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TACLOBAN NEWS JUNE 2011
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Jun 31, 2011

Governor Jericho "Icot" L. Petilla:
Pintados-Kasadyaan to
remain as nat'l festival

By Reyan L. Arinto

Leyte Samar Daily Express




TACLOBAN CITY -- Leyte Governor Jericho Petilla said the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals will remain as a national festival that showcases how religion, culture and tradition are woven into the fiber of the Taclobanons and Leyteños existence.

"Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals is a nationally-acclaimed festival and will always represent the province in national competitions," Gov. Petilla said.

Last year, the Pintados-Kasadyaan was named Best Tourism Practice (festival category) by the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines' (ATOP) national convention at the Subic International Convention Center in Subic, Zambales.

"It's just sad to note that the Taclobanons and Leyteños failed to watch and witness the grand parade," Petilla said referring to the city government's blocking of the festival's grand parade on Monday morning.

Petilla said the festival will remain strong as mayors from all over the province have given their full support during this year's presentation.

At least 15 colorfully attired Kasadyaasn contingents, representing festivals of the towns in Leyte as well as Tacloban and 10 pintados tribes denoting the early settlers competed in the ritual dance contest.

"We hold festivals annually to commemorate the foundation of a town, or honouring its patron saint. These are brought en masse to highlight our indomitable and ebullient spirit, together with the mien for creativity and innovation," the governor said.

The Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals is a combination of two festivals celebrated during the fiesta of Tacloban in honor of Señor Sto. Niño de Tacloban. The Pintados Festival is a way of bringing back into the awareness of the Leyteños of how the way of life was before while the Kasadyaan Festival showcases colorful festivals of every town in Leyte.






Jun 30, 2011

Thousands watch
Sangyaw Festival

By Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express




TACLOBAN CITY -- Tens of thousands of people went out their way to watch this year's Sangyaw Festival with contingents coming from various groups and places earning applause while they were performing their street rituals.

Evelyn Cordero, city administrator in an officer-in-charge capacity, expressed her gratitude for the huge crowd who witnessed yesterday's Sangyaw edition.

The street parade started at around 1 p.m. with all the 22 participating contingents coming as far as Southern Leyte and Borongan City sneaked their way to the major streets of the city stopping in certain points to perform their rituals.

As of press time, ritual performances from the contingents are still in progress held at the Balyuan Amphitheatre.

And adding to the excitement was the presence of several television personalities coming from GMA-7 lead by widely popular actor Richard Gutierrez.

Tens of thousands of people lined up in the parade route shrieking every time they see their favorite film and television stars.

This year's Sangyaw Festival was also carried by GMA-7, the first time that the country's leading television station covered the annual cultural event.






Jun 30, 2011

Governor Jericho "Icot" L. Petilla:
Will take back property
at the 'right time'

By Ahlette C. Reyes

Leyte Samar Daily Express




TACLOBAN CITY -- After a court decision came out confirming ownership of the Balyuan property to be that of the province of Leyte, Gov. Jericho "Icot" Petilla said the provincial government is not devising a plan ‘as of yet' to insist on its right and take over the property with the fiesta festivities still ongoing and with the property being used as the center for these activities.

"We know how to respect other people's activities especially that these are for the people and is a religious practice," Gov. Petilla said in a media interview just as news broke out Tuesday that a backhoe and trucks have barricaded the gates of the Balyuan property after a press conference was held by some members of the provincial board and Pintados Foundation Inc. president Eugene Tan that such decision has already been made by the court.

However, the governor said this would not prevent them from taking back the province's rightful ownership at the "right time".

The governor declared the province would not readily take over the property but is giving city authorities the chance to peacefully turn over the property in accordance with the rulings of the court.

"We are simply administrators. Despite everything that happened I know that they (city officials) are men of stature and still know how to respect the law and the court," Gov. Petilla said.

With reports that heavy equipments have barricaded the property, the governor said that still "nobody is above the law".

He lamented that it was only in 2004 that the city and the province united and in good accord with then city mayor Alfredo "Bejo" Romualdez that the province readily agreed, with the approval of both the city's and the province's councils, for the former to use the disputed property.

The governor further commented all these can actually be talked about.

"Puede gad ini pag-istoryahan kon maupay la it sarabot. We should not resort to getting court orders as much as possible if maupay la iton uruistorya," the governor said.

To recall, the Regional Trial Court Branch-8 under Judge Salvador Apurillo dismissed the case filed by the city government of Tacloban against the provincial government of Leyte which called for the declaration of nullity of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) entered into by the two local government units on the use of the Balyuan property.

The 16-page decision issued on June 1, 2011 Apurillo dismissed the case filed by the city for "lack of merit."

Meanwhile, Leyte board members who held a press conference Tuesday said the province can take over the property anytime; however, they would not in any way disrupt the city-initiated activities during the fiesta particularly the Sangyaw Festival which is featured at the Balyuan property.Board Members Carlo Loreto, Nicolo Villasin and Roque Tiu, made these pronouncements including Tan, the president of the Pintados Foundation Inc."We will not resort to do the same thing," Tan said.






Jun 29, 2011

Sangyaw Festival
in Tacloban City today

By Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express




TACLOBAN CITY -- Thousands of individuals representing various contingents are to take center stage today as they will parade through the major thoroughfares of Tacloban as part of the Sangyaw Festival, held on the vesper day of the city's annual fiesta.

This year's Sangyaw Festival will be bigger and grander compared to the last two years of its staging, Councilor Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez, who backs the Sangyaw Foundation Inc. and chairs the city council's committee on tourism, said.

"(The people) can expect a bigger and grander Sangyaw Festival celebration. All the participating contingents will be parading at all major streets of Tacloban," she said.

She also assured the thousands of people expected to watch the street parade and the ritual performances of the competing delegates of their security.

