Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ancient Pets

2000 years ago, the Chinese were the first to domesticate the fish as pet. That's the Goldfish we have today.

                                                                By clumzyme123.deviantart.com

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Calvo Building

The Calvo Building was inaugurated on August 14, 1938. This was designed in Beaux Arts style by Ar. Fernando H. Ocampo and became one of the most notable edifices in Escolta.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Popes Visit the Philippines

This coming January 2015, His Holiness Pope Francis will be visiting the country. So that means he will be the third Pope to visit us. The important highlight of his visit is Tacloban - the placed that was ravaged by typhoon Yolanda a year ago.

Yet, do you know that there were already two Popes that visited the Philippines? 

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Carnivorous Plants

They may look like things from your nightmare or a monster movie, but believe it or not, carnivorous plants are quite real and may not be something that you expect.

So why became carnivorous?


You will notice that today  in  some malls around Metro Manila, we now have different tea shops – something like coffee shops and café but instead of serving coffee, they serve tea. Moreover, teas are now more than just a hot drink to sip in a cold night or something that we drink if we have a fever. Now, teas have different flavors and styles – like cold tea and even something called “bubble tea.” So, you might wonder…

… what is a tea? 

How Colors Affect Our Moods.

So, you’re planning to re-decorate your room and thinking of a new paint job, or how about what color would you like to wear before going to work, or a date, or a party. Want to buy a new car? What color do you want your car to have?

Do you know that colors affect your emotions? 

Yes, that is why choosing the right color can be very important – not only for your personal preference, but also to your work and social life.

So before deciding with colors, I think you should read this article first.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rudolph is now immortalized in stamps

I always watched this animation and considered it as my Christmas tradition. I have been seeing it since I was still in grade school so, it was so nice to learn that they're now been immortalized in stamps.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer "stop and go animation" was created by Rankin/Bass as a Christmas television special for NBC on December 6, 1964 and it is now considered as the longest running Christmas TV special in history.

[Note: This stop-motion animation technique was called "Animagic." ]

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Origin of the Word Robot

Honda debuts new humanoid robot ASIMO in 2000.

The word robot was a recent invention. It was coined by the artist Josef Čapek, the brother of famed Czechoslovakian author Karel Čapek. Karel was working on a play and was thinking of something that will mean “labor.” Josef suggested the word ‘roboti’, which gave rise to the English ‘robot’.  ‘Roboti’ derives from the Old Church Slavanic ‘rabota’, meaning ‘servitude’, which in turn comes from ‘rabu’, meaning ‘slave’. 

Kerel then introduced the word in a play called R.U.R.  The full title translating into English as Rossum’s Universal Robots, which debuted in January of 1921.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Comets: Harbinger of Death and Destruction

Fourth century comet woodcut from Stanilaus Lubienietski's Theatrum Cometicum (Amsterdam, 1668). Image credit: NASA/JPL
Ancient civilizations once believed comets were harbingers of bad omen and ill fortunes.  It was believed that when a comet was seen before a battle, chances are your troops will be defeated. 

Comets were blamed in a lot of misfortunes that happened in our history. The Romans for example, have recorded that a comet was seen before the assassination of Juluis Ceasar. It was also blamed for the eruption of Vesuvius that led to the destruction of the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. As the Roman astrologer Marcus Manilius wrote, "Heaven in pity is sending upon Earth tokens of impending doom."  Included in Manilius list of cometary ills were blighted crops, plague, wars, insurrection, and even family feuds.

In England, the Halley’s Comet was seen in the sky and at the Battle of Hastings a few months later, the Normans emerged as victors and from that time on the comet was said to have been a sign that favored William the Conqueror. The comet seen in 1665 was blamed to cause the Black Death. That is why Pope Calixtus III excommunicated Halley's Comet as an instrument of the devil.

The Bayeux Tapestry show men staring at Halley’s Comet (c1066). It is the first known picture of  Halley's Comet.
In ancient Mongolia, they called comets as "the daughter of the devil," and warned of destruction, storm and frost, whenever she approaches the earth.

