Friday, October 16, 2009

everything i ever needed to know i learned from sesame street...(or the post also known as "because my brain has blue-screened")

in the car, on the way to lunch with my sister i noticed how beautiful the day was and how un...un...un-october. as i am wont to do when i encounter days like this, i start singing the opening theme from sesame street. at the top of my voice:

sunnnny daaaaaaaaay.....

it got me thinking. my formative years were spent with the gang from sesame street, and every time people ask me why i speak such good english (a question i inevitably encounter when out of the country), i answer that i learned from sesame street.

i did. we had limited tv hours and those were spent watching sesame street.

so what else did i learn? a rundown is in order.

well, i learned that:

1. skin color does not matter, not to children playing, not to adults working.

2. cooperation does wonders.

3. friends share

4. if you're a twiddlebug, you cannot fly to the zoo

5. nap time rocks

6. diversity makes for interesting friendships

7. trash is meant for the trash can (and oscar)

8. milk, when slowly pronounced, is mmmm-eeee-ll-k

9. everybody sleeps

10. sometimes it's okay to be afraid

11. when you don't know what to do, you can always ask for help

12. doing things by yourself is a sign of independence

13. there is an infinite number of ways to sing the alphabet and say your numbers

14. and finally, you can only be limited by your imagination.

i am sure over the next few days i will remember more. but for now this is all that counts.

so, does anybody want to buy an O?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

no please.

in court today one lawyer said that all lawyers would be voting for gibo.

i objected. vehemently.

after the calamities and the absolutely wonderful handling of the administration, i am forced to ask.

have we not learned anything? we might as well call that department the national disaster creating council.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


was about to blog but i forgot what about.


red horse, red cross, red tape

i think by now most people know that red horse is my poison of choice and people seem to identify me with it. so much so that when hok-bu posted a picture in facebook of two red horse bottles with a frosty glass filled with ice, i was the only person tagged.

i ragged him about him, of course.

about an hour later while i was trying to think of ways to generate funds for the pepeng victims, (the idea "piso for pig" to raise funds to buy a whole pig for the victims was thrown about in my head by the other mes, but was later junked. but that's another story) i saw a friend online. she's a journalist in kuwait and has a lot of contacts there.

thinking she may know what avenues i could take i asked her if there was any way for the victims here to get donations from there. she said yes.

all i needed to do was to send a letter to the organization there with the list of relief goods required. the letter must be duly endorsed by the red cross as the donations will be dropped off at the national office. plus i had to fax the letter asap as they will procure the goods this week, and airlift to the philippines next week.

great! i could write a letter. so i did. then i called the local red cross and began with:

kasi po i'm writing a request for assistance and i need an endorsement from the red horse

silence. oops. i corrected myself and continued my spiel. the lady there told me to just go there. when i got there she agreed to the endorsement. when it came to signing the endorsement letter, however, she said that she was having second thoughts.

according to her there was a directive from the secretary general that the local chapters are not allowed to contact the other organizations abroad. i simply told her that it should not be a problem as they are not the ones writing the letter, i am. the national office will be furnished a copy, the donations will be given to them and distributed by the local chapter. all i needed to do was to send them a letter so i could give them a list of the stuff required. that was it. i was just facilitating the communications.

she said she would need to consult the secretary general's office.

i was pissed. but fine, let's see what the sec gen's office says.

this was what the office said "may nhq naman bakit di sumulat sa nhq." i was dumbfounded. they wanted me to write them? and then what? by the time the letter reached the organization in kuwait (if at all) they would have already airlifted relief goods to the philippines. too late.

a series of text messages later riddled with "na-request na" "may allocation na" "para di madoble" "may standing agreement" "you will be acknowledged" really got my goat. in short she wanted to say that there was already a request for the same goods from the international organizations, there was allocation already, and my request would only duplicate the goods.

fine. i said to just make sure the people get the right goods, and i do not need the acknowledgment. i said i will just tell my friend in kuwait that the red cross refused to endorse. my final word to her was that the secretary general is disappointing.

so i told my friend in kuwait and she said that there was no request to the organization from the philippines as yet. it was the ambassador in kuwait who had approached the organization (yey, ambassador!). i went "huh?" so much for telling me that requests for assistance had been made.

in the end, i still forwarded the letter to them. they may refuse to consider it but at least they will have a list and some statistics as to the casualties here. i will still copy the sec gen and the local red horse cross. (blech.)

i was very disappointed. all it needed was one signature. i was not getting cash, i was not getting the goods directly, i was just making sure that the region would be included in the relief efforts and the appropriate stuff needed delivered. that was all. the national office would be receiving the goods, the local office distributing. they wanted credit to go to the national office? fine. they could have told me they will fax the letter themselves and put their signatures on it. i wouldn't have minded. all i cared about was that the list get to the organization. but i guess that was too much to ask.

i started the day with a good laugh over the red horse/cross thing. (incidentally, in the retelling, 90% of the time i've been saying red horse.) i ended the day feeling disappointed over red tape. this morning i am calmer, more rational, but no less pissed. i started with red horse, ended up with red tape.

