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YOUNG SEMINARIAN SELLING STREET FOOD WHILE WAITING FOR “GOD’S CALLING” IN SORSOGON PROVINCE, PHILIPPINES

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By Joey Natividad

While waiting for “God’s calling”, this humble young Seminarian in the Philippines, aspiring to become a priest soon, is selling street food to help his family survive the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

Joban Lagamayo, under the hot afternoon sun, walks down the streets in Sorsogon City, 650 kilometers southwest of Manila, offering as snacks fried bananas-on-stick for a few pesos.

Joban is selling banana-based merienda, while waiting for “God’s calling”.

Lagamayo is a Catholic seminarian, an incoming third year student of AB Philosophy at Our Lady of Peñafrancia Seminary (OLPS) in Sorsogon City.

Studying at a Seminary is a requirement before becoming a Catholic priest.

Lagamayo is using his free time selling banana-based merienda within the local community.

According to him in his FB post,”this is to help his family survive the COVID-19 pandemic crisis while waiting for his return to the seminary.”

He walks around the streets of Cambulaga in Sorsogon City to sell “turon” for PhP 10.00 and “banana cue” for PhP 12.00.

“Turon” is a snack delicacy of sweetened fried banana roll, while “banana cue” is sweetened fried banana-in-stick.

93,354 COVID-19 CASES; 4,063 INCREASE SINGLE DAY – DOH

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PH TOTAL CASES of COVID-19 hit 93,354, with a single day increase of 4,063 confirmed cases on Friday, July 31, 2020.

As of 4PM today {Friday}, July 31, 2020, the Department of Health officially reported the total number of COVID-19 cases at 93,354.

A total of 4,063 confirmed cases were reported based on the total tests done by 74 out of 91 current operational labs.

DOH also announced 165 recoveries, bringing the total number of recoveries to 65,178.

Note:
Of the 4,063 additional cases reported today, 3,813 (94%) occurred in July. The top regions with cases in July were:

NCR: 2,153 cases (56%)

Region 7: 558 cases (15%)

Region 4A: 492 cases (13%)

Of the 40 deaths, 27 (68%) in July, 2 (5%) in June, 2 (5%) in May, 7 (18%) in April, and 2 (5%) in March.

Deaths were from NCR (13 or 33%), Region 7 (12 or 30%), Region 3 (7 or 18%), Region 4A (2 or 5%), Region 6 (2 or 5%), Region 11 (2 or 5%), Region 4B (1 or 2.5%), and Region 9 (1 or 2.5%).

There were eighty-three (83) duplicates that were removed from the total case count. Of these, forty-two (42) recovered cases have been removed.

Moreover, we have updated the health status of nine (9) cases previously reported as recovered but after final validation were deaths (8) and active (1) cases.

These numbers undergo constant cleaning and validation.

MASBATE PROVINCE REGISTERS 43 COVID-19 CASES WITHIN 2 WEEKS, JULY 17-JULY 30, 2020

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By Joey Natividad, Bicol Today

MAINLAND BICOLANOS do not give much attention that the Island Province of Masbate registered 43 cases of COVID-19 within a span of 2 weeks, from Friday, July 17, to Thursday, July 30, 2020.

Almost all of COVID-19 sick persons are “balik probinsiya” or “local stranded individuals {LSIs}” returning home to their hometowns in the province.

And, the Masbate Provincial Government is not “raising hell” to get the national government nor the region’s attention.

According to their local Health frontliners in Masbate, they are doing the COVID-19 response and quarantine protocols.

The affected towns are implementing the local lockdowns, if warranted, and the required food-aid dole outs.

“We are all in these together, and we will endure more together,” said a frontliner.

Reports of DOH before Friday, July 17, 2020 are not included in these brief details.

BRIEF DETAILS OF COVID-19 CASES FROM FRIDAY, JULY 17 – THURSDAY, JULY 30, 2020

THURSDAY, JULY 30, 2020

Bicol#425 (Housewife) – 42 – F – Masbate City- Asymptomatic – Quezon City (July 12, 2020) – Quarantined

WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2020

Bicol#413 | 26 | F | Masbate City, Masbate | Asymptomatic | Rizal (July 19, 2020) | Quarantined

Bicol#414 (Food establishment worker) | 28 | F | Masbate City, Masbate | Asymptomatic | Taguig & Cubao (July 12, 2020) | Quarantined

