The Colorful Vintas of Zamboanga

    Vintas are traditional boats originating from the southern island called Mindanao in the Philippines. The Bajau and Moros of Sulu and Zamboanga created these boats. They are also called lepa-lepa or sakayan and were used since ancient times to transport people and goods to and from different islands. In those times the Bajaus and people from Basilan and Tawi-tawi used these boats as their homes. It was said that they seldom went to land except for the task of burying their dead. This is also why they became known as great swimmers and people with great knowledge of the sea and oceans. The Vintas are also used in regattas. Regattas are a series of races between rowboats such as the vintas.
    They were made from dug-out canoes and installed with double outriggers. But the most remarkable traits of these boats are the colorful patterns of its sails. Although each boat has a variety of colors, every one of them follows a certain vertical pattern. Each color is separated from the other in a vertical fashion. The colors used in every line represent the culture and the past of the Muslims. It is because of these vessels that Zamboanga is famous for.
    Originally, Vinta was the term used for a Moro dance. This was a celebration reminiscing the time when Filipinos migrated to the archipelago. The dance was performed with moves imitating the movements of the boats. The dancers would do this by standing on top of poles and balancing themselves as though they were Vintas sailing in the Ocean. 
    The Vinta basically signifies the general evolution of Sulu towards development. It is the island’s symbol as the maneuvering of the craft requires careful steering because of stormy waters. The people of Sulu were believed to have used these boats in the past in search of their promised land. They believed that this land was given to them as inheritance from their forefathers.
    Vinta represents a lot to the people and it has many uses in terms of tourism and foreign attraction. It has become a great icon for Filipinos and some institutions in the Philippines. The PAREF schools, for example has used the Vinta as a symbol to their buildings. In other places such as the picturesque Paseo del Mar the Vintas are used as one of their additional attractions. It was the Department of Tourism with the support of the City Government which has recently launched the “Vinta Sailing at Paseo”. This official launching is one of the country’s efforts to promote the culture of Zamboanga City. In this effort the colorful vintas are used both to attract tourists and also to create programs that will preserve the culture.
    With a low price of P50, visitors can now enjoy a 30-minute tour around the Paseo del Mar riding the vintas. This is available every Saturday and Sunday with at least 5 boats ready to for a tourist to ride on. Tourists can also observe regattas during the Fiesta Pilar. 
    The Vinta is a representation of Zamboanga’s history and culture. But it is also one of the symbols that represent the Philippines as it signifies migration and the colorful traditions of the country.

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Saturday, September 10, 2016 - 10:40:29 PM
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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.
    The word Bajau is a collective term for indigenous groups of people. These groups have also blended with the culture of the Sana which is why they are called the Sama-Bajau. In history the term Sama describes indigenous people who live more in areas of land. On the other hand the term Bajau is used for ethnic groups residing near the seas or on seas or those who dwell in boats.      The Badjau People or also called the Sama or Samal are indigenous ethnic groups found in Maritime Southeast Asia. They live mainly on the seas using wooden boats like the Vintas. This ethnic group originally came from the Sulu Archipelago. They also lived in some areas of Mindanao and northern Borneo. For half a century though, the Badjaus have been migrating to neighboring countries and also in the northern Philippines. This is due to the ongoing conflicts in the ARMM ( Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao). At present the Badjaus are considered to be one of the largest ethnic groups in Sabah. They make up almost 15% of the state’s population. These people have also migrated in Indonesia but the number of their population remains unanimous. The Bajau were sometimes associated with other ethnic groups of similar lifestyles. They have been called Sea Gypsies. The outward spreading of the Bajau from their old homes to other countries wasalso associated with the development of sea trade in modern times.     The origin of the term Bajau was never clarified. It is generally used to describe or call these ethnic groups. Ironically, they themselves never used the term Bajaus to describe themselves. They would call themselves according to their tribe’s names, the place they live in or where they came from. But even so these people share the same some of their vocabularies and bodily features. That is why agree with being called Bajaus in general.     As a large ethnic group, the Bajaus have subgroups within themselves. And although they share some genetic characteristics and parts of their vocabularies, each of their groups had their own unique languages and traditions. However, some of these subgroups are able to understand the others’ languages. The Simunul for example, which are found in Sabah are able to communicate with other Bajaus using the Tausug language.      There are numerous subgroups comprising the Bajaus. The UbianBajaus are the first of these groups. They are originally from the island of South Ubian located in Tawi-Tawi of the Philippines. In Sabah they are considered to be the largest group of Bajaus. They live in minorities around the Kudat and Semporna Towns in Sabah, Malaysia. The Bannaran is another subgroup which originated also in Tawi-Tawi but on the Bannaran Island. They are also found Kudat and Semporna. The SamalBajaus is another group originating from the coasts of Sabah. But many of them have migrated north up to the Visayas and southern Luzon islands.     The Bajau people vary in their religious beliefs as well as their cultures. Their faiths include the strict Sunni Islam, folk islam and then there are others who are dedicated to ancestor worship. A minority of them are Christians too.
