Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Global Warming

I heard About Global warming so many times but I used to ignore it.One time my proffesor in Philosopy of man decided to handle a film showing on class about the documentary entitled "The Inconvinient Truth".At first, I fell so bored and sleepy watching that documentary plus where in a dark room.But I get interested with the topic,about our mother earth.

Carbon dioxide and other gases warm the surface of the planet naturally by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. This is a good thing because it keeps our planet habitable. However, by burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil and clearing forests we have dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and temperatures are rising.
The vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is real, it’s already happening and that it is the result of our activities and not a natural occurrence.1 The evidence is overwhelming and undeniable.
We’re already seeing changes. Glaciers are melting, plants and animals are being forced from their habitat, and the number of severe storms and droughts is increasing.
The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years.2
Malaria has spread to higher altitudes in places like the Colombian Andes, 7,000 feet above sea level.3
The flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland has more than doubled over the past decade.4
At least 279 species of plants and animals are already responding to global warming, moving closer to the poles.5
If the warming continues, we can expect catastrophic consequences.
Deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years -- to 300,000 people a year.6
Global sea levels could rise by more than 20 feet with the loss of shelf ice in Greenland and Antarctica, devastating coastal areas worldwide.7
Heat waves will be more frequent and more intense.
Droughts and wildfires will occur more often.
The Arctic Ocean could be ice free in summer by 2050.8
More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by 2050.9
There is no doubt we can solve this problem. In fact, we have a moral obligation to do so. Small changes to your daily routine can add up to big differences in helping to stop global warming. The time to come together to solve this problem is now.
1 According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this era of global warming "is unlikely to be entirely natural in origin" and "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence of the global climate."2 Emanuel, K. 2005. Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years. Nature 436: 686-688.3 World Health Organization4 Krabill, W., E. Hanna, P. Huybrechts, W. Abdalati, J. Cappelen, B. Csatho, E. Frefick, S. Manizade, C. Martin, J, Sonntag, R. Swift, R. Thomas and J. Yungel. 2004. Greenland Ice Sheet: Increased coastal thinning. Geophysical Research Letters 31.5 Nature.6 World Health Organization7 Washington Post, "Debate on Climate Shifts to Issue of Irreparable Change," Juliet Eilperin, January 29, 2006, Page A1.8 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. 2004. Impacts of a Warming Arctic. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Also quoted in Time Magazine, Vicious Cycles, Missy Adams, March 26, 2006.9 Time Magazine, Feeling the Heat, David Bjerklie, March 26, 2006.
Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb. If the vast majority of the world's scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced. If that sounds like a recipe for serious gloom and doom -- think again. From director Davis Guggenheim comes the Sundance Film Festival hit, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, which offers a passionate and inspirational look at one man's fervent crusade to halt global warming's deadly progress in its tracks by exposing the myths and misconceptions that surround it. That man is former Vice President Al Gore, who, in the wake of defeat in the 2000 election, re-set the course of his life to focus on a last-ditch, all-out effort to help save the planet from irrevocable change. In this eye-opening and poignant portrait of Gore and his "traveling global warming show," Gore also proves himself to be one of the most misunderstood characters in modern American public life. Here he is seen as never before in the media - funny, engaging, open and downright on fire about getting the surprisingly stirring truth about what he calls our "planetary emergency" out to ordinary citizens before it's too late. With 2005, the worst storm season ever experienced in America just behind us, it seems we may be reaching a tipping point - and Gore pulls no punches in explaining the dire situation. Interspersed with the bracing facts and future predictions is the story of Gore's personal journey: from an idealistic college student who first saw a massive environmental crisis looming; to a young Senator facing a harrowing family tragedy that altered his perspective, to the man who almost became President but instead returned to the most important cause of his life - convinced that there is still time to make a difference. With wit, smarts and hope, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH ultimately brings home Gore's persuasive argument that we can no longer afford to view global warming as a political issue - rather, it is the biggest moral challenges facing our global civilization. Paramount Classics and Participant Productions present a film directed by Davis Guggenheim, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH. Featuring Al Gore, the film is produced by Laurie David, Lawrence Bender and Scott Z. Burns. Jeff Skoll and Davis Guggenheim are the executive producers and the co-producer is Leslie Chilcott.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Travel Boracay

