You plan to move to the Philippines? Wollen Sie auf den Philippinen leben?

There are REALLY TONS of websites telling us how, why, maybe why not and when you'll be able to move to the Philippines. I only love to tell and explain some things "between the lines". Enjoy reading, be informed, have fun and be entertained too!

Ja, es gibt tonnenweise Webseiten, die Ihnen sagen wie, warum, vielleicht warum nicht und wann Sie am besten auf die Philippinen auswandern könnten. Ich möchte Ihnen in Zukunft "zwischen den Zeilen" einige zusätzlichen Dinge berichten und erzählen. Viel Spass beim Lesen und Gute Unterhaltung!

Deutsch lernen in Davao City! Learn the German Language in Davao City!

Sie müssen auf den Philippinen DEUTSCH lernen? You have to learn the German language in the Philippines? Sie wohnen in Davao oder irgendwo in Mindanao oder sonst wo auf den Philippinen? Do you reside in Davao City or somewhere else in Mindanao or the Philippines?

Hier können Sie am besten sehr gut Deutsch lernen. Mein Deutschkurs als Professor am Institute of Languages (Fremdspracheninstitut) an der University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao besteht bereits nunmehr mehr zehn
Jahre und bietet die fundierte Ausbildung, die benötigt wird, um das A1/A2 - aber auch die B1 und B2- Examen beim Goethe Institut in Manila bestehen zu können. Das Goethe Institut Manila und USEP haben bereits vor 10 Jahren ein Memorandum of Understanding zur Förderung der deutschen Sprache und Kultur unterzeichnet. CHED - Commission on Higher Education befindet sich in unmittelbarer Nähe auf dem USEP-Campus. Alle Kurs-Teilnehmer erhalten ein Universitäts-Zertifikat mit Abschlußnote. Dies ist wichtig für eine Visaerteilung!
- My German Language Course at the University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao Cityn (International Institute of Languages) as Professor (since moe then ten
years now!) provides you with the requested education. You will be able to pass the A1/A2-exam (or even the B1/B2 exam at the Goethe Institute in Manila). Ten years ago, the Goethe Institute and USEP signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding German language and cultural support. CHED - Commission on Higher Education is located at the USEP campus. Language Course Students will be receiving an university certificate with average grade at the end of the course. This certification is important for a visa application!
Rufen Sie JETZT an: DAVAO 082 - 227 1761. Please call DAVAO 082 - 227 1761. ODER/OR 0915 - 2199002.

GERMAN LANGUAGE COURSES A1 and A2: 120 hours with the following schedule: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 till 11:30 AM. Limited 15 seats only! New course started last July 23, 2018. Please make a reservation for my next course starting November 26, 2018.

Deutsche Sprache-Kurse A1 und A2: 120 Stunden - Unterrichtsstunden: montags, dienstags und mittwochs und donnerstags von 9:30 bis 11:30Uhr. Begrenztes Platzangebot: nur 15 Teilnehmer! Der neue Kurs hat am 23. Juli 2018 begonnen. Reservierungen für meinen neuen Kurs ab 26. November werden gern JETZT bereits entgegengenommen.


EHEANNULLIERUNG AUF DEN PHILIPPINEN? Marriage annulment in the Philippines?


CONTACT US NOW! Kontaktieren Sie uns JETZT!

YONNEX Translation and Documentation Services, Inc. Davao City/Mindanao only . The only registered agency in Mindanao: Business Permit Plate No. 39803!


Voice mail: ++63 +82 - 227 1761

Cellphone: 0915 - 219 9002 (NEU!NEW!)

during office hours - während der üblichen Buerozeiten!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Assertions to bear

My today's column in Mindanao Daily Mirror

We love to complain! Many times we don't have reasons at all to do so - but, we love to complain. Especially nowadays. Our world is full of mess - isn't it? Of course, somehow it is indeed if you look around.

We bring many more assertions to bear: first, in the past we have been thriftier and economical, more religious and devout, more patriotic, industrious, more hard-working, keen and obedient. And, second, above everything and all: in the past we had more idealists. Third, nowadays we have (mostly?) material things in mind - what a disgrace. 

