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Sustainable tourism for Mt. Pulag National Park

The third highest peak in the country, Mount Pulag, which is part of the 11,500 hectares Mount Pulag National Park straddling the three provinces of Benguet, Ifugao, and Nueva Vizcaya, has been closed off on all weekends of this year. To me, the decision is inconsistent with the region’s tourism goals. Closing the area reveals that the towns and officials are…

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#ThrowbackThursday: the little drummer girl

Recent headlines of two women agents tagged as the killers of Kim Jong-nam, half brother to the North Korea leader, bring to mind John Le Carre’s classic, The Little Drummer Girl. History shows women have been as involved as men in the business of spying so the issue isn’t gender, but rather why and how women thought to…

My two-cents on V-Day

​ For me, the above qualities are everything that could define perfect love. They are the actions that perfect love. They’re what we search the entire world for; finding it, the reason we pledge forever; and losing it, why we fervently build monumental reminders. The other week I dreamt of somebody I knew from my…

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Friday4farmers: black gold

  New knowledge I’ve acquired going into 2017 is…composting with worms. Vermicomposting. A whole new world of shit. Good shit. And it’s callef black gold. I learned about this during my evaluation of a post-disaster shelter project that has a livelihood component. Reading through the pile of project documents, vermicomposting training module in this case, interview with…

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#ThrowbackThursday: Greek kindness

At the heart of the matter, I believe, is the concept of philoxenia, the obligation in the Greek culture to treat strangers as honoured guests. This obligation is so ancient that its origins are thought to lie in the belief that, you never know, these strangers that you’ve just met could well be gods. Zeus…

“Truth about motherhood”

So, it’s vive la Miss France! From my list, five out of twelve plus one went in with the judges’. Not bad for a first timer. As the local online universe reels from the ladies’ responses to the Q & A, but there’s no right or wrong answer, is there, for pageants, only alignment ie. utterance of that…

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How’s our English?

The news about Miss Philippines receiving flak for English grammar errors  while speaking at a press conference opens up a long-running issue in Philippine education. In fact, with K12 launched in 2012, public schools have added ‘Mother Tongue’ as a subject in Grades 1 to 3  as “studies show this helps children learn not only their lessons,…

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Candidates in my Top 12

Coronation Day is the most anticipated event in the weeks long 65th Miss Universe pageant activities. It’s when Tourism Secretary’s banner cry of “all eyes are on the Philippines” does come true. Two more days is it? Who shall it be this time? I’ve been polling friends about their bets and their replies are quite diverse.…

Fridays4farmers: ode to the farmer

But the farmer he must feed us all. The prayer at table is often uttered in thanksgiving to God for the food. But it is good to also include blessings for the farmer(s) who actually planted and cared and harvested ingredients of our food despite vagaries of sun, wind, and rain; for farmers to be…

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#ThrowbackThursday: Bride Schools

​In the 1950s, Japanese women seeking a new life in America had to learn about more than just visa requirements. They also had to learn how to cook hamburgers, entertain neighbors, and confidently walk in high heels. Eyeliner application was, apparently, a vital skill. These immigrants weren’t just any women. They were the “war brides”…

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Movies and TV dramas to watch this year

Last year, I was able to watch only five movies and two TV dramas. Not bad though. There were years when I hadn’t been able to watch anything at all. This year, my work schedule permiting, I’ve lined up the following initial list to watch: Oro (‘Gold’ in English) is an independent film by award-winning…