Tag Archives: China

Miss Globe 2015 is Miss Philippines

Miss Philippines together with her court ,1st Runner Up: Albania ,2nd Runner Up:, Macedonia, 3rd Runner Up: China,4th Runner Up: France

Trinidad and Tobago just won National Costume, Miss South Africa wins Miss Friendship, Miss Cuba wins Miss Talent and Miss Korea wins People’s Choice Award.

Official Top 15:
Russia
Albania
Portugal
Brazil
Poland

Canada
Philippines
China
Montenegro
Estonia

Mexico
Korea
France
Macedonia
Lithuania

CHINA Outshines Philippines in HOSTING the 2019 FIBA WORLD Championships

Tokyo , Japan

screen grabs from FIBA livestreaming

China edged Philippines as FIBA board members had chosen the sporting and economic powerhouse . Its presentation which showed that the country that hosted several key important events like Summer 2008 Olympic Games , 2010 Asian Games,  2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics among others .  Among its pitch are the 300 million Chinese basketball fans, over 3,000 basketball schools and at least 100,000 hotel rooms available in 8 major cities which are hosting the event. Plus over 1.3 billion Chinese . With that impressive and mammoth presentation. No country can probably match what CHINA host committee can offer.

screen grabs from presentation

The presentation projecting the success of the country in hosting major world events and how professionally it had shown to the entire world that CHINA can make it BIG TIME and it means Business.

They will also host the upcoming 2015 Fiba Asia Championships. “China never, never lets you down,” said Chinese Basketball Association President Yu Zaiging in the 20-minute presentation

China also boasted of holding the Fiba World Cup, which is held every four years, in eight keys cities which are easily connected by several forms of modern transportation.

The Philippines which banked on the Filipinos’ passion for the sports and reach on social media in its bid for the hosting, with a presentation focusing on its strength in infrastructure, hosting experience, and resources. Plus the fact that the country is becoming an economic powerhouse.

The announcement of the hosting was initially scheduled for 5:25 p.m. Manila time but was moved to 6:15 p.m.

Netizens Reaction

The hastag #PUSO2019 became a hot topic among netizens and twitter followers and the live-streaming site of FIBA was teeming with fans from all over the world.

Mr. Tonyo Cruz twitter

Majority of the Filipino netizens were quite dismayed over the FIBA decision but many say that it is like DAVID vs. Goliath scenario .  David = Philippines , Goliath = CHINA , now had the upper hand with the presentation .

Some people thinks that FIBA has already made their decision on giving CHINA hosting rights after the successful hosting of the country of FIBA Asia Championship several times. It wanted a more concrete plans and of course MONEY in hosting the event. Some netizens said that FIBA is looking for MONEY # PERA rather than # PUSO because pure heart does not translate into cold cash .

# SugatanPUSO2019  soon became a trending topic , In the social media conversations that followed, many made references to actual heartbreaking experiences like when someone gives you false hopes or hurts your feelings.  Mr. Emmanuel De Leon a twitter user said in his tweet that FIBA 2019 is

Ang pag-ibig parang : di pwedeng puro puso, dapat may BUDGET ka rin.

The list goes on and on, BUT i think the country had already proved itself capable in hosting BIG time event like FIBA in 1978 and maybe in the near future. As they always say,- “Back in the Drawing Board” .  I personally think that the country must focus on regional events like SEA Games in 2019 or maybe another shot in hosting ASIAN Games before hosting FIBA or any international events. Hosting an event needed money and it does not guarantee a hefty payback .

  • Note- I have watched the live-stream from FIBA and some news from Tokyo . I think based on the delays on the decision of FIBA board and its members,It must be more on getting an overwhelming majority votes .
  • According to the FIBA website : The FIBA Central Board composed of 21 members voted 14-7 in favor of China Friday, August 7 in Tokyo, Japan for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup hosting, according to a press release from FIBA.
  • As a third world country like the Philippines, hosting a BIG event such as FIBA requires MONEY and infrastructure , in which CHINA is capable of upstaging given to the relatively size of their country and people.

