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LANDFILL HARMONIC

MORI FASHION

VERTICAL FARMING

LET THERE BE LIGHT

BAMBOO BIKE

vol.

03

FEBRUARY 2014

GREENPIECE

YOUR PIECE, IN GREEN

THE OFFICIAL ECO MAGAZINE OF ANG PAMANTASAN


Le re t’s t f th err alk in e ab an g ca o co d S rdi to t ut na N he A nn out EW l nd ec jo di h. re u r t ec ed Al w rn S. N la th e, t al fr ,t x o i is at f he ou ion tic , I’m to end or gh s: A l a w at l N n t y no pa e m g a th o t om Pa er t ey rth rm ge rds wa A , i s m , ’ r s s na y. V e at an ea re s Ea of al ar nt tu h Z s w si om t, ta er a hu io re ay thi sa er us nd sm s eh We to s, to m wil en n, it p s o e l t a w t a er nj j M an alk w oy ga be sp oy ay ab ec life te .P re zin tac d e. ou t .M kl a y ed ive in t. an din an ou g! an on s o t o f N ec ga th on, E e Ed ne WS ito xt r-

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FR TH O ED E M IT O R S

CONTENTS 04 We’re On Our Way

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t rs te gh rit Li ! t C s y Be ie bo el re -a od k i g el he nl M Pa U tT to ng Le ying yo ish s aa Sp 10 d bb M Ru slan 3 11 I -1 om re 12 Fr su ea Tr 14

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05 Trees and Stories

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06 Vertical Farming: Growing Up, Growing Smart

07 Flipside (A Scary Encounter with Mother Nature)

08 Bambike: Road Cycling, the Healthier Way

Float Beijing: Pollution-Sensing Kites

09 A Breakthrough in Science and Technology

Seashells Inspired ‘Unbreakable’ Glasses

GREENPIECE VOL. 3 FEBRUARY 2014 Zhusmita May P. Manangan Editor-in-Chief Jan Michael B. Suarez Associate Editor Jouel Mina C. Ayes Managing Editor Anna Lorraine D. Galura News Editor Adle Meye R. Enriquez Assistant News Editor Mary Pauline G. Del Rosario Features Editor Jules Andrew P. Garcia Filipino Editor Carl Jerome Obosa Velasco Literary Editor Martin A. Sadongdong Sports Editor Ma. Karisha Mae C. Orcullo Business Manager Allaine Jolina O. Matic Board Secretary Anne Jane M. Pandian Circulations Manager Andrelyn Claire A. Bautista, Neima G. Chowdhury, Ann Marie G. Estonilo, Jessica Christine R. Montecino, Eloah Anawim B. Valenciano News Staff Keith Niño B. Medrano, Glendel D. Nazario Features Staff Jessica B. Pag-iwayan Filipino Staff Fleurhelmina S. Ang, Phoemela Nicole V. Ballaran Literary Staff Mc Jazer R. Malonda Sports Staff Carl Jerome Obosa Velasco, Mary Pauline G. Del Rosario Cover/Back Cover Carl Jerome Obosa Velasco Layout Prof. Manuel P. Mogato Technical Adviser www.facebook.com/angpamantasanplm

www.twitter.com/angpamantasan

angpamantasan1979@yahoo.com


With all the stress that the academic life entails, it is not surprising that everyone wishes to take a break and slack on rich green grasses while feeling the warmth of the sunshine. GreenPiece aims to bring your heart closer to nature and to stimulate your urge in exploring the wilderness of life. We live in the realm of nature, and we are all aware of this. Fortunately, it only takes a head turn to feel its presence. Let’s go on an adventure! It is only when we connect with nature that we feel one with it.

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21 A “Pasyal” in the Little Europe

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of Old Manila 22 Green Thumb

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S Th eve e nW U nv on 20 In ei de W lin r G h re ic g so h en of f a in its Ma G g i of rl Be nil Be th au a e co ty G m ra es y th e Fo re

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Mary Pauline G. Del Rosario, Features Editor

23 Otherworldy Getting In Contact with the Earth The Celluloid Rehash The Kings of Summer


WE’RE ON OUR WAY

THE HILL

BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB

TRAVELLING PAPER LIONS

FALLEN SNOW AU REVIOR SIMONE

BEHIND THE SEA PANIC! AT THE DISCO

A WALK TYCHO

GROWN OCEAN

SKY HIGH

WE’RE ON OUR WAY

COUNTY LINE

CASS McCOMBS

RADICAL FACE

FLEET FOXES

THE HIGH ROAD

BROKEN BELLS

MARBLE SOUNDS

LAZY DAYS

BEACH FOSSILS

TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME

PALE AS THE DAY INTO THE TREES OUTERHOPE

STILL CORNERS

SHANE MACK

NATURE TRIPS MADAGASCAR EYEDRESS LAKE

ANY FUN

SUMMER IN EXILE HARPER BLYNN

DAVY

WE’LL GO ON A TRIP, YOU AND I ICE DRAGON

DANIEL MOIR

BATTERSEA PARK SOME GORGEOUS ACCIDENT

RAINY DAY STARS

SEVEN SEAS

ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN

ITCHYWORMS FUN.

SEASIDE

THE KOOKS

ON THE SEA

BEACH HOUSE

THE OCEAN THE DODOS

MOTHER NATURE’S SON THE BEATLES

PHOEMELA NICOLE V. BALLARAN CARL JEROME OBOSA VELASCO

SUNDRUNK

Let the sense of adventure take over you. The ocean, with its aimless beauty of vast waters, awaits for a dip. Vicariously, you adjunct your soul with the birds, trying as much as to fleet with the wind headfirst, relying solely on their internal compass as they navigate the sky. The natural wonders of this world begin to occupy your mind, each is equally marvelous in its own element. Do not hinder motion. Experience that great escapade lingering in your inner pilgrim, accompanied by some tunes that will lift your desire to give in to nature’s hideaway.

SONGS NOT OUTSOURCED.

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Great philosopher Cicero once said, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”

TREES AND STORIES ADLE MEYE R. ENRIQUEZ

You are comfortably sitting on a wooden bench while eagerly holding a hardbound book. You are hooked in reading this perfect novel from cover to cover, your eyeglasses almost falling off of your nose. Beautiful oak trees and damp grass surround you which make you feel peaceful and safe. Birds are starting to chirp out of their nests, like singing a melody from a dramatic opera. You are almost at the climax of what you are reading and you feel that the nature is conspiring with the intensity of occurrences in the novel as the cool air sends a shiver down your spine every time it blows unexpectedly. Great philosopher Cicero once said, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” Indeed, some of the basic necessities of human race are food and knowledge. Let us digest the words of Cicero one by one. I believe that what he meant with garden is, this is where we can easily find food to eat, edible fruits to be exact. And with library, we usually gain wisdom through different reading

materials. A garden and a library would be perfect if we want a simple life. On the other side, which is another belief on Cicero’s statement, it is also true that reading books amidst the natural environment that surrounds you is such a great way to relax. The vast and serene view of trees and grass relaxes everyone’s soul and makes one forget the mundane happenings in his life. To be in a quiet and soothing place while reading an interesting book is what most passionate readers want so they can fully concentrate and feel the story written in every pages of the book. In Busan, South Korea, a forest library can be found at the base of Baekyang Mountain. Phone booth-like shelves were placed before the entrance to the comforting Unsu Temple. The shelves contain over 300 books, including illustrated children books, comic books, classics, and novels for adults. Visitors are allowed to borrow books without any charge and bring the selected reading material to the nearest bench or wooden chair for

them to peacefully read. The forest library was a part of South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s National Reading Campaign last 2012. It was constructed to encourage Koreans to read at least twelve books by the end of the year without actually carrying around heavy books and staying indoors while reading. Moreover, no one guards the forest library so it also showcases honesty, trust and generosity among readers. Other forest libraries can be also found in the areas of Incheon, Seoul, Daegu and Gyeonggi-do Province of South Korea. Adventure within books is one of the best ways in gaining knowledge while staying in a quiet place makes us contemplate and appreciate the beauty of life. Trees and stories from books could be a perfect match whenever we want to take a break and to have a positive emotional development within ourselves.

