Appreciating your teachers

Just because you’re not the teacher’s pet doesn’t mean your teachers are not worth appreciating. How else would you know the ways of the world if not for them?

You may not know it, but teachers do have a tough job ahead of them. When your parents are gone, they are the ones responsible for you. And if you think your parents have a tough time keeping you out of trouble, can you imagine a teacher who is reponsible for an entire class?

Here are some ways to you can take the burden off your teachers.

• Behave. When your teacher is speaking, the least you can do is listen. Don’t run around the classroom or talk to your seatmate. Or worse, don’t pull out a cellphone or mini game. You’re not even supposed to bring those things to school.

• Do your assignments. Trust us, your teachers don’t give you homework just to make your life harder. They give you these things to make sure you get a better understanding of the lesson. They also want to make sure you are prepared for the coming discussions.

• Participate. Don’t just sit in class like a zombie. If you know the answer to a question, raise your hand and give the answer. No wonder some of you fall asleep in class. It’s because you’re not really participating.

• Be nice. Teachers can get really tired from all the talking and coaxing they have to do to get you and your classmates to understand the lesson. A small smile or a polite request is enough to get them going. If you’re being rude and nasty, it makes their job even more difficult.

Remember, teachers are human, too. They are not perfect, but we all know they do try their best. Let’s all give them a pat on the back to show them they are special.

From around the world, people join Araw celeb

DABAWENYOS from different parts of the world took part in the celebration of the 75th Araw ng Dabaw last March 14-16 via the live streaming of events on the Sun.Star website.

Streamed over and its micro site,, were the Mutya ng Dabaw pageant, Sayawan sa Dan, Datu Bago Awards and, the highlight of the Charter Day celebration, the Parada Dabawenyo.

The live streaming resulted in an increase in the number of visits to the Sun.Star Davao website at and a rise in new visits by Dabawenyos formerly not aware of the local information provided by the site, said Mildred Galarpe of the Sun.Star Network Exchange (Sunnex) that runs Sun.Star’s online and mobile products.

“They viewed the events as they happened, listened to the sounds, and exchanged greetings or interacted with other readers,” Galarpe said.

The micro site and the live streaming were done in partnership of Sun.Star Davao and Sunnex with the Smart Communications Inc. that provided its latest LTE technology to allow fast upload of the video.

A total of 11,349 views were logged during the live streaming and 2,033 readers participated in the live blogging of events as they happened, Galarpe said.


Matt of Seattle, WA, USA:
Salamat sa mga sponsors for sharing this celebration. I’m not a Dabawenyo, but I visited the city in late 70s. Look where it is now! Move on, Davao!

It feels like I’m home. Thanks Sun.Star for this live streaming!

RicAtencia of Dili, Timor-Leste:
No doubt, people of Davao City will keep their city as one of the most livable cities in Asia!

Debbie of Makati:
Seeing familiar places eases my homesickness, at least.

Yanix of New York, USA:
Happy Araw ng Dabaw. Glad to see you here! Kalami mouli diha oi, kaon ko durian. Hehehe.

No question (about it) but watching the Davao parade miles and miles away.

Julie of Germany:
Salamat kaayo Sun.Star Davao and Smart’s LTE. Clear kaayo ang sounds and pic diri sa Germany. Happy kaayo ko watching this event! Dugay na kaayo ko na wala na makawitness ani na event diha sa ato!

Family in Singapore:
Hello sa tanan taga Davao, from Singapore. Congrats!

Daniel of Saudi:
Enjoy na enjoy kami dinhi sa Saudi. Makawala og kamingaw! Basta naay mga kalingawan diha sa atoa, please Sun.Star, stream niny opirmi. Daku kaayo ni’g tabang sa amoa nga mga OFW. Salamat Sun.Star og Smart.

Franilyn of Singapore:
Missing Davao City. Happy Araw ng Dabaw everyone! Kudos co-Mutya’s all the way here from Singapore!

Cebuano awarded in US

This article was published in

AS A prolific author and associate professor of international business at Millikin University, Mark Munoz has won his share of awards.

All of them are honors, but none have been quite so “mind-boggling” as the one he received in Dubai last month. Munoz received the 2012 Distinguished Scholar Award from the Academy of Global Business Advancement, which held its World Congress meeting on March 19-21.

“I couldn’t believe it, but I was very humbled and thrilled, at the same time, with the opportunity,” Munoz said.

Munoz has taught at the university since 2001, following a career that spanned several international companies and positions in multiple countries. He is the author of seven books, though he said he thinks it is his latest, published in 2010, that contributed to his recognition at the Dubai conference.

“Contemporary Microenterprise: Concepts and Cases” focuses on what Munoz said is a relatively new area of study: an extension of discussions about microfinance, already a “hot topic” in the business world.

“One of the findings I have in the book is the best way to help these very small businesses is to have a microenterprise zone. … House them together in one venue and provide support services, provide marketing support, technology support, to help them grow,” Munoz said.

