Monday, March 30, 2009

Philippine Tarsier and The Earth Hour in Davao

Maumag in Visayan
The scientific name of the Philippine tarsier is Tarsius syrichta. In Visayan, Philippine tarsiers are called Maumag.

So small
The Philippine tarsier is a miniscule animal; so small that it will fit in the hand of a human.

Endangered Species
Its minuteness is the reason why they are barely seen in the jungle. They are the endangered species of tarsiers widely found in the Philippines, particularly in the Islands of Bohol, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao (but none found in Davao City). Philippine tarsiers can also be seen in the Maripipi Island, Siargao Island (surfing capital of the Philippines), Basilan Island and Dinagat Island. A different type of subspecies had reportedly spotted in Sarangani.

Large eyes
In addition to its size, the Philippine tarsier's big eyes are sui generis and because of that it was included in the Guinness Book of Records as having the largest eyes on any mammal. Their large-scale eyes gave them the superior ability to see at night.

Mating and newborn Philippine tarsiers
The mating season of Philippine tarsiers is in April until May and Tarsier's pregnancy lasts in 6 months. It is interesting to note that after copulation, the male tarsier closes the vagina of the female tarsier. The newborn tarsier is born with a lot of hair and with eyes open (unlike in human). Carrying their babies is through their mouth. Even though they're still babies, a month after they were born, they can already hop and jump.

And hopefully weeks from now, our Bohol escapade is going to happen.

Earth Hour in Davao
My family and I participated in the Earth Hour last Saturday. For 60 minutes, we unplugged every appliance we have and turned off the lights. We just stayed inside the dark room. However, some of my neighbors didn’t even bother to cooperate. I don’t know if they weren’t aware of it or they're just playing dumb.

At MTS (Matina Town Square), candles and lamps were lit to illuminate the area.

Images from

Related Topics:
Travel Philippines: Davao City
Tamayong Prayer Mountain
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Filipino Cuisine: Pinakbet

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Review of PLDT myDSL

PLDT myDSL Plan 990

I wrote two posts (Letter to SmartBro and Goodbye) about my horrible experience with my ex (SmartBro). The last post I created was about our break up after more than a year of suffering. When he left, he got everything from canopy, power supply and even the extension wire. But it was fine with me. At least I won't have something to remind me of SmartBro's cruelty.

When PLDT myDSL came into my life, I thought my life would change even though I know PLDT myDSL is a brother of SmartBro. But the mind of PLDT myDSL is more stable. He won't leave my sight (no intermittent connection) and his driving speed (internet speed of 1+mbps) is way better than his brother.

However, just last month, PLDT myDSL's true color was unleashed. He left me for more than 24 hours. But his technical support representatives responded quickly unlike Smartbro's team where I had to wait for like an hour before they'd pick up the phone.

And after more than a day, PLDT myDSL came back. However, after a week, he's gone again. It was still the same. He left for more than a day without saying goodbye and came back after a day of MIA.

But last Tuesday, March 24, 2009 until yesterday, he left…yet again.

I now realized that we have an on/off/on/off relationship. Geez! I thought I was through with that when I broke up with SmartBro.

Wait a minute!!! PLDT myDSL and SmartBro are siblings, only the former has better Internet connection. But they're both the same. Well, maybe it's truly in their genes and it runs in their veins.

Sigh, what can I do? Maybe, I just have to stick with PLDT while waiting for Globe Broadband.

Image from

Brief History of Mini Cooper and Its Latest Model

Mr. Bean's Car: MK IV British Leyland Mini 1000 Yes, I love Mr. Bean but this is not the reason why I'm so attracted to Mini Cooper.

British Motor Corporation
According to Wikipedia, the British Motor Corporation or BMC was the producer of Mini, a diminutive car. They created the Mini in 1959 until 2000.

Volkswagen Beetle
Mini can be considered the British equivalent of Volkswagen beetle which were both popular in North America that time.

Most Influential Car
This small car was chosen as the second most influential car of the 20th century following Ford Model T. It was Sir Alec Issigonis who designed the original two-door Mini car for BMC.

John Cooper
Later on, a friend of Issigonis and the owner of Cooper Car Company, John Cooper recognized Mini's potential for competition. John Cooper was the man behind Formula 1 and rally cars. At first, Issigonis had second thoughts about the idea but when John Cooper made a plea to the BMC management, these two friends worked together to build a quick and cost-effective car--the Mini Cooper. And in 1961, the Austin Mini Cooper and Morris Mini Cooper made their first public appearance.

