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Hi cheers,

Gi-check nako google map, kay tinuod lang disoriented pa ko gamay sa Bohol geography. So naa diay ka sa west side. I've been as far as Sagbayan in that area. Murag modalikyat ra man gud ko this Saturday afternoon sa Tagbilaran to check things out with an architect. I don't think I'll have the time to go as far as Buenavista this time. Pila diay na ka oras, and how do I go there (wala pa ko'y sakyanan, but I can rent one). Kung lisdan ko this time, we can find another time nga dili kaayo ko gadali. I'd like to check out your place and explore agri-business ideas that we can possibly cooperate in.

Asa man ka ron Cheers? If you're in Bohol, it would be nice if we can sit down and share ideas.

Hi vrglguapo,

This is really foremost of the ideas I am considering. Do we have any TB members here who are actually engaged in this business? Have you tried this business, guaps? Asa man ta kapamalit ug baratong bugas?

I have only recently moved base from overseas to Cebu, but my heart is really in Bohol. I am fortunate to have a job that gives me a lot of free time (at least for now) --and to connect with different kinds of people. Though my work is academic, I have a lot of entrepreneurial experiences overseas. But doing business in the Philippines is new to me. My company has already been approved by SEC, so I am raring to start.

Rice business first came to mind kay murag mao man gyud kasagara ihatag nga business idea sa akong mga amigo dire sa Cebu. I have a friend at church who is handling about 600 workers, and their company provides 1 sack of rice monthly as one of the benefits. In the university I work in, there is a mall-size food court nga daghan kaayo concessionaires. Since it is really a staple, murag dili gyud tingali ni risky. As a businessman, I am on the conservative side. I am very ready to start anytime

Anyone actually engaged in this business who can share their ideas?

I just need some ideas.

If I get her message right, Monsod was addressing presumably future government leaders and exhorting them to break away from the mindset of seeking economic redemption from manpower export (which is our unbroken pillar of economic policy from the time of Marcos), or forfeiting such leadership by themselves moving to seek greener pastures overseas. I guess she is not vilifying or diminishing the contribution of OFW's.

If she means it that way, I agree with her. To go abroad should be a matter of personal decision--not of economic necessity or survival, as it is now for most Filipinos. The government should wean itself from its extreme dependence on OFW remittances, sacrificing social costs that go with such policy. The government should focus on generating local employment that can provide for decent life.

I have lived overseas for more than 20 years, and am now back home. I know of many other Filipinos who want to come back home and live here, but are afraid that they cannot find viable livelihood. Those who have savings have heard of too many tales of homecoming Filipinos who have depleted their hard-earned stash and are back to square one.

Personally, I feel more professionally fulfilled, having more social impact at least in the circles I move in, and more spiritually at peace here. I have never regretted the leap of faith I made to come home. But I would not advice everyone to take this step--unless they have carefully studied their decision and mapped out their plans.

The sad fact is that our government welcomes our remittances, but is not ready to welcome all overseas Filipinos to come home for good. So if you want to come home, think about what skills and professional or entrepreneurial assets (plus some minimum of cash) that you could bring home to build a viable career. Plan this years ahead, and establish professional and business contacts on both sides that would help you in your plan. Ironically, there's no easy way home. But if you're determined, you can.

Talk of the Town / Re: The Internet never forgets
« on: November 07, 2010, 04:37:55 PM »
Some people think that social media is their personal space, a white wall on which to splash graffiti of their most unrestrained thoughts or give vent to their innermost demons. 

Assistant Secretary for Communications Mai Mislang should remember that even completely unknown, untitled persons have gained notoriety overnight worldwide for thoughtless comments to the point of being physically hunted for public lynching. (Forgot the name of the lady from Dubai now--but the furor stopped only when people vouched that somebody hacked her account and maliciously attributed that comment to her.)

This is not a simple lapse of judgment. I guess it calls into question her ability to make any sound judgment at all.

Philippine Education / Re: CDU Scholarship for Japanese Descendants
« on: October 28, 2010, 06:24:26 PM »
Hi Pads,

We've finally met this morning. We'll just do first things first--the Japanese father's recognition. Let's just pray he will respond favorably, and the rest will follow naturally. By the way, I also had an enjoyable chat with the family, especially with Mommy.