Materialists or idealists? Materialism or Idealism? Whom or what do you love? Love most?

I just quoted Vox Populi... .

A "materialist" has indeed become a swearword. I don't mean with "material" the accumulated data out of which a writer creates a work of literary, historical, or scientific value. A materialist is being easily described as someone with an attitude, who ignores spiritual values, compared with an idealist, who has the tendency to seek the highest spiritual perfection.

Idealism means the doctrine that appearance is purely the perception, the idea of subjects, and that the world is to be regarded as consisting of mind. The coquetry of higher philosophy makes it difficult to bear the ups and downs in our daily life.

Sure, we all know, that "our last earthly dress has no pockets  any more". Striving for earthly and terrestrial possession, property and estate might be the hit-man of idealism. That's how we have been taught. "Wine, women and song", having the unpleasant feeling of fullness, egoism and bragging as well as showing-off - are these the materialist's real attitudes?

Is the idealist, many times not being able stand on earth with both feet, the only one who occupies himself with religion and virtuousness - so to speak, with celestial and heavenly things? Is that really so? Can we make such a distinction? Sure, it's easy to so so: it's manageable and comfortable. But well, why is the enjoyment having a tasty meal BAD, and listening a recital composed by Johann Sebastian Bach BETTER? Why should art be better than roasted pork and a bottle of wine? Value judgements and moral concepts... .

Owning a house and lot and a car  - or even more then one - are earthly properties, as well as bank saving accounts, profitable insurances, and invest advantageously stocks. Is a terrible underpaid nurse or a book author an idealist, because he or she doesn't work for the filthy lure but for higher values? 

Has Jesus been an idealist, because He accepted renunciation and died without terrestrial possession? Has Jesus been a materialist, because He fed thousands of people on the breadline? Are we idealists, if we bequeath nothing to our families and might die without a single centavo, because earthly things are bad?

Worth to think about it ... .

Sunday, September 16, 2018

'Ompong' strongest storm this year

By: ( - September 16, 2018 - 7:35am

MANILA, Philippines — Typhoon Ompong barrels towards densely populated Hong Kong and southern China, hours after it left the Philippine area of responsibility at 9 p.m. on Saturday, PAGASA said, as it warned of monsoon rains.
In its 23rd and final severe weather bulletin on "Ompong" at 5 a.m. Sunday, PAGASA said the eye of the typhoon, the strongest to hit the country this year, was located at 570 km west of Basco, Batanes at 4 a.m. today.
"Ompong" was packing maximum sustained winds of 145 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 180 kph. It moves at a west-northwest direction at 25 kph.
All tropical cyclone warning signals were lifted by PAGASA.
PAGASA weather forecaster Ariel Rojas said Saturday that even though the storm had passed the Philippines, it would continue to bring heavy rain in the country possibly causing more floods and landslides until Monday.
On Sunday, PAGASA said the southwest monsoon or "habagat" enhanced by "Ompong" would bring occasional gusty winds and scattered light to moderate to at times heavy rains over Western Visayas, Mimaropa, Ilocos Region, Batangas, Bataan and Zambales. 
Fisherfolk and those with small seacrafts were also advised not to venture out over the northern and western seaboards of Luzon.

At least 8 dead

"Ompong" has smashed through the Philippines, as the biggest storm to hit the region this year claimed the lives of its first victims and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes. 
Roughly four million people—a quarter of whom live on a few dollars a day—were in the path of destruction that the storm slashed through the northern tip of Luzon island on Saturday, leaving at least eight dead. 
"As we go forward, this number will go higher," Ricardo Jalad, head of the Office of Civil Defense, told reporters Saturday, referring to the death toll. 
The dead were six people killed in landslides, a girl who drowned and a security guard crushed by a falling wall. In addition to the eight killed in the Philippines, a woman was swept out to sea in Taiwan.
 As the powerful storm left the Philippines, authorities began sending search teams to remote areas hit by communication and power outages.
In the northern town of Baggao, the storm had collapsed houses, torn off roofs and downed power lines. Shell-shocked villagers could be seen picking through the debris from their homes.
But the full extent of the storm's destruction was only beginning to be known, with reports of dozens of rain-soaked hillsides collapsing, torrents of out-of-control floodwaters and people being rescued from inundated homes.
More than 105,000 people fled their homes in the largely rural agricultural region, which is one of the nation's top producers of corn and rice. 
An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people and leaving millions in near-perpetual poverty.

