My Observations: Ash Monday

Here in the Philippines, Taal Volcano erupted on January 12 pushing a massive amount of volcanic ash high up into the air. A short time later, the ash spread around and reached parts of Metro Manila.

The next morning, I went out for my usual hike here in Muntinlupa City going to Filinvest City. Along the way while inside our village, the volcanic ash were around me – on the side of the roads, the sidewalks, on top the leaves of some trees and over the surfaces of vehicles parked nearby. There was also collected ash that got wet as it rained the previous night.

Then I visited the local village park and saw the following…

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At the park.
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Volcanic ash still somewhat wet on this slide.
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Look at all that wet ash.

I hiked on to Filinvest City. As light from the sun was bright enough, the ash on the road and the sidewalk became clearer. There were also prints of shoes, slippers and tire tracks spotted. I took the opportunity to photograph them.

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Lots of ash on the surface of the road in Filinvest City, Alabang.
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The view outside Commercenter.
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This guy was the first Filinvest City cleaner (he wore a Filinvest City uniform) I saw along Commerce Avenue.

I went further to Festival Mall. Unsurprisingly their roads and parking lots had lots of ash around. As I walked on, I wondered how many people with equipment they will deploy to clean up their parking spaces.

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At one of the parking lots of Festival Mall.

So I saw a lot about the volcanic ash in Alabang that morning. Certain things I saw during my morning hike reminded me a bit of what I saw back in 1991 regarding the volcanic ash Mount Pinatubo released. Metro Manila was not spared back then.

 Still nothing prepared me for the volcanic ash that I saw as I drove from Alabang to our office in Laguna via the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). As many vehicles moved both ways along the highway, there as a lot of Taal Volcano’s ash the view became less visible on certain stretches.

Then I took a short stopover at one of the gas stations along the SLEX. Here is what I saw.

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So much volcanic ash on the open space.
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A maintenance worker struggles to collect the volcanic ash.

The gas station was dirty with the volcanic ash. Many cars that were there were also dirty and people, including the maintenance workers, were seen wearing face masks. I witnessed one maintenance worker near me doing clean-up work by moving the volcanic ash into a pile and then collecting them and storing them into a black garbage bag.

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More of the ash collected at the place.

Seeing him work like that made me pray that he and all other personnel assigned to do cleaning will get compensated well by their respective employers. There is so much Taal Volcano ash around, it will take quite some time and effort before achieving cleanliness.

I also pray that the victims – those who live in close proximity to Taal Volcano – will receive sufficient assistance from the local authorities as well as private donors or groups doing charity work. This is because those victims’ lives got disrupted and many of them had to leave their homes temporarily.

One credible organization to donate to is Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines which announced already its campaign to help Taal Volcano victims. Visit their website right here. Another worthy organization accepting donations is New Life Community Care.

The victims of the natural disaster need our help and prayers. Remember that.

So that’s it. January 13, 2020 will be remembered as one of the most unusual Mondays I had in many years. Given the tremendous amount of volcanic ash spotted EVERYWHERE I went that day, it is fitting for me to call the day as Ash Monday.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

 

My Observations: Not a Single Parañaque Resident Among The Many Philippine Athletes Who Won Medals in the 2019 SEA Games?

It’s been almost a month since the 2019 edition of the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) hosted by the Philippines ended with resounding success. The Philippines won a total of three hundred and eighty-seven medals to finish #1 among all Southeast Asian nations. The 387 medals won are composed of 149 gold medals, 117 silver medals and 121 bronze medals.

Here in South Metro Manila (composed mainly of the cities of Parañaque, Muntinlupa and Las Piñas) there were indeed Philippine team athletes who won medals at the SEA Games who reside locally.

Shortly after the end of the premier sports event of the Southeast Asian region, the City of Las Piñas honored the SEA Games medalists among its residents by showcasing them in a special ceremony at City Hall in the presence of Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar, Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery, City Councilors and more.

