Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Be responsible

The low pressure area is predicted to continue to approach the country, near Mindanao, on Wednesday and move toward central and northern Luzon by Friday.

That particular image was shot at around 7 am today, September 29. That means it's just around 15 minutes ago.

Bad news is that there's a low pressure area approaching Philippine territory that could potentially develop into a storm. I believe we have not fully recovered with Ondoy yet and having this new LPA around just makes relief operations worse. Actually when I saw CNN's footage yesterday, there were 2 LPAs. But let's not all be nega, potential good news is that it could be whiffed off to some deserted island somewhere or it could just plainly disappear or PAGASA's forecast just remains a forecast.

Yeah most people are mad at PAGASA. Some say they've lost their credibility, but it's better to prepare for the worst. If PAGASA forecasts a downpour especially in areas where you live, act on it. Don't wait to learn if it's true or not. I'd rather have false alarms based on calculated forecasts than no forecasts at all.

One thing is for sure, let's all be prepared.

1. Collect Emergency numbers:
These are your life supports just in case you might need assistance in tight situations. Store them in your phones and always keep a print out.

NDCC (Natl Disaster Coordinating Council) - 912-5668, 911-1406, 912-2665, 911-5061. Help hotlines: 734-2118, 734-2120
Phil. Natl Red Cross - 527-0000
Your neighbors' phone numbers
Your Baranggay Office's number or Village emergency group
Your municipality's phone number
Hospital emergency number
Fire Department
Police Department
ABS-CBN / GMA (Media Helps)
Office Emergency numbers (Your organizations may have the capability to organize a rescue operation of their employees)

2. Secure documents in and preferably "water proof" places/safe.

3. Assess the strength of your house. Fix what needs to be fixed. If your street is bound to be flooded, coordinate with some relatives or friends with safer zones on where to park your cars. I offered Mitch our space to park their cars in case a storm hits again. Their street area is low and prone to floods.

4. Have an evacuation plan in mind just in case something comes up, you know where to go and how to get there.

5. If you have PETS, plan an evacuation site for them. Don't just leave them around. These have lives too. (This breaks my heart, I know some who have lost their pets from Ondoy floods).

6. Have a disaster supply kit. STOCK up on the ff:

Water - 1 gallon daily for one week or 7 days
Non-Perishable goods - good for at least a week
*canned goods
*instant noodles
*cooking tools/fuel
*packed juices
*food for kids
*finger/snack foods with long shelter life
*paper plates / plastic utensils
Blankets / Pillows
*rubber shoes
Special Kit
*for elderly/babies
*Medicine for fever, headaches, LBM and pain killers
*Alcohol, antiseptic, bandage
*anti-itch lotion, anti mosquito bites
*toothbrush / toothpaste
*wet ones
*Cellphone chargers
Cash / Credit Cards
Pet Supplies
*Named leash
*Pet food, water, dish


8. Be charitable. If you feel someone needs help, assess your situation and then reach out.

9. Secure your cars. Remember, STORMS/QUAKES are "natural disasters" most if not all insurance companies DO NOT cover this.

10. Pray. Then help others.

We've seen what ONDOY did to this country. I just hope we all know now what to do if ever there is a "next time." Let's not blame and be negative about the shortcomings of others. Frankly, it wastes energy and time. Let's just be overwhelmed by the fact that a lot of unexpected good samaritans have stepped up and some are continuously supporting the relief operations for the past few days.

Let's just all be responsible. Responsible for ourselves. Responsible for others.

Monday, September 28, 2009

What a Feeling

I had no plans of spending or doing something extraordinary today. Fine, I was at the office at 6 am sharp and attended classes at the gym, hardly remarkable. But surprisingly a spirit came over me, something good and something moving. During lunch, upon seeing the news clips, I knew I had to do something. Practically a nobody and literally broke, I did almost what I thought was impossible.

I finished my work and quickly left the office at 4 pm. I took my car and asked Mitch to meet me at SM Makati. I just said I wanted to donate, but did not divulge anything specific. I parked at Glorietta and quickly shuffled my ass to the grocery where it was considered so crowded at 4:30 pm. I took a cart and surrendered.

In time of need, what are the things that would comfort me, but at the same time prove convenient to transport? I quickly bought boxes of juice drinks. I searched for drums of biscuits. I bought loads of packed noodles and bought toddler foods. Before I knew it, my bill skyrocketed to heaven knows where. God knows how much deep I am on credit, but for some reason it didn't matter. I know that I would eventually pay for those things anyways and it's just a small price to pay for being kept safe.

Upon reaching the counter, I saw respectable guys in barong unloading boxes of noodles, milk and such. Some mothers were buying their own grocery items and at the same time spending extra for packed goods to donate. Almost everyone I saw there knew they had a responsibility. Thanks to these good spirits, noodles and sardines were immediately out of stock. Milk, breads and rice were in high demand. All the clerks there knew we were on a donating spree. It made me feel lighter, no matter how small my efforts, I knew what I bought will go far.

To tell you honestly, it's the greatest feeling in the world. Doing the effort of buying relief goods, paying for it with your own money and taking that personal decision to share and help beats any opium of happiness and fulfillment. I felt like I was a millionaire with how I spent, but nothing beats the knowledge that the items will go far, will feed families and will comfort people somehow. Screw waiting so long on the line. Screw the unforeseen expense. It was a no brainer, but ended up to be one of the most remarkable feelings in the world.

Donate whatever, whenever and however you can. My sister, a fresh grad and jobless, is somewhere in Fort packing goods. She is sharing her time and energy. Others share their talents to rescue people and get the message across. Others share their resources. I suggest you to try it.

There is no excuse NOT to help. You won't regret it.


No excuse NOT to help

It hit me hard and I'm ashamed that it took me a whole day to sink it all in. Thanks to the continuous footages on TV and images I see on the net, it moved my butt to do something, how small, how late.

As most of my friends know I love the rain. I see it as a blessing and a sign of comfort. I don't whine about it and curse storms passing through this country. It's a part of life and it's always going to be a part of living here. I just go as far as hope that everyone can endure the inconveniences (damages) it may bring. My sentiments had not changed when Ondoy landed in Central Luzon.

I must admit that I am in a different situation when Ondoy struck Manila. Believe me, I'm in a COMPLETELY different vantage point. I live in a sturdy home with loved ones that I could always count on emergency cases like this. I live in a city in which flood is not really a main concern. My street has never been flooded. We had continuous supply of electricity. We had good food supplies. Our cable and internet connection were never interrupted. In short, Ondoy just started out as a typical storm for our family. Until we saw the news, pictures and had already been keen on the observation that we were witnessing the heaviest rainfall in Manila in 40 years. We knew Manila was going to be flooded with lots of people evacuated. The magnitude eventually got worse and we were down to offering sympathy and praying that all of this would end soon and people would endure it.

But it rained hard and non-stop that day. Frankly it was surreal. Manila's not used to this kind of stuff. This usually happens in far flung areas where (I think ) they are more used to handle it. According to reports, the continuous 6 hours of rain already amounted to a month's rainfall here in the Philippines. As expected, thousands of people were evacuated. The rivers were overflowing with strong current and people perished. Poor people, rich people, main thoroughfares or private villages, no one was spared.

Places like Marikina, Cainta, Rizal and somewhere up north were attacked the hardest. These cities resembled Venice only with muddy water, no electricity, no transportation, no food and no shelter. Dogs went missing. Properties and cars were destroyed. People got sick and some died. You name it. Ondoy left a mark in us.

My heart cries out to those people who were affected. It's not a very happy thought seeing your cars and houses submerged in muddy water. It's also not funny being exposed to rain and killing time in your own roof. Honestly, I couldn't imagine myself enduring such things. It would be very depressing, tiring and very dangerous. Seeing rich people, poor people, old citizens and children walking the shoulder-high dirty waters is enough to make my heart cringe. Popular roads and places instantly transformed to rivers. Visions of cars twirling and dancing helplessly leaves a bad humor. I may not be personally exposed to these nor do I have friends and relatives affected, but the images are enough to make me move and feel the responsibility, as someone who was blessed enough to be spared, to share and offer any assistance that I could.

The homily at yesterday's mass struck me and it took me this whole morning to realize that my sympathy and prayers need actions. No matter if I'm a Catholic, Christian or not. It doesn't matter if I am not rich. Nobody cares if my efforts may be small. What matters is that I acted. That as a HUMAN I fulfilled that silent responsibility to answer to those who are in need.

That's definitely what I'll be doing, no matter how hard, how late and how small. Let's not wait to imagine what it would be like when we are in that position. Helping through donations and actions are needed. I know that actions out of sympathy shouldn't be coereced, but it took me this long to figure out that actions are really needed at these kinds of situations. For us humans, it should be the simplest and most normal thing to do.

