Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ships and Angels

Its hot in Subic. The scorching sun seem to penetrate every pore of your body. The beach is definitely inviting but sadly, I am in the opposite side of the island. No sand to play with here but big unserviceable ships docked in freeport's wharf. Subic, afterall, is a former american military base so remnants of base is still present here.

The fun in the beach has to wait another day because it is another working trip for me. However, I had the opportunity to take a breather and stroll in Subic's Bay Walk and had a view of a beautiful sun set. I was surprised at the outcome of these pics 'coz they are mostly grayish and metallic. I intended not to edit them to show you the peaceful, yet cutting beauty of the place. And I am pretty sure it is the opposite of the more colorful sunsets on the other side of the place.

And before I go, let me just share to you my new six angels which I have bought in Baguio during the festivals. I have placed them in my office beside my working desk and they are now the apples of the eyes of my officemates, clients and other visitors. These six angels are carved from wood and each one of them hold a musical instrument. They may be wooden but they definitely a joy to look at especially at the most stressful part of the day.

By the way, these photos are all taken using my Nokia N95 phone so the resolution ain't that great. I hope however that you enjoy looking at them as much as I had fun taking them.

It is going to be another working week-end for me so, to everyone I hope you all had fun and enjoy the summer.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jungle Joe's World

First of all it is a FUN PLACE. A theme park for the family, Jungle Joe's World is located in the tropical forest area of Subic, Olongapo City and just a five minute ride from the Zoobic Safari.

At the entrance of the park, you will see a huge air-filled balloon character of Jungle Joe. Jungle Joe is a fictional Philippine Macaque Monkey-character. This monkey is native to Subic Bay area and in fact, you can see these monkeys alongside the roads and forests of the area.

For an entrance fee of Php 280, each visitor is entitled to 3 free coke and a train ride touring the various attractions of the 60-hectare park. After the ride, visitors can walk in the park and muse themselves in several bunkers such as Kiddy Play Zone, Indy 500 Racer, Playhouse Theater, Winter Wonderland, Jurassic Trail, Animal Park, Paintball Course and Sa Anaba Beach. Construction of other themed bunkers are still on-going.

Here are some shots I have taken while on the theme park:

Jungle Joe and Tribe Members dancing to a Song from High school Musical.

The Kiddie Playzone showcases high-quality slides, mazes, and jungle merry-go-rounds.

The Indy 500 Racer is themed after the Indianapolis 500 in the United States. It features a race-track built for small Roller Racer cars.

Jungle Joe’s Playhouse Theater is designed as a kind-of 1950’s high tech cinema house with comfortable bean bags as chairs.

It is Christmas all-year-round at the Winter Wonderland.

The Jungle Joe’s Zoo Ride adventure is a mini-trek through the jungle that will introduce you and your children to giant animal species from around the world.

The Jurassic Trail is my most favorite theme in the park where you can discover full-sized ancient prehistoric animals line-up in various points of the walk.

Jungle Joe's world is a fun experience specially for the kids. It is both entertaining and educational. So if you happen to pass by Subic, go check the place out!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Zoobic Safari - Tiger Encounters

Zoobic Safari is the only tiger safari in the Philippines. If you want a close encounter with these ferocious felines, then this is the place to go. Located in Subic, Olongapo City, the safari houses more than two dozens of domesticated tigers.

While tigers are it's main attraction, the zoo also houses several animals. There is a section for animals that can be petted such as rodents, pigs, goats, albino carabaos and even a bear.

There is also a section there for Serpents featuring snakes and other reptiles.

The crocodile pit houses about three hundred Philippine Crocodiles known locally as "Buwaya". If you want these crocs to move, you can feed them chicken parts for Fifty pesos.

There is this little challenge at the zoo known as Hip Hop Bayawak where courageous guests could hop on cemented logs right in a pond full of monitor lizards. These lizards are quick and they even bite so it is quite a challenge to the participants.
There is also the Savannah known as the gaming part of the place. You will find a lot of ostriches, fowls, wild boars and potbellied pigs. You are not allowed to touch the animals thou or get-out from your vehicles. This part of the zoo is still undergoing development and the tour guide mentioned that management of the zoo is still in the process of importing animals to fill the place.