Munoz used some of his time as a visiting fellow at Harvard University in 2009-10 to work on the book. Jim Dahl, dean of the Tabor School of Business and a longtime colleague of Munoz’s, said the topic is growing in importance on an international level.

“If you look at where job growth happens, most of the job growth happens not in the big companies but across all the many small and mid-size companies,” Dahl said. “There isn’t a lot of research in that area. Increasingly there is becoming a body of work, and Mark certainly is well-engaged in the forefront of that work.”

As part of his work at Millikin, Munoz teaches an International Business Consulting class that involves about a dozen students in international work.

Last year, students traveled to Italy to present their research to Academia Barilla, an offshoot of the large pasta company. In May, Munoz’s class will travel to the Republic of Zambia, where they plan to present research about microenterprise zones to government officials.

Munoz credits Millikin with allowing faculty members the freedom to engage in such projects.

“That’s kind of why I love it here, aside from having very supportive colleagues,” Munoz said. “They let the creative spirit thrive.”

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.

Photojournalists win Sinulog video documentary

CEBU CITY — A documentary film about Cebuanos’ strong faith in Sr. Sto. Nino in the midst of the recent fires that hit the city is this year’s Sinulog 2012 Best Video Documentary. “F-Stops” was written and directed by Aldo Nelbert Banaynal, a photographer of The Freeman, one of Cebu’s local newspapers. F-STOPS: A Documentary [...]

Voice of Filipina conquers Germany

Dyscem Echivarre Mueldener

By Jhay-ar A. Book

MUSIC resides in every Filipino home. No birthday or fiesta is complete without the videoke. It is no surprise then why many Filipinos are making a name in the music industry locally and abroad. Include in the list Dyscem Echivarre Mueldener, whose voice has brought her to places beyond she imagined.

Dyscem, a Filipina who was married to a German, won first place in the Voice of McDonald’s (VOM) worldwide singing competition West Europe division and will compete as a global semi-finalist in the final rounds of the VOM. Born in Cebu City, Philippines, she now lives in Germany with her husband and four-year-old daughter.

Voice of McDonald’s, a singing contest showcasing the talents of the giant fast-food chain’s crew and managers worldwide, will bring top 16 global semi-finalists coming from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, to compete in the final rounds at the McDonald’s 2012 Worldwide Convention in Orlando, Florida, USA, in April.

Luck is indeed in the hands of Dyscem whose good life in Germany doesn’t stop from having a supportive husband and lovely daughter but goes beyond having experienced recording tracks, shooting music videos, meeting producers, and traveling the best places in the world.

“It was life-changing (referring to her winning in the VOM in her division). I’ve been to places I’ve never been. I experienced recording and shooting a music video. I met producers in London and in Germany too. I’ve been to London to record a video and a song. The last event was I’ve been to Portugal last January 18-20 to sing to the McDonald’s European managing directors,” she says.

“The experience visiting different places because of me singing and because of McDonald’s was really life-changing. The support of the managing directors was great and really awesome,” she adds.

All these she honors to her roots back in the Philippines. She says her father is a choir instructor and her relatives to her father’s side are into music too. She was also a member of the band in the Philippines, although she admits she’s never joined a singing contest in the country.

Dyscem, who takes pride of her roots, enjoys the support of the Filipino community in Germany. “All my friends here in Germany, the Filipino community, they are very excited about this event,” she says.

Dyscem’s musical influences include Adele, Eva Cassidy, Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson, Bruno Mars, to name a few.

Although she’s on top of her life, Dyscem’s excitement doesn’t spare her family – a true Filipina.

Like any competitor, Dyscem hopes to make her family and friends proud by winning the contest, but nothing could make her loved ones prouder by saying, “Win or lose, I’m fine with it. I felt like a winner already because staying in Orlando for two weeks with my whole family is already a prize for me, and what happened on my VOM journey was already a dream come true.”

The champion in the VOM finals will take home US$25,000; second place, US$17,000; third place, US$12,500; fourth place, US$7,500; and global semi-finalists will get US$3,000 each.



New Zealand celebrates Sinulog

TAKING off with a procession of the image of the Santo Niño and the Virgin Mary at 10:30 a.m., nearly 10,000 people gathered together for this year’s Sinulog at the North Shore Events Centre in Auckland, New Zealand on January 15. The Sinulog Dance Troupe performed a praise dancing followed by a liturgical mass celebrated [...]

Festival unites Sogoranons

IT WAS aimed at showcasing Sogod’s rich cultural heritage and natural wonders but the town’s first Panagsogod Festival did more than that.

The festival, Sogod Vice Mayor Lissa Marie Durano said, united Sogoranons and bound them closer together.

View photos of Panagsugod Festival

Activities and preparations for the month-long celebration, which culminated on July 25 in time for the feast of town patron St. James the Apostle, made Sogoranons work hard together to see the realization of their dream.

The vice mayor said she was especially happy with other town officials and employees who cooperated with her to make the celebration successful.

The festival, aptly carrying the slogan “Ang Sinugdanan” (The Beginning), started with street dancing and a parade.

After, the street dancers had a showdown at the town’s reclamation area.

