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Mangrove and Its Benefits

Mangrove is a small tree that grows in coastal brackish water. Many people know that it serves as a home for fishes and other sea creatures. However, there are still other benefits that mangrove does. These are the following:

  1. It protects shorelines against storm, waves and flood. Its tangled root systems help in destabilizing sediments which prevent erosion.
  2. It improves water quality. It filters pollutants and traps sediments coming from the land.
  3. It supports biodiversity. It is a place where endangered and threatened sea animals live some if not most of their life.
  4. It is used in making furniture and building houses and boats because it is water resistant and durable.
  5. It is a source in making charcoal. Woods of the black mangrove and buttonwood trees are used in producing charcoal.
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The Istana

The Istana, which means “palace”, is one of the important landmarks in Singapore as it is the official residence of the President and the working office of the Prime Minister. It is close to the public on most days and is only open for people on public holidays such as follows:

  • Chinese New Year
  • Labour Day
  • Hari Raya Puasa
  • National Day
  • Deepavali

There is a $2 admission fee for foreigners and $4 additional fee to be able to view the function rooms of The Istana such as the Reception Room and the State Room. You will also have the chance to see all the gifts that was given to the President by other countries. However, just do take note that photography inside the building is not allowed. 

Singaporean citizens and permanent residents have free entrance to the Istana and an additional $2 fee to see the selected function rooms.

Celery Experiment

Celery Experiment is an experiment you can conduct with young children to show the importance of water. Water is important because it carries nutrients to all parts of the plants or to all parts of the body (for humans).

Here is the process of conducting Celery Experiment:

Materials

  • celery stalk (cut at least one inch of the bottom part)
  • food colour
  • transparent glass 
  • water

Process

  • Pour water in a transparent glass.
  • Add food colour.
  • Put celery stalk in.
  • Wait for at least 20 minutes to see the changes happens to the celery.

The end product of this experiment is you will see that the color of celery changes. This happens because the water aids in transporting the food colour to all parts of the plants.

6 different types of cheese (you might have not known)

I love cheese! Well, who doesn’t? However, as an Asian, I only know few kinds of cheese such as mozarella, cheddar, parmesan, among others. 

Last week, I encountered six types of cheese that were new to me. These were the following:

1. Gruyere Reserve – a hard, yellow cheese from Switzerland

Price: 75sgd per 1kg

2. Drunken Goat – a goat cheese from Spain. It is white and soft with an acquired taste.

Price: 70sgd per 1kg

3. Lincolnshire Poacher – a hard unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese from England

Price: 84sgd per 1kg

4. Prima Donna – cheese from Netherlands

Price: 53sgd per 1kg

5. Mimolette – cheese traditionally produced from France with a distinct color.

Price: 85sgd per 1kg

6. Boer’n Trots – cheese from Netherlands. It is different to all other cheese because of its white spots.

Price: 66sgd per 1kg

Among all these cheese types, I like Boer’n Trots the most because it tastes very similar to “Carmelado”, a milk candy traditionally made of carabao’s milk and sugar from the province of Masbate, Philippines.

Watch the review of these six kinds of cheese here.

    Discover the unknown: Visit Tinigban Beach

    Tinigban Beach in Aroroy, Masbate is one of the rising destinations for beach lovers. It has a long stretch of sand, clean shore and clear blue sky and water.

    To reach Tinigban, you need to take a van from Masbate City Terminal to Aroroy for 100 pesos. The travel time is up to 1 hour. From Aroroy, you can take a passenger boat directly to Tinigban for 2 hours. However, there are some people who do not like this because of big waves. You can still access Tinigban via Puro. From Aroroy Terminal, take a tricycle or “habal habal” to Puro Causeway. There are some small boats waiting there that can take you to San Agustin for 150 to 200 pesos. From San Agustin, you may take a motorcycle or “habal habal” to Tinigban for 100 pesos or 200 pesos if you are alone.

    There is a newly built accommodation this year which makes it not an issue if you plan to have an overnight trip in the area. Tito A’s Place is the right place to be your haven as you enjoy a peaceful holiday in the area.

    So, what are you waiting for? Pack now your swimming gear and head to Tinigban, Aroroy, Masbate!

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    Catch the beautiful sunset at Palani, Balud, Masbate

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    Palani in Balud is one of the popular beach destinations in Masbate, Philippines. It is an unspoiled beach destination that is perfect for relaxation.

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    From Manila, you may take a direct flight to Masbate via Cebu Pacific. From Masbate Airport, take a tricycle to the bus terminal which will cost you 7 pesos. Then, take a van to Balud, Masbate for a fee of 150 pesos. The ride is 1.5 hours long. On your way to Balud, you will enjoy wonderful green sceneries outside the window. Tell the driver that you will alight at Balud Terminal. At the Terminal, there are many motorcycles or what the local people call it “habal-habal”. This will take you to Palani Beach for a fee of 50 to 60 pesos if you are traveling alone. It will take you about 10 to 15 minutes to reach the beach.

