The Voice of the Philippines – Visayas Audition

Dreaming of being Superstar, having outstanding singing talents, or just wanna have fun? Robinsons Place Dumaguete is the spot for you to be on Saturday and Sunday. The Philippines most popular reality singing competition “The Voice of the Philippines” announced earlier this week the schedule of auditions in the Visayas Region. The Voice of the Philippines Visaya Auditions are scheduled for this Sunday- January 11 and 12 – 2014

The Voice of the Philippines Visayas audition venues for both the Regular and Kids Audition. For The Voice Kids audition involving kids aged between 8-14 years old, you are required to be at the venue before 9:00 on Saturday, January 11, 2014. The venue will be used also for the regular audition scheduled for Sunday, January 12, 2014.


The Voice of the Philippines

What is The Voice of the Philippines

The series is part of The Voice franchise and is based on a similar competition format in the Netherlands entitled The Voice of Holland. The whole format features four coaches or judges searching for a batch of talented new artists, who could become the Philippines’ new singing superstar. The show’s concept is indicated by its title: The 4 coaches will only judge a singer hopeful termed by the show as “Artist” with only his/her vocal talent without prejudice to his/her physical bearing.

It’s with this concept that makes The Voice franchise rise above other known reality talent searches which airs in any known media platform such as The X Factor franchise, the Got Talent franchise or even the Idol franchise. The lucky Artists who have advanced from the audition round would be split into four teams, whom are coached/mentored by the 4 well-known personalities in terms of Singing which in the show, termed “Coaches” who in turn would collaborate with them and choose songs for their artists to perform. Only 16 years old and above can participate. (source:Wikipedia)

The Voice Kids Visayas Audition

The Voice Kids Visayas Audition

This year is the first time The Voice Kids holds auditions. The first open call auditions was held on November 23, 2013 at Metro Gaisano Pacific Mall in Mandaue, Cebu and was open to kids aged 8 to 14 years old.

In 2014, auditions for the Visayas, Mindanao, and Metro Manila will be held on January 11, 18, and 25 respectively. A separate audition for Luzon will be held on February 1. The show will air on Summer of 2014.It is still unknown if who will be the host and the coaches of the show.

Bureau of immigration - Annual Report

Annual Report 2014

Bureau of immigration - Annual Report

Like each year, foreign nationals staying in the Philippines need to submit their annual report to the Bureau of Immigration. There is a new Annual Report Form, which can be downloaded here: ANNUAL REPORT .pdf NEW

Update Feb 05-2014: The Bureau of Immigration Office in Dumaguete can process “updated reports”. For more info one need to get in touch with the BoI

Submit Annual Report at the BoI in Cebu

While in the last years the annual reporting was possible in the Bureau of Immigration Satellite Office in Dumaguete, in 2014 is for the whole region VII –where Dumaguete belongs to- the Cebu office the only options.

If you stumbled upon this side from another Region, the picture below shows the offices of all regions, where one can submit the annual report form.

Bureau of Immigration Offices accepting the Annual Report 2014

Bureau of Immigration Offices accepting the Annual Report 2014

Press Release from the Bureau of Immigration

Foreign nationals staying in RP required to report at the Bureau of Immigration in person from January to February 2014

Foreign nationals are required to report in person starting this coming January 2014 up to the last day of February as a requirement for their continued stay in the Philippines, the Bureau of Immigration in an official memorandum circular says.

Memorandum Circular No. SBM 2013-007 signed by BI Commissioner Siegfred B. Mison last December 12, foreign nationals staying in the Philippines are required to appear in person at the Bureau of Immigration offices within the first sixty days of the calendar year. This policy is in compliance with the Section 10 of Republic Act 562 or the Alien Registration Act. The circular aims to strictly enforce compliance of the immigration law in the interest of national security, public safety and public order.

Foreign nationals are asked to bring their ACR Icard or paper-based ACR and accomplish an application form. Applicants can download the application form from the bureau’s website ( or personally get a copy from any of the BI offices nationwide. An application fee of 310 pesos is required to be paid as part of the requirements for reportage.

