PAG-ASA 150th Anniversary and Compound Tour

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration ( PAG-ASA ) Quezon City , Philippines

PAG-ASA exhibit area

We were invited by Mr. Resly George Amador  for an open house tour of PAG-ASA and its exhibit. It was scheduled last March 26, 2015 . We met at around 10:00am at the PAG-ASA planetarium. The planetarium is smaller compared to Luneta but it had a seating capacity of between 80 to 100 people at any given time. The Open House and Tour was conducted in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the institution. History : It all started  on January 1, 1865  when Jesuit priest Fr. Francisco Colina set up simple meteorological instruments in an abandoned pigeon house.

Planetarium within PAG-ASA compound

That led to the Observatorio Meteorologica de Manila — designated as the official weather forecasting institution in 1884 through a Spanish royal decree.

PAG-ASA head from 1860’s to the current

On April 28, 1884, King Alfonso XII issued a decree recognized the observatory  as an official institution of the  Spanish colonial government in the Philippines .

Mr. Resly Amador together with teachers of Pasay City Science High School

At the start of the 20th century, meteorological observations were transferred from the Roman Catholic Church to the American colonial government. By act of the Philippine Commission, the Weather Bureau of the Philippine Islands were established under Act No. 131 on May 22, 1901.

outdoor observation area

The government agency was created on December 8, 1972 by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 78 reorganizing the Philippine Weather Bureau into PAGASA

Stevenson Screen

The Stevenson screen holds instruments that may include thermometers (ordinary, maximum and minimum ), a  hygrometer , a psychrometer , dewcell , barometer and a thermograph  Stevenson screens may also be known as a cotton region shelter, an instrument shelter, a thermometer shelter, a thermoscreen or a thermometer screen. Its purpose is to provide a standardized environment in which to measure temperature, humidity, dewpoint and atmospheric pressure.

Engineer Marc Francis C. Calpo

Stevenson Screen is a box shape, constructed of wood, in a double-louvered design. It is slightly tilted to avoid the direct rays coming from the sun . The whole screen is painted with several coats of white to reflect sunlight radiation  .  The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) agreed standard for the height of the thermometers is between 1.25 m (4 ft 1 in) and 2 m (6 ft 7 in) above the ground.

 poster making contest

weather instruments on display

National Radiation Center

Mr. Arman Griarte

Sometimes, There are people who would steal these items , thinking that they are very valuable objects , Some thinks that those are for magical instruments. Although the instrument is not cheap each instrument is said to cost around Php 69,000 to Php 70,000 each .

Campbell Sun Stokes

It was invented by John Francis Campbell  in 1853 and modified in 1879 by Sir George Gabriel Stokes . The original design by Campbell consisted of a glass sphere set into a wooden bowl with the sun burning a trace on the bowl. Stokes’s refinement was to make the housing out of metal and to have a card holder set behind the sphere.

They are placed in some observatories in different parts of the country.  Hence the name was coined after the two famous inventor – Campbell Sun Stokes.

The glass sphere – typically 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter – is designed to focus the rays from the sun onto a card mounted at the back and is set on a stand. The card is held in place by grooves of which there are three overlapping sets, to allow for the altitude of the sun during different seasons of the year. In the northern hemisphere the winter card is used from 15 October to 29 February, the equinox  card from 1 March to 11 April and 3 September to 14 October. The summer card is therefore used from 12 April to 2 September. Each card is marked as to the hour, with local noon being in the center, and is read in 10ths. In the northern hemisphere , the unit is set in a stand facing south to enable the maximum amount of sun to be recorded. It is important to place the unit in an area where the sun will not be blocked by buildings, trees or flagpoles.

Panahon Television

Panahon.TV is the earliest weather & environment-related news television program airing live at 5:00-5:30AM on People’s Television (PTV). Panahon.TV airs from Mondays to Sundays with hourly express updates from 5:30AM until 8:00PM, also available on live streaming via Ustream.

