CNH (Central Nautical Highway) – An Opportunity (And A Challenge…)

 

by rudy bellen

 

Attached is an excerpt from a news article of Manila Bulletin last April 29, 2008 during the launching of the Central Nautical Highway by no less than Pres. Gloria Arroyo seeing off roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) three day sea caravan plying the maiden route taking off from Bulan port. This is the last leg that completes a sea route connecting Bicol and Mindanao, the final component of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) via the central seaboard. The other two are : 1.) Western Nautical Highway (western seaboard) via Batangas port linking Manila and Dipolog, and  2.) Eastern Nautical Highway (eastern seaboard) via Matnog connecting Samar/Leyte to Surigao City. The CNH is an intermodal transport system offering a safe, affordable transport alternative to travel across the central Philippines or the Visayas. It links Sorsogon, Masbate, Cebu, Bohol, Camiguin, and Misamis Oriental in Mindanao, it also seeks to reduce travel and trade costs and consequently boost economic development in the countryside.

 

–> see Manila Bulletin Online for the original of the following report:

 by Genalyn D. Kabiling

“Filipinos can now enjoy a safe, affordable transport alternative to travel across the central Philippines or the Visayas. President Arroyo yesterday launched the Central Nautical Highway (CNH) that seeks to reduce travel and trade costs and consequently boost economic development in the countryside.

 

The Central Nautical Highway is an intermodal transport system linking Sorsogon, Masbate, Cebu, Bohol, Camiguin, and Misamis Oriental. It completes the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) composed of 17 ports across the country, inaugurated by the President in 2003.

Accompanied by Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro R. Mendoza, transport officials, and local executives, Mrs. Arroyo kicked off a three-day sea caravan in Bulan, Sorsogon, where she switched on the lights showing the ports in the central seaboard.

Under the Central Nautical Highway, the ports are located in Bulan, Sorsogon, Masbate City, and Cawayan in Masbate; Bogo and Cebu City in Cebu, Tubigon and Jagna in Bohol, Mambajao and Benoni in Camiguin, and Balingoan, Misamis Oriental.

The President later sent off the RORO (roll on, roll off) caravan, boarded by passengers mostly members of the media, in Bulan.  From Sorsogon, Mrs. Arroyo boarded a helicopter and travelled to the two ports of Masbate for similar send-off ceremonies.

The President first inaugurated the port of Masbate City, the first national port in the island province. The port exclusively handles containerized cargo among the Bicol terminals, aside from bulk commodities. Its fastcraft operations connect Bicol main with the port of Pilar, Sorsogon.

 

 

So what does it means for us? For me, I can see a great opportunity and benefits that Bulan would gain as the main gateway to one of the most dynamic regions in the Visayas and northern Mindanao. This nautical highway has put Bulan as the most strategic location linking directly to the tourist famous destinations of Cebu, Bohol and Camiguin. It also links us directly to Misamis Oriental in northern Mindanao – site of the biggest Hanjin Heavy Industries’ (HHI) investments (a staggering US$2B), together with the other HHI facility at Subic, these investments when completed would propel the Philippines as the 3rd biggest

shipbuilder in the world just behind South Korea and Japan even surpassing Spain.

 Just imagine, if the enterprising Cebuanos – comparable to Japanese, with no mango plantations yet they are best known for their dried mangoes, guitars, and other famous Cebuano products, would be directly passing Bulan, they might as well discover our native products and services which they can probably help us market through out the world. Or, help us develop our beautiful natural sites not only in Bulan but at the other places in Bicol as well, by putting up and developing tourism oriented facilities. Germans in Bohol are only confined today in their sanctuary in Panglao and other Bohol beaches but once they started to discover the beauty of Bicol they might change their mind. I was once surprised to find in the internet spectacular photos of the Butag bay and sunset at Sabang beach taken by no less than German adventurers!

  This direct “contact” is not feasible before as there’s no alternative land/Ro-Ro transport to offer, Cebuanos, Boholanos and other Visayans prefer to fly or take ferries direct from Manila to their final destinations thereby bypassing Bicol. But now they have the choice and option increasing the chances of more regional trades and tourism activities subsequently capital movements that would boost economic developments. This will also open up intra regional migrations, both for Bulan and the greater Bicol area vis a vis Central Visayas and Northern Mindanao.

