Thursday, 4 April 2013

Morning fun … High tide in Mambulao Bay is always a happy event for kids who live by the beach of Parang, a bustling coastal neighborhood in Mambulao. On this particular morning in April last year, the bay water was still holding, prompting these two kids to plunge into the cool, a ritual they would take every morning while the touch of the sun was still mild on their skin. It’s great fun despite the murkiness of the water caused by silt and mud from the gold mining operations in the municipality.

Sweet flowing water … There was a time when access to potable water was just a dream for many families in Parang. The residents sourced their washing and cooking water from their backyard wells and collected drinking water from as far as Malapayungan, then a mecca for the village lavanderas, where water welled from a natural spring. But over the years, it dried up after the massive forests nearby were felled for commercial timber and cooking charcoal, until they finally disappeared. About two years ago, the town Water District water service reached Parang and provided easy water access to many households that are willing to pay the rates, such as the families of these two mothers in the picture. Abundant clean water has enabled them to keep their homes clean and bathe their children every day after a nice swim in the bay which is just a few steps away from their back doorsteps.  – MWBuzzpics and texts by ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ

INTERIM EDITORIAL: Municipal ordinance to bring in enough fish

THE marked decline in Mambulao Bay’s fish stock has created shortage of fish in the public market, resulting in a price much higher than what consumers had paid before.

The heyday of bountiful catch from the bay is now just a pigment of local fantasy but its effect on the community in terms of higher prices continues to be echoed every day by the consumers, the fishermen, the fish traders and the market vendors.

With a lesser supply of fish catch reaching the stalls at the public market, matched by a long line of market goers waiting for it, its price would shoot up, which is what the law of supply and demand has been telling us consumers since time immemorial. 

But aside from the effect of this law, there’s one little factor that also helps prop up the price – the increased volume of cash circulating in the municipality,  courtesy of remittances from overseas workers, families and relatives based abroad. 

With more OFW cash ready to be spent against a limited supply of consumer goods that included fish and other marine catch, the result is higher price.

And while the price would continue to hover above what most of the consumers could well afford, the amount of fish reaching many households’ dining tables would either remain steady or could dwindle some more.

But with the growing number of Mambulaoans looking for more and more sources of cheap protein – fish protein, that is – the amount of fish that could be shared by every household everyday would be very tight.

Something must be done now.

The campaign to check overfishing and illegal fishing within Mambulao’s fishing zone has failed.

There’s no doubt about this.

Over the years, the local authorities and the commercial fishing operators poaching on our municipal fishing zone – an area they are forbidden to touch -- have been playing the catch-and-mouse game, with the culprits winning it most of the time. 

Just consider that the municipal exclusive fishing zone for coastal fishermen covers only 15km of marine waters from the shoreline as provided for under the Republic Act No. 8550 known as The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998.

The commercial fishers’ blatant intrusion into the forbidden waters with utmost impunity has deprived the marginal, subsistence coastal fishermen of their daily catch. 

As a result, the volume of fish they manage to bring to the public market would not be enough to meet consumers’ demand.

And when this happens, our poor fishermen suffers more, as the day’s income from an overnight expedition out in the open seas would not be enough to meet the needs of their families, much less pay for the few liters of diesel fuel they would need for the following night’s fishing trip.

Over on Facebook accounts run by internet-hooked Mambulaoans, there have been discussions on the fish issue, which bordered on frustration, anger and the inane. All the input attempted to give a solution to the recurring fish supply shortage.

One input, although fully unexplored yet, pitched for the passing of a municipal ordinance that would require all commercial fishing operators – whether they illegally operated within Mambulao’s fishing waters or caught fish outside the forbidden zone, and therefore legally – to allot 10 per cent of their catch to the local public market at a price they pass it on to the fish traders (viajeros), that is, if they decide to unload their day’s catch at the municipal fishing port at Baranggay Osmena on the outskirts of the poblacion.

And those who refused would be asked to take their catch back to the boat and bring it elsewhere outside the municipal territory.

