Proud Dabawenya!

Proud Dabawenya!
Sa milabay nga katuigan, dungan kita mipalambo sa atong dakbayan... Diin atong gipasibaw ang tiunay nga serbisyo sa Dabawenyo. Kana tungod nagkanunayang kita NUMBER 1 sa inyong kasing-kasing (sa tulo ka termino) ug kamo usab kanako. Busa mapasalamatan kita og dako sa inyong pag salig. Ug karon, gikan sa konseho, ang muluop pangandoy sa Dabawenyo, dalhun nato ngadto sa KONGRESO... Hinaut, duyog gihapon kita sa pag abot sa panahon... MABEL SUNGA ACOSTA PO, AT YOUR SERVICE...

Proud Team Mabel

Proud Team Mabel
Happy Araw ng Dabaw!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Calendar of Activities ARAW NG DABAW 2010

Thanksgiving Mass
Date Start: 16th, March 2010
Date End:16th, March 2010
Venue:San Pedro Cathedral

Date Start: 16th, March 2010
Date End:16th, March 2010
Venue:Main Davao Streets

Banda Hudyaka
Date Start: 16th, March 2010
Date End:16th, March 2010
Venue:Rizal Park

Pakonsiyerto ni Mayor Rody & Inday Sara
Date Start: 16th, March 2010
Date End:16th, March 2010
Venue:Rizal Park

Mutya Ng Dabaw Coronation
Date Start: 15th, March 2010
Date End:15th, March 2010
Venue:CAP Auditorium

Grand Opening: Araw Ng Dabaw
Date Start: 14th, March 2010
Date End:14th, March 2010
Venue:in front of City Hall

Sayawan Sa Da’n
Date Start: 14th, March 2010
Date End:14th, March 2010
Venue:People's Park

Datu Bago Awards
Date Start: 14th, March 2010
Date End:14th, March 2010
Venue:Royal Mandaya Hotel

Date Start: 13th, March 2010
Date End:13th, March 2010
Venue:Gaisano Mall

Opening: Reinvented Museo Dabawenyo
Date Start: 12th, March 2010
Date End:12th, March 2010
Venue:Museo Dabawenyo

People's Park Presents
Date Start: 12th, March 2010
Date End:16th, March 2010
Venue:People's Park

Kaon Ta Day, Lingaw Ta Bay!
Date Start: 12th, March 2010
Date End:16th, March 2010
Venue:Bolton Street beside SP

Mutya ng Dabaw 2010 Presentation of Community Projects
Date Start: 9th, March 2010
Date End:9th, March 2010
Venue:SM City Mall

Magnegosyo Ta Day Fair Trade (SP Lobby)
Date Start: 8th, March 2010
Date End:16th, March 2010
Venue:SP Lobby

Mutya ng Dabaw 2010 Talent Showcase
Date Start: 4th, March 2010
Date End:4th, March 2010
Venue:Gaisano Mall

Mutya ng Dabaw 2010 Fashion and Press Presentation
Date Start: 1st, March 2010
Date End:1st, March 2010
Venue:Gaisano South CitiMall

Agri-Trade Fair and Exhibit
Date Start: 1st, March 2010
Date End:30th, March 2010
Venue: TBA

Service Caravan/Barangay Events
Date Start: 1st, March 2010
Date End:12th, March 2010
Venue: Respective Barangays

Mutya ng Dabaw 2010 Selection of 15 Finalists
Date Start: 25th, February 2010
Date End:25th, February 2010
Venue:NCCC Mall

Mutya ng Dabaw 2010 Screening
Date Start: 19th, February 2010
Date End:19th, February 2010
Venue:ORODERM Hotel

Friday, February 19, 2010

My EDSA Story

Acosta: My Edsa story
By Mabel Sunga Acosta
1st Congressional District, Davao City

I WAS born and raised in Davao City, the only daughter in a brood of six. When I passed the Upcat after high school, I eagerly looked forward to UP life. And now, looking back, I know that I got more than just an interesting university life -- I became a part of world history in that uniquely Pinoy phenomenon that is "Edsa."

The "in" thing at that time was denim and "yellow" accessories. Yellow shirts with Ninoy Aquino's face, or slogans "Di ka Nag-iisa" or "Laban" signs in yellow caps, headbands, wristbands, yellow confetti in rallies, etc., all in defiance of an oppressive Marcos rule.

I remember that so many students and teachers in the Diliman campus attended rallies in and out of the university, there was only a handful seen inside the classrooms. Such that there was a memo issued advising students to indicate their preference in the grading system between the usual numerical system or just a PASS or FAIL mark. Students running for honors chose the standard numerical grading, but most of us opted for the latter. At that time, history was unfolding and was a poor second to mere academic discussion.

