Heard that the new executive director of the National Parks and Development Committee (NPDC) in the person of Penelope ‘Penny’ Belmonte, has been pulling a lot of surprises since her assumption as head of the Department of Tourism-attached agency.
For starters, Belmonte is relatively young, in looks, age and experience when it comes to serving at a national government entity although she has held several positions of import and also national in scope. Thus, the natural assumption would be that she is naïve or can be taken for a ride easily. Wrong.
Unknown to those at the NPDC, Belmonte, prior to taking the job offer, did her homework and a rather extensive research about what she may be facing as the new NPDC head. Why, she even received tips from a lot of insiders who even told her to be wary of some unscrupulous employees -- and yes, even officers -- who have been used to getting their way no matter how questionable they may be.
Instead of becoming a downside, Belmonte is effectively making her being new to the said position actually work to her advantage. She is extra careful about every decision she makes and is definitely cautious ten times over when it comes to signing papers. Belmonte once served as district president of the Philippine National Red Cross, was consultant for two councilors and was over all president of the PDP-Laban in Manila while also holding the position of secretary-general and party treasurer in the National Capital Region and thus knows exactly how to interact with those from the grassroots level so, she is not that inexperienced at all when it comes to public service.
Her mestiza looks may be intimidating but those who know her well swear that she has a big heart for the poor and is extremely humble. Those who know her fully well also personally vouch for her character and integrity. Her beautiful face and elegance may make her seem to be innocent but behind those pretty looks is a feisty lady who has no tolerance for incompetence, indolence and yes, corruption. As of this writing, I’m sure a lot of those from the NPDC have already realized that.
This, they say, is the very reason why she had been handpicked by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte to head the NPDC where, from what I heard, anomalies used to attend a lot of aspects of daily goings-on including the lowly time record and appointments.
If this is accurate, Belmonte should brace herself for tough days ahead. We all know how things normally go when you purge a government institution of misfits and anomaly perpetrators. Those whose selfish interests are likely to suffer will surely find ways to bring you down.
With President Duterte’s solid backing and her decisiveness to carry out the former’s no-nonsense campaign against any and all forms of corruption, Belmonte is expected to succeed in handling the NPDC affairs, sans any corrupt personnel or practices.
She had barely warmed her seat when Belmonte got to solve a long-running problem that had been plaguing the NPDC for years --that of the vendors operating in the Rizal Park area. Belmonte sat down with the vendors, laid out conditions that will ensure orderliness and a peaceful co-existence and did not demand anything in return contrary to what others in her place would have done and as what the usual ‘practice’ dictates.
Known for being a good leader, her charismatic approach to things and for fairly dealing with people from all walks of life, Belmonte, they say, can be a good friend to all -- from the lowly utility personnel all the way up. However, if you try to gyp, backstab or pull one over her, you will surely get what you deserve.
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NICE STAFF AT ILUSTRADO -- A nephew and his companions wish to congratulate the management of Ilustrado Restaurant in Intramuros, Manila for having amiable, efficient and courteous staff led by supervisor Chito Francisco and manager Mike Nillas; crew members Jayson Malong, Don Agliam, Jeffrey Elizalde and Joseph Gatchalian; head bartender Marlito Sinlao and bartender Carlos Magabo. He said that aside from the good food and ambience, the very accommodating staff is enough reason to come back to that restaurant.
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Beauty tip: Foods rich in omega fatty acids help stimulate the production of collagen, so load up on salmon and tuna, as well as almonds, cashew nuts, and even avocados. (Source: Dr Rosary May Canay-Diaz of Californian Bloom Aesthetic Institute and Medical Spa /4108424/4669596/09178038240/ 025053987).
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Jokjok (from William Canonigo of San Mateo, Rizal) -- PEDRO: Pare, may regalo ako sa ’yo para sa birthday mo. Kakaiba ’to kasi alam ko mahilig ka sa animals. Eto nasa kulungan./JUAN: Talaga? Ano ’yan?/PEDRO: Eto o, ten feet na ahas galing India!/ JUAN: Pare, ’yan ka na naman eh. Akala mo siguro ganu’n akong ka-tanga ’no?/PEDRO: Ha? Baket?/JUAN: Eh wala namang feet ang snake noh! Ten feet ka diyan! Magtigil ka nga!!! Gagong ’to!
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