Too 10 Reasons to Grow Your Own Food

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It’s so much easier to just go to the groceries and buy your food so why go through the hassle of growing some of it? Here are my personal reasons why I choose to grow some of the food we consume organically in my small urban garden.

  1. You know where your food is coming from. The freshest food are those which are sourced close to you and the closest are those grown in your backyard. Ever wonder how those apples Apples naturally can only last up to a month inside the refrigerator. So what do they put on the apples that it can travel from temperate climate countries and reach Philippine soil still looking fresh? Your guess is as good as mine.
  2. Easy access to the food you love. When you learn to grow your own food, you get to plant those you love to eat so you get to enjoy them in season anytime you want without going to the supermarkets.
  3. Organic food is more healthy and tastier. Food grown without synthetic chemicals are good for the health. More and more chefs are now preferring to cook with organic produce because they taste better.
  4. Save on food expenses. I’m sometimes surprised when I go to the groceries and see how much a bunch of kangkong or sweet potato tops cost. These vegetables are so easy to grow even in a small area. Clearly, growing some of your food can save you money.
  5. Good for the health. Organic food is not only healthier but growing them can also lead to better health. Gardening can relieve stress and it’s a good exercise. It beats going to the gym.
  6. Good for the environment. Organic gardening is nourishing the soil so that the soil will nourish the plants. Without using chemicals and with crop rotation, the soil will eventually regain its natural nutrients.
  7. Make use of idle resources. Organic gardening is a good way to make use of your extra time and land. Gardening will also make you recycle containers which
  8. A worthwhile activity with your family. Gardening can be a good bonding activity with the family. If everybody has a stake in the garden, everybody will enjoy and value the fruits of their labor. Going organic is a lifestyle which should be embraced by every member of the family.
  9. A skill that can be taught to your children. Gardening is a good skill to teach your children and to instill in them the love of plants. By teaching your children organic gardening, you are raising them to become health conscious and environmentalists.
  10. Encourage others by being an example. If you want to influence others to grow their own food, the best way is to show them that it is possible.
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2014 Scholarship Application Form Now Available

The 2014 DOST Scholarship Application Forms are now available at the different DOST regional and provincial offices as well as for download. The DOST-SEI undergraduate scholarship exam is given every year for graduating high school students who meets the criteria set by DOST-SEI. Last year there were 3,597 DOST Scholarship qualifiers who are now enrolled in different science and technology priority courses. If you or somebody you know might be qualified to take the exam, here are answers to some information about DOST Scholarship.

What are the types of DOST-SEI Undergraduate Scholarship

  • RA 7687 Scholarship is for poor but deserving student who belongs to a family whose socio-economic status does not exceed the set values of certain criteria. For 2014, the annual gross family income for 7687 Scholarship applicants should not be more than 156,600.00 pesos. They should also be residents of their city/municipality for at least 4 years as attested by the barangay chairman.
  •  Merit Scholarship is for applicants whose  socio-economic status exceeds the criteria for the RA 7687 and has to pay a non-refundable testing fee of P200.

Who Are Qualified to Take the DOST Scholarship Exam

Below are the general qualifications for DOST-Scholarship

  • Natural-born Filipino citizen
  • Those who are currently fourth year high school students who belong to a special science class identified by DOST-SEI or recognized by DepEd
  • Those belonging to the upper 5% of the graduating regular class are qualified to take the DOST Scholarship Exam.
  • Of good moral character and in good health

Who Are Not Qualified to Apply for DOST Scholarship

  • Those who have earned units in any post-secondary/undergraduate course;
  • Those who have taken any previous DOST-SEI Scholarship Examination; and
  • Those who have applied for immigrant status in the USA or any other country.

What are the DOST Scholarship Privileges

Those who will be awarded the DOST Scholarship can enroll in priority science and technology courses in State Colleges and Universities and in CHED Center Of Excellence Colleges and Universities. Scholarship privileges are the following.

Privileges

RA 7687

Merit

Tuition and Other School Fees

P8,000/semester/term

P8,000/semester/term

Book Allowance

P5,000/year

P5,000/year

MS/PE Uniforms (1st Semester of First Year Only)

P500.00

P500.00

Transportation Allowance (For those studying outside their home province)

1 economy-class roundtrip fee

1 economy-class roundtrip fee

Stipend
  • For BS Physics/Applied Physics/Physics Teaching/Geology/MiningE

P5,000/mo

Full: P5,000/mo

Partial: P3,150/mo

Special: P2,825/mo

  • Other DOST Priority Courses

P4,000/mo

Full: P4,000/mo

Partial: P2,400/mo

Special: P2,200/mo

Summer Allowance (if required per curriculum)
  • Tuition and other school fees

P1,500

P1,500

  • Book Allowance

P500 (to submit O.R.)

