Wednesday, February 15, 2006

600-km Ecotourism Trail Under Way in the Sierra Madre


ecotourism trail under way in the Sierra Madre

First posted 10:01pm (Mla time) Dec 05, 2005
By Blanche Rivera
Inquirer Editor's Note: Published on Page A7 of the December 6, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

IT'S NO YELLOW BRICK ROAD but it has all the trappings of a wonderland.

The Sierra Madre Mountains, the country's longest mountain range and one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world, is being primed to become the top ecohistorical tourism destination in the Philippines.Environmentalists and local governments launched last week the 600-km Sierra Madre Trail, a unique trek through the 1.4-million ha. mountain range that is home to 3,500 species of plants and the widest variety of birds in Luzon.Experts from Miriam PEACE (Public Education and Awareness Campaign for the Environment) mapped out a trail from Palaui Island i n Cagayan, the northernmost tip of the Sierra Madre, to the UP Land Grant in Quezon, south of Metro Manila, as an ecotourism zone. Miriam PEACE, the outreach arm of Miriam College's Environmental Studies Institute, is convenor and manager of the Sierra Madre Trail (SMT) program.Appalachian Trail Inspired Print this storySend this storyWrite the editorReprint this articleView other stories by the Appalachian Trail in the United States, the 600-km trail features over 200 destinations in the nine provinces traversed by the Sierra Madre mountains: Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Quezon."This is the first biodiversity corridor trail in the country," Donna Paz Reyes, Miriam PEACE project coordinator, said during the trail's launch at Miriam College's mini-forest Tuesday night.The Sierra Madre range is one of only th ree biodiversity corridors in the Philippines identified by Conservation International. The other two are in Palawan and eastern Mindanao.Bird watchingA biodiversity corridor is a gateway to critical ecosystems that boast of wide varieties of plants and animals, including species found only in the Philippines, as well as species threatened with extinction.The 600-km trail is punctuated by the best bird-watching points; the areas with the most diverse flower species, and other flora and fauna; and sites for religious rites and other cultural experiences."The idea is to have a single ecohistorical tourist destination with focus on its biodiversity corridor," Miriam PEACE said in a statement.Three-pronged

The Sierra Madre trail is three-pronged. A lowland road trail, a mountain foot trail and a coastal trail.The lowland trail follows the national highways from Metro Manila: the Maharlika Highwa y in the north and the Marilaque Highway in the south.Interesting points on the lowland trail are the Peñablanca Protected Landscape, Biak-na-Bato National Park, Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park, and the Capisaan Caves in Nueva Vizcaya. To the south are the Pamintinan Caves and Avelon Zoo in Rizal.One week Reyes said a week would be "comfortable enough" to take in the wonders of the lowland trail, but to fully experience the nature and culture of the north would require about a month.The coastal trail features beaches, surfing and dive sites, and towns on Luzon's Pacific coast that can be reached primarily by boat. One such place is the Baler-Palanan trail whose coastline is noted for waves ideal for surfing.The mountain foot trail is arguably the most challenging of the three options and is expected to be the most popular among foreign trekkers and mountaineers, Reyes said.Safety issueMiriam PEACE is still developing a single trail for t he mountain foot path and working with local governments to ensure safety both for the locals and local flora and fauna.The Aguinaldo trail is one tour package that would be offered when the Sierre Madre Trail opens in February. It follows the route of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the Philippines' first president, when he crossed the Sierre Madre from San Mariano to Palanan to escape pursuing American forces during the Philippine-American War.Local guidesReyes said the local governments in areas covered by the foot trail would accredit guides who not only know their way around the forests but are familiar with the biodiversity sites.The local guides would accompany tourists and educate them on the importance of preserving the Sierra Madre Mountains. The local governments would identify safe areas that could be opened up to tourists.Environmentalists are promoting ecotourism as a viable development option for the country, which is being marketed by the government as one of the best mining sites in the world.Population pressurePopulation pressure is also taking a toll on the forests. Around 10 million people live in the Sierra Madre, among them the Dumagats, Kalingas, Ibanags, and Bugkalots."With the damaging effects of environmental problems, there is a need to unify conservation initiatives... to ensure the harmonious co-existence of people and nature in the long term," Miriam PEACE said.Reyes admits it's a long way to go for Sierra Madre's caretakers and visitors, but because they are on the right track, the journey can't be that bad.

Shangri-la Boracay issues....

Subject: Shangrila's Paved Paradise
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2005 21:54:00 -0800

Dear Friends

I received this distressing email from my friend, Renee Lorica, a biologistworking for Flora and fauna International now based in Bacolod City.Renee Lorica's friend in Boracay witness an alarming destruction in thefragile environment at the on-going construction of the 220-room ShangrilaBoracay Resort. Boracay Island is a resort island that is probably thesingle most popular destination in the whole country.Our national government has drumbeat this investment as a show of trust inthe Arroyo administration and the success of the Department of Tourism.

Shangrila Hotels has no right in projecting itself as an environmentalproponent if they cannot even respect the environment.We may be no match to the powerful Kuok Properties, owners of the Shangrilahotel chain, but together we can make a stand against continued negligencein a critical environment.This email is being sent to ALL my contacts from environmental lawyers, &the journalists, to people in the tourism industry and the bird clubs in theregion, specially in Malaysia.I urge you to circulate this email until it reaches the powers behind ...the Dept of Envirnment and Natural Resources, the Dept Of Tourism, theOffice of the President, and Kuok Properties.Michael LuPresidentThe Wild Bird Club of the Philippineswww.birdwatch.phPS. As the construction goes on, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)and the Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) has yet to be issued bythe DENR. These 2 documents are pre-requisites before any construction workis undertaken.

> Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2005 05:5 6:12 -0800 (PST)
> From: Lara Tajanlangit
> Subject: Shangri-la's Paved Paradise in Boracay

>>> Last Sunday, December 4, while my plane was passing over Boracay, I noticed a large brown hole in the forest where the 3 species of flying foxes (the endangered and endemic Golden-crowned Flying Fox, the threatened Giant Flying Fox and the commonIsland Flying Fox) are roosting in the island.

The site looked really bare from the plane. As soon as I landed I contacted the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau Representative in the island, the environmental impact assemment (EIA) preparer of the Shang-rila Boracay Hotel and Renee Lorica, who has studiedthe bats in the island for a year, and is now based in Bacolod.

The next day, the EIA preparer told me to talk to the Project Director of Shangri-la Boracay so he can explain to me the developm ent plans and mitigating measures. I decided it would be best if I went to the Shangri-la site with the DENR-EMB representative so he can monitor the site as well.

