<![CDATA[The Negros Times]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/all-newsRSS for NodeMon, 05 Dec 2022 23:35:03 GMT<![CDATA[September, A Month Full Of Artistry And Creativity]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/september-a-month-full-of-artistry-and-creativity63412670ce6fac4617010d40Mon, 26 Sep 2022 04:00:00 GMTPenn T. LarenaBy: Penn T. Larena

In an enormous effort to showcase the best of the artistic inner talents and skills for the month of September, Artists in Dumaguete City were brought out to present their finest artworks in a month chock-full of individuality.

, "Istambay" Sculpture and Installation made of Glazed and Bare Stoneware, Wood, Epoxy | "Habal-Habal" Sculpture Unglazed Ceramic made of Terracotta | Artworks By: Babbu Wenceslao

The opening reception for Babbu Wenceslao's solo exhibition, ASANAMO, which in vernacular translates to “Where are you [guys]?”, is held on September 10, 2022 at the Mugna Art Gallery where the artist's most recent masterpieces as well as some of his best earlier creations has been presented.

Babbu Wenceslao, a visual artist, professor of fine arts, and businessman from Dumaguete City, is the proprietor of the El Amigo Art Space along Silliman Avenue.

Artists; Sharon Moffat, Daisy T. Manalili, Writer Penn T. Larena and Brother Jojo Larena at the ASANAMO Exhibition

The Shelter Gallery is also hosting a self-portrait show this month, The Surface Tension Art Exhibition by Vanessa Gaston Copeland which will run from September 3 through September 25, 2022. In favor for a more illogical means of creating, Ms. Copeland is famous for her professional practices as an Architect and a Designer.

“Waiting” & “The First Year of Grief” By Artist: Vanessa Gaston Copeland

Through spontaneous painting, she accessed the unconscious mind to convey the universal experience and complex entanglements of joy, sadness, tragedy, and relief. The fascinating featured piece investigates the longevity of distinctive acrylic "stains." It gives up the creator's command over her work and invites the forces of gravity, air, temperature, and liquid movement to influence what eventually manifests as a work of impromptu art.

Tubô Cebu Art Fair 2022 with Artworks by Dumaguete Artists

The Arts Council of Cebu Foundation, Inc. and Ayala Center Cebu worked together for the fourth iteration of the cherished Visayas local art expo, Tubô Cebu Art Fair 2022, to increase the methods in which distinctive local artistic expression can be shared with more people, Negros/Dumaguete Artists participated and displayed their various aesthetic ideation. To recognize the various artistic talents of the Visayan region, Tubô collects artwork from all throughout the region, showing a range of dialects, cultures, and personalities. Tubô seeks to create more active and sympathetic programming for the local art scene while also seeking to be more intentional in its role as a distributor of production.

The word "tubo" have various different meanings in the DIALECT Depending on the PrONUNCIATION and how The WORD is said, IT may either mean,

: the growth of a person or plant, // gain, profit, or interest, // a sugarcane, // tube or a pipe.

Art has a universal language. It enables people to express themselves through bright colors, thought-provoking storytelling, and moving music. Each artistic creation provides a window into the past. Throughout history, artists have conveyed historical information through sculpture, architecture, paintings, and drawings.

<![CDATA[Promoting Conservation Of Local History And Heritage]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/promoting-local-history-and-heritage-in-dumaguete-city630b1b99d70304fac249d58cThu, 11 Aug 2022 04:00:00 GMTPenn T. LarenaBy: Penn T. Larena

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) conducted its first Capacity Building Training-Workshop on Local History and Heritage held at the Guy Hall of Silliman University in Dumaguete City on August 9-10, 2022.

NHCP Capacity Building Training-Workshop on Local History and Heritage delegates in Dumaguete City

The workshop aims to share the specialized skills and expertise with its local partners in solidarity with the recently adopted National Action Plan for Local History and Heritage Development 2022-2027 (Cebu Framework 2022-2027).

During the two-day workshop, NHCP resource persons held lectures on historiography, local history practice and professionalization, heritage survey and documentation, and materials conservation, which will be put into practical use by the workshop participants in field demonstration in Dumaguete City as part of the completion exercises.

Local tourism officers, architects, engineers, cultural officers, Historians, Writers, and Heritage and cultural workers of the different Local Government Units of Negros Oriental along with students of history and architecture from the different schools of Dumaguete City participated in the 2-day Capacity Building Training-Workshop on Local History and Heritage.

Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo on his Welcome Remarks | © dumaguetecity.gov.ph

Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio B. Remollo reiterated his support for the timely conduct of the training to promote and raise awareness of our local history, heritage, and the conservation of major historic sites in the city and province.

Amongst the speakers of the training workshop were; NHCP Commissioners and VP for Academic Affairs of Silliman University Dr. Earl Jude Paul L. Cleope, NHCP Supervising History Researcher Ian Christopher B. Alfonso, Juvelyn D. Nierves History Researcher II, Engr. Jim Franklin Kalaw and other experts.

Provincial Cultural Officer Of Negros Oriental Gemma Laxina Iso,Mr.Penn T.Larena Pres.Negros Oriental History and Heritage Society with NHCP OIC Rosario V.Sapitan and SIR IAN Christopher Alfonso Head Supervising History Researcher

The workshop field study of heritage sites in the City includes the Provincial Capitol 1924, Gabaldon Building of Negros Oriental High School 1930s, Colonial Fountain at Quezon Park, Blas Elnar Building 1950s, Serafin Teves Pre-war House known as 'Dakong Balay' and Pantawan People's Park in Rival Boulevard.

The training-workshop is presented by the NHCP in partnership with the City Government of Dumaguete through the Dumaguete City Tourism Office and Silliman University.

This workshop will be the first in a series of workshops scheduled in 2022 with various local government units and higher education institutions. The NHCP thanks the City Government of Dumaguete, through the Office of the Mayor and the City Tourism Office, and the Silliman University for their invaluable support for the success of this project.

The NHCP is the national government agency mandated to promote and preserve Philippine historical heritage through research and publication, conservation, marking of historic sites and structures, and administration of national shrines.

<![CDATA[Supporters Of Degamo Staged A Prayer Vigil In Front Of Dumaguete City Capitol Against Pryde Teves]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/supporters-of-degamo-staged-a-prayer-vigil-in-front-of-the-capitol62b75e829962b8466c3348eaSat, 25 Jun 2022 19:27:54 GMTFrancis Lianro BuladoBy: Francis Lianro H. Bulado

The assumption of office is quickly approaching as the Philippine Local Government Code of 1991 clearly stipulates that the newly elected officials' term shall begin at noon on the 30th of June following the May 9th Elections.

However, five days before governor-elect Pryde Teves officially assumes office as the governor in Negros Oriental, a number of supporters of the incumbent Governor Roel Degamo organized a prayer vigil at around 5:00 pm on June 25, 2022 in front of the Negros Oriental Provincial Capitol.

The goal of the prayer vigil is to amplify their voices in calling for an expedited ruling from the COMELEC En Banc regarding the May 2022 election results. As they light their candles, some supporters carry placards and signs that read,


Supporters Of Degamo Staged A Prayer Vigil In Front Of Dumaguete City Capitol Against Pryde Teves | Photos By: Ariel Amistoso

Bayawan City Pryde Henry Teves of the Nationalist People's Coalition was proclaimed the winner of the gubernatorial race by the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBC) in the Provincial Capitol of Negros Oriental on May 10, 2022, which he garnered 301,319 votes. While Teves' closest opponent, the incumbent Governor Roel Degamo of the Nacionalista Party, in his third and last term, acquired 281,773 votes.

The previous election in the gubernatorial race in the province of Negros Oriental raises a question of legitimacy.

The results, however, confused several voters because the incumbent governor's camp contested the result by stating that a nuisance candidate who goes by the name of "Ruel Degamo", which had already been declared as a nuisance candidate last December 2021, have ruined his chances of winning the reelection as Ruel received 49,953 votes.

Recently on June 23, 2022, the same issue has also been resolved by the Commission on Elections as they declared Romeo Jalosjos Jr., a reelectionist candidate, as the victorious congressional candidate for Zamboanga del Norte's first district.

Election Results for the Member of the House of Representative for the First Legislative District in Zamboanga Del Norte before the decision of the COMELEC to Transfer the Votes of Jalosjos, Kuya Jan to Jalosjos, Romeo | Photo from GMA News

He came in second place behind Roberto "Pinpin" Uy Jr., but COMELEC ruled to "lawfully pass" the 5,424 votes Frederico Jalosjos received after being deemed a nuisance candidate. As a result, reelectionist candidate Jalosjos, received 74,533 votes overall, compared to Uy's 69,591 votes.

<![CDATA[The Spirit Of Rizalian Patriotism And Chivalry: Values For Life And Living]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/the-spirit-of-rizalian-patriotism-and-chivalry-values-for-life-and-living62b7f89eadae8736c6c5664bSun, 19 Jun 2022 04:00:00 GMTPenn T. LarenaBy: Penn T. Larena

Dr. Jose P. Rizal's 161st birthday message was presented in Quezon Park in Dumaguete City on June 19, 2022. The Rizalian Patriotic and Chivalric Spirit: Principles for Life and Living Written by Cesar P. Estrope, LPT, EdD, KOR.

