Sunday, February 17, 2013

Atty. Vicente D. Millora is Turning 80

The patriarch of the Millora family, Atty. Vicente D. Millora, will turn 80 years old next week, February 22, 2013. Party-party-party! Party-party-party! :-)

Below, upper photos taken sometime in early 2012 or late 2011. Lower photos, the nuclear family, from left: Vvon, the 6th and youngest in the family; Monette, the second; Mavi, the 5th; the patriarch, the matriarch Lilia, Mico, the 4th, and Judea, the eldest. Not in the picture is Mil, the 3rd in the family. He died in a car accident in 1986.

The man is a famous lawyer, being a former National President of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), the organization of all lawyers in the country. He was a bar topnotcher in 1957, a former Assemblyman from 1978-84, and was an acting Governor of Pangasinan.

I mentioned above the 3rd son, Maximilian "Mil" Millora. That guy was cool, intelligent and very friendly when he was studying at the University of the Philippines. He finished AB Political Science, took a few masteral units in Philippines Studies, then pursued AB Law, also in UP.

Mil was a good friend of mine in our student org, UP Sapul and was a classmate in some Political Science subjects. Here's one photo I got from our Sapul yahoogroups, taken sometime in 1983 I think, in one of Sapul activities out of town. From left I'm the 3rd, Mil on the 4th.

When Mil was still alive, he would welcome me to sleep in their big house in North Fairview, Quezon City. I sort of abused it, I would sleep in their house once a week for more than a year sometime in 1985-86. And that is how I got to become close to his family.

Sometime in 1989, the entire family was planning to migrate to the US, so they asked me if I can stay in their house as I used to live there often anyway. I immediately said Yes as it would mean free room rental for me as my work was in UP area at that time. Since then, I called Atty. Vic Millora and wife Lilia as "Daddy" and "Mommy". I became a belated adopted son of the family.

I have lived in that house in North Fairview until it got burned sometime in 1995 I think. Then the family moved to another house in West Fairview, they invited me and I joined them again, until about 1999.. Around 2000, I stayed with my sister in her house in Makati as I changed work. I left the Millora residence after 10 years, wow.

Needless to say, I became part of the Millora family. And they have also became my second family in this planet. I joined the yearly family reunions whenever possible. 

I got married and my own family became part of the Millora reunions. Below, during Daddy Vic's 78th birthday celebration two years ago. See the big family including the grandchildren.

Mavi has four kids (girl + 3 boys), Vvon has four too (2 girls and 2 boys), Mico has three, all boys; Ate Dea has two. Only Monette is unmarried, but happily single.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Trees in Our Farm, Part 2

I went back to the Millora Farm in Bugallon, Pangasinan, last Sunday, more photos here. These are mahogany trees near my treehouse. I like visiting the farm and walk in this area. This used to be a marginal and cogonal area with no big trees.

We planted these trees sometime in 1993-94 I think, so they are about 20 years old now. We -- together with the farm caretaker, Nong Endring Paragas, plus his boys now grown up Danny and Junjun -- actually  started planting in 1992, just a few hundreds of seedlings that year.

It's a hilly area so soil quality is not really good as topsoil can easily get eroded during heavy rains. But the trees have managed to thrive. The stone terraces we constructed greatly helped in stabilizing the soil and keeping some of the rich topsoil.

In the mid-90s, we grew our own seedlings and we were able to plant several thousands of young mahogany seedlings then. And only from June to August or even September, where there are lots of rains. We planted at an average distance of 2-3 meters apart.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Philippines' Biggest Hotel in Aklan Soon

I got this story from one of the facebook walls of my friends. Originally from the fb page of "Province of Aklan". This is good news, reposting, below.

Once the Boracay Airport complex spanning Caticlan and Nabas in Aklan becomes fully operational over the next few years, some of its structures will set Philippine records for sheer size. And for environmental friendliness.

The most imposing structure in this $300 million airport complex will be its mammoth 5,000 room budget-hotel. When completed, this hotel will be the largest budget hotel in the Philippines. It will also be the largest hotel in the country, and probably in all of Southeast Asia.
In comparison, the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel, considered the largest Philippine hotel, has only 562 rooms, or an eighth of the number in the soon-to-be-built budget hotel at the Boracay Airport complex.

Room rates at the budget-hotel are expected to range from P1,000 to P2,000 per night. The rates compare favorably to budget room rates on Boracay and are, therefore, clearly affordable for inbound tourists. The budget-hotel is intended to help decongest Boracay, which will be flooded with about a million tourists this year and probably up to three million in the next few years.

The budget-hotel will be developed by San Miguel Properties, Inc., a San Miguel Corporation subsidiary. It will be run by local businessmen since the company expects more budget conscious tourists to visit Boracay once plane fares are slashed.

The planned dome-shaped convention center will be able to seat up to 25,000 persons, or 10,000 more persons that the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City in Metro Manila. It will become both the country’s largest convention center and its biggest indoor arena.
The new terminal building will be the “greenest” terminal building in the Philippines. Its large windows will allow the free flow of fresh air throughout the building thereby reducing the need for massive air conditioning.

It will derive part of its electricity from solar panels; will install a rainwater collection system and will have its own wastewater treatment plant.

And, of course, the new Boracay Airport will set records of its own. Once fully operational, it will be able to accommodate some three million Boracay-bound tourists annually or 10 times the capacity of the old airport.

The last time I went to Boracay was more than four years ago, sometime in mid 2008 I think. The airport in Caticlan was indeed small, only small planes could land and take off. The bigger planes have to land in Kalibo, the provincial capital of Aklan, and it is nearly two hours away from Caticlan by car. 

With this projected big volume of tourists in the coming years, one problem will be the disposal of solid wastes. A good alternative would be to use the compacted, dried wastes for land expansion and reclamation on the Antique side of Aklan. Using previously solid wastes as filling materials for a land reclamation project by the sea was successfully done in Tondo, Manila, using mountains of wastes from the previous "Smokey Mountain".

Anyway, modern technology keeps improving and "big problems" today would be easily addressed tomorrow.

See also:

Going to Boracay, January 16, 2008

Manila-Mindoro-Iloilo, 2003, November 20, 2005