Sunday, November 30, 2008


Hi folks, just want to let any in the area that read this to know that we have temporarily stopped the filling operations at the gas station site. This is in no way permanent; we just have other projects that needed my immediate attention at this time. The release date of our paperwork on the Mini-Sawmill at Regional Office of DENR is December 2, so there was a lot of work that needed to be done at the time the papers were to be released.
There are several construction projects that needed to be completed at the Sawmill site, as well as some personal appearances that I needed to make, and I just didn't want too much going on where it was possible that my direct attention might have been needed in one place while I was off in another.
After the Sawmill is taken care of, we will be right back to the filling work at the gas station site at full steam.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why St. Christine

Many people over the past few months, here in our little piece of paradise, have asked me what made me chose St. Christine as the site for a gas station. It is a real hard question to answer. My decision took about two years to finalize and it came after many hours and days weighing all the pros and cons. I actually had 4 other sites picked as possible candidates, and the method I used in determining the final location is a bit confusing. Simply put the decision was based on my estimation that it was in St. Christine, but only in the exact location that the filling is continuing now, where the most benefits to the whole community could be realized.
I needed a location that was capable of providing the maximum return on investment so I could continue with my other projects using the returns from the gas station. The combination of the fishing boats and the combined population of Diatagon and St. Christine meant higher usage in that area versus any other area in the municipality. The fishing boats in my opinion needed better access to the fuel. If the fishing boats had to spend less time and less money to get their boats loaded with fuel, they could in return offer their catch at a lower price to all of us wanting the fruits of their labor. The plan for the gas station is to extend a line from my tanks to the waterfront and offer a pump on the Diatagon River for boats to pump fuel directly into their boats. I wanted to eliminate the need for them to have elaborate transportation systems just to get fuel into their tanks. When making my decision, I needed a place close enough to the water where these boats could dock and take on fuel. The site in St. Christine is the place.
Another question that sometimes comes up is; why Phoenix? A quick look at their website will shed some light on that for those who know me. They have a compatible philosophy to my own. Just take a look at their Mission, Visions, and Core Values under the Company tab in their website. I.e.: We take social responsibility to heart by building programs to nurture the environment and uplift the life of the communities we serve. Also the idea of the Phoenix appeals to me for both the community and myself. A phoenix is a mythical bird with a tail of beautiful gold and red plumage (or purple and blue, by some sources). It has a 600-800 year life-cycle, and near the end the phoenix builds itself a nest of cinnamon twigs that it then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self. And it is known in Christianity as a symbol of Christ representing His resurrection, immortality, and life-after-death. This community needs a rebirth, the days of the Lianga Bay Logging Company are gone, but many are still living in that past glory without thinking of what they can do to replace that glory. They need the idea of the Phoenix to revitalize this community and let it fulfill its potential. Even the company officials from Phoenix immediately saw the potential and were anxious to become part of our community. For myself I came here and wanted to start a new life, to get over the loss of my closest friends, my mother and grandmother in a one year period of time. This is my time to rise, and in the process, bring along a people that are in so desperate a need for some direction in their life. In so many ways, the symbology is very fitting.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Getting Started Slowly

Finally!!! Phoenix St. Christine begins to rise!!!
The filling of our gas station site has finally begun. It has been a long tedious road to get to this point, but most of the obstacles are over now. We are getting the support and help we need to get this vital project realized. Gov. Pimentel graciously agreed to help us with the 9000 cubic meters of filling to bring the site to road level. His support for the development of the Barangay is deeply appreciated, and should be remembered by all the local residents. Likewise Johnny Pimentel has lent his support and advise to this area a great deal and will always be held in great regard by my family and I, as he pursues his future. Phoenix officials have extended their support to our project by supplying a temporary fuel tank and dispenser for the trucks and equipment working at the site.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Personal Note