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    There are two famous resorts in Palani – Palani Beach Park and Paraiso de Palani. My lovely high school batchmate, Junelyn, recommended us Paraiso de Palani, and so, we stayed there. One room for two people costs 1, 200 for one night. What I like in Paraiso de Palani is its peacefulness and their landscape. I like their hut near the beach where you can sit and rest while reading a book or looking at the calm sea or the spectacular sky. Their hut resembles to bale bengong of Indonesia.

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    What caught me in awe was the most magnificent sunset I have ever seen in my entire life! Well, maybe the second beautiful sunset (first was in Boracay)…

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    I have also seen amazing colorful pastel rays in the sky during the sunrise.

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    I was filled with amazement and was totally wonderstruck by Palani’s splendid sky! I wouldn’t mind coming again and again to catch a nice sunset and enjoy a tranquil place.

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    State of Desolation

    What do you feel when you think everything has shattered and you are left in despair? What is going in your mind when you think the world conspires against you? Do you feel alone? Depressed? Angry? Upset?

    Whatever you feel at that chaotic moment of your life, feel it! Do not be in denial of what you really feel. Be accepting. Accept it! It is only when you accept that you will be able to find out the root cause of the problem and come up with sound solutions. If you need to isolate yourself, be alone for a while or stay away from others and reflect, then by all means do it if that what will help you alleviate the pain.

    I was in the same state six years ago. I had relationship problem, and then issue at work. I had problem here, problem there, problem everywhere. I had great friends and colleagues who were there to listen, advice and comfort me or even served as my clown just to elicit that smile from my face. But, I still felt messy! I had to introspect, and from that introspection, I realized that time that my friends and colleagues could only help on the superficial level of what I was going through. If I had to eliminate the root cause of my problems, then I had to deal with the inner part of myself. That’s because problems stemmed from the inside and not from any outside force! Only when I dealt with the problem myself that I was able to move on and be happy with life.

    In a nutshell, be accepting and move on! There’s no point to be stuck somewhere… let your life flow!

    Blood Experiment

    Our lesson for the first term is on Blood. As a culminating activity, we had Parent-Child Experiment to determine if Blood Type A can donate to Blood Type B or vice versa.

    I did the experiment before our final experiment, and my children were telling me, “Wow, teacher, you are a teacher and a scientist. You are a scientist teacher!”

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    This simple experiment will make a child understand the concept.

    Materials needed:

    • cups
    • test tube
    • dropper or pipette
    • food color (red and blue)
    • water
    • marker

    Procedure:

    1. Label all cups (near the rim) with blood type names (A, B, AB, O).
    2. Pour water until half on all cups.
    3. Add a drop of red food color in Blood A cup.
    4. Add a drop of blue food color in Blood B cup.
    5. Add a drop of blue and red food color in Blood AB cup.
    6. Do not add any food coloring in Blood O.
    7. If the receiver is Blood A, then use a dropper to transfer the liquid in a test tube. Then, again use a dropper to add another Blood Type as the donor and see if there is a change in the color. If the color changes, it means that the blood types do not match.

    Results:

    1. Blood O can donate to all blood types. In the experiment, it is colorless. Definitely, it won’t change the color of the receiver when it is mixed together.
    2. Blood AB can receive blood from all blood types.
    3. Blood A can receive from A and O.
    4. Blood B can receive from B and O.

    After the Parent-Child experiment, the parents and children played Blood Game whereby we called someone who, for example, had Blood Type A, then those parents and children with matching blood types would huddle together.

    It’s a fun way to make a child understand a challenging topic, and most of all, parents and children were able to spend time together doing a simple investigation!

    Child’s first aid on how to stop bleeding: A talk by Mummy Christine

    Do you think children should learn first aid? First aid is important because accident can happen anytime, and yes, children should learn the basic first aid because it is not at all times that adults are with them. When they know first aid, they will be able to help themselves in case of emergency.

    Since we believe that first aid is a life skill that children should learn, we invited Mommy Christine to our school and share ways on how to stop bleeding. She taught our 5-6-year old children what to do when they have nose bleed and a cut.

    What to do when there is nosebleeding:

    Image from Google
    1. Sit down on a chair.
    2. Lean head forward.
    3. Pinch the soft part of nostrils below the bridge of the nose for at least ten minutes.
    4. Breath through mouth while applying pressure on the nostrils.
    5. Apply ice pack or cold cloth.

    What to do when there is a cut:

    Image from Google
    1. Take a clean cloth.
    2. Put it on the wound.
    3. Apply pressure to stop bleeding.

    It had been a very informative and beneficial talk! Days and weeks after the talk, we have children sharing, “Teacher, I had nosebleed at home. I did what Mommy Christine said.”

    Printmaking

    Bored of doing painting, drawing, coloring or the usual arts you do with your children? Why not try printmaking?

    Printmaking is an art technique of making prints. You can create print on a paper using any objects with various shapes and texture.

    Here are the steps on how to do printmaking using string as a tool:

    1. Prepare the materials that you need like paint, string, paper and magazines.

    2. Soak the string in the water for half a minute or one.

    3. Use two fingers to apply paint on a string.

    4. Put the string on a paper in any design you want.

    5. Cover it with another paper (magazine or newspaper) and press it as you gently shake and pull the string.

    Remove the magazine, and there you will see your wonderful print design!