PART II: Staying fit in Dumaguete City

So Buglasan Festival is over and pretty much most of us set aside our diet routine for that ten-day celebration of good food on top of the usual activities anticipated yearly during Buglasan  right? Tell me you didn’t feast on at the food area in Kagawasan Avenue where the different LGU booths are put up? Or even at the Sidlakang Negros Village where you can also dine in and get a taste of the different delicacies from each town and cities of Negros Oriental?

Well, I am quite guilty of this and I bet some of you are too. (LOL) Have you weighed yourself recently? If you’re one of those who might have gained a few pounds from the festivity this month, I think it’s time for you to do something about that extra weight before another celebration kicks off in November which is the Sandurot Festival.

For this week’s ‘Where To’ section let’s talk about another way we can stay fit here in Dumaguete. If you wanna check out Part I of this, you may click link here. In our previous blog post we talked about the Macias Oval Complex. Now let me take you to a water sport this time. Yes, I am taking about swimming! Swimming is another way you can do away with those extra weight and go back in shape before the city fiesta hits on.

This is a photo taken by Hensley Ven Casero and submitted to LA Times. Original Caption says: DUMAGUETE CITY, PHILIPPINES - OCT. 29, 2010. A swimmer prepares to compete in a women's aquatic event during the 15th Philippine University Games in Dumaguete City, Philippines, on Friday, Oct. 29, 2010. (Dagit Dumaguete does not own this photo. Please credit properly if used.)
This is a photo taken by Hersley Ven Casero and submitted to LA Times. Original photo caption says: DUMAGUETE CITY, PHILIPPINES – OCT. 29, 2010. A swimmer prepares to compete in a women’s aquatic event during the 15th Philippine University Games in Dumaguete City, Philippines, on Friday, Oct. 29, 2010. (Dagit Dumaguete does not own this photo. Please credit properly if used.)

Did you know that Dumaguete City holds the biggest public swimming pool in the entire Negros Oriental? The Lorenzo G. Teves Aqua Center or commonly called by locals here as Aqua Center is an Olympic size swimming pool with eight lanes.

Aqua Center is open to the public from 8:00am-6:00pm from Tuesday to Saturday at a minimum fee. The pool is close to the public on Monday because of its scheduled maintenance. Aqua Center is maintained by the provincial government under the Aqua Center Management Office located at the fourth floor of Convention Center. Entrance fee is Php20.00.

Photo taken from the panoramio account of Kang, Francis B I. Photo shows the two swimming pools of Aqua Center. The farther one is the Olympic size swimming pool with eight lanes. A lot of national games have already taken place in this facility. (Dagit Dumaguete does not own this photo. Please credit properly if used.)
Photo taken from the panoramio account of Kang, Francis B I. Photo shows the two swimming pools of Aqua Center. The farther one is the Olympic size swimming pool with eight lanes. A lot of national games have already taken place in this facility. (Dagit Dumaguete does not own this photo. Please credit properly if used.)

Separate shower rooms for men and women are available. The shower rooms are well-maintained too inspite of some non-functional showers, the entire room is clean. Lockers are available but you would have to bring your own padlock since the management does not provide you with one. The lockers are placed inside the shower room which is a floor underneath the swimming pool area. If you are not comfortable leaving your things inside the locker you may take it with you and place it on the bleachers on each side of the pool. However, you would have to be responsible for your valuables. The center will not be liable for any loss things and belongings.

A second pool is also available for diving with diving platforms at 3m, 5m, 7m and 10m respectively. The diving pool is 20 feet deep. Life guards are deployed around the pool area to watch over people swimming especially in the deep pool. Kick boards are placed on the poolside for everyone to use whether for practice or convenience. There’s no additional fee for using the kick boards.

Photo taken from the panoramio account of Kang, Francis B I. Photo shows the diving pool in Aqua Center with the diving platforms from 3 meters - 10 meters high. (Dagit Dumaguete does not own this photo. Please credit properly if used.)
Photo taken from the panoramio account of Kang, Francis B I. Photo shows the diving pool in Aqua Center with the diving platforms from 3 meters – 10 meters high. (Dagit Dumaguete does not own this photo. Please credit properly if used.)

