Revisiting Suyac Island’s Mangrove Eco-Tourism Park

One of the most effective ways to prevent future damage on the coastal areas of any island anywhere in the world is by planting mangroves on the coastlines.  There are 7,641 islands in the Philippines and each one faces a different challenge every time there is a storm and much worse, if there is a storm surge.

In some areas like Suyac Island, the damage caused by past typhoons and storm surge had been minimal.  Unlike Typhoon Haiyan or Typhoon Yolanda which left an unimaginable damage to the island of Leyte and other parts of the Visayas in the Philippines, Suyac was spared of this catastrophe.  The locals reasoned out that they were not greatly affected by the Typhoon Yolanda because of the hundred years old Mangrove Trees that were abundant on the island’s coastline.   The strong wind and the strong current of sea water are prevented from lambasting the island because the Mangroves served as a buffer.

In this blog about Suyac Island, Touristang Pobre tells a story about the result of a community effort in preserving their coastal area through Mangrove tree planting and conservation program.  Here’s the link:

http://touristangpobre.blogspot.com/2017/09/suyac-island-model-of-community.html

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Happy Holidays Everyone

This holiday season, we wish you a joyous celebration wherever you are in the world.

Our prayer is for everyone to live in peace and harmony with all the creatures of the planet.  Seems not plausible in some instances but we keep a positive mind that many things can happen when people gather together to celebrate peace and instill peace in their lives.

Here’s a unique version of the song The Prayer featuring Marcelito Pomoy, a Filipino Champion of Pilipinas Got Talent.

The Prayer

by Carol Bayer Sager and David Foster

I pray you’ll be our eyes, and watch us where we go

And help us to be wise in times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer, when we lose our way
Lead us to the place, guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe

I pray we ‘Il find your light, and hold it in our hearts
When stars go out each night,
Remind us where you are
Let this be our prayer, when shadows fill our day
Help us find a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe

A world where pain and sorrow will be ended
And every heart that’s broken will he mended
And we’ll remember we are all God’s children
Reaching out to touch you
Reaching to the sky

We ask that life be kind, and watch us from above
We hope each soul will find another soul to love
Let this be our prayer, just like every child

Who needs to find a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe
Needs to find a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe.

(Thanks youtube and Wish 107.5)

My Last Super Moon

Considering that the last Super Moon happened 70 years ago, I was left with a thought that the next time it happens and that will be many years to go, maybe another 70 years, then, I will just be a memory.  Maybe, to dust I have returned, haha…So, this is my last Super Moon in my worldly existence.

The photo of the SM that I posted here was captured just a few minutes ago as the moon hovers in the Edison, New Jersey area where I live.

Maybe what I will do with this photo is to have it reproduced by Walgreens and I will have it framed and distributed to all my children with a caption below the photo – “Grandpa’s last Super Moon”….haha.

Do you think this is insane? Yeah, I agree…haha…but sometimes, when we are faced with the realities of life such as getting old, it is like being given an apple or a lemon.  Comparing this event to a lemon in my life, the best that I can do is to make it into a lemonade.

Agree?  If you don’t,  just allow me to have this piece of the moment converted into a sweet lemonade than a sweet apple that I may not have experienced.

My camera, no mater how simple it is, has enabled me to focus the Super Moon and see it in a better angle.  The photo that I posted here is the best that I can show you.

Thank you Super Moon for making me experience your brightness and your hugeness.  I just hope that before I die, you shall come back.  Make it early next time.  I want to laugh.

By the way, can you see Mt. Rushmore in the photo?

Benham Rise: UN Approves RP’s Territorial Waters Claim

(Source: TV 9, News & Current Affairs, youtube)

Facts and Figures about Benham Plateau.

According to the Wikipedia,

The Benham Plateau, also known as the Benham Rise, is a seismically active undersea region and extinct volcanic ridge located in the Philippine Sea approximately 250 km (160 mi) east of the northern coastline of Dinapigue, Isabela.

Under the Philippine Sea lie a number of basins including the West Philippine Sea Basin, inside of which is located the Central Basin Fault (CBF).[1] The Benham Plateau is located in the CBF and its basement probably is a micro-continent.[2] Several scientific surveys have been made on the feature to study its nature and its impact on tectonic subduction, including one about its effects on the 1990 Luzon earthquake. The area is a territory of the Philippines which was claimed, as part of its continental shelf, which was then lodged with the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf on April 8, 2009 and was approved by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 2012.[3]  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham_Plateau)

Geological features[edit]

The map shows the features of the Philippine Sea Plate.

