Saturday, August 29, 2015

Timber Problems

By Anton Antonio
August 29, 2015

There are problems in the uplands and forestlands.  The basic product that uplands offer is timber. Timber production is not spared from problems such as:
  1. Ineffective Laws and Regulations – There are sufficient laws to protect our forestlands.  The problem revolves around the actual enforcement of such laws.  Another is the sloppy implementation of government-initiated plans and programs on the environment.  The primary governmental agency in charge of implementing environmental and forestry laws is the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  Corrupt practices in this agency make it easy for forestry law violators to get away without punishment.  It is a widespread perception that some DENR officials even encourage illegal logging activities. 
  2. Lack of Security of Tenure – Most forestland is public domain (meaning: land owned directly by government).  Tenurial instruments (meaning: the act, fact, manner, or condition of holding something in one’s possession; and, a period during which something is held) are granted by government as a means to allow qualified individuals and organizations to be stewards of a defined forest area.  These tenurial instruments, however, are largely dependent on political considerations.  In a country where public officials are elected every 3 years, tenure becomes a political commodity and an expensive problem to the tenurial instrument holder.
  3. Lack of Planning – Trees and tree plantations, depending on the specific specie, take an average of 10 to 15 years to grow to maturity.  Most present-day forestry planning is myopic and short term.  Even long term plans are normally lost and forgotten because of changing priorities and developmental direction of government.  Continuity of plans and program remains to be the cause of developmental program failures.
  4. Undesirable Upland Practices – Upland and forest dweller have their own set of practices based on their indigenous culture, customs and traditions.  Oftentimes, these practices are contrary to sustainable development-related forestry programs.  Harmonizing indigenous knowledge with modern management technology remains to be a problem.
  5. Lack of Financial Incentives – Due to the fact that trees and tree plantations have a relatively longer period to grow and develop, financial support becomes a key issue.  The fact that forest lands are not privately owned but government property makes it impossible for lending institutions to facilitate credit.  It must be noted that banks will only allow collateralized loans.  With government not willing to give financial support to private persons and individuals, projects and programs are left to simply planning but never implemented.  Besides, the prevailing mindset on government financial support, even if these are in the form of loans, is that they are dole outs… and, therefore, acceptable not to pay them.
  6. Illegal Logging – Illegal logging is one of the primary causes for forest cover loss.  Not like tenurial instrument holders, illegal loggers have no obligation whatsoever to embark on reforestation, timber stand improvement, enhancement planting and other silvicultural activities.  The net result of timber harvesting without parallel planting will be forest cover loss (at the very least) and deforestation (at the very worst).
  7. Security – Insurgency is less of a problem in highly urbanized areas but a real concern in rural and forest areas.

These are the main problems of timber development and production although there are other relatively minor concerns.  Perhaps, we could simply call these our “timber problems.”

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Is Coal a Poverty Cure?

by Anton Antonio
August 28, 2015

In the following blog articles (“The Coal War in Palawan”, “Coal Plant in Palawan”, “Coal Narratives” and “The History of Pollution”), I registered my opposition to coal as a sustainable alternative source of energy… a conviction shared among the environmentalist sector of our country.  The captains of the energy industry in the Philippines, however, have a different viewpoint and statement contrary to the environmentalists’ stance.  There is a deadlock or stalemate insofar as who is right.  Perhaps, a third party opinion could break this impasse (meaning: a situation in which no progress is possible especially because of a disagreement).

The following researched article could be the factor that will provide impetus (meaning: the force or energy with which a body moves) to the cause of the environmentalists.  Please read…


“The World Bank said coal was no cure for global poverty on Wednesday, rejecting a main industry argument for building new fossil fuel projects in developing countries.  In a rebuff to coal, oil and gas companies, Rachel Kyte, the World Bank climate change envoy, said continued use of coal was exacting a heavy cost on some of the world’s poorest countries, in local health as well as climate change, which is imposing even graver consequences on the developing world.  “In general globally we need to wean ourselves off coal,” Kyte told an event in Washington hosted by the New Republic and the Center for American Progress.  “There is a huge social cost to coal and a huge social cost to fossil fuels… if you want to be able to breathe clean air.”  Coal, oil and gas companies have pushed back against efforts to fight climate change by arguing fossil fuels are a cure to “energy poverty”, which is holding back developing countries.  Peabody Energy, the world’s biggest privately held coal company, went so far as to claim that coal would have prevented the spread of the Ebola virus.  However, Kyte said that when it came to lifting countries out of poverty, coal was part of the problem --- and not part of a broader solution.  “Do I think coal is the solution to poverty?  There are more than 1 billion people today who have no access to energy,” Kyle said.  Hooking them up to a coal-fired grid would not on its own wreck the planet, she went on.  But Kyle added: “If they all had access to coal-fired power tomorrow their respiratory illness rates would go up, etc, etc… We need to extend access to energy to the poor and we need to do it the cleanest way possible because the social costs of coal are uncounted and damaging, just as the global emissions count is damaging as well.”  The World Bank sees climate change as a driver of poverty, threatening decades of development.  The international lender has strongly backed efforts to reach a deal in Paris at the end of the year that would limit warming to a rise of 2 degrees Celsius.  However, even that deal would not do enough to avoid severe consequences for some of the world’s poorest countries, Kyte said.  “Two degrees is not benign,” she said.  “It is where we put the line in the sand.”  Fossil fuel companies have pushed back against the notion that climate change is a driver of poverty, arguing instead that the low global prices for coal and oil are a benefit for the poor countries.  Peabody launched a global public relations offensive around the notion of “energy poverty”, trying to rebrand the dirtiest of fossil fuels as a poverty cure.  Spokesmen for shell have called efforts to cut use of fossil fuels in developing countries “energy colonialism”.  The World Bank stopped funding new coal projects except in “rare circumstances” three years ago after the US, Britain and the Netherlands opposed its decision to finance new coal-fired power plant in South Africa.  The US stopped investing in the new coal-fired projects overseas in 2011, and called on lending institutions like the World Bank to do the same.  Kyte in her remarks on Wednesday left some room for the World Bank to fund future coal projects --- but she made it clear it would only be in the most isolated circumstances.  “We have no coal in our pipeline apart from one particularly extreme circumstance,” she said.” ---

There really is a need to strengthen the energy sector to guarantee continuous economic progress in our country.  But there will have to be a serious look into the type of energy source.  Coal is not the way to go compared to other alternatives such as solar, wind, wave, hydro and geothermal.  These alternative initiatives can also cure poverty and we don’t have to wonder and ask the question: “Is Coal a poverty cure?”

