University of the Philippines

The University of the Philippines (or Unibersidad ng Pilipinas in Filipino and commonly abbreviated as U.P.) is the national university of the Philippines. Founded in 1908 through an act of Philippine Legislature, the University provides tertiary-level education in almost every field, from law, medicine, engineering, political science and other social sciences to public health, natural sciences, agriculture and the humanities.

The University is considered to be one of the premier institutions of higher learning in the Philippines, and has educated some of the country's most popular political and social leaders, economists, lawyers, medical doctors, creative artists and entrepreneurs. Several Philippine Presidents have attended courses in the University either as undergraduates or as postgraduate students, while 12 chief justices of the Supreme Court, 36 out of the 57 National Artists and 30 out of the 31 National Scientists are affiliated with the University.

U.P. was the highest ranked Philippine university in THES-QS World University Rankings in 2006 and 2007 and in the final edition of Asiaweek's Best Universities in Asia list in 2000. U.P. has the most number of National Centers of Excellence and Development among all higher education institutions in the country and one of only three schools in Asia that have received institutional recognition in the Ramon Magsaysay Awards. U.P. graduates frequently top the professional board examinations in nearly all professional fields, and its College of Law has produced 49 out of 107 of all top notchers in the Bar examinations.

U.P. is partly subsidized by the Philippine government, making its students essentially scholars of the national government. Students of University of the Philippines and its graduates are popularly referred to as "Iskolar ng Bayan" ("Scholars of the Nation"). This makes admission into the University extremely competitive. In 2006 alone, 70,000 applicants flocked to test centers nationwide to take the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT) for undergraduate admission (Around 11,000 of the applicants were admitted for the year 2006, an acceptance rate of about 18%).

The foremost symbol of U.P. is the Oblation. This is a figure of a naked man, with arms outstretched and face pointed upwards. The Oblation is based on the second stanza of Jose Rizal's Mi Ultimo Adios, which is replete with references of selfless dedication and service to the nation.

In line with the celebration of the University's centenary, the year 2008 has been proclaimed as the "UP Centennial Year" and the years 1998-2008 as the "University of the Philippines Decade."

Philippine Tarsier Foundation Incorporated

The Philippine Tarsier Foundation Inc. based in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines is spearheading the campaign to preserve the Philippine Tarsier. Under a Memorandum of Agreement with the DENR signed on April 27, 1997, its mission is: to establish a forest reserve on the island of Bohol which shall serve as the sanctuary of the Philippine Tarsier; to protect and manage the tarsier sanctuary through the active participation of local communities; to establish and maintain a wildlife research laboratory for the study of the ecology and biology of the Philippine Tarsier; to establish and maintain visitor facilities for ecotourism and disseminate information material about the Philippine Tarsier with emphasis on the species' protection and conservation."

To date, the Philippine Tarsier Foundation has acquired 7.4 hectares of land in Corella, Bohol for the sanctuary. With the Department of Environment and Natural Resources playing an oversight role, the foundation has asked other Bohol towns with Philippines Tarsier populations to donate 20 hectares (49.4 acres) of forestland for conservation.

It also runs a Tarsier Research and Development Center, which serves as a visitor center and venue for research, as well as a habitat preserve. At the sanctuary, a spacious net enclosure keeps 100 Philippine Tarsiers for feeding, captive breeding and display. Here, visitors can observe the Philippine Tarsier in their natural habitat. Within the sanctuary, the Philippine Tarsiers roam freely and all of them have gotten used to a seven-foot high fence that circumscribes the territory and which serves mainly to protect them from predators like feral cats. At night, tarsiers can be seen climbing out of the fence to forage for food farther into the forest. They return again before daybreak, as if observing a curfew.

Creation of Golden Rice

Golden rice was created by Ingo Potrykus of the Institute of Plant Sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, working with Peter Beyer of the University of Freiburg. The project started in 1992 and at the time of publication in 2000, golden rice was considered a significant breakthrough in biotechnology as the researchers had engineered an entire biosynthetic pathway.

