers of road traverses one loop from Hoopsdome  to Pusok to the circumferential road and back to Hoopsdome and ends further at Mepz 1.

 

To date, 70 percent of our city roads have been repaired and concreted.

 

The road concreting in Basak has been receiving various complaints from our people due to traffic congestion but let me tell you that this national road works is in preparation for the APEC Summit next year where we are among the host cities.

According to the DPWH, the project is more than halfway from being completed.

 

If the weather permits, the contractor will be able to complete the road concreting by next month or early October, way ahead of schedule.

I call on all of my fellow Oponganons to please bear with the inconvenience that this national project has brought us.

 

Today, I am proud to show you on screen the roads that have been concreted. (show powerpoint here)

There are other ONGOING ROAD CONCRETING PROJECTS too: (show photos here)

 

  1. Concreting of Buaya-Bankal Road & Concreting of Bankal-Pajac Road
  2. Concreting of Timpolok Road
  3. Concreting of Fuentes-Pajac road
  4. Completion of Concreting of Mahayahay-Bankal Road
  5. Concreting of Pajac-Maribago Road (Phase II)
  6. Concreting of Basak-Agus Road (Phase II)
  7. Concreting of Buaya access road leading to MCR




The ongoing concreting, a total of 3.9 kilometers is approximately half the stretch from Poblacion to Marigondon.

 

For this year alone, in addition to the ongoing road construction, we will be repairing and concreting 11 more roads.

 

These are the following:

 

  1.  Concreting of Buaya-Pajac Aviation Road (Phase III)
  2.  Concreting of Talima Road (Phase II)
  3.  Concreting of Casanta Mactan Road
  4.  Asphalt Overlay of Jorge Tampus, Basak Road
  5.  Asphalt Overlay of City Hall Road Network (Phase I)
  6.  Asphalt Overlay of Plaridel Street
  7.  Concreting of Cadagsao Road, Talima
  8.  Concreting of Looc-Locatha Road (Phase II)
  9.  Concreting of Mustang Road (Phase III)
  10.  Concreting of Malinao Road, Agus
  11.  Concreting of Agus Road going to Agus Elementary School

 

The following 11 roads will total 6.7 kilometers which is approximately the entire stretch from Poblacion to barangay Marigondon.

 

We will be completing the construction of four covered courts here in the city namely:

 

  1.   Tingo Covered Court (Phase II)
  2.   Buaya Covered Court (Phase II)
  3.   Pusok Covered Court (Phase II), and
  4.   Talima Covered Court

 

TRAFFIC PLAN

Once we have completed the ongoing road projects, we will push through with the appointment of a Traffic Czar who will study our traffic situation and come up with strategic solutions to finally address the problem of  traffic congestion in our city.

 

I made this promise in my Inaugural Address last year. And I vow to keep it.

 

DRAINAGE FACILITY

We have identified barangay Basak to be the lowest point where flooding is prone during heavy rains.

We have completed the 1.2 kilometer-parallel drainage facility that we installed in George Tampus Street.

One of the main causes of flooding in the area is the clogged drainage system because of improper disposal of garbage from the residential houses along the area.

That is why the city has conducted an annual drainage cleanup to declog our drainage system.

 

Since then, we haven’t experienced heavy flooding in Basak.

 

The clean-up effort and the cooperation of the people in Basak have proven to be an effective way to fight flood.

We have also installed a drainage system along Bankal and Pajac road.

Just recently, the city completed the installation of drainage line along S. Osmeña Street.

Soon, we will install another drainage facility in the Aviation Road near TPI Homes subdivision.

 

I know this has been a major concern for our people who pass by the area due to the constant stagnant water.

 

Soon, we will also be implementing in Basak the Expansion of Sewerage Treatment Plant.

 

We will be constructing two Sewerage Treatment Plants in barangays Buaya and Poblacion.

 

These facilities will ensure that all our waste water will be safe for disposal and without contaminants.

