This is my first post for 2018 so I want this to be about something that is close to one of my advocacies.
As many people close to me know, I promote biking as an alternative mode of transportation for urban areas like Metro Manila and that is why my graduate thesis is about it, particularly about sky (elevated) bike lanes. We are not yet “there” in terms of creating a truly world-class city for both drivers and bikers/walkers but every vision starts with small steps, right?
Therefore, it brought so much joys when I discovered that the previously unprotected/non-segregated bike lane in Julia Vargas Avenue in Pasig City is now protected (well, at least the CBD-bound side)!While the barricades are not really permanent, this is already a good step, which will hopefully encourage more people to bike especially that Ortigas CBD’s traffic is getting worse each day. (Photos above and below were taken at around 5:30 pm so the traffic was heavier on the other side of the road, with more people driving out of the CBD.) The results of an online survey that I had done for my thesis showed that, indeed, many people are particularly concerned about their safety on the road when it comes to biking. (I will blog about the results of my study in one of my future posts.) Therefore, the creation of protected/segregated bike lanes addresses this safety issue.
One thing that the Pasig City government should address though is the perennial congestion in Julia Vargas. I reside in the area so I am very familiar with the horrendous traffic there almost everyday so that we usually simply walk or take Ortigas Avenue instead if we need to go to the CBD. The provision of the barricades will really be good for bikers but may already be causing some frustration (or exasperation?) to many motorists especially that we also noticed that one lane is now or will be soon devoted to car-pooling (i.e., exclusive for vehicles with 4 or more passengers).
While the car-pooling policy has good intents and must be applauded, the LGU should revisit it because Julia Vargas is a narrow road to begin with. Previously, it was three-laned on each side but with the new policy, it becomes a two-lane road on each side (excluding the bike lane). Here is an image, which I lifted from Autodeal.com.ph.As you can imagine, a previously three-lane road now reduced to a two-lane one (with restrictions on the 2nd lane) will likely aggravate or is already aggravating the traffic situation in the area. (The non-apprehension phase of the policy began on 28 February.) There are also compounding issues since the policy will affect those who needed to turn right or left and are in the ‘wrong’ lane because of their occupancy. (Pasig City may want to “listen” to public sentiments through online forums such as those in Tsikot.com so as to come to the best proposition for the sake of public good.)
Nevertheless, one good thing with this policy is that it encourages people to really re-evaluate their decisions to bring their cars (especially if the trip is not very far) and if bringing a car is indeed essential, find alternative routes.
As to the bike lanes, my next question is on why the bike lane on other side of Julia Vargas is not protected/segregated. If safety-conscious bikers will now use their bikes to work to Ortigas CBD, then, how can they bike back to their homes (or cars that are parked somewhere) when the other bike lane still feels unsafe?
Speaking of drivers/motivators, a good business model that can be driven by this bike lane policy is the emergence of parking areas in the outer-vicinity of CBDs. For example, the city government together with the private sector can build parking areas–to be rented at affordable fees–near or in the Tiendesitas side so that drivers from outside Pasig City (and those who cannot really leave their cars at home) can simply park their cars there and then bike to work into the CBD.
However, such willingness to bike to work or at least park their cars somewhere outside the CBDs and continue the journey through biking will be encouraged if both policy and structural dimensions are resolved. Therefore, I continue to look forward to more action and innovation from our government (both local and national) and private sector so that, together, we can rebuild our cities into more liveable and healthier ones!
While we and our authorities continue to find ways toward this end, should not we enjoy this protected bike lane even with all its limitations?Come on, bike with me along Julia Vargas!
This is not a paid blog. I do not request for donation to maintain this blog but I appeal for your kind love to our fellow earth-stewards and Mother Earth by planting a tree (or trees!) on your birthday/s! Namaste!
MALASAKIT. A beautiful Filipino word that, at first, seems so simple enough for translation to English.
