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

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A Lively Family Day Celebrated by Mindbuilders Preschool in Tahanan Village

A Lively Family Day Celebrated by Mindbuilders Preschool in Tahanan Village

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A grand shot of the families and students who were part of Mindbuilders Preschool’s Family Day celebration. (photo contributed by Mindbuilders Preschool)

On the morning of September 21, Mindbuilders Preschool successfully organized its Family Day event at the covered basketball court at the park of Tahanan Village in Parañaque City.

An estimated 100 families attended the event which was still a good turnout considering the weather that day. There was a huge audience of parents and other family members who witnessed the little kids participate in this year’s theme: Game of Cones which was a friendly competition in which the young children participate by teams (Blue and Red) to play different games that involved cones such as Cone Slalom, Stack of Cones Relay, Cone Hat Relay, Ball in Cone, Cone Scoop Relay, and Pass the Cone Relay.  Finishing the task first or with the most number of cones makes a team win!

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The Blue team scores.

Both participants got loot bags which contain prizes from parents/sponsors.

The most anticipated cheering competition was won this year by the the Blue Team.

During the event, Mindbuilders Preschool administrator Marah V. Estuesta confirmed that the turnout of families was greater than what was anticipated. Apart from the families of the students, families of alumni members of the school also attended and socialized with others.

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So did the other side.

Mindbuilders Preschool’s Family Day was organized to bring families together, have fun watching the contests, and to socialize. The contests themselves were nice physical exercises for the participants which are quite meaningful given today’s social obsession (or strong attachment) with gadgets and social media.

The event was sponsored by Belo, Downy, Dole, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, Potato Corner, Senor Rolando Lechon Belly House, Hobe, and Braiser’s Village Cafe. Thanks to the support of the sponsors, several packages of goods were given to the families.

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A wider view of the Game of Cones.

In recent times, Mindbuilders Preschool has been active not only for its students but also for local communities. They successfully organized a plastics drop-off project with their strategic partners and they will do another edition of it on November 5 and 6.

For more information about Mindbuilders Preschool, click here.

About Mindbuilders Preschool

Mindbuilders Preschool is a Multiple Intelligence school located at 168 Tropical Avenue BF International Las Piñas City.  It was established in 2002 and is recognized by the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).  The preschool is also an active member of the Association of Las Piñas Private Schools.  To date, Mindbuilders Preschool established itself with not only good quality education but also worked with its students on several social responsibility projects.  The school prides itself in having strong home and school collaboration.  The bond built with families is even carried beyond the child’s preschool years – evidence that Mindbuilders Preschool is more than just a learning institution.

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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.

Las Piñas Responds to Ohana Residents’ Concern About Potential Dengue Mosquito Breeding Ground

On the afternoon of September 24, the City Government of Las Piñas posted via its official Facebook page its response to a report they received from people living at Ohanan Place in Barangay Almanza Uno regarding a key area (located beside the condominium) described as a massive dengue mosquito breeding ground.

The said area is a construction site.

As a result, Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar issued orders to the City Health Office and the City Engineering Office to address the Ohana residents’ concern.

The City Health Office responded saying it has conducted an inspection (jointly done with Barangay Almanza Uno personnel) of the construction site which has stagnant water and, so far, a negative result for mosquito larvae was found.

The contractor of the construction site, who remains unidentified as of this writing, was asked by the City Health Office to clean the site. The City Engineering Office, which also organized its own inspection, asked the contractor to pump out the stagnant water immediately.

To put things in perspective, stagnant bodies of water serve as breeding spots for dengue mosquitoes. If left unchecked, those mosquitoes can multiply, fly around, bite and infect people and cause dengue fever.

Going back to the City Government, Mayor Aguilar and her daughter Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery requested their citizens to report immediately to the City Health Office or to their respective Barangays what could be possible spots in their local communities that may be breeding grounds for dengue mosquitoes. It was announced that local health centers are equipped with dengue testing kits for free to the residents.

Meanwhile, people who are already infected with dengue virus and are sick should consider using papaya leaf juice. Of course, consult with a doctor first or a medical expert who is experienced with papaya leaf juice as a cure.

In South Metro Manila, dengue is now a serious problem. Already the City Government of Muntinlupa acted to curb dengue cases.

The City Government of Parañaque declared on September 23 a state of calamity as already over 1,700 dengue cases have been recorded in the city from January 1 to September 14.

