Archive for April, 2012

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Mt. Aguado features life-size Stations of the Way of the Cross constructed from the foot to the peak of the mountain. Cuyonon devotees, visitors and tourists make the annual pilgrimage to Mt. Aguado as part of the penitential rites done in Cuyo during the Holy Week particularly on Holy Thursday.

The Chinese discovered gold deposits in Mt. Aguado and introduced gold mining, smith working, pottery, and other handicrafts.

Read Full Post »


Ploning is a 2008 Philippine romantic family drama film based on a popular Cuyonon song of the same title about a girl’s hidden feelings in a man’s point of view. It starred veteran actress Judy Ann Santos and was directed by Dante Nico Garcia, who won a directing award in Singapore through the film. The filming was done in the municipality of Cuyo in Palawan, which is, incidentally, the director’s hometown. The film is the official entry of the Philippines for Best Foreign Language Film of the 81st Academy Awards.


The story of Ploning begins when a mysterious Taiwanese fisherman, Muo Sei, lands in the otherwise sleepytown of Cuyo, Palawan. When he arrives, he immediately looks for someone named “Ploning”. In the town, Ploning is known as a hardworking and thoughtful woman who, despite her age and beauty, decided not to marry. It is later revealed that she had once loved a man named Tomas fourteen years ago. This man, however, left her for a better career in Manila and she was left heartbroken, waiting for him to return.

Despite this setback, life still goes on for Ploning. She continued her roles as a dutiful daughter to the town patriarch Susing, a committed supporter to the grieving Intang, an honorary sister to her extended family, Nieves and Toting, a wise ally to simpleton Alma, a supporter to the broken-hearted Siloy, and a co-mother to the half-paralyzed Juaning. She was so successful in caring for the town that noone seemed to notice the absence of rain.

One day, she decides to care for a boy name Digo, son of the bed-ridden Juaning and brother to the strict Veiling. Throughout their lifetime, their lives together would be perfect as Ploning seems to have forgotten about Tomas. This, however, is shattered when she suddenly decides to leave to look for Tomas in Manila. Digo, overcome by grief, seeks help in the town guest, the nurse Celeste, who, coincidentally, also had a lover named Tomas back in her hometown, Manila. Due to her deep devotion, Ploning rejects the notion that this Tomas and her Tomas is the same person and continues to plan to leave. On the day of the town fiesta, rain finally arrives, and with this celebration comes Ploning’s disappearance while a secret finally emerges. That secret is that Mou Sei is the small child called Digo.


An aerial view of the Cuyo archipelago.

The filming of Ploning was entirely done on the municipality of Cuyo in Palawan. It was directed by Dante Nico Garcia, who incidentally, is a native of the town. According to him, the film is based on his childhood memories of the town. When he wrote the screenplay for the film with Benjamin Lingan, he decided to use his native tongue, Cuyonon. He had stated that the inspiration for the character Judy Ann Santos played in the film is based on a Cuyonon folk song about a girl’s hidden feelings, originally sung by a male but was first recorded by a female. This led him to think of a story of a woman singing the song while remembering her lover.

Shooting of the film was done in various locales of the town. This includes the pier, the waiting place of Ploning; and Intigan beach. The basketball court, meanwhile, provided for a setting for the first meeting between Digo and Celeste, while Emilod was the location for the esposada (bridal shower), which took three nights to shoot. A cemetery was purposely built for the film and the locals decided to preserve it as a tourist attraction. The film was produced by Panoramamanila Pictures Co., which, despite its fledgeling status, tried its best to authenticate the production of the film. Cashew nut brittle, the town’s delicacy, as well as the harvesting of salt in an asinan was showcased in the film. Cuyo’s Pagdayao Festival, an Ati-atihan-like celebration usually celebrated on August 27, was also featured as the town fiesta.


