Thursday, March 19, 2015


                            Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is one of the few crop species that originated in North America (most originated in the fertile crescent, Asia or South or Central America). It was probably a "camp follower" of several of the western native American tribes who domesticated the crop (possibly 1000 BC) and then carried it eastward and southward of North America. The first Europeans observed sunflower cultivated in many places from southern Canada to Mexico.
Sunflower was probably first introduced to Europe through Spain, and spread through Europe as a curiosity until it reached Russia where it was readily adapted. Selection for high oil in Russia began in 1860 and was largely responsible for increasing oil content from 28% to almost 50%. The high-oil lines from Russia were reintroduced into the U.S. after World War II, which rekindled interest in the crop.

                         rose is a woody perennial of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae. There are over 100 species and thousands of cultivars. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing or trailing with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers vary in size and shape and are usually large and showy, in colours ranging from white through yellows and reds. Most species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to EuropeNorth America, and northwest Africa. Species,cultivars and hybrids are all widely grown for their beauty and often are fragrant. 

  Euanthe sanderiana is a flower of the orchid family. It is commonly called Waling-waling in the Philippines and is also called Sander's Euanthe, after Henry Frederick Conrad Sander,[ a noted orchidologist. The orchid is considered to be the "Queen of Philippine flowers" and is worshiped as a DIWATA by the indigenous people.


 - Daisies belong to one of the largest families of plants in the world, that of "vascular plants", i.e. those which circulate goodness around their systems, making up almost 10% of all flowering plants on Earth. Daisies are found everywhere on Earth except Antarctica. The name "daisy" is thought to come from the Old English "daes eage", meaning "day's eye", for the way in which it opens at dawn.

 It is a genus of flowering plants in the family Theaceae. They are found in eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalayas east to Japan and Indonesia.
           Their leaves are alternately arranged, simple, thick, serrated, and usually glossy. Their flowers are usually large and conspicuous, one to 12 cm in diameter, with five to nine petals in naturally occurring species of camellias. The colors of the flowers vary from white through pink colors to red; truly yellow flowers are found only in South China and Vietnam.


Let’s admit it; at some point in our lives, we have been guilty of one or two (or more) of the Pinoy bad habits listed below. Although these negative traits do not diminish the fact that Filipinos are a very awesome people, it’s just sad that they have continued to pull us down personally and as a nation.

Therefore, for the good of ourselves and our country, it is imperative that we should discard the following Pinoy bad habits and attitudes:

1. Crab Mentality.

crab mentality in the Philippines
Simply put, this refers to the behavior of preventing someone from achieving something due to jealousy or envy. Instead of praising or rendering assistance, someone with crab mentality would think “if I can’t have it, then you can’t as well” and will purposely try to bring his/her victim down. And just like the crabs who could have escaped from the bucket if they only stopped pulling each other down, nothing ever gets accomplished.

2. Ningas-Kugon.

ningas kugon
One reason why we sometimes exert half-hearted effort in our undertakings is due to this attitude. Translated to “burning cogon grass” in English, this idiom is meant to illustrate how Filipinos initially exhibit great enthusiasm at the beginning of a project. Our eagerness however, fades away just as quickly as the fire is extinguished, leaving our work either half-baked or unfinished.

3. Mañana Habit.

Mañana Habit
It is ironic that the Spanish would accuse Filipinos of being lazy when they themselves taught us the mañana habit in the first place. Known as “tomorrow” in English, the habit encourages procrastination, an “ability” we Filipinos have since turned into an art form. Even the most urgent of projects and tasks can be relegated for some other time; we are only forced to work on them when the deadline is near. It’s a miracle we get things done in this country.

4. Filipino Time.

Filipino Time
Related to the mañana habit, Filipino time refers to the Filipinos’ own unique brand of time, which is known to be minutes or hours behind the standard time.  In other words, we tend not to observe punctuality at all. This behavior usually drives time-observant foreigners crazy. While we Filipinos with our easy-going ways have somewhat become used to Filipino time, it still is a bad habit that needs to be dropped.

5. Being Onion-Skinned (Balat Sibuyas).

Balat Sibuyas
We Filipinos are famous for being onion-skinned or easily slighted at perceived insults. While it’s perfectly normal for us to taunt and criticize others, we can’t handle the same when it’s being hurled back at us. Incidents showcasing our extra-sensitivity to insults usually involve a foreigner making either a bonafide racist remark or a humorous jab at us Filipinos. True to form, our reactions would range from righteous indignation to excessive grandstanding. While it is alright to feel incensed, throwing a fit in front of the world would inevitably do us no good at all.

6. General Disregard For Rules.

negative traits and attitudes of filipinos
Why is it so hard for Filipinos to obey the rules? This social phenomenon is not exclusive to hardened criminals either—a look at everyday life in the country shows Filipinos from the entire social strata nonchalantly breaking the rules, whether it is something as benign as jaywalking or as dangerous as beating the red light.
An interesting theory goes that the Filipinos’ penchant for law-breaking goes beyond mere lack of discipline or failure to implement the rules. It is something that is ingrained in our very culture.  Being oppressed under the yoke of colonization for such a long time made our ancestors defiant of the rules they believed to be discriminatory. Although such “self-righteous disobedience” may have been alright during their time, the behavior would continue to manifest itself among the later Filipinos, resulting in an utter lack of respect for the rules.

