Taal, Batangas, Philippines: THE MIRACULOUS WELL OF STA. LUCIA

The Miraculous Well of Sta. Lucia is a spring-fed well where two women saw the reflection of the Virgin of Caysasay. The well is located in Barrio Caysasay, in the heritage town of Taal, in the province of Batangas, in the Philippines.

It can be accessed from the San Lorenzo Ruiz Steps of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay. A narrow walkway from the steps leads visitors to the well.

I joined a heritage tour of the town of Taal and this well was part of the itinerary. My group consisted of my college buddies and their partners. It was late morning when we walked up the many steps of the San Lorenzo Ruiz Steps from the shrine to the well. The walk up was tiring due to the temperature and humidity.

It is best to bring bottled water, a hat or folding umbrella, or even a battery-operated hand fan, especially for those who sweat easily. Bringing an extra t-shirt or blouse is also advisable since the heritage tour entails a lot of walking as well as going in and out of air-conditioned museum-houses. All of these items could be stashed in a small backpack.

A-Shrine-6-postAt some point along the steps, we were instructed to turn left where we had to go over a knee-high concrete boundary (see cemented elevation, right part of photo). Members of our group supported each other by helping those who found it difficult to step up then down the said boundary.

BeFunky-collageThis led to a shaded pathway going along private houses. Signs showed the way and indicated that we were nearing our coveted destination.

Z-well-4Along the way to the well, you will see a statue of Our Lady, with rosaries left by devotees

Z-well-5                       The Prayer to Our Lady of Caysasay, on the wall near the well

Z-well-6-okLots of flowers offerings … You can also buy candles from the peddlers in the Shrine, light it, and leave it nearby, on your way to the miraculous well

I was sweating but was keen on reaching the miraculous well with my buddies. I estimate that it took us about 15 minutes to reach the well from the shrine.

Anyway, we finally reached the site. We went up through a narrow passage, then downward towards the well. There were many people around the well.

BeFunky-collage (2)On a shallow, cemented, and exposed portion of the well, two men were scooping water using buckets attached to long wooden-poles and then pouring the “miraculous” water into a container for religious visitors to dip their handkerchiefs or hands.

Devotees then dabbed the precious water on any part of their bodies that needed healing. I must confess that I dabbed water on almost all over my body to make sure I did not miss any spot. I figured it will not hurt me to do so since I traveled all the way to get there, so what the heck!

A small container was available for voluntary contributions to the men who continuously scooped water from the well.

Some people bring a small container and fill it up with the water to give to anyone far away who cannot go to the well themselves, so they may, in turn, also avail of this “miraculous water”. Thus, for the more elder senior citizens in the Taal Heritage Tour who feel that they cannot physically undergo this experience, I suggest they just wait at the shrine and ask someone to fill a small water container from the well for them.

Here are 3 facts about theMiraculous Well of Sta. Lucia:

  1. Since its discovery, many have attested that the spring water has miraculous healing and therapeutic powers.
  2. The spot in the well that reflected the image of Our Lady, is marked by a coral stone arch with a bas relief image of the Virgin on its face. The arch was built in early 1600.
  3. The site of the well is known as “Banal naPook” (Sacred Site) and vestiges of the spring running close to the well is known as “Banal na Tubig” (Sacred Water).

I paid for my tour so this is not a sponsored post.

The information was obtained from my hardworking and knoweledgable tour guide, Mr. Art Mojica (09165378973 and atmojica660@yahoo.com) and the Wikipedia page “Our Lady of Caysasay”.* Contact Art for an enlightening heritage tour of Taal.

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you. Have you ever been to this well? Did any miracle happen to you? Simply scroll to “Leave a Reply” and enter your comment in the box. Please scroll and click the “Like” tab and “Facebook” to share this post. Do not forget to follow me by clicking “Follow” on the lower right corner of your device.

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*” Our Lady of Caysasay,” accessed July 3, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Caysasay.

Say, Say, Say: NO BORACAY-LIKE CLOSURE FOR EL NIDO

Have you booked a vacation in El Nido for the end of 2018 or for the first half of 2019? Are you alarmed by the current news about its rehabilitation and afraid that your dream vacation in this beautiful island will be affected?

Well, fret no more! Here are some updates and tips, since I am also affected with my December 7-11scheduled vacation to this designated “best beach and island destination”.1

Let’s look back on this year (2018):

  1. In February, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) MIMAROPA2 formed Task Force El Nido to address the environmental problems of the island, prioritizing the delineation of the standard easement zones and timberland areas, the degradation of water quality in Bacuit Bay3, garbage disposal, unregulated construction of structures, and the wastewater management.4
  2. In March4:

(a) Malacañang urged the local government and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to immediately demolish illegal structures built along the town’s foreshore in violation of zoning and easement laws, and to take the initiative in implementing environmental laws;

(b) the local government underwent a cleanup drive and regulated the use of plastics, cellophane and Styrofoam as food and drink containers, among others;

(c) DENR Secretary Cimatu ordered the eviction of 32 businesses5 found to have been in violation of the 3-meter coastal easement provided under the Philippine Water Code for classified urban areas like El Nido, inspite of an order from local officials that gave a grace period to the affected establishments before they voluntarily demolish the structures;

(d) the Task Force issued 407 eviction notices to structures built on declared easement zones and forestlands and served violation notices to 253 establishments found non-compliant with laws regulating wastewater discharge and easement compelling them to pay penalties ranging from PHP20,000 to 200,000 per day. Erring establishment owners were given time to comply through technical conferences facilitated by the regional Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).

3. Thereafter, national government officials met with local officials to discuss several problems, especially overcrowding and pollution in the lagoons due to the large influx of tourists (peaking at over 200,000 in 2017), as well as cooking and throwing trash.

4. President Duterte told Palawan residents to impose stricter regulations and put a cap on the number of tourists to protect its natural wonders.

5. In May, the town and DENR cleared the main beach in Bacuit Bay so it is now accessible to tourists.

6. In August, a photo of garbage floating around the Secret Lagoon went viral on social media.6 Actually, 140 sacks of foreign plastic trash were collected, mostly (70%) plastic bottles of foreign origin that found their way into the Secret Lagoon on Miniloc Island. Other debris were Styrofoam, rubber scraps, plastic wrappers, nylon and ropes. A DENR official said that the waste was carried by ocean currents and strong winds, made stronger by monsoon rains that hit Palawan. This led to a cleanup drive by the owners and workers of local tourist establishments and members of the Philippine Coast Guard.

7. In October, the local government demolished 95% of illegal structures in the town proper’s easement zone, according to Municipal Administrator Rene Jay Dela Calzada. He added that these structures were legal until the shoreline receded due to the gradual rise in sea level.7

8. In November, water pollution levels around the main beach area in the island have gone down significantly, according to the latest tests conducted by the EMB. DENR MIMAROPA said the results of water tests in Barangays Corong-Corong, Maligaya and Masagana in Bacuit Bay, after 7 months of Task Force El Nido’s monitoring and cleanup drive, indicated that the fecal coliform levels had gone down to “normal”. However, Barangay Buena Suerte, a populated area, has a fecal coliform level of 1,600 MPN (most probable number) per 100 millimeters, and still needs to be improved, based on the prescribed 100 MPN.

The local government also intensified its crackdown on illegal tour operators and have started apprehending boat tour operators with no proper documents.7

9. On November 28, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año went to El Nido to discuss the rehabilitation plans for the island with the local government officials, just like what they did in Boracay.

What’s next, especially in the next 6 months?

  1. El Nido will be rehabilitated but will not be closed off, according to the Department of Tourism. There are many establishments that abide by government requirements and the local government took initiatives to address the town’s problems, so total closure is not necessary.

Environment Secretary Cimatu said that he ordered the deployment of 50 personnel from the DENR to conduct a baseline assessment of El Nido and oversee the rehabilitation effort.4

The government is preparing an executive order to be issued by President Duterte detailing the rehabilitation plan for El Nido. The DENR will also ask the national government to allocate funds for activities that the town would need, including a plan to transfer the local port.4

Secretary Cimatu, on November 28, 2018, gave local officials 6 months to complete a rehabilitation program to rid the town’s beaches of pollution and enforce environmental compliance of commercial establishments. By then, the town’s water treatment and sewerage project would have been completed.4

2. It was reported that 22 establishments will be closed due to various violations. Fifty other establishments will be strictly monitored by DENR.4,7

3. El Nido Municipal Administrator Dela Calzada said authorities would soon limit the number of tourists visiting key island destinations to preserve the area.

The local government has set the tourist limit at the island’s Big Lagoon to 60 per hour with kayak trips at 30 per hour; and, for the Small Lagoon, at only 30 tourists and 15 kayak trips per hour.7

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said the government will make sure that thousands of tourist boats will not spill wastewater and oil into the bay.

4. Tour packages will also be redesigned to regulate the number of tourists. El Nido used to offer 4 standard tour packages, with 5 to 6 attractions per package; soon, there will be 7 tour packages with fewer destinations per package.7

5. Early this year, single use plastics in tour packages, particularly water bottles, have been banned. Coast guard personnel inspect boats and confiscate plastic bottles before they are allowed to sail.7

6. An interagency body is set to undertake a massive cleanup of El Nido.4,7 The DENR will follow the same time frame it employed in rehabilitating Boracay Island since it has the same problems: quality of water, improper sewage system, and easement violations. DENR Secretary Cimatu said that the rehabilitation of El Nido will only cover small areas with minimum government intervention.7

7. DENR will continue its campaign against erring establishments off Bacuit Bay3, hopefully, by the end of the year.4

8. The government has yet to determine the carrying capacity of El Nido, but funds for the study are already on standby, according to Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat.7

9. DENR Secretary Cimatu is pushing for a 20-meter no-build zone. He said the current 3-meter easement zone from the shoreline should be adjusted “to allow tourists to enjoy the sand and the view with enough space,” as a tourist destination. Unfortunately, land titles were issued by the DENR in the 1980s/earlier.7

10. The local government is building a centralized sewage treatment plant that is expected to be operational in 2019.7

11. The government is pushing for the strict implementation of Municipal Ordinance No. 29, or the sanitation ordinance, that prohibits any house or establishment from discharging liquid waste directly to the ocean, according to Mayor Nieves Rosento.7

12. A dedicated security task force is also in the pipeline to ensure the safety of all tourists visiting the islands.4

So, what should tourists do when visiting El Nido, starting December 2018?