Nowadays, BMW has full ownership to Mini. However, the new BMW Mini is not akin to the old car but they retain the front-wheel-drive form, standard transverse 4-cylinder and the original bulldog figure.

Mini Coopers in Movies like Mr. Bean and the Italian Job
Maybe you've also seen Mini Coopers used by famous celebrities in the movies. If you're a fan of Mr. Bean (like my nephew, Borgy, who can memorize every scene of Mr. Bean), you'd notice that Mr. Bean is driving a Mini Cooper. His is a 1970s MK IV British Leyland Mini 1000.

On the other hand, the Mini Cooper drove by the actors and actresses on the Italian Job was a Mini Coooper S. In this film, you can see how quick and reliable this vehicle is and how it has beaten the bumper-to-bumper traffic. Also, the Mini Cooper's figure has some similarities with Fuldamobile of Fulda, Germany.
Mini Cooper Chilli
This image is a Mini Cooper Chilli, one of the latest models of Mini Cooper. Quick Facts: Top speed: 203 km/h 88 kW (120 hp) at 6000 rpm 0-100 km/h in 9.1s.

Mini Coopers in Davao City
I've only seen quite a few Mini Coopers swerving around Davao. It is maybe because most vehicles you'll see here are the likes of Bugatti Veyron, Pagani Zonda, and Porsche…just kidding. Mini Coooper is the vehicle I wanted to drive. Maybe if I had this kind of car, I will never be late to any of my business meetings or appointment during traffic jam.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Making of Empty Bottles a Year Needs 273 Billion Liters of Water

World Water Day
Today is World Water Day with this year's theme "Shared Water- Shared Opportunities."

While reading the March 2009 issue of Reader's Digest, I've learned that it takes 273 billion liters of water per year just to make empty bottles.

It is pertinent to know not only the harmful effects to our body by using bottled water but also the effect it will bring to our mother earth.

Tap Water
Tap water is considered by many environmentalists as more eco-friendly than bottled water. Further, drinking tap water can minimize the negative impact to the environment brought forth by plastic bottles.

Fossil Fuels
Although we make an effort to curtail the use of fossil fuels, bottled water, on the other hand, increases its usage. And do you know that in order to make a PET, virgin petroleum is being used? In other words, the more bottled water we use, the more virgin petroleum is needed to make a bottle.

Even packing and distributing the bottles will require burning of fossil fuels. In addition to that, shipping bottles can result in carbon pollution into the water and into the air.

Treating and Filtering
Since bottling of bottled water undergoes treating and filtering of tap water, this method can produce more waste.

If we don't recycle, these plastic bottles are thrown to the incinerator or to the landfills, where it could stay there for many years.

Spread the news, let's recycle.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Movie Review: Seven Pounds Movie

Seven Pounds Movie
(Photo from rothj06) If you had the chance to make amends, would you do what Tim Thomas (Will Smith) did on Seven Pounds movie?

I never thought Seven Pounds would be that great but it touched the emotional part of me. Although the first hour of the movie was quite baffling but it in the end, I was completely enthused by the story.

Seven Pounds movie is directed by Gabriele Muccino and starred Will Smith. The first drama movie of Will Smith I've seen was Pursuit of Happyness. But Seven Pounds movie is a different one.

In the beginning of the movie, I wondered why he called up 911 and the reason for the call.

Bewildered more when he:

Enumerated these names: Ken Anderson, Nicole Anderson, Alli Anderson, Ed Rice, Steven Phillips, Monica Freeman, Sarah Jensen.

Called up Ezra, the blind vegan virgin.

Visited Emily Posa, who had congenital heart failure and she believed she didn't deserve a heart because her life was unremarkable.

Annoyed and irritated with Steward Goodman.

Offered a helping hand to Connie Tepos, who was too proud to ask for help.

Spoke with George, the hockey coach, whom he considered a good man and was undergoing dialysis.

Constantly stared at Michael, the kid who was bald and had cancer.

Further, I really thought he was an IRS agent but as the story went deeper, I understood little by little the relevance of those people to Tim/Ben Thomas.

It will be more exciting when you don't know the synopsis of the film because you can really feel the thrill of the Seven Pounds movie. And so you will try to connect the dots.

Will Smith did a great job here. The soundtrack was appropriate especially at the end of the movie.

And the moral part of the film? Don't use your cell phone when you're driving. When you lost someone, you can never bring his/her life back, even if you try making something good.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Travel Philippines: Davao City

It's the 72nd Araw ng Dabaw tomorrow, March 16, 2009; the day when Davao became a ciudad (city).

