What a wonderful spotting! When I first looked for this one in my bird book, I almost sent you the wrong I.D. because in the book, it was shown as Riparia paludicola (Plain Martin). Then I checked with Wikipedia and was surprised to see that the Plain Martin had be re-classified and split into two species - the Brown-throated Martin (Riparia paludicola), found in Africa and Madagascar and the Grey-throated Martin (Riparia chinensis), found in Asia. So, then I checked Riparia chinensis (in Wiki) which confirmed that R. chinensis is the one in Northern Philippines. Problem solved. So, I not only enjoyed seeing your great spotting, but I learned from it also. Thank you, mnc2113
Argiope luzona (Walckenaer, 1842). This is a young female Signature Spider (Argiope luzona). There is nothing out of the ordinary going on in this picture. When it was taken at around 4:00 p.m. the spider was motionless, but vigilant, waiting for some unfortunate insect to fly into the web. However, sometime during the previous night, this little spider created a perfect example of a web decoration which is called a Four-armed Discontinuous Cruciate Stabilimentum. The arms are almost all the same length (remember spiders don't have any rulers or measuring tapes) and they are all pretty much at right angles to each other (spiders don't have protractors either). The zigzags are fairly uniform, definately better than most people could do with a pencil and paper. So, the whole thing, at least in my opinion, demonstrates considerable intelligence, excellent memory, a great deal of skill and a strong sense of purpose. Not bad for such a small creature.