Tourists urged to protect island’s natural resources

By Leandria Pagunsan

The Apo Island Protected Landscape and Seascape Protected Area Management Board under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has created a program towards effective coastal and fisheries resource management (CFRM) to achieve a sustainable environment in Apo Island.


In a recent Apo Island Landscape and Seascape Social Marketing Seminar, representatives from Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippine Information Agency and scuba divers/tour guides from Apo Island recommend plans and interventions to capacitate tour guides to influence tourists to be more environment friendly and address “language barrier” between guides and foreign tourists especially Chinese nationals.(PIA7-NegOr)


DENR recently held the Apo Island Protected Landscape and Seascape (AIPLS) social marketing geared towards preserving and protecting the island’s natural resources focusing on behavior change for tour guides and tourists as well.

During the meeting facilitated by Theresa Quijano of DENR, she said there is a need to regulate tourists’ activities as the degraded condition of reefs in the island are attributed to tourists and boats stepping on the corals, increase in solid and liquid waste inputs, and the influx of tourists engaged in snorkeling which can cause damage to the reefs.

Quijano added that other factors contributing to the degraded condition of reefs are the improper disposal of single-use plastics and tourists getting close to the turtles.

Some dive guides in Apo Island present during the meeting explained that the problem also lies in the ”language barrier,” as they noted the challenges of communicating with tourists, especially Chinese nationals, resulting to tourists violating some rules and regulations.

Among the focused interventions agreed are to put up signboards in strategic places in the island clearly conveying policies which should be strictly enforced, such as: “No stepping on the corals”, “No touching of turtles”, and “No throwing of plastics.”

Another recommendation is to put up a photo booth for tourists showing a message of commitment: “I will not step on the corals.”

It was also noted that activities like capacitating tour guides to influence tourists to be more environment-friendly, expand turtle interaction areas, and introduce other eco-tourism activities such as trekking apart from snorkeling should be implemented.

Creating a mascot is also one of the strategies in marketing and promotion for Apo Island to be finalized and presented on August 9, 2019, based on the guidelines in choosing a flagship species, existing symbol or provincial species for the proposed mascot.


VMC opens search for young artists in NegOr

By Jennifer C. Tilos


The Victorias Milling Company (VMC) has called anew young aspiring artists in Negros Oriental to participate in its 7th Interschool Art Contest in September this year.

The contest banners the theme “My Community” as the VMC also celebrates its 100 years of existence to instill the young Negrenses in Negros Island how the company values the community.

“This is also how involving themselves in their own communities will eventually empower the youth to have a stake in nation-building through arts,” Corporate Communications Director Anne Tiongco explained.

Now on its 7th year, the competition has since been dubbed as the platform for young artists, paving the way for them to be discovered, recognized and given exposure while inculcating love and preservation of our heritage, said Tiongco.

This is open to all students from Negros Island from Grades 1-6 for interschool elementary, and Grades 7-12 for interschool secondary.

Interested participants may send their application forms to and with a clear snapshot of previous work.

Deadline of registration is on September 4, 2019.

All qualifying participants must be endorsed by their respective school’s representative which will be submitted during the on-the-spot competitions scheduled tentatively on September 14.

Tiongco said, “This year, it is our hope that we will increase the number of entrants from Dumaguete City or Negros Oriental with the support from the provincial government and the Department of Education.”

In 2018 competition, at least 67 students island-wide made it to the qualifying stage but only 16 came from Negros Oriental.

Yet, last year’s elementary champion still came from the province, Dwight Eisenhower Alota of Bais City Pilot School-SPED FL; and the winner for college category was Ledzeepee Ace Taboada from Silliman University.

Prizes await for the top young artists under elementary category will receive P20,000 cash and a trophy plus computer package for participating school, P15,000 cash, and trophy for the 1st runner, and P10,000 cash and trophy for 2nd runner up.