Since Aqua Center is open to the public a lot of locals come here including foreigners to spend few hours doing swimming lapse or practicing. Most schools around the city which do not have their own swimming facility inside the campus spend their swimming classes and training here too.

Proper swimming attire is required in this public pool and usage of swimming cap is strictly followed most especially to women. The center has their own set of house rules for people who come to the facility. The house rules and regulations is available at the pool area for everyone to see and follow.

This is a sample of proper swimming attires accepted at the Aqua Center. Dagit Dumaguete does not own this photo. We are only using this as reference.
This is a sample of proper swimming attires accepted at the Aqua Center. Dagit Dumaguete does not own this photo. We are only using this as reference.
Though goggles can be optional when swimming at Aqua Center, the swimming cap is a must. So don't forget to bring one when you go there since the center no longer has swimming caps for rent.
Though goggles can be optional when swimming at Aqua Center, the swimming cap is a must. So don’t forget to bring one when you go there since the center no longer has swimming caps for rent.

Aqua Center also serves as training ground for kids every summer. You can enroll your kid/s to take swimming lessons here every afternoon. You just have to visit the provincial government office/capitol at the Kagawasan Avenue which is a walking distance from the center to inquire how you can enroll your kids to swimming lessons every summer.

If you also want to learn how to swim you can also visit the center and talk to the swimming instructors Aqua Center have for availability and rates. Usually hourly rate may apply.

So what are you waiting for? Chop-chop! Time to get back in shape. 🙂

Go Tags? We Got You! Reloaded Batch 4

Music gives a SOUL to the universe, wings to MIND , flight to the IMAGINATION, and LIFE to everything. – Plato

Whew! A month had passed since we re-launched our Got Tags? We Got You! hashtag fun and we were overwhelmed with the number of photo entries we’re seeing every week. The past two weeks, Dumaguete was so busy celebrating the province annual Buglasan Festival. The Buglasan Festival 10-day festival ended last Sunday October 25, 2015. Yes it is over, but as we went though our Instagram account using hashtag #dagitduma, we’ve seen a couple of Buglasan photos posted. So for this week’s photo favorites, let’s all take a look back at some of those colorful and limitless smiles of the Buglasan Festival.

@hanesbabaee: “This is definitelybhis favorite booth! Now he keeps on going back abd pretends he is in Cebu and back in Dumaguete”
@nyt_gabbz: “When in #Dumaguete”
@khemoi: “Life is better when you’re laughing”
@leslieta: “Hero mode on.. Oh ha.. Hahaha”
@vinbitz: “Silhoutte”
@rizaliaramirez: “I had spaghetti ala Gambas and it was really good (Schastliv Cafe, Grill & Bar)”
@philipsardan: “#dagitduma I❤️Dumaguete”
@junpaoewanderer: “Soon to open in Dumaguete City”

That’s it for our 4th installment. Please continue to show us your best Instagram photos of anything interesting stuff around the city by using our hashtag #dagitduma. You can submit as many photos as you’d like just make sure your IG account is public so we may get to see them. Who knows, your ohoto might land a spot among our favorites here in our blog site.

Dagit Dumaguete wants to show the world what Dumaguete City has to offer though this Got Tags? We Got You! Reloaded Instagram craze :):):)

Let us share your story

Haven’t followed us yet? Click here now.

Buglasan 2015 Festival of Festivals and Street Dancing

The grand showdown and street dancing competition were the highlights of the Buglasan 2015 10-day festivity. Every year, people gather together to watch the most awaited Showdown and Street Dancing Competition of different participating LGU’s of Negros Oriental. The street dance was held last Oct 23, which had been officially declared as a non-working holiday in the province of Negros Oriental. This is to give way to the locals to watch and support their respective municipalities. In the morning, contingents from different municipalities compete in a Dance Showdown held in Lamberto Macias Sports Complex. Each presentation depicted stories of their own municipality’s fiesta history. In the afternoon is the street dancing competition. This year, 8 participating LGU’s showcased their festivities along the streets of Dumaguete City. The streets were packed with people waiting for the parade to start. The performers were dressed colorfully in their costumes as they would dance to the beat of the drums through the parade , stopping at some point along the streets to do a dance routine with their colorful and amazing props.

