NAGA SMILES TO THE WORLD

The “Naga SMILES to the World” logo is composed of the two baybayin Naga characters, “na” and “ga”.

“Na”, shaped like a mountain, provides a strong foundation for the Narra tree which grew abundantly along the Naga River while a zigzag line denotes majestic Malabsay Falls.

“Ga”, shaped like a farmer’s plow, is symbolic of the Nagueño’s agricultural roots and hardworking personality.

The baybayin Naga characters rest on a wave-like element which represents the Naga River and the serpent, which is read in Sanskrit as “naga”.
Naga SMILES to the World!
A new brand of Naga
By Alec Santos
         


The City of Naga has always had a penchant for pioneering groundbreaking programs minus the astronomical cost. In Naga, “Doing more with less” as former mayor and now DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo used to say, has become an integral part of governance.
Proving that Naga has what it takes to become a city poised for even greater things, Mayor John G. Bongat introduced his flagship program, “Naga SMILES to the World!,” during his first day on the job as the city’s chief executive.

The brilliance of the SMILES program can best be described as an effort that reinforces the city’s being the regional center of trade and industry, education, and governance innovations. Even before taking his post as the city mayor, Mayor Bongat and several city officials were already cracking heads to map out Naga’s future. Despite many sleepless nights and restive discussions, the SMILES concept was finalized. It would be an undertaking of massive importance to the city, its people, and the region.

The acronym SMILES symbolizes Naga’s goals of strengthening its position as a fast-growing progressive city in Bicol and in Southern Luzon. Each letter stands for the Bongat administration’s six defined, economically-driven promotional goals: S (See Naga), M (Meet in Naga), I (Invest in Naga), L (Live in Naga), E (Experience Naga), and S (Study in Naga).

SEE Naga

The letter “S” stands for SEE Naga, which encourages both domestic and foreign tourists to come to Naga to enjoy its many natural and historico-cultural attractions.


Unbeknownst to many locals, Naga offers a wide variety of natural attractions in upper barangays such as Panicuason. For years, the Malabsay Falls has hogged the headlines when in fact residents in Panicuason have enjoyed other falls, streams, and natural pools like the Big Stone area. A perfect spot for rappelling, zip-lining, or just plain swimming, Big Stone, when developed, can offer local and foreign tourists alike new extreme sports and adventure challenges.

As one of the oldest cities in the archipelago, Naga has a rich and colorful history dating back to the pre-Hispanic era. Even before the arrival of the Spaniards, the riverside community was already flourishing trading hub for many Indian, Muslim, and Chinese traders. The three centuries under Spanish rule also introduced a new form of arts and culture to the city that would ultimately define its people. Just recently, the city government and the Naga Preservation Society embarked on a campaign to formally recognize and promote several historical sites across the city, proving that Naga remembers well its past as a window to the future.

MEET in Naga

The City of Naga’s unique position in Southern Luzon as the center of trade and commerce is slowly transforming it into the country’s Convention City. The presence of new hotels and convention halls that cater to gatherings of different sizes has also convinced the city government to promote Naga as the city to meet in, hence MEET in Naga.

Interested parties can choose from 33 different venues to suit their needs. Of these, five offer convention halls that can accommodate more than a thousand delegates and guests. The slated opening of the new Metro Naga Coliseum this coming September will also add 10,000 seats to Naga’s existing capacity, bringing the total number of delegates that the city can accommodate around 19,260 at any given time.

The Metro Naga Coliseum’s unique location in the middle of the Central Business District 2 is also expected to be a crowd-drawer. With large shopping malls and the central bus terminal just a stone throw’s away from the massive building, tourists and visitors from across the region and even from other regions can easily experience Naga at its finest.

INVEST in Naga

As the undisputed trading hub of the Bicol Region, the City of Naga has enjoyed substantial economic growth in the last two decades alone. Despite its position in the region and the country’s economic map, Naga is not content with resting on its laurels. The city government is aware that for any economic progress to be sustained, there has to be a constant effort to draw in investments. Thus, the INVEST in Nagaportion of the SMILES program was incorporated.

