Category Archives: Iloilo City

Unforgivable Brownouts and Inadequate Water in Iloilo City By Rhea B. Peñaflor

Unforgivable Brownouts and Inadequate Water in Iloilo City
By Rhea B. Peñaflor

Each day, it looks like PECO feels bad when there is no power outage in Iloilo City.
But what can it really do when the demand is too high for them to handle?

In the same vein, MIWD kept on billing its discontent consumers even there is nothing that comes out of their faucets.

Going back to the power problem, recall that in April 2009, Iloilo City has an estimated power demand of 76-megawatt but the then local chief executive, now Cong. Jerry P. Treñas said there is a reduced capability of NAPOCOR for PECO with 9 megawatts.
The total capability of generator Panay Power Corporation (PPC) for PECO is only 70 megawatts, assuming there is no breakdown of PPC plants. The total capability of NAPOCOR and PPC for PECO is only 79 megawatts by posting a 3-megawatt margin for reserve.
This reserve is still not enough, thus, the whole of Panay Island will continue to suffer frequent power blackouts. True enough, this is what we are experiencing now.
“Pirme na lang gabrownout, perde negosyo,” these are just some common lines one would hear from owners of small, medium and even big establishments in Iloilo City.

It is not only these establishments that suffer but even common people and even households do suffer too. Some home-based workers largely depend their jobs like online writing on electricity. There is no need to even explain the importance of electricity in this day and age.

Yes, power outage is not only true in Iloilo City, since we all know that even Manila is experiencing the same problem and it will be worse in the coming months. Increased demands for power, less supply equals blackouts. What is the next step then? Do we just complain?

Newly-elected Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog in his inaugural speech said that he wants to be known as the mayor of small business persons with a hotline service for the city, who has the energy, strength and political will to implement projects and programs for the good of the city. Then this is the best time to address and prove to his constituents when we have the Top Two problems in Iloilo City: Electricity and Water.

He can start with providing efficiently these basic needs of the people.

Also, MIWD’s politicking should already come to an end. What is paramount should be the people’s welfare, not the clash between the board of directors (BODs) of the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) and its management.

Kalu-luoy lang ni ang mga kunsumidor. Tsk.tsk. Amo gihapon nga istorya. Kuris-kuris.

Are we always at the mercy of PECO and MIWD?
Sabat, pumuluyo sang Iloilo.


Posted by on July 5, 2010 in Editorials, Iloilo City, Opinions


Tags: , , , , , ,

Original “Lex Review Center” Offers Regular Review in West Visayas State University Hometel Building for only P12, 500 ALL IN

Lex Reviews and Seminars, Inc., pioneer in provincial reviews IS STILL EXISTING and did not merge or change name.

NEW VENUE for Panay in Iloilo City: (Venue is not in University of Iloilo but West Visayas State University)

West Visayas State University
2nd Floor, HOMETEL Building (Conference Room)
La Paz, Iloilo City

Telephone Numbers
Iloilo Office: (033) 3210074 Ms. Rhea Peñaflor)
WVSU Hometel: 3200-870 local 142. Those who want to stay in can inquire in this number.
Contact Person: 0920-630-6587/0915-671-1286
(Ms. Rhea Peñaflor)
Manila Office: 521-6984/526-4791
Fax Number: 521-6984

Enrollment Fee: P12, 500, includes handouts, mock bar and pre-week in Manila

Review Director

(ILOILO-LEX Coordinator)
Ms. Rhea Penaflor




Suite 1402 Manila Astral Tower, Taft Avenue
corner P. Faura Street, Ermita, Manila
Tel. Nos.: 521-6984/526-4791
Emails: and

Panay Office: (033) 3210074 Ms. Rhea Peñaflor)
WVSU Hometel: 3200-870 local 142. Those who want to stay in can inquire in this number.
Contact Person: 0920-630-6587/0915-671-1286
(Ms. Rhea Peñaflor) or email

