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SECRET OF LA CARMELA DE BORACAY HOTEL’S SUCCESS

ON several occasions, as we went around the island of Boracay for the last couple of months, we found out that La Carmela de Boracay Resort Hotel has the highest occupancy among the hotels.

Almost every hour of the day, there are hundreds of guests coming in and out of the popular resort.

Why?

We gathered from interviews with the hotel’s personnel and staff that the main secret is its friendly atmosphere.

This is the only hotel where its owner, Samuel “Boy” So, is making it a habit to go around the premises and greet his guests and visitors twice daily – in the morning and in the early evening.

Very humble like any ordinary man on the street, Boy is a kind and generous man without pretense and hypocrisy. In short, he is simple and sincere.

By word of mouth, his guests, mostly from other countries, are the ones advertising La Carmela as “the best hotel in Boracay.”

A very friendly guy, Boy is a master of public relations.

Nobody so far can hold a candle to Boy when it comes to dealing with people. How he does it is still a secret he alone knows.

UPTOWN-ILOILO

UPTOWN – ILOILO of Injap’s Group of Companies will open soon.

As we behold its splendor and beauty, its imposing structure and good location on General Luna Street, we expect many people to come and enjoy its various services.

We were told that the date of its grand opening will be properly announced.

We congratulate Injap Sia III for this amazing project that contributes immensely to the modernization and progress of Iloilo City.

LIONS HONCHO LANDO LAYSON

SUCCESSFUL businessman and civic leader Lando Layson has been going around, attending to his responsibilities as Lions governor.

Just recently, he was in Bacolod City to witness the turnover ceremony between an outgoing officer and a successor to the prime post.

As a civic officer, Gov. Layson also has many activities in Iloilo, especially his brainchild, the Iloilo River beautification and cleanup.

But despite his many endeavors, the popular civic leader has time for his friends and acquaintances, including those in the media sector.

WHERE IS JOSE ‘JOE’ SANTOS?

WE have been asked by many friends in Iloilo and Manila about business tycoon Joe Santos. They have not seen him for quite a long time now.

Perhaps they are curious about the well-known business leader who used to be ubiquitous in almost every place in Iloilo.

Well, we told them that Joe is often in Manila and abroad because his talented grandson, Miguel Gatmaytan, and granddaughter are studying as scholars in one of the best schools in the United States and in The Fort in Makati City, respectively.

Having many business dealings in Metro Manila, Joe’s time is always full.

His best friend, Dr. Juanito “Juaning” Acanato, former president of Central Philippine University and former Provincial Board member of Iloilo, has a similar version about the guy.

Joe is in the pink of health.

At this juncture, we extend our best wishes and regards to him and to his dearest wife, Dr. Carmen Pama-Santos.

LTO DIRECTOR DENNIS SINGZON

ONE of the busiest offices in Iloilo City, or in Western Visayas for that matter, is the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Region 6 under the sterling leadership of Director Dennis Singzon.

Hundreds of people transact business with the LTO regional office daily.

So organized and orderly, the office is efficiently staffed by competent and hardworking men and women who are proud to be called “public servants.”

One of the best LTO regional directors in the country today, Director Singzon, who hails from Samar, earns plaudits from the Ilonggos.

With his able, friendly and highly competent Assistant Regional Director Anuel Bonite, LTO-Western Visayas is now one of the most outstanding government agencies in the country.

Congratulations!

INDAY EMILY AND DON ALBERTITO LOPEZ

JOJO Ang -- well-known young business baron of Iloilo and close friend of former Guimaras governor Inday Emily Lopez and her loving husband, former Iloilo 2nd District congressman Don Albertito Lopez – updated us about Inday Emily.

According to Jojo, Inday Emily has already recuperated from her injuries, particularly the one that affected her head.

“She is now very okay and physically strong,” he told us over merienda at Hotel del Rio, Iloilo City a few days ago.

Inday Emily figured in a vehicular accident on the highway to the airport in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo three months ago.

Don Albertito is doing well, too, as he regularly undergoes dialysis three times a week.

The wonderful couple are always together in their home at the swank Dasmariñas Village, Makati City.

With no material problems, the husband and wife are living happily as they enjoy life to its fullest in this vale of tears.

 

EDITORIAL (Napoles really ready to ‘sing’?)

Napoles really ready to ‘sing’?

THE impression we get from a “filtered” request that “pork queen” Janet Napoles conveyed to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is that, if allowed to be a state witness, she would name at least 19 senators who had conspired with her in diverting P10-billion of their Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to her foundations not later than Tuesday when she will be undergoing a cyst-removal surgery at the Ospital ng Makati.

A television footage yesterday caught de Lima commenting, ''Maybe she thinks na may danger when you undergo medical procedure. Anything can happen. That’s why she pleaded to talk to me para makuha na raw ang kanyang statement."

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada has taken it to mean that the PNoy administration is leaving no stone unturned to have Napoles pinpoint him, Juan Ponce Enrile and Bong Revilla as her co-conspirators in the PDAF heist. Only three senators?

