How to pregerminate small seeds?

Vegetables like lettuce, pechay, tomato and pakchoi have small seeds. Directly planting the seeds can cause lower survival rate of your plant and to avoid this, pregermination is a must.

Seeds of (L-R) pakchoi, tomato and lettuce.

To pregerminate your small seeds you will need the following: seeds, sterilised media, shallow container, and water.

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Check the label.

When buying any seeds in the market, make sure to check the percent germination and sowing date to ensure high germinability of the seed. Choose seeds with higher percent germination and earlier sowing date or testing date (should be 6mos. to 1yr prior to your planting date).

Sterilised choir dust.

For the sterilised media, you can either choose choir dust, garden soil or sand. It is important that your media is sterilised to remove potential harmful living things (e.g. insects, weeds, bacteria, fungi)  that might destroy your seeds. You can sterilised the media by cooking it in a pan or steaming it for around 30mins to 1hr and then let it cool before use.

It is necessary to have a short/shallow container. Here, I used the coffee lid and sample cups from SB.

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You can now fill-in your containers with media. I also tried the coffee grounds (from Starbucks) as media but you will see later on if the seeds survived using it.


Before putting your seeds make sure to label your containers. With this, you can track the age of your plant and if you choose to pregerminate more than 1 variety you will not be confused (since some small seeded vegetable seeds may look similar at young seedling stage).

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Get your seeds now and start putting it on the media. Spread the seeds evenly and thinly for easier transplanting.

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Water your seeds/seedlings occasionally. Avoid overwatering or drying the media. The first step in seed germination is imbibition wherein water goes inside the seeds to soften the hard and dry tissues inside. Water uptake will cause the seeds to swell up splitting the seed coat and allowing water to enter faster and the embryo to go out of the seed. Water also activates biochemistry of the embryo.

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Put it in a safe place or under dark or light conditions if it is a photodormant seed (seeds requiring light or dark conditions to germinate).

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Pakchoi seedlings ready for transplanting.

Expect the appearance of your seedlings 1-2 weeks from sowing. These seedlings are ready for transplanting.

Note: As you can see, seedlings were not observed on the coffee ground media – probably because the texture was so compact that the embryo had a hard time going out of the seed or due to high acidity of coffee inhibiting the germination process of pakchoi seeds.


19 Life Lessons for 2019

In a few days we are bidding goodbye to 2018. I had my fair share of ups and downs. Nonetheless, I got an amazing year with lessons to keep.

1. Love (yourself and your neighbour)

I had a crush who eventually became my friend. During the early time of our friendship I knew I secretly love him more than a friend but that friend is in a happy relationship. At some point I let that person to somehow take advantage of my love because I had hopes for an ‘us’. As time passed by, I slowly learned that he loves me but not the way I wanted it and it’s ok. First, I didn’t want to ruin any relationship and second, I wanted to retain our friendship. The experience allowed me to love myself even more, to realise that you should not feel abused when it comes to love. Loving yourself will allow you to generate more love to share to other people; love that is guided by my favourite bible verse – 1 Corinthians 13:4–8a: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”. 

2. Be kind and gentle

I was not feeling good that day but two things happened. First: a random woman gave the jeepney driver a P100 bill for an P8 fare and since it was still early, the driver had no loose bills as change – he scratched his head maybe because of disappointment and returned the P100; The woman looked embarrassed and really wanted to pay but got no smaller bill, then to my surprise, a stranger lend her P8. Second: I was inside the tricycle, still not in good shape when a random guy offered his food to me. And those simple gestures of kindness instantly brightened my day. Everyday someone (rich or poor) is fighting a battle – she/he may have a financial problem, lost something important or failed a final exam; you may look at it as a petty thing to think of – but, we have different coping mechanism and can be extremely sad. Try not to be harsh to people regardless of their social status and extent of their problems.

3. Stay true to yourself

You want to colour your hair? Do it! You don’t like drinking alcoholic beverages but your friends are hard core drinkers? DO NOT DRINK!  Do whatever your inner self want to do. Stop being pretentious. People who love you will stay and accept the real you.