  1. Be a responsible tourist. Be cooperative; follow all new guidelines as well as rules/regulations set by the local government/Task Force El Nido, if any.
  2. Be an eco-warrior: bring your personal refillable water bottle. Remember, single use plastic water bottles are banned during island hopping.
  3. Drink alcoholic beverages only in licensed establishments. Do not drink on the beach to avoid generating trash and broken glass.
  4. Do not litter. Keep your garbage until you find a trash can.
  5. Smoke only in designated places and properly dispose of your cigarette butts.
  6. Respect the environment. Do not collect shells, sand, and other natural resources.
  7. Leave only footprints. Just keep taking photos and videos of the beautiful landscape and flora/fauna.
  8. Level your expectations, be patient and understanding. Bear in mind that El Nido is undergoing rehabilitation so there would be on-going construction, repairs, etc. Just remember that all these projects are for sustainable tourism in the municipality, for future generations to visit, appreciate and enjoy.

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you. Are you a responsible traveler? Do you have any other tips for El Nido travellers? Simply scroll to “Leave a Reply” and enter your comment in the box. Please scroll and click the “Like” tab and “Facebook” to share this post. Do not forget to follow me by clicking “Follow” on the lower right corner of your device.

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1CNNGo named El Nido as the “Best Beach and Island Destination in the Philippines” for its “extraordinary natural splendor and ecosystem,” according to the Wikipedia page “El Nido, Palawan”.8

2MIMAROPA, or the Southwestern Tagalog Region (as of 2016), is a Philippine region located in the island group of Luzon, with Calapan as its regional center. It has 6 local government units (LGUs): Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Puerto Princesa (a city in Palawan), and Romblon. This region was formerly called Region IV-B (2002-2016). NOTE: MIMAROPA is an acronym for this region’s provinces: MIndoro (Occidental and Oriental), MArinduque, ROmblon, PAlawan.

3Bacuit Bay is a huge archipelago or group of 45 limestone islands clustered together, offering clear and cool watershome to interesting marine life and coral reefs, plus captivating beaches, marble cliffs, awesome lagoons, mangrove forests, enchanting dive sites, caves, among others. It is considered one of the most beautiful bays in the world. The largest town in the vicinity is El Nido so tourists enter this bay through that town.9

4www.newsinfo.inquirer.net

5A municipal order was served on March 2018 to the following establishments7:

  1. Amigo’s Inn
  2. Engel Nido
  3. Angel Wish
  4. Caalan Beach Resort
  5. Cadlao Resort
  6. Cadlao Resort Extension
  7. Café Athena
  8. Chislyk
  9. El Nido Beach Resort
  10. El Nido Boutique Art and Café
  11. El Nido Garden
  12. El Nido Reef Strand Resort
  13. Golden Monkey
  14. Hadefe Beach Resort
  15. Hidden Beach Resort
  16. Isla Expeditions
  17. Jarace Grill
  18. Kalinga Beach Resort
  19. La Salanganne
  20. Lally And Abet Extension
  21. Linda Leona Store
  22. Mezzanine El Nido
  23. Nido Bay Inn
  24. Organic Spa
  25. Palawan Pawnshop
  26. Prince’s
  27. Relucio Inn
  28. Rosanna’s Pension
  29. Shorepass Lodge
  30. Sonny Sails
  31. The Nest
  32. TTD Store

These establishments were given 30 days to vacate and demolish their property that crossed the 3-meter easement zone. I still need to find an article regarding an update on these establishments.

6www.news.mb.com.ph

7www.news.abs-cbn.com

8“El Nido, Palawan,” accessed October 26, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Nido,_Palawan.

9www.elnidotourism.com

Photo Credit: Some photos in the featured collage image were obtained from Gani Ricarte of Hello El Nido! Just search for his website: www.helloelnido.com

2019 Philippine Holidays and Long Weekends … Plan Now and Travel More!

Wandering Filipino Senior Citizens (SCs), the year 2019 is in our favor!

Just look at my table below and see all the long weekends! There are 7 long weekends but if your working travel companion/s will be able to take a leave, you can all enjoy 10 long weekends in 2019!

Actually, you can even stretch it to 14 long weekends, provided that your working travel buddies can take a leave of two days off before/after the holidays which fall on a Wednesday – Labor Day (May 1), Eidul Fitr (June 5 – to be officially announced), Independence Day (June 12), and Ninoy Aquino Day (August 21).

So, what are you waiting for, holiday-loving Seniors? Start planning your 2019 trips! Let’s go!

    Holidays        Day 1         Day 2         Day 3         Day 4
 

Rizal Day2018

and

New Year 2019

 

December 29, 2018

(Saturday)

December 30, 2018

Rizal Day

(Sunday)

National Regular Holiday2

December 31, 2018

 New Year’s Eve

(Monday)

Special Non-Working Day3

January 1, 2019

 New Year (Tuesday)

National Regular Holiday

Chinese New Year  

February 2

(Saturday)

 

 

February 3

(Sunday)

 

February 4

(Monday)

Take a leave, if still working

February 5

(Tuesday)

Special Non-Working Day

People Power Anniversary4

(EDSA Revolution Anniversary)

 

February 23

(Saturday)

 

 

February 24

(Sunday)

 

February 25

(Monday)

Special Non-Working Day

 Araw ng Kagitingan5

(Day of Valor)

April 6

(Saturday)

 

April 7

(Sunday)

 

April 8

(Monday)

Take a leave, if still working

April 9

(Tuesday)

National Regular Holiday

  Holy Week6 April 18

Maundy Thursday7

National Regular Holiday

April 19

Good Friday8

National Regular Holiday

April 20

Black Saturday9

(Saturday)

Special Non-Working Day

April 21

Easter

Sunday

 Observance

 Labor Day10 May 1

(Wednesday)

National Regular Holiday

Eidul Fitr11 June 5

(Wednesday)

National Regular Holiday

This date is tentative and will only be confirmed once the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) informs the President’s office of the actual day and a proclamation is made thereafter.
 

Independence Day12

June 12

(Wednesday)

National Regular Holiday

Eid

al-Adha13

August 10

(Saturday)

 

August 12

(Monday)

Feast of the Sacrifice

National Regular Holiday

This date is tentative and will only be confirmed once the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) informs the President’s office of the actual day and a proclamation is made thereafter.

 

August 11

(Sunday)

 

Ninoy Aquino Day14 August 21

(Wednesday)

Special Non-Working Day

 

National Heroes’ Day15

August 24

(Saturday)

 

August 25

(Sunday)

 

August 26

(Monday)

National Regular Holiday

 

 

All Saints’/Souls’ Day

November 1

All Saints’ Day16

(Friday)

Special Non-Working Day

November 2

All Souls’ Day17

(Saturday)

Special Non-Working Day

November 3

(Sunday)

 

Bonifacio

Day18

November 30

(Saturday)

National Regular Holiday

December 1

(Sunday)

Feast of the Immaculate Conception19 December 8

(Sunday)

Special Non-Working Day

 

 

Christmas

 

December 22

(Sunday)

 

December 23

(Monday)

 

December 24

Christmas Eve

(Tuesday)

Special Non-Working Day

December 25

Christmas Day

(Wednesday)

National Regular Holiday

 

Rizal

Day12019

and

New

Year

2020

 

December 28

(Saturday)

 

December 30

Rizal Day

(Monday)

National Regular Holiday

December 31

New Year’s Eve

(Tuesday)

Special Non-Working Day

January 1, 2020

New Year (Wednesday)

National Regular Holiday

December 29

(Sunday)

 

I will update this calendar, should it be necessary, if/when other subsequent official proclamations are made by the Office of the President of the Philippines.

Start planning for your 2019 travels, Wandering Senior Citizens! See you around …

Did you find this post informative? Do you have suggestions about where to go during these holidays? I would like to hear from you. Simply scroll and click “Leave a comment”. Do share this post with your Facebook friends, follow me by clicking on the bottom right corner of your device, and do not forget to like this post.  Thank you!

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1Rizal Day is a day dedicated to honor the heroic death anniversary of Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. This is considered a fixed National Regular Holiday2, held every December 30.

2A National Regular Holiday is a holiday which has a fixed date and is celebrated yearly in the Philippines like Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. See the table for holidays declared as such.

3A Special Non-Working Dayis a non-working day/holiday in the Philippines, enacted by Congress or declared by the President of the Philippines. See the table for dates declared as such.

4EDSA Revolution Anniversary, or the People Power Revolution, is a Special Non-Working Day3 held every February 25. It was actually a series of popular demonstrations in the Philippines from February 22-25, 1986, mostly in the famous highway, EDSA, short for Epifanio de los Santos Avenue. It is considered a non-violent revolution which eventually led to the ouster of President Ferdinand Marcos.

5Araw ng Kagitingan, or Day of Valor, is a fixed National Regular Holiday2 held every April 9. It commemorates the Fall of Bataan during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, and honors the courage of Filipinos and Americans during World War II. This information is obtained from the Wikipedia page “Public Holidays in the Philippines”.20

6Holy Week in the Philippines is called “Mahal na Araw” in Filipino or “Semana Santa” in Spanish. It starts with Palm Sunday and ends on Black/Holy Saturday9. For 2019, Holy Week will be from April 14 till April 20, followed by Easter Sunday.

7Maundy Thursday, or “Huwebes Santo”, is a National Regular Holiday2 in the Philippines. It will be celebrated on April 18 for 2019. This day marks the beginning of the Paschal Triduum (the 3-day period that recalls the passion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus). The Procession of the Passion of Christ, the Mass of the Lord’s Last Supper, the re-enactment of the “Washing of the Feet of the 12 Apostles” and Visita Iglesia (Spanish for “Church Visit”, a traditional 7-church visitation by Catholics) are held on this day. This information is obtained from the Wikipedia page “Holy Week in the Philippines”.21

8Good Friday is the Friday of Holy Week6 which is observed in the Philippines as a National Regular Holiday2. It will be celebrated on April 19 for 2019. This day commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus and his subsequent death. Filipino Catholics observe this day with solemn street processions, the recitation of the Pasyon (an uninterrupted “singing” of the Philippine epic narrative of the life of Jesus Christ), the Way of the Cross, the commemoration of Jesus’ Seven Last Words and the Senakulo (a Passion Play depicting the trial, suffering and death of Jesus Christ). The highlight of the day is the Santo Entierro (“Holy Interment”) where the statue of the dead Christ is brought around town, followed by images of saints, with the image of the Virgin Mary, in black and gold, always the last image in the procession. Towns in the Philippines have their own ways of celebrating this day. This information is obtained from the Wikipedia page “Holy Week in the Philippines”.21

9Black/Holy Saturday is the Saturday of Holy Week which is observed in the Philippines as a Special Non-Working Day3. This day marks the period of the crucifixion of Jesus and His resurrection. It is also called “Sabado de Gloria”. It will be celebrated on April 20 for 2019.