Knights of Rizal Negros Oriental Area
Sir Cesar P. Estrope, LPT, Ed.D., KOR

“Non Omnis Moriar!” In 23 BC Odes of Horace, in particular, the 30th Ode, Carmina, 3rd Book and line 6 emphasized and I read - “I have built a monument more lasting than bronze and mightier than the royal palace of the pyramids. Non Omnis Moriar (I will not altogether die) and a great part of me will live beyond death.” This is an address of the key ancient topic of the great love of country and countrymen. Whether “Non Omnis Moriar” is improper, unsuitable, and unbefitting the motto of the Knights of Rizal,” it is still the call for every Knight of Rizal to live chivalric virtues with the spirit of Rizalian patriotism. Allow me then, to give my shower of thoughts on our 2nd purpose of being a Knight of Rizal, “to promote among the Knights of Rizal the true spirit of Rizalian Patriotism and chivalry.” When Dr. Jose P. Rizal clarified in his El Fili that “perfect humanity maybe, patriotism shall always be a virtue among the oppressed because at all times it will signify love for justice, liberty and dignity itself…” Today, these oppressed are the last, the least, and lost sectors of the society and we, the Knights of Rizal are stewards for them.

Sir Henry Sojor ,KGOR and Former Amb. MacArthur F. Corsino,KGOR

Adaptive to Sojorian influence on progressive leadership and excellence in education, these marginalized sectors can challenge the status quo; can change life and living; and can create citizens for nation-building. My thoughts on Dr. Jose P. Rizal’s patriotism into my experiences in academia . We are to pass on the chivalric virtues of Charity, Piety, and Empathy to the last, the least, and the lost sectors of our community. Charity is generosity and helpfulness, especially toward these sectors. In the research of Durano, Marina (2011) titled “Reason and responsibility: reading Rizal’s letter to his Maloleña compatriots using the capabilities approach,” Rizal’s letter to the women of Malolos ``emphasized reason and supported the education of women so that they may be enlightened…” Many of us here are in the academe and there are many little ways of charity that we can do to many of our learners, especially in this New Better Normal time. Our passion to teach and the effective approach to education and care is Charity. It is our being pro-people. Piety is the personal reverence recognizing the total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love. Based on the letters Dr. Rizal wrote, it can be said that “he believed that God existed, he believed that God was Plus Supra (Divine Providence), and he believed that God was the origin of nature; that is, nature was the expression of God” quotation from the works of Palma, Rafael (1949) known as The Pride of the Malay Race: Jose Rizal. We all have the turmoil of the pandemic, yet we all survive with sound mind and body. Our faith in the Divine Providence made us strong and threaded the virulence of this pandemia. The challenged sectors (the last, the least, and the lost) were given care through our initiatives and advocacies. We feel that this is our prayer to God who made us as channels of P a g e blessing.

KOR Tanjay City Chapter with Chapter Commander Sir Dr. Gerard Jude Bumanglag, KCR and Tanjayanon Brother Knights.

To a close, Dr. Jose Rizal wants us to celebrate his 161st Birthdate by remembering his father, Don Francisco (a.k.a Teniente Kiko) with such virtues of charity, piety and empathy. Teniente Kiko is a “Knight” in his noble chivalry. Keeping his father in his heart and with such reverence, Rizal named his and Josephine Bracken’s premature son “Francisco.” Although the baby thrived in hours, such a token of charity lives on. On the day of his martyrdom, Dr. Jose Rizal penned a note to his brother Paciano: “tell our father I remember him, and how I remember my whole childhood, of his affection and his love. Ask him to forgive me for the pain that I have unwillingly caused him,” re-written in Maximiano, Jose Mario (2022) in an article “Rizal’s devotion to his father.” Rizal picked up his quill and inked further.

“My beloved Father, pardon me for the pain with which I repay you for sorrows and sacrifices for my education. I did not want nor did I prefer it. Goodbye, Father, goodbye… JosE Rizal.”

What chivalric lines so absorb with virtues and passing-on charity, piety, and empathy of a father (Don Francisco) to a son (Dr. Jose P. Rizal) and to all of us who are here, the Knights of Rizal. The Spirit of Rizalian Patriotism and Chivalry: Virtues for Life and Living is addressed to all of us. We can be the “father” to pass [1]them on to the last, the least, and the lost sectors of our community. Let us continue what we have done and what we do next can be better.

Such spirit of Rizalian patriotism and its chivalric virtues of charity, piety, and empathy can be part of our Non Omnis Moriar” translated as “I shall not wholly die! My work will live!” Let's recast the lines – “Dr Jose P. Rizal has built a monument of his life and works more lasting than bronze and mightier than the royal palace of the pyramids. Non Omnis Moriar (I will not altogether die) and a great part of Dr. Jose P. Rizal will live beyond death.”

Long live Dr. Jose P. Rizal!

<![CDATA[Breaking Stereotypes: What Does 'QUEER' Really Mean In The LGBTQIA+ Spectrum]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/breaking-stereotypes-what-does-queer-mean-in-the-lgbtqia-spectrum62b1c89c31c8fc10607e3ab5Sat, 18 Jun 2022 16:00:00 GMTFrancis Lianro BuladoBy: Francis Lianro H. Bulado

Despite being a Christian-dominated country where about 85% of the population are Catholic, the Philippines earned the ranking as one of the few gay-friendly countries in the world as revealed by Pew Research Center survey in 2013, which yielded 73% of the 804 Filipino respondents were affirmative on the statements "homosexuality should be accepted by the society," 26% believed otherwise, and 1% refused to answer.

Breaking Stereotypes: What Does 'QUEER' Mean In The LGBTQIA+ Spectrum | Photo By: Oxford University Press

The same study was conducted in 2019 and surprisingly it had the same acceptance rate of 73% however, more people abstained or refused to answer at 3% and 24% of the respondents said that they do not accept homosexuality.

But this is not the actual case as according to the data from the Philippine LGBT Hate Crime Watch, around 164 cases of LGBT murder related were recorded from 1996 to June 2012.

Aside from this, the lack of education towards the LGBTQIA+ community perpetuates the stereotype and discrimination experienced by them which is evident when Miel Pangilinan, a 17-year-old daughter of the Filipino Megastar Sharon Cuneta and Senator Kiko Pangilinan, received hateful comments after she comes out as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and identified herself as a 'QUEER'. "This June, I am celebrating my first pride month as openly and publicly queer," she said in an Instagram Post

 Breaking Stereotypes: What Does 'QUEER' Mean In The LGBTQIA+ Spectrum | Screenshot From: Miel Pangilinan Instagram

Three days after she posted it, Miel Pangilinan clarified in her Instagram Stories that she is not a lesbian where she reposted the headline from a website that reads "Anak ni Megastar na si Miel Pangilinan nag-out as lesbiyana ngayong Pride Month." She criticized the website for assuming incorrectly that she was a lesbian.

"It's pride month. If you're going to make a post reporting about a person's whole identity, I should hope that you get it right. please. There are more identities than lesbian and gay lol," she said in her Instagram Stories.

Queer is a phrase we frequently hear as self-identification, and occasionally we confuse it with other terms that fall under the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression (SOGIE) category. But how far are we from totally emancipating ourselves from the traditional standards of sexuality that perpetuate violence and hate crimes among people from marginalized communities?

According to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (UPMC CHP) on the basic definitions of SOGIE, the term queer has been categorized under Sexual Orientation which is "an umbrella term that embraces a matrix of sexual preferences, expressions, and habits that are not of the heterosexual, heteronormative, or gender-binary majority."

In layman's terms, the word 'queer' basically means that you are not straight and you refused to conform to the Society's appropriate feminine and masculine expectations or standards as a heterosexual and heteroromantic beings.

Historically, the word 'queer' has negative implications which the LGBTQIA Resource Center emphasized that people back then used the term as a damaging or hurtful word against those whose sexuality or gender expression did not conform to their standards and expectations. However, in the 1980s, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly those in academia and politics, began to reclaim the term in opposition to those who had previously used it as a pejorative slur.

The Unitarian Universalist Association considered 'queer' as a multi-faceted word that is used in different ways and can mean different things. To sum it up, queer can be an attraction to people of many genders, individuals who do not conform to traditional or cultural norms on gender and sexuality, and lastly, queer can be a general term referring to all non-heterosexual people. Thus, even if you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, you may still identify yourself as queer.

The vocabulary surrounding gender and sexuality has undergone a remarkable shift in the past few years. New terminologies have been born; other words have redefined their meaning and usage but what has not changed are the struggles of these people who are continuously harassed, abused, bullied, and worse, murdered because they choose to express who they truly are.

We can not move forward and progress as a society if we continue to disintegrate these people from our agenda. We perpetuate and contribute to their struggles if we do not consider queer and other sexual orientations and identities as a valid label; if we persist with wrong assumptions based on the perceptions of a person's gender or who they associate with; and if we refuse to learn more about them and resist to unlearn inhumane and insensitive remarks. With higher concern for fundamental rights, it is the right time that we create a more diverse yet inclusive society for them.