4.  It’s ok to say no

I used to be a ‘YES’ person even if I have things to do. I didn’t want them to feel rejected. Then, there are some people who will take advantage of you (e.g. coming super late in the meeting place). Lost time is irreplaceable. You could’ve done so much things by missing one of those officemate’s night out. Stop trying being everyone’s cup of tea because in reality, you cannot please everybody. A ‘NO’ doesn’t always equate to rejection as it is also a form of acceptance – accepting that you have important matters to attend to.

5. Prioritise

In this fast-paced world it looks like that the 24 hours in a day is not enough to juggle all your scheduled activities. But, remember – we all have the same amount of time and we just need to prioritise and manage our time wisely. You have finals tomorrow morning and haven’t finished reviewing but have a family event today until midnight? Determine which is more important to you – either you know that the exam will be easy and attend the family event or excuse yourself from the gathering and review until morning – besides, they are your family, they’ll understand you. 😉

6. Stop procrastinating

Guilty of beating the deadliest deadline? Hey, I am! It feels like all your creative juices are acting efficiently when doing things the day before due-date. But, if you come to think of it, you could’ve finished that even weeks before the day your boss or professor needs it. Accomplishing things ahead of time will allow you to think clearer and make further improvement of your work. You can’t turn back time. Start doing what needs to be done – not tomorrow but NOW.

7. Do not stop learning

The world is changing pretty fast. Some things impossible before are now tangible. We used to grow 45-day old chickens but I learned that it was reduced by 10 days to meet the growing demand. From Nokia 3310’s space impact we now have lots of touch-screen phones with several features. Innovations grow day after day. Do not lag behind. Several media to gain information are available online and offline. Let every wake up day an opportunity to learn.

8. You are beautiful

Do you think you look bad just because you don’t have fair and smooth skin, small nose and lips, slim figure? Nope. You don’t need to conform by these standards set by the society. Don’t let your insecurities swallow the goodness in you. Examine your self, explore your soul and know that YOU.ARE.BEAUTIFUL! We are a piece in a puzzle; irregular in shape but completes the whole picture. Beauty is subjective. You are perfectly imperfect.

9. Travel

“Don’t collect things, collect memories”. If there’s an opportunity to travel go for it. Going to places will allow you to witness the beauty of the world and meet people from different walks of life and these experiences will allow you to grow into a person with broader understanding of life.

10. It can’t rain forever

First, you broke your shoes going to office and then learned that you are forced to retire because of company’s lack of fund and while thinking where to apply next somebody will call you to tell you that your favourite dog got hit by the car. What a day, eh? Then they’ll tell you that there’s always a rainbow after the rain which I will beg to disagree. I usually observe rainbows if rain comes during a bright day. What I am certain is that it can’t rain forever. Some days may seem that problems pour non-stop but surely that too shall pass; do not lose hope, better days are coming, my dear.

11. Stop gossiping

Did you ever talk bad about someone? Or did someone spread fake news about you? Both situation will drain your energy. Always try to see the positive side of people whether you like them or not. If you heard bad things about someone do not judge them right away; look at every sides possible. If you think it’s no big deal then don’t give a sh*t about it but if it seems potent to harm someone go straight to the person involve and tell them what you know and your insights. Do not waste your ATPs talking about other people’s lives. Mind your own business.

12. Be healthy

Sounds cliché but yea start eating healthy (enough carbs, protein and plenty of fruits and veggies) and on time, exercise regularly, drink lots of water and get enough rest. Stop activities that deteriorate your body like smoking and excessive drinking. Start early and your ageing body will thank you.

14. Be patient and stay calm

There are times you get really impatient waiting for someone or something – e.g. your late officemate, long line at your favourite resto, love of your life or dream job. Do not get tired of waiting yet, everything has its own perfect timing. Maybe your officemate was late because the universe is preventing you from getting into an accident; the long line in your favourite resto will allow you to better appreciate your food; probably the love of your life is also busy establishing him/herself and when the time comes that you meet, you are both ready; you haven’t landed on your dream job because what you are experiencing now preps you to an even better opportunity. You are destined to go somewhere, to do great things so work at your best, don’t get frustrated, relax and wait.

