Earth Hour

Friday, February 13, 2009

30 Book Challenge

I entered a challenge in one of my Shelfari groups to read 30 or more books in 2009. To make the challenge even more exciting, I must read a number of books in the categories identified by the administrator.

This means that I do not only read books in economics or science fiction to meet the 30 book requirement. I must also read biographies, books by European and Filipino authors, non-fiction and other types of books.

At first I thought that I could complete the challenge by the middle of this year but due to unforeseen events (what a lame excuse I know) I am still stuck with my 3rd and 4th books for the year. And it is almost March! That means in the next nine months, I will have to finish some 26 books to complete this challenge.

So wish me luck everybody. I should be reading a book instead of doing this post!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Filipina Flower Expo 2009

We went to the Filipina Flora Expo 2009 at the Quezon City Hall grounds yesterday. The event featured a competition for the best floral arrangement and garden design. There was also a display of different species of orchids that were so pleasing to the eye

Here's one that really caught my eye because of the color of the specks in the white petals.

There were other displays in the grounds, including Ikebana arrangements. Here's my favorite.

I have other photos of the other plant species we saw in the expo. There's a link to my Flickr photos at the sidebar of this page. It's for everyone to see so just drop by and enjoy.

Of course it is still different to see and actually experience the flowers and plants in the expo which will run until February 16. Entrance fee is also cheap, 30 pesos for adults and 20 pesos for senior citizens.

Friday, February 6, 2009

It can only get worse...

Today's newscast was peppered with stories about price increases. The on-going shortage of supply of LPG caused its price to jump to 600 pesos per 11 kilograms cylinder. I bought mine 2 weeks ago at only 500 pesos and if things do not improve, my next cylinder might cost more than 600 pesos. Those LPG Suppliers are even predicting the price to increase every week until, they say, the problem eases or supply becomes normal again. In the meantime, our energy department secretary washes his hands off the problem and blames everybody else.

Another commodity that is about to have a price increase is water. The head of the agency in charge for water announced that it is inevitable, blaming the problem to the global financial crisis. What was even irritating with this news is that just last month, this same person proudly reported to the people that there was no need to increase the price of water until early next year. And confronted with this, he said that the law creating his agency stated that they could increase prices to match inflationary factors. Again, government just shrugged its shoulder and at the rate these people blame the global financial crisis for all our problems, expect the worst in the coming days.

The other commodity which will increase its price this month is rice, our staple food. The grains agency heady said that this will be temporary because of dwindling supplies but will ease as soon as the summer harvest arrives. However, the chief of the International Rice Research Institute painted a grimmer picture. He said there would be less rice for us because Filipino farmers did not produce enough of the grains and hence, they don't have enough money to plant for the next season. With this kind of statement, expect some unscrupulous traders to take advantage of the situation and get the prices of rice sky high as in the same period last year. In fact, prices of rice has already gone up. The one I'm buying used to sell for 34 pesos two months ago, now it is at 37 pesos. I wouldn't be surprised if it increases to up to 40 pesos again or even more.

The newscast also carried a report of how average Filipinos like me are coping up with these hard times. I echo the sentiment of one distraught lady, "We spend this much already, but how much do we earn?"

They say we Filipinos are as resilient as the bamboo plant. But sometimes, even the bamboo breaks.