Taal Volcano

    The complex Taal Volcano is located in the Philippines at the island of Luzon 31miles south of Manila. It is found on an island right in the middle of the Taal Lake. In the prehistoric times between 140,000 to 5,380 BP, this volcano exploded in powerful eruptions which eventually resulted in the formation of Taal Caldera which is partially filled by the lake. The complex volcano when viewed from the Tagaytay ridge emanates one of the most picturesque attractions in the Philippines.
    In the past the volcano has erupted several times claiming the lives of many people residing in the island. These losses of life were estimated to be about 5,000-6,000. It was labeled as a Decade Volcano due to its simultaneous eruptions and its proximity to areas which are populated. It is one of Philippines’ most active volcanoes and is also included in the Pacific ring of fire.
    The Taal Volcano and Lake is found in the province of Batangas and is split into two. The northern half of it belongs to the town of Talisay while the southern half is for San Nicolas. The Taal Lake is also surrounded by the towns of Balete, Santa Teresita, Alitagtag, Talisay, Tanauan, Cuenca and MataasnaKahoy. The whole of Volcano Island was declared by the PHIVOLCS ( Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology) as a Permanent Danger Zone. They prohibited any settlement in the said island. But despite all of that, there are still are some people who are risking their lives by residing in the area. Most of these are poor families who make a living through fishing and farming in the volcano’s rich soil.
    There are 33 eruptions of the Taal volcano recorded in the history of Philippines since 19572. The first was in 1572 when Augustinian friars established Taal town. The second was a mild eruption taking place in 1591 which featured great masses of smoke coming from the crater. But during 1605 to 1611 the volcano was having great activities. Out of fear Father Torna de Abreu erected a huge wooden cross on brink of its crater.
    The center of activities transferred from the crater to other parts of the island itself between 1707 and 1731. In 1715 the eruptions ensued in the BinitiangMunti crater. Also minor eruptions occurred from this crater to the western end of the island in the years 1709 and 1729. On September 24, 1716, a very violent activity occurred destroying the whole southeastern parts of the crater located at the opposite of Mount Macolod. Another remarkable eruption was the 1731 activity where the explosion itself created an island at eastern side of the island. The greatest known eruption of Taal Volcano occurred in 1754. It lasted for 200 days from May 15 to December 1.
    After the year 1754 the Taal remained silent for a period of 54 years. Although it had minor activities 1790, the volcano did not erupt violently until March 1808. This eruption was as great as the 1754 eruption. It dramatically changed the shape of the crater’s interior. It had widened the crater and reduced the pond inside it. The crater walls also has diminished due to this powerful eruption.
    Recently, since 1977 the volcano has remained quiet again. But there have been signs of minor activities in 1991 presenting seismic and ground fracturing. There are also mud pots and geysers seen across the island taking formation. Because of this the PHIVOLCS has been issuing notices about seismic unrest warning the few people living in Taal.

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    As the art of exploration continuously evolves and unfolds myriads of discoveries, the Philippines take its stand to be included in one of the countries to provide a field for one of these amazing findings-the Guyabano. Reputed to be a miraculous fruit able to give a variety of use for the human’s benefits, the need to study it steadily rises.  Generally known as the Souroup, this fruit is called in the Philippines as the Guyabano. It is a fruit of the Annona muricata which belongs to the family of Custard apple trees. It also belongs to the same breed of the cherimoya and the pawpaw. As far as history is concerned it was brought to the Philippines at an early date by way of trade (the Galleons) from Mexico. What is unique about it is that among the other fruits of its genus, it is the only member suitable for preservation.     The guyabano has a lightweight but fragrant wood. It grows sweet scented white flowers which intensifies especially in the morning. It is usually 8-13 inches long and weighs 2.5 kilos. The guybano is dark green but when it is ripe the color turns yellow and its body becomes softer. It has black brown inedible seed. Aside from that, its inside is mostly made up of pulp and fiber. As for its taste the Guyabano is a mixture of various fruits; a combination of strawberry and pineapple with a hint of coconut. The taste buds would also detect markings of sour citrus within the pulp.      Soursoup is only produced in countries where the weather is tropical. And since the Philippines is a tropical country, the tree could be basically grown everywhere in the archipelago. It can grow in all kinds of soil and lives on high levels of humidity and temperatures above 37 degrees which is the secret to its survival. Any point below 5-3degrees could destroy the fruit.      