P500 (to submit O.R.)

  • Monthly Allowance

2 months

2 months

Post Graduation Clothing Allowance

P1,000

P1,000 (full scholars only)

DOST Scholarship Application Form and Requirements

  • Duly filled out DOST Scholarship Form which you can download the 2014 DOSTScholarship Form here
  • Two (2) recent 1×1 pictures
  • Photocopy of birth certificate
  • 2012 Income Tax Return/W2/Employment Contract /BIR Cert. of Tax Exemption/Municipal/Brgy. Cert. of Non-employment. (for RA 7687 applicants only)
  • Electric Bill for 3 consecutive months in 2013 (for RA 7687 applicants only)
  • A non-refundable testing fee of P200 shall be paid by Merit applicants upon filing of their application

Deadline of Filing of Application and Schedule of DOST Scholarship Examination

The deadline for the submission of the DOST Scholarship Application Forms will be on 23 August 2013 (Friday) and the  scholarship exam will be conducted in 22 September 2013 (Sunday) and

The advantage of this is that the applicants can expect the result of the DOST Scholarship Exam be released earlier compared to the previous years where the results were usually released in March – April. Applicants should remember that they should pass the entrance exam in the college/university they wish to enroll in.

For more info on the DOST Undergraduate Scholarship Exam, download the brochure here.

Download the 2014 DOST Scholarship Form here.

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2013 DOST Scholarship Exam Result

The Department of Science and Technology through the Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), announces the 2013 DOST Scholarship Examination result where 3,597 high school students qualify as DOST-SEI Undergraduate Scholars starting School Year 2013-2014. This is 7.1% higher than the 3,359 number of qualifiers last year. Moreover, the number of municipalities with qualifiers also increased to 1,107 this year compared to 975 in 2012.

From the total number of the 2013 DOST scholarship passers, 3,089 belong to economically disadvantaged families who qualified under the RA 7687 Scholarship grants, while 508 students who topped the examination qualified under the DOST-SEI Merit Scholarship Program.
Qualifiers who avail of any of the S&T undergraduate scholarships may pursue a four- or five-year college degree in priority science and technology fields. As benefits, RA 7687 scholars will receive tuition subsidy, monthly stipend, book allowance and many more. Scholars under the Merit scholarship program will likewise receive the same benefits except for the pro-rated monthly stipend based on the family’s socio-economic status.
Click the link below for the list of 2013 DOST Scholarship Exam Passers
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What every first time parents should know about their newborn

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Motherhood is very demanding but I wouldn’t exchange it for the world. However, every new parents will pass a stage when you feel tired, frustrated and you thought you’re doing everything wrong. I’m glad I came across this post at the BabyCenter for it is exactly what I needed to lift up my spirit.

Dear Mommy and Daddy,

Please keep this letter from me in a place where you can read it and re-read it when things are rough and you are feeling down.

1. Please don’t expect too much from me as a newborn baby, or too much from yourselves as parents. Give us both six weeks as a birthday present, six weeks for me to grow, develop, mature, and become more stable and predictable – six weeks for you to rest and relax and allow your body to get back to normal.

2. Please feed me when I am hungry, I never knew hunger in your womb and clocks and time mean little to me.

3. Please hold, cuddle, kiss, touch, stroke, and croon to me. I was always held closely in your womb and have never been alone before.

4. Please forgive me if I cry a lot. I am not a tyrant who was sent to make your life miserable, the only way I can tell you I am not happy is with my cry, bear with me and in a short time, as I mature, I will spend less time crying and more time socializing

5. Please take the time to find out who I am, how I differ from you and how much I can bring you. Watch me carefully and I’ll tell things which sooth, console and please me.

6. Please remember that I am resilient and can withstand the many natural mistakes you’ll make with me. As long as you make them with love, I cannot be harmed.

7. Please don’t be disappointed when I am not the perfect baby you expected nor be disappointed with yourselves when you are not the perfect parents.

8. Please take care yourself; eat a balanced diet, rest, and exercise so that when we are together you have the patience and energy to take care of me. The cure for a fussy baby is more rest for Mom.

9. Please take care of your relationship with each other. What good is family bonding if there is no family left for me to bond with.

10. Keep the “big picture” in mind. I’ll be like this for a very short time, though is seems like forever to you now. Although I may have turned your life upside down, please remind yourselves that things will be back to normal before long.

