Archive for the ‘Genetically modified organisms’ Category

So , okay, I’m an island girl.

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I was taken aback when a co-worker asked me where I was born…  I answered the Philippines, of course… then he said, ” I mean, on what island .?????” I thought for a minute before replying….Uhm… Luzon Island ???

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I  told him I’d  always thought of my birthplace  as a country and not an island   ( if that makes sense). Well, the Philippines is comprised of 7, 641 islands ( or 7, 107  at  high tide, ha ha ) , and though I find  his question  a bit strange, I have to admit it   makes  sense…  After all, the former name of the Philippines was  Las Islas Filipinas ( as a Spanish colony.. .. islas means islands ) , Philippine Islands ( as  American colony) , Commonwealth of the Philippines, ( still American colony) , then Republic of the Philippines ( after independence)

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So, I ran off to tell my Filipino co-worker and she was surprised, as well. I mean, we have the same mindset.  We don’t consider ourselves “island people ” .  Japan is an island.  Indonesia , Singapore… Come to think of it… England.   Here’s the thing… it’s A-Okay  to be considered an islander. I find it very exotic… it evokes images of  beautiful, tropical islands with white beaches, palm and coconut trees swaying in the breeze…

 

Most importantly,  Palawan Island ( which is on the video above) is the  location of TUBBATAHA REEF, a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE site, the most protected site in the world.    The biodiversity of  Tabbutaha Reef surpasses that of Galopagos’ and Hawaii’s  combined. Then , there’s Apo Reef, the second largest contiguos coral reef system in the world , and is a highly protected site ,located in the waters of Occidental Mindoro  in the Philippines. The reef is submerged, of course, but are marked by 3 uninhabited islands, Apo Island, Apo Menor, and Cayos del Bajo. Like Tabbutaha, it is a no- take- zone., and just like Tabbutaha, it is  patrolled  by the Phil. Navy  24/7. Despite that,  Chinese poachers still encroach  and fish illegally.  On one Chinese fishing boat, they found turtles , manta rays, sharks, etc.  ( maybe for their shark fin soups and turtle soups which the Chinese love ).  I know I’m being politically incorrect, but I;m just stating a fact.  I hope the Chinese people desist from consuming stuff  that come from endangered animals. . Stop eating shark fin and turtle soups ! ! ( and buying elephant tusks for ivory. It’s outrageous. )*whisper* I don’t even want to mention what’s going on in West Philippine Sea ( South China Sea) .. Palawan is located in that area. How should I say this …. well, the situation there is extremely intense. If you haven’t heard about it, start reading , I beg you. The Philippines is a very small country. This is like David and Goliath.

Anyway….

Here is TUBBATAHA REEF. The preservation of the reefs and Philippine biodiversity is not only for the Philippines, but for whole mankind.

 

 

Well,  * cough * I wasn’t really born on any of these islands shown above… I was born in Manila, on Luzon island, the biggest island in the Philippines.  The city of Manila, shown on the video below,  is the reason why I don’t feel like an island girl.  Still, I am an island girl,  and proud of it.  I think the Philippines is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

 

This is all for now.  I hope you can watch the videos.  Bye and peace.

My Euro Tour, Part 23, Bordeaux, France

Renxkyoko Iglesias here.

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It’s my summer vacation . Yay ! Well, it’s June 9 today. Last year , June 9, 2012, was the day we flew to Europe for our 30 day tour. I was really hoping I could end my travelogue post today, the anniversary of our trip, but I guess not. * sets aside the fireworks, disappointed* You’d think I’d have more time to blog, read other people’s blogs, more time for stuff I’d like to do, which is to play video games, read books, read mangas, watch TV, etc. and oh, yeah, post more often, but no, my employer had the temerity to promote me to a managerial position. Now, don’t get impressed with the title. It just means I work longer hours supervising 3 hapless sales clerks, I keep the keys, and handle some confidential store stuff. It’s a high end clothes store, though. A simple women’s Tshirt that sells for $ 5 at walMart, we sell for over $100.00. We have walk -in customers, and we have clients. Clients come by appintments, and they’re usually businessmen from overseas who choose the clothes themselves. ( We wear each dress and show it off to the client. I happen to be the favorite of Asian shoppers , the big spenders from Indonesia,Shanghai, HongKong, Malaysia, Singapore , and Japan. I have the body size of an Asian girl, ( I’m size 1 ) so I’m the one who gets to show off the dresses. If I’m lucky, I get a free dress. * blows my own horn * . I get the highest sales every month,too. * beats drum*

And well, that’s not the only job I have. I have another one…. I work at an ice cream parlor, scooping ice cream at Baskin and Robbins…. my very, very first job. I’m loyal to Kamal, my boss, even if she hasn’t given me a raise for years. ( So, okay , I got one teeny raise…. 25 cents an hour….. Booooo ! ! ) But, I’m the only one she trusts to handle money, and my work hours are flexible. I’m grateful to her for the work she gives me, at my own convenience.
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One reader asked me about Monsanto. I’ve heard of it, but don’t know anything about it. I read up , but gave up trying to know. This corporation is huge ! ! First off, what is Monsanto? According to Wikipedia, Monsanto is a ” publicly traded American multinational biotechnology corporation and is the leading producer of genetically engineered seed ( GE) and now known as GMO ( genetically modified organism).” It is considered by purists to be an ” evil” corporation that breeds modified seeds that are detrimental to humanity’s health.