In contrast to it being unpopular in the past, the guyabano is now starting to catch the eyes of many researchers. With the now innumerable studies on this fruit, there is a common factor which is noticeable among these researches. Most of these investigations are found to agree with one another in claiming the soursoup to have an effect which is 9,000 times stronger than that of the Adriamycin and that it could be employed for various types of cancers’ chemotherapy. What makes it amazing is that unlike chemotherapy the compounds of the guyabano only hunts down and kills cells that are cancerous and avoids the healthy ones. So that in contrast to chemotherapy, there is less, if none, harmful side effects resulting from its use such as hair loss, immune depression or extreme nausea. The most proven and known benefits of the Soursoup are as follows:     One can make sweet varieties out of its pulp such as ice cream, juice and candies     One can get rid of intestinal worms by chewing its leaves     Applying its leaves on wounds helps in faster healing     Fevers are neutralized by brewing its roots or when its leaves are mixed with bathing water     Its young leaves can be massaged to the skin for diseases such as rheumatism, eczema and pimples. It also prevents or reduces skin scars from wounds     In some countries, its leaves are said to draw in a good sleep when arranged inside pillows     Mixing its seeds with water and soap and spraying it on plants keeps away pests that are harmful     Head lice are destroyed by the oil extracts taken from its seeds     Aside from the lists given, research has also found out that the consumption of 225g of the guyabano’s pulp helps prevent disorders such as UTI, Constipation, Leg cramps, Water retention, Migraines, Anemia and pregnancy complications. However, there still are a number of doctors who deny the benefits of this fruit. But even so, this fruit has achieved the title of being a miraculous fruit.
    Financial stability is something that you will encounter when you start working and earning money. Actually you need to face it whether you are employed or not. It is something that you can’t escape. However the earlier you try to handle it the better. If you are already earning it is best to save something out of your daily salary regardless of how small it is. It is always best to think of the future and be prepared for any emergencies. However saving money is not the only way to become financially stable. There are a lot of ways on how you can make use of your money and investment is just one of these.     Sometimes it’s a bit hard to invest your money in banks with their investment programs because of the huge minimum amount that they require. Investing your money in a business can be a bit risky as well especially if you don’t have any knowledge or experience in running a business. But leaving your money in your savings account isn’t a good idea as well. One of the best ways to make use of your money without the risk of losing it is investment in things such as jewelries.      The good thing jewelries is that you can eventually use it in times of emergency by having it pawned. You can get cash from it but you still have the chance to get it back. It is handy and you can even wear them. Also, the market price or the value of jewelries do not entirely depreciate. In history, the price of gold constantly goes up through the years. It is like a real estate investment. It doesn’t depreciate, rather its value increases as time pass by.     However it is important to choose the type of jewelry that you wish to buy or invest your money with. Go for small pieces in a number of quantity. Do not invest all of your money on a very expensive piece because you will then find it difficult to get it back once it has been pawned. Also the value you can get will largely depend on the pawnshop. Pawnshops have different appraisal values and interests. Make sure to choose the one suitable to your current financial capability.   
    The Pamalican Island is an island surrounded by reefs with a size of seven square meters. It is located in the Sulu Sea between the island of Agutaya and Cuyo. The Pamalican Island is found north of Palawan. It is part of a numerous groups of island which makes up the Cuyo Archipelago. Though it is a small island with an estimate of 500 meters width, it is considered as one of Philippines’ best island private resorts. Originally the island was a plantation until it was bought by a businessman named Andres Soriano Jr. It was then his children who made a decision to transform it into a private resort. At present, its totality now belongs to the resort which is owned by Sorianos called the Seven Seas Resort. It is also a branch of the Aman Resorts resort group nemd the Amanpulo.     Visitors, tourists and customers can get to the island via a plane coming from Manila. The Dornier 228-202K plane ferries people and supplies to the exclusive resort. Along with it comes personal buggies that takes visitors for a free ride round the island. What is remarkable about the Pamalican Island is its extremely calm and secluded atmosphere.      One of its main attractions are its diving sites and coral reefs. It also has a bio diversity of marine life including manta rays and giant turtles. On the north of the island the “Windsurf hut” offers surf boards and sail for customers. Surfers find the monsoon season which is usually from the months of November to May a very nice time to go for a surf since the winds would blow towards the shore.      Aside from being one of Philippine’s best resorts the Pamalican Island stands as nominee for being one of the best in the world. People who have visited its resorts have said that the island itself looks like a green comet placed on white sand. The island is also famous for its purely natural ambience. It takes only an hour and a half to walk around the whole island. Sights of sharks and giant turtles on the shores are also frequent in the area. Tourists have found its experience to be a “retreat within a retreat”.      What makes the Pamalican island is the Amanpulo. It is a five star hotel and resort exclusive and under the ownership of 7 Seas Resort. The Amanpulo is a combination of Snaskrit and tagalong words which means peaceful islands. Celebrities, politicians and successful businessmen constantly visit the resort because of its unmatched privacy that it offers to people who are in need of it. Famous people including Micheal Jackson and Robert De Niro were even reported as having taken a vacation on the resort though it was never confirmed by the management.      People who wish to visit the Pamalican Island have to go by NAIA Airport. The resort itself provides private planes for the customers operated by the Island Aviation owned by the Sorianos. Each visitor is provided with private buggies that take them to their villas and casitas.