The following are reposts from other blogs (royalflare.wordpress)

Just in case you may want to know how you could help please see below:

Rescue Operations

National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) (+632-9125668, +632-9111406, +632-9115061, +632-9122665) Help hotlines: (+65 734-2118, 734-2120) ndcchelpdesk@gmail.com

Philippine Coast Guard (+632-5276136)
Air Force (+63908-1126976, +632-8535023)
Metro Manila Development Authority (136)
Marikina City Rescue (+632-6462436, +632-6462423, +632920-9072902)
Pasig Rescue Emergency Number (+632-6310099)
Quezon City Rescue (161)
San Juan City Hall Command Post (+632-4681697)
Bureau of Fire Protection Region III (Central Luzon) Hotline: (+63245-9634376)
Senator Dick Gordon (+639178997898, +63938-444BOYS, +632-9342118, +632-4338528)
Senator Manny Villar (+639174226800. +639172414864, +639276751981)
Cainta Mayor Ramon Ilagan (+632927-2204744/ +632-6650846)
Marikina Mayor Maridel and Mr. Ramon Santiago: (+632917-3221951/ +632920-9389914)
Civil Society/ Media

Philippine National Red Cross (143, +632-5270000)
Philippine National Red Cross Rizal Chapter operations center hotline: (+632-6350922, +632-6347824)
Go to GMA Facebook page & post complete addresses and names of people in need of immediate help.
ABS-CBN Typhoon Ondoy Hotline: (+632-4163641)
Jam 88.3: (+632- 6318803) or SMS at JAM (space) 883 (space) your message to 2968
GMA Kapuso Helpline: (+632-9811950-59)

All calls for help, please help us by filling out information here at the Rescue InfoHub Center.

Sahana Disaster Management System needs IT volunteers. http://sahana.kahelos.org. Email sahana@kahelos.org.


Rubber Boat, 4×4 Trucks, Chopper Requests

NCRPO (+632-8383203, +632-8383354)
Private citizens who would like to lend their motor boats for rescue please call emergency nos: +632-9125668, +632-9111406, +632-9122665, +632-9115061)
You can also text (+632917-4226800 or +632927-6751981) for rescue dump trucks.
For those who are able to lend 4×4 trucks for rescue: Please send truck to Greenhills Shoppng Center Unimart Grocery to await deployment, Tel No. (+632920-9072902).
Petron & San Miguel Corporation are lending choppers for rescue operations, call/text: (+632917-8140655) ask for Lydia Ragasa
Power Supply

Meralco (+63917-5592824, 16211, +63920-9292824) If you want service cut off to your area to prevent fires and electrocution.
Relief Aid and Donations

URGENT: ——————————————————————————————————————————

Donations of heavy duty flashlights needed for rescue operations in Cainta area. Contact Cielo at (+632918-8824356)


Businesses/ Commercial Establishments

7-11 stores
Alabang Town Center drop off goods at the concierge. For inquiries, please call (+632-8422782 or +632-7721860).
Aranaz Stores in Rockwell & Greenbelt is accepting donations of any kind for Payatas communities affected by Ondoy
Binalot at Greenbelt 1, call Tetchie Bundalian at (+632922-8573277)
Brainbeam Events, Inc. 2/F MB Aguirre Cornerhs Bldg,15 Pres Ave cor Elizalde Sts, BF Homes Paranaque across the old Caltex in BF. Will accept relief goods.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will be accepting canned goods, water, clothes, blankets, towels, medicine, and emergency supplies (no cash) in all our branches on behalf of the victims of Typhoon Ondoy starting today until Friday. Your generosity wi…ll be much appreciated during this difficult time for our brothersand sisters in need.
Fantastik Manila – send donations to 5729 Calasanz St. Barangay Olympia Makati City Telephone Numbers +632-7290530 or +632-5017405
Jollibee branches in Metro Manila – drop off point
Luca stores (Rockwell, Shang-rila, Eastwood, or GA towers): Send your old clothes & donations (no cash pls).
Manor Superclub, Eastwood City will accept goods and other emergency items starting Sunday at 10 am.
Ministop IBARRA (Espana cor. Blumentritt, Sampaloc Manila) is also accepting relief goods, Food (non-perishable goods only) Clothing, Medicines, Beds, Pillows, Blankets, Emergency Supplies to help Typhoon Ondoy victims.
Moonshine boutique in Rockwell also accepting relief good to help Ondoy victims in Marikina and Cainta.
Myron’s Greenbelt will accept relief goods
Papemelroti stores in 91 Roces Ave. / Ali Mall Cubao / SM City North EDSA / SM Fairview / SM Megamall / Glorietta 3 in Makati / SM Centerpoint / SM Southmall are accepting relief goods (canned goods / milk / bottled water / clothes – NO CASH pls.)
Philippine Daily Inquirer – 1098 Chino Roces Ave. corner Mascardo and Yague Streets, Makati City and to any of its classified ads branches, and to any McDonald’s branch within Metro Manila. Donations in kind, such as instant noodles, canned goods, formula milk, blankets and clothes, are urgently needed. Call (+632-8978808 loc. 260) and look for Megi Garcia
PowerPlant Mall accepting donations for ABS-CBN foundation. Dropoff at admin office, P1 level.
Red Kimono restaurants – has branches in Pasig, Pampanga, Quezon City and Taguig City. Will accept canned goods, bottled water, clothing for all ages, basic household items.
R.O.X. – Recreational Outdoor eXchange is accepting donation for relief good for Typhoon Ondoy victims. You can bring it in the store located in B1 building Bonifacio High St., Tel. No. (+632-8564638/39)
Shell gas stations – drop off point
Smart Wireless Centers – SM Fairview, SM North EDSA, Gateway Mall Cubao, AliMall Cubao, SM Megamall, SM Muntinlupa, SM Bicutan, SM Sucat, Festival Mall Alabang, Alabang Town Center and SM Southmall. Will accept cash or goods.
Team Manila stores in Trinoma, Mall of Asia, Jupiter Bel-Air and Rockwell shall be accepting relief goods (Canned Goods, Ready-to-drink Milk,Bottled Water and Clothes) for distribution by Veritas.
Total gas stations- drop off point
Unimart will receive all cash and in-kind donations to be transferred to LSGH Gate 2.
Vivere Suites 5102 Ridgeway Avenue, Fil-Invest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Contact (+632-7717777) for inquiries or drop off at concierge area. Will accept relief goods.
Whitespace 2314 Chino Roces Ave Ext as a Makati drop-off for relief goods.
Government/ Civil Society/ Movements

Victory Fort is opening its doors to those affected by the typhoon. Call 813-FORT.
ABS-CBN through Banco de Oro account number 56300-20111 account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Incorporation
Akbayan’s taking donations, call 433-69-33/433-68-31 to donate or volunteer.
Brgy. San Antonio Bgy Hall near Paranaque City Hall (Sta. Lucia St. corner San Pablo St., San Antonio Valley 1, Paranaque. Drop off point.
Citizens Disaster Response Center (CDRC): Relief goods for typhoon victims being accepted at 72-A Times St., West Triangle, QC. Tel (+632-9299820/22)
Department of Social Welfare and Development donation drop off points: National Resource Operations Center, Chapel Road, Pasay City (Contact: Mrs. Francon Favian) / Quezon City Area Disaster Resource Operations Monitoring and Info Center (DROMIC). Contact Rey Martija or Imee Rose Castillo, Tel Nos. (+632-9517119, +632-9512435) or Assistant Secretary Vilma Cabrera Tel No. (+632918-9345625) / San Rafael corner Legarda Streets, Quiapo, Manila (Contact: Dir. Thelsa P. Biolna, Dir. Delia Bauan Tel Nos. (+632-7348622, +632-7348642)
Kabataan Partylist Drop off donations or volunteer at 118-B Sct. Rallos QC. (+632926-6677163) or kabataanpartylist@gmail.com
Sen. Kiko Pangilinan is accepting donations @ AGS Bldg Annex, 446 EDSA Guadalupe Viejo. Contact Vina Vargas at (+632917-8081247)
Luzon Relief: Donations can be brought to RENAISSANCE FITNESS CENTER, 2nd Floor, Bramante Building, Renaissance Towers Ortigas, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City starting MONDAY (Sept.28) / 9am – 7pm Contact Person: Warren Habaluyas (+632929-8713488) or email at luzonrelief@gmail.com
Marika Bouncers Coop – 95 Malaya St., Malanday, Marikina : will accept donations starting Sept. 28 at 10 AM
Miriam Quiambao drop off point: One Orchard Road Building in Eastwood, or message http://www.twitter.com/miriamq for more details.
Move for Chiz is asking for volunteers and donations at Bay Park Tent, along Roxas Blvd., beside Max Restaurant and Diamond Hotel in Manila, or at Gilas Minipark at Unang Hakbang St., Gilas Q.C.
NoyMar relief Operations: Clare Amador (+639285205508) or Jana Vicente at +639285205499). Drop off for relief donations is at Balay Expo Center across Farmers Market Cubao.
Operation Rainbow (Zac Faelnar Camara) at Ayala Alabang Village needs Canned Goods, Ready-To-Eat Food, Bottled Water, Ready-To-Drink Milk/ Juice, Clothing, Blankets, contact (+632-4687991)
Philippine Army Gym inside Fort Bonifacio or GHQ Gym in Camp Aguinaldo are now distributing donations for Ondoy Victims.
Philippine National Red Cross‘ different ways to Donate.
Red Cross Load Donations: Right now the easiest way to make donations from the seat of your chair is via mobile phone load. The Red Cross Rescue and Relief Operations. Text: REDAMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) or 4483 (Smart)
Relief Efforts for Pasig at Valle Verde 1 Village Park, contact (+632916-4945000, +632917-5273616)
Relief Operations Center at AGS Annex, #446 EDSA Guadalupe Viejo after PET Tower contact Ares at (+632917-8554935) or Rachel at (+632918-9241636)
Sagip Kapamilya hotlines (+632-4132667, +632-4160387) #13 Examiner St. West Triangle, QC. and Scout Mayoran, cor. Morato, near Alex III.
Tulong Bayan hotlines for donations and volunteers are (+632908-6579998) Marilyn, (+632939-3633436) Jenn (+632-9137122, +632-9136254 & +632-9133306).
TXTPower now accepts donations via SmartMoney 5577514418667103, GCash 09179751092 and Paypal http://is.gd/3GvuN
World Vision partners with Phil Coast Guard and kind individuals for relief distribution to 3k families. Call (+632-3747618 local 242) or text (+632917-8623209) to help.
Worldvision Foundation is also accepting donations/volunteers to pack relief goods in QC. For $-donations, BPI:USDacct #4254-0050-08
Religious/ Schools & Universities