Golden rice was designed to produce beta-carotene, a precursor of Vitamin A, in the part of rice that people eat, the endosperm. The rice plant can naturally produce beta-carotene, which is a carotenoid pigment that occurs in the leaves and is involved in photosynthesis. However, the plant does not normally produce the pigment in the endosperm since photosynthesis does not occur in the endosperm.

Golden rice was created by transforming rice with two beta-carotene biosynthesis genes:

psy (phytoene synthase) from daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus)
crt1 from the soil bacterium Erwinia uredovora
(The insertion of a lyc (lycopene cyclase) gene was thought to be needed but further research showed that it is already being produced in wild-type rice endosperm.)

The psy and crt1 genes were transformed into the rice nuclear genome and placed under the control of an endosperm specific promoter, so that they are only expressed in the endosperm. The exogenous lyc gene has a transit peptide sequence attached so that it is targeted to the plastid, where geranylgeranyl diphosphate formation occurs. The bacterial crt1 gene was an important inclusion to complete the pathway, since it can catalyze multiple steps in the synthesis of carotenoids, while these steps require more than one enzyme in plants. The end product of the engineered pathway is lycopene, but if the plant accumulated lycopene the rice would be red. Recent analysis has shown that the plant's endogenous enzymes process the lycopene to beta-carotene in the endosperm, giving the rice the distinctive yellow colour for which it is named. The original Golden rice was called SGR1, and under greenhouse conditions it produced 1.6 µg/g of carotenoids.

Golden Rice

Golden rice is a variety of rice (Oryza sativa) produced through genetic engineering to biosynthesize beta-carotene, a precursor of pro-vitamin A in the edible parts of rice. The scientific details of the rice were first published in Science in 2000. Golden rice was developed as a fortified food to be used in areas where there is a shortage of dietary vitamin A. In 2005 a new variety called Golden Rice 2 was announced which produces up to 23 times more beta-carotene than the original variety of golden rice. Neither variety is currently available for human consumption. Although golden rice was developed as a humanitarian tool, it has met with significant opposition from environmental and anti-globalization activists.

Golden rice has been bred with local rice cultivars in the Philippines, Taiwan and with the American rice variety Cocodrie. The first field trials of these golden rice cultivars were conducted by Louisiana State University AgCenter in 2004. Field testing will allow a more accurate measurement of the nutritional value of golden rice and will enable feeding tests to be performed. Preliminary results from the field tests have shown that field-grown Golden rice produces 3 to 4 times more beta-carotene than Golden rice grown under greenhouse conditions.


Join the festivities during the Masskara Festival (masskara, the Ilonggo word for mask). A big annual Mardi Gras like event celebrated every 3rd week of October. Each of the city's barangays (districts) joins the competition for the fiercely competitive best costumed group. Lots of food and handicraft stalls, street dancing and beer at the Bacolod city plaza area.

Go bowling or play billiards at Negros Superlanes and Entertainment Center at the Goldenfield Commercial Complex.

A must-eat dish is the fresh lumpia (fresh spring roll; not fried). A delicately exquisite treat wrapped in a paper thin translucent crepe filled with fresh coconut tree heart (ubod), pork and shrimp with a garnish of scallion.

Other local delicacies batchoy, piyaya and pinasugbo are all worth sampling.

Bob's on North Drive for the friendly service and local fare. One of the oldest family-favorite restaurants.

Carlo Restaurante Italiano (at the Goldenfield's complex). Italian, steak. Try the garlic smothered steak.

Also try the famous local barbecue chicken called inasalliteral translation "cooked over the fire".'. Lots of good local restaurants specialize in local fare. ;one of the most local area that has been the most oldest restaurants is the "manokan coutry" Try Aboy's' for its inasal. Imay's for a wide variety and open-air dining.

Jo's Chicken Inato is a great choice for fantastic chicken inasal served in a very native style...the food is served on a large banana leaf and typically silverware is not provided unless requested. This is truly a great place to eat for someone who doesn't want to eat something too exotic, but wants to try a native flare.

