Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation, an ABS-CBN crew

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation, an ABS-CBN crew visited the NFEFI center by the Provincial Lagoon on Wednesday to record segments for this Saturday’s edition of its public affairs program Salandigan.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation, an ABS-CBN crew visited the NFEFI center by the Provincial Lagoon on Wednesday to record segments for this Saturday's edition of its public affairs program Salandigan.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation, an ABS-CBN crew visited the NFEFI center by the Provincial Lagoon on Wednesday to record segments for this Saturday's edition of its public affairs program Salandigan.

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Burglar’s Advice to Homeowners

Burglars don't like dogs

Burglars don't like dogs

Homeowners in the UK are learning what most Filipinos already know. How to prevent a break in at home.

Briton Leon Reid burgled at least 70 homes in England, but he never had to force his way into a single house and it was only DNA evidence that caught him and landed him in the slammer.

Before Reid was jailed recently for five years he handed over his checklist list to police on how not to be burgled.

The first and most obvious is to get a dog. Even though they can be a real pain to one’s neighbors,  (and I speak from bitter experience), Reid said that any sign of a dog would put most burglar’s off.
Even a sign warning of a dog is usually enough to stop burglars.

Hm, now I see why so many Filipinos keep such fierce dogs.

Leon Reid - five years in  prison for burglary

Leon Reid - five years in prison for burglary

A pebbled drive or a shingled patio can put off a burglar because of the crunching noise it makes when approaching a house.

Alarm box. Even if the alarm box is a fake, Reid told police he never raided a home with a burglar alarm box. He added that any sign of a CCTV camera would always put him off.

Wire on gates – an old Pinoy favourite at many homes. Looks horrible, but if it keeps the burglars out, most can live with the lack of good looks. Reid also mentioned anti-climb paint. Both wire and this stuff make it difficult and ‘messy’ for burglars

Well-lit. Reid said if there were any lights on he avoided the home. Easier said than done here with CENECO’S track record.

Motion sensor lighting. Fast catching on in the Philippines these are outside lights which switch on as soon as anyone walks by. Reid is not all keen on these.

“What is compelling about Reid’s offending is that during all of his 70-plus offences dating back to 2006 he has never forced entry,” said Detective Chief Inspector Paul Astbury.

“He entered through open windows and doors of premises that did not have one of his list of ‘deterrents’. It speaks volumes really.”

London Burglar victim Tom Ellis-Scott, who was burgled four years ago, told reporters: “It may seem like simple advice, but when it comes down to it this from the point of view of a crook so is worth heeding.

“I hadn’t thought about the effect pebbles might have on deterring burglars and that is something that is well worth knowing.”

British police have not said whether Reid’s list would be published.

NFEFI Marks 25 Years of Environmental Work

But more funding is needed

The Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation (NFEFI), which has worked tirelessly for 25 years to protect and conserve the

Visayan Bleeding Heart Pigeon, one of  the most critically endangered animals  in Negros

Visayan Bleeding Heart Pigeon, one of the most critically endangered animals in Negros

environment and wildlife of Negros, is calling for more funds to continue its vital work.

“It’s an uphill battle”, said NFEFI president Paul Lizares. “Despite new laws and the work of our group, the environment is still getting a raw deal from many inhabitants with continued illegal logging, poaching, selling of endangered species and many other ‘crimes’ against nature.

“We are in danger of running out of time. If future generations are to enjoy their birthright of a beautiful environment we must all pull together and act before it’s too late”.

NFEFI projects are mainly managed by volunteers. Over the years these volunteers have worked to reforest hundreds of hectares especially in the all-important Upper Calimban-Imbang watershed, which provides clean drinking water to Bacolod.

NFEFI has also established one of the country’s leading conservation breeding centers. Housed by the Provincial Lagoon in Bacolod City, the center is home to some 120 endangered animals and birds.

As part of its drive to raise more funds and to mark its 25th anniversary, NFEFI will be hosting a donors’ reception on Friday, December 2 at Nature’s Village at 5:00pm. It’s being sponsored by CEMEX Inc.

