Archive for the ‘ Sword : Tating’s Thoughts ’ Category



Good afternoon.  I know once you have read this note, you will know already who you are so I need not directly mention your name.

I just wish to correct one of your posts since you are directly pointing out at me.  Please make sure that what you are accusing me is true before you lambast me with anything.  Kindly check also before you point fingers at me the dates as to when the photos were posted, the descriptions of the photos, and more importantly the Facebook account where these photos come from.  I am only handling my personal accounts and the official accounts of the LGU which are “Sta Maria” and “Local Government Unit of Sta. Maria”.  Any other posts or pictures outside of those accounts, are from poseurs only and not authorized by the present administration.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but once your post attempts to state an alleged fact, please make sure your fact is true.

In addition, kindly make sure also to distinguish between the present and the previous Mayor when you use the term Mayor in your posts.  I do not think it is fair to liken the present Local Chief Executive to the previous one, even if they come from the same family, for obvious reasons which you and the rest of the people of Sta. Maria can see from the many projects we have undertaken since July 2010.  Facebook is an arena where you can post anything you want provided you do not cross the border of respect for the rights of others or attempt to dissuade people into believing assumptions and mere conjectures.

The Administration of Mayor Mila M. Cabañero is very well aware that we can never please everybody and neither do we have plans of attempting to please all of you.  Nonetheless, we will continue to do what we are mandated to do under the laws and what we believe are the right things to do for the people of this Municipality.

We thank the many people who have appreciated our efforts, these are icings to our cake.  We likewise thank our critics, for you are the cherries on top of the icings to our cake.  The appreciation and the criticisms we receive from all of you will continue to inspire us to better serve the best interests of each and every Sta. Marian.

Daghan kaayong salamat.


Atty. Chona Leah “Tating” M. Cabañero, CESE

Municipal Administrator, LGU Sta. Maria




2011 Video by AmbientMedia


Decade old video of PAL


Ok ok I admit it.  I am one of the very very few airplane passengers who read safety manuals and watch and eagerly listen to safety videos.  Being a constant traveler, it has always been my hope that passengers should be given actual instructional video before the airplane takes off because until now I still sometimes fumble as to the wearing of the “in the event of a water landing” vest.  Yes, that’s how corny I am.  I really wish to be able to hold that vest and try to wear it on my own.  As paranoid as I may sound.

Just over a week ago, I came across through Facebook links the new instructional safety video of Philippine Airlines.  And what can I say??  FINALLY, PAL!

Being a constant traveler myself, I have always been very annoyed if not embarrassed of the safety video of PAL.  It seems like it was created in the 1980s with old fashioned PAL uniform and that slight slant lip of the male model when he speaks lol.  I’m so rude.  Sorry, but I always notice him.  It is such a very nineteen kopong-kopong video, the quality of the filmstrip more than speaks for itself.

But now, FINALLY, PAL heard my plea and the many other pleas of their regular travelers.  Thumbs up to AmbientMedia for the new safety video of PAL.  Hip, modern, it is actually something I’m proud of.  Two thumbs up in fact!  Looking forward to my next trip all aboard Philippine Airlines.


“Mabuhay!  Welcome to Philippine Airlines!,”  sans the slanted lip.


Welcome and Thank You Speech of Atty. Ada Mae Y. Ko during the 60th birthday celebration of her Mom, Tita Y. Ko, and Pop, Hong Kong Ko, at The Marco Polo Hotel on 12 Octboer 2007.  Written by: Tating Cabañero for Ada Ko.


Last August 29, a little wonder of joy came into our small family.  Indeed, we were all filled with happiness and tears.  People would always say, our little bundle of joy undisputedly looks like somebody glowing inside this room tonight.  Lovable, cute, charming, huggable, enchanting, strikingly good looking.  Yes…  I am talking about myself.

To my beloved Guama, Uy Si, who like me is glowing tonight, to my A-pes and A-es, cousins, nephews and nieces, to the friends of Papa and Mom, guests, ladies and gentlemen, ho am.

This evening, I and Atie would like to welcome all of you as we gather to celebrate the 60th birthday of our Papa and Mom.  Tonight is a celebration not only of how wondrously they both grew through the years, but likewise, a thanksgiving of the many facets which make them uniquely Hong Kong Ko and Tita Ko.  Hopia and Tikoy, as my closest friends would fondly refer to them.  Who is Hopia and who is Tikoy, I leave that for all of you to decipher.

