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Ormoc is EVRAA 2023 overall champion


TACLOBAN CITY – For the third time, Ormoc City Division bagged the overall championship in this year’s Eastern Visayas Regional Athletic Association (EVRAA) Meet.

Ormoc City clinched the top spot with 178 golds, 104 silver, and 70 bronze medals. 

Mayor Lucy Torres-Gomez expressed pride in their three-peat championship of the 13 schools division in the region.

“I am endlessly thankful to everyone who has contributed to each athlete’s journey towards this Grand Slam victory — their parents, the coaches, the teachers, all members of the LGU,” she shared.

She said that she prays and commits to sustain and build up on all the gains under her watch. 

She also thanked her predecessor, Leyte 4th District Rep. Richard Gomez for “planting the seeds of pursuing excellence not just in sports but in all other endeavors one chooses to take on.”

Leyte Division claimed the second spot with 50 golds, 74 silver, and 55 bronze, while Tacloban City ranked third with 19 golds, 27 silver, and 46 bronze medals.

The four-day school-based competition hosted by Tacloban City Division and Leyte Division ran from April 24 to April 27 and joined by over 5,000 athletes. This year’s winners will represent the region in the 2023 Palarong Pambansa in Marikina City from July 29 to August 5. By Marie Tonette Marticio (EV Mail April 24-30, 2023 issue)


FORD ORMOC UNVEILS NEXT-GEN TERRITORY. The unveiling of the newest addition to the next-generation series of Ford, that is, the next-gen Territory, took place at Robinsons Place Ormoc on Thursday, April 27, 2023.

The said next-gen Territory is dynamically designed and efficiently engineered and follows Ford’s highest global quality standards with its modern design and efficient performance that let “you own the moment.”

Accordingly, the next-gen Territory has a 1.5 ecoboost gasoline 7-speed AT, a 12” infotainment system with wireless charging, a 360-degree panorama, alloy wheels, and a partial leather interior in peacock blue with Domino wireless charging, a 360-degree camera, active park assist, six airbags for the driver, passenger, and sides, curtain hill launch assist, hill descent control, cruise control, an integrated 7” digital cluster, and a 12” colored touchscreen.

The event was successfully facilitated by the Ford-Ormoc Team, headed by its branch manager Jenah T. Gabistay, together with sales consultants Charmaine P. Dominic, Ramil G. Rivera, Procsebal C. Malazarte, Melody M. Ruiz, and Charise Luna.

The said event was attended by a few VIPs in the city. (By Gwen Maurillo / EV Mail April 24-30, 2023 issue)

BFP nurse-turned-lawyer saves boy from drowning


TACLOBAN CITY – A nurse-turned-lawyer of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is now earning praises after saving a five-year-old boy from drowning in a resort in Macrohon, Southern Leyte recently.

Lawyer Earnswell Pacina Tan was watching over his baby sleeping when he was called by his brother-in-law Erdy Rojas for help. 

Rojas, a seafarer, was the one who recovered the child from the water. However, he asked Tan, a trained medical and basic life support (BLS) professional to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

“I am grateful to my brother-in-law because one of the factors for effective CPR is early detection. If the child was recovered later, then the outcome of my CPR would have been different,” Tan recalled.

Tan was caught on camera performing multiple CPRs on the boy until he was revived and brought to a local hospital.

“While I was performing the CPR, I was also praying to the Lord to please give the boy a second chance,” citing that the boy was already turning blue at that time.

Despite being called a hero by some, Tan shared it is overwhelming and self-fulfilling to be God’s instrument in saving someone’s life.

Tan is the Acting Chief of the Regional Administrative Division with the rank of Fire Senior Inspector at the BFP Regional Office 8.

He also believes that Basic Life Support needs to be learned by everyone and not only by rescuers and those in the medical profession. 

