Friday, January 25, 2019

Art Fair Philippines presents a strong lineup of special projects for its 7th edition

Continuing to shine the spotlight on one of Southeast Asia’s most exciting art landscapes, Art Fair Philippines will once again transform The Link carpark in Makati City into a multi-level art exhibition venue from February 22 to 24.

One highlight of the fair, ARTFAIRPH/PROJECTS, will showcase work commissioned especially for the fair from artists who have made an impact both critically and commercially.

David Medalla, one of the most internationally recognized Filipino artists, will stage a new iteration of A Stitch in Time.  Conceptualized in 1968, this is the first of the artist’s critically lauded participatory works of art.  It allows viewers a chance to collaborate in the piece by sewing a trace of themselves onto a huge swathe of canvas that will hang at the fair’s central exhibit space. A Stitch in Time has traveled the world, most notably to the 2017 Venice Biennale. It has, however, never enjoyed a Philippine run.  

Also part of ArtFairPH/Projects is the 1974 award-winning installation by legendary CCP curator Ray Albano (1947-1985) Step on the Sand and Make Footprints.  While better known as the director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines from 1979 until his death in 1985, Albano’s own innovative work still exerts influence on the practice of conceptual art in the Philippines to this day.

This section will also feature prints and drawings by Mauro Malang Santos (1928-2017). For this exhibition, Malang’s son and accomplished artist Soler Santos has chosen works depicting Malang’s Women from the family’s private collection.

The fair will also have an exhibit of the works of Colombian figurative artist and sculptor Fernando Botero. He is known for “Boterismo,” his signature style that depicts figures and objects in exaggerated proportions.

LivVinluan is this year’s recipient of the Karen H. Montinola Selection, a grant given by the family in memory of a collector who championed works of emerging artists.  Vinluan‘s work is called NungGamabalain Yung Sayawan/The Disruption of Dance.

Other artists for ArtFair/PH Projects are Ryan Villamael (Behold a City), OcaVillamiel (Cheap Medicine), Ian Fabro (Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso), Christina QuisumbingRamilo (Forest for the Trees), Olivia d’Aboville (Everything, Everywhere, Everyone), and MM Yu (Subject/Object).

Premier line-up of galleries at the 7th edition of Art Fair Philippines

This year, 36 of the leading galleries in the Philippines will be joined by 16 international galleries from Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and Taiwan to showcase curated exhibitions from local and foreign visual artists.

The participating galleries in Art Fair Philippines 2019 are: 1335MABINI, Asian Cultural Council/León Gallery, Affinity Art, Altro Mondo Arte Contemporanea, Archivo 1984, Art Cube, Art Underground, Art Verite, Artemis Art, Artery Art Space, Artinformal, Avellana Art Gallery, Blanc, Botero in Asia, Boston Art Gallery, CANVAS, CLEAR Gallery Tokyo, District Gallery, EdouardMalingue Gallery, Eskinita Art Gallery, Finale Art File, Gajah Gallery, Galerie Roberto, Galerie Stephanie, Galleria Duemila, Gallery Kogure, Gallery Orange, J Studio, Kaida Contemporary, Kobayashi Gallery, La Lanta Fine Arts, Mind Set Art Center, MO_Space, Nunu Fine Art, Paseo Art Gallery, PINTÔ ART GALLERY, Salcedo Auctions, Secret Fresh, Shukado, Silverlens, Soka Art, TAKSU, The Crucible, The Drawing Room, Tin-aw gallery, Underground, Vin Gallery, Vinyl on Vinyl, West Gallery, Yavuz Gallery, YOD Gallery, and Ysobel Art Gallery.

 Learning at #ArtFairPH

Ingrained in the mission of Art Fair Philippines is the expansion of audiences for art. To this end, ArtFairPH/Talks provides fair visitors opportunities to deepen one’s exposure even more to various topics that will enhance art appreciation.

This year, the fair, in partnership with National Bookstore, is proud to welcome art historian Kathy Galitz from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  A specialist on late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French art, Galitz launched her book,Masterpiece Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which celebrates the most important works and the most iconic paintings in The Met collection. She will share her extensive knowledge and insights with local art enthusiasts and her book will be available at the fair.