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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Antonio, A. C. (2015). “The Coal War in Palawan”. Retrieved on August 28, 2015 from

Antonio, A. C. (2015). “Coal Plant in Palawan”. Retrieved on August 28, 2015 from

Antonio, A. C. (2015). “Coal Narratives”. Retrieved on August 28, 2015 from

Antonio, A. C. (2015). “The History of Pollution”. Retrieved on August 28, 2015 from

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

B.R.O.D. ... This Will Work

By Anton Antonio
August 27, 2015

“Ang ating traffic po ay larawan din ng ating pag-uugali.  Tayo ba ay mapagbigay?  Tayo ba ay mainitin ang ulo?  Tayo ba ay laging nag-uunahan o tayo’y may kakayahan na magbigayan.” --- His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

“I approached the driver of one of the five vehicles and told him that 200 vehicles are stuck in traffic because they are in the wrong way.  It is really lamentable how some people tend to behave.” --- Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales

On August 23, 2015, Cardinal Tagle and Cardinal Rosales spoke their minds on our deteriorated traffic situation.  And when personalities like our two esteemed Cardinals speak, we all have to listen.  Cardinal Rosales himself got stuck in traffic and had to alight from his vehicle and humble himself to traffic aide duties to untangle a major traffic gridlock.

There are really a lot of causes that could be attributed to our daily traffic woes; to mention some of them:  (1) the bearing capacity of Metro Manila streets is almost maxed-out (EDSA alone is being used by about 2.34 million vehicles daily); (2) the road repairs and anti-flooding projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH); (3) The various infrastructure projects of government; (4) the Maynilad, Manila Water, Meralco and PLDT digging projects, etc.  Although these infrastructure projects are only temporary disturbances and inconveniences and will eventually be beneficial, they (at present) result in (a) precious manhours lost; (b) livelihood opportunities lost; and, (c) a bigger carbon footprint made.  But they, however, still are annoying to a lot of us. 

Yes, we blame everyone --- from President Noynoy to the favourite “whipping boy” of mainstream and social media, Chairman Francis N. Tolentino of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) --- for all the wasted time and petrol while we twiddle our thumbs in traffic.  But have we really taken time to look at ourselves?  Have we really analyzed the situation?  Are we not also to blame for our crazy traffic situation?  Cardinal Tagle and Cardinal Rosales have just given us an insight to the real problem… our lack of discipline.

Another worrisome note is the estimated 800 thousand to 1.2 million additional vehicles that will be introduced to the already heavily burdened streets of Metro Manila in the next ten years.  Although this is a good sign of economic progress, it also entails novel traffic initiatives to cope with this projected road use increase.  Government, through the MMDA and DPWH, is aware of this and is setting in place new infrastructure projects and programs to deal with this eventuality.  But government can only do as much and our future traffic problems will largely depend on our ability to adapt to changes. There are also individual/personal changes that must be done… which is more critical.  This has a lot to do with improving the driving culture and character of the Pinoy driver.

It’s a strange developing culture and character among us, Pinoys.  We take pride in beating red lights, making left and u-turns where the road signage says we are not supposed to, parking in “no parking” areas, speeding in the wrong direction through one-way streets, and counter-flowing as if we are the only ones in a hurry to get to our destinations.  Taxi and jeepney drivers declare they are kings of the road while bus drivers take special pride in being the bigger road bullies.  Truck drivers, because of the sheer size of their vehicles, are normally happy to intimidate smaller cars out of the way.  While some of our drivers take special pride and joy in being undisciplined, the Philippines is fast becoming the “offensive driving” school of the world… something we really cannot and should not be proud of.  Again, the key word is “discipline” or the lack of it.  I hasten to add that pedestrians too are as undisciplined as some drivers.  And it takes only one undisciplined driver and/or pedestrian (in a particular stretch of road) to cause a nerve-racking traffic jam.

Filipinos are fond of the word “BROD”.  We are quick to call anyone “BROD” to signify closeness to a fellow Pinoy.  Well, the term BROD could prove to be another solution to our traffic problems.  B.R.O.D. is an acronym and could be a constant reminder for all of us that we are BROTHERS and not competitors and/or enemies on the road…

·         B for “Bigayan” sa kalye (our cardinal rule);
·         R for “Respeto” sa kapwa (fellow drivers and traffic enforcers);
·         O for Obey traffic rules and regulations; and,
·         D for Discipline (walang kamatayang Disiplina).

BRODs, let us also stop blaming MMDA Chairman Tolentino for the traffic situation.  The guy is doing his best to make travel for all of us as smooth and comfortable as possible.  Trust that he is cracking his head and spending sleepless nights thinking of ways and means to improve things.  Instead of pinning blames on others, let us look within ourselves to discover the possible significant contribution we could make to ease our traffic malaise.  Let’s all think B.R.O.D. … this will work.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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By Anton Antonio
August 25, 2015

This is not to add another worrisome term to the wide array of terms related to earthquakes… the term is “liquefaction”.  This term, however, has to be popularized to create a higher degree of awareness amongst us. 

Liquefaction is a phenomenon in which the strength and stiffness of soil is reduced by earthquake shaking which could result in tremendous amounts of damage during an actual earthquake.  “Liquefaction is a term used in materials sciences to refer to any process which either generates a liquid from a solid or a gas, or generates a non-liquid phase which behaves in accordance with fluid dynamics.  Liquefaction occurs both as part of natural processes, and in man-made processes used in science and commerce.  For example, “(a) major commercial application of liquefaction is the liquefaction of air to allow separation of the constituents, such as oxygen, nitrogen, and the other noble gasses”, while another application is the conversion of solid coal into liquid form usable as a substitute for liquid fuels.” (Wikipedia)

More than the commercial application of liquefaction, we will be more concerned about liquefaction as a geological phenomenon.  “In geology, soil liquefaction refers to the process by which water-saturated, unconsolidated sediments are transformed into a substance that acts like a liquid, often in an earthquake.  By undermining the foundations and base courses of infrastructure, liquefaction can cause serious damage.”  (Wikipedia)