7. Balikbayan Box Mentality.

Balikbayan Box Mentality
While there is nothing wrong with giving gifts to one’s family and friends (we Filipinos do highly value them after all), it becomes a different matter when said family and friends either misconstrue or abuse the OFW’s generosity.
In local parlance, this has become known as the “Balikbayan box mentality.” People ingrained with this mentality either become exploitative or jealous of the success of the OFW, not knowing that he/she is working hard away from his loved ones in a foreign country. Some also believe that the practice undoubtedly contributes to the Filipinos’ colonial mentality.

8. Bahala Na Attitude.

Bahala Na Attitude
Roughly translated as “come what may”, this is the Filipinos’ own version of fatalism, the belief of leaving everything to the hands of fate.
This attitude, while not inherently detrimental in itself, is still a double-edged sword. On one hand, positive aspects of this behavior include belief in Divine Providence and national social responsibility. On the other hand, the attitude can also promote a sense of helplessness and resignation of one’s fate at the local level, and a countrywide lack of empathy and collective action on the national level. This is also the reason why we tend to have amnesia over past wrongdoings committed by our leaders.

9. Corruption.

Corruption in the Philippines
One of the biggest social ills our country has continued to face since time immemorial is the issue of corruption.  Let’s face it, our “culture of corruption” is embedded deep within our system and reinforced by a complex web of economic and social factors which include personal ambitions and a twisted sense of loyalty to friends and kin. The Philippines is in for a long haul if our officials and we ourselves do not get rid of this very negative habit.

10. Maintaining Double Standards.

double standard in the Philippines
This behavior can be observed in just about every sector of Philippine society, with the most common example being the condemnation of an adulterous woman while applauding a polygamous man. On the national scale, we see politicians spouting promises of reform and good governance only to break them in the end. Long story short, some Filipinos are hypocrites to the core.


Our  Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal may have been sentenced to death by the Spaniards on December 30, 1896 but he also lived in the land of the colonizers around the 1880s.     Rizal, author of the novels “Noli Me Tángere” and “El Filibusterismo” as well as a number of poems and essays, had Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish ancestors.     Born to a wealthy family in Calamba, Laguna on June 19, 1861, Rizal was a polyglot who was conversant in 22 languages.      According to the document “Rizal’s Madrid” produced by the Philippine Embassy in Spain, Rizal first arrived in Madrid in 1882 to study medicine at the Universidad Central de Madrid.       The website of the Jose Rizal University said Rizal left the Philippines for the first time on May 3, 1882 and headed towards Spain using a passport under the name Jose Mercado, obtained for him by his uncle Antonio Rivera, father of Leonor Rivera. He travelled across Europe, including France and Germany, until 1886. 

Based on “Rizal’s Madrid,” some of the little-known facts about Rizal’s life in Spain include: 

1. Rizal had a limited allowance of P50 a month when he was studying in Madrid. This was further reduced to P35 a month when their family farm in Laguna had bad harvests.

2. Rizal first lived at the Amor de Rios house close to the Universidad Central de Madrid.

3. Rizal liked to take light meals with wine at the Viva Madrid restaurant, also a favorite ofjournalist and revolutionary Graciano Lopez Jaena.

4. While studying medicine at the Universidad Central de Madrid, he also went to the nearby Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando to study painting.

5. Rizal’s favorite park in Spain is the Parque del Buen Retiro which inspired him to name his place of exile in Dapitan, Zamboanga as “Mi Retiro.”

6. Rizal attended theatrical presentations, music and poetry recitals and book launchings at the Ateneo de Madrid, which is not an educational institution but an exclusive men’s club.

7. There were times when Rizal was in dire financial difficulties in Spain. Once, he had to pawn his sister Saturnina’s ring to pay for his exams. At another time, he did not at all for one whole day. However, in his letters to his family, he only mentioned his high grades and victories in contests. 8. Rizal and the other Filipino propagandists lobbied at the Congreso de los Diputados (the Spanish congress) for the recognition of the Filipinos’ right to autonomy and for equal rights with Spanish citizens. 

9. A marker stands along the corridor of the Colegio de Medicina in Madrid indicating Rizal studied medicine there from October 2, 1882 until June 1884.

10. In an undated letter to his family, Rizal indicated that his last place of residence in Spain was the Casa Cedaceros. He told his family that he planned to study ophthalmology in Germany because the eyesight of his mother Teodora Alonso had gotten worse and he wanted to treat her when he returned to the Philippines

Monday, March 16, 2015







Thursday, March 5, 2015


1. Leave the past in the past

When you meet someone new, leave any negative feelings or past heartbreaks just where they should be—in the past.

2. You won’t meet someone new in your living room

Well, maybe a cute guy will deliver your new sofa, but chances are you’re going to meet someone by getting out there and trying new things—online dating, taking a class, etc. Tell everyone, especially your married friends, that you’re looking to meet someone and ALWAYS go to parties. Because you truly never know who you’ll meet.

3. Give the guy a chance

When you were 20 your list was “he must be tall, dark and handsome.” Try going against type. It just might be a perfect fit.

4. Look at blind dates like a first date

Two of the authors of our book met their husbands on blind dates, and you can too! If you’re not sure you want to sit in a noisy restaurant, go out and do something fun. One of our Garter Brides went to a baseball game, and she and her date each brought a friend. They had a blast and got married one year later.

5. Time is on your side

Take your time in getting to know your guy and don’t feel in a rush to meet his children or have him meet yours. It starts with the two of you. Make sure this is someone you want in your life.