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VERTICAL FARMING: GROWING UP, GROWING SMART By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the Earth’s population will reside in urban centers; the human population will increase by about three billion with an estimated 109 hectares of land to grow enough food to feed them.

ANDRELYN CLAIRE A. BAUTISTA Truth be told, sources of food supply will dramatically diminish and ‘til then, the concern for starvation will cause disturbing mayhem. But here’s the catch, these contemplations will remain fiction if and only as early as now, the full realization of vertical farming will come into everybody’s consideration. According to Dickson Despommier, professor of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia, and one of the pioneers of this idea, vertical farming is a greenhouse-based method of agriculture, where commercially viable crops would be cultivated and grown inside multi-storey buildings that will mimic the ecological system. Logically, it is where crops and vegetation shall be grown, consuming a massive agriculture expansion in existing urban properties. Constructing these vertical farm units will develop a closed-in system where waste products, air, water and minerals, needed by plants and vegetables to thrive, will be recycled. It aims to generate energy, maintain a pesticidefree farming technology, effective waste management as a means of sustaining food production all within one vertical farm building. This greenhouse-based method of hightech farming will provide alternative resources for food production. Thus, allowing depleted agricultural lands to take a break from agricultural use and misuse. Cool, right? The crossroads of farming and technology have come into an immense junction that, might serve as potential solution to food scarcity, hence, towards a greener environment in the distant future. Vertical farming as a self-sustaining method of food production will also bring the following possible benefits: 1. Crops will be protected from harsh weather conditions and disturbances such as typhoons, floods, droughts, snow and the likes. As a result, food

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transport won’t be a hassle to parties involved. Save effort, reap bucks.

needed labor force from our own scientists, well, best of luck.

2. Less food transport is also equal to less price increase. Say hello to a more budget-friendly community.

2. There will be fewer varieties of food to choose from because not all plants and vegetables, are suitable in a controlled and limited environment.

3. Crops will be consumed immediately upon harvest since there is no need to transport them to far-off places. There won’t be spoiled veggies anymore. Get it? 4. Waste, especially the ones coming from fast foods and restaurants will be composted in every vertical farm building; thus, it will result to less garbage for rats and cockroaches to thrive on. Now that’s clean!. 5. Reduction in vehicular transport is also foreseen; there will be less demand for delivery trucks, garbage trucks and other utilities; more money to save. Though it cannot be helped that there will be skeptics who will not be easily convinced about the benefits of this endeavor, other possible disadvantages as cited in an article on brighthub.com are as follows: 1. The initial phase will be cost intensive, and certain flaws integrated in the system that may appear during its initial run can still dampen efforts for its full maximization. Together with the country’s debt on hold and

3. The public will find it hard to reconcile with the idea of using black water for food production; thus, concerning the population’s general health. Believe it or not, a number of countries are already on its way of embracing this innovative farming technique. Vertical farming is also being practiced in some regions here in the country, especially in the mountainous parts of Benguet for seasonal crops such as strawberries, corn and the like. In fact, Senator Lito Lapid once proposed Urban Agriculture and Vertical Farming Act of 2011. However, it cannot be pushed through due to lack of compact support from orgnizations. But hey, wouldn’t we do anything to save Mother Nature? Theoretically, with the advent of technology, there is no way but to go up in the same manner that we would want to play creatively with our ideas. Why not be smart to start the change?


FLIPSIDE (A SCARY ENCOUNTER WITH MOTHER NATURE) ANN MARIE G. ESTONILO Strolling around the forest, mountain hiking, picking up wild flowers near the lake or just simply lying down the grassland with all the wilderness around— is the picture of a perfect nature escapade. But for some, the mere idea of having a trip in the forest actually sends shivers down their spine for nature isn’t a place for a getaway but rather a place that they literally need to get away from. The following nature phobias may seem a little bit absurd and amusing but for people who have it, a closer encounter with the environment is chilling.

1. ANTHOPHOBIA While everybody sees flowers as signs of beauty, love, and devotion, a person with Anthophobia actually freaks out at the sight or thought of one. Any kind or species can distress an anthophobic just like how petals or leaves move. 2. HYLOPHOBIA The big bad wolf, the Grimm reaper and all those hair-raising monsters out of your fairytale books are the characters that hinder a hylophobic from entering the woods. People suffering from this avoid adventures which involve contact with nature, even simple walks at the park. 3. LIMNOPHOBIA Thinking of lakes, rivers or swamps makes us imagine ourselves sailing, swimming and picnicking over homemade sandwiches and freshlypicked fruits. But for a few, even the thought of just putting a finger on these bodies of water makes them shudder with fear. But the phobia isn’t actually because of the ‘water’ but rather, the thought of what lies beneath its deep surface. 4. AGRIZOOPHOBIA Nobody would definitely want to be tracked down and chased after a wild beast but this specific phobia goes beyond the healthy boundary, for an agrizoophobe could not even stand being near any kind of wildlife. They

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can’t even bear the thought of having a pet or even entering a zoo to view an animal from afar. 5.HELIOPHOBIA Heliophobes will do whatever it takes to avoid sunlight. Yes, just like Count Dracula and Edward Cullen. The fear may actually come from petty concerns about skin diseases or world obliteration from sun explosion. Moreover, people with extreme fear of sunlight can actually do bizarre things from covering every part of their body, to closing windows and even locking up themselves in a dark room just to escape the horrific idea of being under the spotlight.

“Mother Nature may be considered as a haven and sanctuary by most of us, but there are some who find its beauty dreadful and disturbing. A place they need to run away from to survive.”

6. ANABLEPHOBIA For most wandering souls, the perfect way to escape reality and to relax is looking at the night skies with its moon, stars and other heavenly bodies. But for people who suffer from Anablephobia, which literally means “fear of looking up”, the mystery and infinity of the universe is a very disturbing notion. Some of them is even shaken at the idea that the “sky is falling”, thus disabling them to enjoy the picturesque scenery of the stars.