In that case, the Jinggoy hunch does not mesh with the “19 senators” to be named.

If there are 19 senators in the Napoles list, then the majority or allies of the President would also be in it.

Alas, we don’t see de Lima rejoicing over the possibility of Napoles naming the President’s bad eggs, too. That would be no way to lure the government into acceding to her request to be state witness. De Lima could always cite Napoles as “the mastermind,” not a mere accomplice.

Anyway, it would not be surprising if de Lima washes her hands off Napoles’ request to be a state witness. Remember, she has already told the media that the decision to grant that request rests on the Ombudsman.

Remember when Napoles faced the Senate inquiry? When all she invoked before the TV cameras was her right to remain silent?

If the three opposition senators were the only ones who had shared the loot with her, why was she so fearful to speak out?

The impression that the curious audience and televiewers got was that truth would work against her.

Thus it defies logic for her to change her mind now.

On the other hand, it’s Vice President Jejomar Binay, a presidential hopeful, who has changed his mind about having Jinggoy as his running mate. If a paid Pulse Asia survey showing Binay and Sen. Franklin Drilon (a PNoy ally) as “the most trusted government officials” – rated 87 percent and 55 percent, respectively – were to be the basis, then we already know whom Binay is eyeing as his running mate in 2016. Apparently, the VP projects himself as still a friend of the P, indicating that he aims to win votes from both the administration and opposition camps.

If Binay becomes President in that year, what fortune awaits Napoles?

Only time will tell.

 

BRIDGES BY SAMMY JULIAN (Generous housing package)

Generous housing package

DURING his recent visit to Brgy. Jolog with Estancia, Iloilo’s Mayor Rene Cordero and members of the Iloilo media to personally inspect the ongoing construction of the housing package being constructed by Sicogon Development Corp. (SIDECO) to Sicogon Island settlers, no other than Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. expressed satisfaction with what he saw.

Defensor is not alone with this positive assessment of SIDECO’s project. Other provincial executives and local government officials described the off-site housing package as “more generous than what any other entity can afford to give.”

This completely contradicts the claims of the militant Federation of Sicogon Island Farmers and Fisherfolk Association (FESIFFA) that the new community for Sicogon Island settlers is substandard.

Earlier, Defensor also dismissed the protest action of FESIFFA. He instead urged them to cooperate with the Sicogon landowner and developer on the premise of the progress he witnessed when he visited Estancia.

The Iloilo governor issued the call in reaction to the recent rally staged by the militant organization at the capitol and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. (DENR)

Sangguniang Bayan secretary Jun Obligar earlier issued a certification that FESIFFA and two other organizations – Asosasyon sang Mangungumakag Mananagatsa San Fernando (AMMASAN) and Alipata Small Farmers and Fisherfolk Association (ALISITA) – have been operating in the Municipality of Carles without registration and are not accredited in the Office of the Sangguniang Bayan.

Local officials in Estancia and Carles also lauded SIDECO and its associates for developing an entirely new resettlement community which they say local governments may not be able to afford.

It has been noted that local government units, as practiced during natural calamities and fire incidents, can only extend as much as P5,000 worth of materials, or cash, to families of victims whose houses have been totally destroyed, and between P2,000 to P3,000 only for those, whose houses were partly damaged, depending on the availability of funds.

The resettlement site established by SIDECO and its partner-developer is located along Estancia Bay, a fertile fishing ground. This allows Sicogon fisherfolk to continue with their main source of livelihood after resettlement.

The housing type is a 24-square meter duplex unit built on a 55-square meter lot. This is far more spacious than the BP 220 standards (Rowhouse of 18 square meters with lot area of 28 square meters), explained SIDECO vice president for development Dave Sarrosa.

The developer also used concrete panel technology with reinforced roofing design to comply with the standard building code.

The technology and design can withstand stronger winds, Sarrosa pointed out.

He added that the community is elevated, at around 3.5 meters above sea level, to ensure safety from storm surges but close enough to the sea, thereby giving residents immediate access to their primary livelihood.

The site includes a community center for livelihood projects being planned by SIDECO and its partners, a basketball court and a school located at the highest elevation to double up as an evacuation area during calamities, Sarrosa explained.

To date, 80 units have been completed on top of the 68 more that are under construction. The target was to build a total of 200 houses.

The free house and lot package costs close to P500,000 each.

So far, 681 families representing 57 percent of the total number of households in Sicogon Island have availed themselves either the P150,000 outright cash package or the free house and lot in Brgy. Jolog.

Sicogon Island, a world-class tourism destination in the 1970ss, is owned by SIDECO that is partnering with a giant property developer to revive the area as a prime eco-tourism destination./PN

   

VIEWPOINTS BY ABP. OSCAR CRUZ

Life

IS there any reality on earth more meaningful, more precious and more significant than life?

Will somebody dare say how much life is – either to have it, to sell or buy it?

Can anyone give life to himself?

Can life be bought or sold – and if so, where, when and who can purchase it – and at what cost?