The Mawangdui silk was compiled sometime around 300 BCE and it shows different forms of comets and the various disasters associated with them. (Image credit: NASA/JPL)
The ancient Chinese called comets as vile stars, long-tailed pheasant stars or broom stars,  and associated them as warnings of an impending disaster or a sign that a dynasty will fall, but unlike its Western counterparts, Chinese astronomers kept extensive records on the appearances, paths, and disappearances of hundreds of comets since the Han Dynasty. These records have helped later astronomers to get a better understanding of comets.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Typhoon Yolanda

On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Yolanda [Haiyan], was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, which devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines. It is the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, killing at least 6,300 people in that country alone.Yolanda is also the strongest storm recorded at landfall, and unofficially the strongest typhoon ever recorded in terms of wind speed. As of January 2014, bodies were still being found. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Linguistic Family Tree

                                                                                                               From Mental Floss

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mayon Volcano didn't bury Cagsawa Church

Contrary to what you have learned since your Elementary days, Mayon Volcano didn't bury Cagsawa Church.

Albayanon novelist Abdon M. Balde, Jr. recently shared photos of Cagsawa church on his timeline, some supposedly dating as far back as 1928.

The photos clearly show the facade of Cagsawa Church still intact in the early 1900's, despite the widely-held notion that the structure had been buried under pyroclastic debris a century before.

                                                                                                                          Photo from Abdon M. Balde Jr. Facebook account.
Balde says that these photos, if authentic, are proof that the popular notion that Cagsawa church was buried during the 1814 eruption of Mayon volcano is completely false.

He argues that the church may have been destroyed, but it was not buried.

More of the article HERE.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Nichol's Dwarf Gecko

Fast fact: (Sphaerodactylus nicholsi) is known to be one of the smallest reptile in the world.

Picture taken from Project Noah

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Oblation was not modeled after Fernando Poe Sr.

Contrary to popular belief, but The Oblation in UP was not modeled after Fernando Poe Sr. (Fernando Poe Jr's father). It is just another of those urban legends.

Ok, so just because Fernando Poe Sr. was a student in UP in the time that The Oblation was being created by the late National Artist Guillermo Tolentino - well people assumed that he became the model ( I don't know why) and people start to believe it.

The fact is that 2 persons served as the model: Anastacio Caedo, Tolentino’s student and assistant, and Virgilio Raymundo, Caedo’s brother-in-law. To create the Oblation, Tolentino combined Caedo’s physique with Raymundo’s proportion.

National Artist Guillermo Tolentino (center) with Esteban Caedo (left) and Prof. Anastacio Caedo (right).

Monday, August 18, 2014

Remember the Jai Alai

The Jai Alai Building (another good example of Art Deco) was designed by American architect, Weldon D. Becket ( know friend of Hollywood celebrities and designer of the homes of such screen legends as James Cagney and Cesar Romero, as well as of Los Angeles airport), together with his Philippine associate, Architect Carlos Santos Viola in 1940. It was a significant social and recreational center of Pre-War and Post-War Manila, famous for its Sky Room nightclub. The building featured a semi-cylindrical glass volume set against massive walls and a cantilevered disk canopy suspended by slender pilotis,  which said to evoke the velocity of the game. 

The Jai Alai Building was badly damaged during the Battle of Manila in 1945 and was rebuilt, serving temporarily as the Roosevelt Club in the early Post-War years. 

The Jai Alai Building deteriorated over the years and was demolished upon orders of then Manila Mayor Lito Atienza on July 15, 2000, purportedly to make way for a new Hall of Justice which was never built. 

Panciteria Macanista de Buen Gusto

El Filibusterismo/Kabanata 25 : Tawanan at Iyakan
Idinaos ang piging ng mga estudyante sa Panciteria Macanista de Buen Gusto. Labing–apat sila, kasama si Sandoval.Matalim ang mga salita ng mga estudyante. Naghalakhakan sila’y pilit at may tunog ng paghihinakit.