However, the more I think about it, the more it becomes difficult to find the correct English word for it. Is it concern for others? Is it a combination of regard and compassion? Whatever the most appropriate translation might be, it may inspire us, Filipino citizens, that the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022, the blueprint for our future as a nation, upholds the value of PAGMAMALASAKIT.For how long ago did we, as a nation, think about our country first more than and beyond our political affiliations and loyalty? If we truly love our country, couldn’t we, for once, stop bickering and complaining and just do something good for our society–one that desperately needs healing?
For the people have already spoken through the ballots and they had chosen a President to whom they entrusted their faith. Let him govern. Let him fulfil his mandate. Let the sanctity of the ballot prevail.
For whichever part of the political spectrum do we come from, there is no escaping the fact that the President’s downfall will eventually be this country’s as well.
We do not have to agree with him all the time–an authentic democracy allows opposing discourses–but we cannot also act as if our voice is the only true voice. Here lies the true essence of democracy. Democracy is not just about exercising our freedom to voice out our dissent. Democracy is, more than anything, the capacity to respect, celebrate, and uphold the COMMON GOOD.
Democracy, more than anything, is about the capacity to respect, celebrate, and uphold the COMMON GOOD.
Pagmamalasakit and the common good
Undermining and attempting to destroy the chances of our country to move forward is contrary to the common good. When one talks about human rights but forgets the rights of the victims of crime and drug menace, he fails to discern on the meaning of the common good.
The PDP 2017-2022 then takes off from the need to reflect on how can we, as Filipino citizens, create a society where there is true regard and concern (pagmamalasakit) for others. This is the essence of the common good–when we (both as individuals and society) reflect deeply on how will our speech, decision, and action impact on others.
The PDP 2017-2022 could be a unifying document and, hopefully, be a good reason for all of us to work together (despite our political differences). The Plan appeals to our sense of nationhood–an important value (as part of cultural asset) that allowed countries like Japan and South Korea to recover and embark on nation-building from the horrors and destruction of wars and calamities.
The Plan should be read by every Filipino completely but here are key take-aways from the Plan (directly lifted, NEDA, 2017):
1. The Plan aims to lay a stronger foundation for inclusive growth, a high-trust society, and a globally-competitive economy toward realizing the vision by 2040.
2. The target is to reduce poverty incidence from 21.6 percent in 2015 to 14.0 percent by 2022. This is equivalent to lifting about 6 million people out of poverty.
3. Individuals and communities will also be made more resilient by reducing their exposure to risks, mitigating the impact of risks, and accelerating recovery when the risk materializes.
4. Innovation will be encouraged as the country sets its eyes on graduating to a knowledge economy in order to accelerate growth in the future.
5. The strategies to achieve the targets cited above are grouped under three pillars: Malasakit or enhancing the social fabric, Pagbabago or reducing inequality, and Patuloy na Pag-unlad or increasing growth potential.
6. On the kind of life they want for themselves, Filipinos want a life that is strongly- rooted, comfortable, and secure: matatag, maginhawa, at panatag.
7. The terms “strongly-rooted, comfortable, and secure” used to describe the life envisioned by Filipinos by 2040 reveal middle-class aspirations. They include home ownership, a steady source of income to support family and self, college education for the children, a motor vehicle, stable finances to cover daily needs and contingencies, savings for retirement, and time for vacation and travel.
8. To make the people’s aspirations a reality, government must use the various policy instruments in its arsenal to accomplish the following:
(a) investment in human capital so that Filipinos are equipped to learn and adapt to new technology and the changing pro le of society;
(b) investment in high-quality infrastructure to make the cost of moving people, goods, and services competitive;
(c) sound urban development that takes advantage of scale and agglomeration economies to make the cities more competitive and livable; and
(d) adequate and inclusive nance to enable households to build up savings and to provide capital for MSMEs and households considering the desire of many to run their own businesses. (Source: PDP 2017-2022, NEDA; directly lifted.)
What are we willing to give?
Our country needs us now, more than ever. True pagmamalasakit entails giving up some parts of our selves, for some, even power that we used to hold. Let us not aggravate the mess nor contribute to the noise. In the quiet, there is true discernment.
More importantly, let us have faith in the good men and women of our government–that despite the lingering ills of corruption and deceit there are STILL many good public servants out there, those who are always doing their best, ready to protect our institutions, constitution, and people – whoever the president may be. Kahit anupaman ang kulay ng pulitika natin–yellow, red, or blue–our veins carry one blood only. That of a Filipino.