10Labor Day, or “Araw ng Manggagawa”, is a fixed National Regular Holiday2 held every May 1 in the Philippines. Labor organizations and unions usually hold protests in major cities in the country. This is also a day when the President announces good news in favor of workers nationwide.

11Eid al-Fitr is the end of the month-long fast during Ramadan22among Filipino-Muslims, along with Muslims worldwide. It will be celebrated on June 5 for 2019. It means “feast of breaking the fast”. It originated from the Islamic Prophet Muhammad as thanksgiving to Allah. It was declared as a national regular holiday2 in the Philippines in 2002. The date of celebration varies yearly because it is based on the Islamic calendar “Hijra” and is also dependent on the lunar calendar. This information is obtained from the Wikipedia page “Eid al-Fitr”.23

12Independence Day, or “Araw ng Kalayaan”, is a National Regular Holiday2 held every June 12. It is dedicated to the anniversary of the proclamation of the Philippine Declaration of Independence on June 12, 1898. TRIVIA: From 1947 to 1964, Philippine Independence Day was celebrated on July 4. This information is obtained from the Wikipedia page “Public Holidays in the Philippines”.20

13Eid al-Adha is the Muslim celebration that honors the willingness of Ibrahim to obey Allah. It will be celebrated on August 12 in 2019. It also commemorates the end of the Hajj (the required Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca) when Muslims sacrifice a camel, cow, goat or sheep to be sent to the poor as a donation. It was declared as a national regular holiday2 in the Philippines in 2002. Just like Eidul Fitr11, the date of celebration varies yearly because it is based on the Islamic calendar “Hijra” and is also dependent on the lunar calendar. This information is obtained from the Wikipedia page “Eid al-Adha”.24

14Ninoy Aquino Day is held every August 21 and is considered a fixed Special Non-Working Day3. It is the celebration of the anniversary of the assassination/death of Benigno Aquino, Jr. in 1983 which eventually led to the People Power Revolution4 in 1986 and the ouster of President Ferdinand Marcos. This information is obtained from the Wikipedia page “Public Holidays in the Philippines”.20

 15National Heroes’ Day, or “Araw ng mgaBayani”, is a National Regular Holiday2held every last Monday of August so for 2019, it will be held on August 26. It commemorates the anniversary of the 1896 Cry of Pugad Lawin25 by the Katipunan26 which started the Philippine Revolution27.This information is obtained from the Wikipedia page “Heroes Day”.28

16All Saints’ Day is a fixed National Regular Holiday2 held every November 1 in the Philippines. It is also called Undas, Todos los Santos, or Araw ng mga Santo. Filipinos visit the memorial parks/cemeteries to honor and remember their dearly departed loved ones, as well as to get-together with family and other loved ones, often returning to their provinces to do so.

17All Souls’ Day is a fixed Special Non-Working Day3 held every November 2 in the Philippines. It is also called the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, referring to the souls of all Christians who passed away. However, generally, Filipinos traditionally visit the cemeteries on November 1.

18Bonifacio Day is the celebration of the birth of Andres Bonifacio29, held every November 30. This day is considered a fixedNational Regular Holiday2.

19The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a traditional Catholic feast date, held every December 8. It honors the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Patroness of the Philippines and the sinless mother of Jesus Christ. It was first observed as a Special Non-Working Day3 in 2018. This information is obtained from the Wikipedia page “Public Holidays in the Philippines”.20

20“Public Holidays in the Philippines”. accessed March 6, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Holidays_in_the_Philppines.

21“Holy Week in the Philippines,” accessed March 6, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Week_in_the_Philippines.

22Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar; a month of fasting for all Muslims worldwide to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammud. It lasts from 29-30 days, depending on the visual sightings of the crescent moon. This information is obtained from the Wikipedia page “Ramadan”.30

23“Eid al-Fitr,” accessed March 6, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eid_al-Fitr.

24“Eid al-Adha,” accessed March 6, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eid_al-Adha.

25The Cry of Pugad Lawin, or the Cry of Balintawak, refers to first clash between the Katipuneros (members of the Katipunan26) and the Spanish Civil Guards, which is considered the start of the Philippine Revolution27 against the Spanish Regime (1521-1898) in the country. On August 23, 1896, the Katipuneros tore up their community tax certificates (“cedulas”) in defiance of their allegiance to Spain, amidst patriotic shouts. This information is obtained from the Wikipedia page “Cry of Pugad Lawin”.31

26The Katipunan is the Philippine revolutionary secret society founded by anti-Spanish Filipinos in Manila in 1892 which aimed to gain independence from Spain through a revolution, according to the Wikipedia page “Katipunan”.32

27The Philippine Revolution is the revolution that started in 1896 when the Spaniards discovered the Katipunan26, and ended in 1898.

28“Heroes’ Day,” accessed March 6, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroes’_Day.

29Andres Bonifacio (1863-1897) was a Filipino revolutionary leader and president of the Tagalog Republic (a revolutionary government involved in the Philippine Revolution27 against Spain and the Philippine-American War, established in 1896) as “Supremo” (Supreme Leader). He was also called “The Father of the Philippine Revolution”. This information is obtained from the Wikipedia page “Andres Bonifacio”.33

30“Ramadan,” accessed March 6, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramadan.

31“Cry of Pugad Lawin,” accessed March 6, 2018,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cry_of_Pugad_Lawin.

32“Katipunan,” accessed March 6, 2018,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katipunan.

33“Andres Bonifacio,” accessed March 6, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andres_Bonifacio.

Photo Credits: The collage consists of pictures from the following sources: http://www.gmanetwork.com, http://www.ibtimes.ph, http://www.officialgazette.gov.ph, and http://www.philstar.com

Say, Say Say: THE NATIONAL HIGHWAYS IN THE PHILIPPINES

“Our roads and sidewalks must only be used by motorists and pedestrians.” – declared Department of Public Works and Highways National Capital Region Director Melvin B. Navarro, on August 2017, during a clearing operation along Road Radial 10 (R-10) in Manila

Hello, dearest Seniors! Can you recall the road trips you’ve done around our beautiful country? Religious pilgrimages during Holy Week, going back to one’s town during fiestas, riding a bus all the way to the northern or southern parts of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, all these and more enable us to appreciate the landscape and local culture of towns along the route.

However, I am sure you have experienced times when your vehicle was cruising along the national highway passing through a town or city and suddenly, your driver slows down and this goes on for several kilometers.

All passengers in the vehicle eventually become impatient due to the slow pace until finally, the driver gets to overtake, only to find out that a tricycle was at the front of the long line of vehicles, occupying the leftmost lane, or worse, the only lane.

Your driver desperately wants to overtake but cannot, due to the continuous flow of vehicles going in the opposite direction, or the zigzagging or winding road. Either instance would make it difficult and dangerous to do so.

Luckily, you might find yourself in towns with well paved 2-lane national roads. I personally feel elated when the roads are widened from one lane to at least double lanes. However, sometimes, when one goes along these newly paved streets, one will observe that vehicles cannot use the rightmost lane because of “obstructions”: old/existing electric poles at the center of the extended lane; old trees that might have been there for the longest time but with delays in their removal due to environmental technicalities; “palay” (harvested, unhusked rice) being sun-dried; parked vehicles fronting commercial establishments whose building permits have been approved without a provision for appropriate parking space; extensions of small and medium enterprises like carinderias and related/transient eateries, vulcanizing shops, carwashes, roadside fruit/pasalubong stands; and, even tents of homes with on-going wakes providing karaoke and dining tables for visitors.

A-road obstruction-1-okNewly cemented road for road widening project but look – electric poles at the center of the 2 new lanes along with cars parked, so what is the use of these new lanes?

Just imagine all these obstructions, compounded by jeepneys, provincial buses, vehicles carrying perishables to/from towns/cities, slow tricycles along the leftmost lane, and motorcycles with unprotected drivers and passengers (which might include a wife and one child to two children). In addition, some drivers of the two and three-wheeled mentioned vehicles treat the broken white line divider as their personal lane. So tell me, how can a driver comfortably and safely drive/maneuver along our country’s national highways?

SUVs, or larger vehicles, have difficulty using the leftmost lane with slow-moving vehicles also using said lane since the right lane has obstructions. Furthermore, fast-paced motorcycle drivers have the tendency to overtake at the right side of the road which might cause accidents if the drivers cruising along the correct lanes need to turn right and fail to see fast-approaching motorcycles.

Sounds familiar? Gosh, I have witnessed all these while driving from Lumban to Calamba (both in the province of Laguna), before entering SLEX, enroute to Metro Manila. Sigh …

The high budget of constructing, or expanding, national highways using millions of taxpayers’ money is not enjoyed to the fullest by driving taxpayers! Is it just not enough for the government to say – build, build, build. How about adding – clear, clear, clear the national highwaysthus enabling vehicles to use ALL lanes!

But, Pinoy roadtrippers, do not despair! There are current provisions and developments to solve this dilemma:

  1. Under the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7160), city and municipal mayors, through their respective Sangguniang Bayan and the Sangguniang Panlungsod, are authorized to regulate the operation of tricycles and to grant franchise for their operation within their respective territorial jurisdiction, subject to the guidelines prescribed by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), now the Department of Transportation (DOTr).1

The Department of the Interior and Local Government issued Memorandum Circulars which prohibit tricycles to ply along the national highways utilized by 4-wheel vehicles greater than 4 tons and where the normal speed exceeds 40 kilometers per hour. If there is no alternative route or road network available, such as routes beyond the town proper, however, the Sangguniang Bayan and the Sangguniang Panlungsod shall provide exception through the enactment of an ordinance.1

Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año urged local authorities to strictly adhere to the standards and guidelines provided by a Memorandum Circular, which contains the basic considerations in the preparation of city or municipal tricycle and pedicab franchise and regulatory ordinance or code. He said that allowing these vehicles to pass through main thoroughfares “pose hazards to other motor vehicles, the riding public, and even to the drivers themselves. The regulation of tricycles and pedicabs on national highways is, therefore, to the best interest of everyone.” These guidelines include prohibiting said vehicles to carry more passengers and goods than what they are designed for, or more than what is authorized in the franchise, among others.1

Land Transportation Office (LTO)-7 Regional Director Raul Aguilos said that the operation of tricycles and pedicabs has been a good source of livelihood, but allowing them to traverse the national highway puts the lives of their passengers at risk.2

Oh my gosh, the said Code has been in existence since 1991, that is 27 years, almost 3 decades! Why are some local officials not enforcing this?