SOCIAL WELFARE

 

While we give emphasis on the importance of education to our children, my administration has also prioritized their well-being.

Our City Social Welfare and Development has been very active in upholding basic human rights.

74 percent of our day care centers here in the City were able to pass the accreditation conducted by the Regional Accreditation in compliance with the minimum standard set by the DSWD.

The city wants to make sure that our children are provided the needed support during their development years.

Through our annual Alay-Lakad, we have supported 138 out of school youth and through the Alay-Lakad scholarship they have earned their course in Electronics, Mechanical Technology, and Information Technology.

Since 2002, the city has partnered with NORFIL Foundation, Inc., a non-government organization taking care of abandoned and abused children, for the implementation of the Foster Care Program in which the city provided 500,000 pesos for financial assistance annually.

 

Just recently, during the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the NORFIL FOundation, our city was given an award in Quezon City in recognition for our continuous support for the abandoned and neglected children through the Foster Care Program.

We have inaugurated the Stimulation and Therapeutic Activity Center (STAC) last May and now operations  is in full blast.

 

The STAC offers Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Special Education, and Psychosocial Rehabilitation to 0-14 year old children with disabilities (CWDs) here in the city.

 

To date, the facility has already served 454 CWDs.

Our STAC facility has complied with the accessibility law and was in fact praised by a team from the DILG Region 7.

We have employed 31 persons with disabilities in the city government and helped four others land a job in the private sector.

Our PWDs here are definitely productive individuals.

Last year, the city government extended cash gifts worth 1,000 pesos to all our registered PWDs.

 

We have continuously given cash gifts to Senior Citizen increasing it from 1,000 pesos to 1,500 last year.

 

URBAN POOR

 

For our informal settlers who are still trying to acquire a permanent place they can call home, the city has allocated the amount of 11.1 million pesos for lot acquisitions.

SPORTS

 

No doubt, we have already created a mark and established our city in the sports tourism map.

The city’s three consecutive years of hosting the biggest triathlon event in the country, Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines is more than enough to prove it.

To push it further, the Ironman organizers expressed their desire have Lapu-Lapu City host this international sporting event for another three more years.

Our hosting last year was ranked as the 2nd best among all the Ironman events in the world with a score of 97.60.

This year, we even made it grander, considering the increased inn the number of participating triathletes.

Instead of the 25,000 well-wishers that we deployed along the race route last year, we increased it to 29,000 this year.

We used the four-color pattern of our newly launched City Brand “Lapu-Lapu: The Historic Resort City” in the 240 colorful vintas that sailed near the swim course.

We are not only making head way in hosting international sporting events.

 

We are also dominating in some sporting event.

 

If you remember, during our 52nd Charter Day, we awarded an Oponganon youth in the name of John Rex “Dandoy” Tongco for winning an international longboarding competition.

Just recently, his life story was featured in the longest running drama anthology, Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) on ABS-CBN.

This young man has inspired our city to construct a Skate Park at the side of this Hoops Dome.

 

My administration is providing them a safe venue to push their wheels to success, pursue their passion and veer them away from illegal drugs and vices.

70 percent of the skate park is already completed.

This facility will further boost our sports tourism.

Just this month, Dandoy with two other group members dominated the long boarding competition in Indonesia garnering 3 spots among the 4 championship ranks.

For the first time, our city sent a delegation in the Philippine National games held last May 16-20, 2014 at the Philippines Sports Commission, Metro Manila.

 

In our first participation, we proudly brought home a total of 10 medals in both the Arnis and Athletics events.

 

For Arnis we won 1 gold, 4 silvers and 3 bronze medals while for Athletics we won 1 silver and 1 bronze.

 

Among the 19 divisions that competed in the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (CVIRAA), Lapu-Lapu City Division ranked 5th.

 

This is a welcome development in our journey as a sports tourism hub and in our effort to develop our grassroots sports program.

