News, Thoughts

Site Revival

*Updated February 2019

It has been more than half a decade since the launch of Educated Juan. Originally a repository of the author’s travels and reviews of anything under the sun, this site is now being revamped into a medium for opinion pieces.

It is strongly emphasized that this is NOT some fake/alternative news site or a forum for trolls. Although the web domain sounds similar to those being used in the current political circus the Philippines is undergoing right now, this site is neither pro nor anti government. Rather, all the contents are impartial with the end goal of truly educating the readers in mind.

The original purpose of this site was to promote education/knowledge as a crucial part in one’s life; and it still remains to be that, more so that gullibility and outright dumbness has seemingly overtaken the world today. It should be our life’s obligation to have an endless pursuit of knowledge to impart such to our fellowmen.

Let us all work together and help each other become “Educated Juans” and make a dent in this world.

Note:
All articles will be updated to reflect the changes since these were last published online.

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News, Travels

Weather-based Philippine Vacations

NOTE: 2012 article, updated for 2017 (including updated image credit on end).

Weather Vacation

The Philippines (from FreeWorldMaps.net)

With the endless torrential rains in the Philippines, it is quite discouraging and even dangerous to go to the various travel hot spots: beaches, mountains, tourist destinations, and the like. Add to this mix the constant promos of airlines for the lean months, and you have a dilemma on how to schedule a vacation in such a way that you would have to enjoy it to the fullest. And this would include romantic sunsets, delay-free flights, walking sightseeing trips. In other words, you’d have to ensure a rain-free travel.

I have gathered data in order to avoid (or minimize) experiencing rain-drenched travels. However, this is not absolute, as Philippine weather is as unpredictable as Love (LOL). Anyway, the current weather data today might not be applicable decades from now due to the evident Global Warming.

Weather Vacation

Philippine Climate Types

There are currently four climate types in the Philippines, of which the categories are based on the amount of rainfall on the affected regions:

  • Type I. Two pronounced season: dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year.
  • Type II. No dry season with a pronounced rainfall from November to January.
  • Type III. Seasons are not very pronounced, relatively dry from November to April, and wet during the rest of the year.
  • Type IV. Rainfall is more or less evenly distributed throughout the year.

As could be observed in the said map, the eastern coastal regions as well as a substantial part of Mindanao are have constant rainfall throughout the whole year. This could be substantiated by my childhood in Davao City where it would be clear by day and it would always rain by nighttime. As for the coastal regions, it would be a hit-and-miss scheduling for beach vacations, but it would be a boon for surfers who would love strong winds which translate to higher waves.

The rest of the country has a relatively stable weather pattern, with a dry season approximately from November to April. However, there are clear signs that the seasons are being jumbled by mother nature possibly due to the ill effects of pollution and greenhouse gases worldwide. In some parts, summer has arrived earlier and with accompanying heat waves, while in some parts it’s still affected with heavy rainfall with no letup. This brings us to another fact of life in the Philippines: depressions, storms, and typhoons.

Analysis of the climate map reveals that Mindanao and the southern Visayas islands are good to visit any time of the year, while tourist spots in Luzon and northern Visayas islands are good destinations during the summer months.

Weather Vacation

Typhoons in the Philippines

Tropical depressions, Tropical storms, Typhoons. They all essentially the same, with the only difference being their wind speeds. Still, Tropical depressions and storms don’t equate to safety just because they don’t have winds that could tear apart billboards and flatten houses. They could even be more dangerous compared to fast-moving super typhoons because of on heavy thing they bring: immense rains with accompanying floods and landslides.

As seen in the map, although Philippine storms and typhoons generally come from the southeastern side of the country and travel north, Mindanao is virtually untouched by typhoon paths, save for a few which cuts across the northern Mindanao area and crossing into the western areas of the country. Historically, the eastern seaboard of Luzon is most affected, especially the Bicol region as it is usually the first to be in the typhoon’s path. Also heavily affected are the Samar and Leyte islands.