Tribu Magbubukid, represented by dancers from the Carmen National High School and sponsored by the Association of Barangay Councils, was declared grand champion in the competition.

Kulturang Sogoranon won first place and the Best in Musicality award; Pundok Bulawanong Sogoranon placed second and bagged the Best in Costume and Best in Street Dancing awards, while Pundok Calumboyan was picked for third place.

Named Festival Queen was Miss April Rica Lumbab, 20 years old, of Northeastern Cebu Colleges.

Rep. Ramon “Red” Durano VI (5th district, Cebu) and Governor Gwendolyn Garcia wee present in the celebration. Provincial Board members Agnes Magpale and Rosemarie Durano were also there.

Vice Mayor Durano said the festival is among a series of activities aimed at promoting Sogod as a tourist destination. (MVG)

Argao celebrates 400 years of township

This year, Argao is undertaking a series of activities in line with its 400th Charter Day celebration.  The town presents a progressive face, with free wi-fi at the Municipal Hall and other technology innovations, as it commemmorates 400 years of township. Watch videos, go over photos, and read interesting tidbits about this second-class municipality in the Cebu Directory feature on Argao.

First Panagsogod Festival

Sogod’s first Panagsogod Festival, aptly carrying the slogan “Ang Sinugdanan (The beginning),” will culminate tomorrow with street dancing and a fiesta banquet at the Municipal Hall.

Vice Mayor Lissa Marie Durano said the festival is among a series of activities aimed at showcasing the town’s rich cultural heritage and potential as a tourist destination.

(Watch video of mayor inviting visitors to Sogod)

The Panagsogod Festival’s culminating activities are timed with the feast of town patron St. James the Apostle.

A shower of events, held since July 1 and which included a mass church wedding, talent showdown, agro-fair, special dinner affair at popular beach resort Alegre, had preceded tomorrow’s celebration highlights.

Durano said several contingents will be joining the street dancing activity that will be held tomorrow during the town fiesta.

The town of Sogod considers the Panagsod Festival as an opportune time for a renewal of unity, cooperation, and prosperity.

Sogod highlights beginnings

Sogod is Visayan term for “start”, and locals said the town is so named because it is a place of beginnings.

It is in Sogod that fine white sand stretching farther north begins, ending the string of dark sand beaches in preceding municipalities.

This meeting in contrast of white and dark can be seen only during low tide, at a spot where a sign marks a cave that once served as hiding place of Japanese soldiers during the war.

In this same area are markings resembling hoofs that religious Sogoranons believe were made by the horse of St. James The Apostle, the town’s patron saint, as he makes his way on horseback to the Sogod church through the cave.

Another possible reason for the name “Sogod”, residents say, is because the shift to Catholicism in the north during the Spanish period started in the town.

It’s not therefore surprising that Sogod celebrates beginnings through the “Panagsogod Festival” – which will have its culminating activities on Friday.

Vice Mayor Liza Marie Durano, who is acting mayor, said she sees the potential of the town to become a destination and invites tourists – both local and foreign – to visit and sample the many things that the town has to offer.

About Sogod

Sogod, approximately 60 kilometers from central Cebu City, shares boundaries with Borbon on the north, Catmon on the south, Tuburan and Tabuelan on the west, and Camotes Sea on the east.

It has 18 barangays with a total land area of 12,413.35 hectares, a large part of which is made up mostly of broad alluvial plain (75.85%) while the remaining portions are mountains (25.15%).

The town recorded an annual income of P34 million in 2007, and it had a population of 30,308 or 5,000 households as of the 2005 census.

Unpublished written accounts say Sogod existed as a civil government in 1764 under the authority of the Spanish provincial government known as “Tribunal de Mestizos.”

It was headed by a teniente in the person of Juan Daligdig.

In 1903, Sogod was merged with the town of Catmon but an act of the defunct Philippine Assembly separated them again on January 1, 1921.


A landmark destination in the town is the popular Alegre Beach Resort, with its premium on privacy, breathtaking view of the sea, fine sand, cool waters, cabanas taking inspiration from Spanish and Filipino architecture, and lush greens.

Other beach resorts are Calumboyan Public Beach, Tabunok Garden View Resort, and Northsky Beach Resort in Barangay Bawo.

Aside from white sand beaches, Sogod also a number of caves, springs, falls, and rivers.

A spring in the village of Bagatayam supplies water to the town through the Sogod Waterworks System. The spring has attracted tourists because its water has been reputed to have healing powers. A grotto of the Virgin Mary has been constructed in the place.

The St. James the Apostle Parish Church, built in 1842, is 170 years old and is a town cultural destination. Sogod also has a host of old school buildings, houses, and other structures.

At Sogod Central School in Bagatayam are astronomical platforms that served as the International Astronomical Observatory Post of the 1929 total solar eclipse. The town was then the center of the eclipse.

In Nahus-an Hills, 70 percent of farmers produce “kabog” or millet, a kind of cereal under the corn variety. The product is made in the famous Sogod delicacy “budbud kabog.”