The Battle for Manila Bay

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) launched the project dubbed "Battle for Manila Bay" on January 27th which "will be won not with force or arms but with the firm resolve to bring Manila Bay back to life,” Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said in a statement.

IMAGE: Jerry Manilag via Twitter

More than 5,000 participants, mostly personnel from the DENR and 12 other government agencies tasked by the Supreme Court gathered together to clean up Manila Bay. The "Solidarity Walk" started at 7 AM from the Quirino Grandstand to the Baywalk area, in front of the Rajah Sulayman Park in Malate. 

Simultaneous cleanup activities also happened along the Baywalk, at the Las Piñas-Parañaque critical habitat and ecotourism area, in the Marine Tree Park in Navotas and in Talaba Dos in Bacoor, Cavite.

In the next coming weeks, rehabilitation projects will be launched in Central Luzon, specifically in Obando, Bulacan; Mariveles, Bataan; and Guagua, Pampanga.

IMAGE: Jerry Manilag via Twitter

"The Manila Bay rehabilitation program would not only involve cleanup activities, but also relocation of illegal settlers as well as apprehension of establishments that violate the Philippine Clean Water Act and other environmental laws", Cimatu said.

Cimatu added that the DENR will serve notices of violation to these establishments that discharge untreated water to esteros, rivers and other tributaries that flow into Manila Bay.

Recently, the DENR ordered the closure of Aristocrat Restaurant in Roxas Boulevard for "generating and discharging pollutive wastewater" amid the government's move to rehabilitate Manila Bay.

IMAGE: Jerry Manilag via Twitter

It is noted that the Manila City government has ordered the temporary closure of Manila Zoo to allow the reconstruction of its sewer lines. The zoo is located near Estero de San Antonio Abad in Malate, Manila, which directly drains into the Manila Bay. Also, the DENR ordered establishments around the bay to put up their own sewage treatment plants last January 11.

President Duterte approved the Manila Bay rehabilitation plan proposed by the DENR. He allocated P42.95 billion for the implementation of the project within three years. Aside from the DENR, other departments tasked in the Manila Bay cleanup are tourism, interior and local government, social welfare and development, trade and industry, defense, and science and technology.

IMAGE: Jerry Manilag via Twitter

Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año directed local government units (LGUs) and barangays around Manila Bay to conduct weekly cleanup activities. He signed the Memorandum Circular No. 2019-09, directing the 178 LGUs and 5,714 barangays to take part in activities that would contribute to the rehabilitation of the bay.

“Manila Bay is polluted and partly, we have ourselves to blame. But it’s not too late, we can still make amends,” Año said in a statement.

How To Get To Mt Balagbag, Erich Gonzales' Latest Mountain Destination

Local celebrity Erich Gonzales has always been a trending topic among Facebook groups related to travel and mountain climbing. She has been climbing the mountains near Metro Manila. Just recently, she conquered Mt Balagbag, one of the popular mountains in Rodriguez, Rizal.


Mount Balagbag, a perfect destination for camping and stargazing, can be accessed through the roads of San Jose del Monte in Bulacan. To get here from Makati, ride a bus heading to Tungko. Fare is around Php 57 per person. From Tungko, ride a jeepney going to Licao Licao. Fare is around Php 26 per person. For hikers with private cars, use Waze to get to the jump off. Take note: cars are being allowed to be brought at the summit. Awesome, right?

Check your things once you reached Licao Licao. There are stores and low-cost eateries in the area in case you need something before you hit the trails. For registration, you need to trek for at least 25 minutes until you reach the Brgy Hall where you have to pay for the registration fee amounting to Php 10. Hiring a tour guide isn't necessary when climbing Mount Balagbag. Licao Licao also serve as the jump off points of Mount Ipo and Mount Maranat. Both mountains has beautiful and breathtaking waterfalls, attracting tourists and hikers.


The second jump off can be reached after a 40-minute trek from the Brgy Hall. Hikers are required to pay the environmental fee amounting to Php 80 per person. There is another store waiting for you here. The summit is only 15 minutes away so you can rest here for a while and enjoy a snack before hitting the trail again. The summit offers a breathtaking view of Quezon City. Imagine the skyline and city lights when you decide to stay overnight here. Amazing, right? Please be reminded that the last jeepney heading to the city is scheduled at 6 PM daily. In case you missed it, you can hire a tricycle to take you back to the city.

If you haven't started mountain climbing, think again. Climbing to reach the summit can be a rewarding experience, offering sweeping, breathtaking views and uniquely solitary environments. Mountain climbing (better than sosyal climbing) improves cardiovascular and muscular fitness; improves memory; strengthens bones; removes toxins; loses extra pounds; prevents Vitamin D deficiency; improves immune system; decreases stress hormone; and improves balance.

Palaui Beach Is Among World's Best Beaches For 2018

The Palaui Beach, located in Santa Ana, Cagayan, is among the World's Best Beaches for 2018, according to a Canadian travel agency Flight Network.

According to Flight Network, Palaui Beach is often described as raw, fresh and clean — renowned for its pure, unfiltered beauty. In fact, it’s so secluded and untouched, it was featured on the show ‘Survivor’.


