Life on Earth is connected to the ocean and its inhabitants. It is a must to get acquainted with matters concerning this vital system, thus the urge to ensure that its health is not endangered is ever-present in us which could then be shared to others and inspiring them to be responsible marine-life loving people.
Welcome to Davao! Life here would be alluring to any visitor.[Note: All the pics provided exclusively belong to the author.I came to Davao not just to see the place but on official business trip straight from the sun-baked deserts of Oman where I am based. Thus, I chanced upon this opportunity to explore this majestic region that I last visited about 3 decades ago or so. Davao City is among the largest cities in the world with a sprawling land area of 244,000 hectares. It is the premier city and hub of the south side of the Philippines known for its bustling economic activities, diverse population, urban build-up and modern amenities. It is considered as the most important economy in the island and the third most important urban center in the Philippines. The city is known to many as a destination offering a unique combination of various eco adventures in the midst of a modern, urban landscape characterized by a flourishing business and tourism environment.
Davao is also seen and considered as a retirement haven for people seeking a slower pace of life, due to its relaxed atmosphere, low cost of living, and numerous recreational options.I have learned that the city has a very low crime rate in the country.Even with a population of over 1.3 million and an urban density estimated at 2,400 persons per square kilometer, Davao City’s crime rate still remains among the lowest in the country. This has earned for Davao City the distinction as the Most Peaceful City in the East and Southeast Asia for a number of years already.
Davao City is said to be one favorite place of a growing global community of expats of various nationalities aside from other tribes from within the country.
GREENFIELDS OF PROSPERITY.
As one of my primary targets, the fruit export business in Davao City sit well with our planned business activity to market cavendish banana in the Middle East in partnership with my Omani sponsor. The abundance of fruits in Davao is truly a wonder to any would be visitor and businessman as there are a lot of suppliers and growers and lots of fruit stalls as well. The Bankerohan Fruit Market is crowded with buyers on a daily basis.So, if you happen to go to Davao, there are so many fruits to choose from – you’ll enjoy the freshest and highest quality agricultural produce. It is up for grabs both for the locals and for domestic and foreign markets. It exports large volumes of banana, pineapple, orchids, and tuna.Its pomelo, durian, and mangosteen are sought-after by many, yet these remain affordable and accessible to the locals on a daily basis.Davao is the biggest supplier of Banana in the Middle East Market based on the latest stats.
Davao City is blessed with abundant fresh drinking water from both ground and surface sources. Mount Apo serves as there charge point and the areas at the foot of the mountain contain large reservoirs, the biggest of which is the Calinan, Toril and Talomo Triangle.
One can have a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Live a wholesome and healthy lifestyle in Davao City! The city pioneered the regulation of smoking in public places in the Philippines that gave birth to the National Anti-Smoking Law. Davao City has been a recipient of the prestigious Red Orchid Award of the Department of Health in 2010 and 2011 during the World No Tobacco Day. It has tough policies against dangerous drugs, violence against women and children (including prostitution and human trafficking), and environmental pollution. It has addressed the concern over aerial spraying in large plantations and banned the use of firecrackers and similar pyrotechnics. It leads in the conservation of endangered species such as the country’s national bird, the Philippine Eagle, as well as the protection of the city’s watershed, coastal areas, rivers and gulf. Davao City boasts of having one of the most progressive and comprehensive reproductive health program in the world.
Davao City is the only Asian city that has an integrated emergency response system similar to that of the United States and Canada, the difference being that in Davao City , the service is absolutely for free and totally subsidized by the local government. Central 911 responds to all kinds of emergencies : medical, fire, police assistance, natural or man-made disaster. The Davao City Disaster Coordinating Council has been cited as the best prepared disaster coordinating council in the country.A favorite destination for study tours, Davao City is regarded as a model for other cities in the country.
A major Destination in the East Asian Region.
Davao City has been cited in Asia for its high livability index, where residents can easily switch between fast-paced business transactions and soothing relaxation options. It is considered a major tourist destination in the East Asian region with an increasing number of international visitors since the 1990s.
