<![CDATA[The Negros Times]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/all-newsRSS for NodeSat, 01 Apr 2023 10:01:43 GMT<![CDATA[Viral Photo Of Pope Francis In A Puffer Jacket Is AI-Generated, Pontiff Warns Unethical Use Of Tech]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/viral-photo-of-pope-francis-in-a-puffer-jacket-is-ai-generated-pontiff-warns-unethical-use-of-tech6422d380a0cf78b4e6b19768Mon, 27 Mar 2023 16:00:00 GMTLyle WhatchamacallitBy: Lyle Whatchamacallit

The recent viral photo of Pope Francis wearing a white puffer jacket turned out to be a work of art generated by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool, Midjourney. The Pope's image garnered a lot of attention, which was first shared in a Facebook group, AI Art Universe, with over 500,000 members worldwide, and then on r/midjourney Subreddit with many people believing it to be real.

Viral Photo Of Pope Francis In A Puffer Jacket is Actually an AI-Generated Image, Pontiff Warns Unethical Use Of Technology | Pablo Xavier

In an exclusive interview by Buzzfeed with the creator of the image, Pablo Xavier, a 31-year-old construction worker from Chicago, revealed that he was inspired to create the image while high on shrooms. He generated the image using the AI software that he had been using to deal with grief after the loss of his brother; he added he was just trying to do "funny stuff and trippy art".

After then, he said it just occurred to him and starts keying in the texts "'The Pope in Balenciaga puffy coat, Moncler, walking the streets of Rome, Paris'", describing to the AI art tool to generate the image of what he wants to see next. When he initially saw the results, he thought the images were perfect, and for that reason he posted it online.

Other AI-Generated Images of Pope Francis in a White Balenciaga-Moncler-inspired Puffy Jacket | By: Pablo Xavier

Meanwhile, Pope Francis himself has praised the benefits of technology and artificial intelligence, especially when used for the common good, in his address at the 'Minerva Dialogues', a yearly gathering of scientists and experts, he warned against using AI unethically or irresponsibly, the Pope stressed out the need for responsible observance with the use of technology.

He cautioned that the potential of AI and machine learning will only be realized if users and developers commit to ethical and accountable practices.

He emphasized the intrinsic dignity of every human being and called for the key criterion in evaluating emerging technologies, and for developers to prioritize ethical and responsible practices to ensure that technology remains human-centered and directed towards the good at all levels of human life.

However, Pablo Xavier has iterated that he created the images only for fun, "I just thought it was funny to see the Pope in a funny jacket", he shared no enmity towards the pontiff or the Catholic Church.

According to Pablo, he did not expect the images to go viral or receive some backlash as it did result in his Reddit account being suspended, he also expressed concerns for misinterpretation and misinformation that can spread like wildfire on social media platforms.

<![CDATA[Depressed 16 Year Old, Steals Gun, Attempts Suicide, Shoots Self In The Head]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/depressed-16-year-old-steals-gun-attempts-suicide-shoots-self-in-the-head641d779960f1bac7f248c634Fri, 24 Mar 2023 10:45:27 GMTThe Negros TimesBy: The Negros Times

DUMAGUETE CITY - On March 24, 2023, at about 11 AM, a teenager from Northern Junob, whose name is withheld for privacy reasons, attempted to commit a suicide. The mother of the victim claims, her son is experiencing depression, which led him to take such a drastic step.

Depressed 16 Year Old, Steals Gun, Attempts Suicide, Shoots Self  In The Head in Dumaguete City

According to initial police investigation, the victim entered a Cebuana Lhuillier branch and forcibly took the issued firearm, a .38 caliber revolver of the on-duty security guard, Nielmer Trono Patagaytay.

The teen then fled outside, and shot himself in the head along Crossing Taclobo, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. Authorities are currently investigating the incident, and it is unknown at this time whether any charges will be pressed against the security guard.

The incident has shocked the community and brought light the importance of mental health awareness. Depression is a serious mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide; it is important to recognize the symptoms and seek treatment immediately.

One Rescue, a local emergency medical service, was immediately informed of the incident and promptly transported the victim to Silliman Medical Center (SUMC) for immediate medical attention.