Our Papa has always been the man of a few words, if not a very very few words or absolutely none at all.  But behind that seemingly quiet facade of his, lies a man who will always be there even if the enemy is as gigantic as the Great Wall of China.  He is in fact a descendant of Mao Zse Tung, especially at home.  When he speaks, everybody listens, everybody follows in the blink of an eye.  A loyal citizen of the Republic of China, I should say.

Pa, I and Atie would like to take this rare opportunity to convey to you how grateful we are to have you as our father.  Not everyone in this world gets to have a Papa who will stand up for their family, the solid foundation which no earthquake can rock.  Like a piece of china adorning the cabinets of royalty – rare, fragile, priceless – you are that to us Pa.  But unlike the many merchants in Chinatown selling pirated chinaware, we will never trade you for anything else in this world.  You do not merely command of us respect.  You deserve it.

Thank you Pa for always being there.  Even without you saying it, we know how precious we are to you.  And I and Atie would like to thank you not only for being our father, but for being the wonderful husband to someone who seems to be not-as-glowing-as-I-am tonight.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am deeply honored to present before all of you one of our birthday celebrants for tonight, my dear Papa, because I am his favorite, Hong Kong T. Ko.

So I hope all of you will enjoy the rest of the night…


Bago ako mawalan ng pang shopping…

Of course, how could I ever forget the other birthday celebrant for this evening.  I am extremely proud to present before you the woman who brings sunshine into our lives, the woman who tickles our bones, the woman who brought me and Atie into this world, our one and only, because she is truly one and only, our beloved Mom, Tita U. Yao-Ko.

Mom to us is the undisputed stage mother for all seasons.  Stage mother, stage Sa-e, and just recently, stage lola or A-my as we now call her.  She has always been the life of every party.  The original dance diva.    The one who brightens our days with her gregarious antics, timely quips, and drop dead gorgeous looks and flawless 36-24-36 figure (because it’s your birthday Mom).

On a serious note, allow me to introduce to each and everyone of you the Tita Ko whom we have known and grown up with through the years.  The Tita Ko who, despite her imperfections, reigns as the jewel in our palace, in our hearts.

Our Mom, our Momi, has always been and I believe will forever remain to be the groovy Mom we have come to love.  She is the kind of Mom whom we can always run to, talk to, and relate to in a manner which makes us feel that we are equals.  The kind of person who values family ties, clan ties no matter how far reaching the extensions may be, with the utmost importance.  She is a friend not only to her circle of friends, but to each and every one of us – her children, her nephews and nieces, and almost every one she meets along the road.  She just has this innate ability and unbeatable charisma to make a person feel comfortable.

A loving daughter to Ama.  A caring sister.  And just recently, a dedicated grandma.

There is still too much to say about Momi that I could go on rambling as long as a full length Arirang DVD.  But to sum it up in one word, for us, her family, she is simply perfect.  A perfect wife to Papa for 31 years now.  The perfect Mom for us not only because we practically have no choice but moreso because we felt it and continue to feel it.  She has never ceased to make us feel that we are loved, that we are special, that she is there not just as a mother to sermon us when we tumble along life’s journey but as our friend.

Mom, thank you for being the glow behind our light.  Our lights would not have been as glaring, if you were not the one glowing behind it.  Thank you very much Mom.  Always remember that although our lights may flicker at times, we always appreciate the unwavering fact that your glow will be the spark to bring us back to our lights.  We love you Mom.  You certainly are glowing tonight…  Just like me, of course.

On behalf of my brother, Atie, my sister-in-law, and our cute baby boy, Enzo, I would like to welcome all of you to the 60th birthday celebration and thanksgiving of Momi and Papa.  We certainly hope you will enjoy the rest of what we have humbly prepared for all of you tonight.

May I now request everyone to raise their glasses and join me as together we toast: To good health, peace of mind, more blessings, and more milestones to come.  Happy birthday Mi!  Happy birthday Pa!  Cheers!

Thank you and good evening once again.

Shi Gol San Korean Restaurant

A review: My Shi Gol San Korean Restaurant experience.

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Coming from the painting exhibit of my cousin, Atty. Ritzel Rabor-Polinar, at Casino Filipino, my law office partner, Atty. Ada Mae Ko, and I went straight to have dinner since it was already almost 8 o’clock in the evening.  According to her, there is a good Korean Restaurant nearby which I should try.  Hence, from the exit of the parking area of Grand Regal Hotel where the Casino is, we went straight to (I had to Google the resto’s name since mahirap maalala lol) SHI GOL SAN Korean Restaurant.  It is located just across Grand Regal Hotel, in a sort of mini-compound along the highway.