Fairgoers can also expect the fair to continue to focus on photography via the ArtFairPH/Photo section. Launched in 2018, ArtFairPH/Photo aims to boost support for photography as contemporary art and expand its collectability among Filipinos.

Also complementing the fair is the 10 Days of Art initiative, a series of events around the Makati Central Business District that will involve galleries, museums, bars, restaurants, and retail establishments in celebrating art beyond the venue of the fair. For schedule and updates, visit

Tickets for the fair can be purchased in advance at

For more information, please visit the Art Fair Philippines website and follow Art Fair Philippines on Instagram (@artfairph) and Facebook (

Art Fair Philippines 2019 is co-presented by Ayala Land, Bank of the Philippine Islands,
Globe Platinum, and Julius Baer. The fair is also sponsored by AC Automotive, Ayala Land
Premier, Make It Makati, and Don Papa. Its official hotel partners are Fairmont and Raffles Makati, and Holiday Inn and Suites.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Bichara faces charges of grave abuse, misconduct

LEGAZPI CITY -- Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara is facing charges of grave abuse of authority and grave misconduct before the Office of the Ombudsman for his refusal to reinstate Dr. Nathaniel Rempillo, former chief of the Albay Provincial Health Office (PHO).

Rempillo, in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, said he filed the charges due to his relief as chief of the PHO and transfer to the newly created Provincial Health Care Development Committee (PHCDC) on June 9, 2017.

He claimed that the order for his transfer was issued on June 9, 2017, but the PHCDC was only created through an order issued four days later on June 13.

Despite this, Rempillo said he obeyed the reassignment order to head a non-existent committee with no personnel to work with.

He told media that he doubted the motive of the reassignment but still followed the governor's directive, believing that it was for the interest of the service.

He said that he readily functioned as head of the PHCDC, without availing of his right to appeal his reassignment before the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

Rempillo said while performing his duties, he was not allowed to collect the PHP17,000 monthly Representation and Transportation Allowance (RATA) and the PHP1,500 cell phone load that he deserved to receive as Provincial Health Officer III.

As his reassignment order ended on June 9, 2018, as prescribed by the CSC, he said he wrote a letter to Bichara about his readiness to return to his post.

Rempillo said he would question and challenge the governor's directive, saying he is "ready to fight for my right as a government employee being given unfair treatment. This fight is not only for myself but to the other provincial employee that has been subjected to transfer and reassignment.”

The Philippine News Agency (PNA) reached out to Bichara for his comment on the complaint filed against him, but it was Daniel Garcia, the governor's spokesperson, who called, saying “The governor leaves it to the OMB (Office of the Ombudsman) to do the investigation as the governor has already submitted his position papers.”

According to Garcia, Bichara has readily answered all the complaints slapped against him by Rempillo and the governor is hoping that the charges would immediately be resolved by the Ombudsman.

He said Bichara noticed Rempillo’s alleged failure to accomplish his assigned task to prepare a program and projects plan for the PHO.

“He was not able to perform and deliver what was expected of him. His transfer was to look for somebody to perform the task given by the governor,” Garcia said.

Dr. Antonio Ludovice replaced Rempillo as PHO officer-in-charge. (PNA)

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

SM Foundation opens scholarship applications for 2019-2020

SM Foundation is now accepting applications for its scholarship program for academic year 2019-2020. Online application is available through the SM Foundation website where a list of partner colleges and universities are available.

Qualified to apply for the college scholarship program are public and private high school graduates with Department of Education vouchers after completing Grade 10 from public schools in the following covered areas: Luzon—National Capital Region, Albay, Batangas, Benguet, Bulacan, Cagayan, Camarines Sur, Cavite, Isabela, Laguna, Nueva Ecija, Palawan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Quezon, Rizal, Tarlac, and Zambales; Visayas-Capiz—Cebu, Iloilo, Leyte and Negros Occidental; and Mindanao—Agusan del Norte, Davao del Sur, Misamis Oriental, South Cotabato and Zamboanga del Sur.

The SM Foundation scholars will enjoy their choice of specialization in accounting, information technology, engineering and education with full tuition, monthly allowance, part-time job opportunities during semestral and Christmas breaks, exclusive job offers with the SM group upon graduation, and other fun-filled activities and enrichment programs.