Common business logic dictates that the private sector prefers a local government that is both cooperative and effective. Investors are naturally drawn to a government that is business-friendly. To address this need, city officials in the previous administration of then Mayor Jesse Robredo established the Naga City Investment Board (NCIB) to assist potential investors and to promote the city as a perfect market for investors, thereby spurring economic activity and generating employment.

Under the new administration of Mayor Bongat, the NCIB has been directed to intensify efforts in finding new investors to accelerate the momentum that Naga is enjoying.

LIVE in Naga

They say that the best place is one that you never wish to leave.

This is exactly the idea behind LIVE in Naga. After evaluating Naga’s “liveability”, it was found that the city offers plenty of attractions for migrants, families, and professionals to come and reside in Naga. Not only is it the perfect place to work in, but it is also the best city to start a family. Quality public and private schools provide children with the best form of education they deserve. A significant number of housing subdivisions and villages offer different types of homes to families with different needs. Medical centers and practitioners abound in the city, able to provide complete, state-of-the-art health services.

LIVE in Naga aims to market the city as the perfect community to live in because of modern amenities, the low cost of living as well as peace of mind and security. Despite its growing economy, the cost of living and the cost of raising a family is relatively lower in Naga than in other sprawling urban centers. This translates to more people calling the City of Naga their home. Naga’s peaceful setting also attracts many families looking for a safe and secure community to call their own.

EXPERIENCE Naga

For almost two decades, the City of Naga was synonymous to innovations in governance principles. And these trailblazing programs and policies were not only on paper. The citizens of Naga themselves are aware of these innovations and experience their impact on their lives on a daily basis. Local government units across the country are now trying to replicate the city’s successes by way of study visits or “Lakbay Aral” trips to EXPERIENCE Naga.

By strengthening already existing programs and by introducing new ones to further improve the delivery of government services, the Bongat administration hopes to sustain efforts in promoting Naga as the center for effective local governance. This has led to more local government units and agencies heading to the city to study its best practices. Last August 25, the City Government added a new award for being the most outstanding local government unit in the region to its more than 150 national and international awards.

STUDY in Naga

Naga has been the center of education since the Spanish colonial rule. It is home to one of the oldest Catholic seminaries, the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary, as well as the oldest normal school for girls in Asia, the Universidad de Sta. Isabel. In recent decades, however, there has been an influx of students studying various fields of academic interests like science, the arts, and computer technology. Capitalizing on this strength, the City Government has placed emphasis on drawing in more students, both local and foreign to STUDY in Naga.

Mayor Bongat envisions a Naga that can be called a University Town because of the sheer number of students studying in the city’s 4 universities (including Central Bicol State University of Agriculture in nearby Pili town), 12 colleges, and more than 20 technical-vocational schools. Students can also choose from a variety of courses and degrees ranging from agriculture to banking, and to digital animation.

Different people look at the City of Naga in different ways. Tourists SEE Naga as the perfect destination. Companies and organizations MEET in Naga because it is fast-becoming a Convention City. A businessman decides to INVEST in Naga because of the profitable business climate. Families decide to call the city their home and LIVE in Naga because it offers them peace of mind. Government officials and employees flock to the city to EXPERIENCE Naga. And Students head to the regional center of education to STUDY in Naga.

Taken as a whole, Naga offers only the best SMILES to residents, tourists, investors, and the world. This is the very essence of the “Naga SMILES to the world!” branding – to proudly announce to the world what the City of Naga has with warm Nagueño SMILES.

Our Lady of Penafrancia Celebrates 300 Years In Naga City, VIVA LA VIRGEN! VIVA! VIVA EL DIVINO ROSTRO! VIVA!

