The perks of being a Sun.Star writer

Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 04:47 p.m.

AS WE celebrate our 6th anniversary at Sun.Star Bacolod with the new administration of Jimmy Golez, I am likewise celebrating my 15th anniversary as a Sun.Star contributor. In these 15 years, I have experienced different managements, editors (I loved working with George Pontino, Butch Bacaoco and now Danny.), a lot of great Alleluia days and some struggling ones too for the paper but here I am, still loyal to the Sun.Star.

Perhaps the most senior in all departments in terms of residence, I have witnessed that the newspaper industry, just like any other business, has its highs and lows. But Sun.Star has remained steadfast despite the challenges. A great guy, Jimmy Golez, a newbie in the business, has sailed the tempestuous waters but weathered the storms by his temerity and his trust that there is sunshine after the squall.

Six beautiful places in Negros

Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 04:45 p.m.

THE number six is a cool number. Madonna sang, “One is such a lonely number.” There’s two for the road. Three’s a crowd. Four scores and seven years ago. Give me five!

But the number “six” has gained a horrible reputation for getting mentioned in the Bible as the three-digit combination you wouldn’t want to have on your forehead.

Home for the holidays

Friday, December 19, 2014 - 03:24 p.m.

I AM a homebody, I like staying at home. While I do have the urge to travel or meet up with friends every now and then, for the most part, I find that there is no greater pleasure than staying in for the day, away from the heat and noise, curling up on a large couch, book in hand. After all, we spend so much money and energy making our homes comfortable, why would we not spend some time in it?

People often misunderstand homebodies as people who dislike the company of other people or are just simply unadventurous. Staying at home means not having to deal with people crowding a small space.

Strengthening the tourism industry of Victorias City

Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 02:51 p.m.

THE young, dynamic and enthusiastic mayor of Victorias City, Francis Frederick Palanca, enters the protocol room of the 1938 building that houses the city hall and announces, “Today is VMC Day and I thank you for inviting them (the media).”

Laughter ripples across the room among the small group of media people from Bacolod. The offer of thanks is meant for Victorias Milling Company (VMC) that is a major contributor to the success of the 1st Kalamayan Festival of Victorias City.

Christmas, the gift of self

Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 02:51 p.m.

THE Christmas season is reunion time. It brings home friends to be reunited with their family and friends. In the frenzy of holidays with the madness of buying presents and Christmas parties left and right, sometimes we lose the very essence of Christmas.

Christmas is giving and receiving. When Christ came into this world, He gave us the gift of Himself as our Savior. That cute Baby in the cradle who will spend His life teaching and proclaiming God’s word will hang on the cross not for His sins but because of love for us—you and me— unworthy and undeserving creatures. The gift of self is the story of Christmas.

Can they read it?

Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 02:50 p.m.

DO YOU get long emails from friends or companies with messages in a small typeface with rarely a break in the text for new paragraphs?

I do, and I find them almost impossible to read so they usually get deleted.

Forgotten Corvette collection uncovered

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 09:18 a.m.

IN 1970 when I left advertising to start a new career in journalism and public relations, my first major project was the British launch of an exhibition by the highly successful American psychedelic illustrator and graphic artist Peter Max.

For those readers old enough to remember the 60s and 70s, psychedelic art was all the rage. Peter Max graphics adorned everything from bed sheets, posters, watches, US postage stamps to clothing, pianos, guitars, cars, curtains, rugs and even a Continental Airlines Boeing 777. For several decades Peter Max was America's favorite artist.

With new fiberglass boats, fishermen no longer fear the sea

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 09:18 a.m.

"MY FATHER has always been a Pescador, our term for fishermen," says Cocoy Garcia, a 38-year old fisherman, as we strolled around his stilt village in Culion, Northern Palawan. "I was nine when he first took me out. We caught baskets of squid that first night, lured in by the glow of our Petromax lamp."

Together, Cocoy and his father fished for decades. The old Pescador taught his son the age-old skills of the sea – how to read the tide, mend nets, overhaul engines, repair boats, where to find the biggest fish.

Not your usual amazing race

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 03:33 p.m.

APART from the usual merry makings in the streets, the annual Harvest Festival of Murcia town, dubbed “Tinabu-ay Festival,” last week was highlighted with an amazing race.