The following is additional researched information on liquefaction…

“MANILA, Philippines – With the anticipated magnitude 7.2 earthquake triggered by the West Valley Fault along areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned residents living in areas where the ground is prone to liquefaction.  During the earthquake preparedness forum in Malabon organized by the City of Malabon and Assistance and Cooperation for Community Resilience and Development/ACCORD last June, Kathleen Papiona of Phivolcs said liquefaction is among the other hazards caused by earthquake.  Other hazards are ground rupture, ground shaking, fire, landslide and tsunami.  “Liquefaction is a phenomenon, when loosely consolidated sediments soil deposits lost their strength and appeared to flow as fluids,” Papiona said.  Te phenomenon is triggered by strong ground shaking and is commonly observes near rivers, bays, and other bodies of water since it occurs in water-saturated soils.  Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum Jr. said coastal areas in the cities of Marikina, Pasig, Taguig, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Muntinlupa, Pasay, Las Pinas and the municipality of Pateros are prone to liquefaction.  Aside from Metro Manila, Solidum said several areas in the provinces of Pampanga and Nueva Ecija are also susceptible to liquefaction according to the findings of a 2004 study conducted by Phivolcs and the Metro Manila Development Authority.” ---

Last July 30, 2015, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) embarked on a project dubbed as “Metro Manila Shake”.  This is a very important project aimed at preparing the “Big City” for the “Big One”… a magnitude 7.0 PLUS earthquake which is largely being predicted to occur anytime sooner or later.  Another phenomenon we have to contend with is liquefaction.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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REFERENCE:, (2015).  “Infographic: Liquefaction Potential Map Metro Manila”.  Retrieved on August 26, 2015 from

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Preserving the Rice Terraces

By Anton Antonio
August 25, 2015

Ecotourism is the responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.  It is also tourism directed toward exotic, often threatened, natural environments, especially to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife. 

Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel.  This means that the stakeholders who implement and participate in ecotourism activities should follow these sustainable ecotourism principles: (1) Minimize impact; (2) Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect; (3) Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts; (4) Provide direct financial benefits for conservation; (5) Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people; and, (6) Raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climate.

On August 11, 2015, reported that a car park building was being constructed near the Ifugao rice terraces.  So we don’t create impressions, here is the complete text of this news item…

“BAGUIO CITY – Banaue in Ifugao province is known for its poster-perfect rice terraces, so why is a six-storey car park building being planned in the heart of the mountain town?  Municipal officials are pushing through with a P55-million car park project in Barangay Poblacion, Banaue.  A group, however, has asked the Ifugao Regional Trial Court (RTC) to stop the project, saying residents had not been consulted about it and that its environmental impact had not been assessed.  The group also claims irregularities in the granting of the government loan for the project.  Judge Esther Piscoso Flor of RTC Branch 34 granted a 72-hour temporary restraining order (TRO) on July 16 at the request of Poblacion village chief Fernando Bahatan, former Banaue Mayor Lino Madchiw, Ifugao Prosecutor Zenaida Munar-Niwane, lawyer Kendall Pung-ao and Dr. Grasibel Rufino.  But he denied Bahatan’s petition for a 20-day TRO on July 21.  Flor took a leave of absence on July 21 and had not acted on the petitioners’ motion for reconsideration.  The case has been transferred to RTC Branch 14 in Lagawe, the capital town of Ifugao.  Banaue Mayor Jerry Dalipog said the construction of the building could encourage tourists to stay longer in his town.  “We estimate that about 25 percent of tourists who visit Banaue bring their own cars, but drive away immediately because they have no secure place to park when they hike to the terraces,” he said.  Since 2013, about 70,000 tourists have visited Banaue, but many motorists park along the town’s narrow two-lane roads, Dalipog said.  Only Banaue Hotel and Halfway Lodge have parking spaces, he said.  The mayor said the construction of the parking building had proceeded after the first TRO lapsed on July 19.  In their complaint against Dalipog and the municipal council led by Vice Mayor Joel Bungallon, Bahatan and his group cited alleged irregularities in the grant of the loan from Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).  They claimed that Dalipog executed the loan on Dec. 10, 2014, was still being reviewed by the provincial board.  The Banaue council approved the ordinance on Sept. 11, 2014.  The provincial board endorsed the law on Jan. 27, or more than a month after the loan was made.  “I do not know what irregularities the protesters are talking about.  We have strictly followed the process required by law,” Dalipog said in a telephone interview.  He said he took out the loan to supplement government allocations because Banaue’s internal revenue allotment was insufficient.  On May 15, in an attempt to stop the project, Bahatan asked the DBP branch in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya province, to withhold the release of the loan.  But the bank manager, Loreto Marites Ilagan, assured him that the municipal government had complied with all requirements.  The complainants also claim that the people were not consulted about the project, and that the proponents had skirted potential environmental hazards that may affect them.  Dalipog said the project was included in the town’s annual investment plan for 2014.” --- Kimberlie Quitasol,

When politicians get involved as proponents and oppositors to a local government unit project, we could only assume that it’s all about politics.  The danger in getting politician involved in purely environmental issues is that the environment gets compromised… as politics in the art of compromise.  The environment should never be a political bargaining chip to be used by politicians who are actually misfits in the environmental world.  While the politicians in Banaue talk about legalities and economics, they are oblivious of what really matters… the parking building project must first conform to the six sustainable ecotourism principles (mentioned in paragraph two of this article).  These sustainable ecotourism principles will help them discern if the project’s purpose and objective is at all geared towards preserving the rice terraces.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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REFERENCE: (2015). “Car Park Building to Rise Near Ifugao Rice Terraces”.  Retrieved on August 25, 2015 from

Monday, August 24, 2015

Desert Greenhouses

by Anton Antonio
August 24, 2015

Desertification has been gradually creeping into arable land (meaning: land suitable for growing crops) in the last three decades.  It is the process by which fertile land becomes desert, typically as a result of drought, deforestation or inappropriate agriculture.  Global warming, according to some climate change experts, remains to be the most significant culprit.  Whatever the cause of desertification may be, the more appropriate question to ask would be, “Is there a plausible way of curbing this trend and making these areas productive?”

Here is a researched material that might provide the answer…

“Greenhouses that will use seawater to grow crops in one of the hottest and driest places on earth will be designed by researchers at Aston University working with industry partners as part of an international project.