Application period is ongoing until Jan. 31, and after which applications will be evaluated and SM Foundation will come up with a list of qualified applicants who can proceed to take the written examination and go on to further screening. One may visit the SM Supermalls administration office for inquiries or SM Foundation Facebook page for more details.

IRR for Mental Health Act signed

MANILA--The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday signed the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 11036, otherwise known as the Mental Health Act, which was signed into law on June 20, 2018 and took effect on July 5, that same year. 

The law aims to establish a national mental health policy directed towards improving the health of the population in schools, workplaces and communities, underscoring the basic right of all Filipinos to mental health. It also highlights the balanced delivery of mental health services (community-based and hospital-based) with more focus on persons with psychiatric, neurologic, and psychosocial health needs, and overcoming society’s attitudinal challenges that they may live free from stigma and discrimination.

The IRR is a result of several public consultations and productive discussions with different government agencies which include the Department of Education, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development, TESDA, Commission on Higher Education, Commission on Human Rights, as well as champions at the Lower and Upper Houses of Congress, and medical associations.

“The DOH fully supports the implementation of this IRR to attain the vision of the National Mental Health Act of a responsive and compassionate health system,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III remarked.

The law grants protection to persons availing psychiatric, neurologic and psychosocial health services by recognizing their right to access evidence-based mental health services at all levels of the national health care system free from stigma and discrimination; their family members, caregivers, or appointed legal representatives by recognizing their right to receive appropriate psychosocial support and participate in all activities involving the service user; while reinforcing the mental health professional’s right to a safe and supportive environment, and to participate in continuous professional development programs.

The law establishes the Philippine Council for Mental Health (PCMH) a policy-making advisory body, mandated to develop a national multi-sectoral strategic plan mental health and to ensure its implementation through a`` monitoring and evaluation of policies and guidelines.

The Council is chaired by the DOH, with other government agencies such as the Departments of Education, Labor and Employment, Interior and Local Government, the Commissions on Human Rights (CHR), and Higher Education, as members. More importantly, sectoral representatives from the academe/research, medical or health professional groups and non-government organizations involved in mental health issue will form part of the Council.

The local government units shall promote community- and recovery-based approaches, and the delivery of culturally-appropriate mental health care services, including the development of guidelines (in coordination with the DOH) to ensure the provision of community mental health services within one year after the effectivity of the IRR.

“This is a great step towards tackling the growing issue of mental illness in the Philippines. I want to thank the President for his unwavering commitment to supporting Filipinos living with mental illness. I also want to thank the key stakeholders who helped in the passage of the law and in completing the IRR,” Secretary Duque concluded.

Daraga mayor nabbed for illegal possession of firearms

DARAGA, Albay -- Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo was arrested on Tuesday by members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Bicol after being served two search warrants that led to the recovery of firearms, ammunition and a vehicle in his house in Barangay Tagas here.

Chief Insp. Maria Luisa Calubaquib, Philippine National Police-Bicol spokesperson, said the CIDG team led by Senior Supt. Arnold Ardiente, served Baldo the search warrants issued by Executive Judge Elmer Llanozo of the Regional Trial Court in Legazpi for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and recovery of vehicle.

The operatives served the warrants around 2:30 p.m. Found were two .45-caliber pistols, M203 grenade ammunition, eight bullets for .45-caliber, a live M16 bullet and a magazine for UZI machine pistol buried inside Baldo’s compound.

The M203 ammunition, being an explosive weapon, could be used as evidence to charge Baldo with a non-bailable offense, Calubaquib said.

Also recovered from the mayor was the Isuzu Alterra vehicle believed to have been used as getaway vehicle by the killers of Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe and his police escort SPO2 Orlando Diaz earlier this month.

The search was witnessed by Baldo and his family and Warren Bahillo, chairman of Barangay Tagas.

Baldo was brought to the CIDG office at Camp General Simeon A. Ola in Legazpi City for investigation and documentation. (PNA)

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

DA Bicol conducts Oplan Sagip Hayop

PILI, Camarines Sur---Almost 500 livestock and poultry animals from 10 barangays in the municipalities of Bula and Sagñay benefitted from the OPLAN SAGIP HAYOP, a veterinary caravan held on January 10-11, 2019 in the said municipalities. The main purpose of said activity was to provide immediate care to animals who have been under stress and vulnerable to diseases in the wake of Tropical Depression Usman.

