Iloilo - The Sugar of Philippines

    Iloilo is a province in the Philippines occupying the south and east part of the Panay Island. Its location is found in the Western Visayas. The territory is bordered by the Capiz Province on the north and the Antique Province on the west. The capital of Iloilo is Iloilo City. But the city is independent from the government of Iloilo. 
    During the Spanish era in the Philippines, writing was a new form of import which is why there are no existing written historical accounts of Iloilo today especially on the pre-Hispanic times. There are epics told in oral history but that too has not survived much through time. The oldest existing written account of the Spanish conquest on Iloilo was Miguel de Legazpi’s transfer of headquarters to Iloilo from Cebu in 1566. 
    Geographically, the province has two regions dividing it. The first is the highlands which is located in its western border. The second region is the lowland and occupies a much larger portion. Second to the Sanderbans, Iloilo is known to have the largest biggest marshland in Western Visayas. Its subdivisions consist of an urban city, a component city and forty-two municipalities.
    The people of Iloilo are known as Ilonggos. They have two local languages which is Hiligaynon and Kinaray-a. In the past Spanish was considered as their local language. But after the WWII the numbers of people speaking it naturally declined until most of the Ilonggos did not see it as their local language.
    The high speed of the development of trade and industry in the 18th century began Iloilo’s rise in economy amongst the Visayas islands. It earned its name as “Textile Capital of the Philippines” where their products were continually exported to Manila and abroad. The upper middle class of Iloilo enjoyed their prosperity as their textile industry rose. But during the 19th century this industry began to go low because of UK’s introduction to the world of cheaper textiles.
    In 1855 however, the waning of the textile industry did not depress Iloilo as it was the year when the port of the province was opened to the world market. Thus, agriculture and industry had direct contact with markets abroad. In the late 19th century Iloilo experienced a boom in its economy because of its quick development of its sugar industry. During those times sugar was on the list of one of the most in demand products. The vice-consul of Britain at that time gave loans, constructed warehouses and began introducing new methods in sugar farming. This helped a lot in the development of the industry.
    The families of the province became richer and richer and started developing large areas from Negros and turned them into haciendas as the world market’s demand for sugar kept rising. As a result, it was from Iloilo that increase of firms, banks, educational institutions, commercial activity, infrastructures and foreign consulates came from. Development of economy in the province kept rising because of the sugar industry until in October 5, 1889 the Queen of Spain, Maria Cristina gave rise to the town’s status via Royal Decree establishing the city government.

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Summer is just right around the corner. And with the sun higher and brighter than before, it’s no wonder people are dying to dye their hair anew and let it shine in the limelight, I mean, sunlight. For this season, the general tip is to aim for warm, natural looking and light colors. Here are 4 beautiful hair colors and styles that are surefire ways to make you turn heads this summer 2017: 1.    Bronde Balayage Coming from the French word, “to sweep”, the Balayage is also known as the freehand technique as it doesn’t use foil. The end result is a randomly highlighted hair with a natural-looking effect. With the combination of brown and blonde, bronde perfectly matches this look and shows off the fun warm aura of the season giving you a more casual beach-ready finish.   2.    Caramel Brunette Ombre If you’re a natural brunette, do your hair in an ombre style and try giving it either hints of caramel or highlighting your hair through. Ombre literally means “shaded” in French and would employ the use of foils, but the results are breathtaking. Be it curly or straight, the growing blend of caramel highlights would give you a vibrant chic and warm look.   3.    Chocolate and Cinnamon Brown Sombre If you’re looking for that right balance of subtle and allure in a style, look no further. The Sombre style is basically the Ombre but with a softer glow and the colors almost seamlessly melting together. The closer you stick to your natural hair color, the more casual and mature it looks. The change in hair color is not as shocking like the Ombre, but very subtle… With its dark roots, gradually growing brighter and lighter at the tips, the Sombre style is enough to give you a mysterious and adventurous aura: perfect for the best midsummer night dream of your life.   4.    Blonde Mermaid Waves In long tresses, mermaid waves could let you have that dreamy far-away look. Not only is this style gorgeous, but it’s quite easy to keep since you don’t have to worry much if your hair gets messed up by the wind. With blonde colors, you’re sure to shine in the sun and be the next Ariel of summer 2017.  
