Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Casanova Commits Another Blunder

If the ongoing City of Baguio vs BCDA word war can be likened to a chess game, then Casanova had committed a fatal blunder. His last move is a dubious and a fatal one. Let's now leave the chess game and go to the actual facts surrounding Arnel Casanova's latest mistake.

photo link

Recently, the BCDA terminated its contract with Camp John Hay Development Corporation. Thus, the Baguio City council scheduled a meeting to discuss the 19 conditions involving the turnover of authority from the JHMC to the BCDA.

The city dads wanted to resolved a very sensitive issue. They wanted to discuss with BCDA if it will honor the honor the conditions, despite the termination of the lease agreement.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan even issued a statement stating that city government is prepared to take over Camp John Hay as soon as the litigation battle between BCDA and CJHDevCo has finally be resolved.

The city government has in their possession a “19 conditions,” document it deemed vital to the smooth handover of CJH. Melchor Carlos Rabanes, the city Legal Office Officer-in-Charge has a firmed conviction that BCDA must stick it out to what the conditions stipulated. Specifically mentioned is Condition 16 of Resolution 362 that stated once the contract between the BCDA and the developer ENDS, all improvements will be turned over to the city government (Baguio City). The smart lawyer even went further by stating that BCDA recognized the '19 conditions' when it inserted it in its contract with the developer.

And now comes Arnel Casanova's dubious move. He and JHMC President and CEO Jaime Eloise Agbayani snubbed the meeting! Casanova can't make it since he and his other officers conducted a corporate planning. Damn reason, he could have set that corporate planning to a later date just to accommodate that vital meeting.

I wonder what's on Casanova head. Perhaps, he is biding for time up to situation wherein BCDA has 1.4 billion pesos it owed CJHDevCo. Another case of self interest winning over the welfare of the common people. Gosh, Mr. Casanova, just give the people of Baguio what they wanted ever since - a better, secured life. Is it too much for you to give in to the poor people demands? Prolonging their agony is the same as keeping justice away from them.

If Casanova continues with his arrogant antics through harassment and delaying tactics, there is no recourse, but for Baguio city officials to file a case against BCDA. Observers believe that BCDA and JHMC would not surrender Camp John Hay to Baguio City, but instead go all out to have the former base back in its control. Therefore, this legal battle over Camp John Hay control is far from over and will have another chapter.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Yummy Broiled Shrimp

Another awesome shrimp recipe to try at home. This can be served as an appetizer or main dish. This is how I do it. You absolutely can make it also.


• 900 g large raw shrimp
• ½ cup olive oil
• ½ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp pepper
• 2 tbsp chopped parsley
• Pinch dried leaf tarragon
• ¼ cup butter
• 3 tbsp lemon juice
• Hot cooked rice


• Shell and clean shrimp.
• Mix oil, salt, pepper, parsley, and tarragon thoroughly in a small bowl.
• Dip shrimp in mixture to coat well.
• Lay on shallow metal baking pan.
• Heat broiler.
• Slip shrimp under hot broiler and broil about 3 minutes a side or until cooked.
• Put shrimp on hot platter.
• Heat butter and lemon juice together while shrimp are cooking.
• Add the oil mixture left in pan shrimp were cooked in.
• Heat well and pour over shrimp.

Serve with rice and lemon slices.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Arnel Casanova: The Dreamer Turned Villain

In the never ending BCDA vs. CJHDevCo Saga, every Juan dela Cruz is pointing an accusing finger at Arnel Paciano Casanova. They claimed he was the one to blame for the court's decision not to be implemented. But who really is this Casanova?

Atty. Casanova came from a poor family. He had to juggle between two jobs just to earn a college degree. He graduated from the University of the Philippines earning degrees in Law, English Studies, and Urban Planning. He also finished his Masters degree in Public Administration at Harvard University.

He is a dreamer who has a drive to succeed. He is a man with vision. But his lust for power and money made this fine vision go to waste. Why I am saying this, "If one has a dream, he/she must work hard in pursuing to attain it". Isn't it right? Many of us will agree! Even Arnel Casanova believed this goal! However, not all dreams are worth pursuing. There are certain aspects of a dream that should be looked into consideration. Foremost of it is the MOTIVE or intention. Is one's motive self-serving or for the betterment of others? Sad to say, Arnel Casanova picked the wrong reason.

In the BCDA against CJHDevCo legal battle, Casanova acted not as the Defender but an Offender. His Gestapo tactics of harassment made life miserable for the locators, lessees and tenants inside Camp John Hay. All he is good at is instilling fear and sowing clouds of uncertainties to 'innocent' people caught in the middle between legal two warring parties.

Casanova is a man who can't accept defeat. He is acting like a demigod who doesn’t know how to respect the law and the rights of other individuals. Arnel Casanova is the worst kind of 'bully' that every innocent people fear. Add to this - Mr. Casanova is labeled a corrupt, a theft, a manipulator, a bribe taker, and a man living a lavish life among others. He has lots of awards but the man is not a good leader.

Because of his wrong actions based on personal whims, it seems that the future of Camp John Hay became uncertain. From a dreamer, Casanova has turned into a wicked villain.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Chicken and Mushroom Pies

A tested way to bake a chicken and mushroom pie.


• 500 g. chicken thighs, cut into 2 cm. dice
• 2 tsp. olive oil
• 3 tsp. butter
• 1 leek, thinly sliced
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed
• 150 g. Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
• 3 tsp. dry white wine
• 2 tsp. plain (all-purposed) flour
• 250 ml. chicken stock
• 125 ml. cream
• 2 tsp. chopped parsley
• 1 tsp. finely chopped sage
• 2 sheets butter puff pastry
• 1 egg, lightly beaten


1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan and cook the chicken in two batches over high heat for 3-4 minutes each batch, until lightly browned but not cooked all the way through. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon.

2. Melt the butter in the same pan and cook the leek and garlic over low heat for 6-8 minutes, or until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 6-8 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan. Add the wine and boil for 2-3 minutes, or until nearly all the wine has evaporated. Sprinkle the flour over the top, stir for 1 minute, then add the stock and cream. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened. Season to taste, remove from the heat and cool. Stir in the parsley and sage.

3. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade. To make individual pot pies, divide the mixture among four 315 ml. ramekins. Cut four 12 cm. rounds from the pastry, brush the ramekins rims with a little beaten egg, then place the pastry lids on top. Press the rims down firmly to seal. Cut out the pastry scraps and decorate the tops , if you wish brush with egg and cut three steam holes in each pie with a sharp knife. Bake on the bottom shelf for 15-20 minutes, until the pastry is golden.

Prep. Time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Serves 4