HOMETEL BUILDING (Conference Room)
La Paz, Iloilo City
Fridays (Evenings) Saturdays & Sundays (whole day) starting
April 16 up to July 31, 2010










Register and enroll at:
HOMETEL BUILDING (Conference Room)
Tel. Nos.: (033) 3210074 (Ms. Rhea)

LEX Coordinator: Ms. Rhea B. Penaflor
Cellphone Nos. 0920-6306587/0915-6711286


And the Big Winner is…Gibraltar’s Indie Film “Wanted: Border”

And the Big Winner is…Gibraltar’s Indie Film “Wanted: Border”

By Rhea B. Peñaflor

Indeed, it is more than overwhelming that of the five digital movie finalists from the original 200 entries during the 5th Cinema One Originals Digital Movie Festival held in Dolphy Theater in ABS-CBN on November 15, 2009, Ilonggo writer-director Rey Defante Gibraltar’s dark comedy “Wanted: Border” emerges as the big winner when this indie film bagged 7 Trophies.

Wanted: Border lead starrer Rosanna Roces won the Best Actress award while writer-director Ray Defante Gibraltar won the Best Director award. Experimental film Wanted: Border also won the Best Film, Best Screenplay( Ray Defante Gibraltar & John Iremil Teodoro), Best Production Design (ALF Alacapa), Best Musical Score (Malek Lopez and ErWIN Romulo), and Best Cinematography (Ogi Sugatan) awards.

The other entries are Maximus & Minimus, a sweet comedy starring Carissa “Cai” Cortez, Baron Geisler, Mikel Campos, Liza Lorena and Malou Crisologo, and directed by Nap Jamir; Bala Bala, a mystery-fantasy starring Micah Munoz, Angel Jacob, Richard Quan, Jao Mapa and Glenda Resurreccion, and directed by Melvin Brito; Paano Ko Sasabihin, a romantic comedy starring Erich Gonzales and Enchong Dee, and directed by Richard Legaspi; and Si Maymay, Si Baning at Ang Asong Si Bobo, a children’s film starring Rio Locsin, Simon Ibarra and Gene Karley Largueza, and directed by Rommel Tolentino. Produced and mounted by Cinema One and the Creative Programs, Inc., through the annual Cinema One Originals project since 2005, the five-day digital film fest coincides with the 15th anniversary celebration of Cinema One.

Gibraltar shares during the press conference held in Red Steakhouse in Iloilo City this September that the biggest challenge which he had for this film is the production design since they can only work within the budget of P1M grant from Cinema One. He is thankful though for the tremendous support of the Ilonggos as well as his friends in Manila for indeed, Wanted: Border proves to be the BIG WINNER.


Dennis Jardiolin pursues his passion as Woodmaster

Dennis Jardiolin pursues his passion as Woodmaster
By Rhea B. Peñaflor
(Note: This article was published in the maiden issue of Mezzo on may 2009, a lifestyle magazine in Western Visayas)

“You invest in trees because that will be your bank.”
True enough, this statement of Woodmaster’s Dennis Jardiolin’s father, Serafin became his ultimate guide in fulfilling his long-time dream— his undying passion for wood.

His father proved to be right. Nong Dennis vividly shares that it was not easy working in a foreign land but he is happy to retire in Pavia, Iloilo where he grew up. He had worked so hard as University of California, Los Angeles Powerplant’s mechanical engineer and he believes that it is now time that he fulfills his dream.

On May 2006, Nong Dennis started to put up Pacific Woodmasters Traders, where he is the sole proprietor after retiring from his job in the United States. His family suggested that he makes it a corporation since he might need to loan money, but he did not want to have financial headaches so he instead used his savings and decided on to be Woodmaster’s sole proprietor.
As expected, many discouraged him before he started putting up Woodmaster but he did not mind them because his only goal is to fulfill his long-time dream.

