Redefining Halal in the Philippines

According to the Department of Agriculture, my Muslim brothers and sisters were eating haram food masked as Halal; products with Halal logo contained unlawful ingredients… So, enter R.A. 10817 or The Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Act.  Basically, this act aimed to protect the integrity of the Philippine products with the Halal logo consumed…

Fire Urchin

Beautiful with venomous spines Astropyga radiata (a.k.a. Fire Urchin) up close… and in a basin ready for mammal consumption. I was attracted to snap a picture at this species because of the star-shaped pattern around its anus. I enjoyed so much splashing in the clear waters of Buenavista, Samal Island, Davao that I became totally…


I own several pair of shoes designed for comfort and effective walking in various surfaces. On the day I visited the Tamayong Prayer Mountain, I wore a pair of thin-soled flats with little arch support. Strolling around the scenic space in my black flats was enjoyable for my eyes but unsafe for my feet. As…

Bottle gourd

Spotted at LNNAIS Main Campus, Agricrops lab/garden, Lagenaria siceraria gave curiosity as well as smiles to students, and farmers in Bualan, Tubod, Lanao del Norte. Farm aides of the school called this calabash “Shaolin”


Temporary setbacks are overshadowed by persistence. – Quentin L. Cook I could feel the excited energy hovering on the JCPI (Job Centered Polythicnic Institute, Inc) compound as soon as I entered its main gate last Wednesday, November 8… and it was not even 9 o’clock in the morning yet. IDP Trainee Janimah Marangit approached and…

hard candy

Happiness is quickly eating pieces of hard candy before your child sees you.


When my vocational supervisor informed me about the massive skills training for Marawi IDP’s (Internally Displaced Persons),  I gave her an expressionless face😑. At the back of my mind, I saw myself interacting to women with different cultural background wearing colorful Kumbongs (a head scarf commonly worn by Maranao women to conceal their hair and…

Bakwit skills training in pickling

We don’t even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome. -Isabel Allende

Pre-Spanish Coffin burials of Butuan

Hold on, man. We don’t go anywhere with “scary,” “spooky,” “haunted,” or “forbidden” in the title. ~From Scooby-Doo There is nothing spooky about the display at Balangay Shrine  Musuem in Butuan, Philippines. Skulls and ancient relics on display do spark historical interest to visitors like me. I could hear my colleagues saying, “Is this for real?…

Medusa’s Head

I like weird things. Weird may not always be good but weird is always different. During a lunch break in my Events Management NCIII class, I dropped by at Jami’s plant stall. As I allow the information in the morning session to sink in, the snake-like stems of Euphorbia flanaganii seemed to be waving at me….