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Luzon newsbits for February 2, 2014

Caraga At 200

Legazpi City, Albay — Daraga, town in Albay will commemorate the 200th year anniversary of Cagsawa after it was devastated when Mayon Volacano erupted in February 1814. The commemoration coincides with the month-long Cagsawa Festival that opened yesterday that also remembers the thousands of residents who died inside the church after taking refuge there. The opening was marked with a mass officiated by Bishop Joel Baylon. It was attended by Albay Governor Joey Salceda, representatives from the Department of Tourism Bicol, Daraga town officials led by Mayor Gerry Jaucian and residents. Following the mass was the blessing, ribbon cutting, wreath-laying, and unveiling of the iconic marker of Cagsawa Dos Siglos at the church belfry. (Niño N. Luces)

Malolos Mayor Cheats Death

Pulilan, Bulacan — Malolos City Mayor Christian D. Natividad and two of his companions cheated death while his bodyguard was killed when the Montero van they were riding was rammed by a speeding trailer truck in Barangay Sto. Cristo, here late Thursday night. Roderick Santiago, 30, of Barangay Canalate, Malolos City passed away while being treated at the Bulacan Medical Center. Natividad, his driver Nicanor Reyes and bodyguard Maverick Jake Perez were injured in the accident. The mayor’s vehicle was headed for Plaridel when it was struck by the truck driven by one Roger Garces, of Quezon City. Police have taken custody of Garces who will be charged with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and multiple serious physical injuries. (Freddie C. Velez)

Lights Festival

Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro — Thousands of visitors are expected to arrive here this month for the “Pandang Gitab Oriental Mindoro 2014,” an annual cultural event celebrated throughout the province. All 14 towns of the province and this city will participate in the four-day festival of lights which kicks off on February 19. Pandang Dagitav was coined from “Pandanggo” (Fandango-dance), and “Dagitab,” which means “light,” adapting basic steps of pandanggo sa ilaw (Dance of Lights) that originated from Lubang Island in Mindoro. The festival’s activities include the Padyak Pandang Gitab, trade fare of local products, search for the Mutya ng Pandang Gitab and street party. Pandang Gitab was declared as an official festival by virtue of the Provincial Ordinance approved in November 2012. (Joel C. Magsino)

New By-Pass Road In Sariaya

Sariaya, Quezon — A 7.12-kilometers by-pass road will start construction after the groundbreaking was held here last Friday morning. Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) District Engineer Cely Flancia in a briefing said the highway cost P840 million that will be funded by the national government with P100 million as initial budget. Once completed, the two-lane road will resolve 44 percent of the traffic problem in this town and will serve as an alternate route of motorists from Manila South Road to Bicol and vice versa. Based on the blue print, the road is being contemplated to be connected  to the Eco-Tourism road and the proposed South Luzon Expressway extension (SLEX).  (Danny J. Estacio)

‘Lone Ranger’

Tanza, Cavite — A lone policeman yesterday killed one of two holdup men who robbed a dentist in his clinic in an action-packed shootout in Barangay Daang Amaya III, here. The still unidentified suspect died on-the-spot, hit by three bullets fired by Police Officer 1 Hernan Romanes, of the Tanza Municipal Police Station Patrol Unit. Romanes was at an eatery when he noticed a commotion at the clinic and probed what was happening. As he drew near, the two suspects made their getaway, but Romanes gave chase and shot it out with the two. One dropped dead and the other eluded arrest. (Anthony Giron)