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Monthly Archives: September 2009

Crocodile Spotted In Caintâ Floodwaters

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Many parts of Caintâ, Rizal are still under floodwaters due to Typhoon Ondoy’s massive rains last Saturday. Now, at least two weather disturbances are forecasted to arrive in the country.

But as if that’s not enough to terrorize the said town, crocs are reported to be swimming around the flooded parts!

At least one has been spotted, as reported by ABS-CBN News Channel this afternoon. And here’s the only existing photo that was released.

Faked? You be the judge. If you ask me, this floating creature is genuinely not a PNP guy.

Faked? You be the judge. If you ask me, this floating creature is genuinely not a PNP guy.

If true, this is of course bad news for the battered residents of Caintâ. But other than that, there’s still reason to smile — environmentally speaking. Because this means that Philippine wildlife still exists near Metro Manila!

Typhoon Ondoy’s Wrath Captures International Attention

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Marineros estadounidenses participan en las tareas de ayuda en Filipinas tras el paso de la torment 'Ketsana' (from EL PAÍS)

This typhoon is for real! Now the whole world is on the Philippines!

Here are some of the headlines in some of the world’s most prominent dailies regarding Typhoon Ondoy’s rampage:

EL PAÍS (España) Suben a 240 los muertos por ‘Ketsana’ en Filipinas
LE MONDE (Francois) Philippines: “Les gens manquent de tout”
DIE WELT (Deutschland) 240 Tote bei Taifun auf den Philippinen
LOS ÁNGELES TIMES (U.S.A.) 240 die in Philippine storm, and toll may rise
NEW YORK TIMES (U.S.A.) Death Toll Hits 240 in Philippine Flooding
THE TIMES (U.K.) President throws open doors to help flood survivors in the Philippines
THE WASHINGTON TIMES (U.S.A.) Philippine death toll rises as new storms brew

Click here for THE STRAITS TIMES (Singapore) video.

Let’s Help The Victims Of Typhoon Ondoy

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No political bickerings for now. This is the time that we all need each other’s help.

Below is a list of organizations and concerned people to contact if you want to volunteer. But please volunteer. We have no idea how much the victims are suffering right now while we’re here, very lucky to be seated comfortably right in front of our computer monitors.

Let us not allow ourselves to be mere spectators of this tragedy. We are all part of this…

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)
Philippine 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)
Philippine National Red Cross (143, +632-5270000)
Philippine National Red Cross Rizal Chapter operations center hotline: (+632-6350922, +632-6347824)

Rubber boat and 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 Shopping 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 concerns

Meralco (+63917-5592824, 16211, +63920-9292824) If you want service cut off to your area to prevent fires and electrocution.
Donations of heavy duty flashlights needed for rescue operations in Cainta, Rizal area. Contact Cielo at (+632918-8824356)

E-Donations

SMS: text RED to 2899 (Globe) and 4483 (Smart)
G-Cash: text DONATEAMOUNT4-digit M-PINREDCROSS to 2882
TXTPOWER.org: Paypal, Smart Money (5577-5144-1866-7103), G-Cash (0917-9751092)

Cellphone services

FINDERSERVICE. For Smart, text wis to 386.
FINDERSERVICE. For Globe, text find to 7000.

Maps

A group composed of Serge Gregorio and Franklin Naval has put up an interactive rescue map (http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=110868206150348750692.00047479b6400ee29bd89&ll=14.645791,121.107874&spn=0.107954,0.154324&source=embed) to locate victims in Marikina, one of the hardest hit areas by Ondoy.
To post a message for you on the map, use this web form: http://bit.ly/ondoymapresponse or email segregorio@gmail.com and franklin.naval@gmail.com.

Additional Ondoy Rescue Maps can be found at http://bit.ly/ondoylocator

Malls and commercial outlets

Aranaz Stores (Rockwell & Greenbelt) – accepting donations of any kind for Payatas communities
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (all branches) – canned goods, water, clothes, blankets, towels, medicine, and emergency supplies (no cash)
Luca stores (Rockwell, Shangri-la, Eastwood, or GA Towers) – Send your old clothes & donations (no cash pls)
Moonshine boutique (Rockwell) – accepting relief goods to help Ondoy victims in Marikina and Cainta.
Papemelroti stores (91 Roces Ave. / Ali Mall Cubao / SM City North EDSA / SM Fairview / SM Megamall / Glorietta 3 in Makati / SM Centerpoint / SM Southmall) – accepting relief goods (canned goods / milk / bottled water / clothes – NO CASH pls.)
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.

Government and relief agencies

Akbayan – taking donations, call 433-69-33/433-68-31 to donate or volunteer.
Move for Chiz – asking for volunteers 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.
Worldvision Foundation – accepting donations/volunteers to pack relief goods in QC. For $ donations, BPI:USD acct #4254-0050-08
Philippine National Red Cross – visit their site HERE for various ways to donate.
Senator Francis Pangilinan is accepting donations @ AGS Bldg Annex, 446 EDSA Guadalupe Viejo. Contact Vina Vargas at (+632917-8081247)

WITHIN METRO MANILA

Mandaluyong/San Juan
La Salle Greenhills – drop off your donations (clothes, food, etc) at Gate 2 on Monday, September 28, or volunteer from 9am to receive, sort, repack the donations.
Xavier School – canned goods, bread, noodles. Please bring to Multipurpose Center (MPC). Accepted till Monday, Sept. 28.