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The Las Piñas-based Philippine athletes who won at the SEA Games appeared in their respective sports uniforms and showed their medals and certificates of appreciation with the City Government officials led by Mayor Imelda Aguilar. (source – City of Las Piñas Facebook page)

The local resident athletes honored were Joseph Arcilla (Gold Medalist – Soft Tennis), Anna Alicia Katrina Castillo (Gold Medalist Women’s Basketball), Mikoff Manduriao (Gold Medalist – Soft Tennis), Russ Ashley Monville (Gold Medalist – Arnis), Erdilyn Peralta (Bronze Medalist – Soft Tennis), and Aljon Salonga (Silver Medalist – Water Polo). Not only did they attend the special ceremony at City Hall with their sports uniforms, they also brought the SEA Games medals they won. They received certificates from the City Government.

Over at the City of Muntinlupa, the City Government led by Mayor Jaime Fresnedi did its part doing the same and their SEA Games medalists attended a special ceremony – which was mainly about the City’s 102nd anniversary celebration – held at the Sports Complex in Barangay Tunasan.

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Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (3rd from right) awarded plaques of recognition to Muntinlupa athletes who snagged medals in the 2019 SEA Games last December 19 at Muntinlupa Sports Complex, Tunasan. Shown in the photo: (L-R) Congressman Ruffy Biazon, Kodo Nakano (Bronze, Judo), Keisei Nakano (Bronze, Judo), Shugen Nakano (Gold Medalist, Judo), Daryl Mercado (Bronze, Judo), Ryssa Jezzel Sanchez (Silver, Arnis), Rick Jayson Constantino Senales (Bronze, Kurash and Judo), Vice-mayor Temy Simundac, and City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela. (photo released by City Government of Muntinlupa – PIO)

The Muntinlupa-based SEA Games medalists who received honors and shared the stage with the Mayor, Vice Mayor Temy Simundac, Congressman Ruffy Biazon and City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela were Kodo Nakano (Bronze, Judo), Keisei Nakano (Bronze, Judo), Shugen Nakano (Gold Medalist, Judo), Daryl Mercado (Bronze, Judo), Ryssa Jezzel Sanchez (Silver, Arnis), and Rick Jayson Constantino Senales (Bronze, Kurash and Judo). Incentives for the said achievers were promised by the City Government.

Meanwhile in Parañaque City, there have been no signs so far that there were any Parañaque residents among the many Philippine athletes who won 2019 SEA Games medals.

Twice, I inquired about this to City Administrator Fernando “Ding” Soriano plus my other contact at the City Government. It was only yesterday that I finally received a reply from City Admin Soriano. Below is his response.

Soriano: The moment there (are) residents from (Parañaque), we will certainly give recognition and awards. 

Analyzing the words of the City Administrator, it seems that the City Government still has not yet found a single local resident among the 2019 SEA Games medalists who represented the Philippines. Previously the City Government promised rewards for any 2019 SEA Games medalist verified as a resident.

The hot questions here are:

  1. Has the City Government of Parañaque approached the 2019 SEA Games organizers for a list of Philippine Team athletes (who won medals specifically) with city addresses?
  2. If there are indeed any 2019 SEA Games medalist living in Parañaque City who  just learned about the promised rewards and recognition from the City Government, which specific office should he or she go to? Who should he or she look for?
  3. Does mayor Edwin Olivarez have time to meet Parañaque-based SEA Games medalists?

If any new updates come up, I’ll post them right here.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

 

 

 

 

My Observations: BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair plus Bazaar was a Fun Experience

Hey everyone! I want to share to you all that there is nothing like community building and social interaction through the organizing of an in-village event that emphasized food and beverages which brought people together. Which people specifically? The local residents, the non-resident visitors, government officials and the cooks and entrepreneurs who did their best offering food and drinks for sale.

That specifically happened during the recent BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar which was held on December 7 and 8 by the facilities (open-air basketball court plus the covered stretch nearby) just steps away from the village clubhouse along D.Jakarta street, BF NorthWest, BF Homes Subdivision, Parañaque City. For those who are new to this website, the successful event was previously published here (with an update on November 17).

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A portion of the food fair at the open-air basketball court of BF NorthWest.
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Food and beverage vendors selling at the covered section just beside the basketball court.

Before sharing my personal experiences and observations, I want to announce to you all that the BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar was, indeed, a big success pulled off nicely by the organizers such as the BF NorthWest Homeowners Association, Inc., the BF HomeSarap Facebook group (visit their group by clicking here) and other supporters and stakeholders.