However, there are towns/cities that require all motorcycles to stay on the right lane – not on the left lane and definitely not along the broken white line between lanes! In this regard, I admire San Pablo City in Laguna.

A-San Pablo-tricycles

So, local officials of other towns/cities nationwide, what are you waiting for? Please implement order and discipline along national highways!

2. The provisions of Section 23 of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 178 (also known as the Revised Philippine Highway Act), prohibit the use of road right-of-way for temporary and permanent structures such as buildings, houses, shanties, stores, shops, stalls, sheds, canopies, and billboards.3 Again I ask, why is this not enforced?

  1. Bill 5098 of Senator Sherwin Gatchalian requires all car owners to have a permanent garage or parking space before purchasing a vehicle. Any financially able buyer of a motor vehicle must submit a notarized affidavit attesting to the availability of a parking space for a new vehicle to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) as a prerequisite for car registration.If s/he can buy and maintain a car, s/he can also provide a permanent parking space for it.2

A-no-garage-okTown roads are usually narrow, just barely wide enough for two vehicles to pass in opposite directions. But what happens when car/tricycle/vehicle-owners have no parking space inside their property? Take a look!

Bravo, beloved legislators, drivers and pedestrians can now enjoy our streets nationwide without illegally parked cars! Please pass this bill asap. Mr. President, please immediately sign it thereafter. Finally, whoever will be tasked to make the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), please do it fast and disseminate for proper and immediate implementation!

Upon implementation, the Metro Manila Development Authority, or its local counterpart in towns and other cities, is required to conduct periodic inspections of streets to determine if there are illegally parked vehicles and penalize accordingly (e.g., for car owner: revocation of motor vehicle registration, a fine of PHP50,000, penalties under the Revised Penal Code for making a false statement under oath and falsification of a public document, and not being allowed to register said vehicle; for any LTO official/employee, suspension for 3 months without pay).2

Allow me also to add the following:

1. Provincial buses and jeepneys plying national highways must load-unload at designated or safe stops and not at the middle of the road, thereby blocking the vehicles following them and cause unnecessary traffic.

2. Passengers of jeepneys must observe and respect designated loading-unloading places, and not be hardheaded as to ask to be dropped at a convenient spot which might be a dangerous curve or accident-prone area only because it is near or is at his/her destination.

3. Just in case a wake is held in a house located along a narrow two-lane national highway, the persons concerned must get a permit from the local government, which in turn, must send well-trained enforcers to control and monitor traffic to ensure the smooth flow of vehicles affected by the blocking of one lane. For the bereaved family, please do not occupy more than one lane for the tent so that the remaining lane for vehicles is good enough for large trucks and buses to pass.

4. Contractors of any construction or repair on the national highway or sidewalks therein, must be required and monitored to provide proper and well-lighted safety barriers against possible dangerous unfinished work which could cause accidents to vehicles especially at night.

5. Pedestrian lanes must be respected by all drivers.

6. Public schools that install metal barriers to protect pupils/students must be responsible enough to remove such obstructions during school time when pupils are in the classrooms. These barriers should not be left out on the roads the whole day, at night, nor on non-school days. I think drivers understand the need to protect children, teachers and school administrators during entry and dismissal times. But outside these times, please give back the road to vehicles.

7. Motorcycles are aplenty and some recklessly overtake at the right side, or boldly swerve from left to right and in between vehicles. Worse, drivers (usually wearing slippers) and passengers have no proper helmets and other protective gear, and some even have two or more passengers on the front and back of the driver. Tell me, how often do you see a traffic enforcer in a town? If so, do they bother to call the attention of such people?

I am now used to, and no longer surprised to see lots of motorcycle and tricycle drivers who unusually park along the highway to avoid checkpoints with enforcers checking on their driver’s license, vehicle registration, etc. Why are these checkpoints not strategically located so that there is no way for these drivers to avoid inspection? Why are these inspections not done daily in various unannounced locations so that those without licenses and those who are minors will be discouraged from driving along national highways?

8. And as for the quality of national roads, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) must: be strict in choosing contractors (no sub-contracting please!); monitor their compliance with regard to the quality/thickness of roads, as well as progress and completion thereof within contract terms; and, require safe and neon-lighted/painted warnings and protection against unfinished areas, among others. Hopefully, drivers and passengers will have a safe, comfortable and smooth ride on well-paved roads, without potholes or uneven surfaces.

Bottomline, it boils down to consistent implementation, regardless of violators. Self-discipline and cooperation among drivers and those with properties along national highways would really go a long way for a safe and orderly roadtrip nationwide. This would definitely boost domestic tourism by land and show our foreign visitors that we are disciplined and are conscious about road safety.

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you. What are your insights regarding driving along national highways in the Philippines? Simply scroll to “Leave a Reply” and enter your comment in the box. Please scroll and click the “Like” tab and “Facebook” to share this post. Do not forget to follow me by clicking “Follow” on the lower right corner of your device.

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1www.pna.gov.ph

2www.philstar.com

3www.dpwh.gov.ph

Seniors, Now You Know: WHAT ARE THE WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN THE PHILIPPINES?

We have always heard of the term World Heritage Site, but do we really know what it is all about and how it is selected? And, do we know the World Heritage sites in the Philippines? Well, look and wonder no more!

WHAT IS A WORLD HERITAGE SITE? HOW IS IT SELECTED?

A World Heritage Site (WHS) is a unique landmark, or geographically and historically identifiable place, which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific, physical or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties.

Sites are demarcated by UNESCO as protected zones. The list is maintained by the International World Heritage Program administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 state parties which are elected by the General Assembly. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund.

As of July 2018, there are a total of 1,092 World Heritage sites across 167 countries (845 cultural, 209 natural, and 38 mixed properties). The top countries with the most sites are: Italy (54), China (53), Spain (47), France (44), Germany (44), India (37), and Mexico (35).

But how is a site selected? UNESCO mandates a nomination process. It starts when a country lists its significant cultural and natural sites to form a Tentative List. It can then place sites selected from that list into a Nomination File which is evaluated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union. These bodies then make their recommendations to the World Heritage Committee. The Committee meets once a year to determine whether or not to inscribe each nominated property on the World Heritage List, and sometimes defers or refers the decision to request more information from the country that nominated the site.

Wow! Sites are well screened.and countries should be really proud of their World Heritage sites and protect/preserve them!

There are 10 selection criteria and a site must meet at least one of them to be included in the list:

CULTURAL CRITERIA:

  1. It represents a masterpiece of human creative genius and cultural significance;
  2. It exhibits an important interchange of human values, over a span of time, or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning, or landscape design;
  3. It bears a unique, or at least, exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition, or to a civilization which is living, or which has disappeared;
  4. It is an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural, or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates a significant stage in human history;
  5. It is an outstanding example of a type of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture, or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
  6. It is directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literally works of outstanding universal significance;

NATURAL CRITERIA:

  1. It contains superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
  2. It is an outstanding example representing major stages of Earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
  3. It is an outstanding example representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems, and communities of plants and animals; and,
  4. It contains the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

All information were obtained from the Wikipedia page “World Heritage site”.1

WHO CAN NOMINATE SITES TO BE WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN THE PHILIPPINES?

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts, National Museum of the Philippines, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, and other heritage agencies, are the prime nominators of the Philippines. The permanent Delegation of the Philippines to UNESCO, universities and NGOs can also nominate sites in the Tentative List.

I am just wondering why it took so long for the Philippines to have sites declared as such. Here is what I found out: in the 1990s, Filipino architect Augusto Villalon represented the Philippines in the UNESCO Committee and drafted the nomination dossiers of five heritage inscriptions, and all of them were declared as UNESCO World Heritage sites from 1993 to 1999 (see list below). However, after Villalon retired, the country had a 14-year drought in UNESCO World Heritage designations. Since 2014, six sites have been on the World Heritage site list, spanning nine locations: three are cultural and three are natural. In 2015, 28 sites in the Tentative List were revised, with 9 submissions for possible nomination in the future.

All information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “List of World Heritage sites in the Philippines”.2

WHAT ARE THE WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN THE PHILIPPINES?

Filipinos, be proud, we have six World Heritage sites and I will list them in order of recognition:

  1. 16th century Baroque Churches of the Philippines: San Agustin Church (City of Manila), Santa Maria Church (Ilocos Sur), Paoay Church (Ilocos Norte), and Miagao Church (Iloilo) – inscription: 1993; minor boundary modification: 2013, based on cultural criteria 2 and 4 (see previous topic). All four churches have been declared National Cultural Treasures of the Philippines3.

BeFunky-collage(l-r): Miagao Church, Paoay Church, San Agustin Church and Santa Maria Church; photos from http://www.en.wikipedia.org

2. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Palawan) -inscription: 1993; extension: 2009, based on natural criteria 7, 9 and 10 (see previous topic). It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4. It is one of the New7Wonders of Nature5, an ASEAN Heritage Park6, and a Ramsar Wetland Site7. It is also located within the Palawan UNESCO Biosphere Resesrve8.

BeFunky-collage             Tubbataha Reef pictures from http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tubbataha_Reef

3. Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras – inscription: 1995, based on cultural criteria 3, 4 and 5 (see previous topic). It is located in the Ifugao province of the Cordillera Region and dates back to 100 BC. The inscription includes 5 properties: the Bangaan Rice Terraces, Batad Rice Terraces (both in Banaue), Hungduan Rice Terraces (in Hungduan), Mayoyao Rice Terraces (in Mayoyao), and Nagacadan Rice Terraces (in Kiangan). These rice terraces have been declared as National Cultural Treasures of the Philippines3.