Seen as an emerging festival attraction of the town, the first-ever “Amazing Race Murcia” saw participants from all sectors competing in a battle that tested their physical capabilities, endurance, wit, teamwork and other skills.

SAD on Christmas?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 03:32 p.m.

I CAN feel Christmas in the air. I have received gifts and have bought gifts for my family, some close friends and godchildren.

There is an extra dose of love shared to everyone. It is really the season of joy and love. Many people tend to smile more and are much happier. Catholics attend the misa de gallo, which starts today. We are grateful that Jesus Christ was born to save us from our sins.

Siling labuyo: More than a hot spice

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 03:32 p.m.

HOT red peppers have a peculiar feature—whether they are red ripe or raw green, they are popular for their fierceness.

When I was a teenager, I got amused seeing my relative just ate the “native” red pepper with his meal as if it were one of his viands. During that time I had no inkling why such a fiery crop would go with the meal of an individual just like an ordinary food.

LCC student wins Krispy Kreme’s ‘golden ticket’

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 03:31 p.m.

PATIENCE is a virtue, they say. For Joven Gallardo, this old adage couldn’t be any truer than his recent win—a “golden ticket” at Krispy Kreme.

Gallardo, an Architecture sophomore at La Consolacion College in Bacolod, won the so-called golden ticket of the Krispy Kreme challenge last Dec. 6 and won a daily supply of donuts and coffee for 365 days.

Homestay: A new tourism boost

Monday, December 15, 2014 - 03:56 p.m.

HOMESTAY is the new boost in tourism, especially in Negros Occidental.

Homestay is a living arrangement with a host family or organization that offers extra private room or space for an out-of-town guest for a reasonable charge. In short, the host family provides the guests a home away from home.

Dining with a dictator

Monday, December 15, 2014 - 03:55 p.m.

I'VE never cooked a meal for a dictator, though once I came close to joining the team cooking for former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. But then, she wasn't a dictator.

I wonder what kind of meal one would cook for a man - or woman - who had the power of life or death over millions of people? In a fascinating new book, Dictators’ Dinners: A Bad Taste Guide to Entertaining Tyrants, authors Victoria Clark and Melissa Scott say that food can affect one’s mood, one’s bowels and even one’s world-view.

Clone on the range

Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 04:10 p.m.

CHINESE automakers are at it once again.

Some 18 months ago, I wrote about Geely making an almost dead ringer of a Rolls Royce Phantom which sells in the UK for 250,000 British Pounds (P17.5 million). Price of the Geely GE rip-off? A mere 30,00 British pounds (P2.1 million).

Passion for sketching

Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 04:09 p.m.

ARTIST Christian Mahilum is in town for quite an extended stay because of the demise of his father. If there is one word that embodies Christian, it is his passion for sketching.

To date, Christian must have done about 30,000 sketches. He can just sit and talk with his subject and voilà! after 30 or so minutes, your face comes alive in his canvas.

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical

Friday, December 12, 2014 - 01:37 a.m.

LAST Sunday, a couple of friends and I went to Resorts World Manila to watch the last show of a musical after it has been revived for a short engagement -- the tickets were an early Christmas gift from a very generous classmate.

And while I was never the type to actively seek out musicals and plays -- I've always wanted to watch the popular ones but never got the chance to -- this one seemed to play right into my interests - quirky characters, triumph over adversity, and what I consider as the "ultimate throwback" soundtrack.

Better health care for Negrenses

Friday, December 12, 2014 - 12:41 a.m.

THE delivery of “optimum health care” is a component of the NEGROS FIRST Development Agenda of Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr.

Aside from the Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Program (NOCHP) that already benefited 125,000 Negrense families or more than 624,000 members as of May 2014, the Marañon administration is also modernizing the province’s 11 district hospitals.

Priests can rock, too

Friday, December 12, 2014 - 12:40 a.m.

A PRIESTLY life is not all work and pray. There is also a time to play and be people who have God-given talents aside from preaching.

And these other talents came to the fore to support the mission of taking care of fellow priests who are retired, sick and elderly.

Victorias Milling Company to hold cook-off

Friday, December 12, 2014 - 12:39 a.m.

