Sunday, March 30, 2014

The importance of security practices in passing Somali Basin

Don Sylvester R. Rabadon

Noe Galimba

Efren C. Pimentel
Jorry M. Ogoy
Jerwin C. Quebral

Gulf of Aden: The playing grounds of  Somalian pirates. Map courtesy of 


Somalia is a Muslim country located in the Horn of Africa. It has a population of approximately 10 million. Most of its people are descendants of ethnic Somali, which from the slave back from history in Africa sell by the Arabs. Somalia has an informal type of economic status. Their source of living mostly came from livestock and agriculture. Their climate is usually hot; they have the arid condition of climate. Drought and war are usually happens in Somalia. Poverty is pushing for some Somali to get involved in piracy. For better understanding of piracy we need to know why is it that Somali citizen involved themselves in piracy, why most ships used to transit in Somali coast, threats and possible accidents might happen in passing Somali waters, security measures implemented, and effects of piracy in our society.

During early 1980’s, there was a civil war outbreak in Somalia. The Somali administration of fisheries and coastal development agency, promotes a development program in agriculture and fisheries. In order to continue this program Somalia accepted foreign funds and investments, which led to foreign fishermen to have their fishing business in Somalia. Due to continuing civil war the central government of Somalia bared down in the year 1991, causing to dispersal of its navy forces.

Leaving the Somali waters unattended, foreign fishing boats started to abuse fishing such as European, Asian, African ships. During this time Somalia suffered an outbreak of major water pollution from toxic substances dumped by huge shipping industry. Different illnesses and diseases suffered by most Somali people. Local fishermen tried to protect their source of living they started to collect ransom money by hijacking merchant ships. Even though they faced risk doing this, they find it right for their survival. Pirates used to think that ransom money they demanded are just taxes from making business in Somalia.

This principle led them into organized piracy activities. Some other government officials in Somalia have seen that they can use the money in supporting their nation such as funding for their involvement in war. Somali pirates have created a vast attack through centuries past mostly in merchant ships. They demanded ransom increasingly that creates headaches to huge businesses in merchant ships.

II. Body

Somalia is notorious for piracy particularly in the Gulf of Aden, but why is it most Somali get involved themselves in piracy? Somali pirates are originated from Puntland, a north-east region and one of the poorest places in Somalia. Evidently, Somali pirates are tangled in this activity just to survive poverty. They must find a way to meet their daily necessities, and they think hijacking merchant ships is the best solution for that. Long centuries had passed, the Somali coast was being abused, and their fishing industry is most likely stolen from them by other foreign fishermen.

Somali water is rich in resources in terms of fish. Tuna fish are abundant in this area, that’s why fishing industry in neighboring countries illegally operates their business inside Somali fishing territory. Somalia’s absence of coastguard forces had caused their fishing industry abused. Yemeni fishermen are the most illegally fishing in Somali coastline. Trying to defend their living, local Somali fishermen begun to take action, but eventually they fell into piracy activities. From good purpose, they created an act which is against the law.

Since the civil war in Somalia, their community is suffering long term political crisis until now. Everywhere there is violence happening, war, murder, kidnapping that creates enormous killings inside the country. There is no leader that can bind them. Most provinces are declaring themselves as autonomous region. There are vicious Somali personality even political officials foreseen the benefits from ransomed money they could acquire from piracy. For them piracy is just business. It can be used to collect funds that can support their internal crisis, even unto war they involved from other neighboring countries. From small time piracy, Somali pirates had created a huge and organized group of pirates. There number increased, fire power and tactics are also developed. As time goes by, the rate of piracy activities in Somali coastline upsurges, that catches the attention of maritime organization and international community. The number of attacks and victims escalated, as well as the cost of ransom money they demanded also got higher. We have conducted an interview from 2nd Engineer. Pamplona, one of our questions was why is it that most merchant ships used to pass Somali waters? According to him, some companies are taking the route in Somalia because of the high rate of cost in passing Suez Canal which is in Egypt. In order to lessen their expenses they prefer Somalia, even it is too risky. Most ships which travelling to America, Canada, are passing Somalia. Geographically speaking, the location of route in Somalia is the nearest and accessible way going to USA. Merchant ships are usually loaded such as cargos, oil, and other commodity that are very useful. So, in order for the company to meet the deadline of product delivery they use to pass Somali coast.