Different Lumpias ( Spring Rolls ) from the Philippines

Quezon City , Philippines

Chinese style -lumpia from Sincerity Restaurant, Binondo

Lumpia is a common term for any egg roll , spring roll , vegetable rolls that is Chinese in origin but through centuries of assimilation and adaptation to suit the local taste, preference, availability of the ingredients and due to health reasons  . There had been different  varieties of the lumpias in the country. It is more popularly called ” spring roll” since most of the vegetables used in the ingredients are grown in spring and it is normally eaten as a festival food during ” Spring Festival ” which coincide with Chinese New Year .

I have some relatives and friends who lives in Malabon / Navotas areas and some of them called  it ”  Sumpia” . I do not know where did they get the name but somehow the name eventually evolve .

Lumpiang Shanghai ala New Toho Restaurant ( This is one of the favorite meal of Dr. Jose Rizal) – The New Toho Restaurant  had more meat compared to the regular lumpia.

The recipes, both fried and fresh versions, were brought by Chinese immigrants from the Fujian province of China to Southeast Asia and became popular where they settled in Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Lumpiang Shanghai ala Ilang-Ilang restaurant

Lumpiang Shanghai is one of the MUST Try menu at the Ilang-Ilang Restaurant in Binondo . It is bigger compared to the other Lumpiang Shanghai in Binondo area.

Lumpiang Shanghai is not a spring roll that came from Shanghai , China.  It was more of a marketing style to lure people asking for a more specific name to the spring roll. It is sometimes called Lumpiang Baboy because of the main ingredient , which is ground pork meat. But according to some Filipino-Chinese , people name these spring roll to Shanghai because of the many Fujian, Cantonese, Taiwan dishes in the country.

Shanghai is more cosmopolitan and urban in nature which makes this dish more international appeal. Hence it was called ever since.

Globe Lumpia located in 740 Raon St. ( Gonzalo Puyat street ), Quiapo, Manila.

Globe Lumpia or Lumpiang Sariwa is the most popular spring roll hole in a wall type of eatery near Quiapo church . I usually order 2 to 3 Globe lumpia . They are one of the cheapest in Manila. Their special ingredient includes julienne papaya , jicama  ( picama/ singkamas) , sayote/ chayote with generous topping of crush peanuts, finely chop fresh garlic and their special sauce. The most busy day is friday and on weekends. It is best to accompany the lumpia with softdrink like sarsi or sprite.

The store had been there since 1956 .  The price increase from  20 centavos in the 1950’s to Php 18.00 . The restaurant can only accommodate between 15 to 20 people. I would always frequent the place since i  just lived just a few blocks away, until a few years ago. Some television shows like Kris TV, Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho , Ceasar Montano and even Dolphy are some of the famous clientele of the place.

Lumpiang Bangus – Milk Fish Spring Roll

Milk Fish Spring Rolls or Lumpiang Bangus may have traced its origin to the milk fish producing provinces of Pangasinan, Sarangani, Davao area.  The main ingredient is from milk fish fillet . This is a healthy spring roll , But compared to the regular Lumpiang Shanghai or Lumpiang Frito – This is more expensive . In a recent food fair, I also have tasted Lumpiang Tahong ( made from mussles ) from Cavite province. There is also Lumpiang Kanduli or Creme Dory spring roll. These are some of the spring rolls that i have tasted .

There are mostly fried , wrapped fresh with the cooked ingredients which consists of vegetables and some meat. Most people refer Chinese -style lumpia because of the main filling is made of sauted chopped carrots, green beans, tofu, bean sprouts , mushrooms, sayote ,crush peanuts , fried and crush vermicelli noodles, hoti ( type of green seaweed ) , lettuce leaves ,wansoy ( chopped coriander leaves) , with sweet sauce or slightly spicy sauce. Some would like more more fresh chopped garlic included in the wrapper , some do not like fresh garlic and wansoy ( chopped coriander leaves ) . BUT i loved them.

Lumpia Puso ng Saging (  banana blossom spring rolls)

Lumpia Puso ng Saging or Banana Blossom Spring Roll is not popular in mainstream Philippine culinary palate , But once you tasted it , you will be a convert . It is one of the alternatives for meat and oily deep fried spring rolls. The ingredients is quite common especially when you come from a province where there are a lot of banana plants in bloom.

The common variety of banana blossom is  the saging na saba ( a type of plantain) .  I have tasted this lumpia in a gathering of some senior citizen which prefers this type of lumpia compared to lumpiang shanghai  . This is the same with Lumpiang Kabute ( Mushroom Spring roll) In mushroon growing areas , They used 2 to 3 types of mushroom , chop them finely combined with tofu , carrots and spices. They can be a good alternative to the usual fried lumpia.