THE Victorias Milling Company (VMC) will hold a cook-off dubbed “Sabor Victorias: Life is Sweet @ 95” on Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. at the Victorias plaza.

The VMC cook-off is in line with the 1st Kalamayan Festival of Victorias City on Dec. 15 to 24, according to Anne Tiongco, VMC Corporate Communications director.

Bike Festival in Bacolod set

Friday, December 12, 2014 - 12:38 a.m.

THE Mountain Bike-Negros will hold a Bike Festival on Dec. 13 to 14 at the Centrale Bacolod (Active Eroreco).

It is dubbed the “1st Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. and Councilor Kalaw Puentevella Mountain Bike Festival.” The two councilors are co-authors of the “Bike Week Ordinance” that was approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod last September.

House of Frida opening group exhibit

Friday, December 12, 2014 - 12:37 a.m.

THE House of Frida will host a group exhibit called “Godhand” and “Nobraincells” that will open tomorrow at 7 p.m.

Employing personal styles meshed together in their respective collaborations, the four artists created works centered on life and death.

A wedding that defied the odds

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 02:34 p.m.

SUPER typhoon Nelia trumps super typhoon Ruby! That was the firm proclamation of the groom last Saturday. While everyone was bracing for the expected wrath of typhoon Ruby, we witnessed the renewal of vows of two phenomenal individuals, Atty. Ivan and Nelia Nemenzo, during their silver wedding anniversary.

Theirs is a story of literally beating the odds.

How low can you go?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 02:33 p.m.

THEY look sporty. They look sleek. They look sexy. And they're supposed to enhance your driving experience.

No doubt, that's why we are spotting more and more cars fitted with low-profile tires.

Silay to unveil Christmas village today

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 02:32 p.m.

SILAY City will formally unveil its award-winning Christmas Village today at 6:30 p.m. at the public plaza.

The switch-on ceremony at the covered court will be led by Mayor Jose Montelibano, Vice Mayor Mark Golez, city councilors and public officials.

A memorable cruise

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 02:32 p.m.

I JUST came back from a cruise in Singapore, Phuket (Thailand), and Langkawi (Malaysia) from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3.

Ours was familiarization trip courtesy of Costa Victoria cruise ship and Philippine Airlines. Desiree Lorenzo, sales officer of TravelServices, and Honey Ortiz of Philippine Airlines, headed our group.

A decade of missionary service

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 01:16 p.m.

THE Congregation of St. John the Baptist (CSJB), with mother house in Taichung, Taiwan, yesterday celebrated its 10 year of missionary service in the Philippines at the Lux Mundi Monastery at Hacienda Binitin Brgy. Blumentritt in Murcia.

The anniversary included a dedication of its newly built St. John the Baptist Oratorium and blessing of its school, the Catholic Ming Yuan College.

Self-care to beat stress

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 01:15 p.m.

IT’S Christmas time once again, the most festive month of the year. It is the time when there is joy in the air, as we celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ. It is the time of the year when we give and receive love. We exchange gifts, attend parties and also share our blessings with our family, relatives, close friends and godchildren.

As merry as this can be, the Yuletide season can also give us additional stress.

Mung bean, the cheapest protein source

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 01:14 p.m.

“WHAT is considered as the poor man’s meat?” That was the question my teacher asked in my Food and Nutrition class in high school that I could never forget. I also often ask this to the participants every time I talk about nutrition matters.

The answer of course is “mungo” or mung bean. It is the long-time seed-friend of many Filipinos. Its high protein content is the reason it is grown in mass production by many farmers. It is the cheapest major source of protein in the country. Aside from its 20 to 25 percent protein content, it is also rich in carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

Liven up your veggies this Christmas

Monday, December 8, 2014 - 04:15 p.m.

VERY few of us eat enough vegetables. It's a fact, and if we ate more of veggies, we would all be a lot healthier. After all, they are the most health-promoting food group on earth. If you aren't eating vegetables, you aren't getting all their amazing components like fiber, antioxidants and other powerful phytochemicals.

My New Year's Resolution is to eat more veggies in 2015. And I'm going to start with the meals I'll prepare for the festive season.

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