When we arrived at the site this morning the project director showed us the development plans and explained the mitigating measures for the clearing they were presently doing, which included planting, landscaping, catchments for storm water runoffs among others. I expressed my fears that siltation will affect the coral reefs and that the future clearing and construction noise might affect the bats roosting in the nearby forest.

I requested that they hire a wildlife biologist familiar with the flying foxes to monitor the behavior and condition of the bat roost during the 2 year construction period and to allow Renee> Lorica access to their site so she can pursue her study on the bats' r oosting patterns to guide the development.

I also expressed by concern for the endangered sea turtles nesting on the beach since he also mentioned that they will be> barging in construction materials.

He assured me Shangri-la has a team of tree doctors, oceanographers and environmental consultants overlooking the> construction activities.

After a long discussion, we finally went to the site. To my dismay, the destruction even looked worse on land. At least half of the mountain side was being buldozed ( around 2 hectares according to the estimate of the DENR representative with me). Only a handful fo trees were left on the cleared slope. All the second-growth limestone forest, small trees and plants that use to> cover the mountain side were uprooted and piled on one side to be composted. Coconut trees were being chainsawed to be given to the loc al community.

I was afraid that the noise created by the chainsaw and buldozers will affect the bats roosting nearby. I am also concerned that with the heavy rains the past few days, siltation will occur. I did not see any catchment basins installed to catch stormwater.

After we left the site, I expressed my disappointment to the DENR representative for allowing this type of development to take place; for allowing them to clear and quarry one of the last reamaining forested mountains in the island; and for adding to the threats facing the already endangered flying foxes, that play a vital role in the regeneration of forests in Boracay and the neighboring northwest Panay peninsula.

I know that we cannot rebuild the mountain side that has been destroyed...what has been done has already been done. Shangri-la has to ensure as that no furthe r earthmoving and cutting be allowed. It has already done enough damage. Replanting should be done immediately to ensure that chances of siltation and landslides be minimized. Heavy equipments should be banned in the> area --- the noise generated can drive out the roosting bats and wildife in the surrounding forest.

Please tell Shangri-la Hotel they should review their development plans and re-evaluate their priorities. What must come first ? A huge lobby and landscaped gardens or the protection of the last remaining forest of Boracay and endagered species? These are important choices and the answer to this questions speaks of the integrity and principles of the Shangri-la group. The world is changing,> more tourists are willing to pay more for environmental protection. Please let Shangri-la know that drastic environmental> destruction wil just destroy the very attraction of the island --> its natural God-given beauty.

>> They have a social responsibility to the local community, to the> island, their guests and to future generations.

>> Lara

Monday, October 31, 2005

More Options....

Chairwoman/Board of Director for Environment Education
Nature Awareness & Conservation Club, Inc.
8061720 and 09194839250 or 09155101600 (dont for get the "s" in com)

OTHER OPTIONAL TRIPS (group booking 4pax and up)

Manukan Beach, Kota Kinabalu National Park, Poring Hot Spring, Langanan Water falls, Canopy Walk, White Water Rafting, Kota Kinabalu Beach, and wholesome fun. Booking starts on December 2005 and travels on January 2006 to ensure good weather, up to July only

PILGRIMAGES to Ilocos, Bicol, Batangas & Laguna are now available for daytrips and overnights, visiting more than 10 churches.

BATANES Basco, Batan, Sabtang Mahatao, Itbud, Ivana, Malboro Country, Radar Tukon, Kanyuyan Beach port, Valugan Bay, Songsong in Chapidan Bay, Sto.Domingo Church, Ivan, Uyuga, Sabtang, AND MORE (4days & 4 nights) FYI flight and tour booking starts as early as November up to June Only

Mt. PULAG Fun Climb Climb Philippines' 2nd highest mountain ala Sound of Music, enjoy a miniLord of the Rings Forest. (3nights/2days) Option to rest in Baguio GOOD SEASON October to May.

SAGADA w Banawe & Bontoc tour Banawe
View point, Bontoc Museum, Magestic Fedelisan Rice terraces, Mezmerizing Bumod-ok Falls, Adventure Big Cave, Banawe Shopping (3days & 4nights). Optional plus 1 day Batad Rice Terraces and Tapia Falls. All year round season

WET & WILD WHITE WATER RAFTING Chico River, Kalinga Enjoy the adrenalin rush & adventure of Rafting SEASON BEST on June to January

BAGIUO Summer Capital Silver Shop, Weaving School, Good Shepherd Convent, Burnham Park, Camp John Hay, Botanical Garden, The Mansion, and MORE. All year round good season.

VIGAN - LAOAG Ilocos Tour Calle Crisologo, St. Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral, Plaza Salcedo, Burgos National Museum, Paoay Church, Fort Ilocandia, Sand Dunes, Malacanang of the North, Sta. Monica Church AND MORE. All year round good season

SUBIC Jungle Survival Training, Bat Kingdom, Butterfly Pavilion, Beach bumming & Swimming, Zoobic, horse back riding, fishing, Mag naval base and more. All year round good season.

CORON Baracuda Lake, Hidden Lagoon, Twin Lagoon Maquinit Hot Sping, Sietes Picados, CYC Beach, Kalachuchi & Skeleton Beach, Lusong Marine Sanctuary, Black island & Sangat Sunken Ship (2days/3nights). Good season from October to May Only.

CORON - EL NIDO Baracuda Lake, Hidden & Twin Lagoon, AND MORE Fly to El Nido, Big & Small Lagoon, Adventure Caving, Pinacle, Romantic Sunset & Option to Scuba dive (4days/5nights) Option to fly back to Manila Good season from October to May Only

CORON - PUERTO PRINCESA Palawan Baracuda Lake, Hidden Lagoon, Twin Lagoon Maquinit Hot Sping, Sietes Picados, CYC Beach, AND MORE Fly to Puerto Princesa, Honda Bay Underground river tour, Viet Vill, Crocodile Farm, Cool Night life AND MORE. Good season from October to May Only

EL NIDO - PUERTO PRINCESA Palawan Fly to El Nido, Island hopping, Romantic Sunset, Big & Small Lagoon, Pinacle, Adventure Caving & Option to Dive, Fly to Puerto Princesa, Honda Bay, Undergound River tour & Viet Vill, Crocodile Farm, Cool Night life. (4days/5nights) Option to fly back to Mnl. Good season from October to May Only

CORON - El Nido - PUERTO PRINCESA P 25,000/pax 8days trip min.12pax max 16pax. Good season from October to May Only

WHALE WATCHING & Best of Bicol swim with giant whale sharks found in Donsol, Sorsogon, witness the most magical sights of fireflies dancing and flickering while your boatman silently paddles down a wide river. Best Season January to May

BOHOL & CEBU Best of Cebu & Tagbilaran Churches, Busay Falls & Loboc river, Chocolate Hills & Man made forest, Panglao & Balicasag Beachy tour, Snorkeling galore (4days/3nights) Good season from October to May Only

BORACAY Beach, bum, beaching, bumming, coolest nightlife in the Philippines & 2nd best beach in the world by Lonely Planet 2000. Visit the Puka beach & go island hopping All year round good season.

