A water conserving device called Tippy Tap

According to UNICEF philippines, Children suffer disproportionately from diarrhea diseases – with more than 3.5 million children under five dying every year from diarrhea and pneumonia-related diseases. In the Philippines pneumonia is the 3rd leading cause of deaths among children under five, estimated at more than 10,000 children. Meanwhile, 10,000 die every year from diarrhea and the Department of Health (DOH) cited it as amongst the leading causes of death with a rate of 16 deaths per 100,000 children.

The simple act of washing hands with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrheal rates among children under five by more than 40 per cent, and respiratory infections by nearly 25 percent.( UNICEF philippines)

this is toppy tap looks like

This is tippy tap looks like.   photo credits to http://www.unicef.org/philippines/mediacentre

Washing of our hands by soap and water removes bacteria and viruses that caused infection.

What is Tippy Tap?

The Tippy Tap is a technology first used in Africa and consists of transparent bottle or can with a tiny hole that releases a small amount of water each time it is tipped. The “faucet” is enough to provide a clean handwash. Tippy Taps are cost-efficient and can be easily replicated and produced in schools and barangays that do not have adequate facilities for handwashing.(UNICEF philippines).

This device is use for hand washing. Through hand washing we can help ourselves not to be prone in bacteria considering our hands is one of the dirtiest part of our body.

Tippy tap is cheaper, less water and low tech device use for washing hands in areas where there is no running water.

Any locally available container can be use in making a Tippy Tap. For example a 4.5 container, two poles for its stand and two thin sticks of about one meter, gravel or small stones and a tools to dig.

How to make a Tippy Tap?

Here are the steps:

Step 1, Find a suitable place in your garden to install the tippy-tap and dig two holes into the ground one meter apart. Put the two poles in the hole and strengthen the base.

Step 2, Tie or nail the smaller stick horizontally to the two vertical poles.

Step 3, Push a nail through the container where you want it to alternate.

Step 4, Make a hole near the cap to let the air in.

Step 5, Make 2-3 holes to allow water to pour out.

Step 6,  Pass a string through the first two holes you made to suspend the container from the horizontal stick.

Step 7,  A small notch is made in the center of the horizontal string to prevent the string from slipping away.

Step 8,  Take a string and tie it to the mouth of the container. This is the main pulling string which will be tied to a stick that will act as a foot peddle.

Step 9, Use one more small string to tie the main pulling string to the base of one of the vertical poles.

Step 10, Tie the pulling string to the foot peddle.

Step 11,  Fill the plastic container with water.

Step 12, Dig a hole and fill it with gravel or small stones to soak away water. This not only prevents the formation of a muddy puddle, but also avoids mosquito breeding.

That’s it. Water starts to pour when the foot peddle is pressed and stops automatically when the pressure on the foot peddle is taken off. Now you can  actually make your own version of Tippy Tap.

Herein Philippines Tippy Tap is already introduced by some organisation like UNICEF Philippines and Signpost Philippines with their partner organisations.

We should help our community to save water since water is very essential for us to live it not only good for drinking but it is also used for our daily activities, like in our hygiene purposes.

A Clean hand helps us not to be prone in any diseases that surrounds us.

References: http://permaculturenews.org/2014/06/10  http://www.unicef.org/philippines/mediacentre_14413.html


Cycling while Charging, the Power of Bicycle Charger

Photo by: Jeremiah Murimi

Photo by: Jeremiah Murimi

Bicycle serves as a main method of transportation in the Philippines. Based on 2013 National Labor Force Survey, 37.917 million or 87 % Filipino labor force choose bicycle as the primary mode of transportation according to Rep. Samuel Pagdilao. Biking does not only promotes health and leisure but can be an alternative solution to the high prices of fuel, fares, traffic, noise and air pollution. Also, mobile phone electricity charges can be now saved through cycling. Cycling while Charging, the power of bicycle charger.


The bicycle charger was an innovation made by the undergraduate students of University of Nairobi namely, Pascal Katana and Jeremiah Murimi. The wind is the alternative energy source. It was made out of the idea to use rotation motion of a bicycle wheel to generate electricity using a dynamo. Dynamo is a type of alternator in generating electricity for lighting a small lamp. Once the wheel is rotated, current is induced in coils of copper wire under the influence of a rotating magnetic flux, generated by alternate shifting of magnets to north and south poles which is also known as the fundamental principles of electromagnetism. The charger is made of recycled materials e.g radio parts computer electronic components etc. The market cost of the kit were estimated at Ksh 150 or Php 67.19, however it may vary to the economies of scale in mass production.