The newest member of the Borders family arrived on July 3, 2008. Michael Jacob arrived after only 6 hours of labor, got to be a first for a first baby. I was expecting a normal 24 hours of labor, being called every name in the dirty name book, screams, shouts, swearing, etc, but things went quickly and Jen never once called me a bad name. After 1 month now, things are going fine and Michael is progressing nicely. The nightly feeding at 12, 2 and 5 are getting a little tiring, but we know that will soon give way to a restful night of sleep, for us too.
Things are going slowly for some of our projects. We want everyone to know that the overall project is comprehensive and will take time to complete, well not really complete because it will be ongoing. The Mini-Sawmill will be operational in a week or two, and then we get the Farmers Association started making organic fertilizer from the sawdust, after we get a pig farm started. Fr. Vic and I have discussed locations for all the future components of the fertilizer process, but have not come to any conclusions yet. The gas station is approved, and now we need to start the process of filling to road level the area where the pumps will go. That will take a while, since we’ve estimated a need of 9000 cubic meters of fill.
With the new baby, I don’t get a chance to add to this blog as often as I should, and I hope that everyone will be patient and keep checking back for additions.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Vision for the Future

One of the last things that Jen and I expected to open was a saw mill, but as we write this post a mini-sawmill is indeed in the near future for St. Christine. After much consideration and reflection we have decided that a saw mill is needed here for the benefit of the area. We have talked to many who believe a sawmill will promote development here, such as housing, furniture shops, and boat building. Sometimes it’s so hard to decide what is best when your heart is set on a future of development. We really want things to improve in our community and from what many have said, a saw mill will help. The saw mill will be located along Coastway road near the fishponds and will employ several contractual workers as the need develops. We hope that this will help a few of our residents to earn a decent living while supplying lumber for the various needs of the community. We plan to integrate this operation with the Farmers Association by using the waste products as organic fertilizer for planting operations that they will be conducting in the near future.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Coming Soon

Help is on the way for our fishermen in the Lianga area. For several months Jen and I have pursued a franchise with Phoenix Petroleum to place a gas station in St. Christine, including gas pumps on a floating dock on Diatagon River. It is our hopes that this will reduce the expense to the fishermen as well as reduce the time it takes them to refuel their boats. We are nearing the last steps before construction and we hope to be open this year. We are dedicated to helping our community grow and develop and we hope that this will be a sign to others to do the same.
Mark and Merejen

Monday, January 14, 2008

Barangay Development Plan

The development plan is still under construction, but in the interest of getting information on the internet I've set up a download from Google Groups for what we have finished so far. All of the information is exactly how it appears in the hard copy with additions where noted. This will be an ongoing operation for us as we intend to update more of the information later. We welcome any comments about the plan from anyone who might have suggestions or possibly complaints about some of the information. I'll tell you from personal experience that a lot of the information contained in the hard copy we were given is incorrect or at least less accurate than it should be. We do acknowledge that the task of preparing something like this can be monumental and our hats are off to those involved with the gathering of the information, and to be honest its a great start. Now we hope to keep the fire going and add information as it becomes available. The greatest thing about the internet rather than hard copy books is that you can continually update the information without going through the expense of binding a new hard copy booklet.
You can see the link under the heading Our Favorite Links, what you will get is a Word 2003 document download, it will open in Word 2003 and later, if anyone needs it in another format let me know and I'll gladly set that up as well, but with the changes that we are still making I don't want to do that unless it's needed. It would mean updating several files as we make changes rather than just the one. But if anyone cannot use Word to view it we will make it available in your selected format.
We hope everyone enjoys the information, and also I would like to invite you to take a look at Google Earth as we continue to add GPS located landmarks in this area. Just make sure you turn on Google Earth Community in the layer toolbar. Kansilad was my first post to the community and I would like to start adding many landmarks in the future. Enjoy

The Future

For those who may read this in another country, I have some good news. The Development Plan for Saint Christine has finally been delivered to us. Merejen and I are retyping it so we can put in on this website for others to view. We are about two thirds finished and we will soon start putting it up while we finish the final clean up. We hope that many will find the information useful or at the very least interesting. We are making every effort to update the information as some of it is from 2005. When finished, it will contain a lot of data gathered by using GPS, and we hope to have a satellite image with the roads and some major landmarks displayed.
We are hoping that this will become the first step in some major improvements in the Barangay and we encourage anyone with ideas, questions about the Barangay to use this blog as a method to be heard.
We had a wonderful holiday season and we got to spend a lot of time with the family and some friends. There are many we didn't get a chance to be with and we sincerely apologize for just running out of days for the holidays to get to everyone. We hope that each and every one of you had a joyous and happy holiday season, and we hope that the coming year brings you much happiness.

Mark and Merejen