In support of sports and in support of our grassroots sports program, let me here and now declare Hoops Dome as the center for indoor games in the city.

 

The vacant spaces in this facility will soon house nine indoor games complete with sporting equipment.

PEACE AND ORDER

 

The presence of crime is sometimes said to be determinant on how progressive a city is.

 

But such should not be made an excuse to have  problematic peace and order.

During the installation of our new Lapu-Lapu City Police Director, Police Senior Superintendent Armando Radoc, I have given orders to focus on the rampant cases of illegal drugs here in the city.

And so far he and the rest of the police force have not failed me and the city.

In the first half of this year, they were able to arrest 147 persons involved in  illegal drugs.

 

This is due to their continuous efforts to conduct buy-bust operations and raids in the interior areas.

 

Out of the 147 arrests,  145 have already been filed in court.

This serves as a warning to those who are engaged in illegal drugs to pack their things and leave before our police will put you behind bars.

Another win in our effort to maintain peace and order is the issuance of an en banc resolution by the Supreme Court dated July 8, 2014 to implement Republic Act No. 10578 or the Creation of Two Additional Branches of Municipal Trial Courts here in Lapu-Lapu.

 

The creation of these courts will help fast track cases filed here.

Due to the increasing number of local and foreign tourists, we have increased our tourist police this year by 30 percent from 69 personnel in 2012 to 90 tourist police personnel.

 

My administration has given all the support needed for our Police Office to function effectively.

Our Police Community Relations conducted seminars on Gangsterism in all public schools June of this year and cyberpornography to all our Pantawid Program beneficiaries.

 

The Lapu-Lapu City Police Office is one of the few police offices being visited by two PNP directors in 2013.

 

Both commended our Police headquarters.

 

According to them, we are the number one police office in the entire country in terms of administrative aspect.

 

STREET LIGHTING

A dark city street breeds criminality and I want to eradicate it.

 

I want our city to be well lighted at night so you will feel safe and our tourists will feel secure.

My administration is embarking on a street lighting program that will light up Lapu-Lapu City.

 

There is a budget of 5 million pesos and it is up for public bidding.

 

We will install 139 sets of environment-friendly LED lights along M.L. Quezon Highway starting from the old bridge down to Gate 1 of MEPZ.

 

It will also include the vicinity of City Hall.

 

If you noticed, we now have bright lights in the areas that I have mentioned. We will have it transferred to the other parts of the city that need it.

 

Let there be light so that we will have a safe and secure environment.

ENVIRONMENT

 

Protecting our environment has been one of the programs that I consider important in my administration.

On that unfortunate night on August 16, 2013 when MV St. Thomas Aquinas and MV Sulpicio Express Siete collided near Talisay City resulting in the loss of lives, it also created a massive oil spill that affected our marine biodiversity and the livelihood of many of our people in the coastal areas.

Our City Environment and Natural Resources Office and NERVE center immediately created an improvised spill boom we called “chorizo”.

 

We installed it along the coast line to protect our shores and our people’s livelihood. We also placed it in the resorts to prevent a tourism disaster.

The collective effort of over 10,000 volunteers during the clean up drive due to the oil spill greatly helped in preventing serious damage in our seas and in our tourism sector.

While we are doing our share to protect our environment, some dared abused it.

Early this year, we were shocked one day to see a picture of our coral reef  vandalised. It made it to the front page of a local newspaper.

 

The picture was taken in one of our famous dive spots, the Kontiki wall.

Right away, the city gathered the tourism stakeholders, dive shops operators, and divers for a covenant signing to protect our underwater treasures.

The hashtag “I commit” campaign was created and launched on social media to educate tourists and our fellow Oponganons the importance of preserving our marine assets.

Since we rely on our seas for tourism and livelihood, we must protect it at all cost.

 

HEALTH

 

Looking after the overall health of our people is a crucial task for us in government.

 

That is why, I made sure we provide our fellow Oponganons all the needed health care.

For so many years, our city has been consistent in having the lowest malnutrition rate.

