No to mining. Yes to pro-environment advocacy.

STATEMENT ON THE SEMIRARA COAL MINE TRAGEDY

STATEMENT ON THE SEMIRARA COAL MINE TRAGEDY
jointly issued by St. Anthony’s College, the Antique Diocesan Social Action Center
DYKA, and Spirit FM

27 July 2015, San Jose de Buenavista, Antique
At the dawn of 17 July 2015, the north wall of the Panian open pit of the coal mine in Semirara, Caluya, Antique collapsed. Nine miners died. Twenty-nine months ago on 13 February 2013, the same mine pit claimed ten lives.

St. Anthony’s College, the Antique Diocesan Social Action Center, DYKA and Spirit FM condole with the families of the victims of this disaster. Indeed, it is difficult to fathom what pain grows in the hearts of those orphaned. We offer our prayers for those departed and the ones they left, hoping that it is God Himself that will comfort them in their great sorrow.

We strongly reiterate our call for the complete closure of the Semirara coal mines and for the prohibition of mining anywhere else in Antique. We make this call fully cognizant of the fact that many power plants in the Philippines are dependent on Semirara for its fuel and that the mining operator is likewise an employer of thousands. We are also fully cognizant of the fact that industrialization depends much on resources we excavate from the belly of the Earth.

There is an urgent crisis we have to avert – global warming. Global warming is a real environmental phenomenon that is melting our globe’s polar ice caps, raising our sea levels, drastically changing our weather conditions, and reducing our freshwater resources. The Philippines is no. 8 among countries that are most affected by raising sea levels due to global warming. Within the next 50 – 100 years, 6,205,000 Filipinos will lose their habitable lands to water if global warming is not reduced. The Philippines is no. 1 among those adversely affected by drastic weather and climate changes. We have witnessed Frank and Yolanda very recently.

Global warming is largely caused by carbon dioxide and methane emissions. At one end, the use of fossil fuel (coal, oil, gas) and cement production increases the concentration of CO2 in the air. On the other end, rapid deforestation is diminishing the Earth’s capacity to absorb carbon. While CO2 is the breathable air of plants, we have deforested the Earth faster than we could replenish it, making deforestation the second leading cause of global warming.

Of the fossil fuels, coal is the most dangerous insofar as global warming is concerned. In 2013 alone, Semirara mines, or Antique for that matter accounts for 7.5 of the 7.8 million metric tons of coal produced locally. Ironically, in 2008, the Department of Energy expanded the mine’s coal operating contract by another 15 years up to 2027. In 2009 it expanded the coverage of the coal operating contract from the original 5,500 hectares in Semirara to 12,700 hectares including 3,000 in Caluya, and 4,200 on Sibay Island.

From 2009 to 2014 alone, coal mining in Semirara has destroyed over 83.92 hectares of 31-species mangrove areas and more than two kilometers to sea of coral reefs. It has introduced toxicity to the surrounding waters and destroyed a rich fishing ground shared by Antique, Romblon, Mindoro and Palawan. It demolished a thriving organic and sustainable aquaculture that benefits at least 30% of the adult population and brings in at least P400 million to the municipal economy.

Unong pit, a Semirara mining area abandoned after its resources were depleted is now underwater. The 400-hectare Panian Pit is walking towards this watery death as well. Even as Panian is being dug to Hades, a new pit is also being dug at Himalian, and is expected to destroy 620 hectares of ecosystem.

Creating safer conditions for miners as is called for by others is no longer a moral option when mining itself has become an act of social injustice and environmental destruction. Such measures only serve to mask socio-environmental ills festering in communities where the common population has been emasculated by corruption, partisan politics, poverty, lack of education and lack of moral leadership.

A number of provinces hosting coal powered plants in the Philippines have stood firm in rejecting the use of coal to supply power to areas in the Philippines. They have realized that despite the claimed benefits of these plants, the disaster these plants create will be of far greater consequence to a greater number of persons and families. We stand in solidarity with these provinces and unite our voices with theirs as we call for the halt of closure of coal mines and coal powered plants in the country.

We demand that the government recognizes the direct contribution of coal mining and coal powered operations to global warming. It is the entire country that stands at a loss for every environmental disaster that hits it. Typhoon Yolanda alone, which killed at least 6,340 is a clear and strong testimony to the fact that the government can barely cope with the disasters brought about by global warming. Yolanda, is not going to be the last of these disasters.