The place didn’t look as inviting outside, knowing me I’m so pihikan when it comes to aesthetics and all.  Parking was not difficult since there were spaces in the compound.

It was quiet I felt like we were the only customers at that time.  Upon entering the restaurant though, you will be welcomed in the usual Asian style atmosphere, Korean I suppose lol.  There were also a number of customers inside mostly of Korean descent.  The restaurant is not that big.  Excluding the kitchen, it would probably be the size of SM’s Coffee Dream shaped like a square.

We were welcomed by one of the waiters who led us to some of the vacant tables.   Love the table because you can’t see the other customers since the back of the sofabench was tall enough to cover my head.  Only complaint though is that my bench seemed to be too far from the table.

They served us 8 appetizers names of which I do not know again and I have no plans of memorizing in my lifetime.  All I know is that, kimchi kimchi kimchi.  All our orders arrived about 20 minutes after the appetizers were served.  For additional orders or other concerns it was quite easy to call the attention of the waiters since there is a buzzer on every table.

So how was the food?  Tasty and very Korean.  I say they were well prepared, served Korean style.   If you are a sucker for Korean dishes, this is the place to be in Davao so far.  If you love spicy meals, then this is also the place for you.

I am not a Korean food fan so didn’t enjoy our dinner that much.  I found the food too spicy to the point that you don’t get to appreciate how delicious it is.  I’d say though, it’s what Korean dishes are really supposed to be so malas ko na lang lol.  In short, everything served was authentically Korean.  It was too authentic that’s why a non-Korean food lover like me didn’t like it.  If you want to try Korean food or Korean dining in Davao, then this is really the perfect place for you.

I paid around Php 1,400.00 for the two of us.  There were a lot of pakibalot na lang after we had dinner though because my law office partner usually orders more than the two of us can consume.  I’d say, it would be an average of Php 400.00 per person in that restaurant.

If you are a Korean food fanatic, I say the 8 appetizers are a must (which is served free by the way) and the soup which was uber spicy.  If you don’t like Korean food and want to settle for something “eatable”, try ordering some beef or their dimsums.

Suggestion, if you don’t like spicy stuff, inform the waiter ahead so the cook can make adjustments.  I guess that was why I didn’t enjoy our meal.  My law office partner though loved it a lot because she likes Korean dishes, the Chinese that she is what do you expect.

For dessert by the way, you may want to try the simple, childish ice creams sold at the Korean Store just beside the resto.  I love Korean ice cream.


My ratings, 1-5 with 5 being the highest:

  • Restaurant’s look and feel – 2.5.
  • Cleanliness of restaurant – 3.
  • Value for money and by value for money I don’t mean the food is cheap.  What I mean is, getting your money’s worth – 3.5.
  • Service – 3.
  • Food presentation – 3.
  • Quality of food – 3.5 (authenticity included).
  • Over-all rating – 3.5.


Would I recommend this restaurant?  Yes, but with emphasis still on the line “if you like Korean food”.



Sometimes we give too much importance on other people. Sometimes we give them too much importance to the point of not leaving anything for ourselves but them, them, them. Sometimes and at some time, we will just come to the road of realising that all the importance we gave just went down the drain.

I can’t help but think how certain relationships survive in the realm of the-importance-only-one-person-gives. It might seem like martyrdom or stupidity or blindness, but there are just relationships which seem that way. Or it might just be plain and simple, L-O-V-E.

I believe, we can never force others to give us the same amount of importance we give. Neither should we expect that from them. But sometimes and at a certain time, we will just come to realise that the world does not only revolve on the ones we love. It also, and selfish as it may seem, revolves on us.

I may never be able to fully fathom why some people give more and others give less. All I truly know is that the kind of importance we give should not and should never be dependent on what the other is giving. We should always imbed in our minds and hearts though that we are not the only one in need of importance. Others do too. Maybe even way more than we need. And I wholeheartedly believe that it takes that kind of respect, for others and for ourselves, to make every relationship work.

Tating signing off, 19 March 2010 0747 Davao City.



There’s a certain sense of serenity which overflows in the rivers of our hearts.

There’s a certain sense of serenity when it overflows beyond the confines of our intentions.

That serenity, the overflow…  Can be found…  Felt…  In you.


I have always believed that each of us was made for a destined purpose,

A purpose far reaching than what books and the past could prepare us all.