Philippine Education / Re: CDU Scholarship for Japanese Descendants
« on: October 27, 2010, 01:22:52 PM »
I'm meeting her tomorrow morning at SM.

Philippine Education / Re: CDU Scholarship for Japanese Descendants
« on: October 27, 2010, 11:08:26 AM »
Hi Pads,

Nagkontak na nako ang imong kaila. Since she just lives in the vicinity, I'm trying to arrange a meeting to get the details. I hope we can meet during the week. Actually, I am just doing my work, Pads. If they are eligible for resident visa as guardians of children of Japanese, my company, in cooperation with CDU,  trains them in the language, Japanese culture, customs and mores, as well as hospital work so that they can be employed in Japanese health care facilities. They need company sponsors so they can avail themselves of the visa, if they are qualified.

Philippine Education / Re: CDU Scholarship for Japanese Descendants
« on: October 27, 2010, 08:00:10 AM »
Hi technichi,

There is a good number of Japanese descendants in Bohol. In Panglao, there is one family whose papers I had processed and their children finally made it to Japan. Having a Japanese blood used to be a social stigma especially after the war, that's why many used the surnames of their mothers to hide their Japanese identity. But since 2000, the Japanese government had given special privileges to them for long-term residency in Japan, waiving the regular requirements for foreigners like university diploma and special skills.

Recently, the Japanese government has also eased the rules for the grant of Japanese nationality to those with Japanese blood. Children who were born to a Japanese father and a foreign mother out of wedlock used to be excluded from the right to Japanese nationality, unless they were officially recognized by the Japanese father within three months of conception (tough for any unmarried father).

But now, children of Japanese-Filipino (foreigner) unions -- married or unmarried -- who are below 20 years of age can seek the recognition of their Japanese father and be entitled to Japanese nationality.  In really difficult cases, especially for mothers who used to work as so-called 'talents', one can present DNA evidence of consanguinity.

Thanks for helping spread the word. Hope this will reach many more Japanese descendants in Bohol.

Philippine Education / Re: CDU Scholarship for Japanese Descendants
« on: October 26, 2010, 09:53:35 AM »


Ang COE is acronym for Certificate of Eligibility (for visa). Do you personally know the mother of this kid? We have many cases now of child and mother being allowed to go to Japan through the procedure of post-natal paternal recognition, and in a few cases, the child even received Japanese citizenship. Depende gyud sa individual circumstances. Perhaps if you could connect me to the mother, I could assess the case more accurately. If the assessment shows that the child has a good chance of receiving a visa or applying for Japanese citizenship, then the mother can be accepted for training at CDU after passing our aptitude tests. I'll PM my mobile phone so she could text me.

Philippine Education / CDU Scholarship for Japanese Descendants
« on: October 25, 2010, 04:00:45 PM »
Applications for Our 6th Term Now Accepted

The 6th term of our Caregiver Scholarship Program will start in the first half of November this year. We are accepting applications now from third generation nikkeijin, dual Filipino-Japanese citizens, or Japanese nationals with Filipino blood who are presently based in the Philippines.

Grab this chance to train as a caregiver for free and have a sure, ready job when your arrive in Japan.

The Career-Service Japan of the Konoike Group has joined hands with world-class medical school Cebu Doctors University (CDU) in accepting training applicants among nikkeijins up to the third generation or prospective third generation (fourth generation whose koseki is being upgraded).

If you pass our interview, you will enrol at our intensive language course and special program with Cebu Doctors University. Training is for free--from transportation, tuition, dorm, plus living allowance!

For third-gen or fourth-gen nikkeijins, just prepare a clear copy of the latest koseki tohon of your first-generation Japanese ascendant (lolo or lola) and your family tree.

Please note that upgrading of your koseki ang visa documentation fees are not for free. But arrangements for easy payment terms may be made.

For those who can obtain visa on their own or through Certificate of Eligibility (COE) application by relatives, or those who already have visa, you will receive your training entirely for free plus living allowance during your three-month training.

