Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Excellent Family or Corporate Bonding at Club Balai Isabel

Ms. Gigi Anne Lapira of Balai Asiana Inc., Juliet Z. Cruz & Juan Miguel

THIS SUMMER, it is a usual connecting moment to be with your family having an outing or an out-of-town tour or with your company colleagues for rest and recreation or team building workshops which is better to be out of metropolis.
Juan Miguel at Club Balai Isabel's infinity pool
Juan Mig (my son) and I are both “lakwatsero and lakwatsera,” we both love to travel and experience new things!

We are both excited to explore the almost ten hectare resort Club Balai Isabel and to see their facilities for corporate, family and individual tour packages. 
By the way, Club Balai Isabel is located right on the shores of the world-famous Taal Lake and across from its volcano is a place where you can relax, relate and be with nature.

Club Balai Isabel's "Pantalan"
We capture our travel moments and the beauty of this encounter using the latest touch screen digital Sony camera, a simple, handy and user-friendly camera. The pictures seem to be like postcards because of the Taal volcano background. We love it so much!  How much more if we use Nikon or Canon (we are open for sponsorship:)

After the visit, we affirmed that Club Balai Isabel with its amenities and facilities is an excellent venue for holidays, corporate events, and special occasions like the Oyo Sotto and Kristine Hermosa’s private wedding. The picturesque setting makes it a popular wedding and pre-nuptial photo shoot destination, while the spacious grounds and room capacity of up to 800 persons make it ideal for corporate events. 

Environmental enthusiasts find the resort fascinating because the resort itself is bursting with vegetation, a complete relaxation with nature is definitely a travel experience!

Club Balai Isabel's Terraza Cafe
We enjoyed the food served at the Terraza Cafe, we like the “Chicken Binakol” and the malunggay rice with buko juice.  You better try it as I was not able to capture a photo of it maybe because I was hungry then.

With so much energy, my son took a refreshing dip in their pools, the Olympic sized pool and the infinity pool fronting the lake.

Moreover, there are facilities for people who love to enjoy more active pursuits such as kayaking and sailing boat ride and get a closer look at Taal Volcano’s crater on horseback or on foot.

Truly, the lush greenery and the proximity to the lake and the world’s smallest volcano make Club Balai Isabel perfect for an eco-tourism destination for environmental enthusiasts.

One of the villas in Club Balai Isabel
For the corporate clients, you can take advantage of the obstacle course and the media-ready function rooms.

Superbly, after a day tour, we can say: “It’s an awesome and fascinating haven experience. We fell in love with the resort.”

M-Vision Business Solutions may design company teambuilding for company and group tours and we also promote educational eco-tours for families and individuals. Would you like to inquire further and reserve with us, just call +632.922.944-9426.

We also support, the Maharlika Membership which is designed to give the Club Balai Isabel’s clients more benefits and promotions. For more information, contact us at:

+632.922.944-9426 or email us at

Developed and copyright by M-Vision Business Solutions

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

DOST, DOH agreed to mitigate dengue

Signing of Memorandum of Understanding of DOST and DOH Secretaries Mario G. Montejo and Enrique T. Ona respectively.  Witnessed by (standing from left) Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, PCHRD executive director; Dr. Nuna Almanzor, DOST-Industrial Technology and Development Institute director; Dr. Lillian de las Llagas, inventor and UP professor Parasitology and Entomology; Dr. Eduardo Janairo, director IV-NCDPC-DOH

by Juliet Z. Cruz

Mosquito OL Trap System
THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Health (DOH) endorsed the nationwide roll-out of the mosquito ovicidal/larvicidal (OL) trap system that seeks to drastically reduce cases and fatalities of dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo said that this OL trap system is a low-cost yet effective device to prevent and control the deadly dengue disease. When commercialize this OL trap system will cost around Php12 per set which is very affordable. 

 The DOST will initially provide 700,000 OL trap kits for free to 125,000 selected households nationwide, especially in areas with high dengue risks. In time for the rainy seasons, each recipient household will receive four sets of kits and organic pellets for six months starting July to December this year. Meanwhile, the DOH will assist in the identification of high dengue sites, assist in the distribution of the traps and conduct studies to check the efficacy of the trap system. 

The OL trap system consists of a black container (about the size of a drinking glass or 250 ml); a small strip of lawanit (a paneling material made from coconut husk) measuring 1 inch by 5 inches for mosquitoes to lay their eggs on; and organic plant-based pellets, toll packed in 0.3g (with water will make a larvicidal solution that will kill the dengue-carrying mosquitoes eggs and larva which will hatch in the strip of wood and in the solution). 

This is designed to attract female mosquitoes to lay its eggs on the trap. The black container and the “lawanit” board inside the trap bait the female mosquitoes. As a result, this will prevent the multiplication of mosquitoes to reaching adulthood and spreading the dengue virus. This is the key mitigating health solution promoted by the two government agencies.