This two-day caravan is a collaboration of the Department of Agriculture-Bicol (DA-Bicol), Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA), LGUs of Bula and Sagñay,Philippine Veterinary Medical Association-Bicol Chapter (PVMA-Bicol), and Goat Raisers Association of Camarines Sur (GRACS) and the Federation of Goat and Sheep Producers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (FGASPAPI).

This caravan is a tool to bring veterinary services to farmers and pet owners of the animals, according to Dr. Marisa E. Guillermo, the Regional Livestock and Poultry Coordinator.

The animals and pets of 52 farmers from the two LGUs were given vitamins supplementation, dewormers and endectocides, antibiotics for skin diseases and inflamed wounds, water soluble vitamins and food supplements.

These activities were part of the continuing animal health services for animals which include cattle , carabao, goats, swine , avian/poultry, and dogs.

More than 30 veterinarians, students, livestock inspectors and DA-Bicol staff participated in the said veterinary caravan.

In Bula, the participating barangays include Salvacion, San Miguel, Panoypoyan, San Roque, San Jose and Sagrada. For Sagñay, the participating barangays include Aniog, Kilantaao, Catalotoan, and Minadongjol. (jaysonmgonzales)

Naga City tanods tapped to serve subpoenas, summary orders

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – Selected barangay tanods from the 27 barangays of this city have been deputized to assist in the service of summary orders and subpoenas in criminal cases for violations of city ordinances filed before the three branches of Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) here.

This after a memorandum of agreement was signed Monday morning by and between the Peace and Order Council of Naga City and the MTCC here.

Executive Judge Margaret Armea said that they noted the high number of violations of city ordinances as compared to other criminal and civil cases.

However, subpoenas and summary orders are not immediately served because of the lack of process servers coming from the different branches.

This, she said, is the reason why many violators go scot-free.

Meantime, the signatories of the memorandum of agreement assured that the selected barangay tanods had undergone rigid training regarding the service of subpoenas and summary orders.

1,620 passengers stranded in Bicol ports due to 'Amang'

LEGAZPI CITY -- A total of 1,620 passengers are stranded in ports across Bicol Region as of late Monday morning due to Tropical Depression Amang.

This, as the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) raised Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 1 over the provinces of Sorsogon and Masbate, including Ticao Island.

Ensign Excelsior Abenoja, public information officer of Philippine Coastguard (PCG)-Bicol, said by phone that as of 11 a.m., the stranded passengers numbered 1,523 at the ports of Matnog, Pilar and Bulan in Sorsogon province and 97 at the ports of Pasacau and Tamban in Camarines Sur province.

He said PCG-Bicol’s sail suspension order also put on hold at the ports seven sea vessels, 199 trucks, 24 buses and 41 light vehicles.

Meanwhile, local government units (LGUs) in affected provinces are now closely monitoring “Amang”.

Sorsogon Governor Bobet Rodrigueza said, also by phone, that they are preparing for possible evacuation of residents in high-risk areas.

"We are on alert status and we are closely monitoring the situation and the direction of Tropical Depression Amang," he said.

According to PAGASA, "Amang" sustained its strength as it moves over the eastern seaboard of Eastern Samar.

Despite the absence of tropical cyclone warning signal here in Albay, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) on Sunday evacuated a total of 2,319 families or 8,319 people in flood and landslide-prone areas.

Classes in all levels in public and private schools were suspended Monday until Tuesday as part of disaster pre-emptive measures.

Albayanos are also advised not to go out fishing, sailing or cross rivers to ensure their safety. (By Connie Calipay, PNA)


Monday, January 21, 2019

9th Infantry Division appeals to candidates not to support rebels


NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – The 9th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army called upon aspirants in the forthcoming local elections not to succumb to the extortion and fund-generation activities of the New People’s Army.

Capt. Joash Pramis, Chief of the Public Affairs Office of the 9th Infantry Division, said that in case the candidates have security concerns, or are being threatened by rebel groups, they should report to the authorities.

The authorities, he explained, will address the security concerns.