Romualdez said that members of the city police will be deployed in strategic areas in the city to ensure the safety of the people and the orderliness of the street parade.

This year's Sangyaw Festival will be joined by 22 contingents coming from barangays, school and community-based organizations and those from other places of the region.

In the barangay category, eight contingents are to compete for the grand prize; while in the school and community based category, seven contingents are to perform while in the so-called open category, seven contingents are to showcase their local cultural festivals.

These include the Rayhak Festival of Tanauan, Leyte; Gapnod Festival of Almeria, Biliran; Padul-ong of Borongan City; Dayan-Dayan Festival of Hinundayan, Southern Leyte; Alibangbang Festival of Villa Dolina Homeowners Association, Pagsadya Festival of Anahawan, Southern Leyte and Tribu Kabatok of the city government as a guest performer.

The competing contingents, Romualdez said, will start their street parade at 1 p.m. sneaking through the city's major streets and winding up at the Balyuan area.

Three viewing stages were put up by the organizers located along Justice Romualdez, Rizal Street and Imelda Veteranos streets.

Among those who will attend the third year Sangyaw Festival is Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong, Marcos, Jr. and his wife, lawyer Liza Araneta- Marcos.

This year's Sangyaw Festival will be covered by the country's leading television station, GMA, with some of its top contract stars are to join the street parade.

Among the stars are Richard Gutierrez, Ogie Alcasid, Kyla, Jolina Magdangal and child wonder Jillian Ward.

They will later perform at the Robinsons activity center.






Jun 29, 2011

Prov'l gov't, Pintados won't obstruct holding of Sangyaw Festival today

By Roel Amazona

Leyte Samar Daily Express



A day after the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals
was barricaded in Tacloban City, Leyte Governor Jericho
Petilla and Leyte first district Representative Ferdinand
Martin Romualdez huddled for an intimate discussion as
both were guests during the 32nd Commencement Exercises
of the UPM-School of Health Sciences held in Palo, Leyte.
The two conversed for almost half an hour. Rep. Romualdez
is a cousin and close ally of Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez
who blocked the festival parade Monday. The governor's wife,
Frances Ann, looks on at the back. (Ahlette C. Reyes)


TACLOBAN CITY -- The province of Leyte and the Pintados will not impede the conduct of the Sangyaw Festival parade organized by the city government of Tacloban. This was the assurance made by the three members of the provincial board in a press conference.

The peaceful parade of the 25th Pintados- and 16th Kasadyaan Festival in the main street of the city turned ugly after the members of the Traffic Operation Management Enforcement and Control Office blocked the route that is supposed to go along Real-Justice Romualdez-Rizal Avenue and Imelda Avenue and going back to the Leyte Sports Academic Center last Monday.

Said action was based on the order of the Mayor Alfred Romualdez.

Among those who tried to end the impass were An Waray party-list Representatives Florencio "Bem" Noel and Neil Benedict Montejo, who both personally went to the house of Mayor Romualdez to talk with him withregards to the problem. But they failed to meet him at his residence.

Said kind of action to prevent the citygovernment of Taclobn in showcasing their Sangyaw Festival was denied by Eugene Tan, presidentof the Pintados Foundation, and the three lawyer members of the provincial board of Leyte: Carlo Loreto, Nicolo Villasin and Roque Tiu, who is one of the founding chairs of Pintados Foundation.

"What had happened (last June 27) was not an unfortunate incident because I call it as an intentionally done to disrupt the festivity that we are doing in relation to the fiesta of Señor Santo Niño," said Villasin said.

"But we are not going to do anything to prevent them in showcasing their festival, because at the end of the day these activities are all for the celebration of the city fiesta in honor of our patron saint," he added.

Tan added that no matter what the city government did to their activity they will not resort to do the same thing.

"Definitely we will not call for anyone to boycott Sangyaw, if what is going to happen in the day of their presentation is it in the decision of the people if they will go there or not," Tan stressed.

The day after the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival was held, reports had spread that the Pintados and Kasadyaan group will do something to prevent the city in showcasing their festival. This, after the provincial government received the decision of the court declaring that they are the owner of the much contested Balyuan property where the city government for the past three years had been staging the Sangyaw Festival.

Based on the decision of the Regional Trial Court Branch 8 Presiding Judge Salvador Apurillo, it dismissed the case filed by the city government of Tacloban against the provincial government of Leyte for the declaration of nullity of the memorandum of agreement on Tax Declaration No. 02201157 with the prayer for the issuane of a TRO and writ of preliminary injunction and prohibition, due to lack of merit."Not because the court was on our side in the decision we will take the opportunity to do something against the city government... we will still uphold our dignity being human as we don't want any trouble to happen for it is the people who will suffer the most," Villasin added.

Loreto said that it is not in the nature of the provincial government to call for people to boycott the Sangyaw festival parade and its presentation as it is not good in promoting good relationship between fellow local government units.






Jun 28, 2011

What happened during the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival?


ONLY IN TACLOBAN CITY ...


A supposed happy affair celebrating the city's 122nd fiesta honoring Senior Santo Niño has turned ugly.

For close to two hours, the organizers of the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals and the city government went eye ball-to-eye ball under a searing heat yesterday morning.


MAYOR ROMUALDEZ
DISOBEYING COURT ORDER ...


On Monday, Mayor Romualdez, disobeying a court order, blocked the path of the Pintados parade with dump trucks of the city government.





THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE
WATCHING THE PARADE CONFUSED ...


Mayor Alfred Romualdez, stopped the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival along Real Street, using four dump trucks as a barricade with thousands of people watching the parade confused on what was going on.


MAYOR ROMUALDEZ:
I WILL NOT ALLOW THEM
TO PARALYZE THE ENTIRE CITY ... !!!




Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez:
"I will not allow them to paralyze the entire city .."



Mayor Romualdez: "What they did was to sow anarchy here in Tacloban...by using streets not (specified) under their parade route. I will not allow them to paralyze the entire city .."


