Daily Tribune

Hymns for Banaue

By Niña Elyca Ruiz, Contributor Significant efforts to conserve the Banaue Rice Terraces are music to our ears…sometimes literally. Recently, 20 composers were chosen to undergo a cultural immersion and fine-tune their music as part of the semi-final round of the very first Banaue International Music Composition Competition (BIMCC). Launched in November last year, the BIMCC was organized to honor the famed Banaue Rice Terraces and create awareness on the need to restore it to its natural charm. “Through music, we are sending a strong message to the public and the world about the beauty and culture of the Banaue Rice Terraces. At the same time, we hope to draw attention from Filipinos to help restore our World Heritage site, and the ecosystem that thrives in and around it,’ said BIMCC artistic director Chino Toledo. The composer-fellows hail from different parts of the globe. While there are Filipinos among the group, the rest come from as far as the countries in Europe, South America and the Middle East. When asked if being a Filipino sets a competitive advantage among other participants, local composer-fellow Jem Taraloc explained they are on equal footing, considering that all of them (Filipinos included) have never actually set foot at the Banaue Rice Terraces and have depended on research to create their musical pieces. The semi-finalists were provided with a variety of materials to aid them in their composition — from texts, to pictures, and videos to familiarize them with the Ifugao culture. In the meantime, the discovery of chants and rhythms in the province piqued the interest of foreign participants. Composer-fellows Alessandra Salvati of Italy and Theodore Broutzakis of Greece, for instance, both found it fascinating to blend their western musical influences with eastern sounds. “What we are here for is to look for the high quality of musical writing, and everyone in the group has achieved that. It’s Banaue (music) from different points of view,” underscored Toledo. The BIMCC is set to culminate with a symphonic concert on July 25 at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, where an orchestra will perform the music of the 10 selected finalists of the competition. The top 10 finalists will be determined by an international panel of judges composed of renowned composers, musicians and academicians. Restoring the Banaue Rice Terraces The BIMCC is part of the initiatives of the Banaue Rice Terraces Restoration Project that aims to rehabilitate the innate beauty and cultural practices of this natural wonder. The project is spearheaded by a private organization, Universal Harvester Inc. (UHI), in partnership with the municipality of Banaue in the province of Ifugao. “We would like to create awareness on the plight of the Banaue Rice Terraces, as it is suffering from deterioration due to neglect and natural calamities. And with this, it needs to be rehabilitated to conserve its beauty and keep it on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list,” said Dr. Milagros Ong-How, president and chief executive officer of UHI. UHI is also calling for the advancement of Philippine agriculture by recognizing outstanding farmers in the country through its TOFARM advocacy. “Through these activities, not only are we unlocking potentials and boosting productivity, but also preserving our heritage as Filipinos,” Ong-How added. BIMCC’s winners will receive cash prizes from the competition’s organizers — US$12,000 for the grand champion and US$6,000 each for the two runners-up. The public can further support the Banaue Rice Terraces Restoration Project by purchasing donor seats on the grand finals night Visit https://www.banauemusic.org/ to know more about BIMCC, and other ongoing efforts for the rehabilitation of the Banaue Rice Terraces.

