Saturday, 21 April 2012

Summer treat ... it’s summer time and the living is easy, sing the Zombies in their top-selling record of the ’60s. True, the hot sun and the cool breeze come together to perk up your taste buds for coolants such as the all-time favorite “buko juice”, especially when the green, young nut is halved right after being plucked from the mother tree. Scenes of “buko” being split for its nectar and tender white meat are common during summer in many coconut farms around the country. Picture was taken last summer at a farm in Pinagbirayang Munti, Paracale, Camarines Norte, in the Philippines.

Buko tourists … a group of vacationing Mambulaoans from Pasig City descended one blistering day on a coconut farm in Pinagbirayang Munti, Paracale, Camarines Norte, in the Philippines, to feast on sweet and tender “buko”. It is a pilgrimage this family does every summer, unmindful of the 350km drive to their ancestral home in Parang, Jose Panganiban, where the members spend a few days for a yearly sojourn at their hometown.  

The quest for delicious buko … for this group of “bakasyonistas”, eco-tourism and buko tourism go together. This is the “hostile” terrain they have to deal with just to reach the tree that will drop them the much-sought sweet nectar of buko nuts. -- MWBuzzpics by ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ

Golden days of Larap relived at LaPIMA reunion

LaPIMA members register at the reception table as they arrive. - All MWBuzzpics by ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ

JPHS Batch ’65

THE sons and daughters of former workers and employees at an iron mine in Larap, Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte relived on Saturday night the golden days at the former mining community.

The evening was gripped by nostalgia, as the members of the LaPIMA (Laking PIM Ako) went back in time to reminisce their younger days when the Philippine Iron Mines was a booming enterprise that benefited thousands of mining families both in Larap and in the nearby town of Jose Panganiban.

An audio-visual presentation drew awe and applause from everybody and even squeezed tears from many women who said they could not forget their former lives as youth when their parents, mostly fathers, had eked out a living from the mine.

Alex Reuyan explains the purpose of this year’s LaPIMA general homecoming.
Narrated by LaPIMA president Alexander A Reuyan, the nostalgic video show titled PIM …Happy Days Forever flashed on screen still photos and videos showing the present-day community of Larap and those that depicted the old mining community in mostly grainy black-and-white shots.

The presentation was the highlight of LaPIMA members’ homecoming reunion-dinner held at the Tejeros Hall inside Camp Aguinaldo.

Reuyan, in a remark, told the audience that the video show was a tribute to the former mining community of Larap and to the mine as well, declaring that the mine “made us what we are today”.

Thousands of families of families had depended for livelihood from the mine, with most of them living within the mining camp.

A group mounts the stage to show off its dancing prowess during a group dance contest.

Aside from being provided with housing, free water and electricity, the mine workers also received perks such as free education for their children along with transport service to the high school some seven kilometers away from the mining community.

Most of the LaPIMA members attended the Jose Panganiban High School, which is hosted by Baranggay Parang.

Larap until now has remained the second biggest baranggay among the 27 in Jose Panganiban with a population of more than 4,000.

The biggest baranggay is Parang with more than  5,000 residents. 

 Tita Gadi-Robles swings it away in a group dancing competition.

About 270 members from overseas and the Philippines showed up, with some coming from as far as Alaska and London.

“This was the biggest in attendance compared to similar events held in the past,” according Samuel Tatom, LaPIMA secretary.

He said that they had to put more tables to accommodate members who just walked in and therefore were not included in the original list of attendees.

Helen Hernandez-Cortes (left) with a group of ladies from overseas.

During a parlor game to determine who had worked the longest years at the mine, one 70-year-old former worker and member, said he worked there for 25 years. He came with the members of his family.

In his inspirational talk, Florentino (Jun) E Espana, Jr, told the audience that the association has decided to change the meaning of LaPIMA, which used to be “Larap PIM Association” to “Laking PIM Ako” to signify the importance of the Philippine Iron Mines in the lives of thousands of families who benefited from the mines.

Espana, who is the senior vice-president at the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund), said the former meaning of LaPIMA was “exclusivist”, giving the impression that the association catered only to those who came from Larap.

Tita Gadi-Robles (seated right) with Cesar Schneider, Ato Jimeno, Mark Ariola, an unidentified member, brothers Tony and Samuel Tatom (standing).

"This is no true," said Espana, adding that LaPIMA is open to all who had been involved with, and benefited from, the mine such the workers, miners, employees, contractors, suppliers, service providers, among many others.