Dengue fever is a harsh condition that includes symptoms of high fever, vomiting, pains on the muscle and joints, headache, pain behind the eyes, fatigue and skin rash. The time it takes for a sufferer to recover from it is two to seven days. However, there have been a small number of cases in which dengue fever becomes severe (referred to as dengue hemorrhagic fever). The symptoms for severe dengue include low blood platelets, bleeding and blood plasma leakage. There is also dengue shock syndrome which includes low blood pressure.

Watch out for more South Metro Manila updates here.

However, if you are a reader based in South Metro Manila and you want to expose a possible dengue mosquito breeding ground or create awareness about dealing with dengue fever, please contact me via mobile phone at 0905-3350831 or send me an email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com

My Observations: Hundreds Flock to COMELEC Satellite Registration for Barangay BF Homes

Today, hundreds of people went to the Satellite Registration processing organized by the Commission on Elections – Parañaque City office (COMELEC-PQUE) at Robinsons Townville (part of Pergola Mall) service of the residents of Barangay BF Homes who want to register themselves as voters as well as local voters who want to adjust their statuses.

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As it turned out, most of the people here waited to get in for the Satellite Registration than for shopping. 

To put things in perspective, no less than Barangay BF Homes chairman Paolo Marquez confirmed to me that, indeed, the whole day process was requested by him and members of the Barangay Council which the COMELEC-PQUE agreed to. It is important to keep in mind that Barangay BF Homes is still the largest barangay in the city in terms of voters and it is easily the hot spot for mayoral and vice-mayoral candidates to campaign in when it comes to local elections. Barangay BF Homes is part of the city’s 2nd district.

In the morning, there already was a line of people before 8AM just outside the Elsie Gatches entry into Robinsons Supermarket BF Homes. Once opened, they entered and went up to the 2nd floor for the registration. The process was done in five steps: verification of valid IDs, recording/releasing of forms, interview for precinct assignment, capturing of biometrics and the thumb marking process (with the release of claim stub).

The way the situation is right now here in the Philippines, the next national and local elections won’t be held until May 2022. When it comes to the next Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan, the next election is currently set for May 2020 although there is an ongoing effort in Congress to have it postponed to May 2023 (a response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s request during his 2019 State of the Nation Address).

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Barangay BF Homes SK chairperson Mariel Tumang assisted a youth applicant. The COMELEC accepted youth applicants aged 15 to 17-years-old and thanks to the BFSK, several youth they invited arrived and applied.
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A COMELEC-PQUE official helped some applicants with regards to filling up forms.

Going back to the Satellite Registration for Barangay BF Homes, COMELEC-PQUE personnel confirmed to me that they will only accept up to five hundred people who apply to get registered formally as voters or, in the case of voters, have their statuses adjusted (including status reactivation for voters who failed to vote in successive elections).

As I noticed today, there were several teenagers who lined up to get registered. This was because the COMELEC-PQUE opened voter registration to youth aged 15 to 17-years-old, plus the Sangguniang Kabataan of Barangay BF Homes (BFSK) invited youth from around the community to take advantage of the free service. This was confirmed to me by no less than BFSK chairperson Mariel Angela Tumang. I saw Tumang as well as BFSK Kagawads Irene Juanico and Stephanie Sebullen plus other barangay personnel help out.  Free coffee was provided by the office of Parañaque City Councilor Wahoo Sotto.

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Personnel from the office of Parañaque City Councilor Wahoo Sotto set up a coffee machine which provided free coffee to applicants.

There were a few curious shoppers who passed by and asked me what was going on. After I answered the question, they decided to try to get registered.

For more South Metro Manila and BF Homes developments, come back here soon.

Tumang: BFSK is already compliant with JMC Number 1

Even as the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued an order to all Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) units nationwide to use their respective budgets by following the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) of January 2019 designated as JMC Number 1 (issued by the Department of Budget and Management, the National Youth Commission and the DILG itself), Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) chairperson Mariel Angela Tumang confirmed to me today that their SK achieved compliance before the DILG’s September 17 order was published.

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Barangay BF Homes chairperson Mariel Tumang.

“We have complied with all the requirements needed. These include the opening of bank account, doing the fidelity bonding, making the three-year plan, the annual investment plan, and the annual budget for 2019,” BFSK chairperson Tumang said. “We now have our independence using the SK funds. Already we have started disbursing the SK budget since this past August.”

The BFSK head added that, right now, they are waiting for the mandatory training that the DILG and the NYC are supposed to organize. The training is designed to provide guidance to all SK units about utilizing the SK funds properly and in accordance to existing laws.