    The Tabon Caves are set in Lipuun Point Reservation in Palawan. It is a 138-hectare of island which is linked to Palawan’s mainland by a forest. They are groups of caves found in the northern parts of the Quezon municipality in Palawan province on Palawan Island. The name of the caves was taken from the Tabon Scrubfowl, a bird with a large foot which lays eggs in the cave. South of the Tabon Caves is the town proper of Quezon. On the west they are bordered by Barangay Panitian. Meanwhile, the South China Sea is located on the north and eastern parts of these caves. Their mouths lay 33meters above sea level.     In the year 1962, researcher Dr. Robert B. Fox and his team found the skull of the Tabon man in one of the Tabon caves. It is reported that the remains were approximately 22-24,000 years old. The Tabon man belongs to the species of the Homo Sapien or better known as the intelligent and modern man. They have also found tools, jars, bones and jewelry which dates back fifty thousand years ago. These are the oldest remains ever found in the country. This discovery has indicated habitation 50,000 years ago while the limestone found in it is believed to date back to the Lower Middle Miocene Period which is equivalent to 25 million years back in human history. Ten years later, in April of 1972 the Lipuun Point Reservation became a Site Museum Reservation. It was also recognized as a priority site for the development of tourism of natural and culture heritage in 1991.      Because the oldest human remnant ever to be found in the Philippines, the Tabon man was found in the Tabon Cave, the caves gained the title of being the country’s Cradle of Civilization. It plays a very significant role in the discovery and knowledge of the history and heritage of Filipinos. According to the discoveries, the Tabon Caves is where one of the first habitants of the Philippines lived and was buried. The remains show that Tabon men lived in the cave. It says that they lived on small animals like bats and birds due to the small sizes of their stone tools. There were charcoals left from cooking fires.     The Guri Cave is the most important cave in the Tabon Cave complex because it is considered as the cave where the early people lived. These people lived earlier than the Tabon man, it was said. Archaeologists have found layers of soil inside which contained of garbage and a collection of marine shells left by the early people. It is estimated that their habituation dates back to 5000 and 2000 years B.C.     The Tabon Cave Complex is an attraction for both tourists and archaeologists. It contains vital information on the history and culture of the country’s heritage. It is the Philippine’s Cradle of Civilization. On the other hand, it provides a first-hand experience and a scenic view to visitors on one of the oldest abodes of ancient men.
    Until the discovery of the Callao Man, archaeologists used to believe that it was the Tabon Man who was the oldest and earliest man to have lived in the Philippines. The fossils of the Callao’s remains was discovered in Cagayan in Penablanca in the Callao Caves. It was found by Armand Salvador Mijares in the year 2007.      The discovery has produced a metatarsal, a group of bones which are located in mid and hind foot and somewhere near the toes. This metatarsus was about Sixty millimeters long. The find was dated through the use of a uranium series ablation, the most accurate dating method used by archaeologists. The results of the uranium shows that the bones were about 60-67,000 years old. If they were to prove the bones to belong to the Homo Sapiens then it would beat the Tabon Man and earn its place in the list as the earliest remains of man to be found in the Philippines. It also has the chance of being the oldest not only in the country but in the whole of Asia Pacific. Researchers has noted that the Callao Man had an average height of 4ft tall.      Researchers also believe that their descendants could be the Aetas who live in the mountains in the present in the Philippines. This is because of the possible features that emanate from their study of the metatarsal which suggests short height, curly hair and dark skin.      But the classification in terms of the biological of the Callao man became uncertain in July of 2010. This is because the metatarsal that was discovered was found out by researchers as belonging to the Homo genus species. These researchers speculate that Callao Man could either belong to the Homo florsiensis or the Homo Sapiens. Homo florsiensis are species which are distinct from men that is usually short in height and resides mostly on the islands of Indonesia. On the other hand, the Homo Sapiens are what is now known as the modern type of men. The researchers were becoming unsure of the genus of the bones due to the fact that they haven’t yet discovered a skull to fit the metatarsal. But Mijares was able to stress that the Callao Man was most probably an individual that has a small body.     Theories show that the Callao Man and his group of humans originated from the country of Indonesia and came to Luzon by way of a raft. The researchers have noted that this theory fits to dated existence of the Callao Man when humans were not yet capable of travelling long distances and voyages.      This glaciations created isthmuses or land bridges that connected islands from other islands. According to the theory during the times of the Callao Man there were isthmuses that connected Philippines to all of Southeast Asia.  In the present day, there have been no other researchers to find more on the bones of the Callao Man except those of Mijares’ group from the University of the Philippines.