The designation of the Tagurano-Catigan-Eden Tourism Development Zone as the Mountain Resort and Agro-Tourism Capital of Southern Mindanao illustrates determined efforts leading to the desirable transformation of the city as the Summer Capital of the Philippine South. Additionally, the presence of world-class beach resorts both in the city and on nearby Samal Island (30 minutes away by boat ride) has allowed Davao to offer a complete tourism package for all visitors.
Davao City is the hub of commerce and industry in the Southern Mindanao region.
Harvests are bountiful in Davao City. The cultivation and propagation of natural resources dominate the economic landscape of the region as the city is surrounded by many different plantations and stock farms supplying both local andexport markets. With the richness of agribusiness opportunities in and aroundthe city, it’s no wonder that Davao City is considered the Food Basket of the Philippines.
Davao City is Business-Friendly.
Surveys and evaluations on the best places for business have always cited Davao as among the best performers. These include distinctions as being the Top 10 Asian Cities of the Future by the FDI magazine of The Financial Times, the Most Competitive Metro City in the Philippines with the Best Quality of Life by the Asian Institute of Management and a long list of numerous recognitions and distinctions as the city has received in the recent years. All these are proof of the continuous and decisive strides in making Davao City a home for many productive ventures and endeavors. Continue reading Greenfields of Prosperity→
Every once in a while, life offers something new, unique, extraordinary with a flare of rarity that few could ever come to grasp or comprehend and with the change of, or advancement in applied science and technology thru research, many in today’s presently changing world of new ideas, inventions, medical and technological innovations as for instance births of new human offsprings can bringst forth not just a single baby born but could end up 8, 9 , 12 or so babies with the use of fertility drugs. Same is true in plants and many agriculturists are going as far as producing hybrid types and trying genetical modifications to produce the desired output. Also rice have experienced revolutionary ways to produce yields in much different more advanced methods to produce higher yields than what used to be just normal. Scientists have to reinvent the rice plant again in order to keep up with the still rapidly growing population. The newest techniques in biotechnology and genetic engineering employed by scientists involves the transfer of the genes from one rice plant directly into the cells of another, reducing breeding time and allow for the transfer of specific traits. Instead of crossbreeding plants by hand in the field, scientists are now able to make finite genetic changes to plant embryos in test tubes, virtually ensuring the success of the transfer. This blog talks about one such ordinary variety of banana that was grown without the aid of genetically infused growth and many agriculturists are perplexed at how this banana tree bore fruit more than what is usually produced per bundle. In a remote village in the north of the Philippines in the City of San Fernando, which happens to be the ancestral place of my grandparents, a banana tree was found to have bore a 9-ft. bundle of fruit. Which gives us the intriguing imagination of the huge economic windfall to be derived should the genes of the banana fruit be extracted and re-grown en-mass and re-planted. This banana just sprang out naturally and it was a case of genetic accident which is rare and should thus be preserved and multiplied to benefit more people globally.
Boundless grasses over the plain Come and go with every season;Wildfire never quite consumes them — They are tall once more in the spring wind. Sweet they press on the old high- road And reach the crumbling city-gate…. O Prince of Friends, you are gone again…. I hear them sighing after you.
This poem writen by chinese poet Bai Juyi of the Tang dynasty era was beautifully written to depict man’s continuous and unavoidable exposure to the sights of grass everywhere they go. This monocot plant that we sometimes treat as eyesores jot the roadways, canals, farmfields, slopes, the mountain sides,pathways,etc. then finally ends up being snubbed or taken for granted.
As a child growing up, it was part of our household chore to help mow down the lawn in our front and backyards or trim the overgrown weeds in some pathways beyond the house.There are quite a number of varieties of grasses which are found to have useful purposes, i.e. for landscape design or well manicured football pitches but then some of the more ordinary varieties end up being cut down and thrown to the garbage or burned. But there ‘s one very useful purpose that can be derived from grasses–they benefit the other surviving creations that live alongside the humans…as food for livestock who loves grazing and roaming the pastures for endless hours.