Let pagmamalasakit reside fervently in our hearts again.
This is not a paid blog. I do not request for any donation but I hope you can plant a tree/s on your birthday(s). Namaste!
Reflections on cultural heritage and sustainable tourism
[Note: This is a paper that I had submitted in ENRM 257 – Sustainable Tourism Development, through FIC Ivan Anthony Henares, in my Master of Environment and Natural Resources Management program.]
Cultural heritage – a link from the past, a bridge to the future
Who has not heard of Taj Mahal? It may be the only building in the world that is part of every wanderer’s and traveler’s bucket list.
“…one solitary tear would hang on the cheek of time in the form of this white and gleaming Taj Mahal”, as the poet Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) has described it, perhaps soulfully with a tinge of sadness (as cited in Government of Uttar Pradesh, India, 2014, with adaptation).”
This author has not (yet) been to this heritage site but she is already in awe of what it represents. The Taj Mahal symbolizes a love that never dies, of the beauty of tenderness, of the universal need for union, and for faith in eternity. Who cannot help but wax philosophical in the sight (whether in the flesh or in the imagination) of this grand beauty?
The Taj Mahal, a UNESCO heritage site (inscribed in 1983), is a mausoleum mostly made of white marble. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to remember and in honor of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal (UNESCO, n.d.). The Taj Mahal is described as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage” (UNESCO, n.d.). No wonder, many carry the dream of visiting it and those who have done so have never stopped being enthralled by it.
A discussion on cultural heritage and sustainable tourism perhaps becomes richer by taking off from a place like Taj Mahal. It makes serious learners appreciate the concept of sustainable tourism from a place or point of view where they can truly experience and appreciate history.
“Cultural heritage” as a concept must first be revisited. UNESCO (2016) has succinctly explained the concept, delineating between tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
What is cultural heritage?
Tangible cultural heritage
- movable cultural heritage (paintings, sculptures, coins, manuscripts)
- immovable cultural heritage (monuments, archaeological sites, and so on)
- underwater cultural heritage (shipwrecks, underwater ruins and cities)
Intangible cultural heritage: oral traditions, performing arts, rituals
- natural sites with cultural aspects such as cultural landscapes, physical, biological or geological formations
Source: UNESCO, 2016.
Heritage sites and experiences are, therefore, important in preserving a society’s rich culture and history. However, except in monumental places like Taj Mahal, efforts to preserve the integrity of such sites and traditions are not always consistent and/or successful.
The Philippines, for example is among the countries that need to learn more from best practices all over the world. There are many examples worthy of discussion but those that come to mind almost immediately are the historical buildings and monuments that are being torn down without regard to their significance, neglected, or allowed to be ‘defaced’ such as in the case of Jose Rizal’s monument in Rizal Park—now sharing a part of the magnificent sightline with Torre de Manila, a 49-storey condominium project of DMCI Homes, one of the Philippines’ top developers.
When the soul is weak, the flesh forgets – lessons and strategies in sustainable tourism
Tourism—both domestic and international—is deemed as crucial in allowing peoples and cultures to interact. It is considered as “the foremost vehicles for cultural exchange, providing a personal experience…” (ICOMOS, 2002). Who has not grown richer and fuller because of the experience of traveling? Human history has evolved because of constant wonderment, traveling, and exploration. Some even choose to stay. The meaning of any ‘exchange’ differs for each person—but what is universal is the experience of inner joy and sense of discovery that such an ‘interaction’ offers. “Touring” always goes beyond the physical—sure, the colors and textures of sites and places always give something to the senses—but what is more powerful are the feelings that are evoked, those that touch one to his deepest core.
Cultural and natural heritage sites speak to the soul and that is why they require a deeply-seated commitment. Why did our society allow Torre de Manila to become the “national photo bomber”? Is it plain forgetfulness or a lack of love for our history? Is it about greed? The Filipinos need to think about it really deeply.It is almost shameful, disgusting even. One can only grieve at what became of the great man’s well-deserved spot in Manila’s skyline. We couldn’t leave him alone; what’s worse, even, is that we needed to go to the Supreme Court to protect a part of our history and heritage.