Let’s take a look again at the performances of the different municipalities in their colorful costumes.

Sibulan – Yagyag Festival

Photo credits to the photo owner Charlie Sindiong. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own the photo. Please credit the owner properly

“Yagyag” is the vernacular for spawning, to lay eggs or spread, propagate and grow. the process refers in the particular to the crabs and the other marine creatures that gather during the months of October to December in Sapa, one of spring found in Brgy. Cangmating of Sibulan, – SOURCE: here

Photo credits to the photo owner Charlie Sindiong. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own the photo. Please credit the owner properly
Photo credits to the photo owner Hersley-Ven Casero. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own the photo. Please credit the owner properly
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Photo credits to the photo owner Dumaguete Advisor. Photo from their FB account. Dagit Duma does not own this photo. Please credit owner properly.
yagyag hers
Photo credits to the photo owner Hersley-Ven Casero. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own this photo. Please credit owner properly.

Dumaguete City – Sandurot Festival

Photo credits to the photo owner Charlie Sindiong. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own the photo. Please credit the owner properly

Sandurot which means, “fellowship and reaching out,” and is derived from the Visayan word “pakig-sandurot” for the offering and enjoyment of hospitality. It is a colorful, annual fiesta event to commemorate Dumaguete’s rich history dating the pre-Hispanic period. – SOURCE: here

Photo credits to the photo owner Charlie Sindiong. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own the photo. Please credit the owner properly
Photo credits to the photo owner Charlie Sindiong. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own the photo. Please credit the owner properly
sandurot
Photo credits to the photo owner Hersley-Ven Casero. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own this photo. Please credit owner properly.

Bayawan City – Tawo Tawo Festival

Photo credits to the photo owner Alberto Señeris. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own this photo. Please credit owner properly.

Tawo-tawo or commonly known as scarecrow is significantly used to drive away the little native birds called “maya” that feed on the ripening golden rice grains. This agricultural method was what led to Bayawan’s Tawo-tawo Festival. The TawoTawo Festival is celebrated annually every month of December in Negros Oriental. – SOURCE: here

Photo credits to the photo owner Alberto Señeris. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own this photo. Please credit owner properly.

Tanjay  – Sinulog sa Tanjay Festival

The Saulog sa Tanjay is a colorful celebration in honor of St. James the Greater. It is held  yearly on the 24th of July before the fiesta celebration. Street dancing is performed by the participants wearing colorful costumes . This religious event is based on the legend of St. James the Greater miraculously aided the Christians riding a white horse and slew hundreds of moors during the battle. – SOURCE: here

Photo grabbed from Alberto Señeris FB account. Dagit Duma does not own this photo. Please credit owner properly.

Manjuyod – Anihan Festival

Photo credits to the photo owner Charlie Sindiong. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own the photo. Please credit the owner properly

The word “anihan” means harvest.  From the word itself, people showcases their harvested crops as a sign of thanksgiving. Anihan Festival is a thanksgiving celebration that expresses gratefulness for a bountiful harvest

Photo credits to the photo owner Alberto Señeris. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own this photo. Please credit owner properly.
Photo credits to the photo owner Charlie Sindiong. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own the photo. Please credit the owner properly

Bais City – Hudyaka Festival

Photo credits to the photo owner nyt_gabbz. Photo from his IG account (@nyt_gabbz). Dagit Duma does not own this photo. Please credit owner properly.

Hudyaka sa Bais is a spectacular Mardi Gras parade and plaza revelry to highlight the fiesta of San Nicolas de Tolentino, patron of the city of Bais. – Source: HERE

Photo credits to the photo owner nyt_gabbz. Photo from his IG account (@nyt_gabbz). Dagit Duma does not own this photo. Please credit owner properly.

San Jose – Ayuquikan Festival

Photo credits to Hersley Van Casero. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own the photo. Please credit the owner properly.

The festival highlights the feast of patron St. Joseph. The festival features the origin of the town’s old name (Ayuquikan) which was derived from the vernacular “inukitan” which means the chaff and hulls if fruits after birds have picked up the crops. – SOURCE: here

Photo credits to Hersley Van Casero. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own the photo. Please credit the owner properly.