“My passion is wood. I told myself that one of these days, I want to pursue my passion. It never left my mind even if I was in the U.S. Why should I listen to discouragement of other people? I’m open to suggestions but I won’t let them stop me from pursuing my dream. I have waited long enough to have my dream materialize and this is it. ”

He recalls that as a child, he and his brothers were trained by his Papa, Serafin on how to become good persons by being hardworking. The whole family taught them farming, even on repairing tractors and tilling their own land in Pavia, Iloilo. It was their lola who was business-minded who was able to make use of the bounty of their farm.

Indeed, Nong Dennis’s passion for wood brought him back to his roots —Pavia. He said that at first, he only brought a saw mill in May 2006. He went home to Pavia for two months in 2006, but during the following year, he stayed for 6 months and brought more equipment for Woodmaster.

Woodmaster’s machineries come from the U.S., Australia and Canada except for the small ones, one or two which are Japanese surplus.

When asked why Woodmaster, Nong Dennis explained that he named his company Woodmaster because that is the same name of the company in the U.S. where his company is affiliated. TimberKing and Wood Master is Woodmaster’s affiliated company in the U.S. which provides all of Woodmaster’s machineries like sawmills and other wood equipment.

During Nong Dennis’s elementary years at the Iloilo Normal School, now West Visayas State University (WVSU), he chose “wood working” from the various home economic class alternative, where their teacher is Mr. Villareal. He then transferred to the Central Philippine Unviersity (CPU) where his teachers were Americans like Baker and Cooper. He fondly recalls his classmates not choosing wood working because they find it as a hard labor job and it turned out that it was just three of them who were interested on wood working as a vocational class. Since they are really of small number, the ratio of teacher per student is one is to one, he said and this gave them opportunity to really improve and master their craft in wood working.

“You see, wood has always been a part of me. It is not only my hobby, but I breathe wood if you must quote me. Actually, this was a long plan because even when I was in college, I already went to Mindanao to acquire a property of 1,500 hectares so that I can plant trees. I have a ranch there and I planted trees. I envisioned myself that in the future I will really fulfill my dream of having my own wood company.”

Nong Dennis went to check his land in Mindanao in 2005, but unfortunately, he can no longer claim his property because of the peace problem there. He then returned to Iloilo and asked around if there are potential trees which could supply the demand of his furniture and wood craft. He found out that there are abundant trees in Panay and that he can already use them so long as these trees have permits.

He emphasizes, “I am strict about permits. I personally check if it matches the tree that they are selling to Woodmaster. There was a time where the Number Three oldest tree in Dingle was brought here and I did not accept it because the tree was narra and yet the permit says, mahogany. There was a clear discrepancy. I don’t want any monkey business. Even DENR Secretary Atienza called me up at that time to check if I bought the oldest tree. ”

Nong Dennis also said that there are now exotic wood which are being sold right after “Typhoon Frank “as these trees were given permits by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) but he is very careful to verify that indeed these trees have permits.

Woodmaster’s first project which was also their first hotel client is the Boracay Beach Club in Malay, Aklan. The whole interiors were designed by Woodmaster and then followed more customers.

JET’s Construction though is Woodmaster’s first customer where they supplied mouldings, and wood to the Mormon’s Church in Iloilo City. It was only limited to mouldings and wood because at that time, the company does not have complete machineries.
“There’s no competition here. People have no choice but to buy even if the product isn’t good. I have seen really lousy products, yet people buy them. Wala na choice mo. It’s really made of substandard quality. I want to improve the wood industry. People are buying, so they need to get the value for their money. It’s okay to profit a little but you have to make your customers happy through your products.”

Nong Dennis adds, “My trainings in the U.S. helped me in pursuing my dream of putting up my own wood company. Most of the time, I read. At home in the U.S., I have a small shop where I make my own designs. I have already concrete designs in my mind on what I want. Of course, I also have designers and I also draw my own designs. I also see it in other products and then I just improve them. I love what I do and I am deeply satisfied with the outcome.”