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Jessica Christine R. Montecino

Float Beijing: Pollution-Sensing Kites Before, it was only the Great Wall of China that people saw as something to reach for, but now they have discovered to look up high in the sky and spread colorful luminescent kites over the horizon. In Beijing, China, an interactive community-oriented project emerged and became known as the Float Beijing. Through kite-making and kite-flying, air quality was monitored as a solution to their problem as being one of the 10 most polluted cities in the world (according to The Blacksmith Institute in collaboration with Green Cross Switzerland), a joint effort of a Chinese and a United States graduate student turned the ancient Chinese kite flying tradition into a new and technologically advanced tool for solving air pollution. These kites use a specially developed module which detects carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and other particulate matter. The modules are then attached to handmade kites and flown into the air. It does not only detect and display but also collect data and store them for later use. What makes the kites even more interesting are the LED lights that change in color prior to detection level. Green for good, yellow for moderate, red for unhealthy and pink for severely unhealthy, creating a constellation of air-quality-indicating lights in the night sky. Through series of workshops, Float Beijing enabled local residents to take air quality monitoring into their own hands and at the same time, establish networks within the community. People from different walks of life were brought together in a Do-It-Yourself effort to make kites and let it fly above the sky. On the other side, it turned out to be a public art project illuminating kites like stars on a clear night sky.

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Back in 1800s, when it was first used by a German inventor Baron Karl von Drais, bike frames were typically made of steel tubing instead of wood or cast iron, making it stronger and heavier. Now, in the Philippines, an innovation on bicycles is made to help in protecting the environment. The so called bambuilders meticulously select the bamboos from the mountain, then these will undergo treatment processes for firmness and fortification. The bicycles made are known to many as ‘‘BamBikes’’, a short term for bamboo bikes. Bambike is made up of three kinds of bamboos, namely: bayog, tinik and buho. It is now becoming the hottest item for environmentalists due to its reduced carbon footprints. One of its advantages is the durability and lightness of its material; weighing only seven to 10 pounds compared to a regular bicycle which weighs 25 pounds or less. Behind the idea of revolutionized bike was Bryan Benitez McClelland. According to him, the concept of bamboo bikes originated from Africa. He came up with the idea of having BamBikes in the country from his study in the United States about sustainable development and environmental resource management. He further explained that BamBikes are as lightweight as alloy-made bikes and have passed the European standards as a proof of a high quality product. The environment never fails to offer us a lot of new things. All we have to do is turn our heads and discover its beauty little by little.

BamBike: Road Cycling, the Healthier Way

Jouel Mina C. Ayes


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A Breakthrough in Science and Technology

Jules Andrew P. Garcia

Seashells inspired ‘unbreakable’ glasses

The fragility of a glass is one of the problems of a glassmaker and a klutz. Due

to the inevitable gravitational pull, once a person drops a glass on the floor, it instantly shatters into shards. However, with the new discovery of some researchers in Canada about the intricate patterns of seashells which enabled them to make unbreakable glasses, sooner or later, its fragility will never be a problem anymore.

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Strange as it may sound, but it is true that a new type of glass that is malleable and shatterproof has already been designed. Researchers from

the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Montreal’s McGill University found that the unique and natural structures of seashells and mollusks can create tough glasses. “Mollusk shells are made up of about 95 percent chalk, which is very brittle in its pure form. But nacre, or the mother-of-pearl, which coats the inner shells, is made up of microscopic tablets that are a bit like miniature Lego building blocks. Also, nacre is known to be extremely strong and tough, which is why people have been studying its structure for the past twenty years,” Professor François Barthelat, research team head said. He added that since the past attempts of recreating the structure of nacre have always been as difficult as building a Lego wall with microscopic building blocks, he and his team embarked on a different approach where they studied the “weak” internal boundaries or edges in natural material like nacre.

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Afterwards, they used lasers in engraving networks of threedimensional miniature cracksin glass slide to make similar “weak” boundaries.

Etching networks of microcracks in configurations of crimped lines in shapes similar to the wavy edges of pieces in a jigsaw puzzle in borosilicate glass surfaces prevent the cracks from spreading and from getting worse. Thus, the

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scientists were able to create a glass that is up to 200 times tougher and stronger than the normal one. Some suggested that filling the gaps in the microcracks using polyurethane helps a lot to make it even sturdier, but Barthelat insisted that the micro-cracks alone could already prevent the glass from breaking. Years from now, these newly invented glasses can become perfect materials in the creation of vases, mobile/laptop screens and others.

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Meanwhile, after this success, he, along with his team, plans to go on to work with ceramics and polymers in the future. This 21st century, the rapid advent of astounding discoveries and inventions is indubitably unstoppable. As

science and technology advance, more and more solutions to various problems of humanity (even to smallest ones) are being found and created. Indeed, we are living in an extraordinary world where nature and technology work hand-in-hand in providing us not just only our essential needs but also marvelous surprises.

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KERATOISIS FLEXIBILIS

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Like the dinoflagellates, this deep-sea bamboo coral only lights up when disturbed. Not much is known about Keratosis Flexibilis, except that its prickly spines are coated with slime which, as scientists speculate, might be toxic.

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DINOFLAGELLATE

T In the beginning, everything was engulfed in darkness. Then God said, “Let there be light” and there came light. God saw that the light was good and we could not agree more, especially when we get hold of the fact that there are life forms which were given the ability to literally make their bodies glow. Bioluminescence is the production of light by a living organism thru chemical reaction, which is made possible by the substances luciferin and luciferase. It’s still a mystery though as to what is the purpose of their light-emitting ability. Some scientists speculate that it is a form of self-defense; some say that it is used to lure prey. But perhaps, these luminous beings create their own light and flaunt it around to make us marvel at the splendor of this world and to remind us to be radiant ourselves.

Dinoflagellate is a microscopic marine organism (a type of plankton, to be exact) and certain species (such as G. catenata, G. digitale, G. hyaline), produce bioluminescence. It only glows when disturbed, making the waters glow an electric blue as if mirroring the breathtaking view of the stars above it.

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ARACHNOCAMPA LUMINOSA

Responsible for this ethereal, galaxy-like display of light is a species of small, dark, shortlived flies known as fungus gnats (Arachnocampa Luminosa) or simply glowworm. It is native to Australia and New Zealand, taking residence in caves or sheltered areas. Beneath this electrifying view lays a slightly sinister fact— glowworm uses its light as a trap, luring its prey into its sticky, web-like structure.

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What makes Quantula Striata unique is the fact that it is the only land snail to exhibit bioluminescence, which could be attributed to an organ known as the “organ of Haneda”. It only flashes whenever it moves and feeds. Its eggs and newly hatched

snails glow, while juveniles produce only flashes of light and the same goes with most, adult snails. PHOEMELA NICOLE V. BALLARAN

MYCENA LUCENTIPES Literally means “glowing stem”, Mycena Lucentipes’ stem shines so bright that it seems like the caps of the mushroom illuminate as well. It is one of the brightest-glowing species. Collectively, luminous species of fungi (such as Mycena Lucentipes) causes fox fire, a bioluminescent occurrence in the forest.

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SPYING UNLIKELY CRITTERS We usually ignore tiny creatures lurking around us. Most of the time, we even freak out at the sight of them. But for now, gather all your guts and be ready with your magnifying glasses and micro-biology books. We will take a closer look at these exceptional living organisms and together, we will find out the amazing characteristics that each possesses.

BRITTLE STAR (OPHIUROIDEA)

BUSH KATYDID (COPIPHORA GORGONENSIS)

AMERICAN HOUSE SPIDER (PARASTEATODA TEPIDARIORUM)

Brittle Star or Ophiuroids are closely related to starfish. Its skeleton, which serves as an armor, has microscopic lenses that could turn into a compound eye. According to an article in Natural History, scientists saw crystalline bumps made of calcium carbonate on the skeleton of a brittle star. These crystal-clear bumps were proved to be a high quality microscopic lenses that focus light onto what seem to be photosensitive nerves just below the plates and that these lenses has exact shape needed to produce the desired image. This discovery allowed the possibility of producing low-cost micro lenses made of calcium carbonate.