The dipping sauce is very varied too, Some use ordinary vinegar with some finely chopped garlic, shallots , chilli peppers and ground peppers. Other favorite condiments includes, banana ketchup, soy sauce with vinegar with finely chopped onions, chilli peppers and calamansi .

The banana blossom lumpia is much cheaper to make compared to the mushroom lumpia .  One big banana blossom only cost between Php 15 to Php 30 in local wet market ( depending on season and availability )

Lumpiang Shanghai by Ambos Mundos

Ambos Mundos is one of the oldest restaurant in Santa Cruz, Manila area . The restaurant offers Filipino, Chinese and Spanish dishes . One of the fave is their Lumpiang Shanghai .

Lumpiang Ubod / Sariwa by Max’s restaurant

Lumpiang Ubod ng Niyog- This is one of the most popular spring rolls being offered by Goldilocks, Max’s restaurant , Kunina ni Kambal among several others. The main ingredients are the young coconut  heart are sauteed with shrimp and pork, rolled in crepe-like wrappers made with flour , egg and cornstarch. Special coconut farms specifically for the production of palms. If unavailable , Picama /Jicama  / Singkamas can be used to substitute .

home -style lumpia

The author have tasted at least around a dozen or so variation with different types of ingredients and preparation. I have an aunt who prepares Filipino- Chinese style of lumpia with 18 ingredients .  I tried to collectively write about the different types of lumpias that i have eaten , mostly in Metro Manila . But i think that there are more than a dozen  of spring roll variants.

This is our home-style version of lumpia- It is our way of combining different ingredients and cooking styles. The wrapper is home made .

Lumpiang Tagalog by Kusina ni Kambal

The cheapest and one of the most underrated ones are Lumpiang Frito / Lumpiang Toge or Lumpia Gulay ( normally fried )  – without the wrappers, The dish is called Lumpia Hubad or Lumpia Tagalog. 

lumpiang frito  is also called lumpiang gulay ,lumpiang toge

They are commonly sold as street foods all over the country and price range from Php 4.00 to about Php 40.00 in posh malls. Spring rolls or lumpia ingredients vary from one family to another . It may also due to the availability of the ingredients.

Mann Hann restaurant serve lumpia. Delis like Little Store, DEC, or sunday market bazaar regular Yen Ching , New Po Heng near Binondo church , GLOBE lumpia in Quiapo , Maki Place, New Eastern Restaurant along Ongpin street, Sincerity in Yuchengco street ( formerly called Nueva)  , Polland , Baliwag Lechon among others.

Filipino Shadow Play El Gamma Penumbra Group Wins the Asia’s Got Talent

Quezon City , Philippines Filipino shadow play dance group El Gamma Penumbra from the Philippines won the first season pan-regional reality show Asia’s Got Talent. The talent show are being broadcast all over Asia .

Asia’s Got Talent Grand Finals Opening Number

The popular dance group beat out fellow Filipino contestants Gerphil Flores, Junior New System, and Gwyneth Dorado, as well as Thai rock group The Talento, Chinese acrobats Gao Lin and Liu Xin, tap dance group Dance Thrilogy, Mongolian musical ensemble Khusugtun, and Japanese dance troupe Triqstar.

The results somewhat leaked several hours before the final night when some netizens who watched the pre-taped edition in Singapore before the show ( It was broadcast around 8:05pm Malaysia/ Singapore / Manila /HK/ Taipei  time)  began posting them in their twitter accounts , facebook pages and forum sites. Among the forum and websites like Pinoy Exchange forum , Pinoy DVD , Starmometer, Dailypedia and the official facebook page of AGT were at buzz over the winners.

When AGT audition was held in the Philippines last year, There were thousands who auditioned , making the country – one of the hotspots for the talent search. Aside from the large following on social media sites like facebook, twitter by Filipino fans.

trending hashtag in twitter

Infographics by Facebook ( most talked AGT participants)

Asia’s Got Talent AXN official you tube ( El Gamma Penumbra- May 7 Finals )

Asia’s Got Talent AXN official you tube ( Gerphil Geraldine -Flores  May 7 Finals )

Asia’s Got Talent AXN official you tube ( Junior New System ( American – May 7 finals)

Asia’s Got Talent AXN official you tube (Ms. Gwyneth Dorado – Titanium  May 7 finals)

Based on the number of viewers at the official Asia’s Got Talent uploads , El Gamma Penumbra got over 2 million views followed by Gerphil Geraldine Flores with over 1,400,000 views.

