Archive | May 2008

Land conversions ail Bukidnon farms

Bukidnon is losing its rice and corn farms at alarming rate because of the increasing expansion of banana, pineapple and sugarcane plantations, an agriculture official said.

Engr. Alson Quimba, Bukidnon provincial agriculture officer-in-charge, said the province “is still a staple food basket in Mindanao but if left unchecked, the fast expansion could affect food security”.

“The increase is below rapid rate but faster than gradual,” Quimba told MindaNews, saying that this was how fast the change in the conversion of the farms from the staple to cash crops. He said though that he could not provide the data yet as his office was still collating updated statistics.

Bukidnon grows corn, sugarcane, rice, vegetables and banana and pineapples. Read the full report on


The IMT and clashes between the govt. and MILF

MindaNews checked the records of the Joint Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (Joint CCCH)  and found that the number of skirmishes between the governent and MILF forces has steadily gone down from 698 in 2002 to 569 in 2003, a year of war; to 16 in 2004, the year  the IMT came to Mindanao; 13 in 2005; 10 in 2006 to only 8 in 2007.

I think this is an evidence of the usefulness of the IMT. While we become a part of the scenario of a possible pull out what with all its feared consequences, these numbers should speak loudly.

Pikit stop over: Pamogon coffee break

Pamogon Store
Stall No. 04
Pikit Public Market

For coffee drinkers, a natural choice for a stop over in between Cotabato and Davao cities aside from rest room visits and road side meals, is the Pikit Public Market.

Aside from it being a vibrant and busy market place, it offers Pikit’s famous Pamogon “excelsa” coffee.

We scoured for that ‘aromatic’ redemption and found it for sale in many stalls at P130 per kilo.  

I had been curious about what makes the humble native Pamogon coffee unique. I’ve been drinking this coffee for a while and I wanted to know more about how this was made.

And in this recent trip to Central Mindanao I wanted to know the answers. Read More…

When its the ant’s view, not the birds eye view that matters

He willingly accepted our “invitation” for a courtesy call posed as a quick stop over. D.A., a known and even vocal advocate and leader of Lumads in Mindanao received us warmly in his humble shed-reception hall-meeting place made of bamboo. It was despite our short notice. 

My colleague J.J. and DA knew each other for quite a while and with their mutual respect and admiration for each other’s works, it is obviously the reason of the warmness.  

DA talked openly about what has kept him busy over the years: the life, plight and struggle of the Lumads in Mindanao. He is part of a group of lumad leaders working together to assert their role in today’s Mindanao, their aspirations, their futures and lives. Read More…

Working offsite in Mindanao

Technology has whipped the way we work, allowing us many conveniences and sometimes inconvenience, too.

I’m wrapping up a training workshop for kids on Basic Reporting here in Davao City. The two weeks engagement gave me a chance to relive my four years here in Mindanao’s most populated city.

Oh its not vain, not really.

Because it also took me out from my commitments in my “commune” in Bukidnon barely five months after reclaiming homage there. Read More…