 

 

BeFunky-collageBatad Rice Terraces in Banaue and Nagacadan Rice Terraces in Kiangan; photos from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_Terraces_of_the_Philippine_Cordilleras

4. The Historic City of Vigan (Ilocos Sur) – inscription: 1999, based on cultural criteria 2 and 4 (see previous topic). This 16th century site is one of the New7Wonders Cities9. The Mestizo Section, House of Father Jose Burgos10 and Leona Florentino11 have been declared as National Cultural Treasures of the Philippines3.

Calle_Crisologo,_Vigan_City-wiki                    Calle Crisologo, Vigan (photo from http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vigan)

5. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (Palawan) – inscription: 1999, based on natural criteria 7 and 10 (see previous topic). It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4. It is part of the Palawan UNESCO Biosphere Reserve8 and a declared Ramsar Wetland Site7.

puerto-princesa-underground-river-wikiPuerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan; photo from http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Princesa_Subterranean_River_National_Park

6. Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (Davao Oriental) – inscription: 2014, based on natural criteria 10 (see previous topic). It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4. It is declared as an ASEAN Heritage Park6.

mt-hamiguitan-wikiMount Hamiguitan inDavao Oriental; photo from http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Hamiguitan

Perhaps, if you have not yet visited the aforementioned sites, why don’t you include these in your 2019 bucket list?

All information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “List of World Heritage sites in the Philippines”.2

THE TENTATIVE LIST FOR THE PHILIPPINES

There are 19 sites that are included in the Tentative List for the Philippines for the Philippine government to nominate as WHSs in the future:2

  1. Apo Reef National Park (Sulu Sea), based on natural criteria 7, 9 and 10 (see criteria topic). It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4. This site is the second biggest producer of juvenile marine fishes in the world, next to the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.
  2. Baroques Churches of the Philippines (extension), based on cultural criteria 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 (see criteria topic). – Boljoon Church (Cebu), Guiuan Church (Eastern Samar), Lazi Church (Siquijor), Loboc Church (Bohol), and Tumauini Church (Isabela) – All five 18th to 19th century baroque churches have been declared as National Cultural Treasures of the Philippines3.
  3. Batanes Protected landscapes and seascapes (mixed criteria, see criteria topic) – It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epochand 100 AD. The Mahatao Church of Batanes is a declared National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines3.
  4. Butuan Archeological Sites (Agusan del Norte), based on cultural criteria 3, 4 and 5 (see criteria topic). This 10th century site showcases the pre-Hispanic Rajahnate of Butuan12 as a nation with great expertise in boat-making, seafaring, and gold manufacturing.
  5. Chocolate Hills Natural Monument (Bohol), based on natural criteria 6 and 7 (see criteria topic). This site has been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4and is the focal property of the proposed Bohol Global Geopark Reserve.
  6. Coron Island Natural Biotic Area (Palawan), based on cultural criteria 3 and natural criteria 9 and 10 (see criteria topic). It is part of the Palawan UNESCO Biosphere Reserve8.
  7. El Nido – Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area, based on natural criteria 9 and 10 (see criteria topic). It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4 and is within the Palawan UNESCO Biosphere Reserve8.
  8. Kabayan Mummy Burial Caves (Benguet), based on cultural criteria 1 – 6 (see criteria topic). This site has been in existence since 100 AD and has been listed by the World Monuments Fund13 for immediate international conservation. It is also declared as a National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines3.
  9. Mayon Volcano Natural Park (Albay), based on natural criteria 7 and 10 (see criteria topic). This site has been in existence since the Pleistocene Epochand is the central property of the Albay UNESCO Biosphere Reserve8.
  10. Mounts Iglit-Baco National Park (Mindoro), based on natural criteria 9 and 10 (see criteria topic). This site has been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4and is a declared ASEAN Heritage Park6.
  11. Mount Malindang Range Natural Park (Misamis Occidental), based on natural criteria 7, 9 and 10 (see criteria topic). This site has been in existence since the Pleistocene Epochand is a declared ASEAN Heritage Park6.
  12. Mount Mantalingajan Protected Landscape (Palawan), based on natural criteria 9 and 10 (see criteria topic). It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4 and is part of the Palawan UNESCO Biosphere Reserve8.
  13. Mount Pulag National Park (Ifugao, Nueva Viscaya and Benguet), based on natural criteria 9 and 10 (see criteria topic). It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4 and is the third highest point in the Philippines.
  14. Neolithic Shell Midden Sites in Lal-lo and Gattaran Municipalities (Cagayan), based on cultural criteria 2 – 5 (see criteria topic). This site has been in existence since the Neolithic Period14 and is the largest shell midden15 zone in the Philippine archipelago.
  15. Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park and outlying areas inclusive of the buffer zone (Isabela), based on natural criteria 9 and 10 (see criteria topic). It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4 and is the largest national park in the Philippines.
  16. Paleolithic Archaeological Sites in Cagayan Valley – Awidon Mesa Formation Paleolithic Sites of Solana in Cagayan Province and the Callao Limestone Formation Paleolithic Sites of Peñablanca in Cagayan Province, based on cultural criteria 2 – 5 (see criteria topic). This site has been in existence since the Paleolithic Period16 and includes the location where the bone fragments of Callao Man, the oldest hominid17 found in the Philippines, was located.
  17. Petroglyphs18 and Petrographs19of the Philippines – Alab Petroglyphs of Mountain ProvinceAnda Peninsula Petrographs of Eastern BoholAngono Petroglyphs of Rizal, Peñablanca Petrographs of Cagayan Province, and Singnapan Caves Petrographs of southern Palawan, based on cultural criteria 3 (see criteria topic). These multiple sites have been in existence since the Paleolithic Period16. The Alab, Angono and Singnapan sites have been declared as National Cultural Treasures of the Philippines3. The site in Angono has been listed by World Monuments Fund13.
  18. The Tabon Cave Complex and all of Lipuun (Palawan), based on cultural criteria 2 – 5 (see criteria topic). This site has been in existence since the Paleolithic Period16 and is a declared National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines3 due to the Tabon Man20 discovery in the area. It was listed by the World Monuments Fund13.
  19. Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary (Tawi-Tawi), based on natural criteria 9 and 10 (see criteria topic). It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4 and is a major green sea turtle breeding and hatchery zone in the Asia-Pacific.

Another wow! These are 19 possible additions to our local travel bucket list!

The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “List of World Heritage sites in the Philippines”.2

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you. Have you ever been to any of these sites? Simply scroll to “Leave a Reply” and enter your comment in the box. Please scroll and click the “Like” tab and “Facebook” to share this post. Do not forget to follow me by clicking “Follow” on the lower right corner of your device.

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1“World Heritage site,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_Heritage_site.

2“List of World Heritage sites in the Philippines,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_Heritage_sites_in_the_Philippines.

3A National Cultural Treasure (NCT) of the Philippines is a unique tangible (movable and immovable) or intangible cultural property found locally, possessing outstanding historical, cultural, artistic and/or scientific value which is highly significant and important to the country and nation, declared by the National Commission for Culture and Arts and other cultural agencies such as the National Museum of the Philippines, National Library of the Philippines, and National Archives of the Philippines, authorized under the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 and recognized within the Cultural Properties of the Philippines by the Philippine government. This information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “List of National Cultural Treasures in the Philippines”.21

4Pleistocene Epoch, or Ice Age, is the geological epoch from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the world’s most recent period of repeated glaciations, according to the Wikipedia page “Pleistocene”.22

5New7Wonders of Nature (2007-2011) was an initiative led by Bernard Weber who organized the New 7 Wonders Foundation, and attracted 100 million voters worldwide to create a list of seven new natural wonders:  the Amazon Rainforest and River (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuaodr, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela), Halong Bay (Vietnam), Jeju Island (South Korea), Iguazú (Argentina/Brazil), Puerto Pricesa Subterranean River National Park (Philippines), Komodo Island (Indonesia), and Table Mountain (South Africa), according to Wikipedia page “New7Wonders of Nature”.23

6The Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Heritage Park is a project of the ASEAN Ministers of Environment to list heritage parks in the region of particular biodiversity importance or exceptional uniqueness among member states, to implement regional conservation and management action plans. Thirty-seven ASEAN Heritage Parks have been designated since the last inscription in November 2015. This information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “ASEAN Heritage Parks”.24

7Ramsar Wetland Site is a wetland recognized for its economic, cultural, scientific and recreational value, based on the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, signed in the city of Ramsar, in Iran, in 1971, according to Wikipedia page “List of Ramsar sites in the Philippines”.25

8Biosphere Reserve is an internationally recognized area comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems, nominated by a national government to the Man and Biosphere Programme, an intergovernmental program, launched in 1971 by the United Nations Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), according to the Wikipedia page “Man and the Biosphere Programme”.26

9New7Wonders Cities (2011-2014) was another initiative led by Bernard Weber who organized the New 7 Wonders Foundation, and attracted voters worldwide to create a list of seven cities which best represent the achievements and aspirations of our global urban civilization: Beirut (Lebanon), Doha (Qatar), Durban (South Africa), Havana (Cuba), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), La Paz (Bolivia), and Vigan (Philippines). This information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “New7Wonders Cities”.27

10Fr. Jose Burgos (1837-1872) was a Filipino Catholic priest who was accused of mutiny by the Spanish colonial authorities, underwent a mock trial, and was executed in Manila, along with two other clergymen, according to the Wikipedia page “Jose Burgos”.28

11Leona Florentino (1849-1884) was a Filipino poet in the Spanish and Ilocano languages, considered “the mother of Philippine women’s literature” and the “bridge from oral to literary tradition,” according to the Wikipedia page “Leona Florentino”.29

12The Rajahnate of Butuan (before 1001-1756) was an Indic polity30 centered on present Mindanao island in the modern city of Butuan, in southern Philippines. It was known for gold mining, gold products, and its extensive trade network across the Nusantara area31, with trading relationships with the ancient civilizations of Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Persia and Thailand. This information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Rajahnate of Butuan”.32

13World Monuments Fund is a private, international, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of historic architecture and cultural heritage sites around the world through fieldwork, advocacy, grantmaking, education, and training, according to the Wikipedia page “World Monuments Fund”.33

14The Neolithic Period (around 8000 – 2000 BC), or New Stone Age, is the period of the Stone Age which started in the Middle East, characterized by the development of agriculture, pottery, and the making of polished stone implements.34

15Shell middens are places where debris from eating shellfish (clams, oysters, whelks, mussels) and other food has accumulated over time, found on the coast, inland lakes, swamps, and river banks, indicative of Aboriginal activities in the past. They can contain: shellfish remains; bones of fish, birds, and land and sea mammals used for food; charcoal from campfires; and, tools made from stone, shell and bone.35

16The Paleolithic Period, or Old Stone Age (2.6 million – 10,000 years ago), is the period in human prehistory distinguished by the original development of stone tools, with humans living a nomadic lifestyle in small groups, and their survival depended heavily on their environment and climate.36

17A hominid is a primate of a family (Hominidae) of erect bipedal primate mammals that includes humans, their fossil ancestors and some of the great apes (the orangutan, gorilla, chimpanzee and bonobo).37

18Petroglyphs are images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, or abrading, as a form of rock art, often associated with prehistoric people, according to the Wikipedia page “Petroglyph”.38

19Petrographs are drawings, writings, or inscriptions on stone, as a painting on a cave wall.39

20Tabon Man refers to collective remains discovered by Robert B. Fox, an American anthropologist of the national Museum of the Philippines, in the Tabon Caves in Lipuun Point in the municipality of Quezon, in the west coast of the province of Palawan, in the Philippines, on May 28, 1962. The remains, the fossilized fragments of a skull and jawbone of three individuals, were believed to be one of the earliest human remains known in the Philippines which date back to 16,500 years ago. This information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Tabon Man”.40

21“List of National Cultural Treasures in the Philippines,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_National_Cultural_Treasures_in_the_Philippines.