For specifics, please PM your contact number or get in touch with me by phone or text message at 0917-640-9648.

I will communicate to you the e-mail address through which you will send your biodata.

It seems that Bohol has been made to commit more than its feasible share in green energy production. I remember that Bohol has also committed itself to hundreds of hectares in jatropha cultivation. Whatever happened to this one? I believe that if we grab every dollar-denominated offer being dangled before us, Bohol will no longer have arable land for grain production.

With the recent typhoon leveling most of northern Luzon's grain, will we turn again overseas for our basic rice needs? Last year, our much vaunted excess in rice self-sufficiency has already slipped below 80%.

Given the vast area and the number of people involved in this bioethanol project, why such secretive and hasty manner to clinch this project? Why so late a call for public consultation? Not only are we making a high-stakes gamble on our people's livelihood, we are also sending wrong signals to foreign investors about our business policy.

Winnie Monsod video goes viral

By Lawrence de Guzman
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:38:00 10/12/2010

MANILA, Philippines—A lecture on honor and excellence, as well as the importance of trying to pay back, by economics professor Solita “Winnie” Monsod has gone viral on the video-sharing website YouTube.

As of press time, the 10-minute video has reached over 210,000 views after it was posted last week.

Monsod, a professor emeritus at the University of the Philippines’ School of Economics in Diliman, Quezon City, and a Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist, delivered her annual “last lecture” in her Economics 100.1 class on Oct. 5, wearing high heels that, she said, were “killing me.” The remark elicited laughter from some 350 students in attendance.

Then she imparted in 10 minutes what felt like “an entire course plus grad school” in a university, according to one viewer’s comment.

“You’re going to be as good and as honorable as you should be. You are going to stay in the Philippines. And if you leave the Philippines, you are at least going to try to pay back,” Monsod said.

“Excellence is not the only important thing that matters,” she said.

Stressing that the premier state university’s motto is “Honor and Excellence,” Monsod warned her students of the dangers of putting excellence before honor.

Honor first

“[It’s] honor first before excellence … And what is the fruit of honor and excellence? Is it not competence and integrity? In other words, if you have lived up to your promise and your potential as a university student, you are in a position to be part of the solution to this country’s problems, not part of the problem,” she said.

Monsod took a swipe at the UP alumni who have occupied or are occupying top positions in the government.

“If they were so good, why are we where we are now? And so you have to ask yourselves that. And part of the reason is because we have always looked at excellence, and not looked at honor and integrity,” she said.

The 70-year-old economist also said students would do well to stay in the country after graduating.

Going cyberspace

“If you are going to help this country, you’ve got to be in the country. If any of you have ambitions of going abroad so that you can earn more, please disabuse yourself, because by doing that, you are essentially betraying the people in the Philippines who trusted you and who invested their money in you,” she told her students, whose tuition at UP is subsidized by the government.

“And if you leave the Philippines, you are at least going to try to pay back,” she said.

The lecture, delivered at the school auditorium, found its way into cyberspace when Joe Drigo Enriquez, one of Monsod’s students, uploaded it on YouTube.

“This is no doubt one of the most moving [and entertaining] pieces of public lecture I’ve heard from a professor, and is definitely something that every Filipino must hear and watch,” Enriquez said, describing what he had done.

As of press time, the video of Monsod’s last lecture has stirred up nearly 800 comments on YouTube, most of them expressing appreciation. It has also been posted and shared over other social networking sites and blogs, creating discussions among web users.

Male22Maroon wrote: “I am so glad and so blessed to have been mentored by Prof. Solita ‘Winnie’ Monsod during my days as an economics student in UP. She’s really a great economist, educator and leader of the intelligentsia in this country.”

Said Gabrield7: “I’m not from UP, but this is one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard. And what she said is something that must hit everyone in this country. We definitely have to do something about the condition of this country.”

But not everyone agreed with Monsod’s views.

Commenting on Monsod’s Facebook fan page, Alex Timbol wrote: “I disagree strongly with her views that to help the country, one needs to be in the country … The return on work overseas, particularly for highly trained professionals, is significantly higher than it is in the Philippines at the moment, and working overseas may help individuals to accumulate human and financial capital to effect change.”

