Court may not act on Arroyo’s request to go home

THE requests of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to visit her cardiologist and to go to her hometown next week may not be acted upon by the court as the judge handling her poll sabotage case has already gone on a Holy Week break.

Also, court spokesperson Felda Domingo said Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 112 Judge Jesus Mupas, who has jurisdiction over Arroyo’s electoral sabotage case, has not set any hearings next week. (more)

Government spends P120,000 for Arroyo hospitalization

MANILA — A medical report Monday showed the government already spending more than P120,000 for former President Gloria Arroyo since she was detained at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City.

Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 112 spokesperson Felda Domingo said the VMMC and Arroyo’s attending physician were able to submit the medical report as well as the expenses incurred in her stay at the presidential suite of the VMMC beating Tuesday’s deadline imposed by Judge Jesus Mupas. (more)

Arroyo camp questions witnesses’ relevance in bail hearing

THE camp of former President Gloria Arroyo questioned the materiality and relevance of the two witnesses presented by the prosecution during Tuesday’s resumption of the hearing on her petition to fix bail before a Pasay court.

Arroyo’s legal counsel, Ray Montri Santos, said witnesses presented by the prosecution before the sala of Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 112 Judge Jesus Mupas have no knowledge on the alleged tampering of votes in Maguindanao in the 2007 senatorial election. (more)

From Pancho to Pacquiao: Philippine Boxing In and Out of the Ring

SAN FRANCISCO, California — The Yuchengo Philippine Studies Program (YPSP) at the University of San Francisco launches From Pancho to Pacquiao: Philippine Boxing In and Out of the Ring, a book that examines the economic and social contributions of a marginalized…minority, Filipinos and Filipinas, to the history of boxing in the United States and the world.

The book is co-authored by the chair of the Philippine Studies Program, Jay Gonzalez, and adjunct professor and USF head boxing coach, Angelo F. Merino.

From Pancho to Pacquiao will be officially launched on Saturday, March 31, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Arkipelago Books in San Francisco.

From Pancho to Pacquiao is comprised of lucid and readable biographies of outstanding Philippine-born and Filipino American boxers, from Francisco “Pancho Villa” Guilledo to Manny “People’s Champ” Pacquiao.

Each story describes the rough roads these Filipino and Filipina boxers took to achieve global fame and glory. Vivid photos and personal interviews combine to make the narratives real and captivating.

“Besides Manny Pacquiao, there are many Filipinos who have made an impact on the history of boxing as a sport, including middleweight Ceferino Garcia, minimumweight Chen-Chen Abaniel, among others,” said co-author Jay Gonzalez.

“From Pancho to Pacquiao is the first and only compilation of world champion Filipino and Filipina boxers,” he added.

The book is inspired by young boxers, especially those in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Co-authors Gonzalez and Merino are known for their YPSP boxing courses that combine recreational sports, cultural diversity, and service learning.

Students learn the fundamentals of Filipino studies and are trained to teach boxing as recreational and self-defense activity to at-risk new migrant population in the Bay Area. From Pancho to Pacquiao is being used as a textbook for these courses.

Members of the Filipino community and boxing enthusiasts are encouraged to attend the book launch.

From Pancho to Pacquiao will be sold for $15 on March 31 at Arkipelago Books. Each book purchased at the launch will be signed and dedicated by both authors.

About the Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program

The Maria Elena G. Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program was established through a generous grant from well-known Philippine diplomat and industrialist Alfonso Yuchengco.

One of the largest in the world, with 20 courses offered every year, the USF Philippine Studies program has allowed students from all colleges, majors, and disciplines to learn more about Filipino society, culture, history, and politics.

The courses offered through this program have attracted students of both Filipino and non-Filipino descent, whose interest in taking these classes is enhanced by their encounters of Filipino culture and of people of Filipino descent in California.

For more information about the book launch, please contact Elise Gonzalez at (PR)

3 Dabawenyas are Datu Bago 2012 awardees

The Davao City Government in its 75th Araw ng Dabaw celebration conferred the Datu Bago award to an entrepreneur and two educators for their outstanding service that has contributed to the growth and development of the city.

The three awardees were cited for having served as a model of excellence and an inspiration to the Dabawenyos and for demonstrating exemplary competence and dedication to help achieve city’s development.

The conferment of Datu Bago award is among the highlights of the annual celebration of Araw ng Dabaw. Read full story

Luis Gonzales died on March 15, 2012

FILIPINO movie icon Luis Gonzales succumbed to complications from pneumonia at 11 p.m. of March 15, 2012.

Gonzales had starred in over 30 films opposite actress Gloria Romero. The two were one of the famous love teams that Sampaguita Pictures created.