Many workers also came from Jose Panganiban itself employed as miners, technicians, skilled labor administrative employees and managers.

LaPIMA’s homecoming reunion also aimed at raising funds for its various future projects.

The members took the opportunity to renew their acquaintances with former school mates and buddies and posed pictures with them.

A part of the crowd huddles for updates on their buddies and among themselves.

In between raffle draws, the members danced the night away to the tunes of the 60s.

Unsurprisingly, majority of those who came were in their 50s and 60s.

The mine, which was directly exporting iron ore to Japan, was the biggest iron mines in the Philippines until 1974 when it finally closed shop.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012
Volumne 1, No 12



Breast cancer and Filipino women

 A diagram showing cancer-affected parts of the breast


I HAD the opportunity to be part of a team that studied the profile of women with breast cancer, as gathered from registry data (ie data as reported by hospitals).

We found that women as young as 25 and as old as 80 could get cancer, but majority of breast cancer cases were in their 50’s .  

Median survival, or the survival of 50% of the women, was highest when the woman was less than 65 yrs old, had early stage cancer (meaning, the cancer is confined to the breast only), with epithelial type of cancer, and when she had  surgery as one of the modalities of treatment . 

We also found out that women who were diagnosed with cancer in government hospitals  (an indicator of low economic status) had late stage breast cancer, while those diagnosed in private hospitals (i.e. less poor or more economically advantaged) had early stage cancer at presentation. 

And the data also showed that nearly half of the women in the study  did not receive any treatment for the disease. 

Indeed, breast cancer outcome among Filipino women represented in the registry data seemed to be in large measure, determined by economic status.

Health apparently takes a back seat among the poor, the daily needs of food and education of children taking higher priority among these women.

Until the disease presents with symptoms, and they usually manifest in the late stage, women procrastinate in seeking medical counsel.

Thus when diagnosed, these economically disadvantaged women find themselves already in the late stage of the disease. 

And even if treatment may improve survival, majority did not receive treatment because they can’t afford it.

So how can we help in the early diagnosis of breast cancer, and help women seek treatment when necessary?  

Our answer for early diagnosis was mass screening.

To do this, our project recruited as many women as possible and used a cost-effective screening tool.  

In most advanced economies, mammography is the screening test used. But in low-resource countries such as the Philippines, this tool is not cost-effective  and widely available, and its even intimidating. 

So, clinical breast examination, conducted by trained nurses stationed in various health centers in our pilot area, was the screening tool we adopted.

Volunteer women and barangay workers and  took advantage of  personal relationships (kumare,  kumpare, etc)  to get women  to go to the health center for screening. 

The recruiters went “house to house”, and came back several times if the woman was not available at the initial visit. This intensive recruitment strategy yielded a high 70% screening rate in our pilot area.

If a subject was found to be positive for breast mass, she was referred to a designated government hospital for further work-up.

All costs of work-up procedures-lab, X-ray, ultrasound, etc, were shouldered by the project.

After work-up and if found positive for breast cancer, definitive treatment procedures such as surgery and/or chemotherapy/or radiation and other treatment modalities as recommended by the physician were also shouldered or borne by the project. 

The objective was to find out if removing the financial barrier would increase the work-up and treatment rates of women found with breast cancer.

The results of our study showed that 2/3  of those screened and found positive for breast mass underwent work-up while about 1/3 did not show up or failed to undergo further work – even though the cost of work-up was to be borne by the project. 

And among those whose work-up showed positive breast cancer another 2/3 underwent treatment and  1/3  refused treatment, even though the cost of treatment was, again,  to be shouldered by the project. 

So what else, aside from the financial barrier, hinder women from seeking diagnosis and treatment?

When we did a survey, we found that knowledge about the benefits of early diagnosis and treatment were well known to both compliers and non-compliers so this could not be possibly a significant factor in their decision to complete work-up and treatment. 

We found personal and institution-related reasons for non-compliance: personal reasons - fear that the treatment - surgery, chemotherapy will prevent them form carrying out their responsibilities as mother, caregiver, wife and even  their role as bread winner.

Some women apparently just put the welfare of their family over and above their own. And some are just put off by the  attitudes of doctors and nurses in government hospitals  as well as the perceived poor facilities of government hospitals. 

So, our study demonstrated that it is possible to increase the screening rate for breast cancer, even at the barangay level.