The threats in Somali waters are aggressively alarming. Possible hijacking and accident may happen anytime in Somali water. Nowadays, Somali pirates operate in a very sophisticated way. They are using mother ships for them to uneasily be detected. Based on some reports, Somali pirates usually hijacked fishing vessels to make it their mother ships. They are using it as their post of attacking to their spotted target. Piracy activities in Somalia can cause a lot of trouble. One of our interviewee Mr. Michael Gajete, a seafarer, told us that every time their ship passed Somali basin they sensed very nervous. They didn’t know what is waiting to them inside. Their Captain are always aware in Somali area, they always do their security routine. Putting barbed wires in the upper part of the ship hull are regularly done, to ensure that it would be difficult to pirates to go on-board. As soon as they’ve already passed the Somali territory, they felt safe and lucky that nothing has happen to them.

Fleeting Somali Ocean has a great possibility to encounter pirates, which can create a catastrophe kind of accidents. Somali pirates are now using advanced fire power in hijacking which might create major damage to ship. To name a few victims, MV Takayama, a Japanese tanker was shot by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), which causes a massive oil spill. Piracy can be a root of losing property if ships happen to sunk, as well as loss of human life. That is why piracy can be compared to another tactic of terrorism.

Maritime organization and United Nations promotes anti-piracy campaign. Pirates are usually operates using skiff with a high speed engine with upgraded lethal fire power, capable enough to reach target vessel, even 50-100 miles from the shore. They can locate a target once it arrives in their bounds, using global positioning system (GPS). According to some information at present time organized pirates has already equipped with high tech devices and knowledgeable members to undergo hijacking. Some pirate’s members are ex-military or ex-coastguards members. Pirates most motivation to do hijacking is money. They did not harm usually their captives as long as the involved companies must respond their demands or ransom money.

Somalia coastline is belongs to high risk area in seafaring trade. Maritime security organization promotes and requires that all ship’s Master and crew must know security routines and drills during transit in this area. Drills are regularly done to ensure that all crews are knowledgeable to their duties and responsibilities during an emergency situation. All ship operators, companies, and ship masters before leaving ports must assess their route in transiting high risk areas. They need to know the latest information or pirate’s activity in that area. The main objective of doing drills to make sure that the safety of all crews must be considered. Typically pirates targeted the ships bridge to certainly control the vessel.

Security drills and routines are done to avoid, delay, and deter the pirates attack. Placing razor wires as barriers on the top hull of the ship can prevent pirates to come on board easily. Most ships have fire hoses installed around the ship, driven by a high pressure water pump to dissuade attempt attack. Other ship also used mannequins posing as arm guards to divert the attention of pirates. Old warnings in passing Somali water was ship must be 100 miles from the shore, but due to advanced equipment of pirates in terms of speed, presently all ships must be at least 200 miles off shore of Somalia. Maritime organization of anti-piracy encourages that all ships transiting Somali waters must advance their speed at over 18 knots. Observations tell that speed and good maneuvering is very effective against hijacking. It is very important also to enhance the Watchkeeping of all crew in high risk areas. If pirates take over the ship it is important to cooperate and remain calm, no opposition to pirates, because they might be aggressive and irritated that can cause injury to the crew.

Anti-piracy in the coast of Somalia, promotes that full presence of naval military forces must monitor the safety status of that area. Other affected countries also send a naval force to help against piracy. France stand against piracy in Somalia become strong after the incident of hijacking of MV Le Ponant, by sending their naval forces and arrested six pirates. Some other merchant ship companies hire private armed guards to defend their businesses. Government action is said to be effective, although piracy activities is still rampant. For instance the hijacking of MV Maersk Alabama in 2008 has test the government response to emergency. Naval forces have able to rescue all crew including the ship Master Capt. Richard Phillips after being held hostage by pirates. Three pirates were killed during the operation, and managed the arrest of Abduwali Muse and were sentenced to 33 years imprisonment in May 2010.