I have always believed that each of us was fatefully destined to change lives, to make lives better.

That destiny, that glaring sense of purpose…  Glows…  In you.


A fate, a growing sense of being able to make a difference, to really make a difference,

When you heal the wounds of your patients through your skilled hands,

And touch their lives through your empathic heart.


A fate, a relentless sense of being able to make a difference, to really make a difference,

When you spontaneously give more than you could to your family,

And diligently care for them without expecting anything in return.


A fate, an incessant sense of being able to make a difference, to really make a difference,

When you unselfishly succor to your friends and colleagues in the profession,

And graciously help them in every possible way you can.


A fate, a surging sense of being able to make a difference, to really make a difference,

When you unguardedly opened your heart and who you are to a complete stranger,

Vulnerabilities and all included.


In a rare feat of distance defying usual circumstances,

I have been given the privilege to be shone with the brightest glimmer of that serenity.

A glimmer encompassing the many things which make life beautiful,

Flourishing through an incandescent luster with each passing moment.


A serene glimmer which I have been granted the honor to see, to know,

And to appreciate…  The person behind the scrub suit,

The individual behind the illustrious name ending with an M.D.,

The human being that is Inday to her family,

The human being that is Dokie to me,

The human being unknown perhaps to many…


The one who…

Earnestly works for the safety of her patients even if she herself needs medical care.

Personally attends to the well-being of her patients even amidst uncalled for times of the day.

Pitifully weighing what cost to charge even if the service given calls for so much more.


The one who…

Never fails to give hope that a pot of gold is waiting at the end of the interminable rainbow.

Never loses the zest to improve in her chosen craft and brazenly swim unchartered waters.

Never ceases to make others feel that they deserve all the time she gives them in this busy world.


The one who…

Sensitively knows when to give even before someone could ask for it.

Unselfishly shares whatever she can even to the extent of sacrificing her needs.

Voluntarily performs tasks even if the same has already taken its toll on her.


The one who…

Forgives…  Forgives…  And forgives some more.

Who swallowed the person she thought she was for the relationships she value most.

Who gave second, third, and fourth chances to save relationships.

Who has given more than she could…

And more than she is willing to take to prove the importance of relationships.


The one who…

Bickers and bickers me just to change the serious look on my face.

Bickers and bickers me some more to test the limits of my lengthy patience.

Bickers and bickers me more, more and so much more, like any genuine friend would.

That’s who she is to me, for me, and to the ones closest to her heart.


Happy 32nd Birthday Dokie Marlu!

May that serenity continue to glow in you and radiate way beyond the lives you presently touch.

I have been so blessed to be shimmered with its ray…


Note: The above message is part of a framed photograph gift I gave to Marie Lou L. Gallego, M.D. on 17 September 2010 on the occasion of her 32nd birthday.



Farewell and Thank You Privilege Speech of Hon. Annie Mel Chevleur G. Cabañero, Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President of Sta. Maria from December 2007 to November 2010.  Delivered on 26 November 2010 at the Municipal Session Hall of Sta. Maria.  Speech By: Atty. Chona Leah “Tating” M. Cabañero, CESE and Hon. Annie Mel Chevleur “Chevz” G. Cabañero.



To our Honorable Presiding Officer, Vice-Mayor Rudy P. Mariscal, to my respected colleagues in the Office of the Sangguniang Bayan, staff, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

I can still vividly remember 3 years ago, I stood in this very rostrum to deliver my first ever privilege speech as a neophyte honorary member of this august body in my capacity as the new President of the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation.  I cannot believe, 3 years have indeed passed by so quickly but not without lessons about the real world and about public service as I say goodbye to the privilege which has been granted to me by the youth of Sta. Maria.

At the very young age of 15, I carried with me the huge responsibility of being the voice of the youth of this Municipality.  To be elected as the President of the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation is indeed an honor for me as well as for my family.  But it was not just about the honor of being called as such and neither was it all about prestige.  It was an honor and a prestige which carry with it a heavy burden.  I recall what my Tita, our Municipal Administrator, told me on the day I got elected, “With great power comes great responsibility”.  To this very day, I carry that mantra with me even long after I step down from my Sangguniang Kabataan duties.