Enjoy me – I’ll never be this little again!

 

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The Promdi is Now a Nanay

Last September 24  I gave birth to a healthy baby girl. It’s not an easy pregnancy and childbirth but considering the circumstances, I’m still very blessed.  Getting pregnant is already a blessing since not everyone was given a chance to have a baby.

I’d like to share my 9-month journey so those who are currently pregnant may relate to my experiences.   It feels good to know that you are not alone in what you’re going through. The hormonal changes a pregnant woman experience are both physical and emotional challenges she has to go through that’s why it’s important that she gets all the support she needs.

I was already 35 when I got pregnant so you can already consider it high risk. I was hospitalized due to viral exanthem during my second trimester and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in my third trimester. I had to go on a diet, monitor my FBS and take insulin shots.  Everytime I see my OB, I would talk to some of her patients. Their stories made me realized I am luckier. There were some women who had to take bed rest for several months due to signs of pre-term labor.

In order to prepare myself, I asked other women on their childbirth experiences and researched on the internet.  The website BabyCenter.com was full of very helpful articles on pregnancy and childbirth. However,  no amount of information can prepare you for the actual experience. Mothers are not exaggerating when they describe the pain they experience at childbirth. I consider myself to have a higher pain threshold than most but there’s nothing I can compare to my labor pains. The pain is so intense that you’ll probably pray to all the Saints you know. I did not scream nor cry but I never prayed so hard in my entire life.

I was only in labor for around 4 hours but at 5 cm dilation I was having contractions in less than a minute interval. I was having so much pain and it was stressing my baby. Her heart rate was dropping that’s why my doctor decided I had to go through Caesarean section. I was scared of having a C-section but I understood the medical urgency why I had to. I was under regional anaesthesia but I can still feel the pushing and tugging at my abdomen area but felt no pain. It’s weird.

It’s true that once you see your child for the first time, the feeling is so overwhelming you wouldn’t even remember the pain you went through. It was love at first sight for me.

But then there’s breastfeeding and diaper changing. A few days after CS operation, you’ll still be in pain, your hormones are still acting up and you’re tired but you are responsible for taking care of another human life. I shed more tears during the first few weeks of nursing my baby than going through labor. After giving birth, my days pass by in a blur of diaper changing, feeding, burping, bathing and naps in between. But I only have to look at her and my heart melts.

Motherhood is definitely not easy but I wouldn’t exchange it for the world.

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Technology Changes How We Play

Every time I see a child play with a Playstation or Xbox, I  can’t help but ask whether Filipino children, or any child for that matter, still play traditional games.

I remember growing up playing with our traditional games such as Taguan, Piko, Tumbang Preso, and a lot of other games which doesnt require high tech gadgets nor money. We made cars from tin cans, balls from used socks and other toys made from recycled materials. All we need was a little imagination and with the use of available resources, we didn’t spend a lot of money in order to have fun as kids.

It’s always been group games for us. We would gather with the other kids in the neighborhood and play our favorite Filipino traditional games which are usually played outdoors. That’s why you would seldom see obese children back then.

With the advent of online gaming and high tech gaming gadgets, children now seldom play traditional games. To think that there are 40 known Filipino games, it’s a shame that these kids no longer get to play them as much as we have.

Internet has made it possible for games to be played online either against a computer program or against a real person thousands of miles away. Even casino games can now be played online with real money as bets. These games can also be downloaded and played from the desktop. Imagine playing poker and roulette in your pajamas. That’s how convenient it is to play online casino games these days.

Online Role Playing Games are also a hit with both children and adults. Internet shops are always filled to the brink with gamers and these shops are usually open 24 hours a day.

Clearly, technology has changed the way we as children and adults play over the years. Although it’s not always bad, some of our traditional games are slowly vanishing especially for those who live in urban areas. Unless there’s an organized sports activities for traditional Filipino games, these games would just slowly fade away and the next generation would not know how they are played.

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2012 DOST Scholarship Exam Results

A total of 3,400 high school students passed the 2012 DOST Scholarship examinations held last November 20, 2011.  The scholarship offered two (2) programs: RA 7687 and DOST-SEI Merit Scholarship Program.  There are 3,000 national qualifiers for RA 7687 and 400 for the DOST-SEI Merit Program.

Click the link below for the complete list of 2012 DOST Scholarship exam passers. The Merit Program result is on Page 67. Just zoom in to get a larger image.

