Rafflesia - The Largest Philippine Flower

    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.

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    The University of Santo Tomas (UST) is the oldest ever made university existing in the Philippines which is found in Manila. It is also famous for being the largest in the city and also being a Pontifical University, the only one of its own in Asia. It is considered one of the largest Catholic universities in the world. Aside from that, UST is known for being the only university of its kind to be visited thrice by two popes namely, Pope John Paul II and Pope Paul VI. The Order of Preachers are the group that run the private and Roman Catholic university.      It consists of many independent colleges, faculties, institutes and schools. Each of these confers all kinds of graduate degrees. The Patron and Patroness of the University is St, Thomas Aquinas and St. Catherine. The University of Santo Tomas has also produced prominent people who have contributed a lot in Philippine’s history. Thomasians vary in prominence from saints, to professionals and presidents, to heroes, scientists and famous artists. It also has an athletic group of teams called the Growling Tigers which have consistently won in the Overall Championships.     Manila’s third Archbishop Miguel de Benavides takes the credit for the foundation of UST. He first arrived in the country on 1587 in a Dominican mission. In 1601 he got promoted in Manila as the archbishop. When he died in 1605 on July, he left his property consisting of properties worth 1,500 pesos and a library with the intention of using it as a fund to establish higher learning institutions. It was Bernardo de Santo Catalina who carried out his will. Catalina secured a building and a convent beside the Dominican church and Intramuros all for the purpose of establishing a college.     A request for permission in opening the said college was sent to King Philipp the third in Spain on the year 1609. But the process took two years after which a reply came to Manila in 1811. In 28 April of 1611 the signing of the foundation’s act was witnessed by Juan Illian who was a notary. The act of foundation was signed by Baltazar Fort, Francisco Minayo and Bernardo Navarro. Baltazar took the position of the first Rector and was appointed as Father Provincial. The university used to be an establishment for seminary in the 17th century for priests. It took its name from the saint Thomas Aquinas. It offered courses such as philosophy, grammar, civil and logic. By the year 1871 medicine and pharmacy were added to its list making it the first in Asia to offer the courses.     By the start of the 20th century the population of students enrolling in the university steadily grew. It multiplied until the Dominicans were granted a land in Sulucan Hills at Sampaloc. The land consisted of 25.1 hectare of soil. For the past few decades, the population kept growing and other courses and degrees were offered until it became the largest university in Manila.     The university, due its massive number of students moved from its original quarters on 1927. In May 24, 2011 the University of Santo Tomas came to be declared as a National Landmark. It is found near Espana Boulevard and Dapitan Street of Sampaloc in Manila. Its seal is made up of a shield with the cross of Dominicans quartering it.
    One of the most sophisticated cities of the sixteen cities that makes up Metro Manila is Makati City. It is called the Cosmopolitan City because of its diversity in culture. It is famous for a number of reasons. Aside from being the country’s financial center, it also hosts embassies which is why it is where some international affairs are held. Makati city is remarkable for its multicultural lifestyle. It is also reputed as the entertainment center as well as a center for all kinds of intercontinental matters. The city though is most known for its hotels, condominiums, financial hubs, entertainment hubs and shopping centers all scattered around it.     According to traditional accounts, the name Makati came from a misinterpretation by the Tagalog Filipino people of Governor General Miguel de Legazpi’s questions. In the story, he asked for the name of the land near the Pasig River, but the Filipinos replied the word “Makati” which refers to the ebbing tides of the river. It was on 02 January, 1995 that Makati through the 7854 Republic Act became an independent city. Then on 30 June, 1998 the City of Makati became divided into two districts.     The city is also famous for its prominent shopping malls like Greenbelt, Power Plant and the Glorietta Malls. Aside from that it is known as the home for one of the top schools in business known as the AIM or the Asian Institute of Management. This school is an internationally recognized school. Also, Makati is where the various Rockwell campus is located.     As for its culture, the city consists of art museums, historical churches and other recreations. It is where the Manila Polo Club and Manila Golf Club is found. It also has famous landmarks in sports such as the Mkati Coliseum and the Sports Club of Makati.      The city’s official seal represents its territory’s silhouette. Underneath the silhouette is a symbol of the Pasig River which in real life is found in the north borders of Makati. Also, in front of the silhouette is the Gudalupe Church which has been included because of it being the oldest church in the City. It also symbolizes influence from the Spanish early rulers. Aside from that, in front of the city’s silhouette are drawings of skyscrapers behind which are 33 lines of rays that represents Makati’s barangays.     According to history the city of Makati used to be a part of the Santa Ana de Sapa municipality and was used as a center for pilgrimage. In the year 1670 it became an independent municipality having the name of San Pedro de Macati after its patron Saint Peter. During that century until the 18th century Makati has been famous for being prosperous in pottery.     But the rapid growth of the town came after the 2nd World War. It gave rise to real estate prices, communities which are planned centrally, and became the commercial and financial capital of the Philippines. Makati City is home to famous shopping malls, hotels, condominiums, museums, embassies and churches. Its diversity in nature became the key to its success.