The effects of global warming to the Philippines cannot be underestimated and taken for granted. Millions will be affected as the sea reclaims land, as salt water seeps into our freshwater resources, as drought and megastorms alternately batter the country, as food sources are drastically reduced, as earthquakes and land erosion change the topography of our country. It is a crime against humanity for the government not to take immediate measures to avert climate change.

The government has to immediately shift to less evil sources of power even as it finds better, more environmentally sound, socially just, and sustainable sources of energy. Models for water, air, and sun-derived power are present. The government only has to rid itself of personal vested interest to enable the country to shift to more environmentally sound sources of power. We make this call as we echo the State policy to “protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature,” and the national motto, “maka-Diyos, maka-tao, maka-kalikasan.”

Pope Francis has recently issued an encyclical, Laudato Si, where he underscored the moral duty of every person to care for the earth. Pope Francis cites that “climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, eco¬nomic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal chal¬lenges facing humanity in our day.” The Pope is certainly right when he said that “its worst im¬pact will probably be felt by developing coun¬tries in coming decades. “ Our country, together with neighboring Bangladesh and Vietnam must brace for disasters because we will continue to suffer the first symptoms of an impending global disaster if we fail to act against climate change.

This is the reason why the Semirara disaster could not be taken out of the context of a global plundering of the earth’s resources. These coal plants are environmental crimes done in broad daylight. It is our province, Antique, through the Semirara coal mines that provide coal to power plants that in turn saturate the atmosphere with gases that raise global temperatures, destroying the environment for profit without regard for the future generations.

St. Anthony’s College, The Antique Diocesan Social Action Center, DYKA and Spirit FM continue to stand hand in hand with the over 250 seaweed farmers, the Isalba ang Caluya, the Imba Fisheries and Seaweed Planters Association, and the Sabang-Poocan Fisher and Farmers Association who made their stand during the Caluya Declaration in 2012 for the end of all coal mining and to develop sustainable livelihood options. We stand by those who oppose the operations of mines anywhere in Antique.

We call on all Antiqueños to make a stand against coal mining and all forms of mining in Antique. Oppose legislative measures that will authorize otherwise. Withdraw support for politicians and leaders who will scheme to perpetuate mining operations in the province. Reject gifts or assistance funded by mining operators just as Jesus rejected the worldly temptations of Satan. We have a job much greater than ourselves, and that is to save our country and the future generation.

We will not be quiet about this even as we grieve for the families of those lost to mining and other man-induced disasters. We grieve because these disasters are already by themselves a reminder that we as a Christian community have been remiss in our duties. It is our obligation to act and advocate for the protection of our environment and to promote social justice. To quote Laudato Si, “For ‘to commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against ourselves and a sin against God.’”

As always, we seek the help and wisdom of our Heavenly Father in these trying times.

REV. FR. EDIONE R. FEBRERO, JCL
President of St. Anthony’s College
Director of the Antique Diocesan Social Action Center
Manager of DYKA and Spirit FM

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SACSR sworn to office; holds “Glow Anthonians!”

 

Mr. Ian Dave Acuisa, president-elect and the other officers of the St. Anthony’s College Student Republic (SACSR) 2015-2016 were sworn into office on 10 July 2015 by Dr. Ana Linda O. Santos, VPAA, during the annual student acquaintance activity themed, “Glow Anthonians!”

Acuisa, a BS Civil Engineering student, in his inaugural speech, stressed the importance of unity in order to achieve school and SACSR targets. Thanking the students for the trust and confidence given to him, he pointed out that TEAM meant “Together Everyone Achieves More.”

Dr. Santos, in keynote speech, reiterated that Anthonian leaders were servant leaders who did not lead in authority but in service. She further emphasized that as servant leaders, love should be their motivation to serve rather than the merits and recognition they could get as recognized leaders. With the theme, “Glow Anthonians!” she advised the student leaders that for them to GLOW, they should be Goal oriented leaders, who have Love for service, with Outstanding outputs, and are Worthy to be emulated.

The oath taking ceremony was followed by a dancing activity where students accessorized their get-up with anything that glowed.