<![CDATA[2022 Pride Month Activities Scheduled In Dumaguete City]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/2022-pride-month-activities-scheduled-in-dumaguete-city62a6f1ed795186d4fe03cb9aFri, 10 Jun 2022 04:00:00 GMTPenn T. LarenaBy: Penn T. Larena

In honor of Pride Month, the Humanist Alliance Philippines International (HAPI), a not-for-profit alliance of progressive secular humanists who aim to promote secular humanism in many Filipinos, is hosting a series of activities with its local and national allies to continue championing human rights, particularly those of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Pride Month Activities Scheduled  In Dumaguete City

With the theme stylized as "OVER•COMING", which basically pertains to gaining control over one's body, freedom, rights, and destiny (amongst others), HAPI will be hosting an art exhibit and an eight-day series of nationwide talks both with an international lineup of artists and speakers, respectively.

HAPI and partner-organization Unitarian Universalist (UU) LGBTIQA Fellowship conceived the Negros Island Pride Collective, an initiative to hold a two-day Negros-wide Pride Walk on June 18 to 19, 2022 at Pantawan 1 at the Boulevard in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.

This inclusive, intersectional and multisectoral group plans to highlight inclusivity and bring together members and allies of the queer community in recognition of their diversity and individual beauty.

The Pride Walks on both dates will commence at 4PM from Pantawan 2 going to Pantawan 1, followed by a short program and a picnic along the Boulevard; Negrosanons may pre-register via this link: bit.ly/NegrosPrideWalkRegistration

Pride Month Activities Scheduled  In Negros Oriental

HAPI’s art exhibit will feature 23 artists from all over the Philippines and one based in the US, showcasing various forms of mediums from photographs, to fabric, digital, oil on canvas, installation art, film, etc; they will be accompanied by poetry written by HAPI-Dumaguete Pride Events Lead Organizer Writer & Poet Roma Jane Hechanova.

The 12-day exhibit will officially be launched at Dakong Balay Art Gallery in Dumaguete City on June 19 after the second day of the Negros-wide Pride Walk; it will culminate on June 30 with an Art Talk from some of the artists.

HAPI’s eight-day series of nationwide talks will feature various advocates and experts from all over the Philippines and one from Italy; it will be done via Zoom at 6PM from June 20-27, and is open to all interested participants nationwide and beyond.

HAPI-Bacolod Deputy Convenor/Federation of Negros LGBT Founding Member Rayd Espeja will talk about “Curating Prism: Leveling Our Understanding of SOGIE and Human Rights” on June 20 (Monday).

This will be followed by Human Rights Defender Atty. Luke Espiritu’s discussion on “Debunking SOGIE Myths: Time to Acknowledge You’re Part of the Spectrum, Too” on June 21 (Tuesday).

Gender Justice Advocate Rev. Kakay Pamaran will focus on “The Insurrection, Resurrection, and the Afterlives of the Babaylan” on June 22 (Wednesday).

On June 23 (Thursday), Negrosanon Youth Leaders Institute Inc. (NYLI) Co-Founder Jomar Borromeo will shed light on the topic titled “We Don’t Sext; We SexTalk: Back to Basics and Basic Instincts”.

Civil Rights Activist Atty. Jesus Falcis will discuss “Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow: Prospects of Legislating Same-Sex Marriage in the Philippines” June 24 (Friday).

Members of the Unitarian Universalist LGBTIQA Fellowship will be facilitating a round-table discussion on “The Genders of God: Why Religion is No Hindrance to Queer Love” on June 25 (Friday); this will be moderated by Paula Maria Gregg, with Lui Sayre, May Gimang, Coriander Gunn, Rev. Leslie Minasalvas, and Bernadette Jumuad as panelists.

Young Humanists International European Regional Coordinator Andrea Ruggeri from Italy will talk about “Femme-Men-Isms: Locating Masculinity and Maleness in Our Liberation” on June 26 (Sunday).

To conclude the eight-day series of talks, Queer Safe Spaces Co-Founder Roanne Carreon will explore the topic on “Feminist Organizing for Gender Equality and Justice in the Neo-Generation” on June 27 (Monday).

As bonus, a special segment with a surprise guest speaker will happen on June 29; watch out for the details! Register at https://forms.gle/Za2BW9F3xFnrbsXv5

Pride Month Activities Scheduled  In Negros Oriental, Negros Island Pride Collective

Both events are headed by Lead Organizer, Roma Jane Hechanova and Co-Organizer for Art Exhibit Shyndel May Sastrillo (HAPI-Dumaguete), Co-Organizer for Nationwide Series of Talks Junius Dale Capus (HAPI-Bacolod) and HAPI Pride team as co-facilitators.

<![CDATA['Pride' Is A Long History Of Struggle For The LGBTQ+ Community]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/pride-is-a-long-history-of-struggle-for-the-lgbtq-community62a0d5201e526c395548a81eTue, 07 Jun 2022 04:00:00 GMTFrancis Lianro BuladoBy: Francis Lianro Bulado

The month of June marks the celebration of LGBTQIA+ Month or popularly known as the Gay Pride Month where members of the community and even allies celebrate in a number of different ways with Pride Parade as the most anticipated event.

Pride Parade in the Philippines | Photo from TripZilla.ph

While many Filipinos think that Pride Month is merely about marching in the street with drag queens and people wearing unique outfits inspired by the color of the rainbow, the celebration actually highlights the struggles of individuals from this community.

In the 1900s, it was illegal in New York City to solicit homosexual relations and thousands of gay people were publicly humiliated or harassed, therefore gay bars were havens and safe places for gay men and lesbians.


An appealing Anti-gay video from the 1950s that warned boys against homosexuality which an obvious act of discrimination and ignorance.

However, many of these establishments were frequently harassed by the authorities. It was during this month that the movement accelerated to what we are celebrating this month as we commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, New York, which was a turning point in the United States' Gay Liberation Movement as well as the world's call for equality. On June 28, 1969, a group of police invaded a popular bar that functioned as a gathering place for young LGBTQIA+ individuals and detained the staff for allegedly offering liquors without a license, but customers outside the bar did not flee and fought for what they believed was right, which resulted in a riot. This historical event became a symbol of resistance to any state-sponsored violence and homosexual discrimination.

In the Philippines, the first Pride Parade can be traced back to June 26, 1994, which happened in Quezon City, an event dubbed "Stonewall Manila or "Pride Revolution" as a commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, and about 50 members of the LGBTQIA+ groups from the Progressing Organization of Gays (ProGay) and Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) helmed a marched from Quezon Boulevard to the Quezon Memorial Circle. This transpired the Philippines as the first country in Asia and the Pacific to hold a march related to Pride.

The first Pride march in the Philippines | Photo By: Fr. Richard Mickley

For some, Pride month is a form of protest to end inhumane treatment among those people in the marginalized sector. Despite the efforts of people from the past to make the lives of the members of the LGBTQIA+ more bearable, gender-based violence is still evident and present in today's society.

Jennifer Laude, a transgender woman from the Philippines, died in a hotel room in Olongapo City on October 11, 2014, after Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton, a member of the United States Marine Corps in the nation for joint military operations, realized she was transgender. Pemberton was found guilty of strangling and drowning Laude to death, but Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte used his executive power to grant him a pardon.

On January 26, 2021, in Negros Oriental, a member of the LGBTQIA+ community was shot and killed inside a car parked on the roadside of the Diversion Road in Barangay Isugan, Municipality of Bacong.

These are only a handful of the numerous documented accounts of violence that the members of the LGBTQ+ community has been subjected to in the country. To address this, Senator Risa Hontiveros, Representatives Geraldine Roman, and Tom Villarin introduced the SOGIE Equality Bill in Congress, which aims to eradicate gender-based discrimination. Several government officials, on the other hand, saw the law as dubious and ambiguous. As of May 2019, it was the Senate's longest-running measure during the interpolation period, however it was turned down because Senate President Sotto III stated that the SOGIE Equality Bill had little chance of passing. Hontiveros then reintroduced the proposed legislation in the 18th Congress on December 2020.

Members of the LGBTQIA+ community have already gone through a lot of grief and suffering, and stories of being treated unfairly, being denied of basic human rights, and being forced to hide their true identity from the past to the present are reflections of the kind of society we live in. We can only claim that the constitution's provisions on equal protection under the law have been protected if we integrate their struggles into our political agenda. Hitherto, the history of all gender-based violence is the reflection of our deteriorating patriarchal system.

<![CDATA[Negros Oriental Implements 'Ban' Prohibiting Use Of Plastic Bags]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/the-ban-of-plastic-bags-in-negros-oriental629a2b6cba41b924ee08021aFri, 03 Jun 2022 16:00:00 GMTFrancis Lianro BuladoBy: Francis Lianro Bulado

From the containers we eat while sitting in a nice chair to the facial creams and toothbrushes we use, plastic is surely everywhere to make our lives simpler. However, as humans become increasingly reliant on plastics, more of the environment is at stake due to how it is handled and disposed of, which has a ton of significantly negative environmental impacts.