We also demonstrated that removing the financial barrier can improve compliance to diagnosis and treatment in the majority.

But since we cannot expect government to shoulder the cost of work-up and treatment for all women, perhaps a second option is to  conduct free breast cancer screening, using cost-effective screening tools once a year, perhaps in the month of March (Women’ Month) , and mandate  discounts on anti-cancer drugs for women and  laboratory and surgical  procedures when done during the month of March. 

All year round, though, health centers and government hospitals should conduct information campaigns on the factors that have been proven to reduce the risk for breast cancer, among others.
          breastfeeding among mothers
          Weight reduction or maintaining ideal weight for age
          A diet with lots of fruits and vegetables

Needless to say,  national policies  and executive actions that improve the general living conditions of  women are needed.  Thus strategies to reduce poverty which subject and expose  Filipinos and women in particular to unhealthy environments, poor diet and unhealthy lifestyles, and prevent them from seeking early diagnosis and treatment due to low purchasing power, should be more vigorously pursued.

Improving the level of education, particularly of women, would enable them to  process more scientific information and make rational decisions about their health, and free them from superstition and reliance on   unproven and even dangerous   measures. Improving the education of women will also help them get out of the poverty cycle. 

To date, the Philippines is ranked, in Southeast Asia, as having one of the highest  breast cancer rates.  If we don’t do something now, next time, we may see our own mothers, sisters and friends  being afflicted by the disease.

Time to get off our complacent butts. Better yet, time to kick ass.  

(Dr EMMA P Valencia, MD, is a Health Policy analyst, writer, poet and journalist, who shuttles between Manila and California. She once worked with Senator Eduardo J Angara to assist him on important health policy legislations.)

Vital teaching aid …The Batch 87 of the JPNHS has donated a teaching aid tool to the Alma Mater. Turned over on April 7, the donation comprising one unit of Panasonic LCD projected and motorized projection screen is hoped to boost teaching methods at the school. The facility was raised  by Atty Maximo Banares, Jr, Dr Darhleen Ramores-Book, Ferdinand Enesio, Ethel Lornizo, Engr Aldrin, 

Editorial -The mysterious cement donor

Hundreds of alumni will be passing under this arch as the march into the campus for a two-day homecoming reunion on April 28-29.

THE community of Jose Panganiban went agog over the news about an anonymous donor of 300 bags of cement to the baranggay road cementing project of town mayor Ricarte Padilla.

Until this writing, the Office of the Mayor has remained tight-lipped on the identity of the generous benefactor, while Mambulaoans both overseas and those based in the Philippines are also clueless.

MWBuzz, your online news tunnel, had the pleasure of meeting and talking at length with this mysterious donor on the condition that this benefactor remains unnamed and that some salient points of the discussion go off the record.

However, one clue that MWBuzz could give away to the readers is that our publicity-shy donor has always been a frontrunner when it comes to helping the community and its people.
One of the coming projects the donor would launch soon are  classroom buildings for the benefit of the students at baranggays Bagong-Bayan and Calogcog.

And from our lengthy talks with our benefactor, it was gathered that there are many more assistance schemes the donor has in the pipeline. 

And one of them has something to do with the rescue of our mud-polluted Mambulao Bay.
Our mysterious benefactor is not from Mambulao.

The only qualification our benefactor could present so he could intrude into our psyche is that he has for long been thinking just like a native Mambulaoan with a heart of one, having a good grasp of the economics and politics of running the affairs of the municipal government and the local economy.

What lesson could we draw from his generous gestures of supporting a worthy project?
MWBuss has firmly believed that a good deed need not come alone from the sons or daughters of Mambulao. 

And that a worthy project such as road-building around the municipality of Jose Panganiban truly deserves the full support of the community whose most able sons and daughters belong to the Jose Panganiban National High School Alumni Association (JPNHSAA).

And the most opportune time for them to showcase gestures of all-out support would be the coming gathering of the alumni from all over the world slated on April 28-29.

Already, one alumni batch is planning a grand entrance to the party with a truckload of bags of cement, one way to drumbeat the importance of the project they are supporting, and thus generate more donors.

But whether or not the delivery was 300 bags or just one small heap of cement, the fact remains that the vigor that Mayor Padilla injects into the development of our beloved community has formed an amalgam of enthusiastic supporters from across the citizenry of Mambulao alongside that outsider-benefactor who shunned a well-deserved publicity and rousing applause.