After a rally inside campus, we would ride a bus that would drop us at Edsa-Kamuning. Then we would walk the far stretch of the highway all the way to Ortigas, marching, singing, looking, and finally getting lost in the crowd.

There were speakers with bullhorns, sound system playing "Bayan Ko" and other rally standards, Edru Abraham and his theater group doing a street play, a businessman giving away loads of free sandwiches from inside his car ("hay naku, mabuti na lang, salamat po!" we, hungry students would mutter), street hawkers selling bottled water and junk food, vehicles honking their horns.

There were different groups of people all doing their thing -- singing, chanting slogans, praying the rosary, gawking at celebrities, holding instant reunions with friends. There was not much pagers and cellphones then, and it was a pleasant surprise to see that friends and acquaintances were also there at Edsa sea of people from different walks of life. I even saw some high school friends like Matthew Santamaria and others, despite the crowd.

People would point out to Kuh Ledesma and the Apo Hiking Society, Teddy Boy Locsin, Mayor Binay, and other politicians and celebrities, even sexy stars that I do not recognize. Truth to tell, it was more like a day street party. Despite the presence of tanks and soldiers with loaded guns at the other end of the highway and the political crisis, there was also a mardi gras-like atmosphere in the mad adrenaline rush that followed mixed emotions of defiance, fear, awe, anxiety, patriotism, recklessness, etc.

The sea of people would sometimes overflow and sometimes thin out at different times of the day, depending on rumors of violent dispersal, Marcos leaving the country, or calls for more warm bodies to come and pray as if to exorcise coming troops, etc. Despite the uncertainty of the situation and increasing tension, the indomitable Filipino spirit ignores the danger and simply breaks free, manifesting in different forms-through songs, chants, prayers, free speech, performing arts. Or just simply walks the stretch of highway, as a curious onlooker, or as defiant citizen.

I wish I had my photo taken at Edsa. But I was just a poor "probinsyana" with a meager allowance from my Kuya Danny who was starting out as a cadet engineer in Laguna. Cameras and camera phones were not in vogue among students then. Even if they were, I could not afford them on a student's allowance. Friends from the Journ Club were luckier. Snapshots of Ed Lingao in classic dark shades, together with some nuns who were praying in front of military tanks, for instance, were immortalized in newspapers and documentaries.

The people and events that unfolded reminded me of tapestry much like the Bagobo native cloth, which is created through a painstaking and backbreaking process, and requires meditation and inspiration from the gods. But the end results of which give satisfaction not only to the body but also to the soul. While there was action in Edsa, all over the country, the Filipino people including my fellow Davaoenos, also manifested their desire for freedom and peaceful change through prayer rallies, binding the nation as one. Despite the dire situation, the deeply spiritual side of us always prevails. And that's what makes the tapestry all the more unique, significant, and complete.

I am forty years old now, and an elected city councilor in the City of Davao, married to Rey, an ex-Air Force pilot who also saw action as a government troop in the several coup attempts in the succeeding Cory Administration, a far cry from the college student that I was way back when. But the fire and fervor of hope for this nation, and faith in its people remains in me. I would tell and re-tell our four children my Edsa story, hoping that history would not be forgotten but lodge in the hearts and minds of generations of Filipinos to come.

We are a talented but confused race, some say. Perhaps, the reason why the dilemma of graft and corruption, injustice, poverty, etc. still hound us. We learn the lessons of history the hard way. Nevertheless, I am glad our soul has a steadfast homing device and always finds its way back to God in any adversity. That is why Edsa happened as it did.

When I remember Edsa, I am reminded of the many reasons why I am proud to be Pinoy. As we grow as a people, I know that we shall eventually overcome all the trials and crises before us. Nobody can bind the spirit of the Filipino.

Published at Sunstar Davao (February 24, 2006 issue)

Sunday, February 14, 2010


“Muslims, Christians and Lumads converge in Mindanao. Peace and stability in that region rests on the people’s ability to live in harmony. Local School Boards know the local situation best and are critical to building this peace through better education. Davao City, through Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and City Councilor Mabel Acosta, chairman of the council committee on education, has built a strong Local School Board over the past decade that could serve as a model for other cities.”

One of the best

By Roger M. Balanza

Education is a major focus of the administration of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Without fanfare, Davao City has established basic foundations in collaboration with the Department of Education (DepEd), other national government agencies and private educational institutions to make the city’s educational system one of the best in the country.

At the core of this initiative is the Local School Board which links with DepEd to provide scholarship, infrastructures, salaries for teachers and other basic needs of the local public school system.

