Sunday, March 31, 2013



St. Benedict Medallion

Also known as
  • Benedict of Narsia
  • Benedict of Norsia
  • Benedetto da Norcia
  • Founder of Western Monasticism

  • 11 July (Latin Rite)
  • 21 March (Benedictine monks and nuns)
  • 14 March (Byzantine Rite)

St. Benedict is said to be the founder of western monasticism, born at Nursia, c. 480 and  died at Monte Cassino, 543. Benedict was the son of a Roman noble of Nursia, a small town near Spoleto, and a tradition, which St. Bede accepts, makes him a twin with his sister St. Scholastica. Benedict founded twelve communities for monks at Subiaco, Italy (about 40 miles (64 km) to the east of Rome), before moving to Monte Cassino in the mountains of southern Italy.

Benedict’s main achievement is his “Rule of Saint Benedict“, containing precepts for his monks. It is heavily influenced by the writings of John Cassian, and shows strong affinity with theRule of the Master. But it also has a unique spirit of balance, moderation and reasonableness (ἐπιείκεια, epieikeia), and this persuaded most religious communities founded throughout the Middle Ages to adopt it. As a result, his Rule became one of the most influential religious rules in Western Christendom. For this reason, Benedict is often called the founder of western monasticism.`

St. Benedict is the patron saint of civil engineers and :

*against erysipelas
* against fever
* against gall stones
* against inflammatory diseases
* against kidney disease
* against nettle rash
* against poison
* against temptations
* against witchcraft
* cavers
* coppersmiths
* dying people

Prayer To St. Benedict

O glorious St. Benedict, sublime model of all virtues, pure vessel of God’s grace! Behold me, humbly kneeling at thy feet. I implore thy loving heart to pray for me before the throne of God. To thee I have recourse in all the dangers which daily surround me. Shield me against my enemies, inspire me to imitate thee in all things. May thy blessing be with me always, so that I may shun whatever God forbids and avoid the occasions of sin.

Graciously obtain for me from God those favors and graces of which I stand so much in need, in the trials, miseries and afflictions of life. Thy heart was always so full of love, compassion, and mercy towards those who were afflicted or troubled in any way. Thou didst never dismiss without consolation and assistance any one who had re-course to thee. I therefore invoke thy powerful intercession, in the confident hope that thou wilt hear my prayers and obtain for me the special grace and favor I so earnestly implore (mention it), if it be for the greater glory of God and the welfare of my soul.

Help me, O great St. Benedict, to live and die as a faithful child of God, to be ever submissive to His holy will, and to attain the eternal happiness of heaven. Amen.

Prayer ought to be short and pure, unless it be prolonged by the inspiration of Divine grace. Saint Benedict
Girded with a faith, and the performance of good works, let us follow in Christ’s path by the guidance of the Gospel; then we shall deserve to see him “who has called us into his kingdom.” If we wish to attain a dwelling place in his kingdom, we shall not reach it unless we hasten there by our good deeds. Just as there exists an evil fervor, a bitter spirit, which divides us from God and leads us to hell, so there is a good fervor which sets us apart from evil inclinations and leads us toward God and eternal life. No one should follow what he considers to be good for himself, but rather what seems good for another. Let them put Christ before all else; and may he lead us all to everlasting life. - from the Rule of Saint Benedict


Additional Information

Monday, March 25, 2013


Mabacao Bridge
(Brgy. Tulay-B, Maragondon, Cavite)

Researched by: Dindo Mojica, C.E., M.Eng

Mabacao Bridge via Filipino Heritage Festival link: Puente de Mabacao

(Mabacao Bailey Bridge)

Long before the founding of the Municipality of Maragondon, there already existed a wooded bridge connecting wagon roads of the barrios of Bucal and Mabacao. The bridge was called Mabacao Bridge after the name of the barrio Mabacao (now Barangay Tulay) which was noted for the bakaw birds (in English: heron, crane or egret) living in the then thickly forested barrio.

Bakaw Birds (Image from Wikipedia)

Crossing over the Kay Albaran River/MaragondonRiver (Rio de Cay Alvaran), the Mabacao Bridgeis one of the few remaining steel trussed bridges built during the Spanish Period. It was formerly called the “Puente de Mabacao” Bridge.

Mabacao Bridge, whose date of construction and the name of builder still remains unknown, spans a wide garge and is supported by three masonry piers resting on solid rock. Though based on similar bridge designs particularly those of Puente de Malaquimubig in Batangas, it may be assumed that Eduardo Lopez Navarro designed Puente de Mabacao in 1876. Double intersection from Warren trusses support the road deck made of hard wood joists and planks. Mabacao Bridge is a fine specimen of late Spanish colonial engineering in the country. Its marriage of iron, masonry and wood shows the direction the Philippines was heading during the latter part of the 19th century, when modern techniques in engineering was slowly but surely introduced in the remotest of areas. (Source: Mabacao Bridge via Filipino Heritage Festival linkPuente de Mabacao)

Mabacao Bailey Bridge is a one lane bridge that was built (renovated) into steel and wood in 1948 and has a length of 80.18 lineal meters. Due to its oldness, overlooking beautiful river and sceneries, it became a favorite location site of many local war (Emong Salvacion, 1997 by lead veteran actor Eddie Garcia) and foreign war (most especially Vietnam War scenes) films such as Platoon, Hamburger Hill (1987), and Apocalypse Now.

