Monday, August 15, 2016

Miss Cagayan de Oro 2016 Coronation Night

The search for Miss Cagayan de Oro 2016 was held on the evening of August 13, 2016, at Atrium, Lim Ket Kai, Cagayan de Oro. Twelve beautiful young ladies from different places in the city participated in the beauty pageant which is one of the core events of Higalaay Festival 2016 or the celebration of the Feast Day of Saint Augustine, the patron saint of Cagayan de Oro. Miss Sherlyn Doloriel of Lapasan is crowned as Miss Cagayan de Oro for 2016. Other winners are Alan Marie Agot, first runner up; Ana Monica Tan, second runner up; Toni Guillermo, third runner up and Angeliza Navajo, fourth runner up.

Sherlyn Doloriel, Miss CDO 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Knights of Columbus, an Organization with an Insurance Program to Its Members

The Knight of Columbus is a Roman Catholic, family, fraternal and service organization that is positively distinct from other civic organizations because of its insurance program for the financial protection of its members and their family. Subscribing to an insurance policy is however voluntary and members can select one or more insurance products that suit their needs and budgets. The most affordable is the group insurance plan whereby a group of knights pays PHP 500 per member to pool their money for an insurance coverage of one year. And in case of an untimely death of any member within that period his beneficiary or his family receives PHP 50,000 as compensation. Ideally, a brother knight should get an insurance certificate to have himself or his loved ones the privilege of being financially protected by the organization in case of unfortunate events.

In the Philippines the insurance program is undertaken by the Knight of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines Inc. (KCFAPI), a Mutual Benefit Association that was founded by the late Rev. Joseph Willmann, the first Philippine District Deputy of Knights of Columbus. Providing knights with financial protection is in line with the concept of US Knights of Columbus insurance programs to its members. The organization was originally founded by Fr. Michael McGivney in 1892 in New Haven, Connecticut USA to help Catholic families who lose income with the sudden demise of their breadwinner.

KCFAPI is a Mutual Benefit Association of the members of the Knights of Columbus that was incorporated in 1958. It is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and accredited by the Insurance Commission to deal with insurance related transactions. It is a non-stock and non-profit association that exclusively serves the members of Knights of Columbus and their immediate family. Transactions between the KC Fraternal Association and the benefit certificate holders and their beneficiaries are done in conformity with the Philippine Insurance Law.  
Benefit Certificate or policy holders of the KCFAPI automatically become co-owner of the association who can participate in the sharing of its dividends. In addition they can also avail of loans with an amount based on the total cash value of their benefit certificate.                                                                                                                                  
The growth in the number of benefit security holders and net assets is an affirmation of the sound management and financial stability of the association. On that premise the knight’s investment is in the association is said to be secured. In 1958 the association started with just a capital of PHP32, 000 which was contributed by 64 member knights. In 2015 this has grown up to PHP 13.36 billion insurance in force, and the association’s total amount of resources is now worth PHP 4.86 billion. For 2015, maturities paid amounted to PHP 203 million, and death claim paid amounted to PHP 106.7 million. The association also posted a PHP 70.2 million excess of revenue over expenses before participation to benefit certificate or insurance policy holders. KCFAPI is the only mutual benefit association in the Philippines with an ISO Certified Quality System under the standards of ISO 9001:2008.                                                                   

A brother knight is guided with the principle of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism and with its motto “In service to one, in service to all” as he carries out his activities in the order. Joining the order, he serves his church, his community and his country by voluntarily and selflessly giving his time, effort and material resources without expecting something in return. He does it because of his devotion and inspiration to follow Jesus Christ. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Aloe Vera, a Wonder Plant in Your Garden

Originally from Africa, Aloe Vera is a succulent cactus like plant that is now cultivated in many regions of the world. It has lance like leaves with spiny margins. Inside the leaf is a jelly like substance or gel that is 99% water with the remaining 1% substance containing minerals, vitamins, amino acids and enzymes. In the skin is yellowish color latex which has also some healing properties. Usually, Aloe Vera is grown as a decorative plant or as herbal medicine. It is commercially grown as food additives or as ingredients in cosmetics products such as shaving cream, shampoos, soaps and tissues because of its soothing, emollient and moisturizing properties.     

As topical herbal medicine, the plant is used as a relief or cure especially of skin disorders such as dandruff, acne, warts, wrinkles, gum disease, genital herpes and even psoriasis. It is also administered to reverse sign of aging skin, to brighten skin and to enhance hair growth. The gel substance is harmful to bacteria, virus, and fungi, and promotes cell growth and regeneration.

The juice of an Aloe Vera leaf can be taken orally by way of adding it as ingredients of foods such as yogurts, beverages and some desserts to boost the immune system, to control blood sugar level and to improve blood circulation. At certain doses, when ingested, Aloe Vera can cause abdominal cramp and diarrhea which in turn decreases the body’s ability to absorb prescribed drugs.                                                                                                                                                                     A person should however consult his doctor should he use the plant or part of it as a medicine. A doctor’s advice on health care should prevail over what one has researched from the internet or heard through word of mouth. Side effects of taking conventional medications as well as herbal remedies and how long they should be administered should be taken into consideration if a person is to deal with a health issue. And the right person to give him the best information or recommendation is his doctor.