15. Forgive and let go

When someone did something awfully wrong to you, forgiving looks easier said than done. But, holding grudge is a load that gets heavier as the day passes by. However, do not force yourself to forget what was badly done to you. We deal at circumstances differently. One thing is to admit that someone has done you wrong and then try to understand the situation. Slowly, you will feel better as you unload the burden of that grudge you were holding. This doesn’t only apply to the people who hurt you because you need to include yourself. Most of the time we are so harsh to ourselves whenever we did something wrong but let us not forget that we are humans capable of committing mistakes.

16. Break bad habits

Scrolling through all your social media accounts until midnight? Drinking and smoking non-stop? Cramming for the project given to you months ago? Playing online games instead of studying? Those things somehow relax you instantly but in the long run they aren’t healthy and I know that you are aware of that. As early as you realise that you want to break these habits – start the process. Take your first step by  logging off all your social media accounts, reducing drinking and smoking activities week after week or uninstalling your online games. And to track your progress you can write it down or download a habit tracker. Each day will be tough but gets easier as your body becomes adapted to the system. This will be a lot of convincing yourself to reverse bad things your system thought right for you. Repairing years of damage will require hard work and discipline. But it is not impossible – start now by taking baby steps towards better habits.

17. People and things are temporary and the only constant thing is change

It’s heartbreaking when a family or friend of yours for years leave (e.g. getting married, migrating, working abroad); like you’ve been together for a long time and then tomorrow you need to live your life without them. It is sad but do not resent them. Give them happy memories while they are still there and when the time comes that they want to spread their wings and fly, give them your full support. Plants develop by cell multiplication, expansion and differentiation. And just like plants and other higher form organisms, we all need to undergo changes in order to grow.

18. Go out of your comfort zone, believe in yourself and do it!

Do you want to start a Youtube channel but hesitant because you’re thinking that no one will view your upload? Are you a painter who doesn’t showcase his/her work because you believe that it is not interesting? Do you have a dream of becoming a lawyer or doctor after your undergraduate studies but consider yourself not smart enough to survive the course? Have a leap of faith. DO IT! Start your Youtube career, join painting exhibit bazaars and take that LAE or NMAT. Every single day you face risks in your life (crossing roads, climbing stairs, riding PUVs) so why not walk towards something greater by thinking that you can and just do whatever your gut is telling you? At some point you will get frustrated, disappointed and rejected; but passion will feed your dreams/goals to become big, strong and hungry enough to easily engulf all your fears of failing. It is more frightening to look back and realise that you’re stuck to a place where you’re not supposed to be. Do not let your future self regret what you haven’t done today.

19. Have faith

Trust Him or the universe (if you’re not a believer). You need to have faith on the process. Everything happens for a reason. The choices you made and your situation right now have specific purpose. It’s normal to question why things happen but eventually you’ll understand why it didn’t come the way you wanted it. That phase in your life will pass and you will be awestruck by the outcome.

So there…rock on 2019!

Taking a look at the Starbucks travel organizer and Mercury Drug daybook

Time flies so fast! Christmas is approaching and 2018 is about to say goodbye. I have been contemplating on what journal/diary I want to use this coming 2019. Recently, two of my friends claimed the 2019 Starbucks Travel Organizer and Mercury Drug Joyful Daybook.

First, to get the Starbucks travel organizer you need to collect 18 stickers. When you buy a drink, you will get 1 sticker. You can either choose their planner or travel organizer with two different colors (planner – white or dark brown; travel organizer – teal or orange-brown). TBH, I am not really a fan of SB because number 1) it is expensive (lol) and 2) I can live without flavored drinks. But, if I am going to choose, I will also get the travel organizer. Included in the travel organizer is a Starbucks card where you load your money and in every purchase you gain a point/star and with 12 points/stars you will get a free drink.


I just love the minimalist design of the organizer. It has the classic logo embossed in front. The zipper color has an old-age vibe and matches the color of the leather. The organizer is designed to hold cards, phone or passport and a small notebook (included in the set), it also comes with a strap. It is handy and light you can bring it during travels or everyday activities. Your basic travel essentials will fit perfectly (passport, boarding pass, cards, cash, small notebook, pen, headset).