The cast of Ploning is played by veteran actors as well as newcomers to show business. Veteran actress Judy Ann Santos got the title role. Compared to her other roles, which are very dramatic (particularly that of Mara in Mara Clara), her character in the film is seen as mellow and reserved. Numerous comediannes are also cast in the film, such as Gina Pareño (as Intang), Eugene Domingo (as Juaning), Ces Quesada (as Nieves), and Tessie Tomas (as Seling), whose dramatic performances seems weird in contrast to Santos’. The role of Celeste is supposed to have been given to Iza Calzado but Mylene Dizon took the role instead when scheduling conflicts between the film and Joaquin Bordado were not resolved Other cast members include newcomers Lukas Agustin (as Siloy), Ogoy Agustin (as Veiling), Cedric Amit (as Digo), and Bodjong Fernandez (as Mou Sei) as well as established actors Ketchup Eusebio (as Badocdoc), Ronnie Lazaro (as Old Veiling), Jojit Lorenzo (as Basit), Tony Mabesa (as Susing), Spanky Manikan (as Tsuy), Crispin Piñeda (as Toting), Meryl Soriano (as Alma), Beth Tamayo (as Divina), and Joel Torre (as Mayor Siloy)


The inspiration for the film came from the folk song “Ploning.” A fragment is shown below:

Cuyonon Filipino English
Ploning, nga labing maleban
Ang guegma mo Ploning
Nga ing kandaduan
Lisensia ko Ploning
Kung sarang tugutan
Mapamasyar ako
Sa marayeng lugar
Ploning, puro kabutihan
Ang irog mo Ploning
Na ‘yong kandaduhan
Pasensya na Ploning
Kung iyong payagan
Mamamasyal ako
Sa malayong lugar
Ploning, full of goodness
Your love, Ploning
Which you have locked in
Pardon, Ploning
If you would allow
I’d like to take a break
In a faraway place


Ploning premiered in limited release from April 30 to May 6, 2008 with Filipino subtitles in the Philippines before going to wider release and subsequent worldwide screenings with English subtitles. The film was shown during the 6th Paris Cinema International Film Festival on July 5, 2008, as part of a showcase which featured Filipino films such as Himala and Kubrador. It was then seen in the Hong Kong Asian Independent Film Festival on November 16 and 21 and the 39th International Film Festival of India on November 28 and 30, 2008.[11][12] Before 2008 ended, Ploning premiered at the Asian Festival of First Films in Singapore on December 9, where it received a Best Director award and a Best Screenplay/Script nomination.

In the United States, Ploning was shown during the 20th Palm Springs International Film Festival held in Palm Springs, California on January 12 and 13, 2009, with lead star Judy Ann Santos and director Dante Nico Garcia in attendance. It was part of the For Your Consideration program at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in Rafael, California, where it was screened on January 18, 2009 with director Garcia in attendance. It was then seen at the 10th Newport Beach Film Festival in Newport Beach, California on April 26, 2009.


The Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) graded Ploning with an “A” evaluation, entitling it to a 100% tax rebate on its earnings. Meanwhile, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) gave it a “General Patronage” rating. After it was officially selected for the Academy Awards, it was reported that the Philippine government had given one million pesos (twenty thousand US dollars) in support of the film. Various celebrities were also noted to have supported the film. The film gained critical praise after Dante Nico Garcia won the Best Director award while he and Benjamin Lingan were nominated for the Best Screenplay award during the Asian Festival of First Film Awards in Singapore.

Judy Ann Santos, the film’s star, was involved in a minor controversy when her home network, ABS-CBN, refused to promote Ploning and instead chose to promote the film When Love Begins. This led to disputes between her manager, Alfie Lorenzo, and the network though both parties have since reconciled. On August 2008, she returned to Cuyo to grace the screenings and was awarded as the town’s “adopted daughter.”

Ploning’s road to the Oscars ended when the Top 9 shortlisted entries (later narrowed to the Final 5) for the Best Foreign Language Film category was announced but the team behind Ploning remained positive and appreciative of the experience.  On January 18, 2009, ABS-CBN aired the primetime television special Pangarap ni Ploning (Dream of Ploning), which chronicled the fundraising events mounted to finance the lobbying efforts for the film’s Oscar bid. Then, on February 22, 2009, lead star Judy Ann Santos and director Dante Nico Garcia launched the Ploning Foundation to help future filmmakers raise funds for the promotion of the chosen Philippine entry similar to what they did for Ploning.

