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Friday, November 14, 2014

Masskara is one of the top 25 festivals in the world

Source: Philippine Star

The Masskara Festival of Bacolod City has been listed among the 29 most colorful festivals and celebrations around the world by the website
Masskara ranked 25th, out of the 29 festival in the world.
Mayor Monico Puentevella said the recog ition came following the successful staging of the festival this year, as he thanked the sponsors, participants, organizers, local government unit, guests and the people of Bacolod for their cooperation and support.

This only shows how big Masskara Festival is, Puentevella claimed.
World’s best
The top world festivals include the following: HOLI of India, which topped the list; followed by the Yi Peng Lantern Festival of Thailand; Halloween of the US; La Tomatina of Buñol, Spain; Loi Krathong of Wat Arun, Thailand; the Carnival of Venice, Italy; Levis Bonfire of Lewes in the UK; Chinese New Year; the Carnival of Rio de Janiero in Brazil; Burning Man Festival of Blackrock Desert, Nevada; Concurs de Castells of Tarragona, Spain; Calcio Storico Fiorentino of Florence, Italy; AfricaBurn, Tankwa Karoo National Park of South Africa; Vivid Festival of Sydney, Australia; Cherry Blossom Festival of Japan; Saint Patrick’s Day of Chicago; Hwangmaesan Royal Azalea Festival of Mt. Hwangmaesan, Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea; Krampusnacht, Neustift of Austria; Bristol Ballon Fiesta of Bristol, UK; Remal Sand Festival of Kuwait;
Tulip Festival of Skagit Valley, Washington; Busan fireworks festival of South Korea; Mosaiculture International of Montreal, Canada; Jinhase Gunhangie Cherry blossom Festival of Changwon city, South Korea; Makha Bucha,
Chiang Mai of Thailand; Yadnya Kasada Mount Bromo of East Java, Indonesia; Fuji Shibazakura of Fuji five lakes, Japan; and Reykjavik, Iceland.
 The Masskara Festival, the only festival in the Philippines included in the list, was also named by the international news channel CNN as “one of the 12 best things in the Philippines.”

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pinoy jeepney recast for Yolanda victims in Tacloban

Pinoy Jeepneys, the colourful World War II-style icons known in the country as the King of Philippine roads, have resurfaced in the Visayan wasteland as electric jeepneys (eJeepneys) a year after Tacloban City was hit hard by Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).
When the typhoon passed through the Visayan Islands southeast of Manila, the diesel-fed jeepneys were flooded by the storm surges with a mixture of salt water, debris and grime that turned 95% of Tacloban City’s public transport unserviceable.

 A year into the rebuilding of the city, a fleet of electric Jeepneys (eJeepneys) had risen from the wasteland amid public clamour for dependable public transport. Four eJeepneys redeployed from Metro Manila and a converted storm-damaged multi-cab now service the local commuters. The fleet will be joined soon by two more storm-damaged jeepneys scheduled for rehabilitation to run on solar-powered electricity. Each one was close to ending up as scrap.

The initiative to replace and retrofit storm-damaged jeepneys into solar-powered vehicles is led by the RE-Charge Tacloban project of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC), a local non-profit group working on sustainable energy solutions internationally recognized with the top transport solutions prize in a global contest by Ecopolis Program of Discovery Channel in 2009.
iSCN Executive Director Renato Redentor Constantino shared their story with Good News Pilipinas, “We look at the vehicles as symbols of Tacloban – from rubble it can rise again, more benign, better.
It was an opportunity to contribute to the notion that we can build back better – and brighter, by integrating solar with sustainable transport.”
The RE-Charge Tacloban eJeepneys run on batteries charged by a solar facility also set up by the group. The facility uses a hybrid off-grid solar photovoltaic system with battery backup and grid-tie capability that is connected to the geothermal-powered Leyte grid.
Constantino asserts that the initiative is about providing sustainable jobs and encouraging government and the private sector to answer climate change challenges and not only technical fixes as “sustainable strategies that ultimately make us more resilient.”
RE-charge Tacloban not only recasts storm-damaged vehicles into eJeepneys, as it combines the vehicles with training programs for local drivers, dispatchers, operators, administrators and technicians in the servicing and maintenance of both the eJeepney fleet and the solar facilities.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Palawan voted Top island in Conde Nast Global Poll

Palawan was voted as “Top Island in the World” in the 27th annual Readers’ Choice Awards of Conde Nast Traveler magazine.

