by Guirlyn V. Kilat

Did you know that potato is the first vegetable that we’ve ever grown in space? It’s also the fourth most important crop after rice, wheat and corn.potato1 The potato is low in fat, high in starch, fiber and protein. It’s also packed with nutrients and vitamins. Here’s a recipe than you can cook with potatoes:

Garlic Roasted Potatoes with herbs recipepotato3   1.  2 tbsps. chopped garlic

2. 1 tbsps. olive oil

3. 4 cups potatoes

4. 1/2 tsp. sea salt

5. 1/4 tsp. black pepper

6. 1/4 cup chopped parsley

7. 1/2 tsp. lemon rind


1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees

2. Combine garlic and oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat

3. Cook 2 minutes until golden stirring frequently

4. Remove garlic with a set of spoon and set aside

5. Drizzle remaining oil in the potatoes

6. Arrange potato in a single layer sprinkle with salt and pepper

7. Baked at 475 degrees for 30 minutes

8. Combine the reserved garlic, parsley, and lemon rind

9. Sprinkle mixture over the potatoes Now, your roasted potatoes with herbs is ready to serve and eat.

LED Bulbs

by Guirlyn V. Kilat

An eco-friendly way to light up your home is to use LED bulbs.They have light emitting diodes or LED’s that converts electricity into light.These bulbs are 100% recyclable and does not have toxic chemicals. (Read this http://www.ledluxor.com/top-10-benefits-of-led-lighting)


Here’s what you’re gonna need to create your own LED lamp:


These are the steps:

1. Hollow out the bulb


2. Make cap and the wick using old shoe lace and a bottle cap.


3. Fill the bulb with lamp oil


4. Light up lamp


Now, your light bulb lamp is done and ready to use, just follow the steps.


by Guirlyn V. Kilat

Healthy plants  begin with  great soil quality.


A typical healthy soil sample should contain roughly 45% minerals, 25% water, 25% air and 5% organic matter such as decade plants, insects and animal matter. This means that healthy soil is generally lose and not compacted.

One of the best ways to make sure that your plants are healthy is to make sure that the soil is topnotch.

To start, prepare your garden. Check which part of the garden absorbs water the best. Simply pour water and which places drain fast. Soil with good drainage can drain water in about 10 minutes, anything slower than is too ompacted to allow water to flow through it easily.

If this is the case, you need to  to break up the soil. Look for a sign of life such as earthworms and insects. This indicates that your soil is healthy.


Next, look around your garden what kind of plant your thriving. If what you see is mostly grass and weeds, they probably means that your soil is acidic but it’s not a bad thing because there are plants that can luve with that.

Get your soil tested. That will give you a definite picture what kind of fertilizer you need to use.

Bamboo Technology

 by Val Amiel Vestil

Bikes have been popular lately.  People are now looking for a more eco-friendly mode of transportation. Bamboo Technologies is a company that creates bikes out of bamboo. 1

The bamboo

Bamboo is a very strong material. The tensile strength of a bamboo is higher than steel. Bamboo is also  abundant  in the Philippines and it grows easily. This makes  it a sustainable material to use.

Bamboo Technologies is also a social enterprise that has created livelihoods for local communities by providing them jobs in manufacturing, harvesting, and planting bamboo.


Bamboo bike

Bamboo Technologies bikes can be used  on the road or for cross-country rides.

The brand is also sustainable because it  uses old bike parts instead of manufacturing new drop outs and bottom brackets.

Etched on one of the bike’s designs are tribal writings which involve the history of a specific tribe in the Philippines. It was designed by a Manobo who became a Christian.


“We just have one world, people have to wake up. We can’t just keep on using all our natural resources,” says Boy Siojo, owner of Bamboo Technologies. “Isa lang mundo natin. It’s time we care and do something about it”, he adds.

Kay Isberto

by Val Amiel Vestil

There is a story behind every work of art.

1Kay Isberto’s paintings is all about protecting the Philippine forests.

Lawyer, painter, and writer Kay Isberto is working on a project trying to amend the forestry code to change the paradigm of the forest not just as a source of timber, but as a source of life altogether.

“Every time there’s a storm, we’re bombarded with images of landslides, logs rolling down and hurting people and destroying property. Since I couldn’t find that, I thought maybe I should just draw it or paint it,” says Kay.


Her first in exhibit in 2010 called My Diwata Series was inspired by the tales that her grandmother used to tell her as a child, and so she drew Diwatas for rivers, stones, gardens, and etc.

In 2012, she created The Rainforest Caravan series after immersing herself in local communities which are located near  Philippine forests. She also launched a caravan in the San Beda Alabang Museum  to spread the awareness of forest conservation. Many children and young people graced her event.

“Imagine if we lost all our forest, where would you get your water? How would you breathe?” Kay asks.


Kay also creates images of what we have lost and what we might lose in the future—all these in the hopes of bringing awareness and urging everyone to take action to protect the forests.

Only Wood

by Val Amiel Vestil

Only Wood sells ecological wooden furniture from dismantled houses in the Philippines.


They are inspired by the French design.2

The primary material used for its designs is “paleta” or wooden crate pallets which are commonly used in old houses.

Only Wood also designs multi-functional and customized eco furniture for various types of spaces.


Rock Balancing

by Val Amiel Vestil

Rock balancing is a performance art in which stones are piled into sculptures without any adhesives, making them look physically impossible.


Leandro Inocencio, founder of Rock Balancing Philippines, started building sculptures with rocks brought by Ondoy which he found in his backyard while landscaping.