DVDs and VCDs of the film were released during the Christmas season by GMA Records and Home Video.[17] These contain the film as well as bonus features such as the trailer and behind the scenes productions. There are Tagalog/Filipino subtitles but no English subtitles.


Awards and nominations

  • Asian Festival of First Film Awards (Singapore)
    Best Director: Dante Nico Garcia — Win
    Best Screenplay/Script: Dante Nico Garcia & Benjamin Lingan — Nominees
  • 7th Gawad Tanglaw 
    Best Film — Win
    Best Director: Dante Nico Garcia — Win
    Best Actress: Judy Ann Santos — Win
    Best Screenplay: — Win
    Best Story: — Win
    Best Cinematography — Win
    Best Editing — Win
  • 6th ENPRESS Golden Screen Awards 
    Best Motion Picture—Drama
    Best Direction: Dante Nico Garcia
    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role—Drama: Judy Ann Santos
    Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role—Drama, Musical or Comedy: Mylene Dizon
    Breakthrough Performance by an Actor: Cedric Amit, Bojong Fernandez
    Best Original Screenplay: Dante Nico Garcia & Benjamin Lingan
    Best Cinematography: Charlie Peralta
    Best Editing: Danny Añonuevo — Win 
    Best Production Design: Raymund George Fernandez
    Best Sound: Mike Idioma — Win 
    Best Musical Score: Jessie Lasaten
  • 11th Gawad Pasado Awards 
    Pinakapasadong Pelikula (Best Film) — Win 
    Pinakapasadong Direktor (Best Director): Dante Nico Garcia — Win 
    Pinakapasadong Aktres (Best Actress): Judy Ann Santos — Win 
    Pinakapasadong Katuwang na Aktres (Best Supporting Actress): Ces Quesada
    Pinakapasadong Katuwang na Aktres (Best Supporting Actress): Mylene Dizon
    Pinakapasadong Dulang Pampelikula (Best Screenplay): Dante Nico Garcia & Benjamin Lingan — Win 
    Pinakapasadong Istorya (Best Story): Dante Nico Garcia
    Pinakapasadong Sinematograpiya (Best Cinematography): Charlie Peralta — Win 
    Pinakapasadong Editing (Best Editing): Danny Anonuevo
    Pinakapasadong Musika (Best Musical Score): Jessie Lasaten
    Pinakapasadong Tunog (Best Sound): Albert Michael Idioma
    Pinakapasadong Pelikula sa Pag-gamit ng Wika — Win 
  • 25th PMPC Star Awards for Movies 
    Movie of the Year
    Movie Director of the Year: Dante Nico Garcia
    New Movie Actor of the Year: Bojong Fernandez
    Original Movie Screenplay of the Year: Dante Nico Garcia & Benjamin Lingan
    Movie Cinematographer of the Year: Charlie S. Peralta
    Movie Editor of the Year: Danny Añonuevo
    Movie Production Designer of the Year: Raymund Jorge Fernandez
    Movie Musical Scorer of the Year: Jessie Lasaten — Win 
    Movie Sound Engineer of the Year: Mike Idioma
  • 32nd Gawad Urian Awards 
    Best Actress: Judy Ann Santos
    Best Cinematography: Charlie S. Peralta
    Best Editing: Danny Añonuevo
    Best Production Design: Raymund Jorge Fernandez
    Best Music: Jessie Lasaten
    Best Sound: Mike Idioma
  • 57th FAMAS Awards 
    Best Picture
    Best Director: Dante Nico Garcia
    Best Actress: Judy Ann Santos
    Best Supporting Actor: Boyong Fernandez
    Best Supporting Actress: Gina Pareño
    Best Story: Dante Nico Garcia
    Best Screenplay: Dante Nico Garcia & Benjamin Lingan
    Best Cinematography: Charlie S. Peralta
    Best Art Direction: Raymond Fernandez
    Best Musical Score: Jesse Lasaten Win
    Best Sound: Albert Michael Idioma
    Best Editing: Danilo Añonuevo
    Best Visual Effects: Optima Digital Win
  • 3rd Gawad GENIO Awards
    Best Film
    Best Film Director: Dante Nico Garcia
    Best Film Actress: Judy Ann Santos
    Best Film Cinematographer: Charlie S. Peralta
    Best Film Editor: Danilo Añonuevo
    Best Film Musical Scorer: Jesse Lasaten Win
    Best Film Screenwriter: Dante Nico Garcia & Benjamin Lingan
    Best Film Sound Engineer: Albert Michael Idioma
    Best Film Story: Dante Nico Garcia
    Best Film Visual Effects: Optima Digital
  • 27th FAP Luna Awards [39] all nominations; winners have yet to be awarded
    Best Picture
    Best Actress: Judy Ann Santos
    Best Screenplay: Dante Nico Garcia & Benjamin Lingan
    Best Cinematography: Charlie S. Peralta
    Best Production Design: Raymond George Fernandez
    Best Musical Scoring: Jesse Lasaten
    Best Sound: Albert Michael Idioma