Rescue workers clear a road of debris and toppled electric posts caused by strong winds due to Typhoon Ompong as they try to reach Baggao town in Cagayan province, north of Manila September 15, 2018.
Ted Aljibe/AFP

'End of the world'

"Among all the typhoons this year, this one (Mangkhut) is the strongest," Japan Meteorological Agency forecaster Hiroshi Ishihara told AFP on Friday.
"This is a violent typhoon. It has the strongest sustained wind (among the typhoons of this year)."
Survivors were traumatized by the confrontation with the monster storm.
"It felt like the end of the world... that was stronger than Lawin", said Bebeth Saquing, 64, using the local name for Super Typhoon Haima, which was one of the most powerful storms of 2016.
"I did not sleep," she told AFP by phone from her home, which stood up to "Ompong's" pounding. 
As the storm is on pace to hit China's southern coast on Sunday, Cathay Pacific warned travelers that it expected more than 400 flight cancellations over the next three days.
Philippine government forecaster Ariel Rojas said that, even though the storm had passed the Philippines, it would continue to bring heavy rain in the country, possibly causing more floods and landslides until Monday.
But the storm was unlikely to get any stronger, Rojas said.
"It could likely maintain its current intensity or even weaken," he told AFP.
The Hong Kong government said "Mangkhut" would pose "a severe threat to the region." Many residents in the city and neighboring Macau stocked up on food and supplies.
Volunteers also helped residents of low-lying Hong Kong fishing village Tai O hoist their furniture and appliances to higher ground.
The president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, told citizens to be ready as powerful waves pounded the shore. 
"The typhoon is powerful and even (if) it's not expected to make a landfall in Taiwan, we should be well prepared and not... take it lightly," she wrote on Facebook.
 — with Agence France-Presse

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Walang Pasok: Class suspensions for September 13

By : ( 
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED September 13, 8:32 a.m.)— Several local government units announced class suspensions for Thursday, September 13, in anticipation of the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong (international name: Mangkhut).
The state weather bureau earlier said "Ompong" could potentially intensify into a super typhoon.
View the updated list of class suspensions here:
Metro Manila
  • Parañaque
  • Quezon City – (September 14 and 15 only)
Ilocos Region
  • Aringay, La Union
  • Balaoan, La Union
  • Bangar, La Union
  • Bauang, La Union (Until September 15)
  • Caba, La Union (Until September 15)
  • Naguilian, La Union (Until September 14)
  • San Fernando, La Union (Until September 15)
  • San Gabriel, La Union (Until September 15)
  • San Juan, la Union (Until September 14)
  • Sudipen, La Union
  • Ilocos Norte (Until September 14)
  • Ilocos Sur (Until September 14)
  • Bolinao, Pangasinan
  • Bugallon, Pangasinan (Until September 14)
  • Calasiao, Pangasinan (Until September 15)
  • Dagupan City (Until September 15)
  • Lingayen, Pangasinan
  • Mangaldan, Pangasinan
Cagayan Valley
  • Cagayan province (Until September 15)
  • Tuguegarao City (Until September 14)
Cordillera Administrative Region
  • Abra province (Until September 14)
  • Apayao (Until September 16)
Central Luzon
  • Marilao, Bulacan
  • Obando, Bulacan
  • Apalit, Pampanga
  • Arayat, Pampanga
  • Guagua, Pampanga
  • Macabebe, Pampanga (Until September 14) 
  • Masantol, Pampanga (Until September 14) 
  • Mexico, Pampanga
  • Minalin, Pampanga (Until September 14) 
  • San Fernando, Pampanga
  • Santa Rita, Pampanga (Until September 15) 
  • Floridablanca, Pampanga
  • Sasmuan, Pampanga
  • Porac, Pampanga
  • Gapan City
  • Nueva Ecija province
  • Anao, Tarlac
  • Camiling, Tarlac (Until September 14)
  • Capas, Tarlac
  • Concepcion, Tarlac
  • La Paz, Tarlac
  • Ramos, Tarlac (Until September 14)
  • Olongapo City
  • Zambales (Until September 14)
  • Candelaria, Quezon
Bicol Region
  • Albay (preschool to high school)
  • Camarines Sur
  • Sorsogon
Eastern Visayas
  • Maasin, Leyte (Until Ssptember 14)
  • Tacloban City
Zamboanga Peninsula
  • Zamboanga City 
Related video:

6/58 Lotto Jackpot soars to 600 million Pesos

Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines — The Ultra Lotto 6/58 jackpot is expected to increase to P600 million for Friday’s draw, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) announced Wednesday.

PCSO general manager Alexander Balutan said nobody guessed the six-digit winning combination 33-30-03-43-18-19, which had a prize of P574.579 million on Tuesday.

Balutan said four bettors won a consolation prize of P132,890 each after guessing five numbers of the winning combination.

The online lottery game is drawn every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The right to disconnect

A LIFE WITHOUT CELLPHONE? I remember the time, when one of my first Japanese friends kept on complaining, why I didn’t operate a cell phone. Believe me, during that time, sometime in 2000 or 2001, I even typed my articles on an old typewriter from Germany.
My Japanese friend then bought me a computer - and a cellphone! Some other friends congratulated me: “Welcome back to the world!”
Sometimes, I observed (business-)people operating with two or even more cell phones at the same time. I asked them: “How did you survive doing business before without these units?” Believe me or not. The answers have been mostly: I really don’t know!
Doing business nowadays without a cell phone? Even a very private life? I can’t imagine it anymore. Philippines’ cell phone companies really provide us with the widest distribution and the broadest coverage to very affordable charges. I really enjoy, for example, the unlimited call experience - just to mention one.
Two handsets or even three. Ok lang, as long it keeps my business running.
But then it happened! I thought I had lost my cell phone. I got panic, lossing all my important connections. This “thing” really got a special meaning for me. And here we are: not only for business. Just even for a short “Hi - kumusta ka?” I really felt lonely!
Journalist Chris Stokel-Walker explained it very well: for the average working person, there’s no greater feeling than powering down your computer and kissing goodbye to your avalanche of work emails for the day. If we’re lucky enough to disconnect from the job on evenings and weekends, we’re overjoyed to leave work email and the stress that comes with it in the office.
But experts say we’re increasingly failing to do so, instead bringing the burden home with us and fielding emails during our free time. Unsurprisingly, this routine has some serious consequences.
Now, it is a reflex, like checking my Facebook or Twitter timeline. Yes, it’s indeed so - but never 24/7.
Working abnormal or long hours have long been linked with depression, anxiety and even coronary heart disease. Crucially, the importance of weekend recovery has also been correlated with weekly job performance and personal initiative. While further research revealed psychological detachment during off-work time, reduced emotional exhaustion caused by high job demands and helped people stay engaged.
So, if we know all this, it begs the question: why are we still letting work invade our precious weekends?
According to Cary Cooper, professor of organizational psychology at Manchester Business School and president of the CIPD, the recent trend even spills into the way we access our work communications and projects.
Today, says Cooper, work emails are just a tap of a smartphone away. “You don’t carry your laptop around when you’re out to dinner, but you do carry your mobile phone,” he says. “The smartphone changed everything.”
If we don’t switch off from work we don’t recover from work. We should get the right being disconnected. At night or during weekends.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Kelsey Merritt is first Pinay to walk in Victoria's Secret fashion show

By: Jan Milo Severo ( 
MANILA, Philippines — Filipino-American Kelsey Merritt will become the first Filipina to walk through the runway for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2018. 
In her Instagram account, the 21-year-old model announced that she is ready to represent the Philippines.
“WE DID IT PHILIPPINES!!!!!! What an honor it is to be the first Filipino to walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2018!!!" she wrote.

"Ahhhhhh I can’t believe this!!” she added.
She also thanked the people who helped in her journey. 
Other supermodels who are confirmed to walk in the fashion show’s ramp are Candice Swanepoel, Bella Hadid, Gigi Hadid, Taylor Hill, Josephine Skriver and Stella Maxwell, among others.  
Miss Universe 2012 first runner-up Janine Tugonon was also featured in the advertisement of Victoria’s Secret but failed to make it in the final lineup of the fashion show in 2016.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Are you are a workaholic?