Despite having ears that measure less than a millimeter long, the South American Bush Katydid can still hear sounds just like the way humans do. The insect’s ears, which are located on its two front legs, are counted as one of the smallest ears of any creature on Earth. Scientists discovered that there is an acoustic vesicle inside the Katydid’s ears which detect a wide range of frequencies even from a long distance. Experts believe that this discovery could lead to the development of more sophisticated hearing devices, biomedical imaging systems for hospitals and ultrasonic non-destructive evaluators to assess structural integrity of building and bridges.

American House Spiders are known by the cobweb they build in order to catch bugs. Though we treat all these webs similar every time we see one, research proves that spiders could produce two types of web using a single type of glue. The first type, which are usually seen on a wall or ceiling, are made with patches of silk called scaffolding discs.Webs of this type are typically more rigid than the patches of silk called gumfoot discs that are usually attached to the ground. This unique ability of American House Spiders lead to further researchers on developing a synthetic adhesive that can be used for bandages and for treating bone fractures.

These discoveries will make a valuable contribution to creating bio-inspired medical equipment that will benefit mankind in the future. Such also prove how much we can learn by carefully observing nature, specially the creatures that reside in it.

TEXT BY

JESSICA B. PAG-IWAYAN

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Maayong Pag-abot! MA. KARISHA MAE C. ORCULLO

Enough of the never-ending stress. Enough of the pollution that I’m forever immune with. Enough of the lifestyle and environment I used to have in the Metro. I need a break. I need to temporarily forget and leave behind innumerable circumstances, drawbacks and discomforts that life in the real world offers. Nothing bears in mind other than sitting back, traveling, and relaxing. Indeed, I need to get away. MAY 21, 7:40 AM; MACTAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT I closed my eyes for a while, took a deep breath, and savored the welcoming breeze of the Queen City of the South – Cebu. As I arrived, a greeting which said, “Maayong Adlaw!” from the crew served as my stroke of luck to carry along during the rest of my stay in the town. MAY 21, 9:35 AM; MAGELLAN’S CROSS Many say that when you visit Cebu, you shouldn’t miss the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino, the oldest Roman Catholic Church established in the country. As well as the chapel next to it that houses Magellan’s Cross. Apart from being amazed of its massive and well-designed structure, you’ll

surely have a moment of silence while visualizing the exact scenario that had marked in the Philippine history, the arrival of Christianism. It is symbolized by a 492-year-old cross, encased in a tindalo wood cross for its mere preservation. MAY 22, 8:00 AM; SIMALA, SIBONGA CITY Before I finally took the road down to south, I went by the miraculous Lady of Simala. The magnificent architecture of the castle-like structure of the church will definitely give you goose bumps. As I climbed the stairs towards the church, I felt the weight in every step. I can no longer define what I feel as I get nearer towards the image of Mama Mary of Simala, which has been carved in wood, yet astoundingly cried true blood for how many times. As of that moment, one thing is certain, after saying my prayer and intercession, I felt so BLESSED. MAY 23, 10:08 AM; WAY TO GO! On my way to the southern part of the island, I didn’t really let my drowsiness overcome my desire to take the pleasure of

gazing at the scenery behind the windowpane as I have travelled for almost five hours. Bluer than blue seas, greener than green landscapes, Cebuanos having the usual routine of their lives, and their community structures would already give you an intuition of their well-grounded culture and living. How I wish I could live the Cebuano’s simple lifestyle and experience being with people who are down to earth, ingenious and God fearing. MAY 23, 3:05 PM; POBLACION, OSLOB, CEBU As I arrived on our family’s rest house, I took a small walk towards the seaside. In terms of community improvements, much has changed, but never its magnificence and serenity. I reached the beach just right to witness the splendor of the sea at low tide. Personally, this is the best feature of the ocean, the time when it would reveal its deepest, incomparable secrets – things you already loved by just seeing those in your mind’s eye, and for sure you’ll indubitably treasure and value the view on the moment you see them with your naked eyes. Beside the Cuartel Beach are the remnants of some of the Spanish structures built in Oslob. These remains served as the former citadels of the Spaniards against any attempt of invasion. The one that concurrently witnessed the century that had gone by is the Church of Immaculate Concepcion that was devastated by fire last March 27, 2008. However, having the image of the Immaculate Concepcion as only thing not burnt in the altar, the whole community strived hard to rebuild the church.

ks ar ” h S ng e i al and h W ut “B


ca sili el a B re d o in no Mi to N n Sa

Elysium it established inside my heart and mind. And since I am not the kind of person who bid goodbye, the only words that came out of my mouth were, “thank you, and ‘til we meet again”.

As the small boat approached the middle of the sea, my mind suddenly cleared up. I still have no idea of what will happen afterwards. The next thing I remembered is the scream that nobody wouldn’t even dare to hear after the largest fish under the sea, the butanding, accidentally bumped the boat beneath. Here came the giants. I supposed, they intentionally knocked the boat for us to become aware of their presence. Warm greetings, indeed! But here’s the most nerve-racking part of the venture, when the tour guide ordered us to jump and said, “Ambak na!” into the sea to have a closer look of the whale sharks. I just told myself to stay calm and bear in mind what the tour guide had reminded everyone: 1) Don’t be too loud, they might get scared of you; 2) Observe by maintaining a distance of 3-5 meters from them; 3) Don’t make bubbles, they might think you’re food; 4) You won’t be eaten. Aside from you’re not within their range of diet, they can’t fit you down their esophagus and; 5) Befriend them. When I got there and the butandings are just meters away, the voice in my head reminded me, “I’m not his type, I’m too big for him, I’m safe, and I can still go back to Manila wholly, safe and sound.” After all, we’re GREAT FRIENDS.

MAY 24, 1:00 PM; TUMALOG FALLS After facing the giants is the “kalaming paniudto” or tanghalian with some of my relatives. From the time I finished eating, I already started missing danggit, dried pusit, kasag, guso with matching puso. My energy is now replenished and will be exhaustively spent on our way to the mountain’s peak. As much as I wanted to write everything I saw and as much as I wanted to describe everything I felt on that very moment, I can’t. I just can’t. Words aren’t enough for me to describe the exact picture of its perfectness. I saw monkeys crossing large gaps between trees, birds that were so far from the features of those I used to see in Manila, trees which I guess, were older than my parents, and flowers which I wished I could bring home without getting withered at all. In other words, it seemed to be that I’m in the Garden of Eden.

In my almost five days of stay, nothing is worthless. Every detail contributed to a much meaningful experience that I’ll forever cherish. The world is indeed perfect from the very first day God imagined and crafted its mere existence. He never let us begin with a complete scratch. I am happy, as the true meaning of happiness implies. And it gave me much of satisfaction to know that you also have witnessed and encountered it all, my travel diary.

Three hours had passed, and we have finally reached the falls that was just discovered a month ago, and which will also open as a new tourist destination in the next few months. I feel so lucky to witness the solemnity of the place, the draftiness of the atmosphere harmonizing with the stream, and the virginity of the entire surroundings. MAY 25, 5:05 AM; THE FINAL GLANCE I woke up early as planned to spend some walk by the seaside. At this point in time, I don’t feel the same excitement and delight I once had on the day I arrived on this remote place; for a few minutes from now I have to leave the area but never the

Tumalog Falls

MAY 24, 7:00 AM; BGY. TAN-AWAN, OSLOB, CEBU A whole-day adventure awaits me today, and I’m about to face them readily and impatiently.