22 “Pleistocene,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleistocene.

23“New7Wonders of Nature,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New7Wonders_of_Nature.

24“ASEAN Heritage Parks,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASEAN_Heritage_Parks.

25“List of Ramsar sites in the Philippines,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ramsar_sites_in_the_Philippines.

26“Man and the Biosphere Programme,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_and_Biosphere_Programme.

27“New7Wonders Cities,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New7Wonders_Cities.

28“Jose Burgos,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jose_Burgos.

29“Leona Florentino,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leona_Florentino.

30Indic polity refers to traditional Southeast Asian political formations, such as federation of kingdoms under a center of domination, according to the Wikipedia page “Mandala (political model)”.41

31The Nusantara area, or Maritime Southeast Asia, is the local Malayo-Polynesian name for the region which consists of what is now Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Timor Leste. This information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Maritime Southeast Asia”.42

32“Rajahnate of Butuan,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajahnate_of_Butuan.

33 “World Monuments Fund,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Monuments_Fund.

34www.ancient.eu and www.yourdictionary.com

35www.environment.nsw.gov.au

36www.diffen.com

37www.merriam-webster.com

38 “Petroglyph,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroglyph.

39www.en.m.wiktionary.org

40“Tabon Man,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabon_Man.

41“Mandala (political model),” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandala_(political_model).

42“Maritime Southeast Asia,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maritime_Aouthwast_Asia.

Taal, Batangas, Philippines: THE ARCHDIOCESAN SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF CAYSASAY

The Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay is located in Barrio Caysasay, in the heritage town of Taal, in the province of Batangas, Philippines. It belongs to the Archdiocese of Lipa.

A-Shrine-2-post

I was able to go to this shrine and touch the wooden statue of Our Lady of Caysasay. See a related post: Taal, Batangas, Philippines: OUR LADY OF CAYSASAY– The “Queen of the Archdiocese of Lipa”

A-Shrine-7-post                            The altar of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay

A-Shrine-8-post                                               Look up … and this is what you see

For religious tourists, do not miss this shrine and the experience of touching the miraculous statue.

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Here are 12 facts about the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay:

  1. It is a chapel made of coral stone, built in 1639 by Fr. Alonso Rodriguez (minister of Taal). It was completed in 1640 and dedicated to Our Lady of Caysasay, to serve as a perpetual shrine.
  2. Bricks and wood were also used to build this parish church.
  3. The shrine is 50 meters (160 feet) long and 10 meters (33 feet) wide.
  4. Behind the main altar lies the sacristy and a stairwell that leads to the room of the Virgin, where devotees could venerate.

A-Shrine-1-postThe stairwell leading to the sacristy (accessed by turning right from the altar) where you can touch the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Caysasay

5. The church was first built around 1611 by the Chinese. It was constructed using light materials and was located near the river where the miraculous wooden image of Our Lady of Caysasay was found. An arch made of coral stone with a bass relief of Our Lady of Caysasay was built later on. On February 24, 1620, the Augustinians issued an order to construct a church in Caysasay, as a visitaof Taal. It has been verified through serious investigation that the Most Holy Virgin appeared there. This Marian apparition was given the title Nuestra Señora de la Misericordia.

6. The roof of the church was partly destroyed in 1754 by the boulders and ashes from Taal Volcano but was quickly repaired.

 

7. During the earthquake of December 24, 1852, the walls of the church cracked and the towers fell. Fr. Celestino Mayordomo improvised a large makeshift shelter at the town plaza where the image of the Virgin of Caysasay was enshrined temporarily. Fr. Mayordomo also started the reconstruction work, which was completed in 1856. The twin towers rose again, the interior was newly painted, and the stone fence was completed. Once more, the image was solemnly enthroned in her home.

8. The sanctuary was damaged anew by tremors in 1867. Fr. Marcos Anton repaired the minor damages, installed a new altar and a presbytery floor, and constructed an iron balustrade around it. The interior was decorated under the direction of Italian decorator Cesar Alberoni.

9. In 1880, Fr. Agapito Aparicio installed an organ bought from the famous organist Don Doroteo Otorelin of Palencia, Spain.

10. Fortunately, the earthquake of 1880 did not cause serious damage to the sanctuary.

11. Other renovations followed: a coat of stucco2 cement was applied to the front wall and to the towers; and, the stone and brick wall was scraped clean to reveal its original color.

12. The Miraculous Well of Sta. Luciacan be accessed via the San Lorenzo Ruiz Steps4 from this shrine.

A-Shrine-6-postYou go up these steps (San Lorenzo Ruiz Steps) from the shrine, go up that cemented elevation to the right, to reach the pathway leading to the Miraculous Well of Sta. Lucia.

A-Well-Collage             Just follow the pathway which leads to the Miraculous Well of Sta. Lucia

Most of the information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay”5 and some information was given by our tour guide, Mr. Art Mojica (09165378973 and atmojica660@yahoo.com). Contact him for an enlightening heritage tour of Taal.

I paid for my tour so this is not a sponsored post.

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you. Have you ever been to this Shrine? Simply scroll to “Leave a Reply” and enter your comment in the box. Please scroll and click the “Like” tab and “Facebook” to share this post. Do not forget to follow me by clicking “Follow” on the lower right corner of your device.

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1A visita, or chapel of ease, is a church building other than the parish church, built within the bounds of a parish for the attendance of those who cannot reach the parish church conveniently, according to the Wikipedia page “Chapel of Ease”.6

2Stucco is a decorative coating for walls and ceilings, basically made of lime and sand. It is also used as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture, according to the Wikipedia page “Stucco”.7

3The Miraculous Well of Sta. Lucia is a spring-fed well located in Barrio Caysasay, in Taal, Batangas, where two women saw the reflection of Our Lady of Caysasay. It can be accessed by way of the San Lorenzo Ruiz Steps4 of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay. This information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay”.5

4San Lorenzo Ruiz Steps is a stairway of 125-granite steps leading up to the center of the town of Taal. Originally, the steps were made of adobe stone, but these were later replaced with granite, or batong song-song, in the year 1850, by Fr. Celestino Matordomo. Formerly called Hagdan-hagdan, the stairway has since been renamed and is now dedicated to the memory of San Lorenzo Ruiz. An inconspicuous narrow walkway from the steps takes visitors to the well. This information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay”.5

 5“Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archdiocesan_Shrine_of_Our_Lady_of_Caysasay.

6“Chapel of ease,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapel_of_ease.

7“Stucco,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stucco.

Taal, Batangas, Philippines: GALLERIA TAAL

Z-Galleria-Taal-1 - A                                           Picture c/o Galleria Taal brochure

Galleria Taal is an ancestral Spanish-era house turned into the only camera museum in the Philippines. It is located in Calle Agoncillo, the main street in the heritage town of Taal, in the province of Batangas, in the Philippines.

Z-Galleria-Taal-3 - B                                 Location Map, Galleria Taal (from brochure)

This camera museum is for camera/photography fans and enthusiasts. It is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:00 am to 5 pm, with an entrance fee of PHP100 for adults and PHP50 for students.

Z-Galleria-Taal-2 - B                                             Picture c/o Galleria Taal brochure

I went to this interesting house with my college buddies and was able to obtain 4 facts about Galleria Taal:

  1. The house was the ancestral home of Domingo Ilagan and Maria Martinez-Ilagan in the 1800’s.

It is composed of two sections: the early house located at the back portion which has a distinct tiled roof and was built in 1870, and the facade fronting the main street which was built 30 years after, roofed with GI sheets.

Candida married Antonino Barrion, a lawyer and the 1st District of Batangas delegate to the 1935 Constitutional Convention, and had 3 children: Nellie (Inumerable), Corazon (Rodriguez) and Charito (Ahorro). She paid off her siblings and moved into this house in 1944 after their conjugal home in Batangas City was burned down by the Japanese Army.

Z-Galleria-Taal-2 - A                                             Picture c/o Galleria Taal brochure

After Candida’s death, this house fell in disrepair until 2004 when a grandson, Emmanuel (Manny) Inumerable initiated the restoration of this stately ancestral home, with assistance from his brother, Bobby, a civil contractor.

  1. Manny Barrion Inumerable opened this house on March 2010 to showcase his vast collection of vintage cameras from the late 1800’s till the 1900’s.

Z-Galleria-Taal-3 - D                   Manny Barrion Inumerable (picture c/o Galleria Taal brochure)

This museum features so many camera brands: Canon, Graflex, Kodak, Leica, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Rolleiflex, and Sanderson, among others.

Interesting pieces like accordion-type cameras, a Minox-Spy Cam, and a limited edition Nikon F2A-1977 camera in celebration of Nikon’s 25th year anniversary are also exhibited.

Z-Galleria-Taal-1 - B                                                 Picture c/o Galleria Taal brochure

A 1984 24K gold-plated Nikon FA Gold, with matching gold-plated lens, covered with lizard skin, and encased in a wooden box, is the most expensive camera in the collection. Only 2,000 units were ever made, in celebration of Nikon being declared as the European camera of the year.