Grasses are nature’s selection of plants that can tolerate grazing.Grasses can be perennial, living for many seasons, or annual, which means they grow from a seed, ﬂower and die, all in one growing season. Perennial grass plants are vital to the stability of a native pasture and considering their productivity is the most important factor in your grazing planning. After a grass is grazed it needs time to regrow its leaves using energy stored in its roots.
Coolatai grass is a long leaved summer active perennial grass that produces short rhizomes that form dense tussocks.Being drought tolerant,it has the ability to rapidly respond to rain, producing new culms from the tussock base and flowering in a matter of weeks. It is well adapted to fire, with tussocks surviving hot burns. Coolatai grass will readily invade disturbed areas such as roadsides and pastures, forming monocultures and out-competing most other species.
It also has the ability to invade relatively pristine remnant native vegetation, making it a significant threat to the conservation of these areas. In one research in Australia, it has been observed that Coolatai grass invasion results in significant drecreases in native plant diversity and biomass. Coolatai grass presents a dilemma in that it is able to invade relatively undisturbed natural ecosystems, yet can be a resilient productive pasture species if managed correctly. Coolatai grass is also highly tolerant of most herbicides making control on a large scale difficult, particularly where the treatment cost will exceed the productive value of the land. On the other hand, studies have shown that with significant management inputs where Coolatai grass is kept short, it can be a highly productive pasture and meet the feed requirement of dry stock.Both these characteristics give the species the ability to quickly flower and set seed when environmental conditions are favourable.
Research on the viability of annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum) passing through cattle shows that around 12% of seed consumed remains viable. Therefore it would be reasonable to assume that some Coolatai grass seed will survive the digestive track of cattle. It is tolerant of most commonly used herbicides and suppression of growth is the most likely outcome.
Moving over to Oman, been observing a lot of times trucks plying the roadways with loads of cube-shaped green or beige colored objects.Then comes the wide open fields with water sprinklers watering not trees nor flowers but of all living things … grasses.This are in fact weeds that are cared for by farmhands that finds its way to the market or livestock farms. At today’s going rate, one bundle of coolatai grass in the market will sell for 3.5 USD in Oman. I refer to a common variety of grass that are so very often fed to livestock…Coolatai grass or Hyparrhenia Hirta as its scientific name stands.They are known known to have originated from Africa but has found its way to many other parts of the world and will grow on a range of soils though, it is most active on light to medium textured soils and will grow and increase on heavy clay soils if not waterlogged.Of noteworthy is a study made in South Africa and the Middle East that indicate their propensity on growing very fast on slopes that face the sun. It is cold tolerant and and can be seen growing from sea level to 1500 m altitude, however in South Africa Coolatai grass is found up to 2400 m above sea level.
The mower tractor cuts down the grasses in a single forward movement.
The fallen hays are picked for processing by the bundling machine.
The operator tries to rest himself as well as the tractor bundling machine after long hours of work in the vast field.
The manufacturing process evolves inside this chamber.
Rolls of nylon strings are used to tie down and make one nice bundle after another.
Each bundled grass are ready to be dropped down to the ground.
And one by one they are methodically converted into finished products.
Well done! What a wonderful piece of sellable commodity!
Note the nylon string that was attached mechanically to bind it.
A worker helps gather grass from the corner of the field not processed by the tractor.
With one of the sun-drenched Bangali workers.
Camels,Cattles,Goats : Bundled grasses , they have come a long way…Grass is good for them.
Cattles,Goats & Camels : They have come a long way.Grass is good for them.
