ZigZag Weekly set for 2019 boom

By Anthony A. Araos

“In my Taipei visit, I saw how Filipinos took the opportunity to visit malls for super holiday bargain deals and buy gifts for families back home. ”

With the local and national elections (also described as the midterm polls), major national, regional and provincial newspapers with significant number of readers are bracing for a bonanza of revenues from political advertisements of candidates.
ZigZag Weekly is easily one of them.
Newspapers attract candidates from the administration and opposition parties. Independent aspirants are also placing their political advertisements.
The advertising industry is certainly a multi-million business during this period. As an emerging information tool in Baguio City and many other parts of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), the ZigZag Weekly has a lot of editorial opportunities to offer. Whatever it takes, I’m sure the management side shall exert its utmost to provide advertisers (politicians and the others) outstanding service, quality and value.
For the New Year’s week (or covering the period from January 1 (a Tuesday and holiday) to 6 (a Sunday), let it be a time to be plain happy. It’s easy to relax on New Year’s Day because your mind is focused and sharp. I’m actually rescheduling my plans by the second week of January.
Thus, read the ZigZag Weekly. You won’t overlook some sections and you easily understand and appreciate the newspaper’s role in society. Read anything that you need to learn.
Over the years, the ZigZag Weekly has become an example of excellence as a proudly Filipino bearer of news.
The ZigZag Weekly also strives to be a beacon of advocacy of concerns such as autonomy for the CAR. It is hoped that ZigZag Weekly is not closing its doors on other pressing issues facing the people- even in the national scene.
I see the ZigZag Weekly as champion in advocacy in a higher level or capacity to further develop the people’s appreciation for cultural heritage.
The year 2019 is another time for ZigZag Weekly to look closely on the matter of handling accomplishments and addressing challenges. Surely, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Atty. Tony Pekas is in a position to maintain the course in as much as he knows the readers better. That’s why these two positions are very vital in a newspaper.
I also see this publication setting its sights to pursuing an aggressive expansion program in 2019 as it increases its number of readers and corresponding readership index. This development should entail expanding the newspaper’s presence in the market by tapping more distributors and setting up partnerships in the public and private sectors. Aiming to produce the highest quality in the editorial and business components of a newspaper is do-able and practical. People who crave quality can’t wait for this development to take place.
I see Atty. Pekas’ fortune rising through an expansion program- perhaps, putting up a magazine.
I’m proud to have helped a bit and seen the development of the ZigZag Weekly. I’m proud to share the honor when I see countless Ifugao folks- young and old alike, reading the ZigZag Weekly.
For Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Dubai and the United States it is simply a heart-wrenching choice to leave their loved ones and work in far-away places because they are earning more outside of their beloved nation. Christmas season is certainly celebrated in a different mood. The “puto bumbong” and “bibingka” were especially popular.
In North America, Americans and Canadians of Philippine descent are largely blessed to partake of “lechon” during the holiday season. It is quite expensive to have one in the Philippines. A kilo is priced at about 1,800 pesos. Or just about $35 in the U.S.
More than a merry-making time, the first two weeks or so in highly-industrialized or developed countries like the U.S.A. and Canada that aim to inspire the people to think big and attain their dreams is indeed a big deal. Hard to believe, it really makes sense to modernize and allow people to enjoy the lifestyle and the benefits of a cosmopolitan way of living.
In my Taipei visit, I saw how Filipinos took the opportunity to visit malls for super holiday bargain deals and buy gifts for families back home. Come to think of it, the mall sale promotions are coming long before the so-called Chinese Lunar New Year. They have mixed and happy emotions while thinking of their kin in remote villages of the Philippines.
At a Chowking fastfood store at Al Ghurair Centre in Deira, Dubai, Filipinos were treated to a Christmas buffet for AED 39 (or 563 pesos) per person last December 25. The United Arab Emirates’ dirham has an exchange rate of 1 to 14.45 of the Philippine peso. The other popular food restaurant here is Chicking. In search of a stomach-filling super meal (consisting of two pieces of chicken, spaghetti royale served with rice, gravy, fries and Coke), this is the best place to go. It is priced at AED 20 or 288 pesos. It is best paired with a story on how to eat my all-time favorite of Pateros red egg and “paltat” or hito (fish) from the Ilocos region or a freshly caught, deboned and marinated bangus (milkfish) from Dagupan City in Pangasinan. Razon’s of Guagua, another all-time favorite of mine, has opened too at Al Wahda Mall. It offers grade A treats such as pancit palabok and halo-halo.
I noticed in foreign lands, Filipinos have finally transcended the mindset of merely promoting Philippine regional cuisines.
I opted to be plain happy at the year end’s time. I like to be a belly-hungry guy, unmindful of the silly actions of incredibly stupid folks in an uncivilized part of the globe. Well, a little later on I’ll go back to the subject of feeding a number of undernourished children in Ifugao. For the officials assumed they are already extinct.
