Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bukidnon: Home of the Del Monte Farm

Have you ever imagined how big one hectare is? Well I never really did care how big that was until I was told about Del Monte's farm in Bukidnon. The province of Bukidnon is home to Del Monte Philippines' 20,000 Hectare farm! What??? 20,000 hectares??? Now how big is that? I heard it span more than 5 municipalities and a lot more barangays. As I looked at the farm, all that my eyes could see were pineapples and mountains and like a famous line in a movie "abot ng iyong mga mata...ay lupain ko!'

The farm is a P 40 jeepney ride from Cagayan de Oro City or a P 800 taxi ride from the CDO Airport. At the heart of the farm are camps that house most of their employees. Camp Philipps, Camp Crawford and Camp Fortich. I was told that a the full cycle of a pineapple is 18 months for it to become fully ripe. What??18 months - Now that's a long time. So I asked when do farmers harvest these pineapples? EVERYDAY!!! What??? I've run out of whats and was truly amazed that a world class farm exists in our country. They harvest 2000 Tons everyday and plant pineapples everyday. The climate is quite perfect as my new friend Belle said, since most of the time it rains there which gives del monte the needed savings by not watering the pineapples anymore. One thing that I failed to visit was the farm in which they kept their cows that ate pineapples. Now that's something worth eating I said.

I was really happy my friend Jerome Buhay invited me to join his group LEAD which facilitated the team building activities of the Del Monte group. I told myself, next time I am in Cagayan, I will definitely pass by again to taste their steaks. For now, seeing the farm was enough to keep me in high spirits. Just wait for the return of the comeback of Mhel G. to del Monte land.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

STI Pre-School Students

The STI Sta. Mesa Pre-School Students withe their rendition of "One More Gift" which served as the Invocation Hymn of the STI Network Graduation last April 25, 2008 at the Convenarium of Crossroads 77.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Starting them young

Kids are always fun to watch. Last February I experimented by inviting STI Pre-school students to do an interpretative interpretation of our invocation hymn. Lo and behold it was a huge hit. Imagine the sight of 12 kids aged 4 and 5 singing the Lord's prayer. Tomorrow they will be performing the song "One More Gift" at the STI Graduation Ceremonies. It is quite a sight to see these kids who are pre schoolers from the STI Prep School in Sta. Mesa. Yes, STI has a Pre school and it is in already 10 branches nationwide. These studes are called to duty even during their summer break just for the sake of STI. Well just wait for the video when i have a copy i will post it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Forbidden Kingdom:

Ever since the first time I laid eyes on Jacky Chan (now spelled Jackie) in the movie "Snake in the Eagle's shadow" I made it a point to have time to watch his movies. I have lost count on how many movies he made and how many I watched also. The Forbidden Kingdom has the same plot that most Chinese martial arts movies have - Master teaches student and student defeats the evil enemy. A classic case of good triumphs over evil.

To give a certain twist to that plot, a Chinese fantasy movie is somehow quite different. The two masters, Lu Yan (JC) the drunken master and the Silent Monk (JL), together with "vengeance is mine" Golden Sparrow (Liu Yifei) teach Jason (Michael Angarano) who plays "the chosen one." Jason's mission is to return a magical fighting stick to the Monkey King (also portrayed by Jet Li) who is encapsulated into stone by the evil Jade warlord. (Collin Chou)

I know that there is a big following of both Jackie and Jet here in the country. Both martial arts artists revolutionalized the Martial Arts scene and every movie they make climaxes with one of a kind fight scenes. Quite impressive was the "mano a mano" confrontation of the two stars and their fight scene is a thing of beauty.

My question is why only now? After seeing this movie I made a conclusion that the future of basketball in China will be promising if Jet Li trains these athletes to fly. Imagine a 7-6 Yao Ming flying to the basket for a dunk! Well, that is what Chinese Folklore is all about - fantastic fantasy!

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Thursday, April 17, 2008


Whenever I go up to Tagaytay i see to it that I pass by one of my few discoveries - JARDINEROS FOOD STATION. Located on the way to Tagaytay if you took the Sta. Rosa exit, Jardineros is the home of Mesclun. Mesclun is a salad mix of assorted small, young salad leaves. The mix varies depending on the source but it includes my favorite - the lettuce! Besides leaf lettuces it is also a mix of herbs and tender greens. The name comes from Provencal (Southern France) - mescla, "to mix" - and literally means mixture.

Bottomline, every once in a while its so nice to go green since the lettuce comes with yummy dressings that can rival the best of hotel salad dressings. I myself bought one kilo of lettuce and two salad dressings so that I can satisfy my urge to eat freshly picked soiled up organic salad. Oops, I got to wash it first and dip it with my favorite dressing - Papaya. Go satisfy your urge at Jardineros I am sure that it will make you wannabe a vegetarian!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


The town of Agoncillo in Batangas is a long 120 km ride south of Manila, a two hour drive via the scenic route of Tagaytay Ridge and R. Diokno Highway It is 32 km away from Batangas City, the provincial capital. Bounded in the east by approximately 10 km lakeshore of Taal Lake, in the south by the municipality of San Nicolas, separated by Pansipit on the west by the municipality of Lemery and on the north by the municipality of Laurel. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 26,584 people in 5,029 households. That was the route I took to host a wedding reception. Come to think of it, i've turned down numerous emceeings the past four months and I myself am wondering why i said yes. The only logical reason is I missed emceeing weddings and I loved driving alone coz it helps me reconnect to myself. Like what i told my friend, once i commit i'll be there. The only thing that will prevent me from doing so is a drastic change of sked because of my day job. This was the first time I hosted a wedding that I never really did meet the wedding coordinator nor the bride and groom. I was just sent a program and a map then a short explanation of the program when I arrived. I was told that I came highly recommended and i was quite happy everything turned out okay. The newlyweds were happy to have me. While chatting with the other suppliers who were there, Red Santos who was the official photographer asked me, "how long have you been doing this?" Then I suddenly realized, OMG its been 15 years since the first Wedding I emceed! I never really realized that I have mastered a craft that some people are hesitant to do. The best part is that at the end of the job you get paid for doing something you enjoy doing. That's why going back to manila I took several side trips to enjoy Tagaytay and also take my sweet time going home. The past 15 years i have been emceeing weddings while the past 18 had me play music to friends who got married. Next Stop, the wedding photographer!


Starring: Eric Bana, Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johanson

For those who love to follow the history of England then this is a movie worth watching. The story evolved around King Henry VIII and his involvement with Anne and Sarah Boleyn. Back then a male heir to the throne was very important and Queen Catherine was not able to bear the king a male heir. This was the opportunity that the family of Sir Thomas Boleyn was looking for.Sir Thomas sacrificed the members of his family to win favour from King Henry VIII, He garnered honours by letting the King dally with his elder daughter Mary, then marry his younger daughter Anne. Natalie Portman showed another facet of her acting from sweet lady to a seducer and into a woman who is out of control. Scarlett Johanson's acting was adequate while Eric Bana is just the same as his previous movies. I almost thought he would turn green when he got mad! Since its English history and a true story then its something worth watching. Unfortunately some scenes seem to be boring. The problem with movies that date to the middle ages is that its mostly shot in the dark. That usually translates to boring parts of the movie. But then again if knowing full well what happened in that era is your concern then for sure its okay. Sometimes its so hard to watch movies in that era that has no war component in it.

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