Jimalalud – Hambabalud Festival

Photo credits to the photo owner Charlie Sindiong. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own this photo. Please credit owner properly.

Jimalalud’s Hambabalud Festival derives its name from the towering hambabalud trees found in the municipality which are said to be the inhabited by malignant spirits. To counteract the evils unleashed, the local folks seek the intercession of their patron, the Holy Child. – SOUTCE: here

Photo credits to the photo owner Charlie Sindiong. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own this photo. Please credit owner properly.
Photo credits to the photo owner Dumaguete Advisor. Photo from their FB account. Dagit Duma does not own this photo. Please credit owner properly.
Photo credits to the photo owner Charlie Sindiong. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own this photo. Please credit owner properly.
Photo credits to the photo owner Dumaguete Advisor. Photo from their FB account. Dagit Duma does not own this photo. Please credit owner properly.

Mabinay – Langub Festival

Photo credits to the photo owner Charlie Sindiong. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own the photo. Please credit the owner properly

The Langub is an annual festival held every 24th day of January in Poblacion, Mabinay Negros Oriental. This is a 5-day (January 21-25) package celebration commemorating the joy, unity and prosperity achieved by the early cave dwellers. At the same time, a thanksgiving celebration for a God-given natural wonder; the spectacles and splendors of the caves that makes Mabinay “The Cave Capital of the Philippines”. – SOURCE: here

Photo credits to the photo owner nyt_gabbz. Photo from his IG account (@nyt_gabbz). Dagit Duma does not own this photo. Please credit owner properly.
Photo credits to Hersley Van Casero. Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own the photo. Please credit the owner properly.

YagYag Festival of the municipality of Sibulan bested 7 other contingents to win this year’s championship in the Buglasan Festival of Festivals. This is the second time that Sibulan’s Yagyag Festival bags the title Buglasan Festival Grand Champion. They also got most of the awards namely, 2nd Best Float, Best in Musicality, Best in Costume, and Best in Choreography. Congratulations also to Dumaguete City’s own contingent SANDUROT Festival for winning second place next to YagYag Festival of Sibulan and for bagging the Best in Street Dancing award. On the third place is the contingent from the south, Bayawan’s Tawo-Tawo Festival.

Hail hail to all Dumagueteños and to the other 7 municipalities for their amazing performances. Buglasan 2015 Festival of Festivals is indeed a success! We’ll see you all again next year!!!

***Featured image in this article is by Paul Javier

Photo from his FB account. Dagit Duma does not own the photo. Please credit the owner properly.

Sidlakang Negros Village: Exhibit of Negrense’s Local Crafts and Culture

Negros Oriental is the south-eastern half of Negros Island (western-half is Negros Occidental). The land area that separates both part are the rough mountains. Negros Oriental is comprised of 19 municipalities and 6 cities with Dumaguete as the capital City. The province major industry is agriculture, and this is due to the immense productive land resources that we have. As for Negros Oriental culture, each town has its own annual fiesta (which is normally devoted to a patron).

On December, 2007, the Sidlakang Negros Village was opened and it’s purpose is to have a place where the best of each town in Negros Oriental would be showcased. This has been a permanent venue for exhibiting crafts, trade and tourism. Sidlakang Negros is located at E. J. Blanco Drive, Piapi in Dumaguete City. The village is surrounded with a lot of nature and greeneries which makes visitor feel the province atmosphere and nature. Aside from the different villages structures where each municipalities display their crafts, there is also an open auditorium where events and other activities can be held.

Structured Villages found here are from the municipality of Canlaon, Dauin, Bayawan, Tayasan, Sibulan, San Jose, Sta. Catalina, Tanjay, Mabinay, Pamplona, Valencia, La Libertad, Vallehermoso, Manjuyod, Jimalalud, Bais, Guihulngan, Dumaguete, Amlan, Ayungon, Basay, Bindoy, Siaton, Zamboangita, and Bacong.

The Village’s business hours is from 9:00am-6:00pm. But because it’s Buglasan Festival, this place holds different kinds of activities for the Buglasan, and many visitors and tourist come to this place and they get to experience the different cultures and diverse crafts of the Negrenses, the place is opened until late in the evening.