 

Fr. Edione: “Our commitment: to hone individuals for greater heights.”

The full implementation of the K to 12 program is fast approaching. It will be fully operational in AY 2016 – 2017 and you, incoming first year college students, are the last batch of the old educational system. I will not discuss here which is better, the old or the new? But I would like to let you know how exciting for me this moment is – the transition period. Since there will be no first year students after you for two consecutive years – though in our campus there will be a new set of students in Grade 11 and Grade 12 – the faculty of the different departments in the college will have more time for you and the rest of the remaining batches in college.

Though we are busy getting ready to effectively address the changes that the new educational system brings, we are definitely ready for you. The results of the board examinations of our alumni this year from all the different departments of SAC are comparatively high. Simply amazing in spite of the limitations that we have. Yes, we celebrate our achievements. But we do not rest on our laurels. It does not in any way distract us from our resolute desire to look for better ways on how to form our students to perform much better in the future. Therefore, I am inviting you to join me and my TEAM here in SAC. Our targets are HIGH and our people are well motivated to aim HIGH and fly HIGH. Our commitment: to Hone Individuals for Greater Heights.

We may be buffeted to the right and to the left by the winds of change, but never will they put us into a stall because our foundation is strong. Propelled by a very strong and deep desire to effect changes in our local communities and the global market through education, I and my team commit ourselves to targeting higher goals for the welfare of our community of ministers here in SAC as well as for our students. As a Catholic institution our feet are grounded on core values which have been tested time and again and preserved for more than half a century already while not forgetting to continuously address the fast-changing industry demands.

As Father President of SAC, I do care about you and your future. Come and enroll here so that I and my team can take care of you. Indeed, in SAC, we CARE. (Rev. Fr. Edione R. Febrero, JCL, College President)

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Anthonians snag medals at PRISAA Nationals 2014-2015

In an unprecedented performance,  six Anthonians snagged medals at the nationals of the Private School Athletic Association (PRISAA) meet held on 11-17 April 2015 in Iloilo City ending several medal thirsty years.  The Anthonian medalists were FLAG athletes Michelle G. Soriano, Hannah Bea M. Ubaldo, Mike John A. Faulan, Allan S. Flores Jr., Jerome T. Manlangit, and 8th Grader Carl Virgil S. Abiera.

Drafted to join the Western Visayas delegation after impressing regional coaches during the Western Visayas PRISAA held in Negros Occidental, Soriano, and Ubaldo, BS Computer Engineering and BS Civil Engineering students, respectively, joined the Softball regional delegation (Central Philippine University Team) coached by Kim dela Cruz and won Gold.  The team successfully defended the crown it already held.  Soriano and Ubaldo were coached in Antique by Rhiza Joi Navallasca.

Faulan, BS Criminology student joined the Athletics regional delegation  (Western Institute of Technology Team) coached by Noel Diel.  Faulan ran the 4 x 400 m relay men, and won Silver, in a win that has been elusive to the region for many years. Faulan was coached in Antique by Jo Ruel Galindo.

Flores Jr., BS Computer Engineering student joined the Tae Kwon Do (Poomsae) regional delegation (Colegio dela Purisima Concepcion) coached by Ronaldo Balasa.  Flores won Silver for individuals, and Silver for mixed doubles.  Flores was coached in Antique by Michael Montinola.

Manlangit, BS Criminology student joined the Karatedo Men regional delegation (Iloilo Doctors’ College) coached by Ronnie Malijan.  Manlangit won Bronze.  Manlangit was coached in Antique by Perfecto Petinglay, Jr.

Abiera, 8th Grader joined the Tae Kwon Do Boys regional delegation (Central Philippine University) coached by Chister John Gersanib.  Abiera won Bronze. Abiera was coached in Antique by Michael Montinola.

The medalists will be receiving scholarships/educational aid from St. Anthony’s College (SAC) as incentives for their outstanding performance.  They are also automatic candidates to the Outstanding Achievement in Sports Award annually conferred by SAC. (JET)

 

 

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Molina tops 114 SAC Grade School graduates AY-2014-2015

Ryne Jethro Molina topped SAC Grade School’s 114-strong graduating class this AY 2014-2015. In the Honor Roll with Molina, in 2nd to 10th order were Phoebe Mae Magabilin, Nathalie Heart Herrera, Gailianne Louise Caytiles, Ella Loevie Sugata-on, Angelie Claire Ausan, Angeluz Vital, Davilyn Jun Garcila, Trisha Mel Tondares, and Regina Vyn Martinez.