Boracay is a fantastic tropical island about an hour's flight from Manila in the Philippines. Its long white sand beaches rival the best beaches of more popular destinations such as the Caribbean, the South Pacific as well as neighbouring Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Facilities are available to suit different levels of activity. For those wanting to just lounge around and take in some rays, beach-front hotels usually have lounge chairs set up just a few steps away from the hotel entrances. Facilities for the usual water sports activities such as wind surfing, snorkeling, diving and jet skiing are also widely available for those in search of more active pursuits.
The fun in Boracay also doesn't end when the sun sets. Boracay nightlife is pulsating with many bars and restaurants serving food, drink and fun until the very late evening.
The port of entry for Boracay Island is the small town of Caticlan on the mainland. Outrigger boats or "bancas" leave every few minutes from Caticlan's jetty port. The short boat trip to Boracay's jetty port at Cagban cost 20 Pesos. Tourists have to pay a terminal fee of 20 Pesos and an environmental fee of 50 pesos.
[edit] By air
The local airport, a short boat ride from Boracay, is Caticlan, which is served by several airlines, most flying from Manila. The airstrip is very short and only propeller planes can land there. The following airlines serve Caticlan:
South East Asian Airlines (SEAir)
Asian Spirit
Interisland Airlines
Corporate Air
For flights between Manila and Caticlan either jet propelled or turborop aeroplanes are used. Flight times range from 35 minutes to 45 minutes.
Asian Spirit and South East Asian Airlines (SEAir) also fly between Caticlan and Cebu City, and between Caticlan and Angeles/Clark International Airport.
South East Asian Airlines (SEAir) flies a seasonal route between Caticlan and Coron on Busuanga Island in Palwan Province.
Many airlines advertising flights to Boracay will actually fly you to Kalibo (which has a larger airport) which is a minimum 90-minute bus ride away, depending on traffic. It is often recommended among experienced travelers to fly to Caticlan so as to avoid the bus ride, coming and going. Many travel agents won't inform you of this option, however, for whatever reason.
Airlines which fly to Kalibo:
Philippine Airlines
Cebu Pacific
Flights to and from Manila to Kalibo are on jet planes. Flight time is 35 minutes only.
Airline fares vary, generally in the $50 to $100 range for each leg. Keep a lookout for special rates posted at the respective travel office adjoining the domestic terminal in Manila. Luggage over 10kg will probably cost you extra.
Upon arrival to Caticlan airport, you can either take a tricycle to Caticlan port (40 pesos) or a further east port (70 pesos). You might walk to the Caticlan port as it is only 10min away.
There are minivans which serve Kalibo Airport - Caticlan port (vice versa) point to point service. There are 40seater buses ply from Kalibo to Caticlan port.
[edit] By boat
Boats operated by MBRS, and leave Manila's port for Caticlan either once or twice a week, depending on the season.
Also, Negros Navigation operates seasonal trips and anchors a few miles off-shore from Boracay's White Beach.
[edit] By bus
Philtranco coaches leave regularly throughout the day from Cubao, Manila for Mindanao, passing Caticlan on the Strong Republic Nautical Highway. The journey takes 12 hours.
[edit] Get around
Most visitors opt for motorized tricycles, which act as the island's taxis and make up most of its traffic. Rides are inexpensive, usually no more than P200 to any point on the island from White Beach and much less for shorter rides, and can be found almost anywhere along the main road.
Short rides, say from D'Mall to Station 3 or from Station 1 to Station 3, are a standard rate of 7 pesos but expect the tricycle driver to ask for 20 pesos or more if you look like a foreigner.
Scooters provide the best flexibility at a reasonable price. The downside is having to deal with island traffic which can be unnerving for visitors unused to the aggressive tricycle drivers.
Mountain bikes are also available for rent at several locations along White Beach, which is off limits to motorized vehicles.
To explore around the island, rent a native sailboat (paraw) or motorized outrigger (banca) and visit the many beaches of Boracay.
[edit] See

Willy's Rock, White Beach, Boracay
White Beach - This is what most people are here for. Not only is it a lovely stretch of powdery white sand against azure water, it's also the commercial center of the island. A stretched grove of shady palm trees separates the beach from the line of restaurants, cafes, bars, internet cafes, shops, bakeries, etc. There is lots of room to stretch out on the beach with your sarong or you can rent a reclining chair from one of the vendors where they will be happy to keep you filled with food and drinks. Most people opt for the shade and tend to hang out under the palm trees.

