Senator Cynthia Villar taps Cavite women from recycling tarpaulin posters

 Senator Cynthia Villar has tapped the group of women in Dasmariñas, Cavite to make bags and other functional items out of the tarpaulins used during her campaign for the recent elections.

tarpaulin posters

Senator Villar who chairs the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, said this recycling project benefits a small tailoring business, which employs mothers as sewers.

an elderly woman sew tarpaulin posters previously used as campaign poster into usable bags

“We are very glad that we have now a way for the proper disposal of these used tarpaulins. Through this initiative, we were not only able to recycle used tarpaulins into something useful, we were also able to help women earn additional income for their families, ” Villar said.

Women Empowerment

Christine Joy Ferrer, 27 years old, just started MXD Tailoring two months ago in the garage of the apartment she is renting. For five years, she worked for her older sister’s tailoring shop until it closed down. She then borrowed the sewing machines and started her own business.

Tuwang tuwa po ako kasi nagsisimula pa lang ako tapos nagtiwala na po sa akin si Senator Villar na gumawa ng bags niya. Malaking tulong po ito sa akin at sa mga sewers ko,” Ferrer said.

The 2 x 3 feet tarpaulins collected by the staff of Villar were delivered to Ferrer’s shop to be made into bags for P16 a piece. On the first week, they were able to finish 550 bags. They will be making more as tarpaulins collected from the provinces start to arrive.

recycled bags from tarpaulin posters

Ferrer said her 4 sewers are mothers who live nearby. One of her sewers has to look after a baby. Ferrer loaned one of her machines so she could work from home.

Ferrer said she appreciates Villar for providing a source of additional income for mothers like her. She said she was able to look after her kids aged 10 and 7, while operating her small business.

The finished product has a dimension of 12 x 18 x 4 inches, it is white with the printed side of the tarpaulin made as the inside of the bag. Tarpaulin bags are the more durable and environment-friendly substitute for plastic bags. Villar said she will distribute the bags for free to further promote her advocacy for plastic recycling.

The Nacionalista Party senator also initiated a plastic recycling project which turns plastic wastes into school chairs. Through a plastic factory she built in Las Piñas, 20 kilos of soft plastics such as food wrappers were recycled into a plastic chair with changeable parts and has a life span of 20 years. These chairs were donated to different public schools all over the country.

Native Tree Walk at Arroceros Forest Park

Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society Incorporated (PNPCSI) volunteers and board members in partnership with several NGO groups together with Winner Foundation conducted a FREE native tree guided tour within Arroceros Forest Park on April 13, 2019 ( Saturday).


 Arroceros Forest Park located between the Metropolitan Theater, Quezon bridge and the Pasig River, is an urban forest that is home to over 1,500 trees. It considered as the “last lung” of the City of Manila.

We arrived at around past 6:00 am at the park and after few minutes saw fellow members Mr. David Ples, Bobby Zapata, Maam Menie Odulio ( president), Mr. Anthony Arbias,  Ms. Irynn Alcantara Abano, Ms.Abigail Garrino, Mr. Ildefonso Bandoma Vista among others.

The group was divided into two group, One handled by Mr. Anthony Arbias and another one handled by Mr. David Ples between 20 to 35 participants per group.

Mature native trees such as Bagras (Eucalyptus deglupta aka Rainbow Eucalyptus), Bitaog (Callophyllum inophyllum), Narra (Pterocarpus indicus), Molave (Vitex parviflora) and Red Balete (Ficus concinna) thrive there while many other native species grow under the mature trees as saplings and young trees.

Mr. Howie Severino interviewed Ms. Chiqui Mabanta

The tour started at around past 8:30 am with Mr. Anthony Arvias leading the first group and followed shortly by Mr. David Ples. The group was followed by Mr. Howie Severino and crew of I-witness and we were able to identify at least a dozen native trees within the forest park.

After about an hour or so of walking around the park, the group had a souvenir group photo  before they finish the tour.

There are food bazaars, artists booth, tree planting and a lot of outdoor activities at the park.  I am glad to be back at the park, But there are several issues raised in this activity, One is the gradual lost of forest park, pollution, Manila bay reclamation and construction of a university gym within the premises. It seems that have a big building within the Mehan Garden formerly known as Jardin Botanico de Manila compound in not enough.

firefly group with author ( photo courtesy of Ms. Menie Odulio) 

Ms. Gemma Cruz-Araneta together with Ms. Menie Odulio

Bid farewell to some members of the group and left past 10:30am on my way to the Manila Central Post office for the Royal Postal Heritage Tour.