DOST and DOH have already distributed OL mosquito traps to the high risk areas in Leyte and Cagayan Valley. Laboratory and field tests showed that it can kill 450 to 490 out of 500 eggs placed in the OL trap system or about 98% success rate, Dr. Nuna Almanzor, DOST-ITDI director said. Her bureau is responsible in the mass production of the pellets and she said that private investors may inquire to participate in this endeavor.

Dr. Lillian de las Llagas and Dr. Nuna Almanzor in a presscon

Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona in his message said that in 2010 the Philippines experienced the worst outbreak of dengue in 10 years. More than 135,355 cases were recorded exceeding the record high infection rates in 1998 when other countries in the Southeast Asian region also accounted major dengue outburst.

Ona said that the government must double its efforts in fighting against dengue which has now become “the world’s most important viral vector-borne disease” and the country’s most disturbing health concern among all re-emerging infectious diseases because of climate change, rapid urbanization, and international travel.

He said, this year, more than 13,281 dengue cases admitted in sentinel hospitals which are actually 7.71% lower than the same period of 2010.

In DOH’s Disease Surveillance Report, most of the cases were from the following regions: National Capital Region (29.6%), Region IV-A (17.8%) and Region III (17.7%). Ages of cases ranged from less than 1 month to 85 years old. Majority of cases were male (54%). Seventy-six percent of cases belonged to the 1 to 20 years age group. The case fatality ratios (CFR) greater than 1 were noted in the less than 1 and 1 to 10 years age groups. There was 89 deaths (CFR 0.60%) reported. Reported cases with CFR greater than 1 came from Regions I, V, VI, VII and ARMM.  From wikipedia, in epidemiology, case fatality (CF) or fatality rate, is the ratio of deaths within a designated population of people with a particular condition, over a certain period of time. 

Dr. delas Llagas, the inventor

Dr. Lilian de las Llagas, OL trap inventor and mosquito expert from the College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) explained the life cycle of the dengue-carrying Aedes mosquitoes and the process of baiting.

The female mosquito has three major chores: To mate with the male mosquito, sip blood of human victim and lay eggs. In one of Llagas’ lectures, she said that the female mosquito starts to hunt human victim to supply her blood meal from sunrise to sunset (after mating with male mosquito). She warned that among the favorites of mosquitoes are human who are smelly and wet with sweat, but this does not mean that mosquitoes are selective. No one is exempted from mosquito bites. A mosquito needs to bite at least three human victims in order to complete her blood meal. From this cycle, this leads to virus transmission - as mosquito bites, it transfers the virus. This OL trap system prevents the population of Aedes mosquitoes.

Moreover, Montejo said that the Memorandum of Understanding he signed with the DOH secretary would also institutionalize a national telehealth service program, which would be part of the government strategy to address universal health care using information and communication technology in delivering health care especially to remote and undeserved areas. 

This Philippine National Telehealth Service Program according to Montejo was a collaboration with the University of the Philippines, which has generated a triage system for delivering telehealth services and a medical device (RxBox) for remote diagnosis.

Montejo continued that this DOST-DOH pact is one of the series of science community cooperation to providing science-based solutions to healthcare.

Developed and copyright by M-Vision Business Solutions

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

DOST-PNRI observes the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

The DOST-PNRI continues to closely monitor the situation at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.   The condition in the plant remains very serious but not worsening despite the recent series of strong aftershocks.

There have been media reports that the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is being raised from Level 5 to Level 7 in consideration of the cumulative radioactivity releases. It is believed that the radioactivity released so far is 10% of that of the Chernobyl accident. However, the DOST-PNRI is waiting for the official advisory from the Japanese authorities and the reason for such action.

The INES scale is a worldwide tool for communicating to the public in a consistent way the safety significance of nuclear and radiological events. Level 5 is an accident with wide consequences, Level 6 is a serious accident, and Level 7 is a major accident.

Developed and copyright by M-Vision Business Solutions

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What a lovely day with Dairy Queen's Blizzard treat!

What a lovely ice cream experience we had after a walk with my son at SM Fairview, Quezon City. The Dairy Queen’s kiosk attracted him to get a frozen treat, the Blizzard Caramel Cashew!
Whenever we are in SM malls my sons really love the Blizzards served upside-down. This really captures them and this is what kids (and also adults) ice cream dreams and whims.

We have tasted their Dilly Bar, Blizzard Snickers, Blizzard Kitkat, Mango, etc. in different malls like in Cubao Araneta Center, Robinsons Galleria, SM North EDSA and of course in SM Fairview.
Juan Miguel Cruz at SM Fairview's Dairy Queen

This frozen treat kiosk is a world-class brand. It is a place for everyone to take time out to enjoy the best soft serve treats. Whether it be any celebration, a family day, a self-indulgent moment, or a mere break to satisfy one’s dessert craving, the Dairy Queen experience makes you always come back for more, and this is the reason behind a sweet success story uniquely its own.
This summertime, kids truly love ice cream and anything that are frozen. Have a nice and cool day!

