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Showing posts from February, 2009

The Catanduanes Circumferential Road Improvement Project (CCRIP)

October 22, 2007: Inaugurated was the 79.818-kilometer road stretching from San Andres to Viga and five (5) bridges, which are components of the fourth phase of the Arterial Road Links Development Project. Total project cost amounted to approximately 1.1 billion pesos and was financed by Official Development Assistance from the Government of Japan. This road section is the biggest in the planned 200-kilometer Catanduanes Circumferential Road Improvement Project. CP I: Codon-San Andres-Virac-Viga Road (79.848 kms.) - completedCP II: Viga-Bagamanoc Road (9.985 kms.) - in progressCP III: Bagamanoc-Pandan Road (48.106 kms.) - in progressCP IV: Pandan-Caramoran-Codon (62.221 kms.) - in progress The second phase of the multibillion-peso Catanduanes Circumferential Road Improvement Project (CCRIP) has been included in the 28th Yen Loan Package of the Japanese government. Target Completion: 2010

Rain Averages 240 Days in a Year

I was searching for a 5-year period updated rainfall chart for Catanduanes because I needed one to support my decision to hold a project. A friend once told me, that our island was one time a trivia question on a popular T.V. noontime show, where rainfall averages 240 days in a year. Here are some interesting facts I found online: The southeastern portions of Luzon in Polillo and Catanduanes Islands have no dry season but do have a period of increased rainfall from May to January. Northwestern Luzon has two distinct seasons, being wet from May to October and dry November to April. Source: Catanduanes Tribune, 22 January 2009 report: On the other hand, the Baras station recorded a maximum of 244 millimeters of rain during the period from 6 P.M. of Jan. 6 to 2:35 A.M. of Jan. 7 when a local thunderstorm caused flashfloods and landslides in Bato, Baras, San Miguel, Viga, Panganiban, Bagamanoc and Gigmoto.…

Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia

If one is to ask what title of the Blessed Virgin Mary is famous in the Bicolandia, we can definitely say that it is the Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia, aside from the doctrinal titles of the Virgin such as Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Assumption. “Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia”, fondly called as “INA”, has gained enormous fame throughout the region due to the devotion that began in the year 1710 at the Metropolitan church, the Archdiocese of Naga. The then Vicar General Fr. Miguel Robles de Covarubbias brought the devotion to Naga, when he was ordained priest for the Diocese of Naga by Bishop Andres Gonzales, OP, by erecting a shrine to Our Lady of Peñafrancia, a promise that he made to the Lady for the cures and miracles he received from her. The original image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia was found by a French hermit named Simon Vela in “Peña de Francia” (rocky mountain along the Via Frances) in the village of San Martin de Castañar, Salamanca, Spain in the year 1434. The …

Competition Law in the Philippines

To date, the Philippines do not have a comprehensive and developed legislation relating to anti-trust and monopoly activities. However, there are several anti-trust bills pending before the Philippine Congress. They are as follows:

Senate Bill (“S.B.”) No. 175 - An Act creating the Fair Trade Commission, prescribing its powers and functions in regulating trade competition, and monopolies and for other purposes;S.B. No. 1361 - An Act providing for more effective implementation of the Constitutional mandate against monopolies, combination and restraint of trade and unfair competition by redefining and strengthening existing laws, processes and structure regulating the same, and for other purposes;S.B. No. 1600 - An Act prohibiting monopolies, attempt to monopolize industry or line of commerce, manipulation of prices of commodities, asset acquisition and interlocking membership in the board of directors of competing corporate bodies and price discrimination among customers, providing pen…

Definitely Not A Mining Endorsement

Coal is not only the mineral found on our island, we too also have an ample supply of guano (pls. view the table below). Guano manure is an effective fertilizer and soil that is deficient in organic matter can be made more productive by addition of this manure. These organic mineral can be a good alternative for our costly chemical fertilizers sourced from outside of the island. And definitely, it would mean a cost saving for our province's financial hemorrhage by making our agricultural sector self-sustaining. A bountiful harvest would equate a lower cost on our food budget. Municipality/Barangay Mineral CommodityEstimated Reserved (in MT) VIRAC
Eli Manganese79.50 CacaoGuano
Bigaa Limestone147,000,000 Calatagan Limestone/Shale36,000,000BAGAMANOC
Marble40,000,000 cu.m geological reserve
6,000,000 …

The Way We Were

Traveling or driving going to northern Catanduanes was really thrilling, challenging and fun particularly during the construction of the Catanduanes Circumferential Road Improvement Project (CCRIP) - Phase I. I used to drive at the 60 kilometers stretch many times. Maneuvering requires some intuition, guts and lots of common sense so as your vehicle would not be stuck in the mud and loose earth. Indeed, a big difference if one is used to city driving. During my frequent trips, I used to wonder that the whole stretch could be a good venue for an off-road car rally. All the challenges were in placed, muddy and dry in some section, blind curves, uphill and downhill drives. For the commuting public, at that time, one has to squeezed-in into overcrowded public vehicles. Average travel time then was 3-4 hours, yet I never heard anyone complained about their horrendous trip. All were anticipating for a better road. In October 2007, the CCRIP - Phase I was completed and inaugurated. In …