    It is undeniably true that Pokemon Go is one of the most talked about game for 2016. It has caught the attention of the public; in fact not only kids got hooked up with this game but even young adults and adults who are already working. There was even a report that a pokemon user, decided to resign from his work to focus and dedicate his time in catching pokemon. Sounds hilarious right? But it is actually true. The effect of Pokemon Go to its users is undeniably something unbelievable. However, no matter how great the momentum is, users seemed to lost interest in playing this game.     It has been 4 months since it was first launched, yet the updates weren’t that remarkable enough to keep the users from playing. Although there have been sorts of updates it did not actually satisfied the people. There have been two updates that have been released; one is having a pokemon buddy. In order to make a pokemon eveolve you need to reach a required amount of candies. Every pokemon that you catch can give you 3 candies. However the rare and strong type pokemon are very hard to catch. This is why they launched the pokemon buddy, in which every kilometer of walk will give your pokemon a candy. Second is the mastery of catching similar kinds of pokemon. The more you catch a pokemon, the easier it would be to catch it for the next time. These are the only updates being made.      Slowly, this game becomes boring and less exciting than it used to be. The creators of this game can’t blame its users. They gave the users less and the users have high expectations from them. Although there are still some people who patiently collects pokemon and hopes for better updates on the next few days.     Maybe, when Pokemon Go becomes more interactive and challenging, people would again engage on this game. It was undeniably a hit but it needs to be sustained. People are becoming really impatient especially that no game has ever received this kind of rating.     
   Losing weight, especially in this day and age, can be pretty hard. And with millennials today so used to instant-everything, long-term goals like weight-loss can be aggravating to achieve. That's why a lot of people nowadays resort to slimming pills, thinking that it’s the easier and simpler way to weight-loss. Others take them because their doctor prescribed it to them, maybe due to obesity-related health problems, or that they're allergic to certain foods and unable to go on a diet, or maybe even have a heart problem rendering them incapable of doing any exercise regimes. That’s what these pills are intended for. To help people who are physically unable to become healthy weight-wise. But for people who are capable.     I hope you’ll reconsider gobbling up that next pill after you read this. The risks in taking non-prescribed medication could range from uncomfortable to downright dangerous:     1.    Old habits die hard. Striving for long-term goals like weight loss are life-changing and can lead you to good eating habits, well-needed practice of exercise, and in turn, a healthier lifestyle. It’s not easy but it’ll be worth it in the long run. Pills are made for quick-fixes but just that. They’re temporary. They’re not meant to be sustainable and when stopped, you’ll just go back to square one.       2.    You’re just shedding water weight. Not actual fat loss. Notice how when you take diet pills, you tend to go to the bathroom more often? You’re not flushing out fat. It’s just water weight, since most slimming pills are a combination of diuretics and caffeine.     3.    Dehydration Now that I’ve mentioned how these pills only flush out water, the bad thing is, not only will that water weight eventually just return back but you could actually be in danger of dehydration.     4.    You could be at risk of a heart attack. Studies have shown that people taking certain popular diet pills have put themselves at much greater odds for stroke compared to their non-partaking counterparts. You see, most of these drugs’ main ingredients are stimulants (phenylpropanolamine or PPA for one), which can be seen in prescription level drugs.       5.    Mood swings Get ready to swing… mood swing that is. Some pills have been sold as appetite suppressants. These work as stimulant drugs; they help curb your appetite by increasing certain chemicals (like adrenaline) in your brain, the ones that control your desire for food. You’ll feel more easily satiated and are not likely to overeat. Good for people suffering from obesity, but other than that, it’s not such a good idea. The elements affecting your appetite are also responsible for a lot of other things. Tampering with them may cause insomnia, anxiety, irritability, heart rate, etc. hence the mood swings.     6.    You can get addicted. As I’ve mentioned earlier, some pills have stimulants as their core component. Stimulant drugs, like amphetamine, can lead to psychological dependence if abused. Watch out for yourselves or your loved ones taking these; see if they’re becoming obsessive with their weight and taking medication more than they should.     There’s no magic bullet, or in this case, pill, to instant weight loss. Better to just stick with the classics, to what’s proven and tested: some good-old fashioned reduced-calorie high-fiber diet and a carefully planned exercise routine. Sure, it’s not instantaneous, but the journey will be well-worth it.  
   Ever heard of the quote, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper”? Though most of us would think it’s just an easy quote to remind us how we should eat everyday but strange enough, this proverb actually has scientific proof backing it up, especially the breakfast part. It’s not called “breakfast” for nothing; it essentially means you’re breaking the fast that you went through when you’ve gone to sleep. It’s what wakes your body up, significantly comprises a great portion of your day’s energy supply, nutrient intake, concentration and performance, and overall mood. Basically, your breakfast can make or break you for the rest of the day.       As they say, “you are what you eat”; this applies especially during the first meal of the day. That said; don’t eat breakfast just for the sake of eating breakfast. What you eat is also the most crucial part to remember. You’re better off NOT eating breakfast at all compared to eating an unhealthy one. So if you’re going to eat, eat a healthy breakfast compared to those common sugary ones (like doughnuts, pancakes, waffles, muffins, even fruit juices). Eating these may be easier and tempting as they give you that highly sought after jolt of energy, but that sudden spike will just as easily drop down and leave you tired, cranky and even hungrier than before. Why is that, you may ask? Food high in sugar and low in protein are easily digested. In fact, you could actually control your appetite if you eat first thing in the morning.      Studies have shown breakfast eaters are leaner and gain less weight compared to their non-breakfast-eating counterpart. This is because your hunger will dramatically curb for the rest of the day. You thought skipping those few calories in the morning is going to help you? Guess again. People set themselves up to eat more at lunch and throughout the day, and inevitably make bad food choices, if they choose to skip their first meal. As I’ll tell you, time and time again, breakfast is THE deal-breaker.     A well-balanced breakfast is comprised of the right combination of good carbs, fiber and protein. Good thing, you have a lot of options, like oat meals, eggs paired with good fruits like bananas, grapefruits, etc., wheat-infused meals, vegetables and berries. Watermelons are also a great way to rehydrate early in the morning. The internet is swarming with terrific ideas to help you expand your horizon. No matter what your option is, never ever miss out again on the most important chow time in your day.  

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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.