BALER Aurora Province
Historical Trail Tour of Manuel L. Quezon, Biggest Balete in Asia, Ermita Park, Sabang Beach, El Pemintel Falls, Lukso-lukso mini Rock climbing, Diguisit Snorkling Area. Trip Departs Friday 4am and Back to Manila Sunday 8pm.

PANDAN ISLAND & APO REEF very serene beach, with turtles & birds as your neighbor, and Apo reef is the largest most colorfull marine paradise in Mindoro. Good season from October to May Only

PUERTO GALLERA White Beach, Swimming & Snorkeling Galore, meet Nemo, Relax & Unwind on a hammock w halo-halo while looking @ deep blue sea on a sunny day . Good season from October to May Only

Parang Beach Swimming with snorkling and Island hoping, Scenic Benedictine Monastery, Lantuyan Crystal Clear River with super seafood buffet. All year round good season

Parang Beach Swimming with snorkling and Island hoping, Scenic Benedictine Monastery, Dynamic and Energizing Healing Activities, Lantuyan Crystal Clear River with super seafood buffet.All year round good season

Parang Beach Swimming with snorkling and Island hoping, Scenic Benedictine Monastery, Fruit on Season picking spree and eat all you can with super seafood buffet. All year round good season

MT. MAKILING, Los Banos Fun climb Mt. Makiling Summit, Mud spring, Relax in Hot Spring, All Filipino Buffet Dinner. Best on DRY season only, Feb to May Only

MANAOAG SHRINE & Beaches in Pangasinan, Every first Saturday Devotion to Lady of Manaoag & Relax & Reflect on the cool breeze and water of Pangasisnan Beaches. All year round good season.

TAAL LAKE & VOLCANO Taal Lake boat ride, Fun hike up to the peak, enjoy the Lake inside the volcano inside a lake. Visit @ the Center for Environmental Living & Learning. All year round best season

BULACAN Barasoin Church, Bulacan Sweets Factory, Jewelry & Leader Factory, Bone-In Furniture Factory, Biak na Bato w/ hanging bridge OR Mecauayan Mangrove River Tour. All year round best good seasong.

CASH FLOW GAME Pls text so we can include U in the name list of the players for the game schedules

(Beach &/or Swimming Pools) BATANGAS or CAVITE or BULACAN or LAGUNA or RIZAL,
(min of 15pax up to the max)

1. Swiss High Peak Tent P2500 3-man, 3kl, w/ vestibule, single pole used only in snow and Mt. Pulag, color green/pink, no flysheet. FREE Sleeping bag & Basic Mountaineering Course book (Philippine Setting)
2. Oceanic III Wet suit P2500, medium male FREE Dive gloves & Book on Philippine Vacation & Exploration
Located at Moonwalk Village, Las Pinas City, near NATURE CHURCH & Southmall

Outing Options in the Philippines

Wet & Wild BORACAY BARKADA PROMO 3days/2nights accommodation, daily breakfast, free use of swimming pool, jacuzzi, volleyball and beach court. P 1,388/pax for Aircon Room (3-6pax sharing) & P 900/pax (4 -6pax sharing). Promo until October 28 ONLY. Fare to and from NOT included.

P 3,500 Full board supper buffet meals, accommodation, transfer services, service of the rafting leaders, rafting gears and equiptments, first aid and lifeguards, souvenir group rafting DVD
P 6,500 for Wetter & Wilder Tinglayan Run 5hrs w/ Waterfalls & tribal cultural tour, Group less than 8pax can join the schedules on Oct 29-31, Nov 26-28; Groups of 8 or more can go at any date they want. BARKADA PROMO 12 Plus 1 FREE ; Roundtrip bus fare NOT INCLUDED of P 1250 ; Departs Manila Friday 10pm Arrive Manila Monday 3am ; The Water Rafting is good for June to January ONLY

Tuesdays Makati Area 6pm
Thursdays Makati Area 6pm Glorietta 4
Friday Alabang Area 4pm
LAS PINAS HOME/SECRETARIAT OFFICE 9 am to 3pm Monday to Saturday
18 Pioneer St., Moonwalk Vill., Las Pinas City
PLEASE text or call to confirm one day before the orientation
FIRST COME FIRST SERVE (No deadline because we get fully booked early)
Orientation Schedules are subject to change without prior notice.

OCT 22 - 23 WET & WILD RIVER & BEACHY ESCAPADES in Mindoro Orientatal Snorkel the colorful marine life in twin Parang Island. Bum & Relax at the healing volcanic sand of Parang Beach and MORE. P 2,150 INCLUSIVE OF 4 Super Seafood Buffet meals, aircon accommodation (twin Sharing), Aircon Van Transfers, Entrance fees & environment permits, first aid, souvenir, and service of the tour guide

OCT 29 to Nov 1 VIGAN - Laoag Ilocos Tour Calle Crisologo, St. Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral, Plaza Salcedo, Burgos National Museum, Paoay Church, Fort Ilocandia, Sand Dunes, Malacanang of the North, Sta. Monica Church AND MORE P 3,990 INCLUSIVE of round trip aircon bus, aircon room, Vigan Breakfast, Ilocano dinner, souvenir, service of the tour coordinator, first aid, jeep tour transfers, entrance fees and wholesome entertainment. Depart Manila Oct 28 Friday 9pm/back Manila Nov Tues 1 6am

sagada fully booked
hong kong fully booked

OCT 30 - 31 MINDORO ORIENTAL ECO TOUR (for singles & happily separated)
Snorkel the colorful marine life in twin Parang Island. Bum & Relax at the healing volcanic sand of Parang Beach and MORE. P 2,150 INCLUSIVE OF 4 Super Seafood Buffet meals, aircon accommodation (twin Sharing), Aircon Van Transfers, Entrance fees & environment permits, first aid, souvenir, and service of the tour guide (NOT INCLUDED : Fare to and from Calapan)
AND TUGMAAN SA MINDORO for couples (married & unmarried)
P 2,500/person same inclusions plus facilitator

OCT 29 - NOV1 BORACAY HOLLOWEEN ALL NIGHT PARTY FEVER 4days/3nights accommodation, daily breakfast, free use of swimming pool, jacuzzi, volleyball and beach court. P 2,500/pax for Aircon Room (3-5pax sharing) & P 1,888/pax (4 -6pax sharing). Fare to and from NOT included.