    The Rafflesia comes from the major family of flowering plants which are parasitic. It has an estimate of 28 main species which could be found in Southeast Asian countries one of which is the Philippines. Rafflesia was first discovered in an Indonesian rain forest. It was found by Dr. Joseph Arnold’s guide in 1818. The plant though got its name from the leader of that expedition. His name was Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. The Rafflesia was originally found in between years 1791-94 by Louis Deschamps but according to history his notes bout it were captured by the British.     The plant has a unique body which is void of stems, leaves nor does it have roots. Instead it only consists of an absorptive organ which is located inside the vine. It belongs to the holoparasite vines of the Vitaceae. On the outside the plant looks like a flower with five large petals around its body. The size of the Rafflesia in diameter is 100cm with a weight of 22pounds. Aside from looking rotten there emanates from it a rotten smell which is why it has many local names. Some call it the “rotten flower” and others would name it the “meat flower” because it looks like meat. Remarkably, the rotten smell of the flower draws insects to it.      There are two general species of the Rafflesia. The first one is the Malaysian and the other is the Philippine species. In 2002, Filipino scientists set out for myriads of research activities where they discovered various species of the Giant Flower. The first Rafflesia was discovered in Antique Province on the mountains. Its features were unique compared to all other species that were found. By 2005, the next rafflesia was found in Compostela Valley of Mindanao. It had an equal size with that of the first rafflesia having a size of 50-65 centimeters in diameter.     In 1991 a collection of Rafflesia species were found but were not given names. In 2006 Danny Balete collected them all and studied them to find out that they were different from the R.manillana found in Luzon. Thus it was given the name R. baletei. In the following year another group of species was found by Dr. Julie Barcelona in Bukidnon. Another was found on the same year in Mount Banahaw of Luzon. Every year since 2002 scientists would find new species of this giant flower from different cities and provinces of the country. Until in 2010 the tenth Rafflesia was discovered.     The most famous Rafflesia discovered in the Philippines is called the Rafflesia philippensis. It was given its name by Blanco. It has a diameter of twenty nine up to thirty two centimeters when it has fully opened. Its species were found to be scattered around the vicinities of the Mount Banahaw National Park. In 2003 the park was closed for the Rafflesia researchers to make more studies on the population of the plant.     Among other names the plant is known also as the “corpse flower” because of its odor and meat-like structure. It has 20 general species known to exist. Despite its gigantic size, the flower is said to be safe to touch.
    With today’s latest inventions and discoveries, it’s hard to tell what science cannot do. Mankind surely would benefit from all of these researches and breakthroughs especially when it comes to the medical field. Humans are really taking a good shot in looking for answers or cure to life threatening diseases and even ways on how to lengthen the human life. One of the most controversial medical proposals ever made for the 2017 is the head transplant procedure.     Although the idea of head transplant started few years ago, it is expected to happen later this year or early on next year. Doctors behind this procedure were composed of a team of neurosurgeons headed by Sergio Canavero. Aside from the team he is also working in collaboration with another neurosurgeon from Harbin Medical University of China, Xiaoping Ren.      The head transplant procedure made in rodents was reportedly successful. According to the neurosurgeons, it required them to use three rodents to carry out the procedure. One rodent’s head was transferred to another rodent. The last rodent was then used as to supply blood during the procedure. Positive results were taken and that the transplanted head perfectly work and showed normal brain activity while being attached to a larger rodent.     The procedure was also tested in other animals aside from rats, such as monkeys and rabbits. This was also done in humans using corpses. According to Dr. Canavero, all procedures carried out promising and feasible results. The surgeon is making sure that the human head transplant will successfully happen later this year. They already have chosen the persons who will undergo such procedure but to choose not to reveal the identity of the persons involved. The only known detail is that they came from China.      Hearing this kind of information, will it ever happen and is it really ethical to conduct such procedure on humans. Although several organ transplants were already done in the history, this one is somewhat an exemption. Several groups were not in favor with the vision of the Italian Surgeon because he personally announced and release journals about this procedure without even consulting the American Association for Neurological Surgeons. Even the president of the association condemned him for conducting such procedure which should first undergo to series of assessment before publishing it.     Dr canavero and his team was able to carry out the procedure without any delay because they were financially supported by several groups who share the same visions with them. The mere idea of this method is purely morbid and it’s quite surprising how this neurosurgeon is able to make it happen in no time without any restraint.      How far can science actually go? Although doing this could be beneficial to humans, it is selectively beneficial because not all will benefit from this. There are already cases of organ trafficking, think of how deadly this can actually go?  