 

This is due to our continuous hunger mitigation program of distributing rice and milk supplementation to all our malnourished children.

 

We are the only city in the whole Central Visayas that consistently has the lowest malnutrition rate since 2006-2014 at a rate of 1.28%.

 

This is due to the following:

 

  1. Distribution of one kilogram of rice per day for 120 days to all malnourished children.
  2. Distribution of milk to all identified malnourished children.
  3. Vitamin A, Ferrous Sulfate supplementation to all children, six to 72 months.
  4. Supplemental feeding to all preschoolers.
  5. Micronutrient supplementation to all pregnant and lactating mothers.






In the whole Central Visayas, our city has  the highest immunization penetration rate for ages 0 to 12 month-old.

 

In the first half of 2013, our city recorded 278 cases of dengue.

 

This year, it is down by 37 percent with no death reported.

 

We have been a recipient of a 10 million pesos for health facility enhancement program by DOH allowing us to upgrade our hospital in Barangay Sta. Rosa to a Level 1 Hospital.

We received a  500,000 pesos grant form DOH-CHD for our STI/HIV-AIDS program.

We were given an “Unsung Heroes” Award by DOH Manila last July due to our response to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban and Ormoc.

 

To provide our fellow Oponganons with easy access to good health, the city has allocated eight million pesos for the Health Insurance of our Indigent Families.

 

CITY HOSPITAL

 

We have purchased a new x-ray machine in our City Hospital and it has already served over 3,000 people.

Our city has  a complete set of equipment to perform CBC, Urinalysis, Stool Analysis, and Blood Chem.

 

We have already performed around 40,000 laboratory examinations.

 

To enhanced our medical services further we purchased a new Laboratory Microscope.

We have refurbished our Pediatric, Obstetrics and Gynecology Wards with the aim of maintaining a rank of level 1 for our city hospital.

 

This year alone, we have served 22 thousand in-patient.

 

For our OUT-PATIENT SERVICES we have conducted around 60 thousand medical consultation, 11 thousand dental consultations.

 

We have also performed a total of 36 thousand laboratory examinations.

 

Our city has allocated funds to further improved the Health Facilities in Sta. Rosa Hospital and its health centers.

 

LIVELIHOOD

 

To date, our kababayen-an now has more than 14 thousand members with combined asset of almost 10 million pesos.

Thirteen thousand individuals were given skills training by our City Cooperative and Livelihood Resource Center.

My fellow Oponganon’s, today I stand proud for what I have accomplished…with what we have accomplished as a people.

 

WE ARE ALMOST THERE….

 

I said this when the idea of branding the city was just being conceptualised.

 

Now I can proudly say after over a year of hard work,  WE HAVE DONE IT.

 

We’ve launched our city brand “LAPU-LAPU: THE HISTORIC RESORT CITY”.

 

We are the only city in Cebu and maybe in the rest of the Visayas that have branded itself.

 

The city brand will tell the world who we are, what this city will become and how we would like this city to be in the future.

 

We aim to lure more tourists and investors with our new brand. We aim to invite more creative minds to live in our place. We aim to instill the culture of tourism where world class service and amenities will be the norm.

 

In the next few months the city brand will become even clearer to all of you and to the rest of the world.

 

The branding of our city will be our guiding post to create a Lapu-Lapu that is a cut above the rest, a city that we will all be proud of.

 

To my fellow Oponganons,  let me tell you this, TOGETHER WE WILL GET THERE!

 

Let us all join hands as we journey on to June 30, 2016.

On that day, I will proudly look all of you straight in the eye and say, I have given you a legacy of investors’ confidence, inclusive growth, good governance, and accountability.

 

Thank you.

Categories: Environment, History, Politics, Tourism | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Sinulog with less walking

If you want to enjoy the Sinulog with less of the Walking.

 

Follow this tip from LTFRB 7 Director Ahmed Cuizon.