What have we become as a nation?
This touches at the crux of the dilemma. How does a society protect its culture and heritage while succumbing to the demands of survival and commerce? How can tourism be developed and managed without sacrificing our heritage and history?
Sustainable tourism then forces us to think beyond the colors and feasts for the eyes and the fullness of our stomach—it tells us to reaffirm our connection to the past, reclaim what was lost, and protect what is still here as we also optimize and share the economic benefits more equitably. Proponents of sustainable tourism prescribe strategies that can be adapted in tourism development and management, particularly in the context of cultural and natural heritage sites. [See Lindberg et al. (1999) for the list of strategies.]
A quick review of these strategies and best practices will reveal that many or all of these strategies and principles had been violated in most Philippine heritage cases such as the one on Torre de Manila. Clearly, our society does not or fails to adhere to similar standards and values. For one, policies are unclear and even wantonly violated. [This paper is rather limited in its scope but readers are encouraged to read an article by Marquez and Garcia (2015). The link is under suggested readings.]
While best practices elsewhere cannot be automatically adapted in other locations, there are a lot of lessons to be learned from the experiences of successful sites. The management and preservation of the Taj Mahal is worth mentioning here. The surrounding area of the monument (covering about 10,400 sq km) is clearly protected not just from obstruction and massive developments but also from pollution.
For example, the Supreme Court of India issued a policy (in December 1996) that banned the use of coal in industries within the Taj Trapezium Zone and mandated industries that use it to shift to natural gas or otherwise be relocated outside the zone (UNESCO, n.d.).
An air control monitoring station has been installed to allow managers to monitor air quality and prevent deterioration that can be caused by atmospheric pollutants (UNESCO, n.d.).
While such air quality measures may be unnecessary for historical monuments (which may be aesthetically ‘lesser’ in grandeur when compared with Taj Mahal) in other locations, the government and private sectors should still be guided by the same level of respect and importance that the people of India are giving their heritage sites, and ultimately, their history and common fiber as a nation. Perhaps inspired by the love of Emperor Shah Jahan to his wife, Mumtaz, there is even a stronger ‘love’ that binds them to the past, enabling their present and future action to be properly placed in the context of sustainable development.
Tourism that cares – valuing people and heritage, alleviating poverty
Sustainable tourism respects not just the physical manifestation of natural and cultural assets but also accords the highest regard for the development potential of people and their communities. It is not simply about giving jobs and employment but more about allowing socially-conscious and equitable exchange of payments and services and rich experiences between and among individuals, families, and communities. When one visits a heritage site, he should not only think about deriving joys and fulfillment from the experience but also about leaving something valuable behind – whether it be in the form of payment, friendship, or genuine act of kindness and respect. On the other hand, the host should also embrace the experience not simply as another opportunity to earn but also as a chance to celebrate his heritage, history, and roots.
While there are ‘horror’ stories about tourism programs that turned sour (e.g., leading to neglect, losses, damage, and destruction of natural and heritage sites), there are also inspiring and beautiful stories of community development and empowerment. In fact, when planned for and managed well, cultural and natural heritage sites can help improve lives and alleviate poverty. [See World Tourism Organization (2006), for information on how sustainably-managed sites can contribute to poverty alleviation.]
These pathways and strategies have led to significant gains in specific communities all over the world. One of the cases taken up by the WTO (2006) study involved a community-supported project in Karsa District in Ethiopia. Called the Bishangari (“sweet water”) Lodge, it is located on the shore of Lake Langano in sub-Saharan Africa. The project has so far been benefiting the community through direct employment (96% of the staff are locally-hired), assistance to farmers (e.g., through provision of seeds and technical guidance in organic farming), piped water access to the community school, and gradual transfer of technology such as on the development of locally-designed and innovative stove that uses 60% less wood (WTO, 2006).