Bicol#415 (Retired Private Employee) | 62 | M | Masbate City, Masbate | Asymptomatic | Pasay (July 12, 2020) | Quarantined

Bicol#416 (Housewife) | 39 | F | Masbate City, Masbate | Asymptomatic | Caloocan (July 9, 2020) | Quarantined

Bicol#417 | 26 | M | Masbate City, Masbate | Asymptomatic | Cubao (July 27, 2020) | Quarantined

Bicol#418 | 24 | F | Masbate City, Masbate |Asymptomatic | Cubao (July 27, 2020) | Quarantined

Bicol#419 | 26 | F | Masbate City, Masbate | Asymptomatic | Cubao (July 26, 2020) | Quarantined

Bicol#420 (Clerk) | 46 | F | Masbate City, Masbate | Asymptomatic | Cubao (July 26, 2020) | Quarantined

Bicol#421 | 34 | F | Masbate City, Masbate | Asymptomatic | Pasay (July 12, 2020) | Quarantined

SATURDAY, JULY 25, 2020
Bicol#344 – a 19-year old Filipino male from Cataingan, Masbate. He arrived from Quezon City and Pasay City on July 15, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#344 is a gasoline boy.

Bicol#345 – a 22-year old Filipino male from Mobo, Masbate. He arrived from Marikina City on July 16, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#345 is a sales boy.

• Bicol#346 – a 20-year old Filipino male from Mobo, Masbate. He arrived from Marikina City on July 16, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#346 is a sales boy.

• Bicol#347 – a 22-year old Filipino male from Baleno, Masbate. He arrived from Quezon City on July 17, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#347 is an encoder.

• Bicol#348 – a 5-year old Filipino female from Milagros, Masbate. She arrived from Quezon City on July 20, 2020. She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#349 – a 25-year old Filipino male from Milagros, Masbate. He arrived from Quezon City on July 20, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#349 is a security guard.

• Bicol#350 – a 27-year old Filipino female from Milagros, Masbate. She arrived from Quezon City on July 20, 2020. She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

FRIDAY. JULY 24, 2020

Bicol#323 – a 24-year old Filipino male from Palanas, Masbate. He arrived from Quezon City on July 19, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined. Bicol#323 is a construction worker.

• Bicol#324 – a 46-year old Filipino male from Palanas, Masbate. He arrived from Las Piñas on July 17, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined. Bicol#324 is a construction worker.

• Bicol#325 – a 41-year old Filipino female from Cawayan, Masbate. Her date of arrival from Caloocan is for verification. She is asymptomatic and is quarantined.

• Bicol#326 – an 18-year old Filipino female from Cawayan, Masbate. Her date of arrival from Caloocan is for verification. She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

THURSDAY, JULY 23, 2020

Bicol#311 – an 18-year old male from Masbate City. He arrived from Parañaque on July 16,2020. He first experienced symptoms on July 13, 2020. He is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#312 – a 43-year old Filipino female from Placer, Masbate. She arrived from Taguig City on June 29, 2020. She had an exposure to 6 COVID-19 cases (Bicol#264 – Bicol#269). She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#313 – a 56-year old Filipino female from Placer, Masbate. She arrived from Laguna on July 29, 2020. She had exposure to 7 known cases (Bicol#264 to Bicol#269, Bicol#272). She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#314 – a 47-year old Filipino male from Placer, Masbate. He arrived from Quezon City on June 29, 2020. He had an exposure to 7 known cases (Bicol#264 to Bicol#269, Bicol#272). He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#315 – a 25-year old Filipino female from Placer, Masbate. She arrived from Quezon City on June 29, 2020. She had exposure to 7 known cases (Bicol#264 to Bicol#269, Bicol#272). She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#316 – a 21-year old Filipino male from Placer, Masbate. He arrived from Laguna on June 29, 2020. He had an exposure to 7 known cases (Bicol#264 to Bicol#269, Bicol#272). He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#317 – a 21-year old Filipino female from Placer, Masbate. She arrived from Quezon City on June 29, 2020. She had exposure to 7 known cases (Bicol#264 to Bicol#269, Bicol#272). She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#318 – a 37-year old Filipino male from Placer, Masbate. His travel history is for verification. He had exposure to 7 known cases (Bicol#264 to Bicol#269, Bicol#272). He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

SATURDAY, JULY 18, 2020

Bicol#262 – a 28-year old Filipino male from Masbate City. He arrived from San Jose, Mandaluyong on July 16, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#262 is a welder.