    The soundtrack used composes only of Cuyonon folk songs arranged and performed by the musical group SINIKA.

    1. “Esmeralda”
    2. “Pondo, Pondo”
    3. “Konsomisyon”
    4. “Ploning”

Read Full Post »

1924 QUEEN OF THE MANILA CARNIVAL. Trinidad Fernandez y Rodriguez of Cuyo, Palawan, was a popular winner identified with the working class. She became a distinguished diplomat in later life.

One of the most photographed beauties of her time was the queen-elect of the 1924 Manila Carnival, Trinidad Fernandez y Rodriguez. Much attention was focused on this accomplished beauty because she was one of those rare queens who triumphed over the more well-heeled candidates from the key cities of Luzon and the Visayas. Thus, when she won, she was not only the first winner from that province, but she was also the first to identify with the working class.

Trining’s father was Clemente “Minting” Fernandez, one of two sons (the other being Carlos) of Jose Ma. Fernandez, a Spanish officer originally from Valencia. Assigned to Sta. Rita, Pampanga, Jose met and married a local lass with the surname Lasanga. He took her to Cuyo, the former capital of Palawan—together with her younger sister. Clemente and Carlos, however, were children of the first marriage. Clemente practically grew up in Palawan where he met and married Vicenta Rodriguez. It was in this far off island of Cuyo, located north of Sulu Sea that Trining first saw the light of day on 28 March 1899. Family stories tell that she was actually born in the Cuyo Church during a Moro raid.

When the 1924 Manila Carnival unfolded, Trinidad was already working for the Department of Public Welfare organizing puericulture and health centers , women’s associations and nursery classes throughout the country. To prepare her for this government career, she had gone as a pensionado to the Philippine Normal School, and then to the University of the Philippines where she picked a degree in Liberal Arts. She was a popular campus figure, noted for her beauty, personality and leadership qualities. It also helped that her mother was an indefatigable champion of charity work back home in Cuyo. Her father, too, had risen to become the 1st Cuyono municipal president and the first Palaweño to pass the Civil Service Examinations, so it can be said that early on, Trining developed a sense of awareness for social issues and civic concerns.

BACHELOR’S PICK. Queen Trining was the candidate of choice by the powerful Bachelor’s Club.

The members of the influential Bachelors’ Club had their eyes on Trinidad even before the Philippine Carnival Association opened the nomination for the queenship of the annual prestigious event. But the while her candidacy was launched by the elite club, it was Trinidad’s ties with the working class and the government sector that, she feels, decided the votes in her favor.

QUEEN TRINING II, In one of her official portrait as the 1924 Manila Carnival Queen.

Trinidad’s triumph was met with resounding approval and was a big cause for celebration. Her grand coronation, unlike the past years, was not themed; she opted to wear a simple, white Filipino terno, matched with a long, flowing velvet cape. Her jewel-encrusted crown was similar to the one worn by Carmen Prieto three years before, and after her reign was over, it was donated to the Cuyo Church.


1924 CORTE DE HONOR. With Jose Araneta standing as his King Consort, Queen Trining is flanked by her princesses and escorts in this official sitting.

By her side was her handsome King Consort, Jose Araneta, and attending her was the 1924 royal court: Magdalena del Rosario, Consuelo Francia, Felising Anido, Juling Montenegro, Nena Calvo, Lourdes Singian with their escorts Salvador Araneta, Pepe Limjap, Victorino Abrera, Pendong Tuason, David Fernandez Lavadia and Ito Kahn.