Plastic pollution as one of the major environmental problems in the Philippines | © Eco Warrior Princess

Plastic pollution has been one of the most important environmental challenges, posing a threat to the lives of wildlife such as birds and marine species, as well as the overall well-being of our biodiversity, since plastic is known as one of the world's greatest pollutants. More methane and ethylene will be produced as a result of the breakdown of these plastic materials called polymers, speeding up the rate of climate change. Globally, between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons of plastic trash ended up in the ocean.

According to the World Bank Organization, the Philippines ranked as the third-largest contributor of mismanaged plastic that enters the ocean every year, accounting for 0.75 million metric tons.

Environmental activists frequently challenge those in charge of the government as they play a significant role in resolving the plastic pollution crisis by demonstrating a willingness to turn radical ideas into attainable objectives and establish sanctions and budgets to mitigate the harmful effects of plastic pollution on the environment.

Dumpsite in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental that almost covers the entire road in Barangay Candau-ay

Furthermore, Philippine government actions towards the environment are governed by the provision in the 1987 Philippine Constitution, specifically in Article II, Section 16, which states:

"The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthy ecology in accord and with the rhythm and harmony of nature"

As a result, the Philippine Local Government Code of 1991 mandates the respective Local Government Units to share with the National Government the responsibility to promote, manage and maintain ecological balance in our respective locality. The same law also stipulates that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan or the Provincial Board may also enact laws to safeguard the environment and impose appropriate fines for actions that potentially cause pollution.

The Negros Times team in Dumaguete City was able to secure a copy of Provincial Ordinance No. 28, which regulates the use of plastic in the entire province, that was signed and approved by the incumbent Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo last August 12, 2021.

The Ordinance No. 28 (series of 2021), also known as "The Plastic Regulation and Prohibition Ordinance," was authored by Hon. John T. Raymond, Jr, from the province's third district. The goal of the ordinance is to regulate the use of plastics by designating Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as Plastic Holidays which prohibits the use of single-use plastic bags for primary and secondary packaging; it also designates the rest of the week, specifically Monday to Thursday, as Non-Plastic Holidays, with businesses and vendors only permitted to sell reusable plastic bags if absolutely necessary.

Other prohibited acts are: no free paper bags to encourage consumers to bring their own eco-bags; the use of cellophane in packaging drinking water and soft drinks; the use and sell of any types of plastic bags; the use and sell of styrofoam; distribution of single-use plastic straws; balikbayans or returning Filipinos and tourists bringing in plastic bags; serving/selling 500 ml. or smaller bottles of beverages.

Violators of the ordinance will be fined with the following penalties:

First Offense:

A fine of P300.00 for individuals; P500.00 for ambulant, occasional, and tabo vendors; and P1000.00 for permanent business establishments. Violators are subject to compulsory attendance to an orientation about the ordinance. Refusal to attend means resistance to the ordinance, which shall be penalized twice.

Second Offense:

A fine of P500.00 for individuals; P1000.00 for ambulant, occasional, and tabo vendors; and P2000.00 for permanent business establishments.

Third Offense:

A fine of P1000.00 for individuals; P2000.00 for ambulant, occasional, and tabo vendors; and P3000.00 for permanent business establishments.

Fourth Offense:

A fine of P2000.00 for individuals; P3000.00 for ambulant, occasional, and tabo vendors; and P5000.00 for permanent business establishments.

The one-year grace period following the ordinance's effective date was implemented as an adjustment period that will elapse until later this year, during which no violators will be fined. The Plastic Regulation and Prohibition Ordinance is a win for the province in terms of addressing the issue of plastic pollution. Furthermore, thorough enforcement and monitoring are required to fully implement the ordinance's requirements to prevent it from becoming a mere piece of legislation.

Finally, we have to remember that it is critical to hold big corporations and manufacturers accountable for their waste and demand to switch to more sustainable packaging that is beneficial for the environment and the masses.

<![CDATA[Watchdog Group Warns Presence of Mercury In Skin Care Cosmetics Sold In Visayas]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/watchdog-group-warns-presence-of-mercury-in-skin-care-cosmetics-sold-in-visayas629281ded649826f66d3485bSat, 28 May 2022 04:00:00 GMTLyle WhatchamacallitBy: The Negros Times

Watchdog group, EcoWaste Coalition has raised concerns about the presence of mercury in cosmetics sold in Western Visayas. The group found banned mercury-tainted cosmetics on sale in 9 cities in Panay and Negros Island.

Watchdog Group Warns Presence of Mercury In Skin Care Cosmetics Sold In Visayas | Photo by: EcoWaste Coalition

Imported face creams with dangerously high amounts of Mercury, a hazardous element forbidden in cosmetics, are being sold in Western Visayas, according to the toxics watchdog organization.

Despite a government-imposed prohibition since 2017 in the Philippines, the EcoWaste Coalition was able to purchase mercury-laden Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene and Goree Day & Night Beauty Cream from cosmetic stores in nine cities in the area, according to a news release.

According to Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition, their investigation shows that banned mercury-laden skin care products have penetrated the local cosmetic market in Western Visayas. She said:

"Local government, health and police authorities need to send off law enforcement teams without delay to confiscate the forbidden products and hold the culprits accountable".

The group purchased 31 samples of the said Goree products and one sample of Collagen Plus Vit E Day & Night Cream from cosmetic vendors in Iloilo City, Iloilo Province; Roxas City, Capiz Province; and Bacolod, Escalante, Kabankalan, San Carlos, Silay, Talisay, and Victorias, cities in Negros Occidental Province during test buy operations from May 14-17, 2022.

Watchdog Group Warns Presence of Mercury In Skin Care Cosmetics Sold In Visayas | Photo by: EcoWaste Coalition

The Goree samples, which cost P250-350 apiece, and the single Collagen Plus, which cost P99, were generally obtained from cosmetic product businesses and booths located in city centers, such as public markets and shopping malls.

Following that, the samples were taken to the EcoWaste Coalition's headquarters in Quezon City, where they were screened for mercury using an Olympus Vanta M Series X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer.

The evaluated 31 Goree samples were found positive for mercury in the range of 22,320 to 30,680 parts per million (ppm) based on XRF screening findings, much above the 1 ppm limit set by the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive and the Minamata Convention in Mercury. Mercury levels in the Collagen night cream were 2,060 parts per million (the day cream was negative for mercury).

As claimed by Goree Cosmetics on their official company website, there are fake Goree products circulating in the market worldwide that may contain high levels of Mercury on it, they assure their original Goree products are safe and mercury-free, prepared and recommended by their team of "skin specialists".

Watchdog Group Warns Presence of Mercury In Skin Care Cosmetics Sold In Visayas | Screenshot from: Goree Cosmetics

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued Advisory No. 2017-289 on October 30, 2017, warning consumers against purchasing and using the aforementioned Goree goods owing to their mercury concentration. In 2017 and again in 2021, the FDA issued a public health warning about the illegal Collagen Plus Vit E Day & Night Cream.

International and national health agencies have cautioned that skin lightening cosmetics containing mercury are dangerous to one's health. Skin rashes, discolouration, and scarring, as well as a reduction in skin's resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, are all side effects of mercury exposure in such products. Consumers have been advised that repeated applications of direct and extended exposure via the skin can harm the brain, neurological system, and kidneys.

The organization will write to Bacolod City Mayor-elect Alfredo Benitez, re-elected Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treas, and other municipal chief executives to inform them of the public health threat and to urge them to take prompt action.

"The continuing trade of hazardous cosmetics in the domestic market points to the most important role of local governments, particularly the City Mayors and the city health department chiefs, in ensuring compliance to product and chemical safety laws, including the Minamata Convention on Mercury, in their areas of jurisdiction," the EcoWaste Coalition concluded.

<![CDATA[Balenciaga Hacks 'New York Stock Exchange' For Their Spring 2023 Collection]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/balenciaga-hacks-new-york-stock-exchange-for-their-spring-2023-collection629065a95ef55a00dd166757Mon, 23 May 2022 04:00:00 GMTLyle WhatchamacallitBy: Lyle Whatchamacallit

For the first time since Nicolas Ghesquière's stint in 2003, on Sunday, May 22,2022, Creative Director Demna Gvasalia brought back Balenciaga to New York City, welcoming visitors to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for the fashion house’s Spring 2023 collection as the brand announced plans on accepting certain cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.

Balenciaga Hacks 'New York Stock Exchange' For Their Spring 2023 Collection | Fake Cash Invite © Balenciaga

As an invitation, the designer sent out invites in the shape of fake stacks of cash prior to the fashion show. The phony $100 banknotes include the inscription "BALENCIAGA SPRING 23 SHOW" on them, indicating the specifics of the show.

The notes smell like real cash and are wrapped in a Balenciaga money strap.

Public figures such as Bryan Boy, Kanye West, Christine Quinn of ",Selling Sunset", Megan Thee Stallion, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Anna Wintour and other fashion folks and personalities sat on stools that jumbled through the mess of broadcast booths inside the towering room where corporate leaders usually congregate to buy and sell stocks.