Benham Rise is a submerged extinct volcanic ridge located at 16 degrees 30 minutes N, 124 degrees 45 minutes E off the coast of Luzon, with the size of about 250 km in diameter and rises over 2,000 meters (2 km.) above the sea floor, from below 5,000 meters (5 km.) below sea level to above 3,000 meters (3 km.) below sea level. Its area is close to the Benham Seamount, located at 15 degrees 48 minutes N, 124 degrees 15 minutes E. The precise location is somewhere near the east of the Philippine Trench and near the south of the East Luzon Trench, both of which absorb the subducting force of thePhilippine Sea Plate under the Philippine Mobile Belt,[4] a collage of large blocks of that crust that amalgamated prior to the collision of the Philippine Sea Plate with the Eurasian Plate.[5]

The origin of the landform, along with a fellow landform, the Urdaneta Plateau (a remnant of mantle plume), is identified in one study as at least five sequences of propagating rifts, probably triggered by mantleflowing away from the mantle thermal anomaly.[6] Its presence of the landform disrupts the continuity of this region (known as the Philippine-East Luzon Trench) by continuously colliding with the Sierra Madre mountain range of eastern portion of the island of Luzon. Though it is generally thought that the Philippine Sea Plate is being subducted under the Philippine Mobile Belt, under the rules of tectonic subduction, there appears to be a resistance to this because of the presence of the landform, and instead, the plate is being displaced into the northern portion of Luzon to the west.[7][8]  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham_Plateau)

The geophysical features of the plateau may have been the result of an early Miocene collision event between the Benham Rise and the eastern margin of Luzon, which may have also allowed the inception of the NW striking strand of the Philippine fault.[9] These forces may have impacted the shape of the island of Luzon because of the basaltic sea floor resisting the subduction that may have also cause the bending of thePhilippine Fault.[10] The active basins in Central Luzon, which trace an asymmetrical V shape, is the best place to observe recent tectonic evolution of the fault system.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham_Plateau)

History[edit]

The landform is presumably named after Admiral Andrew Ellicot Kennedy Benham (1832–1905) by American surveyors who were the probable discoverers of the geological feature. He was a United States Navyofficer, who served with both the South Atlantic and West Gulf Blockading Squadrons during the American Civil War.[11] There has been speculation in the scientific community about the nature of the landform. Following the major 16 July 1990 Luzon earthquake, scientists reconsidered their fault models and decided it likely that Benham Plateau has similarly displaced the Philippine Fault System to the west.[12] After analysing older models such as that of Pinet and Stephan (1989), scientists reconsidered their fault models. They thought that it is highly likely that the Benham Plateau is still displacing Central Luzon and the Philippine Fault System to the west, which may have had an impact in causing such a catastrophic earthquake. The 20 second to 50 second wave in the 1990 quake that developed a new east-west sub-fault was so strong that it terminated disastrously at the city of Baguio in Benguet, Cordillera. Several scientific surveys, conducted between 2004 and 2008, collected hydrographic data that determined the morphology of the seabed in the region. Additional data from international bathymetric surveys and an analysis of international research projects were collected to support the findings.[13]    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham_Plateau)

Benham Rise has been part of the culture of ancient Filipinos. Ancient Catanduanes people have fished and roamed the area long before the colonial era. In fact, it is celebrated in Catandunganons’ folktales, legends and poetry. Today, large percentage of fish caught by Catandunganon comes from Benham Rise. Its local bicol term is called Kalipung-awan (means loneliness in an isolated place).  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham_Plateau)

Philippine claim[edit]

Territorial waters of the Philippines. The Benham rise is located directly east of Luzon.

Despite its proximity to the archipelago, the plateau was previously not included in the territory of the Philippines. On 8 April 2009, the Republic of the Philippines lodged a partial territorial waters claim with the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in relation to the continental shelf in the region of Benham Rise.[14] It was submitted as part of petition expanding the archipelago’s baselines and exclusive economic zone through a law that also included other claims involving disputed territories of the Kalayaan Islands (Spratly Islands) and Scarborough Shoal. Although the landform, in itself, is not disputed, the petition still received some criticism inside and outside the country because of its controversial nature.[15] According to the government’s claim, based on a set of guidelines by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, the area satisfies the 350-mile constraint line since the outer limits of the continental shelf are located landward of the constraint line, which is located 350 miles from the baselines where the measurement of the breadth of the territorial sea begins.[13] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham_Plateau)

The Congress of the Philippines enacted Republic Act No. 9522, also known as the Archipelagic Baselines Law, which is the basis of the claim. According to the document the region is bounded by the Philippine Basin on the north and east, and by Luzon on the west and south. It asserted that, according to scientific data based on seismic, magnetic, other geological features, the Benham Rise is an extension of the Philippines’ continental shelf. In summary, the baselines, the basis used for delineating the maritime territorial and jurisdictional zones (including the continental shelf), conform with the requirements of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).[13] The claim is only a partial claim since the law that allows the Philippines to expand its territorial boundaries also includes islands in theSouth China Sea.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham_Plateau)

UN Decision[edit]

The Philippines filed its claim for Benham Rise in 2008 in compliance with the requirements of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The UN has officially approved the claim in April 2012.[3][16][17][18]

(Source: Rappler hosted by Maria Ressa, youtube)

Comments:

According to the report mentioned by Pia Hontiveros, Benham Rise is a 13 million hectare sea bed off the coast of Aurora Province, Luzon, Philippines, that may potentially contain steel producing minerals and natural gas.