Exploring The Beneficial Uses Of Wood Vinegar

For more than 30 years now, Japanese farmers have been using wood vinegar to improve crop and livestock production. They use it as: 1) foliar spray, particularly for fungus (grey molds), 2) insecticide when mixed with hot pepper, 3) enhancer for compost-making, 4) soil conditioner to improve the soil when mixed with charcoal, and 5) feed supplement or additives for livestock feeds. What is wood vinegar? Wood vinegar is a liquid substance that is obtained when organic materials such as wood, coconut shell, bamboo, grass, and other plants are placed in a heating chamber. When these materials are heated, their juices, oils, and liquid contents evaporate as steam or vapor. The vapor passes through a tube where it will be allowed to cool. When cooled, the vapor will turn into liquid (condensation process). The chamber is heated by burning firewood at the lower portion of the chamber. The liquid (wood vinegar) flows from a tube into a container ready for packing, storage, or use. Wood vi…

Cheaper Alternative To LPG

MANILA, Philippines--Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza says charcoal made from forest waste is a good alternative to liquified petroleum gas. In a demonstration, Santiago Baconguis, Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau chief science research specialist, explains the step-by-step process of making the charcoal briquette. Video report by reporter Izah Morales.

The Rules of Attraction in the Game of Love

To figure out how we pick mates, scientists have measured every shape and angle of the human face, studied the symmetry of dancers, crafted formulas from the measurements of Playboy models, and had both men and women rank attractiveness based on smelling armpit sweat. After all this and more, the rules of attraction for the human species are still not clearly understood. How it all factors into true love is even more mysterious. But a short list of scientific rules for the game of love is emerging. Some are as clearly defined as the prominent, feminine eyes of a supermodel or the desirable hips of a well-built man. Other rules work at the subconscious level, motivating us to action for evolutionary reasons that are tucked inside clouds of infatuation. In the end, lasting love depends at least as much on behavior as biology. But the first moves are made before you're even born. Symmetry equals sex Starting at conception, the human body develops by neatly splitting cells. If eve…

About Geotourism

Geotourism is defined as "tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents." Geotourism incorporates the concept of sustainable tourism—that destinations should remain unspoiled for future generations—while allowing for ways to protect a place's character. Geotourism also takes a principle from its ecotourism cousin,—that tourism revenue should promote conservation—and extends it to culture and history as well, that is, all distinctive assets of a place. The Geotourism Charter: Governments and allied organizations that sign this statement of principles take a first step in adopting a geotourism strategy. Download the Geotourism Charter (PDF). After committing to a geotourism strategy, signatories then work with local communities to determine their geotourism goals. What Is Sustainable Tourism?Sustainable tourism, like a doctor's code of ethics, means "Fi…

The Old LORAN Station

I only passed once at this former US Coast Guard facility on Panay island when I was a growing-up kid. At that time, the station was no longer operational, but for the locals who used to be civilian employees, for them is a continuing saga. They would tell me stories about seaplanes delivering food supplies and mails, abundant supply of corned beef, men unafraid of rough seas and radar. In my later years, I never had a chance to see LORAN upclose, though had a chance to meet former civilian employees. The last time I heard someone talk about it, was from a resident at Panay island. He said that the former station was completely vandalized and the new occupants now are water buffalo. There should be an initiative to maintain the facility not only as a tourist destination but as well as a historical reminder for our province and also in memory for those who were once part of the station. A description of the air operations at LORSTA Catanduanes: "The island of Catanduanes lie…

Bato Church

This magnificently situated edifice greets everyone upon entrance to the town of Bato. It is the only remaining structure of its kind in the entire island. Despite the tests of time, wars, and ravages of natural calamities, it was able to retain its old glory of massive structure of mortar and coral stones. It took 53 years, from 1830 to 1883, to build this Church under six different parish administrators.

A Glimpse Of RP's Newest, Biggest Shopping Mall

QUEZON CITY, Philippines--SM North Edsa, SM Megamall and SM Mall of Asia were included in the top 10 list of the world's biggest malls published recently by Forbes Magazine. With a total area of more than 425,000 square meters, SM North Edsa is now touted as the third-largest shopping mall in the world, next only to South China Mall and Golden Resources Mall in China. multimedia reporter Lawrence Casiraya visits the mall's newly opened Annex wing to see ongoing developments.

Sights In The Northern Part

There are many undiscovered sights in Catanduanes if one is to travel northward. Here are some photos taken at Nahulugan Falls in Gigmoto, Lolong Point lighthouse on Panay Island in Panganiban and Boto ni Kurakog in Bagamanoc. Within Panay island, one can find the old ruins of the former US Naval Station called LORAN (Long Range Aid To Navigation) established in 1953 and disestablished in 1972.