By column in MINDANAO DAILY:

What's really behind the global rise in working longer and longer hours? We are all workers whether we work in a plush carpetted office as executives and managers, in a hot and noisy assembly-plant as factory-hands or as house-wives at home.

Why do we work? Why do we slug five or six days a week (or even more?) for eight or more hours at a stretch? The church has had quite a lot to say about work and especially, the rights of the workers. And when you get through the church jargon, you'll find statements on minimum wages for workers, needs for leisure and social benefits.

It is the Book of Genesis which tell us that work is God's gift to human beings. God gave us the will, power and intelligence to "fill the earth and subdue it" and not just talk about seeing the wild beasts, the fruits and grains... .

We are given the enormous task of shaping the earth, whether as machinist in a textile factory, or as clerk in court. The important message is: Work is for man (and woman) and not man (and woman) for work! Through work, man develops himself, his personality and his sense of self-worth. It is also through work that man produces goods and services contributing and participating in the development and society.

Asking writer José Luis Peñarredonda about being a workaholic, he says: It makes accidents more likely, boosts stress levels, and even causes physical pain. But the real problem is that many people just can’t afford not to do it.

According to latest International Labour Organization statistics, more than 400 million employed people worldwide work 49 or more hours per week, a sizeable proportion of the near 1.8 billion total employed people worldwide.

In a recent interview with The New York Times, even entrepreneur Elon Musk felt moved to describe his 47th birthday spent locked in his factory, pulling an all-nighter. “No friends, nothing,” he said. It might have been just another day in another 120-hour work week. “This has really come at the expense of seeing my kids. And seeing friends,” he added.

For some of his fans, this is just the price of being Silicon Valley’s current demi-god, the pioneer simultaneously pursuing the colonisation of Mars and creating an affordable and mass-produced electric car.

A 2016 study found that the cortisol levels of people ‘on call’ rise faster in the mornings than those of people who are not required to be available. But wearing exhaustion like a badge of honor sets a dangerous precedent. Hustling over long hours and weekends has become a staple of start-up culture in Silicon Valley - hence, it has also filtered out to many parts of the world. 

The problem is that this 'long hours' culture likely defeats the purpose of getting more things done, or at least puts a very hefty price on doing them. There is plenty of evidence that working overtime reduces your productivity, and makes you feel and actually be less healthy. It also make you more likely to develop a whole range of diseases.

Still, millions of workers seem unable to take a stand against it, from medics to ‘gig economy’ workers and freelancers. What happens then? And, what can we – those who can’t help working on Saturday nights – do about it? Yes, in my opinion: this is going to hurt very much.

It seems self-evident: an overworked person is tired; hence more likely to have an accident at work. But proving this is surprisingly difficult. It might be that riskier jobs also have more demanding hours, or simply that people who work more hours spend more time at risk, even if they don’t do overtime. But a study that analysed 13 years of job records in the US found that “working in jobs with overtime schedules was associated with a 61% higher injury hazard rate compared to jobs without overtime”.

Have you ever heard about the algorithmic ‘whip’? Still, a lot of people feel trapped in the cycle – they rely on overworking to make ends meet and pay their bills. They are stuck in a system that incentivises them for clocking up lots of hours, or for working through the night if their clients live in another time zone.

For example, this is often the case for ‘gig economy’ workers in Southeast Asia and Africa, hired by companies or entrepreneurs in the US, UK or Europe through freelancer platforms to do things like coding, blog post working, website building or social media management. Some recent research led by Alex J Wood, from the Oxford Internet Institute, reveals that the algorithms that assign jobs to these workers are a powerful driver to sustained overworking.

As one interviewee on Wood’s research said, “I’m so broke, this is someone who’s ready to give me the money, so why don’t you want 18 hours in one day?”

Basically, the higher your ranking on these platforms, the more likely you are to be hired. But to get these good reviews, workers have to accommodate everything their client wants, with little room for negotiating better conditions: “They have to be available to communicate whenever they are wanted. If the client has a very short deadline, they have to accept. Otherwise, they will be given a bad rating”, says Wood in an interview.