  Let us not forget foreign tourists as well, with the big Hanjin investment at PHIVIDEC, Misamis Oriental, expect a throng of Koreans and other nationalities excitingly discovering this part of the country – and what does it means for us? Well, this is another opportunity to take advantage of, for us to globalize our products and services catering to international customers and so on. There is a never ending prospect for us!

 This is exactly what I told Letty in my response to her Kabatas’ blog on her gripes about the status of Bulan today, that there are now lots of strangers and “invaders”. I informed her that this is the strength of our town – a local melting pot, naturally and strategically situated at the crossroads of an important, very dynamic region, they know there is an opportunity. That this is a challenge for the local leadership to hasten, tap and reap the benefits of the blended talents of the local and “migrants” and transform our town to be one of the most vibrant, prosperous and flourishing trading post in our region.

 What should be done? There are lots of things to do if we don’t want to miss this once a in a lifetime opportunity. First we must get our acts together. We need to apply the three C’s of progress – Collaborate, Complement and Cooperate.

· Collaborate – Team up, this call for the public and private sector to work together in partnership. Be proactive. Put first things first and begin with the end mind – no place for lapses, blunder and oversight.

· Complement – Harmonize and supplement, make up for the weakness of the other. Seek first to understand then to be understood. Instead of opposing and rivalry that would create hostile environment, identify strength and niche products or services specific to a place that would give rise to specialization and originality.

· Cooperate – Assist, pool resources, do your part, synergize.

 Another C to watch out is competition, be prepared and organize ourselves for a tough and challenging competition from other contenders. Though Bulan is the official designated CNH Ro-Ro port, Pilar town is aggressively gearing up themselves as an alternative route of the CNH, its fastcraft operations connect Bicol main with the ports of Masbate city or Aroroy town. While they have fastcrafts Bulan has nothing to speak of.

 Second, we must educate our people and make liquid clear the importance of being a tourist or stranger friendly citizens. This negative trait of some of our folks has been with us ever since. I remember one time on one of my occasional break when I went home together with my wife and daughter; we took a bus and upon arrival at the Bulan bus terminal the usual boorish “baggage” boys were banging each other to get first and grabbed our luggage. My wife and daughter were so shocked and afraid so I have to step up and threatened them; coincidentally I was sporting a short cut hair then, they thought I was a military man and they backed off. But the experience doesn’t stop there, after several days of our stay; there was news of a man from Masbate who ran amock at the market. The poor man was “pushed to the wall” by successive depressing events that happened to him – he is traveling back home because his wife passed away, he and his daughters did not catch the last trip to the island and was forced to sleep and wait for the next day trip at the bus terminal, when they woke up, their belongings were nowhere to be found. He reported the incident to the police but instead of helping him, he was passed around and worst of all his young daughters were harassed and molested by the ill mannered “baggage” boys. So there he goes, he went wild and stab every person in his way.

If you have spent some vacation trip at Bohol, there you’ll discover the true meaning of tourist friendly phrase. Hotel staff would politely refuse any form of tips; folks are so friendly and always ready to assist any stranger in their community.

 What do we have to offer? I think we have ample natural and human resources readily available for development and advancement. Butandings (whale sharks) is not exclusive to Donsol alone; we have plenty of it in our waters too. These gentle giants are not confined at Sorsogon bay for their food requirement, in fact they are grazing outside of the bay and most are in Ticao Pass because their food (planktons and small shrimps) are carried upstream by the converging Pacific Ocean and China sea in San Bernardino Strait. Many of our fishermen can attest to this phenomenon. We also have the giant Pasa-pasa (Manta Rays) and plenty of it is right in our waters.

 We have beautiful and unique (margaja sand) beaches from Danao all the way to Marinab, there are exciting diving sites, too, especially in the Butag bay. Possibly under our waters were old age shipwrecks – from Spanish to WWII eras which are a main draw for the diving enthusiasts. Maybe we can convince tours and travel agencies to put Bulan (and Sorsogon province) in their radar maps for their tourist promos as an alternative to other known and crowded beaches of the country.

 We have an airstrip that should have been fully maximized instead of being a grazing place for the carabaos (some portions were already converted to rice paddies). This is one asset that other towns doesn’t have aside from Bacon, and should be an enticing factor for those who don’t want to travel overland from Manila all the way down to Bulan. Small aircrafts and STOL (short take off/landing) crafts can easily be accommodated by this facility. I can still remember when Air Force can even land their cargo planes on it. Maybe some enterprising entrepreneurs can start a chartering business for this purpose.