Asia’s Got Talent AXN official you tube (Gao Lin and Liu Xin ) with 280,000 plus views

Early favorite acrobat duo Mr. Gao Lin and Ms. Liu Xin from China was not included in the top 6.   There  was no sms voting in mainland China (although Hong Kong is included)  AXN is not shown in China.  Internet is very restrictive and social media sites like Facebook does not counts votes coming from China. Although I think there are large following by these group from ROC – Taiwan and overseas Chinese .  Some netizens especially those who followed the acrobat duo in their journey saw that their semi-final and final night presentations were somewhat bland compared to their audition video and some even compared their performance to another talent competition in Europe.

Asia’s Got Talent AXN official you tube ( Khusugtun ) with 230,000 plus views

A big surprise for the finals is the Khusugtun band which hails from Mongolia. I saw their you tube uploads and the group had a good following not only in Mongolia but throughout the far east side of Asia in countries like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,Turkmenistan , Inner Mongolia ( China ) all the way throughout far east Russia. They group had done some concert in Europe.  I was thinking that it would be 1,2,3 Public Vote in favor for El Gamma Penumbra, Gerphil Geraldine Flores and Junior New System .  This is based on my observation from how the social media people react , facebook and you tube views. But somehow , They got some following from these largely untapped areas of Asia.

Asia’s Got Talent AXN official you tube ( Talento -May 7 finals) 126,000 plus views

Another BIG surprise of the night was the Talento boy group from Thailand. I must say  they have been very active in social media and sms voting .  I was thinking that it could be the 2 Chinese acrobats or Triqstar can make it.

The winner is determined by public vote, where audience members and viewers at home in Asia can vote for their favorites via SMS, Facebook, or on the show’s official app. The voting closed on Monday, May 11, at 11:59pm.

The winner of Asia’s Got Talent will receive a cash prize of US$100,000 and a chance to perform at the Marina Bay Sands. It was revealed that Asia’s Got Talent will have season 2  .  Congratulations to the Winners!

Miss Megan Lynne Young -Miss World 2013 visits Philippine Postal Corporation

Manila Central Post Office, Liwasang Bonifacio, Ermita, Manila -Philippines

L-R Ms. Cory Quirino ( National Director- Miss World Philippines )  , Miss Megan Lynne Young and Postmaster General  Maria Josefina Dela Cruz at the facade of the Manila Central Post Office

Miss World 2013 Megan Young was early for her appointed time and had to wait for several minutes inside the car . I salute her for being on time!!!!

Ms. World 2013 with a bouquet of flowers

The stamps , souvenir sheets and First Day Covers were issued last February 24, 2014 which enable stamp , memorabilia , missosologist ,  Megan Young fans , School alumni, Miss World collectors bought the  issuance. After all it not everyday that you can see a Filipina winning an international title.

L-R Hon. Postmaster General  Maria Josefina Dela Cruz, Ms. Megan Young and Ms. Cory Quirino – Miss World- Philippines National Franchise – Director

Not all winning countries in the Miss World pageant will automatically issue a commemorative stamps and First Day Cover  . Asian countries  like India which won Miss World 5 times, 1966, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000 , Israel 1998 , China 2007 and 2012 did not issue any commemorative stamps .

Ms. Megan Lynne Young holding a stamp souvenir sheet

Being a momentous occasion,  All  stones must be left unturned . It is not everyday that an international beauty queen and Miss World organization visit an institution like Philippine Postal Corporation.

We got some call coming from the outgoing president of the Philippine Philatelic Federation ( umbrella organization of all recognized stamp clubs by Philpost in the country )  last Friday ( March 21,2014) calling  its members to attend the stamp re-launching and autograph signing opportunities .

stamps and first day cover mounted on a frame

We were told that the stamp launching will be held at the main lobby of Philpost and autograph signing will commence after the ceremony. Even up to the last Sunday ( March 23, 2014)  no concrete time, program and even words coming from the Corporate Communication Affairs of Philpost on the whereabouts of the stamp launching.

long queues of people and on-lookers , most are Philpost employees

It was like a guessing game for all of us, even with the advent of Facebook , Twitter , It did not help that much. I need to tag several friends from Philpost and try to ask them some details up until the last minute , When lo and behold the head of the Corporate Communications made some necessary announcement!