The solemn truth is that life is not only precious but also actually priceless. So it is that Easter proclaims that Christ Himself took back the life taken away from Him.

It is thus both sacred and solemn to recall that Christ did this by nothing less than His Resurrection from death. Even those who do not believe in any god of any kind keep, care for, and protect their lives.

So it is that even but in the here and now, in ordinary circumstances and among common realities, if there is no life, what is there?

If there is no life, what is anything and everything for?

If there is no life, why should there be anything else?

Life is the culmination of being. Life is the summit of everything that is good and invaluable, that is significant and relevant.

Life is the fundamental rationale of truth, justice and peace. To be pro-life is not only ethical but also moral. To be anti-life – just as to be pro-death – is not simply irrational but also pathetic.

This is why contraception and abortion – not to mention suicide – are enigmatic if not censurable whereas their patrons think, move and act against elementary logic, contrary to simple reason.

As to contraception, why would a man and a woman – a couple – avidly seek and enjoy the pleasure of their union and yet automatically do away with their natural obligation that goes therewith in the event of conception?

As to abortion which is a downright killing of an innocent unborn, if the murder of anyone is highly censurable, how much more culpable is the killing not only of any unborn child but one’s own child at that?

As to suicide, how could anyone do away with life he did not even give himself?

Contraception and abortion and suicide have one thing in common: Life is not simply belittled but downright rejected.

For a start, it is not really unreasonable to ask those already born and alive: Why are you angry not only with those who are still unborn but also those who are not even conceived yet?

Why is it that you do not like – if not actually hate – others to be in this world while you want to have and enjoy all worldly goods and worldly pleasures herein?

Furthermore, why do you blame the population for the extensive poverty and misery in the Philippines?

Why don’t you instead address an according act against large-scale graft and corrupt practices in the country?

Why is it that you instead prefer to eradicate children all over the land? Why?

Finally, perhaps, just perhaps, anti-life people would love cemeteries where there is no life!/PN

 

Bulls takes 2-0 lead vs Wizards

 

CHICAGO – This one looked like it was slipping away from the Washington Wizards. Then, in a flash everything changed.

Bradley Beal came on strong late in regulation to finish with 26 points, Nene scored six of his 17 points in overtime and the Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls, 101-99 yesterday to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series. Game 3 is Friday at Washington.

“We’ve got to come out like we're down 0-1 or 0-2,” said Beal, who scored 11 in the fourth quarter. “We’ve got to have that sense of urgency and just that drive and that motivation like we did early. We’ve got to be able to maintain that lead. We've got to continue to stay poised.”

The Wizards couldn't maintain a 17-point first-quarter lead and had to rally from 10 down in the fourth.

Nene scored the first six points in overtime after being held in check by Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah in regulation, and the Wizards hung on after Kirk Hinrich failed to convert at the foul line in the closing seconds of overtime.

Noah had just hit two free throws when Beal missed a jumper with 18 seconds left. Jimmy Butler got the rebound and Chicago called time.

Hinrich, a 76 percent free throw shooter this season, had a chance to tie it after getting fouled by Nene on a drive with 2.4 seconds left. But his first attempt hit the rim. He deliberately missed the second, and Trevor Ariza grabbed the rebound to seal the win for Washington.

“I went up there thinking I was going to knock them down,” Hinrich said. “I just couldn’t do it. However, I really felt that I should've made the layup.”

D.J. Augustin led Chicago with 25 points but cooled off late in the game with Ariza guarding him. Taj Gibson had 22 points and 10 rebounds. Noah added 20 points and 12 boards, but the Bulls find themselves in a huge hole after dropping two at home.

They blew a 13-point lead in Game 1 and couldn't hang on after rallying in this one. Both times, they struggled in the fourth quarter, and coach Tom Thibodeau bristled when asked if he might switch up his late-game rotation.

“We look at everything,” he said. “Unreal.”

John Wall had 16 points and seven assists for Washington.

The Bulls appeared to be in good shape when they were leading 87-77 five minutes into the fourth. They were still leading, 91-85, when Beal shot the Wizards back into the game.

He nailed a 3-pointer that made it 91-88 and added a floater to make it a one-point game. Then, with a chance to put Washington ahead, he hit 1 of 2 free throws with 52.9 seconds left to tie it at 91.

Both teams had opportunities to win it in the closing seconds but couldn't convert.

''I think we did a great job staying calm and composed,'' Wall said. ''Early in the season, we would get rattled and guys would try to make plays one on one on their own. Tonight, we trusted in our offense like we've been doing.''

The Bulls were leading 87-77 after a driving layup by Noah and two free throws by Butler with 6:59 left regulation. But with Beal going off, the Wizards made a run.

''I can't take a lot of credit for the fourth quarter,'' said Beal, who scored 11 in the fourth after quiet second and third quarters. ''I think we got a lot of offensive rebounds and kickouts, and John hit me on a couple. I was fortunate to be able to knock down some, and I just stayed with it. (AP)

   
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