Dumating si Isagani. Si Pelaez na lang ang kulang. Ani Tadeo sana’y si Basilio na ang inanyayahan nila sa halip ng impormal na si Juanito.Pinapagtalumpati si Tadeo. Di ito nakahanda. Nagsimula ito kahit papaano. Sinigawan siya ng mga kasamahan. Gaya daw ang binigkas ni Tadeo. Naghingian ng pagkain. Nahilingan ng talumpati si Pecson. Inatake ni Pecson ang mga prayle. Mula raw sa kamusmusan hanggang sa libingan ay prayle ang kasama natin.

May nakakita sa utusan ni Padre Sibyla, ang biserektor sa Unibersidad. Sumakay ito sa karuwahe ni Simoun. Nagtiktik ito sa mga estudyante. Ani Makaraig: "Ang busabos ng bise-sektor na pinaglilingkuran ng panginoon ng Heneral"

Located at Calle San Fernando in Binondo (near Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz), it used to house the “Panciteria Macanista de Buen Gusto,” a restaurant whose name roughly translates to “yummy Chinese foods from Macau.”

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hermano Pule

Apolinario de la Cruz (July 22, 1814 - November 4, 1841), known as Hermano Pule or Puli ("Brother Pule"), led a major revolt against Spanish rule of the Philippines based on a struggle for religious freedom and independence.

He was born on July 22, 1814 in Barrio Pandác in the town of Lucban in Tayabas Province (now Quezon). In 1829,  he decided to become a priest and tried to join the Dominican Order in Manila but the Roman Catholic religious orders were closed for native people (indios). Apolinario, then  decided to work at San Juan de Dios Hospital where he studied the Bible and other religious writings.

In 1832, de la Cruz founded the Cofradia de San José (Confraternity of St. Joseph), composed only of Filipinos. The Cofradia prohibited Spaniards and mestizos from joining without de la Cruz's permission. Authorities, including Spanish Governor-General Marcelino Oraa and Roman Catholic Archbishop Jose' Segui regarded the Cofradia as heresy and ordered its dissolution. 

Expecting an attack on their religious freedom from the Catholic church, Hermano Pule rallied about 4,000 followers at Barrio Isabang on the slope of Mount Banahaw and was able to resist an attack by Alcalde-mayor Juan Ortega and his 300 men on October 23, 1841. However, reinforcements came on November 1st, with Colonel Joaquin Huet, who annihilated the Cofradia forces, massacring hundreds of old men, women and children who joined Hermano Pule in Alitao in defying the Catholic leaders of the Church. 

After the attack, Hermano Pule fled to Barrio Ibanga but was captured by authorities the following evening, and on November 4, 1841 he was executed by a firing squad at the town of Tayabas. After he was killed, the authorities cut his body into four pieces and his head was placed on a stake.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Baby Ama

Marcial Perez Ama

He's given the nickname "Baby Ama" because he is the youngest most notorious leader of one of the rival gangs inside the prison in his time. His gang was "SIGE SIGE" and his mortal enemy who was PRIMITIVO "Ebok" ALA of "OXO" gang. 

In 1958, Baby Ama led the largest riot in the history of the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, Philippines, with the death of nine inmates (one was beheaded). Baby Ama was sentenced to death by electrocution. Baby Ama was electrocuted in 1961 at the age of 16, making him the youngest in the Philippines to die by electrocution.

Kamikaze Pilot Statue in the Philippines?

Considered to be the first Kamikare Pilot (the official world's first living bomb), Lt. Yukio Seki has a statue here in the Philippines. It is located in Mabalacat, Pampanga. Daniel Dizon, a local historian and artist, is responsible for the erection of the kamikaze statue. 