Outside of the public school system, the city government locks arms with private institutions to support their programs and projects and establish conditions for students to pursue their education in a safe community.

This article, from an outsider who has extensive background on the Philippine educational system, should place Davao City on top of the heap among local government units in terms of seriousness and dedication to provide for the education of children.

The author, Juan Miguel Luz, is the associate dean of the Center for Development Management at the Asian Institute of Management. He can be reached at and

Davao City Education Program Praised - On Education


A key driver of growth

By Juan Miguel Luz

FOR SCHOOLS in Mindanao, Manila is too far away to be responsive to local situations. Concerns are likely to get lost in the competition for attention in the Department of Education (DepEd).

Local School Boards (LSB) are the key to making local decisions that meet local needs. LSBs were created by the Local Government Code to help fund public school needs through the Special Education Fund. But LSBs can do much more than that.

The Davao City LSB is a case in point. More than just funding shortfalls, it has focused on interventions that, in my view, provide system-wide solutions for the entire system.

Over the past nine years, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who sees education as a key driver of growth, and councilor Mabel Sunga Acosta, who has managed the city’s education agenda as chair of the committee on education, have led the Davao City LSB.

Three very able superintendents have co-chaired the LSB in that period: Dr. Susana Estigoy (now regional director for Southern Mindanao), Dr. Gloria Labor (who retired mid-2007) and Dr. Helen Paguican. Other members include the city treasurer, the president of the Sangguniang Kabataan, the president of the city federation of Parents-Teachers Associations, the representative of teachers’ organizations and the representative of non-academic personnel of public schools.

Davao City has a significant Muslim population, both indigenous (Kalagan and Sama) and from across Mindanao (Maguindanaoan, Maranao, Badjao), a sizeable indigenous Lumad populace and migrants from the Visayas and Luzon. As the largest city in Mindanao, Davao City has 286 public elementary and 69 public high schools with over 250,000 students and 6,671 teachers (SY 2009-2010). Because of the city’s ethno-linguistic diversity, it is one of the most complex school systems in the country.

Over the past two years, the Davao City LSB has worked with an annual budget of P177 million (2008) and P204 million (2009) to fund:

Salaries of locally funded public school teachers (123 elementary and 178 secondary) to help fill the teacher shortage;

School health and nutrition, including bio-intensive gardens in 50 elementary schools for school feeding;

School-building construction and furniture;

Workbooks, materials and supplies;

Payment of water and electricity for public schools;

School sports.

These expenditures are common for LSBs nationwide. However, the Davao City LSB has pioneered in four specific areas where the potential of LSBs can best be realized.

First, it has become the venue for reviewing school and teacher performance. To succeed, these reviews have to be fair and critical. The Davao City LSB has taken politics out of teacher appointments and promotions by subjecting these to a multi-stakeholder process.

Second, in late 2002, Acosta (in her first term) brought to the attention of DepEd the issue of teacher payroll as a teacher welfare concern. With salaries paid by central office checks, she argued that because of the distance, local teachers found it very difficult to deal with the DepEd central office regarding salary discrepancies like underpayment and over-deduction. The LSB solution: regional payroll servicing.

In 2004, Region XI was the first region to decentralize teacher payroll. All teacher payroll was subsequently decentralized to regional offices nationwide by 2005.

Third, in early 2005, Davao City became one of the first three cities to set up a Library Hub to provide public schools more access to books as a way to bring up the low reading rates of elementary pupils. This was a partnership between Dole Asia, a private company that provided the seed fund, the city government which helped with the venue (an old warehouse near city hall), and DepEd. Today, over 200 Library Hubs have been set up nationwide.

The most innovative program of the Davao City LSB, however, has been its support for Madaris education as far back as 2001, even before the DepEd moved on this. An ALIVE (Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education) curriculum was developed with the DepEd to help Muslim Filipino children acquire a deeper appreciation of their culture as well as give them better learning opportunities in English, science and math.

Today, the Davao City LSB supports ALIVE in 30 public elementary schools and funds an ALIVE coordinator who supervises 104 asatidz (learned teachers) who handle the two subjects.

Finally, under the management of Acosta and Paguican, the LSB has set up a Davao City School Board Data Bank System that tracks school-by-school performance, a GIS-based school location map (to locate high schools and feeder elementary schools and match this with schooling indicators) and a joint program with the Institute of Indigenous People’s Education (IIPE) to provide a more responsive education experience for the city’s Lumad population.

Muslims, Christians and Lumads converge in Mindanao. Peace and stability in that region rests on the people’s ability to live in harmony. Local School Boards know the local situation best and are critical to building this peace through better education. Davao City, through Duterte and Acosta, has built a strong Local School Board over the past decade that could serve as a model for other cities.