Travel agencies, law firms and other entities transacting with the Bureau of Immigration are prohibited from accomplishing the application form or paying the corresponding application fees on behalf of their clients, except if they fall on the exceptions as stated in the Memo Circular SBM 2013-002.

Foreign nationals who are under 14 years of age or about 65 years old, imbecile, staying in a penal institution or confined in a hospital are not required to appear in person. Those who can show sufficient proof of physical incapability to report in person can likewise send a representative to apply.

Those who are outside the country are likewise not required to appear personally for as long as he pays the application fee within thirty days upon arrival. Other applicants whose appearance has been waived by the Bureau can just send their representatives.

Application forms should be duly notarized before the ACOs or heads of departments and divisions of the bureau. The Alien Registration Division has been tasked to strictly manage the annual report, particularly the reports submitted weekly by district field offices which are now required to report on a weekly and monthly basis the number of foreign nationals within their jurisdiction.

Download the application form for the annual renewal here:


Our advice to our foreign friends:

As a visitor, guest or permanent resident of the Philippines, stick to the rules. Visa Extensions or any Visa related issues should be processed by the rules and regulations of the Bureau of Immigration and not some unverified rumors published in confusing manner somewhere in the worldwide web. The rules, regulations and requirements are all public. For any questions get in touch with the offices in charge, in this case, the BI Head Office in Manila.

Do yourself a favor, stick to the rules to fully enjoy your stay in the Philippines. Those who spread all those wrong information, half-truths or special deals won’t surely be around to help you if something goes wrong.

Should you have any immigration-related queries, please do not hesitate to call the BI Helpdesk Hotline at (632) 524-3824 or (632) 524-3769 Trunk line: (632) 465- 2400, visit the BI website at

Yolanda wash out house House in Tacloban city

Trip to Tacloban – 7 weeks after Yolanda hit Leyte

Just before Christmas time we went with a bus load full of relief goods to Tacloban, Leyte. Thousands of schoolbooks and general school – supplies were delivered to various schools as well as construction tools which are shared between many people to re-build their houses.

All this was made possible by the generous donations of many people.

Horace B. Silliman

Silliman National Writers Workshop 2014

Silliman University National Writers Workshop 2014 is the 53rd of its kind and the oldest creative writing program in whole Asia. The Silliman University National Writers Workshop is the only three-week long writers workshop in the country, devoted to helping writers hone their craft in the genres of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama.

53rd Silliman University National Writers Workshop

53rd Silliman University National Writers Workshop – picture source

Silliman University is now accepting applications for the 53rd National Writers Workshop to be held 5—23 May 2014 at the Silliman University Rose Lamb Sobrepeña Writers Village.

The Silliman University Writers Village

Silliman Writers Village

Silliman Writers Village

The Mary Rose Lamb Sobrepeña Writers Village is a gift by Atty. Enrique Sobrepeña Jr. and is named in honor to his wife. The donation for the creation of the Writers Village, located in Camp Lookout, in Bongbong, Valencia, was facilitated by former University President Dr. Quintin S. Doromal. Today, the site is the primary venue for the Silliman University National Writers Workshop, founded by Drs. Edilberto and Edith Tiempo in 1961.

The Writers Village, a project initiated by Silliman University President Dr. Ben S. Malayang III, is part of a long tradition of gifts to the University from the Sobrepeñas, avid patrons who have also helped keep the workshop alive as keen supporters through the years. The Writers Village is now home to writers of all persuasions. Its establishment helps promote the arts and culture at Silliman University and in the Dumaguete and Negros Oriental community.

Entry requirements for the Silliman National Writers Workshop 2014

Applicants need submit manuscripts in English before 15th of January 2014

Applicants for Fiction and Creative Nonfiction fellowships should submit three to four entries.

Applicants for Poetry fellowships should submit a suite of seven to ten poems.

Applicants for Drama fellowships should submit at least one One-Act Play.