The installations are to be erected in specially selected sites across the Horn of Africa, a region where temperatures regularly breach 40 degrees Celsius, water is scarce and food insecurity is very high.  Due to the climate, conventional agriculture has been severely marginalised and the situation is worsening.

The project aims to overcome the region’s inhospitable conditions to help farmers drastically increase their crop yields, providing them with a consistent, sustainable income.  Currently in Somalia, only 1.5% of the country’s land is cultivated and an average annual crop yields per hectare are just 0.5 tons --- compared to 700 tons per hectare in commercial greenhouses.

The productivity and quality of crops cultivated in greenhouses is typically much improves upon traditional open field cultivation and the use of water and nutrients is much more economical.  Once installed, the innovative greenhouses will pump seawater from the sea using solar energy and convert it into freshwater for irrigation via the desalination process.  The remaining seawater will be brought into contact with the air inside the low cost net structures of the greenhouses, creating a cool and humid breeze to reduce plant transpiration.  Salt extracted from the seawater will be utilised in cooking and preserving food.

A team from Aston, led by Dr. Philip Davies and Dr. Sotos Generalis, will provide their expertise in areas relating to seawater cooling, desalination of saline water and airflow dynamics, helping to design the structure and the layout of the greenhouses.  They will collaborate on the project with fellow academics at Gollis University, in Somaliland, and the firm, Seawater Greenhouses Ltd., that is leading the whole project.

Dr. Philip Davis, of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, said: “I think the project could really make a difference to peoples’ futures in the Horn of Africa, which is very much in need of investments to provide for its growing population.  We will be working very closely with our partners in Somaliland to increase our understanding of the local challenges and to make sure our contributions are effective.”

By 2050, global agriculture output will need to increase by 60% on current levels to meet demand for food.  Agricultural output on such a scale will put an increased strain on resources such as water --- with lack of freshwater already being an acute problem.  The use of desalination and seawater greenhouses is expected to rise quickly to meet growing demand.

The £722k greenhouse project in the Horn of Africa is funded by Innovate UK with support from the Department for International Development under the Agri-tech Catalyst Industrial Research strategy.” ---

Initiatives like this will not only reclaim land lost to desertification but will also address the food security woes of countries with desert areas.  Here’s looking into the future by building and developing desert greenhouses.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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REFERENCE:, (2015). Retrieved on July 30, 2015 from

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Solar Power Investments

by Anton Antonio
August 23, 2015

The Philippine government acknowledges the need to energize more rural areas.  However, the choice initiative in energy development is still dependent on fossil fuels.  While most of our ASEAN neighbours are converting from coal-fuelled electricity generation plants, we are still considering building more coal power plants.  This seems contrary to green initiatives in energy development… and this seems to be a retrogressive outlook.  Is there really other ways to solve our future energy requirement?  Yes, there are other more environment-friendly alternatives.

By the end of this year, Thailand will be completing a program that will give her the capacity in solar power to match that of the rest of Southeast Asia.  The Thai government is looking forward at this energy source to power the region’s second-biggest economy.  The move was relatively simple.  Thailand simply focused their budget and national expenditure to make way for appropriating more funds to solar energy.  As a parallel move, they also campaigned and welcomed solar power investments from other countries.

Renewable and sustainable energy are the choice for the future… hydro, wind, wave, geothermal, solar and other renewable and sustainable sources of energy yet to discovered and developed by man.  The Philippines fits into solar energy considering the geographic location and the natural and abundant amount of year-round sunlight.  At present, it seems logical for our country to also seriously consider the solar energy option and, therefore, encourage both domestic and international solar power investments.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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REFERENCE:, (2015). “Thailand Ignites Solar Power Investment in Southeast Asia”.  Retrieved on August 23, 2015 from

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sea Level Rise

by Anton Antonio
August 22, 2015

Sea level is the horizontal plane or level corresponding to the surface of the sea at mean level between high and low tide.  On the other hand, sea level rise is the result and effect of the greenhouse effect or global warming.  Rise in sea level will have a great impact on the long-term coastal morphology which will gradually cause a general shoreline retreat and an increased flooding risk. 

Sea level rise is serous and worrisome.  Some areas in Metro Manila have traditionally been flood probe because of clogged waterways and high tide.  Factor-in sea level rise and we have a perfect formula for disaster… the effect and impact of such is simply unthinkable.

But is sea level rise a reality?  Here is a researched material on sea level rise:


In what may prove to be a turning point for political action on climate change, a breathtaking new study casts extreme doubt about the near-term stability of global sea levels. 

The study --- written by James Hansen, NASA’s former lead climate scientist, and 16 co-authors, many of whom are considered among the top in their fields --- concludes that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica will melt 10 times faster than previous consensus estimates, resulting in sea level rise of at least 10 feet in as little as 50 years.  The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, brings new importance to a feedback loop in the ocean near Antarctica that results in cooler freshwater from melting glaciers forcing warmer, saltier water underneath the ice sheets, speeding up the melting rate.  Hansen, who is known for being alarmist and also right, acknowledges that his study implies change far beyond previous consensus estimates.  In a conference call with reporters, he said he hoped the new findings would be “substantially more persuasive than anything previously published.”  I certainly find them to be.

To come to their findings, the authors used a mixture of paleoclimate records, computer models, and observations of current rates of sea level rise, but “the real world is moving somewhat faster than the model,” Hansen says.

Hansen’s study does not attempt to predict the precise timing of the feedback loop, only that it is “likely” to occur this century.  The implications are mindboggling:  In the study’s likely scenario, New York City --- and every other coastal city on the planet --- may only have a few more decades of habitability left.  That dire prediction, in Hansen’s view, requires “emergency cooperation among nations.”

We conclude that continued high emissions will make multi-meter sea level rise practically unavoidable and likely to occur this century.  Social disruption and economic consequences of such large sea level rise could be devastating.  It is not difficult to imagine that conflicts arising from forces migrations and economic collapse might make the planet ungovernable, threatening the fabric of civilization.

The science of ice melt rates is advancing so fast, scientists have generally been reluctant to put a number to what is essentially an unpredictable, nonlinear response of ice sheets to a steadily warming ocean.  With Hansen’s new study, that changes in a dramatic way.  One of the study’s co-authors is Eric Rignot, whose own study last year found that glacial melt from West Antarctica now appears to be “unstoppable.”  Chris Mooney, writing for Mother Jones, called the study a “holy shit” moment for the climate.