Assumption College San Lorenzo is now accepting donations. Please drop them off at the AC guardhouse.
Ateneo de Manila University is now accepting donations for the victims of Ondoy. Donations can be dropped at MVP Lobby. For those stranded/those who need help: To all students who need help or know of people who need help. Please text the name, location, and contact number to (+6329088877166). ATENEO, which is now an open shelter, accepts refugees. Call (+632917-8952792)
Ateneo Law School – Rockwell. Looking for donations and volunteers. 20 Rockwell Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati City. Call (+632-8997691 to 96)
Caritas Manila Office at Jesus St., Pandacan Manila near Nagtahan Bridge (+632-5639298, +632-5639308)
CCF Ortigas St Francis Mall Room 402
CFC Center Ortigas is now open for donations in cash or kind. Call (+632-7270682 to 87) or text (+632922-2542819)
De La Salle University-Manila – The Sagip Metro relief operation will start to accept donation for Ondoy victims starting Monday @ 8:30 am. Please bring goods to the South Gate of DLSU-Manila.
De La Salle Zobel will be accepting donations tomorrow at Gym 5 (Near Gate 7 in Molave St.)
DLSU Medical Center will accept canned goods, blankets, clothes, water. Location is at Congressional Avenue, Dasmarinas, Cavite. Telephone lines are at (+632-8447832) and (+6346-4164531)
Hillsborough Village Chapel – Water, blankets, shoes, and clothes may be sent to Hillsborough Village Chapel in Muntinlupa City. These will go to families whose houses were washed out in the nearby sitios.
La Salle Greenhills for Greenhills/Mandaluyong/San Juan Area, if you want to help out with the rescue and relief operations, you can drop off your donations (clothes, food, etc..) at LSGH Gate 2 or volunteer from 9am to receive, sort, repack the donations.
Our Lady of Pentecost Parish (+632-4342397, +632-9290665) per Gabe Mercado, donations are very much welcome. The Parish is located at 12 F. Dela Rosa corner C. Salvador Sts., Loyola Heights, Quezon City.
Peace Retreat Movement – leave all donations at the Peace Retreat Movement (PRM) office, 2F, Rm. 72L, Christ the King (HS) Bldg. on Wednesday, Sept 30, 12noon
Playschool International in Better Living is open to receive relief goods. Feel free to drop it there for your convenience. No Cash Pls.
Radio Veritas at Veritas Tower West Ave. Cor EDSA (+632-9257931-40)
San Beda College of Arts and Sciences Student Council – accepting clothes, meds, water, canned goods, soap, money, etc.
Santuario de San Antonio Parish – McKinley Road, Forbes Park. Accepting all kinds of relief goods. Contact JJ Yulo or Mike Yuson
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan Task Force Noah, a disaster response arm of the Jesuits, is accepting donations. Please drop it off sa Ateneo Cervini Dorm.
Southville International School and Colleges – will only accept goods. (+632915-5385113, +632915-4151319)
St. James Church Multi-Purpose Hall – Drop off point

St. Pedro Poveda College is now accepting relief goods. call the Social Action Center (+632-6318756 loc. 121)
UA&P Please contact Dae Lee [SEB EVP] at (+632917-8323533) needs donations and volunteers.
UP Sigma Alpha Nu Sorority MANILA – collecting food, water and toiletries. You may drop them off at unit 12-O One Adriatico Place, Ermita Manila or contact (+632917-8857188, +632917-6659948).
UP College of Arts and Letters (CAL) is accepting goods and cash. Donation center at CAL/text (+632929-6454102).
UP Diliman USC is collecting food, clothing and/or cash. Contact TITUS (+632917-8001909), JOSE (+632927-3056607) and TIN (+632915-4906106)
UP’s OVCCA accepting donations of relief goods starting tomorrow. Please help by disseminating this info. Contact (+632-9282947).
Katipunan Avenue. Contact Erica Paredes at (+632917-4741930) — they need bread, packed juice, sandwich filling (tuna, chicken, anything) You can help her make them, deliver the sandwiches to her house, or help her distribute! Call for more details.
Valle Verde Mansions – 135 CAPT. HENRY JAVIER ST. BRGY. ORANBO, PASIG. This is near ULTRA for relief drop-off
Xavier School in San Juan is now accepting donations, please bring to Multipurpose Center (MPC).
Private Citizens

MAKATI: 5729 Calasanz St., Olympia Makati City or call for pick up at (+632-5017405 or +632-7290530) c/o Omel Santos
SOUTH: Accepting relief goods in SOUTH AREA. Please contact Anne at (+632915-2854240)
Karen Ang of Pasig 3 Kagandahan corner Kabutihan Streets, Kawilihan Village, Pasig (+632920-9520900) will forward donated relief goods to Red Cross
Colleen Manabat (Heartrio Prints) of Angeles City will accept bottled water, canned goods, blankets, clothes, medicines from 9 AM to 6PM. Address is Stall 2 MGY Building, 2444 Sto. Entierro St, Sto. Cristo, Angeles City. She will forward the donations to Sagip Kapamilya – ABS-CBN Foundation.
Joseph Castillo of Cebu – will send a 20 ft. container to Manila and is looking for donations from Cebuanos. Get in touch with him through (+6329082368999 or +632932-2117111)
Bianca – will pick up donations from Greenhills/San Juan area. Donate food, medicine, or clothing. Call (+632-4123861, +632927-8436002)
Kelly & Jodge – Colonade Residences, Legaspi St. corner C. Palanca, Makati City. Will accept relief goods.
Omel Santos – 5729 Calasanz St., Olympia Makati City. Call (+632-5017405 or +632-7290530). Drop off point for donations. Also willing to pick up.
RJ Ledesma and friends – call us at (+632917-8131601) for pick of donations. Only relief goods

FRANKLY, YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE NOT TO HELP. Visit your parish offices in the village if all else fails.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Facebook ala Rescue Operations

I'm amazed.

Facebook connects people and it also disseminates information fast.

1. Phone numbers for rescue operations were disseminated.
2. Videos of floods were scattered and shared.
3. Names of relatives, friends and strangers in need were posted.
4. Posting of helpful announcements like cancellation of exams and classes.
5. Traffic and road updates are also shared.

Magaling. This is the positive side of technology. Good thing hindi masyadong mahangin and internet connection's not entirely busted.

Good job.


I slept at 3 am in the morning. While on a Will Smith movie marathon on HBO, I was also busy trying to write and beating my own record in Hotdog Bush in between. I didn't notice the time; and frankly I had so many stored energy because I kept sleeping the whole day. With the cool and gloomy weather, sleeping would be such a no-brainer thing to do.