In short, I simply indulged in a great sense of munching hearty meals here and there. There was no way of resisting the baby-back ribs, pizza, lasagna and the fish fillet served in black bean sauce. It is a dream in your mind and a heavenly feeling in your heart well fulfilled in a far-away place where there is a selection of live seafood that can be cooked as you like.
The message has really gotten into their minds. I wonder why Ifugao folks continue to say that they are Ayangans or Tuwalis. Again, we should educate them that they are first, Filipinos, and their province is Ifugao. And they should start exploring the world of gastronomy because the menu is simply waiting for them. The list is rather long. The choices are one too many. It is the least we can do for an impoverished province still lurking in the dark.
Agriculture is a major component of the economic base of Barangay Cudog in Lagawe. There are still a few other options for villagers here to improve their plight. One such lifeline is a push for the barangay’s tourism industry. It can’t be denied that Cudog is a scenic village. Banaue-bound tourists get to pass Cudog before entering Barangay Piwong in Hingyon town. For sure, local and foreign tourists are attracted by the unspoiled beauty of Cudog’s natural surroundings. Going there for a summer vacation or December holiday, is a perfect reason to prepare way ahead of time.
For education tourism advocates, it is not hard to point out that the points of interest include two public schools. One is for the elementary level and the other is secondary. There is a lot to see and appreciate in the education sector in this part of the country. You bet, it is worth exploring the rudiments of the public education system.
It is also recommended for visitors to drop by the Barangay Hall. The finest form of good governance was influenced by the dedicated and hardworking men and women of the Cudog Barangay Council. Victor Tayaban is the punong barangay or village chieftain. The Kagawads (councilmen) are Marlon Bruno, Loida Bogbog, Roberto Cumahling, Lito Pulpog, Roberto Kimmayong, Nelly Cablinan and Anita Capuyo. Sangguniang Kabataan (youth council) chairman is Mark Lester Gad-icon.
Barangay Cudog certainly offers a traveler a rare opportunity to enjoy a healthy respite from a long and tedious work schedules.
To my mind, Cudog is Eco Tourism and Cultural Heritage hub of Lagawe. If you’re looking for one of the best destinations in this town, there is no other choice than Barangay Cudog. Take my word for it!
Also in my wish list for incoming officials by 2019 to focus is upgrading the education sector in Barangay Cudog. Only a few qualified senior high graduates in the village get a chance to enroll in college at institutions in Baguio City and Metro Manila. Most of the young learners here are poor.
Ifugao’s off-and on search for an ideal leader at the Office of the Governor entails a close scrutiny of the candidates’ background and qualifications. Looking up and seriously at the track record of Banaue Mayor Jerry Dalipog is the heart and soul of this action. If elected in the coming midterm polls, Mayor Dalipog shall prioritize a dynamic and integrated overall program of rural development.
For Ifugao to make a turnaround, the incoming governor should augment services in far-flung villages and expand public works. This should be complemented by a sound pattern of policy making in the economic front. Furthermore, conscious efforts to modernize the agriculture sector and significantly curb the unemployment rate should be aggressively pursued. Farmers in other provinces harvest more per hectare because of irrigation and modern technology. If not, the province shall continue to slide to oblivion. Ifugao is one of the poorest provinces in the Philippines.
A good analysis of why Mayor Dalipog is presently attracting wide support among the voters is explained by the fact that under his tenure Banaue was adjudged by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in 2017 as a recipient of the prestigious Seal of Good Local Governance Award.
With humble origins, Mayor Dalipog may well be the answer to the people’s longstanding clamor for prosperity to abound in Ifugao’s 11 towns. Without a doubt, Mayor Dalipog has the heart to serve the people and has the administrative ability to implement the necessary policies.
Several past governors (except the late Governor Benjamin Cappelman) failed to confront the problem and push for programs that would bring the Ifugao masses in the modern world and improve their standards of life. It failed because the efforts were not great enough, largely due to the fact that the elite could not effectively communicate their ideas for the masses to the very ones they would help.
The next governor should be a charismatic leader who could speak the language of the common folk and drive the point that the government should belong to the masses. The incoming governor should stay at the office, be visible and in touch with the people. Refrain from foreign trips. By doing so, you’re bringing the government much, much closer to the people. For short, spend time with the people who voted for you into office.
Congratulations to the Piwong Multipurpose Cooperative (in Hingyon, Ifugao), for being recognized recently as one of the 22 outstanding cooperatives by the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Villar SIPAG) at ceremonies held at the Villar SIPAG Center in Las Piòas City. Michael Lumigued of Piwong MPC received the award.
Congratulations as well as to Fr. John B. Habawel who celebrated his 25th Presbyterian Ordination celebration. Fr. Habawel is widely acknowledged for the initiatives that will strengthen faith in God by expanding programs, projects and activities of the church. Many have become sharers of his teaching and preaching. He is highly respected in the community of the lay faithful. The well-attended program was conducted at St. Mary Magdalene Parish Compound grounds in Lagawe.
Finally, a thought for our readers: “Happy are the people the Lord has chosen as his own.” Ps 33:1**

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