Monday, October 29, 2012

make a change! get the vote out and register for the 2013 elections

This Wednesday (31 October 2012, that's barely two days from now) will be the last day of registration, including Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV), for the 2013 Philippine local and national elections.

We had a late afternoon pictorial with one of Dumaguete's top photographers, Greg Morales, near the amphitheater in Silliman University. Putting the whole event together is award-winning writer and Rock Ed Dumaguete's frontrunner Ian Rosales Casocot.

The batch where I belong was a good mix of the young and the youthful :) There was another pictorial last week, too.

Kawasan Falls in now open to the public

What a good news to start the 4-day long weekend this week! Kawasan Falls is now open to the public.

The Department of Tourism released a while back Travel Advisory No. 27, series of 2102 informing the public that Kawasan Falls is now open to tourists and general public! Yehey!

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has signed Executive Order No. 12, series of 2012 ordering the temporary lifting of Kawasan Falls Closure.

Anyone planning for a Dalaguete-Mantalungon-Osmena Peak-Kawasan Falls traverse?  Let's go!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

dead forest: Bilar man-made forest vs. Liptong Woodland

The air is unmistakably crisp.

Under the canopy of trees with their branches reaching for the sky (with rays of light piercing through), Bilar man-made forest appears to be the perfect reforestation project. The air smells of dead leaves. It’s also quiet, disturbed only by the occasional cars speeding off on the snaking road.

But if you close your eyes and listen intently, you will never hear birds chirping. No native wildlife. Look closely at the trees, and you’ll see that the growth of other species in the area is limited to a few. The reason? These mahogany trees being non-native are invasive to biodiversity.

Despite the good intention of the man who initiated the reforestation project fifty years ago, this man-made forest with its rows after beautiful rows of mahogany trees is a dead forest. Meaning, endemic species do not thrive in the area.

According to Prof. Sandra L. Yap of the UP Institute of Biology in an interview with the inquirer, she was told of the rationale for the Bilar-Loboc reforestation project: first, to serve as watershed and second, for the animals to return. They were able to succeed on their first goal but not with their second goal, Yap added.

The collective consciousness of environmentalists now is to not just plant trees of any variety but to plant native trees.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Filipino tourists can now work in New Zealand!

I used to get envious with backpackers from first world economies because of their working holiday agreements between other countries. Take for example South Koreans. They can work in Australia or France for up to a year even if they have tourist visas only. Traveling, working and immersing oneself into the local culture. All rolled into one!

Imagine the excitement I had upon hearing the news that Philippine President PNoy signed a working holiday agreement with New Zealand!

screen grab from

The only downside is that working holiday scheme is only for 18-30 year old. I am eternally 21.