According to BF NorthWest Governor-at-Large Lorea Miren, the 2-day event attracted between two hundred fifty to three hundred visitors and 90% of the vendors (whose food and beverage offerings were of good quality and nice variety) sold out! Speaking of visitors, the fair was visited on December 7 by Paranaque City Councilor Wahoo Sotto during the day while his fellow Councilor Jackie Bustamante-Mendoza (accompanied with her son) arrived during the evening. Wow! BF HomeSarap’s event was graced by two highly important people from the City Government!

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Parañaque City Councilor Jackie Bustamante-Mendoza (middle) with her son Juancho (left) and BF NorthWest Governor-at-Large Lorea Miren posed for this website during the evening of December 7.
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Special food by the bilao offered.

Apart from the organizing of the 2-day food fair and bazaar, a major factor in the event’s success was the wide variety of goods offered for sale by the sellers and makers who participated. According to Lorea Miren, many applied to be part of the fair and she and the organizers carefully curated what each seller offered before granting their approval. This was a painstaking process as the organizers aimed high with both variety and quality that consumers can benefit from.

In my personal experience of enjoying the food fair and bazaar, I can confirm to you all that the variety of the food and beverage products was great while the selection of non-food items (at the bazaar) was interesting.

For the food, there were burgers with fries, fresh meat, roasted pig from Cebu, brownies, potato chips, sushi rolls, fresh vegetables, comfort food in jars, buttered shrimp, chili garlic crabs, fruit jam, tuyo, Spanish-style sardines, grilled squid, barbeque, salted duck eggs, Angus beef tapsilog, pies, cereals, cookies, oatmeal bars, deli meat and a whole more! The variety was so great, there was indeed always something that someone can enjoy. The many food makers/sellers belonging to the BF HomeSarap FB group (whose founder Ditas Antenor personally monitored the event and kept in touch with the people) really delivered great stuff from their respective kitchen to the tables at the food fair! For the newcomers reading this, Antenor founded BF HomeSarap on the social network on April 2019 and, as of this writing, the FB group now has over eight thousand members!

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Comfort food in jars!
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This burger was tasty and filling.
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Cebu lechon caught the attention of many.

With regards to the non-food items that formed the bazaar, those items were not as numerous as the food but what was offered for sale was varied enough and interesting. There were clothes, bags, shoes, toys and other household items that were good enough for Christmas gift-giving. There were also some premium products such as imported thermal water bottles, kitchenware, fragrances, etc.

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Some interesting items for sale.
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Shoppers looking for the best deals.

My companion and I arrived at the food fair during the first hour of opening of the food fair on the afternoon of December 7. Together we had a nice time not just checking out the food for sale but also talking with the vendors who were gentle, helpful and informative to talk with. After buying some snacks and drinks, we sat at the available chairs and table and had a nice talk just as more people visited the food fair. I noticed that, as time passed, each vendor had guests to entertain and sold something to. There were also families, barkadas and others who visited checking out what were on sale, lining up to buy something and enjoy socializing. It was, indeed, a lively food fair that was driven by community interaction.

The next day, after attending worship at our church, I revisited the food fair and brought home some really tasty sushi rolls for lunch. Really tasty and fresh!

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Demand for Angus beef tapsilog was so strong, it got sold out!
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Nothing like ordering burgers and fries by the van!
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Fine food products nicely displayed.

Overall, the BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar was a big success and I personally had a nice time there. With a very nice variety of products to choose from and enjoy, the BF HomeSarap vendors (and the non-food item sellers) were not only pretty good but also deserving of being discovered. Truly the BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar is easily the most special food and beverage event of the entire BF Homes community (and even on the Barangay BF Homes level) for 2019.

Here are some good news: there is a plan to organize another BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar in the summer of 2020. That is something we should all look forward to. As such, to really be very updated and be able to reach out to the many food specialists, you are all encouraged to visit BF HomeSarap at https://www.facebook.com/groups/987695754755106/

And finally, here are some words from BF NorthWest Governor-at-Large Lorea Miren regarding the BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar that went from concept into an actually realized event.