The emblem for the reception is the Visayan Bleeding Heart Pigeon, one of the most critically endangered animals in Negros.

“We welcome support from all those interested in helping to save our environment.  Members of the public can become NFEFI sustaining members for as little as Php1,000.00 a year. Corporate sponsorship is also welcome,” added Lizares.

A rare and critically endangered Philippine  Visayan Spotted Deer

A rare and critically endangered Philippine Visayan Spotted Deer

The reception will feature a short one-on-one discussion with prospective donors while Mitu Ato band from Palawan will play their music on indigenous instruments.  An art exhibit and photo sale will also help raise funds for the Foundation.

Any company, organization or individual wishing to support NFEFI and who would like to attend the reception can contact NFEFI at (034) 433-9234 or trustee RobertHarland on 09163437048.

Need an Olympic Party Venue? Ask the Queen

By Robert Harland

The British Royal family is to take advantage of the 2012 Olympic Games in London by renting out opulent rooms in a Royal palace for up to 30,000 British pounds (Php2m) a day.

The Throne Room - a snip at Php2m a day for parties

The Throne Room - a snip at Php2m a day for parties

In a break with centuries of Royal tradition, companies will be able to hire some of the most lavish state apartments at St. James’s Palace for corporate entertaining.

Queen Elizabeth 11 personally approved the plans which will allow companies to rent the palace’s Throne Room, its Tapestry Room and the Queen Anne Room for elegant parties.

There’s already been enormous interest and some reports say that all the state apartments have been snapped up by high-profile firms for the 17-days of the London Olympics.

Guests at St James’s will be close to several key Olympic events including beach volleyball, the marathon and nearby Hyde Park will be the venue for some swimming events. 

St. James’s Palace is a short walk from Buckingham Palace, where the Queen lives. It was commissioned by Henry VIII and built between 1531 and 1536. It’s still the official residence of the sovereign, although no monarch has lived there since 1837.

Historic St. James' Palace - rooms available for corporations

Historic St. James' Palace - rooms available for corporations

The state apartments contain many beautiful items. There are tapestries ordered by Charles I as Prince of Wales, and a fine display of

Queen Elizabeth approved the hiring out

Queen Elizabeth approved the hiring out

arms and armour in the Armory. There’s an original Tudor fireplace in the Tapestry Room and a single throne for the reigning Monarch dominates the Throne Room.

There’s also a valuable collection of Royal portraits from the time of Henry VIII as well as portraits of military and naval heroes painted for George IV plus paintings of important battle scenes.

The Royal palaces require constant maintenance so funds raised by renting out the St. James’s Palace will be used to supplement the grants made for the upkeep of the royal properties.

But no everyone is pleased with the move.  

“St James’s has the richest history of the Royal palaces and it seems improper to hire it out to the highest bidder for corporate booze-ups”, said a senior member of the Royal household.

“The general feeling among staff is that this is entirely inappropriate. The state apartments should be used only for ceremonial occasions to retain their prestige.”

British historian and broadcaster, David Starkey said opening the palace to the corporate world was inevitable.

“I have attended charity functions at the palace and it is ideal for this sort of entertaining.
We are in an age where everything is up for sale so we should not be surprised when the Monarchy jumps on the bandwagon,” he said.

Adobo Festival in Silay

British chef and NDB winter, Robert Harland (6th left), was the guest lecturer this week at the Institute for Culinary Arts at the University of St. La Salle. Among the dishes he highlighted were British favorites shepherds pie and mulligatawny soup. Also on the menu was his Cinco de Noviembre pudin de pan y mantequilla - which took second place in the dessert category at the recent Adobo Festival in Silay. Pictured here with ICA students and ICA director Chef Richard Ynayan (center)

Beer Tragedy

Beer tragedy: What a waste and what a sad sight for any beer lover. Several cases of San Mig fell off a truck on Friday morning outside Country Mart in Lacson street causing traffic congestion while a clean-up took place. (Robert Harland photo)

Beer tragedy: What a waste and what a sad sight for any beer lover. Several cases of San Mig fell off a truck on Friday morning outside Country Mart in Lacson street causing traffic congestion while a clean-up took place. (Robert Harland photo)

Cambridge University in search for Chevening scholars

Ambassador Lillie

Ambassador Lillie

British Ambassador to Manila Stephen Lillie announced this week that Cambridge University is searching for Chevening scholars and Filipinos will again have the opportunity to receive a study grant to the United Kingdom.

