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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Zamboanga City opens Pink October, 2014 Hermosa Fest

Zamboanga residents participate the opening of the Fiesta Hermosa Festival which coincides with the Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

ZAMBOANGA CITY - A sea of people, mostly wearing pink shirts, marched through the streets of Zamboanga City on Wednesday demonstrating their unity and support to breast cancer patients and during the observance of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month that coincided with the start of the month-long 2014 Fiesta Hermosa Festival here.

Despite the inclement weather, people from all walks if life, participated in the program held in front of the City Hall where a zumba dance party capped the opening program of the Hermosa Festival.

Mayor Beng Climaco said she was elated over the well-attended event that displayed people’s concern for breast cancer patients as well as eagerness to participate in the myriad of activities prepared for the  Fiesta  Hermosa, the city’s grandest festival.

Jointly organized by the Gender and Development and the Local Council of Women, the Pink October is a yearly undertaking intended to promote breast cancer awareness and raise funds for the benefit of the Oncology/Cancer Center of the Zamboanga City Medical Center.

The Fiesta Hermosa also reflected the resiliency of Zamboangueños as highlighted in its celebration theme “Levanta Con Fuerza y Fe; Marcha Con Alegria, Devocion y Unidad,” which is in honor of the Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar, the city’s patron saint.     

Sponsored by the local government, the Fiesta Hermosa celebration leads to the feast day of the La Virgen del Pilar on October 12. The festival also showcase “Las Cruces, Nuestra Vida y La Gloria”, un exposicion de Diseño Por Señorito Gerry Atilano at the Garden Orchid Hotel; Conferencia de Cultura, Artes y Historia del Zamboanga at Paseo del Mar Park; Cosechas de Zamboanga, an agri-trade fair at the Plaza Pershing; Pet Parade in Pasonanca Park; Servicio Medical na Fiesta Pilar at the City Health Office and Festival de Musica Chabacano also at Paseo del Mar Park.

Also the sardine-eating spectacle called Wow Sardinas at the Paseo del Mar and Balikbayan Night and Mascota de Zamboanga, an activity that pays tribute to returning Zamboangueñosat Paseo del Mar. The Regatta de Zamboanga, Baile de Festival, Danza la Vida at Pasonanca where the Chabacano Music Band Festival will also be held. And the Copa del Alcalde (Torneo de Golf) at the Zamboanga Golf Course in Upper Calarian village. (Sheila Covarrubias)

Sibonga town tops in cattle artificial insemination program

CEBU - For eight years now, the municipality of Sibonga has maintained as the top producer of cattle using artificial insemination in Cebu province.

It has so far produced at least 142 offspring and already hit its target of 72 heads for this year with a rating of 197% which is far more from what was expected from the artificial insemination program. The municipalities of Barili and Argao followed with 97 and 92 heads, respectively. There are now 47 of local government units who have availed of the program.

Victorino Lañojan,  Sibonga Municipal artificial insemination technician, said the successful program was started by the Provincial Government.

“Dili na secreto, naa na sa mga demand sa among (It is not because of a secret but that is because of the demand of) artificial insemination services. I became an artificial insemination technician ten years ago, ang mga resulta ra ang nanabi ug ang (it’s the result that markets itself and the) commitment to serve,” he said.

Leonito Manzanades,  Argao municipal artificial insemination  technician, also said that their goal is to have all their breedable animals artificially inseminated to further increase their cattle production. 

Argao also is the only town in Cebu that assigned one artificial insemination technician for the production of carabaos. He said this is necessary as not all towns and cities are viable for carabao production, but artificial insemination services in carabaos have lower success rate. This is because the animal’s warmer body temperature destroys the semen before it can fertilize, he said.

Carabao owners are advised to dip their animals first for hours in the water before insertion of semen to its reproductive gland.

Nenita Jaganas, Chief of the Animal Production Division of the Provincial Veterinarian’s Office, said they are also lobbying with the Department of Agriculture for more incentives for artificial insemination technicians through its Agri-Pinoy program.