Models strutted down the runway in a full-body latex unitard with pinholes for the eyes and lips, worn beneath tailored suits and corporate uniforms coined as "Garde-Robe" that are seemingly inspired by office wear and outfits by white-collar workers in the Financial District of Downtown Manhattan, where the New York Stock Exchange office is located.

Meanwhile, the Balenciaga x Adidas collaboration was also released on the show, the collection combined Adidas' distinctive triple-stripe design with Balenciaga's loose-fitting shape and style, from baggy sweatpants, to casual sporty wear and chunky shoes, it's a high-fashion and streetwear mashup that's already selling out fast.

Complete ,Balenciaga x Adidas Collection | Available to shop now until May 29, 2022 at ,,www.balenciaga.com.

Demna is known for his expressive and outlandish creative concept in his fashion shows. On Balenciaga‘s ,Winter 2022 360° Collection runway show at Paris Fashion Week, guests were given damaged Apple iPhone 6 engraved with invites for the show as models tromped through an ersatz blizzard.

<![CDATA[World Bee Day, Bee Engaged: Celebrating The Diversity Of Bees And Beekeeping Systems]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/world-bee-day-bee-engaged-celebrating-the-diversity-of-bees-and-beekeeping-systems62872997d76f9ade381c0697Fri, 20 May 2022 07:52:04 GMTFrancis Lianro BuladoBy: Francis Lianro Bulado

Bees are tiny yet one of the most hard-working creatures that play a significant role in human existence where it affects 35 percent of the world’s crop production according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

World Bee Day 2022, Bee Engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems

Today marks the celebration of World Bee Day with the theme, “Bee Engaged: Celebrating The Diversity of Bees and Beekeeping Systems”. Last December 2017, the ,United Nations General Assembly unanimously voted to proclaim 20th of May every year as World Bee Day, its first commemoration took place in 2018.

It is truly amazing that these small little creatures are indeed flying miracles. Thus, it is critical to recognize their important contribution to our ecosystem.

Pollinators such as bees and other nectar-eating insects, birds, and even the nocturnal bats transport pollen from one stamen (male part of the flower) to the stigma (female part of the flower). This pollen movement is critical for the production of seeds, young plants, fruits and vegetables that we eat contributing to nutritional needs and food security for the human race to survive.

World Bee Day, Bee Engaged: Celebrating The Diversity Of Bees And Beekeeping Systems

Beekeeping has been an essential livelihood for certain people that helps boost the bee population, in an account by Jenny Castano of the ,Convention on Biological Diversity regarding beekeeping as a source of income, she stated that "the honey bee is the most widely managed pollinator in the world, with 81 million hives generating 1.6 million tonnes of honey yearly." She also emphasized the importance of beekeeping for local development because it takes less investment with low business risk.

There are approximately more than 20,000 species of bees, but only less than 5% of bee species make honey, and only honey bees and stingless bees produce enough honey worth harvesting. Bees make honey out of nectar, it is delivered bee to bee in the hive and is passed mouth-to-mouth until its moisture content is reduced from about 70% to 20%, this dehydration process changes the nectar into honey which bees store into the cells of the honeycomb capped with beeswax. Bees do this as a way of storing food for the rest of the year, when they are unable to forage and there are fewer flowers from which to gather food.

Bees keep our biodiversity healthy by carrying pollen from blossom to flower, fertilizing a new plant that produces seeds, ensuring that the environment continues to grow. Pollination of indigenous trees and native plants by bees aids forest regeneration.

World Bee Day, Bee Engaged: Celebrating The Diversity Of Bees And Beekeeping Systems | Photo by: Johann Piber

But sadly due to Climate Change, number of bees are declining worldwide. Leah Duran from ,Conservation International, an organization that combines fieldwork with innovations in science, policy, and finance to protect the land and the sea, said that climate change is causing habitat loss for bees because they failed to migrate to cooler areas to establish new hives. If a temperature becomes hotter, there is a tendency for bees to acquire parasites that are threatening their existence which is a result of climate change and global warming.

According to a report from ,ABC News, bees cover 170 billion USD in crops worldwide. Their report also revealed, according to data, that bee populations are declining each year, accounting for a 40.7% decrease.

World Bee Day, Bee Engaged: Celebrating The Diversity Of Bees And Beekeeping Systems

Everyone on earth is interconnected, if bees continue to decline, the food price could increase which could threaten food supply and eventually biodiversity.

As we celebrate "World Bee Day", may we learn about environmental protection and how everyone, like the working bees in their hive, has a duty to play and must work together to flourish in this world. May we nurture those generations behind us by teaching environmental consciousness toward the battle for climate justice and ensuring that our actions set an example for the betterment of our future.

<![CDATA[Negros Oriental Celebrates International Museum Week]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/negros-oriental-celebrates-international-museum-week6288969b2a0122a9da66ff8eWed, 18 May 2022 04:00:00 GMTLyle WhatchamacallitBy: Penn T. Larena

Every year since 1977, all museums over the world are invited by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) to participate in this day to promote the role of museums around the world, and to raise awareness that "museums are a vital method of cultural interchange, enrichment of cultures, and growth of mutual understanding, collaboration, and peace among people," says the ICOM. The events and activities planned to commemorate International Museum Day (IMD) might span a day, a weekend, or a whole week, and are held on or around May 18th each year. For the first time in 40 years, IMD was commemorated. International Museum Day is becoming more and more popular across the world. Last year, almost 37,000 museums from 158 countries and territories took part in the event.

Jara Carballo, Gemma Iso, Penn Larena, Maria Isabel, Roma Jane Hechanova, and Genesis Dimatulac at Silliman Hall

A simple celebration was held in Dumaguete City with the Negros Oriental History and Heritage Society under the leadership of Sir Penn T. Larena and Negros Oriental Arts and Culture Office under the leadership of our cultural officer Gemma Minda Laxina Iso.

The group visited the five museums in the City including the Silliman University (SU) Laura Hibbard Heritage Museum, Silliman Memorabilia at the Robert B. & Metta J. Silliman Library, SU Anthropology Museum, St. Paul University - Dumaguete Handuraw Heritage Museum, and Museo de Vicente in Foundation University.

Mr. Moses Joshua B. Atega, Heritage Advocate touring the group in Silliman University

Silliman University Laura Hibbard Heritage Museum is a museum project of the Silliman Alumni Association, Inc. Dumaguete Chapter, led by Prof. Gladys Rio Malayang and former chapter president Leo Dennis G. Mamicpic, was approved by University President Dr. Betty Cernol McCann, who had the brilliant idea of having this at Silliman Hall instead of being part of a Missionary Home restoration project as originally presented to the Board of Trustees.

Silliman Anthropology Museum was the first museum in Negros Oriental. An extensive collection of archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, the Anthropology Museum was established in 1970.

Handuraw Heritage Museum was established in 2004 during the Centennial Celebration of St. Paul University Dumaguete (SPUD) as the country’s oldest school part of the Saint Paul University System. with the help of the Friends of St. Paul with Sr. Pura Villanueva SPC, Flores Clan, and the Pinili Clan family members who were mostly Paulinians.

Museo de Vicente is a museum dedicated to the founder of Foundation University Dr. Vicente G. Sinco most of his memorabilia is on display. The Cultural Officer Alexie Dagaerag Miraflor toured the beautiful campus and the Sinco Social Garden.

In Negros Oriental there are other private Museums worth a visit including Tanjay Museum from St. James the Greater Parish Church, The Vicente Lopez Museum of the Vallehermoso Helping Hand Foundation, Mammal Bone Museum of Silliman University, Cata-al World War 2 Museum in Valencia town, and the future Peace Museum of the Philippine Army of Camp Leon Kilat

While there will be youngsters filling their minds with foolishness, you have the power to fill your children's heads with information and heritage respect on International Museum week.

The International Museum week was made possible with the generosity of the following people Prof. Bing Aguilar Head of OIP of Silliman University, Silliman Fine Arts Program, Silliman Alumni Office, Moses Atega for giving us the best history of Silliman University, Prof. Connie Cadelińa of the SU Anthropology Museum, Sr. Joseline Lasala SPC, Annabella Monte de Ramos, Dr Jane Galera, FU Cultural Officer Alexie Dagaerag Miraflor, Arch Horhe Adrian Z. Abcede NOHHS Chairman Museum and Monument Committee, and Myla Mae Bromo Abellana.

The event was organized by the Negros Oriental Tourism Office, Negros Oriental Arts and Cultural Office, Negros Oriental History and Heritage Society, and Buglas Reading Club, in cooperation with the local universities in the city.

<![CDATA[Debunking The Confusion With Nuisance Candidate In Negros' Gubernatorial Election]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/confusion-with-nuisance-candidate-in-negros-gubernatorial-election62855669b0eeb69d133fb656Thu, 12 May 2022 04:00:00 GMTFrancis Lianro BuladoBy: Francis Lianro Bulado

Nuisance candidate brought confusion in the 2022 gubernatorial elections in the province of Negros Oriental as voters wonder who will be the winning governor to serve the province for the next six years to come.