But more unforgettable than that evening was the wedding of Trinidad to her beau a year later. Benito Legarda, a special friend from way back her U.P. days and a chemist, became her husband and father of threechildren: Benito Jr., Filomena and Carmen. Her involvement with socio-civic work seemed to have intensified after her marriage, working tirelessly for a number of institutions like the Girls Scouts, Community Chest, Catholic Women’s League, Philippine Red Cross, Civic Assembly of Women and the National Federation of Women’s Clubs, where she was responsible for the post-war rehabilitation of its damaged headquarters.

She was also sent as a Philippine representative to important conventions abroad, from the Rotary International, UNESCO meetings to conferences on social work. She was a much sought after public speaker as well.

Her crowning glory came in 1958 when she was appointed as the first Filipino woman ambassador and chief of mission to Saigon and also minister plenipotentiary to Laos and Cambodia, accredited to look after the interest of Filipinos in those countries. She was, in fact, the first woman in Southeast Asia to hold a post as an ambassador, which she held until the 1980s. It is no wonder then that she was named as one of the 13 outstanding women leaders of Asia for her barrier-breaking achievements.


GRACING LUNETA. The Queen, attending a Carnival festivity at the Luneta.

As an avid art lover, she was one of the founders of the Manila Symphony Society from 1933 to 1958, which helped organized the Manila Symphony Orchestra. For this pioneering achievement, Trinidad is often cited as the “Mother of the Symphony Movement in the Philippines”. Trinidad’s beloved Ben died in 1973, and, after a hip injury in 1979, she retreated to her stately garden residence, “Ang Gubat” (The Forest), surrounded by her loving family. A notable descendant today is Atty. Katrina Legarda.

(Many thanks to Mr. Greg Melendres of Houston and Mr. Ron Fernandez of Dallas–and a descendant of Trinidad Fernandez-Legarda for the additional information on Trinida’s family background).
posted by alex r castro in blogspot.com and i re post again in wordpress.com






Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

This is an article researched by Delmar T. Taclibon. I’m re-posting it on my wall so people would know what’s behind the issue on the Scarborough Shoal. Palawan is very rich in natural resources, particularly natural gas and other oil deposits. We believe that this is the main reason why China wants to openly claim our territorial waters now. My family, friends and relatives are still in Palawan so I’m concerned about what’s happening in my province and my people. China is aggressively attacking our naval ships and we don’t want this enmity to escalate into a full blown war.

Who Truly Owns Scarborough Shoal or Huangyan Dao? The Dispute Should Be Resolved By The Republic of the Philippines And People’s Republic of China In The Name of Asian Amity And Brotherhood, And U.S.A. Has Nothing To Do With It

Scarborough Shoal or Scarborough Reef (Chinese name: Huangyan Island, pinyin: Huángyán Dǎo; Philippine name: Panatag Shoal, Bajo de Masinloc), more correctly described as a group of islands and reefs in an atoll shape than a shoal, is located between the Macclesfield Bank(Zhongsha Islands) and Luzon Island of Philippines in the South China Sea. To the east, the 5,000 – 6,000 meter deep Manila Trench separates the shoal from Philippine Archipelago. As with most of the landforms in this sea, the sovereignty of the area is disputed. After the Chinese Civil War, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan) both lay claim to the shoal. Starting in 1997, Philippines joined in this dispute, making its claim to the shoal.

The shoal was named after a tea-trade ship Scarborough which was wrecked on the rock with everyone perishing on board in the late 18th century.

The shoal forms a triangle-shaped chain of reefs and islands (but mostly rocks) 55 kilometres (34 mi) around with an of area 150 square kilometers. It has a lagoon with area of 130 km² and depth of about 15 metres (49 ft). The shoal is a protrusion from a 3,500 m deep abyssal plain. Several of the islands including “South Rock” are 1/2 m to 3 m high and many of the reefs are just below water at high tide. Near the mouth of the lagoon are the ruins of an iron tower, 8.3 m high. It is about 123 miles (198 km) west of Subic Bay. The nearest landmass is Palauig, Zambales, on Luzon Island in the Philippines, 137 miles (220 km) away.

