I’ve been here in Los Baños, Laguna for more than a year now. My son’s in daycare already and he is growing up real fast. He’s now a certified toddler. Always opens the ref to find his goodies. Always somewhere looking for something or hiding them. One time, he hid the remote control of the TV. Oh my, it took a while for us to find it. Here is my little boy now:

He’s turning three next year. Right now, he already knows his alphabet and counting from 1-10 (although he skips some nums at times). His dad teaches him to read stuff like C-R-V, G-L-S, G-L-X (the car enthusiast in my dear hubby shows).

Since we live near a lot of resorts and swimming pools, we’ve made it a habit to go swimming. Let me rephrase that, they go swimming and I just go dipping. Hahaha. I’ve got to tell you, I don’t know what kind of childhood I had. I never learned to swim or bike.

For now, here’s a photo i took last week (here in UPLB):

And my photos with friends etc:

I have been scoping for the perfect subcompact car for almost a month now. Our room is now filled with car magazines such as C! and TopGear and I also get swamped by printouts of reviews of different cars (courtesy of hubby). I’ve been watching motoring shows too.

Basically, the search has trimmed down the choices to: (a) Toyota Yaris, (b) Honda Jazz, and interestingly (c) Hyundai i10 1.2L. Although the Hyundai i10 has not been rated by C! yet, the Yaris and Jazz are on the 8-9 out of 10. It’s good enough because only the Ferraris and other high-end cars usually get a 10. In the latest issue, though, you’d see that the Mitsubishi Lancer GT surprisingly inched its way to a 10/10 too. If you wanna know why, then grab a copy of C! in the latest news stands.

Subcompacts nowadays are very appealing to car buyers because they’re economical and environment-friendly, with only so much of carbon emissions. This is a sure come-on for a staunch environment advocate as myself. I wouldn’t dwell on the Yaris and Jazz, since the two have clearly etched a sturdy name for themselves in the market. Toyota and Honda are at the forefront of automobile manufacturing business. Thus, Yaris and Jazz as choices need no justification. So, allow me to walk you through the less popular (but ever building its reputation) Hyundai i10, with 1.1L and 1.2L variants. Let’s focus on the 1.2L.

Price-wise, the Hyundai i10 1.2L is an absolute winner, which will only costs 578,000 pesos, roughly 12,844 USD. Neat. By the way, the 1.2L variant is arriving on October 16 here in the Philippines. In India, the i10 was released in October 2007 and in just a few months after its release, it has already garnered the following awards:

  • • Business Standard Motoring, December 29, 2007
    • - Car of the Year 2008
  • • CNBC-Auto Car, January 9, 2008
    • - Car of the Year 2008
    • - Best Compact Car 2008
  • • NDTV-Car India, January 10, 2008
    • - Car of the Year 2008
    • - Small Car of the Year 2008
  • • Overdrive, January 11, 2008
    • - Car of the Year 2008
    • - Viewer’s Choice award
  • • iCOTY (India Car of the Year), February, 2008
    • - Car of the Year 2008


From Hyundai Blog “Hyundai is adding a 1.2-litre engine to its i10 city car line-up. This four-cylinder engine is quicker and more refined than the 1.1, which continues, but is just as economical: it returns 56.5mpg and emits just 119g/km of carbon dioxide, keeping it in tax band B (£35 a year).” Following the India launch, the i10 debuted in Europe in the Bologna Motor Show and crash tests in Europe have given Hyundai i10 a 4 out of 5 stars.

Guess I’ll have to wait for December for the hottest promos. Thanks to car companies that need to up their annual sales. Learn more about the i10. More here.

Update: 

Btw, Honda Accord also got a 10/10. The more expensive variant. :)

It’s been a while.. Will be blogging again soon. Woohoo! :)

The tagline is in Filipino. Its rough translation is “Make vegetables a part of life.” Well, I think that’s what they were trying to relay to the public.

The new endorser of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is Alyssa Milano, best known for starring in the popular TV series titled Charmed.

In this ad, Milano flaunts a gown made from vegetables (I wonder what theydo with those veggies after the shoot).

Aside from being a supporter of PETA, Milano is also a national ambassador for United Nations Children’s Fund and founding ambassador for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases.

I have always wanted to pursue my higher degree at Harvard. As a young girl, this was my biggest dream (probably because I grew up with a dad who never failed to stress on the importance of education). But after reading the recent top colleges, I am torn between Princeton (who topped the America’s Best Colleges list in eight straight years) and Harvard (for obvious reasons). Allow me to dream. It’s free!

