What We Still Need

After a month-long hiatus, we still need the following:

More volunteers and goods to help the victims of Ondoy/Ketsana and Pepeng/Parma. I have found that this site can be very helpful: http://ondoyrelief.multiply.com. And please do not tire of tweeting about it. It helps.

More support for the RH Bill. Don’t you want to have your own say when it comes to your health and not have a group of celibate single males decide for you? Sign the petition here; blog about it, tweet it, do anything to get this known.

More intelligent people in public office. This has been long overdue. Arguably, it is the root of all suffering in this country. That or the lack of will to self-govern and self-discipline.

And lastly, we still need meds to cure people from virtual farming and virtual restaurant management. I am still infected. It has been eating most of my waking time. Shall we wait until I can no longer even blog about it? Please be my neighbour at FarmVille, Café World, Island Paradise, Restaurant City, Pet Society, and Country Story. Don’t forget the gifts, too!


Ondoy Updates and Aid Needed for Victims

I want to take this chance to thank every one of you who helped out, whether in the form of donations, volunteering, or communicating aid to others. Now is not the time for divisions but a time for bayanihan. Magtulungan po tayo.

Helplines and hotlines for Typhoon Ondoy victims (Constantly updated) « Random Salt

Source: randomsalt.wordpress.com

World pours aid into the Philippines

Source: newsinfo.inquirer.net
MANILA, Philippines – Responding to the appeal of the Philippines for help, several countries and groups have donated or pledged food, money and technical assistance to avert a humanitarian crisis following the onslaught of Tropical Storm “Ondoy” (international codename: Ketsana).

Torrential rains over the weekend triggered the worst flooding the Philippines’ capital has seen in over four decades, submerging more than 80% of the city and leaving at least 246 people dead. What could authorities have done differently?

Source: moongirl.wordpress.com
Update: A million thanks to every single person who has forwarded me info. Many of them are in the Comments below, or on Facebook. This list is being updated constantly – please keep ‘em coming.

EU gives €2M for Ondoy victims – INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos
Source: globalnation.inquirer.net
MANILA, Philippines — The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, has given 2 million euros (about P140 million), so far the biggest amount of disaster relief assistance for the victims of typhoon Ondoy.

OFW ‘abused’ after mistaken Facebook post on Ondoy | ABS-CBN News Online Beta
Source: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com
A controversial statement allegedly made by a Filipina overseas worker in Dubai that mocked Filipino victims of tropical storm Ondoy sparked negative reactions among many Pinoys here and abroad.

Facebook, Twitter to the rescue in Philippine flood disaster
Source: http://www.canada.com
MANILA – Amid the chaos of the Philippine flood disaster, Twitter, Facebook and mobile phones have proved to be life-savers.

The rainfall brought by typhoon ONDOY to Metro Manila and nearby areas in a span of six hours on Saturday was the most in recorded history, surpassing the previous record for the metropolis in 1967. Hurricane Katrina dumped over an inch of rainfall in Louisiana for 3 hours and another 0.5 inches per hour over the next 5 hours on August 29, 2005. Ondoy dumped an average of 2.24 inches per hour for six hours and is still going.

An 18-year-old construction worker braved rampaging floods in the Philippines to save more than 30 people, but ended up sacrificing his life in a last trip to rescue a baby girl and her mother who were being swept away on a styrofoam box.


I want to know if everyone is safe? I’m thankful that my town was spared but it’s heartbreaking to see how so many others were gravely affected by the unexpected floods. No one saw it coming. A day’s worth of rain did all that? Unbelievable but true. Neither the rich nor the poor were given mercy. Cars and two-storey houses underwater, families separated, people trapped in malls or on their roofs distraught from hunger and fear, and so on. My father grew up in Quezon City and he says this never happened to them before.

I’m attaching a Facebook album with a few pictures from yesterday. Truly, pictures speak louder than words.

I hope all of this humbles the country and the rest of the world. Admit it, we did this to ourselves. The clouds and the rivers merely reacted to our folly.

Facebook album: here.
Want to help or need help? See here and here.

Generous souls in the U.S. who wish to help in the rescue and relief operations, you may donate through the American Red Cross. Call 1-800-435-7669.

National Mother

I am touched and moved. And I am getting goosebumps. Teary eyed, to add.

I admit that, for a long time, I knew little of her as I was only a foetus when she helped overthrow the Dictatorship and restored our Democracy. But I believe the people who were there, and all the people who mourn now, that she was not only a President, she was a National Mother. I raise this cup to her: the plain housewife and shy widow who became President of the Republic of the Philippines.