What’s nice about having a permanent place like this, is that even it’s not Buglasan festival, tourist can still experience the Negrenses culture and even if they can’t tour the whole Negros Oriental, coming to this place would make them feel that they have been to each Negros’ towns and municipalities.

We can also find the Negros Oriental Provincial Tourism Office in this place.

For the locals, this village has become a park where they can visit and take a picture anytime they want to and this also become one of the ideal venues for events and activities in town. Sidlakang Negros has also become a museum of Negrense’s history, culture, tradition, and crafts. A place you can visit anytime of the year not just during Buglasan.

Buglasan 2015 Booths – Freedom Park

The different LGU gimmick booths are something that people look forward to when you talk about Buglasan Festival, so for this week’s “Where To” we would like to take you to the Buglasan Booth Area along the Kagawasan Avenue. The booth of each participating municipality or city showcasing the attractions, specialty products, and delicacies are all lined up along the avenue for the 10-day celebration

According to Dr. Elman the provincial government will provide PHP100,000.00 subsidy to those participating LGUs in the gimmick booth competition while the rest of the expenditure will come from the respective municipalities or cities participating this year

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The booths exhibits LGUs’ best tourism and agricultural foodstuffs and goods.       IMG_5796 IMG_5794 IMG_5792 IMG_5708

Food stands are found everywhere. If you’re a food enthusiasts, you’ll definitely enjoy the different food booths and mini restaurants installed at the center of the Freedom Park.

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When you’re tired walking checking the booths, you can have cold shake with a variety of flavors to choose from
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Looking for what to eat for dinner? You can choose from hundreds of food stalls
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Umbrella food stalls located at the center of the Freedom Park
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Tocinohan

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Cooked native peanuts can be found everywhere
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Deep fried twisted potatoes sold at P30/stick

Aside from the LGU booths, food and agricultural fairs, there were also cultural shows set up from 5:00pm-8:00pm at the Capitol forecourt where a stage is put up just outside the Capitol building. Lastly, activities were also set at the Main Stage of Freedom Park from 10:00pm to wee hours in the morning for the youth and tourists who would like to party and stroll at night, handled by the the San Miguel Corporation.

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It’s never too late to experience the Buglasan Festival. You can still visit the booths and fairs until October 25, 2015.

Dagit Dumaguete had a three-part blog posts about the Buglasan Festival of Festivals 2015 . For those who have not read our previous posts yet, it’s never too late to read our previous blog posts about Buglasan 2015 to find out more about this year’s festivity.

Part 1: Buglasan Festival of Festivals 2015

Part 2: What’s in store for Buglasan Festival of Festivals 2015?

Part 3: UPDATED: Buglasan to hold first ever Miss Negros Oriental 2015

Go Tags? We Got You! Reloaded Batch 3

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”  — Ferris Bueller

Welcome to our Got Tags? We Got You! Reloaded Batch 3. It’s the time of the week to choose our photo favorites. This week, we will again feature some of the best photos we have seen in our IG community and here are our top picks.

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Photo: @vinbitz – “Dumaguete City Public Market”
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Photo by: @yumallen – “I’m gonna paint you by numbers and color you in”
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Photo by: the_anfoners – ” Please visit our stall “Bisag Asa Ra Ai”
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Photo by: icahrondario – “coz we had a stressful week”
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Photo by: @xxmikaelaaa – The skies proclaim Your glory! Good Morning!”
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Photo by: @rizaliaramirez – “Cookies and cream milkshake”
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Photo by: @khemoi – “Watcha gonna do with the dessert?!”
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Photo by: @miahwho – “The city fiesta is coming”

There you go folks. We are still encouraging everyone to you post your photo to Instagram and tag it with hashtag #dagitduma. Make sure your account is public so we can see those posts. We encourage you to submit as many photos as you’d like, just make sure you submit your best work. Who knows, your photo might land a spot among our photo favorites here in our blog site. See you in our next batch!

Let Dagit Duma share your story :):):)

UPDATED: Dumaguete City wins crown for first ever Miss Negros Oriental 2015

Dumaguete City representative Trixia Marie S. Maraña was crowned the first ever Miss Negros Oriental 2015 last October 16, 2015 during the Grand Opening Celebration of Buglasan Festival of Festivals 2015.

