Tuesday, January 15, 2008


My cousin, Lilian together with her daughter, Sarah, arrived from Australia and were directly fetched to her newly bought three-floor townhouse somewhere in Las Pinas. They were joined by her mother, Tia Flor, her sister Jocelyn, and brother Ramon. My uncle, Tio Tony, was also present and me, happened to be there checking/fixing the electrical lightings and plumbing systems which were newly installed thereat.

After so many conversations --what happen to this?...what happen to those?..., where are these?... where are those?-- we arrived to Lilian's itinerary which includes going to Pagsanjan to see its famous waterfalls. Tio Tony suggested "Villa Escudero" or "Hidden Valley Resort" where many foreign tourists are now frequenting in view of the wonderful amenities and visitor's treats the resorts were offering.

It was decided that we first see Pagsanjan and others to follow.

Pagsanjan is situated southeast of Manila and ninety-kilometer distance, more or less. It takes two to two and a half hours drive to cover the stretch, depending on the mode of travel a tourist has to undertake. On the way, you will enjoy the rest areas along the South Expressway where you can take a snack at "Jollibee, McDonald, Max, Kentucky, and coffee at Starbucks." Or you can buy some stuffs at the "mini-malls" offering reasonable prices.

Exiting the expressway at Calamba, you will feel the breezes of the rustic Laguna countryside. You can pass-by the house of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, or the many hotspring resorts lined-up in Pansol, or view the International Rice Research Institute in Los Banos, and more on the flowering gardens of Bay, the healing sessions at Pila, the laying ducks of Victoria, the capital town of Sta. Cruz, and finally, the centuries-old "Arch of Pagsanjan.".

We arrived at Pagsanjan's Paradise Resort at lunch time and after taking some foods, we got ready for the boat-ride. We were offered a locker each for our things --as you have to pass by the wet areas or sprinkling waters from the falls--; a life vest; and a plastic sachet for camera, cellphone, etc.

As we stood-by the river bank, together with Rey, our cousin --he is a boatman leaving soon for Singapore-- and waiting for our group, a trail of small boats with beaming tourists and being towed by a motorboat passed-by ...leaving a row of waves splashing our face.... and this added to thrilling excitement and eagerness to reach the falls!

We were to ride on a canoe --two to three passengers can be accommodated depending on weight and is being paddled by two boatmen-- in going to the falls. We were instructed to set flat on the canoe floor, spread legs for balancing; and not to hold on the outer edge of the canoe --a holding bar is provided-- as you might injured your hands when pressed against the rocks or passing canoes from opposite directions being tended by the rushing currents.

"We are now on the middle of the trek to the shooting rapids. And we are seeing the splattering waters from the shallow river. The boatmen are getting ready ...touching their paddles to the protruding rocks... signaling the first stage of shooting the rapids," as I related this unfolding experience.

We passed the side cliffs, measuring some 40 meters height. On its cleavage, sturdy trees and long vines hanging, adorned the walls ...hiding the sun and only the rays penetrated us down. There were small waterfalls and those dried ones along the sides of the ravines and myriad of chirping bird species unseen in the dense woods. Spring waters were abundant where the natives availed their fresh drinking water.

"Another narrow waterways approaching, 2 to 3 feet width, just allowing the canoe, almost exactly, to pass in-betweens and the boatmen used their hands and feet to gain access and moved through against the cascading waters from the nearing main falls...!" I recalled.

Then, the quite spacious body of water, quiet but very deep, yet teaming with tourists and canoes. On the side is a wharf where the boatmen rest for awhile together with the visitors relaxing and stretching their waist and legs --preparing for the uphill rowing and pushing climb.

In a minute, we were again up in the battle with the rampaging blast of current. Rowings, pushings, and there were times the boatmen have to lift the canoe -passengers on- feet above the rocks. There were also blind curves where passers have to shout first not only to warn the canoes speeding down but also "to inform the unseen guard of the forest and as a sign of reverence, the native chieftain is requiring."