Today, we bury your body. Your spirit, we shall remember for ever. You who dwell now beneath the earth and above the stars, continue to enrich our world with your liberated spirit…

Green Iran

I trust that you don’t need me to explain why I’m doing this. It’s all over the internet. It’s horrifying … and sad. Imagine something like that in your own country.

Do what you can do. Let the world know what’s happening in Iran. Speak for the silenced.

Mighty Ares, you are strength and bravery, impart your spirits to the people of Iran, inspire the good strong to protect the weak, strike down the bad ones.

Golden Aphrodite and Lovely Jesus, you are love, stir in the hearts of the Iranian people a glorious love for country and a tender love for lives.

Wise Athene, you are reason and wisdom, impart your spirits to those involved in this noble battle against evil tyranny, raise their voices to the world, protect democracy and freedom.

Just Father Zeus, you are law and ethics, serve Iran and her people justice and restore right conduct amongst its citizens.

And for our own countries, the same spirits. Amen.

Because We Do Have Mail Order Brides!

I know I endanger myself by saying this but I shall say it anyway. I do not think Alec Baldwin said anything inaccurate about “getting a Filipina mail-order bride … or a Russian“. Something wrong, maybe, that can be argued, but not inaccurate. First, it is a well known fact; mentioning it does not make the situation any worse (or not saying it, any better). Last time I checked, there is nothing wrong with mentioning facts. Should he have said Yemeni or Ecuadorian mail order bride instead? We all know the best ones are here (or in Russia). Second, he said that in jest. Do Filipinos not make jokes about other nations and cultures everyday? I would even say, to borrow Jimmy Santos’ iconic phrase, “three times a day”. Everyday, you hear people joke about Indians, Chinese, Arabs, Africans (or any dark-skinned fellow), and even our own kind. We are not exactly the model nation when it comes to battling derogatory remarks or “racism”. Now, I know that Alec Baldwin is not a model for good values either, but that is not the point. You can argue about him being tactless or insensitive but he did not say anything that was not already begging to be noticed.

Filipinos, and especially that joke of a senator Bong Revilla, should not be so sensitive on the issue (and we all know how Bong is just desperately playing hero because of the nearing elections – said he intends to beat Baldwin if he would ever travel here – what shame). It just shows how improperly touchy we are. If one has dirt on one’s nose, another is bound to notice it, and another to tell you. Natural course of things!

The Gods know I love this country. And that is why I do not want it to be thought of as something so pathetic as to readily place other nations in their jokes yet unwilling to be the matter of jokes themselves. Two words: balat sibuyas.

Perhaps it is in the manner that we say things that count. Argue Baldwin’s manner of saying things, argue the manner in which we are presented in jokes, argue the context. But as for the facts within the jokes themselves, I believe there is no reason to overreact and no reason for Baldwin to apologise. Instead of whining about how he had the nerve to joke about our local mail order brides, why do we not do something about it?

“Let us make it clear to the world: Filipino women are not for sale. Not even for sale to Hollywood actors,” Loren Legarda says. And I agree most definitely. So, let us fucking stop selling them!

When the selling stops, the buying will too. Duh.

‘Nicole’ Recants, Clears Smith

She’s now in US with P100K in payment.

By Julie M. Aurelio, Norman Bordadora (emphasis mine) – Philippine Daily Inquirer at 00:25:00 18/03/2009

MANILA, Philippines—The Filipino woman who accused an American Marine of raping her in November 2005 has not only recanted more than two years after winning a conviction but has also accepted money from him and flown to the United States for good.

This happened amid resurgent controversy over the Philippine-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), which allows temporary US military presence in the Philippines.

At a press conference Tuesday, lawyer Evalyn Ursua said she was informed on Monday by the mother of her client, “Nicole,” that she had been dropped as legal counsel.

But Ursua promised to continue fighting the VFA and to assist other Filipino women in similar straits.

She said Nicole’s mother had handed her a letter terminating her legal services.

“Since it was Nicole and not her family who was my client, I asked Nicole’s mother why Nicole didn’t personally see me to hand the letter, or even give me a call. She replied that Nicole left for the US last week, for good,” the lawyer said.

Nicole also issued a sworn statement on March 12 saying she expected her motives to be questioned.

She raised doubts that US Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith had raped her, and suggested that she might have welcomed his sexual advances at the Neptune Club in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

She added: “My conscience continues to bother me realizing that I may have in fact been so friendly and intimate with Daniel Smith at the Neptune Club that he was led to believe that I was amenable to having sex or that we simply just got carried away.”

Read the rest here.

Well, what else can I say? I rest this case, and this one, and this one too. And I am not happy about it. I am very, very ashamed, if not for my country, for her.