Puka Beach
Puka Beach - A quiet stretch of white sand along the northern tip of the island, Puka Beach is an image of what most people expect on a tropical island: white sand, azure water, and relatively empty. This is where locals gather the small puka shells for some of the jewelry that is sold on the island so expect the sand to be more coarse than on White Beach. The water tends to be a little rougher on this side of the island but it is much quieter. Similarly, there are fewer services -- at last count there was one restaurant but you likely won't have a problem getting a cold drink or an ice cream as there are a few vendors that patrol the beach. The main road in Boracay terminates at Puka Beach therefore you'll be able to hire a tricycle to get there in less than 10-15 minutes from central White Beach. Make sure you arrange a pickup if it is a quiet day and no tricycles are hanging around the beach. Most people experience Puka as one of their sailboat or banca stops during a day trip. This is a good spot for a picnic, but be sure to bring your trash home with you.
Baling Hai Beach - This is a quiet little cove just north of Diniwid Beach, where you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling and dining in a relaxed, peaceful environment. There are some fantastic views from the clifftop restaurant. Baling Hai is often included as a stop-off on an island boat tour.
The Bat Cave. One will see in several tour guides and maps of Boracay something called the Bat Cave, which houses many giant fruit bats, and locals will be more than happy to accompany you there for a fee, or "tip". The cave is on the western-end of the island and down several dirt roads. The guide will then take you on a short hike through the forest to the mouth of a cave, which drops down at a very steep angle. The mouth of the cave is littered with large boulders, and is extremely difficult to enter and walk down. There is no visible path, no handrail, and the stones are extremely slippery with slime and bat guano, as well as extremely dangerous, since the cave is at such an extreme angle. Also, the air inside the cave is very warm and humid, and in addition to the amount of guano, is very difficult to breathe. Caution should be taken by those visiting and entering the cave. There are bats in the cave, but down at the bottom of it in the dark, and unless you have a flashlight or are there at dusk, you won't see them. The ceiling of the cave is interesting, however, with multiple, small stalactites. Upon leaving, you will be asked for 200-peso entry-fee on behalf of the family that owns the land, in addition to paying your guide.
[edit] Do

Fire Dancing
It is worth hiring motorbikes or scooters out to explore the island, as there are other beautiful beaches on the other side of the island that are even better for snorkeling that will be completely deserted. Hire them for a couple of days and you should get a discount. The roads are a bit dodgy, and some are still being constructed, but it's a good laugh and better than plunking yourself on a patch of white sand and seeing nothing. If you happen to be lying on the beach though definitely have a massage and manicure.
Take a boat around the island, with lunch included which is only a couple of hundred pesos for the afternoon.
Horse riding is a fun activity in Boracay - get off the beaten path and experience native villages and scenery most other visitors don't get to see. All levels of experience are catered to. Ask a tricycle to take you to the Boracay Horse Riding Stables.
Try rock climbing at D'Wall Climbing Gym, an outdoor rock climbing gym located at D'Mall near Boat Station 2.
[edit] Scuba diving
For those interested in Scuba Diving, there are approximately 20 Dive Centres along White Sands beach; it is a good place to learn or to improve your skills. Cost is typically $33 per dive which includes hire of all equipment.The dive centres operate a cartel and have agreed standard prices amongst themselves so prices will be the same at all centres. There are 25-30 dive sites within 10-15 minutes speed boat ride from the beach, suitable for beginners up to advanced level. Dives range from 'Angol Point' (10m), through 'Crocodile Island' (22-25m), a straightforward wall dive, up to 'Yapak'- a deep wall dive suitable for only the most experienced divers due to strong currents, although there is the possibility of seeing sharks and stingrays.
Adventure Philippines [1] if you want to experience the beautiful underwater world around Boracay, they will organize all trips for you in cooperation with Boracay Scuba [2]
Blue Mango Dive Center [3] is a fully equipped dive center that is capable of doing any PADI certification. A fun dive can also be done. Blue Mango is the only shop in Boracay offering D.I.R. diving. Courses in underwater photography are also offered. Another feature is that they offer accommodations right next door. A perfect place to arrange a diving retreat. Visit Blue Mango Dive Center [4] for more info on dive packages and accommodations.
[edit] Boat tours
The best way to see the beauty of Boracay and it`s various beaches is by Paraw - that's what the local sailboats are called in the Philippines.
A sailing tour with The Red Pirates is a must in Boracay. You will find their red paraw (native sailboat) in Angol at the southern end of White Beach. The place is called The Red Pirates Pub. It is a beautiful spot with a very unique driftwood garden under high coconut trees. Enjoy your drink, meet other travelers from around the globe and watch one of the most spectacular sunsets in Asia. Cap. Joey will bring you to a secluded beach for a beach BBQ and he will show you the best spots around Boracay`s shores for snorkeling. Edit 02/07: After the strong typhoon from December 06 the famous red paraw is currently being rebuilt. But sailing tours with the Pirates crew are still available on an alternative boat.
[edit] Kiteboarding
Boracay's Bulabog beach is known as the best kitesurf destination in Asia. The season runs from November through to March with onshore winds varying between 18-30 knots.
Boracay Island, one of the most beautiful places in the world has been a prime kite-and windsurfing destination for 20 years. the last two of its 18 years have seen the inclusion of freestyle, speed trial and "hang time" events for kiting, with plans to expand in future. Peak season, when the "amihan" wind blows, usually December to March, can see the lagoon alive with the vibrant hues of windsurf sails and kites belonging to the enthusiasts from around the globe. during the "habagat" season, the white beach side is home of the kite-boarders from June to November.
Philippine Adventures — [5] provides tailor-made packages to Boracay for toursits wishing to experience the kiteboarding on Bulabug Beach.
Freestyle Academy — [6] offers a various of courses starts with a taste( 1,5-2 hours) for US$ 60.00.
Adventure Philippines — [7] if you want to experience outdoor adventures, all extreme sports like kiteboarding, climbing or white-water rafting on Panay Island they will organize it for you.
[edit] Skimboarding
Skimboarding in Boracay has been a new fun sport for kids and entertainment for older for people for several years. It is a welcome new attraction and a pleasure to watch. Skimboards are available for rent at several places along White Beach.
[edit] Massage/Spa
[edit] Budget
Along White Beach you will be approached frequently by women offering to give you a massage, which they will do on the spot or on a towel laid out on the beach - your choice.
A bit more organized, White Beach also has several "Massage Stations": collections of masseurs that have their mats set up. The stations are typically open as long as there are customers around but in general start to shut down just after sunset.
For Swedish, Accupressure, Shiatsu etc, visit Abe (pronounced Abby) the blind masseur who operates outside Cocoloco restaurant in Angol (south of boat station 3). Only P300 per hour.
There is a great outdoor massage station in the beach area of Nigi Nigi Beach Resort, where they have two tables set up. The booth is draped with curtains which they will close if you wish, or leave open if you want to watch the people on the beach. They offer every massage in the book, and charge 500 Peso for one hour.
[edit] Mid-range
There are several smaller/mid-range spas in Boracay that offer a menu including massages, scrubs and facials but don't quite have the facilities to be considered a full spa. Most hotels in Boracay offer a limited spa menu that falls into this category.
[edit] Splurge
Ceasar's, found along the main road near boat station 3, specializes in Thai massage and uses two masseurs simultaneously to deliver the service. A 90 minute massage is priced at $50 USD.
Mandala Spa [8] — is typically found near the top of the list of world spas. Situated at the top of a hill, Mandala offers everything from one hour massages (single and couple) to body scrubs, wraps, facials, baths and four hour packages that combine it all. Expect to pay $175 USD for the full four-hour prince/princess treatment. Mandala Spa also rents out rooms to visitors to Boracay, which are built and furnished in traditional tropical style and overlook the island and White Beach. Advance reservations required.
Tirta SPA [9]— found in Sitio Malabunot, Manoc-Manoc, area. Indian treatments in a stunning environment for an affordable price. Friendly and helpful staff.
[edit] Buy