    Basically, the Aswang is a Filipino folklore mythical creature. According to myths it has a vampire-like nature. It has other names such as the “wak-wak” and “tik-tik”. It has been subject to and a hopeless explanation to so many unsolved stories in the Philippines. Especially in the 16th century, even the Spanish colonists has noticed that it was the Aswang which terrified the Filipinos most. It is known in the entire country and feared except for the Ilocos regions where the myth does not have an existing story to be told. The most popular regions where the Aswang myth is found is in places like Capiz, Negros, Aklan, Antique, Masbate and Bohol.      The term Aswang is generally used to define all kinds of vampires, monsters and witches. Originally it was used as a term for a were-dog myth. Dog in Tagalog is Aso where the name takes its origins. The were-dog myth used to be an easter of the dead which consumes cadavers and replaces the bodies with banana trunks. The stories on Aswang vary depending on the region or individual in the country. But it is generally refered to a female.     But the real origin of the Aswang myth could be found in the ancient times before modern science and medicine came to the Philippines. Maladies and miscarriages that could not be explained properly were always attributed as the workings of an Aswang. But in the present times, the myth changed its purposes and uses. Now it is used as entertainment and also by parents to their children as a style of disciplining. For example a Filipino mother would tell their child aswang stories to stop them from staying away from home late at night.     True that it is a well-known myth in the entire country, the myth though is most popular in the Visayas especially that of Capiz. It is Capiz which is frequently targeted by tabloids as a place where various monsters and supernatural beings lived such as tikbalangs(centaurs) and manananggals. A reason for that may be because almost all of the people living in Capiz are superstitiously inclined.     Some people believe that Aswangs appear not only in places but during seasons of high spiritual significance. Such is the example of Southern Luzon where Antipolo is superstitiously believed to have many events of Aswang occurences during the Holy Week. The belief explains that this happens in the three days when Christ was dead. But although there are superstitious folks in the country there are also some that highly argues that the Aswang might be creatures that belong to the cryptozoology, a science that deals with studying animals that hasn’t been proven to exist yet. Some examples of cryptozoologic animals are dinosaurs and the big foots.     Research on the Aswang has produced so many different descriptions. But there are on the other hand numerous commodities in all the stories. The stories commonly has it that Aswangs are people who live ordinary lives. They are usually shy and quiet people. But at night they would turn into different creatures and animals such as cats, dogs or pigs. Stories also commonly show that Aswangs eat fetuses, little children and the hearts of people. Finally, they have been commonly described as robbers of cadavers and always in the habit of replacing the stolen bodies with wood, tree trunks or materials made from plants.     The mystery of the Aswang has been provided with scientific, religious and historical explanations. Others believe in their existence while others do not. But all the same it remains as one of the most influential literatures in the Filipino culture.