 Other things to remember. We should also learn from the experience of other towns, like Matnog – it is one of the first municipalities to have the Ro-Ro facility and has been there for some time now, but no significant progress has been achieved by the town. Why? We should gain knowledge and be taught from their failures, acquire and leverage from the know how and technology of the progressive ones.

 As a logistics person, I recognize and see a need for support facilities for the Ro-Ro port to operate efficiently. I think the controversial Bulan Central Terminal (BCT) has its function and purpose after all. But from my point of view, I cannot see the relevance – in any way I look at it, how it would best support the Ro-Ro port from its current site. It is too far! The ideal site should be right beside the port so the arriving and departing passengers would not be inconveniently shuttling or going back and forth. This will irritate the exhausted travelers, besides being time consuming additional expenses would be incurred by the passengers just to catch up with connecting rides. It can be also a temporary holding area for the cars and buses that are waiting for their turn to board Ro-Ro ships, eliminating long queues and crowding of vehicle thereby resulting to a smooth and efficient port operation.

 Lastly, I see a need to relocate the port in five years time or less with an assumption that there would be an unprecedented growth in the number of travelers. The port should be relocated outside of the town proper with enough provisions and support facilities to encourage and promote continued usage. The current road leading to the facility is too narrow and not adequate enough to sustain the volume of vehicles that would be traveling to and from the docks. This would create congestions and gridlock

I know this is only a fraction of a long list of what to do and what do we have and may have forgotten other things that should be done to make our town an organized, equipped and a prepared community for the forthcoming progress. You may add other relevant infos and suggestions that would be of help.

I firmly believe that our town has a bright future and it is starting to manifest now.

 

Bless us all.

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13 Comments

Filed under Culture, Environment, Rudy Bellen's Column, Town Agenda, Views and Concern

13 responses to “CNH (Central Nautical Highway) – An Opportunity (And A Challenge…)

  1. junasun

    To rudyb,

    This is a very positive article- the attitude that we said we definitely need in our Fight for Progress, on Our Journey To A Better Society for The Future Of Bulan- titles of my posted short articles in my attempt to help motivate our own people.
    This article and that of attybenji are landmarks in Bulan Observer for they reflect in concrete manner the advocacy of Bulan Observer, namely for a progressive, brighter Bulan where people focus on their strength and teamwork to put the town forward socially, politically, economically and culturally – irrespective of age, gender, political affiliation, religion, experience and talents. We need to work together to move on, that’s really the only way. If you still believe in soloing your visions for your town and concentrate on battling your political opponents just to keep your position or selfish ambition ,with no regards to the present needs of the town, then you belong to the old school of politics that has nothing more to offer but the past with all its concepts that did not help improve the town.
    This article represents a break from that old-fashioned thinking and attitude. This is geared towards a change for a better future: motivated people, strong economy, functioning government and a colorful Bulan culture.
    May your article motivate each tagaBulan to do his/her best for the town. May they realize that Bulan is just beginning to unfold its hidden treasure, that indeed, it could be much more better in the days ahead.
    This nautical highway offers for us now the big chance to embark on an economic progress for reasons you already cited. Bulan, being on the crossroads, will beneifit a lot. It is indeed important in the first place to have a friendly attitude to the upcoming strangers of all kinds. For they are our guests. They come for good things they have heard about Bulan, they come to invest, to work, to study or maybe just passing by on their trip to the north or south. For with them revenues will flow and we will be “forced” to create markets and services to meet their needs. Think of more hotels, restaurants, stores of all kinds, banks, internet cafes, parks and recreational amenities, clean and relaxing beaches, technical schools, industries of all kinds, hospitals, etc. that Bulan will be needing in the near future. The influx of regional, national and international tourists will gain momentum the day the Bulan Airport will be a reality. Investments will pour in. That means for Bulan more jobs, raising of living standard, etc.
    Who doesn’t like this image of a progressive Bulan?
    But always bear in mind, we need first to work together to establish a friendly,peaceful and healthy place to live and work. All the rest will follow.

    Thanks again.

    jun asuncion

  2. I agree that this is a positive development for Bulan. The municipality really deserve this and actually I have been wondering: Why just now?

