Monthly Archives: December 2010

Endangered flowers, plant species found in Camiguin

By JORIE C. VALCORZA
BusinessWeek Mindanao
December 16 2010

THE volcanic pear shaped island in Northern Mindanao is not only a treasure trove of endangered fauna but of flora as well.
A team of Singaporean scientists recently visited Camiguin and confirmed some interesting flower and plant species found in its rain-forest.

The study of Dr. Lesley C. Lubos on the diversity of bryophytes plants in Camiguin, which won international
recognition this year, has led to the discovery of these plants.

Most of the plants identified are endemic in the island, the list includes the red and yellow colored rhododendron orchid, begonia, nepenthes pitcher plant, spathoglottis orchid, aeschymanthus, balanophora plant, lopidium moss and the coral fugus.

Bryophytes are chiefly terrestrial, nonvascular plants, like the mosses, liverworts, and hornworts.

In a press release, Dr. Lubos said it took him a month to finish the study under the mentorship of Singaporean Bryologist and a herbarium keeper Dr. Benito C. Tan. The study poses the importance of bryophytes in preserving the forest ecosystem.

To date, the provincial government, in cooperation with the Office of Lady McNiece in Singapore, Philippine Association of Institutions for Research and the Liceo the Cagayan University have been actively campaigning for the protection of the endangered plant and flower species.

They have already launched a poster showing the images of the flowers and plant bearing the slogan “Discover, Enjoy and Conserve the richness of the plant diversity in Camiguin Island.”

Omico eyes Mindanao prospects

By Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 06 2010

MANILA, Philippines—Listed mining firm Omico Corp. is considering new mining opportunities all over the country even as it started drilling at a prospective mine in Itogon, Benguet.

“We are talking to a few claimants. We are always looking for new opportunities,” company president and CEO Tommy Kin Hing Tia said in a phone interview.

Tia said Omico was not limiting itself to Luzon. It is already looking at several options in southern Luzon and in Mindanao.

However, Tia could not say when Omico would be able to firm up operating agreements with the said claimants.

“We are hoping that something may develop in six months or so. We will make disclosures as things develop,” Tia said.

Recently, Omico’s mining subsidiary, Omico-Ivanhoe Mining Inc., signed a core drilling agreement with Primo Asia Mining and Drilling Inc.

Ivanhoe is in the process of changing its corporate name to Omico Mining Inc.

The drilling target is a guaranteed minimum of 3,000 aggregate meters divided into seven holes at a maximum depth of 1,000 meters per hole.

The management decided to proceed with the diamond drilling program after finishing the surface geological exploration.

The exploration included surface geological mapping anzad rock grab geochemistry, drainage geochemical survey, soil geochemical survey and reopening of 12 old abandoned tunnels within the approved MPSA No. 278-2009-CAR located at Barangay (village) Ampucao in Itogon, Benguet.

Huluga open site: an ancient settlement site

BusinessWeek Mindanao
06 December 2010

IN the town of Medina, one can head out to the Medina Springs, a very interesting dive spot also with rich marine life which is located just about 300 yards from the white beach, near the edge of the shallow coral reef.

“The Paradise” as it is called, is about 90 to 110 feet deep with features like a canyon with a lot cracks and holes and a cavern that can be explored with underwater flashlights.

“The Aquarium” meanwhile is another place to make that second dive with depth ranging from 20 to 70 feet. In these two spots- you’d be able to spot the underwater springs called alibuag which literally spew out very cold fresh water.

The dramatic seascapes meanwhile, at the eastern tip of Gingoog Bay which is part of the town of Magsaysay is Punta Diwata. This divespot meanwhile has a stair step coralline slope with its ledges and walls all beautifully covered with sea fans, sponges, as well other marine outcroppings. Manta rays as well as the usual colorful and interesting Philippine fishes also frequent the area.

To wrap up the dive tour of Misamis Oriental, just out front of Mantangale is Manongul reef––aptly named as Manongul which is the word for coral gardens in the local dialect. Manongul is best for snorkeling and long scuba dives where you can spy blue spotted stingrays, lionfish, convict damsels, soft and hard corals, clown fish who all call Manongul home.

Meanwhile, for those who just absolutely love waterfalls, Misamis Oriental never fails to disappoint. See the Libon-lawit Falls 13 kilometers from Gingoog City centre which is composed of three falls actually- Tiklas Falls (120 feet high), Kilubag Falls which serves as its main attraction and the Bangbang Falls (70 feet high).

There is also the small Aya-aya Falls in Lugait, the Kanapolan Falls in Naawan, Lubilan Falls also in Naawan, Sinabayan Falls and Mimboaya Falls in Subongcogon, Bakid-bakid Falls of Gingoog City, and the Sagpulon Springs and Falls in Jasaan.

For all its beauty, Misamis Oriental’s main tourist attractions exists in its many national parks with natural limestone formations, ridges, gorges and canyons like the Initao National Park about 51 kilometers west of Cagayan de Oro which also includes a marine ecosystem which is home to various colorful fishes and corals as well as Splitnose bat cave in its two closed caves and one open cave which opens towards the sea.

There is also the Lingon-lingon Plateau Park in Balingasag which is excellent for bird watching and mountain climbing and the Sicolon Cave also called Cueva con Agua in Laguindingan (28 kilometers west of Cagayan de Oro); the Magallanes Cave in Jasaan which is still largely unexplored; the Huluga Caves 8 kilometers away from the St. Augustine Church on the east bank of the Cagayan River.

This cave was especially important because this cave also serves as a burial site. Xavier University researchers found a female skull dated back around 350 AD by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in the United States.

The Huluga open site was an ancient settlement site in the area and according to unverified reports; a huge part of this archaeological area was destroyed in 2003 by the City Hall and today remains to be neglected and exposed to quarrying.