Philippine Eagle, Waling-Waling and Durian
Philippine Eagle (Photo from Farrah)-- Davao City is well-known as the home of the Philippine Eagle or Monkey-Eating Eagle (one of the largest birds in the world), Waling-Waling (queen of Philippine orchids), and Durian (king of exotic fruits).

Head of the City
The current mayor of the city is Rodrigo Duterte and his daughter, Sara Duterte, as his vice-mayor.

Most Liveable City
Davao City is considered as one of the most liveable cities in Asia by Asiaweek and included among the top 10 Asian cities by Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Tomorrow's celebration will include Parada Dabawenyo which will start at 8 in the morning. The newly crowned Mutya ng Dabaw 2009, Resci Angeli Rizada, is expected to participate along with some local and national celebrities and of course our city officials.

Join us in celebrating Araw ng Dabaw 2009!!

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Filipino Teachers
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Illac Diaz

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tamayong Prayer Mountain

"Haven for peace and prayer," Sun Star Davao quoted.

"Beautiful and spotlessly clean," a blogger said.

I'll say, "It's next to paradise."

Though I've never been here, but I can already feel the tranquility of the place.

Tamayong Prayer Mountain It's in the Philippines.
I got this photo from my friend's Facebook photo gallery. At first glance, I thought she was in Europe. But NO! This place is in Pinas (Philippines).

Calinan, Davao City Philippines
The Tamayong Prayer Mountain is located in Calinan, Davao City. It's almost an hour away from the city and more than an hour from the Davao International Airport.

Just by staring at this magnificent photo of Tamayong Prayer Mountain, I can tell that this is an appropriate place to be during the Holy Week; a place for soul-searching; a place to unwind; a quiet place to talk to God.

Picturesque Landscape
The first thing I noticed of this place was its picturesque landscape: the combination of colors and the chosen plants—admirable indeed.

Going There
Before planning a trip to Tamayong Prayer Mountain, according to their website (, a letter of request should be sent to the Central Administrator at the Central Headquarters located at Phil-Japan Friendship Highway, Catitipan, Davao City, Philippines two weeks prior to the scheduled visit.

Since it's a prayer center, proper clothing should be observed. Wearing of rubber slippers is not allowed, ergo, Ipanema is prohibited in this place.

Take Time
So if you still haven't decided where to spend your summer or if you've already made a plan for the coming hot sunny season but no schedule yet for meditation, why not visit this place.

Just for one day, detach yourself from your computer, iPod, iPhone, MacBook, busy lifestyle, noisy streets of the city… and be in a place so quiet that all you can hear is the chirping of the birds, the swooshing of the wind, and your voice talking to God.
Tamayong Prayer Mountain

[Photo from]

Monday, March 09, 2009

Boodle Fight

Boodle Fight

(Photo left)--I saw this picture in my brother-in-law's digital camera. This was taken last month during the Boy Scouts camping in Malagos, Davao City. It's a 30-to-45-minute ride from the city.

This is boodle fight. That was the first time I've heard of it.
Boodle Fight

Boodle Fight, what is it?
(Photo right from military style of eating, Boodle Fight is a symbol of brotherhood where food is served and spread on top of the banana leaves. The prepared Filipino food, usually rice and pancit, should be eaten with bare hands by a group of people. No plates. No spoon. No fork.

Maybe some people will find it unhygienic or uncultured, but sometimes you cannot be too choosy, especially when you want to survive in the middle of nowhere. You just have to satiate your starving stomach, or else.

Friday, March 06, 2009

No iPhones or iPods

No to iPhone(Photo: -- It had been on the news last Wednesday (Philippine time) about the Gates's family.

I sympathized with Melinda Gates because I, too, can't bring iPhone or iPod inside our house, not that they are banned items but because I don’t have one. Surely, even the richest family cannot have everything they want, huh?

At the end of last year, iPhones are exclusively available at Globe Telecom offices. The price ranges from PHP22, 000 to PHP28, 000, depending on the capacity of the iPhone. Since telecompanies in the Philippines are utilizing subscriber identity module (SIM) cards, these extravagant iPhones are modified to recognize SIM.

iPods have long been available in the Philippines, at a choking price of course. But if you are short of budget, and you really want to be "in" the group, ayPod or muragiPod is good for you. You can have it for only PHP 1,000.

Melinda and Bill Gates
Going back to the Gates's, Melinda and Bill Gates are actively involved in humanitarian programs through their Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation of which the foundation has global health program, global development program and the United States program.