Campaign Poster of Ruel Degamo and Roel Degamo in the #Eleksyon2022

Bayawan City Mayor Pryde Henry Teves of the Nationalist People's Coalition was proclaimed the winner of the gubernatorial race by the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBC) in the Provincial Capitol of Negros Oriental on May 10, 2022. The PBC also issued a 'Certificate of Canvass of Votes and Proclamation of Winning Candidate for Provincial Governor' which states that Teves garnered 301,319 votes, the highest number of votes "legally" casted.

On the other hand, Teves' closest opponent, the incumbent Governor Roel Degamo of the Nacionalista Party was running for his third and final term which he acquired 281,773 votes. Degamo is expected to contest the result by praying to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to discredit the votes of the third candidate with a seemingly similar name, "Ruel Degamo" and should instead be counted in favor of him.

The incumbent governor said on Thursday, May 12, 2022 on his official Facebook Page that the Provincial Capitol employees were celebrating his victory.

The camp of Roel Degamo claimed that the independent candidate who goes by the name of Ruel Degamo spoiled his reelection bid where Ruel garnered 49,953 votes, leaving behind Liberal Party’s Vice Governor Mark Macias with 44,522 votes.

Henry Pryde Teves however, posted a counter statement on his Facebook Page saying he wont let his supporters' votes be wasted along with the copy of the Certification from the Provincial Board of Canvassers.

Nuisance candidate has been defined by the Batasang Pambansa BLG. 881 or the Omnibus Election Code, specifically in Section 69 as someone who filed a certificate of candidacy that will “put the election process in mockery or disrepute or to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of names of the registered candidates or by other circumstances or acts which clearly demonstrate that the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for the office for which the certificate of the candidacy has been filed and thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate.”

The wife of the incumbent governor who is also the seating Municipality Mayor in Pamplona, Negros Oriental, Janice Degamo, shared a copy of Comelec’s decision on his husband’s petition last year to declare Ruel Degamo a nuisance candidate and to cancel his candidacy.

The Petitioner (Roel Ragay Degamo), alleges that the Respondent’s (Ruel Degamo) last name is Gaudia and has no birth certificate "as he was entrusted to the care and custody of the spouses of Jaime Degamo and Irna Gaudia Degamo at a very young age." The Petitioner was able to submit a sworn affidavit of Irna Gaudia Degamo to prove these allegations.

He further alleges that the Respondent is an aircon mechanic; has not been popularly known by the nickname "Ruel". He also claimed that his political rival pressured and bribed the relative to file a Certificate of Candidacy.

Last December 16, 2021, the Comelec 2nd Division promulgated a resolution signed by Commissioner Socorro Inting and Commissioner Antionio Kho Jr., where it declared Grego Degamo as a nuisance candidate. It said that Ruel Degamo, known as Grego Gaudia only used the alias "Ruel" and the surname "Degamo" to confuse the voters for the 2022 elections.

Two "Degamo", one with the name "Roel" and another with "Ruel" will absolutely confuse voters and render worthless a vote for either Degamos during the appreciation of the ballots, thus, preventing the determination of the choice and true will of the electorate, the resolution said.

Furthermore, the resolution also emphasized that Grego "Ruel" Degamo failed to show his "bona fide intention" to run as a governor "in good faith". The resolution also stated that Grego lacks the means to sustain the election campaign.

Despite the order of the Comelec 2nd Division that declared Grego “Ruel” Degamo as a nuisance candidate and canceled his candidacy, the Respondent filed a Motion for Reconsideration and was referred to the Comelec en banc which is still pending up until this writing, this could be a reason why the name Ruel Degamo still appeared on the ballot, according to Roel Degamo’s Legal Counsel Atty. Richard Enojo.

Roel Degamo’s camp said that the incumbent governor is the rightful winner of this year's election if the votes of the nuisance candidate bearing the same name, however, spelled differently, would be credited to Roel Degamo as it would put the incumbent in the lead against Henry Teves.

Roel Degamo cited in a social media post a specific case, Santos v. Comelec (G.R. No. 235059, 04 September 2018), where the Supreme Court has ruled that the votes of the nuisance candidate will be automatically credited to the legitimate candidate. Also a similar case in Dela Cruz v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 192221, 13 November 2012), the Supreme Court has ruled that the votes garnered by the candidates who were declared nuisance candidates and whose certificate of candidacy have been canceled or set aside, should be counted in favor of the legitimate candidate.

According to the Philippine News Agency (PNA), Comelec Provincial Supervisor Atty. Lionel Marco Castillano made it clear that Comelec in Negros Oriental does not have the power and authority to transfer the votes of Ruel Degamo without proper proceedings. He also added that the decision is not yet final and executory as the motion for reconsideration on cancellation of candidacy and declaring Grego "Ruel" Degamo as a nuisance candidate and to cancel his candidacy is still yet pending at the Comelec en banc. Atty. Castillano said that there are about 1,000 disqualification cases that are currently handled by the Comelec en banc. He emphasized that it is up to the legal team of Degamo to follow up on the pending case with the poll body in Manila. The camp of Degamo is actively taking legal actions to resolve the issue.

<![CDATA[May is Cervical Cancer Consciousness Month]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/may-is-cervical-cancer-consciousness-month627e0622335874c2a03e6ef3Wed, 11 May 2022 04:00:00 GMTCedrick Louis AntiquinaBy: Cedrick Louis Antiquina

According to the Philippines' most recent cervical cancer statistics, 335,000 women died of cervical cancer in 2019, out of a total female population of 53,800,000 in the Philippines.

© 3D Model of Madonna's Vagina in New Series of NFTs | Cervical Carcinoma with Adnexa

Cervical Cancer is the second most frequent malignancy amongst Filipino women, next to breast cancer. In 2003, then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Proclamation No. 368 designating May as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in order to increase the transmission of information about cervical cancer and strategies to avoid it.

This disease in its early stage is insidious; it is generally asymptomatic meaning infected patients feel okay without any complaints or symptoms. There are also some who experience bleeding especially after sexual intercourse or douching. Since cervical cancer is caused primarily by Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a tumor-causing virus - lesions such as lumps and cysts can often be felt not only in the cervix but also in adjacent organs such as the vagina and its opening.

Thankfully, with the encouragement of the World Health Organization (WHO) to include HPV vaccination as an essential part of health, cervical cancer is showing a downward trend.

Cervical Cancer vaccination is targeted towards its primary causative agent which is the Human Papillomavirus. It is marketed as Gardasil or Cervarix amongst others. Vaccines are effective preventive measures toward diseases. It usually contains inactivated parts of the causative agent so that once it is introduced into the body, the immune system can interact and make antibodies without making the person feel sick. In the case of Gardasil, the leading HPV vaccine worldwide, it contains inactive virus "coatings". After being introduced into the body, the immune system recognizes it as a foreign material and makes antibodies to fight it. Our immune system then remembers it and keeps them on "stand-by mode" so that when the actual "active" virus infects a person, the body already has enough antibodies to counter it.

However, considering that there are still those who do not have access to vaccination and screening for the disease, the trend may not be an accurate reflection of the recent status of cervical cancer worldwide as there is still so much to be done to accurately determine the current statistics of the cancer affecting women.

Getting vaccinated is a responsible act towards controlling cervical cancer. Getting screened is also another way of ensuring one’s health. If you are someone who have had sex with many partners and if at an early age you had your first sex, try getting yourself screened by having a Pap Smear Test. A Pap smear is done by brushing the cervix in order to obtain cells for viewing under the microscope. In the Philippines, there is an existing memorandum from the Department of Health (DOH Department Memorandum No. 2015-0120) that allows free Pap Smear Test for all women 21 years old and above.

In Negros Island, the only health institution where you can avail of the free Pap Smear Test every Tuesday for the whole month of May is at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Regional Hospital in Bacolod City.

On the other hand, males, though without cervix, are also recommended to have Human Papillomavirus vaccination to prevent neoplastic formation and prevent HPV transmission, though not necessary, HPV vaccines prevent the deleterious effects of Human Papillomavirus to males such as genital warts.

<![CDATA[2022 Philippine Election Concerning The Youth]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/2022-philippine-election-concerning-the-youth6278a8b948d3cf15127d300dMon, 09 May 2022 04:00:00 GMTThe Negros TimesBy: Jessa H. Abella

The Philippine Presidential elections are taking place today, March 9, 2022. According to a pre-election Pulse Asia survey, presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is leading, followed by Maria Leanor "Leni" Robredo.

2022 Presidential Candidate Maria Leanor "Leni" Robredo and Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

The two candidates came out on top in four successive polls. The key front-runners for the next president have elevated the stakes of the election, making it a fight for the Filipino people to select who is deserving of the position. As a political strategy, supporters from diverse camps have shown their unity in their own distinctive ways on various social media platforms.

One of the most significant characteristics that a voter should consider is selecting the right candidate who is capable of addressing and responding to challenges such as the country's national defense and other more pressing matters that concern the country and its citizens.