“The BF HomeSarap Food Fair was one of those opportunities that allowed the sellers, organizers and anyone around us the chance to feel what a community affair can bring – home cooked food and the joy it brings. Thank you to all the sellers, who not only ‘brought it’, but rocked it!  For their ability to adapt, enjoy and show off their culinary talents,” Miren stated. “It takes one cook to have a meal, but it takes a community to serve it.”

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Walking through the tables of vendors in this covered section was always worth doing.
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BF HomeSarap Food Fair is a nice way for food makers and new entrepreneurs in the food industry to come out and reach out to new customers to help their business grow.
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Nothing like being offered deli meat on the weekend. (photo contributed by Lorea Miren)

For more BF Homes community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

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To others reading this, if you are dissatisfied with print media and you want your community/organization/business/special event or project to be featured on this website, please contact me locally via mobile number 0905-3350831 or via email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com

You can check out my varied marketing services (including Twitter boosting) right here.

We can negotiate, work together and be achievers together.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: Barangay BF Homes Assembly updated by Captain and Kagawads

This past Sunday, a general meeting of the Barangay BF Homes Assembly took place at the 2nd floor of the barangay hall along Elsie Gatches street, Parañaque City. Barangay chairman Paolo Marquez, who has been serving since the middle of 2018, led the reporting of achievements and discussion of recent developments. The general meeting was done in compliance with the order of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

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Seated at left were Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Sheryll Ortonio-Gonzales, Chairman Paolo Marquez, Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson Mariel Tumang and Kagawad Cielo Lazatin.

On the topics of health and emergency response, Marquez announced that a total of 427 ambulance services were rendered over a 3-month period while basic services rendered were at around two thousand transactions handling over one thousand and five hundred recipients. The barangay currently has two ambulances – one of which is a modern vehicle made possible by the office of then District II Representative Gus Tambunting – and the captain announced that the local residents’ access to use an ambulance has improved lately.

On general barangay transactions, Barangay BF Homes handled over sixty thousand transactions and processed over 13,400 cedulas (community tax certificates) since January this year. Such transactions were processed by a team in a small office at the ground floor of the barangay hall.

The captain also announced the issuance of a new ID card for barangay residents that will not only identify them properly but also be accepted by the local banks. The barangay launched a new system that records significant information of the residents like their names, addresses, contact numbers, social security numbers and more. The new ID card uses new technology that can be read by scanners and make electronic verification happen.

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The barangay captain shows the new ID card for residents.

On the topic of gender, it was announced that the barangay caught forty children or minors who violated the existing curfew laws. What Marquez and his team noticed was that there were several children, who came from depressed communities, who deliberately violated the curfew to get apprehended and take advantage of the cooler interiors of barangay hall which they found more comfortable to sleep in even for just a few hours. In response to this trend, the captain announced that the barangay has coordinated with the local Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to take curfew-violating minors into their own facility.

When it comes to crime, there were four cases of gambling and theft, twenty-two cases of physical injury, one case of rape and one case of the use of a minor as a drug courier.

On the topic of violence against women and children there were thirty cases of physical violence recorded plus three cases of psychological abuse and nine cases of economic abuse.

What struck people during the meeting was Marquez’s announcement that after carefully examining the physical evidence of a pregnant woman who got abused by a man she was involved with, he had the man arrested. The barangay captain stressed that his administration is aware of the delicate condition women experience when they are at least four months pregnant and they strongly oppose any form of physical abuse that affect them.

On the environment, Marquez said that the barangay has personnel working in coordination with the City Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENRO) on declogging waterways and creeks, including those located near Presidents Avenue and Pergola Mall.

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Parañaque District II Representative Joy Tambunting (left) took time out from her busy schedule to appear in the general meeting and delivered some updates to the constituents.

On the topic of dengue, it was announced that Barangay BF Homes has one hundred and eighty cases recorded. The barangay captain said that his team will continue to perform fumigation by means of fogging which involves the use of a motor-powered machine that generates smoke (sourced from a specific chemical targeting mosquitoes). The use of misting or liquid spray, Marquez stressed, is not too effective on public places due to the rainy season. Such spray is effective only inside the household. Dengue is spread by mosquitoes (carrying the dengue virus) by means of biting a person’s skin. Barangay BF Homes is taking the dengue problem very seriously and, as I wrote before, they took action ever since. It is notable that in Parañaque City as a whole, dengue cases increased a lot this year with 1,702 cases (January 1 to September 14) recorded versus the 1,174 of the same period a year before. Paranaque is also the 4th highest ranking city in the National Capital Region (NCR) with dengue cases recorded.

