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Fil-Canadian Guy Discovers Family Heirloom is a 1,000-Year-Old Pearl Worth $90 Million

A Filipino-Canadian guy based in Ontario, Canada recently had a family heirloom appraised on a hunch that it might be something valuable; he was rather surprised to discover that the object which they thought was just a curio resembling a giant tooth was actually a 1,000-year-old pearl that’s worth $90 million (Php4.73 billion)!

According to Abraham Reyes, the pearl had been with the family for decades. His grandfather bought a giant clam from a fisherman back in 1959. Upon opening the clam, Reyes’ grandfather discovered the pearl.

Photo credit: Instagram / The Giga Pearl

The odd-shaped pearl was passed on from one family member to another, but no one thought it was anything of value until Reyes thought of having the family heirloom authenticated at the Gemological Institute of America based in New York City.

The appraisers put the value of the gem at a whopping $90 million.

Weighing 27.65 kg (60.957 lbs), the family heirloom was so big that it was larger and heavier than the famed the Pearl of Lao Tzu from Palawan, Philippines, which once held the record for being the largest pearl in the world.

Because of the family heirloom’s size and recent authentication as a real pearl, Reyes decided to name it the ‘Giga Pearl’. He also commissioned a custom-made 22-carat gold holder in the shape of an octopus for the family heirloom – and it’s easy to see that the gold holder does make the pearl look so much more precious.

Photo credit: Instagram / The Giga Pearl

While the Giga Pearl is among the largest in the world, it’s not the current world record holder as it is still dwarfed by the 34-kg Pearl of Puerto Princesa, also in Palawan, Philippines. The giant pearl was found by a fisherman when he accidentally hooked a giant clam with his boat’s anchor.

The fisherman kept the pearl under his bed for good luck, only remembering about it some 10 years after he found the clam. The Pearl of Puerto Princesa has an appraised value of $100 million (Php5.25 billion).

Even if it’s not the largest in the world, the Giga Pearl is still quite impressive! It’s a good thing Reyes got the thing appraised.

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Syrian Blogger Cooks Hundreds of Chicken Kabsa to Feed Evacuees of Taal Eruption

He might not be Filipino but for Basel Manadil who vlogs under the name “The Hungry Syrian Wanderer”, he is “The Adopted Son of the Philippines” – and he loves to give back by sharing his blessings to many Filipinos in need.

Recently, Basel went viral for the many things he did to help those affected by the Taal eruption. He gave N95 masks for free and just recently spent 11 hours cooking over 1,100 servings of chicken kabsa, a popular dish in the Middle East, to give out to the evacuees, again for free!

Photo credit: The Hungry Syrian Wanderer / Facebook

It did not matter to Basel that he and his team spent many hours cooking the dish and preparing the meals in packs for easy distribution to the evacuees, as long as he can help many people in need. He bought all the items out of his own money, not even asking for any donations. This endeared him more to many netizens who admired his big heart for Filipinos.

Photo credit: The Hungry Syrian Wanderer / Facebook

A lot of netizens agreed that Basel did not really have to do this; he has no obligation whatsoever to give anything to Filipinos. Yet he has proven so many times that it did not matter to him whether he’s Filipino or not, because by heart he is one – and he is ready to help his fellowmen without asking for anything in return.

Photo credit: The Hungry Syrian Wanderer / Facebook

Many netizens thanked him for his kindness and for letting Pinoys taste the favorite dish from the Middle East, while others joked that perhaps he should also give them some because the food looks so good!

Photo credit: The Hungry Syrian Wanderer / Facebook

And while there were those who took notice of the feathers still on some of the pieces, others commented that it was difficult for Basel and his team to check each piece of chicken because of the volume they prepared. The Taal evacuees could just take the feathers out with ease. What’s important is that Basel is helping out!

Photo credit: The Hungry Syrian Wanderer / Facebook

What’s Chicken Kabsa?

Chicken kabsa is a popular dish that’s thought to have originated in Saudi Arabia but is also picked as national dish among many countries in the Middle East. This dish makes use of basmati rice, chicken thighs or wings (or even whole chicken), carrots, lemon, tomato paste, and other vegetables.

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Tourists in the Middle of Hiking in Taal Get Evacuated as Volcano Erupts

It started out as just another ordinary day for the people living in Taal as they took tourists on tours to the crater lake and other beautiful tourist spots on the volcanic island. But things would take a dangerous turn just a little after lunch time when steam started to come out from a vent.