It was said that the Kamikaze were trained on Mabalacat, Pampanga. Vice Admiral Takijiro Ohnishi formed the first special attack unit using Zero fighters carrying a 250-kg bomb. He named it the Shinpu (often read as Kamikaze) Special Attack Corps, which consisted of 24 pilots divided into four squadrons.

On October 25, 1944, the Shikishima Squadron led by Lieutenant Yukio Seki took off from Mabalacat Airfield and successfully carried out Japan's first official aerial suicide attack, which sank the escort carrier St. Lo (CVE-63) and damaged several other American warships. 

Picture from Kamikaze Image

Monday, July 07, 2014

Marangál na Dalit ng̃ Katagalugan

Mabuhay, Mabuhay yaong Kalayaan, Kalayaan
At pasulungin ang puri't kabanalan
Kastila'y mailing ng Katagalugan
At ngayo's ipagwagi ang kahusayan

Mabuhay, Mabuhay yaong Kalayaan, Kalayaan
At pasulungin ang puri't kabanalan
Kastila'y mailing ng Katagalugan
At ngayo's ipagwagi ang kahusayan

The Marangál na Dalit ng̃ Katagalugan (English title: Noble Hymn of the Tagalogs) was the historic national anthem of the Tagalog Republic and is considered the first national anthem of the Philippines. It was later titled Salve Patria (Save the Fatherland). Julio Nakpil composed the anthem in 1895 during the Philippine Revolution.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Wonder why you call it BBB?

Have you seen a jeepney going to BBB and wondered what BBB stands for?

BALINTAWAK BEER BREWERY: Established as the San Miguel Brewery in 1890, the Balintawak Beer Brewery was renamed by the Japanese following their occupation of Manila. On February 4, 1945 the Balintawak Beer Brewery was liberated from the Japanese.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Busting Pinoy Pride: Flores Didn't Invent the Fluorescent lamp.

Agapito Flores has been acclaimed by some Filipinos as the inventor of the first fluorescent lamp. However, the dates are all wrong for this being possible. The following points have been taken from "The History of Fluorescent Lights"

It has been reported that Agapito Flores received a French patent for a fluorescent bulb and that the General Electric Company bought Flores' patent rights and manufactured and sold his fluorescent bulb (making millions from it). However, all the inventors named above and more predate Agapito Flores' possible work on any fluorescent bulb.

According to Dr. Benito Vergara of the Philippine Science Heritage Center, "As far as I could learn, a certain Flores presented the idea of fluorescent light to Manuel Quezon when he became president. At that time, General Electric Co. had already presented the fluorescent light to the public."

The development started with experiments in the 1840s by British scientists, George C. Stokes, Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell. A German glass blower, Heinrich Geissler, continued with the experiments and in 1856 produced a vacuum tube that would produce a green glow when a current was passed through it. The tube had little practical value because the green light didn't provide useful illumination. However, Julius Plucker and Alexandre Bequerel experimented with the tube. Bequerel discovered that certain minerals glowed when they were in an operating tube and added coatings to the inside of the tube that would glow. 

Busting a Pinoy Pride: Did a Filipino Invent the Lunar Rover?

1. There was indeed an Eduardo San Juan who worked for Boeing at the time when the LRV was being developed. He wasn't a senior developer, just one of the technicians.

2. The inventor of the LRV are the following men: Dr. M.G. Bekker, Bruce Velasco, Frank Pavlics, Sam Romano. Thus, San Juan had NO HAND in its design concepts and development. He probably worked on it like other engineers at Boeing, and that's the extent of his contributions.

Note: There was indeed an Engineer named Eduardo San Juan, but he worked on a project called MoLab (Mobile Laboratory) Rover, a subproject in the Apollo programme that aimed to land a large pressurized mobile laboratory on the moon. San Juan did a study and even made a few sketches of his large rover design, but it is important to note that he did all this TWO YEARS after Grumman already got the contract to build the smaller LRV, which was the final rover design that got onboard Apollo 15, 16 and 17.