D*Mall off of White Beach
Along White Beach, there is a wide variety of gift shops and boutiques along the beach path and in D*Mall. In addition to the crowded stalls that you expect in Asia, Boracay also has several high-end stores including clothing, art and household items. Some places will permit you to haggle, others have a fixed pricing system with price tags. Shop around as prices vary. Outside of White Beach, the shopping becomes sparse or non-existent.
While walking or laying on the sand, anywhere on Boracay, you'll be approached to buy a variety of items including jewelery made of shells, fresh fruit, ice cream, sunglasses or a massage.
Boracay Books [10] — Located in Plazoleta near Station 2 on White Beach. Boracay Books sells books, magazines and maps. As no beach holiday is complete without a good book, you might be making several trips to this delightful little shop.
Shell jewelry — similar to what you can find elsewhere in the world, the jewelry made of shells is popular as for the most part it is made locally from shells found on Puka Beach.
[edit] ATMs
There are only 4 ATMs on the entire island for the 16,000 inhabitants plus tourists, and when they run out of cash, they are not refilled until the next business day. On weekends and holidays it is even worse, as the ATM's might go several days without being refilled. On paydays one will also see very long lines at the ATM's, and be aware that not every ATM accepts every card. One might only accept cards with the Visa logo, and not the MasterCard logo, so before standing in line for two hours, be sure it accepts your card. Also, be prepared for a very long wait in line, as many Boracay natives seem to do all their banking at the ATM, spending what seems like an unusual amount of time at it.
The best solution is to bring travelers checks or plenty of cash. Also, many establishments, including the tricycles, cannot break a bill over 500 peso (around $10), so it pays to always have small bills.