SAME PARADE ROUTE SINCE PAST 16 YEARS ...


The organizers of the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival:
"We have been using this parade route for the past 16 years now .. !!"


ROMUALDEZ DISPLAYS
"ARROGANCE OF POWER" ...





Former Leyte governor and now Palo town mayor Remedios Petilla, who stayed under the heat of the sun for close to two hours together with several other Leyte town mayors, criticized Romualdez for his display of "arrogance of power."


MAYOR ROMUALDEZ
INSISTING ON HIS GROUND ...


With the city mayor insisting on his ground, the organizers of the Pintados-Kasadyaan decided to turn back and return to the LSDC where the competing contingents were to perform their ritual dance in the afternoon.


FATHER ALVERO:
WE ARE VERY SAD ON WHAT
HAPPENED THIS DAY ...


Father Amadeo Alvero, one of the parish priests of the Santo Niño Parish: "We are very sad about what happened this day. The people, particularly the contingents, were the ones affected.
"


TACLOBAN VICE MAYOR
ARVIN ANTONI:
"I EXPRESS MY DISGUST AT THE ACT OF ALFRED ROMUALDEZ - HE IS NO LONGER A ROMAN CATHOLIC ..."




Tacloban City Vice Mayor
Arvin Antoni



The second highest public official in Tacloban, Vice Mayor Arvin Antoni comments:
"In my private capacity as a devout catholic and devotee of Sr. Sto. Niño, I express my disgust at the brazen act today of Alfred Romualdez, who admittedly is no longer a Roman Catholic, of suppressing our decades-old expression of religious devotion through the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival Parade. As the second highest official of the city, I condemn in the strongest terms his dictatorial policies, authoritarian rule and brazen disrespect for the rule of law."






Jun 28, 2011

Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals parade turns ugly

By Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express



Some parade participants and city traffic enforcers are in a
tussle over the steel barricade that blocked the Pintados-
Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals grand parade along Real Street
in Tacloban City yesterday. (Lito Abala Bagunas)


T
ACLOBAN CITY -- A supposed happy affair celebrating the city's 122nd fiesta honoring Senior Santo Niño has turned ugly.

For close to two hours, the organizers of the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals and the city government went eye ball-to-eye ball under a searing heat yesterday morning.

This after the city government, through Mayor Alfred Romualdez, stopped the organizers of the twin-billed festival along Real Street, using four dump trucks as a barricade with thousands of people watching the parade confused on what was going on.



Policemen act to control the crowd while two big trucks of
the city government block the street after some participants
of Festival grand parade overrun the first barricade set up by
traffic enforcers to deny the parade entry into Real Street
and Justice Romualdez Street. (Ven Labro)


The organizers of the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals were having their street parade as part of their activities for the Tacloban fiesta this Thursday.

The participating contingents of the festival came from various parts of the province and some barangays of Tacloban.

Mayor Romualdez said that he has to block the organizers from using the Real Street en route to their venue at the Leyte Sports Development Center (LSDC), saying that it would violate their original route as contain on the permit they have requested with his office.

"What they did was to sow anarchy here in Tacloban...by using streets not (specified) under their parade route. I will not allow them to paralyze the entire city," Romualdez said.

He insisted that as the mayor of the city, he is answerable to whatever incident that may arise as a result of this incident.

"The organizers of the festival are not from Tacloban. This is the fiesta of Tacloban," he said. The city government has its own festival, Sangyaw, which is held every 29th day of June. Tacloban, as a highly urbanized city, is no longer part of the administrative control of the provincial government of Leyte.

Romualdez said that what happened has caused the city's business sector "millions of pesos" of income loss.

Both An Waray party-list representatives Florencio "Bem" Noel and Neil Benedict Montejo tried to intervene on the impasse but failed to convince the city government to allow the parade to continue.

The parade is supposed to use other streets of the city with Real Street not among those mentioned in the approved permit issued by his office last Friday, Romualdez said.

Real Street connects to other major city streets of Tacloban in going to the LSDC, a sports complex.

However, the organizers claimed otherwise, saying that the street has been part of their parade route for the past 16 years now.

The organizers of the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals, held every 27th of June, are known to be political rivals of Romualdez.

Among them was former Leyte governor and now Palo town mayor Remedios Petilla, mother of the incumbent governor, Jericho.

Petilla, who stayed under the heat of the sun for close to two hours together with several other Leyte town mayors, criticized Romualdez for his display of "arrogance of power."

"What we are doing is to celebrate the fiesta in honor of Senior Santo Niño but what he was doing is using his force just to stop us," Petilla said.

With the city mayor insisting on his ground, the organizers of the Pintados-Kasadyaan decided to turn back and return to the LSDC where the competing contingents are to perform their ritual dance in the afternoon.

Father Amadeo Alvero, one of the parish priests of the Santo Niño Parish, expressed his dismay on the incident.

"We are very sad about what happened this day. The people, particularly the contingents, were the ones affected. We hope and pray that such incident would never happen again," Alvero, in a text message, said.

Petilla later said after the more than seven-hour presentation that she feel vindicated with the huge turn out of crowd who watched the activity at the LSDC.






Jun 27, 2011

Editorial:
T
acloban wracked
by petty politics

By Ramon Tulfo

Inquirer.net - Philippines




If Cebu City has its Sinulog, the local version of New Orleans' Mardi Gras, Aklan its Ati-Atihan, Iloilo its Dinagyang, Bacolod its Maskara, Tacloban City has its Pintados.

The street-dancing parade comes during the fiesta celebration of the places mentioned.

But wait, Pintados has been outlawed by the city government. In its place, Mayor Alfred Romualdez has come up with Sangyaw, which has practically the same motif as Pintados.

The reason is political.

Pintados, which started 25 years ago, was organized by the Leyte provincial government headed by Gov. Jericho Petilla, Romualdez's arch political enemy.