Each fiction, creative nonfiction, or drama manuscript should not be more than 30 pages. The organizers advice to stay well below the 30 pages. All Manuscripts should be submitted in five hard copies, double-spaced, on 8.5 x 11 inches bond paper, with approximately one-inch margin on all sides. The page number must be typed consecutively (e.g., 1 of 30, 2 of 30, and so on) at the center of the bottom margin of each page. The font should be Book Antiqua or Palatino, and the font size should be 13.

Send your National Writers Workshop Application to

Department of English and Literature
attnt Prof. Ian Rosales Casocot, Workshop Coordinator
1/F Katipunan Hall, Silliman University
6200 Dumaguete City.

For inquiries, and further information about the Silliman National Writers Workshop 2014 send an to email or call 035-422-6002 loc 350.

Dead Whale in Dumaguete Dauin

Dead Whale in Dumaguete-Dauin

Like always, if there is a unusual creature anywhere in the world, the rumors go crazy. The same of course happened when a badly decomposed huge creature was found floating on the surface between Masaplod Norte and Apo Island. We all know that in the land of chissmiss, this must be a monster of the underworld. So the online-community on social networks voted for a Giant Squid at first.

Dead Whale in Dumaguete Dauin

Dead Whale on the Shoreline in Masaplod

The stinking creature was brought to the shoreline in Masaplod Norte and tight up. When we dropped by it was pretty clear that the dead creature looks like a whale. With the status of discomposure, the exact species is hard to determine.

Dead Whale in Dumaguete Dauin facing apo island

Dead Whale in Dumaguete Dauin facing apo island Probably a Sperm Whale

Sperm Whale in Dumaguete?

Best bet would be a Sperm Whale or any close relative of it. Looking at the size of the teeth, it would not be an adult sperm whale, but also no very young one.

The size of the carcass, teeth  and the blowhole compared to pictures and data online would suggest this species (without being experts in this field).

Dead Whale in Dumaguete Dauin local got the souviner teeth from the Whale Shark

Dead Whale in Dumaguete Dauin local got the souviner teeth of the dead creature for sale to the highest bidder a Whale Shark teeth

Stranded Sperm Whales in the Philippines

Stranded and dead sperm whales are no rarity in the Philippines. Just in October this year a dead sperm whale beached in Misamis Oriental. According to different media, the whale measured around 13 to 15 meters.

Looks like other creatures took already a bite

Looks like other creatures took already a bite

The status of the decomposing whale in Dauin was really beyond its prime and the carcass developed a bad stench. It can’t be said how long the creature has been dead already and what causes its death.

Getting the souvenirs from the dead carcass

Getting the souvenirs from the dead carcass

With getting closer to low tide, locals got into the water and tried to cut doubtful souvenirs out of it. The teeth of the dead whale were sold on shore for 1500 peso and more.

Concert on the Green

Just in the unlikely event you don’t participate in the Negros 100 Ultra Marathon, and have no other plans for the 14th of December, the “Contert on the Green” is a great event to support the local bands AND to do some good stuff in supporting the flood survivors.

Five local bands will perform during the concert. The headliner and highlight will be HOPIA which will also pre-launch their upcoming CD. The band is a mix of local musicians who found each other in jam sessions at different location. Everybody who just watches live-performances once in a while, will recognize some faces. HOPIA will be supported by JSquad, Ground Zero, Xaris and Nicky.Hopia-concert

The Concert on the Green will start at 7:00pm at the main campus of Foundation University.


Philippine Holidays 2014

President Aquino declared according to the Proclamation No. 655 the Philippine Holidays for 2014. The lists below show all regular, non-working, and special school holidays. The Holy Week in 2014 is from April 17 – April 20. Don’t forget to book early for those dates, just in case you want to use this time for travelling.