Being the one to personally train his people including the use of machineries, Nong Dennis is proud that this month, May 2009, Woodmaster will be 3 years.

“I started from scratch but now, I could do what I dream of doing. It takes guts to put up what I’ve put up. And I believe that I could do it. My motivation as I said was to fulfill my long-time dream.”
Nong Dennis is also happy that he was able to create opportunities to the people of Pavia. His employees have complete benefits package such as the SSS, Philhealth, Pag-Ibig Fund and 13th Month Pay. Currently, he is setting up their retirement benefits. As of present, Woodmaster has 17 employees.

Nong Dennis is also aware that there will be difficulties but he said that these are just challenges. He thinks that everything was challenging but the most challenging and the most difficult in all his designs was the spiral staircase because there is a need to be exact with measurement. One mistake, he said and it will not look like a spiral staircase anymore.

“I have wood work which was a mistake but it turned out to be beautiful, too. It was a hollow spiral baluster, my favourite, but there was a mistake in doing it but the design turned out to be beautiful. Of course, you learn from your mistakes so long as you don’t repeat it again. My most favourite design is the spiral railings. It’s so hard to do it but after I finish doing it, I feel good. I’m open to new designs, comments, criticisms. That’s better than just looking at our products and not learning something new and innovative.”

Nong Dennis explains that wood has movement according to the moisture content of the surrounding air. It moves according to the weather. If there is no movement, the wood will crack. Wooden panel moves when there is moisture. Woodmaster extracts moisture of 12% for local market and 6-8% for export products. They also apply Woodtech and petroleum product carrier, in order to prevent termites.

Woodmaster do not use nails as it corrodes and creates holes, and it loosens. They use dowels, substitute for nails and American Gorilla glue. Woodmaster uses only solid wood. These are local wood all over Panay like mahogany trees.

The problem with Ilonggos, though says Nong Dennis is they ask for so much discount. When he first started, it was okay since it was more of a hobby. But with the financial crisis, he cannot afford to just give his products for free or at a very low cost.
“The most expensive which we have sold is the the one we shipped in New York, it’s around $700 to $1, 000. But designers there sell it for $2, 000-$3, 000.00. We also export our products but some of the orders have been put on hold this year because of the financial global recession. For our local market, we’ve sold a hotel’s main door for P110K. Altars of churches are at P150K supposedly but most of the time, clients still ask for discounts even if the price has already been discounted. There are alsothose who don’t pay. Most are those with big orders. So I learned from that experience that I shouldn’t be too trusting. Customers now need to pay a50% down payment and then full payment upon delivery.”

Nong Dennis shares that once dubbed Asia’s Queen of Songs, Pilita Corrales, and Jun Polistico, one of Philippine’s finest balladeers love Woodmaster’s products and even brought some wood craft in Manila.

“I’m content that I was able to satisfy my dream. I’m very happy. My next project is construction where the client will just walk in. We will do all the job for the client, we will make their house out of quality renewable wood and local materials. All they have to do is walk in. I’m excited about this.”

Certainly, this will be another promising hobby from a brilliant Ilonggo woodmaster.
Bravo, Woodmaster Dennis!


Doc Chester Jardiolin fondly shares his dream come true Zen-type garden—the Alicia’s

Doc Chester Jardiolin fondly shares his dream come true Zen-type garden—the Alicia’s

By Rhea B. Peñaflor

A true-blooded garden and nature enthusiast, Ilonggo neurosurgeon Chester Jardiolin shares that it has always been his dream to make and provide a unique place where his family and friends could gather and update each other and at the same time, a place which they can call their own. Indeed, no dream is ever unreachable that it cannot materialize, and so, ten years ago, Doc Chester started developing his family’s compound in Cabugao Del Sur, Pavia into a simple but beautiful, inimitable Zen-type garden.