On Monday, Mayor Romualdez, disobeying a court order, blocked the path of the Pintados parade with dump trucks of the city government.

Romualdez, the nephew of former first lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, said the judge who issued the temporary restraining order against the city ordinance banning Pintados was biased.

The mayor claimed that Judge Salvador Y. Apurillo is a special friend of former governor and now Mayor Remedios "Matin" Petilla of Palo, a town adjacent to Tacloban.

Matin Petilla is the mother of the current governor, Jericho Petilla.

How could Alfred Romualdez stoop that low?

Although the Petillas are taking the personal insult with a grin-and-bear-it attitude, some of their followers are digging up the past of the mayor's wife, former actress Cristina "Kring-Kring" Gonzalez.

"Well, at least, our former lady governor was not a Brunei beauty," said a Petilla follower in reference to Filipino women who were hired for fabulous sums years ago to "entertain" during parties held by Brunei monarch Sultan Bolkiah.

There is a saying that when you live in a glass house, you don't throw stones at your neighbor's house.






Jun 27, 2011

Tacloban execs block
festival parade

By Joey A. Gabieta, Vicente S. Labro

Inquirer.net - Philippines



Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez:
"I will not allow them to paralyze the entire city .."


TACLOBAN CITY -- Tension ran high yesterday morning when the grand parade of the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals, one of the best festivals in the country, was not allowed to pass some of the city's main streets.

The city government blocked the parade route with four dump trucks and policemen along Real Street, which connects to the major streets and to the Leyte Sports Development Center (LSDC).

Some participants, however, tried to break through the obstruction.

After the two-hour standoff, parade organizers decided to back off at about 10 a.m. The participants went back to its take off-and supposed end-point at the LSDC grandstand.

Fifteen colorfully attired Kasadyaan contingents, representing festivals of the towns in Leyte, and 10 "pintados" (tribes) denoting the early settlers, were to compete in the ritual dancing contest on Monday afternoon.

Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez said he prevented the organizers from using Real because it was not part of the original route stated in the permit.

"What they did was to sow anarchy here in Tacloban ... by using streets not (specified) under their parade route. I will not allow them to paralyze the entire city," Romualdez said.

About 8 a.m. Monday, the organizers found Real Street blocked by city traffic enforcers, policemen and steel barricades.

The organizers were told to detour though Burgos Street and proceed to the grandstand, the same route that they took last year. But they refused.

A police crowd dispersal unit tried to maintain peace and order. Around 800 policemen were earlier deployed to the city to avert any untoward incident.

The Pintados Festival was organized 25 years ago, and the Kasadyaan, 16 years ago. The two events are jointly held every June 27.

For several years, the city government and the festival organizers, composed mostly of businessmen allied with the provincial government, have been at odds over the parade. The event is one of the highlights of the feast of the Sto. Niño, patron saint of Tacloban and the province of Leyte.

The organizers are also known to be political rivals of Romualdez. One of them is Palo Mayor Remedios Petilla, mother of Gov. Jericho Petilla and a former governor herself.

Romualdez said the festival contingents were from various parts of the province and a few were from the city's barangays. The organizers, he added, were not even from Tacloban.

Tacloban, a highly urbanized city, has its own festival, Sangyaw, on June 29. It is not under the administrative control of the provincial government.






Jun 27, 2011

Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival grand parade slated today

By Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express




TACLOBAN CITY -- It's all systems go for today's Pintados- Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals as tens of thousands of individuals coming from various parts of Leyte and here in the city are set to entertain the public through their respective dances.

Eugene Tan, president of the Pintados Foundation which runs the Pintados Festival, said that they are now ready for today's activities despite the problems that they have faced just to mount the twin-billed festival.

"Our guests and tourists can expect a bigger and grander celebration of the Pintados- Kasadyaan (Festival of Festivals). We also expect a huge turnout of crowd (both during the street parade and the presentations)," Tan said during an interview.

It was learned from Tan that around 500 policemen coming from the regional and provincial headquarters are set to man the parade routes of the twin festivals.

Tan said that about 10 contingents coming from several villages of Tacloban have joined the Pintados Festival while 15 contingents coming from various parts of Leyte are joining the Kasadyaan Festival.

The following town festivals that are participating the Kasadyaan Festival are the following-Pamilipig Festival of Sta. Fe; Lubi-lubi Festival of Calubian; Pamagpag Festival of Pastrana; Bato-Balani Festival of Bato; Tamyuk Festival of Tunga; Linganay Festival of Alangalang;Quiot Festival of Isabel; Karatong Festival of Hindang; Viajedores Festival of La Paz; Lantawan ni David Festival of Capoocan; Sungkaan Festival of Hindang; Tulu-usa Festival of Tolosa; Tambiolo Festival of Babatngon and the Pintados Festival of Tacloban.

The much-awarded and now one of the province' most well-known festival, the Buyugan Festival of Abuyog will not join in the competition but will nonetheless perform before the expected big crowd.

The street parade is to start at around 9 a.m. and is expected to end by noon snaking to some of the city's main streets. By 1 p.m. the competition will start at the Leyte Sports Complex (Grandstand) with the winners to receive cash prizes and trophies.
Tan said their organization is still optimistic that despite the controversy surrounding this year's staging of the festival, the public will still watch the parade and the presentation of the competing delegates.

"Our main purpose, right from the very start, is to help attract guests and tourists here in Tacloban. We have been consistent with our stand to be allowed to (stage) the festival here in Tacloban," Tan said.

He lamented that the controversy surrounding the holding of several festivals here in the city during it fiesta celebration is actually not doing anything good.

It was learned from Tan that they have deposited the amount of P2, 000 before the sala of Judge Salvador Apurillo, presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court, as their tender and consignee permit in lieu of the permit to hold street parade not granted by the city government.






