As catty as they get

Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods. — Christopher Hitchens

My friend Kabsat Kandu is not impressed with Hitchens’ insight. He cites a pithier one by Winston Churchill: “Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”

“That’s why,” Kandu says, “I’d rather take care of my pigs, which bring me extra income, rather than cats, which steal food from my kitchen.”

Feral cat
A feral cat roaming the slopes below a Baguio ridge. I tried to tame it with food bait for several months, without success. But that's ok. Cats have the right to self-determination too.

Continue reading “As catty as they get”

Schools must have gardening programs for kids

In sixth grade, one of my favorite teachers Mr. Serapion Metilla introduced us to serious gardening. I became the president of the school’s garden club, and with him as adviser, we became weekend gardeners complete with a large greenhouse, a complete toolshed, and a corps of young and enthusiastic volunteers.

IRAIA thoughts
IRAIA thoughts

Mr. Metilla (who lived nearby in a mini-tropical forest environment, a stone’s throw away from the Sacred Heart parish church) supplied us with all the plant stocks, seedlings, and garden lore we needed. On weekends, we combined our garden work with Scout activities (since he was also the scoutmaster), including occasional overnight camp-outs on the school grounds. This further increased our volunteer force and hours. Continue reading “Schools must have gardening programs for kids”

The secrets of Nagsasa Cove

Let me get straight to the point by sharing what I learned during a short stay at Nagsasa Cove in San Antonio, Zambales.

I won’t bore you with the usual mundane matters that you can Google from travelogues, such as how to get there, what’s so great about it, how to best enjoy your stay, what not to expect, and so on. Instead, I’ll tell you some interesting stories about Nagsasa, presented in Top-Ten style.

SECRETS TO DIVULGE. Every beach has a long and complex story to tell, and secrets to divulge, if only we become more observant and listen more closely. This small clump of growing coral, stranded on the beach, shows the paradox of fragility and resiliency tied up like yin and yang in every ecosystem.

So, without much ado, here goes: “Ten things you might not know about Nagsasa because you were so busy enjoying the beach, the scenery and the food.” Continue reading “The secrets of Nagsasa Cove”