One reason why commercial fishers come to Osmena to offload catch is that it is a spot nearer than the bigger unloading fishing ports such as Mercedes, a boom fishing town in CamNorte, and those in Quezon province. 

Short sailing distance would mean less fuel cost for the fishing boat operators and Baranggay Osmena in Mambulao is the best bet to save.

And for the viajeros, Osmena is likewise convenient for them to source the fish they trade in Navotas, Metro Manila. It is nearer than Mercedes and an advantage in terms of fuel cost.
Assuming that the total haul for the day is 100 banyeras, a 10 per cent allocation would easily mean 10 banyeras of fish going to our public market. 

With each banyera of about 50kgs, the total allotment would be 500kgs a day, enough to please at least 1,000 households, assuming that each buys only half a kilo.

This scheme, if fashioned into a municipal ordinance, would provide local consumers of a steady supply of fish every day, especially when our small fishermen had managed only a few kilos of catch from the previous night’s work.

Such a consistency in the inflow of catch would also result in lower prices of fish in the long run.

Now, one Facebooker was concerned that it could violate some other laws.

What MWBuzz could say is that the complainant could simply sue the municipal government before a court of law and test the ordinance’s legality.

Meanwhile, the consumers in Mambulao will continue to enjoy more than enough supply of fish every day, without feeling the pinch of an overpriced kilo of the people’s favorite – galunggong.


- Alfredo P Hernandez


Magandang araw sa iyo, Kababayan. I am a native of Mambulao.

I have followed some of your Facebook postings and found them quiet impressive especially that one showing you touring the rural areas to meet the folks.

And you are raring to take off for the campaign.

It is for this reason that I sent this letter to MWBuzz as an Open Letter to let you know how a Kababayan of yours feels about your mad rush into politics under the present circumstances.

I surmised that after a year-long association with your fellow party-mates in the Liberal Part-Mambulao, you should have gained some insights about who you are dealing with inside the party and how you are to deal with them from now on.

And deep in your heart, you have realized – NOW - that the future of your political career is threatened and your integrity periled.

The LP-Mambulao is not the environment to nourish you as a young politician.

You’re like a software program fresh from the box which, soon, is going to be installed on a PC swarming with virus and heavy with corrupted files.

I’m afraid that the PC virus scan will fail.

No! Please don’t allow yourself to be in this polluted situation.

If you really want to be with the people and work closely with them to find ways in enhancing their lives, there are doors open wide for you.

You can join an NGO that is now looking after the welfare of the senior citizens in Mambulao; or the one that helps the Kabihug people (Bgy Osmena) to enhance their effective assimilation with the Mambulao society.

These are people-focused groups that will bring you closer to the people you want to serve.

Or you can find an NGO which, together with you, could help the community restore the beauty of the beach of Parang as well as the once-pristine water of Mambulao Bay, which has been inundated by waste pollution from gold mining operations in our community.

It will also boost your political stock over the next six years that you would be working with these NGO.

And on the seventh year, you are in a much better position to take another crack at politics in Mambulao -- as a councilor – but outside the LP regime.

I therefore urge you to quit the race in the coming May local elections.

Mr William A Lim, the father of the Liberal Party in Mambulao, will only support four (4) of the LP SB candidates – financially and otherwise - and that doesn’t include you.

And if ever he does support you, it will be a baited deal that you would have to swallow – hook line and sinker.

And that would be very painful and costly – integrity-wise.

This will be your own undoing.

On Monday, March 4, SB Member Caloy Taboada delivered a privileged speech in which he slammed one of the SM members for his financial dealings while being an official of the municipal government under Mr Lim.

The poor guy did not have ammo to defend himself, and much to his embarrassment, the entire session hall applauded – a simple confirmation of his transgressions.

I know you were there, to listen; thus, you got a preview on how an erring government official is put to shame on the floor of the Sangguniang Bayan.

Mr Panganiban, bata ka pa … bihira ang mga galing sa UP na sumama sa isang traditional political party.

But it is your right to select an association of your choice.

