Saturday, August 13, 2016

Katunggan Project

For the search of something relevant to do, we went for a sortie around town and a road led us to an area with a small patch of mangrove cover and a dozen newly planted Rhizophora. Like a time machine, our thoughts brought us to the time where it used to be lush with this unique trees and poked fond memories into awakening.

The contrasting picture from the past timeline and that of the present makes one cringe in disgust for the unabated destruction of the mangrove ecosystem.

Without further whining, we walk the talk and established the area under SB Resolution #19-017 Series of 2013. Planted thousands of Rhizophora sp. with the help of the LGU, AFP, PNP,Academe, the community and the private sectors. The planted propagules looked very promising until it was attacked by barnacles clinging on its stems. Concerted efforts to save it from the infestation was a daunting task by the sheer number of affected plants and the toughness of the barnacles. Other pressing problem arose with the gleaners uprooting the plants in search of shellfishes. Fenced were reinforced to keep away the gleaners and leave the young plants undisturbed.

Faced with the challenging problems, we turned to the vast information over the internet and do our own research. We found our intention grand but were introducing a wrong species in the area thus the high mortality rate. Experimented sowing the available seeds of Avicennia (piapi) from the mature trees in the area and found it grow so well with no barnacles clinging on them with roots well grounded that with stand some wave action.

Currently, we have grown Avicennia, Sonneratia and Rhizophora plants and hopefully can expand planting to adjacent areas to rehabilitate this fragile ecosystem for the benefit of the fishing community.

With scant financial resources, we were able to maintain sustain ably a portion through constant monitoring and donations from private individuals. 1,720 newly planted seedlings  with 560 seeds germinating in our nursery as of to date.

You can help bring back the mangrove ecosystem and improve the lives of our fisherfolks by donating to SMSP BATCH 80'S ADVOCACY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND CULTURAL PRESERVATION, INC. Contact us at +639157137109 email: FB:

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Tabanog Fest Season 5 Soar for the Mangrove

For its 5th consecutive years, the SMSP Batch 80 will once again host the Tabanog Festival in Padada, Davao del Sur on May 14-15, 2016.

This year's kite theme will focus on Coastal and Marine Life in line with our Mangrove Rehabilitation Project. Moreover, this will be the first thematic kite flying competition happening in Davao region or if not the whole country.
It is only this year that we introduce "Dulang Kabilin" a traditional Filipino games which has been a critical part in child development but is obscured by computer games and is subtly buried with oblivion.
See you all Kite Enthusiasts in PADADA!

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Most of my friends and the public at large has an indispensable relationship with their sodas be it Coke, Pepsi, Sprite, RC or what have you. Not a meal is spared wihtout washing it off by this frizzy, gassy and saccharine liquid with a loud and proud belch thereafter.

Am I missing something? Let me enumerate and learn what this fluid made of.

1.CARBONATED WATER - is simply plain water infused with Carbon dioxide which is relatively good for the health as a stand alone drink.

2.HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP (HFCS) - a sweetener made from BT corn. a cheaper alternative to table sugar.
                                            What you get: Metabolic Diseases like Obesity and Diabetes


3.CARAMEL COLOR - is made from 4-methylimidazole to give artificial caramel-ish color of your soda.

                                             What you get: Cancer

4. PHOSPHORIC ACID - deliberately added to sofdrinks to give them a sharper flavor.

                                            What you get: Bone, Dental and Kidney Diseases

5. CAFFEINE - to enhance the flavor of cola beverages.

                                             What you get: Sleep pattern disruption, Increased Anxiety, Hyperactivity and Stomach problem in Children.

6. CITRIC ACID - a commonly used additive.
                                                What you get: Tooth Enamel Erosion, Irritation of the Digestive System, Heartburns, Stomach mucus membrane damage.