Some of technicians are only paid P190 per day while others even use their own motorcycles and buy fuels out of their own pocket in performing their job in the field. (Stanley Cin)

Cebu observes 'Breast Cancer Awareness Month'

Cebu province observes 'Breast Cancer Awareness Month,' an annual global campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.

Breast Cancer FAQs:
  • Can physical activity reduce the risk of breast cancer?
    Exercise boosts the immune system and helps you to keep your weight in check. With as little as three hours of exercise per week, or about 30 minutes a day, a woman can begin to lower her risk of breast cancer. This doesn’t require going to a gym either. Power walking is more than sufficient!

  • Can a healthy diet help to prevent breast cancer?
    A nutritious, low-fat diet (30 grams or less) with plenty of fruits and green and orange vegetables can help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. A high-fat diet increases the risk because fat triggers estrogen production that can fuel tumor growth.

  • Does smoking cause breast cancer?
    Smoking is a confirmed risk factor for many types of cancer. Recent research in the last year (2012) has confirmed that smoking is a contributing risk factor for developing breast cancer. Additionally, second hand smoke is also a risk factor for cancer. So if you are a smoker, help yourself in a significant way and join a smoking cessation program to help you stop. The day you stop smoking the healing can begin and each week in which you are smoke-free, you give yourself increasing advantages for a healthier life. Smoking also directly contributes to heart and other lung diseases, too.

  • Can drinking alcohol increase the risk of breast cancer?
    Moderation is key. One drink per day has been shown to slightly increase the risk of breast cancer. Having more than one drink per day has shown to be a more significant risk factor, and the alcohol content doesn’t matter: wine, beer or a mixed drink. Alcohol also increases estrogen in your bloodstream.

    Although we know that more than one drink per day increases risks, to date there are no studies that demonstrate directly that the more a person drinks, the greater their risk for cancer. And in some cases, drinking one glass of wine a day can offer heart-health benefit. If you drink alcohol, this is an important topic to discuss with your doctor so that you will know what limits are best for you to observe.

  • Is there a link between oral contraceptives and breast cancer?
    There is an increased risk of breast cancer for women who have been using birth control pills for more than five years. However due to the low amount of hormones in birth control pills today, the risk is relatively small. But if a young woman has a significant family history of breast cancer, her gynecologist may recommend taking a break for a year from the pill at the 5-year time frame then resuming again for another 5 years. Although evidence-based research data does not offer strong support for this standard of care, it has nevertheless become an increasingly common practice.

  • Is there a link between hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and breast cancer?
    Yes, there is. HRT was added to the carcinogenic list by the American Cancer Society in the early 2000s. It is recommended that women with known risks not be placed on HRT to control of menopausal symptoms. They should instead seek other safer alternatives.

  • How often should I do a breast self exam (BSE)?
    Give yourself a breast self-exam once a month. Look for any changes in breast tissue, such as changes in size, feeling a palpable lump, dimpling or puckering of the breast, inversion of the nipple, redness or scaliness of the breast skin, redness or scaliness of the nipple/areola area, or discharge of secretions from the nipple.

    If you discover a persistent lump in your breast or any changes, it is very important that you see a physician immediately. Though 8 out of 10 lumps are benign, all require evaluation to confirm that they are not cancerous.

    Women should perform their breast self exam 7-10 days after their menstrual period starts which is also when their breasts are the least tender and lumpy. If they are no longer menstruating, then she should select the same day of the month (first of the month for example) and mark it on the calendar to remind herself when to perform this self exam. What to look for is a change from last month’s exam to this month’s exam. It is not unusual to have lumpy or bumpy breasts.

    All women should know the geography of their own breasts. If having trouble remembering, draw a diagram of where the lumps, bumps, grooves, and other findings are felt so that this can be used as a reminder from month to month. There is no added value in doing breast self exams more often than monthly. Also the findings may be different as well, in relationship to where a woman is in her menstrual cycle.

  • Does a family history of breast cancer put someone at a higher risk?
    Although women who have a family history of breast cancer are in a higher risk group, most women who have breast cancer have no family history. Statistically only 5-10% of individuals diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of this disease.