We manage to get a sneak peek on Panahon Television within the DOST -PAG-ASA compound. We were greeted by Mr. George Vincent Gamayo – Segment Producer of the program.

Note: We would like to ” Thank’ all the people of PAG-ASA and Panahon Television for their warm accommodation.

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MAPFRE Insular Inagurated Two of Its Community Offices in Quezon City

Sarmiento Street , Villa Erlinda Homes, Barangay  Novaliches Proper , Novaliches, Quezon City – Philippines

MAPFRE Office at Villa Erlinda Homes, Sarmiento Street, Novaliches, Quezon City

KaKAMPi Microinsurance Program, a collaboration between MAPFRE Insular, German Development Cooperation, Sikap Buhay of the Quezon City local government, and Insular Life. The initiative is an integrated approach to address livelihood development and risk protection needs of the low- income sector . MAPFRE aims to encourage the low-income sector to engage in micro-insurance by opening community offices that are more accessible to the masses.

L-R Mr. Tomas Mayoraldo ( Micro-insurance Director) ,  Ms. Monalisa B. De La Cruz ( Insular Life ) Mr. Alfred Bretana Jr. , Officiating Priest ,  Mr. Javier Warleta (outgoing President and CEO ) , Mr. Tirso Abad ( incoming President and CEO )

The ( KaKAMPi) Kabuhayan at Kinaukasan Alay ng Mapfresa Pinoy ) Microinsurance program is a collaboration of various stakeholders – The Quezon City local government through it Sikap Buhay Entrepreneur and Cooperative Office , the German Development Cooperation ( GIZ) and the Insular Life Assurance Company Ltd.Inc.

Sikap Buhay it is an organization under the office of Mayor Herbert M. Bautista  whose mission is to strengthen and ensure the sustainable growth of Micro and Small Enterprises and Cooperatives within  Quezon City .

The German Development Cooperation ( GIZ) , it is a federally owned enterprise that supports the German government in the field of international development cooperation. For more than 30 years , GIZ had been cooperating with Philippine partners in strengthening the capacity of the people and institutions to improve the lives of Filipinos.

MAPFRE office along Payatas Road ( aka LITEX )

These community offices are a part of MAPFRE Insular’s support of the government’s inclusive development initiatives to provide financial literacy for the low-income sector.

Insular Life -it is one of the partners and the first and largest Filipino life insurer and a leading provider of financial protection and wealth management products and services . It holds the distinction as the only insurer that did not suspend its operations even at the height of the Second World War.

MAPFRE Insular – is a leading non-life company insurance in the Philippines and is part of the MAPFRE Group of Companies , The Number ONE insurer in Spain and leading microinsurance provider in Latin America .

MAFPRE Insular inauguration along Ground Floor 367, Payatas Street ( formerly called Litex Street)

The KaKAMPi Micro-insurance program is an integrated approach aimed at addressing the low income sector’s perennial problems of livelihood stability and risk protection.

One of the highlight of the opening is that MAPFRE Insular company is offering Kakampi Funeral Microinsurance policy for the low and middle income families. For as low as Php 80.00 a month one can avail of burial benefits and assistance whenever inevitable happens.

For more information about the projects and micro-insurance , please visit the links below.

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10 Reasons to Visit Sikat Pinoy National Food Fair 2015

Megatrade Halls 1-3, at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.

With the theme Piling-Piling Pagkaing Pilipino, more than 150 exhibitors from all over the country will be bringing their regional delicacies and culinary specialties. Product categories to be showcased in the four-day event include meat, fish and marine products; processed fruits and vegetables; ingredients, sauces and condiments; wines and beverages; coffee, tea and cocoa; bakery products, snacks and confectioneries; organic, herbal and natural products; and food supplements and vitamins.

For more information, contact the DTI-Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion at telephone no. 751-3223, fax no. 751-3224, or email Please “Like” the Facebook page for updates on Sikat Pinoy events.