One necessary note of caution: Hansen’s study comes via a non-traditional publishing decision by its authors.  The study will be published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, an open-access “discussion” journal, and will not have formal peer review prior to its appearance online later this week. [Update, July 23: The paper is now available.]  The complete discussion draft circulated to journalists was 66 pages long, and included more than 300 references.  The peer review will take place in real time, with responses to the work by other scientists also published online.  Hansen said this publishing timeline was necessary to make the work public as soon as possible before global negotiators meet in Paris later this year.  Still, the lack of traditional peer review and the fact that this study’s results go far beyond what’s been previously published will likely bring increased scrutiny.  On Twitter, Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist whose work focuses on Greenland and the Arctic, was sceptical of such enormous rates of near-term sea level rise, though she defended Hansen’s decision to publish in a non-traditional way.

In 2013, Hansen left his post at NASA to become a climate activist because , in his words, “as a government employee, you can’t testify against government.”  In a wide-ranging December 2013 study, conducted to support Our Children’s Trust, a group advancing legal challenges to tax greenhouse gas emissions policies on behalf of minors, Hansen called for a “human tipping point” --- essentially, a social revolution --- as one of the most effective ways of combating climate change, though he still favors a bilateral carbon tax agreed upon by the United States and China as the best near-term climate policy.  In the new study, Hansen writes, “there is no morally defensible excuse to delay phase-out of fossil fuel emissions as rapidly as possible.”

Asked whether Hansen has plans to personally present the new research to world leaders, he said: “Yes, but I can’t talk about that today.”  “What’s still uncertain is whether, like with so many previous dire warnings, world leaders will be willing to listen.” ---

The biggest uncertainty of pro-environment advocates and activists is whether or not leaders and stakeholders are willing to listen.  Sadly, they get bored by things they find hard to understand… like sea level rise.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at and

REFERENCE:, (2015). “Sea Level Study: James Hansen Issues Dire Climate Warning”. Retrieved on August 22, 2015 from

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Important Considerations in Protected Area Management Planning

by Anton Antonio
August 20, 2015

Protected area management planning is not as simple as most think.  Ask you friendly environment and natural resources management practitioner and you will most likely gather a headache with the web of confusing aspects and considerations that he will lay on the table.  Management, in the context of environment and natural resources management, is not as simple as managing a manufacturing company.  Although the basics of management apply to both (company and environment and natural resources), natural resources becomes a notch harder because of the many “actors” or stakeholders involved.  Throw-in the many needs and wants of these “actors” against the conservation imperatives of environmentalism, it does become a little bit messy.

Narrowing these aspects and considerations to the most basic and more important ones is the logical way to move forward in understanding protected area management planning.  Aspects and considerations such as:
  1. Economic – Projects and programs in protected areas are often viewed as an income-generating opportunity.  There really is nothing wrong with this.  This is a lesser concern for thinly populated protected areas where resources could provide for everyone.  However, as the population increases, more pressure is put on these resources to provide livelihood opportunities for all the stakeholders… the dynamics between conservation and utilization kicks in at this point.  This is one of the challenges facing management planners to design courses of action to run parallel with the needs of the stakeholders in the protected area by way of balancing costs and benefits.
  2. Social – Protected areas are normally occupied by indigenous communities with a set of values, a cultural identity, a traditional religious belief and a subsistence practice.  There will be a natural resistance by these indigenous communities to changes from their indigenous knowledge to new management technologies.  These (indigenous knowledge and new management technology) have to be harmonized.  Consultation and participatory management can be used by protected area planners with the community elders and leaders.  It is a way of respecting existing and traditional social structures in the area.
  3. Political – Indigenous communities living within a protected area have existing political structures.  Oftentimes, different communities in a protected area have their own political set up unique and/or different from the others.  This diversity sometimes results to political conflicts.  The protected area planners must be aware of these political nuances and craft plans to approach such possible problems.  Political conflicts can only be resolved through a process of negotiation.
  4. Environmental – Balancing environmental preservation and development with resource utilization is the most challenging aspect of protected area management.  There will be a need to identify thresholds… the points where human intervention becomes a threat to biodiversity and ecological processes.  Failure on the part of protected area planners will have dire environmental consequences.

Simplified, these are the important considerations in protected area management planning.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The World is in Trouble

By Anton Antonio
August 19, 2015

“Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American real estate developer, television personality, politician, and author.  He is the chairman and president of The Trump Organization and the founder of Trump Entertainment Resorts.  Trump’s branding efforts, business career, outspoken manner, media appearances, and books have made him a celebrity.  He hosted The Apprentice, a U.S. television program on NBC.  Trump is a son of Fred Trump, a New York City real estate developer.  Donald Trump worked for his father’s firm, Elizabeth Trump & Sons, while attending Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and, in 1968, officially joined the company.  He was given control of the company in 1971, renaming it The Trump Organization.  Trump remains a major figure in the real estate industry in the United States and a media celebrity.  On June 26, 2015, Trump formally announced his candidacy for President of the United States in the 2016 election, seeking the nomination of the Republican Party.  Trump’s early campaigning has seen him rise to high levels of popular support to the consternation of the Republican party leadership.  Since late July 2015, he has been at the top in the public opinion polls for the Republican Party nomination.” --- Wikipedia

So what’s so special about this American?  Well, nothing much I guess… except that he believes climate change does not exist simply because of the cold winter in the United States.  He probably thinks climate change is a unidirectional change towards hotter weather conditions… and, therefore, colder weather conditions do not equate to climate change.  “The biggest uncertainty of pro-environment advocates and activists is whether or not leaders and stakeholders are willing to listen.  Sadly, they get bored by things they do not understand or care to understand.” (Antonio, 2015)

The United States and China account for two-thirds of the world’s carbon footprint because of their heavy dependence on coal fired power plants as their primary source of energy.  After the U.S. and China decided to embark on an initiative to bring down average world temperature by two percent in the next five to ten years by phasing down their use of fossil fuels, the world welcomed this as good news in the fight against climate change. 

