By By Fernan A. Gianan
No more quarrying in Sto. Domingo river?
posted 7-Apr-2019  ·  
1,733 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

One of the two Binibining Pilipinas 2019 candidates who have Catandungan blood (the other being last year’s Top 25 Sigrid Grace Flores) is Joanna Rose Tolledo.

Contacted on her facebook page, the 25-year old beauty based in Caloocan City is the daughter of Rosanna Niño-Tolledo of Pangasinan and Jose Tayo Tolledo of Buenavista, Bato, who happens to be a first cousin of NPC Bicol Operations officer-in-charge Engr. Edwin Tatel.

Joanna has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Caloocan City and was once a grade school guidance counselor. At present, she is doing modelling and is also an entrepreneur.

“Sometimes me and my family visit Catanduanes for summer vacation and to visit our Lolo and other relatives in Catanduanes. I actually love Binurong Point!! One of the best place I’ve ever been. Breathtaking!!!” she said in a message to this writer last Saturday.


A brief visit last week to the northern part of the island, particularly through the central national highway that runs along Bato river, showed that many islander have yet to take to heart the government’s campaign for zero waste.

At one stretch of the highway after barangay Mabato in San Miguel town, the newly-cleared roadsides reveal an ugly sight: scores of plastic bottles and snack wrappers carelessly thrown away possibly by passengers of passing cars and, to a lesser extent, local residents.

The trash just takes away from the beauty of the river scenery and somehow leaves one with the frustrating thought that all the plastic waste would soon fall into the river and make its way to the sea.

Just last week, during the celebration of the World Wildlife Day, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu Jr. called on Filipinos to become stewards of marine life by cutting down on the use of plastics that end up in the ocean and pose a threat to marine life.

According to Ocean Conservancy, 8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year on top of the 150 million tons of plastic that already circulate in the ocean, contributing to loss of species and contamination of food chain.

Based on the 2017 International Coastal Cleanup report, cigarette butts, plastic bottles and caps, straws and stirrers, among other kinds of plastic bags, were some of the top items found.

The report also indicated that such wastes could harm 1 million seabirds, 100,000 sea mammals, marine turtles and countless fish annually due to ingestion and entanglement.

Citing a United Nations report, Cimatu said the Philippines is one of top 5 contributors of plastic waste in the world’s oceans, accounting for about half of the total plastic leakage.

“We produce 2.7 metric tons of plastic waste every year,” Cimatu said. “Following this trajectory of plastic production and mismanagement, UN reports predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish.”


Last week’s meeting between the capitol, DENR, EMB and DPWH on the quarry permit issue raised by contractors had one common ground, according to an official: the main quarry site at Sto. Domingo river along Pajo, Sto. Cristo and Cavinitan is already depleted of aggregates.

    It may be recalled sometime before 2015, a Chinese firm undertaking improvement of the Bagamanoc portion of the circumferential road, Hebei Road and Bridge Group Co., began extracting more than 20,000 cubic meters of gravel from several hundred meters of river bed.

    The quarrying was so massive that the equipment-led operation left the river with large holes as deep as six meters, with signs warning swimmers not to venture into the area.

    At the time, capitol officials argued that the removed aggregates would be replenished in time. Apparently it never happened.


THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY. At St. Peter's Catholic Church in Toronto, they have weekly husband's marriage seminars. At the session last week, the priest asked Giuseppe, who said he was approaching his 50th wedding anniversary, to take a few minutes and share some insight into how he had managed to stay married to the same woman all these years.

Giuseppe replied to the assembled husbands, "Well, I've tried to treat her nice, spend money on her, but best of all is, I took her to Italy for the 25th anniversary!"

The priest responded, "Giuseppe, you are an amazing inspiration to all the husbands here! Please tell us what you are planning for your wife for your 50th anniversary?"

Giuseppe proudly replied, "I gonna go pick her up."

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