People usually get excited when there is scheduled date for the appearance of a supermoon, like today, December 3, 2017.

What makes it more fascinating is remembering some exceptional photos in the past where objects are pictured either superimposed over or juxtaposed with the seemingly oversized moon.

Alas, I saw the moon tonight and there was really nothing spectacular about it. There was nothing of the much heralded events like the blood moon, the black moon, the blue moon, the strawberry moon and the harvest moon, among others.

But let me just share with you the explanation of the science and origins behind some of these events that will let you decide whether they are worth late nights or early mornings of moongazing.

According to James Lattis, an astronomer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the supermoon is a made-up term, meaning it is not an astronomical term.

Supermoon was actually coined by an astrologer in the 1970s, not by a scientist. The term has come to loosely mean a full moon that is at perigee, or when the moon is at its closest position to Earth along its orbit.

Dr. Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission, also explains that the supermoon really shines when it is compared with the full moon at apogee, or its farthest position from Earth. Placing images of the two side by side, according to him, you can see the difference more easily – the supermoon is 14 percent larger than the apogee full moon and 30 percent brighter.

On average, the moon is about 238,900 miles away from Earth. During supermoons it gets closer – in November 2016  when the moon was at its closest approach since 1948, it was approximately 221,524 miles away.

Astronomers measure the distance of the moon from Earth by shooting lasers to the surface of the moon, which then bounce off mirrors called retroreflectors, which were left behind by the Apollo missions and two Soviet landers.



Latest DOT slogan brouhaha


Blind tourists O’Driscoll (l) and Uchimura.

I never thought I would be writing and putting my two cents in again on the latest Department of Tourism (DOT) slogan brouhaha.

The last time I did this was on Jan. 9, 2012 which you can read at this link:

This time around, five years after, we still haven’t learned our lesson and it is still the same banana, that of plagiarizing other county’s tourism ads and claiming it our own idea.

I am talking of course about supposedly the country’s new tourism campaign video, “Sights”, which used the tagline “Experience the Philippines”.

It featured the true life story of a blind Japanese retiree, M. Uchimura, enjoying the “sights’ and sounds of what is best in the country.

Truly an amazing, if not a brilliant idea, as a tourism come-on, for someone to experience the warmth and hospitable nature of Filipinos, even towards people with disability.

Unfortunately, as soon as DOT’s new tourism video was launched, netizens immediately noticed the similarity between this and last year’s Meet South Africa campaign commercial.

In the Meet South Africa tourism campaign video it also featured a blind British traveller named James O’Driscoll who was experiencing the “sights” and sounds in South Africa.

While the people from the advertising firm McCann Worldgroup admitted about the similarity with the ads of South Africa, they claim, however, that the biggest difference lies in the fact that what they conceptualized for the country is a true story in that the Japanese retiree is an actual retiree residing in the Philippines. What makes it even worse is that they just speculated that perhaps the British blind was simply a tourist.

But I don’t think that is the main thrust of the campaign ads – the ultimate residential preferences of the subjects.

There is no doubt in everybody’s mind that both ads are promoting their respective country’s tourist attractions and publicizing the amiability and warmth of its people and what better way to show it than make tourists, in any manner, shape and form, feel deeply and genuinely special and much welcomed in the country.

The good thing is that South Africa developed first the idea of a blind tourist with a walking stick being treated like a normal person and enjoying it tremendously.

The bad thing is that despite DOT’s P650-million budget for its ad campaign this year, it still had to put up with the McCann advertising people’s idea of the blind man ad knowing full well that it is a copycat.


Unbelievable duo!

I saw this article by Josh Starling at this site:, and I could not wait to share it with you because I am sure you, too, will be amazed at how the bond of friendship and trust developed between these two unlikely fauna creatures, thus, the caption, ‘Unbelievable duo!’

Gentle Giant Adopts Tiny Rescue Owl, His Protective Love Will Make Your Day.

Josh Starling

Aug 19, 2016

Tanja Brandt is a German photographer who has dedicated her career to photographing animals and wildlife. In one of her most recent projects, Brandt shot photographs of a highly, unlikely pair of friends. Ingo, the Belgian shepherd; and Poldi -short for Napoleon- the one-year-old owlet who have formed the most incredible bond.