Today, the island beach is getting more attention, but it is still considered remote and pristine. All who are lucky enough to visit get to experience the fine, powdery sand and contrasting periwinkle skies and turquoise waters almost all to themselves. You may not be a castaway here, but you will definitely consider the benefits of being stranded on Palaui Beach forever.

Meanwhile, El Nido's Hidden Beach tops the list for it's “sheer untouched beauty, remoteness, sand and water quality, annual days of sunshine, and average annual temperature.”

“The wild, vegetation-covered rock formations and crystal-clear waters of Hidden Beach will make you feel as if you’ve been dropped into a movie,” the company said, quoting Sachin Aggarwal of Carlson Wagonlit Travel.

Other beaches listed were:
  • Radhanagar Beach in India (No. 4)
  • Bai Khem Beach in Vietnam (No. 5)
  • Ngapali Beach in Myanmar (No. 6)
  • Pink Beach in Indonesia (No. 7)
  • Kelingking Beach in Indonesia (No. 9)
  • Altinkum Beach in Turkey (No. 8) 
  • Dead Sea in Jordan (No. 10)

Eight other Philippine beaches were also listed among Asia’s best, including the following:
  • Guyam White Sand Beach in Siargao (No. 13)
  • Palaui Beach in Cagayan Valley (No. 22)
  • Caramoan Island Beach in Camarines Sur (No. 29)
  • Dahican Beach in Davao Oriental (No. 41)
  • Gumasa Beach in Sarangani (No 45)
  • Kalanggaman Island in Cebu (No. 49)
  • Paliton Beach in Siquijor (No. 50)

According to Flight Network, they have consulted 600 travel journalists, editors, bloggers and agencies experienced in traveling, including Forbes, The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Yahoo, BBC, The Guardian, and Los Angeles Times, for the Asian ranking.

“Flight Network consulted these travel professionals to rank the best beaches in the world, based on their personal and professional experiences. We received unparalleled insight into the most spectacular beaches on earth,” the travel company revealed.

How To Get More Instagram Followers This 2019

Getting a huge number of Instagram followers isn't that easy anymore as compared last year or two years ago. Imagine this: there are more than 1 billion monthly users on Instagram, with an ultra-smart algorithm, and tons of clever, creative and competitive brands on the social media network. So, yes, it's really hard to stand out, show off your brand, and to get more followers on Instagram. 

But, we need to work smarter and harder. 

I've been using Instagram for years now. I admit, it's not easy to get more followers nowadays. Luckily, my engagement is high enough, allowing me to book collaborations and sponsorships. Let me share with you eight tips to get more followers this 2019 based on my Instagram experience and through the latest trend.

1. Complete Your Instagram Profile

Instagram users quickly decides whether they follow you or not depending on your feed. This is your first opportunity to make a great impression, enticing people to follow your account. Make sure you have a great Instagram profile photo and complete and effective Instagram bio. Always remember that your Instagram profile is as important as your homepage.

2. Use Hashtags and Location Tags

In case you missed it, Instagram Stories including photos and videos appear on the Instagram Explore page, allowing other people who don't even follow you still browse and watch your stories. They might even tap your handle name and follow your profile. Amazing, right? 

All you have to do is use up to 30 hashtags per post. You can also use hashtags on your Instagram Stories. Your story may also appear in the stories for different locations and hashtags. You'll receive a notification from Instagram when your story is added to location's story page. Make sure you use a location sticker to your Instagram story to be added on the list. Once added, this is an opportunity to be in front of new audiences! 

3. Post Selfies Once In A While

Seriously? Yes, of course! 

Instagram is a social media network and people want to follow the accounts that they can relate to, regardless of weather that's a brand, influencers, or a person they meet on mountain climbing. It is very important to make your Instagram account as personable and relatable as much as possible. 

4. Promote Your Instagram on Facebook

'Mga lodi, patingin naman ng IG travel photos niyo'.

'Need travel inspiration, please drop your IGs on the comment'

Cross-promoting your Instagram on other social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter is an easy way to attract and introduce yourself to new audiences. It's time to think about your Instagram strategy as a part of your wider marketing efforts. Yes, you can grow outside the Instagram app.

5. Collaborate with Brands

Collaborating with other Instagram users isn't that complicated and costly. You can simply message a user who loves photography and meet up for a photo walk within BGC or in Makati or anywhere else. Make sure that you have a mutually beneficial partnership and that both of your audiences will benefit from your collaboration efforts.

6. Reply to Comments and Direct Messages

7. Post Comments To Other Instagram Accounts

I've noticed that most bloggers kept on commenting on the photos posted by another Instagram users. This is an effective way to attract new audiences. Yes, I'm also doing this! Once in a while, I leave comments to photos posted by my favorite celebrities and personalities. Followers of these celebrities and personalities can see your comment and will eventually tap your handle and browse your Instagram profile. So, make sure you have a complete Instagram bio. 

8. Post Consistently

I hope you learned something today. If the tips mentioned above works for you, please let me know. Let me know as well if you know other tips and hacks that is related to this topic so I can update this blog very soon. Thanks again!