    But as a saying goes, it’s better late than never. So let’s all support this… BUT with another big C – Caution. Hence, Cautious Cooperation, Cautious Complementation, Cautious Collaboration.

    Why? Because the real welfare of the people as well as the environment should not be sacrificed for development. Hanjin, for instance, had been involved in scandals in Subic as well as in Misamis Oriental. Remember the Condominium located inside a protected area? Or the alleged briberies and the re-channeling of the river to the point of sacrificing agricultural lands and residential areas?

    Filipinos have a saying: Ang hinog sa pilit kadalasan mapait. Development should not be rushed. And for every development plan, there should be a corresponding attention to those that will be directly and indirectly affected. The case of Rapu-rapu with Lafayette, for instance, should not be set aside. Ask how many local residents have been employed in the mining company and you can count them in your fingers. And their work are mere menial jobs — janitors, street sweepers, etc. Why? Because the human resources organic in the area is not skilled — they are not engineers and miners which are important in the mining operation. And look at the income of the municipality? Just barely P4 million — because the operation is tax free — courtesy of the Philippine government which declared the area as an economic zone. And the environment? Hope somebody will remember the mine spill which killed species of flora and fauna.

    Fears, of course, will not lead us to development. For this, we need the help of the local government which should ensure that what we’ll reap are mainly benefits. For those that will be negatively affected, there should be safety nets. For example, we boast of Butanding. If the ships will flock the seaport and pollution will not be regulated, these whale-sharks will soon leave Sorsogon. Consider that they feed on planktons and not plastics or whatever. Second, if ships will flock the seaport, there may be more jobs. But jobs will attract more and more people. And with more people, there will be more crimes. How prepared is the local government with these? And how prepared is the local government to answer the case of migration?

    I have been a consultant in the local government of Daraga in Albay. Being at the base of the forkroad, the municipality is a melting pot just like Bulan. The problem, the local government has to answer not only to its residents but also to migrants, temporary and permanent, as well as to poor travelers going to Sorsogon as well as Visayas. And the budget of the municipality is just limited, barely enough for its constituents. How, then will the local government of Bulan respond to cases like these?

    The RORO project of the sitting president is just starting. At this point, Bulan still has time to devise ways to prepare for the full impact of the project as well as of development. And many will be willing to help. Count me in. 🙂

  3. junasun

    Thanks again Mr. Carizo for visiting Bulan – and this time by sharing your expert opinions. Yes, you’re right in saying that Bulan still has time to prepare. With our advocacy for a democratic governance and fighting graft and corruption we are all actually helping prepare Bulan politically.For politics is the ground upon which progress can grow-or not grow. As you have said, municipal budget is just limited -and this is true. And with corruption in place, this budget would even be greatly limited. So we are back to the root of our economic failure again which is corruption, a subject we cannot ignore even when its really that ugly. So how prepared the local government is to the issues that come with development? If this full development would happen next day, the local governmnent -as well as the people- would not be prepared at all. But thanks God, this is not possible to happen this way for natural development has its own logic also, its own timetable, its own prerequisites. You mentioned the priority of the welfare of the people and of the environment. This is the crux of the matter. I hinted it in my comment above that first we must work together (political level- governance, responsible constituents)) to establish a friendly (social level), peaceful (the subject of security) and healthy place ( the ecological balance/ environmental protection) to live and work. For I would rather prefer that Bulan would stay as it is now if economic development would just ruin Bulan- the people and nature. We must be careful with “rushed” development as you have pointed out for it is an indication of corruption and bribery. A monstrous foreign factory to be just planted overnight is not the answer, as you already suggested, for it will only misuse and abuse the local people and nature for this company to get back the money it has paid for the corrupt national and/or local authorities for it to be able to operate. This is not development in the truest sense of the word but rather an invasion- or as I have always considered- a colonization in modern form. This brings us to the topic of globalization,-the modern (economic) colonization and slavery of the already traumaticised, colonialized third word countries, the perennial losers. Development should come naturally, which means in its simpliest form, that an industrious person deserves his rewards. And so with a town like Bulan. Yet slowly but surely. In this way, the welfare of the people and the environment would not come too short. All the other problems you mentioned that come with economic development and growth are indeed not to be ignored- or cannot be ignored for they pose a serious problem to the town if the local government would not work on it right on day one. We thus need people with foresight, experience and management capacities to tackle these upcoming issues- people like you! And a bunch of technical people, engineers, logistics experts, town planners,etc. So you are already counted in, Mr. Carizo! For me, when the ground is prepared and established, fast (not rushed) development may now happen in Bulan.
    I really hope people in or from Bulan are watching our discussions and may we hear from their own perspectives also.
    I especially recall those “inuman”(drinking) nights where men discuss about all things under the moon, men from all walks of life and from various trades, when the world is being changed by brilliant flow of ideas that come with “tagay” – with or without “sumsumanan”,- to the gentle sounds of the old, broken, wara-sa-tunong- guitar, as the women and children are in their deep slumber.Yes, those philosophers of the night. Come and join us this time, the table is round, and the days of wine and roses await us.
    Thanks again and ’til next time.

