Sunflower Garden opens in Tagum City

The Sunflower Garden, the newest addition to the tourism destinations in  Tagum City, was inaugurated in front of the New City Hall on Nov. 12.

Already identified as the City of Parks, it is no longer a surprise that another one will rise in the capital city of Davao del Norte.

In the beginning, a temporary sunflower hill was opened for public. Surprisingly, Tagumenyos and even people from nearby towns started to frequent the place. The picture-perfect scene captivated the people’s attention and became viral on social media which sparked the idea of developing the area.

Tagum City Mayor Allan L. Rellon accompanies Rev. Fr. Reynaldo E. Biliran during the blessing and inauguration of the Sunflower Garden in front of the New City Hall of Tagum on November 12. (Carlo Abellana/CIO Tagum)

The area was planted with 8,500 yellow-corona seedless variety of sunflower with 0.3 meter distance from each hill. Life-expectancy of the said variety is only a month or approximately 30 to 35 days from the sprouting of seeds to its full maturity. The flower diameter measures around 18-21 centimetres.


During the unveiling ceremony, Mayor Allan L. Rellon said the people behind this newest attraction exhausted every means to deliver the best for Tagumenyos.

He said the city government is open for bookings of the Sunflower Garden for proposals, pre-nuptials and weddings.

Meanwhile, the city government’s Holiday Tree is slated to be lit on Nov. 18. Everyone is enjoined to witness the lighting where the department heads of the LGU will be in Disney character costumes. (JP Cordovero/CIO Tagum)


House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who has threatened to spank Davao del Norte Governor Anthony G. del Rosario for reportedly opposing construction of a P1.8 billion flyover project in Tagum City, has found an ally in Mayor Allan Rellon.


Tagum City Mayor Rellon said he is supporting Speaker Alvarez on the fly-over, the first billion-peso project in his city.

During an interview at City Hall, Mayor Rellon was however evasive and did not respond when asked if he  is also supporting Speaker Alvarez on his threat to spank the governor.

Akong tamparoson ang kinsa man ang mokontra niini nga proyekto ( I will spank whoever will oppose this project), earlier said Speaker Alvarez after Gov. del Rosario said the project was not included in the province’s Annual Implementing Plan (AIP).

Members of the media apparently siding with the Speaker drummed up the governor’s statement as an opposition to the project.

The flyover project could not be found in the Davao del Norte AIP because it is a national project implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

And contrary to the Speaker’s claim that he sought funds for the project, the flyover project has long been recommended by the Regional Development Council (RDC) and proposed during the Aquino administration long before Alvarez became Speaker.

There is no surprise if Mayor Rellon is backing Speaker Alvarez on the flyover issue against Gov. del Rosario.

Alvarez, who is seeking reelection in 2019 for the Davao del Norte First District seat in Congress, has already picked reelectionist Mayor Rellon for his line-up that includes Vice Governor Allan Dujali running against Second District congressman Tonyboy Floirendo.

Mayor Rellon will be facing former Compostela Valley Governor and now ComVal Senior Board Member Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy, who will be supported by Floirendo and Gov. del Rosario.

Speaker Alvarez’s reelection was expected to be contested by either former Governor Rodolfo del Rosario or his estranged wife Emily.

sara 1

Speaker Alvarez’s political stock took a fatal nosedive this week after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, said she would campaign against the Speaker in the coming election.

The lady mayor dimmed the Speaker’s reelection following his attack on the recently-launched Hugpong ng Pagbabago, a regional party organized by Mayor Duterte-Carpio.

Speaker Alvarez may also lose the House speakership before 2019 with Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio urging members of the House to kick out Alvarez as Speaker.

The mayor said that Speaker Alvarez has become a liability to the nation and the administration of President Duterte.


What is touted as the world’s longest and largest rosary in Tagum City, Davao del Norte in Mindanao in southern Philippines has become a major tourist attraction especially during the Holy Week.

The rosary was constructed out of magcomo or iron wood that is native to the mountains of Davao Oriental and Surigao del Sur. It was originally intended as a project of the Knights of Columbus to commemorate the silver anniversary of the Catholic diocese of Tagum City in 2005.

The rosary weighed 2,815 kilograms and measured at 85.5 meters long. The city claims that the Guinness Book of World Records “recognizes [Tagum City’s] giant rosary as the largest Roman Catholic rosary in the whole world.”

Each bead weighs 35 kg and the rosary was placed outside the Christ the King Cathedral.

