• The Trailblazer's new shoes

    Last week, I got some new kicks for my 2-week old Trailblazer. I slapped on a set of 18-inch Rota grid off roads and wrapped them in Goodyear's Efficient Grip rubber after hearing great reviews on how it improves the ride and noise levels.

    I immediately felt a difference in the ride, but an even bigger difference in the tire noise. The Efficient Grip tires are built especially for a quieter ride, and it really makes a difference especially at highway speeds.

    Aftermarket rims and tires are same as stock specs.

    But when I posted it that night on my Facebook page to get a feel of what my friends thought about the new look, I got a lot more than I bargained for. I was expecting the "Should have gone for twenties" or "Prefer it in white" or "Sweet" but was more surprised about the "Hey, won't that void your warranty?" type of comments.

    It seemed that quite a few were under the impression that changing tires and rims will void a new car warranty. I assured them that because I maintained the exact same size and specs as the stock rims and

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  • Videographer Robert Suntay, Senator Loren Legarda, Director Brillante Mendoza discuss the need to raise awareness on the country's marine life and underwater resources.

    By Kiersnerr Gerwin B. Tacadena, VERA Files

    “Gutom (hunger),” Sen. Loren Legarda said is what’s in store for the Filipino people if destruction of the country's marine resources is not stopped.

    Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on Environment and Natural Resources, presented the grim scenario at the launching of a video documentary on Philippine Marine Biodiversity at the National Museum on International Earth Day.

    Directed by internationally acclaimed filmmaker Brillante Mendoza and shot by underwater videographer, Robert Suntay, the documentary is part of a campaign to prod Filipinos to protect marine resources. It was produced in partnership with Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Philippine Information Agency.

    Legarda said protection of marine resources could be one of the many solutions to hunger experienced by Filipinos.

    “We are rich in fisheries and coastal resources, and yet why is it that 3.9 million Filipino families were hungry in the last

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  • Fishermen from Tacloban and Palawan join the first training session on fiberglass boat technology in Manila. Photo by GREGG YAN/WWF

    By Jane Dasal, VERA Files

    If you want to save the earth, build a boat.

    That's what a group of environmentalists is saying, especially if you want to save both the forests and fishermen affected by supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan).

    “Haiyan sank about 30,000 bancas. Fishermen in hard-hit communities need to get back in the water and on their feet. But to rebuild all 30,000 boats from wood will rob the Philippines of precious forest cover,” World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines communications manager Gregg Yan said on Tuesday, Earth Day.

    The solution: Build fiberglass boats.

    WWF has launched Bancas for the Philippines, which aims to help fishing communities in Tacloban and Northern Palawan build 600 boats with fiberglass, a reinforced polyester resin made from strands of glass filaments bundled together to form mats or rovings.

    Tacloban and Northern Palawan were some of the areas severely affected by Yolanda, which struck the country on Nov. 8.

    Fredel Mued, one of the beneficiaries of

    Read More »from ‘Yolanda’ fiberglass boats modern-day Noah’s ark
  • Philippine Movement for Climate Justice gathers outside the DENR main office to protest the proposed construction of 25 coal-fired power plants.

    By Patricia Isabel Gloria, VERA Files

    GROUPS opposed to the building of 25 coal-fired power plants within the next six years gathered outside the gates of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Tuesday, International Earth Day, as a sign of protest.

    Members of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) walked from the Bantayog ng mga Bayani along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City and continued with the program in front of the DENR’s main office along Visayas Avenue. An estimated 200 participants joined the rally.

    DENR is the agency that issues Environmental Clearance Certificates for the construction of new coal-fired power plants.

    Lawyer Aaron Pedrosa, head of PMCJ’s Energy Working Group said this proposal expressly contradicts the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Chance Fifth Assessment Report (IPCC-AR5).

    According to the report, one of the leading causes of climate change is the high concentration of greenhouse gases in the

    Read More »from Environmental groups oppose proposed coal-fired power plants

  • Text by Kimmy Baraoidan, VERA Files

    Photos by Chris Quintana and Kimmy Baraoidan

    Los Baños, Laguna—Inside a wet market in Los Baños, a stack of paper bags hangs by a fruit stand.

    Many towns now ban the use of plastics in business establishments. Consumers haul their produce and groceries in brown paper bags, colorful eco bags, old newspapers and used cardboard boxes.

    Bicycles are all the rage as of late. Aside from zero emissions, another benefit is that the rider is able to work out while going from one place to another. Bicycle surplus shops have sprung left and right to cater to the demand for the eco-friendly vehicle. Consequently, bicycle rental and repair shops are experiencing a resurgence in their business.

    Another booming business is wood recyclers. Palotsina used by big factories as packaging material is salvaged by small-scale furniture makers and make them into customized pieces of furniture.

    These practices show a growing consciousness to save the environment from further

    Read More »from Green is in

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