Jun 27, 2011

All is set for Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals grand parade

By Ahlette C. Reyes

Leyte Samar Daily Express




TACLOBAN CITY -- The Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals is all set for its grand parade around the city streets this Monday, and the stage has likewise been readied at the Leyte Sports Development Center for the grand presentation of various contingents for both the Pintados Festival and Kasadyaan Festival.

Palo Mayor Remedios "Matin" Petilla, who also heads the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival executive committee, said that they would continue with the parade despite earlier pronouncements by the city traffic and control office of the "no permit, no parade" policy.

The lady mayor contends that the temporary restraining order issued by the court that suspends the Sangyaw Ordinance specifically provides not to restrict "activities" related to the fiesta celebration and the festival parade included.

"I just hope they would let the parade go on smoothly. It would just be for two hours or so. After that, all the contingents and the presentations would already be inside the Grandstand," Mayor Petilla said.

Meanwhile, it was learned that there are about 11 contingents for the Pintados category coming from different barangays and groups from Tacloban and 15 contingents for the Kasadyaan category from the different festivals of the respective municipalities of the province.

The much awaited performance of the Buyogan Festival can also be witnessed as Abuyog's pride is set to join this year's festival as guest performer. The Buyogan Festival placed second in this year's Sinulog Festival in Cebu City last January.

Other contingents from the various municipalities are Pamilipig Festival of Sta. Fe, Lubi-Lubi Festival of Calubian, Bato-Balani Festival of Bato, Lingganay Festival of Alangalang, Quiot Festival of Isabel, Viajedores Festival of Lapaz, Lantawan Festival of Capoocan, Tambula Festival of Babatngon.

Three festivals that have also been previous Kasadyaan champions and have won nationwide recognition in other festival competitions in the country are set to join, which are the Tulo-usa Festival of Tolosa, Karatong Festival of Dulag and Pasaka Festival of Tanauan.

Meanwhile, new festivals would also be welcomed in the competition as new festival contenders such as the Tamyuk Festival of Tunga, Pamagpagan Festival of Pastrana and the Pintados Festival of Tacloban City.

This year's Grand champion is set to receive half a million pesos in cash prize and trophy. The first and second runner up will get P300,000 and P100,000 in cash prize while the third up to the tenth runners up will be awarded P50,000 each. The respective choreographers of the winning festivals will also be given cash prizes.

Another prize will be awarded for the grand slam winner - P100,000 - which will be the festival with the most number of awards this year, best performance in the dance parade for P100,000 and best in festival music for another P100, 000.

Leyte Governor Jericho "Icot" Petilla said the festivals in Leyte has already become very, very competitive that they alone have been taking their practice to certain covert venues to keep their performance a top-secret till presentation day.

"Our festivals have levelled up in the sense that even choreographers are pirated from one festival to another and one festival is discreetly observed by another. It has grown to be as competitive as that," Gov. Petilla said.

The governor meanwhile reiterated there is no reason to stop this yearly competition as it has been recognized as one of the country's best festivals.






Jun 26, 2011

PNP-8 task force to ensure peace and order during Tacloban fiesta

By Neil Lopido

Philippine Information Agency




TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte -- The Philippine National Police in Region 8 has created a special task force that will ensure peace and order during the forthcoming fiesta celebration in Tacloban.

The task force is headed by Senior Superintendent Edgar Basbas, deputy regional director for operations, with the troops coming from the Regional Public Safety Battalion as augmentation force for the law enforcers to be assigned in the City.

The more than 200 uniformed personnel of the Tacloban City Police Office will be augmented by around 100 police personnel from the RPSB this coming fiesta.

It is expected that a huge number of people will be flocking to the city to participate in the two festivals on the 27th and the 29th.

The PNP in Tacloban City is already in full alert and law enforcers are not allowed to take a leave from work.

Aside from the augmentation from the regional office, the Coast Guard and other civic organizations will also be tapped.






Jun 24, 2011

Board Member Roque Tiu denies accusation of Mayor Romualdez

By Roel Amazona

Leyte Samar Daily Express




TACLOBAN CITY -- Roque Tiu, Leyte's First District Board Member and one of the Pintados Founding Chairman, denied the accusation of Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez in an interview alleging that in their meeting to unite Pintados and Sangyaw Festivals Tiu had asked money from him.

In an interview after the regular session held at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Leyte, Tiu said that what Mayor Romualdez had accused him was absurd and ridiculous because he never asked the mayor for any monetary amount during the series of meetings they had when the city government of Tacloban decided to have its own festival.

In an interview with the city mayor after the Balyuan rites last June 20, the city mayor denied that he smashed a bottle of mineral water on a table in a restaurant that was operating in the city several years ago but instead "the truth is, Mayor Roque Tiu asked for P800,000 from me."

"If I get mad, I don't say anything but instead turn back to the person. I get mad because he was asking money from me," Romualdez said.

This was strongly denied by Tiu when reached by the media to comment in the issue.

"I never asked for money or anything from him," said Tiu firmly.

Tiu added that what had been said before in earlier interviews by some of the members of Pintados like Eugene Tan and Wilson Uy was true about the behavior of the city mayor in their last meeting in a restaurant in the city that is now closed.

Tiu added that in the series of meetings that they had with the city mayor, Mayor Romualdez desire for the unity of the festivals in the city which they also favor.

But the problem, according to Tiu, is that it is only the Pintados Festival that the city mayor would like to be part of and the Kasadyaan Festival will be left behind.

Pintados and Kasadyaan originally stages their festivals in two different time, Pintsdos during the city fiesta while Kasadyaan is held during Leyte Tourism Month, but this two festivals was united during the term of then governor Remedios Petilla as the provincial governor of Leyte decided to merge the two groups forming the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festivals of Festivals and showcase their activities in time of the fiesta of Tacloban as their festivals are both in thanksgiving and for praising the Holy Child Jesus.