    jun asuncion

  4. rudyb

    to : jacarizo

    Too cautious stuns growth whilst too loose promotes abuse. I will politely disagree with you by using the word cautious; to me it implies slow process, red tape or one-step-forward two-steps-backwards, probably vigilant would be more appropriate. My orientation and experience may differ from you, I was trained to be more “aggressive”, risk taker, agile and a “pusher”, cause we need it on our job.

    I am working for an American multinational company; the world’s biggest in its field of industry and part of my responsibility is project management specifically in the logistics/transportation area. I am privileged enough to participate and or handle such jobs in a number of locations where our company has presence or operations to support – USA, Europe and Asia, either defining new processes or improvements or building support infrastructures. Our company is very firm and meticulous when it comes to government compliance, our activities and dealings should be within the boundaries of the local laws (wherever). In the process I have met mixtures and various people – from suppliers or service providers to government people in diverse cultural settings. All these countries has their own sets of laws, procedures and measures that guides or directs any company in their conduct of business and it includes the Philippines! In the US, if it is a no it’s a no; in Ireland if it is a no, it’s a no; most especially in China if it is a no it is really a no, and in the Philippines if it is a no, it’s a no and it can be yes if the price is right.

    I can understand where Hanjin is coming from, as in every project there are essential factors that should be considered and two of these are cost and time lines. Probably HHI has a dilemma in meeting their targets and were forced to approach government regulators. To cut it short, investors all along knows their limitations and parameters, however if some corrupt government people will allow them they take advantage of it. In other words, we are very poor, weak and complacent when it comes to law and regulations implementation. But of course, I do agree that we owe it to our children and their children and so on, that we should protect our natural resources and environment at all cost just like what our forefathers did for us.

    Yes, there are lots of things that need to be looked into and planning, preparations, provisions and measures should be fully defined to meet any undesirable and or unexpected eventualities. That is why it is very imperative for us – the constituents, to choose the most appropriate leader who will guide and steer us to development and growth.

    There is only one direction for us – and it is to move forward, towards progress.

    Thank you for your most valuable inputs and comments.

    God Bless us all…

  5. attybenji

    …we may be wondering why the Province of Sorsogon in Region 5 has no existing or operational provincial airport to cater or accommodate the regular local flights from manila and back since martial law time and up to the present.

    The prov. of Cam. Norte has Daet airport, the prov. of Cam. Sur has Pili airport, the prov. of Albay has Legaspi airport, the prov. of Masbate has Masbate airport and the prov. of Catanduanes has Virac airport. All of them have regular daily flights from manila and back, except for Sorsogon. I guess Sorsogon has been left behind in terms of progress and economic development.

    The Catanduanes and Cam. Norte are not as progressive as that of Sorsogon, and yet they have regular airline flights from Manila and back and forth. Catanduanes has no city and Cam. Norte has no existing city too. The Sorsogon town proper was converted into a city some years ago, but until now the province has no operational airport to cater to the traveling public including tourists, businessmen and other local visitors by air. Its two (2) existing airports in the towns of Bulan & Bacon had been inoperational and idle since time immemorial. Our local politicians failed to put up operational provincial airport. Airport is very vital in attracting tourists and investors to come and visit the place and help in the development of the local tourism industry and economy.

    The inability of the provincial government of Sorsogon to put up one (1) operational airport despite existence of two idle airports can be attributed to the non-sense bickerings and misunderstanding among our local politicians; during the time of Governor Johnny Frivaldo, Congressman Sonny Escudero (1st district) and Congressman Boning Gillego (2nd district), these politicians could not arrive on a win-win solutions or proposal to solve the issue on where to put up an operational provincial airport to cater to the daily regular airline flights from Manila and back.