Penafrancia 2010 Schedule:

CELEBRATING THE TERCENTENARY OF INA (300 years)
September 1
HARUBAY PARA KI HESUS ASIN PARA KI INA
Basilica Minore and Streets of Naga City
September 3
ALAY KI INA: REGIONAL GATHERING OF COVENANT COMMUNITIES
Basilica Minore, Naga City
September 8
BOOK LAUNCHING: ORGULYO KAN BIKOL
PAINTING EXHIBIT BY PANCHO PIANO
September 1‐9
NOVENA AND MASSES IN HONOR OF THE DIVINO ROSTRO
Basilica Minore, Naga City
DAWN PROCESSIONS AND PILGRIMAGES IN HONOR OF DIVINO ROSTRO
Basilica, Naga City
OUTREACH ACTIVITIES: NOVENA IN ACTION
Selected Communities
September 10
FEAST OF THE DIVINO ROSTRO
Our lady of Peñafrancia Shrine, Naga City
TRASLACION PROCESSION
Our lady of Peñafrancia Shrine, Naga City
Streets of Naga City
September 10
PONTIFICAL MASS AND GRAND TERCENTENARY CELEBRATION
Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, Naga City
5:00 P.M.
TERCENTENARY CONCERT and FIREWORKS
Naga Metropolitan Cathedral Patio
8:30 P.M.
September 10‐18
NOVENA AND MASSES IN HONOR OF OUR LADY OF PEÑAFRANCIA
Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, Naga City
CONFESSIONS
Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, Naga City
September 10‐19
NIGHTLY PERDON PROCESSIONS
Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, Naga City
Streets of Naga City
DAWN PROCESSIONS
Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, Naga City
Streets of Naga City
September 11
PHILIPPINE MADRIGAL SINGERS IN CONCERT
Ateneo de Naga University, Naga City
September 11‐13
OUTREACH ACTIVITIES: NOVENA IN ACTION
Selected Communities
September 11‐17
CULTURAL EVENTS
Different Venues
September 12
PHILIPPINE MADRIGAL SINGERS IN CONCERT: A Tribute to Priests
Basilica Minore, Naga City
7:00 P.M.
September 13‐19
DIOCESAN PONTIFICAL MASSES
Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, Naga City
September 14‐16
UNION OF BICOL CLERGY
Holy Rosary Minor Seminary, Naga City
September 15
VOYADORES FESTIVAL
Naga City
September 17
INTERNATIONAL PEÑAFRANCIA CONGRESS
International Peñafrancia Associations
Basilica Minore, Naga City
9:00 A.M. – 10:00 P.M.
September 18
FLUVIAL PROCESSION
Naga River
PONTIFICAL MASS
Basilica Minore, Naga City
6:00 P.M.
September 19
GRAND FIESTA OF OUR LADY OF PEÑAFRANCIA
Basilica Minore, Naga City
PONTIFICAL MASSES
September 20
MASSES IN HONOR OF OUR LADY OF PEÑAFRANCIA
THANKSGIVING MASS FOR ALL THE HELP
Basilica Minore, Naga City
9:00 A.M.
VIVA LA VIRGEN! VIVA! VIVA EL DIVINO ROSTRO! VIVA!

GENERAL SANTOS CITY: Kiko’s Family Restaurant

GENERAL SANTOS CITY: Kiko’s Family Restaurant


If you found yourself in General Santos City don’t miss to visit Kiko’s Family Restaurant located at So. Osmena St., beside DTI, General Santos City 9500 Telephone No. (083)302-0666.

On my DAY SIX in Mindanao, I went to General Santos City and had dinner at Kiko’s Family Restaurant. Kiko’s Family Restaurant has the most wonderful grilled tuna in General Santos City. They offer home-cooked meals, soup and super yummy barbecue.

Kiko’s family restaurant entrance:

 

KIKO’S FAMILY SERVES LUNCH AND DINNER 

 

POCKET GARDEN at KIKO’S FAMILY RESTAURANT 

 

WITH THE VERY KIND AND ACCOMMODATING OWNERS OF KIKO’S FAMILY RESTAURANT.

 

me and ate Melins at Kiko’s family resto owner Gary and Cherry and their kids.

 

Kuya Gari, ako,Cherry, daughter nila kuya Gari & Cherry plus my ANGEL IN GENSAN ATE MELINDA BAYNOSA BETAIZAR 

 

ME AND KUYA GARI’S LOVELY DAUGHTER 

 

With Kuya Gari’s wife and daughters.

Kiko’s Family Restaurant closes on Mondays but you can call for an appointment at least an hour before you visit the restaurant so they can do the necessary preparations. Yes, they can accommodate you even on their rest day.