 

SAC Grade School graduates for AY 2014-2015 included BOYS: Agupe, Don Armani T.; Alejandro, Al Jimvic  A.; Amazona, Vince C.; Anacan , Benedict  III C.; Aroma, Pedeulie D.; Arrieta, Eddiemar   F.; Ayson, Jeumari  B.; Bantolo, Jose Miguel ; Besas, ,Arthur Jr.  R.; Cahilig, Marven John A.; Capilastique, Mark Kenneth H.; Cuñada, Chriszan Joseph   L.; and Dela Serna, Martino O.

 

Dumancas, Geric H.; Encarnacion, Mikhael Miguel C.; Espares, Vince Randy  R.; Espartero, Von Luigi  E.; Estonilo, Edfhel V.; Estrullo,Renier Vince N.; Gentuya, Guilorenz E.; Gonzaga, Rochlem Luis Dale  B.; Jornada, Jeric Renel N.; Julian, Mikhail Antoni A.; Kondo, Niño Hiro S.; Krokmyrdal, Karl Lorence G.; Lagunday, Marc Justine  M.; Libo-on, Miles Dean O.; Marfil, Franz Jethro  O.; and Molina, Ryne Jethro  M.

 

Montuya, Michelangelo O.; Nodque, Cedric Paul M.; Ordanel, Joven  L.; Osunero, Matt Joel G.;           Pongyan, Marc Brian D.; Ramli, Danish Mirza  D.;      Salazar, Oscar Henry  S.; Salvaleon, Kevin William  O.; Salvan, Emster Francis J.; Sangalan, Nestor IV J.; Sario, Mack Lester  J.; Satajo, Rauwen Ross N.; Seniel, Jerill S.; and Servillon, Manuel Cesar  P.

 

Siesa, Ivan Matthew S.; Singh, Rohet  S.; Suace, Mark Roger A.; Suplemento, Prince Rene; Tan, Craig Andre P.; Tanallon, Lorenzo III   M.; Turrecha, Gideon S.; Villanueva, Christian Aldrin  G.;          and Yson, Richard Allen D.

 

GIRLS:  Aguirre, Ma. Cleofe  E.; Alipis, Princess Khamylle  E.; Ang, Claire Dayan M.; Arevalo, Pamela Grace  O.; Asejo, Tricia Marie M.; Atienza, Joanna Marie D.; Ausan, Angelie Claire  G.; Barrientos, Krizelle Joyce A.; Bianson, Kristine  Mae  Allyssa  D.; Bolaño, Charrise Anne  Cassandra Nicole D.; Cabios, Merielle P.;          Capadocia, Lian Krishna B.; Casalan, Jacquelyn Rose  L.; Caytiles, Gailianne Louise  F.; Cercado, Chloè C.; De Guzman, Justice  O.; Dela Torre, Julia Eliza  N.; and Dela Victoria, Arwen Jewel  P.

 

Descutido, Aila Reanne O.; Dy, Pauline Grace C.; Fajarillo, Weendelyn  I.; Famisaran, Mary Jean   G.; Faulan, Denisse Marie M.; Galindo, Patricia Anne  L.; Garcila, Davilyn Jun E.;     Geronimo, Chrystelle Ann  B.; Gigabalen, Darielle Nicole  T.; Herrera, Nathalie Heart P.; Lavega, Alezandra  Dolores  O.; Madamay, Mikka P.; and Magabilin, Phoebe Mae G.

 

Magallanes, Rhyanne  V.; Martinez, Regina Vyn  J.; Molina, Denesse  A.;            Mosquera, Kirsten Riz B.; Nolasco, Leanah Kaye P.; Osunero,Danella Julienne P.; Otadoy, Angeli Joy  P.   ; Pacificador, Kiana Louise  R.; Palacios, Enya May O.; Panaguiton, Krixie Reign  E.; Pechayco, Carah May  H.; Raba, Julianne Ysabel  A.; Robles, Kimberly Grace O.; Salazar, Frances Yaree A.; and Salazar, Nela Maria  S.