At the sharp curve and elevated by 3 feet, and the boulders filed along the waterways, the canoes have to stop. All the visitors have to alight and walk some 30 meters to the blind curve and ... there!!! the magnificent, marvelous, and mighty Falls!! almost instantly brought wide-opened our eyes! "The luster and sparkling droplets of water as it beams the rays of lights from in-betweens the leaves of trees some 50 meters high --gave more astounding and thrilling views, compounded by the rows of forming rainbows-- right in front of our glued and naked eye."

Tourists begun to take photos of the awe-inspiring views amidst the background of reverberating sounds as "the water is dancing as it falls ... bouncing on the rocks, growling its mighty voice."

And there in the platform below, awaits a raft made of green bamboo --big enough to accommodate 20 people-- for anyone who wants to go beyond, under the waterfall.

We tried it to experience the amazing wonders of nature, touching our bare skin ... and said to be a great and health boosting massage.

The raft was guided by four boatmen through a 30-meter rope securely tied on both ends from the platform to the cave where water actually fell.

And there we started again the grueling fun. As we approached the falls, another raft emerged from the concealing clouds of vapor, all were suffusely wet and overwhelmed with joy... And its our turn, we also submerged in the turbid clouds on the rims of the falls and momentarily stopped there as usually done by the boatmen...but we cannot open our eyes as too much pressure were negating us to do so, compounding our excitements, laughing, screaming, and other forms of expressions and feelings nobody can explain.

As we passed the falls and then... inside the cave...we experienced the incredible sound surround!!, the vibrating and impacting fall of tons of water! As if the whole mountain will crumble and gobble us alive! It is like a roaring and rumbling giant bodies (Jurassic monsters) in an enclosure; an impending catastrophe; and the wrath of nature, a sense no one can imagine.

And when we reemerged ...as if triumphantly defying death, felt victorious, and conqueror of the great falls.... all smile and raising our fists, I said proudly, "Mabuhay-hay-hay."

We disembarked from the raft and ...glanced once more that majestic and grumbling falls.... then back to the canoe.

We descended from that height at the speed as the rapids flow. We have seen the expert maneuvering of the boatmen: by pushing and jumping side by side, avoiding collision with the boulders of rocks blocking our way; shouting downstream forewarning the upcoming canoes to stay aside; the swerving and evading any obstructions along the way; and the perfect balancing they demonstrated -as we glided our way safely to the less turbulent stage that we have negotiated.

As we alighted from the canoe ...and looking back to the treacherous trek we have threaded, I silently uttered: "Pagsanjan Falls, you have instilled in me a new sense of awareness. I will tell the world the marvels of your existence."