Photo credit: Michella Domenici / YouTube

As the smoky steam rose higher and got bigger, the locals knew this was not just an ordinary day – the volcano is erupting and everyone should be evacuated out of the island ASAP! So, the horses that were often used to take tourists on tours were soon used to take them out of the hiking spots as fast as possible.

Photo credit: Michella Domenici / YouTube

Everyone knew that they had to leave the island as soon as possible. But a tourist managed to take a video of their hike and evacuation. This showed people what happened on the island right before the volcano erupted.

Photo credit: Michella Domenici / YouTube

Michella Domenici shared a video of their hike on the island. Together with their guide, they hiked up the spot that offers one of the best vantage points of the crater lake. The crater lake looks beautiful but she noticed that there’s smoke coming from one spot. Since the smoke was small, it did not cause alarm yet, but this would soon change in just a matter of minutes.

Photo credit: Michella Domenici / YouTube
Photo credit: Michella Domenici / YouTube

As the smoke coming from that vent grew bigger, the locals told everyone to evacuate. The tourists found help in the guides who let them ride the horses to safety. Michella managed to take some videos of the tall smoke column rising from the vent as they moved to the wharf where the boats swiftly took them away from the island.

Photo credit: Michella Domenici / YouTube

It was only when they were safely on the other side that the group breathed a sigh of relief. Looking back, they saw that the volcano has erupted, sending tons of volcanic material several kilometers up the sky! That was definitely a close call. Everyone is thankful that they made it out of the island. Thankfully, no casualties have been reported as of press time.

Photo credit: Michella Domenici / YouTube

Here’s the video:

BEFORE the TAAL ERUPTION

Na videohan pa nila bago sumabog ang TAAL..Buti nakaalis sila kagad bago sumabog…God is good!#reality #taaleruption2020Video from: Michella Domenici

Posted by Reality on Tuesday, January 14, 2020

What is Evacuation?

Evacuation is the urgent and immediate egress or escape of people from a certain area due to imminent danger or hazard to lives and property. This is often done during calamities.

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Dressmaker Mom Sews Face Masks for Taal Eruption Victims, Earns Praise

A dressmaker recently went viral for sewing face masks and giving them out for free because she wants to help the victims of the Taal eruption.

It can be recalled that the Taal Volcano was placed on Alert Level 2 since last year due to volcanic activity beneath its surface. But the warning was quickly raised to Alert Level 3 and soon Alert Level 4 in just one day as the volcano spewed steam and ash several kilometers up the sky on January 12, 2020.

Video from the volcano’s crater shows how fast the eruption happened. Thankfully, there have been no casualties reported as everyone was evacuated to safety from the island before nightfall. But though they were out of the island, everyone is still in danger – as with the tens of thousands of residents in nearby areas.

Photo credit: The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

Volcanic ash is made up of glass and metal particles that can really be dangerous to inhale. The particles could lodge in your lungs, causing breathing problems and possible lung collapse. That’s why it is important to wear face masks so that you will not inhale these dangerous particles.

As people scrambled to safety, evacuating not just from the volcanic island but also away from Batangas and nearby areas, stories of heroism and compassion warmed netizens’ hearts. There were people who sprayed water from pressure washers on the passing vehicles’ windshields to help with visibility. Many helped clear the streets using spades while others pushed vehicles stuck in the mud.

Photo credit: Mary Ann Mantuano / Facebook

And while there were also stories of people taking advantage of the situation by increasing prices of face masks, there are also those who bought boxes of masks to give out to the victims for free!

Mary Ann Mantuano shared how her dressmaker mom decided to sew face masks to hand for free to the victims fleeing Taal’s wrath. This wonderful nanay earns praise from netizens who greatly admired how she is doing her best to help, even in small ways.

Kudos to the Filipinos’ bayanihan spirit!

Photo credit: Mary Ann Mantuano / Facebook

Facts About Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano is a beautiful volcano set in a lake in Batangas, Philippines. It is a popular tourist spot, particularly because of its scenic view. Most people think that the small island before the bigger one is Taal Volcano – but its eruption shocked many who didn’t know that the actual Taal Volcano is just one of the little mountains jutting out of the bigger island.

It is one of the country’s 24 active volcanoes and has long been classified as one of the world’s lowest and most dangerous volcanoes. This stealthy volcano actually looks small and insignificant, but its body is much larger and is hidden beneath the Earth’s surface.

Authorities have recorded volcanic ‘unrest’ in 2011, 2012, and 2014. There has been a total of 34 eruptions in recorded history within 448 years, but the latest was in 1977.

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