“We do not know when and where we will need it. If there are untoward incidents that require BLS or CPR, at least we are ready because rescuers are not always around,” he said. He added that it takes time to call for help and to travel to the area, so while en route, someone needs to do something onsite. By Marie Tonette Marticio (EV Mail April 24-30, 2023 issue)

Ormocanon farmers hailed in VSU Ugmad Awards


ORMOC CITY – Ormocanon farmers have, accordingly, bagged awards during the Ugmad Awards of the Farmers and Fisherfolks’ Day 2023, which event forms part of the culminating activities of the 99th Visayas State University (VSU) Founding Anniversary.

The awarding ceremony was held at VSU, Baybay City, Leyte on Friday, April 28, 2023.

Accordingly, the Ugmad Awards is VSU’s recognition of the crucial role farmers play in putting food on people’s tables, adding that, “it is only fair that their commitment be recognized and that they are allowed to enjoy the fruits of their labor, to let them reap the rewards of their hard work.”

The said Ormocanon awardees include Edmondo Maloon, who was awarded as the ‘Outstanding Farmer Entrepreneur’, Kasamava Fiaco, who was bestowed the Outstanding Farmer Cooperative, and Lucresio Capangpangan, the Outstanding Jackfruit Farmer.

The City Agriculture Department (CAD) of Ormoc City was also hailed as the first-prize winner of the ‘Best Booth Competition’ in the outside organization category.

The Ugmad Awards, in addition, includes two categories: individual awards and group awards.

Individual winners received PHP 10,000 together with a plaque of recognition, while the Outstanding Farmers Cooperative, Outstanding Fisherfolks Association, and Outstanding Farmer-Entrepreneur each received PHP 30,000.

The Ugmad Awards furthermore is given to deserving individuals and groups working in Eastern Visayas to sustainably develop the agricultural sector and the environment. Finally, it is a means for VSU to recognize the farmers, fishers, and rainforest heroes who have improved farm output while also having an influence on their local communities. By Gwen Maurillo (EV Mail April 24-30, 2023 issue)

EV economy grew a modest 6.8%


TACLOBAN CITY – Despite the extreme weather conditions experienced in the region that resulted in the death of hundreds of people last year, Eastern Visayas’ economy expanded by a modest 6.8 percent, the third highest upsurge since the turn of the millennium, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported.

The PSA regional office, in a press conference on Thursday, said the growth was driven by strong performance in industry and services sectors where main contributions came from construction, wholesale and retail, repair of motor vehicles and financial and insurance activities.

The 6.8 percent growth in gross regional domestic product, though, was below the national growth of 7.6 percent, and also below the performance of two other regions in the Visayas – the 9.3 percent in Western Visayas and 7.6 percent in Central Visayas.

Meylene Rosales, regional director of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), said that like in the previous years, the services sector remained the primary economic driver contributing 47.2 percent to the regional economy while industry accounted for 40.6 percent and 12.2 percent coming from agriculture, forestry and fishing.

“Our robust performance was triggered by the complete lifting of mobility restrictions which led to re-opened and new businesses and revenge spending after pent-up demand during the height of the pandemic as well as election spending which increased consumer consumption,” Rosales said.

PSA data shows accommodation and service activities posted the fastest annual growth at 46.3 percent, which Rosales said is a welcome turnaround after nearly 30 percent of registered business establishments in the region have stopped operating or have permanently closed during the peak of the pandemic.

Transportation and storage also flourished at a record rate of 25 percent.

“Indeed, following the full reopening of our economy, easing of travel restrictions, and resumption of full face-to-face classes, the renewed vibrance of our local business scene is now apparent,” she said.

Rosales also noted the promising performance of other services from region’s “burgeoning gig or freelance and creative economy” particularly the growing number of virtual assistants, digital illustrators, online tutors, and other workers hired on a project-by-project or task-by-task basis and often facilitated through digital platforms and online marketplaces.

