Joel C. Paredes Joel briefly served government as director-general of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), although he has been a practicing journalist and writer for nearly 37 years. He led a team organized by the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB)  and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that worked on the book entitled “Protecting our Natural Wealth, Enhancing our Natural Pride.”
  • Quarter-pound duck burgers, anyone? 2nd of two parts Have you ever eaten a burger made from pekin duck? “That’s one of the specialties we can offer in this restaurant,” remarked Marietta Lorenzo, the busy mother hen in the family-owned EDL Café, which her twin daughters set up inside their farm in San Mateo, Rizal. She takes pride in offering a quarter-pounder duck burger […] 3 min read
  • From ‘Farmville’ to an eco-friendly events venue: 1st of two parts It all started when Catherine Lorenzo and her twin sister Katrina thought of setting up a small restaurant right inside their sprawling farm near the mountains of San Mateo, Rizal. For one, the family’s patriarch Dr. Eulalio Lorenzo has been hosting so many visitors, mostly their clients from the family-owned booming agro-vet enterprise. “Doc Ayong”, […] 3 min read
  • The K-9 Whisperers (Last of three parts) Watch out if the sniffing guard dog decides to sit. Chances are he has detected something dreadful. According to retired Col. Reynaldo Tañada, a topnotch K-9 instructor, the best training for security dogs is simply the basic sitting position if he has finally detected an explosive or a narcotics element. “I don’t agree with dogs […] 3 min read
  • The K-9 Whisperers (2nd of three parts) For veterinarian Eulalio “Ayong” Lorenzo, the target was to reduce the current cost for maintaining K-9 security dogs. The average reported cost of one imported security dog is about P500, 000 because it includes the cost of dog importation and foreign training. Dr. Lorenzo, a former construction worker who, through hard work and determination, rose […] 2 min read
  • The K-9 Whisperers (1st of three parts) DOGS are not just man’s best friend. They can save your lives too. This, in gist, explains why so-called “security dogs,” or popularly known as “K9s” are now being used in highly sensitive illegal explosives and narcotics detection operations. Meet Retired Col. Reynaldo Tañada, the country’s topnotch K9 trainer.  Tañada is an internationally renowned K9 expert […] 4 min read
  • Tamaraw, tamaraw, where for art thou? A piece of trivia: Tamaraws prefer to live under the shade. Perhaps this explains why the Philippines’ mammalian endemic, but endangered “national animal,” has been known to have survived in the densely forested twin mountain ranges of Iglit and Baco, its only known natural habitat, which crosses the territorial boundaries of Oriental Mindoro and Occidental […] 3 min read
  • Journey to the Center of the Philippines MOGPOG, Marinduque – In 1911, the American surveyors left a stone marker at the peak of the “Mataas na Bundok” in the northwestern portion of Marinduque island. It was tagged as the datum origin of all surveying and mapping activities in the Philippines. Yet, can we consider Station Balanacan, which is popularly known as the […] 4 min read
  • Protecting the Apo Reef Natural Park Advertisement Advertisement Meet Fe Raguindin, the park superintendent overseeing Apo Reef the largest atoll-type reef that stretches across 34 square kilometers of shimmering waters off the island of Mindoro. She may not be the typical tough-talking enforcer, being soft-spoken and seemingly cool-headed. But don’t be misled by her meek and friendly gestures. She had gained […] 6 min read
  • Aurora in My Mind After visiting the province of Aurora, I continue to wonder why it became such a major tourist destination only lately when it boasts of countless scenic spots from ridge to reef. It was even tagged by environmentalists as the “last frontier” in the main Philippine island of Luzon for its lush tropical rainforests. Today, 85 […] 4 min read
  • The Precious Plant Called Rattan At first, Alfredo Gonzales found it confusing. They were supposed to protect the Calabgan watershed forest in Aurora province, but they were also being allowed to plant fruit trees. They were even encouraged to collect rattan wildlings from the forest as seedling massive planting in the DENR-protected area. All their harvest would eventually go to the […] 4 min read
  • Hydroponics: Soil-less, cheap urban vegetable growing for Metro’s ‘common tao’ I’ve always thought that hydroponics was the future of agriculture, but had doubted if it could be propagated by the “common tao” as a sustainable food production system for urban areas. That was until I learned that this soil-less crop protection technology system is now being propagated by the University of the Philippines Los Baños, […] 6 min read
  • ‘Home’ Is Where the Heart Is I hate to bring up the case of Marissa (not her real name). She was supposed to be the perfect “nanny” until the day her Chinese employer booted her out of their home. She recounted how her employer’s 17-year-old daughter even gave her a watch albeit an old one, and she had to change its […] 5 min read