    Prior to the conversion of Sorsogon town into a city, then Cong. Escudero argued that the Bacon airport should be made operational making it as provincial airport, while Cong. Gillego opined otherwise saying that provincial airport must be established in Bulan because bulan airport has been in existence for several years already and it remained idle for quite over decades, and besides residents and businessmen in the nearby towns of irosin, matnog, sta magdalena, bulusan, juban, magallanes, gubat and even casiguran including the towns in the islands of ticao and burias in Masbate who travelled regularly by land would now be enduced to take the fastest flight from manila to bulan by air for convenience etc.

    Again, Sorsogon is even bigger than the island of catanduanes and that of cam. norte in terms of populations, but catanduanes is able to maintain its regular daily PAL flights from manila to virac and back and forth, likewise cam. norte has daily airline flights from manila to daet and back… Nagkamaratay nalang si gov. frivaldo mao ni cong. gillego, wara man sin nangyari na solution kun diin matindog sin provincial operational airport an Sorsogon.

    I hope with the launching of the ro-ro nautical hi-way all the way to the visayan and mindanao passing thru the town of bulan, it is also appropriate to say that bulan airport (landing) should be made a provincial airport… I also believe that our town Bulan has a bright future, and I can see the light ahead.

    Now that we have two sorsoganons congressmen namely, Sonny Escudero and Joey Solis and two Sorsoganons Senators namely, Gringo Honasan and Chiz Escudero, I believe everything is possible now.

    With this new development, it is now time for our local politicians to join forces to cooperate and collaborate in solidarity to propose or draft a bill that will create the Angas Point in Butag bay as the future international port or free-port zone, the place is viable for international shipping and trade considering its location in the pacific sea passing thru the san bernardino strait. If the Angas Point in brgy. Butag will be created as a free-port zone or international port/harbor, it will generate more local employment and among others that would benefit the local industry.

    If some congressmen in the north and in the south were able to pass a bill or law creating or establishing free-port zone or international harbor in their districts, bakit hindi magawa ng ating dalawang senadors and dalawang congressmen sa sorsogon para naman umasenso ang ating probinsya?

    God bless u all!

  6. To RudyB:

    Well, “vigilance” and “cautiousness” are synonyms so I beg to disagree when you define caution as moving “one step forward and two steps backward”. But I agree with you when you said that “vigilance” is also a proper term. My problem with the word, though, is that it sounds like only one actor (the government) is doing the job. So I used “caution” because I am looking at the frame of “participatory action towards development” meaning, the constituency (residents of Bulan), the civil society, people like you and me, private companies and organizations, and the government both local and national are involved as stakeholders and are working hand in hand towards development.

    True, we need to have targets. We need to have deadlines. For instance, as pointed out by Atty Benjie, Sorsogon is the only province in the region without an airport for commercial fliers. Thus, the targets. But the targets, in the context of Jun A.’s description, should be holistic — meaning, it should consider the environment, the people, peace and order, etc. Rushing for development is like doing the model of Russia or China. After the fall of socialism, Russia tried to fast track development to the point of squeezing its oil fields. The focus of the President Vladimir Putin, is purely economic development (just like what the Arroyo Government is doing now to the point of sending the Filipinos abroad as “slaves”). The problem, the people are sacrificed. The agricultural sector has been forgotten, about two million children are wondering around the streets as runaway kids, and people still line up for food rations. Un-employment is also present despite the fact that Russia has 100% literacy rate!

    China, too, has started to re-orient its development strategies towards market economy. So we see Beijing leaping towards progress but its rural areas are crawling and wallowing in poverty and dictatorship. So we hear of Tibetans running away from China and crossing the desert just to get to India and suffer the fate of getting shot — the reason why demonstrations are being held against Beijing hosting the Olympic Games.