Ondoy is a particular kind of storm. It signified a specific evil. Unlike Milenyo a couple of years back, Ondoy really didn't have strong winds that littered our streets with branches and leaves. We haven't seen cars damaged by flying objects so far. Our windows didn't rattle that much and the internet connection and cable weren't jammed. But just like in any storm, there were sustained winds, but it wasn't howling the whole day and it wasn't THAT scary. Ondoy has a different kid of scare. Ondoy's arsenal came through HEAVY RAINS. Heavy rains flowed non-stop. It was like the sky collected water vapors for years.

The fine grain and heavy pour of rain already started Friday evening. Even then, it was hard to go home. At the back of my head I knew it will be flooded somewhere soon. When I woke up on Saturday morning, with tons of things planned for the day, the image in my bedroom window made me all cancel it. It was gloomy. Looking out the window, the heavy rains made it hazy. It's the type of rain which forbids anyone to go out. From morning till afternoon, the rain's strength was consistent. There were times when we thought it would wane down only to regain strength again. In our village, some streets were flooded and my sister got stranded. To think that our village is not really flood-prone is scary. It only confirmed our worst fears that mainstream places like Pasig, Cainta and Marikina have shoulder-length floods that forced people to evacuate from their houses. In Facebook, some of my friends kept on reposting Emergency Numbers. Others share their unfortunate situations that forced them to stay in hotels and others transporting their appliances in their second floors then on their roofs.

There are countless images on the net and videos. There were cars dancing in the floods' current while people were squirming to get out. I think this was in UERM and I have friends who are doing their residencies there. That video's been reposted in Facebook. During lunch, my sister took her laptop and showed the infamous video to us and we were just shocked. It was scary. In other blog sites there were pictures of their own roads exclusive villages submerged especially in the eastern parts of Metro Manila. Local shows have been airing their Disaster Coordinating programs encouraging establishments and people to donate.

This morning, I woke up at 11 am and saw sun rays piercing through my windows. It seems Ondoy's gone. Knowing where I am right now and all my loved ones connected, I am thankful that we are all safe. I feel sorry for friends who got stranded and who have relatives and friends in those affected areas. I hope they would be able to carry on after this. My mother is thankful that the heavy rains happened during daytime otherwise it would've been a different story and lots of people would have a harder time evacuating and seeking for help. For those of us who are spared, let's give thanks. As for my brother, since all classes in Manila are postponed, he has that to thank for.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Amidst the Storm

The rain hasn't stopped since last night. Everywhere's flooded. Plans have been canceled. Facebook's screaming with flood status and crazy rain sentiments. My sister called and she got stranded somewhere in the village with the other motorists. I really did not fear. Based from her location, she's near mini-stop...and the important thing is, I think she can swim.

Harvey is snuggled in a rug somewhere in the dirty kitchen. He sleeps on his back like a king.

Nanay's been cooking all day like it's the end of the world.

Ma is in her rocking chair drowning on TV.

Ate Ne is making sure that one of the adults remains sane as she monitors the house.

Unfortunately Mitch was busy taking the flood water out of his car. Despite the car being submerged, it magically started and he's on his way here.

While a neighbor friend of mine, who seriously has a psychological discomfort in staying at home, invited Mitch to accompany him while he cooks.

JD is in his room watching TV and randomly goes to the desktop to play games and surf.

Frankly, if all of us could choose, we'd had a hot chocolate fountain overflowing so that we wouldn't leave our rooms and just converse through IM (which we did). I just hope the internet connection stays okay, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised if it goes kaput.

Good thing that my father is in Roxas City and somehow escaped the heavy rains. Although he's on paranoid mode and keeps calling if we're okay.

In between surfing and sleeping and eating, I'm reading The Pretenders by Sionil F. Jose.

Now, I'm in a better mood to write. But before that, I'm craving for good hot coffee just like the theme of Nescafe's advertisements. Nescafe really made sense with that one. But if I could just drive, I'd love to have a cup of hot coffee at Coffee Bean or Seattle's Best. Stretching up a bit, I want the one I had in Shangri-La Circles or better yet, the Blue Mountain Coffee at UCC, which my father introduced to me. Blue Mountain Coffee is quite expensive for my taste. I wouldn't have cared to order it, but knowing that his daughter is currently a pauper, he treated me one morning and my list of coffee favorites changed. UCC Coffees have unique strong flavors that coffee lovers would definitely love. It's not the usual commercial taste like in Starbucks or Coffee Bean. I can honestly say that Blue Mountain coffee is the best (and most expensive) I've had so far. But of course I would still have to try the other famed coffees in places like Vietnam, Sumatra, Brazil and Ethiopia. Whatever! Nescafe's fine with French Vanilla flavored Coffeemate, as long as there's coffee in this weather.

*Coffee at Shangri-La Circles

Welcome Ondoy

It's only 12 o'clock, but it feels like it's early evening. The sky is absolutely dark that I had to turn on my lamp just to read. The house inside is steady and quiet, but outside is a totally different story. Everyone in the house appears to be in a restful mood finding their own corners to snuggle and wait for the rains to stop, even our dogs. But apparently the rain's just beginning.

According to reports, the storm's still gaining strength to cross towards Western Luzon. Whatever that means, it just means flood all over the metro. I don't really need to log in to weather news sites. I just have to log in to Facebook to see my friends' status on floods and rain emo-whatnot. Majority hates the weather, but you know me. I just love it.

I had tons of things to do today. I had to attend a gym class with colleagues (darn..wahaha). I had a lunch date with a writer-friend. I had decided to reward myself with hot UCC coffee and dessert in the late afternoon and I had a planned date with Mitch. All HAD. All the plans, understandably, HAD to be canceled. Traveling towards the mall is not advisable. I'm not even sure if malls are open. Besides, I suck at driving in the rain. I had a late dinner last night with colleagues at Fort and the initial stages of the storm already manifested. It was raining with moderate winds and it made my visions hazy and the grounds slippery. With my poor eyesight and impeccably dangerous driving skills, it was a miracle that I got home unscathed. When I woke up and saw the worsening weather condition, I knew my destiny for today is to just stay at home. I called up a few people and canceled everything with a steady and happy heart.

This kind of weather is never a problem for me. I embrace being stuck at home. I would immediately pull down the shades in my bedroom and snuggle in my bed. I relish the internet and be drowned by unread literature at the same time. (This goes to proving a point to buy books even if you don't have the present time to read it, you'll never know when you'll have moments like this) I watch cartoons, play computer games until my eyes and hands hurt and most especially I eat with a glowing heart.

Yeah sure, humanity had more things to accomplish today, but nothing beats good rest at home if all diversion fails.

Friday, September 25, 2009

One of those days

I believe I’m having "one of those days" again which usually leave me in a sullen and unfortunate mood. It’s a trickle down effect. During this unfortunate disposition, I cannot control my sentiments. I become super transparent to a fault that slight irritation, annoyance and discomfort are visibly shown in how I act and how I choose my words. My cynical, irritated and hot-tempered mood would eventually repel people, even those who I think have already gotten used to it. During these times I cannot think calmly. I’m like a tidal wave waiting to be released.

I honestly can easily justify why I’m acting like stubborn, transparent bitch sometimes. I have 1001 reasons. Okay, I usually only have a couple of reasons. Nevertheless I believe those reasons are valid in the irrational laws of human life. Hunger, medication, work stress, stagnation, menstruation (I don’t have to get graphic), you do get the gist. But like what they most say, and like what I understand, it doesn’t give me the right to kill the striving cheerful spirit. Also, however I explain it, the world dictates that “enduring bad days” does not permit anyone to become a monster. Okay, so what if I transform to one sometimes? Isn’t that just part of being human?

So I admit that during these unfortunate days, slightest form of irritation and discomfort would really take a toll on me. I don’t hide it, that’s one. I don’t care if I’m with whom or where I am. If I’m irritated, I am irritated. If I’m in an uncomfortable and unfortunate situation in one of those “unfortunate days” I cannot for the life of me smile and engage pleasantly. If I'm in my normal self I still do voice out my opinions but at the same time I can still afford to smile. I compartmentalize the situation and extend my agreeable threshold. But if I'm having bad days, expect me to be holding on to that thin rope of at least being civil and bearable. But however civil and bearable; I still do get cranky, sarcastic and hot-tempered. I am also quite aware that people do get a vibe that I want to destroy the world sometimes. Some people may not understand and get a bit uncomfortable, but I’m in a certain position that I couldn’t care less as long as I don’t find myself hurling something somewhere at someone. I know it will pass and my “sufferings” would have to be released because total repression would drive me more insane. This is how I feel I am being truthful with myself and to the world.