However, the group of Pintados explained to the city mayor that the system, approach and criteria's of Pintados is different to the Sangyaw which the city mayor agreed for the Pintados to have a different group in a banner of Sangyaw-Pintados.

Tiu added that during the series of meetings with the city mayor, their group always insisted for the inclusion of the Kasadyaan Festival as the two festivals had been partners of providing quality festivals for the city of Tacloban for a long time.

"It is not good, if we will just leave the Kasadyaan Festival behind, that is why we always insisted to the mayor that they should also be included when Sangyaw and Pintados unite, but the city mayor does like the idea, which is why he smashed a bottle of mineral water on the table in our last meeting when Wilson Uy was still a councilor that time in this city," Tiu explained.






Jun 21, 2011

TCPO declares full alert to Tacloban fiesta celebration

By Irene B. Cariño

Leyte Samar Daily Express




T
ACLOBAN CITY -- Tacloban City Police Office (TCPO) declares full alert for the city fiesta.

According to Tacloban City Police Sr. Supt. Wilson Caubat , full alert status has started on June 20, until the end of the city fiesta.

Full alert status will double the security measures in Tacloban as police officers will be 100 % on duty to respond anytime.

The city police, traffic personnel, brgy. tanods and augmentation troops from the Regional Public Safety Battalion will be deployed all over Tacloban during the festivities for security measures.

Caubat also emphasized that some police officers will be unarmed during the festivities so as not to create a militarized impression for Tacloban.

"Panuyuan naton nga diri kita masingitan hiton magriribuk ngan papaniguruon namon nga waray makakaulang hit aton parade." he added.

He also assured that TCPO will take charge of the security for the parade regardless if it is Pintados or Sangyaw Festival.






Jun 20, 2011

Pintados-Kasadyaan parade
to be held as scheduled

By Roel Amazona

Leyte Samar Daily Express




TACLOBAN CITY -- Officials of the Pintados-Kasadyaan had expressed their happiness over the recent decision of a regional trial court favoring their prayer over a case filed against the city government of Tacloban.

Last Wednesday, Judge Salvado Apurillo, presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court- Branch 18 issued a temporary restraining order paving the way for the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals to conduct their parade within the city

In an interview with Kasadyaan executive committee chair and now Palo Mayor Remedios "Matin" Petilla, welcomed the ruling of Apurillo, saying the judge "put justice into place."She added that with the decision of the court, this would mean that everything will be put into place

"Hopefully, they will not do anything that will go against the decision of the court," Petilla stressed.

Pintados Foundation President Eugene Tan,said that it was not their organization that won in the filing of the case but the public.

"This would mean that we will have a peaceful celebration for the fiesta of Tacloban," he said.

"Tanan na nasasakop han TRO, they cannot implement it agains us (Pintados-Kasadaan)," Tan said, adding that the ordinance has many restrictions.He added that with the said decision, they will continue to conduct a parade on June 27, using the old route passing the main thoroughfare of the city.

"But this will all depend on the situation on June 27," Tan added, referring to the possible event that may occur on said date, like what had happened last year .

If this may happen, Tan said that they already made a contingency plan by coordinating with the Philippine National Police to provide and ensure their safety and of those who will participate and watch the parade.

"It will depend on the PNP especially of this city and we are hoping that they will become objective for as long as we do not violate any law," Tan said.

Petilla said that aside from asking assistance from the City Police Office, they will also seek assistance from both the provincial and regional police headaquarters to secure the safety and order during the parade.






Jun 20, 2011

Editorial:
A
Victory for Taclobanon's

Leyte Samar Daily Express




Fiesta week for Tacloban, 2011 shall be a season for fun and wholesome entertainment, typical among Warays who enjoy life in spite of nagging hardships specially among the poor who compose a good number of its population.

The Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) handed down by the court will finally allow the Pintados Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals to provide free entertainment to Taclobanons and guests relative to the fiesta celebration in honor of Sr. Santo Niño, patron saint of Tacloban and the province of Leyte.

There was a move by Tacloban officials to allow only one festival - the Sangyaw, founded by former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos at the height of their power in the early 70's.

Sangyaw however "disappeared" from the scene in 1986 when the then First Family and the clan, the Romualdez included, were driven out of the country via the world acclaimed EDSA I People Power revolution.

Since then, the Pintados Foundation has been performing in the Tacloban fiesta for 25 years and the Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals for 16 years. The young generation of Taclobanons therefore have known, appreciated and accepted that the Pintados Kasadyaan Festival has become part of their cultural heritage.

With this court order, the poor, even average income earners of Tacloban, can now celebrate and enjoy watching two grand festivals: a historical-cultural presentation - June 27 for the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival and Sangyaw on the 29th both profess as their fiesta offerings to the Holy Child - JESUS.

It is unfortunate, however, that some well-positioned propagandists of city hall could not accept the court ruling. They have abusively employed media channels by fearlessly using profane language and ugly insinuations aimed at wrecking the image of political leaders outside of the Romualdez camps. So unprofessional have they become and therefore a disgrace to the media profession.






Jun 18, 2011

Judge allows two
competing Tacloban fiestas

By Ben M. Veridiano

Manila Standard Today




TACLOBAN CITY -- A court on Friday allowed the group behind the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival to proceed with their celebrations this month, stopping the city government from enforcing its one-festival rule.

The city government recognizes only the Sangyaw Festival, which was created by former First Lady Imelda Marcos and revived by her nephew, Mayor Alfred Romualdez.

Judge Salvador Apurillo's order also represented a victory for former Leyte governor and now Palo Mayor Remedios Loreto-Petilla, the executive chairman of the Kasadyaan Festival.

The Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival replaced the Sangyaw, which means to herald the news, during the administration of President Corazon Aquino.