It is considered a pioneer in ecotourism in Ethiopia—leading the younger set of entrepreneurs toward more responsible tourism enterprises. It promotes an environmentally-friendly way of putting up a business, sparing no cost when it comes to incorporating sustainable energy and waste treatment plant (i.e., solar power and a bio-gas digester) in its over-all design. It is also inspiring because it did not receive any government grant, with owners relying on sound business principles and support from banks through loans. With about 39 local staff, it is estimated to be benefiting about 390 family members. It has also encouraged appreciation of the community’s local culture by forming a musical group that now regularly performs at the lodge (WTO, 2006).
It is also encouraging the community to supply produce and crops for the consumption of the lodge. Meanwhile, local craft makers and artisans are being encouraged to produce handicrafts that could be sold at the lodge’s gift shop (WTO, 2006).
An important ‘credo’ that the owners carry with them as they manage the operations should inspire other entrepreneurs or project developers. They believe that “tourism should only be conducted when the environment, the culture and the nature are respected and preserved for future generations” (WTO, 2006).
Another similar project took place in Candirejo Village, near the Borobudur Temple in Central Java province in Indonesia. Being near a UNESCO-designated World heritage Site, (inscription in 1991) the assistance given to the community by a local NGO, United Nations Development Programme, and Japan International Cooperation Agency was instrumental in the community members’ stronger appreciation of the heritage site and their role as hosts. The project helped families to offer home-stay accommodation, rendered training activities, implemented handicraft-making activities, trained tour guides, assisted and formed catering enterprises, taught farmers in organic farming, and organized the provision of local transport services through andong (horse carts) and ojek (motor bikes) (WTO, 2006). Through the tourism cooperative, profits from the activities are shared and then used to organize and improve community activities such as those for the environment and cultural interaction (Silitonga, 2009).
Striking a balance, dealing with the negative social impacts
Dulnuan (2005) has written about the case of the people of Sagada, which used to be a quiet town in the Cordillera Administrative Region but is now slowly getting used to tourists and visitors. While there had been perceived negative impacts especially on the natural environment and the lives of the indigenous people, those who are engaged in tourism-related activities appreciate the generation of jobs and income that the industry has given them. Young people are directly benefited through rendering of services as tour guides. Local entrepreneurs are able to establish small inns and lodging houses, restaurants, handicraft stores, and transport services (Dulnuan, 2005). Arts and crafts have become sources of revenue as well because local weavers and artists now have the opportunity to produce and sell souvenir items such as friendship bracelets, hand-woven bags, and rattan baskets (Dulnuan, 2005). While the impact on food security and sustainability is not yet fully ascertained, some farmers have shifted from planting subsistence crops to market-oriented produce such as fruits and vegetables, which they now sell to lodging houses, inns, and restaurant (Dulnuan, 2005, with adaptation).
However, such positive outcomes come with a price. There had been accounts of perennial noise, vandalism and theft in the cave sites, crimes, and even drug use (Lapniten, 2016, and Dulnuan, 2005). The local residents had also begun complaining about low water supply particularly during tourism peak seasons. There had also been accounts of stalactites and stalagmites being chipped off by uncaring tourists and of significant amount of garbage (e.g., plastic and styrofoam containers, tin cans, etc.) being left behind. The local life and culture are also being affected with some important rituals being postponed, lessened, or unwittingly opened to guests (Dulnuan, 2005).
There had been gains but there is an over-all feeling of disenfranchisement with some expressing that the rewards are not really reaching the most marginalized. Understandably, only those who can afford to open businesses are the ones who profit significantly from the tourism boom. Project designers and implementers should, therefore, put the necessary mechanisms through which the benefits from tourism can really impact the lives of the people in the most positive way.