Philippine Holidays 2014

Regular Holidays in the Philippines 2014

January 1 (Wednesday) – New Year’s Day
April 9 (Wednesday) – Araw ng Kagitingan
April 17 (Thursday) – Maundy Thursday
April 18 (Friday) – Good Friday
May 1 (Thursday) – Labor Day
June 12 (Thursday) – Independence Day
August 25 (Monday) – National Heroes Day
Nov. 30 (Sun.) – Bonifacio Day
Dec. 25 (Tuesday) – Christmas Day
Dec. 30 (Tuesday) – Rizal Day

Special Non-Working Holidays 2014

January 31 (Friday) – Chinese New Year
April 19 (Saturday) – Black Saturday
August 21 (Thursday) – Ninoy Aquino Day
Nov. 1 (Saturday) – All Saints Day
Dec. 24 (Wednesday) – Christmas Special Non-Working Days
Dec. 26 (Friday)
Dec. 31 (Wednesday) – Last Day of the Year

Special School Holiday 2014

February 25 (Tuesday) – EDSA Revolution Anniversary

Additional regional holidays will be declared by the local Government as they want us to enjoy Buglasan 2014 and Sandurot Festival 2014.

Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima2

International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima visits Dumaguete

From December 03, 2013 to December 05, 2013 the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima will visit Dumaguete

International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima

History of International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima

The world-famous International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima was sculpted in 1947 by Jose Thedim, based on the description of Sr. Lucia, one of the three young seers who saw Our Lady each month from May to October 1917 in Fatima, Portugal.

On October 13, 1947, in the presence of some 150,000 pilgrims, the statue was blessed by the Bishop of Leiria at Fatima, Portugal to be the pilgrim, the traveler.

Sent out to bring the Message of Fatima to the world, the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue has traveled the world many times, visiting more than 100 countries, including Russia and Red China, bringing the great message of hope, “the peace plan from heaven,” to millions of people. Many miracles and signal graces are reported wherever the statue travels including shedding tears many times.

Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima

Itinerary for Dumaguete

December 03, 2013 Arrival

7:00AM – Carmelite Monastery
9:00AM – St. Paul University (SPUD)
1:00PM – Negros Oriental State University (NORSU)
5:00PM – Redemtionist Parish (overnight stay)

December 04, 2013

7:00AM – Cathedral Parish
1:00PM – St. Louis School – Don Bosco (SLS-DB)
5:00PM – Mary Immaculate Parish (overnight stay)

December 05, 2013

5:00AM – Cathedral Church (overnight stay)

December 06, 2013 – Departure

Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima2

Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima’s last visit in the Philippines was 2012, when she visited Luzon.

Donation for Yolanda Victims

Restaurant raises 51,452 Peso for Yolanda Victims

“Eat all you can – Pay what you want” was the theme of Casablanca Restaurant in the center of the Rizal Boulevard, to raise some money for the victims of typhoon Yolanda.

Casablanca Restaurant Gunther Sanin

Casablanca Restaurant Gunther Sanin

The buffet was sponsored by the Casablanca Restaurant and prepared by the students of DACA International, the only Culinary Arts School in Dumaguete offering international culinary education.

DACA Student Prepare Foods for Yolanda Donnors

DACA Student Prepare Foods for Yolanda Donnors

Chef-Teacher Tom and his students prepared an outstanding buffet which was the foundation for raising this unexpected amount of money.

Tourists, Expats and many local regular guests came to Casablanca Restaurant to “eat for a cause”. When the pot was opened the next day (under the watchful eye of a Warden of the British Embassy) Guenther Sanin counted 51,452.- Peso.

All donations will be given in form of relief goods to Yolanda Victims in need.
No cash will be given to victims or officials !

Sandurot Dancesport-competition 2013

Sandurot Dance Sport Competition 2013

Due to heavy rain late afternoon, the Dance Sport Competition 2013 started with a delay of 90 minutes, a very wise decision of the organizers. The participants need for their steps a dry stage to make sure that nobody slips and ruins their performance, or even worse, getting injured. Five participating pairs were judged in Cha Cha, Chive and Rumba.

Sandurot Fiestival Dancesport-competition

Sandurot Fiestival Dancesport-competition

Pictures of the Dance Sport Competition 2013

(click on pictures to magnify)

As it is a competition, there need to be winners. However, for us all participants were winner. Nowadays Dance Sport is not necessarily in the focus of the young generation; therefore it was great to watch this event and the enthusiasm for dance sport of all five pairs.

Sandurot Dancesport-competition 2013

Sandurot Dancesport-competition 2013