There is also an Aeta Trail in the place where native Ita put on a brief native dance show. After their performance, guests are free to take their pictures or get their pictures taken with them.

Subic was once a US military base. Sadly, the place almost became inactive when the Americans left them, but places and themes like these could certainly get Subic back at its feet.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Why Should I Pay My Taxes?

It is a vicious cycle. In my professional life as a CPA and lawyer, I have always encounter these remarks: "Why should I pay my taxes? The unscrupolous people in the government will just corrupt them". I always tell them to pay their taxes and demand (and insist) good services from the government.

Taxes pay for the salaries of government officials.
Taxes pay for the salaries of policemen.
Taxes pay for the salaries of public school teachers.
Taxes pay for the salaries of the President and her cabinet.
Taxes pay for the salaries of the Chief Justice and his people.
Taxes pay for the salaries of every senators and congressmen.


Taxes enable the government to construct new roads, highways and bridges.
Taxes enable the government to construct schools, buildings and other structures.
Taxes enable the government to provide light in the streets at night.
Taxes enable the government to provide health services.
Taxes enable the government to provide social services for the needy.
Taxes enable the government to defend the security of the country from threats.


Tomorrow (April 15) shall be the deadline for filing the Income Tax Return of corporations, business establishments and professional individuals. And while the BIR campaign on an early filing of the ITR as early as January, it has always been the nature of the Filipinos to always beat the deadline, so expect a long queue of taxpayers in banks tomorrow.

Here is a sad fact: Those persons employed pay an average of 20% to 35% tax of their compensation while corporations pay only an average of 5% to 10% of their income. Why is this so?

Those persons employed are what we call captured tax-payers. Their employers withheld a certain amount of money from their monthly salaries and directly remit them to the BIR. The amount of money to be deducted from their salaries depend on ther income bracket. Those who earn less has less deductions compared to those who earned more. At the end of the year, their employers shall issue them a certificate showing the amount of taxes deducted from their salaries for a given calendar year. Thus, come filing, if their tax due is equal to their tax withheld, then there is no more need to file an ITR. However if the employees' tax due is different from tax withheld, then he has no choice but to file an ITR and pay for the deficiency before April 15.

The situation is different for corporations. These corporations usually employ every trick in the book just to avoid paying taxes. Some of them even employ the services of highly-trained and technical tax consultants to legally avoid paying large sums of taxes. I mentioned legally avoid because as compared to Tax evasion, tax avoidance is legal. The former is illegal and punishable by law while the latter is legal because it maximizes the loopholes of tax laws to avoid paying taxes (lessening tax fo that matter).

And here is another fact: Based on the study conducted by NEDA, taxes contributes only 14% on our country's GDP compared to other asian countries who averages about 25%. Do this mean that taxpayers in those countries are more socially responsible? Or maybe, this is where the endless vicious cycle comes to play. That is, Filipinos do not want to pay taxes because they are not satisfied on how the government expend their hard-earned money.

What do you think? Have you paid your taxes already?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Baguio Landscapes

These photos were taken in Burnham Park at the height of the Baguio Flowers Festival. By now, the blooms of the flowers have already faded and the amazing structures have already been vacated but the meomories of these beautiful landscapes will definitely linger to those persons who have been witnesses to these excellent showcases.

And as I look at these photos, what comes to mind is an age-old adage that a thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Burnham Park

Burnham Park is the most famous and the most visited park in Baguio City. Its main attraction is a man-made lake where tourists can rent a boat and just cruise in the lake. The park also has lots of benches where a couple could just laze and cuddle in the cool weather. Or they could just lie down and rest in its bermuda-grassed grounds.

Burnham park also is probably the busiest park in the City where lots of activities took place - from cultural presentations to market encounters. The park is especially beautiful during Flower Festival where almost every corner of the place is in bloom.

Here are some pics I have taken from the park:

Blooming and Colorful flowers surround the man-made lake.