  • Are mammograms painful?
    Mammography does compress the breasts and can sometimes cause slight discomfort for a very brief period of time. Patients who are sensitive should schedule their mammograms a week after their menstrual cycle so that the breasts are less tender. Your doctor may say it is fine to take acetaminophen an hour before the x-ray is performed to prevent discomfort too.

  • How does menstrual and reproductive history affect breast cancer risks?
    Women who began their menstrual cycles before age 12, have no biological children, or had their first child at 30 or older, or began menopause after 55 are at a higher risk. This means that research has proven that the number of menstrual cycles a woman has over time influences risk.

  • How often should I go to my doctor for a check-up?
    You should have a physical every year which should include a clinical breast exam and pelvic exam. If any unusual symptoms or changes in your breasts occur before your scheduled visit, do not hesitate to see the doctor immediately.

  • What kind of impact does stress have on breast cancer?
    In 2012, some research studies have shown that factors such as traumatic events and losses can alter immune system functions, and when immune functions are altered cancer cells may have an opportunity to get themselves established within one’s body. What has been shown is that it is not the fact that a major life crisis has occurred but instead how the individual reacted to this event and coped (or didn’t cope). Therefore, identifying ways to keep your stress level in check is wise. (

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Aquino welcomes Filipino troops who fought Syrian rebels


President Benigno Aquino gives his message during the Heroes’ Welcome Ceremony for the 7th Philippine Contingent to Golan Heights at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañan Palace on Wednesday, October 1, 2014. (Photo by Rey Baniquet)

MANILA - President Benigno Aquino welcomed back Filipino troops who were members of the 7th Philippine Contingent to Golan Heights and presented awards Wednesday to 10 soldiers during the Heroes’ Welcome Ceremony held in Malacañang Palace.

Aquino conferred the Distinguished Service Star to National Contingent Commander Colonel Ezra James Enriquez and Lt. Col. Ted Dumusmog, who both led the contingent during the crisis situation in the Golan Heights, resulting in the successful extrication of all Filipino troops to safe locations. 

Enriquez planned the defense posture of the Filipino troops when the Syrian rebels attacked their positions. 

Aquino also presented the Gold Cross Medal to Position 68 Commander Captain Nilo Ramones, Jr. and seven others.

Position 68 Assistant Commander, 2nd Lieutenant Larry Endozo, was cited for assisting Captain Ramones; Master Sergeant Wilson Lagmay for ensuring troops held their position; Sergeant Alwin Cuyos for his unfazed action that prevented the rebels from breaching their gate; Staff Sergeant Leonardo Aboy for neutralizing the gunner of a ZPU-2 (a Russian anti-aircraft gun); Staff Sergeant Andry Mejos as team leader of the Bravo unit and for his accurate firing at the enemy; Sergeant Ramil Bobiles, whose action prevented the rebels from advancing; and Corporal Joneve Acolicol for his bravery that led to the extrication of their unit. 

The Distinguished Service Star, the third highest military award of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), is presented to soldiers who have rendered eminently meritorious and valuable service while holding a position of greater responsibility. The Gold Cross Medal, the fourth highest military award, is given by the Chief of Staff to members of the AFP for gallantry in action. 

Aquino praised the troops and spoke with them in Tagalog. 

“Humahanga ang buong sambayanan na talagang ito ang uri, kalidad, saka galing, tapang, husay, talino ng ating Sandatahang Lakas. Talagang nakadagdag kayo sa puri at sa dangal ng ating Inang Bayan, kaya naman dapat kayong talagang pasalamatan. At sa ngalan nga ng sambayanan, ako na ho nagpapasalamat para sa kanilang lahat. Ulitin ko lang ho, sana itong tagumpay nating ito ay talaga naman paulit-ulit, para masabi nating dagdag pa, tulad noong pagreresolba doon sa Zamboanga Crisis, ito ngang sa labas lang ng ating mga bakuran, talagang pinakita na naman niyo ang gilas ng Pilipino,” he said, referring to security forces that defended Zamboanga city from attacks by the Moro National Liberation Front in September last year in Zamboanga City. (Mindanao Examiner)

New Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines pledges strong friendship and cooperation


Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa

MANILA – Tokyo has named a former Director-General of the Southeast and Southwest Asian Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Kazuhide Ishikawa, as new Ambassador to Manila.