The refurbished and renovated cathedral was dedicated on the city’s 25th anniversary celebration. It stood in a two-hectare area donated by the heirs of the late Dr. and Mrs. Juan Gonzales.

The cathedral was solely built from donations since 1993 and took 12 years to finish, in time for the  anniversary of the diocese.  The Christ the King Cathedral is known as the biggest in Mindanao.

The cathedral was designed like a castle. This temple of worship rests in a two-hectare land with an amazing design of towers like those found in fairy tale castles. As pillars of the Church, the statues of Saints Peter and Paul greet worshipers and tourists upon entering the vicinity of the Basilica.


Tagum City to produce 15,000 armchairs for public schools

CONFISCATED HOT LOGS donated by DENR for the chair and desk production project


TAGUM CITY, Davao DEL NORTE -The Local Government of Tagum City is setting a target to produce 15,000 armchairs and desks for public schools in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley.
To produce the big number, Mayor Rey Uy has organized a  bayanihan-style production line tapping volunteers in the production of armchairs that are badly lacking in public elementary and high schools.
Several schools in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley, where his brother Governor Arturo Uy is also into a chair-giving program for public schools,  have already benefitted from the project.
Tagum City’s production line gets wood supply from the Department of Environment and Natural resources (DENR) which donates confiscated illegal logs for the project.
At the city motorpool where the school furnitures are manufactured, volunteers offer help in sandpapering and varnishing armchairs, desks, beds and tables.
The items are given free to public schools upon request.
This is part of the local government’s corporate social responsibility, said Uy, who takes pain to personally attend to and join the delivery of the furniture even to farflung areas.
Because of the large volume of logs to be fabricated, Mayor Uy has tapped city employees, members of the different civic society organizations, business firms and private individuals to volunteer in the production line. CIOTagum



‘Hot logs’ ending up as desks in public schools in Tagum City

By Louie Lapat

KAPALONG, DAVAO DEL NORTE – One hundred twelve (112) pieces of armchairs and one hundred (100)  desks fabricated by the Local Government of Tagum City from confiscated hot logs were officially turned-over September 23, 2011 to a local elementary school here.
Sampao Elementary School principal Justo Villaber said the chairs and desks boost delivery of quality education and improve their performance.
Tagum City Mayor Uy personally supervised the delivery of the school furnitures, with Kapalong Mayor Edgardo Timbol witnessing the turn-over.
This is part of Tagum City’s social responsibility. We invest in the education of students in Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte through fabrication of armchairs, desks and tables, said Uy. The Kapalong school is the latest beneficiary of the program which targets 8,000 chairs by year-end.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES Festival set in Tagum

Tribal customs and tradtion will be at centerstage when an estimated 400 repredentatives from the indigenous people throughout the country converge in Tagum City in Davao del Norte for the Indigenous Peoples Festival 2011 from October 7 to October 9, 2011.
The 3-day event sponsored by the  Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Tagum City Tourism Council and the Mindanaoan Initiatives for Cultural Dialogues and themed “Dayaw: Indigenous Peoples Festival 2011,” will showcase rituals, performing arts, cuisine, games and crafts of different tribes of the country.
“We want to bring peace through oneness of the different indigenous peoples, said Joyce Dorado-Alegre, NCCA commissioner for subcommission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts.
The Indigenous Peoples will also have cultural exchanges that will allow them to have a deeper cultural understanding to sustain a culture of peace,” said Perpy Tio, executive director of Mindanaoan Initiatives for Cultural Dialogues.


PUBLISHED IN THE DURIAN POST NO.78, September 19-25, 2011

New hope for Talaingod school

SMILES OF HOPE. Students of Mesolong Elementary School in Sitio Mesolong, Barangay Santo Niño, Municipality of Talaingod, Province of Davao del Norte volunteer to carry their new school desks donated by the City Government of Tagum last September 13, 2011. The school head requested through a text to City Mayor Rey T. Uy to donate these fixtures to their school.