Being the primary gateway in getting to and coming from Maragondon and its neighboring municipalities, the people of Maragondon dreamt of developing the old and dilapidated bridge into a two lane concrete bridge to eliminate dangers for passers and also to facilitate efficient transport of goods especially fresh agricultural products to the market.

The bridge was then repaired last December 2004 however not strong enough to withstand the ever growing number of vehicles traversing the bridge.

The condition of Mabacao Bailey Bridge before repair

(Bridge capacity = 4 tons)

(First major repair/rehabilitation) 

After repair (Bailey - steel super panel type)

(Photos courtesy of Office of the Municipal Engineer, Maragondon, Cavite)

The Construction Sequence of Mabacao Bridge 
(From Bailey-Steel Super Panel Type to RCDG-Steel Girder Type)

(Dismantling Procedures)

Sometimes in first quarter of 2008, Mabacao Bridge (Bailey-Steel Super Panel Type) will be rehabilitated and upgraded to Steel I-beam girder  type.

(Photos courtesy of Office of the Municipal Engineer, Maragondon, Cavite)

(Construction of Sub-Structure)

(Photos courtesy of Office of the Municipal Engineer, Maragondon, Cavite)

(Construction of Super-Structure)

(Photos courtesy of Office of the Municipal Engineer, Maragondon, Cavite)

 (Construction of Super-Structure and Approach Roads)

(Photos courtesy of Office of the Municipal Engineer, Maragondon, Cavite)

The bridge is now constructed into a two-lane concrete bridge which had eventually temporarily opened to the public last March 2008.

(Bridge capacity = 20 tons)

(Finished Construction)

Last January 22, 2009, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo led the unveiling of marker for MabacaoBridge in Maragondon to mark the inauguration of six (6) bridges located in different parts of the Province of Cavite. The President was joined by DPWH Secretary Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr., Undersecretary Ramon P. Aquino, DPWH Region IV-A Director Bonifacio A. Seguit and DPWH-President’s Bridge Program Executive Director Emil K. Sadain. Local officials who also take part in the ceremony include Cavite Governor Erineo S. Maliksi, Cavite3rd District Representative Jesus Crispin C. Remulla and Maragondon Mayor Monte A. Andaman. During the short briefing before the ceremony, Secretary Ebdane presented to the President the project profile of newly completed bridges in the province of Cavite. The six (6) bridges were implemented by the DPWH-President’s Bridge Program thru the Urgent Bridges Construction Project for Rural Development (UBCPRD), a foreign-assisted project of the JICA (Japan International Cooperating Agency). These bridges are part of the 64 bridges under Contract Package III (Bridge No. IV-A-8) of the project. The six (6) bridges inaugurated are the 88 lineal meter steel I-beam girder Mabacao Bridge in Maragondon, 26 meters H-beam girder Salitran Bridge and the 25 meters pre-stressed concrete deck girder Piela Bridge in Dasmarinas, the Catmon Bridge and Lipa Bridge in Indang both 21 meters in length and reinforced concrete deck girder type, and the 27 meters pre-stressed concrete deck girder Pajo Bridge in Alfonso.

Inauguration of Mabacao Bridge 

Inauguration of Mabacao Bridge (from left to right: Maragondon Town Mayor Monte Andaman, 
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Cavite 3rd District Congressman Jesus Crispin Remulla 
 DPWH Undersecretary Ramon Aquino and Cavite 2nd District Congressman Elpidio Barzaga)

Inauguration of Mabacao Bridge (from left to right:  DPWH Undersecretary Ramon Aquino,  
Cavite 2nd District Congressman Elpidio Barzaga, Naic Mayor Efren Nazareno, 
Cavite Governor Ayong Maliksi and Dasmarinas Mayor Jenny Barzaga)

Inauguration of Mabacao Bridge 
Engr. Precita Regino, Municipal Engineer with 
DPWH Undersecretary Ramon Aquino and
 representatives of the Japanese Government

(Photos courtesy of Office of the Municipal Engineer, Maragondon, Cavite)

Mabacao Bridge Facts:

The newly constructed two-lane bridge, 3-span (33m-33m-22m) steel I-beam girder on spread footing on both abutments and piers with two 1.7 meter diameter, 12.6 meter high reinforced concrete pier with PCCP (Prestressed Concrete Cement Pavement) improvements on both approaches has a total length of 88 meters. It connects the municipalities of General Aguinaldo, Magallanes, Maragondon and Ternate.  It also includes the construction of 183 meters x 9.10 meters approach road, drainage system, river bank and slope protection works. The project cost amounts to 89.90 Million pesos and its local contractor who implements the project is Sta. Clara Development Corporation. This bridge is also built under the joint venture of Toyo-Tobishima (Client) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The project is jointly funded by the Philippine Government (GRP) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). During the project briefing, Cavite 3rd District Representative Jesus Crispin Remulla informed the President that the residents of Maragondon, especially its neighboring towns of General Aguinaldo, Magallanes and Ternate are the direct beneficiaries of Mabacao Bridge.