We kept coming back for the motorcycle and camel rides in Batinah from time to time not minding too much on the long stretches of green fields along the way. This time we did not miss the chance to visit them. Our kind and unassuming Omani host offered the entourage a refreshing visit in his vegetable and goat farm. We found out vegetables and fruits are planted and [harvested] in great quantities in this part of Oman so that makes them not really dependent on vegetables from major exporters. Oil-rich Oman seems intent on becoming vegetable-rich as well, though it pales in comparison to figures achieved by vegetable-growing countries in Asia or North America. I later discovered that a considerable chunk of food crops in Oman is cultivated on the coastal region of Batinah plain, which extends north-westwards from the north of Muscat region to the rim of the United Arab Emirates.To name some, they are tomatoes, pumpkins, mangoes, bananas, sweet potatoes, sweet corn and an assortment of select fruits, like dates which have greatly increased over the last few years.
This blog under the category of plants and wildlife documents 4 vegetable plantations that we have visited namely okra, stringbeans, eggplant and cabbage. These products find its way to almost all the supermarkets and retailers in Oman.
Okra comes packed with glutathione, a protein molecule that is naturally produced in the body and is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body guard against the harmful effects of germs and bacteria that cause cancers and other diseases. It helps to improve liver, heart and lung functions and boost the immune system.
Okra has made a name in ancient times, with its beginnings in Egypt where it is cultivated before the time of Queen Cleopatra. Then it became popular to many parts of the world during the Atlantic slave trade. The shortage of coffee beans in WWII gave rise to okra seed’s prominence as a very good substitute. This incident made the word “okra fever”. Since then, okra’s popularity never disappeared from local markets to convenience stores throughout the world and throughout the year.
The world’s most beautiful women in ancient times, Cleopatra of Egypt and Yang Guifei of China loved to eat okra according to historical accounts.The world’s most productive land of okra in a rural area in Kami, Kochi Prefecture , Japan, is known popularly for how the young and old all look very healthy. When asked about their secret in having good health in that area, they graciously answer “okra”.
Okra is also reported to be beneficial to those suffering from diabetes as it helps to stabilize the blood sugar. Some people who claimed to have their diabetes cured or their condition greatly improved with the daily consumption of water that has been soaked with okra.
The other side of weeds.
So you think you know what a weed is? Did you ever think “why” you have weeds? Did you ever think about positive values and functions that weeds might provide? There are many wildlife uses for weeds, including hosting more insects than you see or can imagine.Many wild mammals feed on weeds. There are more good insects than bad in gardens, many being predators of the bad, or serving as food for birds. Small parasitic insects, also serving as biological controls for bad ones, feed on the nectar of many weed flowers. Some weeds host the larvae of butterflies, such as the monarch larvae on milkweeds. We all have seen bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies feeding on flower nectar of many weeds. Especially important to these are the late season wildflowers, when not much else is in flower, such as goldenrod and aster.
The Omani farm owner showed his unrelenting appetite for a memorable pose with us.
Farmworkers in almost all the veggie fields are tended to by Bangali laborers like this stringbean fields we visited. Green beans (string beans) have been, in recent studies shown to have impressive antioxidant capacity.Research comparing the overall antioxidant capacity of green beans to other foods in the pea and bean families has found green beans to come out on top.For one, it’s also a valuable source of silicon for bone health and healthy formation of connective tissues in the body.
Cabbage contains enormous anti-ageing compounds like beta carotene and Vitamin C. These compounds repair the damaged cells of the skin and give healthy and shiny skin protecting against the ageing of the skin.
Although iron is essential for many biological process in the body, excess accumulation of it is not beneficial and causes certain harmful effects in the body. Increased accumulation of iron causes rise in the production of free radicals in the body and is associated with high risk of heart disease and cancer.Therefore,studies have taught us that it is necessary to remove the excess iron to reduce the free radical production which can be done by nasunin, a phytonutrient present in eggplant.
Prior to the discovery of oil in the 1960s, the agricultural sector was vital in the Omani economy. The principal agricultural area is found along the Batinah coast, in the northeast between Muscat and Diba al-Hisn. Oman is famed for producing very high quality agricultural goods and the highest quality products are usually exported to the neighboring Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.To this day, agriculture remains to be one of Oman’s main non-oil exports.
When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen : There will be something solid for you to stand on, or, you will be taught how to fly.