MAY 25, 10:50 AM; NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TERMINAL 3 Back to reality; but this time, it’s different. I’m different. I feel rejuvenated.

Magellan’s Cross

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Rubbish tin water pipe, metallic bottle caps, plastic buttons, metal spoon and fork handles made up the FLUTE.

A VIOLIN out of canisters, fork, used strings, recycled wood and tuning pegs.

Oil can, discarded wood and an old tool used to tenderize beef were utilized to create this CELLO.

A GUITAR improvised from two large cans, used strings, and an old wood.

FROM RUBBISH TO MELODIES MARY PAULINE G. DEL ROSARIO

In the slums of Cateura, Paraguay, a crescendo to the sound of hope was heard in a despairing landfill considered as one of the poorest districts in Latin America. Living on top of a landfill that receives 1,500 tons of solid waste daily, residents in Cateura spend their day browsing for recyclable garbage in a mountain of wastes just to put something in their empty stomachs. Unsurprisingly, most of the children are deprived of education because they needed to work. Several years ago, Favio Chavez, a choir director and an environmental engineer, started to work on a recycling program at Cateura and from there, he discerned the needs of the slum children in the area. He decided to help them by teaching how to craft and play good music and thus, the Recycled Orchestra was born. At first, Chavez only aimed to keep the kids from playing in

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the landfill that exposes them to communicable diseases. He even encountered difficulties in looking for possible places where they could rehearse and play. Eventually, they ended up practicing in the same place where the children’s parents were also scrapping rubbish materials. As the number of children who wanted to learn the instruments grew, Chavez encountered more complications such as the lack of instruments. Also, the kids in the slums knew nothing about music, which made it even harder for him. Despite these circumstances, Chavez knew that he could do something about it. Fortunately, Chavez met Nicolas Gomez, an uneducated genius of the slum who was a trash collector and recycler. Together, they started creating musical instruments completely out of trash. Through their ingenuity and creativity, they produced violins and cellos from oil drums, guitars from packing

crates, and flutes out of water pipes and spoons. Recently, a collaborative effort from Meetai Productions, Hidden Village Films, and Eureka Productions was initiated to document these people’s journey while others pledged their support through different online funding platforms. Using their equally beautiful sounding instruments, the Recycled Orchestra is set to conduct a tour for its film and to serenade the world. The children of Cateura are no longer browsing the trash for sellable goods. Today, they are sliding bows on their violins and cellos, strumming their guitars, puffing their flutes—creating music. And as they produce music, they also create high dreams, even higher hopes, not only for themselves, nor for the impoverished area where they came from, but also for the world that once held them back.


treasure islands Although Boracay stands as the most famous tourist attraction in the Philippines, it doesn’t mean that it is the only place worth visiting in a country of 7,107 islands. There are still a lot of undiscovered attractions for us to explore. A wealth of unspoiled forests and idyllic deserted islands remains unaltered by technology and was left to the nature. These virgin paradises fringed by palms, sand beaches and clear turquoise sea filled with pristine reefs of corals offer an array of more adventurous pursuits that can raise any nature junkie’s pulse.

CANIBAD BEACH

CANIBAD BEACH A sea by the foot of the mountains, it is located in Samal Island, Davao del Norte. The white sand and cool blue waters, resting in the swaying shadows of coconut trees, provide an oasis of tranquility. Because it remains untouched by commercialization, this pristine beach is an ideal place for those who want private space and a break from the rush of city life. Besides offering ultimate exclusivity and peace, the beach and surrounding waters are also ideal for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, water skiing, sailing, and fishing. ISLA DE GALLO This offshore piece of land in Sibuyan Island, Romblon is uninhabited; its beauty undiscovered by mankind, with turquoise water, coral reefs and snow white beaches. This enthralling tropical island paradise is an ultimate haven. The smooth, powdery white sand and the azure silhouette of the sky illuminated on the glittering surface of the ocean are great invitations for a new escape from all mainstream places. Unfortunately, it remains unknown to most Filipinos. OLOTAYAN ISLAND A barangay in Roxas City, Capiz is blessed with serene shores and white sand mixing with corals washed ashore by strong waves. Olotayan beach

ISLA DE GALLO

offers a tranquil and relaxing “out of the city hassles” atmosphere. With clear waters and a rural setting, where sea waves and occasional laughter from kids playing at a distance, the place is fit for people who wants to have “a get away” from all stressful activities. With relatively few visitors and tourists visiting the area, the place remains as placid and native through the years. Despite its short distance from the city, the place has maintained its rustic view, thus giving people an opportunity to be close to nature.

OLOTOYAN ISLAND

TINUY-AN FALLS Located in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur and touted as the Niagara Falls of the Philippines, Tinuy-an is a white water curtain that flows in three levels and is said to be one of the widest waterfalls in the Philippines. Because the air pollution adamant in the Metro cities has stolen from us the joy of witnessing a rainbow, Tinuy-an Falls offers a great opportunity for

everyone who wants to enjoy the magnificent spectrum. Every morning, the area is blessed with a sprinkle of a rainbow that appears between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Its majestic and unique natural formation makes it one of the best waterfalls in the entire country. Although its magnificent scenery had once appeared in the International Traveller Magazine, it remains unheard by most people visiting the country and even those who live here. These are only some of the country’s most charming attractions that have stayed below the radar of the rest of the country’s history and popular culture. The amazing part is that most of these lovely nature sites are remote not in terms of actual distance but in terms of awareness. Perhaps, their anonymity would make them more appealing to tourists and Filipinos alike. To those who have the time, chance, and expense to explore more gems of this country, it’s not yet late to experience the beauty and glory of these places that are definitely worth visiting.

TINUY-AN FALLS

TEXT BY

ELOAH ANAWIM B. VALENCIANO

Don’t be too mainstream. Explore something new.

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Who says Manila is only a polluted city? People who haven’t caught a glimpse on any of its picturesque places will most definitely describe it as overcrowded and polluted. This city is unfairly overlooked in most people’s list of their most nature-friendly cities in the Philippines. While malls and other mainstream places are often vapid and dull, the following natural sceneries have hidden depths and charisma. With the presence of nature blending perfectly on the modern vibe of the city, visiting these charming sites are great opportunities to experience the wonderful gift of nature. Amaze yourself with every detail that Manila’s hidden beauties hold. Lucky for you, it only takes one ride or even some steps to see some green leaves, full grown flowers, trees and even grass to sit on.

JAPANESE GARDEN

CHINESE GARDEN

MANILA ORCHIDARIUM

As a gesture of peaceful relation between Filipinos and Japanese, the Japanese Garden was built to commemorate the World War II in the midst of Luneta, moored to the right, along the Central Promenade Lane where sculptured busts of Datu chieftains were lined up.

Alike the Japanese Garden, the Chinese Garden is also built to honor the friendship of Filipinos and Chinese. The garden is located on the left side facing Dr. Jose Rizal’s monument.

A few steps from the Japanese Garden and traversing the road of Kalaw is the Manila Orchidarium, formerly known as The Orchidarium and Butterfly Pavilion.

