Filipino is in Short List of Candidates for World’s Best Job

Australia’s Queensland Tourism, has picked a Filipino, Rafael Deausen, in its shortlist of candidates for the World’s Best Job. The job basically entails writing a weekly blog – uploading video diaries and photos – about the sights and activities at the Great Barrier Reef.

The caretaker of the Great Barrier Reef will also get to sample a new luxury spa treatment at qualia on Hamilton Island, try out the new snorkeling equipment on Heron Island, and bushwalking on Hinchinbrook Island. The salary in Philippine Peso is P780,000 per month.

Deausen is a 20-year-old Filipino who grew up and currently resides in Guam. Check out his MySpace and Personal Site, where you can read his journal, see pictures, and hear his music.

The last day of voting for your favorite among the 50 shortlisted candidates is on March 24. The top 11 candidates, including one wild card applicant garnering the biggest number of votes, will be announced on April 2. Following interviews that will begin on May 3, the lucky candidate will be announced on May 6. The job starts on July 1.

You can cast your vote here.

2009 Strawberry Festival in La Trinidad, Benguet

The 2009 Strawberry Festival in La Trinidad, Benguet will start on March 8 to 23. This year’s theme is “Sustaining Our Gains and Looking Beyond.”

Benguet Strawberry Farm
At the Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad Benguet, people are allowed to walk through the farm for a more personal experience.

During the festival locals and visitors alike can enjoy various activities, including Agro Trade fair, the search for Ms. Strawberry Festival 2009 and Mr. La Trinidad, jobs fair, strawberry contests, Strawberry Farm tour and berry picking, Dumba ni Kabajo, Benguet Grand Battle of the Country Western bands, and many more.

A civic and float parade in the morning of March 18 will be followed by the Strawberry Festival main program, which will be held at the municipal gym. The day’s program will also feature the 2009 Strawberry Cake Slices, a cultural presentation, and an “Uwik.” A fireworks display will light the night to cap the entire day’s activities.

Trivia: La Trinidad Benguet is the Guinness World Record Holder of the “Largest Strawberry Cake,” a recognition awarded during the Strawberry Festival in March 2004.

Related Post: Strawberry-Picking at Strawberry Farm, La Trinidad, Benguet

Bohol Bans Picture-taking with Tarsiers

The Bohol provincial council has finally taken action to protect its most priced attraction, the tarsiers, through an ordinance that allows the viewing of these unique creatures only at the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella, Bohol. Tarsier in CaptivityThe 167-hectare sanctuary offers an ideal habitat for the tarsiers, which are commonly found in verdant forests where they hunt for small insects for food.

Tarsiers are in the list of endangered species, and the action of the Bohol provincial government is very much welcome. I remember going to Bohol in 2007 and finding tarsier viewing in Loboc and Loay. The tarsiers in these places are in cages that are big enough for people to enter. There are small trees inside the cages for the tarsiers to perch onto. Picture-taking is also encouraged, so you can see a lot of tourists flocking the cages to get a glimpse of, or may be even touch, the tarsiers.

I’m sure we all take pleasure from having our pictures taken with them. But if we really think about it, hearing all kinds of noises, getting blinded by flash bulbs and seeing animals (read: humans) that are not of their species must not be their idea of fun. To say that they’d prefer to be sleeping during the day, since they are nocturnal, is an understatement.

The tarsier population in the Philippines has been slowly dwindling because their natural habitat is being destroyed by unabated illegal logging and the practice of the traditional slash-and-burn agriculture. Exacerbating this problem is the fact that tarsiers are typically shy creatures. Because of their fragile psyche, tarsiers tend to be suicidal when they experience extreme stress, which can come from constantly being touched and being disturbed by too much noise.

The tarsier is one of the main tourist attractions of Bohol. But the fact is that there are not many tarsiers out there. And if actions to protect them are not taken now, we may find ourselves going to museums to marvel and gawk at these unique mammals, instead of experiencing and seeing firsthand how they live and interact with others of their kind in their natural habitat.