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Private vehicles, buses and  minibuses from south will be made to park at SRP.

images

 

There, PUJs by Citrasco will fetch the passengers towards  senior citizens’ park at back of city hall where they may then walk towards Sinulog.

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Revelers can again take PUJ rides at senior citizens park to go back to their cars or take buses headed towards south of province.

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Those bound for south of city, PUJs parked at Bible Baptist Church in Katipunan will pick them up.

 

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For the north-bound passengers, Ceres buses will fetch them at MJ Cuenco Ave. infront of Museo Sugbo (old CPDRC).

museo

 

These buses will turn left at TPadilla Ext. towards White Gold, SM City and North Bus Terminal.

Fare for PUJ is P7.50 while bus fare is at P10.

Participating PUJs and buses can be identified by special permit stickers issued by Ltfrb-7.

Categories: Tourism | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

The Way They Eat

 

You would know that  Philippine Independence Day Celebration is just around the corner when you suddenly sees a lot of Philippine Flag being displayed. Then we come to relive the lives of our Heroes who fought for our Independence from Spain. But if we really had Independence on June 12 or was it the 4th of July?(that would be another blog subject)

Yes we are aware how brave our heroes were, but did we stop and ask: what were the constitution of their diets? what do the mochacho serve on the revolutionaries’ table?

Cafe Marco of The Marco Polo Plaza Cebu takes you back a Century on a Culinary Journey that the explores the kitchen of the Yesteryears in Philippine History.

On June 7 to 16, 2013, come and savor Café Marco’s wide selection of our favorite Filipino dishes with Spanish influence on top of the international buffet. Feast with friends and family on dishes reminiscent of Filipino family gatherings such as Arroz ala Valenciana, Pata Humba, Mechado, Adobo de Carajay, Bangus Salad with Kesong Puti and a lot more! All these cooked perfectly from the Café Marco Kitchen with the culinary expertise of Cebu’s Culinary Guru, Ms. Jessica Avila.

Celebrate freedom the good ol’ Filipino way with Cucina del Siglo, only at Miele Guide’s Top 5 Best Restaurant in the Philippines, Café Marco at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu hotel!

For inquiries and reservations, you may call (Cebu) +63-32 2531111    or (Manila) +63 2 887 1263

 

 

 

Categories: Culture, Food, Herittage, PR, Tourism, Traditions | 1 Comment

Farewell: Luzon Lumber

Cebu City, Nov.26, 2012

This is a Followup of  Vanishing Soon: Luzon Lumber

I ended it with a call to Photographed the doomed building, and here are some of the pics:

Facebook friend Rhoel Balili Awit uploaded these on his Wall and tagged me.

Photo By: Rhoel Balili Awit

Photo By: Rhoel Balili Awit

Photo By: Rhoel Balili Awit

But Joseph Cabrera posted this very sad state of Luzon Lumber;

Photo Credit: Joseph Cabrera

This was taken from the back portion of the building, that shows its the stage of demolition, in just a few weeks from now the area would be just a vacant lot.

Karaang Sugbo page posted this in his status:

In a few weeks time, Luzon Lumber will be nothing more than an empty lot. Please identify parts of the Luzon Lumber building you would like to be saved for posterity, something that future generations would appreciate and wonder what is it about Luzon Lumber and our collective childhood experience of rushing to the only place in Cebu City where they sell precut plywood boards for our school projects. 

Hopefully, with the kind indulgence of the owners, they would donate perhaps the old signboard, the old house number plate, a window or two to be preserved for posterity. Hopefully, when we see these items, we can look back and reminisce our schoolboy/schoolgirl days when we would rush to Luzon Lumber to buy materials for our school projects. Perhaps we can tell the future generation that on that spot once stood not only business but a landmark that was so unique in a bustling city of concrete; one of the last all-wood buildings in the area; Three walls of the building still stand, please take photographs and post them here and share your childhood stories. Time is ticking on this landmark building in downtown Cebu, while we may not be able to save the entire building, hopefully, we can save enough of it, so the future generation can understand what that business meant to the schoolboy/schoolgirl we once were.