You see, I’m not making excuses that I could morph into something utterly disagreeable. I do apologize if I get people uncomfortable, but I will not apologize and promise that it won’t happen again. Accept the fact that in my life there will be days that I will get cranky and show it. In some days I will get irritated and I’ll do something about it. In some days I’ll be in utmost discomfort and I might retaliate. These are the times that my current situation or disposition forces me to show it to the world. It’s not everyone’s method, but damn sure you’re not entirely human unless you have experienced those “irritatingly bare-naked moments.” And honestly, if I ever I’m in a better disposition and catch someone I know enduring bad days, I know it’s fine that I might not agree with him, but I’m sure I’ll be the first one to understand.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lifestyle Changes 101

They say that if I want to achieve something so difficult I should always put it into writing to deeply internalize it. In this case, I'm blogging.


1. Cut back on unnecessary costs like dining out, unplanned book & accessories shopping.
-I'm already doing this slowly but surely. I plan my dinner invitations well and I exhibit utmost self-control when I immediately want to buy something unplanned. I don't jump to purchase. I wage mental battle first.

2. Enroll in a Fitness regimen even if it costs money. It will feed new activities and outlook in life to achieve a more positive and healthier result.
-Last Friday, September 18, I've already signed life-changing contracts of my life. Hopefully I get to adapt and follow through or it's money down the drain, which will make me end up at the losing end. So, it's all or nothing.

3. Travel. Travel. Travel.
-If there's one thing I'd like to spend and destroy my savings on, it's this. I've already lined up places I want to go to from October 2009 to October 2010. I have friends who support me and family who will "try" to support me all the way. First stop, I'll go back again to the lovely lands of CEBU this October. Couldn't think of a better place to start my traveling escapades.

4. Continuously write, blog and find that creative muse.
-I know I couldn't live without writing and blogging. Forging on. Also, I might need to upgrade my blogsite.

5. No to vices. ALL human vices.
-No more drinking (hardly ever do anyways), no more smoking (will encourage people who matter to me to quit smoking), no to dragging and unproductive late nights. No to binge eating.

6. Cut Credit cards.
-Will work this out. Hopefully by October, I'll have everything cleared.

7. Go love Organic.
-Will support organic products from now on.

8. Be MORE independent from family and friends.
-Will revisit my single-hood roots in doing enriching activities whenever and with whomever I please. I don't just go with the flow. I make them.

9. Learn new more productive things.
-I've been consumed with computer games for the past few months. I've reached a point where I felt I needed to stop before it becomes too unhealthy. I want to learn new things like pottery and learning a new language. I want to be hooked to something positive. The search is on.

10. Choose wisely
- As Nestle's tagline puts it "Choose wellness, Choose Nestle." I believe lifestyle change, above anything, is being able to choose wisely. Choosing what's best, more beneficial, healthier and more productive.

Traveling as a lifestyle.

I seriously want something. I want to travel. And traveling, according to my father, who limits his travel escapades in his hotel room, thinks that it's just an excuse to burn (waste) money. The problem is if there's money to burn in the first place. I have credit card muddles to fix, limited source of income, dwindling savings and apparently more needs. I have to plan and regroup.

Therefore this certain serious desire prompted me to adapt a new lifestyle. I plan to cut down on unwanted costs especially in dining out, which would in event hit two birds with one stone. I could maintain my physical well-being and I could save up. In exchange I have to commit myself to a full year contract with an establishment with no possibility of termination. This is no joke.

If I have successfully adapted this new lifestyle, I could probably check on the possibility of saving. This would entirely support my desire to travel and spend for more meaningful things (like getting a seriously good pair of rubber shoes, I just recently realized). Traveling is something that I really want and really need. It keeps me sane, relaxed, cultured and grounded. This is not something that I want just now for relaxation. I already see it as my personal growth as well. Traveling as a serious hobby, international or domestic, is what I would target from now until next year as part of my lifestyle change program.

Aside from writing, blogging and more fruitful eating, traveling is up there on my list. That is what I greatly aim to do next year while I'm still breathing, slightly capable and independent.

This is it. Lifestyle change to a fit and well-traveled me!

Looping in kegler747.blogspot.com, my official travel guru and consultant.

Friday, September 18, 2009

30th Book Fair at SMX

At almost the same time last year, I dragged Mitch and Nikkon to their own version of personal hell. I manipulated them to go with me to the massive 29th Book Fair held in the modern SMX convention center. Like a kid in a candy store, I was elated. I didn't care if both of them sneaked and just ate at MOA. I was just too happy.

It's a shame now that I wasn't aware of this. It kind of slipped my mind when I'm focused with so many different things. Frankly the last thing I need is another expense, but for books, I think I could adjust a bit.

Special thanks to my best friend Je who reminded me through text the other day. Now, I have to seriously think of revising my budget.

Welcome the 30th Book Fair at SMX Convention. A must for a book lovers out there.

A new Leaf starts today

For this week, I've been slumped with work, not toxic, but quite busier than usual. Everything was manageable, but the schedule and the unforeseen events not really worth mentioning kept me away from blogging for the past few days. Now I'm relishing the start of another yummy long weekend.

This yummy long weekend started today when I made a new lease in life. This is officially the first day of my lifestyle change and I'm seriously clinging to it. No more excuses. No more shortcuts. Just primary pain then eventual bliss if I do it right. Today I had a chance to sign on (literally) contracts upon contracts of commitment that involved me spending lots of monetary resources that I thought I couldn't be able to handle. I admit it was financially painful for me, but I believe this is something that I have to do for myself. There was an automatic hand that made me sign and surrender. At first it was not a priority I immediately recognized, I denied it. But I know that it's something that I have to do for myself...now.

I paid for a one full year of committed relationship with an establishment that would help me achieve a better facet of my renewed lifestyle. I have my complimentary bags, headphones, body books and lifetime pass that could be shared with friends and family. As I signed the contracts and officially starting this new quasi-beginning of mine, I felt I wanted to cry.

With my colleagues supporting me and my family surprisingly agreeing with me on this endeavor, I feel I'm truly blessed for realizing this opportunity. I just hope I can be able to follow through and see results in the near future.

Today is an early start to a loving end, tomorrow is another story, the rest is a wonderful journey.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Joining the other side...

I had a very interesting and inspiring conversation today with colleagues who have gone to the 'good' side. For them to commit to something so hard takes a lot of courage and spirit. It's not easy doing what they do. There's more psychological battles to win than physical, and apparently they are doing well. Some have achieved their respective goals, yet some are still on their way. It doesn't matter. I admire them, winning or trying.

I admit I'm influenced. This is my opportunity to finally do it. I've had enough loopholes and inspirational talks to last me a lifetime.'

This is it. Will be joining the other side soon...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

View my Life nowadays

Our house has been turned into a semi-gaming cafe that permits players to wear day's old pajamas all day long. WI-FI in our house destroyed our already lack of interaction. All of us, having our own laptops. Karla's mac, my dad's old Compaq presario, JD's hand me down Compaq Presario and my reliable HP netbook, we have finally gone our separate ways.

Aside from our personal gadgets we still have two desktops solely for gaming and sometimes surfing while printing on the side. Otherwise, we don't touch it. We know my father would freak out if he finds out that the desktops have been changed to game hubs.

In this workstation is where my brother and I play our random games. Left 4 Dead, SIMS3, SF, Counter strike and Zeus. Sometimes we play together online. We recently find ourselves glued to this spot until...er... 3 in the morning (thanks to SIMS). If I suddenly feel it's not healthy anymore, I go to the nearby room and watch TV or read just to make my day diverse...then go back to playing SIMS again.

My father said I'm entering into another twisted childhood phase. But with good games installed, sustainable gadgets to tinker with and kick-ass net connection, who the hell needs to go out?

Seriously, view my life nowadays. This is it.

The Alien world of Make-up

It's my hobby to read newspapers while eating. Primarily I intended to do that to avoid unwanted conversation, but now I simply must do that to save time. I went through my usual sections and since it's a Sunday, newspapers have more lifestyle and special features added to it. Business sections and headlines take the backseat.

While I was reading the Entertainment sections, cooking and gardening sections, architecture, art and chi-chi birthday bashes of socialites, I came across one particular section with pretty neat close up pictures and visuals. Lo and behold, I'm holding a 5 page section solely devoted to make-up and beautification.

Unbelievable. I saw images of the products with their models and I figured how much money these make-up companies spend for advertisements. They provide selling statements and brief backgrounds of each product and why they think it is a revolutionary breakthrough in mankind's quest for beauty and rejuvenation. Others cannot relate how glorious and important these are, but for most women, it's good rocket science.

From packaging to endorsements to following the recent trends, these products present us the break through secrets that supposed to make them the answers to all our beauty woes and goals. Age defying creams, gels, exfoliating creams, moisturizers with so-and-so chemicals like platinum with a hefty price tag. And I'm not talking about make-up products yet. Make-up is another world on its own. It's where science meets beauty and beauty enhances fashion.