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UPDATES dated March 15, 2017…the following news item taken from the website of CNN Philippines revealed that China respects the rights of the Philippine Government to its claim over the continental shelf at Benham Rise.  It might be recalled that the continental shelf of the Benham Rise is contiguous to the mainland of Luzon, thus making it a rightful undersea “territory” of the Republic of the Philippines as approved by the United Nations in 2012.  Here’s the Chinese press release and available on-line through CNN-Philippines’ website…here is the link…thank you.

http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2017/03/15/China-respects-PH-rights-Benham-Rise.html

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UPDATES  dated March 21, 2017.

The Philippines’ Legal Advisor based in The Hague, Netherlands, in the person of Paula Defensor-Knack stated on her FB page this opinion on Benham Rise, hereunder:

“This is the correct opinion on Benham Rise. I made it for Die Hard Fans of MDS so they know what to say when they meet an ignorant opponent online…
Benham Rise is not disputed territory. It is underwater, the ridge of a dormant volcano. The Spratlys on the other hand is disputed territory, it is a reef/ low elevation maritime feature. The ownership of the Spratleys is disputed because the arbitration tribunal could not rule on ownership of maritime features. No one owns Benham Rise but since it is continental shelf, it is in our economic zone though the continental shelf can be beyond the EEZ.”  (Exclusive Economic Zone)

DISCLAIMER:

The Earthniversity does not own the articles, facts and figures stated in this post as well as the videos posted herein. The facts and figures about the Benham Plateau or Benham Rise had been taken from the Wikipedia.  The link is herein stated for your reference.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham_Plateau)

Acknowledgment:

Thank you to Rappler’s Ms. Maria Ressa for the video they posted on youtube.

Thank you to TV 9 News and Current Affairs and Pia Hontiveros for the video they uploaded on youtube.

Thank you to The Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
  • For discussion purposes only.

Updated October 3, 2017.

Fish Kill At The Kalayaan Island Group

The Philippines had been one of the claimants of a string of islands, atolls, and shoals among others which are located in the disputed areas of South China Sea.

Recently, China was reported to have released chemicals into the surrounding waters of the occupied  Pag-asa Island, a part of the Province of Palawan, Philippines, which resulted  to the  mass-killing of fish, corals and other aquatic plants and animals thereat.

This fish kill  threatens the livelihood of the residents in the Island.  But the Chinese were determined to continue with their action because they wanted the residents to leave the island.

Wikipedia has the following information about the Municipality of Kalayaan, to wit:

  1.  Founded on June 11, 1978 by virtue of Presidential Decree 1596.
  2. Republic Act 9522 of 2009, defines the archipelagic baselines of the Philippines, claimed sovereignty over Kalayaan Island Group, a concept defined in the UNCLOS – United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea.
  3. Kalayaan Island Group includes the following:  a) Pag-asa Island is the inhabited island; b) Likas Island; c) Parola Island (Cay); d) Lawak Island; e) Kota Island; f) Patag Island (Cay); g) Panata Island (Cay); g) Balagtas Reef; h) Ayungin Reef; i) Rizal Reef.
  4. The town has a total land area of 110 square miles or 290 square kilometers.
  5. The population as of 2010 is 222.
  6. The town has a dilapidated airstrip, a Lying-In Clinic and an elementary school.
  7. It has a set of elected town officials headed by the Mayor Eugenio B. Bito-onon, Jr.
  8. The town is part of Philippines’ Region IV-B composed of the provinces of Mindoro, Masbate, Romblon and Palawan where the town belongs.  (MIMAROPA Region).

Smart Telecommunications constructed a cell site on the island which became operational on June 12, 2005.

Pag-asa Island is just one of the eight (8) islands in the Municipality of Kalayaan Island Group.  It is located in the West Philippine Sea.

Definition of Terms:

  1.  Cay is a small, low island composed largely of coral or sand. (The Free Dictionary)
  2. Reef is a strip or ridge of rocks, sand or coral that rises to or near the surface to or near the body of water.  (The Free Dictionary)

For a detailed report, please click this link hereunder:

http://www.thedailytrends.net/2016/05/china-releasing-chemicals-to-kill-fish.html