Interestingly, Marquez explained that there are four strains of dengue virus and among them are two strains that can affect a person only once respectively (as the person becomes immune to the two strains after infection).

When it comes to stray dogs, the barangay now has a dog pound and already they turned over to the Parañaque City Veterinary Department ten dogs. Loose dogs are a long-time problem in the community, even inside BF Homes subdivision. Many times before, I encountered such dogs while traveling along Aguirre Avenue. It’s nice that the barangay has a facility and the personnel to get rid of the loose dogs to make the streets safer for both motorists and pedestrians.

On barangay zoning, Marquez reiterated that due to the reform under Republic Act Number 11032, the barangay no longer has the responsibility to issue business clearances and all business owners will have to go straight to city hall to apply for their respective business permits. In the old days, business owners had to apply for a business clearance at the barangay and once they receive it, only they could they go to the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) at the city government for the biz permit. This reform from the top is clearly a relief to the barangay which previously had to set up several computer units and printers to process all the applications of the many, many businesses of Barangay BF Homes each time the businesses are due to secure new permits.

More on zoning, it was announced that there were 126 construction permits issued and 84 permits for renovation and 24 permits for demolishing.

Regarding barangay livelihood, a total of seventy-four students have enrolled for cooking, caregiving and food-and-beverage courses. Future courses about carpentry and basic electrical work will be held very soon. Captain Marquez stressed the importance of carpentry as there is a good demand for carpenters and higher-than-average daily wages await them. As such, he encouraged manual laborers and other job seekers to take enroll in the carpentry course.

The birthing and lying-in center of the barangay will be renovated very soon with expansion in mind. The physical work on the center will take place sometime in 2020. On urban poor matters, the barangay organized off-site activities serving 2,368 residents and they organized feeding activities that served 4,750 people.

The barangay lupon reported that it has a total of 98 crime cases and 68 civil cases. A total of fourteen cases were dismissed while sixty-six were settled.

The Others

Early during the meeting, Parañaque District II Representative Joy Tambunting visited and announced that her office is working closely with the barangay and together they have new infrastructure projects in development. The working relationship between the barangay and the office of the congresswoman was described as harmonious.

Later, barangay kagawad Sheryll Ortonio-Gonzales announced that the gender committee successfully organized events they planned such as the “Bida ka Mars” activity and a seminar for violence against women and children. Barangay kagawad Cielo Lazatin reported that a donation drive of the barangay is ongoing and the committee on nutrition made a lot of progress. For her part, Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) chairperson Mariel Tumang said her team just accomplished successfully a youth camp in Laguna province that very weekend. She also highlighted the accomplished events that attracted community youth in great numbers such as the Linggo ng Kabataan event (which attracted more than 300 participants), the Mutya ng BF Homes pageant (which drew a large audience and helped the BFSK’s Facebook page likes double), the Waste Wise for Rice drive and varied seminars.

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Barangay BF Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson Mariel Angela Tumang gave the assembly updates. On the foreground was SK Kagawad Alma Galindo.

The general meeting ended with Marquez’s closing remarks stressing that the barangay and its teams of personnel need the cooperation of the stakeholders – the businesses, the residents and community organizations – to realize continued services and make progressive change happen. Subsequently the members of the assembly and guests were served with catered food.

Under the leadership of captain Paolo Marquez, Barangay BF Homes is taking its public service seriously. What will happen in the next several months going into the year of  twenty-twenty should be interesting.

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To others reading this, if you are dissatisfied with print media and you want your community/organization/business to be featured on this website, please contact me locally via mobile number 0905-3350831 or via email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com

We can negotiate, work together and be achievers together.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: Village Food Fair 2 at Madison Galeries

After worshiping the Lord at church this past Sunday in Las Piñas City, I proceeded straight to Madison Galeries in Barangay Cupang, Alabang, Muntinlupa City to attend their special event of the day called Village Food Fair 2.

Months ago, out of curiosity, I attended the first Village Food Fair held at that same open-air shopping mall and I had fun looking around and enjoying some food and beverages. The pleasurable experience I back had then made me wish that the mall would organize another food fair and, as what happened this Sunday, they delivered!