But now that the Regional Trial Court Branch 8 has issued a temporary restraining order against the city government, Tacloban City is likely to celebrate two festivals this year-the Pintados on June 27 and the Sangyaw on June 29.

The court's order is in effect for 20 days, which means the city government can't stop the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival from taking place this month.






Jun 16, 2011

Palo Mayor Remedios "Matin" Petilla:
P
ermit issued for RTR Park operations 'discriminatory'

By Reyan L. Arinto

Leyte Samar Daily Express




TACLOBAN CITY -- The special permit issued by the city government in relation to the RTR Festival Park operations was labelled as "discriminatory" by Palo town Mayor Remedios "Matin" Petilla.

"It's as if they won't allow us to use the RTR Plaza. They should have not issued the permit if there were conditions that are very discriminatory on the part of the Pintados-Kasadyaan activities," Mayor Petilla, who sits as the executive committee chairperson for this year's Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals, said.

"But still we will open on June 16. We are just waiting for the decision of the court," Petilla said, referring to the petition for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on the city ordinance declaring Sangyaw as the official festival of Tacloban City.

The ordinance provides, among others, regulatory measures on the conduct of activities in relation to the city fiesta.

On June 8, the city government has issued a special permit for the RTR Festival park operation for the period covering June 8 to July 1, 2011.

But the permit cited at least eight conditions for the use of the RTR plaza.

In the permit, it stated that the "no smoking" policy shall be strictly enforced by virtue of the Clean Air Act and Tobacco Regulation Act.

The organizers at the RTR Plaza are also required to use the logo of Sangyaw Festival in all of its tarpaulins and advertisements that would be displayed in the park. The holding of the concerts, stage shows, musical presentations, dance and singing contests and other activities shall be coordinated with the Tacloban Historical and Cultural Committee.

The permits also stated that the installation of barbecue stalls shall not deprive the public use and enjoyment of the part and stall holders serving food and beverages must secure sanitary and health permits from the city government.

It also said in the permit that the conduct or holding of concerts, shows, contests, installation of barbeque stalls shall be subject to the issuance of a separate special permit.

"It's as if the city government is not allowing us to use the RTR plaza, where in fact it is owned by the provincial government," Petilla said.

"We hope the city government has given the same conditions and safeguards to the operators at the Balyuan Park because it is also near the Church and schools," Petilla said.

Petilla added that despite the hitches, the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals will proceed as scheduled.

"We are ready. In fact, we have finalized our schedule from June 15 until the first week of July," Petilla said.

Based on the schedule provided by the Pintados-Kasadyaan organizers, the grand opening will be staged with dance craze competition and a band concert of the Icot Idol stars.

This year's Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival is centered on the theme "Pagdayeg, Pasalamat, Paghiusa," and will be highlighted with socio-cultural presentations sponsored by different government, private and non-government organizations all over Eastern Visayas.






Jun 16, 2011

Councilor Christina G. Romualdez:
O
ne festival, one fiesta
for Tacloban

By Reyan L. Arinto

Leyte Samar Daily Express




TACLOBAN CITY -- "If we love our city and our province, we must show a good example by getting together, coming together and be united in having one big fiesta celebration," this was emphasized by the vice chairperson of the Sangyaw Festival during an interview with the local media last Tuesday afternoon, after the hearing at Branch 8 of the Regional Trial Court, of this city.

Councilor Cristina G. Romualdez, who is the current co-chairperson of the executive committee of Sangyaw Festival, pointed out that Sangyaw is not hindering any group or organization from conducting any activity during the forthcoming fiesta celebration for as long as it will coordinate with them. She stated this after the hearing of the case between the Pintados- Kasadyaan Foundation and the Sangyaw Festival Inc. at Branch 8 presided by Judge Salvador Apurillo last Tuesday.

According to Councilor Romualdez, Tacloban wants to establish its own identity, the reason why the Sangguniang Panlungsod approved Ordinance No. 2001-11-04 also known as an ordinance declaring Sangyaw as the official festival of Tacloban City.

The lady councilor stressed that the ordinance is not unconstitutional; it is a law of the city. "This is our place, and it is our right to manage it, with the people deciding on what is best for the city," she added.

She also said that it is not proper for anyone who comes to Tacloban and do anything without proper protocol or coordination with the authorities.

Romualdez stated that Pintados Kasadyaan Foundation has not yet filed any petition for a permit or request to hold a festival parade. In fact, the official said that Pintados Foundation was given a permit to conduct nightly activities at RTR Plaza by Mayor Alfred Romualdez.

"Wala naman kaming pinipigilan, it is just to have coordination. I have been saying this before and I am saying it again, we just want to be united by having just one festival for Tacloban City. And what we are asking is for them to coordinate with us," Romualdez declared.

Also, the councilor pointed out that Tacloban is just like a home, wherein the father is Mayor Romualdez. It is just proper that he is notified of any activity in his home and that his permission is sought as he is answerable to any untoward incident on safety, security, and order which affect the public.

Romualdez further said that being united would give Tacloban a better image from people coming from other cities and provinces.
Lastly, the official expects Tacloban to be known for one festival and one fiesta.






Jul 16, 2010

Mayor Petilla says they
would push to maintain
Pintados-Kasadyaan

By Ahlette C. Reyes

Leyte Samar Daily Express




TACLOBAN CITY -- Palo Mayor Remedios "Matin" Petilla, who chairs the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival Executive Committee, said they would not let down in their fight to maintain the staging of the festive parade of the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals and the nightly merriment at the RTR Plaza which is being turned into the Festival Park for the fiesta occasion.

Mayor Petilla says unless the court rule otherwise, there is no reason to end the activity which has already been considered a tradition and widely accepted by the public.

This as they still await the court's decision on the appeal filed by Pintados Foundation questioning the constitutionality of a city ordinance that declares Sangyaw Festival as the only official festival of the city and that all activities related to the celebration will already be subject for regulation by the city government.