Market & Economic Trends / Re: Bohol readies to be a call center hub?
« on: October 12, 2010, 08:29:33 AM »
Though Bohol has been rather late in taking advantage of the employment opportunities provided by business process outsourcing (BPO) companies, these serious efforts taken to catch up are commendable. Not only would Bohol-based BPOs decongest urban centers like Cebu where they are a major growth engine and employers of Boholanos, BPOs are also in line with green tourism policy as service providers.

Market & Economic Trends / Bohol readies to be a call center hub?
« on: October 12, 2010, 08:18:02 AM »
Bohol Opens 10,500 BPO Seats
Manila Bulletin

October 4, 2010, 6:13pmTAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol – Job prospects for information technology (IT) graduates  in Bohol glimmer as business process outsourcing (BPO) pops up in talks among local leaders and the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI).

The possibility of a call center or BPO investment in the province has also been fueled by the fact that the Province of Bohol has the capacity to hold at least 10,500 call center seats in the island.

Bohol Governor Edgard Chatto made this pronouncement following the completion of the installation of a new fiber optic system that opens the entire province to investors in the BPO industry.

Chatto said the new fiber optic system, in effect, opens up an estimated 10,500 seats for call center agents in Tagbilaran City or in any other part of Bohol

BCCI President Joseph Norris Oculam earlier revealed that the Chamber, along with local officials are sealing the arrangements to convert corporate space at Tagbilaran’s Island City Mall into Bohol's first call center hub.

Such news have made several parents of Boholano call center agents in Cebu excited with the  prospects of having their children work in an environment closer to home.

Perceived as a good venue for business process outsourcing, Bohol has never failed to amaze information technology entrepreneurs who see the existence of competitive schools offering standard call center courses as a telltale sign of competitiveness.

Sources with the Bohol Investment Promotion Center said the need to put up fiber optic cables to integrate Bohol into the vast worldwide network was realized last year,

The formal ushering of Bohol into the rest of the world has also signaled the opening of the Bohol One Stop Shop (BOSS) for investment support now located at the BIPC.

Workplace & Productivity / Re: Why did you leave your last Job?
« on: September 30, 2010, 10:56:18 PM »
At mid-forty, I faced a blank wall in my career and refused to accept that the rest of my life would be drudgery and enslavement to a routine that no longer challenged, let alone made me happy.

After more 20 years abroad, I took a giant leap of faith back home. I certainly am happy to have made this bold decision. I am now back to the teaching profession, but still am able to do my translation and documentation from my base in Cebu. My work is less stressful, more financially rewarding and gives me more time for my family.

Kaliwat Bol-anon / Re: Lagunay Clan of Dimiao
« on: September 14, 2010, 05:45:46 PM »
Hi Atty.,

Nice to see you around here at TB. I am not as active as before, as the pace of my new work here in Cebu is picking up. But I couldn't resist the urge to greet you upon seeing this post. So what keeps you busy these days?

I really wonder what action the Tagbilaran bishop has taken, given the worldwide attention Fr. Skelton's case has received. I hope that he is not just waiting for the uproar to die down, like so many other cases of clergy abuse. Private contrition is one thing, public accountability is another. We are not even asking the good bishop to disrobe the priest without due process. We are just asking him to tell us what he has done since he learned of Fr. Skelton's conviction, and why he has decided to keep Skelton in his post.

Hi Islander,

Thanks for the tip. We try not to go out late at night and keep a tightly laced routine. Fortunately, we have a very quiet and well-guarded neighborhood which has enough space for jogging--that's why we don't feel so stifled by our "domesticated" lifestyle. So far we always find something new to enjoy at Ayala, SM and Park Mall. We don't feel the need yet to venture outside these safe zones. You're right, it seems odd to be watching our backs when we're supposed to be home. The taxi tip is very useful. It's still our main mode of transport around town. Those wee hours are normally outside our active biological clock, but I have taken really early trips twice or thrice on business travels out of town.

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