For the non-gastronome, there's always the local McDonald's or Dunkin' Donuts.

For a western taste locals, expats and tourists visit "IMBISS" near Lopues east mall. Famous for German sausages, Fish n chips and other local and international specialities.

Seafood is good at Ting-Ting's North Drive.

Take Inasal to-go at Bacolod Chicken House Singcang. You can call them ahead and specify to have them wrap it good especially if you plan to take food on the plane. They're inasal doesn't lose its juiciness and is not that oily. Reheating using microwave for inasal is not recommended, instead use a steamer.

Favorite Japanese restaurant is Kaisei along Lacson Street. The prices are reasonable and has a relaxed atmosphere. But if you want to go with Japanese Buffet, try out Inaka, Lacson Street. The food is good, has a wide variety of choice and priced favorably.

For local native delicacies, Quan is a must with their famous Cuchinta and Puto.


Angeles City is in Pampanga province in the Central Luzon region of the Philippines. It is rich in history and heritage, with old and historical significant buildings dotting its landscape. In 1899, it became the seat of the Philippine government under General Emilio Aguinaldo and the site of the first anniversary celebration of Philippine Independence.

Angeles is a thriving city often compared to the Philippine capital and largest city, Manila. The city is a booming nightlife center and tourist destination, the adjoining Clark Freeport Zone is the site of world-class resorts, casinos, duty-free shops and beautifully landscaped golf courses. Its capital, Balibago, is especially known for its bars and nightclubs, thus tagged the entertainment district. The city, and the rest of the Pampanga region, is known as the "Culinary Center of the Philippines."

Angeles is known for being the "Culinary Center of the Philippines." This reputation reportedly goes back to the Spanish colonial times where it is said that the Kapampangan cook learned very quickly to improvise on Spanish dishes using local ingredients.

The culinary adventure in Angeles is sure to be an experience of a lifetime. A must-eat dish is "Sisig", which Angeles is famous for. From its humble beginnings in Aling Lucing's Eatery along Angeles' railroad to its present top-of-the-menu ranking in Manila's bars and nightclubs, sisig has come to conquer the Filipino drinkers' palate. It has become the quintessential pulutan fare — the default order that comes with every round of beer.

Other not-to-be-missed local mouth-watering cuisines are Dencio's kare-kare (another Kapampangan menu, which is a Philippine stew made from peanut sauce with a variety of vegetables, stewed oxtail, beef and occasionally offal or tripe), fresh papaya lumpia, tilapia in tausi sauce, adobong pugo, morcon, tortang bangus (milkfish stuffed with ground pork), Everybody's Cafe's camaru (fried cricket adobo), kilayin baboy (pork meat and lungs pickled in a marinade of vinegar or calamansi juice, usually along with garlic, onions and hot/sweet peppers), bringhe (local Spanish paella), bulanglang (meat or fish broth soured with guava fruit), Aling Luring's batute (a frog stuffed with ground and seasoned pork, then deep fried to a crisp), burong isda (fermented rice with fish or small shrimps), pork and carabao tocino, Bale Dutung's burong talangka (the fat of salted little crabs, very rich and laden with cholesterol but hard to resist), Filipinized pizza in a bilao at Armando's Pizza, brazo de mercedes, halo-halo from Razon's and Corazon's (a popular dessert that is a mixture of shaved ice and milk, added with various boiled sweet beans and fruits, and served cold in a glass or bowl), Susie's Cuisine's famous pancit luglog (palabok), tibuk tibok (made from carabao's milk and also known as "maja blanca"), tocino del cielo (a richer version of leche flan) and turron de casoy.

If you are a person inclined to drinking beer and eating barbecue, then Frank & Jim, Ikabud, Marisol Steakhouses and the eateries along Angeles railroad crossing are certainly the spots for you. Street foods, such as fishballs and kikiams on sticks, are a must-try at Nepo Compound vendor stands.

