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18th Mudpack Festival Screening and Orientation for Contestants

The screening of contestants for the group tribal dance and solo dance competitions of the 18th Mambukal Mudpack Festival will be held on June 14, Saturday, 1:30 p.m. at the Social Hall of the Provincial Capitol Building.

This will be followed by the general orientation and drawing of lots for all the festival competitions at 3:00 p.m. The deadline for submission of entries for the Mambukal Sceneries photo competition will be on June 16, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Mambukal Reservation Office in the Provincial Capitol Building.

Anchored on the theme: “Saving, Healing and Celebrating Mother Earth”, the festival will open with a “Hataw sa Mambukal” at 7:00 a.m. on June 21 at the Ishiwata bath house grounds. It will be led by Ching Temporosa-Alcala and the staff of the Ching’s Dance Fitness Studio.

A Holy Mass will be held the same venue at 9:00a.m. At 8:00 a.m., the opening of the exhibit and judging of the Mambukal Sceneries photo competition will be held at the Mambukal Convention Hall simultaneous with the start of the Poster Making for Kids and the Mixed Media Art competitions at the same hall.

The official festival opening ceremonies will be held at the Ishiwata bath house grounds at 2:00 p.m. Mudpack Festival founders Louie Dormido and Rudy Reveche will perform the opening ritual while Mambukal Resort Manager Ellen Jalandoni-Vasquez will deliver the welcome message for the festival guests and contestants and award the winners of the Poster-Making for Kids competition.

The drumbeating and group tribal dance competitions will follow. Afterwards, the awarding of prizes for the day’s competitions will be held. A concert and a dance party in the evening will be the highlight of the first day of the festival.
On the second and last day of the festival, June 22, Mambukal will be the finish line for the “Bike and Run” event organized by the Provincial Environment and Management Office in partnership with ABS-CBN, which will start at 5:00 a.m. from Lopue’s East for the bikers and at the Coca-Cola plant in Mansilingan for the runners.

GMA will hold its Barangayan at the Ishiwata bath house grounds at 10:00 a.m. to be followed by the public viewing and the judging of the Installation and Performance Art competition within the resort. At 2:00 p.m., the solo dance and clay body painting competitions and the awarding of prizes together with the opening ceremonies of the Provincial Environment Week will cap the 2014 edition of the festival.*

Beekeeping Project Takes Off

Negros Island Rainforest Organic Coffee

Usec Berna Puyat (3rd from left) enjoys her moment with women coffee farmers in Brgy. Sag-ang, La Castellana during her recent visit.

The community-based beekeeping project for organic honey production takes off with the initial turnover of bee colony to Sag-ang Organic Coffee Producers Association (SOCPA) in the town La Castellana, Negros Occidental recently.

Initiated by Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Foundation (NISARD), the beekeeping project is an integral component of the integrated diversified organic farming systems that are being implemented by NISARD since 2007 in tandem with various organic coffee associations.

The turn over coincides with the visit of Agriculture Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat with SOCPA in Brgy. Sag-ang, one of the certified organic coffee growers associations in Negros Occidental. Also present during the project turn-over are Mr. Edgardo S. Uychiat, NISARD President, Dr. Armegenia Benedicto, Organic Focal person of Negros Occ., and Dr. Joyce Wendam, Organic Agriculture Focal Person Region 6.

Usec Puyat during her visit has pledged with organic coffee growers that DA is willing to provide training and post-harvest facilities such as coffee dryers to further improve coffee production.

Additional bee colonies will also be turned over soon in other NISARD-assisted organic coffee associations particularly in the villages surrounding Mt. Kanla-on Natural Park and Northern Negros Forest Reserve. These villages are conducive for beekeeping where natural and uncontaminated forage from the bloom of organic coffee trees, wild shrubs, fruits and endemic trees are almost available all-year round.

It is expected that coffee production, with the presence of bees, will improve through better pollination. Thus, the economic benefits will redound both in the increase of organic farmers’ aggregate income from organic coffee and honey production. This would also deter farmers from further poaching the remaining forest cover as they have diversified and sustainable source of livelihood.

Furthermore, only those members and officers from various coffee associations who have undergone series of training on basic and practical beekeeping and organic standards can avail of the project.

The project is also being managed by NISARD through a roll over schemes where the amount recovered from the low-interest loan in acquiring bee colony will be reinvested to other coffee farmer beneficiaries.

These coffee associations are also source of organic banana, root crops, ginger and certified organic and shade-grown coffee, which is already available in the market nationwide and carries the brand name “Negros Island Rainforest Organic Coffee.”

PNG Boxing Medalists from Negros Occidental Visit Guv

PNG Boxing Medalists from Negros Occidental Visit Guv

BOXING MEDALISTS. Philippine National Games (PNG) Boxing Medalists who represented Negros Occidental, namely, Cresan Paul Diacamos, Jordan Bautista, sisters Sheila Mae and Sarah Jean Mag-usara, and Raymart Flores called on Gov. Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr. (center) at the Capitol, yesterday, together with Provincial Sports Coordinator, Angel Verdeflor (extreme left). The PNG was held in Manila last May 17 – 21. /Capitol photo