    In the world of finance, there are two kinds of people: the ants and the grasshoppers. As kids, we’ve grown up hearing this story of the ant and the grasshopper, where the ant works to the bone in summer time just to save for the winter, and the grasshopper just enjoy the summer breeze, hopping and chirping without a care in the world. Come winter time, the grasshopper is left in the cold, dying of hunger, while the ant reaps safety and stability in time of need. This has been a sad tale in our childhood years, yet little did we know the moral of this story could greatly help us in our grownup years.     Like the ant, there are people who are born thrifty and industrious, those who are gifted in the art of saving money. Others, like the grasshopper, may try to save a coin or two, only to succumb moments later when something catches their eye. If we don’t want to have the same fate as the unwise grasshopper, how do we save money effectively enough? Now, no amount of ideas can be the exact method. Each person differs in strategy so just pick the ones below that fit your lifestyle. Here are some basic ideas on how to become a nifty thrifty ant-human: 1.    Write down how much you earn and spend in a period of time (like in a month or week). You know how health-conscious people tend to count the calories they take in everyday and strive to only eat the kind of food that they really need? Same concept applies to your savings. Write down your income and jot down your expenses as well. This way, you get to track down where your money is going. 2.    Small expenses should be treated like big ones too. Don’t underestimate small things; they all start out small, you know. That’s why as much as possible, pick out the things you think you can live without. Learn to weigh the things you consider are important to you and the things you think are unneeded. 3.    Split your expenses into 4 categories. •    Cost of Living – bills for rent, water, electricity •    Everyday Budget – jeep fare, food, etc. •    Wants – new clothes, gadgets, eating out, travel, etc. •    Savings - Lastly, how much you want to save after all that. 4.    Make SMART goals. This could be short-term or long-term: •    Short-term goals could be a new gadget, minor home improvements, vacation, etc. These could last from 1-3 years. •    Long-term goals could be for retirement, a new home, college fees, etc. These are goals good for 4 years and above. 5.    Having a Rainy Day Fund is fun. Set up a rainy day fund (like our ant from that story), by saving at least 3 months’ worth of everyday expenses. Expect the unexpected! Having a backup or reserve is always a good idea. 6.    Get rid of any debts. It can be such a pain if you’re placed in a deadly, I mean, “debtly” situation. As much as possible, stay away from borrowing money, and if you have to, make sure to pay it there and then. The sooner you do away with it, the better and more you can save money. 7.    Pay in cash. Don’t use credit. This way, you’ll avoid #6 altogether. Be sure to have cash-on-hand; cash that you’re willing to spend and won’t hurt your savings.   8.    Don’t do “retail therapy”. Some people, when down on their lumps, resort to comfort eating to ease the emotional strain they’re going through. Other people shop till they drop in order to clear their troubled minds. Don’t be like that. You’re not in the right head to make wise decisions yet and may spend more than you really need. 9.    Do homemade meals more frequently; only seldom eat out. Reuse the leftovers. You can save a whole lot more if you cook at home. Also, don’t waste food. Leftovers can last for days if you’re careful enough. 10.    Don’t buy clothes you don’t normally wear. “I’ve got nothing to wear!” says the girl who has a closet full of clothes… That just means we’re spending more than we really need to. And if you want to be able to put a few more coins, I suggest you buy clothes that are versatile and ones that you would most likely wear a lot. And for your old clothes, you could try selling them, which would mean more money for Mister Piggybank. Yippee!  
Are you ready for the latest trend in the world of plastic surgery? Gone are the days when female celebrities and even common people rooted for Angelina Jolie’s pouty lips. A full and a duck shape lips is no longer what people would like to have right now. Well, what do people expect? A trend is something that changes over time. People gone tired of having the same appearance and now another beauty trend has been launched to the public.      The exact opposite of that pouty and kissable lips comes in which is termed as the lip reduction surgery. This is basically something which people were not ready prepared of. When having a pouty lip became a trend, lots of women complained because only few were gifted to have natural pouty lips. However with this new plastic surgery procedure, it is something beyond the normal size of thin lips.      The goal of this procedure is to create a new lip line by removing or reducing the size of the upper lip so you can have thinner and pouty lips as well. It’s like having a thin body with curves, the new statement of sexy. Sounds painful right? It is indeed painful and patients are even put into local anesthesia in order for them to bear the pain. Although the procedure only takes like 15mins to 30mins to finish, patients are advised to be under a soft diet plan for about a week or so or until the lips are free from swelling. Since it is a surgery, expect to witness sutures which could actually resemble to serial killers’ lips in movies or like the famous Frankenstein. Sutures either dissolved naturally or can be removed manually.      If you are planning to have this lip-reduction surgery you better prepare not only your lips but your pockets as well. Unlike the augmentation process or the ones to achieve fuller lips which are usually done with the help of injectable fillers, lip-reduction surgery is really expensive.  Reduction is now more expensive than augmentation, see the trend? So you better think twice or even thrice before you decide to have this procedure.      In no time several clinics specializing in plastic surgery will offer this in the Philippines, people are then advised to please consult licensed and certified cosmetic surgeons to keep you safe from the possible risk of undergoing a surgical procedure which may put your life in a great risk.   