• Bicol#263 – a 56-year old Filipino male from Balud, Masbate. He arrived from Parañaque City on July 12, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#264 – a 19-year old Filipino female from Placer, Masbate. She arrived from Commonwealth Quezon City on June 29, 2020. She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#264 is a computer attendant.

• Bicol#265 – a 21-year old Filipino male from Placer, Masbate. He arrived from Quezon City on June 29, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#266 – a 29-year old Filipino male from Placer, Masbate. He arrived from Commonwealth Quezon City on June 29, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#266 is a computer shop operator.

• Bicol#267 – a 43-year old Filipino male from Placer, Masbate. He arrived from Taguig City on June 29,2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#267 is a construction worker.

• Bicol#268 – a 49-year old Filipino female from Placer, Masbate. She arrived from Quezon City on June 29, 2020. She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#268 is a farmer.

• Bicol#269 – a 26-year old Filipino male from Placer, Masbate. He arrived from Quezon City on June 29, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#273 – a 31-year old Filipino female from Placer, Masbate. She arrived from Pampanga on June 28, 2020. She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#273 is a food handler.

FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2020

• Bicol#248 – an 18-year old Filipino male from Batuan, Masbate. He arrived from Quezon City on June 26, 2020. He had an exposure to Bicol#174, Bicol#175, Bicol#176 and Bicol#177. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#248 is a construction worker.

• Bicol#249 – a 29-year old Filipino male from Batuan, Masbate. He arrived from Caloocan on June 26, 2020. He had an exposure to Bicol#174, Bicol#175, Bicol#176 and Bicol#177. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#250 – a 24-year old Filipino male from Batuan, Masbate. He arrived from Quezon City on June 26, 2020. He had an exposure to Bicol#174, Bicol#175, Bicol#176 and Bicol#177. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#251 – a 20-year old Filipino female from Batuan, Masbate. She arrived from Bulacan on June 26, 2020. She had an exposure to Bicol#174, Bicol#175, Bicol#176 and Bicol#177. She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#251 is a household helper.

• Bicol#252 – a 32-year old Filipino male from Batuan, Masbate. He arrived from Tondo, Manila on June 26, 2020. He had an exposure to Bicol#174, Bicol#175, Bicol#176 and Bicol#177. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#252 is a delivery man.

GOVERNOR ESCUDERO PLEADS PRESIDENT DUTERTE TO FIRE HEALTH SECRETARY DUQUE; “WE DESERVE BETTER”

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By Joey Natividad

GOVERNOR Francis “Chiz” Escudero is seething with anger as he urges President Rodrigo Duterteto fire Health Secretary Francisco Duque lll from his post.

Escudero reacted over the latest report from the Department of Health on Thursday.

After recording in a single day the highest one-day Covid-19 positive new cases of 3,954, the DOH reported Thursday a “mass recovery adjustment” of 38, 075 to include mild/asymptomatic cases.

DOH on Thursday reported the country had reached 89,374 total COVID-19 cases, and new cases will go much higher daily.

“This is “only in the Philippines” and is intolerable and insulting!,” Escudero lamented.

Escudero, now Sorsogon Governor, appealed: “President Duterte, Sir, please fire Sec. Duque! You/we/I deserve better po!”

Media reports in Metro-Manila said former Senator Escudero could no longer “stomach” the DOH report of 38,075 persons “recovered”, including those with “mild” symptoms and asymptomatic.

For easy reference, visit website; “PH logs record-high 38k add’l recoveries, 3,954 new COVID-19 cases -” https://bit.ly/30ZlN0g

“Where did the 38,000 COVID-19 ‘mass recoveries’ come from? Here’s DOH’s explanation ” – https://bit.ly/2BHyi84

A day before, Escudero posted in his FB, saying: “The “it could have been worse” argument is actually a fallacy designed to make people feel good and content with whatever is given them.”

The argument “it could have been worse” was attributed to Spokesperson Harry Roque, who is also the sounding board of President Duterte, DOH, and IATF.

Escudero said: “We can and should demand more from our leaders who I believe can and will do more! ‘Di na dapat pwede ang ‘pwede na.'”

In another previous FB post, Escudero said: “I think DOH is just ‘riding out’ COVID-19 until a vaccine is invented. I don’t see nor feel any active/serious efforts being done by it.”

“The DOH, as the lead agency of the IATF, should do precisely that – lead in a proactive way and not simply be content in reporting out statistics.”