Not the LP-Mambulao, however, under its present regime, one with a perception that the people of Mambulao, especially those who have suffered a lot over the lack of development in the community, regard with disdain.

I appeal to your good sense and righteousness –

QUIT THE RACE BEFORE THE LP-MAMBULAO COULD TARNISH AND SWALLOW YOU UP and put a big blot on your still unborn political career.

Just always remember that you are carrying the name of JOMAPA, your ancestor, who, until now, is loved and respected by us natives of Mambulao.

I don’t want to see you going astray from this honorable family tradition.

You may win in this coming election but it will be a big loss -- in the making -- for your family because it will feed an ego that would, little by little, eat your honor away until you end up like some of your party-mates running in this elections.

Show us your associates and we will tell you who you’re going to be.

Maraming salamat po.

A concerned Native of Mambulao.

March 15, 2013

MAMBULAOAWATCH: Tres Panganiban – a personality cult?


AN Open Letter recently published in MWBuzz and addressed to Mambulao Sangguniang-Bayan (SB) candidate Tres Panganiban has drawn curious attention from Mambulao Facebook habitu├ęs.

Young and aggressive in their imagination, coupled with the built-in idealism of youth who were recent mass-output from the academic factory mill, they reacted strongly against a call from the letter writer for neophyte Panganiban, a new member of the Mambulao Liberal Party, to withdraw from the SB race and cut his ties from the political party.

The Open Letter has reasoned out that Panganiban, young and inexperience as he is, would be a big waste as a future politician if at this early he gets tarnished by the nasty perception now plaguing Mambulao LP – that the politicians crawling under its roof are not to be trusted as public servants and those who are running in the May local elections should not be allowed to hold any office in the municipal government.

Simplified, the Open Letter says something like this: Birds of the same feather flock together.

Since the veteran LP politicians running for the SB office in this coming local election are perceived to be unworthy of an elected public office for one reason or the other, of which many Mambulaoans are well aware of, Panganiban could, one of these days, be lumped with them with simple ease.

And once Panganiban begins wearing the Liberal Party jacket as he conducts his campaign, the hot-steel branding of the LP will for long remain stamped across his forehead.

And this is a brand that the public would immediately drop, like a mistrusted, offensive, spoiled product.

But of course, the Facebook postings by a number of youth have clearly shown that they did not quite understand the dire consequence when they publicly urged Panganiban to ignore such a quit-call by the letter writer and instead, move on with his life and launch his campaign to become the youngest SB member of Mambulao.

In fact, they promised to help him sell his candidacy once the campaign season took off.

It looks like that the Open Letter of this concerned Mambulao citizen has backfired and the good intention defeated.

The call for Panganiban to quit the race and save himself from the purgatory if not the scorching hell has not only fallen on deaf ears but also inspired a delirious mood to push his candidacy.

This is quite understandable.

The youth would always go for someone who they believe wears their skin and idealism, such as Panganiban.

But in this critical part of the community’s state of affair where the panorama of progress is looming in the horizon, their idealism may be misplaced.

They are simply standing for Panganiban as his sponsors to either make him a corrupt official or a dishonest one owing to the kind of company he would deal with inside the Mambulao LP should he win.

It has been said that those who are 40 years and above long for progress to come to Mambulao, and therefore would vote for the person who could help bring this to the fore with honor.

While those below 40s – otherwise known as the youth -- don’t care about progress and development as they are more psyched on personality regardless of what he would become later resulting from his dealings with people of questionable integrity.

In their bid to elect Panganiban to the SB, the Mambulao youth are definitely pushing him to nowhere but harm’s way.

Sa gasgas na pananalita … sila na rin mismo ang magbubulid kay Panganiban sa bangin ng kapahamakan.

And this has been the concern that greatly worries the Open Letter writer, himself a native of Mambulao, who has seen how politics has mired his community in deep stagnation over the past 60 years.

It’s just too early for the young Tres Panganiban to tarnish his honor; too early for him to put his name in a paragraph of a news report where the word “corrupt” or “magnanakaw” also appears.