Oct 29-31BUSUANGA BEACHY ESCAPADES Baracuda Lake, Hidden Lagoon, Twin Lagoon Maquinit Hot Sping, Sietes Picados, CYC Beach, Kalachuchi & Skeleton Beach, Lusong Marine Sanctuary, Black island & Sangat Sunken Ship (2days/3nights) P 3888 INCLUSIVE of Aircon Accommodation, boat for island hoping, kayak, lifevest, full board buffet meals with snacks, lifeguard, tour guide, island environment fees, transfers and whole some fun. NOT included Round trip ship or airfare, tips

PUERTO GALLERA White Beach, Swimming & Snorkeling Galore, meet Nemo, Relax & Unwind on a hammock w halo-halo while looking @ deep blue sea on a sunny day . Good season from October to May Only. 3days/2nights Aircon Accommodation w/ daily breakfast. P 2000/pax (twin sharing) and P 1500/pax for (3-4pax sharing)

FAITHFUL NATURE LOVERS, you can make your reservation at
RCBC Savings Bank: Nature Awareness & Conservation Club, Inc 1024075351
OR Metrobank SA Violeta Imperial 2183218107452
OR Banco de Oro SA : Dinah Pizarro & Violeta Imperial 1700072011
PLEASE call first for available slot before making a deposit
AND please fax to 8061720 and I will fax back the Official Reciept

LADY of MANAOAG 1st Saturday Devotion
Schedules on Nov 5 & Dec 3
P 1200 round trip aircon bus fare, breakfast & Swimming and side trips to Pangasinan beaches entance, cottage & shower, leaving Manila 5 am

Nov 12 Pls donate educational toys
Dec 2 Pls donate educational toys
1:30pm Kalikasan Room of Museong Pambata, Luneta Manila P60 entrance fee & surprise FREEBIES & Discounts for NACCI members OPTION to join the Cash Flow Game after. PLS INVITE YOUR FRIENDS

Nov 26 - 28 Mt. PULAG Fun Climb the Philippines' 2nd highest mountain ala Sound of Music, enjoy a miniLord of the Rings Forest. P 3250 INCLUSIVE of Round trip jeep transfer to & from Baguio, all meals, climb & environment permit, trek guide, accommodation, first aid and whole some fun. NOT included trail food and water.

Nov 26 - 28 PANDAN ISLAND & APO REEF very serene beach, with turtles & birds as your neighbor, and Apo reef is the largest most colorfull marine paradise in Mindoro. P 3500 3days/2night room, land & boat round trip fares to & from Batangas Pier, Compulsory international buffet dinner w/c is highly recommendable (8-10hrs land travel). NOT included Environment Permit and Round trip Boat to Apo Reef

Nov 26 - 28 BUSUANGA BEACHY ESCAPADES Baracuda Lake, Hidden Lagoon, Twin Lagoon Maquinit Hot Sping, Sietes Picados, CYC Beach, Kalachuchi & Skeleton Beach, Lusong Marine Sanctuary, Black island & Sangat Sunken Ship (2days/3nights) P 3888 INCLUSIVE of Aircon Accommodation, boat for island hoping, kayak, lifevest, full board buffet meals with snacks, lifeguard, tour guide, island environment fees, transfers and whole some fun. NOT included Round trip ship or airfare, tips

Nov 26 - 28 BATANES HERITAGE TOUR Batan, Sabtang Mahatao, Itbud, Ivana, Malboro Country, Radar Tukon, Kanyuyan Beach port, Valugan Bay, Songsong in Chapidan Bay, Sto.Domingo Church, Ivan, Uyuga, Sabtang, AND MORE P3,500 INCLUSIVE OF Accommodation, Full board buffet meals, guided tour, round trip transfers, tour van service, environment fees, round trip boat ride, life vest, first aid.
NOT INCLUDED Round trip airfare to & from Batanes, terminal fee, snacks, tips. Pls fly via SeaAir

Nov 26 - 28 SAGADA w/ Banawe & Bontoc
Enjoy Banawe View point, Bayo View Point, Bontoc Museum, Scenic Sagada Town Proper, Echo Valley with Hanging coffins, Calvary Hills, Scenic Fedilisan Rice Terraces, Magnificent Bumod-ok Falls, Rock Cafe Valley, Kiltepan Hills, Burial Cave with mummies, Adventure Sumaging Cave and WHOLESOME ENTERTAINMENT. Departs Manila Nov 25 Friday 8pm & Arrive Manila Nov 27 Tuesday 4am
P 3,990 inclusive of Round trip aircon fare, transfers services, daily breakfast, 1grand buffet dinner, entrance and environment fees and permits, cave guides and gears, accommodations, first aid and service of the tour director. 30 BEDS TO GO

Visit the Benedictine Missionaries for the Spiritual healing, Fun, Dynamic & Animated Workshop for the Emotional Healing & Nature Exposure Visits like Bum & Relax at the healing volcanic sand of Parang Beach & rinse in the crystal clear healing waters of the Mountains and MORE. P 2,500 INCLUSIVE OF 4 Super Seafood Buffet meals, aircon accommodation (twin Sharing), Aircon Van Transfers, Entrance fees & environment permits, first aid, souvenir, and service of the healing facilitator (NOT INCLUDED : Fare to and from Calapan)

Dec. 2 Friday NIGHT ENVIRONMENT AWARENESS ACTIVITIES 6pm Manila Area (Pls donate educational toys to less fortunate kids) P 60 entrance & Surprise FREEBIES for NACCI members.