It pains me to see a portion of Cebu’s Collective Memories will be gone very very soon..

So if you have time, place visit it and have your picture taken, they may take down the building but they can’t take away the memories.

Here is the Google Earth Screen Capture of Luzon Lumber.

Categories: Culture, Herittage, Tourism | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vanishing Soon: Luzon Lumber

Cebu City,November 24, 2012

 

It has been closed for several moths already, the huge structure of wood in the corner of Sancianco and Leon Kilat Streets in this City.

It houses the Luzon Lumber, which is very well remembered for selling custom-cut plywoods that were very useful for school project the require a small piece of wood. But they sell also among others of course Lumber Materials.

When i arrived in Cebu, some years back, (hmm let just leave the date secret lest you would some up my age)  I live with my cousin who bake’s cake for a business. She does Cake for Wedding, which is multi-tier and made of plywood. Luzon Lumber was our supplier of those custom cut wood.

Lately I badly need a wood for my bed, so i went to Luzon lumber but it was close, I thought maybe it would open later, for in the recent year they had erratic schedule, but it never opened.

Then I read a Facebook post by Prof. Jojo Bersales of the University of San Carlos:

Notice/news flash:
The Luzon Lumber building at the corner of Leon Kilat and Sanciangko Streets is now being slowly demolished. Presently, the outside walls facing the street are intact, the south wall has been removed. “

The Floodgate of Memories opens, and here are some of the comment:

Randy Pable Napuli they will renovate it or the Emall is buying the lot?

Dexter F. Quinit kabantay ko bitaw ana sir nga gihinay na nila ug guba.murag intact pa tan awn kung nag atubang ka bldg pero wa na diay sulod.

Teng Sy Enn ayay! slowly nawala ang mga known sa area… 😦:(

Ailene-Elcon De los Santos I remember around 25 years ago mo anha mi og ako bro mopalit og mga pre cut wood panel para school project. I passed by 3 years ago and the grandeur is still there Walay nabag o except sa mga tapad . Maka recall jud sa HS life ig mo agi ko , hopefully b4 completely Ma demolished maka post og picture pa mo ” Karaan”

Breinn Tan Aguilar sayang noh. ngano kaha dili mo value ug treasure ang mga pinoy noh? dili kaau tig.preserve ug old buildings and the like ang mga pinoy. sayang. =/

Karaang Sugbo (Old Cebu) Posting as Jobers: i already contacted relatives of the owner the other month pa and I was told that there were no plans yet to demolish and i was promised that the signage “Luzon Lumber Company” would be turned over to the museo sugbo for temporary safekeeping just in case this happens. there is also a carromata marked “Luzon Lumber” inside that I had asked to be preserved or kept at the Museo temporarily…will check this out again.

 

Karaang Sugbo (Old Cebu) Posting as Harve: when I passed by earlier, wood panels of the west wall adjacent to Emall have been removed. The south wall is totally gone and the inside of the building can be viewed from Sanciangko St.,from the outside, one could see a hint of green paint on the second floor. Sections of the roof are also gone, leaving what remains of the structure open to the elements. While viewing the Cebu aerial photo after the September 1944 bomb run, one can clearly make out the roof as well as the outline of the building which was very close to the Cebu railway station.

 

Smarkies Anthony MorenoNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! didto pud ko tig palit mga gagmayng plywood pang project nako sa City Central School.

I really appreciate that building of all modern building in Cebu City, Every time maka kita ko anang balaya the faith of preserving of that house, abi nako protected na sa Cebu City.

I can still imagine those Antique Stall Number nga naka lansang pa sa each door.

 

And the list goes on..

All of them are saddened for the demised of a structure that harbors collective memories.

Since its a private property, there is nothing much we can do about it.