In the case of the United States, the present administration, under President Barak Obama of the Democratic Party, believes in the propriety of reducing coal-dependence.  But what happens to such an initiative if the next president has a Trump-like mindset?  Remember, the U.S. is the most powerful country and economy in the world… and anything that happens there influences the rest of the world.  It is often said that if the U.S. sneezes, the world catches pneumonia.  The American people should realize the kind of power they posses… that their leadership choice also impacts the rest of the world.  We are absolutely confident that American people will never let the rest of the world down.

Now, another question: What if Trump, who does not believe that climate change is a reality, becomes president in 2016, would it really matter?  I should say it matters a lot because he is (at present) the frontrunner among the Republican nominees.  If he gets nominated and marches on to become the President of the United States, we could all celebrate the grand return of coal that will eventually lead to more climate change nightmares… and then realize that the world is in trouble.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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Wikipedia, (2015).  “Donald Trump”.  Retrieved on August 19, 2015 from

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Canadian Garbage Mess (Update No. 3)

By Anton Antonio
August 18, 2015

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything” --- Albert Einstein

I got side-tracked by recent series of blogs on the presidential and vice-presidential aspirants for 2016 and the death of former Tarlac Governor Mariano Un Ocampo III and former Senator Agapito “Butz” Aquino.  This, however, does not mean I’ve taken my eyes off the Canadian garbage mess.  For the evil people who are responsible for this, I could almost hear them say: “Jesus Christ!... This guy is on the warpath again!  Why can’t he just keep quiet and accept the trash like most Filipinos!”

To update everyone, here is my latest researched material on the Canadian garbage mess: 

“Manila, Philippines – Amis the continuing controversy surrounding more than 50 container vans of illegally imported and allegedly hazardous Canadian garbage, activists lawmakers have filed a bill that would put an end to the dumping of hazardous foreign wastes in the country.  House Bill 5578, files by Representatives Luz Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus of Gabriela, and Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna, would amend Republic Act 6969 or The Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990.  It also seeks to strengthen the system of waste control and management.  “The outdated law imposes meagre fines for waste dumping and poses threat to those who wish to make a dumping site out of the Philippines,” the lawmakers noted.  “We hope that the leadership of both Houses of Congress sees this as an urgent measure that needs to be passed.”  “We also wish to amend this law so that this weakling of a government that is bereft of the political will to arrest and penalize those who dump toxins and garbage in our country will have no more excuse to run after those who treat our country and our people like garbage,” they added.  Earlier, Zarate and fellow Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares sought an investigation into the importation of at least 55 container vans of trash from Canada, which arrived in 2013.  To date, trash from 26 of the 55 container vans has been dumped at the landfill in Capas, Tarlac, eight are currently parked near the area and five are missing.  The rest are at Subic.  HB 5578 wants to amend Section 12 of RA 6969, raising the fines for those found guilty of dumping toxic waste in the country from the current P5,000-15,000 to P15,000-75,000.  For companies with a capital over P500,000, the fines start at P75,000 but will not exceed P300,000 for each violation.  Ilagan also said that there is a need to review the country’s commitment, to various trade agreements that allow end-of-life products from highly industrialized countries, dubbed as “surplus imports” to freely enter the country.”

Some pro-environment advocates and activist want to add a “guaranteed deterrent” tweak to House Bill No. 5578.  Obviously not satisfied by simply increasing the fines, they propose that a kilo of trash for every ton of garbage be cooked and have the importers and other persons guilty of dumping garbage in the Philippines publicly eat this in Plaza Miranda.  This, perhaps, will really be a guaranteed deterrent to another Canadian garbage mess.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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REFERENCE:, (2015).  Retrieved on August 18, 2015 from

Monday, August 17, 2015

Walking Beside a Great Man

By Anton Antonio
August 17, 2015

My last conversation with Senator Butz Aquino happened yesterday morning. 

At 7:16 am, I received a text message from Mai Ocampo informing me of the death of her father, former Tarlac Governor Mariano Un Ocampo III.  It was a shock for me having been very close to Governor Mar.  It took a little over ten minutes for me to gather my wits and call Mai.  At the end of our conversation, she asked me to take care of informing Senator Butz Aquino of the death of her father.  Governor Mar and Senator Butz were life-long friends.

At 7:35 am, right after talking with Mai, I called Senator Butz.  He answered after around eight rings.  He sounded hoarse but still typically commanding as usual.  His voice, however, turned a little sad after learning of the death of Governor Mar.  Then he suddenly asked a question that sounded odd… he asked, “Do you know where I am, Anton?”  Instinctively I answered, “I suppose you’re home.”  Then, in a very serious tone, he said, “No. No. No.  I’m in the hospital and I’m dying.”  I got shocked for the second time yesterday morning… the first time was Mai’s text message.  Again, I instinctively said, “Come on, Cong Butz, you can’t leave us.  There’s more left for you to do.”  He then said, “Okay, you just pray for me and, if you’re going to Tarlac, please extend my condolences to Nimia (Governor Mar’s wife) and the family.”  I answered, “Okay, no problem, I will… and I’ll see you after I return from Tarlac.”  He replied, “Hay, naku… just pray for me.”  We said the normal goodbyes on the phone… and that was my last conversation with him.  I knew why he was insisting that I prayed for him.  He often bragged about having a disciple who was a Catholic lay minister and very pious.  Considering his health condition, he probably though that my personal prayers for him will make a difference.

At around 5:00 pm today, Rissa delos Reyes (Senator Butz’ assistant) informed me that the senator died at 4:20 pm.  At that time, I was actually preparing to fetch Roenna (my wife) then proceed to the Cardinal Santos Medical Center to visit Senator Butz… as I promised yesterday.  I decided not to go to Cardinal Santos anymore and, instead, just do what he wished… prayers for him.

Butz Aquino served as a Senator of our Republic and congressman from Makati City.  The landmark laws he made, which showed his genuine love for the poor farmers and agricultural sector, were the Magna Carta for Small Farmers and the Cooperative Code of the Philippines.  As a civic leader he was responsible in founding the August Twenty One Movement (ATOM) and Bayang Nagkakaisa sa Diwa at Layunin (BANDILA).  He is best known as the “Pasimuno ng People Power” after being the first to respond and organize the civilian component of the EDSA Revolution of 1986.  “Love of country” was Senator Butz’ best attribute.