“Our land is a shared land with my brothers. We actually incorporated it. It used to be an orchard where you can find a plantation of mango, citrus fruits, santol, babana, guava and banana trees. Our eldest, Rodney who currently works in Princess Cruises in California is also fond of plants, herbs and gardens. Dennis, who retired in 2006 on the other hand, has his Woodmaster business in the compound while Jerry who is an engineer takes care of all the family businesses way back when we were still not in Iloilo. I was thinking of what’s the best way that we can revive the land which is not solely as a farm, and the clear answer is to transform it into a stunning garden and that started it,” explains Doc Chester.

For five years since 1995, Doc Chester served as an active medical staff in the Department of Neuroscience in Makati Medical Center and in 2000, he went home to Iloilo with his family for good after 5 years of serving as practicing neurosurgeon in the same hospital.
“I thought that it was high time that I go home to Iloilo after Jerry’s wife passed away because of pancreatic cancer. Jerry has been taking care of everything when we brothers were all away. It was also on that same year when our mother decided to go home to Iloilo from the U.S. when she’s still able and healthy. She told us that she fears being brought to a nursing home. At the same time, she needs to be operated for uterine pro-lapse. So she was operated and the outcome was very successful. As the doctor in the family, I felt responsible seeing to it that everything is taken cared of when it comes to our mom’s health. At the same time, my wife, Dr. Mary Ann Te and I decided that our two girls, Katerina Ysabel and Keanna Shatila are growing up, and we want them to study in Iloilo. After all, there’s no place like home,” Doc Chester shares.

Doc Chester developed their family land in Pavia where there’s a tropical Zen-type garden with Momo Dalisay’s artworks, man-made lagoon and pavilion.

“I build the garden as a passion, not for business. I don’t want our privacy to be compromised, that’s why it stays as a private gathering place and of course, we cater guests for special occasions. Also, my artist friend, Momo Dalisay’s specialty is on tropical gardens and landscaping which gives the place a long-lasting, peaceful ambiance.”

After completing the structure in 2002, Doc Chester was thinking on what to name the enchanting garden which he created. Many names came up, but he was thinking of what unites and brings them together as a family. That’s when he realized that there’s only one name that he can think of, and that is—“Alicia.”

“Alicia is our mother’s name. She is the common denominator who unites the family. The garden and what we have created is a tribute to our mother. She didn’t know that it was named after her, and so when we first brought her there in 2002 and she saw the garden, she was teary-eyed. She was surprised and touched when she knew that the place is called Alicia’s. The better time to give her that gift is when she can still appreciate it and where she feels that she belongs to the place. Although Mama passed away last April 24, 2009, we will forever be reminded that she’s with us. Our memories of our mother constantly endear us to her and every time we’re in Pavia, it’s like she’s just with us,” Doc Chester reveals.

Indeed, the amazing garden of Alicia brings peace and quiet time to anyone who visits the place. That is why Alicia is a perfect venue for wedding pictorials as well as other special events, because the very concept of Alicia is a garden where everybody can be free to get together and enjoy the magnificent scenery. At present, Alicia caters the public by operating as a venue for wedding receptions, birthday parties and other celebrations. There is also the newly-opened Alicia’s Bar with its customized magnificent wooden ship-bar courtesy of Woodmaster Dennis Jardiolin.

Alicia garden has aromatic, scented plants as well as vines, herbs and water plants. Doc Chester’s most favorite plant in the garden are the aromatic, scented plants such as the native “ilang-ilang” from the mountains, the biggest of its species. Other ilang-ilang species are just like vines which are not aromatic at all.

“Chanel, a Parisian fashion house founded by the late couturier Coco Chanel specializing in luxury goods (haute couture, ready-to-wear, handbags, perfumery, and cosmetics among others, uses ilang-ilang because its fresh floral and slightly fruity scent is the base ingredient for Coco Chanel’s fragrance Chanel No. 5 which was first introduced back in 1923 and has since sold millions of bottles. The essential oils of the Ilang Ilang are extracted by steaming the flowers and distilling the liquid,” fondly shares.