10. Recipe sharing by Re-known Chef-
There are several cooking demonstration, lecture and inspirational talks among industry practitioners, chefs , marketing experts during the duration of the fair. It aims to share their knowledge, marketing skills, entrepreneurial management to share their inspiration among the visiting public.

Chef Boy Logro

9. Local and Fruit Wines- There are different kinds of local wines ( lambanog / basi ) to choose from.  Now they even process local fruits like Marang, Lipote , Mango and mixed fruits. Some of the packaging are at par with the international standards and sometimes mistaken for imported wines .


8. Pork Crackling and Chicharon- I saw different types of chicharon / pork crackling being sold at the fair. They are from Bulacan, Pampanga, Davao and even within Metro Manila. There is also made from chicharon from carabao , mussels  ( tahong ) and even fish skin being sold at the fair.

John and Mico

7. Local Dairy Products – Local dairy products like cheese, yema, powdered milk, pastillas de leche, cow’s milk, carabao’s milk , kesong puti and products derived from local diary industry shine in the fair.

Rachelle’s Sorbet and Ice Cream

Titay’s Original

6. Native Biscuits – There are different kinds of local biscuits for sale at the trade fair. Titay’s Rosquillos. The Original. This round, scalloped-edge biscuit is a pleasure to eat. Wear it around each finger. Dip it in coffee. Titay’s Rosquillos is an all-time favorite. The first cookie was made around 1907. People far and wide came to a northern town called Liloan to look for a nameless cookie that was baked by a young woman, Margarita Frasco or Titay to those who stopped by her store for a snack.

OTAP and Galletas de Bato

Soon, everyone wanted to have a taste of this divine treat. With flour, eggs, shortening, and her secret recipe, Titay made golden brown biscuits shaped like rosca (ringlets). And she baked dozens and dozens in her hudnohan (clay oven). Until one day, the provincial governor, hearing about the famous biscuit, dropped by in town. But when he asked about the name of the goodie, Titay was without words. It was then the governor had a novel idea. He wore a crunchy, ringlet-shaped cookie on his finger and said, “rosquillos.”  A portion of the proceeds from every purchase of Rosquillos Corazon goes to charity. Truly a Rosquillos with a heart.

Titay’s Liloan Rosquillos & Delicacies, Inc.
08-88888 Liloan, Cebu 6002 Philippines
Tel No.: 063 (32) 564 2993
Fax No.: 063 (32) 424 8888

Cebu Office Address:
5th Floor, #504, Innove Building
Cebu Business Park, Cebu City, Cebu 6000
Tel.: 063 (32) 419 9418


Tipas Hopia from Taguig

5. Hopias – Another all time favorite among Filipinos are mungbean cakes or hopias.

peanut triangle

Shanvee Food Products – The peanuts are process into triangles . Contact Person: Maria Christine Flandez -Viscara ( Owner / General Manager)0935-560-9497 . The company is based from Baybay , Leyte province.

4. Native Delicacies and Nuts- There are all sorts of nuts that are for sale from peanuts, cashew nuts and to pili nuts from the Bicol region.

pili nuts process into different kinds of sweet coatings

3.  Native Chocolates- There are different Philippine companies that are into processing of cocoa and  using organic and healthy sugar alternative like coconut palm sugar .

Coco Dolce

Kablon Farms- chocolate

Laing in Bottles

2. Innovated Packaging– OFW and People who do not have the luxury of time cooking laing ( taro leaves ) and other Bicol delicacies can buy these in bottles.

1. Filipino companies and their products– Majority of the participants are small to medium scale enterprises from far flung provinces by purchasing their products , any trade fair buyers can help these communities.

The SikatPinoy National Food Fair will be held from March 25 to 29, 2015, at SM Megamall, Megatrdae Hall 1 to 3.