See: http://www.istorya.net/forums/blogs/rodsky/331-busting-a-myth-did-a-filipino-invent-the-lunar-rover-updated-nov-2011.html

Note: Now this is a good article that will "put the nail in the lid" of this urban legend. READ HERE.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Jewish Temple in Manila

The Jewish Temple Emil was located on the west side of Taft Avenue just north of San Andres Street approximately where Marc 2000 Tower, PhilHealth Office, 1973 San Andres Street is today. The building was destroyed during WWII.

It was named  after philanthropist Emil Bachrach and the synagogue’s religious orientation was American-style Conservative Judaism. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Oldest Hardware

This hardware on St. Cristo St. Sta. Cruz, Manila is known to be the oldest hardware still existing in Manila. It is over a century old. 

Higino Francisco's Residence

The house of Don Higino at 525 Magdalena St. in Binondo. It was said that the original manuscript of Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere was hidden inside the house. Also, the remains of Dr. Rizal was also hidden in this house for a few days on August 17, 1898.

Today, this is what the place looks like.


In case you're wondering, Budai is not Buddha.

Budai or Pu-Tai is a Chinese folkloric deity. His name means "Cloth Sack,"and comes from the bag that he is conventionally depicted as carrying. He is usually identified with or seen as an incarnation of Maitreya, the future Buddha, so much so that the Budai image is one of the main forms in which Maitreya is depicted in East Asia.He is almost always shown smiling or laughing, hence his nickname in Chinese, the Laughing Buddha. 


Guanyin (in pinyin; previous transliterations Quan Yin, Kwan Yin, or Kuanyin) is the bodhisattva associated with compassion as venerated by East Asian Buddhists, usually as a female.

Probably because of Kuan Yin's great compassion, a quality which is traditionally considered feminine, most of the bodhisattva's statues in China since the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618 - 907) have appeared as female figures. In India, however, the bodhisattva is generally represented as a male figure.

In her hands, Kuan Yin may hold a willow branch, a vase with water or occasionally, a lotus flower.

The willow branch is used to heal people's illnesses or bring fulfillment to their requests.

The water ( the dew of compassion) has the quality of removing suffering, purifying the defilements of our body, speech and mind, and lengthening life. Quan Yin carries the Goddess and Divine Mother aspect of Buddhism. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pagbilan nga po ng "Tasty!"

Question: We do Filipino calls these American Loaf Bread as "Tasty?"

In the 1950's,  the Bakerite Bakery Incorporated (located in Hidalgo St., Quiapo) distributed sliced American loaf breads around the Manila area inside plastic bags with the word TASTY-NUTRITIOUS-DELICIOUS written in large, bold front. 

People buying the bread became more accustomed with the bold "TASTY" word of the plastic wrapper so until now, we call loaf breads as tasty.

Thursday, May 08, 2014


Among the most persistent claims by conspiracy buffs, the Illuminati are the people who pull the strings on puppeteers who believe they themselves are pulling strings attached to other puppets. Shadows within shadows, Illuminati members supposedly hover in the background among Masons and other groups, including the Priory of Sion, followers of Kabbalah, Rosicrucians and, in a test of theological extremes, the Elders of Zion.

Launched in 1776 by Adam Weishaupt, a Bavarian Jesuit scholar described as “an unpractical bookworm without necessary experience in the world,” the Illuminati (“Enlightenment”) was created as a secret society the true objectives of which would be revealed to its members only after they achieved a “priestly” degree of awareness and understanding. Those who managed to survive Weishaupt’s process of selection and preparation eventually learned they were cogs in a political/philosophical machine regulated by reason, an extreme extension of the founder’s “reason over passion” Jesuit education. Thanks to the Illuminati, people would be liberated from their prejudices and become both mature and moral, outgrowing the religious and political restrictions of church and state.