The shoal and its surrounding area are rich fishing grounds. A significant number of Chinese fishermen have been arrested by Philippine officials in this area, particularly during 1998-2001. Most arrests were for alleged using illegal methods of fishing and catching endangered and protected species.

There are thick layers of guano lying on the rocks in the area. Several Filipino-sponsored and Chinese-sponsored diving excursions and amateur ham radio operations, DXpeditions (1994, 1995, 1997 and 2007), have been carried out in the area.

Sovereignty Dispute

The People’s Republic of China and Republic of China (Taiwan)

The People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan) claim that the shoal was first discovered and drawn in a map in the Yuan Dynasty as early as 1279 and was historically used by Chinese fishermen. In 1279, Guo Shoujing, a Chinese astronomer, performed surveying of the South China Sea, and the surveying point was reported to be the Scarborough Shoal. In 1935, China regarded the shoal as part of the Zhongsha Islands. In 1947, the shoal was given the name Minzhu Jiao. In 1983, it was renamed Huangyan Island with Minzhu Jiao reserved as a second name. In 1956, China protested Philippine remarks that South China Sea islands in close proximity to Philippine territory should belong to the Philippines. China’s Declaration on the territorial Sea, promulgated in 1958, says in part,

The breadth of the Territorial Sea of the People’s Republic of China shall be twelve nautical miles. This applies to all territories of the People’s Republic of China, including the Chinese mainland and its coastal islands, as well as Taiwan and its surrounding islands, the Penghu Islands, the Dongsha Islands, the Xisha Islands, the Zhongsha Islands, the Nansha Islands and all other islands belonging to China which are separated from the mainland and its coastal islands by the high seas.

China reaffirmed its claim of sovereignty over the Zhongsha Islands in its 1992 Law on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone. China claims all the islands, reefs, and shoals within a U-shaped line in the South China Sea drawn in 1947 as its territory. Scarborough shoal lies within this area.

China further asserted its claim shortly after the departure of the US Navy force from Subic, Zambales, Philippines. In the late 1970s, many scientific expedition activities organized by State Bureau of Surveying, National Earthquake Bureau and National Bureau of Oceanography were held in the shoal and around this area. In 1980, a stone marker reading “South China Sea Scientific Expedition” was installed on the South Rock, but was removed by Philippines in 1997.

The Philippine government has proposed taking the Panatag issue to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, but the Chinese government has rejected this, insisting on bilateral discussions.

The Philippines

The Philippines claims that as early as the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, Filipino fishermen were already using the area as a traditional fishing ground and shelter during bad weather. In 1957, The Philippine government conducted an oceanographic survey of the area and together with the US Navy force based in then U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay in Zambales, used the area as an impact range for defense purposes. An 8.3 meter high flag pole flying a Philippine flag was raised in 1965. A small lighthouse was also built and operated the same year. In 1992, the Philippine Navy rehabilitated the lighthouse and reported it to the International Maritime Organization for publication in the List of Lights. As of 2009, the military-maintained lighthouse is non-operational.

Several Official Philippines maps published by Spain and United States in 18th and 20th century show Scarborough Shoal as Philippine territory. The 18th-century map “Carta hydrographica y chorographica de las Islas Filipinas” (1734) shows the Scarborough Shoal then was named as Panacot Shoal. The map also shows the shape of the shoal as consistent with the current maps available as today. During the 1900s Mapa General. Islas Filipinas, Observatorio de Manila and US Coast and Geodetic Survey Map includes the Scarborough Shoal named as “Baju De Masinloc”. In 1792, another map drawn by the Malaspina expedition and published in 1808 in Madrid, Spain also showed Bajo de Masinloc as part of Philippine territory. The map showed the route of the Malaspina expedition to and around the shoal. It was reproduced in the Atlas of the 1939 Philippine Census, which was published in Manila a year later and predates the controversial 1947 Chinese South China Sea Claim Map that shows no chinese name on it. Another topographic map drawn in 1820 shows the shoal, named there as “Bajo Scarburo”, as a constituent part of Sambalez (Zambales province).