Meet the next-gen champions

New opportunities await children both in academics and in sports as they go back to school. While it may not always be easy to balance the two, both are necessary for the holistic development of kids. More than just the physical wellness and academic performance of a child, it is crucial to undergo powerful, character-forming activities like sports, which teach them life values they can take until adulthood. Milo, a longtime partner of parents in energizing passions, nourishing ambitions and imparting values through sports, introduces three of its next-generation talents who are not only champions on the court, but also admirable student-athletes in school. They are young karate champion Raymond Akira Sanvictores, rising volleyball star Pia Abbu and MVP cager Enzo Competente. Get to know the freshest talents who now join the likes of Chris Tiu, Alyssa Valdez and Japoy Lizardo in inspiring the country’s next generation of champions. Raymond Akira Sanvictores: Karate kid Nine-year-old Raymond “Momo” Akira Sanvictores may often be smaller compared to his mat opponents, but there’s no doubting the heart of the young karate champion. A little over two years into the sport, Momo has been bagging silver and bronze medals in multiple tournaments across Asia, one in Singapore and one in Malaysia. The blue-belter got into karate because he wanted to be “stronger and more confident” in every session and looks up to his coach/sensei Richard Lim because of his high-level skill and way of teaching. Milo has been a big part of Momo’s journey ever since he started karate. He’s enrolled in the summer sports clinics organized by AAK Philippines on top of his usual weekday trainings. “I drink Milo every day, most especially before my trainings and competitions,” shared Momo. Born to a Filipino father and a Japanese mother, this promising martial artist also makes sure his discipline is applied in school. His parents both tutor him in his studies, with his mom helping him out in his favorite subject, mathematics. This little warrior still deals with the nervousness and intimidation of facing bigger, older and more experienced opponents, but says, “My coach and parents always cheer me up and encourage me when I get scared. Coach says I’m faster and my speed can beat my opponent.” He adds, “Karate has taught me to be more confident and believe in myself. It also teaches me how to overcome challenges with teamwork. Respect is also very important. I learn to respect my teachers, sensei and teammates.” Pia Abbu: Visayan ‘volleybelle’ A 15-year-old native of Cagayan de Oro, Pia Abbu has set her sights on soaring to greater heights in volleyball. Who would have thought that her casual “laru-laro lang” beginnings in the sport would lead to a scholarship and multiple regional and national tournaments, the biggest of them being the Palarong Pambansa? Pia’s first sport was actually taekwondo. She was doing well, and eventually discovered the joys of volleyball as a team sport when she was in grade 6. Playing within a team was something that brought her greater joy and more meaningful motivation as an athlete. Her idols on the court include Milo champion and volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez. Beyond her athletic talents, Pia is a good example of a well-rounded student-athlete. She participated in the Miss Milo 2017 pageant where she translated the confidence gained on the court to a new stage and is a consistent honor student and scholar. “Sports helped boost my self-confidence, especially when we joined different tournaments around the country, and also in my school work. I was shy before but volleyball helped develop my leadership skills,” Pia says. The teen athlete aims to bring her younger teammates, whom she treats as her sisters, to tournaments outside the region and around the country so they may share the same experience that molded her into a young champion. Renzo Competente: Star player Another proud product of the BEST Center partnership is 13-year-old MVP basketball player Renzo Competente of La Salle Greenhills, who is the MVP from the 2017 Milo SBP Passerelle tournament. Picking up the sport when he was six years old while playing with his brothers, Renzo has since gone on to win numerous championships and rack up several individual awards to add to his already impressive athletic resume. “For me, it is important to be ready for every game. Milo helps give me energy so I can give my best to my team. When we win, I am ecstatic and that is what I enjoy most about basketball,” shares Enzo. Enzo looks up to the likes of basketball superstars like Kyrie Irving for his flashy moves yet humble demeanor, and Kiefer Ravena for his selfless teamplay and impressive skillset. Despite his busier training schedules and games, Renzo sees to it he allots enough time to catch up on his studies and maintain his athletic scholarship. He credits his parents as his main source of inspiration and motivation in exceling both in sports and school. The cager has bigger ambitions in the coming years, starting with getting the opportunity to play for a good collegiate team, hopefully going pro, and ultimately playing for the country in the highest level of basketball. Milo and BEST Center have helped me in many ways. I learned about teamwork, hard work and how not to give up when you are having a difficult time or losing the game. One has to be positive and stay humble, says the inspiring basketball star. The future is bright for the next generation of student-athletes with Momo, Pia and Renzo leading the way, and Milo strengthening its commitment to building a nation of champions. For more information on Milo Philippines, log on to the official website (http://www.milo.com.ph) or the MiloILO Philippines Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/milo.ph). Follow Milo on Twitter (@MiloPH) and Instagram (@MiloPhilippines).