 

Salvio, Lynes Marie  C.; Sison, Johanna Rae  C. ; Sobrino, Kristine Mae  C.; Sugata-on, Ella Loevie  O.; Sumande, Missy R.; Tabor, Kianna Gida  G.; Tameta, Rozennie Zane  B.; Tilla-in, Therry Rose A.; Tiron, Wayne Elisha  R.; Tondares, Trisha Mae S.; Tonillo, Zeth  C.; Tonogbanua, Jaiza Marie  G.; Untaran, Ma. Ella Nicole J.; Uy, Kacey Danielle S.; Verde, Elisa Maria C.; and Vital, Angeluz  P.; (JET)

Padasas in triple triumph

Mark Angelo Padasas, an AB Political Science sophomore of St. Anthony’s College scored a triple triumph during the Annual Recognition Day on 13 March 2015. Padasas was recognized for outstanding performance in Christian Formation, Community Service, and Leadership.

“Winning those awards really surprised me,” said Padasas. “I want to thank the God Almighty for this blessing. I take this recognition as an inspiration for me to continue my service in the Church, in the school, and in the community. I believe that these awards will help me grow as a leader and as an Anthonian. May we Anthonians continue to lead our community, especially the youth and deliver to them the positive influence for their growth in spirituality, academic excellence, and community service. Thank you St. Anthony’s College!”

Padasas was cited for his active involvement in parish and diocesan activities, volunteer work and leadership positions in school organizations.

Also recognized were for Leadership Award: Neeson Panayaman, Ian Dave Acuisa, Steven Checa, Dominic Loquias, Aun Lauriz Macuja, Neeza Panayaman, Glaica Salvani, and Deannah Lou Tampus.

Sports Award: Mary Joy Alarma, Leibnitz Aurelio, Ramie Ross Boston, Renel Espina, Allan Flores, Jr., Jerika Paloma, Vibein Mae Rubinos, Michelle Soriano, Hannah Bea Ubaldo, Andrea Mae Diwa, Mike John Faulan, Maycee Ibasco, Sol Manalo, Jerome Manlangit, Anthony de la Peña, Sunshine Labrador, Ysahbel Mariz Misajon, and Joyce Ann Solomon. Most of the Sports Awardees were FLAG athletes, the varsity players of SAC. (JET)

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SAC graduates last batch under RBEC; Autajay is valedictorian

On 30 March 2015, St. Anthony’s College (SAC) graduated the last batch of high school students under the Revised Basic Education Curriculum. One hundred fifty students successfully completed the program and will be the last high school graduates that SAC will see until the first graduates of the Senior High School under the Enhance Basic Education program marches by the end of AY 2017-2018.

Christian Angelo Q. Autajay was class valedictorian, and Marycon Fia Adel A. Munoz was class salutatorian. Joining the top ten honor list were Alona Gale M. Tingocia, 1st Honor; Ma. Thea Fay Lou I. Valerta, 2nd Honor; Princess M. Diana, 3rd Honor; Racquel V. Canono, 4th Honor; Jessa Mae Nona V. Dionisio, 5th Honor; Cassandra M. Yanong, 6th Honor; Arriane D. Ucag, 7th Honor; and Nona Mae I. Mejares, 8th Honor.

SAC was recently authorized by the Department of Education to operate a Senior High School. One of the most prepared high school in Antique to implement the Enhanced Basic Education Program, SAC Senior High School will be accepting enrollees in AY 2016-2017. (JET)

SAC TTP trains 1000 plus; counts 21

The St. Anthony’s College Technical Training Program (SAC TTP) operated by the La Mennais Brothers officially closed effective AY 2015-2016 after 21 years of serving Antiqueños. The SAC TTP served over a thousand technical trainees from all over Antique.

On 13 March 2015, SAC TTP graduated forty-two technical trainees – the last it would. Fifteen students completed training in Automotive; four in Dressmaking; 10 in Electronics; seven in Fabrication; two in Machine Shop; and eight in Refrigeration.

