Friday, December 4, 2009

Tri-Media practitioners from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao participated in the recently concluded 2009 PopDev National Congress held at the Manila Hotel.

accomplishments from the print media practitioners, showing clippings of newspaper articles that were published after the three-day seminar workshops in their respective areas. This was displayed during the PopDev National Congress last Nov. 25, 2009 at Manila Hotel.

Lotus Garden Incident

The following is a letter addressed to Sheng Acuña of the PNGOC who organized the event and brought media practitioners from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, explaining how the " bad incident" occured.
From: Ric Alban To: Philippine Ngo Cc:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; Media Irah ;;;;;;

Sent: Fri, November 27, 2009 9:16:29 PM
Subject: Re: Popdev Congress transcript

Dear Sheng,

Thanks for the documents and files you have sent.

I just want to know if Lotus Hotel management informed you of the very bad treatment they gave me midnight of November 25.

When I checked in on Nov. 24, the Hotel bellboy assisted and brought me to the supposedly assigned room at the still being furnished rooms. The hotel staff got the key from the people who are working at the hotel, ushered me inside the assigned room, he inserted the plastic key for the lights then gave me the key to the main door.

I was informed that a certain Dennis Sales would be my room mate. I met him later after the briefing/introduction at the second-floor function room. Past 9pm, I retired to the assigned room and there I found Dennis Sales. We had a small talk for about half an hour, then he told me he would go out and meet some cousins.

That was during the first night of stay in the assigned room 3308.

On the evening of November 25, after the fellowship at the city Gardens, Dennis and I went back to the assigned room 3308. The after about 15 minutes, he told me he would again go out and go to his cousin's house. I said 'OK' and because he has his duplicate key, he simply locked the door while I went on to sleep.

A few minutes before 12 midnight, I was awakened from sleep when someone opened the main door. Believing it was Dennis I did not mind when "he" entered the room because it was my belief that only him and I possess a key each to our assigned room. I was about to go back to sleep, when "He" spoke, and I was surprised it was not Dennis, but another person.

It turned out to be Mr. Salamat who told me "may kasama ka na pala dito sa kwarto". I then opened my eyes and answered him, "Oo, meron, si Dennis Sales. May pinuntahan lang siya."

I then asked Mr. Salamat why he opened the door to my assigned room, and he answered it was not him who opened the door, but one of the hotel staff. He said it was the instruction from the hotel frontdesk for him to go into that room 3308.

The information he gave made me tremble in fear, and I spoke to him loudly why should it be so. He was mumbling to himself saying he checked-in as early as 8pm and up to that time he has not got any room and he was already feeling tired and sleepy. He was civil enough to get out of my room and started walking downstairs. I got out of the room, and I caught up with him on the stairs at the second floor. I asked him to come with me and we will confront the front desk personnel who ushered him and barged into our room.


I asked the front desk why they sent another occupant to room 3308 when there was already two persons staying there since the first day (Nov. 24). They replied that as per their record, there was only one occupant in room 3308, and that I am supposed to be in another room.


Im still waiting for the official report from the room manager who introduced herself as a certain Mina Mendiola. The promise to give me written report on the mix-up and the eventual barging into my assigned room in the middle of the night as I was supposed to be sleeping soundly after a daylong activity at Manila Hotel and at City Gardens. As of this writing, Nov. 27, 2009, 9:06 pm., I still have to received any word from the hotel staff who caused me fear and anxiety that resulted from the mix-up and incompetence of their staff.

Perhaps PNGOC can help me obtain an officialr report from the Lotus Hotel management, as I am really contemplating to write a very bad story about this bad experience at their hotel. My personal safety has been severely compromised, and I would like to warn other future guests of the hotel so that they can take the necessary precautions. But before I write the story, up to this time, I still wish to get their side so I won't be accused of being one-sided.

God knows how long I can wait, and when I finally write a very bad account of this experience, nobody can accuse me of being unfair and one-sided.

As PNGOC is the organizer of the event, the reason why I have to check-in at Lotus Hotel, please endeavor to do everything possible to get their side, otherwise I have to do what I need to do.

RP-NFP-PNGOC advocate

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Manila Hotel Population & Development Congress

Two busloads of tri-media participants staying at the Lotus Garden Hotel and City Garden Hotel located at Mabini corner Padre Faura, Ermita, Manila were fetched as early as 8:00 a.m., Nov. 25, 2009.
We were brought to the Manila Hotel (a few kilometers away, along Roxas Blvd.) Centennial Hall for the congress, where we were ushered in and occupied seats around more or less 8 round tables. I was seated at table no. 90. The whole function room was filled with PopCom officials and employees from all regions of the country (Region 1 to 13, CAR, NCR, etc).
The program, hosted by DZMM station manager Angelo Palmones, started at 10:00 a.m. with an opening remarks and updates from Dir. Tomas Osias of the Population Commission.
The affair was also an awarding ceremony for best practices in Natural Family Planning-Responsible Parenthood, which was won by the Municipality of Tanay, Rizal. and two other municipalities from Visayas and Mindanao.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

4Star Joins National PopDev Congress at Manila Hotel

Participants of the three-day media advocacy workshop held last September 24-26, 2009 held at Batangas City shall once again converge at Lotus Garden Hotel in Malate, Manila starting November 24 to join the 2009 Population and Development Congress to be held at the Manila Hotel on November 25.
The Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare, Inc. (PNGOC) spearheads the gathering of tri-media practitioners from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to participate in this year's population congress.
Various tri-media articles will be presented to highlight the accomplishments of various media practitioners engaged by PNGOC for popularization of the Natural Family Planning - Responsible Parenthood program.
4STAR is the appropriate name chosen by Calabarzon and Mimaropa participants for their group, headed by Sunstar-People's Courier GM/executive editor. 4 STAR stands for Southern Tagalog Advocates of Reproductive Health. Calabarzon is composed of the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Batangas and Quezon while Mimaropa stands for the provinces of Mindoro Oriental and Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.
Expected to join the 2009 congress who already signified their intentions are the following tri-media practitioners: Monina Ann B. Peñaflorida, publisher, The Rising South Tribune (Cavite); Dick C. Cantos, news reporter/program host, Radyo ng Bayan-Lucena City; Arbie C. Plata, broadcaster, DZAT(Lucena); Gerald Gene R. Querubin, correspondent, Philippine Daily Inquirer; Susan Crisostomo, publisher/editor, Laguna Express; Toribio Crisostomo, owner/publisher, Morning Chronicle (Laguna); Lolita Estrellado, editor-in-chief, The Southern Tagalog Herald-Batangas; Nena Estrellado Mallari, proprietress, The Herald Group of Publications (Laguna, Batangas, Quezon); Joenald Rayos, editor-in-chief, Dyaryo Veritas (Batangas); Suico R. Romero, editor-in-chief, Romblo Sun; Antonino E. Salamat, columnist, Southern Tagalog Herald-Batangas; Madonna T. Virola, free-lance practitioner; Leonila Villaflor, publisher, Ang Dyaryo Natin (Laguna); and yours truly, publisher-editor, Makiling Journal (Laguna), at the same time editorial consultant of Newskey Express (Laguna) and Dateline Weekly (Cavite). I am also currently serving as Trustee for Luzon of the Philippine Press Institute, the national association of Philippine newspapers.