Arroceros Forest Park Celebrates Earth Day 2019

Save Arroceros Forest Park, Winner Foundation in partnership with Philippine Native Conservation Society Inc. ( PNPSI), WildBird Club of the Philippines, Earth Day Network and other cause oriented NGO groups will be celebrating Earth Day 2019 on April 13, 2019 saturday.

Earth day 2019

The one day event will feature a tree walk, eco bazaar, tree planting, sound healing, cultural dance, holy mass, wild bird watching among others.

35 Tips on How to Conserve Water

Water is life, In the past several days parts of Metro Manila and surrounding areas had experience low water pressure to almost no water running at their faucet. La Mesa Dam in Fairview, had experience low water levels.


With more and more areas struggling with droughts ans water rationing by Manila and Maynilad waters.  Conserving water is more important than ever. Cutting back on water use also means a lower utility bill and helps conserve a precious resource.

25 Tips on How to Conserve Water

1.) Fix the leaks and pipes –  One must try to periodically check house plumping system. Better try to hire plumber ( tubero), fixing leaky faucets or pipes can mean big water saving and conserving water.

2.) Always turn off faucets tightly so they do not drip– One can reduce water wastage by simply turning off faucets tightly.

3.) Take a bath with the use of bucket –  The old reliable dipper (tabo) and plastic pails ( bucket ), Instead of letting the water pour down the faucet. Try to stick a bucket under the faucet . You can use the water for flushing the toilet or watering your plants.

4.) Use a mug or cup when brushing your teeth – Water comes out of the average faucet at least 2.4  gallons per minute. Turn off the faucet after you wet your brush. One can save water by as much as 70% by using glass.

5.) Reuse the water while washing your hands. Using pail ( tabo) will save a lot of water Save a few gallons of water and turn the faucet off after you use.


6.) When taking a bath, Try to soap every part of your body then wash everything all at once to lessen use of water.

7. ) When cooking – Try to choose food or dishes is less greasy. Choosing less greasy foods will require less water when cleaning plates and kitchen utensils. Some karinderias / eateries use thin plastic to wrap the plates. This will lessen washing the plates.

8.) Re-use your pasta cooking liquid. One can collect by draining your pasta water into a large pot. Once it cools, you can use it to water your plants.

9.) Do not use running water to thaw meat and food. This will help minimize the water usage.

10. ) Re-use rice washing ( first wash)  – One can collect the first rice wash by watering them in your favorite plants or orchids. ( try to use it immediately, as rice washing ferments after an hour or so.

11.) Re-use rice washing ( second wash) – We can use the second rice washing for cooking our favorite soup and it enhances the flavor and nutrients of the soup.

12.) Meat and fish washing – One can use the water for watering trees and larger plants.


13.) Try to water plants early in the morning or late afternoon ( before 7:00 am ) or after 5:00 pm in the afternoon. This will reduce evaporation and plants can absorb more water.

14.) Cut down on daily watering – Some plants, orchids, cacti, succulents and trees will not require daily watering. Some can survive without water for a day or so. Bermuda or lawn grass can also survive without daily watering.


15.) Segregate colored dress, shirts and white colored ones– Try to first wash light colored dress first, then the soapy water can reuse them for washing colored clothes ( de color). The soapy water runoff ( grey water) can be use for cleaning toilets , flushing toilets, cars, cleaning windows and floor.


16.) Use pail in cleaning your car– Rather using hose, one can use the recycled soapy water from the laundry. Using pail reduces water usage by as much as 60%.

17.) Cut your showers short– Try to replace older shower head, older shower heads can use as much as 4 to 6 gallons of water per minutes.Try to use the reliable pail when taking a bath.

18.) Choose efficient faucet  fixtures. Aerating your faucets, investing in a low-flow toilet, choosing efficient shower heads, and opting for a water sense rated dishwasher and washing machine can add up to big water savings. As much as 30% to 50% can be save by installing low-flush toilets.

19.) Avoid strenuous physical activities– try to avoid or minimize excessive physical activity that will further deplete your water reserves.

20.) Cut down on drinking diuretics – Drinking coffee, soft drinks or tea since it will further remove water from your system. Try to drink water as much as possible.

21. ) Try to avoid eating sweets or salty food– This will require drinking more water and makes a person thirsty.

22.) Wear comfortable and light colored clothes– Wearing comfortable clothes and materials made from natural materials like cotton will lessen perspiration.

23.) Keep a small and manageable garden spaceTry to choose plants, native trees which can survive drought conditions. Try to keep lawn grass small.

24.) Flush Less– Older toilets use a lot of water. You can reduce your usage by sinking a half gallon jug of water in the toilet tank.