But while industry and service sectors grew, agriculture and fishery output in the region slowed down from positive 0.1 percent in 2021 to a negative 6.2 percent growth in 2022 attributed to the ill effects of extreme weather events, unusual price spikes of fuel and other farm inputs such as inorganic fertilizers and feeds, and the threat of deadly animal diseases.

Rosales said the magnitude of damage caused by Typhoons Jolina and Odette in the latter part of 2021 adversely affected our agricultural output in the first quarter of 2022.

But as the sector was beginning to recover from the losses incurred, Typhoon Agaton brought persistent rainfall during the second quarter, causing severe flooding and disastrous landslides in several farming and fishing communities in the region, particularly in Abuyog and Baybay City in Leyte. Also, Typhoon Paeng hit the region in the fourth quarter, causing significant crop damage. 

“All these led to the drop of the region’s rice sufficiency level and decreased output of all priority crops, save for cassava and pineapple,” Rosales said. The livestock and poultry subsectors also continued to contract, except for carabao production, due to the occurrence of diseases, such as African Swine Fever and bird flu, and higher prices of feeds. By Elmer Recuerdo (EV Mail April 24-30, 2023 issue)

Gueron Bridge in Biliran island completed


NAVAL, BILIRAN – The completed widening of Gueron Bridge project in Brgy. Villa Consuelo in Naval town now provides motorists along Naval-Caibiran Cross Country Road (NCCCR) road section a wider, safer and faster travel.

Implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Biliran District Engineering Office, the bridge widening project has an allocation amount of PHP 24-M funded under FY 2022.

OIC-District Engineer (DE) Alfredo L. Bollido said that the widened bridge along the said road section will improve the transport of people and the mobility of goods and farm products to the market centers.

According to OIC-DE Bollido, aside from safety and comfort of the travelling public, this widened bridge will also help boost the economy and tourism in the province. This road section along NCCCR leads to different tourist spots in Biliran, such as the Tinago Falls, Tomalistis Falls and Canaan Hill Farm, among others.

The 25-meter long Gueron Bridge involves the widening of 6.10-meter two lane bridge to 15.36-meter four lanes with asphalt overlay for smoother travel and pavement markings to guide motorists for safety. It also involves the construction of a 35-meter drainage and a 50.95 linear-meter retaining wall.

Uldareco Ermeño, 66, a resident of Brgy. Villa Consuelo, Naval, Biliran, expressed his gratitude to the DPWH for implementing the said project, saying, “Tungod aning pagkaayo sa atong kalsada nga lapad na, daku na gyud kaayu’g kausaban, hanoy na. Ultimo gani magpalit me ug sud-an sa lungsod, dali na!” The completed bridge-widening project will complement the widened roads along NCCCR. In 2022, DPWH, Biliran DEO also implemented two bridge-widening projects along the said road section. These bridges are the Cabadiangan and Alawihaw Bridges, which will continue its construction this year 2023 under multi-year funding. (PR / EV Mail April 24-30, 2023 issue)


SWU BRINGS PHINMA SPOTLIGHT CARAVAN TO ORMOC.  A team from Cebu City’s Southwestern University (SWU) PHINMA was in Ormoc over the weekend to introduce to graduating senior high school students their Spotlight Caravan. The activity happened in SM Center Ormoc on April 29, 2023.

The College of Radiologic Technology and College of Medical Technology showcased a short talk about Radiation for the Rad Tech Department and Blood Typing for the Med Tech Department.

Invited Grade 12 students from the different schools in Ormoc who actively participated in the discussion also received limited merchandise from SWU PHINMA while expressing their eagerness to become a Med Tech or Radiologist someday and begin their dreams by enrolling at the said school. (By Josie Sersena / EV Mail April 17-23, 2023 issue)

THE PASSERBY: God’s will and our will


THE IDEAL condition for us with regard to our own will is that it should unite itself with God’s will. It should identify itself with God’s will and channel it as faithfully as possible all throughout our earthly sojourn.