Inspite of the scattered rain showers we had last October 16, Buglasan Festival of Festivals 2015 did not back down with its Grand Opening Day last Friday sticking to the itinerary as planned.

The streets of Dumaguete City were crowded with spectators for this highly anticipated annual event every October. Just like every Buglasan Festival of Festivals grand opening yearly, last Friday was no exception to the usual set of events lined up for the grand opening salvo of the grandest festival in Negros Oriental. One of the highlights during the night was of course the first ever Miss Negros Oriental 2015. (You may visit link here for our previous blog post on Miss Negros Oriental 2015)

The first ever Miss Negros Oriental 2015 was held at the Lamberto Macias Sports and Cultural Complex unlike the previous pageants of Miss Negros Oriental Tourism where it took place at the Freedom Park Main Stage.

Maraña bested the other 12 candidates vying for the crown of Miss Negros Oriental 2015. She also got two awards for Best in Swimsuit and Miss Karrisma respectively.

Following Maraña was Hazel Mae C. Trasmonte who represented Sta. Catalina and won first runner-up for Miss Negros Oriental 2015.  Trasmonte also brought home most of the awards last Friday. This beautiful Sta. Catalina representative won Best in Gown, Miss Photogenic, Miss Power Print Smile, and Texters Choice awards during the pageant.

The other runners-up were Renelyn A. Deguit who represented Ayungon, Racquel Leah Jade Trozzi from Valencia, who also won Best in Talent and Best in Interview awards and Joanna Mae Gajigan of Bais City who won 2nd, 3rd and 4th runners-up respectively.

Miss Tayasan representative Angela B. Uy also won Miss Professionalism and Miss Congeniality awards.

The program was divided into five parts where it kicked off with a production number of the 13 lovely candidates wearing what looked like a Victoria Beckham’s hit color dresses patched.

It was then followed by the swimwear competition which highlighted the coronation night since the previous pageants never had this portion. The ladies also had their solo time as they each showcased their talents to the spectators that night. Prior to the Question and Answer portion of the pageant was the Evening Gown presentation where the ladies walked their elegant evening gowns gracefully.

From the Dagit Dumaguete Team, congratulations to all the winners and to Trixie Marie Maraña for winning the crown for the first ever Miss Negros Oriental 2015.

For more photos of Miss Negros Oriental 2015 pageant you may visit Dumaguete.com gallery from here.

Disclaimer: Please note that photos from this article are not owned by Dagit Dumaguete. Kindly credit the photos to the rightful owner as specified in every caption. Dagit Dumaguete Team only wants to share good news and information happening in the City. No harm intended. Thank you!

 UPDATE/S: In our efforts to give you the best information we can gather through our interview/s and feedback/s from our followers and readers, we would like to embed some comments that we got regarding this blog post from our Official Facebook Page. Please see below:

screenshot comments

We appreciate the feedback and information provided to us. Please also note that the first blog post (our Editor’s Pick story about Miss Negros Oriental 2015) is provided in this story. The story contains our interview with the Buglasan 2015 Committee and the Provincial Tourism Council where we got the “first time” term for Miss Negros Oriental 2015. Again, Dagit Dumaguete only aims to share good information. No harm is intended. We greatly appreciate those who give us feedback and comments.

Dumaguete City bags another award – The Seal of Good Local Governance

Photo Credit: http://www.slideshare.net/alvinalmo/for-cs-os-and-other-stakeholders-3-april2014
Photo Credit: http://www.slideshare.net/alvinalmo/for-cs-os-and-other-stakeholders-3-april2014

The Seal of Good Local Governance originated from Seal of Good Housekeeping. The SGH was initially launched last 2010 and it aims to promote transparency and accountability in local government. Today it is already the Seal of Good Local Governance and this aims to continue promote the good financial housekeeping, disaster preparedness, social protection for the basic sector, business-friendliness and competitiveness, environmental management, and law and order and public safety.

Department of the Interior and Local Government launched the SGLG Award last January 15, 2014. With the success of Seal of Good Housekeeping, DILG aims to inspire LGUs that good financial housekeeping is not enough, and that Disaster Preparedness and Social Protection should also be focused. In addition to that LGUs should also focus on Business-Friendliness and Competitiveness, Peace and Order, and Environmental Management.

