Category Archives: Travel

Open Pit Mines as Assets for Ecotourism and Waste to Energy (WTE) Projects

During a recent Q&A with the DENR Secretary and his team on 15 June 2017 at Makati-Shangri-la, Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation (MMDC) President Isidro ‘Butch’ C. Alcantara brought into light the potential of rehabilitated open pit mines to become assets for ecotourism and waste to energy projects.

Alcantara added that since mining companies will eventually have to give up their rights on the open pit mines after rehabilitation, there are currently NO CLEAR RULES & GUIDELINES as to the handover of responsibility on the implementation of future projects once these mines have finished operations.

The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) said it is working in close coordination with the Mines & Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and is reviewing these open pit mines to become sanitary landfills after mine rehabilitation.

However, Alcantara was quick to add that “… it’s not just landfill. Some of them are really good prospects for ecotourism and waste to energy (projects)”.

For the full story, refer to the video clip below:

The Historical Significance Behind South Africa’s Freedom Day

For South Africa, the road to democracy was a long and difficult one.

History states that South Africa’s freedom was hard earned, yet despite years of conflict, racial discrimination, and even bloodshed, South Africa continues to rise above its challenges.

April 27 also commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held in 1994. This was the first historical democratic elections where the first non-racial national elections was held. On this day, we not only remember the bitter history and wrongs of the past, but to celebrate just how far the country has come as a nation in building bridges to a better future.

Now, the country is on its 23rd year of commemorating its Freedom. Though South Africa is still in the process of achieving the truest essence of freedom, the need to acknowledge the good achieved keeps South Africa motivated and moving forward.

Last night, I was privileged to join the South African Embassy in celebrating the country’s 23rd Freedom Day Celebration.

To never forget one’s history, to fight injustice in all its forms and to see how far one has come – may it be for a person, community, or a country – is what makes freedom all the more significant and integral for humanity to thrive.

Thank you to the South African Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Martin Slabber for having me. I am one with South Africa in commemorating this milestone in your country’s rich history. Happy Freedom day my dear friends!

SA Freedom Day Celebration

Enjoy summer without the burn!

Summer just arrived and it can be scorching hot not only outside but inside your home.

If you’re like me who easily gets dehydrated during the summer, fear not! There are ways to cope despite the excruciatingly hot weeks to follow.

Drink more water during the summer. Since sunburn draws fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body, drinking extra water when you are sunburned helps prevent dehydration.

Stay indoors from 10AM to 4PM. The sun’s rays are strongest during these hours. If you can’t stay indoors during that block of time, at least stick to shady spots.

Hats are in vogue! When you have to be outdoors, wear sun-protective clothing, such as a broad-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt and pants. This includes wearing sunscreen to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

Take frequent showers to help relieve the pain. Make sure to gently pat yourself dry after a cold shower and apply moisturizer to trap the water in your skin.

The heat can be bearable if approached with caution. Aside from the above, make sure to bring a camera with you and safely make the most of the sunnier days we have in this tropical paradise we call the Philippines!

Beating the Heat
In image left to right: No. 1 – Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration, No. 2 – Avoid the Sun from 10AM to 4PM, No. 3 – Wear wide brimmed hats for protection, and No. 4 – Take cold showers to combat the pain of sunburn.

 

References:
“This Summer keep Sunburn at Bay”. 17 April 2017. Yahoo! News. https://in.news.yahoo.com/summer-keep-sunburn-bay-025144759.html

An Epic Fail for Pub Crawl Event

Last Saturday evening, I was invited to this event called Pub Crawl.

A friend said it was an event where a group of people would rendezvous at a particular point and then hop from one pub to the next. Thinking that we would be pub hopping to new finds around Makati City, I agreed. Who wouldn’t want to know the newest pubs in the place where I live right? Also, knowing what a decent pub was, I figured there was a little bit of English elegance to it. Boy, was I wrong.

In my line of work, I meet a lot of people. Most, if not all, are business owners and/or are high caliber professionals in the industries I am involved in. I do not exaggerate. I attend so many events and are involved with so many groups, projects and companies, networking has become second nature to me.

Part of the success of my networking experience is that in every event, or group I get involved in, there has always been common ground. It’s either we have common friends, or is connected some way to my family, or we come from the same industry, or we’ve worked on a project together in the past — friends introduce me to their friends who they think could add value to each other’s professions and businesses. People adding value to one another.

There was nothing of value from the event I attended last Saturday night. In fact, I was so embarrassed to be around the group I refused to have my picture taken. It was that bad.

The profile of the group was young, their background – unknown. Obviously, it was not the crowd for someone who talks to so many high-caliber professionals on a day to day basis. I was so angry at myself for letting my friend talk me into it, I was seriously fuming on my way home. I have never been so humiliated and embarrassed in my life.