To be a public servant during my teen-age years was truly a difficult task but with the help and ready support of my Mama, Papa, Lola, and Tita, as well as all my Mariscal, Cabañero and Gascon relatives, my goals became reachable.  When I became the representative of the youth, I totally had no inkling how to be of service to them.  But along the way, I realized that despite the heavy burden of being a leader at my tender age, everything seems to be manageable, everything in fact became a source of inspiration and happiness knowing deep inside me that I was able to help other people and improve my community.  All the sacrifices which I had to make to fulfill my duties as the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President, especially joggling my work and studies, became nothing compared to the contentment I got knowing that I was able to serve and make a difference.

I may not be the perfect leader, but I know and I can say out loud that despite the very short number of years that I became a public servant, my work was able to leave a mark among the people of this Municipality especially among her youth.  I can very say that I was not just an SK for the sake of having an SK.  I was an SK with a legacy left behind, an SK who stood by what is right, an SK in the real sense of that word.

Truly, I have no regrets.  From the lessons which I learned, the experiences which I went through, all of these made me a better person, all of these made me into the stronger person that I am right now and who I will be in the coming years of my life.  I have no regrets because I loved my work.

With this, allow me to take this opportunity, as I say goodbye to the walls of this Session Hall, to thank the many individuals who were very instrumental during my term as the President of the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation.

Foremost, I would like to thank our present Local Chief Executive, Mayor Mila M. Cabañero, not just for her valuable role as my former Presiding Officer and now as the mother of this Municipality but moreso for being my esteemed Lola.  For serving as my mentor, my guide.  For teaching me not just through her words but moreso her actions, that public office is not about what you can get from the government but moreso what you can give, what you can unselfishly do – “Serbisyong tinud-anay sa kanunay”.  For always standing by what is right, for always making me proud to be called her apo.

Secondly, I would like to thank our present Presiding Officer, Vice-Mayor Rudy Mariscal, for all his support for the activities of the League during his term as the Mayor of this Municipality.

Thirdly, to my fellow members in the Office of the Sangguniang Bayan, Councilors George Mariscal, Veronica Tubat, Alexander Lumain, Florentino Muda, Max Monsad, Leo Carr, Wilfredo Trasmil, Neil Abe and Diogracio Mametes, as well as former Councilors Diacarba Abe, Benjamin Wong, and Rodolfo Gulada, thank you for sharing with me valuable knowledge about public service, for your friendship, and for all the constant support you have extended to me.  The same gratitude likewise goes to all the officials of Barangay Poblacion as well as all outgoing Sangguniang Kabataan Chairpersons and Sangguniang Kabataan Board Members of this Municipality.

Fourthly, I would also like to thank the one and only staff of the Office of the Sangguniang Kabataan, Mr. Reynaldo Avila, together with the staff of the Office of the Sangguniang Bayan, for all your assistance in all my endeavors.

To my Tita Tatz, Atty. Tating Cabañero, thank you for always being by my side, for always managing to lift me up and encouraging me to go on especially during those times when I feel like surrendering because I found it difficult to do 2 things at the same time.  For always being that one person I and my sister run to when our world seems to be falling apart, for fighting for us, and for always being an inspiration to always do our best in our studies.

Most importantly, to my Mama Bhing, Papa Caloy and to my younger sister Shyaz, thank you for always being there for me, for being my backbone, for helping me get through the many ups and downs of my career as a young leader, for always being there to take care of me and looking after my welfare and my future.  For being and for always will be, my family.

To the youth of Sta. Maria, thank you very much for the honor you gave me of being of service to all of you.  I will forever be grateful that in a span of 3 years and as a young individual, I was already able to serve the people of this Municipality through all of you.  Thank you for being my friends, for showing to everyone that being young is not only about fun, it is also about being responsible and active citizens of our society.

Finally, to the Lord up above, thank you for all the blessings You have showered upon me during my term as the President of the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation.

To my colleagues in this office, to the newly elected Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials, good luck.  May you always serve the people of Sta. Maria with their highest interest in mind and not just for the selfish interests of the very few.  May you always remember that you are the role models of the youth of this Municipality.  As our role models, may you always stand by what is right because you do not owe to one person the privilege of being called honorable, you owe it to all of us.  May you serve the people not just with power and might but with a passionate heart and through the grace of God.

As I step down from the Office of the Sangguniang Kabataan, I look forward to the days where I will finally be able to concentrate on my studies and live a normal life as a young adult.  I may say goodbye to the prestigious title of the being called an SK President but I will never say goodbye to be of service to the people of this Municipality because the honor to serve them has already been imbedded in my mind and moreso in my heart.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.  For the opportunity to grow and to serve, daghang kaayong salamat kaninyong tanan ug maayong buntag sa maka-usab.

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