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The food vendors outside the Madison Events Place.
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High-quality beef sold for shawarma.

At Village Food Fair 2, I visited first the food stalls at the 3rd floor just outside of the Madison Events Place (which is a large, air-conditioned hall) where food products like shawarma, rice meals and freshly cooked meat were served. I noticed beef wagyu offered in both packed and in cooked form.

Inside the Madison Events Place was a whole lot of vendors that offered a great variety of beverages and food to choose from. There were packaged sushi rolls, coffee (in powdered form, in beans and in brewed form), organic pasta, noodles, dumplings, pies, nuts, beans, sandwiches, carrot cakes and the like. On keeping the atmosphere lively, the mall operators hired a lady to play the guitar and sing on the spot.

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A customer waiting to be served.
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This lady sang nicely during the food fair.

There was a whole lot to choose from Village Food Fair 2 and I am very glad that Madison Galeries organized this. As a coffee enthusiast, I ordered black coffee mixed with condensed milk. That coffee was prepared for me with the utmost care as two containers were used to pour and mix the coffee and condensed milk together before serving it on a cup. I liked the taste.

I went outside Madison Events Place to try a chicken shawarma. The chicken was really well cooked and the vegetables and pita used made each bite a delight. I got my money’s worth as a result. Before going home, I bought Barako coffee powder from one of the vendors inside Madisons Events Place.

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This looks yummy!
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Coffee, honey, chocolate and other nice stuff for sale.
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Organic pasta for sale. 

In conclusion, I should say that my experience with Village Food Fair 2 was even more pleasurable than the previous time. It sure was nice to see a wide selection of food and beverage products of nice quality along with several customers making transactions with the sellers. I sincerely hope for another Village Food Fair to be organize there at Madison Galeries which is clearly the best open-air shopping mall to be at in South Metro Manila. For Ayala Alabang residents and BF Homes residents (as well as those living in related communities like Tahanan Village) reading this, to visit Madison Galeries without having to travel along the West Service Road from Parañaque, I highly recommend securing a non-resident, passing thru vehicular sticker from Alabang Hills Village Association (AHVA) so that your access will be better.

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Sushi rolls being sold.
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The other sellers inside the Madison Events Place.
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This one really smelled good as the cooking went on.

My thanks to Madison Galeries and the concessionaires who made Village Food Fair 2 happen. I would love to attend another edition of it in the near future. Village Food Fair is easily a standout among all food fairs in South Metro Manila.

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To others reading this, if you are dissatisfied with print media and you want your community/organization/business to be featured on this website, please contact me locally via mobile number 0905-3350831 or via email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com

We can negotiate, work together and be achievers together.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: Muntinlupa City to Implement New Traffic Scheme No Later than October 13

Since the start of the construction of the Skyway extension project on the evening of September 24, traffic got worse on the northbound lane of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). The result? The construction – which resulted eating up road space – made traffic more congested than before. As I drove on the way to the office in Laguna on September 25, I saw many vehicles (heading north) jammed together tightly from the Alabang viaduct up to around twenty kilometers going south in the jurisdiction of Laguna.

And then I later experienced the hardship of being in the traffic jam going back to Alabang that same day. The trip home took an additional one hour and twenty minutes for me.

The next day, it took me more than an hour again to reach Alabang from Laguna going home. Only this time, I took the exit to go to the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX), turned to Daang Hari and go to Alabang. On the other side of the SLEX, motorists traveling north took the exit going to the National Road of Muntinlupa. National Road is composed of only four lanes, take note.

As the Skyway operator confirmed that the project construction will last until late 2020, we the motorists have no choice but to accept the new reality that the worsened traffic will be the new normal along the SLEX.

The City Government of Muntinlupa noticed this problem. The construction also affected the East service road’s traffic which caused inconvenience to the businesses and residents who often travel there.

This is why today (September 30), the City Government formally announced the implementation of a one-way traffic scheme at the East service road no later than October 13. The purpose of this new move is to address, and hopefully ease, the heavy traffic motorists are experiencing.