Overall, I like it. If you always buy drinks at Starbucks or you like to hold your essentials in an organized way, you should get one. But if you are on a budget or not a SB person, getting this is not practical (18drinks * ~170 = PhP3060). There are other choices in the market which you can get for as low as PhP500 (imagine the 2500 savings!!).

Moving on, the planner game of Mercury Drug has leveled up. Last year, I got their planner – the peach one. The design and paper quality impressed me. This year, they released their Joyful Daybook and you get one with 35 suki card points (PhP200=1 suki point). The planner comes in 4 different colors (blue – peace and happiness; violet – courage and clarity of thought; red – love and passion; yellow – strength and intellect). IMG_6139

The quality is the same as in their 2018 planner. The notebook is enclosed in a white thin paper casing. The notebook itself has rubber-like but stiff cover with embossed design. It has a garter string on the upper right corner (last year’s had it in the middle) that holds the notebook together.


Inside the planner are mood and health trackers, blank leaves, motivational quotes and words of wisdom with pretty amazing designs. I highly recommend this! I mean, you get this for free with your 35 suki points (or you can ask your friend or relative to help you with this.LOL). But do not spend PhP 7000 to get the points you need – check out their products with extra suki points.

A day tour guide to Bukal and Taytay/Majayjay falls (less than PhP 1,000.00).

If you are a nature lover and into trekking then this post is for you.

Green-everywhere view

My starting point was at Los Banos, Laguna so if you’re coming from Cubao area, add 2 hours of travel time. From Cubao you need to ride a bus bound to Sta. Cruz, Laguna (Worthy Transport/HM or DLTB). I have no idea on bus fare from Cubao going straight to Sta. Cruz but Cubao to Los Banos is PhP 99.00 then Los Banos to Sta. Cruz is PhP 39.00 (with this I am assuming that bus fare from Cubao to Sta. Cruz will be less than PhP 150.00). Your drop off point is Pagsawitan. Most bus operators will shout that you are at Pagsawitan or you can tell them to drop you there. If you happen to rode the DLTB bus, you can drop off to their terminal. From the DLTB terminal, you need to cross the road and wait for a jeepney with ‘Majayjay’ signage  (usually, these jeepneys are already full when they get to DLTB terminal so you can opt to go to the jeep terminal – to go there, do not cross the road yet from the terminal and wait for a jeep with ‘Sta.Cruz’ signage and tell the driver to drop you off to Majayjay jeep terminal, fare is PhP 10.00). Going to Majayjay will cost you PhP 32.00 and you need to tell the driver to drop you off to the tricycle terminal going to Bukal falls. Ride a tricycle that will bring you to the Barangay hall (Tricycle fare is PhP 15.00). Someone in the Barangay will orient you to the things you need to prepare on your trek – environmental fee of PhP 20.00 and tour fee of PhP 300.00 should be settled before you proceed. Get ready for your 30-45 minutes walk going to Bukal falls because it will be a pretty rough and steep trail. There are no restrooms at the falls so better do your things in the restrooms provided by the Barangay.

Restrooms in the Barangay hall

The tour guides are friendly, nice and funny and the one assigned to us was Kuya Ariel. We rented a life vest since we do not know how to swim and the well is 16-ft deep (Life vest rental: PhP 50.00). Kuya Ariel was kind enough to bring our life vests during the climb.

Kuya Ariel

The trek started with cemented road and eventually became steep. There are usually handrail to help you survive the walk. You can rest any time you like just tell your guide. We had one stop over after 10-min walk where you can buy food, drinks and fresh buko. Along the way, there will be witty reminders. LOL.

Let the trek begin!
Getting tired? Here’s a stopover.
Walking again…
…and again. Make sure to hold on the handrails to prevent accident.
Some witty reminders . lol
Crossing the river


Bucal falls + swimming time!