He said with the completion of the bridge, the people of Maragondon can now easily transport their agricultural products, particularly its Bamboo products. Maragondon is the Bamboo capital of Cavite because this is their principal source of income and livelihood.

He explained that the bridge will also help residents of Magallanes and General Aguinaldo to transport their sugarcane and other agricultural products to the commercial markets like SM Supermalls and Robinsons in Dasmarinas.

Aside from that, he said, Mabacao Bridge will also shorten the travel time and save gas of commuters and motorists from Magallanes and General Aguinaldo going to Manila, because they do not have to use the old Tagaytay route to reach Metro Manila.

The Maragondon route using Mabacao Bridge is 17 kilometers shorter than the Tagaytay or Alfonso routes.

Design Consultants: Katahira and Engineers International (Japanese Consulting Firm/Contractor – Project Team Leader)

Project Team Members: Sogo Engineering Inc. (Japanese Consulting Firm), Development Engineering and Management Corp., Dainichi Consultant Inc. (Japanese Consulting Firm), Design Science, Inc., DCCD Engineering Corporation, TCGI Engineers, Perk Technical Consultants Corp.

The Present Mabacao Bridge
(Picture taken last June 20, 2012)


DPWH official website last retrieved: June 2, 2012 -

Maragondon Chronicle: The Official Community Newspaper of Maragondon, Cavite – Vol.1 No.1 October-December 2007 issue

Sta. Clara International Development Corporationofficial website last retrieved: June 2, 2012

PDF file sourced at - Powered by Joomla! Generated: 21 March, 2012, 02:37

Thursday, March 21, 2013



CENTERS (Directory)


By: Dindo Mojica, C.E., M.Eng

Please go to Philippine Civil Engineering Review Tips and Guides:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013



by Walter W. Frey

After working as an engineer for over 35 years, I now conclude that successful career depends on understanding what engineering is, academic performance and personality. And these considerations are not all important for the right reasons.

ENGINEERING IS THE ART OF APPLYING SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES TO SOLVE A PROBLEM. It is not a separate area of science such as physics. Engineering projects are bound by 3 variables: the number of problems to solve, the funds available to solve these problems and the delivery date of the finished items. The catch is you can fix two of the variables while the third is determined by the others.

Although a modicum of academic performance is necessary to graduate, a high GPA does not predicate a successful career. The real indicators for engineering performance reside in a person’s personality traits, ability to think innovatively and skill in interacting with others. Personnel departments (often for legal reasons) stay away from trying to rate easily qualified areas, i.e., “GPA, class standing, etc.” Thus, many potentially good engineers are turned away due to poor grades.

The following subjective areas are also necessary for a successful engineering career:

CURIOSITY – the desire to find out how things work, or why they don’t. The engineer notes the good and the bad approaches to the problem.

PERSEVERANCE – this trait is needed to stay with the problem eventhough the solution is not adequate or eludes or seems to fight the engineer. However, this must be not carried to an extreme, i.e. it becomes a futile obsession. 
Also, oftentimes a problem will have to be temporarily shelved to work on projects which will produce more immediate results.

SELF-CONFIDENCE – the engineer know his/her capabilities and problem areas. For example, he/she has a tendency to settle on the first solution that presents itself.

COMMON SENSE – the ability to make decisions on partial or contradictory informations. It is also used to balance perseverance against what’s best for the overall program.

SENSE OF HUMOR – this trait is necessary to keep from getting depressed when the solution has been elusive and all sorts of irrelevant problems are obscuring the answer. Humor is also very useful in handling personality problems with subordinates/superiors.

INGENUITY – this means the engineer is not limited to the “by the book” way of doing things. This person is open to unique or unproved solutions to difficult problems; he/she is willing to take a chance if the potential gains are great.

COMMUNICATION – engineering is an occupation that depends on the exchange and interpretation of ideas. An engineer must be aware of how others have tried to solve a problem this knowledge often presents itself when engineers get together and talk shop. Very often, the solution requires merging the best parts of competing solutions into a unified approach. However, this is not the same as when stuff is included just to keep everyone happy. This “team approach” typically results in mediocre products.

LUCK – it is always useful since no amount of planning will replace dumb luck. However, good planning and contingency planning often help or are confused with luck.

Altogether, these eight attributes will more greatly affect one’s performance as an engineer than his/her GPA.