Pramis confirmed that there are certain parts of the region where the presence of rebels has been noted, including between the boundaries of Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte, along the Partido area in Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Albay, and Masbate.

Thus far, the region still remains peaceful, but they are not complacent, especially since the midterm election is forthcoming.

Asked about the augmentation force from the Philippine Army, he said that as of now, no additional forces have been deployed in the area.

However, there are members of the Special Action Force (SAF) who have arrived in the region to help with the peace and order situation, as promised by President Rodrigo Duterte.

THE PASSERBY | Let’s play with the Sto. Niňo

THAT’S right! Let’s play with the Child Jesus. In fact, we can dance with and for him, just like what we do when we are with a little child. We can make faces and do many other cutesy things so that he and us will smile and have a good time. This usually just comes out naturally and spontaneously.

This is important because, like in any relation we have with a child, we seal a very basic attachment to Christ who is our redeemer, the re-maker of our damaged humanity. A natural bonding, complete with its emotional and sentimental aspects, is established.

In that way too, as the child grows we can continue to be with him at all times, both good and bad. If we have this strong bonding with Christ, we would be more ready to accept the more demanding aspects of Christian life. We cannot leave him just because of the sacrifices that will be involved. And sacrifices there will always be!

We have to remember that Christian life, which is eminently spiritual and supernatural, does not suppress the natural and human level of our life. Not only that. Christian life cannot prosper, it cannot go far, when the natural and human level of our life is denied or is not respected.

In fact, Christian life needs a healthy natural and human level of our life, even as it enriches that level. The natural and the human serve as the foundation of the spiritual and the supernatural in our life.

And so we are quite lucky in our country, because our piety in general usually starts with this natural and human level. It is not purely intellectual and spiritual, unsupported by a natural and human foundation. If the natural and human foundation is weak, we cannot go far, especially when we get to grapple with the mysterious aspects of
Christian life that are marked by suffering and sacrifices.

Our brand of popular piety is something that we can show and teach the whole world. At the moment, we can observe something like a spiritual drought in many parts of the world, especially the so-called developed
countries where churches are empty if not closed down, and hardly any expression of popular piety can be observed. We cannot deny that there is a serious problem of secularization around the world, where God is
systematically ignored, if not opposed.

We can do something about this worldwide predicament. We, Filipinos, can show the way of how to ‘jump-start,’ so to speak, the Christian life in the other parts of the world. The Popes have been talking and pushing what is called the New Evangelization. This aspect of the Christian evangelization, via our popular piety, can be our
distinctive contribution.

Since there are already a good number of Filipinos working abroad, let’s encourage them to enliven even more their expressions of popular piety, so they can attract or invite the others in their localities to join them.

We, Filipinos, can show the whole world how we love the Child Jesus not only in the intellectual and spiritual way, but also in a natural and human way. Let us show them how important it is that we develop a natural and human affection so that our spiritual and supernatural life can rest on a basic and realistic foundation, given our human

This has to be expressed in many ways. Aside from the devotion to the Child Jesus, we can promote the practices of novenas, pilgrimages, family rosary, putting some religious symbols at homes and even in
public places.

Let us involve them in church or parochial activities and concerns. More importantly, let us show them how they can consistently live their Christian life in their family, in their professional work and in the fields of business, politics, sports and entertainment, etc.


Fr. Cimagala is the chaplain of the Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE), Talamban, Cebu City. E-mail him at roycimagala@gmail. com.


Naga City police confirm online marijuana selling

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – The Naga City Police Office (NCPO) has intensified its intelligence gathering after confirming from a drug suspect last week the persistence of the online drug trade, particularly marijuana.

In an interview with SPO2 Tobias Bongon, Spokesperson of the NCPO Monday afternoon, he said the suspect admitted that they order marijuana online, and the commodity is delivered to them via courier service.

“This is not the first time that we have apprehended persons involved in this online drug trade here,” Bongon said.

The first apprehension was last November, when the suspects were discovered in the middle of a pot session at Barangay Calauag.

“We are urging the public to help us in putting an end to the use of the Internet in the drug trade,” he appealed.

“Right now those involved are using coded language in their transactions, aside from the fact that they are communicating via private messages,” he said.

“They are targeting students and young professionals in the business,” he further narrated.

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