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Friday, January 11, 2008


The have-nots and the less fortunates remain crawling in the cyberpath of poverty in this our space ruled by those who have. Billions of dollars and euros are spent for shackles to keep the poor in the binds of servility. The funds that flow to the development of arms and other war materials are awesome. These are intended to protect the "access roads" leading to the space where only the privilege few dwells with sumptuous provisions. These wealths should have been channeled to the billions of the poor who live on the junk sites to scour an old clothes or other left-overs; to the squatter areas who co-exist in the urban place to eke out for a living; to the crowded resettlements whose occupants were forced to settle by natural calamities; and in a poor quarters whose residents were herded to stay to avoid being entangled in the areas of conflict between the forces of greed. It is lamentable that the greater chunks of wealth are being spent on how to acquire more riches for self-aggrandizement. The issue of global warming is one glaring example where precious money is diverted for research. This issue where a group of alarmists keep on harping that it is due to carbon dioxide, a man-made activities, and therefore can be prevented by being subservient for whatever they wish and advocate. This is the property of nature being transgressed by man to force his objectives -a twisted reasoning for personal gains. This global-warming-carbon-emission-caused is meant to establish a chain of poverty intended to the poorest of the poor. How can these poor countries manage to compete with the advanced technology of already developed countries sponsoring the shift to non-carbon emitting society. The old equipment or toxic-bearing plants used by the poor will be taxed heavily sending them crawling in the valley of misery. The commerce of carbon dioxide are already well in-placed and they found global warming the best justifications to execute the trade. They always mean business and no human barriers can impede their greed for wealth. How can a poor country manage to buy a modern and non-carbon emitting plant or factory when majority of them were able to acquire one old plant by means of foreign loans they are still paying and are now heavily indebted and this carbon quota will be an added burden, compounding their harsh environment. These carbon-related equipment or establishments were the idea of wealthy economists forcing their system and making it a global requirement to ensure their perpetual hold for riches and hegemony. And these are meant to siphon the fresh blood of the poor and striving nations through the scare of global warming and catastrophes as cover. This billions of dollars should have been allocated for food, health, sanitation, clean air, education, and other amenities for the uplift of the poor. The poor who are the product of consequences. The poor who are the victims of manipulations. And the poor who are the less fortunate and were forced to be in their stead, not of their own makings. They are the ones which should be alloted by at least a certain level of decent living and should co-exist to share the benefits provided by Mother Nature. Money should be made available for the good of humanity and not the money to make a fetter to chain the many to a never ending state of vagrancy. Read more on this article...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Carbon, in its elementary form, can be recognized as the crystalline of charcoal, graphite, and diamond. It is abundant in the earth's crust together with other chemical elements. Its association with these elements due to its property of sharing electrons -without giving-off electrons with other atoms of other elements- contribute to its innumerability in the forms of compounds of carbon. It is common in important commodities such as: gasoline, kerosene, fuel oils, lubricants, paraffin, wax, vitamins, hormones, plastics, explosives, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, perfumes, medicines, alcohols, and wood products. Due to carbon complexities, a division of chemistry called "organic chemistry" was made a separate field of study just to show the importance of carbon compounds in the existence of humans. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a compound of carbon and is the product from the burning of fossil fuels, decaying matters, fermentations, respirations, and volcanic eruptions; all originated from the earth's crust. Man-made carbon dioxide is produced when we burnt wood, charcoal, petroleum, and other carbon compounds mined from the earth's sub-layer. Actually, it is not man-made as it exists naturally. Our only contribution is when we burned carbon compounds and disintegrating it to combine with oxygen. Thus, carbon dioxide is present when there is an increase in temperature or warming. When CO2 is released in the air or in the troposphere -where all human activities occur- it is absorbed by the plants in the process of photosynthesis in which the plant combines CO2 with water to produce carbohydrates, a necessity to sustain man's life. Carbon dioxide is constantly dissolves in water. Its presence in the troposphere together with other greenhouse gases are maintained in an equilibrium level. Any excess of these gases are naturally combined with water vapor and condensed into liquid water to form the ocean or back to the hydrosphere. Other carbon dioxide which reached the tropopause -the boundary between troposphere and stratosphere- are solidified to form a "dry ice" in the process known as "adiabatic cooling" and it cannot escape to the layer of stratosphere but fall back to earth's surface and the natural cycle is maintained to support life on earth. The belief that "most greenhouse gas take a very long time to leave the atmosphere" is not true. The atmosphere can hold only a certain amount of GHG and the excess is condensed together with water vapor and disposed back to the earth's surface. The same with U.N. IPCC estimate that "48 percent of the total anthropogenus CO2 emission remained in the atmosphere during the first five years of this century" is also not true because excess GHG is removed through water vapor from the troposphere by nature. CO2 can be removed also from the troposphere by incorporating it into a biomass and release oxygen into the atmosphere. The atmospheric lifetime of CO2 is not only few years but in a short period of time when it dissolves with water vapor and again condensed to the ocean or earth's surface. CO2 variable atmospheric lifetime such as those recovered from burning fossil fuels will take a thousand years lifetime if confined to a good container; but if allowed to mix with water vapor, it is immediately dissolved and its global warming potential will be over. Hence, carbon dioxide cannot contribute to global warming. Climate change being experienced in this century or the "Modern Climate Optimum" is a natural existence of our earth. The heat energy accumulated in the earth's core through thousands of years' energy positive forcings are now being gradually released to the earth's upper surface together with volcanic eruptions. And we are now approaching the cycle of "Medieval Solar Maximum" where the Vikings from Norway and Iceland as well as the natives of North America, are now finding settlement and planting crops in Greenland. The Southern Hemesphere is, likewise, being visited at Williams Field Skiway in Ross Ice Shelf near McMurdo Station. All these are the results of natural warming and cannot be attributed to human activities which the global warming alarmists are now advocating in the pursuit of self-aggrandizement and greed. Read more on this article...