If the worker is not in the top rankings, this pressure only increases. Some try to attract more gigs by charging extremely low prices, forcing them to work very long hours for little money. Furthermore, most invest a significant amount of unpaid labour too, on admin like setting up profiles, bidding for gigs on the platform, and acquiring skills to create a more attractive profile. All this adds up to a very long and exhausting routine.

As one interviewee on Wood’s research said, “I’m so broke, this is someone who’s ready to give me the money, so why don’t you want 18 hours in one day?”

Are you, my dear readers always on-call? Indeed, the era when work ended as people left the office is long gone. Checking and answering messages from work seems unavoidable – and even desirable for some people, as they feel it allows them to outperform competitors, or to spend more time with family without losing track of their jobs. Yes,  increases expectations are normal; nowadays: managers and colleagues alike expect staff to be almost always available to do work.

But being ‘on call’ is not the same as being off work, and the way our body reacts to both situations is very different. A 2016 study found that the cortisol levels (the hormone that regulates the ‘fight or flight’ reaction and plays a role in raising stress levels) of people ‘on call’ rise faster in the mornings than those of people who are not required to be available, even if they don’t end up working that day.

This hormone usually has its peak concentration when we wake up, and it decreases on the rest of the day. But scientists believe everyday stress factors tamper with its cycle in several ways: it rises faster when you expect a stressful day (researchers believe this may be the case here), its levels remain high if you are chronically stressed, and it does not rise if you are going through a ‘burnout syndrome’ – something usually preceded by a chronic stress period.

As a result, people also find it more difficult “mentally detaching work from non-work” when they are ‘on call’, as well as choosing to do the activities that they really want – a trait researchers call ‘control’. In other words: workers don’t feel like the time they are ‘on call’ is really their own, and their stress levels rise accordingly. Hence, researchers conclude that days where availability is demanded “cannot be considered leisure time, because recovery – a crucial function of leisure time – is restricted under such circumstances”.

Keep in mind that working for days at a time is not smart, even if you are Elon Musk. The news of his unhealthy work routine has not been well received by investors, and Tesla’s stock fell 8.8% shortly after the NYT interview, amid suspicions of Musk’s poor mental health. Take it as a sobering tale: if you can avoid working for days at a time, just do it, as it has no positive effects on your health, your well-being, or your productivity. Even if you think you are an exception, most likely you are not. I am happy to be  an exception!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Oslob Shark Tourism cited by National Geographic

By: Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines — National Geographic has cited Oslob in Cebu for its shark tourism industry, describing it as a booming business despite its effects on wildlife still being debated on.

“In the Philippines, whale shark tourism is a booming business. But questions have arisen about how this activity could harm the animals,” Kennedy Warne of National Geographic said in a story posted on its website.

Shark viewing or shark watching uses baiting or provisioning to attract animals.

“In this town, near the southern tip of Cebu island in the Philippines, whale sharks are a big draw. Tourism is booming for people who want to watch, swim with and take photographs next to the world’s biggest fish,” Warne said.

Warne said the shark tourism in Oslob has become the largest such venture in the world since it began in 2011.

“But the operation is controversial, because whale sharks don’t naturally gather here, unlike other such sites in the country. The Oslob sharks are hand-fed, and this essentially guarantees they will show up to thrill guests, who can snap close-range photos,” he added.

Warne emphasized that while shark watching is still an industry being debated on due to its impact on the wildlife, the Oslob shark tourism industry has seen some benefits, particularly the conservation of these sharks.

He added that there has been reduction in fishing pressure around Oslob.

“The 170 or so members of the local fishermen’s association, who feed the sharks and ferry the guests, no longer need to catch fish for food from increasingly depleted reefs. Likewise, fishers nearby can earn a living supplying the several hundred pounds of shrimp needed for each day’s shark food, thus placing less pressure on declining fish stocks,” he said.

The article added that the shark tourism industry also benefits the local Oslob economy as it attracts tourists.

“At night, the Oslob coastline twinkles with the lights of more than 50 hostels, resorts and guesthouses, as well as local homes,” National Geographic said.