On the other hand, the proliferation of fake news is one issue confronting this election. Enabling this activity may further perplex voters, increasing the likelihood of being duped.

In today's election, adolescents, or so-called prime movers, make for around 56 percent of voters. Without a doubt, some Filipino adolescents are susceptible to deceptions such as false information and propaganda.

Others are unaware of the candidate's potential role in governance. Some chose it based on their popularity, facial attributes, and other unrelated requirements for the post. This is a concerning problem since youngsters must exercise caution and think carefully about who they pick.

Aside from that, society and the environment in which an individual lives should go out of their way to guide and lead them to pick the most competent candidate for the post for which they are running.

Regardless of the false claims, we are taking a position for one candidate, either publicly or privately. At the end of the day, the person who merits the position will lead the country and demonstrate their commitment to their words.

Vote wisely!

<![CDATA[Vote Buying Rampant In The 2022 Presidential Election]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/vote-buying-rampant-in-the-2022-presidential-election6278c1edbd22b7be64b7cff3Mon, 09 May 2022 04:00:00 GMTCedrick Louis AntiquinaBy: Cedrick Louis Antiquina

In one of the busy afternoons of Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Manong Romy (not his real name) traverses the streets of the University Town carrying a placard that, instead of carying a photo of a candidate, resonates a cause albeit an unpopular advocacy among the electorate: “Ayuda sa Politiko Atoa ng Kwartaha Dili Ilaha” (Aid From the Politician is Our Money, Not Theirs). At the back of the placard, more words spew out harsh truth: “Dawaton Ang Kwarta, Dili Nato Botohan” (Take the Money, Don’t Vote [Them]). The people have seen and read it maybe by a glance or a second look; but have they actually understood the meaning of the words ‘Nong Romy wanted to convey?

“Ayuda sa Politiko Atoa ng Kwartaha Dili Ilaha” (Aid From the Politician is Our Money, Not Theirs)

In today's 2022 Philippine National and Local Elections, politicians are now scrambling for the home stretch run. Today's election will be the seal that would determine the fate of each running candidate.

Along the streets, days prior, campaign teams walk to and from in obvious desperation to convince the undecided, hired vehicles parading politician's faces with accompanying serene-breaking jingle anthems tirelessly wander the roadways, and community leaders crack their joints to commence the 'pangamang' - a local term which literally means to crawl, to creep or to sneak; a subtle word to describe vote buying in general.

The Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines, however, is not that kind when it specifically defined vote buying as “any person who gives, offers or promises money or anything of value, gives or promises any office or employment, franchise or grant, public or private, or makes or offers to make an expenditure, directly or indirectly, or cause an expenditure to be made to any person, association, corporation, entity, or community in order to induce anyone or the public in general to vote for or against any candidate or withhold his vote in the election, or to vote for or against any aspirant for the nomination or choice of a candidate in a convention or similar selection process of a political party.”

UniTeam Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte Tandem Caught Vote Buying

What usually happens with corrupt officials is that they make business out of government services. For example, a dishonest local official during their 3-year term would amass great wealth through unimaginable ways only conniving minds could conjure. This is in expense of taxpayers money meant for services to the public. The siphoned money will then be given back to the people during election time with the grand illusion of aid by a loving politician to his faithful constituents. With a clamoring public that mostly lives with 'isang kahig-isang tuka', the money is one big hallelujah. The story hits differently among those seeking a first shot with politics. They borrow huge sums of money to fund their campaign with a conflicting assurance that upon winning the coveted seat, the loaned money will be paid in full with profit to spare for the next elections. Politics becomes profitable in the sense that once you are in power you control where and how money is spent, you take a lion's-share with every projects, and you can bribe anyone to do your bidding. This is the sad reality for most of our country where corrupt practices are deeply rooted. Here comes the relevance of ‘Nong Romy, here comes the resonating truth of ‘Nong Romy's placard. Indeed, that aid from the politician is our money, not theirs, and we do not owe them anything for that.

Laws and regulations are already in place to stop the proliferation of vote buying but a consenting public and a weak enforcing unit proved them all futile. Vote buying will always be around so long as the principles of "utang-na-loob" or debt of honor, the padrino system, poverty, and corruption continues to penetrate our political systems. It will never justify corruption.

Manong Romy is just one of the noble individuals who strongly advocate for elections not run by money but by an ideal democracy where votes truly make a stand rather than sold.

His bravery is admirable; an everyday 'Juan' with the zeal for a brighter future. This election day, one could only hope that this growing republic would steer towards what is right: where candidates platforms' matter more than 'ayudas', and where voters do not exchange 3 or 6 years of government for mere hundreds of pesos.

Vote responsibly!

<![CDATA[How Mother's Day Becomes Political]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/how-mother-s-day-becomes-political6276c406502c56a28792ece4Sun, 08 May 2022 08:21:46 GMTFrancis Lianro BuladoBy: Francis Lianro Bulado, Lyle Mark Bulado

May all voting Mothers be reminded that their voices are as important as their elected leaders and that they do not have to be silenced. Mom's stance matters especially in crafting better legislation and are pivotal to our government's development and success benefiting women, mothers, and the Filipino people.

How Mother's Day Becomes Political

Ma, Mom, Mommy, Mum, Mama, Madre, Maw, or whatever you call your Mother; they deserve to be celebrated, acknowledged, and appreciated as they play a vital role in our social, emotional, physical, and cognitive developmental growth, even fostering on our independence. We would not achieve or be who we are today if it wasn't because of our mother’s untold pain, selfless sacrifice, and genuine love that transcends throughout our time and continues to build a bridge toward the future that our parents envisioned for us. For them, they want nothing but only the best for their children.

Mother’s Day is a celebration to honor motherhood and has been observed widely worldwide. Its history can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans where they held festivals to honor their mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele. Another account is the Christian festival of “Mothering Sunday”, a tradition in the United Kingdom in which the faithful children would return to their 'Mother' church or the main church after working away from home, over the time it turned into a secular holiday where children would give their mothers presents like flowers as a small gift. In the United States, the history of Mother's Day is somewhat political, its origin can be dated back to the 19th Century when Ann Reeves Jarvis established the "Mother's Day Work Club" to educate local women on how to take care of their children. After the civil war, the regions were still divided and later on, the club became a unifying force. In 1868, Jarvis organized the “Mother's Friendship Day”, in which mothers come together with the former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation. In 1870, Julia Ward Howe an American poet and author wrote the “Mother’s Day Proclamation”, which served as a call to unite mothers in attaining world peace. By 1900s, Mother’s Day was declared an official holiday after the efforts of Anna Jarvis, the daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis.

In the Philippines, despite the 1998 Presidential Decree that technically moves the Country's official "Mother's Day" and "Father’s Day" to the first Monday of December every year, most Filipinos still prefer to celebrate Mother's Day every second Sunday of May similarly to the rest of the world.

Mothers are called “ilaw ng tahanan” in the Filipino language which literally translates to “the light of the home” in English, because it is believed that mothers bring love, warmth, comfort, and brightness to the family as they elucidate darkness in the house by putting their family first and protecting them the best way they can.

During this special day, as part of the culture in the Philippines, Filipinos pay tributes to their moms, grandmothers, mother peers, and other motherly figures in their respective family, including single fathers who played both roles for their children by giving them surprises, gifts, blowouts, and special notes or letters.

Lilian Hinsoy-Bulado Mother of Author Shares What She Received For Mother's Day

This year's Mother's Day Celebration in the country is slightly different, with the 2022 Elections coming up on Monday, May 9, 2022 the tension is quite intense. Top Presidential candidates Bongbong Marcos, son of dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and Imelda Marcos is running a close match against Leni Robredo, a widow and a single mother raising 3 daughters after the death of her late husband Jesse Robredo from a plane crash in 2012.

Supporters from each party made futile attempts during the campaign period and even online up to today to convince opposing parties to switch teams, but voters are adamant with their decision of who to shade in their ballots on the May 9th Elections.

Moreover, some politicians inevitably make decisions that may impact the healthcare of our Filipino mothers.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) revealed that thousands of Filipino women continue to die due to the complications that are related to childbirth. Camarines Sur Representative LRay Villafuerte said that there is a need for the full implementation of the Republic Act 11148 or the “Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Magnanay Act”, for which government should appropriate funds for the programs in the first one thousand (1000) days of a child’s life from birth. Mothers are also struggling to access mental health services despite the message of the Republic Act 11036 or the Mental Health Act of 2018 that makes mental health services accessible at the local level, however in 2021, the budget for the National Mental Health Program is only P615 million which is only equivalent to P5.69 per capita, a number impossible to afford and sustain any needs or commodity.

On the brighter side, it is a victory for Filipino mothers that 'Maternity Leave' has been extended from 60 days to 105 days after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11210 or the “105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law”.

These are just some of the numerous predicaments that Filipino mothers are facing. It is a specter that haunts mothers as they think for the unforseeable future of their children and the Filipino family.

To achieve changes in the aspect of Motherhood, it is imperative that we elect leaders who reflect our values and that will guarantee the protection of our children’s future.