Well, I really do have plans of armoring myself with a tougher dose of communication and development economics theories. When? Some time in the next five years. Where? I really don’t know where my aptitude will take me. All I know is that I want to be more equipped to pursue my passions in life, helping alleviate poverty is among them.

I have no qualms living in a third world country except that it pains me to see wasted talent, genius, and ambition in people. I have met a lot of people who I think would have made it big had they only gotten a good education. I know, it’s a multi-faceted problem, but we’re snailing our way to solving it.

Well, I don’t know where I’d be in a few years. All I know is that I want to make a difference for my country in my own little way.

According to Microsoft, the July 7, 2007 Live Earth concerts streaming on MSN.com made history with more than 8 million people watching over 15 million streams, with peak simultaneous viewership of 237,000 people.

The company claims that, to date, more than 30 million people witnessed some portion of the event online. The peak simultaneous viewership was during Madonna’s performance in London.

Live Earth television ratings, on the contrary, did not fair so well. Nielsen Media Research reported that only 2.7 million people watched the event last Saturday and was ‘least watched’ compared to other shows aired opposite it: ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos, CBS’ 48 Hours Mystery, and Fox’s America’s Most Wanted.

Here are some videos from Live Earth 2007:

Madonna - Hey you


John Mayer - (Not) Waiting on the world to change


The Police - Message in a Bottle


Shakira - Hips don’t lie

SM, the largest mall chain in the country, in partnership with Unilever has started with an initiative to make shopping an environmental experience through the Green Bag. I am actually pleased with this move. I’ve been longing for this to happen.

But what I really want to say is that I want one. I shop at SM every week but always forget to claim my green bag. I hope I won’t forget it this week. Oh well, look at the picture above. I wonder why those girls look unhappy.

They might like it better if they sport Keira Knightley’s bag.

Anyway, to those who claimed their bags already, please use them as intended. Use them when buying groceries and not for other purpose. Remember that the purpose of that bag is to cut down the use of plastics. That’s all for now!

Photo credits: http://greenphils.com/

This list was released by Spinner.Com. It’s just odd, though, that most of these bands were not in the Live Earth Concert.

1 Ditty Bops: Touring by Bike

To promote their 2006 album ‘Moon Over the Freeway,’ the female folk duo went beyond using eco-friendly biodiesel by giving up fuel altogether and touring the U.S. on bicycles. In support of clean air, the Ditty Bops biked 4,700 miles, playing shows along the way. The journey did not come without its hardships, however, including what the band described as “diaper-rash sore ass.”

2

Jack Johnson: Green Label

Lights are rarely turned on at Johnson’s own Brushfire Records office building, thanks to skylights and windows. In fact, the entire building is eco-friendly, with solar panels on the roof, shredded old jeans as wall insulation and installed low-flow toilets. Plus, they print CD covers on recycled paper and are trying to get their distributor, Universal, to use soy-based ink and biodegradable shrink wrap on all CDs. And in Johnson’s ongoing efforts to help save the environment well into the future, he co-founded an environmental education program in his native Hawaii

3

Pearl Jam: Curbing Carbon

Pearl Jam know their massive tours burn up the Earth’s resources, and they’re doing all they can to make up for it. The band has donated thousands of dollars to nine different environment-focused organizations in an effort to offset the tons of carbon emitted from its tour buses and stage shows. It’s all part of the “Carbon Portfolio Strategy” they co-founded, which also funds an environmental education center for children, the campaign costs of helping pass eco-friendly legislation and a program to help protect forests near their Seattle home base.

4

Cloud Cult: Earth-Friendly Music

The indie rockers painstakingly ensure each and every CD printed on their own nonprofit record label, Earthology Records, is eco-friendly. They package CDs in recycled jewel cases, each of which is hand-cleaned by the band members themselves. All CD inserts are printed with nontoxic soy inks on recycled paper, and CD shrink wrap is made of nontoxic biodegradable corn cellulose. This is all done on an organic farm, where Earthology’s headquarters are heated entirely with geothermal energy.

5

Sarah Harmer: Keeping It Wild

The Canadian songstress thinks globally and acts locally: Harmer and her band hiked along the Niagara Escarpment — a wild area near the American-Canadian border that includes Niagara Falls — in an effort to save it from commercialization. They performed acoustic concerts along the way to raise awareness for the preservation of the wild lands. Harmer has co-founded an environmental group called PERL (Protecting Escarpment Rural Land) to help protect those and other wild lands from human destruction.