This latest development is not the first time that the BFSK’s compliance has been acknowledged. Recently the SK Federation of Parañaque City acknowledged the BFSK for the said achievement.

As Tumang told me previously, more projects and activities will be organized by the BFSK in the near future now that they have achieve independence from the barangay and now have access to the SK funds.

Speaking of activities in Barangay BF Homes in Parañaque City, there will be a seminar on pregnancy and HIV/AIDS on September 28 and the 3rd quarter Waste-for-Rice activity on September 29. Tumang announced these on September 14.

The technical stuff

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In the order of the DILG, it was stated that JMC Number 1 (Series of 2019) provides guidelines on the appropriation, release, planning and budgeting process for the SK funds.

Jonathan E. Malaya, who serves as the Undersecretary and Spokesperson of the DILG, stated that pending the issuance of the Commission on Audit (COA)’s guidelines on SK financial transactions, the SK may start using their budgets “provided they comply with the requirements of the DBM-DILG-NYC Joint Memorandum Circular.”

“The development agenda for the youth sector cannot be further delayed. SK officials in every locality should now get the ball rolling so that they can already carry out projects that are meant to promote the interests and welfare of the youth,” Malaya said.

The spokesperson added that there is no need to wait for the COA guidelines because the commission has given the SK the green light to use their funds in accordance to JMC Number 1 which in itself details the procedures on how they can disburse their respective budgets.

In order for SK funds to be disbursed, a current bank account under the name of the SK must be opened (by the SK chairperson specifically) in a government-owned bank, apply for fidelity bonding (with the SK chairperson and the SK treasurer as the accountable officials), and a 3-year rolling plan called the Comprehensive Barangay Youth Development Plan (CBYDP) must be formulated.

Beyond these, SK officials are required to undergo training programs conducted by the DILG, NYC, and the authorized training providers in accordance with DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2018-48, as well as continuing training programs on the Government Procurement Reform Act, Manual on Financial Transactions of the SK, the proper utilization of SK fund, the accounting and auditing rules and regulations and any other relevant trainings which will help them carry out their functions effectively and efficiently.

When it comes to the funding, 10% of the general fund of barangays shall be set aside for the Sangguniang Kabataan which shall be appropriated in lump sum and distributed solely for youth development and empowerment purposes in accordance to the SK Reform Act.

The law further states that the SK shall have financial independence in its operations, disbursements and encashment of their fund, income and expenditures.


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

Barangay BF Homes Captain and SK Chair React to Senator Go’s Move

On the floor of the Philippine Senate, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go presented his proposal to make barangay officials regular government employees which drew reactions from two key officials of Barangay BF Homes in Parañaque City today.

Specifically, Senator Go presented Senate Bill Number 391 (SB 391) otherwise titled the Magna Carta for Barangays. He stated that there is a lack of regular salaries for barangay officials who have a lot of duties and responsibilities in their respective communities. This prompted him to make better compensation and benefits a reality for them.

If SB 391 ever gets approved, the head of the barangay (captain/chairperson), the barangay kagawads (the barangay council), the Sangguniang Kabataan head (SK chairperson), the barangay secretary and the barangay treasurer will be entitled to salaries, emoluments, allowances (example: transportation allowance), the 13th month pay and other benefits.

Reactions in Barangay BF Homes

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My exclusive July 14, 2019 file photo of Barangay BF Homes captain Paolo Marquez (center) with the SK Kagawads, SK officials and SK chairperson Mariel Tumang (4th from left).

Upon hearing the news, I reached out to Barangay BF Homes chairman Paolo Marquez and Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) chairperson Mariel Tumang for their respective reactions towards the proposal by Senator Go.

“It’s a relief to us in terms of benefits,” Barangay BF Homes captain Marquez said to me. “However, they first must look into amending the local government code in general since some important provisions are quite outdated already in terms of barangay administration and governance in general.”

For BFSK chairperson Mariel Tumang, Go’s move was good news not only for her but for many others in the barangay. Whether SB 391 will pass or not, she confirmed to me that she and the SK kagawads will focus on organizing and accomplishing projects and activities not only this year but also next year. Public service fulfillment is the priority for Tumang and the BFSK. In recent times, the BFSK organized the local Linggo ng Kabataan event as well as a seminar.

Going back to the Philippine Senate, SB 391 outlines the basic priorities in each barangay that include regular supply of clean/potable water, public transportation availability, barangay halls, etc.

If anything comes up regarding this development, it will be posted 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