PrYS in Kiangan

On June 7 and 8, PrYS members went to Kiangan to conduct another workshop.

According to Gerald Puguon, PrYS organizer and president:

“This is a big step for PrYS.”

The Julia Campbell Agrofores Memorial Eco-Park is located in Asipulo.

 

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How things have changed

Many of this blog’s visitors are outside the Philippines, accessing the blog perhaps as a way to touch base with a place they perhaps used to visit or call home. This blog entry is dedicated to their — and our — early memories of this place.

People living in this part of Quezon City up to the mid-1980s will remember Commonwealth — then Don Mariano Marcos Avenue — very differently from what it is like now. Then, it was a dusty, two-lane asphalt road that seemed to have been carved straight out of the earth, what with the rich, red of clay showing in unpaved sections of the road. Traffic was still very manageable — so there were no pedestrian overpasses and no Tandang Sora flyover. Cars and jeeps still drove in straight lines, and pedestrians could count on crossing the street without fear of being run over.

At the time, anything farther north from UP Diliman was no man’s land. That’s how that old joke about Fairview actually being “Far-view” must have come about. In fact, I’ve met a number of people for whom driving or commuting by jeep to this area back then was a experience they described as “nakakatakot” (scary) because of how far from “civilization” and from all things familiar this place was. With very few buildings and commercial establishments in the area, there were hardly any landmarks to guide visitors. The upside to this, of course, were unobstructed views of the mountains during the day, and clear, starry skies at night. And plenty of fresh, clean air to go around.

The stretch of road from Commonwealth to Ever alone has changed so noticeably since those days. For one thing, the highway — for that’s what Commonwealth has become — is about 6 lanes in either direction, and road widening seems to take place every year. In place of stop lights, there are U-turn slots to ease the traffic. Pedestrian overpasses (footbridges, as the Metro Manila Development Authority, or MMDA, call them) keep pedestrians safe while keeping vehicular traffic flowing smoothly.

Buildings, gasoline stations, restaurants, and stores now line the highway. Perhaps because of such signs of progress, this part of Quezon City now seems not too far from anything. The only thing that might be “scary” about coming here is the speeding, swerving cars, jeeps, and buses.

(We hope to soon post a few photos to show how the area has changed. Unfortunately, I personally have no photos of the area from earlier years, so contributions are most welcome. If you have any photos of this part of Quezon City from 20 years ago or even more, please consider sharing them on this blog.)

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Barangay elections 2007

Things have been quite busy in my part of the world the last few months. So today, while enjoying some down time, I surfed the Internet for information about the October 29 barangay/sangguniang kabataan elections.

I was very surprised to come across this article from Journal Online that names Barangay Holy Spirit as one of the “hotspots” for the upcoming elections. This, after I had blogged before the May elections that we would probably never be one — whether on the level of national or local elections.

Hopefully, the new barangay officials will be able to change the situation.

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Anti-crime tips

by Isabel

An anti-crime advisory from the Quezon City Police District Director Magtanggol B. Gatdula has been making the rounds. This is in line with the QCPD’s anti-carnapping initiative.

The full text of the advisory follows:

Dear Beloved Citizen,

Your policemen from the Quezon City Police District have launched a pro-active campaign against carnapping. We are glad that since January this year, we have brought down the number of carnapping to minimum number, but we will not stop. Our aim is to further reduce this crime to a significant level where ordinary citizens will not fear leaving their cars unsecured and unattended.

We know that you can help us in our fight against this menace by doing the following acronym and sharing them to your relatives and friends:

A — Always lock all car doors when you park.
N — Never leave your cars with engine running and unlocked when withdrawing at ATMs and buying anything in nearby stores.
T — Take your family members with you when you park.
I — Install safety and alarm devices.

C — Check the area for suspicious-looking persons.
A — Always park in well-lighted areas at night.
R — Remove visible valuables inside the car that may tempt “Bukas Kotse Gang.”
N — Never entrust car keys to strangers or even to mechanics not known to you who could have it duplicated.
A — Avoid and never trust hitchhikers especially beautiful women.
P — Park your car in secure areas as much as possible.
P — Provide necessary information to area security personnel and the police on suspicious-looking persons.
I — Install a hidden master switch whenever possible.
N — Never leave your car windows and doors open especially during traffic jams or in crowded areas.
G — Garage gates must be secured and locked at all times.

The advisory above was photocopied and left on car windshields in Quezon City. But it’s interesting how law enforcers are also making good use of the Internet now. Here’s an informative video for all drivers (and passengers). Please note that although this was produced in the US, the tips are applicable anywhere.

Security and crime prevention are matters we should all be concerned about. Let’s all do our share to keep our community safe and crime-free.

Many thanks to CDT for the advisory and to serialmacs.blogspot.com for showing me the video.

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Crime prevention

by Isabel

We’ve heard of the “Akyat-Bahay Gang,” the “Salisi Gang,” and more recently, the “Laptop Gang.”

We’ve heard and read horror stories in the papers or circulated through email of cellphones snatched, bags slashed, or homes broken into.

It is shocking enough to hear of such stories — more so if they happen to friends and neighbors.

These stories should make us more vigilant and more conscious about doing our share as good citizens to prevent such crimes — and to report them, in the unfortunate event that they do happen.

The Makati City Police have a number of videos available on their YouTube blog. Even if we’re not from Makati, it won’t hurt to watch these videos. They will help us become more aware of the different modus operandi and scams perpetrated by criminal elements.

Our very own Quezon City Police District has a website that contains, among other things, a directory of important numbers. These will be added to the “Contacts” section of this blog, but are also available below:

Quezon City Police District
Camp Maj Gen Tomas B Karingal
Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
Tel Nos: (02) 925 84 17 / (02) 920 13 78
Email : qcpd@pnp.gov.ph

Be safe!

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Robbery in Ever?

by Isabel

Last week, I learned that one of the banks inside Ever Gotesco was held up.

I waited for a news report on TV that night and the following morning, looked for news items both in the papers and on the Internet that might give the details. Nothing. Or did I just miss it?

Anyway, because there was no “official” news, I have no way of knowing how true the story was. Just the same, hearing of this made me think of previous incidents in Ever. Who could forget the robbery on the evening of 25 December 2006, in which armed men dressed in SWAT uniforms made off with millions in sales and employees’ salaries? The abduction of Jonas Burgos also took place inside Ever, in April.

I decided to blog about it because I came across this article a few days ago, about four men who were caught while holding up a bus along East Avenue. The robbers led the police to a fifth man, who was caught in Ever while waiting for the robbers and their goods. According to the report, the fifth man allegedly bought stolen mobile phones from the gang.

Where these phones are eventually sold is anyone’s guess.

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Sona 2007

by Isabel

It’s that time of year again.

Tomorrow, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo delivers her State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the opening of the 14th Congress.

For us living just a stone’s throw away from the Batasang Pambansa Complex, that means using alternate routes as Commonwealth Avenue is expected to be closed to vehicular traffic.

According to this article on ABS-CBN Interactive, rallyists will converge in front of the St. Peter’s Church along Commonwealth and hold programs in the Ever Gotesco area while the SONA is ongoing.

As reported, the IBP Road leading to the Batasan complex will be closed by noon, or “when the number of rallyists starts to build up.” No mention was made of the exact time Commonwealth Avenue will be inaccessible to cars.
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