Tag Archives: Manny Pacquiao

Of doing good for public health, The Champ, fresh seafood, and more of Sarangani

I feel a little guilty for being away so long! If my blog can ‘feel’, then he must be feeling abandoned already.  :-O Nevertheless, I will try my best to make up for it by posting some insights and pictures from all my travels of the past six months or so. :)

Picture moments with our boxing champ, Rep. Manny Pacquiao. Also in photo (extreme right), is the former Secretary of Health, Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan.

I will begin with Sarangani as I have been there twice in the last six months, in line with my engagement with a project that assists LGUs in working for better public health services through PPPs (public-private partnerships). The first travel happened in December 2011 and that was also when, for the first time, I had met “The Champ,” Rep. Manny Pacquiao. My colleagues and I were all star-struck and unable to stop ourselves from requesting some photos taken with him. :) The second trip took place in January 2012 and although we were not able to meet with The Champ again, his very accommodating aide gave us a personal tour of his mansion and even gave us souvenir (PacMan) T-shirts. (To protect the aide’s privacy, I will no longer mention his name here but let me send our big thanks to him through this post!)

It might interest you to know that the LGU of Sarangani, through the leadership of Governor Miguel Dominguez and Rep. Pacquiao, is planning to build a modern hospital facility in Alabel. We are part of the technical assistance team that is supporting the LGU as it prepares for the eventual management/co-management of the  facility, to be called Sarangani Medical Center. The medical facility is part of the LGU’s commitment to improve public health services for the people of Sarangani and nearby provinces. (To know more about the proposed hospital, you may visit http://www.interaksyon.com/article/9855/pacquiao-leads-groundbreaking-of-saranganis-p200-m-hospital)

Rep. Pacquiao and Gov. Dominguez, in a huddle, as the group discusses the planned Sarangani Medical Center.

Working with the team has opened my eyes further to the problems in the public health sector. Through this project, I was able to once again visit public hospitals and got more convinced that there is more that the private sector can do in ensuring that our people will get decent and compassionate healthcare.

I am aware that after the devolution of social services, many LGUs found it hard to manage public facilities due mainly to lack of managerial competence, resources, and in some cases, political will. I was not vocally in support of PPPs before but after seeing the state of some of our public health facilities, I decided that I want to keep a more open mind about this strategy. After all, this is about building partnerships. I don’t think the government can do it alone nor can we always expect it to do everything for us. I do agree that the government must build enough and efficient public health facilities but I also recognize that healthcare can be better managed if the managerial expertise of the private sector can be integrated in the whole system.

Anyway, let us ponder on this topic more in my next posts. :) I would now be sharing some photos from these last two travels in Sarangani (and even General Santos).

This is where we stayed in my team’s December 2011 trip. Called A-Montana Resort, it allows one to sleep and relax in cottages built on concrete stilts! Guests can further enjoy their stay there by fishing and boating (and I heard that there is also a swimming pool there although I was not able to see it).

Another image of the cottages on stilt. Looks inviting, isn’t it?

I saw this small orange boat while I was walking around the walkways in between the cottages.

With Sarangani Governor Migs Dominguez and my colleague, Ms. Pearl Soleta. I am not easily impressed but I sense the eagerness and commitment of the Governor when it comes to the goal of improving public health services.

This is my “pet”, Dinger. He also enjoyed being with the fishes in A-Montana Resort. He also got to enjoy my room. ;D Seriously, I just want to share the “Pinoy” ambience of the cottages in A-Montana Resort. The floors are wooden, too.

Dinger may be wondering how can he get to enjoy my mango shake, too!

We had very limited time to see some more of Sarangani because of our hectic schedule but we luckily chanced upon a beautiful beach resort in Glan, Sarangani, as we were going around to visit some of the public hospitals in the province. I am not sure now but this might be Isla Jardin del Mar Resort in Gumasa, Glan, Sarangani. We were truly blessed that afternoon because the sun was setting the moment we stepped down from our vehicle (I had to run madly though or I won’t catch the sun anymore!)

PacMan: Ang Pambansang Tubig. :) Nice, isn’t it?

This is one of the pictures I was able to take while we were going around to visit some of the health facilities in the province. This is part of the beautiful Sarangani coastline.

We had lunch and a short stop-over in Lemlunay Resort (overlooking the crystal clear waters of Sarangani Bay). This boat was ‘happily’ anchored by the cliff so I cannot help but capture this magical moment.

