|MISS BICOLANDIA 2010|
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
nuffnang_bid = “6ec8039113ddfba49b6f156fbebbbdaa”;
or through click Archdiocese of Caceres
LIVE COVERAGE WILL START AT 12 NOON~! PLEASE BE PATIENT! ENJOY!
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.
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.
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!
And for three weeks, these attractions will be featured at the City Oval Plaza, the main activity center:
Saan parte ka man ng mundo o ng PILIPINAS makibahagi na sa Bonggacious na selebrasyon ng 2010 TUNA FESTIVAL!!! TARA BYAHE TAYO SA GENSAN!!!
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.
|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.
|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|
SAMAL ISLAND AND DAVAO CITY: Day Four in Mindanao
“It is the journey not the destination that matters.”
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.
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.
Finally! After waiting for Kapitan Bale for almost half an hour at the Cabana ( Bahay Kubo). The quack doctor began treating his patients.
He don’t ask for money but his patients brought coffee, sugar and bread.
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:
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.