I would surely come back for more of the tuna grilled dish. Happy Eating!

DAY SEVEN (7) IT IS NOT GOODBYE GENSAN IT IS SEE YOU AGAIN! (NAWILI HA HA HA!)

SEE YOU AGAIN GENSAN! Yes, it is not goodbye, it is see you again GENSAN!  I fell in Love with the fresh Tuna in GENSAN and with the people who are full of hospitality and kindness. Ma-fe- feel mo talaga na sincere sila sa pagtulong, no ifs, no buts they simply love helping and welcoming people! 


One good example is my generous and wonderful ANGEL in GENSAN- ATE MELINDA “MELINS” BAYNOSA BETAIZAR, who, did not only open her heart, but also her home for me- a complete stranger! Saan ka makakakita ng ganun tao? I met her @ the CITY HALL, she’s the budget officer II, and she is really very very nice, a kind of person who would go the extra mile to help and accommodate even new found friends! I hope your tribe increase ate melins! Mabuhay si ate Melins!




I Love TUNA!!! Sobra!!! I had a blast @ Kiko’s Family restaurant, and @ ate Melins house! Babalik ako!!! Sa mga nagsasabing hindi safe sa Mindanao, I feel safer there than in Metro Manila! Maling mali ang akala natin lahat, safe po sa Mindanao! Kaya tara na, byahe tayo papuntang GENSAN!
PAL flew me to GENSAN & back to MANILA for only P1,240 RT




With Kuya Avel ( BARILES) and Ate Melins

Posing posing bago uwi 🙂

Eto ang tumambad sa amin sa airport BONGGA!!!!


Sa mga pupunta sa GENSAN sa SEPTEMBER 18-26, 2010 eto ang kanilang CALENDAR OF ACTIVITIES

September 10, 2010, the much-awaited concert of the ASAP Sessionistas will happen at Mindanao’s largest indoor air-conditioned gymnasium, the GenSan Gym in Barangay Lagao. This is one of the city’s biggest gathering of famous performers from Manila.
  Sept 22- Search for Ginang Bariles
Sept 25 – Search for Ms. GenSan 2010
Sept 25 – Search for Mr. GenSan 2010 a new event!
Sept 26 – Gaisano Mall’s search for Munting Mutya ng GenSan 2010

  Sept 24 – Search for GenSan Band Idol 


• Pasiklaban Cheer Dance Competition on Sept 18

• Campus Radio’s Sayaw Sa Baybay-Kids Edition on Sept 21
• Search for GenSan Pop Idol Year 6 on Sept 22
• GenSan Pop Star Kids Competiion on Sept 23
• Fishdance Hip-Hop Dance Competition on Sept 24
The GTx Month is also filled with exciting sports competitions:
• Tuna Motorbike Competition
• Beach Volleyball Competition
• Robinsons’ 1st TunaBodis Body-Building Competition
• National Skim Boarding Competition
• HRM Mini-Skills Competition
• Robinsons’ Inter-Tribe Tuna Cookfest
• Bombo Radyo’s Bancarera

On its own, the FishFest sa Fishport will also have its own set of events for the fishermen on September 22nd:

• Langoy-Bugsay Marathon Challenge
• 1st Lawihan Street Dancing Competition

To enliven the GTx more, there are the parties and concerts!

• Kapamilya Caravan featuring ABS-CBN stars @ KCC on Sept 18 (new!)
• Kapuso Night featuring GMA stars @ KCC on Sept 24 (new!)
• Robinsons’ Praize Xtreme Concert on Sept 19
• Foam Parties @ East Asia Royale Hotel Arcade Parking Lot on Sept 24-25
• Robinsons’ Al Fresco Sashimi Night featuring the Best of GenSan Bands on Sept 25
• SMART Communications Concert @ Oval Plaza Stage on Sept 25
• GLOBE Telecoms Concert @ Oval Plaza Stage on Sept 26
• San Miguel Beer Concert @ the Junction on Sept 26












Culmination Day (Sept 26, 2010):


• Tuna Float Parade Competition @ 9am


• GTX Mardi-Gras Competition (Street Dancing) @ 9m
• Splash in the Sky Fireworks Display @ 7pm

And for three weeks, these attractions will be featured at the City Oval Plaza, the main activity center:

• Tinda-Tinda sa GTx (Flea Market)
• Tuna Food Plaza


• Tuna Fiesta Carnival
• Plantuna Garden Show
• San Miguel Beer Barkada Zone

Saan parte ka man ng mundo o ng PILIPINAS makibahagi na sa Bonggacious na selebrasyon ng 2010 TUNA FESTIVAL!!! TARA BYAHE TAYO SA GENSAN!!!