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    When you don’t have sweet tooth it is hard to find snacks that can match your low tolerance for sugar. Almost all snacks were made out of sugar, chocolates and other forms of sweeteners. It is the main reason why Skittles stands out from the rest of the group. It is a sweet yet sour candy that comes in a bright rainbow colors. But all of a sudden Skittles became really dull and lost all that rainbow colors.     In an official stamen made by Skittles, they decided to have a different packaging for intended for the entire month of June. As practiced June is the month dedicated for the LGBT community. The LGBT community has the rainbow to represent them because they acknowledged that they are composed of different genders thus constitutes not just a single color but of different colors.      Since the Skittles and the LGBT community share the same kind of color representation, Skittles gladly gave way to the LGBT community. According to them, although the share the same symbol, one has to stand out and celebrate their existence and they give it whole heartedly to the LGBT group.      This is such a remarkable and thoughtful move for Skittles. Although they were branded and known because of their color, they were not afraid to give way to celebrate a significant event for some people. Consumers in return have shown appreciation to what the company did. Their customers admired their sensitive and immediate decision to honor the LGBT community.     Changing brand packaging is a bit risky when it comes to sales and market. Well known and established companies see to it that when they have to change or modify their packaging it needs to be somehow close to the previous design. It is because people shop out of familiarity. When you change your packaging into a totally different concept, chances are your consumers will not be able to recognize your products anymore.      However it is different with the case of Skittles. They dared to risk their sales and their brand in order to commemorate an event. With this making rounds in the internet, Skittles is rest assured that their customers would still remain loyal to them.   
    Birth order has been known to have a significant influence on a person’s personality. In fact a prominent and well known psychologist coined the theory about birth order. It was Alfred Adler’s work that lead other psychologists to consider how such event can partly affect and help in predicting a person’s overall personality.     In his theory of birth order however, a specific position have shown great crisis in terms of dealing with the demands of that particular order. The middle child is considered to be someone who is in between the eldest and the youngest child being born. The middle child has an elder sibling to compete with in terms of achievement and trust from parents, as well as control over the other siblings. At the same time the middle child needs to face the unfortunate reality that although he or she had enjoyed a moment of being the youngest it did not last long prior to the birth of a sibling. Now the youngest child enjoys all the attention and care that was supposedly given to the middle child.     It is quite a difficult task to stay on the middle. The eldest becomes busy with responsibilities entrusted by the parents, thus the eldest won’t mind not being their parents’ favorite because he or she was given a task or responsibility that needs to be fulfilled. In a way, the eldest child feels empowerment and develops control over his or her younger siblings. As a result, a middle child develop unique character traits in order to cope with the crisis of being caught in the middle. Commonly, they become secretive in nature. They naturally have high trust issues. The always strive to please everybody so that they can be noticed by their parents.      By staying in the middle, the child becomes a good mediator. After all it is an advantage to be on the both sides. It is like being the best of both worlds. The term middle child syndrome was a sort of adaptation to the crisis that child who falls under that particular order has to face. It’s considered a syndrome for some because most of the time middle kids have the same sentiments with one another.      Although Alfred Adler’s theory were postulated years ago it is still present up to this point. Certain modern psychologists have adopted his concept of birth order and how it pays a crucial role in the development of one’s personality.  