Already a consultation was organized by Traffic Management Bureau chief Danidon Nolasco with representatives from San Miguel Corporation Tollways, EEI, transport groups, and subdivisions and companies situated the East service road.

Nolasco said SMC Tollways anticipate at least 14 weeks to finish the construction of the extension project with the currently imposed stop-and-go traffic scheme. He added that construction period will be reduced by half if a one-way traffic scheme will be enforced.

Motorists are advised that a northbound one-way traffic route will be implemented at the East service road from Alabang viaduct going to Sucat Interchange on or before October 13. While, the West service road and Baybayin will remain two-way in traffic as usual.

The representatives of the business establishments located in the area agreed to the new rerouting plan and requested that the new traffic scheme to be disseminated and implemented immediately.

As for the Skyway extension project along the East service road, EEI Project Manager Joe Ilagan said at least forty-one columns will be erected and the project’s bored piles and columns will be situated in between the service road and expressway. This is why road space is reduced resulting worse traffic on both the service road and the northbound lane of the SLEX.

The elevated toll road extension project from Sucat skyway off-ramp to Soldiers Hills, Muntinlupa is expected to be completed by December 2020.

Until that project is completed and traffic relief is realized, we motorists really have to adjust ourselves and be more patient using the SLEX. Heavy traffic obviously costs the nation’s economy (and us, the people) a lot of money and time. Imagine all the appointments, all the planned flights, all the opportunities get lost because SLEX northbound traffic prevented people from reaching their respective destination.

As the Christmas season approaches, vehicular traffic will get even worse due to the anticipated rise in business transactions related to Christmas-related spending. Take for example, the many commercial joints here in South Metro Manila. People will go out to the shopping malls (in Parañaque, Muntinlupa and Las Piñas), the bazaars and in BF Homes to buy items for gift-giving. Trucks will be going around to deliver food (example: catering), hardware and other ordered products.

Better start getting used to the new normal along SLEX. Plan your moves ahead of time as well.

My Observations: National Campus Press Freedom Day Signed Into Law Making July 25 A Declared Date Of Observation

July 25 of every year will mark the observation of National Campus Press Freedom Day in all educational institutions.

This is the result of Republic Act Number 11440 (National Campus Press Freedom Day Act) that was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 28 and it was only yesterday (September 10) that a copy of the document (which includes signatures of Senate President Tito Sotto and then Speaker of the House Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) was released to the media.

“It is hereby declared the policy of the State to promote, protect, and safeguard the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression, speech, and of the press,” the law read.

“As part of media, the campus press is an important institution in promoting and protecting the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression. As a testament to its remarkable contribution in the continued advancement of these freedoms, the State shall, as a matter of policy, promote the observance of July 25 of every year as ‘National Campus Press Freedom Day’,” it added.

Under RA 11440, educational institutions are mandated to provide full support and assistance to the preparation of the annual program of activities and events to be conducted by students in observance of National Campus Press Freedom Day.

It remains to be seen, however, if the campus press (specifically the news publishing divisions) of academic institutions nationwide would warmly embrace RA 11440.

Another thing to point out is whether or not National Campus Press Freedom Day will add anything at all on inspiring student writers to learn better and improve their craft before graduating and searching for writing-related jobs.

On face value, the campus press is supposed to help students develop their skills in writing news, features and opinions, as well as verifying the facts. Such orientation is supposed to help these future professional writers find the right companies (that offer writing posts) for jobs from the national-level press right down to the local communities.

If you – the reader – are one of those aspiring to work professionally as writers in the near future, be aware that there are some local community publications around that prefer to publish propaganda (self-serving and promotional in nature) instead of practicing real journalism. The good news here is that there are lots of writing-related jobs offered by companies (including those founded by foreign investors) here in the Philippines that focus more on marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), client-specific documentation and other types of writing jobs that are different from journalism and propaganda.

You really want to work as a professional writer with a competitive salary and attractive benefits? Search for jobs in the corporate sector and the national-level media outlets.

In today’s world of social media and widespread wireless access to the Internet (with multiple Wi-Fi spots present nationwide combined with more Filipinos acquiring smartphones), accessing news online is gradually becoming the more preferred way for people looking for news. Going back to National Campus Press Freedom Day, we will find out soon enough if it will help improve the standards of students aspiring to be writers and news searchers.


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