  1. It also serves as a gallery of Philippine antiquarian photographs depicting early Philippine photography in the Spanish and American eras. Rare photos of Manila before and after the Japanese occupation, Marcos era, and EDSA Revolution are also exhibited.

Z-Galleria-Taal-3 - C                                               Picture c/o Galleria Taal brochure

Z-Galleria-Taal-1 - C                                           Picture c/o Galleria Taal brochure

The exhibit also includes a reproduction of the only known existing photograph of Jose Rizal’s execution. The original photograph is kept in a Cavite museum.

4. And you know what? All cameras are well-kept and in good working condition! Click!

Z-Galleria-Taal-3 - A                                             Picture c/o Galleria Taal brochure

The Museum Caretaker is Ms. Dolores Bautista, with contact numbers: 09067632449 and (043) 4081775. You can also contact the Proprietor, Mr. Manny Inumerable, at mobile number 09189124051 or email him at mannyinumerable@yahoo.com

Some information and photos were obtained from the brochure distributed during the tour and other information were given by my hardworking tour guide, Mr. Art Mojica (09165378973 and atmojica660@yahoo.com). Contact him for an enlightening heritage tour of Taal.

I paid for my tour so this is not a sponsored post.

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you. Have you ever been to Galleria Taal? Simply scroll to “Leave a Reply” and enter your comment in the box. Please scroll and click the “Like” tab and “Facebook” to share this post. Do not forget to follow me by clicking “Follow” on the lower right corner of your device.

Savoring Pinoy Delights: THE LUSCIOUS LANZONES

I look forward to the early -ber months in Laguna because I can enjoy one of my favorite seasonal fruits, the lanzones!

 

 


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For our foreign readers, LANZONES (Lansiumparasiticum) is a seasonal, tropical, exotic, and edible fruit which originated in West Malaysia and is widely grown in the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia.

 

1-lanzones

Clustered like grapes, this fruit is elliptical, ovoid, or round, measuring 2-7 cm (0.79-2.76 in.) by 1.5-5 cm (0.59-1.97 in.) in size.

It has a thin, leathery, slightly-fuzzy yellow skin that varies in thickness from 2-6 mm (0.079-0.24 in.). The yellow skin will gradually develop brownish-black spots as the days go by as this fruit spoils quickly and does not have a long shelf life. So, eat it immediately after purchase. My advice is to buy only what you can consume within 2 days.

 

Z-lanzones-dark-na

This year, fruits were harvested in early September in Laguna, and priced at 80-90 pesos per kilo (2018). I personally prefer the smaller variety since I find that they are sweeter and have smaller seeds, if any at all.

Lanzones is known under a variety of common names worldwide: bhubi (Bengali), bon bon (Vietnamese), buahan (Cebuano), buwa-buwa (Tagalog), ceruring (Balinese), dau da dat (Vietnamese), dhuku (Javanese), dokong (Malay), duku (Burmese, Indonesian, Malay), gaduguda (Sinhalese), kokosan (Indonesian), langsak (Burmese), langsat (English, Indonesian, Malay, and Thai for thin-skinned variety), langseh (Malay), langsep (Javanese, Malay), lansa (Malay), lansones (Cebuano. Tagalog), lanzones (English), lon bon (Vietnamese), long kong (Khmer), longkong (Thai, for thick-skinned variety), lotka (Bengali), and pangkai (Mizo language).

The larger variety of lanzones is called Duku. It has large round fruits, a thicker skin, and some consider it sweeter than the smaller variant.The hybrid between Duku and Langsat is called Duku-Langsat. Another variation is Longkong, or Dokong, introduced in Indonesia and Thailand. This variant has a thick skin, sweet aromatic taste, no latex, only a few seeds or is seedless.1

Lanzones is grown in different parts of the Philippines: Camiguin (known to yield the sweetest lanzones during the month of October), Laguna (fruits harvested from September to November, depending on the onset of typhoons and strong winds which may affect the flowering stage), Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, and Northern Mindanao.2

The Lanzones Festival is held annually in Camiguin Island for 4 days during the 3rd week of October, to celebrate their lanzones harvest, the precious livelihood of the residents there.3

Legend says that this fruit was originally poisonous.3 The name itself, lanzones, comes from the Filipino term for poison – lason! It is said that there was once a town with bountiful trees which bore round and pale-colored fruits, but the people were afraid to eat them. They saw a man who tried to eat a fruit, but he died as soon as it touched his lips. This made the people afraid of even touching the fruit. Then, one day, the town suffered from drought, food became scarce, and the people became hungry. Suddenly, a mysterious lady came to town, sang and danced in the streets, picked a fruit from the poisonous tree, pinched it, and ate it. To the amazement of the people, the lady did not die. She claimed that as she pinched the fruit, she took out the poison. She then asked the townfolk to eat the fruits, and famine eventually ended.2

A second version of its origin goes like this: lanzones was poisonous and extremely sour but one day, a woman (believed to be the Virgin Mary) and Her Child (the Baby Jesus) travelled along a road, were very hungry, and found only lanzones trees all around. Having no other option to eat, they ate the fruits and, henceforth, the lanzones became edible and sweet.4

The fruits, when allowed to ripen on the branches of the tree, are attractive to flying animals at night, like bats. The people from Paete, Laguna, in the Philippines, hang kerosene lamps on the trees to repel bats and other nocturnal animals.1

When completely ripe, the fruit is eaten as is, or added to cooked/processed dishes/items. Its thin skin is opened by pinching/squeezing the stem end until the skin opens and is then further easily peeled back to reveal about 5-6 translucent white, smooth, juicy and sweet (sometimes, a bit tart or sour) fleshy segments, which, together, may have 1-3 dark green, bitter-tasting, inedible seeds of different sizes. Break the segments apart, and eat them one by one. Discard the inedible seeds, if any.

 

Z-lanzones-peeled

Peeling may yield a milky latex, especially when newly picked/harvested, that may stain your fingers with a slightly sticky blackish-brown sap. Personally, I do not mind this sap because this fruit is one of my top favorite fruits.

However, if you are turned off by the black sap on your fingertips after consuming a sizeable amount of this fruit, worry no more! There are 5 ways to avoid/address this concern: (a) use a paper towel when removing the skin; (b) apply oil to your fingertips to avoid the stickiness; (c) dip the fruit into boiling water to eliminate the sticky substance; (d) apply alcohol on stained fingers and wipe off with a paper napkin;or, (e) my dear father taught me to simply rub my stained fingers through my hair several times till all the sticky sap is gone. He said the natural oil in my hair removes the sticky, sappy dark stains, and you know what? It works! But if I do this, I see to it that I shampoo my hair thereafter. Try all these techniques and tell me what really works for you!

Lanzones is used in beverages, desserts, fruit salads, jams and jellies. Its fleshy segments are added to curries and soups. These are also added to other fruits like bananas, pomegranates and strawberries, to make popsicles.3

Each segment contains fructose, glucose and sucrose. It also contains carbohydrates, fiber, pantothenic acid, protein, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), C, and minerals, such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.This fruit is low in fat so this is good for weight-watchers! It has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, as well as an abundance of natural antioxidants (e.g., polyphenols) that can help the body to fight disease-causing free radicals.5

 

Z-lanzones-bunch

This fruit is considered a healthy snack for people with diabetes because of its high fiber content, along with the presence of the antioxidant polyphenol, which improves glucose levels by slowing down the absorption of sugar.3

 

z-lanzones-dami

There are no known side effects when eating this fruit. However, this fruit is known to cause gas so overconsumption is not good for people who easily bloat. Also, pregnant women should consult their doctors before eating lots of this yummy fruit.3

The bark, leaves and/or segments are known to: aid in weight loss; be effective in de-worming; boost the immune system; cure dysentery, malaria, scorpion stings and ulcers; improve metabolism; reduce cholesterol levels; regulate blood sugar levels; relieve diarrhea and eye inflammation; and treat bloating and fever.

Did you know that the dried skin of lanzones is traditionally used in the Philippines as a natural mosquito repellant? I recall my Dad who used to sun-dry the peels and light them up in our terrace during night time. The smell was pleasant and guess what? I had no mosquito bites!

So, what are you waiting for? Go to your nearest fruit stand while supply lasts!

Most of the information was obtained from the Wikipedia page, “Lansium parasiticum”.6

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you. Simply scroll and click “Leave a comment”. Do share this post with your Facebook friends, follow me by clicking on the bottom right corner of your device, and do not forget to like this post.  Thank you!

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1www.choosephilippines.com

2www.onlyfoods.net

3www.tagaloglang.com/lansones

4www.marketmanila.com

5www.livestrong.com

6”Lansium parasiticum,” accessed September 8, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lansium_parasiticum

 

Short and Simple: OATH FOR A BETTER BORACAY

All tourists who will visit Boracay starting October 26, 2018, its soft opening day, will be asked to sign an oath – the “Oath for a Better Boracay” – as follows: *

“I hereby solemnly swear, as a visitor of Boracay island, that I will, to the best of my ability, help ensure its preservation and sustainable development, and follow/observe environmental laws and regulations.”

This oath is a tourist’s solemn promise/pledge regarding his/her actions/behavior as a responsible visitor of Boracay. If all visitors are responsible tourists, there will be a positive impact on the community and the island as a whole. Let us see if this will really help make a better Boracay.

This oath was created by the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF), consisting of  three government departments – the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Tourism (DoT), and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

DoT Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said: “We encourage everyone who sets foot in Boracay to be the best and most responsible tourist that you can be. Practice sustainable tourism and respect the island, and you’ll just keep it more fun for the generations to come.”*

Dear tourists, by affixing our signatures, we are giving our word of honor that we will abide by the environmental laws/regulations of this destination.

Meanwhile, can the stakeholders of the other tourist destinations, nationwide, get their act together, benchmark from the Boracay experience, and adopt the same tourist oath or make their own oath to make visitors affirm their commitment to help in the destinations’ preservation and sustainable development?