Ishikawa, who graduated Master of Arts in International Relations from University of Pennsylvania and studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Economics, pledged to further enhance the already existing bilateral relations between the Philippines and Japan through continued cooperation in key areas of mutual interest.

“It is with great honor that I receive my first assignment as Ambassador here in the Philippines. As previous Director-General of the Southeast and Southwest Asian Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, I am fully aware of the strategic importance of the Philippines in this region. The relationship between Japan and the Philippines has evolved a lot through the years. This is possibly due to the fact that we share many common attributes such as democracy and free market principles,” he said.

Japan has contributed so much and is active in peace process in Mindanao and one of the biggest aid donors to the Philippines.

“At present, we are enjoying successful Strategic Partnership under the governance of President Aquino and Prime Minister Abe. On top of Japan still being the largest ODA (Official Development Assistance) donor to the Philippines, this partnership manifests itself through heightened support in regional security and maritime safety, enhanced trade and investment relations taking advantage of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement and continuous support in the peace process in Mindanao,” Ishikawa said.

The 59-year old Ishikawa also served in various diplomatic posts in the United States and Thailand.

“As I take on the role of Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, I hope to make significant contributions that would further strengthen the bilateral relations between our two countries, adding to the legacy of friendship and cooperation arduously achieved by those who have come before me,” he said. (Mindanao Examiner)

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Army Artillery Regiment names first information officer

Major Rosa Maria Cristina Manuel

MANILA – A former army spokesperson in Mindanao Major Rosa Maria Cristina Manuel has been named as the new public information officer for the Army Artillery Regiment in Palayan City in Nueva Ecija province just outside Manila.

Colonel Leandro Loyao III, the regiment commander, said Manuel will also head the Civil Military Operations office. “I am optimistic that by designating her, the public will be aware about the contribution of the so-called artilyeros or kanyoneros in the over-all campaign of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in winning the peace through Bayanihan while gearing towards achieving our goals in Artillery Capability Development in line with the Army Transformation Roadmap,” Loyao said.

He said Manuel is the first public information officer since the creation of the Army Artillery Regiment in 2007.

Hardworking officer

Manuel, who was previously assigned with the 10th Infantry Division under Eastern Mindanao Command headquarters in Davao City in Mindanao, also specializes in artillery operations.

Her former colleagues said Manuel is a hardworking officer and is a known “workaholic” and one of the best spokespersons the army had in Mindanao. She is also active in civil and humanitarian missions and member of various civic groups.

Children's Month Celebration

Loyao’s announcement also coincided with the start of the month-long celebration of the 22ndNational Children’s Month where the Army Artillery Regiment launched educational activities with dozens of school children from the Wells of Wisdom Foundational Learning Center.

The students along with their parents and guardians were accorded with package tour around selected Fort Magsaysay facilities. The children were overwhelmed in the capability demonstration performed by the artillery personnel since it was their first time to see 105mm Howitzer cannons.

“We showcase our capabilities to our visitors as our way of informing them that our weapons symbolize peace. We only used them when havoc caused by criminal armed groups greatly affects soldiers and most specially the women, children and elders,” Loyao said.

He said soldiers and students also planted mahogany seedlings in one of the areas in Fort Magsaysay which was devastated by Typhoon Santi last year. They also watched a film about the army that added up to their learning about the soldiers’ concern for their welfare. Guests from JCI Duwaling and Cabanatuan Golden Grains educated the children about anti-bullying through a localized independent film produced and directed by one of its members Jojo Matias, from Cabanatuan City.

“This is indeed a great experience for our students since it’s our first time to enter a military camp and mingle with very kind and accommodating soldiers. We plan to include this kind of tour again for our students next year,” said Pastor Roland Barrientos, the school president.