If you or someone you know is experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts, do not lose hope, there are help available and people ready to listen to you. For free and confidential support by phone you may contact:

• National Center For Mental Health Nationwide (NCMH) Crisis Hotline | Landline toll-free: 1553 | Globe/TM: 09178998727 or 09663514518 | Smart/SUN/TNT: 09086392672

• Tawag Paglaum-Centro Bisaya | Smart/SUN: 09399375433 or 09399365433 | Globe/TM: 09276541629

• HopeLine Philippines | Landline: +63288044673 | Globe: 09175584673 | Smart: 09188784673 | or Online Chat: facebook.com/HopelinePH

• In Touch: Crisis Line | Landline: +63288937603 | or Messenger Chat: m.me/336912156753999

<![CDATA[Reporter Who Covered Pamplona Massacre Dead After A Vehicular Accident]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/reporter-who-covered-pamplona-massacre-dead-after-a-vehicular-accident640fa20d36f2d24740c00c35Mon, 13 Mar 2023 16:00:00 GMTLyle WhatchamacallitBy: Lyle Whatchamacallit

A reporter for CDN lost her life after she was struck by a vehicle around 3:10pm on March 12, 2023 in Crossing Siapo, Brgy. Tampi, San Jose, Negros Oriental.

CDN Reporter Who Covered Pamplona Massacre Dead After A Vehicular Accident | via PNP-San Jose

The sudden death of Pegeen Maisie Manlangit Sararaña, a reporter for Cebu Daily News, shocked the media industry and the public alike. Sararaña was a young and talented journalist who had covered various sensitive and important issues, including the Pamplona massacre that killed Governor Roel Degamo, and several others.

Pegeen Maisie Sararaña, CDN Reporter Who Covered Pamplona Massacre Dead After A Vehicular Accident | via PNP-San Jose

The incident was caused by a reckless driver of a red Izuzu Dropside truck. Sararaña was riding a Honda Beat 110 motorcycle with temporary plate No. 0701-1061115 together with her boyfriend, Niel Ian Mascardo Balcobero, when they were hit by the truck. While Balcobero survived with minor injuries, Sararaña suffered serious injuries and head trauma and was rushed to Negros Polymedic Hospital in Sibulan. However, despite the efforts of medical professionals, Sararaña later succumbed to her injuries and passed away.

Pegeen Maisie Sararaña, CDN Reporter Who Covered Pamplona Massacre Dead After A Vehicular Accident | via PNP-San Jose

According to Chief Police Capt. Carlo Desano during the initial investigation, it was known that the cargo truck was running from the north to the south direction from the town of Amlan to Sibulan, it overtook the ahead Long Bed Truck and accidentally hit the victim's motorcycle while they were on standby getting ready to cross the road to the west direction.

The driver of the truck is know detained at the Amlan Police Station named by authorities as Nielric Tano Gaso, 27 years old, married from Brgy. Silab, Amlan, Negros Oriental.

Sararaña's tragic death is a huge loss not only for her family and loved ones but also for the media industry. As a journalist, Sararaña was passionate about her work and had covered various critical stories that shed light on important issues. Her dedication and professionalism were evident in her coverage of the Pamplona massacre.

Reporters often work in dangerous and unpredictable situations, risking their lives to bring the truth to the public. Sararaña's untimely demise is a stark reminder of the risks and dangers that journalists face every day in the course of their work. Her hard work and contributions to the profession and her commitment to truth and justice will always be remembered.

<![CDATA[Bretman Rock Arrives in Dumaguete City, Visits Siquijor Island]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/bretman-rock-arrives-in-dumaguete-city-visits-siquijor-island640fbae889efc1b3f132fa8dMon, 13 Mar 2023 04:19:57 GMTLyle WhatchamacallitBy: Lyle Whatchamacallit

On March 13, 2023, Bretman Rock arrived in Dumaguete City Airport and made his way to the beautiful Island of Siquijor, where he will be staying for a couple days at Coco Grove Resort, The Negros Times has learned.

The social media influencer and beauty vlogger is in the country since the first week of March, for his "You're That Bitch: & Other Cute Lessons About Being Unapologetically Yourself" Book launch in Manila.