To the alumni coming home and those who have no opportunity to come at this time, MWBuzz welcomes you.

And to those who would show up with a bag or two of the much-needed cement, this space welcomes you twice more.

And to the anonymous donor, we can assure you that a ribbon of this much-needed road would materialize one of these days amid the dirt just like gold nuggets in the mud.

     - Alfredo P Hernandez

Late-breaking news by PERCY A OSTONAL

Official logo of the 2012 JPNHS general alumni homecoming-reunion that will appear in all souvenir banners, T-shirts, promo products, promo programs and a lot more. - Courtesy of JPNHS Facebook site

All roads lead to JPNHS High School grand reunion. Through my overseas call to our eldest sister Mrs Precy Ostonal-Taboada, (Batch ’63) I was told that lots of previous residents and "balik-bayans" are so excited to come home for this year's JPNHS grand reunion on April 28-29. Some came much earlier for the Holy Week, especially those based in California, New York, and in Vancouver, British Columbia and Toronto, in Canada. One adjective that could aptly describe this group is the word “retirees”. As one US old-timer told my sister: "When we were young then, with San Mauricio Gold Mines, Paracale-Gumaus Gold Mines and Philippine Iron Mines in operations, our town's population was not this big compared today’s number at 50,000 plus … and I hardly knew anyone by now.” She lamented that they (the retirees) have become strangers in their own native town owing to their long absence. Roughly some 1,000 plus alumni are expected to come home for the reunion by boats, SUVs, cars, train and airplanes.

Bag-of-cement for a cause: Road cementing now at Barangay Calero. There's a great deal for the baranggay residents of Calero, Jose panganiban, Camarines Norte, to be happy about these days as road cementing has been completed within their area. Just less than a month ago, it passed the Adea property fronting the beach area. Now, people's excitement soars as expectations are also high that the cemented road would finally reach Larap by year’s end. The appeal for bayanihan and helping-hands by Mayor Dong Padilla and his administration through Facebook to all Mambolenos in the Philippines and abroad and through Mambulaoans Worldwide Buzz online news has created patriotic emotions and continued supports. 

JP administration candidates for council, 2013 election. Except for the three remaining spots for Sangguniang-bayan of Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte, five of the currently elected administration officials are pretty much assured to make the team. They are Councilors Aristeo Arenal, Romeo Arena, Sarah Marie Aviado, Felino Schneider-IV and Carlos Taboada. From a reliable source, it was learned that two of the candidates vying for the vacant slots were losers under the 2010 Dong Padilla-Ariel Non Tandem. The 8th place is now reserved to a" young, dynamic lady and community leader of South poblacion. There's no denying that even the political machine of the opposition is gearing up as well and its widely known that ex-mayor William Lim is preparing for his comeback while two former vice-mayors are jockeying for the second highest municipal job under the Lim team, alongside a newcomer. Die-hard followers of Lim -- councilors Pompeo Guzman, Ramil Ybarola and Rodrigo Ultra - were prominently mentioned this early as re-electionists.

Incoming seaside walkways. Instead of using the same treated lumber to replace the present-day boardwalks, it was learned by this writer that the municipal government has alloted P2 million to replace it with a "T- design" seaside walkways. It will be 100% concrete with materials chosen to last for years. When trying to determine as to the source of funding, I was told that funding to this project would come directly from the local government’s savings. Residents and visitors alike are expected to see and enjoy this facility improvement sometimes late this year.

Friday the 13th disaster: Gold miner’s tailings pond collapses, destroys 10 houses

A tailings pond similar to one pictured above collapsed at the mine camp of Johson Gold Mining Corporation at Baranggay Bangong-Bayan on the outskirts of Mambulao on Monday, April 7, and released massive volume of cyanide-tainted waste water into the nearby creek and immediate vicinity. - Picture courtesy of JGMC


FIRST, a deafening boom, followed by a roar of water rampaging down the mountain slope, flooding a nearby tributary until it slammed into a busy tricycle-trodden road below.

Minutes later, 10 houses along its path were seen crushed, five of them totally.

The time: about 10am.

The day, Friday the 13th.

The culprit: A failed toxic tailings pond at the mine site of Johson Gold Mining Corporation (JGMC) at Baranggay Bagong-Bayan on the outskirts of Jose Panganiban.