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    Remember the good all days when Nokia 3315 dominated the cellular brands available in the market? It has been the most popular and famous brand for cellular devices. Before mobile devices came in, it was first cellular devices and during that time Nokia has been occupying a great spot as the people’s number one choice.      However despite the popularity and the trusted reputation, Nokia faced a catastrophic event. During the release of mobile devices powered by android and ios, nokia wasn’t able to come up right away with their own version of android phone. Instead of getting along with the trend Nokia took the risk of partnering with Windows. The partnership gave birth to Nokia Lumia, also known as the Window’s Phone. Despite the name and the fresh approach, the new windows phone did not manage to attract more customers since it was launched. It was close to being failure since almost all users prefer using android devices rather than have it on windows.      For quite some time, Nokia remained silent about its attempt to match the release of android phones. Some people are even thinking what happened to this company. Nokia has indeed made a legacy. Now that the contract of the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft is finally over, Nokia is now launching its comeback with Nokia 6.     Last January 19, 2017 the company finally launched their mobile android device, the Nokia 6. Although this device will be launched exclusively in China as of the moment, people all over the world are very much excited for the comeback. But how excited should the people be with the specs of this new device?     Everybody should be excited because Nokia 6 has amazing specs that can be compared with Samsung and Apple’s most popular devices. Aside from the monster specs, people are very surprised to have it in a very affordable price. It is 70% cheaper compared to Apple’s Iphone 7 and Samsung’s S8. Just imagine having this kind of specs in a market price.     There is no wonder why it was sold out just a minute after its first launching in China. Although there are no reviews yet about this device people are positively anticipating that this is the thing that they have been waiting for. Everyone is wishing for this device to be available in their country or if not, Nokia will create a device that will be available all over the world.      There are also rumors that Nokia, in partnership with HMD Global will release two android mobile devices this year. And Nokia 6 is just the start of their comeback. The public are now waiting if Nokia will try to match the release date of Apple’s Iphone and Samsung’s S series. This will be an exciting year indeed. If you have plans of getting a new mobile device this year, you should watch out because a new competitive brand is going to make rounds for sure.   
    Losing weight has been one of the most anticipated topics for quite a while now. People are very much eager to lose weight and to obtain a physically fit body. Being slim and thin is now the new standard of beauty, which is the main reason why almost everyone are trying really hard to at least lower down those unwanted fats. The best and most effective way to lose weight is to have a daily exercise and to eat healthy foods that are enough to sustain the body’s need for energy. But people are too busy and lazy to do both.      It is undeniably true that people nowadays would love to eat and eat and wish not to gain weight at all. However it will never happen to most people. There are some though who don’t have any problems of gaining weight because of their metabolism.  But majority of people will pay price of eating too much and absolutely gaining too much weight. People are now trying their very best to finds the easiest yet the most effective way to lose weight. There are supplements, food suppressants, even coffee mix especially made to lose weight. To add to these is the discovery of rice corn.     Corn is known to be a good source of carbohydrates and even rich in minerals and vitamins. However although it is rich in carbohydrates it can actually help people lose weight especially if you are the type of person who often have carbs on their meals. Filipinos are rice eaters. It is hard for one to live on bread alone and that is for sure. If you rely heavily on rice or on carbohydrates it is best to replace rice with rice corn instead.      Rice corn might be effective to help you lose weight since it is has the most number of fiber among other grains. Aside from being fiber-rich, rice corn is more compact compared to rice. It means you only need a little serving for you to get full. Also it takes time before your stomach could actually digest corn because of its compact nature that is why it will also take time before you can feel hunger once again. Corn has less sugar compared to rice. It is one of the biggest assets of rice corn eaters. Carbohydrates, fats, and sugar are the three things you don’t want to accumulate in your diet if you want to achieve a lean and sexy body. Although corn contains carbs, you will be taking it in minimum amount since it is more compact compared to white rice.     Everybody is looking for different ways to lose weight. The best thing to do is to acquire discipline first and then look for ways appropriate for your body build. Not all dietary supplements are effective. Some would depend mainly on the body’s mechanism in losing weight!     
    Taking a bath is a necessity for any person. Taking baths regularly have great effects on the body especially when it comes to proper hygiene.  Washing your body removes dirt and even germs that may cause skin irritation and other forms of ailments. However there are also concerns when it comes to taking baths such as the drying of skin. What actually makes the skin dry and how can it be prevented?      Having a glowing and fully nourished skin is such an asset. It shows how healthy a person is and how he or she takes good care of his or her body. Of course dull and dry skin is not an indication of a healthy lifestyle. It can make a person look older than they seem. Taking baths regularly can indeed make your skin dry because it also removes the moisture within your skin. However choosing between soap or body bar and body wash can actually solve your problem.     Body bars or beauty bars are among the oldest and the traditional products used during bath time. It has been present even centuries ago. It is convenient to use and comes in affordable prices. Several variants of soap have been already produced to cater the needs of every person. There are beauty bars made especially for people having sensitive skin. These are often termed mas hypo allergenic products. With the convenience of using beauty bars, is there something special about body wash that can actually change the minds of the people who have been used to soaps.      Unlike beauty bars, body wash or shower gels are actually great if you have dry skin problems. The chemical components used in making shower gels are lighter and more delicate compared to those of beauty bars. This is the main reason why shower gels can totally moisturize your skin even if you use it every day. Although beauty bars have been present for ages, shower gels have its benefits that any person would surely consider.      A body wash unlike soap can be stored in a pump-type container making it really handy. Its scent stays longer in your skin unlike soap does. It produces more amount of lather, making you enjoy your bath more. It moisturizes your skin and it also comes in different variants depending on use. It is not that expensive and it can be bought in any supermarket stores just like soaps. Unlike soap it does not have any residues that can actually make your skin flaky.   