It was raining during our trip and the water was amazingly not murky (at least the way I expected), it was green but magically clear. According to our tour guide Kuya Ariel, during summer or when the sky is clear the water is turqoise in color.  You can enjoy swimming all day. It is best to go there during hot summer days because of the cold water. We swam for an hour and decided to go back. You will walk back going to the Barangay hall through the same trail which is pretty challenging because of the steep slopes. You can also camp at Bukal falls but you will be accompanied by your tour guide. We finished our Bukal falls adventure at 12:00noon. Kuya Ariel is kind enough to fetch a tricycle we rented for PhP 300.00 going to Majayjay/Taytay falls (but if you are on a budget, you can ride a jeepney going to Majayjay (PhP 40.00) and then tricycle heading Taytay-Majayjay multipurpose hall (PhP 20.00). It took us 20 minutes to reach the location. If you are going for a day tour you only have to pay an entrance fee of PhP 20.00 but if you decided to go camping, you need to give PhP 30.00. You can either bring a tent or rent one. There are also rooms for rent near the vicinity. You need to have a 5-minute walk through an easy trail going to the falls. The water was freezing cold during our trip (colder than water in Bukal falls) which I think will be best during summer. The place is quiet (except the noise of some tourists) and the water is bluish and clear. You can swim without a life vest because there is a large shallow swimming area. There are comfort rooms and change area. Expect good mobile phone signal but not power supply.

Pay your entrance fee
Hungry? Eat here!
Taytay-Majayjay falls
Swimming time!
Wash/change/restroom area
Staying overnight? Camp out or…
…rent a room.
Trace your way out through the canals with crystal clear water
Bring some pasalubong going home with this souvenir shop

At 3pm, we prepared ourselves going home. We rode a tricycle going to the main road (PhP 20.00) then a jeepney bound to Majayjay (PhP 12.00) and dropped off at the terminal where we rode a jeep going to Sta. Cruz bus terminal(PhP 38.00). You can either drop off at DLTB or Worthy transport since both of them offer trip bound to Alabang or Cubao.



  • expect additional waiting hours when riding jeepneys in the terminal as they wait for other passengers or until it is full
  • you can try riding a horse for P100 but for a short distance since the trail is steep and rough
  • there are few jeepneys passing by on the main road so expect an almost fully-booked ride
  • last trip of buses bound to Cubao/Alabang is 10-11pm and first trip is 3am

Trek and other activities

  • bring enough food and water along the way
  • do not carry heavy items if not necessary
  • rest if you get tired
  • if you don’t know how to swim rent a vest
  • water is freezing cold

Near the falls

  • there is no convenient/sari-sari store
  • mobile phone signal is there but not electric current
  • comfort rooms in Taytay falls is not so comfy to use; in Bukal falls, rest room is in Barangay hall

Schedule and fare


5:30 – 8:00 – Cubao to Sta.Cruz (bus) ~ P150

7:00 – 8:00 – Los Banos to Sta. Cruz (bus) P39

8:01 – 8:15 – Sta. Cruz bus terminal to Sta. Cruz town proper Majayjay terminal (jeep) P9

8:16 – 9:00 – Sta. Cruz to Tricycle terminal (Barangay Bucal)(jeep) P32

9:01 – 9:05 – Tricycle terminal to Barangay hall (tricycle) P15

9:06 – 9:15 – Brief orientation in the Barangay hall and other trekking preparation

9:16 – 10:00 – Trekking to Bukal falls

10:01 – 11:30 – Swimming and other activities (you can bring your lunch and eat here)

11:31 – 12:15 – Trek back to Barangay hall (food stalls and carendirias are available)


12:16 – 12:40 – Barangay Bucal hall to Barangay Taytay-Majayjay hall (rented tricycle)P300

12:41 – 12:50 – Brgy. hall to Taytay-Majayjay falls walk

1:00 – 3:00 – Swimming and other activities; setting up of tent (for those overnighters)

3:01 – 3:30 – Prep going home

3:31 – 3:40 – Brgy. hall to main road (where you will ride a Majayjay jeep) (tricycle)P20

3:41 – 4:00 – Main road to Majayjay terminal (jeep) P12

4:01 – 4:45 – Majayjay terminal to Sta. Cruz bus terminal (jeep) P38

5:00 – 6:00 – Sta. Cruz to Los Banos, Laguna P39


5:00 – 8:00 – Sta. Cruz to Cubao ~P150

Summary of expenses

Fare: P 354 + P 111.00(if you are coming from Cubao) + 150 (if traveling solo and renting tricycle from Bucal to Majayjay falls)