 Postmaster General Maria Josefina Dela Cruz and CEO, Philpost President Ceasar Sarino , Board members  , Philpost AMPG’s and Miss World 2013 Megan Lynne Young in a ceremonial autograph signing ceremonies held at the main lobby of Philpost

  Have no problem with any morning time schedule. I had to shove -off several appointments to early afternoon just to come and even write-a couple of articles  about the stamp re-launching and autograph signing .

jam-packed venue with hundreds of people, stamp collectors, media and invited guests

The main lobby can accommodate several hundred of people and thus pose no problem with any stamp launching.  My blogger friends , some stamp  and memorabilia collectors were already there several hours before the launching time . A stamp collector with his wife had to travel from Las Piñas all the way to Philpost just to attend the event. 

 

 L-R  Postmaster General Maria Josefina Dela Cruz , Ms. Megan Young and Mr. Ceasar Sarino

I saw a mother and a young daughter who  queue for the line just to see and let Ms. Megan Young autograph ! According to the mother , her daughter inspiration is Ms. Megan Young and they have to wake -up early just to see Miss World 2013 in person and let her sign the autograph ( They ended-up with nothing ! )

registration list

There were some sort of pre-registration process where Philpost staffs and employees got our names , address and contact information- according to them, Those first 50 buyers of First Day Covers and stamps will be prioritized for the meet and greet, photo opportunity and autograph signing !  I hope those valuable information would not be sold to some multi-level marketing or credit card companies which would send some letters and advertising materials once in a while.

Miss Megan Young at the Manila Central Post office facade

 The long queues of line seems broken when Ms. Megan Young was escorted outside .  We queue again for the second time, thinking that the autograph signing will be held at the main lobby . Finally, people had a mad rush at the third floor when someone from the  Marketing Section and Corporate Communication Affairs office announced that there will be a press conference at the 3rd floor within the BOC office.

L-R Mr. Steve Douglas (Event Director, Miss World Ltd.) , Ms. Cory Quirino ( Miss World Philippines National Coordinator), Ms. Megan Young ( Miss World 2013 ) and Ms. Maria Josefina Dela Cruz ( Postmaster General and CEO – Philippine Postal Corporation )

   There was a staff of the Corporate Communication office which keeps on shoving- us off as if we were just on-lookers! It seems like he was clueless on how to handle a crowd and invited guests.  He also gave a Miss World 2013 souvenir sheet to a person with large camera thinking that he was a member of the media. LOL ( Ikaw koya, mukhang lahat ata ng mga taong may dalang DSLR akala mo MEDIA ! )

group photo with Miss World -Philippines board members, Mr. Steve Douglas- Miss World event manager and Philpost officials

 Luckily, I knew someone from the Corporate Communication office who seems to be there long enough to know who are the legitimate writers and even bloggers.

 Ms. Macaria J. Leonardo ( postage and metered services division )

During the press conference, I was lucky to be given the opportunity to ask a simple but hard question.  ” Is  there is a BIG chance of the country to host the Miss World pageant within this year or next year? ”  . Mr. Steve Douglas -As far as the Miss World organization is concern , the pageant is going to be held in London, England -But with recent developments and rebuilding due to Typhoon Haiyan and the WE Hope and GOD Willing”  .  There was 100% record increase in Tourism in a lot of countries which hosted the Miss World pageant ! – There is still High Hopes !-  Event Director of Miss World .