At the entrance of the garden, visitors will immediately be welcomed by an ornate Chinese gate flanked by seemingly swirling dragons, typically designed by Tsinoys to make it more compelling. As you walk inside the premises, you’ll have a glimpse of pagodas and gazebos with red pillars and green-tiled roofs decorated with mythical figures along with an area where you can find poems written in Chinese characters that were translated to Filipino. These poems give visitors a sense of serenity and admonitions. The garden also highlights the porcelain statue of Kung Tzu, familiarly known as the scholar Confucius.

Today the Manila Orchidarium is enclosed by flowering vines clinging on trellises that form an arc pampering every visitor’s fatigue mind caused by the obstreperous city. It’s the territory of wild and ornamental plants and some species of orchids that grow in the river valleys and mountain ridges that are endemic to the Philippines. Also, along the perimeter are small lagoons connected by short bridges that allows the visitors to savor the beauty of the circular patterned motion of golden tilapias.

With its realistic Japanese lagoon, boxed lampshades which guide tourists when the night falls, wooden benches and tables, gravel pathway and a traditional bridge inspired premises, the Japanese Garden is as good as visiting an actual garden in Japan. The garden was embedded by small formed pagoda rocks, well-manicured shrubberies and prolific trees that allow every wayfarer to be sheltered from the exuberant sunlight while sitting on every gravel bench along the pathway. The garden also features an open space lodge where everyone can stay and rest after the whole day of tedious strolling. For only Php 10.00 per person, everyone can experience the cozy, well-ventilated scenery and enjoy a sight of an artistic landscape amidst the noisy honks of jeepneys in the city.

PHOTOS AND TEXT BY: ANNE JANE M. PANDIAN ELOAH ANAWIM B. VALENCIANO

With the same amount of entrance fee as the Japanese Garden, a traveler can experience walking through pagodas and crossing bridges over lagoons in a delightful and litter-free Chinese-inspired garden.

The orchidarium is open for everyone with an entrance fee of Php 100.00 for adults and Php 50.00 for students. This domain also caters reservation for any celebrations.


SEVEN WONDERS OF MANILA THE UNVEILING OF ITS BEAUTY

PUERTA DEL PARIAN Beneath the long walls of the walled city, on the whole stretch of strolling where the every day-tripper are granted by a mid-air tour of different academic institutions that shrouds it, will come upon the Puerta Del Parian or Asean Garden. This garden has two entrances, one from the Jones Bridge which will come upon to a bridge landing, entering a nondescript gate leading to the garden’s periphery; the second and more imposing entrance is the one fronting the Lyceum of the Philippines University where the arc gate is designed by lion figures and flowers. Entering Puerta Del Parian, you’ll come upon to some bahay na bato with red-tiled roofs and circular bulwark on the entrance’s left side. With wellmanicured varieties of foliage and flora, shrubberies and beset of lofty trees festooned by five white leaves flowers and coconut trees that hides every visitor from the unfriendly ultraviolet rays of the sun. The garden also exhibits a long strait on its perimeter cross by Spanish-inspired bridges. This particular landscape has the bas-relief of the Asean Declaration of Independence signed by the five original foreign ministers on August 1, 1967.

ARROCEROS FOREST PARK The 2.2 hectare mini-forest is home to more than 3,500 trees, bird species, and insects. Since it is the only forest park in Manila, it gained the title “Manila’s Last Lung”, purifying the air surrounding the polluted city. In today’s era of global warming, climate change and different kinds of pollution, the significance of having trees in this polluted city is very evident. Aside from its aesthetic purposes and tourist attraction potentials, the park serves its purpose by providing a healthy environment for people who want to get away from the pollutants of hustling Manila. Its lush green forest trees clean the air we breathe, serving as a carbon sink in the muchpolluted city. With its comfortable aura of nature, coupled with tranquility and sided by the cool fresh air provided by the trees, everyone would mistake the place as a perfect imitation of a real forest. Arroceros Forest Park is situated beside LRT Central Terminal Station, adjacent to the Pasig River.

PACO PARK

MANILA BAY

Situated in the western boundary of the Paco district and in the eastern end of Padre Faura Street is a small and circular park which used to be a municipal cemetery for Spanish aristocrats of the walled city of Intramuros.

Manila Bay, a semi-enclosed estuary facing the West Philippine Sea, is one of the best natural harbors in the world. The bay is located at the southwest portion of Luzon Island. The blue water, sparkling with the sunlight is a revelation on the beauty of nature. Walking by the Bay and hearing the ceaseless music of the waves is definitely a welcoming change from your usual busy and monotonous routine in the city.

Its well-trimmed grass lawns, plants, flowers, century old Acacia and Frangipani trees, a couple benches and a large fountain in the middle of it all, Paco Park is a magnificent place in Manila to gather and recollect your thoughts, spend a relaxing time with family and friends – a perfect escape from the busy and polluted Manila. An inner circular wall contains niches that were used as tombs. A second wall was built with thick adobe walls hollowed as alcove and the top of the walls were made into pathways for promenades. At the back of the park, the chapel of San Pancratius was built, and is now a popular venue for weddings and receptions for couples who prefer garden-like settings. Paco Park also hosts free concerts where a dreamlike atmosphere is set for an intimate musical soiree, “Paco Park Presents”.

After a hard day’s work, nothing is more refreshing than a quiet stroll along the sea. While the exercise is good for the body, the presence of the ocean has a peculiarly tranquillizing influence upon the mind. Every sight and sound inspires a spirit of rest and peacefulness; and the effect is enhanced by the absence of the sights and sounds of the bustling city to which we have been exposed all throughout the day. Walking along the margin of Manila Bay, one can enjoy the view of the broad expanse of waters spread out before the eyes, an unfailing source of delight to someone capable of appreciating the beauty of nature. For the ocean in all its changeful moods, never ceases to be beautiful, and is especially beautiful at the hour of sunset.


IN WHICH A GIRL BECOMES THE FOREST ALLAINE JOLINA O. MATIC CARL JEROME OBOSA VELASCO In and out of the fashion circle, more people are beginning to recognize and be part of a fairly young cult phenomenon in clothing and lifestyle today: the “Mori” subculture. The term “Mori”, which means “forest” or “woods” first originated from a Japanese social networking service mixi. It qucikly became the new trend since its informal introduction between 2007-2009 when several publications such as Valon and Spoon began featuring Mori Girls in their magazines. All of these publications helped usher Mori into mainstream fashion in Japan and subsequently in other parts of the world. Since then, the style has quickly gained a significant following. In addition, those who utilize it have branded themselves through the use of the “Mori” prefix. Mori Girls select a neutral pallette in clothing themselves, specifically colors such as pale brown, light pink, light green, hues of teal, beige, and ivory. They make heavy use of motifs ranging from

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cute animals, western style checks, polka dots, and floral prints. Their clothing pieces range from layers of loosely-fitted drapes around their bodies, to scarves, hats, and short capes. They wear tights and don tough boots (to circumnavigate around the wilderness). Mori Girls prefer quaint and oldfashioned accessories. Their headdresses usually represent the wildlife witnessed in the forest, but Mori Girls, leaning more towards the lifestyle instead of the fashion statement, strip cosmetics to a minimum, if not entirely. Apart from fashion, the Mori Girl can also be considered as a way of life, evidenced by their cheerful, earthly, and calm disposition, portraying them as people who are detached from the idiosyncrasies of urbanism, leaning more toward the forest life. Mori girls can handle themselves quite well in social settings despite their penchant for solitude. They travel around old neighborhoods, read books in vintage cafes, and more importantly, they prefer the uncluttered and simple way of living.