Netizens say that knowing Escudero’s crusading spirit, Secretary Duque is still lucky for not getting the “hot seat” from Escudero, who is no longer a Senator.

Netizens say the present incumbent Senators are already “tamed and domesticated”, who could no longer raise, at the very least, a “whimper” over serious, pressing issues.

Phivolcs warns treks to Bulusan Volcano after 5 quakes in 24-hour period; reminds public to avoid 4-km permanent danger zone

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DOST-PHIVOLCS is informing all concerned authorities and the public on recent activities at Bulusan Volcano.

In the last 24-hour observation period, the Bulusan Volcano Network recorded five (5) volcanic earthquakes.

In view of the possibility of sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosion from the summit crater or from vents on the Bulusan upper slopes, DOST-PHIVOLCS strongly reminds the public and local government units that the 4-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) should be avoided at all times as a precaution.

In particular, all treks to the summit must be avoided due to the increased risk of phreatic activity.

DOST-PHIVOLCS is keeping close watch and evaluating the status of the volcano and will inform all concerned of any further developments.

APPROVE NOW THE FRANCHISE RENEWAL OF ABS-CBN – BICOL TODAY

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THE EDITORIAL BOARD of Bicol Today sees the expediency to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN at this time when urgent news, information dissemination, knowledge transfer, and developing of events must be shared to the public.

To get informed at the right moment is very crucial at this time of global pandemic, when economic recession worldwide is anticipated, the COVID-19 threat may decimate a sizable portion of the global population, and civil unrest, emergence of war, and additional threats of infectious diseases.

The global crisis is affecting our country and the Filipino people.

We need ABS-CBN, an effective and efficient media organization, to open again with a renewal of franchise, so that it will join hands with other media organizations, private or government-owned.

The Filipino has the right to be informed. The Filipino community has the need to know.

Filipinos have the privilege to be entertained, to enjoy and laugh with TV shows, and shed tears on tragic events, to be amazed and awed while seeing events found wonderful to their senses.

These shows might be illusory and palliatives for them to enjoy and forget, for the time being, the harsh realities of grinding poverty and economic woes Filipinos are currently suffering now, at this time of pandemic and the worsening economic situation.

In the positive side, ABS-CBN had bridged the communication and information gap of news, between the highly urbanized growth regions and the remotest rural areas.

It has delivered timely news, specifically news about disasters and calamities when the average Filipino family is glued to the TV set, waiting for the latest unfoldment of events.

We, the editorial board of Bicol Today, uphold freedom of the press, and by this freedom, a free press has provided all sectors adequate media space.

The free press has provided dissenters to air grievances and criticism, and critics the freedom to air their protests. Politics, economic managers, public executives, and the government have benefitted so much in the free press. Important developments and situations leading to economic growth enjoy much media space.

Persecuting the media and trampling down press freedom would not guarantee the success of tyrannical and despotic rule, nor the triumphant rule of dictatorial administration.

Looking at historical narratives about dictatorial regimes and the free media, the worst State clampdown would only push the free press into the underground where the voices are heard but not seen. Invisible among the despots, but heard by the oppressed masses.

We, the editorial board of Bicol Today, support the renewal of the Congressional franchise of ABS-CBN.

BICOL TODAY
EDITORIAL BOARD

Radioman in Camarines Norte faces cyber-libel case filed by Governor Tallado

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A radio reporter in Daet, Camarines Norte was accused of cyber libel by Camarines Norte Governor Edgar Tallado for Facebook posts alleging graft and corruption committed by the official.

Virgilio Avila Jr., said the case was the latest in a string of libel cases the Governor has filed against him which he said were intended to stop him from criticizing Tallado’s administration.

All the earlier cases were dismissed by the prosecutor.

Avila, who works for radio stations dzAU AM Radio and 98.5 OK FM, described the libel cases as acts of harassment and intimidation by the Governor against his critics in the media.

The last libel case is now with the prosecutor’s office.

Councilor Chavez of Sagñay, Camarines Sur flashes public alarm on LUSI whereabouts

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By Joey Natividad, Bicol Today

Councilor Ratz Chavez of Sagñay, Camarines Sur, flashed a public alarm to report to town authorities of a person who is a LUSI.

Councilor Chavez said the LUSI is scary, who is unknown and might be carrying the COVID-19 virus in the barangay.