Philip Reyes- my blogger friend , stamp , postcard  collector and free thinker member

 During the press conference, Ms. Cory Quirino –  Miss World -Philippines ( National Franchise Director ) announced:    “We just received a letter of endorsement from Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez giving us 100 percent support to host the Miss World pageant here , the endorsement was forwarded to the office of the President .  From there we are going to move forward, so abangan ang susunod na kabanata (wait for the next chapter). ”

Congressman Eric Olivarez  First District of Parañaque file a resolution in the house which endorses the hosting of Miss World 2014 . BUT we still have to wait a little more for more concrete reports  .

 the author together with Ms. World 2013

Please visit the related link for the complete information about Miss World 2013 stamps , first day cover: https://renz15.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/miss-world-2013-megan-lynne-young-stamps-released-by-philpost/

Facebook Page of PHLPost : https://www.facebook.com/PHLPost

Note: Finally , We were able to let Miss World 2013 Megan Lynne Young sign our first day cover and It is like a quest for the elusive Miss World 2013 crown which ended with all the traveling hours spend , queuing of lines, mad- rush going to the 3rd floor,  shoving -off incidents ,  guessing game style, last minute preparation and information .  All story that ends well ( parang Cinderella story LOL) . Unfortunately there were some stamp collectors and souvenir hunters which went home without a single autograph and i pity the mother and daughter tandem , Mr. Bobet Coyoca and Mrs. Chisten Mary Coyoca from Las Piñas  which braved the queuing lines just to get the autograph of the reigning Miss World 2013.  Pero sadly umuwing luhaan !

Lesson Learned :  We hope in the coming months ,  especially those departments, sections, and media affairs that were actively involve in this stamp re-launching, photo opportunity and autograph event  , to make it more orderly as possible, nakakahiya sa mga non-Philpost employees at mga public kung labo-labo ang pag-pila.

Last note: We heard that the emcee said in front of the live audience , that Ms. Megan Lynne Young stamps is the second living person in the Philippines to be featured in stamps. Well, Please do more researches in Philpost archives or library . Or simply try to ask your favorite duktor or some real stamp collectors  about those facts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

34th Grand Marian Procession In Intramuros

Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila-Philippines

Manila Cathedral facade

I usually attend the Grand Marian Procession within Intramuros which is scheduled every first Sunday of December every year . The weather was a bit overcast and it was raining during the early part of the afternoon. However it did not dampen the  devotees  and crowd from different part of Metro Manila and even  from far flung provinces. There are several foreign tourists who went to the area.

live band accompany the Marian procession

The event started in 1980 by the Intramuros Administration ( IA )and the Cofradia have organized the annual festivity since 1980, with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) replicating the full-force military participation during the processions of old.

statue of Paul John Paul 2

Organized by the Cofradia de la Inmaculada Concepcion Foundation and the Intramuros Administration (IA) every first Sunday of December, the event is a revival of the tradition that originated in Intramuros on December 8, 1619. Then a national celebration which ran for fifteen days, the event was launched at the Manila Cathedral.

Ladies wearing their finest Filipiniana attire ( Kimona)

Mrs. Imelda O. Cojuangco, Mr. Danilo L. Dolor and Mrs.  Aurora E. Eizmendi are founding chairperson, vice chairman and president of the Cofradia, respectively. Comite de Festejos Chair is Conrado A. Escudero. Hermanas Mayores for this year are Fe Rodriguez, Maritess Pineda and Mita Rufino.

Student cadets from the College of Saint Francis of Asisi of Las Piñas City 

The procession which start at 4:00 pm in front of the Manila Cathedral will feature more than 100 images of the Blessed Virgin mounted in different carrozas.

Mahal na Ina ng Kalinawagan ( Our Lady of Light) from  Cainta

The Marian float pays tribute to Our Lady of Light from Cainta, The carriage was beautifully arranged cut-flowers like white orchids, anthuriums, mums , liliums , coconuts, native baskets and native delicacy .

Mahal na Ina ng Poon Bato

The carriage pays tribute to Mahal na Ina ng Poon Bato a patroness of the Aetas of Zambales .   They gave interesting leaflets and estampitas to the devotees and passers-by.

 Maria Clara inspired costume with big petticoat  skirts

Nuestra Señora de Montserrat

The devotion have started in Spain and gradually spread over the new world and the Philippines

Our Lady of China- private collection

An officially sanctioned image of Our Lady of China was blessed, granted and promulgated by Pope Pius XI  in 1928, in response to the requests made by the 1924 Shanghai Synod of Bishops in China , the first national conference of bishops in the country.

a group of nuns having their photos taken at the Our Lady of China

There was an apparition of the Virgin Mary in Donglu , Quinyuan county in Hebei Province in China around 1900.