The Scarborough Shoal is not included within the territorial lines defined in the Treaty of Paris (1898) between the United States, Treaty of Washington (1900) between Spain and the United States. Convention Between the United States and Great Britain (1930), 1935 Constitution of the Philippines, Republic Act No. 3046 “Act to Define the Baselines of the Territorial Sea of the Philippines”(1961), 1987 Constitution of the Philippines, or Republic Act No. 9522 “AN ACT TO AMEND CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 3046, AS AMENDED BY REPUBLIC ACT NO. 5446, TO DEFINE THE ARCHIPELAGIC BASELINE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES” (March 10, 2009). The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs asserts that the basis of Philippine sovereignty and jurisdiction over the rock features of Bajo de Masinloc is not premised on the cession by Spain of the Philippine archipelago to the United States under the Treaty of Paris, and argues that the matter that the rock features of Bajo de Masinloc are not included or within the limits of the Treaty of Paris as alleged by China is therefore immaterial and of no consequence.

The Philippines bases its claim on its proximity and the principle of terra nullius, which holds that it was previously unclaimed by a sovereign state, which is also applied by the Philippines in its claims to the Spratly Islands. By virtue of the Presidential Decree No. 1599 issued by President Ferdinand Marcos on June 1978, the Philippines claims an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) up to 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the baselines from which their territorial sea is measured. In 2009, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo enacted the Philippine Baselines Law of 2009 (RA 9522). The new law classifies the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal as a regime of islands under the Republic of the Philippines.

The Department of Foreign Affairs bases the Philippine claim on Scarborough Shoal citing the Island of Palmas Case, where the sovereignty of the island was adjudged in favor of the Netherlands because of effective jurisdiction and control, despite the historic claim of Spain. The Philippines has exercised effective jurisdiction and effective occupation of the shoal since its independence. It also explains that the Exclusive Economic Zone claim on the waters around Scarborough is different from the sovereignty exercised by the Philippines in the shoal.


Delmar T. Taclibon


The Spratly Deal: Facts & Figures, Phil. Star, March 10, 2008

Scarborough Reef: A new Flashpoint in Sino-Philippine Relations? IBRU Boundery and Security Bulletin Summer, 1999.

Colonel Bayly (1896), Diary of Colonel Bayly, 12th Regiment, 1796 – 1830, Naval and Military Press, p108.

Treaty of Peece Between United States and Spain, December 10, 1898, Avalon Project, Avalon Law, Yale University

Treaty Between Spain and the United States of America for Cession of Outlaying Islands of the Philippines, November 7, 1900

United States. Dept. of State; Charles Irving Bevans (1968). Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America, 1776-1949. Dept. of State, U.S. Govt. Print. Off.. pp. 473–476.

1935 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, Chan Robles Law Library

Republic Act No. 3046 (as amended by RA 5446) An Act Defining the Baselines of the Territorial Sea of the Philippines, Chan Robles Law Library, June 17, 1961

1987 Philippine Constitution

An Act to Amend Certain Provisions of Republic Act No. 3046 (as amended by RA 5446, To define the Archipelagic Baseline of the Philippines and for Other Purpose, March 10, 2009

Marcos Presidential Decree No. 1599 Establishing An Exclusive Economic Zone and for other Purpose, June 11, 1978

Philippine Baseline Law of 2009 (March 11, 2009

Zhou, Keyuan, 2005, Law of the Sea in East Asia: Issues and Projects, pp62-64, ISBN 978-0-415-35074-7

Read Full Post »

Ut Unum Sint, Bl. Pope John Paul II

The way of ecumenism: the way of the Church

Renewal and conversion

15. Passing from principles, from the obligations of the Christian conscience, to the actual practice of the ecumenical journey towards unity, the Second Vatican Council emphasizes above all the need for interior conversion. The messianic proclamation that “the time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand”, and the subsequent call to “repent, and believe in the Gospel” (Mk 1:15) with which Jesus begins his mission, indicate the essential element of every new beginning: the fundamental need for evangelization at every stage of the Church’s journey of salvation. This is true in a special way of the process begun by the Second Vatican Council, when it indicated as a dimension of renewal the ecumenical task of uniting divided Christians. “There can be no ecumenism worthy of the name without a change of heart”.21