Benefits of the innovation

  • It can promote employment and revenue.
  • It can promote sufficient power to charge phones in areas without electricity.
  • It reduces over-reliance on electricity to charge phones.
  • It eliminates the regular cost of charging phones.
  • It can boost consumption of local products and innovation.






An invention of Dr. Stephen Hicks, a Neuroscientist from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. Dr. Hicks’s invention was widely known as SMART GLASSES. The Smart 3D Spectacles has a built in camera that technically picks up the three-dimensionality of the enhanced objects nearby, thus, can be tuned to a bright easy-to-see display and as well as can be put up or rather can be seen from the inside of that particular pair of spectacles. Practically, people can see an extra layer of vision when being worn. It adheres or rather give support and context to that specific environment. It is a significant way to help and assist vision of the people with severe sight impairments. A citation from www.thedailyguardian.com, that according to research, 90% of people who are registered blind have some existing light perception. The glasses use 3D cameras to greatly enhance what little they can already see through a computer and this is projected on to lenses. The result is that close-up objects and people go from being dark, indefinable blobs to outlined, cartoonised images. It was also mentioned that The glasses began life two years ago as chunky goggles with banks of computer screens. A £500,000 grant from the Google Impact Challenge, which supports charities using technology to aid people, is funding the development of a wearable slimmed-down pair of glasses and software that is usable on a mobile phone. In 2015, 1,000 volunteers tested the new version at home. If all goes to plan, a spin-off company owned by Oxford University and device creator, Stephen Hicks, could be selling them by 2016, priced at £300-£400. The potential to transform lives is huge with 30 million blind people worldwide. Though, this invention is likely to and possibly to be produced in the Philippines since we already have similar inventions from EPSON called The Moverio, thus, this device has also a front-facing camera that enables image and video capture as well as marker detection for AR apps that give users relevant information related to the real-world and as well as the “Wear-ever” device by the Smart Communication Network. The network’s spokesperson said “All this is part of the digital tsunami that we expect will sweep the world, including the Philippines in the coming years,” citing about their invention that could change the way people communicate. According to www.wfs.org, They combine a 3D camera and built-in software to enhance vision. The software enhances and highlights objects in the foreground while hiding the background. The wearer can even pause the visual feed and zoom in for greater detail. The depth camera works in the dark allowing for night. But The glasses don’t replace lost vision but assist with spatial awareness. Anyone using the glasses looks through them to make the most of their existing sight, with additional images appearing in their line of sight to give extra information about who or what is in front of them. (Photo below from Len Rosen’s 21st Century Tech Blog). VA-ST-software-e1434460715873 What is great about these glasses is that you can see through them and make the most of the vision you’ve got. They add to what you see with extra information. In some cases, details such as facial features can become easier to see – making social interaction more natural. The glasses work particularly well in low light and can be used to cope with night blindness. http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2014-06-17-smart-glasses-people-poor-vision-being-tested-oxford

STARBOOKS: An Offline Downloadable Digital Library

Today, modernization is rapidly taking place. Technology plays a big part in our lives. Imagine life without technology,  life would be much more difficult. Now, information is just a one click away. With the gadgets and tools that we have, information is readily handed to us. It would be much more amazing if we can access information even without the use of  internet. Well, now it is possible to gain information even offline with the help of the Department of Science and Technology with their new innovation – STARBOOKS.

What is STARBOOKS? star

credits: http://www.google.com

Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosks Stations or STARBOOKS, are one-stop repositories for science and technology and livelihood information

STARBOOKS is a stand-alone, on-site research and information kiosk that provides free access to information and is highly appropriate for public libraries.  It is not accessed online, and does not require an internet connection. It’s built in server can provide  simultaneous access to users, who can save the digital materials they need on their standard Universal Serial Bus (USB) drives, or by printing them out. It contains thousands of digitized science and technology resources in various formats (text and video/audio) placed in specially designed “pods” set in a user-friendly interface. (DOST)

According to DOST STII Director Raymund Liboro, “STARBOOKS currently  holds 500,00 titles of digitized journals, serial publications, reference materials, annual reports and directoires of DOST-STII’s library materials. It also cotains 170 videos from the different DOST agencies, such as “Tamang DOSTkarte livelihood videos” for aspiring entrepreneurs. The video topic range from food processing to laundry soap manufacturing and other livelihood materials.

STARBOOKS has special features:

It’s a standalone information kiosk, hence information access is possible even without internet connection;

Information available is read-only;

It is a compendium of S&T information gathered from all over the world a one stop S&T information source; and

It features videos dubbed “Tamang DOSTkarte Livelihood Videos” to stimulate every Filipino’s entrepreneurial capacity.


STARBOOKS aims to:

Create interest in the field of Science and Technology which may increase the number of Filipinos enrolling S&T course;

Encourage great and curious minds to develop new ideas, inventions and innovations; and

Inspire one’s capacity for entrepreneurship and reserach.


STARBOOKS is a great help in our communities. This is accessible to all kinds of information from medicines, technologies, livelihood, and mostly for education. This should be promoted to areas where limited information is present. This application is readily available for offices and most especially in Elementary and High School where learning takes place.

Technology is now a big part of our lives. Let us share this knowledge and opportunity to others so that we can grow and learn together hand in hand for the development we always dreamed.

How to avail of STARBOOKS

STII welcomes stakeholders who would set up STARBOOKS in their area. All that is required are the following:
-A space measuring 3mx4m (with specifications for physical set up of the kiosk)
-Mandatory 1-2 days training
-Focal Person

Minimum hardware requirements incude:
-2 Computer units (1 server, 1 terminal)
-Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 2.93Ghz 3MB 1066Mhz;
-Asus P5G41T-M LX3 DDR3/A/V/L;
-Kingston 2GB PC3-10600 DDR3 1333 SODIMM;
-Samsung 500GB 7200rpm SATA;
-Samsung DVDRW SH-223C 22X Sata;
-Orion Black Knight ATX 600W PSU;
-Keyboard, Mouse, headset and AVR
-17″ LCD Widescreen
-1 STARBOOKS pod with specially designed sticker
-1 Windows 7 Starter OEM license
-Network HUB and cables
-* Installation & courier costs to be incurred shall be borne by the recipient.

Who should avail of STARBOOKS?
– Local Government Units (LGUs)
– Non-Government Organizations
– Educational Institutions
– Private Corporations





Bluetooth Hearing Aids: A New Device made for the People with Hearing Impairments

Nowadays, technologies transform into more convenient way that help the people to have a comfortable and easy life. These are the technologies made by the creative minds of the scientists, inventors or even an average person who experimented and discovered new ideas that is put into actions producing new devices or gadgets which are essential to all especially to its target audience.

This Bluetooth hearing aid from ReSound pairs with a variety of mobile devices, including the Apple Watch. Credit: ReSound

This Bluetooth hearing aid from ReSound pairs with a variety of mobile devices, including the Apple Watch.
Credit: ReSound

“Hearing aids are changing the way that people with hearing impairments live in the digital age” researchers say. It is a small discreet and often Bluetooth-enabled, the new generation of hearing aids look more like something out of a spy movie than a doctor’s office, bluetooth hearing aid is a device that can connect wirelessly with smartphones, allowing a person to hear a phone conversation directly through his or her hearing aid without needing to hold the phone near the ear. The same thing goes for listening to music or watching television; instead of listening using headphones, users with bluetooth hearing aid can just simply pair their devices directly with smartphones, TVs and computers.

It can also be paired with tiny, clip-on microphones or what they call “roger pen”, which come in handy in large or noisy venues, like busy restaurants or places of worship, by placing the roger pen near a person who’s speaking, a person with a compatible hearing aid can pick up voices without having to ask the speaker to clip on a microphone aid. Hearing-aid manufacturers also make necklace like devices embedded with microphones that a person with hearing impairments can wear under his or her shirt. These allow for hands free cellphone conversations (no need to hold the phone up to your mouth when you speak).

According to Kohan “Hearing loss is devastating for everybody, but more so for the elderly,” They need to be able to communicate in an environment that sometimes is not optimal, for example a restaurant with their families, or with grandchildren who have squeaky, high-pitched voices. All of that is really important.”

Louise Levy, chief audiologist of the Baby Face Foundation, a nonprofit organization in New York City said that “This device was made for all but most especially to the people like the elders who have hearing impairments to have greater control over their environment” wherein she believed that hearing clearly isn’t just important for people with hearing impairments; it’s also important for their friends and family members for it can tighten the relationship they have by understanding each other.