Despite the benefits of the shark tourism industry to Cebu, scientists worry that sharks that take advantage of the free feed for prolonged periods may suffer ill effects, both physiologically and behaviorally. However, these effects are still unknown today.

“While research has begun, conducted for example by the Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines, basic questions about the influence of this feeding remain unanswered. The shrimp they’re fed is a less diverse mix of planktonic creatures than what they would consume naturally. It’s not junk food, but neither is it necessarily a healthy diet,” National Geographic said.

Moreover, the article also pointed out while whale sharks have been nationally protected by the Philippines since 1998, some form of danger may still harm these sharks, particularly caused by boats, since they associate boats with free food.

“Almost half of the whale sharks studied at Oslob have propeller cuts on their bodies, which must have happened elsewhere, since the operation uses only hand-paddled vessels. These animals may also be more likely to one day approach a shark-fishing vessel,” National Geographic said.

According to earlier reports, the provincial government of Cebu is eyeing to implement a carrying capacity for BarangayTan-anawan in Oslob, an area popular with tourists for whale shark watching.

The said barangay sees an average of 1,000 tourists a day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Davao City 4th most competitive city

2018 index awards

The city has gone one rank lower from its previous ranking as the third most competitive highly-urbanized city in the country, but still made it to the top 5.
Davao City bagged the Fourth Most Competitive City in the Highly-Urbanized category during the 2018 Cities and Municipalities Competi-tiveness Index Awards at the 6th Regional Compe-titiveness Summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center on August 16, 2018.
A tourist enjoys taking a selfie with the Obu Manubo tribe at IP Village during Kadayawan Festivities. ARJOY M. CENIZA
“The skid from 3rd to 4th can be explained by the different concepts in the business permitting processes,” Davao City Planning and Development Office Chief Ivan Cortez said.
He said last year “it was okay to count actual time spent per office then accumulate spent time per office divide by eight hours per day. The imposed system this year is that every office or every step in the process, regardless if it will only take a few minutes, they counted it as equivalent to one day.”
Cortez said that with the new system, the whole process of getting a permit is counted as a five-day process if the applicant has to go to different offices even if the permit is released in just one day.
“Davao City has consistently ranked among the top 5 most competitive cities in the Philippines in the past years,” he said.
The city ranked fifth most competitive highly-urbanized city in 2015 and 2016 but got the third place in 2017. The award is given annually by the Department of Trade and Industry-National Competitiveness Council on the basis of each city’s ranking in economic dynamism, government efficiency and infra-structure.
In 2016, Davao City ranked 8th for economic dynamism category, 4th for government efficiency category and 6th for infrastructure.
A new category, the resiliency award, was added last year and Davao City ranked first in this category. Last year, it was also the only city in Mindanao that made it to the top five, following Quezon City and Manila City.
“The award is the testament of all the efforts made by all of the departments of the City Government to bring development to Davao City. With this award, we can see that the government is unceasingly giving its best to continue to improve its services,” Cortez said.
Davao City placed third in Economic Dyna-mism, one step higher from the previous year’s ranking according to the Davao City Investment Promotion Center. Among the factors considered for this category are the size of economy, sources of material, structure of economy, safety compliance of businesses, cost of living, financial deepening involving the number of financial institutions within the city and number of people employed.
The city also got third prize in the Infrastructure category, which include roads, water and power utilities, telecommunication, number of transport vehi-cles, education and health facilities and financial technology capacity.
From its previous first place ranking, the city this year ranked second in Resilience, which is measured based on land-use planning, disaster risk management plan, early warning systems and emergency infrastructures.
The cities and municipalities competitiveness index measures a local government unit’s competitiveness and presents an opportunity for local governments to better understand their performance against global standards.
Mayor Sara Duterte earlier attributed the city’s awards and achievements to the vibrant partnership between the city government and the private sector. Lovely A. Carillo

Monday, August 27, 2018

One drink a day

My column in Mindanao Daily - the Mindanao-wide circulated paper.