The Council calls for personal conversion as well as for communal conversion. The desire of every Christian Community for unity goes hand in hand with its fidelity to the Gospel. In the case of individuals who live their Christian vocation, the Council speaks of interior conversion, of a renewal of mind.22

Each one therefore ought to be more radically converted to the Gospel and, without ever losing sight of God’s plan, change his or her way of looking at things. Thanks to ecumenism, our contemplation of “the mighty works of God” (mirabilia Dei) has been enriched by new horizons, for which the Triune God calls us to give thanks: the knowledge that the Spirit is at work in other Christian Communities, the discovery of examples of holiness, the experience of the immense riches present in the communion of saints, and contact with unexpected dimensions of Christian commitment. In a corresponding way, there is an increased sense of the need for repentance: an awareness of certain exclusions which seriously harm fraternal charity, of certain refusals to forgive, of a certain pride, of an unevangelical insistence on condemning the “other side”, of a disdain born of an unhealthy presumption. Thus, the entire life of Christians is marked by a concern for ecumenism; and they are called to let themselves be shaped, as it were, by that concern.

Read Full Post »



Many of us find it convenient to just cook a packet of instant noodles when we are hungry. Here is a piece of information to share so that we can remove the potential health hazard of consuming such foods. Maybe you should print this and pin it up in the kitchen or dining room as reminder or in your purse if you are always travelling. DO NOT IGNORE THIS … Especially those fond of easy- to-cook Instant noodles.

Normally, how we cook the instant noodles is to put the noodles into a pot with water, throw in the powder and let it cook for around 3 minutes and then it’s ready to eat. This is the WRONG method of cooking the instant noodles. By doing this, when we actually boil the ingredients in the powder,normally with MSG, it will change the molecular structure of the MSG, causing it to be toxic. The other thing that you may or may not realize is that, the noodles are coated with wax and it will take around 4 to 5 days for the body to excrete the wax after you have eaten the noodles.

1. Boil the noodles in a pot of water.
2. Once the noodles are cooked, take out the noodles, and throw away the water which contains wax.
3. Boil another pot of water, add the cooked noodles into the hot boiling water and then turn off the stove.
4. Only at this stage when the stove is off, and while the water is very hot, add the flavouring powder into the water, to make noodle soup.
5. However, if you need dry noodles, remove the noodles and add the flavouring powder and toss it to get dry noodles.

Dietician’s Note: If you buy plain hakka noodles which you make, you initially need to boil in water and discard the water. This will soften the noodles but to prevent it from sticking we need to add a tbsp of oil and also the noodles are deep fried partially to make them crunchy and then dusted with flour to prevent them from sticking while boiling. Hence when you buy the noodles they are already made unhealthy and plus they add MSG / Ajinomoto and other chemical preservatives. A large number of patients with ages ranging from 18-24 years are ending up with pancreatitis either as a swelling or infection of the pancreas due to regular consumption of instant noodles… If the frequency is more than 3 times a week, then it is very hazardous..

Read Full Post »

Feast of Mercy

Today is the feast of The Divine Mercy

1st Sunday after the eastern Sunday is the feast of the Mercy

Concerning the Feast of Mercy Jesus said:

Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. (Diary 300)

I want the image solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it. (Diary 341)

This Feast emerged from the very depths of My mercy, and it is confirmed in the vast depths of my tender mercies. (Diary 420)

On one occasion, I heard these words: My daughter, tell the whole world about My Inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.* [our emphasis] On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will I contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy. (Diary 699)

Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to our neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it. (Diary 742)

I want to grant complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy. (Diary 1109)

Read Full Post »

Missing you

Hone Missing you, Hopefully you will love me now and you did not cause me a pain, you already know how much I love you.

Read Full Post »

An artist’s impression shows a unique type of exoplanet discovered with the Hubble Space Telescope. The planet is so close it to its star that it completes an orbit in 10.5 hours. The planet is only 750,000 miles from the star, or 1/130th the distance between Earth and the Sun. The Jupiter-sized planet orbits an unnamed red dwarf star that lies in the direction of the Galactic Centre; the exact stellar distance is unknown.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »