The Most Popular Book Of All Time

Originally posted on 101 Books:

Whether or not you’re a Christian or read the Bible, I think you’ll find this infographic pretty interesting.

The Bible, by far, is the “best-selling” book of all time. In sheer numbers, just look at how it compares in terms of copies sold.

Also, of note, the infographic shows the books with the largest word count. Mission Earth by scientologist wack job L. Ron Hubbard has more than 1.2 million words. I wonder how many of those words Tom Cruise has read?

Second is a novel I’ve never heard of called Sironia, Texas by Madison Cooper. It weighs in at 1.1 million words. The King James Version of the Bible has a little over 788,000 words, which ranks fifth.

Interesting stuff here. Anything surprise you?

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San Remigio: Haven for beach and basket lovers

by Rachelle M. Nessia
(Note: This was published at the PIA E-Newsletter April 2013 issue)


A glimpse of the shoreline of San Remigio, Cebu.

The view is straight out of a charming travel postcard: powdery white sand, blue-kissed waves that sparkled under the summer sun, Crayola-color painted bancas parked under tall, swaying coconut trees.


One might say that the beaches in the town of San Remigio in Cebu look just like any other beach in the Philippines. But there’s one fact that separates the shores of this fishing town from the others: San Remigio has the longest coastline in the province of Cebu.


The town’s coastline is a 44-kilometer stretch of sugary sand that snakes along the northern edges of Cebu province. It’s so long that it encompasses the shores of 13 coastal villages or almost half of San Remigio’s 27 total barangays, from Brgy. Punta all the way to Brgy. Luyang.


On April 2 this year, the town will mark its 150th year of being a local government unit. In 1864, San Remigio was proclaimed a municipality and its name was changed from Kanghagas to San Remigio.


Back then, the seemingly endless sliver of white sand attracted the attention of Moro pirates that were sweeping through the shores of northern Cebu. A Spanish sentinel, Remigio Multon, helped protect the town from the marauders. He stepped up and led the townfolks in organizing homeguards through the ronda system. Because of his heroism during the fight against the Moro pirates, the town was eventually renamed in honor of him.


According to San Remigio Information Officer Venicio “Dodong” Dajuya, tourists coming to San Remigio have 8 beach resorts to choose from, all of which are privately owned. A sleepy town, San Remigio draws in visitors who are on the lookout for a refuge from the noise of the city. Tourists here mostly soak in the serene beaches where the village kids run around on the sand while the fishermen leisurely lounge beside their upturned bancas, killing time before they have to set out to sea when dawn creeps in.


The residents are quite proud of their shoreline, turning it into the highlight of their town fiesta which they call the “Lapyahan” Festival celebrated on May 16. Lapyahan is the dialect word for shoreline.


Although its shoreline is currently San Remigio’s crowning jewel, the locals’ creativity and their skilled, deft hands in basketweaving are certainly some attributes that the community are starting to be proud of.


When tourists visit the Lapyahan public beach, they will be met by a tent where baskets in all shapes and sizes are spread out. This is a display of some of the baskets that San Remigio native Zaldy Umpad himself designed.


“Every week, I come up with designs for our weavers to create and execute. These are just some of what we have in our factory right now,” said Zaldy, his arm sweeping to indicate the hampers, wickets, plant holders, trays, and other basket containers.



The writer with Zaldy (right) showing his basket designs.

Zaldy has been designing baskets for 25 years already before San Remigio Mayor Jay Olivar tapped him to design for the San Remigio Handicraft Cooperative (SAHCO). The coop members themselves weave the designs that Zaldy draws up.


“I create 2 original designs every week. Once I see a design that now becomes common, like this one,” he said, pointing out a tall, beige wicker basket hamper, “I immediately replace them with a new design.”


SAHCO members are now busy weaving basket items to meet orders for export to countries like Turkey. “We usually have to fill one 1×40 footer vans with basket items,” said Zaldy. They only have 30 days to craft thousands of basket products to fill up one container van.


Visitors can help themselves with the basket items on display for a much lesser price. “Once these baskets are bought by the companies, their prices go up. Here we sell them at factory price,” said Zaldy.



The colourful and unique designs of the basket weavers of San Remigio, Cebu.


Mayor Olivar is intent on making basket weaving as the leading alternative livelihood for village residents who are mostly farmers and fishermen. According to Zaldy, the mayor has issued instructions for SAHCO to organize basketweavers in all 27 villages in San Remigio. Once this plan takes off, San Remigio can position itself into becoming a major supplier in the basket weaving industry.