Dec 3 LADY of MANAOAG 1st Saturday Devotion P 1200 round trip aircon bus fare, breakfast & Swimming and side trips to Pangasinan beaches entance, cottage & shower, leaving Manila 5 am

TRAVEL TIP: Please plan your desired trip well and set your objectives. Please make your reservation ahead of time so you will achieve you desired date, location and preferred accommodation

4% discount 60 days before the trip
3% discount 45 days before the trip
2% discount 30 days before the trip

Banawe to Batad to Bontoc to Sagada (Town, Caves & Falls) to Tinglayan Water Rafting to Tabuk P 11,500 inclusive of 5breakfast, 2 grand dinner, Water rafting (guides, gears & Equiptments), Caving (guide & lamp), environment fees & permits, entrance fees, roundtrip fares and transfer services, accommodations, service of the tour coordinator and WHOLESOME ENTERTAINMENT. Departs Manila Dec 25 8pm, Arrive Manila Dec 31 4am.

JAN 14 - 15 WHALE WATCHING - Donsol, Sorsogon, & Best of Bicol swim with giant whale sharks found in Donsol, Sorsogon, witness the most magical sights of fireflies dancing and flickering while your boatman silently paddles down a wide river. p 5,950

RATES are subject to change with out prior notice.

Island Paradise Adventure Race


9 days
December 10-18, 2005
Start: Manila
Southern Luzon provinces of Laguna, Batangas and Puerto Gallera
Boracay, Capiz, Iloilo
crossing the Guimaras strait through Negros to Bohol
Finish: Cebu.

In line with efforts to promote domestic tourism, the DOT has launched the second leg of the Island Paradise Adventure Race (IPAR), this time with focus on the islands of Visayas.

The first leg of IPAR was held last May, with 13 teams of 3 members each competing for the one million peso cash prize. Designed as a Motor Car Rally/Adventure Race, teams sped across the Luzon Maharlika Highway for nine days, besting physical and mental challenges that highlighted the different natural, historical, and cultural attractions of each destination. Unique to the race was the fiesta atmosphere in all designated Pit Stops everyday, as participants and onlookers (usiseros are welcome!) explor ed the provinces of Baler, Aurora, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, and Subic.

For the second leg, teams will do away with their cars and traverse the islands on foot (or boat, as the need arises), with challenges suited for ordinary people who would like a chance to win a million pesos. This makes the race virtually open to run-of-the-mill travel enthusiasts!

More details below:

P1-M Prize Money Up For Grabs

Island Paradise Adventure Race - Visayas Leg Launched

(Manila, Philippines – 17 October 2005) – Tourism officials announced the Visayas Leg of the Island Paradise Adventure Race (IPAR), the biggest adventure race ever in the Philippines, in terms of prize money and number of destinations.

In keeping with the adventure racing trend popularized by reality television shows such as The Amazing Race, the Department of Tourism saw the opportunity to promote the Philippines as an adventure tourism destination. The country’s diversity offers a wide range of exciting and unique experiences to jaded travelers who are looking for something out of the ordinary, and the IPAR program is set to showcase these unique destinations.

The Visayas Leg, set to run for 9 days from December 10-18, 2005, will take the participants from Manila through the southern Luzon provinces of Laguna, Batangas and Puerto Gallera then corss over to Mindoro down to Boracay, Capiz and Iloilo, crossing the Guimaras strait through Negros to Bohol, finally finishing in Cebu. In all, teams are expected to stop at around 50 destinations where they will perform challenges highlighting the local attractions. Since this is an inter-island adventure, teams are expected to traverse the Strong Republic Nautical Highway using the RO-RO shipping facilities, which are still something of a novelty.

According to Tourism Secretary Ace Durano, “IPAR is our way of positioning the Philippines as an ideal tourism destination, particularly for adventure enthusiasts as we believe our 7,100 islands have something to appeal to everyone. For the long term, we hope the IPAR program will be institutionalized as an ongoing tourism program, which will attract not only local but foreign adventure enthusiasts as well.”

Unlike other adventure sports activities which are limited to adventure or extreme sports enthusiasts, tourism officials insist that the IPAR Visayas Leg is open to everyone interested in traveling across the Visayas and discovering the natural beauty, local traditions, and cultural offerings. Of course, competitors have to be physically and mentally fit for the rigors and challenges of a cross-country trek.

The Island Paradise Adventure Race – Visayas Leg is open to teams consisting of 2 members, who should be at least 18 years of age. One million pesos is at stake for the winning team. The second and third place finishers will be taking home P200,000 and P100,000 in prize money, respectively. The contest organizers are targeting at least 30 participating teams.

Application period is from 17 October - 30 November, 2005. For more details, call Hussein, Travis or Pepe at 524-1997, (0928) 797-7904, or email An entry fee of P3,000 will be charged per team.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Apo = 3,142 (Mindanao)
Dulang Dulang = 2,938 (Mindanao)
Pulag = 2,922 (Luzon)
Kitanglad = 2,899 (Mindanao)
Tabayoc = 2,842 (Benguet)
Kalatungan = 2,824 (Mindanao)
Ragang = 2,815 (Mindanao)
Maagnaw = 2,742 (Mindanao)
Amuyao = 2,703 (Luzon)
Kapiligan = 2,670 (Luzon)

Lumuluyaw = 2,612 (Mindanao)
Halcon = 2,587 (Luzon)
Alchanon = 2,576 (Luzon)
Mayon = 2,462 (Visayas)
Canlaon = 2,435 (Visayas)
Malindang = 2,425 (Mindanao)
Tuminungan = 2,400 meters (Mindanao)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Reading Mountaineering

Subject: [mfpi] The 25 (Essential) Books for the Well-Read Explorer
> Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 18:33:53 +1200
> Jonathan Raban
> (1981)
> 23. ALIVE
> Piers Paul Read
> (1974)
> Sebastian Junger
> (1997)
> Alexandra David-Neel
> (1927)
> 21. KON-TIKI
> Thor Heyerdahl
> (1950)
> Ian Frazier
> (1989)
> Norman Maclean
> (1992)
> Joe Kane
> (1989)
> Bernard Moitessier
> (1971)
> 16. TRACKS
> Robyn Davidson
> (1980)
> Eric Newby
> (1958)
> Barry Lopez
> (1986)
> Bruce Chatwin
> (1977)
> Walter Bonatti
> (2001)
> Joe Simpson
> (1988)
> Wilfred Thesiger
> (1959)
> John McPhee
> (1976)
> Jon Krakauer
> (1996)
> Captain Joshua Slocum
> (1900)
> F.A. Worsley
> (1931)
> Edward Abbey
> (1968)
> Peter Matthiessen
> (1978)
> Beryl Markham
> (1942)
> Apsley Cherry-Garrard
> (1922)
> Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
> (1939)
> mountaineering reading