The Seal of Good Local Governance signifies the totality of administration and management of Local Governments not just in Finances but on all aspects or the components of the seal —Good Financial Housekeeping, Social Protection and Disaster Preparedness, and at least one from the essential assessment areas—Business-Friendliness and Competitiveness, Peace & Order or Environmental Management.

This year, Dumaguete City is one of the recipients of the SGLG which means our City has met all the components of the Seal. With that the City is entitled of the Performance Challenge Fund. The said Fund would be allocated to the restoration and construction of drainage canals in the City. One of the privileges of receiving the award and the fund is that the recipient of SGLG also can obtain a loan given the certification by DILG and with this Dumaguete can also attract more external donors.

Photo Credit: Negros Chronicle
Photo Credit: Negros Chronicle

The City of Dumaguete received a check worth P3 million. There are also other towns and cities in Negros Oriental who received the same award; we have Tanjay, Vallehermoso, Ayungon, San Jose, Manjuyod, Bacong, Dauin, and Amlan. This is indeed something Negrense should be proud of.

As reported by Negros Chronicle, according to Dumaguete City Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria, “This award is not mine only but for all Dumagueteños who contributed in making the city more cleaner, more beautiful, more friendly with an empowered barrangays,” According to Mayor Sagarbaria the said achievement is the father of all awards and that this signifies that the City is doing very well and performing above par compared to other Cities all over Region 7.

Transparency is a cornerstone of good governance as it allows citizens everywhere to hold institutions and governments accountable for their policies and performance.

-Dr. Sipho Moyo, ONE Africa Director

The award does not just make us proud but it also inspires us not just to sustain the title but to do more and be more. As what Mayor Sagarbaria said, the award is not just for him, which means the award is more on because of the Dumagueteños who cooperated and kept Dumaguete peaceful, clean, and indeed a city of gentle people.

 

Disclaimer: Please note that photos from this article are not owned by Dagit Dumaguete. Kindly credit the photos to the rightful owner as specified in every caption. Dagit Dumaguete Team only wants to share good news and information happening in the City. No harm intended. Thank you!

CARA in spotlight

“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”1 Peter 3:3-4 (NLT)

The Santacruzan Festival every May here in Dumaguete City can be considered one of the most anticipated and attended events every summer in the city. It is the time of the month when the church and state share creative talents and ideas to honor this meaningful Filipino tradition established during the Spanish reign in our country.

Dumaguete City is no different from the other cities in the country who observe Santacruzan festival during the month of May. Santacruzan depicts the search for Reyna Elena and her son Constantino  for the Holy Cross. Here in Dumaguete, Santacruzan Festival is highlighted by a grand procession on the last day of the festival where beautiful “sagalas” and their escorts parade around the streets of Dumaguete City.

Speaking of beautiful sagalas, Dagit Dumaguete Team had the chance to sit down with the group of young ladies here in Dumaguete who make up the sagala list every Santacruzan Festival here in the city. Together, let’s meet and greet the beautiful young hearts of the Catholic Advocates for Religious Action (CARA).

Catholic Advocates for Religious Action (CARA) Photo grabbed from their Official Facebook Page
Catholic Advocates for Religious Action (CARA)
Photo grabbed from their Official Facebook Page

CARA comes from the Spanish word which means face. CARA members are challenged to become the face of our world today especially to the young girls who are very vulnerable to temptations and influences these days.

“They are living the life of God through Mary in the ordinariness of their lives” emphasized CARA Adviser Zenovia V. Merecido during our one-on-one interview.

Humble Beginnings

Santacruzan Festival has ran for eight years recalls Merecido in our conversation. After eight years practicing this time-honored Filipino tradition here in Dumaguete, there was an inspiration to form a community group for these young girls to have continuous values formations. Aside from the young ladies desire to form a support group, there were parents who like the idea of continuous values formations too.