The graduates were: Automotive: Bonapart Abadiano, Fritz Gerard Bertolano, Kerwin Elanga, Ricky Boy Omallao, Santi John Atienza, Bobby Chavez, Jr., Erecson Espino, John Vincent Panaungon, John Albert Ballarta, Jurex Cortejo, Kenneth Lloyd Meanagua, Jaimar Pechon, Vic Pelingon, Mario Sasana, and James Tayoganda.

Dressmaking: Shara Mae Elizan, Hazel Mae Frayco, Raylin Gatila, and Sheila Mae Samillano. Electronics: Prince Bardollos, Gilbert Cantor, Marfel Gambalan, Michael Gonzales, Albert Jaudines, Zarina Jean Nacional, John Kevin Napacia, Jeyson Pelingon, Ronnie Pelingon, and Isagani Sumba.

Fabrication: Ryan Galono, Jan Paul Garcia, Ian Joy Martinez, Niño Matandac, Danmark Miquela, Jhon Angielou Nieves, Dexter Tababa, and Carlo Dolorica. Refrigeration: Juvan Gozon, Al Lorbie Abapo, Paul Vincent Cordova, Lunard Carl Dimamay, Jied Gallego, Aldrin Matunding, Maxx Mondoy, Eric Jhon Valero, and Vincent Zamora.

Twenty-one years ago, the La Mennais Brothers observed that there was a large pool of untapped, unemployed youths in Antique who dropped out of the formal educational system, usually because of lack of financial resources. The La Mennais thought that these young people still had their place in the community if they were given a chance. The observation encouraged them to develop a program that would respond to this particular reality.

In 1994, the La Mennais Brothers in Antique implemented the TTP. This was directed to providing unemployed out-of-school youth with training in blue collar competencies and education in Christian values meant to increase self-confidence, enhance their employability or pave the way for gainful self-employment.

The closure of the program was an effect of the enhanced technical training services and scholarships of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the implementation of the RA 10533 of 2013 (Enhanced Basic Education Act). Both national developments, which focus on developing employable skills among students at the mandatory education level, particularly the Senior High School had rendered the SAC TTP redundant.

The La Mennais Brothers will be turning over the TTP Building as well as some of the training equipment to SAC for use in the implementation of the Senior High School.

SAC welcomes new CPAs; 70% passing rate

St. Anthony’s College welcomes its seven new certified public accountants. In a 70% passing rate in the May 2015 CPA Licensure examination administered by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) the following students are now ready to be registered in the roll of certified public accountants: Sarah Mae G. de los Reyes, Dan David D. Flores, Mary Djheoanny T. Laude, Rachel S. Rufo, Earl Marben V. Serra, Leonard D. Servedad, and Innah Bea B. Vedad.

The passing rate obtained by SAC is 95.6% higher than the national passing rate, which is 35.78%. The PRC announced that 2,132 out of the 5,959 examinees passed the Certified Public Accountant Licensure Examination given by the Board of Accountancy in the cities of Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo and Legazpi.

The Board of Accountancy is composed on Joel L. Tan-Torres, Chairman; Eliseo A. Aurellado, Gerard B. San Victores, Gloria T. Baysa and Concordio S. Quisaot, Members. (JET)

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Sarah crowned Lin-ay kang Hamtic 2015

Sarah Mae Lara Borres Rodriguez, a BS Accounting Technology student of St. Anthony’s College won the coveted Lin-ay kang Hamtic crown on 19 January 2015. She will be representing the historic Municipality of Hamtic during the Lin-ay kang Antique pageant in December 2015.

Rodriguez, a student leader and local head turner also got draped with sashes for specials awards including Best in Interview, Best in Filipiniana Gown, Best in Swimsuit, Best in Sumakwelan Festival Attire, Best in Production Number, Ms. Telegenic, Ms. Sophie Paris, Ms. Globe, Ms. M. Lhuillier and Ms. Avon.

On being crowned Lin-ay kang Hamtic, Rodriguez said, “I do believe that everything happens for a reason. Just pray to God, trust Him and always seek His guidance. Being crowned as Lin-ay kang Hamtic is truly a self-fulfillment. I am happy to be recognized as being beautiful in my innermost value as a woman. I am happy that I can be an inspiration to young girls especially to those who have experienced failures before. I am grateful to those who truly believe in me as they are the people behind my success.” (JET)