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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sign the Petition and Vote Yes for Threshers

J.

Sharks in the Philippines

I've never had any personal encounter with sharks. A big fish, yes. It was back in 2009 or 2010 in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, while snorkeling. The huge fish was scary enough, much more a shark. I feared sharks because of the impression I had from the popular movie Jaws (movie theme playing).

But, with the Philippines as one of the countries in Asia with greatest bio-diversity, including sharks, majority of our waters are diverse and wide enough to support the existence of sharks – so much so that they don’t need to attack people.

Having learned this, I came to realize that sharks in the Philippines need to be protected as well. According to Wikipedia, as classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the following are the shark species that are endangered in our country.

1. Oceanic white tip shark
2. Great white shark
3. Sicle fin weasel shark
4. Snaggletooth shark
5. Tawny nurse shark
6. Whale shark
7. Whitefin topeshark
8. Great hammerhead shark

Credit (Sharksider.com)

The Thresher Shark, Only in the Philippines

Monad Shoal near Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan remains to be the only place in the Philippines and in the world where scuba divers can see pelagic thresher sharks almost every day.

With this exclusivity, the Thresher Shark can become endangered soon. But, there is a petition for Threshers at Change.org that will help prevent unsustainable fishing of thresher sharks by having the market for their fins monitored and regulated.

To be good stewards of the gifts that we're given is our call and responsibility. 

The challenge is to sign the Petition and Vote YES for Threshers at Change.org.  We can't just stand by and watch our environment disintegrate. Let's all take part in supporting the preservation and protection of sharks that have long been butchered and marketed for their fins. 

The proposal will help make sure that no more unsustainable fishing of sharks will happen, through monitoring and regulation. 

Yes for Threshers

Friday, September 16, 2016

Boho in a Solo by Ginny Guanco: An Exhibit Featuring Hippie Chic as Art

J.
Ginny Guanco’s figures for her painting exhibit at the Galerie Y in SM Megamall are what can be described as a Bohemian’s rhapsody. The art show, which features all-female subjects, opens on September 15. Of the 32 colorful paintings of women, 26 of these are clad in classic boho chic designs in a bow to the artist’s roots as a full-bloomed flower child in the 70s.

ginny-with-the-center-piece-of-her-art-exhibit-the-biggest-one-done-in-acrylic-on-a-36-x-36-canvas
Ginny with the center piece of her art exhibit- the biggest one, done in Acrylic on a 36 x 36 canvas

Friday, September 9, 2016

Change is Here for PHILTA

Jed Zachary Aspacio
Last Tuesday, me and my mom went to the Makati Sports Club to attend Philippine Tennis Summit , an event hosted by the Philippine Tennis Association, also known as PHILTA and and sponsored by Cebuana Lhuillier. Deciding to reform the PHILTA, Randy Villanueva, PHILTA's acting president, organized the Philippine Tennis Summit that gathered local stakeholders of tennis and media to discuss the current state of the association and identified action plans towards PHILTA's improvement.  
 
During the Philippine Tennis Summit on September 6, stakeholders, including tennis coaches, players, parents, sponsors, regional representatives and PhilTA officials, among others, along with members of the media, gathered at the Makati Sports Club where issues on Philippine tennis were brought forth. Villanueva, one of the individuals who leaded the gathering, presented the current state of Philippine tennis, citing the need to improve the country’s standing in international competitions, increase the number of tennis players in the country, and attract them to become members of the national tennis association that represents the International Tennis Federation in the Philippines, among others.



Randy Villanueva speaking for the PHILTA

Villanueva laid down the plans for Philippine Tennis Association, identifying a strategy that starts with changes within the existing organization, followed by achievements that will create funding and resources, enable extensive training programs, and make way for a consistent supply of elite Filipino tennis players before reaching the ultimate goal of becoming an international tennis association. 

He elaborated that for him to consider the vision of becoming an international tennis association, the country should have at least two Olympians, at least two players in the top 100 of the ATP & WTA rankings, four junior players in the Top 100 of the ITF boys’ and girls’ categories, qualify for the Fed Cup World Group, and qualify for the Davis Cup World, all by the year 2024. Which is around 8 years from now. I am quite impressed by his notions. 

When this project is done, I might consider playing tennis. He stressed that to be able to achieve all of these, there’s a need to augment the current set-up of the current national tennis association to make way for positive changes specifically in making Philippine tennis inclusive to many. This will pave the way for more active memberships from tennis players, increase in pool of talents, and make the association more sustainable in terms of funding. “There’s really a need to amend the organization if we are to become a world-class association. The association right now is being run by just 12 people who do not represent any Philippine tennis stakeholders, region or clubs." I was very surprised by the small number of people running the PHILTA. "I think it’s very important that we make it more inclusive to everyone and encourage more participation from the whole Philippine tennis community,” said Villanueva.


Sir Jean Henri Lhuillier being asked a question

One of those elated to hear Villanueva’s vision for Philippine tennis is sports patron and PhilTA chairman of the board, Jean Henri Lhuillier. “It’s refreshing to have this Philippine Tennis Summit and hear the great plans of Villanueva to move forward Philippine tennis. As always, I’ll be here to support in whatever capacity I can to bring to fruition PhilTA’s plans,” said Lhuillier. During the summit, Villanueva also advised that he initiated the event in an effort to uplift Philippine tennis and clarifies that he does not have any plans to gun for the presidency in the organization’s next election and is just happy to be able to lay down the work for whoever will succeed him.

 

I entered the event as a representative of my dad, so I'm wearing my dad's name tag. My name is not Jeff, don't worry. As I said awhile back, these changes to PHILTA are making me consider starting to play tennis. For they'll be training kids too, not just adults.