Developed and copyright by M-Vision Business Solutions

Saturday, April 2, 2011

DOST-funded R&D Project develops cheaper Air Pollution Sensor

Air pollution is a major concern in the Philippines, with air quality in urban cities getting worse because of the growing concentration of people, traffic and industries.

In Metro Manila, for instance, pollution levels along major thoroughfares are very high. Last year, the air quality monitoring (AQM) stations in EDSA-MRT Pasay and Valenzuela City recorded total suspended particles (TSP) levels of 230 micrograms per normal cubic meter (ug/Ncm). This is more than double the normal standard, which is 90ug/Ncm.

To get a clearer picture of the country’s current state of air quality, more air monitoring posts should be set up. However, establishing AQM stations can be expensive since equipment is usually imported.

Researchers from the Manila Observatory and the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) are fine-tuning to help bring down cost of air quality monitoring (AQM station).

The air pollution tester is the result of the three-year research project on ambient air pollution sensor that has received funding of P2.8 million from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Usec. Carol M. Yorobe, Officer-In-Charge of DOST’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), which monitors the DOST Grants-In-Aid project, believes that the air pollution sensor will be instrumental in providing accurate and timely reports on gaseous pollutant levels. “This instrument will also help the Philippine government realize the objective of the Clean Air Act of 1999, which is to achieve and maintain healthy air for all Filipinos,” she said.

100% locally assembled
According to project leader Dr. James B. Simpas, who is currently the head of the Urban Air Quality and Instrumentation and Technology Development Programs of the Manila Observatory and an assistant professor in ADMU’s Department of Physics, the team of researchers is fine-tuning an air pollution sensor that measures ambient concentrations of sulfur dioxide, ozone and nitrogen dioxide.

Dr. Simpas shared that the design of the instrument takes into account the strengths and weaknesses of commercial instruments and research prototypes. “We considered actual field conditions, and we incorporated recent advances in spectroscopy technology in the design. This instrument is designed for maximum functionality at minimum cost,” he said.

To cut down on cost, the team imported only the optical components and some specialized electronics. “By understanding the principles behind an instrument, it is possible to fabricate one locally, often at the fraction of the cost,” Dr. Simpas explained.

The calibration unit of the instrument is currently undergoing functional tests. Once fully operational, the instrument will be housed at the Manila Observatory, alongside the AQM station of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Environmental Management Bureau.

Developed and copyright by M-Vision Business Solutions

DOST creates drinking water filter technology to NHA resettlement community

Venancio G. Dumayo shells out P35 for drinking water every three days or less. The cost dams up in a month, bursting a hole in the six-member family’s marginal income. But like the hundreds of families that make up the new Southville 3 community, Dumayo apparently had little choice.
Southville 3 is a community of former settlers along the perilous tracks of the Philippine National Railways traversing the fast developing Muntinlupa City to the Southern Luzon provinces.
The National Housing Authority has built the austere community with 7,000 row housing units in Muntinlupa’s hilly inner borough, just south of the ill-famed national penitentiary.
Recently, Dumayo and 499 other families received “ceramic pot water filter” units developed by scientists at the Industrial Technology Development Institute, an agency of the Department of Science and Technology.
They will be the first to use the clay based water filter units as part of pilot testing agreement between DOST-ITDI and the NHA.
The ITDI water filter is made of red clay coated with nano-colloidal silver, an anti-microbial agent that is more efficient than the “chlorination process in traditional water filter system,” ITDI explained.  The pot-shaped filter is placed on top of a plastic container that holds the filtered water.
This simple science tested solution can “reduce e coli count to less than 1 percent”, DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo told Southville 3 residents following the signing of a memorandum of agreement on the project with NHA General Manager Chito M. Cruz.
Montejo reminded Dumayo and other recipients of the water filter units that their feedback is important for possible performance improvement of the units after the pilot test.
But Dumayo is already buoyed by the “big savings that I can squeeze” from using the ITDI water filter.
ITDI Director Nuna Almanzor said that cost per unit was considered in the development of the water filter. The development team came out with a filter system that’s “easy to make, portable, inexpensive, user friendly, and made of local clay that passed the required physical properties of ceramic pot filters”.
Moreover, the ITDI water filter has “passed the Philippine National Standards for drinking water in terms of microbiological and chemical analysis”.
It is capable to purify tap water, deep well water, and raw water tainted with up to 3 percent suspended particles or silt and convert these into safe drinking water”, the ITDI said in a statement.
Under the MOA, experts from DOST-ITDI will provide technical assistance to the NHA and the beneficiaries starting from installation to performance monitoring of the water filters.
“Access to potable water is one of the major development concerns of President Aquino. What we brought here today is a practical solution to that concern. We really hope that we can roll this out to other communities nationwide”, Montejo added. [S&T Media Service]             

Developed and copyright by M-Vision Business Solutions

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