If I were him, I’d rather take heed for the sake of his family’s time-honored name.

It’s one great sacrifice to make.

For feedback, email the writer: and

EXTRA: JPNHSAA, LaPIMA deny pledging support to Padilla candidates

THE two big social groups in Mambulao – one composed of former high school alumni and the other a group of  family members who benefited from the defunct mining operations in Larap – said they never pledged support to the candidates under the slate of re-electionist Ricarte “Dong” Padilla.

Matt Ella Espana, former president of the Jose Panganiban National High School Alumni Association (JPNHSAA), emailed MWBuzz to protest the way the alumni group and the Laking PIM Ako (LaPIMa) was dragged into partisan politics in Mambulao.

Espana said that while the two groups had an audience with Padilla sometime towards the end of January to take up what they could do to help push progress in the municipality, they never pledged political support to Padilla candidates in the May local elections.

What was committed, says Espana, was “pure technical and intellectual support on projects and programs, devoid of persons, personalities and political parties".

Espana said that while there may be persons in both associations who may have their own political choices, "they were discreet and kept it among themselves out of pure delicadeza so as not to drag their organizations to a partisan politics".

Espana branded the report “malicious”.

The meeting was held in Makati City during the time Padilla was in Metro Manila on official business for the local government of Mambulao.

It was attended by the core officers of the two organizations who are based in the city.

MWBuzz failed in its effort to get a reaction from Padilla.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013



Political grapevine …. MWBuzz has received news dispatch saying that current SB Guzman does not want only to be re-elected but rather to be the number one  SB member once votes finally tallied and counted. Gossips were all over town and people are just wondering what in the world he will do reaching that top most- coveted spot. Speculation indicates that IF Ex-Mayor/ Ex-Vice Mayor William Lim upsets current Vice-Mayor Ariel Non, automatically SB Guzman takes over officially as vice-mayor candidate for 2016 local election. William Lim and his group seems to anticipate an upper hand over current Mayor Ricarte "Dong" Padilla should he beat convincingly Ariel Non this May 2013 election. This would ultimately set him up for another showdown with Mayor Padilla whom he beat narrowly first time Padilla early on tried his luck for mayorship in 2007. With such new found momemtum and political re-acceptance from the people of JP, he will bank on how "good he can be" after dethroning of Padilla's number two man (Ariel Non). Another scenario according to our local correspondent: The opposition group anticipates Mayor Dong Padilla will venture for  congress at the first district of CN (Santa Elena, Capalonga, Jose Panganiban, Paracale and Labo) in 2016 … again, speculating that Mayor Padilla's partymate Cathrine "Cathy" Barcelona Reyes (National Unity Party ) current candidate for congress against formidable opponent and long time ex-mayor Winifredo Oco (Liberal Party) of Labo, CamNorte and 2010 losing candidate for CN Governor, will not survive politically. Should Padilla, the "rising political rock star "of the province of CamNorte meeting a well experienced, widely known, popular, savvy and well connected ex-mayor Oco for congress in 2016 will surely be a real headliner in Bicol region's political news. Not SO FAST FOLKS …  latest news and survey updates shows current Vice-Mayor Ariel Non and eight SB "performance team" members enjoys high degree of electability and preference over the opposing group of William Lim. Knowingly that Mayor Ricarte "Dong " Padilla who is running for re-election virtually unopposed, need these "well trusted and duly tested individuals" in delivering the next phase of his administration's "massive" economic, social services, infrastracture, peace and order, health and sanitation, tourism, employment creation and comprehensive development plans and growth in Jose Panganiban, Mayor Padilla's  simple request to the people of JP is: "Tulungan po ninyo kaming ipagpatuloy ang nasimulang mga adhikain sa ating bayan at mamamayang Mambulao .....sila pong lahat ang kaagapay ko sa mga pangarap nating lahat . Your votes of confidence bestowed upon us ALL represent zero tolerance of  corruption, dedicated, honest, accountable and TRANSPARENT ADMINISTRATION. "Mag sama-sama po tayong lahat ng muli para sa patuloy na kaunlaran ng ating minamahal na bayan at mga taga Mambulao ... maraming salamat po sa inyong pag tangkilik........alay sa tao, alay sa Diyos".