We got to see The Champ’s Hummer, too! :)

Dinger: What will I choose? What will I choose?! Help!

Of course, hubby will not allow me to go back home without the usual “order”: fresh seafood (including tuna!) from Sarangani! Thank you, Lord for the bounty of your oceans! :)

After the hard work, I wanted to pamper myself a little bit so I stayed in General Santos City enroute to Manila and tried the East Asia Royale Hotel. Rooms and service are ok but the hotel is a little old already. I appreciated the fact that the room I booked has a jacuzzi so I had the chance to take a warm bath, listen to good music, and simply relax. :) So, yes, have a good life and relax! Hope you can visit my blog again. :)

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This is not a paid blog.

Contacts:

A-Montana Resort | Email amontanaresort@pldtdsl.net | Tels. 083-826-6699/ 553-8553/ 553-0220/ 553-0110/ 301-333

Lemlunay Resort | Email lemlunayresort@yahoo.com | Tels. 083-228-1704/ +63 928 524 4528

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Mary Anne Velas-Suarin

Si Pacquiao, Hatton, Bebe G., atbp.

With Pacman’s recent victory, I am very sure that there will be many more articles, blogs and commentaries which will be written about him. I swore to myself before that I will never write about him. Truth is, I didn’t like him before. To me, he is “mayabang” and has a penchant for walking around surrounded with more-than-I can-swallow army of bodyguards. But that was when I knew so little of him and his fights.

Hard to admit, I am now a Manny Pacquiao fan. Not yet hard-core, but yes, enough to write something nice about him. (wink!)

I will not bore you (and myself) with how good his punches are and how precise his timing is. I am sure that we are getting heavy dosage of that already.

Let me tell you why I like him now:

1. He is so prayerful and God-fearing. Ok, we are not 100% sure if that is just for show but hey, it’s hard to perfect that “act” right? So I am pretty sure he believes in the Almighty and gives Him honor, respect and gratitude. I am always moved by the way he prays very fervently in one corner before his every fight and for me, that is very inspiring. Whenever he does that, I also want to kneel down and pray with him.

2. He loves his mother fiercely. Again, we cannot be too sure of that but for me, the act of bringing his Mom there to be with him in Las Vegas, and the way he allows her to be with the press and be seen by the world, is enough proof of how much he loves and honors his Mother, warts and all. I am sure now that this hard fighter has a soft heart inside, putting family first despite all the titles and the accolades.

3. He is a true sport and fights fairly. He is not “magulang” like Hatton. Sorry for the term but this is what I heard spoken by a sports analyst when I was watching the news last night. It was obvious from this latest match that Hatton has to learn many things from Pacquiao in terms of sportsmanship and playing by the rules. I have seen how the referee was already giving warnings to Hatton with the way he fights (i.e. yayakapin si Pacquiao pagkatapos, susuntukin sa tagiliran at ulo…man, that was really “madaya” in my amateurish eyes! Suntukin ba ang kalaban pagkatapos mo syang yapusin kasi matutumba ka na?!).

4. He is so makabayan. I felt like soaring myself when, during his entrance to the ring, the organizers played his patriotic song with lyrics that go, “Para sa ‘yo…ang laban na ‘to…” Was it his idea? I am not too sure. But that is his song! He sings through our hearts and the record company is happy. But the message is clear: Manny is for the Filipinos. He embraces his countrymen and never forgets to tell the world, “I am a Filipino”.

5. Finally, he is not all “hot air”. As what Mr. Tim Dahlberg wrote, sports columnist for the Associated Press, “The road to greatness now runs through a fighter who truly does let his fists do the talking.” I think pwede namang maging mayabang si Pacquiao. Kumbaga, meron syang “K”. Pero sa mga nakita ko, he is just being honest when he says he is a good fighter. But in so doing, he never trash-talks and never puts down his opponents in ways that others have succumbed to do. Need I say more? Pacquiao is truly the people’s hero and not just because he truly makes us all feel like winners but more importantly, for me, he is all human, not too perfect, just real, believes in God and prayers, values his country, and loves her Ma devotedly.

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Ang Aruba Bar at si Bebe Gandanghari

These days, I keep track of what’s going on around me, even if they are about showbiz. This seeming fascination with showbiz news started when I was in Cambodia and realized that the only Filipino channel available to me was TFC. Back then, I would wait for Sundays so I can watch “The Buzz”.

When I came back to Manila, I thought that I had enough of showbiz. I was wrong.

