When tourists go to the Philippines, they usually seek the manicured lawns of golf courses and the powder white sands of beach resorts. Here’s the other side of the story.

like a rolling stone

I write this not for my activist friends who are already partisan, but for my other friends and possible readers who may not be sympathetic to the plight of the Silverio Compound residents that faced off with the police in today’s violent demolition.

I just came from the Silverio compound with Rep. Satur Ocampo, Rep. Paeng Mariano and a contingent of lawyers, doctors, human rights advocates, students and church people to investigate the violent incident which led to the death of at least one person and caused injury to scores. When we arrived there, we learned that 33 had been arrested and detained during the police operations. Eight of those arrested were minors, 2 were women.

I am not well-versed with the legal issues and history of the dispute between the residents and the city government but surely the residents were convinced that they had to stand their ground and…

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Information Sharing on Primates

We started a Facebook sharing page, Resource Center for Philippine Primates, to gather information on primate conservation, ecology, and biology. The links posted will strive to share more about the primate species in the Philippines, long-tailed macaques and Philippine tarsiers, but will also include any interesting trivia that we can gather from the internet and academic journals. If you wish to know more about primates, please click below and like the page:

Resource Center for Philippine Primates

Thanks a lot for joining!

30-minute limit proposed for whale shark watching

News update regarding whale shark watching in Oslob from Cebu Daily News:

Cebu Daily News

A 1 p.m. curfew and a 30-minute time limit on whale shark watching in Oslob town, Cebu, are among several guidelines proposed by a technical working group (TWG) led by the Provincial Capitol.

The time limit will prevent stressing the marine animals, who have been getting intense public attention from tourists and local visitors since August last year.

The group headed by Provincial Board (PB) member Peter John Calderon said they will meet before month’s end to finalize the draft guidelines.

The TWG is composed of Oslob Mayor Ronald Guaren, PB member Wilfredo Caminero, the Whale Shark Watchers Organization, Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Rose Marie Vincoy and Provincial Legal Officer lawyer Marino Martinquilla.

Under an Oslob municipal ordinance, only an accredited group will be allowed to ferry tourists to the site where the whale sharks gather.

A designated whale shark watching area was also in place with buoys within the municipal…

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Sharing Notes

Here is a bulletpoint note on two articles about Islam from my class on Anthropology of Religion. My professor, the deceased Dr. Harold Olofson, assigned me to discuss these two classic anthropology articles on the subject back in my undergraduate days. While many papers have been written on the subject since, I think it is always nice to visit important articles so that we can have a long-view, a historical perspective, of the current discussion on Islam, anthropology, and religion. I also hope this helps student researchers get a quick read for their assignments or use it as a note for class discussion.

1982. “The Study of Islam in Local Contexts,” Contributions to Asian Studies 17: 1-16

1976. “The Generation of an Incipient Ethnic Split: A Hausa Case,” Anthropos vol. 71, #5-6, pp. 857-867.

To access the notes, please click here.

on the way to collecting behavioral data

The skies in the southeast coast of Puerto Rico were burning red this morning as the sun showed a hint of itself across the horizon. While the surrounding was as yet dark and the grasses covered with fog, the familiar bluish tinge of the skies started appearing when the sun’s rays, in full reddish regalia, marched on towards its westerly course.

From where I was standing, right by a sandy beach, the sun began its slow ascent from the Caribbean sea, changing the surroundings from grey to orange to pink. The palm trees that lined the coast were silhouettes, assuming form and color only as the rays touched them.

The breeze, a gentle blow from the seas, was of the hue as the sun commanded it. It was today that I could say I breathed color. A stray dog, Tigger, accompanied me to witness earth’s transformation.

At the farthest end of the dock, a group of men cast their fishing lines to the seas. Their fishing poles, fastened at the wooden fence, stood at attention by the edge of this dock. In a little while, the poles will bend seaward to a familiar tug that the fishers are waiting for.

From afar, a solitary yacht sliced through the glassy sea. A few minutes earlier, a couple of yachts anchored near the island of Cayo Santiago. The white-haired captain of the smaller yacht, busy with tying the ropes by the fairlead, glanced momentarily then waved at our passing boat.

Disturbed by my ruminations, two pelicans flew and roosted on a nearby boat wreck. My eyes stopped following them and I started the first focal observation of the day.