Therefore, it is important that communities and the government work hand-in-hand in putting these mechanisms in place. These recommendations may have already been expressed before or done in other locations but, nevertheless, they need to be revisited and implemented soon in the context of community-based engagement:
- Review and amendment of existing laws and creation of new laws that will address the gaps in governance of heritage sites (e.g., ensuring that local ordinances carry the breathe and depth of national and international policies and declarations);
- Reforming and enhancing education and values formation programs in both formal and informal settings, allowing us to deepen appreciation of our rich culture and heritage;
- Creating and strengthening sustainable livelihood opportunities in communities where there are important heritage sites so that people are not unwittingly forced to choose between earning ‘quick bucks’ and the need to protect the integrity of our assets (when people are financially empowered, they are more motivated to act responsively);
- Enabling authentic public-private partnerships where profits and rewards are well placed in the pursuit of environmental and societal goals (environment and culture first before profits);
- Empowering communities to manage and benefit from tourism sites, practicing shared responsibility, decision-making, and enjoyment of rewards; and
- Strictly enforcing code of conduct for, between, and among guests/visitors and hosts, deepening shared governance and mutual respect.
The future beckons – and the stories and love that are waiting to be shared
Pearce (1989) has highlighted an important factor when he said that “the social and cultural characteristics of a host community will influence its attractiveness to tourists, the process of development and the nature and extent of the impacts which occur” (as cited in Dulnuan, 2005).
As can be learned in the popularity of the Taj Mahal and places like Sagada and Borobudur Temple, tourists are naturally captivated by places that have deep cultural values. It is, therefore, necessary to respect, preserve, and protect the authenticity of our heritage sites not just because they will draw the tourists in but more importantly, they are our link to the past and bridge to the future.
As what our national hero, Jose Rizal, said “ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinangalingan ay hindi makakarating sa makakarating sa paroroonan.”
Dulnuan, J. (2005). Perceived Tourism Impact on Indigenous Communities: A Case Study of Sagada in Mountain Province, Sustainable tourism – challenges for the Philippines. Retrieved from http://dirp4.pids.gov.ph/ris/books/pidsbk05-tourism.pdf
Government of Uttar Pradesh, India. (2014). Taj visitors – Visitors’ perspectives. Retrieved from http://www.tajmahal.gov.in/celebrities_visiting_taj_2.html
International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). (2002). Principles And Guidelines For Managing Tourism At Places Of Cultural And Heritage Significance. Retrieved from http://www.charts-interreg4c.eu/app/download/5796628919/ICOMOS+International+Cultural+Tourism+Charter+1999.pdf
Lapniten, K. (2016, January 12). Sagada asks visitors to respect sites. Retrieved from http://www.rappler.com/life-and-style/travel/ph-travel/118788-sagada-visitors-respect-tourist-sites
Lindberg, K. & Molstad, A. Hawkins, & D. Jamieson, W. (1999). Sustainable Tourism and Cultural Heritage: A Review of Development Assistance and Its Potential to Promote Sustainability. Retrieved from http://files.cargocollective.com/491146/Sustainable-Tourism.pdf
Silitonga, S. (2009). Candi Rejo Village – Community Based Tourism Project in Central Java, retrieved from http://ezinearticles.com/?Candi-Rejo-Village—Community-Based-Tourism-Project-in-Central-Java&id=2043471
UNESCO. (n.d.). World Heritage List – Taj Mahal. Retrieved from http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/252
UNESCO b. (n.d.). Borobudur Temple Compounds. Retrieved from http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/592
UNESCO. (2016). What is meant by “cultural heritage”? Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/new/en/culture/themes/illicit-trafficking-of-cultural-property/unesco-database-of-national-cultural-heritage-laws/frequently-asked-questions/definition-of-the-cultural-heritage/
World Tourism Organization. (2006). Poverty alleviation through tourism – compilation of good practices. Retrieved from http://www.e-unwto.org/doi/pdf/10.18111/9789284409204
For a legal opinion on the Jose Rizal monument and Torre de Manila controversy, you may go to this link:
Marquez, B., and Garcia, A., (2015, February). A soaring eyesore: Torre de Manila’s construction threatens Rizal Park’s skyline. Retrieved from http://thepalladium.ph/legal/soaring-eyesore-torre-de-manilas-construction-threatens-rizal-parks-skyline/
This is not paid blog. There is no request for donation but please plant tree/s on your birthday.
Namaste, dear friends and readers!
It’s another month of hope and promises amid the challenges of our country (and the rest of the world). I ask you all to continue praying for peace and unity.Last weekend, I had the time to sit down and make this quick watercolor sketch. I hope this will inspire you to make small gestures of friendships. Let’s hold hands, build bridges, and pray for one another!