Somali piracy increasing activities and victims has brings economic effects to the world of business trade around the globe. Presently, the cost of shipping goods and products increased due to the risk. Insurance premium for merchant vessel in high risk areas also rises. Most ships trying to cut their cost of expenses avert their shipping transit in other safe route, but this will add to their expenses in oil consumption and duration of shipping. Delayed delivery of products and goods is a waste of money for investors. It can cause major goods and products inflation of prices in world trade market. Such example for this is the black gold or oil, the irregular price hike of oil could be brought to the consumers around the world. Shortage of important commodities in the stock market might affect the economic trend of a country.

In 2004, tsunami incident hit in Somalia and was triggered the poverty status of the country. Damaged infrastructures, fishing vessels, and other source of living brought famine on some areas. World Food Program (WFD), aided the people in Somalia, but due to the risk and cost of piracy the support was temporarily deferred. Right now the presence of naval forces neutrally controls some areas in Somali water, but still the groups of pirates are active.

Piracy activities in Somalia was a long term problem, that seafaring is facing. We cannot solve this thing right away, but in order to prevent accident and hijacking extra efforts on security measures must be observed. Precautionary measures are very important to all seafarers, if we disregard this, it might cause accident and even loss of life. Safety awareness of all crew must always be considered. Piracy is not just a problem, but it is a disastrous act to all. The effects are all connected to the human lives from our daily necessities and to economic stability of a country. Piracy solution must start inside Somalia, economic opportunities need to develop and be available to all Somali citizen. Somali pirates are pushing themselves into the crime because of poverty, if only they have a job, piracy will be stopped. Somalia needs a leader and strong government that can unite them. International community response to piracy makes some modification in terms of security, for safe travelling of goods in Somali waters. Large military presence and action is the best strategy to stop piracy.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Practice of Political Dynasty in the Philippines

Arellado, Marvin

Clarite, Edsel
Estocada, Jovel
Primaylon, Jeson

All in the fam! Political dynasty rulers. (Image from

I. Introduction

What is the reason why people and their family members are interested in entering and practicing political dynasty? Political dynasty is one of the hottest issues here in the Philippines.

It is defined as family members or relatives running for positions in a government. According to one of the famous families that practices political dynasty are the Garin clan here in Iloilo City. Majority of their family members run in a government in different places here in Iloilo, they run in different position and holds different territories to lead their constituents for a better way of living and believing that they can help to progress our city in their own way and understanding. These people practices Political dynasty for some reason.

Running our country with Political Dynasty have different effects in people, society and in our country. Families that runs different positions in a government with good intentions will change people’s beliefs, way of living and will have a good quality of lifestyle, while if the government runs their territories with personal interest, it can cause poverty, corruption, high rates of crime and many more because of misleading of their government officials that run their territories.

There are many reasons why people and their family members are interested in entering Politics. Some people use the politics for personal interest and some use to help and change people’s perspective. But there are so considerations why they are entering in politics, here are some reasons why. First, for wealth, second, to serve in public, third for fame and lastly, to gain power.

II. Body

Being wealthy or to become rich is one of all people’s dream and ambition. To enter in
politics is the key to be wealthy for the people with corrupt minds, but not all of them use that position for personal interest. According to here are the top three richest lawmaker here in the Philippines. Manny Villar and her wife Cynthia Villar gains the top spot of the richest lawmaker in our country with the net worth of P1.046 billion in 2008. The second is Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez in Leyte with the net worth of P947, 883 million and lastly, the third richest lawmaker is Representative Julio Ledesma with the net worth of P447, 529.

Being wealthy can boost your self-confidence, because you can have what you want and can get what you need anytime, it also can boost your confidence because people think that you are have a high standards in all aspects. But being wealthy also have a negative side and disadvantage, If you and your family member is known to be wealthy, you are prone to all crime such us kidnapping, death threats and more. People will take advantage of your wealth if you are not wise enough to spend and use it.

Having a high quality lifestyle is one of the benefit when you or your family is rich or wealthy, because you can buy all the things you need and you want, such as clothing, food, house and lot, cars and everything you desire. Running in politics is one of key to have a quality lifestyle, because of a high salary and to some dishonest politicians can corrupt people’s money and use it for personal interest.

Freedom is one of the things can give you if you are rich. Being wealthy can do whatever you want. Because of money and resources you have you can do things you like whether good or bad unless it’s not against the law. According to Robert E. Ganer freedom implies an absence of restraint; we are free to behave as we please until somebody challenges us or compete with our values and way. Freedom is very important in our country so people can act and work normally as they want.