So if you have a Camera, be it point and shot or DSLR, please take a picture of this building before its too late.

 

 

 

 

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Is Your Restroom Clean Enough?

I lost count of how many times I been to Bohol, yet every trip offers a surprise or two.

This time i find my self in the country’s 10th largest island for the Bohol Mapup organized by GDG Cebu  in cooperation with Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Bohol and Holy Name University. I volunteer to help in the training of mappers using Google Mapmaker.

On our way to our Hotel, i spotted a coffee shop at the Shell Station on the corner of New Calceta st. and Carlo P. Garcia Avenue.

We went inside the coffee shop and check it out, Coffee is reasonable priced and the staff are very friendly and accommodating.

One of my companion wanted to used the toilet, so he borrowed the key from the Convenient Store in the same gas station. As he went into the restroom he shouted “Guys you must see this..” and started clicking his DSLR. We rush in and we were delighted of what we saw.

The  Restroom is so clean that i did this:

Image

This is the first time i have seen a Gas Station Toilet this clean, and it smelled good too, it has that Spa scent.

The place has free wifi, so i uploaded the above picture in Facebook and it generated a lot of Likes and Comments, most were amazed by its cleanliness and few who were unimpressed.

Looking at it one can’t help but wish that this would be the “Standard” for all public restroom.

I am optimistic that i could still find a restroom like this in some other parts of the country.

If your Public Restroom is Clean Enough…

Let me knew, and I might just do what I did..

P.S.

Amare Shell Service Station is located along Carlo P. Garcia Avenue, Tagbilaran City, Bohol, they have a Facebook and I was told that a Shell Service Station in Lawaan Talisay City, Cebu is of the same concept,

Categories: Tourism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Paaway sa Kabayo is more of a Lover’s Quarrel….

CEBU CITY.July 24, 2012

As the Activities in my hometown shifted to high gear, here I am Cebu City, reading feeds from Facebook and Twitter posted by my friends in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental, downed by Cough and Cold and on-set Flu.

Normally  by this time am already in Tanjay, hooping from one relative’s house to the other’s savoring all time fiesta favorites and off course the best Budbud in the whole Universe.

And like any other Tanjayanon we look forward with high anticipation for the PAAWAY SA KABAYO.

Yes you read it right, Horse Fight..

But don’t get me wrong, Horse Fight is more of a “Lover’s Spat”, unlike the Cock or Dog Fight where  participant get killed or hurt really bad.

 

In Paaway sa Kabayo, its Love Triangle.

 

The Paaway sa Kabayo would start with a mare brought in to the arena, and let the stallion do his thing onto the mare.


 

Then the other stallion will be given its time with the mare.

 

 

 

With Estrogen and Testosterone heightens thus jealousy kicks in, thus the FIGHT for LOVE commence.

Kicks

Bites

 

Show of

 

And a lot of running

 

 

Nope he is not dead, he is just tired..

 

and of course his master is always there to console him

Back then, the fight is held in an open field either the oval of Tanjay Central School or East Negros Institute, there were no barrier between the spectators and raging stallions. This give the spectators a piece of the action, trying to evade the fury of the horses.

These days an arena is set, made of steel, that act as  barrier, that made some disappointment to some daredevil.

While a time limit and point system  is implemented, but in the old times its fight to submission.

Some People May Call it Barbaric

I Say “Go Ahead a Call Me Barbarian” for its My Culture and My Heritage..

For More Picture Click here

Categories: Culture, Tourism, Traditions | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

The Northern Exposure: Day 1

Badoc, Ilocos Norte.

April 24, 2012

I left My Cebu early morning of the 22nd of April on-board AirPhil Express Flight 2p 923. My bad i choose the cheapest, only to realized that the flight is scheduled to depart at  4am. I left home at 12mn so that i could have take a nap at the terminal, but i have to go back to get something important i left behind, yeah that is very me.

Arrived Manila  23 minutes ahead of schedule. The Chairman of  Asian Network for Free Election  send a car for me, thank Manong Rony for waking up early for me.