The award offers post-graduate studies in UK universities to high calibre individuals who have already made an impact and are motivated to follow a career that will take them to a position of leadership within their own country.

He said a welcome addition to this year’s search is the new partnership between the British Embassy and the prestigious University of Cambridge, which will increase the number of scholarship slots to be awarded for school year 2012-13.

“Our new partnership with Cambridge University is a really exciting addition to our Chevening portfolio. 

“We’re delighted to be working with one of the top universities not just in the UK but in the world. I am sure there will be some excellent candidates competing to win what will be a very prestigious scholarship,” said Amb. Lillie.

Cambridge University

Cambridge University

Aside from the prestigious nature of the scholarship itself, and the opportunity to study at a top British university, Chevening also offers its scholars the opportunity for unparalleled networking, he added. 

Chevening scholars can expect to meet with senior policy officials from the UK Government and its network. Furthermore, they are able to draw on the experience of more than 30,000 alumni across the world.

Information on how to apply can be found at the British Embassy website: http://ukinthephilippines.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/working-with-philippines/scholarships-and-education .

NDB Writer First Runner-up in Dessert Tilt

British chef and NDB features writer Robert Harland was the first runner-up in the muscovado dessert category at Saturday’s Adobo Festival in Silay City.

Robert Harland (left) receives his certificate and prize from Chef Richard Ynayan, director of the Institute for Culinary Arts at the University of St. La Salle

Robert Harland (left) receives his certificate and prize from Chef Richard Ynayan, director of the Institute for Culinary Arts at the University of St. La Salle

His entry, Cinco de Noviembre pudin de pan y mantequilla with banana cream, included dried and candied fruits, bread, butter, muscovado sugar, eggs, full cream milk and generous helpings of sherry and brandy.

Harland, a long-time resident of Bacolod, trained as a chef at the Institute for Culinary Arts (ICA) at the University of St. La Salle. He was the Adobo Festival champion in 2010 with his creation Adobo Crevette à l’Anglaise (shrimp adobo with a curry sauce – English style).

Marapara Rotary signs sisterhood agreement

The Rotary Club of Bacolod Marapara has signed a two-year sisterhood agreement with the Rotary Club of Ilsan-Jungbal of South Korea.

A delegation of ten member of the Korean club, led by its president, Kim Gyoo Joong, was in Bacolod to sign the agreement on Thursday at the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club in Bacolod City.

Ilsan-Jungbal Rotary president Kim Gyoo Joong (right) presents Marapara Rotary president Rico Cajili with a decorative Korean Rotary bell

Ilsan-Jungbal Rotary president Kim Gyoo Joong (right) presents Marapara Rotary president Rico Cajili with a decorative Korean Rotary bell

Rico Cajili, president of Marapara Rotary and president Kim said the agreement will strengthen the mutual understanding and promote goodwill and friendship between the officers and members of both clubs together with their respective communities.

They added that the agreement is a significant step which will result in greater understanding of international projects that give life and meaning to Rotary service.

The agreement kicked off in earnest when the Ilsan-Jungbal club donated school supplies to the Villa Gracia Day Care Center in Brgy Bata. Support of the center is one of the Marapara club’s community projects.

Members of the Rotary Club of Bacolod Marapara and the Rotary Club of Ilsan-Jungbal at the signing ceremony

Members of the Rotary Club of Bacolod Marapara and the Rotary Club of Ilsan-Jungbal at the signing ceremony

This is the first time both clubs have signed an international sisterhood agreement.

The Rotary Club of Bacolod Marapara undertakes many community activities each year. To fund  projects, the club stages the annual ‘Rotary-Golf for a Cause’ tournament held at the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club.