Local dynasties in Western Visayas. Image from 

Public service is one of the reasons why people and their family run in politics.

Because they want to serve the people and to serve their families. Public service is helping or serving people what they need in the community or society, helping them through goods, materials, or money to satisfy their wants and needs to have a better living. One of the services that the politician are serious about is the medical support and assistance in our country. Wealth is health, that’s why they are more serious in helping people that are physically ill and in not good condition with their health, especially to those people who are poor and old enough that cannot supply there medical attention. Some politicians and their family donate medicine and any medical equipment to some barangay and health clinic, and sometimes they build a hospital for free check up and give free medicines for the people who can’t afford their medical needs.

To change people’s perspective in life is one reason to help our country to be progressive. Changing people’s belief is the way for having a good life and to have a good economy in our country. This will help us by means of believing us that we can do everything we want and can accomplished our goals and dreams.

Building or helping a charity program is one way to help people. Here in our country today have many charity programs that help different kinds of people; they ask support in a government to help them and by helping them will give you their trust.

To be known or to be respected is very important in our society. Because this will determine if people like or dislike you and your family. The other reasons why people practicing political dynasty is to gain VIP treatment to him and to their family. Having a VIP treatment feels like a King or Queen because you are secured in everywhere you go with escorts and bodyguard, you will have freebies in different places when you are invited in parties or events and treat you not as an ordinary person. The other reasons why their families engage in politics are to acknowledge them in history in terms of politics. They want to be recognize what they have done for our country and the changes they have imprint in our history. One of the examples that recognize in our Philippine history is the former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. who was assassinated on August 21, 1983 at Manila International Airport or also known as Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Because of his death people recognize him and the things he did in our country, and these things will be remembered by the people for the next generations to come. To be famous will change people’s point of view and the beliefs in you and your family history.

Power is the ability to control or influence a society or in a country. Power is one reason why they want to run in a government, you can do anything you want if you have the rights to control the people. Expanding their territories in different places is one of their aims so that they can hold people and places they want. Expanding their territories can gain more of their resources and can supply their needs in different places. To apply new laws and policies is the work of our government; these are one reason why they run for position so that they can control the people and set them to maintain peace and order in our country. Law is a set of rules made by the authority that our officials implies so people will understand what is right from wrong whether it is acceptable to do in our society.

Controlling the people and the country is a big role for a government official. They can’t handle it alone by their self, so sometimes they encourage their families to run in different position to help them and to help their territories that they occupy to be progressive in any way. Leading them with good intentions will improve their self in different aspects and can develop a new breed of community for the next generation for the good benefit in our country. But misleading them with dishonest and unreliable leaders can cause our society a big problem; sometimes it can cause revolution, corruption, poverty and the breaking apart of our country with other nations.

III. Conclusion

There are many advantages and disadvantages in practicing political dynasty.

It is up to the leader that the people chose how he runs his territories. Families practicing political dynasty can preserve what they have and can expand the things they want. Some advantages are, they can gain and be richer than any families that does not practices political dynasty. They can expand their territories than other politicians that don’t run with their family in government, and they can be more famous and be known what they have done and contributed for our country. Their family names will be imprinted in our history in terms of politics, people will recognize them anywhere they go and respect them if you’re a good leader or you lead them in a positive and helpful way.

But practicing political dynasty has also disadvantages not only to your family but also to the society. Being famous in politics is prone to different problems and threats to you and your family. Some people are not favor in practicing political dynasty, but some people it’s alright to lead them by the families in politics. Those people who are not favor in political dynasty maybe see the anomaly that some government officials do in our country, the problems that still unsolved in their city that their government promises, that’s why some people are afraid to elect officials that are connected with each other, because they will commit the same mistake they have done for the past years.

Some people write a petition to stop practicing political dynasty so that to give chance to a new breed of politicians that will run in our country and to stop corruption that their families made by years in sitting on their position. There is nothing wrong in practicing political dynasty, as long as the leader that will run our country has a pure intention in helping our people and changing our ways of living and believing to accomplished anything as one community not only in our country but in the world.