Went to Mandaluyong to have Breakfast with the Chairman, by the way he also happened to be my uncle. After the customary chit-chat and family talk i head for a power nap.

They woke me up for Lunch, after i boarded a cab to go to:

The Cultural Center of the Philippines to join:

Carlos Celdran’s Living La Vida Imelda tour.

After the Tour, i went with Carlos to his Malate Condo, there i meet his Cebuana wife, Tessa. A few round of drinks, and lots of chit-chat, took a cab back to Mandaluyong to have dinner.

Then we went to Sampaloc GV Florida bus terminal, for the 10pm Sleeper Bus to Badoc, Ilocos Norte, but the bus goes as far as Laoag.

 

Yes you read it right, Sleeper Bus, instead of a seat you’ll have a bed.

Just as i took picture of the sleeper bus, the camera’s battery went to sleep also.

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A Trip to Bicolandia without leaving Cebu

Cebu City
April 18, 2012

Today is the birthday Don Vicente Sotto, i attended a ceremony hosted by Cebu City government to honor Don Inting’s legacy. It’s a well attended gathering, with members of the Sotto Clan headed grandson Sen. Tito Sotto, and  daughter Dr. Suga Sotto-Yuvienco.

Halfway of the program i have to leave the Sinulog Hall of the Rizal Memorial Library, on my way to Bicolandia.

Nah!!! not the Bicolandia as in Bicol Region..

My Bicolandia this time is the Cafe Marco at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, the home of the Best Buffet in town.

Marco Polo together with Department of Tourism Bicol Region (5) and Cebu Pacific brings to Cebu the Culinary Journey: Bicolandia.

Chef Doy Sto. Domingo, Bicol’s Celebrity Chef, gives us an array of Region’s Culinary treasure.

Chili Wraps

We started our journey with Chili Wraps, yes its chili wrap in Lumpia wrappers.   Former Central Visayas DOT director Dawnie Roa, asked me to try it first, to gauge  how hot is it. It was a bit bearable for me, but i found out the Madam Dawnie’s Chili threshold is way lower than mine.

Longganisang Bicol

Longganisang Bicol, comes in a smaller package compared to the regular longanisa we have in our markets, its as compact as chorizo bilboa.

Langkoy with Ensaladang Talong

Langkoy, Beltfish is Bicol’s Danggit.

The soup is Lapulapu sa Buko, or in Bicolandia they call it Binakol na Lapulapu, its a bit sweet for it contain buko juice.

Paella Bicolana

Don Jaime Picornel, the Honory Consul of Spain couldn’t have enough of Paella Bicolana, its mainly brown rice with bounty of the sea over it.

Guisado Pancit Bato

Pancit Bato came from the town of  Bato in Camarines Sur.

Gulay na Natong (Laing)

Bicol Express

Of Coure Bicol Meal would not be complete without Laing and Bicol Express.

Dessert

The name skips my mind, but this is Bicol’s version of shakoy.

Masi

Mazapan de Pili

 

Then came the Chili Ice Cream, we have a good laugh, when Former Director Dawnie Roa, scream  as the chili in the ice cream got her. As the ice cream come in contact with your tongue, just like any other ice cream sweet and cold then the chili fang follows.

You Don’t Have to take my word for it…

You Must Try it for yourself…

 

Catch this interesting Culinary experience  at Cafe Marco, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu from April 20 to 29, 2012.  Authentic Bicolano Dishes comes along with Cafe Marco’s international buffet fevorites. Lunch Buffet is serve from 12:oo noon until 2:30 pm and Dinner from 6:30 pm until 10:00 pm.

Diners get a chance to win a round trip tickets to Legaspi courtesy of Cebu Pacific.

For inquiries and reservations: Call Cebu: (032) 253 1111 and Manila (02) 887 1263.

Categories: Food, Tourism, Traditions | Leave a comment

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