    If you are fond of shopping online for sure you have come across posts or pages selling bags, shoes, jewelries, cosmetics and other sort of trendy things. These items became really salable because sellers would claim that they have way cheaper prices compared to those items sold in malls. A buyer with a limited amount of money would sure go for a budget-friendly deal believing that he or she would get the same item being sold in malls. Other seller would even label their products as “authentic overruns” or “original overruns”.      What else should a buyer know if an item is labeled as an authentic overrun aside from the lower price it has? The truth is there is actually no such thing as “authentic overrun”. It’s just between an original one and a fake one. Yes, overruns are considered fake or counterfeit products. In support to the overrun claim, others would say that the products they are selling did not match or pass the quality standards and so they are being sold in cheaper prices. These products are still made from the original material but has some sort of imperfections and are not included in items delivered in malls and other authorized distributors. This claim sounds really convincing right?      In counterfeit items or imitations there are still classifications in terms of quality. The one considered to be the closest to the original is called an overrun, next is a replica, and it is followed by class A, class B and so on. There are some items that are really sturdy and have great quality, almost the same with the original. The price difference does matter, and if you are going to conduct a research, almost all online stores have the same price range for items. This means, their products came from the same source or the supplier for these items is the same.      There is nothing wrong in buying these kinds of stuff, who would want to spend more money if can spend less and have the item that you really like? However it is best to know the value of what you are buying for. Don’t get fooled by those sellers telling you that they are selling original items. Also, the price range for overrun items are almost the same, so don’t get fooled if you saw an item that you like in a much higher price compared to what you saw, thinking that, that  must be the original one. If the price is 50%-70% lower compared to malls, then it must have been an overrun or a replica.   
    Nowadays, people are becoming busier with their work and other sorts of responsibilities. When you have just started working, chances are you spend majority of your time working and earning a living. But it is also important to distress yourself from so much stress from the demands of your work. But how can you do it if you have very limited time left to enjoy? Food has been one of the key comforts of the people at this present time.      Wherever and whenever you go to a certain restaurant you will surely get to see a chicken on their menu. Chicken is served in all restaurants, of course except for vegans. It is one of the most handy to cook among all other meat. You can have it fried, serve it in salads, or have it as a soup and even in barbecues. People consume chicken as much as they consume rice. Aside from being versatile in terms of recipes, chicken can be cooked easily. Most of the chicken recipes do not require too much time in terms of preparation. Also, it is always available in the market, rain or shine. It is available whole year round. It doesn’t have to depend on any season at all.     Almost all are eating chicken but do you know or have you already asked yourself on which is the healthiest part of the chicken? In terms of being healthy, the breast part would surely take the win. Why it is considered to be the healthiest has something to do with its structure and component. Unlike other chicken parts, the breast is mainly composed of lean meat. It does not have any extra fat and is a good source of protein. It isn’t difficult to prepare and require little or less time compared to other parts because it does not have bones at all. Although the breast may seem not that appealing it is the healthiest part of the chicken. It is best for those who are on their diet. You will not feel guilty at all after consuming a whole chicken breast.      Now for the tastiest part, it is none other than the thighs. The drumstick is indeed popular but the thighs have tastier meat. The wings might also be a good appetizer however it contains less meat compared to the thighs, making it as appetizer but not the main dish. Chicken thighs have tastier and juicer meat compared to all others. It has the right amount of meat and it has bones to give it enough structure and for you to bite on.      However if you are a drumstick person then go for it, choose the one that makes you happy. If you are conscious with your diet then go for the breast part. In the end, it will depend on your own preference. Rest, assured that your chicken will always be there for you no matter what.