The Benefits of Language Exchange Partnerships

Language Exchange Defined

Being interested to learn a new language isn’t enough to pursue proficiency. It takes practice to develop skills in the target language and often, it is difficult to find inexpensive ways to achieve the goal. A language exchange program is one of the most comfortable and collaborative methods for language acquisition. It is a program which involves two or more people who speak different languages coming together to practice the language of  the other participant. For example, if American students are interested in learning Korean before going out of the country as exchange students, they may find Koreans who are studying English in America for a language exchange partnerships. Generally, language exchange partners wanted to develop the speaking skills in the target language outside of the classroom. It is known to be effective in building confidence in the language by increasing vocabulary, knowledge of the common expressions and overall fluency.

Finding Language Partners
There are several ways people can get involved in a language exchange programs. Traditionally, ads in the newspaper or magazines would make personal meetings with possible language partners possible. Furthermore, with technology reaching even the furthest corners of the world, there are plenty of opportunities to meet language partners. It made electronic meetings possible despite the distance, or even the rarity of language one wishes to learn.
Commonly, language exchange partnerships are done through emails and chats. As partners become familiar with common expressions of the target language, video and voice chats are utilized to get exposure for listening to proper stress, intonation and phrasing.
There are websites that help connect people interested in language exchange. Although most would like to find native speakers for this partnership, many who seek language exchanges are of different nationalities who, in most cases, are multilingual. The popular languages that people are seeking to learn include Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, and English. It is wise that one should check many websites and online language partnership communities to find suitable language partners. You might even find one in your area for face to face sessions by searching on Craigslist or Facebook.

Language Exchange Partnerships Benefits:

1. Getting Along With a Motivated Learner
Learning a language isn’t limited to mastering the skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking in the classroom alone. Most often, in language classes, students get to communicate only with their classmates, or the native teacher does all the talking. The classroom setting is good when members actively interact and help each other towards the goal of fluency, which is not often the case. Language exchange partnerships, in contrast, provide unlimited chances to speak and practice in the new language. This is true as members of this partnerships share a common goal to learn with the same level of motivation.

2. Unlimited Chances to Converse
Unlike the classroom setting, language partnerships, though structured in some ways, focus more on communication through conversations. Consequently, since people need skills on listening, grammar, vocabulary, and common expressions to carry a good conversation, this is a good chance to put into practice what one has learned in language classrooms. With topics greatly dependent on agreed issues or area of interests, partners will have something to talk about. It also encourages equal talking and listening time that seldom happens in classrooms. Additionally, in the absence of penalty, marked papers or score sheets, and language level evaluations which are language schools’ routines, partners are more relaxed and enjoy the practice more. When both parties are collaborative, language learning is easy.

3. Friendly and Informal Setting
Most formal language classrooms may be too business-like in nature. This creates doubt or fear for students to join discussions, and makes the learning atmosphere cold and unproductive. Language partnership, in contrast, makes people feel more social as it enables communications in a more meaningful way. Participants are likely to develop mutual trust towards the goal of language learning. Because it can be done one-on-one, it provides enough chances to talk about subjects in a variety of context depending on each partner’s set of interest. This makes conversations enjoyable, fun, full of humor, and mixed with nuances specific to a language in its natural setting. Most commonly, language partners build stronger relationships and thus develop friendships that make the communication going even after the language exchange tandem ends.

4. Personalized Language Focus
Educational research found out that personalized or individualized trainings are more effective in acquiring skills. This can also be applied to language exchange partnerships where each member get to choose the kind of activities deemed necessary for practice and exposure. With partners being self-directed, the chance for improvement on social, intellectual and personality needs to live in or understand a culture where the target language is spoken is faster. The phase of learning can also be properly adjusted to meet one’s abilities, interest, and needs. Because both partners are tasked to help one another learn the language, it enhances independence and sense of responsibility which leads partners able to confront ideas out of first-hand, real-life experiences. As they are co-dependent on each other, they have no choice but to verbalize their ideas to get understood. This process makes interactions meaningful and natural.

5. Native Speaker Exposure
Technicalities of a language can be learned from textbooks but understanding colloquialism and even slang of a language is something else. Since most language partners are privileged to learn from native speakers, issues connected to language use like culture, customs, and modifications in speech can be clarified. With deeper understanding of these factors, it is easy to model language use in different contexts at its most natural accent. Native language partners can also engage one another in real everyday language usage of common phrases or words. With knowledge of speech patterns, instant feedback is available. This is helpful as it introduces correct practice from the start.