6

Bonnie Raitt: Energy Saver

Raitt is not only an environmental activist, she also goes to great lengths to recognize others dedicated to the cause. As a founding member of Musicians United for Safe Energy, the blues rocker held the 2002 ‘Green Highway’ benefit concert, which aimed to promote alternative energy solutions. Raitt also dedicated a humanitarian award to Julia Butterfly Hill, who sat in a tree for a year to help save the California redwoods. Raitt hiked a mountain trail and then used a pulley system to get up to Hill’s perch and deliver the award.

7

Peter and the Wolf: Touring by Sea

What started off as a means of saving money for the Austin, Texas-based rockers ended up garnering the group major environmental props. Annoyed with high gasoline prices, frontman Red Hunter decided the band should travel the eastern leg of their 2006 summer tour by sea — so they cruised along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in a chartered sailboat. After realizing he was not only saving money but also a lot of clean air, Hunter became a spokesman promoting awareness for America’s energy crisis.

8

Neil Young: Veggie-Fueled Touring

The rock ‘n’ roll veteran helped pioneer the now-popular practice of fueling tour buses with biodiesel. When promoting his 2004 film and album, both titled ‘Greendale,’ Young traveled with a caravan of 17 diesel vehicles, all of which ran on a mixture of soybean and vegetable oil. The biodiesel fuel emits about 75 percent less pollution than regular diesel fuel. Others who’ve followed in Young’s Earth-friendly footsteps with their own biodiesel-fueled tours include KT Tunstall, the Indigo Girls and Keith Urban, just to name a few.

9

Orbital: Recording by Sunshine

The British techno duo recorded its 1996 hit ‘The Girl With the Sun in Her Head’ using electricity from a Greenpeace solar-power generator. They also sneaked environmental commentary into several songs, including the track ‘Forever,’ which has a sample of a speech by actor Graham Crowden regarding man’s destructive disregard for the environment.

10

Dave Matthews Band: Pedal Pushers

Global warming is on the forefront of Matthews’ mind, as he is committed to retracing any environmentally harmful footsteps he’s taken … and helping others do the same. As part of their hometown of Charlottesville, Va.’s Community Yellow Bicycles Program, Dave Matthews Band members helped scatter free bikes around town to promote eco-friendly traveling. They’ve also teamed with NativeEnergy and Clean Air-Cool Planet to offset 100 percent of the carbon dioxide pollution DMB’s touring has caused since 1991.

I commute everyday on my way to the office. I believe that in that way, I help the environment repair itself. I have nothing against people who take their cars to work. But they do have an option to make the most out of the carbon emissions they contribute.

What do I mean? My past boss in the Energy and Clean Air Project (ECAP) is a good example. He encourages carpooling and I was one of the three people who benefited from that. We live around the same area. But I guess, what I really appreciate most there is the environmental side to it. Imagine if all people drove a car. One person per car is one of the most destructive things I could imagine.

Last week, I read about a planned effort of Beijing government to ban 1 million cars from August 7-20 “as a test-run to ensure clean air at next year’s Olympics.”

Beijing, one of the most polluted capitals in the world, was said to have pollution levels that cause around 400,000 premature deaths in a year.

Beijing has spent around 15 billion dollars on a massive pollution clean-up in the run-up to the Olympics, according to city officials, but air quality remains a key concern.

Despite assurances from the Chinese government, International Olympic Committee leaders have expressed deep concern about the problem and demanded “contingency measures” to contain the pollution threat. AFP

The 2008 Olympics will be held on August 8-24, 2007.

On a similar note, I would like to share that the electric jeepney has been launched here in the Philippines. Superbong reports…

Have a clean air day! Breathe free and have a longer life. Don’t let the smoke get in your eyes.

A pumping malfunction from the Coffeyville Resources refinery last weekend caused more than 40,000 gallons of crude oil to overflow, causing panic and concern from the local leaders and residents.

Kansas got a break from the weather Monday, but more rain was scattered over Texas and eastern Oklahoma, the latest in nearly two weeks of storms. It was the 20th straight day that rain had fallen in Oklahoma City. AP

The flood created great damage in the people’s homes and properties. With the oil spill, the problem becomes a bigger one as people worry about their safety and health, as well as the ill effects this might cause the environment.

“We’re very concerned. It’s chemicals mixed with water,” said Coffeyville Mayor Virgil Horn, whose own home was submerged. AP

Thousands have been evacuated from their homes and are now waiting for the recede while President Bush “declared a major disaster in Kansas and ordered federal aid for recovery efforts elated to storms and flooding that began June 26.”

Eleven people have been reported dead and two are missing.

Some photos:

FYI: It had been raining in Kansas for 20 days straight.

Read the full article here.

A related article.

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