    Or simply look at the Philippines. GMA has been boasting of 7.3% GNP but when you go down to the barangays, we hear hungry stomach, we see out of school children, etc., etc. Or take a look at Aroroy in Masbate, or Rapu-rapu in Albay, or Paracale in Cam. Norte. These municipalities are sitting in pots of gold. But compare their income with Bulan. The local government of Rapu-rapu, as I said, is only operating at P4 Million — an income that is almost the same as the budget of one of the barangays of Daraga, in Albay! And the government is boasting of prosperity in the mining operations? Honestly, I prefer Bulan, a town without gold mine, than Rapu-rapu which sits on a pot of gold but remains a beggar not only in terms of municipal income but also in terms of environment. And Aroroy? If I remember it correctly, one of the world’s malnourished children in the 90’s was found there. It was only later that Somalia gained the infamy.

    As parting shot, let us use the fable of the turtle and the hare. No, not the one with a version of cheating. The turtle moved slow but steady while the hare moved fast but full of obstructions (including boastfulness). In the end, the crawling turtle won the race while the speeding hare lost. If Bulan will follow the “slowly but surely” mode exemplified by the turtle, it is not impossible to see the municipality standing on the ranks of Denmark and Sweden in Europe. (Pero sana naman, wag talagang turtle-paced as if inch-by-inch. 🙂 )

  7. attybenji

    to mr. rudyb. & mr. jacarizo:

    wow! Excellent! Superb exchanges of ideas..……you both presented very brilliant discussions and remarkable insights re, economic issues, progress and development!!!

    This blog of mr. jun asuncion is great!

    Minamaw-ot ko an mga Advisers kan presente na liderato sa municipalidad kan Bulan o sa probinsya kan Sorsogon arog saindo an mga kaisipan o dunong sa pagtalakay manunungod sa mga sosyal, ekonomiks o politikal na isyu sa probinsya para makamtan niato an tunay na progreso sa kumunidad.

    ….. seriously speaking…….. if I were in the shoes Mayor Rosa de Castro or Cong. Joey Solis of the 2nd District, or Gov. Sally Lee of Sorsogon, I will not hesitate to hire your expertise, competence, or services, as my economic advisers, (on pro-bono basis, he-he-he!)

    Mabuhay kita gabos! God Bless us all!

  8. junasun

    I agree, you guys have very good ideas and are also willing to share them for the progress of Bulan. I observe that the whole nature of discussion is also very professional and democratic. One is free to express opinions, to agree or disagree, yet in a polite way and is willing to be corrected. This is only possible among mature individuals whose thinking is directed at the common good and at arriving at solutions to the problem, as opposed to a discussion whose main purpose is just to inflate one’s ego ( and narrowing one’s thinking or vision).
    This blog is my attempt to motivate our fellow tagaBulans and now with Mr. Jacarizo, our fellow Bicolanos to be active in shaping the future of their town- or of our local Bicol region as a whole. I have nothing against the idea of thinking globally and acting locally. Development is enhanced when global experiences converge locally.
    I have always emphasized that this site is for everyone who is interested about the future of Bulan, the future of these school children above. This should serve as our meeting place to express our views and concerns in achieving a brighter Bulan, each in his own way. This blog is just the beginning of our journey and we just started six months ago! So there is more space for development in the years ahead. When the time is ripe, we will make out of this blogsite a real website (of course with blogging function also) for this will allow us more possibilities. I do hope to be able to count on you for the serious works ahead in ….2010?
    Let’s continue and never give up. Good times are coming.

    jun a.

  9. Ivan

    a very good attitude towards progress. spotting opportunities in view of changes will be of great help in the future. the positive attitude needs to be shared to the public so that they can find their market or even their niche in order to be competitive and ride on the progress and continued growth and development of the area. i’ll be monitoring the situation of your area and who knows maybe in the future i might also be an investor there in micro industries to further strengthen the growth and development of the area. God Bless!

  10. junasun

    Thanks a lot Ivan for passing by! You’re most welcome in Bulan. When time comes, you know where to find us.
    God protects you along the way.

    jun asuncion

  11. Anonymous

    Is the air strip at Bulan actually working by now? Can you fly to it from Manila; if nothing else by charter rather than commerical? I hate that flight into Lagaspi and then the long drive to Bulan. Thanks for any reply.

    • Sadly, things have been frozen, fossilized, forgotten– hope not forever.

      • The Wang-wang logic was against development and progress.
        The hope lies in the new government that not only corrects history but above all enforces law and punishes wang-wang politicians, old and new.
        We should not focus on what President Aquino failed to mention in his last SONA or demand from him nice-sounding economic programs but support him as he lays down the foundation of a new attitude on governance upon which a nation and any simple economic program can grow and develop.

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