Cebu Media Urged To Join 10th Bright Leaf Journalism Competition

Cebu media urged to join 10th Bright Leaf journalism competition


By Ferliza C. Contratsta


CEBU CITY, June 14 (PIA) – Cebu journalists are urged to join the 10th Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards.

In today’s Bright Leaf Caravan, organizers urged members of Cebu’s media to send entries in the several categories of the competition.

Since it started 10 years ago, there were already three winners from Cebu’s print media.

Monette Quiogue, Bright Leaf’s secretariat, said they are hoping to get more entries from the regions as they advocate for the preservation of the agricultural sector.

Categories for the competition include Agriculture Story of the Year; Tobacco Story of the Year; Agriculture Story of the Year; Best Agriculture TV Program / Segment; Best Agriculture Radio Program or Segment; Best Agriculture News Story (National); Best Agriculture Feature Story (National); Best Agriculture Feature Story (Regional); Best Agriculture Feature Story (National);  Best Agriculture Photo of the Year and the Best Tobacco Photo of the Year.

In every five years, there is a special category called Oriental Leaf Award which is given to any winner for five consecutive years.

“We would like to remind everyone that submission of entries is totally free.  We are not collecting any fee,” Quiogue said.

She said a participant can submit as many entries but can’t submit the same entry in different categories.

Prizes include cash, iPads, and trips abroad.

There are three ways that the participant can send entries.  First is to send it through email at; send through mails in Bright Leaf Awards 2016, Juicebox Shop Inc, Unit 2F Phoenix Heights Condominium 40 Henry Javier St. Corner Danny Floro St., Pasig City 1600; or through Dropbox Account and share to the same email.

Entries covered should be those that were published from September 1, 2015 until August 31, 2016.

According to its website, Bright Leaf is committed to promoting and creating awareness on the most current agricultural issues and the best farming practices from environmental care, safety, to crop sustainability.

It started with only 82 entries on its first year. (rmn/fcc/PIA7-Cebu)

Vietnam Rising

Vietnam Rising




Competition for foreign direct investment (FDI) has become tighter among the 10 member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). Latest data from London-based Financial Times shows the Philippines at fifth place, with an FDI value of $8.5 billion in 2015.

Indonesia was way ahead of the Asean pack, capturing $38.5 billion worth of capital investments. It was followed by Vietnam, $21.1 billion; Malaysia, $13.4 billion; and Myanmar, $10.8 billion. Countries that captured the largest share of FDIs were those least exposed to the stagnation of the Chinese economy.

In 2014, Vietnam topped the FDI list with $23.8 billion, while the Philippines was at sixth place with $7.0 billion, edging out Myanmar at $4.8 billion.

Veteran Filipino economist Gerardo Sicat observed that Vietnam’s rapid growth, averaging close to 8 percent per year, was due to high FDI inflows. In his study published last year, he observed: “this became possible when, despite its economic system of state enterprise control (a feature of communism), the government allowed a liberal opening of the economy to the world, to FDIs, and to rely on the market mechanism to propel its growth process.”

Sicat said Vietnam’s main sources of FDI investments are Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China and Asean. “In the short time from the late 1990s, Vietnam’s policy of inviting FDIs has succeeded well,” said the Philippines’ first economic planning secretary. During a recent trip to Hanoi, I noticed the marked progress of the Vietnamese capital compared to my last visit there almost six years ago. The most recent additions to Hanoi’s skyline are the Landmark 72 Tower and Lotte Center. New bridges across the Red River have also been built after the city celebrated its 1,000th anniversary in 2010. Traffic was orderly in this city of 7.7 million people and 4.5 million motorbikes. Its central business district revolves around Hoan Kiem Lake, close to the French-era Vietnam Opera House and the Hanoi Stock Exchange beside the headquarters of top Vietnamese banks. At Ba Dinh Square where the founder of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, declared its independence from Japanese occupation in 1945, his preserved body inside a massive granite mausoleum dominates the district that houses the presidential palace and parliament buildings. I joined this historical and agri-business tour of northern Vietnam as a judge in the Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards presented annually by PMFTC Inc. Together with the 2015 awardees, we were billeted at the century-old Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, where world leaders and Hollywood celebrities have stayed (two of whom, Samuel Jackson and John Goodman, were at the hotel lobby when we were checking out). Highlighting our trip were visits to the Temple of Literature and Hoa Lo Prison, known as the Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam War, as well as culinary feasts at Laotian, Chinese fusion, and Viet pho dining meccas. By land, Laos is just 14 hours to the west, while China’s nearest border town in Guangxi province is only 12 hours north of Hanoi. We took a full-day excursion to Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site around 180 kilometers northeast of Hanoi. Driving through miles and miles of lush rice lands interspersed with industrial estates along well-maintained highways, we stopped over at the quaint town of Hai Duong and the Mikimoto pearl farm in Halong City before taking a bay cruise aboard the HaiLong Dream. There we saw breathtaking limestone cliffs similar to those in Palawan’s El Nido and Coron, as well as massive limestone caves akin to Callao in Cagayan. While state-owned enterprises produce about 40 percent of Vietnam’s GDP, the country’s socialist leaders have taken steps to liberalize the economy and integrate it globally. In fact, we hardly noticed that communism is the prevailing system there since capitalism is thriving in both urban and rural areas. An agricultural industry that has been booming is tobacco due to very few restrictions on usage, making the Socialist Republic of Vietnam a smoker’s paradise. According to the country’s leading international business newspaper, Vietnam Investment Review, developments in the south are even more amazing, especially in Ho Chi Minh City, still popularly known by its former name Saigon. Expat real estate professional David Blackhall said “so long as the economy continues to perform, the structural elements of rapid urbanization, decreasing household sizes, and the young population will underwrite property demand in 2016.” It’s quite ironic that Vietnam, America’s former war enemy, attracts more US investors nowadays than the Philippines, which is the only former American colony in Asia. Vietnamese commercial relations with the US took almost 20 years to get re-started after the Vietnam War ended in 1975. From zero exports in 1993, Vietnam’s trade volume to America reached $36.3 billion in 2014. This is expected to expand further after Washington lifted the 32-year arms embargo on Hanoi during the recent state visit to Vietnam by US President Barack Obama. Can we still catch up? J. Albert Gamboa is the CFO of Asian Center for Legal Excellence and Senior Producer of Bloomberg TV Philippines.