Achieving this utopia would be a gain not without pain, however. Illuminati members were to observe everyone with whom they came into social contact, gathering information on each individual and submitting sealed reports to their superiors. By this means, the Illuminati would control public opinion, restrict the power of princes, presidents and prime ministers, silence or eliminate subversives and reactionaries, and strike fear in the hearts of its enemies. “In the bosom of the deepest darkness,” wrote one of the movement’s early critics, “a society has been formed, a society of new beings, who know one another though they have never seen one another, who understand one another without explanations, who serve one another without friendship.

From the Jesuit rule, this society adopts blind obedience; from the Masons it takes the trials and the ceremonies; and from the Templars it obtains subterranean mysteries and great audacity.” Without a doubt, this was a force to be reckoned with.

One of Weishaupt’s early strategies was to ally himself with the Freemasons, a move that initially proved successful. Within a few years “Illuminated Freemasons” were active in several European countries. But as details of their true aims escaped, public attitude turned against them until, in August 1787, Bavaria declared that recruiting Illuminati members was a capital crime. This managed to drive the society more deeply underground, but it also persuaded Weishaupt that his vision was seriously flawed. After renouncing his own order and writing several apologies to mankind, Weishaupt reconciled with his Catholic religion and spent his last few years helping to build a new cathedral in Gotha.

During the Illuminati’s limited tenure, tales circulated that it was responsible for the outbreak and progress of the French Revolution, a claim that is almost laughable in view of the group’s emphasis on reason instead of passion. Few events in history were propelled by raw passion more than the overthrow of the French throne.

The short-lived dance between the Illuminati and Freemasons launched a fable that persists among some conspiracy addicts to this day. Various anti-Mason commentators continue to insist that Masters of the Illuminati remain in control of the Freemasons and other secret societies, dedicated to bringing Weishaupt’s original plan for world domination to reality. Yet, while the Illuminati appears as a shadowy presence within or among other secret societies, no one seems able to identify specific acts attributable to them. And, unlike every other secret society to be examined here, no one within the Illuminati has ever broken the oath of silence to reveal its inner workings. If you resort exclusively to logic, you suspect that the Illuminati is a phantom organization with neither goals nor members. If you fear secret societies, you believe they are powerful enough to deny their own existence.


The legends of the vampires belong to Eastern Europe. – vampire in the Magyar language of Hungary, Nosferatu in Romania. Balkan tales speak of married vampires rises from their graves to terrorized wives and husbands. Unmarried vampires visit young innocence of the opposite sex.

In the anonymous best-seller of 1847, Varney the Vampire or The Feast of Blood, Sir Francis Varney was the first vampire to be upgrade to aristocracy. In Carmilla, published in the 1870, Sheridan Le Fanu introduce us to a beautiful lesbian vampire Carmilla. This story inspired Bram Stoker, who began researching for his novel Dracula.

Dracula was loosely based on Vlad V of Wallachia (Romania). In the 6 year of his rule (1456-62), HE EARNED THE TITLE “THE IMPALER” FOR ALLEDGEDLY IMPALIING TEN OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE. HE IS ALSO KNOWN AS Draculaea “son of the devil”.

The Philippine version of the European vampires is known as “Mandurugo”. The Mandurugo looks like young beautiful maidens and unlike their European counterparts, the Mandurugo don’t have fangs and are all females. They have a tongue that turns to a kind of a surgical straw and when a Mandurugo kissed her victim, the tongue will bore a hole inside the victim’s mouth where the monster will suck the victim’s blood.


James Hilton’s Lost Horizon have depicted a earthly paradise in the Himalayas called Shangri-La. Tibetan legends says that such place exist in the Himalayan mountains called Shambhala. Shambhala is said to be the hidden land where Buddha was initiated into the teachings of the Kalacakra, or wheel of Time. The valley is said to be hidden by snow-capped mountains. Lamas are adamant that travelers cannot simply go to Shambhala, they must be summoned.

Tibetan prophecy holds that Shambhala will have 32 kings, each ruling for a hundred years. The first reigned during the life of the Buddha in the 6th century BCE. The last king is expected to annihilate the forces of evil and bring the golden age to the entire world.