Brandt describes the relationship between Ingo and Poldi as somewhat of a ‘protector-protected’ relationship. Ingo is a guardian for Poldi, whom Brandt says “doesn’t know how to live free.”Poldi didn’t hatch until two days after his six brothers and sisters.

Poldi didn’t hatch until two days after his six brothers and sisters.



He has always been very vulnerable due to his size.



Ingo, on the other hand, comes from a family of strong and oftentimes ruthless police dogs.



Ingo is very protective over the year-old owlet.



Their bond is as strong off-camera as it appears in Tanja’s photographs.



“They respect each other and they can read each other.”



Even though Ingo is much bigger and stronger, it’s clear he would never hurt his friend.



Their friendship is definitely mutual.



They love and care for one another.



More fun at Runway 32


You might be wondering what the heck is Runway 32 and where exactly is it found?

Well, Runway 32 is simply what it is, a 5334 ft long airstrip located in Barangay Dahican in Mati, the capital city of the province of Davao Oriental in the Philippines. It is the only airport in Davao Oriental.

Interestingly, during the heydays of the Marcos regime, this was famously called the Imelda R. Marcos Airport, perhaps due to the impulsive whim and scandalous vagary of the former iron lady who had things done, whether it will serve its purpose or not for as long as the project is named after her.

The airstrip with its lone, now worn out terminal building fronting a tarmac for plane parking, loading, unloading, boarding and deplaning was never really fully utilized for commercial purposes as domestic flights are available to and from Davao City.

Needless to say Imelda’s project never took off in Mati.

However, what is successfully taking off at the moment and helping make Mati City soar high up in the air again, as far as tourism is concern, is the ingenious idea of some Davao folks who founded the Mindanao Saga Flying Club (MSFC) for recreational purposes while suitably utilizing Runway 32 for what it was constructed for and for riders to enjoy the scenic beauty of the city and its surroundings like no one has seen before in exhilarating and breathtaking open cockpit ultra light planes and the like, especially when talking about the Sleeping Dinosaur Island, resort places and the famous Dahikan Beach with its 17-kilometer pure, fine white sand shore.

A must see in Mati is also the city’s Subangan Museum, where it showcases a great mixture of rich cultural and natural heritage thru its displays. It also houses the fossil of a 50-foot long sperm whale that was found by fishermen in 2010.

But the reason really why I am writing about this piece is because I simply want to share with you the experience and fun me we all had at MSFC. I was with my wife, Paz, our daughter Angie, with her husband Rodin and daughters Amaya and Mayumi. Yumi, who is just 6 years old, had the guts to fly with her Tito King, while older sister Amaya was just contented taxiing on the airstrip.

Iñaki (T. King) incidentally is the one managing MSFC. Next year, he says, MSFC will not only be a recreational club but will be a licensed flying school at the same time for small aircrafts.

(For more of MSFC you can go to this link:

Enjoy the photos.



















Woman in iconic WWII photo being kissed by sailor dies


gretaThe first question you might be asking yourself upon viewing this iconic photo is: Who was she?

Well, her name was Greta Zimmer Friedman and for you to have a better idea of her identity, I wrote about her in 2012 and you can read it at this link:,

Friedman reportedly died of pneumonia at a hospital in Richmond, Virginia. She was 92 years old.

Friedman was a 21-year-old nurse when she was grabbed and ecstatically kissed by the sailor, later found out to be George Mendonsa, in New York’s Time Square on August 14, 1945.

The photo was acclaimed at the time as a symbol of the joy felt by Americans on the day Japan surrendered to the United States.

Friedman herself said she was not even aware of the photo until the 1960s when she saw a book by the man who took the photo, renowned photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt.

Although the picture captures the pair in a tight embrace, they did not actually know each other.

Mendonsa was actually at the time on a date with his future wife, but it was a spur of the moment reaction upon hearing the surprising news that he did what he did!

A talented photographer


I am sharing this post to inspire those young, aspiring photographers, and even those who are taking photography as a hobby, to be the best in what they love doing. Also, this is for those who appreciate beauty and reality of its subject in photography.

The pictures that you are about to see are those of Carlos Perez Naval, a 9-year-old talented photographer, who was declared one of the winners at this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Surely, Naval has the potential and a promising career ahead of him of being the best in his craft especially when it comes to subjects of wildlife and their exotic habitats.

Among young Naval’s portfolio of work, the last photo is his winning entry.