Anyone can take part in language exchange opportunities. With many free websites offering information on how to find language tandems, being fluent in a foreign language is close at hand. Since you will be in an exchange deal, you don’t need a lot of money to keep going. Instead of meeting personally, you can even stick with online based language partnerships that are a lot safer. When looking for more authentic text language practice, additional information on culture and practices can help you understand why such usage in a language exists. As soon as you find a good prospect, be creative and make your goals clear. Remember to contribute as much as your tandem does. This way, you get to learn each other’s language in a mutually beneficial atmosphere.

To start, you can even let people know you want to learn a certain language. Who knows, this might start referrals without having to spend much time fishing for a good prospect. Otherwise, become a member of language exchange communities to establish ties. Language learning need not be expensive. All that is needed to enjoy the benefits of language partnerships are creativity, independence, self-direction in learning, and an excellent skill in your first language to be offered in return.

Helping Your Child Develop a Love for Writing

The Need for Writing 

Helping your child develop love for writing can be rewarding and challenging at the same time. Writing is not just putting words on a piece of paper. Writing is the most demanding form of communication as well as a complex process for students. In language learning it is the most difficult skill to acquire out of all the macro skills. It plays important roles in any country and culture. No country keeps records verbally and all records are documented in written form. Even the oldest of civilizations began documented information in written form. When students study history, early documentation and written accounts serve as the basis for studying early cultures.

Notably, helping your child develop love for writing is essential in strengthening academic preparations. Most kindergarten pupils are able to write simple words like their names along with other short vocabulary. What’s interesting is the fact that parents can actually start teaching their children to write as soon as they are able to hold a pencil or a crayon.
Drawing and scribbling are the earliest means of communication for a child. This begins when the kid is about three years old. As they scribble, draw or color, they are actually exhibiting improvement in both their motor and writing skills. At this age, parents can help by making pencils, crayons and paper available for practice. Children should be able to recognize letters and write lines or shapes by the time they enter school. This will give them the edge of learning faster and understanding better.

Suggested Activities to Improve Writing Ability 

As writing plays a major part in the child’s academic life, parents might actually end up pushing their children too hard rather than making writing enjoyable for them. It is essential to remember that learning is easier when it is fun.

The following are tips parents can use to help the child develop a love for writing:

Start Early 

Just like teaching a child to read, begin teaching writing as early as possible. As soon as children are able to hold a pencil, let them scribble. Give your child drawing books and make scribbling a favorite activity. As you go along, teach the kid how to hold the pen correctly. Provide a good space to write by making a child-friendly desk available. Make it a habit to devote time for writing with your child and introduce them to the beauty of the written word.

Don’t Rush 
Don’t teach kids to write letters right away. Though it is helpful for them to learn the alphabet early, it is better to start with drawing lines and shapes as this helps the child control the movements of crayons or pens depending on what is being used. When ready, don’t force your child to write the letters in order. Give them freedom to write whichever letters they have mastered first and help them with the ones they find difficult. You can do this by writing the letters yourself and making the child practice by following your lead.

Introduce Spelling
When done with letters, it is about time to teach your child how to write words. This can be made meaningful by making use of what the child knows. Ask about favorite animals and show the kid how to write out the names of their favorites. You can even integrate this with speaking by helping your child spell out the letters in a word orally. Don’t punish or criticize the child for any minor errors they may commit. Remember, this is the stage when they are just starting to get ideas together, so don’t scare them away by being excessively critical.

Be Innovative
Though children can learn easily, they get bored even faster than adults. Being able to write the letters and even words is not an assurance they will not forget them. You can teach your child to write by using puzzles and games which children respond quite well to. Improvise the ways to keep them interested as children love to learn something new all the time especially if it is being taught in innovatively unique ways. Reinforce learning through games like puzzles and pictures. To make it personalized, you can prepare your own set of flashcards based on the things your child has seen on recent trips or outings. This will expand your child’s knowledge about the real world we live in.