Baron Samedi

 (Baron Saturday, also Baron Samdi, Bawon Samedi, or Bawon Sanmdi) is one of the Guédés, or spirits of Death, related to Baron Cimitère, Baron La Croix and Baron Kriminel. He is also known as one of the loa of the dead. He is also said to be the Lord of the Zombies. 'Samedi' means 'Saturday' in French, though there are alternate etymologies offered. Stylish and sinister, he wears a black tailcoat, glossy top hat and dark eyeglasses. Yep!— he's dressed like an undertaker.

When necromancy is performed, the Baron Samedi is invoked in a cemetery. Three people must be present. They dress the cross on the grave with Baron Samedi's traditional clothes, and burn incense and herbs. Then they request his help. They know the Baron has arrived when the clothes on the cross flap as if disturbed by wind. Some actually claim to see him - a tall black man with white beard and eyeless sockets in his head, though he can see very well.

The participants ask the corpse various questions. If it answers them, the corpse is rewarded by a limited time as a zombie. The zombie acts as the servant of the people who raised him, and performs tasks for them.

Nautical Mysteries

The Mary Celeste set sail for Genoa in Italy from New York on November 5, 1872 with a cargo of 1700 barrels of denatured alcohol. On December 4, the ship was spotted halfway between the Azores and the coast of Spain by the ship Dei Gratia.

When a boarding party was send to investigate, it was found out that the whole ship was deserted. What was strange is that there were no signs of violence discovered. In fact the ship was still carrying plenty of fresh water and food supply. The crew’s belongings lay undisturbed. Only the ship’s chronometer, sextant and the documents concerning the cargo were gone – along with the ship’s seven crewmen, Captain Benjamin Biggs, wife and two-year-old daughter.

The Flying Dutchman has often been sighted for the last 400 years, Sighting occur most frequently south of the Cape of Good Hope. The ship is said to be a messenger of bad omen at the sea. The man from whom the ship takes her name is often identified as Vanderdecken, a Dutch ship master of the 17th century. Legend says that, while rounding the Cape of Good Hope in the teeth of a gale, he swore before God he would enter Table Bay or be damned. His ship foundered and for his blasphemy he was condemned to sail those waters forever. In Wagner’s opera Der Fliegendew Hollander, Captain Vanderdecken is allowed ashore just once every seven years to seek a woman’s love that can redeem him.

Another story identifies the captain as Bernard Fokke, who has struck a bargain with the devil to reach the Indies in 90 days. For that he was condemned forever to sail the waters of the southern capes. The captain stood on the deck of the ship, counting off the centuries on his hour glass,

The legend ended when galleons stop sailing around the sea-lanes of the southern capes in the 1930’s.


The word "Halloween," actually has its origins in the Catholic Church. It comes from a contracted corruption of All Hallows Eve. November 1, "All Hollows Day" (or "All Saints Day"), is a Catholic day of observance in honor of saints. But, in the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31. The holiday was called Samhain (sow-en), the Celtic New year.

According to the History.com, The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

See more Halloween trivia @ this site!

The Grim Reaper

Harvest is associated with death because of the end of growing season. Kronos eating his children was used in a poetic sense for time devouring all things, as in the old saying "nothing lasts forever." and the Grim Reaper carrying a scythe are directly derived from Cronus (Cronus (or Kronos) was the father of Zeus and his siblings.). The Romans identified Cronus with their god Saturn. Saturn, the Sower, was also a god of agriculture. The Roman god's festival, called the Saturnalia, was held from the 17th to the 19th of December and was quite popular.

Cronus and Saturn were also identified with time. Harvest and time might be related in the first place, but some suspect this relationship may have happened because of a confusion between the words Cronus and Chronus.Both of these more modern figures are sometimes accompanied by a crow. Images of the Grim Reaper in engravings in the Middle Ages that show a skeletal figure holding a scythe and hourglass with a crow nearby show this connection.