Custom Search

From the Author

Let us pause for a while and take a peek at the fascinating wonders of nature, the majesty and the glory of God's creation and the spectacle of human engineering. Unfortunately, I cannot go to these places in as much as I want to so, I’m just taking this virtual expedition. I hope you can join me in this online adventure.

-Arnel S. Oroceo, the Author

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Chinese Ship Crashes Tubbataha

a Chinese-flagged fishing vessel reportedly ran aground late Monday evening (April 8) along the northern part of the the Tubbataha Reef, UNESCO World Heritage Site (Image: worldmaritimenews)

Just a few days after the US Navy and the salvaging crew of the former USS Guardian has completed salvaging operations off the coast of Tubbataha, another vessel, a Chinese fishing ship this time, has run aground the Tubbataha Reef.

Undeniably, this latest sad incident has caused further damage to the reef. Reports say that the Chinese fishermen have offered money to the arresting rangers to set them free. However, authorities have brought them to the city of Puerto Prinsesa for legal action. They have charged them with illegal fishing and bribery.

I hope that this is the last time a ship will run aground the Tubbataha Reef. The Philippine government needs to make all efforts to ensure protection to its territory.

Image credit:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

USS Guardian at the Tubbataha

A section of Guardian's hull being removed by the US Navy contracted crane vessel M/V Jascon 25 on 26 March 2013 Image Credit: Wikipedia
Last January 17, 2013, the US Navy ship USS Guardian has grounded at the Tubbataha Reef National Park destroying more than 2,000 square meters of the reef. The US Navy has blamed the grounding on a faulty map and has relieved four of the officers on board Lt. Cmdr. Mark A. Rice, his executive officer and navigator Lt. Daniel Tyler, the ship’s assistant navigator and the officer of the deck.

Salvaging operation has started on January 29. Bad weather and high waves has delayed the operation but it has proceeded and on March 30, the salvaging crew has concluded its operation. They have cut up the ship into three sections and have lifted them part by part using a crane vessel M/V Jascon 25, which the US Navy has contracted for the job.

According to the survey, which the World Wide Fund for Nature–Philippines and the Tubbataha Management Office has done, the damage area is at 2,345.67 square meters. The US government has agreed to pay a fine of $600 per square meter under Philippine law, which would total to around US$1.4M.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Tubbataha Reef Damaged

Last May 2009, I have written about one of the best diving spot in the world that you can see in the Philippines- The Tubbataha Reef. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (

It is sad that a couple of weeks ago, a US warship, minesweeper USS Guardian has entered the Tubbataha waters and has crashed ashore destroying a big portion of the reef.

As of post time, the warship remains ashore endangering further the adjacent parts of the reef.

According to news reports, salvaging work has gone underway. The warship’s oil has been extracted in preparation for the US Navy’s plan to lift the warship up from the water.

I join the call for the US government to pay for the damage their warship has done on the Tubbataha Reef. Underground photos and videos has shown the extent of the damage underground. The color of the corals has turned white which means that they have died. The reef might take many years before it could recover from the damage done. The US government must help save the Tubbataha Reef.

Image credit:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Temple of the Dioscuri

In Greek mythology Castor and Pollux are twin brothers born of Leda, Queen of Sparta. Castor, the mortal son of the King Tyndareus of Sparta and Pollux, the divine son of Zeus. They are brothers of Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra. Castor and Pollux are called the Dioscuri.

According to the legend, in an ambush, Castor was wounded from a spear. To save his life, Pollux, gave half of his immortality to his twin brother and they became the two brightest stars in the constellation Gemini.

A temple at the Valle dei Templi in Agrigernto was dedicated to the Dioscuri, Temple of the Dioscuri or the Temple of Castor and Pollux. This Temple, however, was a reconstruction from the rubble of other ancient temples during the 1800’s.

It consists of four columns with big stone bricks filed above them. Experts calculate the age of the original temple on which the reconstruction has been done to be middle of 500 BC.

Image courtesy of:

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Tomb of Theron in Agrigento Sicily

Tomb of Theron
Agrigento is not only a host to ancient temples but also to a tomb of one of the greatest men in the history of Sicily, Theron, the Greek Tyrant of the town Acragas.

In 480 BC, he led the war against the Carthaginians and occupied Himera with his ally Gelo of Gela. He controlled Greek Sicily together with his allies, Syracuse and Selinunte until his death in 473 BC.

His son, Thrasydaeus succeeded him but because of his wicked conduct, he became unpopular to his people. He went to war against Hiero, son of Syracuse and was eventually defeated. He managed to escape to Greece but was later taken in captivity and was killed in public.

The “Tomb of Theron” is located near to Porta Aurea in Agrigento.

Image above courtesy of:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Temple of the Olympian Zeus, Agrigento

Ruins of the Temple of the Olympian Zeus
One of the important ruin site in Agrigento is the Temple of the Olympian Zeus. According to historians, it is supposed to be the largest doric temple to be ever constructed during that time however, the construction has not been completed.

Historians believe that it was supposed to be constructed to celebrate the triumph at the Battle of Himera but because of further attempts by the Carthaginians to recapture the city, the construction could not continue particularly the roof part. Until an earthquake brought the temple down.

Model of the Temple of the Olympian Zeus
Then during the 18th century, people quarried the ruin site to obtain construction materials for the development of the towns in Agrigento.

Presently, only a few tumbled pillars and rock blocks have survived.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Temple of Heracles

Temple of Heracles, Agrigento Sicily (wikipedia)
Another interesting archaeological treasure of Agrigento, Sicily is the Temple of Heracles. Historians believe that this has been one of the first temple that Theron, the Greek tyrant of the town of Acragas in Sicily, has built around 480BC before the Battle of Himera.

The Battle of Himera happened in 480BC when the Greek forces of Gelon, King of Syracuse, and Theron, defeated the Carthaginian forces of Hamilcar the Magonid, which ended Carthage’s dominion over Sicily. Historians say that the Temple of Heracles have been completed decades after that momentous war.

The temple is in honor of Heracles, the half-man, half-god hero in the Greek mythology. According to the myth, he is the son of Zeus and has an unmatched power and strength. He has become the epitome of masculinity and courage. In Roman mythology, he is known as Hercules.

It must be enthralling to see the ruins of a temple that has passed more than a thousand years. It is like bringing into the future a tiny glimpse of the engineering and architecture of an ancient civilization.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...