Provide Exposure
Children like to write as much as they like counting their first 100s. When your child sees you jotting down something on a daily basis, it is interpreted as something important. Make them see as you write reports on your laptop, or make a list of things to buy in the store. When the child is young enough, you can encourage making simple lists of things that they have done during the day. During holidays, making a wish list for Santa Claus can be exciting. As you go along, make writing one of the avenues for your child to express their feelings about their day in school, in a friend’s house or a visit to grandmother's house. If possible, try to enroll a child in a writing workshop designed for his age and level to further expand their exposure to writing at an early age. This will not only enhance their skills but also let them see the importance of writing to many people.

Points to Ponder 
Helping your child develop a love for writing can be both challenging and fun for parents. To raise a writer, let your child hold a pen or crayons and scribble freely. Play your part by taking time to sit with your child and teach writing on a daily basis. Children have short attention spans so make sure your sessions are fun, but consistent. As a parent, sometimes you may be just too busy to work with your child and educational videos can be extremely beneficial tools to teach in your absence. Consequently, as the child starts to appreciate writing, expect that they would write on whatever they can hold or wherever they are. Be watchful of your important notes, books and even your walls. To remedy this, plaster paper on the areas your kid can reach in their bedroom or make sure you give them water-based markers. This is perhaps the first sign they have mastered holding their pencils or crayons and wanted to show the world they do. Writing develops with practice as everything else in life. This, however, can bore the child. Give rewards and praises when they did something right, so that they will stay motivated. It is also extremely important to raise a child who will be self-directed to the path of writing and understanding.


Froilan Gange
Alvin Arevalo 
Jeric Galvez

BS Marine Engineering 2

Oil Spill in Iloilo. Credits to  Photo by Jonathan Jurilla, Typhoon Yolanda Story Hub Visayas/ Hazel Villa


An oil spill is the release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment, especially marine areas, due to human activity, and is a form of pollution. The term is usually applied to marine oil spills, where oil is released into the ocean or coastal waters, but spills may also occur on land. Oil spills may be due to releases of oil from tankers, offshore platforms, drilling rigs and wells, as well as spills of refined petroleum products (such as gasoline, diesel) and their by-products, heavier fuels used by large ships such as bunker fuel, or the spill of any oily refuse or waste oil.

Spilt oil penetrates into the structure of the plumage of birds and the fur of mammals, reducing its insulating ability, and making them more vulnerable to temperature fluctuations and much less buoyant in the water. Cleanup and recovery from an oil spill is difficult and depends upon many factors, including the type of oil spilled, the temperature of the water (affecting evaporation and biodegradation), and the types of shorelines and beaches involved. Spills may take weeks, months or even years to clean up.

II. Body

A. Fish Kill

Caused by spills of light oils and petroleum products, such as diesel fuel, gasoline, and jet fuel into shallow water. We also have found that fish eggs in shallow water, such as salmon eggs in a streambed, can be wiped out by an oil spill. Other habitats of concern for fish kills are in contained areas, such as lakes, lagoons, and some shallow-water near shore areas, where spilled oil naturally concentrates. The type of oil and the timing of the release influence the severity of oil's effects on fish. Light oils and petroleum products can cause acute toxicity in fish, but the toxic event is generally over fairly quickly.

Large oil spills can kill fish directly by suffocation and can also destroy the surrounding environment where fish lay eggs and young fish develop. Direct exposure to crude oil causes a coagulated mucous film to cover the body and gills . Oil also disperses in water, and chemicals in the oil are absorbed by fish and can cause death. Oil disperses more quickly in warm water, and the hazards over a shorter period, but the toxicity can be more intense. Oil spills in cold water disperse more slowly, but the toxicity can last for many years. Spills in rivers and streams disperse the oil by agitation and are similarly more toxic to fish.

B. Sickness of the people.

Some components of oil called volatile organic compounds may cause respiratory irritation and nervous system disorders, according to the commentary by Gina M. Solomon, MD, MPH, and Sarah Anssen, MD, PhD, MPH, both of the University of California, San Francisco. Those at risk include fishermen, cleanup workers, volunteers, and members of communities along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the authors write. According to the commentary, seafood, including fish and shellfish, may become contaminated by hydrocarbons from the oil. Trace amounts of cadmium, mercury, and lead in oil can accumulate in the tissues of fish over time, posing a health hazard with ingestion.