The island with its world-renowned underground river emerged as the top island destination beating 147 other islands throughout the world.
The magazine announced the results after over 76,600 readers cast their votes.
Palawan was given a rating of 88.750 by the readers owing mostly because of the declaration of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River as one of the new seven natural wonders of the world.
“Palawan’s natural wonder is one of the longest underground rivers in the world, traveling five miles through a subterranean cave system. Guided boat tours take visitors down a portion of the waterway, where karsts, natural rock formations created by dissolving limestone, loom in every direction,” the magazine said.
Boracay Island in Aklan province was also included in the ranking at number 12 and given a rating of 82.683.
“This itty-bitty island (10 square miles) in the Philippines is as close to the tropical idyll ideal as you’ll find in the Philippines, with gentle coastlines and transporting sunsets. Add in a thriving nightlife scene, and you have one of the top tourist spots in the region,” the magazine said.
“The aptly named White Beach is Boracay’s main draw, with powdery white sand and shallow azure water ideal for swimming and snorkeling,” it said.
Palawan was able to beat other world-famous islands such as Bora Bora in French Polynesia (25th), Maldives (19th), Bali in Indonesia (17th), Bermuda (14th), Santorini and Cyclades in Greece (7th), and Maui in Hawaii (3rd).
The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Survey started in 1988. The 2014 survey got 76,659 responses
“Individual candidates are judged on a set of criteria relevant to their category, based on a standard five-point scale: excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor,” Conde Nast explained in how they are ranked.
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CNN Travel picks Bohol footbridge one of World’s Best

Two footbridges in the Philippines made of woven bamboo slats and displaying Filipino resourcefulness have made it to the World’s Most Spectacular Footbridges list by CNN Travel.

Hanging 25 meters (82 feet) above the emerald waters of upper Loboc River, Tigbao Hanging Bridge was originally one footbridge constructed with rope and bamboo and used by the locals to cross the river. Today the ropes have been replaced by steel cables but the deck is still made of woven bamboo. Tourists have flocked to the footbridge in increasing numbers to take on the challenge of the sway, shake and bounce on a flimsy-looking 100-meter long pedestrian bridge system. Local authorities have responded to the increasing visits by adding another footbridge to allow for one way traffic on each bridge.

Tigbao Hanging Bridge in Loboc, Bohol joins Peak Walk by Tissot on Glacier 300 in Bernese Oberland, Switzerland, the world’s first peak to peak pedestrian bridge, among other amazing man-made pedestrian bridges such as the Skybridge in Sochi, Russia, Aiguille du Midi Bridge in France, Taman Negara National Park Bridge in Malaysia, Capilano Suspension Bridge in CanadaHanging Bridge of Ghasa in Nepal, Trift Bridge in Switzerland, El Caminito Del Rey in Spain, The Marienbrucke in Germany, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge in Northern Ireland, Kokone “Yume” Grand Suspension Bridge in Japan, and Highline179 in Austria.
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Filipino becomes 1st lay President of US Catholic University

A Filipino immigrant is now the first Filipino president of the 144-year old St. John’s University in Queens, New York.
The Catholic university, traditionally led by Vincentian priests of the Congregation of the Mission, commissioned its leadership on Dr. Conrado Gempesaw, Ph.D., an accomplished scholar and teacher with nearly three decades of academic and administrative experience.
“Embracing the Vincen
tian mission is easy and natural to me because like so many St. John’s students today and in the past, I am an immigrant. I came to the United States 34 years ago from the Philippines with a very strong encouragement from my mother. Like many immigrants, I came to this country full of hope and determination,” the 60-year-old Gempesaw recounted in his investiture address.
Dr. Gempesaw is now looking into instituting Philippine Studies at St. John’s. Before he came to St. John’s, Dr. Gempesaw was Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Prior to this he was Dean of the University of Delaware Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. Dr. Gempesaw received his degree in BA Economics from the Ateneo de Davao University in the Philippines. He received his M.A. in Economics from Miami University. He finished his M.S. in Agricultural Economics from West Virginia University and Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Pennsylvania State University. He is a certified public accountant.
Dr. Gempesaw is married to Clavel Albay Gempesaw and they have two sons, Daniel and David who both graduated with top honours at the University of Delaware.
Dr. Gempesaw leads the university which was founded in 1870 to serve a diverse immigrant population. St. John’s is regarded as one of the best private universities in the United States, and the second ranked in terms of ethnic diversity. Students who come from 47 states and 116 countries numbering about 16,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students are taught by 1,500 faculty members. Ninety-seven percent of St. John’s undergraduates receive financial assistance through scholarships, loans, grants, and work-study programs.
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