See related posts: Seniors, Now You Know! – BORACAY: UPDATED LIST OF DOT-ACCREDITED ACCOMMODATION ESTABLISHMENTS AS OF OCTOBER 25, 2018Say, Say, Say: WHAT CAN WE EXPECT DURING THE REOPENING OF BORACAY ON OCTOBER 26, 2018?Short and Simple: WHAT IS THE TOURIST CARRYING CAPACITY FOR BORACAY’S 2018 RE-OPENING? and Say, Say, Say – BORACAY: PARADISE CLOSED TO BREATHE, TO HEAL! (April 26 – October 25, 2018)

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you regarding your comments on the reopening of Boracay and its visitor’s oath. Simply scroll and click “Leave a comment”. Do share this post with your Facebook friends, follow me by clicking on the bottom right corner of your device, and do not forget to like this post.  Thank you!

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*www.philstar.com

Seniors, Now You Know! – BORACAY: UPDATED LIST OF DOT-ACCREDITED ACCOMMODATION ESTABLISHMENTS AS OF OCTOBER 25, 2018

The Department of Tourism (DoT) released the October 25, 2018 list of accredited accommodation establishments, for a total of 157 establishments, accounting to 7,308 rooms. These establishments have complied with all the requirements of the Department of Natural Resources (DENR) as well as the Department of Interior and Local Government(DILG) andwere accredited by the DoT.  They are therefore allowed to accept booking reservations and operate as of October 25, 2018.*

  Name of Accommodation Establishment  

Location

Number of Rooms
1 357 Boracay Resort Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 10
2 8 Colors Beach House Resort Station 2, Sitio Manggayad, Brgy. Balabag 8
3 A-Rock Beach Resort Station 3, Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 16
4 Alice in Wonderland Beach Hotel Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 21
5 Aloha Boracay Hotel Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 61
6 Alta Briza Resort Brgy. Balabag, Main Road 108
7 Alta Vista de Boracay Brgy. HagdanYapak 408
8 Amable Suites Hotel Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag 18
9 Astoria Current Resort Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 205
10 AV Seven Resort Station 2, Sitio Manggayad, Brgy. Balabag 7
11 Azalea Hotels & Residences Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 284
12 Bamboo Boracay Resort Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 60
13 Bans Beach Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 27
14 Bei Kurt Und Magz Inn Angol, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 4
15 Beachcomber Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 14
16 Best Western Boracay Tropics Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 64
17 Boracay Amor Apartments Diniwid, Brgy. Balabag 18
18 Boracay Sunset Beach Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 9
19 Blue Coral Resort Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 5
20 Blue Lotus Hotel Boracay Station 2, Main Road, Brgy. Balabag 14
21 Blue Marina Boracay Station 2, Sitio Manggayad, Brgy. Balabag 12
22 Blue Waves Beach House Hotel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 5
23 Bora Sky Hotel Brgy. Balabag, Main Road 13
24 Boracay Haven Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 63
25 Boracay Haven Suites Station 1, Main Road, Brgy. Balabag 82
26 Boracay Holiday Beach Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 69
27 Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 52
28 Boracay Sands Hotel Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 52
29 Boracay Summer Palace Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 48
30 Boracay Travelodge Beach Resort Station 2, Sitio Manggayad, Brgy. Balabag 40
31 Boracay White Coral Hotel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 5
32 Calypso Resort Hotel Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 22
33 Canyon de Boracay Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 31
34 Casa Fiesta Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 5
35 Casa Pilar Beach Resort Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 84
36 Chateau de Boracay Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 18
37 Club Manila East Boracay Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 13
38 Coast Boracay Isles Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 59
39 Coco Loco Beach Resort Angol, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 17
40 Crystal Ocean Resort Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 7
41 Crimson Resort & Spa Boracay Punta Bunga, Yapak 192
42 Culpepper Lodge Station 2, Sitio Manggayad, Brgy. Balabag 5
43 Dave’s Straw Hat Inn Station 3, Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 11
44 Diniview Villas/Dinview Management, Co. Diniwid, Brgy. Balabag 20
45 Discovery Shores Boracay Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 99
46 Dee and Timmy Side Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 27
47 El Centro Beach Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 39
48 El Moro Beach Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 9
49 El Puerto Boracay Station 2, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 21
50 Eriko’s House Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 50
51 Ernest’s Place Resort Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag 21
52 Escurel Inn Station 3, Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 15
53 Eurotel Boracay Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 104
54 Fairways & Bluewater Resort Station 1, Brgy. Yakap 700
55 Faith Village Gardens Station 3, Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 34
56 Fat Jimmy’s Resort Boracay Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 16
57 Frendz Boracay Hostel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 8
58 Frendz Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 19
59 GT Hotel Boracay Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 19
60 Gracia’s Inn Station 3, Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 6
61 Green Monkey Resort Boracay Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 6
62 Greenyard Inn Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 5
63 Hampstead Boutique Hotel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 8
64 Hannah Hotel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 15
65 Hey Jude Resort Hotel Station 2, D’Mall, Brgy. Balabag 24
66 Hey Jude South Beach Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 19
67 Hotel Soffia Brgy. Yakap 58
68 Hostel Avenue Brgy. Balabag 3
69 Hue Hotel (Luana Hotel) Main Road, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 127
70 Il Mare Sakura Resort Balabag Plaza, Brgy. Balabag 34
71 India Boracay Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 10
72 Isla Azul Boracay Hotel Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag 14
73 Isla Gecko Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 16
74 Island Inn Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 26
75 Island Nook Hotel Brgy. Balabag 13
76 Jeffrey S Hotel Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag 15
77 Jejsellends Garden Cottages Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 14
78 Jony’s Beach Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 21
79 Jony’s Boutique Hotel Station 1, Main Road, Brgy. Balabag 22
80 Jung’s Resort Station 3, Sitio Manggayad, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 24
81 La Banca House at Boracay Station 3, Sitio Angol, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 11
82 La Bella Casa de Boracay Brgy. Balabag 20
83 La Carmela de Boracay Hotel and Convention Center (Main) Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 202
84 La Fiesta Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 5
85 Lady Jean Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 7
86 Lanterna Hotel Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag 6
87 Lishui Beach Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 9
88 Lime Hotel Boracay Main Road, Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 46
89 Lugar Bonito Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 6
90 Luxx Boutique Hotel Boracay Station 2, Sitio Manggayad, Brgy. Balabag 11
91 M. N. Boracay Lodge Inn Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 8
92 M. R. Holidays Hotel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 15
93 Mad Monkey Boracay Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag 30
94 Madid’s Inn Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 13
95 Maja’s Place Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 15
96 Maxima de Boracay Hotel Station 2, Main Road, Brgy. Balabag 8
97 Mecasa Hotel Brgy. Bolabog 19
98 Microtel by Wyndham Boracay Diniwid, Brgy. Balabag 51
99 Miliflores de Boracay (JinjiangInn) Station 1, Main Road, Brgy. Balabag 10
100 Moreno’s Cottages Station 3, Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 6
101 Moreno’s Lodging Station 3, Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 6
102 Movenpick Resort & Spa Boracay Punta Bunga, Yakap 312
103 Namaste Guesthouse Main Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 2
104 Nigi-NigiNuNoo’s ‘e’ NunuNoos Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 37
105 Nirvana Beach Resort Station 2, Main Road, Brgy. Balabag 32
106 Ocean Breeze Inn Station 3, Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 7
107 One Crescent Place Hotel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 20
108 Paradise Garden Resort Hotel & Convention Center Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 463
109 Piccolo Hotel Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 60
110 Pinjalo Resort (Jade Hill Project Property Development, Inc.) Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 24
111 Punta Rosa Boutique Hotel Sitio Sinagpa, Brgy. Balabag 12
112 Quoalla Hotel Boracay (Blu Reef Café Resort) Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 11
113 Ralph’s Place Boracay Bolabog 29
114 Real Maris Resort & Hotel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 43
115 Red Coconut Beach Hotel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 50
116 Reef Retreat Beach Resort Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag 12
117 Residencia Boracay Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 23
118 Residencia dela Torre Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 10
119 Roligon Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 12
120 Roy’s Rendevous Resort & Bungalow Station 3, Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 10
121 Royal Park Hotel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 30
122 Sanders White Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 35
123 Savoy Hotel Boracay Newcoast, Brgy. Yapak 559
124 Sea Wind Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 55
125 Shangri-la Resort Brgy. Yapak 219
126 Shore Time Hotel – Annex Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 12
127 Sol Y Sombra Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 5
128 St. Vincent Cottages (Vicente Aguirre Rooms) Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 27
129 Sulu Plaza Lodge Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 12
130 Sulu Sea Boutique Hotel Diniwid 11
131 Sunshine Place Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 9
132 Sur Beach Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 46
133 Surfside Boracay Resort & Spa Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 14
134 T-Three Apartment Station 2, D’Mall, Brgy. Balabag 15
135 Tan’s Guesthouse Main Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 14
136 Tan’s Guesthouse Annex Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 14
137 Taj Resort and Spa Main Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 11
138 Taj Resort and Spa Annex Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 18
139 The Blue Veranda Suites at Boracay Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 7
140 The District Boracay Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 48
141 The Club Ten Beach Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 20
142 The Ferra Premier by JG Hotel Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag 36
143 The Lazy Dog Cottages Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag 26
144 The Lind Boracay Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 119
145 The Orchids Resort & Villa Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 23
146 The Orient Beach Boracay Sitio, Hagdan, Brgy. Yapak 11
147 The Rose Pike Boracay Station 3, Sitio Angol, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 6
148 The Strand Boutique Hotel Sitio Sinagpa, Brgy. Balabag 13
149 The Tides Hotel D’Mall, Brgy. Balabag 60
150 Touristers Homeland Apartelle Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 18
151 Two Seasons Boracay Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 34
152 Villa Caemilla Beach Boutique Hotel Station 3, Sitio Angol, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 39
153 Villa de Oro Beach Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 55
154 Villa Simprosa Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 24
155 Villa Sunset Boracay Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 8
156 White Beach de Boracay Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 5
157 White House Beach Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 30

Just asking, why is 7 Stones Boracay Suites, located in Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag, with 31 rooms, not included in this updated list? It was included in the list dated October 12, 2018 – see my post: Now You Know! – BORACAY’S DRY RUN: 68 ACCREDITED ACCOMMODATION ESTABLISHMENTS

This list will continue to be updated since the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) will continue to accredit existing Boracay hotels and resorts. But for now, only deal with these 116 establishments.

I will give updates on this matter.

See related posts: Say, Say, Say – BORACAY: PARADISE CLOSED TO BREATHE, TO HEAL! (April 26 – October 25, 2018)Say, Say, Say: WHAT CAN WE EXPECT DURING THE REOPENING OF BORACAY ON OCTOBER 26, 2018?, Short and Simple: WHAT IS THE TOURIST CARRYING CAPACITY FOR BORACAY’S 2018 RE-OPENING? and Short and Simple: OATH FOR A BETTER BORACAY

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