He shared his excitement about the trip to his motherland with his millions of followers on Instagram, posting series of photos ranging from his OOTD look by stylist Brian Meller, who was also in the country, to his "I'm In Manila B*tch" cap, as well as happenings at his book signing events.

Siquijor Island is located in the Visayas region of the Philippines and is known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and stunning sunsets that attracts tourists from all over the world.

Coco Grove Resort, where Bretman is reportedly staying, is a luxurious beachfront property that boasts a private beach, tons of coconut trees, multiple swimming pools, and a variety of water sports and activities.

Bretman, who is originally from the Philippines but now resides in Hawaii, United States, has been vocal about his love for his home country and his desire to showcase its beauty to his followers.

In recent years, he has made trips to various destinations in the Philippines and has documented his travels on social media. Bretman is not only known for his beauty expertise and social media presence but also for his funny demeanor and outspoken personality.

Fans and followers of Bretman were thrilled to hear about his latest adventure and eagerly awaited updates on his trip.

Many took to social media to express their excitement of meeting him, as some locals have shared their selfies with the social media star.

However, he has not posted anything about the trip as of this writing.

As he enjoys his stay in Siquijor Island, it is likely that Bretman will also take the opportunity to explore the island's rich culture and history.

Siquijor is known for its traditional healing practices and folklore, and many visitors come to the island to learn more about its mystical traditions.

Overall, Bretman Rock's arrival in Dumaguete City and his trip to Siquijor Island has sparked excitement and admiration among his followers. As he shares his experiences and adventures on social media while in his homeland, he is sure to inspire others to explore the beauty of the Philippines and appreciate its rich culture and traditions.

<![CDATA[BREAKING: Negros Oriental Governor Dead At 56 After An Armed Attack | News and Updates]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/breaking-negros-oriental-governor-dead-at-56-after-an-armed-attack-news-and-updates640326a8546f5892998e211cSat, 04 Mar 2023 14:25:32 GMTThe Negros TimesBy: The Negros Times | With Reports By: Lyle Whatchamacallit | Last Updated: March 6, 2023 6:00 AM

The people of Negros Oriental and the entire Philippines are in shock and grief over the tragic death of Governor Roel Degamo. On Saturday morning, March 4, 2023, armed men attacked the Governor in Pamplona town. Degamo was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead at 11:41 AM.

Governor Degamo's wife, Pamplona, Negros Oriental Mayor Janice Degamo, expressed her sorrow in a Facebook live video message posted on the governor's Social Media page. She said "Governor Degamo do not deserve that kind of death", and that the governor and his department heads were serving his people when the perpetrators shot and killed him in front of their residence in Pamplona.

Gov. Degamo was speaking to some of his constituents who are Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (or 4Ps, a program of conditional cash transfer run by the Department of Social Welfare and Development to address extreme poverty in the Philippines) beneficiaries when a group of people in full army and naval battle gear atop two SUVs opened fire on the governor, striking some bystanders as well. The victims were immediately transported to the hospital in Dumaguete City.


A Surveillance Footage Shows Armed Men And Can Be Seen Firing At Gov. Roel Degamo's Home

Governor Degamo was a respected and beloved leader who dedicated his life to serving the people of Negros Oriental. He served as the governor and was known for his dedication to public service and his commitment to improving the lives of his constituents.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte both denounced the murders in separate statements on Saturday afternoon, urging investigators to hold the perpetrators and the mastermind accountable.

The death of Governor Degamo is a great loss not only to his family and friends but also to the people of Negros Oriental and the entire country. His passing is a tragedy, and the circumstances of his death are deeply concerning.

In Barangay Cansumalig, Bayawan City, Negros Oriental, at least three getaway cars were discovered abandoned, and "more or less 10 suspects" were reported escaping the area.

According to the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) they have coordinated with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to track down the registration of the Black Mitsubishi Montero with plate number YAP 163, as well as the Mitsubishi Pajero with plate number NQZ 735, and the Green Isuzu Pickup Truck with plate number GRY 162 that was left by the alleged suspects as they took off towards the mountainous area. Investigators said they already have leads of the possible owners of the vehicles. The bloodstains that were discovered on the vehicles were also sampled for analysis by the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO).