Sifting through the pages, I felt I was reading something out of this world. I felt I was reading chemistry. I simply couldn't relate and my head hurt from too much information. Not one single product I saw there was something that I did use or currently using. Some brand names may be familiar to me from the number of times they've been advertised and from how my beauty expert friends swear by it. But honestly, that section was a challenge for me to decipher.

Make-up products for me is a planet, no a whole lot of universe of challenges and amusement. How can women know which product soothes them with all the ongoing break throughs, brands, colors, textures and even price? I asked my sister who has her own extensive make-up kit and never leaves the house without applying. She says that's the beauty of it. Women don't get to stick to one brand, they have lots of opportunities to try, which means they should buy more until they find out what works for them and it's a lifetime supply from then on until something better comes up. This explains her varying brands in her kit.

Make-up products for me is just too much. Their prices are horrendous. It's something I'm not comfortable spending for. 500 bucks for a lipstick is too much for me, and my sister says with that price it's not entirely the best. What is the best I say? She provided a list in terms of moisture, color and how I genuinely feel when I put it on.

Last December, having had my quarter-life party, my sister urged me to wear make-up since it's an Alter-Ego theme. She gave her time by accompanying me to make-up joints since clearly I wouldn't be able to know what I would be looking for. We went to several stalls in Rustan's and I was just bawled over by the prices. I insisted that I just use her supplies and buy my own sponges, but she urged me that I have to get my own set since our complexion's different and my skin is highly sensitive. I couldn't find myself spending 1,900 bucks for a double-working whatever foundation, so we settled in at the Faceshop in Serendra. The store has an extensive list of products and I overheard from a friend that it's a good brand for the price, and that friend is a make-up artist. I chose the extreme plum color much to the dismay of my sister, and paid 2,500 for everything: lipstick, an eyeshadow, sponges and foundation included. Unfortunately I only used it once, on my birthday, and never saw it again. My sister is the one who uses it, which explains her sudden generosity with her time. I just spent 2,500 for something I used only once and eventually given to my sister as an added gift.

I don't wear make-up at all. Not a balm, not an eyeshadow or lipstick. I don't wear make-up to work, to parties, to night-outs and even to major events unless it's a wedding and I have to be playing a major part. Aside from the fact that I don't wear make-up, I have very manageable beauty regimen, if ever you could call it that. I don't put too much cream, buy expensive soaps, do facials. I'm a soap and water gal so you could just imagine how I got whacked by the euphoria of beauty products that I think I should be using.

Beauty stuff is the least of my priorities, not because my skin is all porcelain and I am the all-goddess who in reality is at the opposite side of the fence. It's just that I have other things to think about; and personally, putting on make-up like putting contacts on, is such a waste of time and energy. I'm lazy I admit. That's why I applaud make-up artists out there and even those who are like my sister and mother who have the time and courage to test products and paint themselves. I couldn't do it if my life depends on it, that's why I have make-up artist friends to lean on to.

Being curious, I list down the products I use for beautification. I might be a hopeless beauty expert, but I do have a regimen, no matter how silly it looks.

1. Soap and water: A Bar of soap I brought from my brother's dermatologist. Acne and oil control soap.
2. Organic moisturizer with calendula and royal jelly: I've decided to go organic. I replaced my Nivea moisturizer and sun block with this organic product which cost less.
3. Organic night moisturizer with banana and royal jelly:
4. NO Make up

5. No Make-up

Er...that's about it. My sister told me I should use a toner, but never got the chance to buy one. Just don't expect me to know and do make-up either because I'm telling you, nothing could prepare you from my supreme lack of knowledge in that area.

So, for now I'll stick to what I have been doing all along and give this newspaper section to my sister. I know she wants this, and she might get to start reading again.

My sister, the graduate

According to my sister, she is already done with school. She just passed her thesis, completed her OJT hours, had a successful exhibit and is now focused to find suitable work. When she says suitable, she means high paying, convenient work hours and location, a place of growth and company prestige. She is by far more ambitious than I.

I am ambitious, but I try to incorporate real life bulls*hit as much as I can. Which means I dream and act within reality. I know this is not ideal, but for me this is the way I'm comfortable with. My personality limits me anyways. I don't like interactions so I'm doomed for business. I'm not artistic and creative either. I am a paranoid type of person and most of my efforts and resources are for precautions. It is only now that I tend to spend and enjoy, but eventually got burned and I'm still learning the ropes. I like what most people don't. I like schedules. I like pressure. I like research and analysis. Less interaction, the better. I've been working for almost 7 years in an industry that is practically not kind in terms of salary bracket. In fact, in my case I should already be thankful. A lot of people I know in the same industry are in a worse situation. The fact remains that I can depend upon myself. I pay for my own things and entertainment. I get to travel and I get to share it with people given the mood is right. But according to my sister, that is not enough.

She aims a condo unit after she works in a couple of years. I aimed for it too, but never got around the practicality of living in my parents' new house. I thought I might as well save and get it when I'm more able flawlessly. My sister, being always the headache of my parents when it comes to her extra curricular activities, sees owning a condo unit ASAP is her ticket to freedom. While I think of what car to buy next year, a suitable Asian car that works but is known to be affordable, she calmly aims for Volvo and nothing less. She does this while she drives her Honda City.

I always smirk at her immediate goals while she bashes me for not being able to take the plunge in anything. She wants me to take risks, be open and network, but I'm not like that. I'm never like her. I smirk silently because I've been out there and it's hard. But I take into consideration that her personality and industry are so extreme than mine. While I settle for learning and fulfillment over monetary rewards, she aims for both with monetary rewards edging higher. While I settle for something practical, she aims for something luxurious. While I get comfortable in schedules, research and paperwork, she eyes for flexibility, multi-projects and creativity. It may be hard in the world I know, but considering her personality and industry, what she plans for herself may be reasonable enough.

There aren't any graduation ceremonies yet, but I doubt if she would attend. As of this moment, she says she already sets eyes on two opportunities to work on a magazine publication. This is aside from her freelance work of course. Being a graduate of multi-media, she specializes in graphic arts, video editing, photography, complicated adobe, web layouts, and all other media work. Lots of avenues may open up.

Years back when she didn't know what to get in college, she was groomed for accountancy or medicine. My parents aimed for her what didn't work for me since she is way better in math and her grades have always been consistent. But the personality hungers for something else, and it is where she found it in multi-media, business and creativity combined.

I just hope she uses whatever she's learned and use it well. No doubt it's going to be hard out there, but knowing her, she could withstand it while taking risks. In the meantime, since she won't be doing any more schoolwork, she would serve as the temporary driver at home, until someone gets hired. Nice timing indeed.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Just a thought.

I was talking to a colleague the day after Noynoy announced his intention to run for President. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this. A part of me feels that the candidacy is premature. There is no question that he has experience and he has the heart and will to serve, but there's still that anxious feeling somewhere that he might just be overwhelmed with the whole idea and support. I would've been more confident if he ran for Vice President or his decision didn't come in as a spur of a moment. I don't even know his specific platform or agenda. It's good that he's kindhearted, smart and not corrupt, but are those enough?

My colleague also has reservations about him running for President, but she admitted that he has a good chance in winning. With what she sees, the country apparently needs is an uncorrupted individual who has an equally strong experience in governance. What we also need is an articulate president who could best represent this country and create avenues for development. If there's no powerful reason why he can do this, there is also no specific reasons why he cannot. He is educated, experienced, well-supported and a nationalist. Noynoy has if not average, but impressive qualifications. But it's no question that his major selling points are being certified incorruptible and an offspring to the two powerful and positive political figures this country has ever known. Maybe we don't need old, utterly experienced and savvy candidate. Maybe what this country needs is just someone like him.

But if he does win, he has a lot to live up to. The support might turn into grand expectations. This is where his personal conviction should hold him down. The pressure will be intense much more if you're Noynoy. I just hope he can withstand everything. We'll just have to see.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Harvey the Ruffian

Thomas Jordache is one of the main characters of the novel (Rich Man, Poor Man) I'm currently reading. He is the black sheep of the family. He likes to fight senseless fights and he doesn't care what other people think. He is fearless to a fault and he never backs down.

Harvey reminds me of him these days.

Harvey, my Jack Russell Terrier not-a-pup-anymore, is like purposely getting himself into fights and acts like he doesn't care and learn. It's true that his breed is known to be mischievous, energetic, assertive and playful. He is a smart dog and he is very determined in getting what he wants. He never backs down from a good rough play and he's not scared of dogs thrice his size. Like a courageous nutcase that he is, I still assumed that he can still feel pain and he will learn when and how to behave himself in the presence of other dogs. Other dogs automatically observe and restrain themselves when interacting with other dogs. They learn to avoid if the situation's not ideal anymore, but not Harvey.