Monday, 1 April 2013


PAF helicopters to be stationed in Paranal … A leak report from our JP correspondent stated that PAF Paranal Radar Station once in full operation sometimes this year 2013 will have its two aerial surveillance and tactical  helicopters to be stationed permanently at this strategic military site. Believed to be an airforce company commander and senior officer who has spoken to our reporter, he indicated that in joint military operations/exercise and community involvement , such "air assets" will enhance  PAF capabilities serving its purpose such as:  

A. National air defense activities
B. Assorted reconnaissance efforts supporting the ground forces in counterinsurgency
C. Takes part in disaster, relief, mercy and emergency operations in cooperation with local authorities, civilian organizations and participate in national development programs
D. Search and rescue
E. Military immediate air transport
Paranal Radar station is under PAF's Northern Luzon 1st Air Division and in 2007, decision was made to reactivate these divisions accordingly as primary administrative units for combat and combat support elements. The 2nd Air Division is Central Visayas Islands, Southern Mindanao and small satellites is the 3rd.Under these divisions, regional responsibility were assigned which is called "intermediate commands" which is subsequently divided into specific sub-region called Tactical Operations Group (TOGs). Bicol Region TOGs headquarter is in Legaspi City. Be it PAF's tactical helicopter wing's Hornets, Stingers, Daggers currently based at HQ Benito Ebuen AB, Mactan Island, Cebu  or any of the refurbished UH-IH Huey helicopters handed over by the United States government to the PAF in  January, 2011 and  additionally  reported 21 used helicopters (acquisition cost of PhP1.2 Billion or US$ 27.9 million) of the same aircraft specification in June,2012, for use at JP and surrounding airspace  remains anybody's guess according to our report.

Leavin' on a jet plane … Larap Airport re-opening might come sooner than earlier projected. In 2007, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) cited the Philippines with certain safety issues directly affecting air routes and airport development plans or expansion air operations for the entire country. The successful air safety audit conducted recently in Manila by this global aviation authorities lifted this " hold provision". Cebu Pacific Airlines and Philippine airlines  are contesting every possible markets and with that, Larap, Jose Panganiban, CamNorte is no exception. With tourism as the new and emerging source of economic rebirth of the town, the present LGU has the biggest plans ahead refurbishing its old airport and just like Caticlan Airport, Boracay's beauty is a sell-out worldwide partly because the mood of air travel is available and  access to the place is not a question at all.

Look back and be respectful ... Our local reporter relayed to us that a certain opposition candidate vying for SB has issued statement saying that " no one among the setting administration SB members" can ever face him on one-on-one debate on issues about high level discussion simply because his college and school credentials and awesome ability to speak in public will be more than enough for them not to accept such invitation. Would the new JP Sangunniang Bayan need   Philippine Senator Miriam Defensor-like person who preaches anything to show he is smart enough academically?

"Huwag na pong pera … bigas na lang po”…Our local reporter overheard a frail looking mid-50s woman asking one of the "performance team" SB candidates during their "consultation meeting" at Baranggay Pag-asa (Bunog  some three weeks ago for help."Eh sir, pasens'ya na po … talaga lang pong walang wala kaming makain ngayon, huwag na pong pera … bigas na lang po!!! Without a doubt, this woman is really hungry. The candidate mentioned requested a baranggay member to buy three kilos of rice at a nearby sari-sari store.

Political grapevine … MWBUZZ received news dispatch saying that current SB Guzman doesn’t want only to be re-elected but rather be the number one once votes finally tallied and counted. Gossips were all over town and people are just wondering what in the world he'll do reaching that top-coveted spot. Speculation indicates that if ex-mayor/ex-vice mayor William Lim upsets current Vice-Mayor Ariel “Aye” Non, automatically SB Guzman takes over officially as vice-mayor.