so i've decided that i will go about the week and do all i can, and when all is said and done, i will get my red horse. at least it has never let me down.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

hell hath no fury like mother nature scorned

i woke up yesterday to a bright, brilliant, sunny day. if i didn't know any better i would have sworn it was summer.

how deceptive it was, the breeze was ruffling the tree tops that made up the view in front of our house, the sun was blazing, the sky a clear clear blue. there were no signs of the storm that had ravaged my city and the provinces surrounding it.

i felt so removed from the rest of the area. we had power, water, phone services. dsl was shot but that was just a minor inconvenience. we even had cable.

after a few minutes of soaking in the serenity of the saturday morning, i finally tuned in to the news and confirmed my worst fears. the summer feeling was meant to mask the horror that had taken place in some areas of baguio city and benguet.

landslides had occurred in the dark of night, in the middle of a power outage, and a whole village was buried. the place called city camp lagoon filled up, true to its name. roads closed, people crying for help, families evacuated.

through all the footage and commentaries all i could think about was hell hath no fury like mother nature scorned.

it was painful for me to watch and i found myself giving a big prayer of thanks for being alive and safe, and a small prayer of thanks that the baby clothes and stuff we had put together for the typhoon ondoy victims were still in the car. at least we could give them to people closer to home.

i know we are a resilient people. picking ourselves up after this is a foregone conclusion. i only wish we also had long memories. sana magtanda na tayo. it's not too late.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

repost for those who are looking for ways to help

Subject: where to help!

repost ito from a blog. kung may mga blog kayo, repost niyo rin ito. if you wanna help out pero you don't know where to start, look for relief efforts in this list near your area. if you have places to add to the list, please do so.




- go to ateneo de manila university, katipunan avenue, and proceed to the college covered courts to volunteer. shifts are in three hour cycles. you can go as early as 6AM but it goes on the whole day.

- please bring packed/cooked food to 12 Denmark, Loyola Grand Villas, QC, and help @patriciahizon whose group was the only one helping the victims in tumana today.

- TULONG BAYAN, to volunteer, just go to Balay Expo Center in Cubao, Edsa cor McArthur, 8AM onwards. contact (02) 9137122 and look for Mary, May or Cam

- donations accepted in MIRIAM COLLEGE insa office.

- donations also accepted in UP DILIMAN student council office at vinzons hall.

- for the GMA Kapuso Foundation, you can drop your donations at Samar St. cor GMA Network drive, QC. Behind GMA complex. Beside Malayan Bank. Tel # 9284299, 9289351, 9827777.

- for those who want to volunteer for sagip kapamilya: call 4132667/4160387, or go to #13 examiner st., west triangle, QC

- the other address for sagip kapamilya is sct. bayoran corner tomas morato. look for Girlie Aragon or Jet at 0916-7227806 or 0929-5348176

- this is the REAL SAGIP KAPAMILYA ACCOUNT for your donations: banco de oro #56 300 20111 under abs-cbn foundation. to all those spreading fake accounts, please naman..


- DLSU along taft avenue will be accepting any and all kinds of donations starting 830AM.

- csb alumni also accepting donations at 9/f dls-csb school of design and arts building, along pablo ocampo street, vito cruz.

- UST is also accepting your donations, proceed to the Tan Yan Kee Student Center.

- donations can be dropped off at victory church in malate, call 5221212 or visit the victory website.


- MEGATENT, Meralco Ave, Ortigas beside Renaissance: need more volunteers and donations! Very big space! Open 24 hrs til Friday!

- according to @margaga, poveda school (beside galleria) opens 9AM tomorrow and is open to all volunteers and any kind of donations.

- according to @angel21kawaii, CFC Center in Ortigas is receiving donations in cash or in kind. Call (02)7270682-87 or 09195359036.

- donations can be dropped off at victory church in ortigas, contact 6311212 or visit the victory website.


- GAWAD KALINGA is accepting volunteers and donations, base is RFM gym in pioneer. Contact Raul Dizon 09178888109 and Felice Caringal 09178888304. for other GK sites you can help out, check out this blog.


- White Space in Pasong Tamo ext. / Chino Roces is in need of volunteers to pack goods

- you can drop of your donations at Assumption College, San Lorenzo Village, Makati

- you can drop off your donations at the following stores in rockwell powerplant mall: aranaz, luca, greyone social.

TAGUIG or FORT area:

- donations can be dropped off at victory church in the fort, you can call 8171212 or visit the victory website.

- you can drop off your donations in embassy superclub in the fort.


- @elizabacud shares that Manila Doctors College will also be accepting donations. Bring anything that can help at Speech Lab., Macapagal Blvd, PasayCity


- La Salle Greenhills, Xavier School, and ICA (right beside Xavier) are also accepting donations. Xavier will be accepting goods till 12midnight.