ERGO Home launched the introduction of the Ergo Space: Finding Small Space Living in Metropolis

2nd Floor SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City – Philippines

Mr. Ricardo Cepeda , Ms. Marina Benipayo and Mr. Philip Ng ( CEO Ergo Home)

The demand for affordable housing units is on the rise , developers maximized the use of space and condominium developments to the smallest possible liveable space . It isn’t uncommon to be as small as 18 -square meters , making it a cramped one for a starting couple, bachelor pad or a dormitory space.

 architects, interior designers were invited to the event

ErgoHome has come up with original lifestyle solutions to customized any space according to your needs with this in mind .

ERGO Design Laboratory

What makes Ergo Home different is that the company can customized every available space fit for every lifestyle.

“ErgoHome was officially launched with the introduction of the Ergo Space home furniture line.Ergo Space will expand your small living room into a dining room and / or a bedroom seamlessly in seconds , all within the same area. A seamless conversion and happy living maximizing your home investment  through transformable space -saving modern furniture “. Ergo Home president and CEO Mr. Philip KC Ng .

Ms. Tessa Prieto-Valdes ( event host )

 Ms. Tessa Prieto-Valdes a family friend, lifestyle writer, event host, entrepreneur  and socialite hosted the launching .

office equipment


For the past 27 years, Ergo Contracts Philippines, Inc. has been providing “high performance architectural and interior solutions” in the Philippines and in the South East Asian region.  More popularly known as ERGO, it continues to Innovate and Inspire.

tatami room

Tatami Room is a 12-square meter condominium unit can easily transformed into a variety of living spaces with just a couple of handy furnishing units. To provide needed storage space in unit , the floor is raised y about a feet from the floor. The steps leading into room hide drawers where things can be headed . More space is available under the floorboards. A vacuum pull is used to open the wooden panel to expose additional storage.

living room can be transformed into a sleeping room

This living room set-up can be transformed into a space bedroom with the use of a couple of functional furnishings. A sofa of durable stacking foam can be transformed into a casual sleeping space by just pre-arranging  the foam stacks. It raises the idea of lounging around in one’s living room to a different level.

Exodus Acrobat

There was a magic show performed by Mr. JB Dela Cruz,  an acrobatic show performed by 2 contortionist Stephanie and Princess ( Exodus Acrobat )  which delighted the crowd. It was directed by Mr. Macoy Villaroman.

Mr. JB Dela Cruz together with Ms. Tessa Prieto- Valdes

Ergo Team and invited guests

Ergo has its root as a seating company in Singapore, through a joint venture, using German seating technology that made smooth, quiet, comfortable, ergonomic chairs and has since evolved to manufacturing and marketing other office related furniture such as system furniture, desking systems, metal cabinets, compactors, kitchen systems and space saving furniture for the home.

group photo

I had a great time viewing those innovative home style furnishing and met a lot of wonderful people. Try to visit ERGO Home at their respective outlets .

ERGO Home Outlet Center

*Makati Head Office: 2634 Rockefeller Street , Brgy. San Isidro , Makati City , Philippines 1234

Telephone: +623 (843-1177)

* Mall of Asia : 2nd Floor Entertainment Mall Building , SM Mall of Asia , Pasay City

Telephone : +632 (551-6875) +632( 245-5629)

* Mega Mall : 4th Floor , SM Megamall , Building -B , Barangay wackwack , Mandaluyong City

Telephone +632 ( 634-8776)

* Davao : Door 3L & R Building -J.P. Laurel Avenue, Bajada , Davao City

Telephone +63 ( 923-2384054)

* Cebu :G/Floor Alcon Aracade Building F, Cabahug Street , Kasambangan , Mabolo , Cebu City

Telephone +63( 922-816-1351 ) / ( 922-816-3629)

Website Links:

JB Dela Cruz:

Exodus Acrobat :


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Chong Hock Tong Temple in Manila’s Chinese Cemetery Demolished to Paveway for a New One

Chinese Cemetery -Santa Cruz, Manila – Philippines

Chong Hock Tong temple ( photo :by the author )

