March 25, 2010

Urban Photography Festival 2010.

     The first Panama’s Urban Photography Festival took place from March 11th to 14th, 2010, and the event was inside of Santo Domingo Church’s dilapidated structures where you can find the famous “Arco Chato” (Flat Bow).
     The event was promoted by the Casco Antiguo de Panama Office, to collect the photographic works of professionals, amateurs, and enthusiasts, highlighting the art, historic places, how people live in the streets every day, people, buildings and houses, food and folklore of Panama, among other things.
     All who wanted to exhibit their work could do for free, as the entrance.
     To participate in the competition you had to register and pay a cost depending on the category and professional level. Fifteen categories were awarded, with total on prizes of about $ 6,500.
     I visited the exhibition one day and I post some photos of the Festival. The day that I visited the exhibition were exposed only a few photos. Every day, different photos were exposed with its author, being spread all photos of participants and non participants during the four days of the event.

March 23, 2010

La Pinta and La Santa María, tow artificial islands on Panama Bay.

     The Mexican company ICA (“Ingenieros Civiles Asociados”) will build during 2010 two artificial islands in front of Panama City, on Panama Bay, with an investment of U.S.$ 140 million, where 138 exclusive residences will be built to become the " most exclusive and elegant mixed-use community of the city”.
     Initially the project consisted of three islands: La Pinta, La Niña and La Santa Maria, as the names of the three saling ships of Christopher Columbus. But for environmental reasons it was decided to remove La Niña island from the project.
     The two islands will be located 150 meters from the coast, over the sole real estate area known as Punta Pacifica. La Santamaria will have 10.3 hectares of land where 72 lots will be distributed to residences and La Pinta will distribute 8.8 hectares for 66 lots. The total hectares of land is 19.1, equivalent to 5 baseball stadiums. The lots will vary between 800 and 1800 square meters and will be sold between U.S.$1500 and U.S.$5000 per square meter. The cost of the residences is not included.
     The construction of the islands consists of dredging for about five months for each island to extract marine mud in order to place it on barges and then move to specific "environmental unaffected” sites in the sea. The project also includes the construction of a seawall with rocks up to two tons and then continue with the filling with various materials including sand, stone and basalt rock. In total, it will need four billion cubic meters of materials, which is equivalent to the size of two pyramids of Egypt.
     The project has all the requirements to prevent environmental and ecological damage, and will be built with high tech.
     The residences will be finished between 2011 and 2013, according to the construction company.

March 22, 2010

"Flor del Espíritu Santo" - Dove Orchid.

     The “Flor del Espíritu Santo” (Holy Spirit flower) was declared national flowerof the Republic of Panama on October 21th, 1980.
     The plant is known scientifically as "Peristeria Elata” and it is of the gender of “Peristeria” which is the group of plants belonging to the orchid family (Orchidaceae) whose common name in English is" Dove Orchid "(“Orquídea Paloma” in Spanish) or" “Holy Ghost Orchid". The common name of this genus comes from the Greek word "Peristerion" which means "dove".
     The plant consists of globose pseudobulbs up to 12 inches high, four leaves that reach up to 1 meter. The flower stalk comes out from the base of the bulb with a length between 1 to 1.8 meters and can produce a total of 4 to 12 flowers. Each flower has petals of a deep ivory, adorned in the center of the flower with a well-defined dove with outstretched wings, stained or painted purple, and anther and pistil yellow. The flowers’ fragrance is nice and intense.
     Annually, the plant flowers between the months of July to October if the bulb is mature or reach their optimum size. If the plant is young, you must have patience in its flowering until the bulb reaches maturity. It grows best at altitudes between sea level and 800 meters. In the wild, growing on large trees in the forest, very aerated soils with organic matter and rich in humus. It may also be found in low shrubs, small areas on the upper slopes, and sometimes on the roadside.
     The Holy Spirit flower is a very rare and beautiful flower, exotic for nationals and foreigners. For this reason, it should encourage its growth throughout the Panamenian territory.

March 21, 2010

Panama - Van Halen.

     "Panama" is the most popular song of Van Halen’s 1984 album. On the web are some speculations about why the name of this song. Here I mention a few.

     The song was written about a stripper named "Panama", which David Lee Roth, Van Halen singer and song writer, met at a presentation in Arizona. The critics accused him of writing songs about hard partying, sex and race cars.
     Another is that the song is about a car that Roth saw race in Las Vegas and the name of the car was Panama.
     Despite all these assertions or theories, the name of Panama has a common origin, the country. The word has its origins of the Indians village called "Hanama" and the Spanish colonizers knew as Panama.
     Any person, object or place named Panama, has its origin of its name on this country.