After his usual morning play with our bigger, more passive dog, he came home with another visible scratch on his nose. The blood had dried up and he wagged his tail for treats as if he was sporting a new battle scar and he deserved a reward. He played and wandered like he didn't care. The maid saw how he provoked the bigger dog and as usual it was Harvey's fault.

This dog doesn't learn. He's a war freak and a ruffian like Thomas. I wonder how Thomas would end up in the novel.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Rich Man, Poor Man

I'm currently reading Rich Man, Poor Man by Irwin Shaw. I bought it a month ago in a Books for Less Store just near our office. It was a random, no-thinking process except for the fact that the first paragraph caught me. Just like the works I've read that were written by Susan Howatch, The Rich are Different and Wheel of Fortune, this type of material does not fail to entice me. It's ironic that a person, who's not a fan of watching dramatic soap operas, likes to read soap operas in rich epic-style novels. Personally, all the failures, the rise, the retributions for me are so nicely and intricately described in written form. Probably this is my kind of soap opera.

I always find myself drawn to this kind of material especially those with post-war settings. The rise from poverty to milking the once-booming Wallstreet. Tainted relationships seeking retribution and revenge. The tragedies, failures and victories. Lunches, the wonders of New York and afternoon martini's. From first generation to third generation. All the elements of creating perfect soap operas are there. No wonder these types of books are distinctively thick. Also it takes a lot of effort to develop and write characters, situations and relationships in an epic novel without appearing to be boring and lame. Susan Howatch is good at this, now I'm liking Irwin Shaw too.

The main characters are the Jordache siblings set after World War 2 in the re-growing New York. Rudolph Jordache, the sleek, industrious, diligent, smart and ambitious brother. Gretchen, the pretty, sensual, independent, strong willed and harlot sister. Thomas, the black sheep, the the courageous, the heartless and ill-fated brother. The story revolves around the three of them and how they continuously strived to meet their goals, their aspirations and their dreams in the time of booming richness and opportunities. The novel describes the evolution of their relationships with each other and the confrontation of skeletons in their closests.

Despite the story's scope, intricacies and magnitude, it's not boring for me. It's written well and it's faced paced. I should know.

When my boss saw me reading the novel during lunch, she confessed that she was able to follow the ABC TV adaptation of the novel. In fact, she loved the soap opera. She now assumes that it must be better on written form. Without watching the ABC TV adaptation, I agreed.

After Noynoy made the statement...

I have a story that took place right after Noynoy made the official statement the whole nation had been anticipating. The story is going to be either funny or annoying, you decide.

One gloomy morning, a daughter wakes up, obviously late than usual, and turned on the computer to continue playing a game she's currently addicted to. While having breakfast of cold slice bread and pineapple juice, she sets her alarm to make sure she gets ready before lunch for work. She then resumes playing. A few moments later, just after Noynoy Aquino proclaimed his candidacy in the 2010 Presidential Elections (hwat??!), there was a squabble. The stillness of the household was disturbed by plastic chairs furiously touching concrete, a house dog barking and an on-site witness seeking for help. Apparently there was a sudden fight in the dirty kitchen.

While the daughter at this time was still oblivious of the ruckus, mistress of the house hurriedly answered the witness' cry for help. Upon reaching the screened door of the dirty kitchen, the mistress of the household saw the other female maid touching the leftmost area of her forehead. The witness tried to provide a quick narration. While the narration was going on, the mistress noticed that the family driver, a man with average built and age, was at the opposite side of the room breathing heavily and looking pale as ever. The mistress followed the driver's gaze and it landed at the fiery pair of furious eyes of the other maid. The mistress knew there was a squabble.

According to the witness report, the maid was nagging the driver to do his job well. It was heightened when the head of the house was about leave that morning and required assistance from transferring effects from one car to another. Instead of the swift response of the driver, who should have secured the task as his, the female maid was the one who eventually did the task. It did not prepare the driver of what he would be hearing after. After the morning rush, it was during their early breakfast that the maid, being a natural nagger and a sharp tongued maiden that she is, did not fail to voice out her disgust, frustration and anger at the driver that was never in her good graces. The whole household knows of this unhealthy relationship brewing under one roof that it was common to hear nasty side comments of each other, most especially against the silent, yet steaming driver. This morning wasn't any different until the rumble came into place.

The driver, upon hearing hurtful words thrown against him yet again, did not find the usual humor and restrained temperament he had before. He quickly lunged at the bickering maid. Upon seeing his furious attack, the witness tried to mitigate as the targ
eted female maid stepped back for defense, but without any sense of cowardice. But the defense came in too short when the clenched male fist landed on the strong maid's forehead. The sudden release of negative energy was enough to make the driver realize his unfortunate actions as he stepped back to regain his composure. The injured maid, who was surprised of the sudden outburst, was nursing the localized pain without taking her fiery eyes off him. His aura changed from anger to regret while the hatred of the female maid intensified. The witness tried to seek hepp and distracted her from retaliating.

Actually it was not a shock for the mistress to know the distaste between the driver and the maid, yet the mistress was bothered to know that a physical attack had taken place in her abode. She quickly demanded the driver to explain. The driver, still recollecting his senses, admitted his fault that he should never have laid hands on anyone, most especially a woman. The mistress stressed that unwanted stress and disagreement do not warrant any physical attack. Verbal attacks are hurtful, but may be put to a halt by seeking proper assistance. The pain may be severe, but it's not physically impairing. Physical attacks are of a different nature. It is a life threatening gesture.

The driver, feeling the disgust with what he did, left the house immediately to cool off thus leaving his tasks behind. The injured one took the time to tend to her wound, but still nurses the intensifying hate against the man who hurt her in a manner that is not acceptable.

The daughter, upon hearing the sudden turn of events, was tasked to do the errands the driver was supposed to do. She picked up her brother from school, tried to help release destructive energy from the injured one, which inevitably gave her more reason to take a leave from work.

The driver still hasn't come back yet while the strong-willed, now-nastier-version-injured-maid is back to doing her tasks as if nothing happened. The seas have calmed...for now.
I wonder what will happen if they set eyes on each other tomorrow now that their relationship has gone sour for the worst.

The end.

Whenever I hear this story on the spot, I'd crack. It seems funny that two adults are fighting like cats and dogs and eventually took it physical like younger elementary kids would do. The images do not reconcile, hence the comedic set-up. It is also funny that a maid and a driver, working under the same house, yet with different kinds of profession, should find the reason to attack each other even though neither one is above the other. And the mere fact that a punch that landed against the bickering maid eventually caught her spicy tongue. It is pathetically funny.

Yet this is a serious matter. It just shows how unhealthy and uncooperative their relationship is that might eventually bring more trouble for the household to sort out. Please, we don't need other people's stress. It is also freaky since a physical attack had taken place. Both individuals involved are strong willed. Who knows if they would find themselves in the same heated situation in the future, that neither of them would attack, fight back and find themselves in the emergency rooms. Witnessing the dark side of their characters, are the other members of the household still considered safe? Clearly there are necessary precautions and lots of counseling sessions to be done. If nothing works, sadly one of them has got to go.

Is that the only reason why the fight took place, you ask? I jest that it was not. I believe they have divided views on Noynoy's candidacy. Yikes like me! But unlike the physical squabble, the idea of Noynoy running is not funny.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rough Tuesday morning

It's going to be a rough morning for me. The lack of energy, proper mental stimulation and spirit could even dog me the whole day. In short, I lack decent sleep. Take note of the word decent.

I spent the whole night and a couple of hours after midnight playing SIMS 3. As if I'm genuinely surprised about that. I had unconsciously prepared myself the whole evening for it. While dining out with Mitch last night, I felt the sudden itch to go home like I had to do something really important that it could not wait. He didn't have to guess why I was so eager to go home. He knew that partly I miss Harvey. It was also never my character to dine out only to find the need to go home and rest. I'm not a TV person either and unless there was a new book that I wanted to finish, there is only this one thing that anchors me home. SIMS.

After dinner, I found myself getting a large coffee with extra shot to prepare for a long night as if I'd be making my thesis. Normally I'd retire at around 11 pm, but ended up making my second complicated SIMS house at 12 am without feeling fatigue or drowsiness. I said to myself that by 12:30 am I would have to log off and try to sleep, but magically two hours had passed by. If not for my sister's probing to use the desktop I would've gone on until dawn.

The hassle part of the whole story was I, already wearing my pajamas and lying comfortably in bed, couldn't sleep flawlessly no matter how I tried. I slept lightly. Faint sounds or movements would snatch me away from Lala-land. In fact I forced myself to stage my own Lala-land in the event that my mind gets tired. I forced myself to dream of silly things, counted sheeps even only to be awaken repeatedly. I began to sleep at 3 am then would wake up at 3:30, then wake up again at 3:45 and even peeked at 4:30. It was a cheap attempt to sleep and it was not close to decent. My alarm eventually woke me up at 5:55.