Numerous studies have linked hearing loss in elderly patients with feelings of isolation and rapid declines in mental health, Kohan said. It’s possible that technologies that allow better hearing could help keep those negative effects of hearing loss by increasing a person’s feeling of connectedness with family and friends. The technologies also expand the opportunities that a person with hearing loss has to spend time with other, he added.

One of the big challenges in Levys Job is helping patients decide how to address their various hearing impairments. Increasingly, she’s been recommending that her patients who need hearing aids give the Bluetooth versions a try. She said it’s easy for her to convince younger patients that “smart” hearing aids are the way to go because they are more expose on smartphones but it’s difficult for Levy to convince older patients who will most likely benefit from the most high-tech hearing aids on the market and also for patients who aren’t confident with mobile technology. Levy explained that there is other way round because Bluetooth hearing aids also come with remote controls, which have larger buttons that might be easier to see and manipulate than those on a cellphone which is more applicable to them.

“There’s never been a better time to be hearing impaired, because there’s so much technology out there, and it’s only going to get better and better,” Levy added.




Valley Fault System Atlas: A Tool for Disaster Preparedness


The Valley Fault System (VPS) Atlas is a handbook of large scale maps showing detailed areas throughout East Valley Fault and West Valley Fault. It is a new and better mapping tool which could help local government units and individuals to minimize the impact of disaster on every lives and structures.

The Valley Fault System Atlas was launched on May 18, 2015 by PHIVOLCS, MMDA, NDRRMC and UNDP officials in preparation for a possible 7.2 magnitude earthquake that may happen within our lifetime.

Valley fault system is an active fault system in the Greater Metro Manila Area having two fault traces: the 10 km long East Valley Fault in Rizal and the 100 km long West Valley Fault that runs through different cities and towns in Bulacan, Rizal, Metro Manila, Cavite and Laguna.

The West Valley Fault can produce a large earthquake which poses a threat to people’s lives, buildings, infrastructure, and livelihood. It is also known to generate big quakes every 400 to 600 years. The last major quake happened 357 years ago in 1658, meaning another one can happen as soon as 43 years from now.  According to Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study, the death toll in Metro Manila could be around 33,500 with at least 100,000 injured. Some 40% of residential buildings are likely to be heavily or partially damaged. Total cost of damage could reach P2.3 trillion. With those points, the atlas should enable national and local governments, homeowners, building owners, and disaster officials to prepare for this eventuality.


  • Uses the most recent official maps available from the National
    Mapping Resource Authority (NAMRIA).
  • Shows a more detailed view of specific streets and villages along and near the fault.
  • An improvement of a previous map by PHIVOLCS done in a 1 to 10,000 scale.
  • Presents the most detailed map of the two faults, having been done in a scale of 1 to 5,000 which shows actual streets, villages, and even the outline of some structures.
  • User-friendly way, that even laymen can check their proximity to the fault and coordinate with their local governments on disaster preparedness measures.
  • Serve as a “solid reference” for the placement of evacuation centers, roads, and houses.
  • Can help city planners draft more disaster-resilient land use plans.
  • Strengthen disaster risk management and policies on land use, engineering, and issuance of building permits.

The atlas shows the actual fault line that runs through a few cities in the Metro Manila. Thus, by knowing where the active fault lies is the key to people’s awareness and preparedness for earthquakes, appropriate land use, contingency planning for disaster response and design of houses, buildings and infrastructures.


“The Valley Fault System Atlas was conceptualized as a handy reference for everyone to serve as a guide in making sure that areas traversed by active faults are avoided. Such sites include houses and structures that are considered in various mitigation and response actions or enhancing the safety and resilience of communities to strong earthquake events. Thus, ensuring buildings are earthquake-resilient is the best preparation for an earthquake.”

– Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr., Director of DOST-PHIVOLCS

“Through the publication of this Atlas, which specifies the position and location of the Valley Fault System in GMMA, we have taken a leap forward in reducing risk from earthquake. This tool will help us closer to achieving the goal of our national DRRM effort to build safer, disaster-resilient and climate-change adaptive communities throughout the country.”

– Alexander P. Pama, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Undersecretary

“The atlas is very relevant for land use planning as we are helping LGUs review and update their Comprehensive Land Use Plan or CLUPs.”

– Emerson Carlos, Assistant General Manager for Operations of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority

“Once the documents to secure a building permit is submitted to us and we suspect that it’s near the fault line, based on PHIVOLCS data, we will endorse it to PHIVOLCS for a hazard assessment report. The atlas could expedite the city’s evaluation process on which areas are hazardous.”

– Engr. Robert Moreno, technical evaluator of the Marikina City Engineering Office

“Informed policies are the key to ensuring that the devastating earthquakes in Nepal last April and May and in Haiti in 2010 – won’t claim as many lives in the Philippines. Earthquakes themselves do not kill people. What does kill people is poor planning, inadequate preparedness, and the lack of application of appropriate building standards.”

– Titon Mitra, United Nations Development Program’s Country Director

vfs-atlas-ph-part-1-1-638The handbook has its own guide on how to interpret it. This guide can be seen in the introduction of the Valley Fault System Atlas Handbook. Different lines were indicated to know the location of active faults fissures, and where faults go along with fissures, also the certainty of PHIVOLCS on the location of the fault and whether or not the fault is hidden by natural or man-made obstructions.

Hardcopies of the handbook were distributed to local government officials of affected cities and towns who attended the launch. A digital copy can be accessed in the PHIVOLCS website.

You may click the link below to log on PHIVOLCS website and download the original, full-sized document of the atlas.


Once you already log-in, you may click the linked pages to download files. The VFS Atlas maps can be downloaded per city or municipality. Downloading of each file may take some time due to big file size.

Here’s the complete PDF of Valley Fault System Atlas, uploaded in smaller parts:

The Valley Fault System Atlas Part 1

The Valley Fault System Atlas Part 2

The Valley Fault System Atlas Part 3

The Valley Fault System Atlas Part 4

The Valley Fault System Atlas Part 5

The Valley Fault System Atlas Part 6

The Valley Fault System Atlas Part 7


High Resolution West Valley Fault Maps- http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/issues/disasters/93575-valley-fault-system-map-launch

New PHIVOLCS Atlas Shows Detaile View of Quake Fault-http://cnnphilippines.com/metro/2015/05/18/Phivolcs-atlas-disaster-preparedness-tool.html

DOST Gives Fault System Atlas to Local Gov’t Units-http://www.dost.gov.ph/index.php/knowledge-resources/news/44-2015-news/693-dost-gives-fault-system-atlas-to-local-gov-t-units

Earthquake Magnitude Scale and Classes- http://www.geo.mtu.edu/UPSeis/magnitude.html

Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=419:mmeirs&catid=66

Candles: New Source of Power!

No battery? No electricity?

Candles are usually used as a source of light during blackouts but did you know that it could also be used as a power in charging a phone during blackouts. This innovation was discovered by stower.

Candle charger is a safe, compact, and effecient miniature powerplant that provides electricity for usb devices. It was the first indoor powerplant for phones. The water used for the candle charger could also be reused for cooking. Six candles can full charge two (2) phones.


Candle charger contains two corepieces of technology:

1. Thermoelectric module also known as a Peltier cooler. Thermoelectric modules are semiconductor devices that convert temperature gradients – one side hot, one side cold – into electricity.

2. Nontoxic bismuth telluride-based modules, which have been in mass production for over twenty years for scientific, refrigeration, and automotive industries.

Credit: google images

Credit: google images

The candle charger is unique because of its  conversion efficiency, its electrical strategy, and the design for indoor use.

Conversion efficiency-patented mechanical engineering is combined to optimize heat transfer from the candle, to the thermoelectric module, and into the water bath; careful control over thermal interfaces; and spatial design to position the Candle Charger relative to a heat source (i.e. the candle).

Electrical Strategy it monitors the power output from the thermoelectric generator,boosts the voltage to USB standard 5V,conditions the power from the generator so it matches internal charging requirements of smartphones, switching between “bands” of acceptable current levels and gradually dropping the voltage so phones don’t drop the charge,provides LED indicator sequences to clearly show power availability.

images (3)

Credit: google images

Credit: google images

Credit: google images







Banana Peels: Use as a Replacement of Traditional Petroleum Based Plastic

By: Nikka Domini P. Pameroyan

Plastics which we are using today are not Eco-friendly and not safe. The government has been implementing laws which states to minimize the use of plastics so that we could restore the cleanliness of our environment as well as to stop the tearing of our ozone layer and to have a fresh atmosphere. Pollution is one of the causes why people get these different diseases. Plastics have a contribution to the Pollution, since the traditional plastics which are petroleum based are non-biodegradable. It is also one of the causes why floods happen because of the clogged drainage systems which are caused by plastics. Although plastics have a great contribution and help to mankind, it also can harm and affect the environment and the health of the people living in it.

Science has made its way to somehow minimize the causes of pollution and to have a Greener and Cleaner environment, introducing the Bio-Plastics which compose of the main ingredient used in the project: Banana Peels.

Banana_Peel_for_Healthy_SkinSince Bananas contains starch, it possesses the characteristic of being able to absorb humidity and it is also used by packaging drug capsules in the pharmaceutical sector. Some bio-plastics are made of other ingredients like vegetable fats, corn, peas and potatoes which also contains starches. Some bio-plastics are designed to be biodegradable.

This Bio-plastic project was made by an 18 year-old teenager, Elif Bilgin from Istanbul Turkey. Winner of the 2013 $50,000 Science in Action award, part of the third annual Google Science Fair.


What drives her in making this project is that “the bio-plastic is such a new concept and its range of use has been widening ever since it has been discovered (especially in the 21st century). The bio-plastic is a material which has the potential of causing a biological reform by means of reducing the amount of pollution caused by other plastic materials which contain petroleum derivatives. The banana peel is something we we throw away every day, but little do we know, it has much more efficient uses. For example, in Thailand, 200 tons of banana peels are thrown away daily and this number increases each year (Pangnakorn, 2006) and in the fruit industry, banana peels make up around 30-40g per 100g of the total revenue. All those peels may be put into much more use. The banana fruit’s peel was selected for this experiment because it is a waste material rich of starch.” (Elif Bilgin)

Since bananas are rich in starch, She explained that the starch and cellulose present in banana peels are a possible replacement for traditional petroleum based plastic. According to The Packaging Bulletin Magazine’s January issue, it is a proven fact that starch and cellulose are important raw materials used in the bioplastic industry (Packaging Bulletin, 2009).

The making: Similarly sized bananas with no bruises on the skin to ensure that the experimental process is fair. She dipped the bananas in a solution and different concentrations to produce banana paste. After dipping in a solution, it was boiled for 30 minutes. Drying the peels she then added again another mixture and placed it in the oven at 130°C. It was baked for half an hour. After 12 attempts and pilot experiments, 2 of these following experiments were selected and repeated for four times.

According to one of her experiments, 4N ( 4 newton) pulling force on the plastic from the opposite sides showed no change in strength and there was no decay in the plastic after 30 days, therefore the making of the bio-plastic is successfully made.

“This project is so easy that you can actually made it yourself right in your homes” says Elif. By using this innovation, we can make a cleaner and greener environment. The advantages of these are: the plastics are renewable, less energy to produce, easier to recycle, non toxic and it is biodegradable.

download (1)

Some companies and brands here in the Philippines are using bio-plastics materials in their products example is the Orocan. They are known for the durability of their products. I also found some articles and videos which teaches you how to make your own bio-plastics using different raw materials simply like water, starch, glycerin and vinegar.

Making these bio-plastics can really help minimize the pollution on our environment. Imagine the world replacing all petroleum based plastics to bio-plastics.






The Indestructible: New Innovation of Rescue Boats

In June 2008 the city and province of Iloilo was under a state of calamity after a destructive storm, Typhoon Frank (international name: Fengshen) had hit the country. According to Marcos Detourist, aside from Iloilo City, most of Iloilo Provinces of 42 towns were also heavily affected especially the towns crossed by major rivers. Detourist state that around 80+% of the Iloilo City went underwater and the worst hit district was Jaro, where the flood waters reported to have reach a high of 2 meters submerging almost the entire district.

Mariano Griño,now 68, a resident of Gran Plains Subdivision in Jaro experienced the destructive typhoon and was spared; his family had to lend their inflatable rubber boat to rescue trapped residents in neighboring subdivisions but the boat was damaged. He was 61 back then. (Cebu Daily News)

The Regional Community Defense Center where Griño was a reservist,  had an inflatable rubber boat years back but were damaged and became unusable after it was punctured. For years, Griño had the idea of building a rescue boat that was indestructible, a rescue boat that could resist collisions and not be broken or crashed easily.

He started constructing the boat in August 2008 at the backyard of his house. The boat’s body is filled with lightweight polystyrene (Styrofoam) insulated in marine epoxy composite. Its body frame is made of plywood and has skid plate made of aluminum serves as a protection from hard and pointed objects in steering over rooftops or fences. In my research the use of Styrofoam as a material in building boats will not sink in water and it is lightweight and can be transportable and it’s cheaper. Measuring 14 feet in length, six feet in width and three feet in height, the boat can accommodate 12 people. The boat includes a trailer for easy transport, equipped with a 40-horse power outboard engine, four paddles, a grappling hook or anchor to maintain stability while picking up victims, and a life jacket to throw easily to victims. The boat was completed a month and half later and was successfully tested at the Jalaur River in Iloilo last September 2008.


Mariano Griño (with hat) test drives his invention at Jalaur River, Iloilo. – thenewstoday.com

“We could save more lives and will respond better if we have the right equipment like unsinkable rescue boats, life jackets and lifebuoys,” Griño told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a telephone interview last 2012.

Griño said he was planning to sell a unit with trailer and other accessories at P380,000 without engine and at P580,000 with a 40-hp outboard engine. He also said that the indestructible boat would still be cheaper than the inflatable rubber boats that cost P700,000 each.

Antique has the interest to buy several of these boats from Griño and the Iloilo City government is studying the project. He is also planning to build an indestructible rescue raft similar to the boat but cheaper and intended for poorer communities. (thenewstoday.info)

According to Inquirer, Griño has not stopped working on innovations that could help save lives during disasters. He recently designed an indestructible life vest made of Styrofoam and ballistic nylon which costs around P350, cheaper than commercially sold life jackets. He’s latest innovation is a lifebuoy, a ring-shaped life preserver, made of Styrofoam and fiberglass cloth that can accommodate up to four adult persons.

With this new innovation of rescue boats, it can be a new kind of aid to Typhoon victims especially in the Philippines since the country had experienced one of the strongest typhoons in history (which was typhoon Yolanda, international name: Haiyan) back in 2013. Rescue boats are one of the equipment’s used during floods to evacuate victims out of  the affected area. With Griño’s new innovation of rescue boats made out of cheap alternative materials that can resist collision and cannot be punctured than the usual inflatable rubber boat, this can help the government because it can be use again and will last a long time and can save us money unlike the inflatable rubber boat that can be easily damaged and we need to supply more because it cannot be used again which is a total waste of money.

By: Harajean Mae D. Hachero





Briquette: The “Green Charcoal”

For sustainable development, we can make charcoal “green”!

The General Systems Theory influences us that elements on earth from the simplest to the most complex one are interconnected. We are all part of a system-the environment. Barry Commoner, a scientist, politician and a publisher introduced the four laws of ecology; these say that everything is connected with everything else, everything must go somewhere, nature knows best there no such thing as a free lunch. These would only mean that our waste either biodegradable, non-biodegradable and or recyclable must go somewhere, sadly most of the time it goes back to our own backyards as we neglect the aspect of waste management and environmental protection.

Embracing these ideas we became aware of the emerging societal problems such as the improper waste management and sound recycling practices.

Moreover, environmental demise, poor waste management and lack of livelihood are, for years, been tormenting the Ilonggos across the region and are even setting threats to some’s “barely-there” chance of survival; but the point of being alarmed with these problems is likewise the point of being assertive in finding  solutions. For so long, these problems have been arising, numerous attempts to solve them will continue to be developed  where some are effective, some are not.

One of the most remarkably effective initiatives to address waste management in Western Visayas is now being developed; indeed one of today’s newest innovations– charcoal briquettes.


Photo caption : These are the sample charcoal briquettes produced by CPUCA.

Briquettes also called as “green charcoal”.

Briquettes is a fuel that are composed of waste materials tightly compressed into solidified pieces and are used as alternative to firewood, charcoal or any other fuel. It may come in different shapes and sizes, compact and easy to transport. It  is now helping  waste reduction.

Charcoal is a fuel comes from a wood processed for carbonization, however, of course we know the negative impact of charcoal because when people keep on using charcoal we are also allowing or promoting the practice of cutting down trees  to convert  as charcoals. But with briquettes or the “green charcoal” technology , introduces an alternative options to the people who have been dependent in using charcoal wood or LPG which are known to be great factors for environmental pollutions.

In Iloilo City, the College of Agriculture, Resources and Environmental Sciences of the Central Philippine University with its offered courses in agriculture have linked resources to create a new technology that introduce the biomass waste resource utilization that converts waste product into briquettes.

Central Philippine University- College of Agriculture (CPUCA) is the technology developer and does not sell the products; the college inventors and engineers want to introduce this to the community in Calajunan, Mandurraio, Iloilo City and shall train them how to market it aside from empowering them to use this product for household consumption. It allows the people to learn and embrace this new inventions as well as to gain income from this product. But the big challenge for them is on how to established market because not all the people are familiar with briquetting or the use of briquettes as alternative to fire woods. The blogger’s opportunity of using the social media is essentially integrated in the vision to promote new invented product to let the people aware of environmental management.