    The protagonist of the story is Juan Crisostomo Ibarra. 7 years away from Philippines, he returns after studying in Europe. To celebrate his comeback, family friend Captain Tiago throws a party for him. Friars and influential leaders attended. But one of the friars Don Damaso belittled Ibarra on that night.      The following day Ibarra visited Maria Clara, Captain Tiago’s daughter who is also his fiancé. Before Ibarra left though, a Civil Guard, Lieutenant Guevara, revealed to him how Ibarra’s father Don Rafaelo died. Don Rafaelo was accused by Don Damaso as a heretic because he did not attend the Sacraments. Aside from that, there was an incident where Don Rafaelo helped in a fight between a child and tax collector. When the latter died Don Rafaelo was accused and brought to jail where he died of an illness.      Despite all that, Ibarra did not plan on taking revenge. Instead he went on with his and Don Rafelo’s plan to put up a school. They believed that education is the key to success for the country. On the school’s inauguration, a hired killer attempted to kill Ibarra but he was saved by a man named Elias. The same man had warned him of this earlier. The hired killer then met with an accident and got killed.      The next day, Ibarra held a luncheon where Damaso gate-crashed and insulted him and his father. Ibarra ignored him at first but at the slander of his father he could not resist it and he lunged in an attempt to stab Damaso. But he failed and as a result was excommunicated. Damaso also convinced Tiago not to marry his daughter to Ibarra.      Another party was held at the house of Tiago announcing the future wedding of Clara and Linares. Elias used this opportunity to help Ibarra escape the prison. Ibarra sneaked to speak with Maria where he accused her of betraying him by surrendering his letters to the jury. But she explained that she was blackmailed to do so in return for her mother’s letters who she never saw since birth.      In a shootout, Maria Clara had thought that Ibarra was shot and killed. So overcome with sorrow, she went into the nunnery and got admitted by Damaso. Little did she know that it was Elias who got shot.      Christmas Eve came at the time when Elias opened his eyes to see himself wounded fatally wounded. It was his rendezvous with Ibarra. But it was Basilio who came holding his dead mother Sisa. Sisa lost her insanity when she found out that her children (Crispin and Basilio) were being hunted by the sacristan mayor on accusations of theft.      Elias knew of his imminent death and instructed Basilio to burn his and Sisa’s body to ashes. He then told him to dig if no one came and he’ll find gold to support him to school. Before his last breath he advised Basilio to persist in dreams of freedom for the motherland.      As for the epilogue, Tiago turned into an opium addict frequenting the opium house. Maria Clara succeeded in becoming a nun. But the Friar Salvi regularly raped her regularly. And on a stormy night, a beautiful insane lady went on top of the convent and cursed the heavens for what befell her. The lady could not be identified, but rumor has it that it was Maria Clara.
    The word Durian came from an Indonesian word duri which means “thorn”. It is a fruit which belongs to a certain species of a tree called the genus Durio. It is well known in Southeast Asia with the nickname of “the fruit king”. The fruit is noticeable for its bulky size, hard and large thorns covered with husk, and its famous Durian odor. Some Durians are oblong in size but others are round. The husk’s color varies from brown to green. The color of its flesh also vary depending on its species: some are yellow while others are red. The odors emanating from the fruit comes from its flesh which is edible. It is so strong that even when the husk is intact the odor comes out of it. And although some would find it pleasant and fragrant, most people react negatively to it. Because of that the fruit has been banned in some hotels or public transportations in Asia.     The Durian can be eaten in numerous ways, in different stages of its ripeness and is used as an addition to flavors on all kinds of sweets and savory in Asian foods. The seeds have also been found to be edible when it is cooked. The Durian has 30 different species from the genus Durio. But out of the thirty only nine species are considered edible.  Only one of the 9 species called the Durio zibethinus are available in the international market. The other 8 are sold locally in the regions where they are grown.     The trees of the King of the Fruits grow up to fifty metres. It has oblong evergreen leaves and flowers which are clustered in the branches. The usual durian tree takes about 4 to 5 years before it can produce fruits. The fruits then, after pollination takes up to 3 months before it matures.     Durian has been known in southern Asia even in the prehistoric times. But in the western world, the fruit has only been introduced 600 years ago. In the 15th century Europian by the name of Niccolo Da Conti travelled and came to southeast Asia where he discovered the fruit.     The fruit has wide variety of uses in different cuisines from all over Asia. Over the years it has been used to add flavor to ice kakangs, Malay candies, dodols (sweets from Mindanao), biscuits, ice creams and mooncakes. It was also used in cappuccinos. Its flesh can also be dried to make durian chips.     Aside from its edible contributions to food, the Durian also has medicinal and nutritional aids to the society. It has been discovered that the fruit is high in sugar, potassium, Vitamin C, fats, proteins and carbohydrates. The juice extracted from its leaves has also been used as ointments to the head of patients with fevers. The roots can also be boiled in water and drink to stop fevers. It can also be used as poultice, a soft mass applied to irritated or inflamed skin.     The Durian was called as the King of the Fruits because of its tough image and thorns and its overwhelming odor.