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Cagayan de Oro Package Trip

3D/2N Cagayan de Oro ADVENTURE TOUR
Good for: 4 pax (adults)

Accommodation: Casa Crystalla (twin-sharing)
September 2-4, 2005

PACKAGE RATE: P 6,700.00/pax (complete package)
P 5,500.00/pax (w/o meals)

Inclusive of:

RT transfer (airport-hotel-airport)
3D/2N hotel accommodation (twin-sharing)
Daily Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (7 meals)
Activities: (inclusive of certified guides and equipment rental)
Whitewater Rafting
Macahambus Adventure Park (sky bridge/canopy walk, zip line, rappel)


September 2 (Friday)
12:00 – ETA CDO
12:30 – Buffet Lunch at Mindy’s
1:30 - Hotel (check-in)
2:00 – Kayaking

You will be using The Tri-Yak which is a sit-on-top kayak designed for up to 3 persons. It is very safe, stable
and maneuverable. A kayaking guide will be assigned to you as the third person, sitting behind to help you.
5:00 – Back to Hotel
7:30 – Dinner at Dear Manok

September 3 (Saturday)
6:00 – Breakfast
7:00 – Leave for Mambuaya River
8:00 – Start of Whitewater Rafting

At the Starting Point (Mambuaya River), you will be briefed on whitewater rafting and do paddling exercises.

You will experience navigating down the mighty river of Cagayan de Oro’s swift currents and rapids using a river raft which can withstand hitting against rocks and other obstacles on the river.

The 12.32 km stretch has breathtaking rapids that provide the more adventurous with thrills and challenges of rapids in intervals of not less than 10 – 15 minutes of each other. Washing Machine. Surprise. Brave's Way. Rodeo. Kiss the Wall, Makabundol, Chris Drop... These are just few of the names given by river guides to the 14 rapids one has to traverse when one joins the whitewater rafting adventure in the Mambuaya River in Cagayan de Oro City.

One would be tossed and turned in the spin cycle of Washing Machine; be surprised at the rapids named, what else, Surprise; become fearless after crossing Brave's Way; feel like riding a wild bull in Rodeo; and sense adrenaline pumping while paddling hard to the left so as not to hit the rocky river wall to the right side in Kiss the Wall…Makabundol, is a short run but had turbulent waters.. Chris Drop- is named after a guy who fell off a raft..

11:30 – End Point, Brgy Kabula
12:00 – LUNCH at Macahambus Adventure Park (shrimps, crabs, lechon
manok, fruits, rice, soda and mineral water)
1:00 – SkyBridge(Canopy Walk), Rappel and Zipline
The Macahambus gorge, which sinks to about 36.57 meters below the surface, has an underground river that comes out from one cave to another. Within the gorge premises, vegetation, century-old trees, indigenous birds and flying lizards abound.
Situated above the gorge is the adventure park. One can enjoy the panoramic view of the gorge on a 120-meter-long sky bridge, attached from century-old trees. For added excitement, one can rappel to the 36.57-meter gorge or do the 120-meter zip line, otherwise known as slide for life.

4:00 – Go back to the hotel
7:00 – Dinner at Reina del Rio (It is the newest and only floating restaurant here in CDO. The perfect place to culminate the night after doing the past activities in the river).

September 4 (Sunday)
6:00 – Breakfast
6:30 – Caving

Sumalsag Cave is located at Barangay Kilabong, Sumilao, Bukidnon. The cave boasts of its abundance of stalactites and stalagmites and has a length that stretches to about 1,850 meters. One of its unique features is its exit where one has to dive underwater to get to the other side of the wall in the exit passage. The height of the cave varies from one meter to 20 meters and its width varies from less than a meter to a more spacious 9 meters.

11:00 – Lunch at Del Monte Clubhouse
1:30 – Check out hotel
1:55 - Depart for airport
2:55 – flight back to Manila

CDO Outfitters, Inc.

Other Services Offered:
Team Building
Guided Tours (CDO, Camiguin and Bukidnon)

Friday, July 22, 2005


mga kapatid,

malugod namin kayo iniimbitahan sa aming climb sa mt. malasimbo,puerto galera, na gaganapin sa ika 30 ng hulyo hanggang 31 ng hulyo. eto po ay limitado sa mga iilang gustong sumama lamang.

angsumusunod ay ang napagkasunduang itinerary at budget:

Mt. Malasimbo-Puerto Galera (day hike) explo climb Jul 30-31

0200 Call time Jam terminal (buendia)
0215 ETD buendia
0400 ETA batangas Pier
0500 ETD Batangas Pier
0700 ETA puerto galera/breakfast
1200 lunch along the trail
1300 resume trek
1600 summit (FREE TIME)
1730 start trek (descend)
1830 ETA puerto galera set up camp (villa anastacia tent accomodation)
1930 dinner socials
2100 reggae party at cocojam(FREE TIME)
2400 lights off

day 2

0630 - wake up call (breakast)
0730 - free time (swimming, jetski, banana boat, snorkle etc.)
1130 - lunch/break camp
1330 - etd puerto galera
1500 - eta bats pier
1530 - etd bats pier
1800 - eta buendia



380 - manila-batangas-manila (roundtrip)
400 - batangas-galera batangas (rounndtrip)
20 - terminal fee at batangas pier
200 - per tricycle from puerto galera to talipanan jump off(roundtrip)
100 - per head tent accomodation at villa anastacia. w/ free us oftoilet and C.R.



*please bring extra cash for your gimmicks and beach trips duringfree time, para nde bitin we suggest 2,390..
*budget for food not included, bring your own goods..
*warning mt. malasimbo is a limatik infested area.

pre climb is on wednesday 7pm makati area, venue to be announced to interested parties call or text 0927-298-7010/0917-891-8643 for further details email:

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Politics in Mountaineering

I like my Mountaineering egroups. Aside from mountain climbing, bantering and some other crap sometimes, some can still give good inputs such as this one.

MABUHAY ang PILIPINAS!!! (sana..)

Mag-imbestiga at Alamin ang KATOTOHANAN!