He brought what he discovered in his backyard to the people in his neighborhood lining up for a medical mission just to entertain them while doing so. From then on, rock balancing in the Philippines was born.

The trick lies in looking for the rock’s natural center of gravity, until it appears weightless and stays in place using only innate balance.

“You have to learn when to let go,” says Ildefonso Vista, co-founder of Rock Balancing Philippines, not pertaining to love, but to the rock when it has already locked and you have found the balance.

Rock Balancing Philippines holds workshops, teaching the principles of rock balancing to people of various ages.


Leandro and Ildefonso used their art form to proliferate their environmental advocacies. This included “Journey for the Trees” in 2009 which organized tree planting activities, medical missions, clean-up drives, rehabilitation of Mt. Sembrano, and teaching environmental awareness.

Rock balancing is said to be therapeutic in nature. The concentration required to build a sculpture isolates the artist from ambient noise and nurtures meditative presence and mental well-being. It has also been a means to encourage people to take care of the environment.

Underwater Videography and Marine Protection

by Val Amiel Vestil

“I get such a high when I come up with my dive group,” says Bobbit.

Underwater videographers Bobbit Suntay and Boy Siojo tells Green Living how their hobby has led them to a meaningful environmental cause.

1Shooting on land and shooting underwater are different. Bobbit says that underwater videography requires you  to be conscious of depth, time, and buoyancy.

“Many people don’t realize that [Anilao] is part of the Verdi island strait that scientists have declared to be the center of the center of marine biodiversity in the world. We’re so lucky its right in our front yard,” eagerly exclaims Bobbit.

Bobbit and Boy believes that underwater videography is not just about capturing the marvels of the sea on tape, but it’s more about protecting these marvels for our children and children’s children to see.

Education Program and Marine Appreciation2

Bobbit and Boy created a teaching program that they share to the public school teachers.

“90 percent of the student population in the Philippines is composed of public school students,” says Boy. “If you teach passionately about the sea, it will translate to the sea,” he adds. .

Bobbit also founded a cancer support group called Carewell Foundation. One of his most memorable dives involved bringing into the sea cancer patients, allowing them to forget the dejected thoughts about having cancer and letting them feel instead the tranquility and the weightlessness of being amidst the vibrant life down under for 20 beautiful minutes.

And in that moment in time, Bobbit concludes that “They’re not someone with cancer, they’re just someone who’s enjoying the beauty of life.”3

Tutubi Project

by Val Amiel Vestil

The Tutubi Project is a bike-sharing initiative to get people onto bikes. The system is pretty simple: borrow a bike, use the bike, and return it to the bike station when done.3

The system of bike-sharing goes all the way back to Europe in the 1960s. It was tried in Amsterdam and carried over to Copenhagen in the 1990s but didn’t take off until 2005 in Paris with Velib, a large-scale public bike sharing system. From then on until present, there are about 500 bike-sharing systems globally.

To give the bike-sharing system a try in the Philippines, ADB was funded by the government of Japan through the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction1.

The Tutubi Bicycle Sharing System has three key components: The bicycle, the dock, and the terminal.

The terminal is like the ATM which serves as the brains of the operation. The dock is the security mechanism, making sure that all bicycles are secure. Meanwhile, the bike is designed to be comfortable and efficient.

The Tutubi Project runs on a smart card system. All you need is your Tutubi card and you can come up to the station, put the card down, and thebicycle is unlocked ready for use. The card records which bike has been taken and who took the bike. This information is then sent to the control center.

An advantage of the bicycle sharing system is that there is no hassle of actual ownership. And in terms of the bike itself, it’s much more robust and has multiple gears designed for cruise. It has mud guards and a front basket, and the best part is there are no chains and therefore no oil.

2With great bicycle systems such as this, Lloyd Wright, Senior Transport Specialist of the Tutubi Project says,  “There is no reason that we can’t have dedicated bike lanes in Manila.”

Margo Lao

 by Val Amiel Vestil

Margo Lao is a raw foodie and a yoga instructor teaching Ashtana Yin and Gravity Yoga.


Ever since she has become an active mother of two, she has tried her best to sustain doing all the activities that she loved doing and she has been achieving that.

When she started to lose energy in what she was doing and eventually developed allergies such as rhinitis, these “problems that come with aging” all disappeared when she started to change her lifestyle.

This included eating more greens and including in her daily routine a liter healthy green juice.


The green juice consisted of the following:

  1. Cucumber – equivalent to three glasses of water
  2. Ampalaya – cleans out the blood and toxins.
  3. Sugar beets – sweetener and liver detoxifier
  4. Tomato – rosy cheeks *wink*
  5. Carrots – for beta-keratine.
  6. Pechay

A glass of green juice packs a lot of nutrients beneficial to your health. To make it a little sweet, you can also include green apple.

Having a healthy lifestyle won’t just make you more fit. It also changes your psychological aspect in life to a more positive one. Margo says it also helps alleviate depression.

“The healthier we’re eating, the more that we’re really actually taking care of our body. And the more we take care of it, the more energy we feel, the happier we are.”

Here are some other healthy eating tips from Margo:

1. Refrain from starving yourself. The lifestyle change is not an overnight experience. You have to wait until your taste buds have been reset so you will have no more cravings for a lot of food you used to crave. So it comes off as a transitional diet from cook food to raw food.

2. Incorporate green foods to your daily staple.

3. Substitute white rice and white sugar.  Try eating with fruits, veggies, or brown rice instead of white rice, and use coco sugar instead of white sugar.


Margo says, “Having a healthier lifestyle has taught me to become more compassionate to all living creatures and has made me a happier and better person.”