Food: P 89 (bfast:rice meal) + 25 (am snack:spaghetti) + 44 (lunch:rice and pork sinigang) + 30 (pm snack:pansit habhab)

Fees and other misc: Environmental fee + tour guide (Bukal falls): 300 + 20; Life vest rental: 50; Environmental/Entrance fee (Taytay-Majayjay falls): 20(if overnight – 30)

Total: P932.00 (exclusion: fare from Cubao and tricycle rental)

8 Things You Need to Know About Agriculture as Career Path

Agriculture is not the usual degree program you might consider, and it is not even on google’s top 10 paying jobs in the Philippines. But then you woke up one day having the passion to push through the course. Do you eagerly want to become an agriculturist someday? Here are some of the things you need to anticipate:

1. It is not all about plant cultivation under the sun


When some people hear ‘agriculture’, they will immediately say ‘ah, magsasaka’ (ah, farmer) and what they really mean is planting crops all day and going home with little money (Note: There’s nothing wrong about being a farmer because they bring food to our table. We should be thankful). Plant cultivation is just one component in agriculture. Expect laboratory works, higher math and science subjects, eye-to-eye encounter with chicken and pig, and more!

2.  Coursework might be challenging


Prepare your dose of caffeine to stay awake during hell weeks because your coursework is not as easy as you imagined. Your class schedule might run from 7am to 7pm with no breaks because some laboratory class will consume 1 to 6 hours of your time per day. You will become pro at time management. LOL.(forgive my handwriting skillz. :D)

  1. Being fussy is not encouraged

One of the things you will do under agriculture is field work and under this you might encounter doing the following: stepping on the mud and feeling your feet going down until you reach the hard pan during rice planting, slaughtering livestock animals, exploring grassy fields to complete your weed and insect collections, getting filthy hands when feeling the texture of your soil sample, sweating a lot while conducting your survey in the community, or walking onan undeveloped road in a remote area while tracing the market channels. You got no time to be fussy!


  1. There are a lot of opportunities

Do you know that you can get agriculture as pre-med or even pre-law course? Do you want to travel for free? – field works will allow you to go to different places. Do you want to drive your own car after graduation? – work on sales – they usually provide car incentives which you can acquire later on. Are you dreaming of becoming a scientist? – do research, publish and be awarded as academician or national scientist. Other opportunities under agriculture will be discussed on a separate blog.


(Sunset in Caramoan, Camarines Sur)

  1. Learning is diverse and continuous


If you enjoy studying, then you are on the right track. Agriculture branchesto different disciplines. You will have fun having shallow to deep lessons coming from crops, weeds, insects, animals, molecular biology, economics and marketing. Discovering the wonders of producing food won’t stop in the classroom because agriculture is progressive – there will be new technologies and innovations to improve food production from time to time which makes learning an endless process.

  1. Meeting people from different walks of life.

One of the greatest opportunities in agriculture is to meet people from different types of jobs and different levels of society. You can encounter farmers, researchers, traders, travelers, government officials (from local to national level), doctors, lawyers, vendors, drivers, CEOs and even random strangers, and all of them have a story to share which will lead us to number 7.


(meeting some farmers)

  1. Broadens perspective

Have you ever heard generalizations about people (e.g. Ilocanos are kuripot)? You will meet Ilocanos spending more than you can imagine or investing on practical things – after all, inflation rate is so high that you need to spend your money wisely even if you are not an Ilocano! At this point, you might perceive Muslims as dangerous people because terrorist attacks are often linked to them but having a close encounter (as classmate/friend, interviewee) with them will tell you that they are generally good people. Eventually, you will be a better learner of life and people.


(Basilan Port)

  1. It will strengthen your personality

The challenges and opportunities of agriculture will give you a tough mind, body and soul towards becoming a better version of yourself.


Agriculture is not as easy as 1-2-3 but I assure you it will surprise you with exciting activities. Do you have questions about other things to expect when you choose agriculture as your course in college? Let me know in the comment section.