May our September be full of joys and opportunities!
This is not a paid blog. There is no request for donation but please plant a tree/s on your birthday.
Hello, dear friends and readers!
Here is my little sketch for August. This is not a new sketch but I think this is appropriate for the rainy month of August. I actually gave a copy of this sketch for a dear friend of mine for her birthday so I hope she won’t mind that I am sharing it also with you all!I hope that this sketch in ink will remind you to simply savor quick moments of tea time bonding with your loved ones. As I wrote on the sketch, “Every day brings special reasons for celebrations.”
Go ahead, celebrate your wonderful life!
This is not a paid blog. There is no request for donation but please plant a tree/s on your birthday.
Hello dear readers!
I met Matthias Gelber recently and pledged to help him promote his book, The GreenMan’s Guide to Green Living and Working.
Being able to listen to him or read his work offers lifetime opportunities particularly for companies that want to optimize efficiency. Matthias is a professional motivational speaker with experience in 41 countries and voted as the Greenest Person on the Planet in 2008 (3rd Whale, Canada). He has always enjoyed traveling to the Philippines and, in fact, served as Chief Judge of the Miss Earth Philippines Pageant in 2016.
I am helping him spread the word about energy efficiency and climate change mitigation so please contact me if you want Matthias to deliver a talk in your organization/university. He is so generous with his time and talents that he is waiving his professional fees for the talk as long as you can order 60 pieces of the book at PhP30,000.*
If you want to read the book for your private reading pleasure, you can also purchase the book from me directly at PhP500 (exclusive of shipping cost). We can also arrange to meet in UP Diliman if you are buying a minimum of 3 books (just add PhP50 to cover my transportation).
The book offers practical tips on energy conservation and efficiency and carbon footprint reduction. This is a wise investment especially that the Philippines has among the highest cost of electricity in the world. I still encourage you to book Matthias as his talk is very inspiring. His talk will definitely motivate you, your employees/colleagues, and household members in practicing energy-efficient and environmentally-sensitive lifestyle.
What are you waiting for? Contact me (through the comments section below or the contact page here) if you want to benefit from his talk and this awesome offer.
*Offer is good for August-September 2016. Organizations outside Metro Manila are requested to cover his transportation and accommodation (if applicable) costs.
This is not a paid blog. There is no request for donation but I hope you can plant tree/s on your birthday. (Full disclosure: While this is an unpaid blog post, I have a book deal with Mr. Gelber.)
Hello, dear readers and July!
I promised to work on a new sketch every month but decided to spend more time in improving my feed/gallery in Instagram so this month’s sketch is from 2014. (Please head on to my IG page if you have the time? That will really be awesome!)
I am happy with this small achievement (wink! wink!) – putting up pictures (and curating them!) in Instagram is time-consuming because I had to review hundreds of digital files, transfer the chosen ones in DropBox, save them in my tablet, and then upload them in IG. As many Instagram users know, it is quite complicated to post pictures directly in IG through one’s PC/desktop. There are apps available but most reviews do not encourage using them due to some techie issues. Therefore, I decided to use the ‘longer route’ (desktop to tablet/phone).
Anyway, this July sketch is among my favorites in watercolor (so far, that is!). As I had mentioned in my earlier posts, I am not very good with watercolor so this is somehow an ‘improvement’ from earlier attempts. I have always enjoyed looking at doors and windows and I think this is because they remind me of opportunities. (Ok, you all know that popular saying about how a window opens when a door closes!) This sketch will remind us of the many opportunities around us! We just have to keep on looking!
July seems a perfect time also to hone on our artistic skills and enjoy more of our hobbies and creative inclinations. Perhaps the “dreamy” effect of the rainy season (hear the raindrops on the roof?) enhances our creativity? Whatever the reason may be, I enjoin you to find your quiet corner, call on your creative muses, and simply CREATE!
I hope you’d treasure your creative days in July! Wishing you many more joys and blessings!
This is not a paid blog. There is no request for donation but I hope you can plant tree/s on your birthday.