However, spokesperson Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare refused to give further details pending their inquisition. Pelare added he is certain that the other suspects—who are still at large—have not left Negros Island.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) Negros Oriental office has launched an investigation into the incident to determine the motive behind the attack, local law enforcement was immediately assigned of conducting a vigorous pursuit operation to search every nook and cranny of the area and apprehend the criminals responsible for the heinous crime.

The authorities is doing everything in their power to investigate this horrible crime and bring those responsible to justice. With the joint forces of the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office (NOPPO), Special Action Force (SAF), and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Negros Oriental three (3) suspects have since been arrested who were former Army soldiers that were "dishonorably discharged".

On Saturday night, another alleged suspect in the attack and killing of Governor Roel Degamo was found during the ongoing pursuit operations of the local authorities. He was killed during the encounter and was pronounced dead with a "bullet wound" after he refused to surrender and traded shots with law enforcers. Authorities also recovered multiple ammunitions, high-end firearms, and explosives during the interception.

On Sunday morning, March 5, 2023, a different suspect was caught in a raid in Amlan, Negros Oriental who is believed to have been involved in the armed attack and killing of the late Governor Roel Degamo. The alleged suspect is yet to be identified, and is only renting in the said house when the authorities apprehended him as they recovered a cache of firearms, sniping gear, and ammunitions as well as two (2) vehicle plates.

The people of Negros Oriental and the entire Philippines stand together in condemning this senseless act of violence and in honoring the memory of Governor Degamo, a true public servant and patriot. Friends and supporters arrive to sympathize at the wake of the late Gov. Roel Degamo on Sunday, held at the residence of his parents in Babajuba, Brgy. Junob, in Dumaguete City.

Later that day, in separate occasions, Senator Imee Marcos; Hon. Luis Chavit Singson; and House Speaker Martin G. Romualdez, together with DILG Sec. Banjamin Benhur Abalos Jr., PNP Chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., and AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Andres Centino paid their respect to the slain Negros Oriental governor as they express their sympathy and sincerest condolences to the survived wife Mayor Janice Degamo and the bereaved family.

As we mourn the loss of Governor Degamo, his people will remember his legacy and the contributions he made to public service. His dedication and commitment to improving the lives of the people in his locality may continue to inspire and guide future generations of leaders in Negros Oriental and the entire country. May his soul Rest in Peace!


Follow ,@thenegrostimes for breaking news and updates regarding this case.

<![CDATA[Series of Earthquakes Shakes Southern Parts of Negros Island]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/series-of-earthquakes-shakes-southern-parts-of-negros-island6400bc739c987f50d1af061cThu, 02 Mar 2023 16:00:00 GMTThe Negros TimesBy: The Negros Times

According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), many earthquakes have been recorded for the past few days that jolted the southern areas of Negros Island. The region lies at the center of the Philippine archipelago between the major islands of Luzon and Mindanao, it is bounded by the Visayan Sea on the north and by the Mindanao Sea on the south.

Residents in various parts of Negros Oriental, a province located in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines, felt a magnitude 4.8 earthquake at 10:32 PM local time on March 2, 2023. PHIVOLCS reported that the earthquake's epicenter was located 32 kilometers southwest of the town of Basay, in Negros Oriental and had a depth of 17 kilometers.

The earthquake was felt in several towns and cities in Negros Oriental, including Dumaguete City, the provincial capital, and even in some neighboring parts in the provinces of Negros Occidental, Cebu, Siquijor, and Zamboanga del Norte. Many residents reported feeling the ground shake and some even said that they heard a loud rumbling sound.

Series of Earthquakes Shakes Southwestern Parts of Negros Island

A 4.2-magnitude earthquake was initially detected on Wednesday night, March 1, 2023 at 11:14 PM with a depth of 21 kilometers about 52 kilometers southwest of Basay. Three more movements were recorded in just a few minutes interval; and was followed by another 3.1-magnitude earthquake at 1:03 AM on March 2, 2023. All throughout the day, it was succeeded by six more quakes with magnitudes ranging from 1.5 to 2.8. Meanwhile, at 9:33 PM a magnitude 2.5 earthquake also struck the City of Sipalay, in Negros Occidental.