As I make this post, I wonder how my mind would be useful for analyzing when it's not fully rested. The long weekend was supposed to recharge me, but for the past couple of days, I only infused myself with food to compensate for the lack of decent sleep. That's hardly the plan at all.

This morning I struggled getting up, getting dressed and feeling like a zombie as I walk in our corporate halls. I would definitely try my best to be attentive and to be mentally alert. I don't know how, but caffeine seems to be a temporary and accessible answer. AllI can do is to try my best to operate normally until I'd get that real uneventful sleep, which I doubt will happen tonight unless I'm physioloically defeated and SIMS gets corrupted of course.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Rainy days and Mondays

It's raining hard in Manila again just the way I like it. After a quick stop at the office I went to Greenbelt to celebrate the delightful Monday with my favorite coffee concoction in my favorite table in Coffee Bean, but I guess almost everyone had the same idea. All sockets have been utilized and much worse, I couldn't find a decent table at all. I scanned Starbuck's, Seattle's Best, Starbuck's Fully Booked, Figaro and Cafe Breton, but zero. I was this close to joining Mitch in Bubba Gump, but fearing I might order something that I shouldn't, I continued my search. I needed a place that is relaxing enough, where I could eat a promising snack and a place I wouldn't overindulge in.

Cafe Bola's closed. Marciano's too much risk so that's out. Further walking led me to FUZION instead. Good thing their couches near the sockets are vacant. No more questions, I settled in. I've always loved their Fuzion shakes anyways, the berry ones with yogurt. I haven't tried their food, but it looks good and the fact that they've lasted this long in Greenbelt, then it must say they have a good following.

So I ordered the Black Berry with Yogurt Smoothie and decided to try their Chicken Fingers. Their smoothie was yummy and light, but their Chicken Fingers proved to be a huge mistake. The chicken is full of unnecessary fats and it tasted MALANGSA (bad kind of raw). I asked for it to be packed and ordered cheesy fries, which is a fatter but much better choice.

But how I just love rainy days. It saves me from staging a bitch fit even after I taste crappy food. I love seeing people wearing jackets and I love the gray color of the world. Everything becomes so laid back and cozy. I wish it's like this forever!

I've had too much of reality. I better get back to playing SIMS.

SIMS 3 Consume me

If I miss days of blogging and working, here's the culprit.

I'm a sucker for SIMS. My friend Vanessa So introduced this to me when I was in college and I haven't stopped playing since. As I've said, I haven't fully graduated and I don't think I ever will be. This is my ultimate stress buster and entertainment. I played the first ever SIMS version with random expansion packs in my ailing computer back then. Until I transitioned to SIMS 2 with random expansion packs as well. Whenever my computer gets reformatted, SIMS is one of the first things that gets installed.

I already liked SIMS 2. There are already interesting varieties and the graphics have gone way better than the first version. When I heard that SIMS 3 was being released with better graphics, version and playing options, I just salivated.

Now that I'm actually playing and exploring SIMS 3, I still have to find my rhythm. The are just so many things to tinker with that it takes me some time to create my SIMS. I practically spent the whole day in front of my computer swapping opportunities for real life interactions. If I already loved SIMS 2, what do you think I'm feeling now for SIMS 3? Consume me....

Next stop: EA, make this game virtual I dare you and SIMS lovers would never find the reason to leave the house again.

Ping to Kris: Ninoy's Lovelife

Amen. At least someone brave reacted to it.

I just got home from work, I think it was Thursday or Wednesday, when I heard and saw in SNN about the strong remarks of Kris Aquino against Noynoy's option of settling down. According to Kris, she personally do not like her brother to marry and that he should remain single. And she vehemently expressed her dislike or disappointment about the whole idea of him getting married and taking any girl too seriously.

That's odd. I think that's a bit too childish and overprotective for the wrong reasons. Noynoy, I believe is of the very ripe age to decide things for himself most especially his love life. It's a bit ironic that he might be running for presidency, yet he has to listen to unsolicited advices about personal things on national tv. He looks like a teen trapped in a man's body.

Also, I immediately thought of his girlfriend, councilor Soledad of Valenzuela City, who has already been uncovered nationwide. I may not know her and her achievements, but she is pretty and looks like a respectable woman. Regardless of her stature and personality, I don't think it's fair for her to hear comments like this. I hurt for her. To have a powerful younger sister declare on national TV that she doesn't like her brother to get married and she's somewhat disappointed with his personal affairs, is a blow on the councilor's ego. I don't know, but if I were in the gf's shoes, I'd be hurt. The public would somehow assume that I'm not good enough to get his family's approval. Filipinos are quick to read between the lines, you know. It might not be a direct stab, but it's hurtful nonetheless because she is involved.

Granted that in theory Kris doesn't like the match, should she still say it on national TV? If she likes her brother to stay single, must that benefit his brother if she shares it nationwide? I don't know the councilor but my sympathies go out to her. To Kris, I still have utmost respect for her for being truthful (as always), but then sometimes it's goes way out of hand. To Ping Lacson, at this situation, you earn my respect for being the gentleman and the braver one.

Steak and Photography

This post was supposed to be done last Saturday night, but then Mitch installed SIMS3. I've become untouchable and unreachable by then. So here it goes.

What intended to be a succulent pork steak with steak sauce and all, ended up to be a degrading pork chop with Mang Tomas on the side. I don't know what happened, but I think I overestimated myself. Just because I used herbs and spices to pan-fry my so-called steak, it doesn't mean it'll come out a steak at all. In fact, it should be beef not pork; and it shouldn't be fried, but grilled. Oh well, I'm still suffering from steak-craving after enjoying a dinner at Myron's Place last Friday. But my rendition of a steak, no matter how successful it would come out, will be no near to the kind of meat selection and steak recipe Myron's Place is known for.

Last Friday it was my turn to treat Mitch for his birthday. I was searching for the perfect restaurant, preferably something that we haven't tried before. I intended to hold it in Circles, Makati Shangrila's Buffet, but it was already fully booked for the whole month. So I resulted to researching for what my craving dictates, which is meat specifically succulent steaks. I 0nly know two restaurants known for serving first-class steaks. Elbert's and Myron's Place. Both restaurants Mitch and I have heard, but haven't tried. Personally, I'm not a big fan of red meat, and I seldom have a craving for steaks. It's usually my sister and brother who order it when there's a chance, whereas I reserve it for special craving occasions like this.

I checked the menus and based from reviews and blogs, I already had an idea of what to order. Since location is a big factor, I decided to go with Myron's place in Greenbelt 5.

According to majority of the reviews, Myron's Place really delivers. So even if we were hungry and it was raining that night, both of us were excited and very optimistic with our dinner. We ordered the Risotto with Chorizo, US Angus Black and Blue Burger and the Angus Beef with Bacon Medallions with Shrimp. Burger cooked well done and the Medallions cooked medium-rare. T0 cut the long story short, from the appetizer to the main course, it was HEAVEN. Mitch being an aficionado for hamburgers painted a face of delight and euphoria. I tasted the meat and it was tasteful, peppery and has a very authentic Angus beefy goodness in it. My medallions too were perfect with their perfect sauce and perfectly tasteful grilled shrimps and potatoes on the side. The Risotto was soft, yet flavorful with cheese and a sour kick to it. We came out from the restaurant super happy, FULL-filled and high with meat delight that it's hard to be serious and to concentrate.

While nursing down our food intake with an impromptu photography lesson outside the restaurant, we felt it was worth it. We couldn't care of the rain and the 1,500 bucks bill. Now that I've tasted Myron's, I'd definitely go back there for more. And did I mention that the interiors are so cozy and enticing? I'd definitely go back...soon.

Photos: Side blog

Mitch and I were having our impromptu photography lessons using my very limited point and shoot camera. Shots were taken right after our sumptuous dinner outside the restaurant. No photos of the burger and the steak. You'll believe me when I say that it was that good it just disappeared. Haha.

It's been one week since I chopped my bangs. It's still bearable.

This is the face of: "I WANT MORE."

This is the face that says: yes...there's still tomorrow and important thing is that I'm happy. At least there's still room for itsy bitsy dessert.

Just like to share, I'm getting annoyed with my point and shoot. I'm thinking of getting that Panasonic LX3. And just to clarify I'm not getting into photography and I'm not diligent enough to carry SLRs. Do you see me carrying SLRs? Hell no. But I want to be a bit knowledgeable about the basics in photography and I want good pictures for blogging and traveling. This is definitely a want and not a need. Let's see where my budget will take me. Better get rid of those credit card stuff first.