- Help needed in Fairview and Novaliches. Please send clothes, food, water, meds & blankets to the Divine Savior Parish in North Fairview.

SOUTH (alabang, las pinas, paranaque):

- drop donations or volunteer at DE LA SALLE ZOBEL. Contact Ms. Angie Brazan at the Social Action Office 0917-8597602

- you can drop donations at the ATC concierge, call 8422782 or 7721860

- san beda alabang in alabang hills village is also accepting donations

- you can help pack donations 10AM at st. james church, ayala alabang village

- you may volunteer at Red Cross Alabang - ATC along Zapote Road fronting National Bookstore call 8097131 for info

- CFC center in Las Pinas City is accepting donations. it is near Verdant and in front of the construction of SM Center Las Pinas. Contact 09174493154 / 8460809

- There are two new drop-off points for relief goods. Recipients will be various areas, including flooded ParaƱaque & Muntinlupa areas. You can get in touch with Jeff Tagle (09178875824) and Katrina Villareal (09175298332) respectively for details.


- donations can be dropped off at the ABSCBN Baguio Office

- donations are also accepted at the Baguio Convention Center Executive Room from 10am til 4pm starting tomorrow til Friday. Volunteers are urged to come.

- Organizing a soup kitchen. Baguio donating vegetables to arrive via Victory Liner. Contact Dave at 09178396179.


- RedCross bulacan accepts donations. It is located in Malolos Bulacan, near bulacan capitol :)


- send your donations to the kkp office in xavier university, ATENEO DE CAGAYAN.


- DLSU-Dasmarinas is also accepting donations, pls proceed to the 2nd floor of SBC Building


- DE LA SALLE LIPA is now accepting your donations, drop off point is at the college lobby.


- details on how you can donate are on noelle's blog or the living for a cause blog.


- For your donations, drop off center is at the Coliseum in the University of St. La Salle. 435-3857

- CAFE BREIZH wil be a drop off center for donations. text 09193651101 for details.


- ATENEO DE DAVAO is accepting in kind donations for ondoy. drop off at the samahan office in jacinto campus.

- BANTAY BATA 163 davao located at matina,davao city is also a drop off point for any in-kind donations.


- ATENEO DE ZAMBOANGA is accepting donations. You may bring them to the SACSI office. Look for Alma Curesma, 991-0871, loc 2224 or 2225.

for PETS in need of aid:

- @kimmydeleon is announcing that PARC is open for animals. Click this site for info of PAWS for helping from the flood. for the official website of paws, click here

for those in SINGAPORE:

- dropoff for relief goods is @ airfreight lucky plaza #03-09. can call 62351011, they are open up to 7pm.

- pinoys are mobilizing and gathering donations, visit this forum for more details.

for those in SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA:

- you can deliver relief goods to 303/5 Stromboli Strait, Homebush Bay 2127. you can also contact through twitter at @allorange if you want to arrange for a pick up in the city

for those in CANADA:

- TORONTO - pinoys are spearheading efforts to help, visit this website for details.

- WINNIPEG - the Philippine Community Centre of Manitoba here in Winnipeg Canada started to raise money for the victims today

for those based in BELGIUM:

- from @SayChiz, they can contact Shiera Catalan at +32485328811 if they want to donate goods for typhoon relief

for anyone in the UNITED STATES:

- you can call the ABS-CBN US Helpline at 1-800-5272820 to know how you can help

- also, you can donate through the kapuso foundation site:;

- with your credit card, donate via the the abs-cbn foundation:;

- CALIFORNIA - Island Pacific Supermarket is gathering donations to be shipped to the Philippines

for anyone else ABROAD who wants to help:

- you can donate through the paypal account link on this site:;

- the official website of the PHILIPPINE RED CROSS has a complete listing of how you can donate to them:;

- the ayala foundation is also accepting your donations through their website:;

- you can donate through the kapuso foundation site:;

- you can use your credit card to donate via the the abs-cbn foundation:;

- donate rice through the UN's World Food Programme through their official website:;


NEED TO SEND YOUR DONATIONS? Mail & More, FedEx & Air21 outlets are now accepting donations. For locations please call 8794789 or log to their official website:;

PAL IS OFFERING FREE AIRLIFT FOR DONATIONS. for details, click on the pal website:;


marikina - 09209389914
qc - 09216555262
pasig - 09189356318
cainta - 09175606241.

DATABASE OF ONDOY VICTIMS AND EVACUATION CENTERS: click on the ateneotaskforceondoy website:;

FOR CAR TOWING NEEDS: HONDA and NISSAN offer free towing! call 09228504452, 09224452242, and 09228997959.

DONATIONS ON WHEELS!! if you have donations to give but no means to transport, contact 09189791229, 09177974098, 09326991794. don't worry guys, this is not a scam! its by friends of @jiggycruz!

WANT TO OFFER YOUR MEDICAL SERVICES? please submit your name and contact details to Dr. V. Gisbert 0917-8922807 and Dr. J. Sinon at 0917-5261345