Among the movies they did together were Hootsy kootsy (1955), Despatsadora (1955) , Pagdating ng takipslim (1956), Vacacionista (1956), Colegiala (1957), Ikaw ang aking buhay (1959), Pitong pagsisisi (1959), Lupa sa lupa (1960), Apat na yugto ng buhay (1961), etc.

Uncovering city’s rich history

TRYING to uncover Davao City’s history thru research and visits to its three museums comes at this time when this southern city is marking its 75th Foundation Anniversary from March 1 to 31. A month-long celebration of “Araw Ng Dabaw” is expected to bring thousands of visitors, tourists, transients and travelers to the city.

History buffs, who still can’t figure out whether or not Davao has really a rich history worth talking about, will be surprised at the wealth of materials found among the long-ignored passages of Davao history books and other historic references.

Although this southern city does not have historic ruins like Manila’s Intramuros, Cebu’s Fort San Pedro or Zamboanga’s Fort Pilar, to show off to visitors and tourists, there are at least some historic markers and monuments around the city that tell us how this place started as a Moro settlement that was later invaded and overran by Spanish colonizers who helped the early natives re-build the settlement and brought early civilization here starting in the late 1850’s.


Panel exhibits at the Museo Dabawenyo today show that the early Davao area was first known as “Nueva Guipuzcoa” to the Spanish colonizers. This area in southern Mindanao stretches from Surigao, Davao to South Cotabato provinces and was not known as a geopolitical entity until the middle of the 19th century.

Governor General Narciso Claveria came out with a Spanish decree on January 29, 1849, proclaiming the previously uncharted territory under Spanish control as “Nueva Guipuzcoa” to honor Oyanguren for his conquest of Davao. Oyanguren came from the Spanish town of Vergara in the province of Guipuzcoa in Spain.


An American flag was flying on the Davao shore when the first American troops arrived on the steamer boat SS Brutus on December 20, 1899 — unlike the bloody welcome that Oyanguren got from Datu Bago and his Moro warriors when they first set foot here in 1848.

About a week earlier on December 14, 1899, a delegation of Davao town officials boarded the steamship SS Manila and personally welcomed the arrival of a top American military official General J.C. Bates, US Army commanding officer of the Mindanao and Jolo areas.

Six days after this visit by Bates, the first group of American occupation troops arrived, commanded by Major Hunter Ligget.

Over the years, the Americans built roads, bridges and opened vast tracts of land areas for coconut and abaca plantations in the Davao area as well as rubber plantations up north in an area known today as Makilala. Many American soldiers who retired from the army in those early days and decided to stay here for good, also acquired lands and put up their own abaca, rubber or coconut plantations.


In the early 1900′s, Davao was bustling with economic activities and seen as a more promising place to stake one’s future, even compared to early Japan. As such, the Japanese had a very strong presence in Davao from 1903 to the late 1930’s. They came by the thousands as settlers and workers to work for Japanese abaca producers who invested and developed huge tracts of agricultural land to grow and process abaca for export to Japan and the world’s export markets.

Most of these abaca plantations were located in Mintal, Calinan and Panabo, as shown by the history panel exhibits at the Museo.

The first batch of Japanese who arrived in Davao were the hundreds of workers who were earlier hired by the Americans to build the winding Kenon Road in Baguio.

Japanese workers and settlers steadily increased over the years, from only 30 workers in 1903, surging to 550 workers in 1910, hitting over 7000 in 1919, settling to around 4,500 and ballooning to 15,000 in 1937.

During this period called “peacetime”, the Japanese controlled almost all the businesses in Davao – hotels, department stores, factories, bars, restaurants, etc. – that the city became known as “Little Tokyo.” (This area in Davao today is located along San Pedro St, Magallanes St. and Anda Street)


The idea to create Davao into a city was first brought up by President Manuel Quezon to then assemblyman Romualdo Quimpo who eventually carried out the plan. Like many local officials of that period in the mid-1930′s, he was also worried and growing more concerned about the rising economic power and influence of the Japanese in Davao.

But it was also recognized and understood by officials that the presence of these foreign investors boosted the growth of Davao’s economy and progress all those years.

When Davao was finally inaugurated as a city on March 1, 1937, thousands of Davao residents swarmed and flooded the streets to celebrate.

Officials then realized that it wasn’t just the worrying presence of Japanese traders, investors, settlers and workers that led to the creation of the city, but also the people’s overwhelming desire to govern themselves and the bright prospects of Davao’s economic growth.

Possibly the most prominent of these Japanese traders was Ohta Kysaburo who was known in the Philippines during that era as K.S. Ohta whose aggressive business penetration in Davao boosted in the 1900′s the overwhelming Japanese presence in this southern part of the country, shown by the old historic photographs being exhibited at the Museo here inside the former Court of Justice building, also an old 1930′s building.