Many of the chemicals present in the oil and dispersants are known to cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, kidney damage, altered renal function, and irritation of the digestive tract. They have also caused lung damage, burning pain in the nose and throat, coughing, pulmonary edema, cancer, lack of muscle coordination, dizziness, confusion, irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat, difficulty breathing, delayed reaction time and memory difficulties. Further health problems include stomach discomfort, liver and kidney damage, unconsciousness, tiredness/lethargy, irritation of the upper respiratory tract, hematological disorders, and death. Pathways of exposure to the chemicals are inhalation, ingestion, skin, and eye contact. People's health could be adversely affected by oils either when inhaling or touching oil products, or when eating contaminated sea food.

When cleaning up oil products from the water surface or the shoreline, one must always take certain precautions. One needs to wear a face mask or filter mask be protected from inhaling vapors from oils. One also needs to use protective clothing to avoid getting in skin contact with the oil — and protective clothing means oil- and waterproof gloves and oil- and waterproof clothes that cover at least the front of one's body, as well as strong rubber boots. The same safety precautions, in principle, apply to people who risk coming into contact with lingering oil on beaches — one should always avoid touching it, and in an acute phase one should be careful not to inhale vapors from oil slicks.

C. Loss of livelihood of the fishermen

Fishermen lose their jobs for possible extended periods of time due to government bans and restrictions on fishing which could be extended for large periods of time – until the oil spill is stopped and the clean-up of all oil pollution is completed. Tens of thousands of square miles may be closed to fishing when large oil spills occurs. Fishermen lose their jobs because most of the fishes are contaminated by oil spills. The fishes are not advisable to eat because of the toxic. People in the area where oil spills occur will never eat fish and it cause the loose of fishermen jobs. Some of the boats and facilities that the fishermen are using in fishing are also damaged by oil spills. That the reason why the fishermen stop their work.

D. Destruction of Environment

Spilled oil poses serious threats to fresh water and marine environments. It affects surface resources and a wide range of subsurface organisms that are linked in a complex food chain that includes human food resources. Spilled oil can harm the environment in several ways, including the physical damages that directly impact wildlife and their habitats (such as coating birds or mammals with a layer of oil), and the toxicity of the oil itself, which can poison exposed organisms. The severity of an oil spill’s impact depends on a variety of factors, including the physical properties of the oil, whether oils are petroleum-based and non-petroleum-based, and the ultimate fate of the spilled oil.

An oil spill can harm birds and mammals by direct physical contact, toxic contamination, and destruction of food sources. One of the more difficult aspects of oil spill response is the rescue of oiled birds and mammals. When fur or feathers come into contact with oil, they get matted down. This matting causes fur and feathers to lose their insulating properties, placing animals at risk of freezing to death. As the complex structure of the feathers that allows birds to float becomes damaged, the risk of drowning increases for birds. Some species are susceptible to the toxic effects of inhaled oil. Oil vapors can cause damage to an animal's central nervous system, liver, and lungs. Animals are also at risk from ingesting oil, which can reduce the animal's ability to eat or digest its food by damaging cells in the intestinal tract. Some studies show that there can be long-term reproductive problems in animals that have been exposed to oil.

Even species that are not directly in contact with oil can be harmed by a spill. Predators that consume contaminated prey can be exposed to oil through ingestion. Because oil contamination gives fish and other animals’ unpleasant tastes and smells, predators will sometimes refuse to eat their prey and may begin to starve. Sometimes, a local population of prey organisms is destroyed, leaving no food resources for predators. Spilled oil can harm living things because its chemical constituents are poisonous. This can affect organisms both from internal exposure to oil through ingestion or inhalation and from external exposure through skin and eye irritation. Oil can also smother some small species of fish or invertebrates and coat feathers and fur, reducing birds' and mammals' ability to maintain their body temperatures. Oil Spills also affect marine plants. The oil forms a thick layer on the water surface, and this layer blocks out light and prevents gaseous exchange. When this happens, not only will the plants not be able to photosynthesize, animals underneath the affected area will find that the supply of oxygen slowly diminishes, and is unable to be continuously replenished by the environment. When plants cannot photosynthesize, they eventually die, leading to a vicious effect on the food chain, ultimately affecting all animals.