Chong Hock Tong Temple was built in 1878, it was one of the very few remaining pre-war structures in Manila. Gobernadorcillio Carlos Palanca Tanchueco ( Chinese name: Tan Quien Sien) and Mr. Lim Ong who has been credited for supervising the construction , financing the cost of construction  . The temple is closely affiliated with the Tsinoy community, it was never declared a historic landmark by the government. There are also century-old acacias and mango trees within the grounds with neatly manicured lawn.

temple main altar ( before the demolition )

The architecture has been described as “reminiscent of those in Fujian province as well as those in Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia with their colorful friezes and uniquely upturned eaves.” There is also a small inner courtyard where sunlight can penetrate.

side altar ( with statue of Don Carlos Palanca) right side

The temple is very simple but the details are very vivid and colorful, it is also guarded by two fu- dogs and old bells are found at the side of the temple

fu dogs guarding the entrance

There was a persistent rumors late last year that the old temple will eventually be demolished to pave way for a bigger and stronger structure.

temple ground

I manage to got a first hand information a few days ago when a distant relative told me that the old temple was demolished when they went to the cemetery to pay homage to their parents.

cement rubble

Leaving no time to waste, I felt the urge to visit the Chinese cemetery to confirm if the story was true. Lo and behold,  the old temple was indeed demolished.

Manage to personally interviewed at least 10 people from caretakers, gardeners, mausoleum owners , security guards and joggers who frequent the place on what happened to the old temple. Each had different accounts and stories to tell.

The demolition of the temple started mid- February 2015 and ended sometime last week around March 13 or 14, 2015 . We were sadden by the recent development, We always try to visit the old temple and pay some homage to our fore bearers . We  visit  the grave site almost on a weekly basis” according to Mrs. Marilyn who requested to withheld her surname.

old logs from the temple

It was demolished to pave way for a bigger temple twice the size of the current one, Artisan and craftsmen will come from Taiwan . The structure will be stronger and better compared to the old  ones which had termite infestation and can accommodate more people. ”  a caretaker from nearby mausoleum.

The demolition is quite slow last February but took a quick phase as some of the wood are weak and were easily dismantled  towards mid-March” . – caretaker

It will be renovated and larger temple will be built , They were able to keep some old logs , altar , Buddha statues , bells and the statue of the one who built the temple ” ( Referring to Don Carlos Palanca. )  -caretaker

We will surely missed the old temple , It was built during the Spanish regime .   It was a time when Chinese and the non -Christians were segregated and have their own cemetery and the temple reflects some touch of Filipino artisans , some of the laborers who built the shrine are trained by the local Chinese and their mastery and craftsmanship is superb. The temple managed to stand for more than 130 -plus years is already a legacy on its ownI have no idea if they are restoring them or enlarging the templeIt seems to be re-building a new one” .  – According to a mausoleum owner.

Masakit na mawala ang lumang templo na saksi na sa mga kasaysayan at kaganapan dito sa lugar.  Noong bata pa kami madalas kaming pumunta diyan at umuupo pa kami sa mga batong upuan diyan para magpahinga” – an old lady with several relatives that were buried in an apartment type grave.

Ang templo na iyan ay parang landmark o  reference point namin kung bumibista kami dito, Diyan namin matatandaan na malapit na ang puntod ng aming mga kaanak. ” visitor to the cemetery.

this statue is a mute witness to the destruction of the temple

There was no proper consultation or even a public hearing conducted by the association , with regard to the demolition of the temple ” . They should have properly consulted those families which have plots here . I think they just decided on their own“. – Ms. Betty Lao

Based on what i have heard, there was no plan to restore the temple , but it was more of making the temple larger and grander with artisan from Taiwan and some say Mainland China -Fujian province .

The cemetery officials and the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association which managed the place cannot be reached  for possible plans on the temple.

Note: The names of the persons interviewed during the process were withheld for security , safety reasons ( except for those who willingly express that their sentiments to be published online) .

“We are saddened to hear about the demolition of Manila’s oldest surviving Chinese temple at the Manila Chinese Cemetery and shocked at the level of ignorance regarding heritage conservation in the country,” says Heritage Conservation Society president Ivan Henares.

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