Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Event

The big event we've been preparing for is over.

The 14th Caraga Business Conference was finally over. And the turn out is a gratifying one. From the 200 target participants, we have gathered 350+. And from zero sponsor, we have contracted 3. So in spite of all the pressures that marks wrinkles in my face (although i am already ampalaya-wrinkled), everything have been rewarding.

We are superhumans (or shall i self acclaim). Who would have thought that for only 5 manpower doing the planning and legwork for 25 days, a successful conference can be produced. But of course, thanks goes to those who have help us out in some aspects like the following:
  • the SEDF for the distribution of the invitations to the local municipal executives,
  • the company messengers for the distribution of the communications around the city,
  • the GEM-USAID for inviting outside participants from as far as Kidapawan City, Pagadian City, and Dipolog City. GEM-USAID is also our major sponsor.
  • the DTI Caraga Region and Province for handling the Trade Fair and Exhibit and distribution of communications and promotional materials, especially to Sir Driggs (the dynamite, my work idol) for drafting the conference resolutions.
  • the City and Provincial Government for the all-out support. ALWAYS.
  • the Philex Mining, Globe Telecom, Daydream Laguna Resort, and Taganito Mining for sponsoring the activity
  • the participants for making things happen
  • Screwface and PCA for the plaque and ID layout
  • the PCCI National and PCCI Mindanao
  • absolutely God who answered my prayers during Sunday Mass to make the event a success.
The well-selected topics really served its best purpose and suits the expectations of the participants. The BIR was there to discuss the alarming issues of the agency and address the gap between them and the business community. Real Estate business opportunities was presented. The participants were also inspired by the stories of the Surigao City LGU and the Metro Naga Chamber in their success in public-private partnership. And no less than Philex Mining Corporation Chairman, Dr. Walter W. Brown, personally attended and presented their companies programs and opportunities.

The acknowledged guests that includes Officials from PCCI and GEM, Caraga Chamber Presidents and other presentors opened the Trade Fair and Exhibit cum Christmas Bazaar that will run until December 5, 2008. It showcases the local export-quality products under the OTOP Program of the DTI.

The 14th CBC was not only a jampacked conference, but one which has substance. And definitely unforgettable.

It was closed by not the usual speech of a politician but rather an inspiring individual who hails from Surigao City and written a book of his biography and journey towards success. And the inspired me have my copy of his booked autographed...

God is really good. The month of November was full of heavy rains and our preparation was showered with curtains of it causing us some delays in the workplan. But during the activity, the skies were crystal clear and hot as hell. The Eagle Shrine Tour this morning in Dinagat Islands was even a scorching one with the warm welcome of delegates organized by Dinagat's provincial government. It was flocked by locales and students waving their colorful banderitas. Thank you Provincial Government of Dinagat Islands for sponsoring the tour. You indeed showcased one of your mystical jewels. Thank you also Philippine Navy-Surigao for bringing the participants to Dinagat Islands.

'Til next Caraga Business Conference again in Surigao City in 2012..

Pose with the emcee

Monday, November 24, 2008

Intramuros on Foot

After the calesa ride session, we opted to take a walk in the walls of Intramuros as suggested by Manong Calesa driver. He said strolling on top the fortress is a refreshing experience not only because we've got to see its wide greeneries of exterior afar from the tall buildings that crowd the place but simply being on top is a satisfying experience like we can assume we are fortress guards. How come we prefer to become guards? Maybe what he refers to is the power of a fortress guard back the historic years.

But since i am clothed with a barong which i used during the Filipiniana themed opening of the conference, i chose to imagine like i am a run-away groom. Haha.

Since I ran out of narrations due to lack of creative imaginations and i believe that the picture paints a thousand words, so i prefer to share to you our finds of the Intramuros walls and let the photo do the talking:

There... care to share what the photos tell you?
As we returned back to the event, one of my bosses asked us where have we been. So we told him in an exciting mode, like we were done with the place, that we roamed around the Intramuros compound riding a calesa. Then he said, "Oh, but you have not actually roamed INtramuros, you were just around the EXtramuros".. referring to the fact that most of the precious possessions of the place can be found in some of the historic sites like the artifacts in the museum, the things inside the San Agustin Church, and the interior of the Manila Cathedral.

Well, another series of strolling isnt bad so i guess there would be a repeat of Intramuros.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Intruding Intramuros

Even before going to Manila to attend the 34th Philippine Business Conference, I already have the list of itinerary just in case I find the luxury of time. I got 5 in my list but was able to visit only three… Mall of Asia, Intramuros, and the Manila Ocean Park.

MOA did not capture much of my
interest, maybe because it appears barren to me, so I skip this post in favor of the historic Intramuros.

Since it was just a block away from Manila Hotel, the conference venue,
we managed to breakout from the slightly mind-numbing affair. Aided with a sketch saved in my mind, we searched the way to the entrance of Intramuros. Walking the pathway along Roxas Boulevard was our first hint. Good thing we saw a calesa heading north so we followed it.

The calesa stopped in not so distant with the foreign couple unloading from it. We posed with the calesa but the female guest offered to take us a photo so out of her generosity we made her the photographer at her best. And here goes…

She cut the horse’s head. Lol

While searching for the entry point to Intramuros, I noticed a neat landscape of golf course fenced in just beside the highway. Later I found out it was the outer parcel of our quest. And a little later we were able to find the entrance. We memorized the spots of interest posted at the entrance and moved our way in.

Too early to appreciate the place but I was mesmerized by the antiquities of the fortress. And because it’s too huge to conquer for just an hour, we opted to ride the calesa not minding how much it costs. P250.00 for one ride around Intramuros is already too much for me but that time what matters to me is the lifetime opportunity. (Like I don’t have the chance to visit it anymore. Hehe)

Here are my finds in our merry-go-round calesa ride:

The Puerta de Santa Lucia

Walls of Puerta Real

Also called Baluarte de San Andres or Baluarte de San Nicolas, built in 1603 designed to protect the old Real Gate and reinforce the southeastern part of Intramuros. It was reconstructed in 1733 with the addition of a bomb-proof arsenal for gun powder storage, a watchtower (garita), and barracks. This was destroyed during the British siege of Manila in 1762 and rebuilt after its occupation. Damaged during the battle of Manila in 1945 and was restored in 1987.

Antediluvian-designed McDonalds branch suiting its style in the place

The remnants of the former Central Bank

The sidewalk refreshment stalls

The Governor's Palace
the former official home of the Spanish Viceroyalties to the Philippines

The Manila Cathedral

The CPCP House

Casa Manila

The San Agustin Church
undergoes renovation during our visit

The Islander riding the ill-fated Pegasus now drawing wooden carriages. Lol

And I also found out, Intramuros is home to some prestigious universities like Mapua, Lyceum, Letran, and Pamantasan ng Maynila… and that it houses the Manila Bulletin publishings.

Up next... Intramuros by feet.