This should come as a no-brainer if we consider the basic truth of faith that we have been made the image and likeness of God. How God is should also be how we should be. We are meant to share in God’s own life and nature!

That’s, of course, an incredible piece of truth that we just have to learn to live by. If we are guided by our Christian faith as we should, since it in the end is what defines how we and everything else should be, then we can have no other conclusion to make than that one!

We are reminded of this aspect of our life in that gospel episode where Christ told the crowd that he came down from heaven not to do his own will but rather the will of the one who sent him. And that the will of the one who sent him was that he should not lose anything and anyone who was given to him, but that he would rather raise those who believe in him to eternal life. (cfr. Jn 6,38-40)

That episode in effect tells us that just as Christ, who is the pattern of our humanity and the savior of our damaged humanity, would only do the will of his Father, the one who sent him to save us, so should we also do nothing other than to do the will of God, our Father, who as our Creator, defines who we really are and how we should live our life.

This, in the end, is what is most important to us. It’s not just following our will which is, of course, indispensable to us. Otherwise, we would be undermining our very own freedom and our humanity itself. Whatever we do is done because we want it. It should be a fruit of our freedom.

But what is even more important is to conform our will to God’s will, which is most indispensable to us. Otherwise, we sooner or later would destroy our freedom and our humanity itself, since God is the very author and the very lawgiver of our freedom and our humanity.

This is a basic truth that we need to spread around more widely and abidingly, since it is steadily and even systematically forgotten and, nowadays, even contradicted in many instances. These days, we seem to be redefining and distorting the truth about ourselves as God made and defined it. We need to inculcate this truth to children as early as when they can understand and appreciate it. Then let’s give them the example of how it is lived.

God’s will is the source of everything in the universe. The whole of creation in all its existence, unity, truth, goodness and beauty starts from God’s will and is maintained by it. The entire range and scope of reality—be it material or spiritual, natural or supernatural, temporal or eternal—is “contained” there, not only theoretically but ‘in vivo.’ It would be absurd to believe that the whole reality can be captured by our senses and feelings alone, or by our intelligence that is working on its own and producing the arts and the sciences that we now have and that we continue to discover. By Fr. Roy Cimagala (EV Mail April 24-30, 2023 issue)

R&D BUZZ AND BYTES: Keeping cool


THE PHILIPPINES IS a tropical country, which means that when it is summer, it could get very hot, as it is now. As extreme heat waves are crossing the globe due to climate change, what are the evidence-based advice on how to keep cool that don’t cost much. The tips are as follows:

1. Put your hands or feet in cold water. In extreme heat, the body opens up the blood vessels that are close to the skin. Blood carries heat from inside the body to the surface, where it can benefit from the cooling effect of sweat evaporating. To stay cool easily, focus on parts of the body with lots of blood vessels: hands, wrists, feet, ankles, and armpits.

If you can, a swim or a cool bath or shower is also very effective. You can also spray your skin with water or wet your t-shirt. This cools the skin down like sweat but without costing the body any of its own moisture.

2. Eat light meals. Eating lighter meals like salads is another common-sense bit of advice with scientific backing. This is because light foods require less energy to digest, and produce less heat inside the body. The more complex foods will ultimately actually produce more heat in the body as they’re broken down.

3. Use an electric fan. A fan helps cool you down by helping sweat evaporate faster. It can be just as effective as air conditioning and is much cheaper.

What you can do is in terms of simple measures, put a bowl of ice cubes in front of the fan. You can feel that the air is cooler when you do that.

4. Drink before you feel thirsty. People start getting thirsty after losing 2% of their body fluids. It’s better to drink before that happens. You can check your pee to know if you’re dehydrated. If that gets darker, that’s a clear sign that you’re not drinking enough.

It’s better to sip water throughout the day rather than drink large volumes at a time because large intakes are likely to end up going to the bladder and quickly leaving the body.