Army Artillery Regiment, a major combat support unit of the Philippine Army, has 7 Field Artillery Battalions deployed in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and directly supporting infantry units not only in times of skirmishes or battles with various armed groups, but also active in helping communities and sustaining the environment by alleviating its conditions caused by either natural or man-made disasters. (Mindanao Examiner)

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MILF clan war sumiklab sa Mindanao

Ingat na ingat ang MILF sniper nito habang nakasilip sa kanyang Barrett scope sa Maguindanao province. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Mark Navales)

COTABATO CITY – Patuloy pa rin kahapon ang paglikas ng mga sibilyan sa ilang barangay sa bayan ng Pikit sa North Cotabato dahil sa labanan sa pagitan ng dalawang commander ng Moro Islamic Liberation Front sa lugar.

Sa huling ulat ay mahigit na 500 katao na umano ang lumayas mula sa Barangay Bulol matapos na magsagupaan doon ang grupo nina Commander Makalugi at Commander Solaiman kamakailan lamang.

Hindi pa matiyak ang tumpak na bilang ng mga nasawi at sugatan sa magkabilang panig dahil sa matinding tensyon sa lugar. Dedma lamang ang 6th Infantry Division sa kaguluhan sa pangambang madamay ito sa labanan.

Sinabi naman ng MILF na ginagawan na nito ng paraan upang matigil ang gulo. Nabatid na away sa lupain ang pinag-ugatan ng sagupaan, subali’t matagal na rin umanong may alitan at galit sa isa’t-isa ang dalawang commander.

Nagmistulang rido na rin o clan war ang labanan dahil maging ang mga tauhan ng dalawang magkatunggaling commander ay kanya-kanya na rin upak ang ginagawa sa angkan at pamilya ng bawat isa.  (Mindanao Examiner)

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2 NPA tigok sa sagupaan

DAVAO CITY – Dalawang rebeldeng New People’s Army ang kumpirmadong nasawi sa sagupaan nito sa militar sa Surigao City sa Mindanao.

Walang inulat na casualties sa panig ng mga sundalo sa ilalim ng 30th Infantry Battalion, ngunit ipinag-utos naman ng 402nd Infantry Brigade sa tropa ang pagtugis sa NPA.

Natiyempuhan umano ng isang army patrol ang grupo ng mga rebelde sa Barangay Mat-i kamakalawa kung kaya’t nagkaroon ng labanan doon. Nabawi rin ng mga sundalo ang dalawang M16 automatic rifles mula sa nasawing mga rebelde.

Walang inilabas na anumang pahayag ang NPA ukol sa casualties nito, ngunit ilang beses na rin nagbanta ang naturang grupo na mas paiigtingin pa nito ang kanilang opensiba laban sa pamahalaan.

Matagal nang nakikibaka ang mga rebelde upang maitatag ang sariling estado sa bansa sa kabila ng paulit-ulit na peace talks na kadalasan ay nauuwi sa wala dahil sa mga hinihinging demands ng komunistang grupo sa pamahalaan.  (Mindanao Examiner)

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BIFF tumira sa labas ng simbahan, 2 dedbol

Tila nagdiriwang ang mga miyembro ng Bangsamoro Islamuic Freedom Fighters habang nakataas ang mga armas sa Maguindanao province. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Mark Navales)

MAGUINDANAO – Dalawang sundalo ang pinatay sa labas ng isang simbahan sa bayan ng Datu Piang sa Maguindanao, isa sa 5 lalawigan ng magulong Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Nakilala ang mga biktima na sina PFC. Rex Limpahan at PFC. Edward Baes, na parehong nakatalaga sa 62nd Division Reconnaissance Company sa naturang lugar.

Nabatid na birthday pa diumano ni Limpahan kung kaya’t dumaan ito sa simbahan nitong Martes at sinamahan lamang ng best friend nitong si Baes.

Walang lumutang na testigo sa pamamaslang, ngunit agad naman itong ibinintang ng militar sa Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters na nakikibaka para sa isang Islamic caliphate sa Mindanao.

Ayon sa militar, ilang beses na rin inatake ng BIFF ang kampo ng sa 62nd Division Reconnaissance Company at gayun rin ang 61st Division Reconnaissance Company sa bayan ng Shariff Saydona Mustapha sa lalawigan. (Mindanao Examiner)

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