For now, beach and basket lovers can find beauty in San Remigio, from its long, pristine shoreline to the sturdy and attractive handicrafts of the locals. (RMN/PIA Cebu)


I think of you in black and white,
in muted colours of grey
in grainy shots of silent films
and torn edges of vintages stills.

I think of you in technicolor
bursts of sunlight, blinding rays
dancing hues of honeydews
streaks of vibrant pink haze.

I think of you in endless reels
of love, hate, hate, love, love
a roller coasting loop of love me
and love me nots.

I think of you.


Sampling the moblogging

I’m typing this out on the WordPress app on my iPhone to roadtest mobile blogging. I haven’t blogged in months (or is it nearly a year?) and I’m hoping that mobile blogging will help me get my blogging mojo back.

What prevented me from giving this a try before is the thought of typing long form on my phone. I’m naturally suspicious of gadgets that multi-task. I’m kinda old school that way. I like to use my phone strictly as a phone.

Then when I got an iPhone I started spending more browsing time on it, eventually getting past my initial apprehension over the small screen. Then I downloaded iBooks and I’m soon reading some of my ebooks on my phone, again getting over my dislike of the small screen. And now, well, I’m typing this blog post on my iPhone. So far, it’s not as bad as I thought. The autocorrect feature makes up for the small keys. But time will tell if blogging on the go is something I’d like to do permanently or maybe limit it to short posts only. I have yet to figure out how to insert photos, formatting and such.


Oh ok there you go. Wow that was pretty easy. That photo was on my phone and it worked as slickly and easy as the WordPress dashboard on a desktop. Cool. You can even preview the posts as well before publishing it, just lie on the desktop! I adore you WordPress. As much as I adore Tom Hiddleston, and that says a lot.

Yes, we have it all

I’m smack in the middle of work stuff right now (I think I’ve been smack in the middle of loads of office stuff for years now so nothing new there) but I just must/need to blog about this one.

There’s this amazing German who came over to the Philippines and fell in love with my country that he stayed here for 3 months.

When I followed the link going to his blog post from Facebook (don’t ask me why I’m even on Facebook when I’m supposed to be finishing a report and like a hundred other tasks), I knew right away it was a bad idea. Here I am, sitting in my air-conditioned office, surrounded by glass walls, the sharp ringing of the phone jarring the silence once in a while, and then these stunning photos started loading up onscreen – swaying coconut trees, lagoons sparkling like jewels, endless stretches of beaches that seem to kiss fabulous blue skies, grinning faces of people who look like they don’t have a care in the world… I want to weep. So near yet so far.

How can this guy from a country million miles away been through all these places here in the Philippines?  He stayed here for 3 months, and he’s been to about about 22 spots in the Philippines. Twenty two. In 3 months. And here I am, a native, and I haven’t even been to more than half of those places!

Reading his post, I felt so proud to be Pinoy, and at the same time ashamed that I remain a foreigner in my own country. His post makes me want to quit my job right now, pack a bag, and head off to the sunset.  Brown myself under swaying coconut trees, read a paperback in a swaying hammock, get lost somewhere, conquer a mountain and scream up to a vast sky, dive underwater to kiss the fishes, and kiss a total stranger. (That last one is actually in  my bucket list. I have a crazy bucket list, one that I can never share online for fear that my family will disown me. Well, more like my parents will skin me alive first, before disowning me.)

I keep dreaming of going to other countries, and yet right in my backyard are some of the most amazing places that captivated the hearts of foreigners. The Philippine Department of Tourism has been urging Filipinos to explore their own country. Huwag maging dayuhan sa sarili mong bayan. Don’t be a foreigner in your own country. When am I ever going to follow that advice?

Anyway, I can’t post Philipp’s photos here for obvious reasons, so you’ll have to follow this link to go to his blog. Prepare to drool. No, not over his six-pack abs, silly. But prepare to be blinded by the amazingness that is the Philippines from his photos. You’ll want to go pack those bags, too.

I’m actually keeping his blog post perpetually open on one of my browser tabs as a sort of motivation. Something to tide me over until I work up enough guts (and save up enough dough) to drop everything and hie off to the sunset.

To give you a context on what I’m ranting about here, this is my view as I type this:


Now go open Philipp’s blog post and you’ll understand why I feel like weeping. Shame on you, Philipp. Shame on you. And thank you so much. We need more tourists like you!