It was Ohta together with labor recruiter Nagasuke Matsuda who first supplied 180 Japanese workers on September 1904 to American-run abaca plantations in Davao.

As a result, more and more Japanese workers by the hundreds and thousands arrived in the ensuing years. Seeing the bright prospects and great opportunities in Davao, K.S. Ohta gave up and sold his company in Manila and transferred his entire business operations to Davao, opening a department store first to supply the needs of Japanese workers and settlers here.

Several months later, he started his own abaca plantation in Mintal which grew over the years. Like many American abaca producers who had experienced lack of capital and scarcity of workers to work in his plantation, Ohta held on patiently, overcoming many problems, but he never gave up until his risky abaca venture finally made him Davao’s top abaca tycoon in the late 1930’s.

Today, a big towering Ohta monument can be seen beside the Mintal Elementary School grounds, the site of one of his large abaca plantations during that time. This monument plus other historical markers around the city are now some of the major attractions for thousands of Japanese tourists, veterans, old-timers, who come yearly to Davao on homage and pilgrimage tours. (PHILPRESS FEATURES)

New Mutya cites experience in beauty tilts as her edge

BY Arianne Caryl N. Casas

THE newly crowned Mutya ng Dabaw 2012 said Wednesday joining other beauty pageants in the city was her edge among other candidates.

The 21-year-old Marianne Mae Te or Yannie, a Bachelor of Arts in Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) graduate of Philippine Women’s College (PWC), was crowned as this year’s Araw ng Dabaw muse at the Davao City Recreation Center on Wednesday night.

“Before I joined Mutya ng Dabaw, I prepared myself. I have been joining pageants from one barangay to another and I have been winning, compared to them who are first timers,” Yannie told reporters after the pageant.

Yannie, who lives in Toril, is a reigning Mutya ng R. Castillo and Mutya ng Buhangin.

She said she was first crowned as Mutya ng R. Castillo before joining Mutya ng Buhangin.

She added that it was during the screening for the Mutya ng Dabaw 2012 when she won as Mutya ng Buhangin.

She also became the 1st runner-up in the Mutya ng Toril search in 2007 and the Mutya ng Crossing Bayabas in 2008.

“After this, I temporarily stopped joining pageant because I concentrated on my studies. Studies first before your career,” she said.

Yannie, in her answer to the final question asked by Brigadier General Benito Antonio T. De Leon of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said living in Davao is close to perfection as it is the only place that offers the beauty and bounty of the highlands and the islands.

She bared her plans of joining national pageants in the future.

“There are invitations of joining the Mutya ng Pilipinas and Miss World,” she said.

She said as Mutya ng Dabaw, her top most priority is her advocacy that is to provide an “attainable culinary entrepreneurship” among unemployed women to create livelihood and for housewives to have additional income.

“I’ve got the best in both worlds in my advocacy. It’s my passion and at the same time, it’s my way to help the community wherein I have to teach culinary, for basic and practical cooking skills,” Yannie said.

Yannie is presently taking up culinary at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies beside Holiday Spa.

Her casual interview with the actor Dingdong Dantes garnered the loudest applause and cheer when asked how to end a dinner with a person she wants to cook for. She said a spectacular dinner with a special person can be ended with a quick kiss in the cheek, and Dantes just gave her one.

Yannie blushed but still maintained her poise.

She was also named Miss AirPhil Express. The title gives her the opportunity to travel to one destination in the world.

Meanwhile, Dorothy Maruel Ibanez of Lanang was crowned Diwa ng Dabaw (first runner-up) and Jhoanna Myles Te of Bajada is Sinag ng Dabaw (second runner-up).

The Pag-Asa ng Dabaw (third runner-up) is Maria Theresa Tan of Ulas while Jazzel Therese Gomez is the Patnubay ng Dabaw (fourth runner-up).

Thousands of Dabawenyos flocked to the DCRC bringing banners and tarpaulins of their favorite candidates.

21-year-old chef is Mutya ng Dabaw 2012

A 21-year-old print model who dreams of having her own restaurant and hotel was crowned as Mutya ng Dabaw 2012 Wednesday night.

Marianne Mae Te or Yannie, who was an early crowd favorite, bested four other candidates to bag the crown. She is an AB Hotel and Restaurant Management graduate of the Philippine Women’s College.

Te, in her answer to the final question asked by Brigadier General Benito Antonio T. De Leon of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said living in Davao is close to perfection as it is the only place that offers the beauty and bounty of the highlands and the islands. Read full story

Karl Roy died on March 13, 2012

FILIPINO rock icon Karl Roy, lead vocalist of the band Kapatid and P.O.T., passed away before dawn Tuesday. He was 44.

Karl’s sister, Kathryn Roy, on her Facebook page said her brother died in his home at 1:01 a.m.

Roy had stayed in hospital after fluid was found in his lungs.