25.) Avoid having water fountains and large swimming pools. These consume a lot of water resources.

26.) Aquarium water can be use for watering trees, palms or lawn grass. But be careful in watering orchids and ferns as water from aquarium may have bacteria such as oogonium which may be harmful to these plants.

27.) Include water saving tips or conservation on company manual –  Daily reminder to the community posted at all times. ( social media, bulletin board are also effective)

28.) Try to have organic mulch on the surface of planting bedding, fruit trees or palms. Aside from retaining moisture, This will reduce weeds from growing around your bedding. This will compete for water and nutrients.

29.) Try to have a periodic pruning on bushy plants and trees. This will reduce watering them during dry season.

30.) Wash your pets like dogs at your lawn or near trees. This serve dual purpose.

31.) Try to reuse towel at home or at hotel – It would help by using your own towel or bedding at least more than once. Some hotels will not change towels or bedding on the daily basis. This will help reduce washing them and thus conserving precious water.

32.) Hand washing plates and dishes – Instead of letting the water run from faucet, fill up your sink with water before washing your dishes or plates.

33.) Select proper pan or pots for cooking – Avoid using large pots or pans when cooking your food. large pans or pots can use more water.

34.) Try to soak pot and pans before cleaning them.-Soaking pots, pans and plates while cleaning them will reduce water consumption.

35.) Install a rain collecting tank at home or company– There are some companies in the country which offers rain collecting tank devices. This can reduce water consumption by at least 20 to 25% during dry season. Rain water is harvested and stored in tanks which came typically from rooftops channeled via pipes. Some comes with filter system.




8 Historical Facts and Numbers on Freedom Trail March

Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) in partnership with the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, Bataan government, Tarlac government, Philippine Army, Philippine Navy and Philippine Air force started a grueling 3-day march.


The “Obelisk” at the Capas National Shrine

The march started  midnight of March 1 (Friday) started the kick off ceremonies in commemoration of the 77th year of the Death March and concluded at Capas Memorial Shrine in Tarlac on March 3 (Sunday) past 8:30 pm.


Philippine Army and Navy marching along Bamban, Tarlac highway

Mr. Tomas Cloa, Jr. (PVB) Vice president said the original Death March lasted for four days after Bataan fell to the Japanese invaders on April 9, 1942.

8 Historical Facts and Numbers about the Freedom Trail March


Death March Memorial Shrine in Capas, Tarlac province

1.)  Freedom Trail March, it retraces the 140 kilometers of actual route of the Death March from the ( zero) O- kilometer Death March marker in Mariveles, Bataan to Capas in Tarlac.


Bamban bridge, Tarlac

2.) Death March is considered as one of the darkest days in the country’s history. There were 60,000 to 80,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war from Bagac and Mariveles towns in Bataan to Camp O’Donnell in Capas, Tarlac.

3.) About 2,000 living World War II veterans are still alive.


4.) United States Navy Seal 21 members of the United States Navy Seal participated for the first time.


5.) Epic Charity Challenge from the United States headed by its director Dr. Lance Cummings of California together with 17 members aimed to raise $100,000 this year to be given to athletes needing prosthetic and metal shoes.


Cristo Rey High School students

6.) 77 Students from Cristo Rey High School which symbolizes the 77 years of Death March were at the lightning of torch. The school was known as O’Donnel’s Rettlement High School. The place is popularly called NAVY.


Maj. Gen. Delfin Negrillo Lorenzana, AFP (Ret.) 

Secretary of Defense Delfin Negrillo Lorenzana led the torch lighting ceremony at the shrine.


boodle meal

boodle meal dishes which included steam white rice, fried pork liempo, roasted chicken, salted duck eggs, slice tomatoes, slice mangoes, pork chicharon, steamed egg plant, steamed okra, steamed kangkong with bagoong and vinegar .


7.) Boodle Fights– After a long day march, everyone enjoyed a hearty boodle fight meal.


Mr. Roberto de Ocampo

8.) Philippine Veterans Bank is owned by Philippine war veterans and prime mover in commemorating the event. Mr. Roberto De Ocampo ( former Finance secretary during President Fidel Ramos term 1992 to 1998 ) is the chairperson of the banking institution.


Philippine Living History members

Mr. Robert Hudson, vice-president of Filipino-American Memorial, said the Death March markers are well-maintained, now with the assistance of the Department of Public Works and Highways.


souvenir items for sale

souvenir items for sale, These included black and white color shirts ( Php 400 each), marble obelisk kilometer marker- Php 150 and refrigerator magnets.

A big salute to all the soldiers and to the organizers of this annual freedom run .

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