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Showing posts from April, 2009

Possible Elasmosaurus and Ammonite Fossils Found

There may be fossils of marine monsters in the Silungan ning Higante site north of Dugui Too in Virac.

Last April 5-7, three staffers of the National Museum – museum curators Roberto de Ocampo and Priscila Ong, and budget officer and ISLA composer Jerry Tabirao – joined Oseas Alberto, her sister Marilyn and five guides in a grueling, eight-hour trek to the site to verify the fossil find reported last year by Mr. Alberto.

According to the National Museum researchers, there could be fossils of ancient marine predators buried under the rock at the base of the Silungan rock formation. One of the marine monsters that could be possible found is the long-necked plesiosaur called elasmosaurus, which lived 70 million years ago. Fossils of ammonites, which lived at almost the same time, have been found by Alberto at the Silungan and he has donated his find to the National Museum.

A proper expedition to the site would need funding, something which the Museum does not have. Probably, foreign scienti…

RP Now Center of Threats in Coral Triangle, Expert Says

While the Philippines is being regarded as the center of marine biodiversity, it has now become a “center of threats” with its diversity declining too fast due to human exploitation, a visiting US marine biodiversity expert said Monday.


Dr. Kent Carpenter, a professor of Biological Sciences in Old Dominion University, is in the country to help in the assessment of threats of extinction to certain marine species as part of the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) project.

The Coral Triangle is bordered by six countries, namely the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Solomon Islands, and Timor Leste.

The Coral Triangle, where Philippines is at the apex, covers 6.5 million square kilometers and is considered the global center of marine biodiversity, with over 600 reef-building coral species or 75 percent of all known coral species in the world and more than 3,000 fish species.

In 2004, Carpenter led a study that discovered the Philippines as the “center of marine biodiversity” d…

Lighthouse or Parola

In many movies, old lighthouses are often depicted as a rendezvous for lovers, a beckon of hope for navigators and a lure for fishermen. It is also a temporary refuge for birds and wildlife. For designers and builders, it is a structural challenge and an engineering feat. Centuries old lighthouses still stand today in many parts of the world.


Catanduanes being an island, has numerous lighthouses. Designs and sizes varies, the most modern of which, is located on Panay Island in Panganiban (Payo). It is fully automated and solar powered.

Decades ago, most of these lighthouses are kerosene powered and manually operated. A lighthouse keeper has to brave the dark, armed only with a flashlight, matches and a torch, rain or shine, just to get his job done. Possibly, a challenging task and extremely dangerous job when one has to cross a sea during a stormy weather.

This one is possibly the smallest of its kind, one located in Batalay, Bato. Perhaps, this one is a navigational aid to warn naviga…

Glimpse of Catanduanes Watershed Forest Reserve

These photos taken in 2007 at the Catanduanes Watershed Forest Reserve, a protected area. Twenty-two years after being proclaimed as a forest reserve, now a part (500 hectares) of it, is under threat of inclusion in the looming coal mining operation on the island. Please view the map below. The white line on the map is the area proclaimed as Catanduanes Watershed Forest Reserve on June 23, 1987 under Proclamation No. 123 by the former President Corazon C. Aquino. A 26,010 hectares of forested areas, covering the municipalities of Virac, San Andres, Caramoran, San Miguel and Baras. ...maybe, its about time to know the true value of our forest, now, and not by the time they are gone, permanently and irreversibly damaged.

Churches in Catanduanes

Catanduanes is composed of 11 municipalities, but there are 18 parishes distributed island wide. There are 3 parishes in the capital town Virac, 3 in Viga, 3 in Bato and 2 in San Andres. Although radical architectural changes have been made in many of the centuries old churches. From baroque to contemporary architecture and basic structural changes from coral stones to cement. Still many of the old practices and traditions are revered and observed up to this day. Happy Easter!


Vicariate of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
Vicar Forane: Rt. Rev. Msgr. Jose B. Molina, PA, VG

Virac Cathedral (F-1755), Virac 4800 Catanduanes
Population: 42,045; Catholics: 41,204
Titular: Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, December 8
Parish Priest: Rev. Msgr. Jose B. Molina, PA, VG
Parochial Vicars: Fr. Allan Martin Basilio, Fr. Joseph Saratan, Fr. Pascual Macuja (Retired, In Residence), Fr. Sid Jose Sanchez, Fr. Paul I. Isorena

Cabugao (F-1911), Bato 4801 Catanduanes
Population: 9,288; Catholics: 9,18…

Tatoy Falls in Barangay Kilikilihan

Unknown to many, there are many waterfalls that could be a good place to visit this summer, two in Barangay Kilikilihan in San Miguel, Tatoy and Imog falls. Roughly an one hour ride from Virac and same if coming from Viga. This small village is located at the heart of the island, population as of 2007 census is 996. Please view the videos of Tatoy falls and its surroundings.

A Bicol Journey - MB

As you read this, you only have four days to plan a vacation. The Lenten retreat weekend arrives next week – the time of the year when a mass of urbanites escape the metropolis and the summer heat that leave EDSA and the malls surprisingly empty. And if you’ve entirely forgotten about planning any activity, you can drive to the usual pools in Laguna or Batangas or you can drive farther to Subic or the perennial favorite destination – Baguio. But I’m warning you – those destinations are sure to be packed with people that there’s a big possibility that you may see a colleague at a restaurant or be booked in the same hotel as your boss! How’s that for a vacation?

This year, I challenge you to awaken the “adventurous kid” inside you. No, this doesn’t mean that you have to try out an extreme sport or eat some exotic food. This is just a long drive that requires you to just have a reliable vehicle, a few thousand pesos, an updated road map, and of course, a great company – whether they are…