Sagñay Vice Mayor Harold Bryan San Felipe also shared Chavez’s post in his Facebook page.

“We have no idea on who he is, where he is, and when he arrived,” he said.

According to him, LUSI means Locally Undocumented Stranded Individual.

This is different to the national government’s classification of locally stranded individuals or LSIs.

See his post at Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/rachiel.chavez/posts/3143432035722191

NAGA COVID-19 UPDATE: Seven more persons with COVID infections in single day

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By Joey Natividad, Bicol Today

(UPDATE) SEVEN (7) new COVID-19 infections in Naga City, Camarines Sur were reported on Sunday, June 28, these adding up the Saturday report of 3 positive cases, and the 2 positive cases on Wednesday.

Within a period of five days, from June 24 to June 28, Naga City has 12 active cases of COVID-19.

On Sunday, June 28, 2020, the Department of Health Center for Health Development (DOH CHD) – Bicol officially reported seven (7) new confirmed cases of COVID-19.

While in the Bicol Region, the total number of COVID-19 confirmed cases recorded are now one hundred eight (108). Active cases are twenty-nine (29).

All seven (7) new cases are from Naga City, and had exposures to patients with local codes Bicol#91 & Bicol#92, both residents of Spillway, Concepcion Pequeña, Naga City.

A day before, Saturday, new cases of COVID Bicol#100 & Bicol#101 had also exposures to Bicol#91 & Bicol#92.

Meanwhile, another reported new case on Saturday, a uniformed personnel from Canaman, Camarines Sur, is also a resident of Naga City Subdivision, Naga City.

All are now confined at the Bicol Medical Center, Naga City.

The latest 7 COVID positive cases in Naga City are:

• Bicol#102 – a 23 year old Filipino female

• Bicol#103 (Painter) – a 22-year old Filipino male

• Bicol#104 (Private Employee) – a 26-year old Filipino female

• Bicol#105 (Laborer) – a 59-year old Filipino male

• Bicol#106 (Laborer) – a 33-year old Filipino male

• Bicol#107 (Housewife) – a 22-year old Filipino female

• Bicol#108 (Private Employee) – a 26-year old Filipino male

DOH CHD-Bicol said all patients, except Bicol#105, are asymptomatic.

Bicol#105 first experienced symptoms Sunday, June 28, 2020. All are quarantined.

The Naga City Health Team facilitated swabbing of all patients.

The 7 persons with COVID-19 infections had contact with Bicol#91 & Bicol#92.

ARMS CACHE: “Warehouse” condition government ammunition boxes, 10 assault rifles seized by state troops in Sorsogon

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State troops recovered arms cache and thousands of ammunition in Bulan, Sorsogon Province, in an operation on Saturday morning, June 27, 2020, according to reports from Bicol Region police headquarters, Camp BGen Simeon A Ola, in Legazpi City, Albay Province.
 
Camp Ola said the recent recovery of several firearms and thousands of ammunition by the government forces at Sitio Angas, Brgy Otavi, Bulan Sorsogon at about 11:30 in the morning of June 27, 2020.
ARMS CACHE, AMMO SEIZED
According to reports, that “at about 10:00 in the morning, a concerned citizen reported to Bulan MPS an undetermined number of long firearms seen at an abandoned building at the said place. Acting on this information, personnel of the Bulan MPS and the 504th Maneuver Company of the RMFB5, in partnership with 22IB PA; 9th ID PA; COLT2 21st IB; 92nd SAC, 9SAB proceeded to the area where they were able to recover ten (10) M16 rifle; 64 boxes of live ammo 7.62X39mm containing 40pcs each; 21 boxes of M16 ammo GA 556100.”
 
The items are now under the custody of Bulan MPS. 
 
Meanwhile, according to informed sources, a person was looking for buyers of said firearms, but Bulan police had monitored the suspect, and upon learning he had an existing, pending Warrant of Arrest, the local authorities arrested him, leading to the location of an arms cache.
 
DND AMMO BOXES: “BODEGA”-WAREHOUSE “FRESH AND SEALED”
Seized in the raid are ten (10) assault rifles, M16A1, made by ELISCO; 64 boxes containing 40 “CARTRIDGES” per box with markings “TULAMMO” made in Russia.
 
The other ammo boxes have markings of “REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE GOVERNMENT ARSENAL”  
 
Questions and doubts linger among residents on how those Government-owned ammunition boxes in good warehouse condition had reached this isolated part of Bulan, Sorsogon.