Luckily, no life was lost from the 10 wrecked houses, five of them “barong-barong” owned by farmer-gold panner families, as the occupants were away when the tragedy struck.

Locals who witnessed the deluge of the toxic gold tailings said it had dragged down with it “a shanty, uprooted trees and vegetation and boulders”, indicating the intensity of force the toxic flood had packed.

Baranggay officials had immediately traced the source of the toxic flood from a cluster of mine tailings ponds at the nearby campsite of JGMC at the former San Mauricio mining tenement.

The collapsed dam later identified by the miner as “Tailings Pon E” was believed by the residents to have released big volume of cyanide-laden mine tailings into the environment.

The damaged dam, which was one of the five containment facilities at the mine camp, was being prepared for decommissioning along with four others labeled as “A to D”.

A new pond labeled as “Tails Pond F” is being developed, JGMC said.

Municipal officials were investigating the incident.

JGMC Vice-President Jason A Marcelo returned MWBuzz earlier call to confirm the incident.

“Five houses along the path of the flood were totally destroyed while five others were partially affected,” Marcelo said.

However, there was no casualty, he said.

Marcelo said the flooding had reached the main road but a clean-up job was immediately carried out to prevent the toxic wastes from spilling further into a wider populated area.

He said that a wall section of a tailings pond E collapsed and released into the environment waste water and sediments.
“It has been observed that during heavy rains, some scouring of backfilled earth materials caused the thinning of the top embankment of this portion, which caused the mudslide,” Marcelo said in a follow statement sent to MWBuzz.

Marcelo said the mine’s tailing ponds with a total of 3.5 hectares were designed by experts and built under their close supervision.

This facility is one of the major requirements by the government before JGMC was allowed to operate.

“We have repaired the damaged wall,” Marcelo said in a statement emailed to MWBuzz to respond to some queries the online newsletter sent to the company official.

It was not immediately known how long the affected water tributary and the immediate farmland and vegetation would remain toxic considering the massive volume of cyanide-treated waste that flooded down the mountain slope.

But local residents said that whatever life that used to teem in the water tributary such as shrimps and edible snails have been wiped out.

They also said that water springs along the contaminated tributary could no longer be used as source of drinking water.

Marcelo said that although there were silt materials from higher suspended solids along the creek, “no fish kill was observed along the shoreline of the bay”. 

The Mines and GeoSciences Bureau has been informed of the incident while the municipal government is investigating what exactly caused the tailings dam to collapse.

Earlier, Marcelo said his company had taken safety measures to contain its mine tailings.

Marcelo made the assurance to allay fears of the public on the alleged harm that its wastes could do to the mining camp’s surroundings, particularly the nearby tributaries that flow down to the Mambulao Bay.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Gold miner sets aside compensation funds

THE Johson Gold Mining Corporation (JGMC) will pay for damages caused by the flooding of toxic gold tailings at Baranggay Bagong-Bayan in Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte on April 13, 2012.

The toxic water was released from one of the six waste water impounding ponds at the miner’s mountain top gold processing camp after the pond’s wall weakened and collapsed.
The deluge of gold tailings had immediately destroyed at least 10 houses that stood on its path.

The company said the dam’s wall had been weakened by constant rainfall in the area.
Baranggay officials at Bagong-Bayan are said to be conducting a survey of affected properties for possible damage compensation.

In a statement emailed to MWBuzz, JGMC Vice-President Jason A Marcelo said his company has set aside funds for damage compensation, rehabilitation of the affected area, water-and-silt recovery and other miscellaneous expenses.

“All damages and clearing operation will be the sole responsibility of JGMC,” Marcelo said.
As to the possible effects of the toxic flood to the environment, he said the nearby creek where the toxic water flowed through “has already been cleared and cleaned”.

This mountain slope creek, which is being  used by the residents as a source of water, ends up at the Mambulao Bay about one kilometer away from the mine camp.

At last, a facelift for beach of Parang

      Volunteer “beach rubbish busters” at work

Maybe one more pass would finally make this portion of the beach completely sanitized.

AT LAST, the rubbish-inundated beach of Baranggay Parang has received a much-needed facelift, thanks to the joint efforts of different concerned groups in Jose Panganiban.

The beach clean-up, which finally came on April 7, was spearheaded by the Jose Panganiban National High School Alumni Association under a committee chaired by Cathy Book of Batch ’84.