Be savvy with sushi

Eating a particular dish the proper way enhances the experience and shows appreciation to chefs who prepare them. One eats wings with their hands; slurping soup shows how much a diner enjoys the dish. In Japanese cuisine where sushi reigns supreme, there are dos and don’ts as to how to enjoy this delicacy the best possible way. Watami Grill and Sushi Bar gives a lowdown on how to be sushi-savvy and other tidbits that can make your Japanese dining experience pleasurable. Traditionally, the proper way to eat a sushi is by picking up a piece with your thumb and middle finger. Unlike the sashimi which is eaten using chopsticks, sushi is usually eaten by hand so as not to ruin the form and offend the chef who handcrafted it. It is, however, generally accepted nowadays to use chopsticks when eating sushi. Apply a hint of soy sauce, fish-down. Remember, the rice and soy should not touch. When eating it, the sushi should also be upside-down, with the fish (and not the rice) touching your tongue so you get the full flavor and freshness of the fish. Sushi should also be eaten in one bite. To cut it in half is considered rude to the chef who painstakingly made it for you. Mixing wasabi with soy sauce is a no-no. Instead, take your chopsticks and put the smallest amount needed on top of the fish. Adding too much wasabi would only hide the natural taste of the food. To determine if the sushi is fresh, always be mindful of the smell, taste, and texture. The flesh of the fish should be shiny and translucent and not dull-looking, moldy, or slimy and should be reddish-pink in color. The rice should be white and the nori, crispy. Check the texture when you pick it up with your hands. It should get back to shape when you pinch or poke it. And does it have to smell like the ocean? No, it’s supposed to be odorless. Watami has a good reputation of serving a variety of sushi and sashimi that are delicately handcrafted and served fresh upon order. Try their Angel Roll, Ebi Salmon Roll, California Maki and Super Deluxe Sushi. But Japanese cuisine is more than sushi, there are other dishes that just as flavorful. Watami has a few tips on how to be a discerning diner: • When dining in a Japanese restaurant, look for one with a seasoned Japanese chef or kitchen staff. Also, it is important to check if there are Japanese expats dining in the restaurant to know that it serves dishes with the same quality as they do in Japan. In the Philippines, Watami has a Japanese chef-consultant and is frequented by Japanese guests for its delicious food. • There are three elements visible in every dish served: balance, seasonality, and empty space. A dish is considered well-arranged if it feels “peaceful” to look at. Plates are rarely fully covered—30% is considered the minimum amount of space to leave empty. This concept of minimalism is called ma and is the “space between things” that is teeming with possibilities. • Finally, a good Japanese restaurant should have an extensive menu. Aside from fresh sashimi, sushi and tempura, it should include other quintessential Japanese dishes such as ramen, pork and chicken katsu, aburi and yakitori. It should serve tea, sake and Souchu plus fruits, light cookies (or manju) or matcha-based goodies as desserts. Watami serves well-loved Japanese dishes from sushi, sashimi, sukiyaki, hot pots, ramen, to assorted salmon, seafood fare, salads, pork and beef stone pot dishes, ramen, aburi and katsu at affordable prices. And like in Japan, guests are given the utmost in customer care to ensure that each visit is a delightful one. Watami branches are located at SM Mall of Asia, Shangri-La Plaza, Uptown BGC and Greenbelt 2. Check out and follow FB and IG: WatamiPH

Shake Shack to enter PH in 2019

Local luxury retailer SSI Group, Inc. has entered into an agreement with Shake Shack to bring the US-based burger joint to the Philippines and Southeast Asia, with its first store to open by early 2019. SSI Group President Anton Huang said the company is excited to bring the burger joint to Manila and cater to young consumers. “We are proud to partner with Shake Shack and bring a complete gastronomic experience” to the Philippines, Huang said. Shake Shack announced the deal in various social media outfits saying, “Mabuhay, Manila! Pack the Jeepney - we’re officially headed to the Philippines.” Michael Kark, Shake Shack’s VP for Global Licensing added, “We are excited to begin the search for our first site in Metro Manila and look forward to becoming part of this community.” Shake Shack is the first food joint and the latest addition to SSI’s foray in foreign brands, including Zara, Gucci, Armani and others. Andrew Malihan