According to PHIVOLCS, the earthquakes were all tectonic in origin, which means it was caused by the movement of the earth's plates. The agency also reported that there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, and aftershocks are not expected; although more mild tremors may be expected in the next following days.

In response to the earthquake, PHIVOLCS reminded the public to stay calm and take the necessary precautions. Local officials also reminded residents to check their homes and surroundings for any signs of damage and to report any incidents to the authorities. They also urged people to remain vigilant and to stay tuned for further updates.

Earthquakes are a common occurrence in the Philippines due to the country's location along the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area where tectonic plates collide and cause frequent seismic activity. The public is advised to always be prepared for large earthquakes and to have an emergency plan in place.

As of this writing, there have been no reports of damage or casualties caused by the earthquake. However, residents are advised to remain cautious and vigilant in the coming days as shocks may continuously occur.

<![CDATA[Conservationists Pushes Immediate Closure Of Pyrolysis Incinerator Facility In Dumaguete City]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/conservationists-pushes-immediate-closure-of-pyrolysis-incinerator-facility-in-dumaguete-city63e2a9e1fb018ff0d111d370Mon, 06 Feb 2023 16:00:00 GMTLyle WhatchamacallitBy: Lyle Whatchamacallit

DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental – On January 28, 2023 along Rizal Boulevard, numerous environmentalists, student groups, and concerned citizens demonstrate their opposition against the pyrolysis incinerator machine at the city government's Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) located at the border of Barangay Camanjac and Barangay Candau-ay.

Shutdown Dumaguete Pyrolysis Now | © The NORSUnian Photo by: Henry Caesar Blanco

The machine entered the city with the intention of converting garbage into building materials like hollow blocks and other byproducts in 2021. However, with the probing serious effects of the installed pyrolysis-gasification plant, many have expressed their grave concerns due to its harmful impacts on human health and the environment.

According to the Conservation Law Foundation, incinerating rubbish is a bad idea.

"Burning waste of any kind is hazardous to our health and the environment and undermines real solutions to our trash crisis."

The project's ₱22 Million budget was approved by the City Council as a way to address the issue of sustainable solid waste management. Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo ordered the closure of the over 35-year-old dumpsite in Brgy. Candau-ay as the city MRF began its operations. Despite this, the government is squandering money and misguiding the populace in an effort to find an "invention" that offers a sustainable solution.

It appears that the Local Government Unit (LGU) is clutching at straws in an effort to find a rapid solution to the plastic trash problem, but the concept is foolish and imprudent.

Contrary to the efficiency and "Zero Waste" claims by the LGU in Dumaguete City, in actuality, this facility is not financially viable and holds no value; even if burning trash does not result in air and carbon pollution –which is improbable, gasification and pyrolysis consume expensive fuel with little to no financial return, making it an unwise investment

Any waste burning puts our health, the ecology, and the climate in peril. Contrary to what proponents of gasification and pyrolysis assert, these technologies are not environmentally friendly.

This facility produce air pollutants that are comparable to those from traditional trash burning, tenfold even worst. They expel a variety of cancer-causing substances that have been called the most poisonous chemicals ever discovered by humans. Additionally, dioxins, mercury, and other heavy metals are tainted in the ash "byproduct" of these operations, which seeps into our groundwater, rivers, and oceans, eventually contaminating our other natural resources, livelihoods, and food sources.

Despite the fact that the Philippine government has taken serious note of the many concerns about incineration at a governmental level, and following strong public opposition to incinerators, pursuant to Republic Act No. 8749, otherwise known as the "Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999" forbidding the incineration of hazardous wastes as this method emits harmful and dangerous gases; Section 20 of the same Act says it "does not absolutely prohibit incineration as a mode of waste disposal; rather only those burning processes which emit poisonous and toxic fumes are banned." It also defines 'poisonous and toxic fumes' as emissions and fumes that exceed globally established criteria, such as those of the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline values.

With the cooperation of Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Greenpeace Philippines, Plastic Free Philippines, and War On Waste (WOW) Negros Oriental, on February 6, 2023 at the Silliman University Del Carmen Hall, Burn Not Dumaguete, a movement of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and professionals working to stop the Pyrolysis-Gasification technology in the City, conduct a special session with KT Andresky the Campaign Organizer of Breathe Free Detroit, a grassroots and community-led movement formed to shut down the Detroit incinerator, sharing her community efforts in successfully closing down the biggest waste incinerator in Detroit, Michigan in the United States. She is an activist who spent more than ten years residing near the Detroit Renewable Power (DWP) incinerator where she experienced first-hand the negative impacts of the facility on the community dwelling in the shadow of the incinerator.