By Louie Lapat

DAVAO DEL NORTE – School children studying in one of the remotest schools in Sitio Mesolong, Barangay Santo Niño in Talaingod, a town famous for its rich natural resources, had a new reason to be excited to go to school every day.
The conditions of the school children here, though, are a stark contrast to its rich natural resources.
Mesolong Elementary School, which is approximately 8 kilometers away from downtown Talaingod, lacks school chairs which greatly affect the school’s delivery of quality education.  There are days when some students would be happy if some classmates would be absent because there will be a vacant seat for them to sit upon.
The City Government of Tagum turned over new school fixtures for the benefit of the 210 out of 575 school children here, majority of whom had to walk several kilometers in bare foot just to attend to their daily classes.
City Mayor Rey T. Uy led the turn-over rites of (70) seventy armchairs, (70) seventy desks and (7) seven tables with chairs on September 13, 2011 to school head, Arnel F. Labasan, in the presence of the students, their parents and teachers. TAGUM CITY/CIO


PUBLISHED IN THE DURIAN POST NO.78, September 19-25, 2011

Reforestation intensified

Tagum City Mayor Rey T. Uy watches the members of the Board of Directors of Tagum Cooperative headed by its chairperson, Mrs. Nenita E. Lumaad as they plant a tree during the tree planting activity at the accretion area in Barangay Pandapan, Tagum City. LGU Tagum and Tagum Cooperative signed a Memorandum of Agreement last September 8, 2011 that will intensify the green brigade in the said area. Photo by Francis Abrenica of CIO Tagum


Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy ihas Inked a memorandum of agreement with Tagum Cooperative, Inc. to maintain the accretion area planted with fast-growing trees.
In the agreement, the cooperative earmaked P200,000 for the greening program.
DepEd Superintendent Nenita E. Lumaad, chair of the cooperative’s Board of Directors shared that the project is part of the cooperative’s corporate social responsibility.

Lumaad urged the students, parents and her colleagues at DepEd and Tagum Cooperative to earnestly supervise the accretion area to ensure the survival of the planted trees.LOUIE LAPAT



PUBLISHED IN THE DURIAN POST NO.77, September 12-18, 2011

Aussies to hire butchers

Mayor Rey T. Uy with with Australian Guissepe Baggeta and Richard Simpson from Harvey Beef Company. Louie Lapat/CIO-Tagum

By Louie Lapat

Cited for their excellent performance, Tagumeño butchers have now an edge over their equals in Australia with no less than personnel from Harvey Beef Company personally scouting potential butchers to work for their company in the land down under.
Two Australians personally went here last August 30, 2011 to see for themselves the caliber of the Tagumeño butchers who are products of the Community Skills Training Program of the Local Government of Tagum spearheaded by Mayor Rey T. Uy.
In their brief meeting with the local chief executive, the two Australians Guissepe Baggeta and Richard Simpson reiterated their desire to hire additional butchers from Tagum because of their good performance and efficiency. They added that their attitude in the working place is a plus factor why they prefer butchers from Tagum.
The Australians visited the Tagum City Slaughterhouse to witness the trade test, a venue where 49 butchers showed their expertise in high anticipation of having a shot of good life abroad.



PUBLISHED IN THE DURIAN POST NO.77, September 12-18, 2011

Fe Ayala remembered by Tagumeños



PUBLISHED IN THE DURIAN POST NO.74, August 15-21, 2011

Photos by Leo Timogan

Tagumeños offered their last respects to the late Mrs. Fe Misa Ayala in a simple necrological service attended by Tagumeño folks from all walks of life last August 4, 2011 at the Parish of Christ the Eucharistic King.

Mayor Rey T. Uy led in remembering the wife of Tagum City’s development guru, Atty. Jesus V. Ayala, who succumbed to

INDUSTRIALIST JESUS V. AYALA, considered as one of the architects of the Ddavao Region’s economic growth, with Presi dent Noynoy Aquino. Photo by Pare Pareho Lang

cancer last week. The urn containing Mrs. Ayala’s ashes was brought from Davao City to Tagum City by her family led by Mr. Mike Ayala.

The Holy Mass was officiated by no less than Bishop Wilfredo Manlapaz of the the Diocese of Tagum.

The Ayala Family is the donor of the lot where the iconic New City Hall of Tagum now stands. The road leading to the edifice was named JV Ayala Avenue in honor of their memories.

In a speech, Mayor Uy expressed his sympathy to the bereaved family and stressed that it was very unfortunate that the couple will not be able to witness the inauguration of the new city hall.

However, Mayor Uy announced that a relocation site acquired from the Ayala Family in a minimal cost will be named Fe Ayala Village in honor of her memories.

Mafe, as she was fondly called by her loved ones, led an active role in Davao City’s floriculture industry. She died barely three months after her husband’s demise.

Mafe’s love for flowers and the environment is always remembered by the employees of the Hijo Plantation  in Madaum, Tagum City who showed force of love during the necrological service. LOUIE LAPAT/CIO-TAGUM