The day-long effort to rid the beach of Parang of tons of debris and community rubbish was dubbed “Pagsagip ng Kalikasan, Kaagapay ang Alumni: JP Bay Area Clean-up Drive”.

It was participated in by several baranggays that included the south and north sectors, Bagumbayan, Motherlode and Plaridel and the Purok 5 in Baranggay Parang, which covers the shoreline households,  most of them squatter families.

The 1.5km shoreline stretches from the mouth of the mangrove river next to the poblacion and ends up at the rock walls along the road to Larap.

Most of those who worked the beach hauling off tons of rubbish were high school alumni based in Jose Panganiban, residents from Purok 5 in Baranggay Parang and several baranggay captains and their constituents.

Even the children from the beach households were seen helping out to haul off big debris of rubbish and dump them into sacks.

At least one truck believed to have been deployed by the municipal government was seen hauling dozens of sacks of collected rubbish and brought them to a landfill somewhere in Larap.

During the clean-up, a child was seen defecating at the beach, after which he went straight into the water, shocking onlookers including town Mayor Ricarte Padilla, who came to cheer up the “rubbish beach busters”.

One alumnus commented on Facebook that “nobody dared to take pictures or video of the kid as it could embarrass the mayor”.

The tons of rubbish along the 1.5km long community beach had began piling up some five years ago but it was only on April 7 that the community decided to deal with it.

The alumni association has planned a second outing to finish off the job, this time hoping to draw more community support in terms of volunteer cleaners and “meryenda” donations for volunteers’ snack foods and refreshments.

One alumnus, Engineer Ed Alvero (Batch ’74), has pledged to provide volleyball sets to Purok 5 in Baranggay Parang for its children so they could make use of the beach to play the sport in the afternoon while keeping the place clean.

This way, the community would be encouraged to sustain the beach clean-up so that the children could continue using the beach as volleyball court, Alvero posted on Facebook.

Mambulaoans overseas who saw pictures of the beach clean-up posted on Facebook heaped praises on the efforts to save and rehabilitate the community shoreline.

One  of them, Edraline Bencito said: Ipagpatuloy nating mga kababayan ang paglinis ng tabing-dagat … napakagandang tingnan and malinis na beach …  ipagmalaki natin an gating bayang Jose Panganiban sa kalinisan ng beach.”

Mrs Elvira Hernandez, 85, now a resident in Pasig but visits her ancestral home in Parang at least three times a year, commented after seeing the online pictures of a new-look beach: Talaga namang maganda ang beach natin sa Parang lalo na nuong diyan pa tayo nakatira nuong mga 50s-60s … napakalinis at ang sarap pumasyal sa umaga … pinabayaan lang nga mga nakatira diyan sa tabing dagat na masala-ula … dapat bantayan na ang beach para hindi na tapunan ng basura …”

The drive to save the beach from worsening environmental pollution began in April last year when a Balikbayan from Papua New Guinea (PNG) saw the beach in its appalling state.

Immediately, the visitor, who is a native in Parang, took pictures and posted them in a newly opened Facebook account called Taga Jose Panganiban Camarines Norte Ka Ba? ( through which he launched a crusade to save the dying beach.

However, the effort to bring the beach’s sad plight into the consciousness of the community was ignored and that nothing was done about the worsening pollution along the shore.

When the online newsletter Mambulaoans Worldwide Buzz (MWBuzzz) was launched last November to bring news of relevance to Mambulaoans based overseas and in the Philippines, among the first major stories it carried focused on the appalling state of the Mambulao Bay and the beach.

At the same time, it consistently published pictures of the rubbish that carpeted the entire stretch of the shoreline.

It its last editorial (11th edition - April) titled “Rubbish beach tourism”, it had - tongue  in cheek -- encouraged the government of Padilla to promote the beach of Parang as a tourism destination for being the only beach in the world with so much rubbish – a clear showcase on how not to protect the environment.

The editorial declared:  The town government could drumbeat on its website: Jose Panganiban is the only country in the world to have it and that the travel coming here and seeing a rare show could be an emotional and psychological experience.

“One thing sure: it would easily draw awe from the visitors and offer them an inspiration on how to care for the environment back home.

When this happens – as it would surely do – the money they spent coming to see the beach of Parang would be worth it, as the awesome or appalling experience would bring them to a higher level of consciousness towards the protection of our environment and at the same time, how not to protect it.” (See related story titled Photo essay … Parang beach ‘rubbish busters’, by Alfredo P Hernandez below)

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