To me, very personally, Senator Butz was my mentor (having worked for him at the Senate as the Committee Secretary for Government Corporations and Public Enterprises) and friend.  To him I say, “Thank you, Senator Butz, for allowing me to walk with you in portions of your noble journey.  It was a rare privilege and honor to have worked with and for you as you selflessly served the Filipino people.  I will forever be proud to say, that there was a time in my life I was walking beside a great man.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Environmental Champion

By Anton Antonio
August 16, 2015

In the last few days, I have been publishing on my blogsite and posting on my Facebook page a series of articles on the perceived presidential and vice-presidential aspirants in the general elections schedule on May 9, 2016.  These are declared and/or perceived presidential candidates Vice President Jojo Binay, Secretary Mar Roxas, Senator Grace Poe, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Bongbong Marcos; and perceived vice presidential aspirants Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Senator Chiz Escudero, Representative Leni Robredo and Senator Sonny Trillanes.  (To read these articles, please check on these links: and

In this series of articles, I researched on the qualification and governance competencies of these perceived candidates.  Unfortunately, I could not find a clear and strong pronouncement or advocacy from them with regards to the environment.  Perhaps there is one, but it is not highlighted enough for people to become aware of it.  I should say, however, that all of them have made very strong pitches when it comes to socio-political and economic issues and are building their respective platforms of government around these concerns.  Sadly, on environmental issues, matters and concerns, they all do not quite make the grade (yet).  Perhaps, their advisers and consultants think that environmental matters are not popular anyway… so why bother making public statements about it.

These advisers and consultants, and perhaps the declared and/or perceived candidates themselves, are dead wrong about this.  If they are thinking that environmental issues don’t matter, they should start reviewing their history.  In the post-EDSA Revolution elections up to 2013, global warming and climate change were not part of the Filipino consciousness.  Today, however, after surviving Typhoon Yolanda and other stronger-than-usual tropical typhoons, the frequent flooding and landslides, the unbearably hot summer, and other climate change-related phenomena and indicators, the Filipino now has a higher level of awareness on the impacts of climate change on their lives.  Although the candidates’ economic reform agenda is still the primary interest of the Philippine electorate, we could safely say that we would also like to hear about any candidate’s stance when it comes to the environment.

As of today, none of the eight perceived presidential and vice presidential aspirants have made a definitive position when it comes to the environment.  Are they no better than Donald Trump, a presidential candidate in the United States, who thinks climate change does not exist?  Who among them could be our environmental champion?

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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The Vice Presidential Aspirants

By Anton Antonio
August 13, 2015

After publishing and posting the “Presidential Aspirants Series” (featuring Vice President Jojo Binay, Secretary Mar Roxas, Senator Grace Poe, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Bongbong Marcos) to highlight the governance qualifications and competencies of declared and/or perceived presidential aspirants, I’ve decided to also feature the personalities who are also perceived to be interested to run for vice president.  They are:

  • Nicknames:  “Alan” and/or “Peter”
  • Born:  October 28, 1970
  • Senator of the Philippines – Majority Floor Leader (July 26, 2007 to present)
  • House of Representatives for Taguig City and Pateros (June 30 1998 to June 30 2007)
  • Taguig City Government – Acting Vice Mayor  and Municipal Council
  • Political Affiliation:  Nacionalista Party (2005 to present) and Lakas (1992 to 2005)
  • Parents:  Senator Renato “Companero” Cayetano and Sandra Schramm
  • Spouse:  Maria Laarni Lopez
  • Residence:  Taguig City
  • Alma Mater:  De La Salle-Zobel (elementary and high school); University of the Philippines (BA Political Science) and Ateneo de Manila University Law (Post Graduate, Silver Medalist)
  • Senate Committee Chairman: Blue Ribbon and Education, Culture and Arts
  • Laws passed: 5
  • Bills enacted: 11

  • Nickname:  “Chiz”
  • Senator of the Philippines: June 30, 2007 to present
  • Senate Committees:  Justice and Human Rights, Waste and Means, National Defense, and Environment and Natural Resources
  • Bills Filed: 164
  • Laws Sponsored:  66
  • House of Representatives – 1st District, Sorsogon: June 30, 1998 to June 30, 2007
  • House of Representatives Position:  Assistant Majority Floor Leader (11th Congress) and Minority Floor Leader (13th Congress)
  • Sorsogon City Government: Councilor
  • Born: October 10, 1969
  • Political Affiliation:  NPC (1998 to 2009) and Independent (2009 to present)
  • Residence:  Sorsogon City and Manila
  • Spouse(s): Christine Elizabeth Flores (2001 to 2011, annulled) and Heart Evangelista (2015 to present)
  • Children:  Ma. Cecilia Escudero and Joaquin Escudero (twins)
  • Parents:  Salvador H. Escudero and Evelina B. Guevara
  • Alma Mater:  University of the Philippines Integrated School (elementary and secondary); University of the Philippines, Bachelor of Laws (college); and, Georgetown University Law Center, USA
  • School-based Organization(s): Alpha Phi Beta Debating Team (Open Debate Champion)
  • Lecturer:  College of Law, University of the Philippines and Graduate School, Ateneo de Manila University
  • Fraternity:  Alpha Phi Beta
  •  Awards: Order of the Purple Feather or the UP Law Honor Society (1989 to 1993)
  • Military Rank:  Commander of the Philippine Navy, Reserve Command
  • Religion:  Roman Catholic
  • Awards and Recognitions: Youth Achiever in Government, Most Outstanding Congressman, Outstanding Public Servant of the Year, Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM), Asia’s Idols of Asia News Network, Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, and Rotary Golden Wheel Award.