Last month, Bill Gates unleashed a swarm of mosquitoes in a conference to spread awareness about the malarial disease. To help develop a malarial vaccine, it was revealed that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would provide $168.7 million to the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative.

Well, I guess, for Bill Gates, there are more important things than having an iPod or an iPhone.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Village Idiot Savan't Blog

Village Idiot SavantWhen Viewpoint Publication a.k.a Travel Philippines Entertainment wasn’t born yet, blog hopping was already a part of my routine when I'm online.

There are blogs that I loathe because of poor grammar. Although, there are blogs filled with pertinent information but I feel nauseated when I think of how they mistreated the English language.

However, there are also blogs possessing impeccable and nicely written articles, such as Dominique Cimafranca's Village Idiot Savant.

Dom is a good friend of mine, who's currently living in Davao City. He's a professor in a university teaching open source technologies, like Ubuntu. He's also a writer, a poet and a geek (?).

I was never curious about the name of his blog, "Village Idiot Savant." I know that savant means sage, but the "village idiot" part didn’t tickle my fancy, until I stumble upon the meaning of "idiot savant."

What is "idiot savant" anyway? Idiot savant is a term used to describe people who are mentally impaired; people having extraordinary skills. It was told that idiot savant originated from the concept of village idiot.

During the Middle Ages, "Village Idiots" uncommon abilities were considered to be witchcraft and most of them were killed.

But Dom's Village Idiot Savant is not about witchcraft, instead, it deals with, well, just anything under the sun.

"I jump back and forth between literature and technology," Dom confessed.

Also in his blog, Dom discussed topics that are political in nature accompanied with sarcastic comments. But my favorite post is still "Don't Be Caught Dead" and dot dot dot. The article has something to do with "baconized underwear." What's baconized underwear? It's up for you to find out.

I got to say that Dom's blog is undeniably engaging.

Btw, thanks for the coffee, Sir Dom. :D

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

FDA Warning: A Psoriasis Treatment That Can Kill

Raptiva: Psoriasis treatment Anyone who has been taking Raptiva, a psoriasis treatment, should start heeding the US Food and Drug Administration warning. Or if you know of someone who takes this psoriasis treatment, you have to give out this FDA's advisory.

Raptiva is a treatment for mild to moderate psoriasis, a hereditary skin disorder characterized by scaly papules and plaques. Raptiva has been approved by the FDA in October 2003. However, the US FDA announced in February 2009 about Raptiva's linked to rare brain infection. There are three confirmed cases and one possible case of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy or PML and three, out of those four people, are now dead.

PML is a rare but sometimes fatal viral disease that occurs in people who are immunosuppressed or immunodeficient.

Genentech, the manufacturer of Raptiva, is obligated to add a Black Box Warning on Raptiva's packaging to alert physicians as well as users about the risks of PML from taking Raptiva. Thereby, the drug makers are liable for any injuries caused by Raptiva.

In this manner, you are eligible to receive money for your medical bills and other damages caused by taking Raptiva. For free, confidential initial legal consultation contact Mark & Associates by calling 1-866-50-RIGHTS (1-866-507-4448) . For detailed information about this psoriasis treatment, Raptiva, you may want to visit


The Supermodel Without Belly Button

Karolina Kurkova

I've seen her pictures on glossy, fashion magazines and watched her on the runway shows, but I didn’t notice her NAVEL until E! emphasized her missing belly button.

Supermodel Karolina Kurkova is one of the Victoria's Secret Angels and was included on Forbes as one of the highest paying models, joining the likes of supermodels Gisele Bundchen and Heidi Klum.

This blonde, green-eyed, 5 '11" supermodel, who was born in Děčín, Czechoslovakia, started modeling at the age of 15 when her friend sent a photo of Karolina Kurkova to one of the agencies in Prague, and the rest, as they say, was history.

Karolina KurkovaHowever last year, during a runway show (photo right:, the press disapproved supermodel Karolina Kurkova's visible back fat and cellulite. Then it was later revealed that Karolina Kurkova is suffering from hyperthyroidism, which would explain her recent weight gain.

On the other hand, Karolina Kurkova's athletic and not-so-thin body is still considered sexy by some people unlike her co-angel, Miranda Kerr (Orlando Bloom's girlfriend) for example, whose body can easily be "blown away by air," figuratively (don't take it to heart MK).

Since, KK, it's your 25th birthday yesterday, February 28, let me greet you a happy birthday.

And I'm therefore wishing you'd read this and hoping (cross fingers) you'd reciprocate the gesture by giving me free air tickets to Prague, Czechoslovakia. c")

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