DAY SIX Cannery Pinyahan Festival Float Parade



We again attended the 6:30 A.M. mass @ Poor Clare Monastery after the mass, I said goodbye to Fr. Bobby, then off we went to Cannery, there we were able to catch a glimpse of last night’s Festival Queen winner.






Then we went to the Trappistine Nuns at the foot of Mt. Matutum, Polomolok, South Cotabato.


Sister Rosario is very accommodating and the Trappistine nuns like to call upon your good hearts to consider their place for your seminars, recollection, gatherings, or to just even visit them and buy their products, such as cookies, rosary, olive woods necklace from Italy, novena, mirror from Italy ( cheap @ P50 nadidikit siya sa flat surface), and a lot more! Room starts at P 450.00/ night if you are alone and as low as P 400.00/ night if you are in group. Inclusive of 5 meals: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, snacks and dinner~! You can contact her at CP# 0919-2713330. Madre po sila kay please lang wag kayo mag te text na naghahanap kayo ng textmate ha ha ha!

DAY FIVE (5) POOR CLARE MONASTERY

With our misadventure the night before and arriving @ Polomolok @ 12:30 am. I was really exhausted not only with the walking but with what I saw in Davao ( the other side of Davao- a crippled young man because of a motor accident, the story of my companions and the double flat tire we encountered, and the uncertainty of waiting in a place I am not familiar with.)

Anyway I was made to go to church by my host Tita Malou the following morning, she woke me at 5:30 A.M. and told me to get dressed for we are going to church. Half awake, I said okay. She said they’ll go ahead but Tito Boy would be coming back for me ‘coz we could not fit in the motorcycle. I dressed up after I wash my face, I don’t even have time to comb my hair, ha ha ha anyway I went with Tito Boy who said that I would like it there in the monastery.

The monastery was uphill, they have plenty of pine trees in the vicinity. The Poor Clare celebrate the Feast in honor of St. Clare every 11th of August. 

Poor Clare Monastery of Our Lady, Queen of Peace, Purok Vicente Fin, Brgy. Magsaysay, Polomolok, South Cotabato Tel. (083) 225-5522.
the nuns 
I will take always care of you

When I saw this words, I felt God was re-assuring me that everything will be alright. That I should not be afraid. Even if everything was so new to me.
Poor Clare
Monastery from the gate

After the mass Tita Malou, told me to just wait for Fr. Bobby ‘coz we could not fit in the motorcycle, she said they’ll just fetch me in the church @ Polomolok proper. 

Tito Boy wanted to fetch me after he bring Tita Malou to the house. But tita Malou told tito Boy that they still have to attend a very important meeting.

I waited outside the church because the assistants closed the doors of the church after the mass.

I was a bit scared for Fr. Bobby was not aware that I was waiting for him. 

And I don’t know if there are any means of transportation going downtown so I  could go ahead.

road going down
Oh no! They left me here and to think I don’t know anyone 🙁 and I think they only use horses to go downtown
 I saw a man in a horse going down.  I wanted to asked him if I could ride with him going down the hill, but I hesitated since I don’t know them and they don’t know me. So I waited and waited for Fr. Bobby to come out. 
I then went inside the monastery yard again and  saw a nun.  I ran to her side and asked her if Fr. Bobby was still inside. She told me that he was having his breakfast with the nuns.  I said okay thanks then ask her if she could tell Fr. Bobby that I would hitch for a ride downtown when he’s finish. I thanked her and I begun to walk towards the gate, she stopped me and asked me if I had my breakfast already.  I hesitated, but I am hungry already so I told her the truth that I did not even had a time to combed my hair and I’ve not eaten my breakfast yet. She instructed me to go the the nearby visiting area and wait for Fr. Bobby there than to stand by the gate under the heat of the sun.
After a few minutes I heard a voice from one of the nuns, She told me to went to a nearby window with turntable, and instructed me to turn the wood, there appeared my breakfast, wowow! 
2 eggs, pandesal, breads, marmalade and hot water with coffee sachet. Wow the most delicious breakfast ever out of the goodness of the poor clare monastery nuns!!!
My sincerest thank you to the sisters of Poor Clare Monastery in Polomolok, South Cotabato Philippines.