  • Nickname: “Leni”
  • House of Representatives, 3rd District Camarines Sur (June 30, 2013 to present)
  • Born: April 23, 1961
  • Residence:  Naga City
  • Political Affiliation:  Liberal Party
  • Spouse: Jesse Robredo (1987 to 2012
  • Children:  Jessica Marie “Aika” (born 1991), Patricia (born 1994) and Jilian Therese (born 1996)
  • Alma Mater:  Universidad de Sta. Isabel (basic education); University of the Philippines, Economics; and, University of Nueva Caceres, Law

  • Nickname: “Sonny”
  • Senator of the Philippines: June 30, 2007 to present
  • Born: August 6, 1971
  • Residence: Caloocan City
  • Political Affiliation: Nacionalista Party (2012 to present)
  • Spouse:  Arlene G. Orejana
  • Children: Francis Seth (born 1997), Thea Estella (born 1999) and Alan Andrew (born 2001, now deceased)
  • Alma Mater: Siena College, Quezon City (elementary); Angelicum College, Quezon City (secondary); De La Salle University (undergraduate in B.S. Electronics and Communication Engineering); Philippine Military Academy (graduated cum laude); University of the Philippines – National College of Public Administration and Governance (Master in Public Administration); and, Harvard Kennedy School, Massachusetts, USA (National and International Security Program)
  • Religion:  Roman Catholic
  • Military Rank:  Philippine Navy, Lieutenant Senior Grade
  • Advocacy:  Anti-Corruption
  • Parents: Navy Capt. Antonio Floranza Trillanes, Sr. (PMA Class’59) of Ligao City, Albay and Estelita Fuentes of Ivisan, Capiz
  • Awards:  PMA Mathematics Plaque, Physical Science Plaque, and Tambuli Award for electrical/electronics engineering
  • Military Awards: 22 medals, campaign ribbons and badges

Now that you have a general view of the qualifications of the would-be vice presidential aspirants, are you for Chiz, Alan Peter, Leni or Sonny?

Thoughts to promote positive action…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at and


Wikipedia, (2015). “Alan Peter Cayetano”.  Retrieved August 13, 2015 from

Wikipedia, (2015).  “Francis Escudero”.  Retrieved on August 13, 2015 from

Wikipedia, (2015). “Leni Robredo”.  Retrieved on August 13, 2015 from

Wikipedia, (2015). “Antonio Trillanes”. Retrieved on August 13, 2015 from

Friday, August 14, 2015

Presidential Aspirants Series: Bongbong Marcos

By Anton Antonio
August 14, 2015

“Campaign strategies should, at the very least, revolve around the governance qualification and competence of a candidate.  Mudslinging is part of the political entertainment… but, again, at a certain point, this has to stop.” (Antonio, 2015)  This was my last statement in a blog/article titled “This Has To Stop” published and posted on and  Consistent with my desire to make the 2016 presidential campaign a gentleman’s game, the articles to be carried in the “Presidential Aspirants Series” will not indulge in mudslinging, vilification, character assassination, image-demeaning, etc. hype that has been prevalent on social media lately.  In the next few days, let us make better sense of things, level the playing field, and inform the voting Filipinos on only the strengths of the declared presidential aspirants.  This way, we can all make more informed and intelligent decisions based on merits; and not on negative social media posts and information.  Please note that this “series” will only carry presidential aspirants who categorically and publicly stated that they will run in 2016. To be perfectly fair, the information used in this “series” will also consistently come from the same source (Wikipedia).

Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. (born September 13, 1957), widely known as Bongbong Marcos, is a Filipino politician and senator in the 16th Congress of the Philippines.  A member of the Nacionalista Party, Marcos chairs several senate committees, including the Committee on Local Government and the Committee on Public Works, and is a member of several other committees.

He is the second child of Ferdinand E. Marcos, the former President of the Philippines (1965-1986), and former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos.  He is a former congressman and former governor of Ilocos Norte before his election to the Senate in 2010.  Marcos also previously served as Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.

Marcos was born on 13 September 1957.  He is the second child of Ferdinand E. Marcos (1917-1989), former President of the Philippines and Imelda Remedios Visitacion Romualdez.  He was born just two days after his father turned 40 years old.

Marcos took up kindergarten in Institucion Tereciana, Quezon City from 1962 to 1963, and then elementary in La Salle Greenhills from 1963 to 1969.  He finished his secondary education in Worth School, England from 1970 to 1974.  Marcos earned as ungregraduate degree (Special Diploma in Social Studies) in Oxford University, England from 1975 to 1978.  From 1970 to 1981, he undertook graduate coursework in Business Administration at Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

Marcos appeared on his father’s true-to-life story film, Iginuhit ng Tadhana, as himself, along with Vilma Santos as his sister Imee Marcos, Luis Gonzales as his father and Gloria Romero as his mother.  The film was released before the 1965 elections.

Political Career:
  • Vice Governor – Province of Ilocos Norte (1980-1983) His political career started with his election to Ilocos Norte’s vice-gubernatorial post in 1980.  His term expired in 1983.
  • Governor – Province of Ilocos Norte (1983-1986)
  • Congressman – 2nd District, Ilocos Norte (1992-1995) He then was elected as Representative of the 2nd District of Ilocos Norte in the Congress of the Philippines, serving from 1992 until 1995.
  • Governor – Province of Ilocos Norte (1998-2007) He again was elected to the gubernatorial post in 1998.  He ran against his father’s closest friend and ally, Roque Ablan, Jr., and served for three consecutive terms ending in 2007.
  • Congressman – 2nd District, Ilocos Norte (2007-2010) He ran, unopposed, for the congressional seat in the 2007 Philippine Elections, which was previously held by his sister Imee.  He is the founder of Confederation of Ilokano Associations, Incorporated.
  • Senator – 15th & 16th Congress (2010-present)

On November 20, 2009, the KBL forged an alliance with the Nacionalista Party (NP) between Marcos and NP Chairman Senator Manny Villar at the Laurel House in Mandaluyong City.  Marcos became a guest senatorial candidate of the NP through this alliance.  Marcos was later removed as a member by the KBL National Executive Committee on November 23, 2012.  As such, the NP broke its alliance with the KBL due to internal conflicts within the party, however Bongbong remained part of the NP senatorial line-up.  He was proclaimed as one of the winning senatorial candidates of the 2010 senate elections.  He took office on June 30, 2010.

He is married to Louise Cacho Araneta, with 3 sons: Ferdinand Alexander III (born 1994), Joseph Simon (born 1995) and William Vincent (born 1997).

Allow me to reiterate that my purpose in the “Presidential Aspirants Series” is to give the opportunity for the public to be exposed on the merits and governance skill sets of perceived presidential aspirants in next year’s election.  And now that you’ve read this piece together with the articles on the other presidential aspirants, are you for Bongbong Marcos?

Thoughts to promote positive action…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at and


Antonio, A. C., (2015). “This Has To Stop”.  Retrieved on August 14, 2015 from

Wikipedia, (2015).  “Bongbong Marcos”.  Retrieved on August 14, 2015 from