Although storms and typhoons come in throughout the year, the months of January to April have shown a smaller probability of such. Of course, this doesn’t mean that there will be no rains on these months. Also, June to November months have shown the most occurrences of typhoons crossing the Philippines.

Aside from typhoons, the Philippines constantly experiences Low Pressure Areas (LPA) and Inter-Tropical Convergence Zones (ITCZ). Both are merely complicated terms for rain, haha.

While rains could dampen your mood and hamper some vacation activities (unless it’s some rain festival or something), there are quite a few benefits for the budget-conscious travelers: cheaper airfares and accommodations! Such is the effect of supply and demand on the lean months.

Weather Vacation

Rain-free

In conclusion, while you may be equipped with a few decades worth of data on Philippine weather patterns, which could be helpful when you are doing some long-term vacation planning (especially with the current airfare promos), bear in mind that these are merely general predictions.

It could be that you scheduled your vacation on a surely dry season in some part of the Philippines, but with just a bit of bad luck, it happened to rain on that very day. Or you could be traveling to a sunny part of the the country, but your flight got delayed due to heavy rains on your departure location. Well, we’ve nothing and no one to blame actually.

As for immediate and short-term travel plans, it pays to check on the various Philippine weather sites which give daily and weekly forecasts.

To check the weather on a regular basis, you could check on the Philippine government agency Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA), or the popular May Bagyo (Typhoon 2000). These sites constantly update their weather status and forecasts.

With these in mind, have an enjoyable “well-scheduled” vacation!

For the pictures, credits to the various sites, in order of appearance: FreeWorldMaps.net, Top Destination Choice the Philippines, and Cebu Experience
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Development, News

Vitamin C Overdose

Vitamin C

Picture from Ramblings of a Beauty Bird Site

I recently got sick with the flu and was absent from work for a couple of days. My doctor recommended that I should gulp down as much Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) as I could to strengthen my immune system, rather than taking some medication that only relieves the symptoms of the sickness.

It’s common knowledge that Vitamin C is a water soluble nutrient. Meaning, in excess amounts it just exits the body via your urine. So no worries for me. I bought a dozen 500 mg Vitamin C tablets and a big can of Pineapple juice, with the intent of taking in the said vitamin three times a day (it was prescribed) and chugging down the 1.5 liter juice along the day.

This went on for a few days, with the pineapple juice being replaced by Kalamansi juice (it was extremely cheaper) spiked with a teaspoon of natural honey. And so I got better.

However, I woke up at 4 AM due to a severe stomachache, after which I had a short bout of diarrhea until sunrise. After a quick research, I discovered that Vitamin C does have an overdose level, and it could be deadly on rare occasions.

To avoid turning this write-up into a geeky science article, I’ll explain it as simple as possible.

Yes, Vitamin C is water soluble, and yes, it simply exits our bodies if in excess. What matters is, what the excess Vitamin C does inside our bodies before it’s flushed out. The daily recommended for non-sick individuals is 90 mg per day, while the maximum tolerable dosage of Ascorbic Acid in the medical community is 2,000 mg, so I was bordering with my 1,500 mg during that time.

To cut the long story short, a high dosage of Vitamin C could cause diarrhea, and really high dosages could lead to kidney stones (not yet generally established, but some studies have linked it).

Well, I’m not instilling paranoia on people. In fact, I highly recommend that all people should include Vitamin C in their daily diet, with a higher dose during sickness. All I’m telling you is just be aware of the possible upset stomach side effects.

All animals except for humans and a few chimpanzees and fish don’t make Ascorbate (anion of Ascorbic Acid) on their own, which makes us dependent on this drug, er, vitamin. Anyway, moderate amounts of Ascorbic Acid is extremely beneficial due to its anti-oxidant and immune system-boosting properties.

In closing, the moral for the day is: anything in excess is bad, even good ole’ Vitamin C. I learned that with straining difficulty while contemplating in the comfort room. This is in a sense, a diary diarrhea story, harhar.
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