7.NATURAL FLAVORS - (kinda scary bit because its the vaguest of all the ingredients)

  According to Pepsico,  Natural Flavor: A natural flavor is a flavor that is derived from a natural substance such as a fruit or fruit juice, spice, vegetable or herb. 
Title 21, Section 101, part 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations says:
”The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.“
               "it could be anything including "castoreum", Castoreum is the dried perineal glands of the beaver contain castoreum — a food additive usually listed as ‘natural flavoring’ in the ingredient list. This food flavoring is extracted from the castor sac scent glands, located between the anus and genitalia, of male and female adult beavers. It has been used for over 80 years in both foods and beverages as a vanilla, raspberry and strawberry flavoring. The FDA says it’s GRAS, meaning it’s “generally recognized as safe.” You won’t see this one on the food label because it’s generally listed as “natural flavoring." ”

8. SUGAR -

What you get: 9 tbsp of sugar/can

 I guess its not totally bad to have some soda fizz but in moderation. Replacing it for water will fatten the pocket of your doctor and your premature meeting with San Pedro.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Fili Equi Bricum

Sprawling on the foothills of the mighty Mt. Apo at 1,600 ASL, surrounded by forest, mantled with mist and cloaked with mysticism is the Kingdom of Moncado Alpha and Omega or popularly known as New Israel in Makilala, North Cotabato.

The community was founded sometime in the 50's by Maximino Sandot Guibernas, who brought with him a nationalistic-patriotic quasi religious organization called the Moncado Alpha and Omega World Peace Crusaders Missionaries, Inc. better known as the Moncadista. Akin to the Amish, the Moncadistas lived together on the same mythical belief but has adopted modernization in contrast with the former.

My guide to the healing river was Dodoy, originally from Sultan Kudarat who came to New Israel at his own volition to be indoctrinated with the teachings of Moncado. The water in the river believed to be a panacea as medical and basic services are hard to come by in the early days. Dodoy's piety and knowledge of the sect gave him some respect in the community and is actively advocating organic farming and the protection of his environment.

The community is now open to all people who wanted to visit the place, it became an eco-tourism adventure park that has a zip line for a perfect thrill and aerial view of the expanse of the community. The most amazing experience in New Israel is the interaction with our simian brothers. The macaques roamed freely in the barrio center and has been a part of the community.

New Israel launched the 1st Eco-Tourism Camp last May 28-30, 2015 supported by the Provincial Government of North Cotabato and organized by Mr. Jojo Dofiles. It positioned the place to be one of the tourism destination of the province and an alternative route to Mt. Apo.

Getting there: Bus/Van that ply the Davao-Cotabato route. Took the non-aircon bus for 35pesos. just tell the bus conductor to drop you off New Israel. Going up is a habalhabal ride for 80pesos a trip which can be divided into a number of pax. Air conditioned van will stop at the junction as well.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Up Up and Away - 3D Kite Competition

The crowed poured in amidst the sweltering solar heat and were loftily dazzled by the colorful and intricately designed kites of the Tabanog Festival Season 4.

Season 4's Kite entries has leveled up with  more artistic design and bigger sizes compared to that of the previous years. The amazing intricate designs of the different kites stunned the audience in awe with overflowing appreciation.

This year's activity was bolstered by the presence of no less than the Regional Director of the Department of Tourism, Mr. Robby Alabado, who flew his kite before judging the competition. Other selected judges were Mr. Jonathan Josol of the Kite Association of the Philippines and Capt. Rey Canlobo of the Echo Coy, 72nd IB.

Kites were judged according to the intricacy of the design and its ability to fly. A cash prize of   Php 7,000 and trophy was awarded to Jay Escosa of Roscom Village, Almendras Dist., Padada for topping the contest. His kite entry was Sr. San Miguel. The Turtle of Mr. Eusebio Cervantes from the same district pocketed Php 5,000 while Mr. Bongski Lanticse brought home Php 3,000 for the 3rd prize for his Zebra entry.

The Kite of the year was awarded to the Sultan Brothers for their Ferrari F1 Kite. It was the audience's favorite whose intricacy of the design stood out among the rest. It made a perfect launch but unfortunately failed to maintain the mandatory 3min flying as God Aeolus wasn't on its favor.

Other crowd pleaser entries were that of Kim Cervantes (Pegasus), Julito Buenaflor (Unicorn), Sultan Brothers (SpiderMan), El Drago of Ardiente Brothers and the Manananggal of Nonoy Tugnao.

Watch out for Tabanog Festival Season 5 next year. It will be a much bigger fun filled event for the whole family.