I’m an environmentalist, a tree- hugger, if you will, but I’m not sure if I can totally side with the anti-GMOs . I have to be honest…… my sister, a microbiologist, had applied for a job at Monsanto. She didn’t get it, but will apply again when a position opens. She currently works for an establishment that does chemical anlysis of food products, fresh produce and manufactured ones.( Department of Analytical Chemistry ) I’m majoring in Molecular Microbiology, and when I graduate , hopefully this school year, I hope to follow my sister’s career.

There;s a research facilty in the Philippines, the IRRI ( International Rice Research Institute ) that is based in the Philippines, at the University of the Philippines, Los Banos, Laguna. According to Wikipedia, the main goal of IRRI is ” to find sustainable ways to improve the well-being of rice farmers and consumers, as well as the environment.” The IRRI is a pioneer in genetic diversification and breeding of rice to improve yield, and grow more resistant to drought and pests , and breeds that are less likely to ” fall over”. While Monsanto started in the 90’s, IRRI was launched much earlier, in late 60’s. According to Wikepedia, ” 60% of the world’s rice area is planted to IRRI -bred rice varieties or their progenies.” The difference between IRRI and Monsanto is that IRRI is non-profit. Seeds have been distributed at no cost to rice farmers all over Asia. Since then, farmers in Asia have been planting high yielding varieties of rice. This helps feed the growing population of Asia, and so far, we have not seen anyone who has grown a horn or two heads. This is the reason why I cannot make a judgement on what Monsanto is doing. Not all of these biotech researches are bad, as long as they don’t make something like Soylent Green. What is Soylent Green, you ask. Soylent Green is a 1973 science fiction film that depicts an overpopulated earth, not much food, and available food is rationed, produced by Soylent Corporation, and whose product, Soylent Green, is advertised as high energy plankton. However, they discover that Soylent Green foods are made up of human remains. They are people.

Oh, by the way, Monsanto sells seeds to practically every farmer in America. It has captured the market, and worse, the seeds are ” copyrighted and patented” . In other words, the farmer cannot save seeds for next planting. He has to buy new ones.

* ponders*
If I were a reader of this post, I’d get bored and stop reading halfway. Oh, well. Better get back to the main topic of this post…. my tour of Bordeaux, France. Actually, I don’t have much material ( photos) of Bordeaux. We merely stopped for lunch there and lingered for about 4 hours.

Although I saw very little of Bordeaux, what I did see was impressive. DSCN1708<a
Bordeaux is the major wine capital of the world. No wine can be labeled as Bordeaux wine unless it’s actually produced in Bordeaux..Bordeaux wine has come to mean red wine as 90% of Bordeaux wines are red. Claret is English red wine. Excusez- moi, but I’m not a wine aficionado so I’m as clueless as the peon beside me.

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There’s a flea market going on in this photo.

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Porte Cailhau
Below photo is the Place de la Bourse
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Below is the Place de la Bourse at night
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Bordeaux has one of Europe’s biggest 18th century urban areas, with buildings still intact, and all the buildings that you see here are in one area. The buildings are impressive.

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In case you haven’t noticed, the architectural designs of the 18th century buildings shown here are almost identical.
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These buildings must have looked awesome to a person from a small town in the 1700’s.
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Above is the column of the Girondins on the Esplanade des Quinconces. It is the largest square in Europe.
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Holy s*it! Look, Ma, a couple kissing ! Oooops, pardon my French.

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Anyway, above photo is Rue Sainte-Catherine, one of the longest pedestrian only shopping street in Europe. ( I’ve seen this kind of shopping mall in Barcelona and Madrid )
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The photo below was our group’s meeting place….. a toilet at the carpark….. a nice place to end our tour of Bordeaux.
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*ponders*

I wonder why we call a kiss a French Kiss. It was supposed to have originated in the 1920’s (after WW1) when American soldiers came home and showed their wives and girlfriends how the French kissed. I guess, when Americans kissed before that time, they only locked their dry lips together. Then they found exchanging saliva and slipping their tongues into each other’s mouths more erotic. I bet they also brought home French lingeries for their wives. Throw away the bloomers and cotton panties , honey, and wear this…Ooooh, French lace! .

Aaaah, this post is so moi. I talked about my boring job, genetically modified organisms, food made of people, Bordeaux, France, wines, toilet, underwears, and French kiss…. all packed in one post. Good job, Ren., good job. You did it again.

This is all for now. Good day to all, and stay cool ! PEACE !

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