Clarisse Dineros, Model

And in case you were wondering, yes, there are Mori Boys; and, like their counterpart, they enjoy working with handcrafts, love to read, and maybe write. They prefer adventures like wandering in the country or a new part of town and enjoy museums. Ideally, they choose to live far from the city and they usually stay in coffee shops and the likes. Most people who are devoted to Mori Fashion are in cold areas, since summer is a difficult topic for Mori devotees, they tend to lessen their layers of clothing and wear clothes that still closely resemble the Mori wardrobe. Although some people may find those who sport Mori fashion as something unconventional, the aesthetics of Mori Fashion appeals to almost all.

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Manila has truly become a developed city. With all the high-rise establishments, vehicles that fill the road and technology impacted and represented by not only the different computer shops scattered all along the streets but also by the number of individuals holding their gadgets. But have you really realized what came along with this progress as others presume? Amidst all the hush and rush of the city’s development, one body withstood and gone against the flow of its desolation brought about us, the inhabitants of the city. This body, is a body of water that one usually thinks of as an off source of happiness for this represents the long lived stigma of decay. This is the Estero de San Miguel. Estero de San Miguel was once filled with plastic cups, decaying bodies of animals, and sometimes even broken home appliances. The estero is connected to the Pasig River which resembles a mere exchange port of trash. But now after efforts were carried out, our definition of esteros will surely be different once you find out what this body of water as a sight-snatching mini eco-park has to offer.

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GREENING OF THE GRAY

JAN MICHAEL B. SUAREZ

FRUITS OF COLLECTIVE EFFORTS Affected in the various clean-up drives of Pasig River are the different initiatives to rehabilitate the estuaries connected to the river. An example of those campaigns to restore the life in the river found in the heart of the city is ABS-CBN Foundation’s Kapit Bisig para sa Ilog Pasig. As the co-managers of the rehabilitation of some of the waterways of the city, together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), rigorous efforts were displayed in putting up a good deal of cleaning and Estero de San Miguel was just only a part of the products of such initiative. Training many people dubbed as river warriors, with their weapons forged for cleaning and picking various pieces of trash that floats, Estero de San Miguel’s long stretch is now serene amidst the lingering prejudice of the people around it. Nowadays, the things left floating in the estero were

withered leaves of the plants that can be seen on the side of the path’s long stretch. NEW-FOUND PARADISE Due to insurmountable efforts, Estero de San Miguel was converted from a mere dumpsite to a mini eco-park. A fair-distant stroll, from the verge of the Mendiola Peace Arch to the rear gates nearing Centro Escolar University, could be enjoyed by walking on the floating pathway in the estero. One could also simply notice the green plants growing from the sides of its narrow cuts and the fingerlings swimming to its musty waters. On the same-fated part of the estero under Nepomuceno Bridge, the mangrove-looking trees add a magical touch to the pathway on the side of the bridge near P. Casal Street. Though some of its parts are yet to be fully transformed, the pathway also helped grade school students lessen their travel time

to their respective schools. Though the waters seen alongside are still colored black, one can immediately notice that it has no foul smell unlike before when there was still a mixture of garbage. The long path of floating pathways ends here which shows that the project has yet to be completed. Houses occupying the side of the mini eco-park were forbade to dispose their household or any other kinds of trash in the river. The example set by the rehabilitation of the Estero de San Miguel only shows that there is still a way to reverse the adverse effects of progress. Mankind can again see the long lost and forgotten beauty of the city if they do not only indulge to the next levels of development but also to the things that concerns the environment in which the change they bring resides. Everything nowadays is possible, just look at the estero’s rehabilitation from the verge of total decay.


A “PASYAL” IN THE LITTLE EUROPE OF OLD MANILA

Mc JAZER R. MALONDA

How do you usually spend your Sunday afternoon? You probably go to the mall, play arcade games, and shop for new dresses. You might also be at church to give thanks to our Creator and pray for His blessings. Or maybe, you just stay at home, catch up with your favourite television series and just let the day pass by doing nothing, making yourself a couch potato.

entrepreneurs to feature their products.

Nothing is bad with spending a Sunday afternoon indoors. Yes, we live in the city after all. And to quote author Dan Brown in his book, Inferno, Manila is the ‘gates of hell’. The centre of dirty rivers and polluted air. The fast-paced city with congested traffic and sometimes, ‘naughty’ persons. Well, it’s the country’s capital city but why not take a break from all of this rumpus and just spend a day with your family, your friends or your dog in the oldest city in the Metro?

Children enjoy the occasion with bubble makers creating huge bubbles that stay long enough before they pop. Without the fear of chasing cars, the road becomes a haven for them to play several classic larong Pinoy like piko, tumbang preso and patintero.

To promote a cleaner and greener Manila, Viva Manila organized Intramuros Pasyal Sunday in partnership with Intramuros Administration, Manila Bulletin, and The Manila Collectible Company. It is held along General Luna Street near San Agustin Church where the road is closed for all types of vehicles during Sunday from 1pm to 9pm. Intramuros Pasyal Sunday started on VivaManila’s Facebook page last September 22 as part of the international celebration of World Car Free Day that urges people to try conventional transportation like walking, running or cycling instead of riding a vehicle. It is a gathering for people to interact and for small

The fair has various purposes like promoting tribal handicrafts and performances of native Filipinos in celebration of Indigenous People’s Month and helping the victims of super typhoon Yolanda through donations of participating entrepreneurs.

Restaurants along General Luna street also participated in the said event by putting up tables on the lane for people to enjoy street performances by independent rock bands, street musicians and native drummers. Aside from restaurants, there are also food bazaars and mobile food stores with Mexican dishes ready to cater those who need pika snacks. Visitors are also invited to visit exhibits at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and to watch theatrical plays at the Manila Collectible located behind the Manila Cathedral church. What a better way to spend your Sunday than just being home alone or walking to commercial establishments that will soon bore and feed you up. Intramuros Pasyal Sunday takes out the creative, fun, light and green Manila, so maybe, see you on the next Pasyal!

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GREEN THUMB

GREEN VIDEO GAMES If you hear the term- “video games” and you immediately capture a picturesque frame of ruin, blood, violence, guts, and whatnot, you probably need a breath of fresh air. Maybe even stray off-grid and try video games that are heavily nature-influenced. (Yes, they exist). With the saturation of first-person shooters and cheap application store one-hit wonders, the old adage: “Video games aren’t good for you” or “You need to play outdoors” become more than just fair warnings but evidences to these hand-me-down stereotypes as well. Thus, the need for engrossing and immersive content in this medium can never be more important. Instead of trying to busy yourself fleshing out the latest Grand Theft Auto title, or coursing through your new Kalos adventure in Pokemon X and Y, why not give nature a try?