"The possible impacts of heavy metal toxins and other contaminants in the environment are quite tenacious and may persist for a long period beyond the area near the incinerator. Persistent pollutants can travel vast distances from their emission sources, through many chemical and physical transformations, and pass multiple times through soil, water, and food" she iterated.

Andresky promotes public involvement, public education, and community action initiatives to educate and empower her community, as she hopes Dumaguete City will follow suit.

<![CDATA[National Museum Opens In Dumaguete City]]>https://www.thenegrostimes.com/article/national-museum-opens-in-dumaguete-city639b6f4e2a50f07483b434b1Fri, 25 Nov 2022 16:00:00 GMTPenn T. LarenaBy: Penn T. Larena

The office of the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) formally opens its regional site in Negros Oriental on November 25, 2022 during the fiesta of Dumaguete City. With the ₱50 million restoration budget, the new regional museum will be its 14th branch in the country.

National Museum opens in Dumaguete City at the Old Presidencia formerly the city hall of Dumaguete City.

The museum exhibits geology, zoology, botany, archaeology, and marine biodiversity artifacts with local significance to Negros Island, Siquijor, and the rest of Central Visayas; will be housed in the Old Presidencia, formerly the city hall of Dumaguete City.

The renowned Filipino architect Juan M. Arellano, who also created the Legislative Building in Manila, which is now the National Museum of Fine Arts, originally designed the Dumaguete Presidencia, which was constructed in 1937. Both structures were created using a blend of regional and western neoclassical architectural designs that were popular throughout the American era.

During the ceremony for the opening of the Museum, the unveiling of a cultural marker declaring the Dumaguete Presidencia as an important Cultural Property was also a highlight of the event. Jeremy Barns, the Director-General of the National Museum, as well as other NMP representatives, Ambassador Luli M. Arroyo-Bernas, the Chairman of the board of trustees and the forthcoming Philippine Ambassador to Austria, and Atty. Cecille Tirol the Director of the Visayas National Museum joined Mayor Felipe Antonio B. Remollo and other local Government Officials in welcoming the guests and prominent personalities inside the museum as soon as the museum's doors opened to spectators.

Atty Cecille Tirol ,Hon. Jeremy Barns ,Mayor Ipe B. Remollo ,Hon Lourdes  M. Arroyo-Bernas and Andoni   MENDIETA ABOITIZ

Barns said the proposal to restore the Old Dumaguete Presidencia and convert it into a regional museum hit a soft spot among NMP officials.

"We are quite familiar with the architecture of Arellano, so we were really excited to get the chance to work on this and restore its original splendor, beauty, and design, which is a fusion of several architectural forms".

Most of the guests during the said event came from various sectors from all local chief executives in Negros Oriental, some mayors and officials from the neighboring provinces of Negros Occidental, Bohol, and Siquijor to witness the activity, and of course, descendants of the late Mayor Pedro Macias Teves were also in attendance.

According to Dr. Earl Jude Cleope of Silliman University, and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Commissioner for Visayas, having a museum helps people connect to the past while also serving as a bridge to the future.

“Negros, Siquijor has a lot to offer and for sure if this will be managed well and there will be a proper program certainly, it will enlighten and at the same time inculcate the value of pride of place at the same time connection to the past,” Cleope added.

Msgr. Julius Heruela, chair of the Commission on Church Heritage, wishes that the museum's opening will inspire community stakeholders to preserve the city's heritage structures and other valuable cultural items.

The National Museum Dumaguete Branch houses important cultural artifacts such as the Bacong Burial Jars, species of flora and fauna that are found on Negros Island, scale models of heritage churches in Negros Oriental, rocks and geological items in Negros, and many more.

Entrance to the Museum is free to the public and will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every Tuesday through Sunday, except Mondays.

<![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 GMTBy: 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 GMTBy: 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 GMTBy: 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.