For interschool secondary, the champion will get P30,000 cash, trophy plus computer package for participating school, P20,000 cash, and trophy for the 1st runner, and P10,000 cash and trophy for 2nd runner up.

All 20 semi-finalists will be invited to attend a workshop sponsored by the VMC Foundation, in partnership with VMC, within six months from the final judging event.

The criteria of the competition include originality, relevance to the theme, handling of medium, and overall impact of the artwork.

NegOrenses urged to adopt active lifestyle

By Roi Lomotan


Negros Oriental Provincial Nutrition Action Officer Dr. Liland Estacion (with microphone) explaining the importance of complementing a well-balanced diet with an active livestyle during a Kapihan sa PIA forum held on July 3, 2019 at Bethel Guest House, Dumaguete City. With her in the panel are (l-r) PIA – Negros Oriental Proincial Coordinator Jenny Tilos, Charito Catarata of the Provincial Agriculturist Office, and DepEd – Division of Negros Oriental Officer Julie Sibul. (PIA7-NegOr)


This year’s observance of National Nutrition Month in Negros Oriental is a call for the public to complement healthy diet with an active lifestyle to avoid chronic diseases.

Dr. Liland Estacion, the Provincial Nutrition Action Officer, cited in a Kapihan sa PIA forum yesterday that chronic diseases can manifest in the younger age group of the population.

This, she said, can be avoided if they would practice an active lifestyle and eating the basic ‘go, grow, and glow’ foods in minimal amount.

“Kung kulang ta ug exercise, diha na magsugod ang mga chronic disease like hypertension, diabietes, ug kanang heart diseases. Karon bata pa gani naa nay mangayo nako ug Metformin, Losartan, ug Amlodipine. Kani sila tanan ‘go go away’ kung naa ta proper exercise every day (Chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and heart diseases can happen if we don’t exercise regularly. Right now, even young people are asking for metformin, losartan, and amlodipine. These can be avoided if we exercise regularly),” Estacion said.

Amlodipine and Losartan are used to treat high blood pressure while metformin is used for treating high blood sugar.

“Kinahanglan gyud ta exercise every day (we need to exercise everyday) and we eat the three groups of food – go, grow, and glow in minimal amount,” she added.

Estacion also warned working professionals on the risks of prolonged sitting.

Dumaguete City Sports and Youth Development Officer Ike Villaflores, in the same forum, explained the risks of a sedentary activity.

Villaflores said the gluteal muscles which make up the buttocks hold the spine and if these muscles are not exercised, it would slowly waste away.

This would weaken the body’s posture and balance and would put more weight on the knees.

In effect, the knees will feel pain in the long run and it will be hard to do physical activities.

Villaflores said the City Government of Dumaguete through his office offers a physical fitness program for the youth and adults so they will be encouraged to adopt an active lifestyle.

“So ang atoang city government, naa mi gitawag namo na physical fitness program every afternoon. This is for everybody. Every afternoon from Monday to Saturday, naa tay after office healthy dancing program diha sa Quezon Park and Boulevard. Libre na. Walay bayad (We have a healthy dancing program every Monday to Saturday at Quezon Park and Boulevard. This is free of charge),” he said.

Aside from this, the City Sports and Youth Development Office also holds Play and Learn Activity every Saturday afternoon at Quezon Park which is a family-based sports program conducted in partnership with the Philippine Sports Commission.

“Encourage your office workers. Spend lang ta ug time. Exercise gamay (Encourage your office workers to spend time for exercise),” Villaflores said.

The 2019 Nutrition Month celebration banners the theme “Kumain ng wasto at maging aktibo… Push natin to!”

The National Nutrition Council (NNC), in its website, explained that this campaign seeks to reduce stunting and overweight and obesity among Filipinos and the incidence of non-communicable diseases in the country.

Apart from this, the campaign also encourages every Filipino to take the 1-2-3 challenge which is to have one hour or more of physical activity every day, reduce screen time to two hours or less each day, and eat the three food groups every day for variety.