2012 DOST Scholarship Passers

Those who qualified may avail of the following privileges:

  1. Tuition and other school fees not to exceed Php 6,000/semester/term.
  2. Allowance for prescribed textbooks and essential school supplies at Php 5,000/academic
    year.
  3. Outright grant for prescribed Military Science/Physical Education uniform of Php 500.00 for first semester, first year only.
  4. Free transportation for one economy-class round trip fare between permanent residence and place of study on reimbursement basis (for those studying outside of their home province).
  5. Monthly living allowance for a 10-11month duration depending on the awardee’s scholarships category as full, partial, or special which shall be based on certain socioeconomic indicators:
    • For those who will pursue BS Physics, BS Applied Physics, BS Physics for Teachers and BSE Physics Teaching, Geology and Mining Engineering, a monthly living allowance of Php 5,000/P3,150/P2,825; for full/partial/special scholarship, respectively.
    • For those who will pursue other DOST priority courses, a monthly living allowance of Php 4,000.00/Php2,400/Php 2,200 for full/partial/special scholarship, respectively
  6. Post-graduation clothing allowance of P1,000

Those who passed will receive an official notice from DOST. This site is not affiliated with DOST so additional questions to the details of the scholarship will have to be addressed to DOST. 

You may contact the nearest DOST office where you submitted your application for the scholarship exam for your inquiries. Here’s a link to the contact numbers of the different DOST Regional Offices.

You may also download the brochure below:


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The end of the world is not May 21, 2011

Is today,  May 21, 2011 the end of the world? Harold Camping of the Family Radio predicted based on his calculations that today at 6pm, the end of the world will occur. I guess it’s not yet Judgement Day for us but it is for Harold Camping. Nobody knows for sure when the world will end but only God, the one who created it.

Everyone who believes in heaven wants to go to heaven but you have to die first before that happens. All this end of the world predictions will not scare you if you live your life today as if it’s your last. Death, comes like a thief in the night so you don’t have to wait for the end of the world to be prepared.

God bless us all!

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Bacolaodiat 2011 Reaching New Heights

I thought Bacolaodiat has reached a plateau with the Bacolaodiat 2011 celebrations having almost the same events as in Bacolaodiat 2010, well I was happy to be proven wrong. I was at the Chopsticks Alley during the opening of Bacolaodiat 2011 and judging by the throngs of people at the North Capitol Road and along Lacson Street, Bacolod’s celebration of the Chinese New Year has definitely surpassed last year’s celebrations.

The Lantern Dance Competition is something that we should look forward to every year. Dancers wear colorful Chinese costumes and uses lanterns as they dance to the Bacolaodiat theme song.The theme song was very lively and I guess I was having an LSS after the Lantern Dance Competition as I was silently chanting… Ba-colaodiat-laodiat-laodiat…

The Chinese New Year is not only celebrated by  Tsinoys but also us, full-blooded Pinoys. You can say, we Filipinos have also embraced this celebration as our own. Hopefully the government can make it into a non-working holiday next year so that more people can experience and participate in the festivities.

See you next BacoLaodiat and until then …  Toto, Inday, Kiung Hee Huat Tsai!

For more photos, visit BacoLaodiat 2011 at ExperienceNegros

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At last, we are rabid!

We have been bitten by the Azkals and now acting like one rabid country for football. For the longest time, football has had no following on a national scale like basketball and boxing. Unlike us promdi from Iloilo and Negros, who have remained true and loyal to the game, other parts of the country have not shown the same enthusiasm for the world’s most popular game. We Ilonggos can even brag that Paulino Alcantara, one of the world’s best football players came from Iloilo.

Fans are going gaga over the Azkals who are composed mostly of Fil-Foreigners.  But they are not all about good looks, they do bite and thanks to the historic performance of the Philippine National Team at the AFF Suzuki Cup, football has become the country’s object of affection at the moment.

This coming February 9, the Philippine Azkals will be facing Mongolia for the qualifying series for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup. All roads will be leading to Panaad Park & Stadium as it is already ready for the game, tickets already reserved and  Phillipine Azkal players are already complete here in Bacolod City. Fans from Metro Manila and other provinces are expected to arrive for the game. It’s fortunate that Panaad Park & Stadium has passed the standards of the AFC otherwise our Philippine Azkals will not be playing in the country.

I hope this is not just another fad that we’re having. I hope this is already the break that Philippine football has been waiting for. We have the potential to make it big internationally. Unlike basketball, height is not that important in football. However, in order for the national team to reach their full potential, they need the support of the government and the fans. Let’s all become rabid and give our full support to the Philippine Azkals!

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