Kilalanin ang mga personalidad na nagbabatong akusasyon sa ating administrasyon at humihiling nabumaba sa pwesto si PGMA:

1. Wilfredo "Boy" Mayor

· Jueteng witness who admits to being a former operator of jueteng in the Bicol Region.
· He claims to have given Monthly Jueteng Payola to bagmen of Congressman Mikey Arroyo.
· He was an opposition candidate for Mayor inDaraga, Albay in the 2004 elections. He lost the elections.
· Mayor admits that he has no evidence to show that the money he claims to have given these bagmen went to Congressman Mikey Arroyo

2. Richard Garcia

· Jueteng witness who is a self-confessed former operator of the illegal numbers game in the Bicol Region.
· He claims to have given Monthly Jueteng Payola to bagmen of Congressman Mikey Arroyo. He admits that he has no evidence to show that the money he claims to have given these bagmen went to Congressman MikeyArroyo
· A former member of the PC-INP and a known"asset" of Ping Lacson

3. Sandra Cam

· She claims to have personally given Jueteng Payola to Congressman Mikey Arroyo and Congressman Iggy Arroyo at the Congress Session hall (whileCongress was in session). She claims to have deposited Jueteng Payola for former Region 5 Regional Director Gen. Restituto Mosqueda.
· Ran for Mayor in Masbate under Reforma in the2004 elections and lost.
· Has a pending illegal recruitment case and pending large-scale estafa cases
· Known in Bicol to have engaged in all possible illegal activities and to be "close" to generals previously assigned in the Bicol region. The staff of known hotels in Bicol would know this.
· Reportedly a lover of Governor Tony Kho
· linked to several election-related incidents, including dynamiting houses of political opponents, kidnapping and murder.
· In her testimony before the Senate, Cam admittedto being a supporter of Governor Tony Kho, who has been charged with masterminding the killing ofRepresentative Tito Espinosa. The case is still pending in court.

4. Archbishop Oscar Cruz

· Says that it is his personal advocacy to stop Jueteng
· His name never came out during the 2000 impeachment trial where jueteng was a key issue. If it is the archbishop's personal advocacy to stop jueteng, why is it only now that Archbishop Cruz is coming out with all these witnesses and accusations ?
· Previously hugged the headlines when he accused Pagcor chairman Efraim Genuino of using female employees of Pagcor as GRO's or Guest Relations Officer during a birthday celebration of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo. This was denied by the Pagcor chairman and the female employees themselves who apparently were with their families during the said birthday celebration. Archbisop Cruz made an apology to the families of the Pagcor female employees.

5. Alan Paguia

· He initially claimed to be the source of theaudio tape· Known to be a former lawyer of Erap and reportedly gets a monthly salary of 1 Million pesos a month from the detained former president
· License as a lawyer was suspended by the Supreme Court· His credibility and background was being questioned; and more critical, was his own admission that he made the annotation and thereby tampered withthe original audio tape.

6. Samuel Ong

· Former NBI deputy director
· Came out on National TV on June 10 and claimed that he was the source of the original copy of theaudio tape and that it was given to him by anIntelligence official (ISAFP) who was later identified as Tech. Sgt. Vidal Doble. Doble claims that he was offered 2 Million pesos and his family was threatened by Ong.
· Ong had often organized mass actions to support his ambition to be director of the NBI.
· During the NBI investigation of the Dacer-Corbito murder case, the principal suspect Superintendent Teofilo Vina who could link Ping Lacsonto the case was killed in Cavite in January 1993. It is known that Ong who was still influential then as deputy director had a hand in this to get Lacson ofthe hook. During the 2004 elections, he was ordered byLacson to join the FPJ camp to serve as Lacson's eyes and ears.
· He said that he fears for his life. One would wonder how these words would come from a person who once aspired to be an NBI director. He chose a career in the National Bureau of Investigation that entails agents to confront death threats on a daily basis. Was the media presentation, with Ong almost crying out of fear for his life and character actor Rez Cortez beside him a mere "sarzuela".


7. Jose Marie Gonzalez - "voice expert"

· Media's so called electronics and communications expert who initially said that the audio tapes were authentic and not tampered. What audio tape was he referring to when Paguia's version was (according toPaguia himself) recorded with annotation and thus was tampered. The other "so-called original" version was only released by Ong on June 10, 2004.
· A former congressman and well-known Erap supporter
· He slapped the house sargeant-at-arms in front of national TV during the transmittal of the impeachment complaint against Erap in late 2000.
· Was given a house in Subic and a brand new red Lincoln Navigator during Erap's presidency.
· Reportedly got 10 million from Mayor JV Ejercito for coming out with his "expert opinion" on the audiotape.

8. Senator Nene Pimentel

· Senate President during the Erap administration.
· resigned from then majority party when the envelope containing the Jose Velarde account was not allowed to be opened by majority of senate members.
· Held the Bible during PGMA's oath taking at Edsa 2.
· Went back to criticizing PGMA when he was not chosen as Vice President after EDSA 2.
· His No. 1 soldier is his long time ally in PDPLaban - Mayor Jejomar Binay. During EDSA 2, Binay brought in the goons to intimidate protesters from the business community in Makati. Since then, Makati has been the site of destabilization attempts against PGMA namely the Coup/Mutiny in Oakwood and their planned EDSA 4 in San Carlos last June 11. Binay was one of the first people seen in San Carlos Seminary.
· Still has ambitions to be president.

9. Senator Ping Lacson

· He once said that he despised and he never wants to be a politician.
· He is on his 2nd term as senator and he ran for president during the 2004 elections
· has always portrayed a clean, incorruptible image. he always says that he never took a single centavo from illegal means, jueteng included. He has also boasts of not utilizing his pork barrel.
· Most generous when it comes to "envelopmentaljournalism". Lacson has a pool of media personnel on a monthly payola. Lacson's most effective media tool is mass-based publication Abante where Ping Lacson writes in a regular column. Mr. Allen Macasaet, Owner ofAbante, reportedly has been receiving 5 million pesos a month from Ping Lacson since 2003 . 37 year old Allen Macasaet, lives in posh Ayala Alabang and reportedly owns a Ferrari(worth 12 Million), a BMW 9series (worth 11 Million), a Porsche 911 (worth 10Million), a Jaguar (worth 8 million), a Range Rover(worth 9 million), two Chevrolet Suburbans (worth 2.5Million each), a Ford E150 Chateau Van, and a Honda Accord - all purchased brand new. Perhaps, his neighbors in Ayala Alabang can attest to Mr. Allen Macasaet's ownership of these luxury vehicles.


·Now comes the Million Dollar Question ????

Where does Senator Ping Lacson (who boasts that he does not get his PhP 200 Million a year "pork barrel fund) get funding to finance a successful senate campaign, a decent but unsuccessful presidential campaign, and still afford a very generous media payola ???