SAMAL ISLAND AND DAVAO CITY: Day Four in Mindanao

SAMAL ISLAND AND DAVAO CITY: Day Four in Mindanao

“It is the journey not the destination that matters.”
We went on a road trip to Davao on my fourth day in Mindanao. The Ladaran family from Polomolok fetched me at 4 o’clock in the morning from Tito Boy and Tita Malou’s house in Polomolok then we traveled by land to Davao. 
The main purpose of our Davao sojourn is to visit the son of Tito William and Tita Nelly Ladaran who had an accident a few months back. He got hit by a vehicle owned by a certain Melanie Tan of Davao City while aboard his motorcycle. Both of his legs were injured and also one of his arms. 
The driver of the vehicle at that time bought him to the hospital. They were paid a total of P150,000.  Tito William was made to sign a paper stating that it would be the total money that the owner of the vehicle would pay, no more, no less. Unless he signs the waiver his son would not be operated on. In a situation like that na gipit na nga lalo pang ginigipit, what would a poor father do? To ensure the safety of his son, he had to sign the waiver so the operation would be done. “Pikit mata kong pinirmahan ang papel para maoperahan na ang aking anak,” said Tito William. 
Anyway, the total bill at the hospital amounted to more than P180,000. He was still crippled up to this writing. He need to undergo physical theraphy but due to budget constraint they had to resort to a quack doctor in Samal Island, a certain Kapitan Bale for their son’s therapy.

After visiting their son in a Davao shanty we then went to Davao Port. In order to go to Samal Island, private cars and public utility vehicles has to avail of the roll-on roll-off (Roro) ferries in Sasa Wharf. 

It was my first time to try the roll-on, roll-off (Roro) facilities in the Philippines. ( I first tried it in Malaysia. ) The ride took only 15 minutes. 

These happy bunch became my instant family. They may not have all the riches in the world but I love how they take things lightly despite not having a tons of money.  They were always laughing.  The genuine smile and happiness was contagious.

 

They were all smiling despite the fact that we had walked for almost half an hour on a very muddy road to be able to reach Kapitan Bale’s abode.

Muddy ground 

 

Finally! After waiting for Kapitan Bale for almost half an hour at the Cabana ( Bahay Kubo). The quack doctor began treating his patients. 

 

 The healer in action.

He don’t ask for money but his patients brought coffee, sugar and bread.

Kapitan Bale’s altar.

Posterity pose with the Ladaran family at Kapitan Bale’s bahay kubo.

 

All smile again despite the illnesses they suffer.  The old woman has fungus in her lungs, the old man her husband, suffers from hypertension, rheumatism (rayuma) and gout, the little girl has sepsis and the guy had a motor accident and had stainless on his arms

While in Kapitan Bale’s place in Samal Island we tried this super cool drink. When in Samal you must try this pure cow’s milk!

 

You can buy a bottle of fresh cow’s milk for Php35 a bottle. They have different flavors such as:

  • melon
  • durian
  • mango 
  • chocolate 

 

Kapitan Bale posed like a bale. Lols 
This time around, I saw and experience the other side of Davao and Samal Island. A far cry from my first visit to Davao and Samal Island wherein I experienced and saw only the rich lifestyle of Davaoenos and its wonderful sites..

 

Walking back to the main road

 

We met a cow along the road on our way back to our service…mooooooooooo

A pose with the cow under the noon time heat

 

The little girl in our group is the one who spotted the cow first mooooooooo…

 

Finally our vehicle by the road side.