Upon arrival at Z Hostel (why Rommel and his team would cater to events such as this is beyond me), I immediately asked for the agenda: What pubs we were going to, etc. No one could provide me with concrete information. In fact, one of the organizers said it was a secret. A surprise.

My initial thought was: A secret? A surprise? As a paying customer, wouldn’t I want to know where I was being taken to? What if this was an organized attempt to profile and eventually kidnap their customers? (I’m exaggerating but you get the drift). As I looked around the room, I found a lot of sleazily dressed women with thick layers of make-up puffing on their cigarettes and drinking cheap beer. “What you are, you attract” couldn’t have been more true at this stage. From that point on, I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy the rest of the evening.

Second, they made us wear these awful, awful, awful yellow shirts. They didn’t even buy decent name tags to go with those shirts. To cut costs, one of the organizers wrote on my Php 500 brand new shirt with a marker. They should have written “desperate” on each of the participants forehead while they were at it! Just thinking about this particular incident makes me cringe.

The event had the feel of a school field trip except there was no principal or teacher. The event was immensely juvenile. To put it subtly, it was a hook-up joint. A twist to the usual networking-masked-as-speed-dating-events you hear about.

My gut was right from the start. I should have listened to it. But the good news was that, after my walk out, I gave my shirt to our houseboy in my building. It fit him like a glove.

American aid volunteer writes new book on “Yolanda”

How do you survive a super typhoon with the destructive force of an atomic bomb? How did the people of Tacloban City, who survived the wrath of Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), cope in the aftermath of a storm for the ages? What was it like on the ground for aid workers in the city, weeks and months later?

More than two years after the strongest recorded typhoon on Earth claimed the lives of at least 6,300 in Tacloban and elsewhere in the Philippines, William Rodney “Bill” Shaw attempts to answer these questions – and some of his own – from the perspective of those who lived through its horrors in the new book “Yolanda: The Roaring, The Waves, The Waiting”.Bill Shaw

Self-published by Shaw and printed in the Philippines, the book is based on the experiences of seven individuals living in Tacloban before, during and after Yolanda. Their stories are retold and mixed with the American’s own insights as an aid worker who volunteered in Tacloban for four months, distributing food, relief packs, and building homes for the city’s survivors.

“These seven lives represent a complicated intersection — of understanding and misunderstanding, freedom and captivity, personal faith and cultural beliefs,” Shaw says in a note on the book’s back cover. “We can find heroes in these pages, but no winners. Yolanda underscores the face of catastrophe, where everyone suffers and everyone struggles to overcome.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bill Shaw and his wife Deborah — a photographer who took the images found in the “Yolanda” book — first came to the Philippines in 2002 with Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL Philippines). Bill also worked as an administrator at Faith Academy in Cainta, Rizal until 2004.

With Filipino friends, the Shaws also founded Urban Opportunities for Change Foundation Inc., which published “The Jeepney” street magazine in the Philippines in 2008. It followed the concept of “street papers” that provide employment for the homeless and indigent in First World countries.

Urban was also responsible for forming and sending football teams to represent the Philippines to the Homeless World Cup, which uses “the beautiful game” to inspire homeless people to change their own lives. Over 70 countries participate in this annual tournament.

Bill and Debbi currently live and work in Traverse City, Michigan. Bill sits on the Board of Speak Up Magazine, Inc., and Speak Up Michigan, Inc., both non-profits giving jobs and a voice to people experiencing homelessness in Michigan and North Carolina. They also manage a series of rental properties and occasionally take on electrical contracting projects.

ABOUT THE BOOK

“Yolanda: The Roaring, The Waves, The Waiting” (224 pages, self-published by William Shaw through Urban Opportunities for Change LLC) is available in the Philippines for Php 500.

Cover Yolanda1

Please send orders to Kids International Ministries (KIM), c/o New Faith Family Children’s Home Foundation, #3 Birds of Paradise, Valley Golf Road, Cainta, Rizal, Philippines 1900. You may also call KIM at +632 658 4820.

Eighty percent (80%) of the proceeds of the book will go to KIM’s disaster relief efforts in Tacloban City.

“Yolanda: The Roaring, The Waves, The Waiting” will be launched today February 18, 2016 (Thursday) at the Nuvo bar in Greenbelt 2 in Makati City from 4:30 to 8:00 p.m.

It will also be launched in Tacloban City on February 20, 2016 (Saturday) at the “Lighthouse”, Lot# 36708, near Payapay Bridge, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.

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FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT:
Jimbo Gulle, phones (0917) 775-1479 or (0919) 999-5166; email: jimbo dot gulle at gmail dot com