I still survived weeks of not watching TV (we didn’t have TV for the first weeks in Baguio) but admittedly, it’s still tempting to have those bits of tsismis every now and then. Wag na tayong mag-deny. Masarap malaman ang mga bagay-bagay sa mga taong napapanood natin sa TV or sa movies, right? :) Aminin!

Anyway, one of these latest showbiz happenings that really caught my interest was the sad incident at Aruba Bar when Bebe Gandanghari was denied entry. I pretty much felt agitated too.

For one, I feel that that kind of arrogance is soooooo “Stone Age” na. Hello. In this age of silicone boobs, hormonal injections, and glutathione, we cannot even be too sure na if the girl beside us is really a girl. But that’s on the lighter side.

The saddest thing there is that ‘who are we to discriminate between a man and a woman or a gay and a lesbian for that matter?’ For me, as long as a person is decent-looking enough to enter a bar or restaurant (read: wag naman masyado nang vulgar ang suot na damit or wala na halos damit!), he should be allowed entry. It shouldn’t matter anymore whether one is a man, woman, lesbian, bading, “cross-dresser” or whatever terms that people use nowadays to “brand” someone. I honestly don’t even like putting people in “categories” as if merchandise tayong lahat na pwedeng ikahon na lang at sabihing, “ok, si ganito, bading, kaya dito lang sya.” I have friends who chose to live the alternative lifestyle (teka muna, politically-correct ba ito?!) and I think they are some of the best reasons that I have such a fun, full and inspired life.

So, Aruba Bar, I really really think you should review your dress code again because frankly, it leaves a bitter aftertaste in the mouth. Sayang, ang ganda ng bar-restaurant nyo. I have always planned to go there. But with this incident, I swear I will never patronize you (and I hope my friends, too!) UNTIL you begin to realize that in this world, we are all equals, kahit ano mang damit ang isuot natin.

To you, Bebe G., go go girl! You don’t know me and we may not even meet in the flesh but I hope this piece will reach you and make you smile a bit.

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(Warning: this is a sort of blind item)

An appeal to award-giving bodies in Philippine Cinema

Bakit, oh bakit…nanalo si Ms. K ng Award recently for her acting (daw) in the movie “For the….”? I mean no disrespect sa award-giving body na ito or kay Ms. K. The body seems fair enough in their other choices. And K seems a truly a beautiful, smart, generous, and loving person. But an acting award at this stage? Hmm, medyo sablay yata.

It’s obvious that she seems working hard at her acting and we should give her the pat on the back and encourage her more. But her performance in this film (and in her first TV projects?) are, at its best, still mediocre. (Again, please do not crucify me for this opinion.)

I was able to watch this film on DVD and honestly, I really looked forward to watching it kasi curious ako sa kanya and always thought of G as a travel destination in the future. I was not disappointed sa cinematography (the views and shots were magnificent!) But for me, K’s acting is quite a downer: it is (still?) OA, o kaya, “acting” na “acting” (read: pwede siguro sa stage plays kasi dapat exaggerated ang mga movements or gestures), o kaya naman, kulang, or minsan, di appropriate. Take the time when she said, “Ok, I am not perfect!” in the scene with R. It is so pathetic. Parang pilit, medyo OA na ewan, may awkwardness.

So sorry, Ms. K, I wish I can say this in person, na tayong dalawa lang ang nag-uusap pero siempre, di naman tayo friends. Sana huwag kang magalit ha. Consider this na lang as an unsolicited advice perhaps? You have tremendous potential. I think you really can be a good actress someday. But I hope you can watch more films and learn from the great actors and actresses, attend workshops, experience life more, and perhaps read more blogs like this?

To the award-giving body: Please be more circumspect in your future choices for this category. It’s not just about being fair. However, you are giving young awardees the wrong messages. K is now thinking that she can act pala. Can you imagine having false notions about yourself? She fell asleep that night thinking she is a now a good actress. How can she evolve? How can she learn? In this life, dapat maging totoo sa ating mga kaibigan or to anyone. If we simply give awards to people who don’t even deserve them, or say “you are a good actress” to someone who is not, we are giving out false hopes. And that is sad for the people who receive them. Kasi hindi nila makikita ang totoo. Pardon the cliché, but “the truth will set us free.”

(Still, and in all fairness, I like K for her charitable and volunteer works lately. Kudos to her for being such a good role model for the youth! And I sincerely wish her all the best, maybe even win an award that she will truly deserve in the future.)

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This is not a paid blog.

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