<![CDATA[Heart Disease: Leading Cause Of Death Among Women In The Philippines And How To Avoid It]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/heart-disease-leading-cause-of-death-among-women-in-the-philippines-and-how-to-avoid-it6278231b4c31f486a4fe360bFri, 06 May 2022 04:00:00 GMTCedrick Louis AntiquinaBy: Cedrick Louis Antiquina

The heart of a mother (and all those who stood up to become mother figures) is truly a heart of a champion. As homage to their unique role to our lives, we should also take care of them more especially their health.

Heart Disease: Leading Cause Of Death Among Women In The Philippines And How To Avoid It

Mothers have played an enormously important part in our lives. Moms have loved and cared for us since the minute we were born. They've put in 9 months of careful living to bring us into this wonderful world. They are there to guide, support, and teach us important lessons as we grow. It's no surprise that they are given the monickers "ilaw ng tahanan" (light of homes). They are the ones that light up our houses by bringing happiness in happy moments and consolation in sad ones.

According to a Statista Research, the leading cause of mortality among females in the Philippines is

Ischemic Heart Disease. Ischemic Heart Disease happens when nutrients and oxygen are deprived from our heart muscles due to abnormalities among arteries such as plaques and fatty deposits.

Leading Causes of Mortality Among Women in The Philippines

Without the needed vital resources, the heart becomes weaker. This may have been brought about by the change in lifestyle amongst Filipinos which is now more closely classified similar to Western Pattern Diet (WPD) that is high-fat and high-sugar foodstuff.

Aside from healthy lifestyle modifications, that is recommended to fight against heart attacks and other complications, one can help conduct surveillance against heart diseases.

Here are simple and cost-efficient tests you can perform to check the status of your heart:

1. Blood Pressure Monitoring

Blood pressure measurement is usually done with a sphygmomanometer and a stethoscope. It

measures the pressure exerted by your blood among the blood vessels as they circulate around your

body. It gives us a picture of the conditions of our blood vessels. Higher blood pressures indicate poor

health probably due to obstructions along vessels.

2. Lipid Profile Test

This test is done on a person’s blood to determine its lipid content. There are two types of cholesterol,

the good one (HDL) and the bad one (LDL) which levels can be determined through this test. High

concentration of cholesterol in our blood poses a risk for developing plaques that clog our blood vessels.

3. Fasting Blood Glucose

Another test to help check for metabolic syndrome is the blood glucose test usually done after fasting

for a period of time. High blood glucose levels predisposes a person to a sequence of events that leads

to worsening of heart damage. Diabetes, a condition where blood sugar levels are persistently high,

causes changes in our body that subsequently destroy heart cells.

4. Electrocardiogram

The heart beats in regular rate and rhythm. That rate and rhythm can be checked through an ECG test

where leads are placed on your chest and impulse signals are recorded through a period of time. Abnormal rates as well as rhythm indicate that the proper signaling and communication between heart

cells are disrupted. As the abnormal pattern persists over time, the heart tries to compensate thereby

resulting to more abnormalities

5. Echocardiogram

The heart has four chambers guarded by valves. The synchronized opening and closing of these valves

gives us the regular rate and rhythm of our heart. The Echocardiogram test looks into the status of each valves giving us a better look of cardiac health especially if analyzed along with an ECG.

Other cardiac tests are available to specifically monitor and assess the physiologic capacities of our heart. For purposes of accessibility and economical-convenience, the aforementioned tests are highly recommended. It is important to note, though, that if a person shows signs of emergency such as extreme chest pain, loss of consciousness and palpitation, a visit to the emergency room is a must.

There is no better way to say thank you to the person who takes good care of our hearts by also taking

of their heart. Cardiac health can never be overemphasized especially in our times where lifestyle and

genetics greatly predispose not only women but all Filipino people with cardiac problems.

<![CDATA['Iglesia Ni Cristo' Officially Backs BBM-Sara Tandem]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/iglesia-ni-cristo-officially-backs-bbm-sara-tandem62746fcf050fc4b6783d883fTue, 03 May 2022 04:00:00 GMTFrancis Lianro BuladoBy: Francis Lianro Bulado

The bloc-voting religious group Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) has officially endorsed the presidential and vice-presidential tandem Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte for the 2022 elections. This was after the announcement made on Net25, an INC-owned broadcast channel on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.

'Iglesia Ni Cristo' Officially Backs BBM-Sara Tandem

Earlier this year there were already speculations that INC would possibly endorse the Marcos-Duterte tandem, one hint was when the Proclamation Rally of the BBM-Sara Tandem was held at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan in which it is owned by INC. However, Marcos’ spokesperson Atty. Vic Rodriguez denied affiliation and said that it was just the chosen venue.

“You’re reading too much between the lines. We have not said anything close to that. Ito ay venue lamang (this is only a venue),” he said in a statement in February 2022.

Iglesia ni Cristo is popularly known over the previous elections to practice 'voting bloc' amongst members, a group of voters that are strongly motivated by a common concern, and in the case of INC, voting based on their leaders’ preferences and is heavily wooed by both local and national candidates for possible endorsement.

Pulse Asia identified that INC comprises 3% of the voting population, and could equate around 1.5 to 1.8 million votes, according to 2013 data.

The influential religious group also endorsed the following candidates for senators: Alan Peter Cayetano, JV Ejercito, Guillermo Eleazar, Chiz Escudero, Jinggoy Estrada, Sherwin Gatchalian, Loren Legarda, Robin Padilla, Joel Villanueva, Mark Villar, and Migz Zubiri.

INC said during the broadcast that the decision to endorse the tandem was according to their “thorough study and research”. Marcos and Sara gave thanks as Net25 aired their message.

"Ako po at ang aking pamilya, sampu ng buong alyansang nakapaloob sa Uniteam ay labis na nagagalak at buong pusong nagpapasalamat sa suportang inihayag ng kapatirang Iglesia Ni Cristo sa pangunguna ng inyong tagapamahalang pangkalahatan kapatid Eduardo V. Manalo," Marcos said.

In 2016, INC backed former Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for President where he won, while Bongbong Marcos for Vice President however, lost to Vice President Leni Robredo.

In 2010, INC endorsed both of the Liberal Party’s Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Mar Roxas. Aquino won, while Roxas lost to Jejomar Binay.

May 7, 2022, marks the end of the campaign period. The tandem is scheduled to attend various grand rallies this week in Tagum, Davao del Norte; Paranaque City; Guimbal; and Iloilo.

<![CDATA[Fluvial Protest Held on Labor Day Against '174 Reclamation' Project in Dumaguete City]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/fluvial-protest-held-on-labor-day-against-174-reclamation-project-in-dumaguete-city626f93159656f9d85026c909Sun, 01 May 2022 04:00:00 GMTFrancis Lianro BuladoBy: Francis Lianro Bulado

Fisherfolks, environmentalists, progressive groups like Kabataan Partylist, and concerned citizens in Dumaguete City, Province of Negros Oriental marked Labor Day on Sunday, May 1, 2022, with a fluvial protest demanding government protection of Dumaguete’s shoreline against the plan to build a 174-hectare “Smart City”.

Fluvial Protest Held on Labor Day Against '174 Reclamation' Project in Dumaguete City

In the official statement via Facebook Post of the advocacy group, NoTo174DumagueteIslands said that the fluvial protest is a reminder to fight for Dumaguete’s coastal waters as the reclamation will bury the marine resources under tons of debris and dredged sand.

“Today is May 1, International Workers Day. We honor the hard work of laborers who ply the seas and toil the land to bring food to our tables; the waste workers who help keep our streets and beaches clean; the pedicab drivers who take us to work or leisure; the restaurant and store workers who provide us services; the women workers who nurture their families, and other sectors. All contribute to making Dumaguete a livable city, and all would be adversely affected by the reclamation project,” the group said.

Fluvial Protest Held on Labor Day Against '174 Reclamation' Project in Dumaguete City | Photo By: Paul Benzi Sebastian Florendo

They also urged the people in Dumaguete City to vote wisely on May 9, 2022, by electing leaders that are committed to the protection of the environment. “Vote for the preservation of our resources, for the interests of our workers and local businesses, for the needs of local communities, and for our heritage,” they added.

The “Smart City” plan is a public-private partnership between the Local Government of Dumaguete City and E.M. Cuerpo Inc (EMCI) that has the intention to reclaim a huge amount of land to build shopping malls, condominiums, parks, residential buildings, and other structures.

Last September 2021, Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Remollo has deferred signing the agreement after the strong opposition by several sectors and following the passage of an ordinance by the Negros Oriental provincial board declaring all 46 marine protected areas (MPA), including the four barangays (Banilad Marine Sanctuary and Reservation, Bantayan Marine Reserve, Lo-oc Marine Sanctuary and Reservation Area, and Mangnao Marine Sanctuary and Reservation Area) in Dumaguete City.

However, the local community continues to express their disagreement with the proposed plan as Mayor Remollo said that the project may still be pursued. “This is without prejudice, however, to pursue the city’s application for pertinent permits with the PRA and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources relative to the Smart City Project at the proper time,” he said.