If local cuisine is not your type, no need to worry as the city has a wide range of pretty decent restaurants to choose from. Fine restaurants and eateries that serve international menus are C Italian, Maranao Grill-Oasis Hotel, Salvatore's, Zapata's, Rodizio-Holiday Inn, Cottage Kitchen, Red Crab Seafood & Steaks, Shanghai Palace, House of Bamboo, Subdelicious, Rumpa, VFW, Chic 'N Ribs, A la Crème, Rib Eye Steak House, Fortune Seafood, Perfect Loaf, Four Season's Grill, Angeles Fried Chicken, Bretto's, Mar's, Toll House, Hana-mi, Didi's, Peking House, Mister Frosty and a host of other American, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican and Korean restaurants.

A number of coffee shops are also to be seen even in the outskirts of the city, such as Northern Brew, Coffee Overdose, Mequeni Cafe-Holiday Inn, Coffee Outlet, and Beatico, that serve drip regular coffee, decaff, brewed coffee, espresso-based hot drinks, other hot and cold drinks, and snacks.

Get in Boracay

The port of entry for Boracay Island is the small town of Caticlan on the mainland. Outrigger boats or "bancas" leave every few minutes from Caticlan's jetty port. The short boat trip to Boracay's jetty port at Cagban cost 20 Pesos. Tourists have to pay a terminal fee of 50 Pesos and an environmental fee of 50 pesos. Tricycles are available at Cagban to bring passengers to their hotels.

By air

The local airport, a short boat ride from Boracay, is Caticlan (IATA: MPH) (ICAO: RPVE), which is served by several airlines, most flying from Manila. The airstrip is very short and only propeller planes can land there. The following airlines serve Caticlan:

South East Asian Airlines (SEAir)
Asian Spirit
Philippine Airlines
Cebu Pacific

For flights between Manila and Caticlan either jet propelled or turborop aeroplanes are used. Flight times range from 35 minutes to 45 minutes. Bear in mind that flights from Manila usually leave from the domestic airport and not the domestic terminal at the international airport. The domestic airport utilizes the same runways but add enough time to your schedule for a 5 minutes to 10 minutes taxi ride if you are connecting from an international flight. You will also have to pick up and re-check your luggage.

Asian Spirit and South East Asian Airlines (SEAir) also fly between Caticlan and Cebu City, and between Caticlan and Angeles/Clark International Airport.

South East Asian Airlines (SEAir) flies a seasonal route between Caticlan and Coron on Busuanga Island in Palwan Province.

Air Philippines starts with daily flights between Manila and Caticlan from 15.12.2007 onwards.

Many airlines advertising flights to Boracay will actually fly you to Kalibo (IATA: KLO) (ICAO: RPVK) (which has a larger airport) which is a minimum 90-minute bus ride away, depending on traffic. It is often recommended among experienced travelers to fly to Caticlan so as to avoid the bus ride, coming and going. Many travel agents won't inform you of this option, however, for whatever reason.

Airlines which fly to Kalibo:

Philippine Airlines
Cebu Pacific
Flights to and from Manila to Kalibo are on jet planes. Flight time is 35 minutes only.

Airline fares vary, generally in the $50 to $100 range for each leg. Keep a lookout for special rates posted at the respective travel office adjoining the domestic terminal in Manila. Luggage over 10kg will probably cost you extra.

Upon arrival to Caticlan airport, you can either take a tricycle to Caticlan port (40 pesos) or a further east port (70 pesos). You might walk to the Caticlan port as it is only 10min away.

There are minivans which serve Kalibo Airport - Caticlan port (vice versa) point to point service. There are 40seater buses which ply from Kalibo to Caticlan port.

By boat

Boats operated by MBRS, and leave Manila's port for Caticlan either once or twice a week, depending on the season.

Also, Negros Navigation operates seasonal trips and anchors a few miles off-shore from Boracay's White Beach.

There is several boats daily operating between Roxas (Mindoro) and Caticlan (4-6h, 330P). First boat leaves around 6AM and last 4PM.

By bus

Philtranco coaches leave regularly throughout the day from Cubao, Manila for Mindanao, passing Caticlan on the Strong Republic Nautical Highway. The journey takes 12 hours.