Vines at Alicia’s include passion vines, lilies and jasmine flowers. Aromatic flowering vines such as “Easter lily vine” are evergreen woody twiner with large glossy leaves and showy corymbs of fragrant white trumpet-shaped flowers which abundantly grow in the rich soils of Alicia. There is also the “Champaca dwarf” which is famous to be the most expensive perfume tree at the same time a favorite of the Chinese because they believe that fairies live in these flowering-trees.

Water plants like lotus are also very enticing at Alicia’s man-made lagoon. White lotus are shipped from Bangkok, Thailand while the lilies are shipped from Bacolod where there are two types, the first is the light and blooming lilies which include white and lavender lilies and the day blooming lilies which include yellow, peach and blue lilies.

Herbs on the other hand, include all kinds of basil leaves from sweet basil which is considered as the most useful to lemon, thai, purple and holy basil.

Below Alicia’s pavilion is a man-made lagoon where ornamental domesticated varieties of the common carp, also known as Japanese carp or “koi” are commonly kept for decorative purposes in outdoor ponds and water gardens. There are also astounding water plants which can be found in the pond such as the horse tail, bull brush and blue angel. Another common site at Alicia’s is witnessing native turtles traverse from the pond to the land.

Having a wonderful, superb place like Alicia’s in Iloilo indeed is something the Ilonggos have to be proud of. Visiting this splendid garden is worth the unforgettable trip.

In closing, Doc Chester shares a quote, “It’s been said that life is like a garden. Every small work of kindness and every thoughtful gesture is like a tiny seed, and when you plant these things happen. Smiles appear, dreams blossom, and love takes roots and grows.”


Posted by on November 9, 2009 in Amazing Philippines, Culture, Iloilo City


IYO in Concert a success

IYO in Concert a success
By Rhea B. Peñaflor
Updated September 13, 2007, Iloilo City, Philippines, The News Today

* Musical pieces from the Suzuki violin method, works of J.S. Bach, Antonio Vivaldi among others were performed

Last Sept. 2, 2007, Iloilo Youth Orchestra, Inc.(IYO) held its concert with a bang.

IYO is a non-stock, non-profit organization duly incorporated by Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) on January 3, 2007. It has the mission of training and developing local musicians, creating performance opportunities for musical artists, promoting collaboration with local artists and encouraging the involvement and support of the local community in the artistic endeavors of the organization.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Director Edwin Trompeta as well as Hector Alejano, executive assistant and representative of City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas were among the honorary guests of the said concert. Families and friends of the performers as well as those interested in the orchestra and music came to watch the concert at the Philippine National Red Cross Hall, Bonifacio Drive.

Musical pieces from the Suzuki violin method, works of J.S. Bach, Antonio Vivaldi among others were performed by the IYO trainees John Caleb Barlin, Hananeel Barlin, John Joshua Barlin, Krizzia Grace Bas, Suzanne Marie Carmona, Sunshine Elizabeth Do, Ayanna Benita Galotera, Christian James Galotera, Josua James Angelo Galotera, Kevin Lance Gaw Te, Sean Dylan Gaw Te, Marie Isabel Layson, Joshua Nell Daniel Lirazan, Janella Grace Munion, Briann Hans Ong, Ira Ann Grace Ong, Donald Cedrick Po, Tiffany Lei Po, Stacey Sophie Ravago, Julia Theresa Regalado, James Michael Sharman, Ariane Therese Templora, Angela Grace Tibudan, Mary Celine Clare Tingson, Anna Katharina Tirador, Daryll Uygongco and James Young.

Cocktail reception followed after at the PNRC Youth Training Center’s lobby.

The concert was sponsored by GMA Network, Junior Chamber International Iloilo (JCI) and The News Today (TNT).