A study of drinking around the world warns that even an occasional glass of wine or beer can increase your chances of disease and an early death. Scientists say there's no such thing as a "safe level" of alcohol. Alcohol consumption caused almost 3 million premature deaths in 2016, according to the results of a major study of drinking in 195 countries.

The research, published yesterday (August 24, 2018) in the medical journal The Lancet, found that drinking was the leading factor in deaths of people between the ages of 15 and 49. It also concluded that any amount of alcohol consumption, even one drink every now and again, increased the risk of health problems like cancer, cardiovascular disease and tuberculosis.

One additional big reason: alcohol guidelines may not be safe in many countries, the study says. The health risks associated with alcohol are enormous. I quoted Emmanuela Gakidou, senior author and director at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle.

The researchers drew on more than 1,000 studies to compile a picture of alcohol's health impacts and drinking habits among men and women around the world. 

They reported that imbibing one standard drink — equivalent to a small beer, glass of wine or shot of spirits — each day, boosted the odds of developing at least one of 23 possible health conditions by about 0.5 percent.

That might not sound like much, but — at a global level — that daily drinking habit translates to about 100,000 additional deaths every year, Gakidou said.

Alcohol and the unforgiving liver... . "There is no safe level of alcohol," Max Griswold, lead author and IHME researcher, told the AFP news agency. "Overall, the health risks associated with alcohol rose in line with the amount consumed."

In addition to the prevalence of alcohol-related disease, the study also looked at injuries and death resulting from alcohol consumption, such as road accidents and self-harm.

Two drinks per day increased the chances of disease and injury by 7 percent, the researchers wrote. The risk climbed to 37 percent with five drinks.

According to the study, drinking was the seventh leading risk factor for premature death and disease in 2016, accounting for around 2 percent of deaths in women and nearly 7 percent in men. Alcohol was the most lethal factor in the 15-49 age bracket, responsible for more than 12 percent of male deaths.

This is how a global picture looks like: of the more than 2 billion people around the world who consume alcohol, about 63 percent are men, the researchers wrote. The biggest drinkers in 2016 were men in Romania, who put away an average of eight drinks a day. Portugal, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Ukraine followed with seven "units" per day. Among women, Ukrainians led with four drinks a day, followed by Andorra, Luxembourg, Belarus, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland and Britain, all averaging about three per day.

The most abstemious nations were those with Muslim-majority populations.

Alcohol is, as we all know, a depressant. It slows down the function of all the body's parts. Vital functions can be slowed down to the point of death. Under its influence people choke to death at family picnics, drown at the beach, fall asleep while driving a car, hurt and even kill other people.

The devil alcohol creates a feeling of freedom without worries and euphoria. Our feelings are really free flowing, everyday worries are replaced with a carefree spirit. Wow, I really feel on top of the world today... .

I joined the circle of many other fellows around, more or less regular social drinking, and/or habitual drinking drinking with meals (beer or wine!). When I stayed in France, I couldn't believe that for many Frenchmen a breakfast consists of bread (baguette), cheese, coffee - and red wine! Anyway, social drinking also means occasional drinks to relieve stress or boredom.

Once we reach the addictive stage we are already in danger. Gulping drinks and secret drinking daily to relieve stress makes one lose control, and being unable to stop drinking creates drinking habits, Danger is with us, if we lose control over when, where and how much we drink. The memory blackouts don't let us remember any more, where we had been or how we get home. We loose our self-respect and the performance of our work is seriously affected. Loss of interest in everything (except in drinking) means loss of jobs, conflicts with the law, mental deterioration, and even death. The sad consequences should let us tremble with fear.

A few people who decide to stop drinking find it easy. Having made the decision, they simply never drink again. And honestly, every time I enjoy a drink in really acceptable measurements I am trying to ask myself, if I could stop drinking right now. And I am pretty sure, the answer is YES. That's how I quit smoking almost 35 years ago... . 

Let's face it: one drink a day is one too many.

"Who was woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long on the wine, those who go in search of mixed wines? Do not look at the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse words. Yes, you will be like one who lies down in he mist o the sea, or like one, who lies on top of  the mast, saying: 'They have struck me, but I wasn't hurt; they have beaten me, but I didn't feel it. When I shall awake, that I may seek another drink!'" (Proverbs 23:29-35).

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