    If you are reading this then you are most likely a middle child who is looking for confirmation that you really feel special because of your controversial birth order. Although less attention is given to middle children during child rearing, middle children became an interesting target for research because of their complicated situation. Children who were born on such order have great qualities especially when it comes to coping and socialization. But what are the most common traits that makes up a middle child? Here is the list: 1.    A part of you will always feel that nobody cares about you – it is the most fundamental feeling that the middle children share. It starts when you just don’t know who or what you should be. The parents are busy making your older sibling responsible and at the same time they are busy looking after and enjoying your younger sibling.  2.    You were used to being alone but you are not even sad about it – although not all middle children are introverts, there is a strong force that pushes a middle child to enjoy a moment of himself or herself to meditate or to think of plans especially when a decision has to be made.  3.     You talk to yourself vocally – although it wasn’t intentional, most middle kids were not given the chance to voice out their opinion because it is the job of the older sibling and such decisions are actually made for the benefit of the youngest child. In a way, middle children have been used to voice out their thoughts to their selves alone. They do it because they actually value listening to opinion since they weren’t given that chance when they were young. 4.     You always think that you are not your parents’ favorite – parental biases will always take place no matter how many times parents say that they don’t have favoritism among their children. Meanwhile, the middles would voluntarily take the place of not being the favorite child or the less appreciated one because they have been used to sacrifice  ever since they became a middle child. 5.    It always comes to you to consider other people’s feelings before you make any decision – although this may sound too kind this is actually true for almost all middle kids. Since they were used to get caught in the middle they learned how it feels to be on top of someone and at the same time find themselves in the bottom.  6.     You feel a bit distant and secretive to your own family – this is a thing that only middle children could understand. It may sound rebellious but it is not. Since they were used being left behind or that their opinions don’t really matter at all, they become cautious in opening up or trusting a family member.     
    The primary instincts of humans is to survive. However aside from the goal of surviving humans are also born to appreciate art. Although art may seem not a necessity because a human being can survive without it, art is something that makes a person able to survive while staying sane. Art is not limited to paintings or drawings, music is considered as an art and even language. Humans are born to be artistic creatures and it is exciting to know that art is limitless and it can never be stopped. It is immortal and it will always be. One of the ultimate representation of art is having a tattoo. But is tattoo a form or art and expression or it is just a form of style?     Getting inked isn’t simple as it seems. Your body will become the perfect canvas for this art, thus it is important to carefully think about your purpose and the design that you wished to have. Also the pain while getting inked is not a joke. And, tattoo artists need to be very precise when they are doing their job. It is why tattoo artists deserve such high respect among other artists.      While many people could not understand why some would want to “stain” their bodies like they always think of, having a tattoo constitute to something deeper than just a fashion statement. It is quite hard to be judged once you have tattoos in your body. The society has this idea that once you have one in your body you are either an ex-convict, drug addict, a member of a gang, a prostitute and so much more. People with tattoos were even branded not to have good jobs. Tattoos are often objectified as a good for nothing art.      Having a tattoo is not equivalent to committing a crime but some people don’t make any distinction to it. People should then realize that art can take different forms, if they learned to appreciate music then tattoos deserve that chance too.      People who would want to get inked are ordinary people with bigger appreciation for art. They are the ones who are not afraid to be judged by other people. They are not ashamed of expressing who they are and they are proud of having it inked on their bodies. Having a tattoo does not mean you are destroying your body. How come it become destructive when it is in fact what your heart desires?   
    There are several ways to determine a person’s capability. A person can be judged through educational attainment, amount of salary or savings that that person has and many more. But a person’s personality is something which makes that particular person different from any other. In general personality is the overall qualities of a person. It includes his or her coping mechanisms, attitude to a particular situation, beliefs, aspiration, his or her character and even temperament. But how does a person’s personality develop? Is it something inborn, or is personality made? According to Psychology there are several things that can affect and are responsible in shaping a person’s personality such as birth order.      The relevance of birth order to personality was first proposed by Alfred Adler. According to him, birth order determines or guides a person’s personality because of a made up expectation to a child even before he or she learns to behave on things. Children are already expected to behave into a particular list things because it has been the norm of the society.     The birth order theory includes the first born, second born, middle, and the last born or as the only child. According to Adler the following are the shaped personalities according to birth order:     First Born – Tends to become achievers, controlling, and reliable, independent, perfectionist, structured and cautious. These traits are often associated with child rearing, since the first born are always entrusted or tasked to look after their younger siblings. And as the first born grows older, it will play a huge part in the development of personality.     Middle Child – We often hear about middle child syndrome which describes the crisis of being in between an older and a younger sibling. The birth order triggers the middle child to feel less wanted because the first born is entrusted with the responsibility and then the youngest becomes the favorite. Middle children tend to become secretive, short tempered, and prone to become rebellious but are good when it comes to socializing with other people.      Youngest – The youngest child in the family is considered to be the favorite of all. Although parents would try to give equal treatment to their children, it is the youngest child who will get all the attention and care. With the abundance of love and attention the youngest kids can become manipulative, self-centered, dependent, attention seeker but at the same time they are outgoing, they are good in dealing emotions and are often relaxed.