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    Nature is indeed full of wonders and humans have not really explored it totally. There are still things that are seemingly odd in nature and there are also some that are quite deceiving. Take for example this Emerald Green Cat that was discovered in a small town in Bulgaria.      The town people and even people from far cities are quite familiar with this seemingly odd creature because of its color. The cat has been spotted walking around the city, it gives the town people the impression that it is a stray and it only gets its food by roaming around the place.      Due to its distinct color and possible breakthrough in the feline world, people from far countries travelled to Bulgaria just to take a closer peek and even take some pictures of it. However, this cat’s stardom started to fade when rainstorms came. Its bright emerald green color slowly faded away when rain started to fall.      It has been found out that the cat got its color from a barrel of paint where it sleeps. Although paints contain toxins that are eventually not good for the health, the cat was actually in good shape all throughout its stardom. With its color fading away, its popularity indeed started to slow down, however its quite noticeable she enjoyed her moment and made the most of it by gaining extra pounds.     
    In the midst of a severe flood happening in Guangxi Zhuang an Autonomous Region in China, a seemingly smiling pig was rescued along with other animals. Netizens were quick to spot the candidness of the pig’s smile while being saved from the flood. The pig seemed calmed and happy that it was rescued and even smiled wonderfully despite being held on its forelegs and ears.      As a usual response by netizens, its picture have been shared a hundred times and made quick rounds in social media all over the world. People were cheering of how this creature just made their days and made them smile right after seeing its picture.     However this pig’s instant stardom was shown not only through likes and shares of her original photo but people did hilarious Photoshop skills to savor the moment. The following are just one of the few photos that instantly became people’s favorite.       
    With today’s trend where direct, private, and instant messages are of great help to people, consumers must be aware in choosing mobile apps especially if it has something to do with your personal info’s such as your contact list where clients, bank accounts and other important stuff are being saved.     Most of the time, mobile apps are being installed because of its popularity. When a wide audience seemed to use it even for just a short time, you should expect for others to try it too without really verifying its security measures.  SARAHAH Honesty App is supposedly an app that can be used in giving feedbacks anonymously. Seems like people nowadays are drawn into intriguing stuff more than ever. However accordingly the app works in such a way that the person who has been rated or given feedback has no way of tracing or replying to it. The creator of the app tend to give its users the chance to leave positive comments or feedbacks as an act of kindness while keeping their identity unknown.      However the entire community has been totally shocked (shookt) when it has been revealed that this app is actually unknowingly stealing your personal details such as your contact list. Aside from stealing, they make use of it by uploading it to their data base and who knows what they could do about it.      Once you installed this app, it will only take them a while to steal your info. Logging out from the app can't make any difference at all. The best thing to do is to never ever install it and be more cautious in choosing an app.   
    In a certain Facebook post by Mark Dianne Duarte, three women are now asking for help from anyone with a good heart to help them with their current situation. The victims are residents of Cabdbaran Agusan del Sur.      With the intent to enhance and beautify themselves, they decided to undergo treatment from a person whom they barely know. The procedure went by injecting some unknown chemicals unto their faces. However instead of having better and beautiful faces, it went really worse and appeared distorted. The three of them have the same reaction with the chemical.     With the help of their friends and families, they are now trying to reach a certain amount in order to help the victims. Aside from the horrible outcome of what happened, the victims are now starting to become ill and are all afraid of what could happen to them if not given the proper care.     Unfortunately, the suspect is now nowhere to be found. The victims were not even aware of the suspect’s whereabouts.     According to the one who posted, a certain media will then cover the story of these women, to inform and especially warn those who would dare to undergo such procedure. The suspect was not a licensed medical professional but because of cheaper rates he managed to convince these ladies to try it all for the aim of becoming beautiful.     
    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.