Nuestra Señora de Aranzazu

The rich and meaningful history of the Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Nuestra Señora de Aranzazu dates back to the early Spanish era of 1596, when the Augustinians friars built the first settlements in the place. In the year August 29, 1659, the first parish was built under and in honor of the patron St. Matthew (San Mateo), the apostle and evangelist. But in December 6, 1696, the Jesuits came and gained control of the town. Thus, in 1705, a Jesuit priest, Fr. Juan Echazabal, started the devotion to our Lady of Aranzazu from Spain and changed the patron of the town from St. Matthew to Nuestra Señora de Aranzazu.

live apples form part of the arrangements

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AranzazuShrine

According to the Intramuros Administration, aside from the image of the La Immaculada Concepcion Mater Purisima, which is under their care.

Our Lady of Peñafrancia de Manila

What i particularly liked about this procession carriage is the use of indigenous materials like native fans and abaca fibers.

a contingent from  the province of Bataan

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary

other images of the Blessed Virgin that are expected to join are the Nstra Sra. de los Dolores de Turumba from Pakil, Laguna, Virgen Milagrosa del Santissimo Rosario from Orani, Bataan, Nstra. Sra. de Visitacion de Piat from Cagayan, Virgen La Divina Pastora from Gapan, Nueva Ecija. and Nstra. Sra. de la Consolacion y Correa from San Agustin Church, Intramuros.

Bamboo groves in Subic

Bamboo thicklets

When our group was driving toward the Subic forest reserve , we saw a lot of bamboo groves dying , Bamboo belong to the family of  grass .  Bamboos are some of the quickest growing plants in the world, some species have been recorded as growing up to 100 cm (39 in) within a 24 hour period due to a unique rhizome-dependent system. Bamboos are of notable economic and cultural significance in South Asia, South East Asia and East Asia, being used for building materials, as a food source, and as a versatile raw product.

According to our  field botanist guide there are about  5 species of native erect bamboos.  However , most of the bamboos that the group had encountered in Subic is quickly dying . Why ? They had already started to bloom in the middle part of 2011 and most of the bamboo groves have begun their flowering cycle which according to our local guides may happen between 40 to 60- year intervals. So it was estimated that the last time a bamboo die-off occurred in the Subic area was maybe in the 1960’s  given the 40- year cycle interval.

Bamboo inflorescence and flowers

In China, pandas and local wildlife species which heavily depend their subsistence on bamboos may experience  severe famine and eventually death ! One threat that pandas face is natural: sporadic bamboo die-offs which occur every 40 to 120 years. Bamboo usually reproduces by sending up new shoots, but for reasons not yet understood from time to time the plants flower, seed and then die off en mass.

According to one report , In the 1970s more than 130 pandas died when a species of bamboo found in the Minshan mountains in Sichuan province  flowered and died. In the old days when die offs occurred it was easier for panda’s to simply migrate to an area with more bamboo. But these days their habitats are fragmented and human settlements may block them from reaching bamboo supplies.

Huge bamboo specimen dying -off

In the Subic areas, native buhos also serves as a home for native bats. The aetas  ( natives of the area) also uses the bamboos in many ways from building materials , food , medicine, and even utensils. Bamboos is very important in our daily life that some ethno-botanists and anthropologists say that bamboo plant is just equal in importance to coconut palms.

The rodent and snake population may also increase during the blooming season of the bamboo,  rodents eat bamboo shoots and flowers and thus the gradual increase of their population in the area. This is also the opportunity for the snakes around the vicinity to breed because of the increase of food supply .

fallen bamboo poles

Our group saw  specimens of Schizostachyum bamboo, which is said to be probably bikal or Schizostachyum diffusum according to our  botanist companions.  Some clumps  appeared  to have flowered .  Some are in a state of disarray maybe due to the recent typhoons and heavy monsoon rains that swept the Subic region . We had to be very careful in crossing the bamboo  groves  since the split bamboos may cause injuries , some  dried bamboo  also served as home to countless of insect species such as wasps and ants.

Some of the individual clump  shoots have dried out and were split open.  Majority of them have fallen which is why we saw the structure of the dry flowers. The inflorescence is big but the individual flowers are very small.

After this  die-off , we expect that the seeds would eventually germinate and hopefully – if not disturbed,  these seeds would grow into specimen sized bamboo plants in few years to come.