Mayor Petilla said they remain hopeful of the court's decision to be in their favour; however, she added, they are ready to accept and "respect" whatever the decision the court may issue. The Pintados-Kasadyaan organizers await decision until Thursday, June 16, which on the same day they have also slated the opening of the Festival Park at the RTR Plaza.

"I hope ira liwat irespeto it desisyon hit korte kon matagan liwat kami hin katugutan nga makagpadayon pagsalida," Mayor Petilla declared.

She added there would be no way that the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival would join as one with the Sangyaw Festival, saying the former has been there longer and more established than the latter which was started only in 2008.

"We should not be the one joining them but they should be the ones joining us instead," she said.

She likewise says that the said ordinance now being petitioned in court for its constitutionality was particularly crafted to prevent the Pintados-Kasadyaan organizers from holding any more activities now or in the future.

The ordinance in question is City Ordinance No. 2001-11-04 ordinance was passed by the city council last January 26, 2011 and lapsed into law last February 18, 2011. The ordinance proclaims Sangyaw Festival as the official festival of the city and regulating all activities and celebration held thereon.






Jun 15, 2011

Leyte Water District to start construction of transmission line

By Rodrigo S. Victoria

Philippine Information Agency

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte -- The perennial water supply problem particularly in the City of Tacloban will be a thing of the past soon.

This came after the Leyte Metropolitan Water District (LMWD) conducted on Tuesday, June 14, the bid-opening on the second component of its expansion project for the construction of 32.448 kilometers transmission line, it was learned from a report on project updates from LMWD.

Based on LMWD report, the bid-opening of said project was done at the Leyte SMED Center located at the Leyte provincial capitol grounds.

The said report also revealed that LMWD Assistant General Manager Pastor A. Homeres said that of the ten interested bidders who submitted their letter of intent, only seven of them submitted their bid documents during the bid-opening of said project.

The LMWD's BAC and the Technical Working Group (TWG) members were responsible in the detailed evaluation and comparison of bids to determine the lowest calculated bid pursuant to the provisions of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9184, the LMWD report stated.

HG-III Construction and Development Corporation has been determined by the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of LMWD as the lowest bidder during the bid-opening conducted based on the LMWD report.

The LMWD report further stated that when all bidding requirements and processes will be properly complied, the project will be started for a maximum duration of 365 days.






Jun
14, 201
0

LTO says thousands cought driving without a license

by Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express



TACLOBAN CITY -- The Land Transportation Office here in the region has reported that it would intensify its crackdown against drivers who are using their vehicles even without a license.

And as of April of this year, traffic enforcers were able to apprehend 3,267 violators, Edgar Catarongan, assistant regional director of the LTO-8, said.

He said that their office was given a target of at least 8,000 persons to be apprehended due to driving without a license.

Last year, the LTO traffic enforcers were able to apprehend 6,135 individuals from the region who were driving without a license.
Driving without a license, Catarongan said, has a corresponding penalty of P1,500 as provided for under Department Order Number 2008-39.

With a stiff penalty, it would be better and safe for drivers to secure a license before their office, Catarongan said.

"It is for their own good. Imagine the stiff penalty that they have to pay for driving without a license," he said.

Catarongan said that their crackdown on drivers having no license while in the road is part of their law enforcement saying that it is mandatory for one to secure a license before their office.

"Unfortunately, several of our drivers are violating this traffic rule by driving without their licenses. That is why, we have made a tie-up with our various local government units in the region for them to help us disseminate information on traffic rules like registering their vehicles and securing a license from the LTO," he said.

According to him, traffic enforcers from their office have been deployed in various strategic areas, particularly in the cities in the region notably in Tacloban being the regional capital, to apprehend the erring drivers.

Meantime, the LTO regional office was given a collection target of more than P243.44 million for this year which is relatively higher than the target set by the central office last year of P236.58 million.

Last year, the LTO-8 was able to have an actual collection of P224.07 million.






Jun
08, 201
0

It's all systems go for
Sangyaw Festival

by Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express



TACLOBAN CITY -- Everything is now set for this year's Sangyaw Festival.

Thus assured Councilor Cristina Gonzalez Romualdez who spearheads all activities related to the Sangyaw Festival, a city-sponsored cultural festival which serves as one of the highlights of the annual city fiesta.

In fact, she said, this year's Sangyaw Festival will gain a nationwide exposure with no less than the country's most well-respected television station, GMA-7, covering the major events related to the festival.

Several of the Kapuso channel top talents will join the Sangyaw Festival, the lady councilor said.

Romualdez said that for this year's Sangyaw Festival, several contingents coming from outside Tacloban will be joining on top of city-based groups.

Among the contingents that will be participating in this year's Sangyaw Festival are those coming from Borongan City, Biliran and Southern Leyte.

"Everything's set now. We will have a (grand) Sangyaw Festival celebration for this year," Romualdez said.

It was learned from her that Makati City Mayor Jun-Jun Binay has assured her that one of their famous bands will be performing during the city fiesta.

The Makati-based band will perform on June 27, three days before the city celebrates its 122nd fiesta honoring Senior Santo Niño.
And during the first-ever Torotot Festival, several band and bugle corps from different schools based in the city will also participated to add color to the city fiesta.

Meantime, the Sangyaw Festival Foundation conducted its elections for the new set of officers for its board of directors.

Elected as the foundation's new board of directors were the following-Dr. Elvie Casal; Jeff Manibay; Atty. Ramon Santiago,; Girlie Anido; Tita Coruño; Lynette Matriano; Michelle Mangacat; Dr. Cesar Aquitaña; Tita Pedrosa and Dalmacio "Massey" Grafil, publisher of this paper.

The new set of board of directors elected their new executive officers as well which saw the election of Santiago as president; Anido as his vice president; Casal as secretary; Coruño as treasurer; Reyes as auditor and Manibay as information officer.




    
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