A single leaf of Aloe Vera that is applied topically can be used for as long as three days if it is placed in a refrigerator. The leaf contains gel that has lots of liquid so that a cut small piece of it can be rubbed to many areas of an affected skin.  

Extracts of Aloe Vera are being sold commercially online. But the best way to get Aloe Vera gel is to grow the plant in your own garden. Aloe Vera can be grown without much care and attention because it is resistant to pests and insects. It can be propagated by separating its offsets by cutting them off with a knife. It is better to grow the new plants on the ground than in the pots because pots restrict their ability to reproduce or develop bigger leaves.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City

A piece of Philippine History is kept in Barangay Talisay, Dapitan City where Dr. Jose Rizal, the national hero, before his execution, spent the last remaining years of his life from  July 17, 1892 to July 31, 1896 as an exile.  He was accused of fomenting a revolution during the twilight years of the Spanish colonial regime. A person’s visit to the shrine is like taking a journey back in time to that historic era. It also gives him a glimpse on how Rizal and the people around him lived their life in a remote, far flung rural town in the Philippines at that time.                                                                                                                                                  
Winning a lottery shortly after his arrival in Dapitan, Rizal purchased 16 hectares of land. Out of his 4,000 pesos winnings he built sheltering structures, developed a farm, put up a school for boys, and practiced medicine and even treated poor local patients for free. In 1897 after Rizal was executed his properties were confiscated by the Spanish authorities as an indemnity to the state and transferred their custody to Don Cosme Borromeo. The site was converted into a local park in 1913. After the Philippine independence from the United States, the government expanded the area to 439 hectares with a buffer zone of 15 hectares. The land covering the Rizal Shrine is a government protected area.   
The shrine is located along a bay

Rizal Shrine occupies a terrain with hills and high grounds along a bay. Near the gate or park’s entrance is the almost operational museum. When fully completed, it will house memorabilia such as Rizal’s clothing, books and other personal belongings that will be available for view to the public.  In the park are paved walkways and lampposts and trees, some of them especially those in the hilly grounds are said to be more than a century old.  Near the shore is a large rock which is called “Mi Retiro Rock”. It is also called “Lover’s Rock”. It is there that Rizal wrote some of his works such as “Mi Retiro” and “Himno Talisay”. The rock was also a place where Rizal and Josephine Bracken, his lover, often spent time together relishing their loving moments and enjoying the breath of fresh air from the sea and watching the beautiful sunset in the bay.

The museum

the "Lover's Rock"

A view of the bay from the rock
A replica of the house of Rizal is faithfully reconstructed right on its original site on a foot of a hill. It is made of the same indigenous materials such as bamboo, cogon grass, rattan and hardwoods on which the original house was built of. It has pyramid-shaped thatched roofing of cogon grass. The walls are made of bamboo and the floorings are of woods. Timbers as pillars and wooden posts beneath the floor support the weight of the house.  The house has verandas on each three sides. The one facing the front also serves as the dining place where a dining table and chairs are set. The house can be accessed on either of the two short stairs that lead to a veranda. Inside the house are the living room and the only bed room. A covered bridge-like structure connects a veranda to the comfort room. Aside from Rizal, the house also accommodated Doña Josefa, Rizal’s mother, his sisters, some of his relatives and Josephine Bracken when they came to visit Rizal in Dapitan.

The comfort room

Inside the house is furniture of Spanish colonial era design which is made of indigenous hardwoods. In the living room are chairs and a center table. The seat of the chairs and the top of the table are made of woven rattan that is attached to the wooden frames. There are two chests in the sides of the wall. Outside the only room is an empty book shelf, a wooden wall mounted hooks, a work table and chair and a set of two chairs with a small round table.

In the bedroom is a double sized four poster bed with mattress and white curtains around it. By the bed is a chest and a chair in the corner of the room. There is a cabinet with a mirror on one of its doors and a dresser with a small mirror on top. A chair with a raised seat pairs the dresser.

The cottage for the kitchen is outside the house. There is a stove and the kitchen utensils composed of pots and pans that are made of clay. A pipe of bamboo is reached to the sink.

Aside from the casa residencia, or the residential house, faithful replicas of the original structures which Rizal built are also reconstructed. There is the casitas de salud, a pair of two huts, one for male and the other for female that served as a dormitory for out of town patients. There is the casa redonda or round house. This cottage on stilt is not round but rather octagonal in shape.  It was there that Rizal conducted an eye surgery on George Taufer, the adoptive father of Josephine Bracken and on Doña Josefa, his mother. There is the Casa cuadrada or square house which was built as a workshop and secondary dormitory for Rizal’s students. And there is the chicken coop or hen house which perched on a slope near Rizal’s house.

Casitas de Salud
Casa Redonda

Casa Cuadrada
Chicken house