1. HARVEST MOON: BACK TO NATURE Platform: Sony PlayStation Year: 1999

2. PIKMIN 3 Platform: Nintendo Wii U Year: 2013

3. ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW LEAF Platform: Nintendo 3DS Year: 2012

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1. FARM’S THE CHARM As a child you visited your grandfather’s ranch when vacation plans fell through. Return to the farm that holds fond childhood memories and rejuvenate its long neglected fields. Tend to your livestock and interact with over 50 characters. As you struggle to make the farm something your grandfather would be proud of, one nagging question remains: What ever happened to the little girl that you knew a decade ago? Harvest Moon is a series of simulation games based on farming developed by Marvelous Entertainment and translated by Natsume in North America and Rising Star Games in Europe. The original game was released for the Super Nintendo in 1997, and since then there have been over twenty Harvest Moon titles released for a variety of different consoles. The plot line, such as it is, is much the same for almost every game: the protagonist, a young man (or woman) just starting life on his or her own, inherits or buys a farm. Sadly, its previous owner was unable to keep up with chores on the farm, leaving it in a significantly dilapidated state... and now it’s up to you to fix it! Gameplay is generally fairly simple. The player must clear his/her fields, plant crops, raise livestock like cows, sheep, and chickens, care for pets like horses and dogs, and gather materials from the countryside to help improve his/her house or sell for extra cash. However, the “business” aspects of play are not nearly the full scope of the game; the social aspect of the series is one of its biggest draws.

2. A CUTESY ARMY IS COMING This tertiary Nintendo-developed and published real-time strategy installment to the Pikmin series retains much of the elements from previous Pikmin titles. In this game, you control three alien captains who explore a planet’s surface aliased “PNF404” in search of fruit seeds for cultivation, to save “Koppai”, their home planet, from Famine. Under your arsenal are cutesy and vividlycolored minuscule creatures called “Pikmin”, with different colors corresponding to different abilities: Red Pikmin are immune to fire. Blue Pikmin can defy drowning in water, and so on and so forth. Apart from its ingenious premise, much of Pikmin’s play value comes from its level design, which means the representation of nature and all its topographical diversity in this game is top-notch. Moreover, the game features a roster of enemies with brilliant character design, against the backdrop of natural environments within the game. Throughout your progress, you will encounter different elements of nature. From trees, rocks, ponds, or what have you. It may seem mundane at first, but the real trick is to find a way to utilize and interact with these elements to your advantage. Pikmin 3 is obviously a far cry from the bloody first-person shooters already abundant, in the gaming industry. Despite this fact, Pikmin 3 became the best-selling game of the week in Japan during its launch while also garnering highly-positive reviews from gaming websites.

3. A NEW LEAF FALLS Being the fourth installment in the Animal Crossing series, the most recent game doesn’t stray too far from the original story: you play as a nondescript (of which you fill in the details later on) character who moves in to a new village attempting to live a new life. The catch? Your neighbors are animals. Honest-to-goodness anthropomorphic animals. This Nintendo-developed title features a bevy of activities from fishing, to bugcatching, fossil-finding, tree-planting, gardening, and even interior and fashion design. As you get farther along the game, you’ll come to appreciate the beauty of nature with its lush beaches, forestry, flora, and an exquisite island to boot. There is so much content packed into this game that you have to get down with it to truly understand its depth. There is an apparent disparity between games the likes of Animal Crossing and mainstream hardcore games, but oddly enough, many adults still opt to play this game because of its slow pace, art style, music, and most especially, its natural environment. Over the years, the Animal Crossing series has developed a huge fan base, and this title alone has sold more than 6 million copies-- one of the best-selling 3DS games of all time, as of writing.

GLENDEL NAZARIO / CARL JEROME OBOSA VELASCO


OTHERWORLDLY GETTING IN CONTACT WITH THE EARTH

the celluloid rehash the kings of summer

PHOEMELA NICOLE V. BALLARAN

The Highest Tide Jim Lynch (Bloomsburry) “You’d have to be a scientist, a poet and a comedian to hope to describe it [marine life] accurately, and even then you’d often fall short.” Miles O’Malley, the protagonist of Jim Lynch’s debut novel, is a thirteen-year-old boy who is in deep awe with the ocean and everything that lives beneath its depths. One summer, as Miles is navigating through the awkwardness of puberty, a remarkable incident took place: he found a giant squid washed off on shore. Then occurs a series of events that made Miles a town hero— some even thought of him as a Messiah (“The beach is speaking to Miles,” writes a newspaper correspondent) when in truth, he’s just a regular kid with an unusual keenness to the world around him.

Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan Carlos Castaneda (Touchstone) “For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must assume responsibility for being here…” Journey to Ixtlan is Carlos Castañeda’s third book in the series about his 10-year apprenticeship under a Yaqui Native American sorcerer named Don Juan Matus. At the start of his tale, Castañeda only seeks to know more from Don Juan about peyote plants and its uses, not knowing that the old sorcerer would teach him more than that. Don Juan introduces to Castañeda a shamanistic way of viewing the world— that is perceiving nature as having an awareness of its own— and suggests that humans should let go of their arrogance and conceitedness to be able to recognize when the world is trying to speak with them.

The Key: Live Contacts with our Perceptive Planet Rutheen Taylor (Somerville House) “We must become keenly aware of the creative roles our individual lives play in both Cosmic and worldly dramas. However we act out our parts, we affect all earthly life.” If someone tells you that Earth is a perceptive living entity, how will you take such idea? The Key chronicles Rutheen Taylor’s journey of finding inner silence through meditation, enabling her to communicate with Earth itself. According to Taylor, the planet that you regard as a passive receiver of every human action is actually capable of having sensitive insights, just like how people are. Another challenging fact that Taylor introduces to her readers is that humans are linked to Earth in such a way that one’s well-being affects the planet. So that means if you feel destructive toward yourself, the negative energy that you give off doesn’t only damage you but also Earth and everything that resides in it.

carl jerome obosa velasco

Penning “The Kings of Summer” is Chris Galleta, who has affirmed his filmic flair, showing (in this case, telling) us plenty of reasons to haste afar, and begin construction of our own makeshift abode in the middle of nowhere, unperturbed from the routinal continuity of the urban lifestyle. At the helm is Vogt-Roberts, serenely capturing the backdrop of nature against the teenage angst interspersely highlighted throughout the narrative.

in the midst of their escapade, thus proving nature is as unpredicatable as the decisions they choose to make.

The Kings of Summer directed by jordan vogt-roberts written by chris galleta 2013

This Sundance Film Festival premiere centers on three teenagers in the plight of their adolescence as they decide to run away from society and build a house in the woods, taking control of their own lives, on their own terms, at their own pace. The film in plain sight is about being in-between the threshold of having the impetus of adventure, all the while being thrown in part of the beauty that is nature. On the surface level, The Kings of Summer might initially feel like the kitsch teenage revolt flicks the likes of Reitman’s Juno (2007) or Hughes’ The Breakfast Club (1985), but this film surpasses the careful treatment of the underlying ups and downs of the protagonists’ stereotypical home life, thru the atmosphere of nature’s purity-playing the role of quencher for the children’s thirst for thrill, independence, and most especially, sanctuary. Oftentimes nature forces them to make compromises in the context of survival, paranoia, exploration, and desperation,

Other must-watch nature adventure films: Local Colossal by Whammy Alcarazen Debosyon by Alvin Yapan Lukas Niño by John Torres Foreign Castaway on the Moon by Hey-jun Lee Into the Wild by Sean Penn The Secret of Kells by Tomm Moore & Nora Twomey

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“Go on adventures to find out where you truly belong.�

Greenpiece Vol 3 February 2014  

Greenpiece is the official ecomagazine of the Ang Pamantasan.

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