“They wanted to continue having a group where members can feel the sense of belongingness to a group for support of their personal lives” says CARA Adviser Merecido. She also narrated how her personal experiences in serving the community has made her realize the importance of putting up such a group especially with the challenges the youths are facing today. Thus, CARA was established December of 2014 though the group was initially launched August 2014. CARA officially got its blessing from Bishop Julito Cortes supported by Dumaguete City’s Parish Priest Rev. Mosignor  Marino Ybo and youth coordinator Rev. Fr. Hendrix Alar before 2014 ended.

Catholic Advocates for Religious Action (CARA) members. Photo grabbed from their Official Facebook Page.
Catholic Advocates for Religious Action (CARA) members. Photo grabbed from their Official Facebook Page.

CARA Today

CARA President Maeben Xyza Marie Ho also shared that the core group of CARA and its leaders make sure that these young ladies are given personality development talks and activities aside from their values formations.

“Our monthly talks and formations are not necessarily religious-based. We also encompass on our outreach programs” Ho added. The group’s target this year is to strengthen their core group as they continue their planned monthly activities for the members gearing up to next year’s Santacruzan festival.

Currently CARA has more or less 30 active members. CARA President said they are doing their best to encourage young ladies to join their team. However, in the future they may need to require members to go through their values formations first before they can join the Santacruzan Festival.

MEMBERSHIP

“All young ladies are free to join. There is no membership fee” says Maeben Xyza Marie Ho. Anyone between 16-30 years old are encourage and are free to join CARA.

According to CARA Adviser Zenovia Merecido they decided to lower the age requirement to join CARA to 16 years old this year since these young ladies are the subject of their evangelization.

During the month of May before the Santacruzan Festival kicks off, the members along with the aspiring members are required to go through three Sundays of values formations to complete and solidify their membership to the group.

Catholic Advocates for Religious Action (CARA) sagalas during the Santacruzan Festival Grand Procession in May 2014.
Catholic Advocates for Religious Action (CARA) sagalas during the Santacruzan Festival Grand Procession in May 2014.

The chosen Reyna Elena also serves as the second in command for the group. As per Ho they wanted to make sure that the Reyna Elena role will not be limited to the Santacruzan Festival Grand Procession only. The Reyna Elena is also expected to serve the community in some ways.

You may also visit their Official Facebook Page for more details. Here are some photos during last year’s Santacruzan Festival Grand Procession.

ACTIVITIES

CARA over the months since they were launched last year has proved that beauty does not just rely on the outside appearance but how one’s inner values magnify the physical look of an individual.

These are young girls with big hearts indeed. Just like what their president shared, they’re not focused on religious-based talks alone. In November the group raised funds for their gift-giving session come Christmas of 2015. They started a rummage sale at the Dumaguete Cathedral Church vicinity to acquire funds.

Catholic Advocates for Religious Action (CARA) in their Rummage Sale fund raising activity at the Cathedral Church with Bishop Julito Cortes.
Catholic Advocates for Religious Action (CARA) in their Rummage Sale fund raising activity at the Cathedral Church with Bishop Julito Cortes.

Come December 2014, two barangays in Dumaguete City with 50 families from each barangay received gifts from CARA through the funds they have raised in November. The two barangays were Canday-ong and Villa Suerte. CARA gave out groceries and goods to these families for Christmas.

Catholic Advocates for Religious Action (CARA) with the families who received their gifts last December 2014.
Catholic Advocates for Religious Action (CARA) with the families who received their gifts last December 2014.
Catholic Advocates for Religious Action (CARA) during their gift giving activity last December 2014.
Catholic Advocates for Religious Action (CARA) during their gift giving activity last December 2014.

The generosity does not stop there. Aside from their scheduled monthly talk early of 2015, the girls found time to dropped by Santo Niño Children’s Home Foundation to make the kids happy. The group gave out slippers to the kids from the orphanage out of the remaining funds they raised towards the end of 2014.

Truly these girls are believers that happiness does not result from what we get but from what we give.

“They should be an epitome of what takes to be a catholic and have faith” ended Maeben Ho during our interview.

FACTS

Vision: An inspired community of young women living a personal and intimate relationship with God through Mary.

Mission:

  1. To encourage young women to develop a personal relationship with God through active participation in the life and mission of the church.
  2. To provide loving support and a sense of belongingness in facing the common struggles and challenges of the young.
  3. To instill and strengthen catholic values through dynamic formation program.