Asiad venues ready but pitfalls remain

JAKARTA, Indonesia-- Asian Games venues will be ready before Indonesia hosts the showpiece event in a month, organizers say, but the threat of terror attacks and endless traffic jams still looms over the regional olympics. An army of laborers has been toiling around the clock to finish building work, widen roads and plant trees in a breakneck bid to beautify Jakarta, a teeming metropolis that many visitors find tough to love. The athletes’ village looks ready, but some competitors may need nose pegs -- it backs out onto a toxic, foul-smelling river. Jakarta and Palembang in Sumatra are set to host about 11,000 athletes and 5,000 officials from 45 Asian countries for the August 18 to September 2 Games, the world’s biggest multi-sport event behind the Olympics. Apart from a still-unfinished squash complex, most venues appear nearly done. The Gelora Bung Karno main stadium, used when Indonesia last hosted the Games in 1962, has undergone a major renovation for the 30 trillion rupiah ($2 billion) event. “I think all the venues, from what I see... 95 percent should be finished by end of July,” chief organizer Erick Thohir, a media tycoon who is chairman of football club Inter Milan, said last week. Epic traffic jams Indonesia started with less time than most countries. It agreed to host the Games when Vietnam pulled out, citing concerns over preparations and the heavy financial burden. And then Jakarta moved the Games forward by a year to 2018 to avoid a clash with national elections. But organizers insist it won’t be a repeat of the 2004 Athens Olympics when the main stadium was completed just weeks before the opening ceremony, or Brazil’s 2014 World Cup which went ahead in unfinished venues. The worst-case scenario remains New Delhi’s 2010 Commonwealth Games, where problems ranged from filthy conditions at the athletes’ village to collapsing infrastructure. Indonesia had problems with the 2011 Southeast Asian Games following corruption scandals and a deadly stampede at the football final. But the biggest headache at the Asian Games may be getting athletes to venues on time. Jakarta has some of the world’s worst traffic, forcing organizers to come up with drastic solutions.

9 years hiding ends

Policemen detailed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) reported yesterday the arrest of Chinese national Wang Xiaobao, said to be wanted in his country for large-scale smuggling. Wang has been hiding since 2009 from Chinese authorities, according to Noel Abadilla, head of the Airport Police Intelligence Unit. Abadilla reported to Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal that Wang was arrested Tuesday as he was waiting for family members from China. Wang now faces deportation to China to face charges there. The information about the arrival of Wang’s family was relayed by Chinese authorities to their Philippine counterparts. Tuesday afternoon one of Abadilla men saw Wangat the parking area of NAIA terminal 1 waiting family members to disembark from their flight. The Chinese tried to escape aboard his car but he was intercepted by alert airport policemen. Now under the custody of the Bureau of Immigration, Wang will be deported unless he has to face criminal charges in the Philippines.