If you drink cold water, you have to always make sure that your stomach and your intestines don’t get upset. If that happens, you could get diarrhea, throw up, you would lose a lot of electrolytes.

5. Be careful with exercise. In hot weather, it’s advisable to avoid strenuous exercise, unless you’ve specifically trained for the heat. You have this competition between the muscles and the blood flow to the skin. Oddly, people who exercise regularly can be at higher risk of heat exhaustion because of their overconfidence and tendency to push beyond their limits. Typically, the very fit person will do more. And that’s why it can often be the very fit people that run into trouble. By Manny Palomar, PhD (EV Mail April 24-30, 2023 issue)

Langyaw nangilog og sakyanan, ug kadakpan nagbahis sa selda


ORMOC CITY – Imbis ang langyaw nga napriso kay sad-an dihang nangilog og sakyanan, ang kapolisan hinuon ang na konsumisyon karon samtang naa kini sa ilang kustodiya.

Ang suspek naila nga si Hendricus Johannes Wilhelmus Petrus Christoffer Jamin, 37 anyos, single, ug usa ka Dutch National nga taga Kingdom of Netherlands. Apan matud pa taodtaod na kini dinhi sa nasud gani matud sa police kanhi nadakpan na usab kini sa laing lugar.

Ang insidenti nag sugod mga alas dose pasado sa udto niadtong Abril 22 atubangan sa hotel sa may Brgy. District 12; diin giparada na unta ni Israel Judilla, 39 anyos, ang gimanihong Toyota Hilux pick-up. Sakto nga didto sa nasangpit nga hotel naka check-in ang langyaw og migawas na aron mobyahi paingon sa Tacloban kauban ang hinigugma.

Apan na diskihan niini ang Toyota Hilux og kalit nisulod sa passenger’s seat, diin nakalitan ang driver. Ninaog ang driver aron sitahon sa pikas nga poltahan ang langyaw, hinungdan nga nagkasumbagay pa sila. Naka higayon pag sakay sa driver’s seat ang langyaw og ning higayona naka dagan ang biktima og may nitawag na og police.

Dihang may ni respondi nang police nisutoy na pagpadagan si Wilhelmus sa gi carnap nga Toyota Hilux. Pag abot sa Aviles corner Real Street, naka bangga kini og Nissan Navarra pick-up nga gipanag iya pa sa polis nga si Oscar Cobacha. Naguba ang atubangan sa maong sakyanan, pero niikyas sa responsibilidad ang langyaw paingon sa karsada sa Brgy. Linao.

Gialerto dayon ang mga checkpoints hilabi na ang didto sa may San Juan, diin nakabantay ang suspitsado busa nibalik siya sa Diversion Road sa Brgy. Naungan. Sa pag dinali dali niini og u-turn og kusog nga padagan, hangtod nga nabangga sa naka standby nga backhoe.

Dinhi na siya naapsi og giposasan sa nag gukod nga kapolisan. Gidala siya sa Police Station alang sa pag proceso og ma pasakaan sa kasong paglapas sa RA 10883 o New Anti-Carnapping Law. Ingon man usab ang Reckless Imprudence Resulting to Damage to Properties. Pero pagka Abril 24 naglasaw ang pasilidad nga iyang gipoy-an kay giinitan kini busa naligo sya. Og pagka Abril 27 sa sayong kagabhion naabtan pod sa EV Mail nga nagbahis kini sulod sa pasilidad. Human sa halos 15 minutos nga pakighinabi ni COP Ramil Caldona, gimay mayan og nihilom ra kini. Nabalaka ang autoridad sa unsapay buhaton niini samtang naa sa ilang poder kay gisugdan na pag pang guba ang mga gamit didto, samot pa ang ilang kabalaka kon dagmalan niya ang kaugalingon. Ni Josie Sersena (EV Mail April 24-30, 2023 issue)