Aside from the scientific side of inventing this product, the CPUCA is also embracing the community empowerment side through its stakeholders, the Uswag Calajunan Livelihood Association (UCLA )members. They introduced this product to them and tested the pillow shape briquette, but they found out that this kind of briquette produces smoke hence with their new technology they made the cylindrical shape briqutte designed with a hole because according to several studies if you want to remove the presence of smoke and enhance the quality of your briquettes it should have a hole. Other shapes of briquettes are egg-shape, tubular-shape, cylindrical-shape without a hole and stick shape.

The process of making this product is called theBRIQUETTING, there are many ways in making briquettes but CPUCA promotes technologies that are simple and easy to operate. It converts the solid biomass and urban wastes into carbon and make it available into a fuel form. It compresses the materials into solid fuel product in any shape. These materials which were of low density prior to being converted into briquettes is compressed to form a product of higher bulk density, lower moisture content and uniform size and shape making these materials easier to package and store, cheaper to transport, more convenient to use, and their combustible characteristics are better than those of the original waste material (Romallosa, et al, 2011).

They use scratched paper from the offices inside the university, sawdust and carbonized rice husk from farm lands.


Photo caption: These are the different types of charcoal briquettes.

Briquettes come in three types:

  1. Paper type with 100% paper
  2. Paper + Sawdust type
  3. Paper + CRH + Sawdust type

Paper type with 100% paper and paper + sawdust haveequal value of produced heat but paper + CRH +sawdusttype is quite low in produced heat  because CRH is already a used fuel.

The mass production of Paper+ CRH + sawdust type of green charcoal is still pending because it will be sent to University of Germany for the ultimate chemical analysis and in Japan for the University of Tokyo’s emission test to gather data and to determine the air quality due to pollutants which may occur.

The “green charcoal” costs Php10.00 – Php15.00 pesos per kilo for about 60 pcs. Can be used in any ordinary charcoal stove. It was emphasized by the developer that it has no mixed materials and or substance aside from the paper, sawdust and carbonized rice husk (CRH).

Several steps in making the briquettes are:

  1. Soak shredded waste papers in a container filled with water overnight to soften the papers for easier pulping.
  2. Remove excess water from the pulped papers using a net bag.
  3. After filtering the paper put it in a big container and mix it thoroughly until uniform mixture is attained.
  4. Then, put the mixed materials into the molders while squeezing the excess water.
  5. Form the materials into round shape for better compression.
  6. Compaction is done by closing and pressing down the movable top onto the bottom half of the molder.
  7. After molding the briquettes, place it under intense sunlight for at least two days to remove excess moisture.
  8. Lastly, when briquettes are have dried already, trim the excess sides of it for better physical quality and store it in dry cool place to maintain low moisture content.

Before, making the briquettes by hand molding, they are using a jack with a hole so that briquettes will not be smoky.

Its purpose is to make people realize and practice not be dependent on wood charcoal, gas stove and other expensive fire burning materials and help promote clean environment through this briquette technology.

The blogger as a development communication practitioner firmly believes that we have lot of resources; likewise, waste materials which are major components  in making the green charcoal, just anywhere and is so potential minimizing the dependency on wood charcoal and LPG.

Using briquettes instead of the usual wood charcoal leads to numerous benefits. It is locally made fuel for cooking or heating that can offer alternative to the use of firewood and charcoal. It is cheaper compare to charcoal and it can put less pressure on natural resources. It can help the people in the community to earn money, lessen the rubbish in the community and turns it into a source of energy.

Indeed, this such initiative is considered sustainable, thus, the community people shall adapt this new innovation for daily living. It is always true that the law of ecology tells as that human beings are part of the system, that we, exchange materials, energy and information to other living organism in our system.

Materials may it be biodegrable or something that is recyclable is part of us, environment provides resources and materials which human being can utilize and transform after several use. Energy is what we need, through the interactions of living organism and nature’s provided materials, we continue to live. Energy is needed for survival. Information counters entropy which is the innate tendency of a society to break down; information holds the society together, through information we educate people of the existing potential materials that we have and it can be transformed into an energy which is crucial for human survival.

The “green charcoal” is one innovation from the existing materials that we have, now converted to produced energy essential for human’s everyday living. Charcoal doesn’t have to be black, it is also “green”, thus it is sustainable.