Top juniors in Valle Verde meet

The Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Valle Verde Country Club National Age-Group gets going tomorrow with over 300 players mixing it up in a rare gathering of the country’s top juniors and rising stars at the VVCC indoor and outdoor tennis courts in Pasig City. Leading campaigners from Sultan Kudarat, Davao, San Carlos City, Los Baños, Ilocos, Lucena, Quezon City, Rizal, Pangasinan, Dumaguete, Agoo, La Union, Lipa, Cavite, Malabon, Cainta and Manila gear up for six days of top notch tennis, seeking podium finishes and ranking points in the Group 1 tournament presented by Dunlop and sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop. Bea Acena from Ilocos and Anna Laura De Myer from San Fabian, Pangasinan topbill the girls’ 18-and-under cast that also includes Denise Bernardo from Los Baños, Danna Abad from Davao, Paula Uy from QC and Sultan Kudarat’s Carlyn Guarde. Vince EJ Tugade, also from Sultan Kudarat, Valle Verde’s Athan Arejola, Loucas Fernandez from QC and Dumaguete’s Ibarra Ortega, on the other hand, lead the chase in the boys’ premier side of the event hosted by the Valle Verde Country Club headed by Unified Tennis Philippines OIC Richie Lozada and officers and members of VVCC. All nine categories feature 32-players draws with the girls’ 16-U division even holding a qualifier to accommodate the big number of entries seeking spots.

Mindanao tourists: What martial law?

By Perseus Echeminada LAGUINDINGAN AIRPORT, Misamis Oriental – Foreign visitors arriving here usually expect to see elements of an area under martial law – soldiers in full battle gear and even tanks. Why not considering the news that grabbed international attention with the capture by Muslim extremists of Marawi City and its recapture by government forces? “Where are the tanks and soldiers? Mindanao is supposed to be under martial law” a foreign tourist asked this reporter, referring to President Rodrigo Duterte putting the whole of Mindanao under military rule. Many foreign tourists have expressed relief that they only see taxi drivers and dispatchers of shuttle buses outside the airport, with a few policemen and security guards on duty. While there were checkpoints here there, there were hardly combat-ready soldiers on sight. One checkpoint in El Salvador check the identification documents of travellers to Cagayan de Oro but no frisking were done. Martial law in Mindanao has practically sent organized criminal groups out of their lairs to the hinterlands after the liberation of Marawi, according to police and military officers the Daily Tribune talked with. “Terrorists and other armed and criminal groups were held at bay in their mountains hideouts by police and military forces who have kept watch on their movements,” one officer said. The President’s order has, however, imposed discipline on people who now stay in their homes after 10 p.m. because of curfew imposed by local government units (LGU). “No more karaoke singing (as) people stay at home after 10 p.m.” a businessman told the Daily Tribune. But the war on illegal drugs and terrorists declared by President Duterte continue to hogged headlines of local radio stations and tabloids in the island. “Martial law is now taking its toll on the enemies of state while winning the hearts and mind of peace loving people in Mindanao,” said a resident.

PSC Anti-Doping Summit starts

Kiefer Ravena, Mikee Cojuangco and a number of national sports association executies, government and local government unit officials attended the Philippine Sports Commission’s 2018 National Anti-Doping Summit yesterday with Southeast Asian Regional Anti-Doping Organization Director General Gobinathan Nair leading a formidable roster of speakers. Aside from Nair and Cojuangco, PSC-Philippine National Anti-Doping Organization Head Dr. Alejandro and lawyer Antonio Rebosa, MD, delivered lectures. Undersecretary Karen Jimeno, representing Special Presidential Assistant Bong Go, also gave a short speech. Around 100 participants from NSAs, universities, colleges, LGUs and coaches attended the first day of the three-day activity on Anti-Doping in Sports at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila. “The end goal really is to have a doping-free sporting community,” said Pineda, who together with the Philippine Sports Institute Director Marc Edward Velasco, led the organizing of this twin-event. Velasco, echoing the sentiments of PSC Chairman William Ramirez, said that as the government agency for sports, the PSC takes lead in reaching out to the public against doping. “Education is key,” remarked Velasco in explaining the objectives of the event. Ravena who came in as a participant and one of the athletes who recently had an incident due to inadvertent use of substance in the restricted list, encouraged athletes to take interest in Anti-Doping issues. International Olympic Committee member Cojuangco, who is with the Education Committee of the IOC, extolled the importance of educating the public about anti-doping reinforcing the “play true, play fair, play clean” campaign of the World Anti-Doping Agency. “If we are not true, we will be destroying every reason why we are in sports in the first place,” explained Cojuangco.
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