· He has been linked to kidnap-for-ransom of richFil-Chinese nationals, illegal drug trafficking, Kuratong-Baleleng massacre, Dacer-Corbito slay.
· In 1993, Ping Lacson reportedly was getting the biggest monthly payola from jueteng lord and convicted rapist-murderer Mayor Antonio Sanchez of Calauan,Laguna. Thus, the attempt to cover-up Mayor Sanchez'scrime by initially pointing to Kit Alqueza , son of general Dictador Alqueza, as the mastermind of the celebrated rape-slay of Aileen Sarmenta and boyfriend Allan Gomez. Ping Lacson was then head of PACC who presented the young Kit Alqueza to then vice-president Erap Estrada and media.
· Ping Lacson has had access to suppliers of wire-tapping devices as early as his PACC days. During a raid of the CIDG after EDSA 2, wire-tapping devices purchased during Ping Lacson's term as PNP chief were confiscated from camp crame and stored in CIDG's warehouse. Said confiscated devices remain stored in the CIDG warehouse until this day.
· With his seemingly infinite monetary resources and political clout as 2nd termer senator, it is highly probable that Ping Lacson himself owns the latest model of wire-tapping/ bugging devices.
· Even with the exposure of his links to peoplebehind the audio tape, he was still the one who hadthe tape authenticated by a private australian firm.
· He came out with the results from the Australianfirm on the night Friday, June 10.How could he have gotten a copy of the original when Sammy Ong (whoclaims to be acting on his own and says he does not know Ping Lacson) only surfaced with the so-calledoriginal copy on the afternoon of June 10 ? The previously claimed original was the annotated and tampered version of Alan Paguia.· Ping Lacson's former men in the PACC that could implicate him in his criminal activities are either dead (Supt. John Campos, Supt. Teofilo Viña, KitMateo) or hiding in the US ( Michael Ray Aquino and Cesar Mancao). Lacson quickly points to his enemies as behind the execution of his former trusted aides. If this allegation were true, why would Lacson's enemies target his men instead of killing him (Lacson). The fact is Lacson ordered the execution and hiding of his former men before the May 2004 elections to make sure that no one could directly implicate Lacson in his criminal activities. Perhaps Samuel Ong should fear Lacson as Ong is also a person who could implicateLacson in the present destabilization moves.

· After the 2004 elections, Ping Lacson became supportive of PGMA's government and even did not join the opposition's protest actions during FPJ's wake. He believed then that if he behaved this way, he would be a sure bet for President come 2010. However, he again started to be PGMA's biggest critic recently. Perhaps PGMA's illegal drugs campaign which has closed down the most number of Shabu Laboratories in recent years and anti-kidnapping campaign is already affecting Lacson's treasure chest and he fears that by2010, his funds would not be enough to run asuccessful presidential campaign against a popular MarRoxas.

10. Erap, Jinggoy, Loi and JV Ejercito

· They clearly want one thing : to exact revenge on PGMA
· This is very evident at how Senator Jinggoy and Loi have been grand standing during the senate inquiry on jueteng.
· Senator Jinggoy and San Juan Mayor JV Ejercito were one of the first people to join Sammy Ong ( who said that he was acting on his own and the he was calling on Ms. Susan Roces to join him) in San Jose Seminary. They were interviewed over ANC and both Jinggoy and JV attacked PGMA and repeatedly said that the opposition had an executive committee, with ERAP as ex-officio chairman, that was ready to replace the administration " in case we are miraculously swept into power".

We Filipinos should investigate further why key people coming out with all these accusations and calls on PGMA to step down have in one way or the other been linked to leaders in the opposition like Ping Lacson or Erap. We should not take everything that media comes out with as absolute truths since it is alread your country's future that is being threatened by these people. During the wake of FPJ last year, it was already reported that the opposition was hatching a plan to bring down the Arroyo administration.

The opposition clearly wanted to use FPJ's death to bring down PGMA. Susan Roces herself mentioned to a confidant during the wake that some opposition leaders then were convincing her to lead them in bringing down PGMA. If indeed the opposition had in its possession the audio tape that they claim to be a phone conversation made immediately after the May 2004 elections between PGMA and Comelec Commissioner Garcilliano, why did they not come out with the audio tape during the wake or burial of FPJ when millions of FPJ mourners were out on the streets ? It could have easily resulted to an early end to the Arroyo administration. Perhaps they were still working on the tape with their "expert engineers" during that time.

The people behind the efforts to bring down PGMA have not succeeded in spite of the desperate moves they have made primarily because they have never been united . They have several leaders who all want to be acknowledged as the legitimate and the unanimous opposition leader.

There is Erap and his families who want to regain lost glory and power; there is a Ping Lacson who despises politicians and yet desperately aims to be president; and there is Nene Pimentel who still dreams of becoming president which he hopes would happen before his eye bugs covers his face. All these destabilization moves is a result of the individual aspirations of these people to grab power.

Susan Roces has experienced this when the opposition could not even unite behind a strong FPJ during the2004 elections. She experienced this during her husband's wake and burial when public sympathy was there but again the opposition was not united. She experienced this during the opposition's planned call for an EDSA 4 last June 11 when according to her confidant, the opposition were still fighting among themselves even during the early hours of June 11 on what moves to take. At around 2:30 am of June 11, Senator Ping Lacson, Senator Jinggoy Estrada, Senator Serge Osmeña, Senator Jamby Madrigal and Mayor Binay were in Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati discussing their next steps but still arguing on the details as well as to who would be their leader when they succeed in bringing down PGMA. Susan Roces was supposed to call for their supporters to March to the streets.

According to her confidant, Susan Roces just decided to call for sobriety and just manifest her moral support for Sammy Ong out of disgust over the opposition's squabbling.The opposition's plan for another EDSA did not and will not succeed because the people know the opposition's motives.

Of the many witnesses paraded in the Senate Inquiry and media, not a single person would pass as a "credible witness"

According to the UP College of Psychology, the typical characteristics of a CREDIBLE WITNESS are :

1) The witness is close to the person being accused

· A good example given by the UP College of Psychology is Governor Chavit Singson who was part of Erap's inner circle or "midnight cabinet". He was very close to the Erap and practically knew the day-to-day activities of the former president which made him a credible witness in the impeachment trial.

2) The witness has an untainted moral background

· A good example given by the UP College of Psychology was Clarissa Ocampo who testified that Erap signed the name Jose Velarde in front of her. Clarissa Ocampo was then Vice President of Equitable-PCI Bank with an unblemished record of integrity and professionalism.




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