Manila

Caritas Manila Office (Jesus St., Pandacan Manila near Nagtahan Bridge) – call +632-5639298, +632-5639308
Ministop Ibarra (Espana cor. Blumentritt, Sampaloc Manila) – Food (non-perishable goods only) Clothing, Medicines, Beds, Pillows, Blankets, Emergency Supplies

Muntinlupà

Hillsborough Village Chapel – Water, blankets, shoes, and clothes. These will go to families whose houses were washed out in the nearby sitios.

Parañaque

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)
Playschool International (47 Ghana St., Better Living Subd., Paranaque) – open to receive donations (NO CASH, PLS) for relief goods. Please feel free to send your donations there. Teachers/staff will coordinate sending these to the centers.

Pásig

Miriam Quiambáo – drop off point: One Orchard Road Building in Eastwood, or message http://www.twitter.com/miriamq for more details.
Relief Efforts for Pásig at Valle Verde 1 Village Park – contact +632916-4945000, +632917-5273616
Renaissance Fitness Center (2nd Floor, Bramante Building, Renaissance Towers Ortigas, Meralco Avenue) – Donations can be brought starting Monday, September 28/9am – 7pm. Contact Person: Warren Habaluyas (+632929-8713488) or email at luzonrelief@gmail.com

Quezon City

ABS-CBN through Banco de Oro account number 56300-20111; account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Incorporation (NOTE: This account # needs verification because on the ABS-CBN Foundation website, the account # is 5630060113)
Ateneo de Manila University – cooked or ready-to-eat food, clothes, medicine, blankets, water. Donations may be dropped off at the MVP, University Dorm, or Cervini lobbies. Also needed: volunteers for relief operations today, Sept. 27. Bring boots, shovels, large vehicles or small watercraft. For donations/inquiries, please contact (0908) 887-7166.
Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health is accepting donations of medicines. A center in Pásig has more than 1,000 evacuees, mostly kids suffering from colds and fever. Call Louie Montalbo: (0918) 936-2095.
Citizens Disaster Response Center (CDRC) – Relief goods for typhoon victims being accepted at 72-A Times St., West Triangle, QC. Tel (+632-9299820/22)
Erica Paredes (Katipunan), +63917-4741930 – 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.
Manor Superclub (Eastwood City) – will accept goods and other emergency items starting Sunday, September 27, at 10 am.
NoyMar Relief Operations – contact Clare Amador (+63928 520 5508) or Jana Vicente (+63928 520 5499). Drop-off for relief donations is at Balay Expo Center across Farmers Market Cubao.
Our Lady of Pentecost Parish (12 F. Dela Rosa corner C. Salvador Sts., Loyola Heights, Quezon City) – call +632-4342397, +632-9290665
Philippine Army Gym (inside Fort Bonifacio) or GHQ Gym (Camp Aguinaldo) – now distributing donations for Ondoy Victims.
Radio Veritas (Veritas Tower West Ave. cor EDSA) – call +632-9257931 to 40
Tulong Bayan, Cubáo – needs clothes, salt and cooking oil in sachets: 0908-6579998, 0939-3633436, 9137122

Within the Philippines

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. To donate, text RED and send to 2899 (Globe) or 4483 (Smart). You can donate 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 300 pesos.
TxtPower – now accepts donations via SmartMoney 5577514418667103, GCash 09179751092 and Paypal.

Outside the Philippines
Worldvision Foundation – For $ donations, BPI:USD acct #4254-0050-08

Special thanks to Inquirer.net for the above info.

Typhoon Ondoy: A Global Warning!

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According to reports, yesterday’s tremendous tempest dumped the heaviest rainfall on Metro Manila and nearby provinces in more than four decades!

I was stuck in our office in Alabang, Muntinlupà City for hours after my shift. But the downpour never ceased. I was supposed to attend a kid cousin’s birthday, but I thought it best not too.

Seeing that it was hopeless to wait for the rain to cease, I just barged outside using my dilapidated umbrella. And I was disgusted by what I saw — stranded motorists! It reminded me of my college days getting stuck in the same situation. I remember one time when I had to walk from Adamson University in Manila all the way to Parañaque City! It was a scary flashback because yesterday, I didn’t plan of walking from Alabang all the way to San Pedro, La Laguna.

Little did I know that a tragedy was already happening all over the metropolis and its surrounding provinces.

I waited for almost an hour under the Alabang viaduct. And underneath the viaduct, traffic was hell. Counterflows where virtually everywhere, and many commuters were already soaking wet. Whenever empty jeepneys pass by slowly, exhausted commuters surround them, like vultures waiting for their prey to die. Luckily I was able to catch an apprehensive jeepney driver (I saw the look on his face; he was still undecisive whether or not he should just drive home or still pick up motorists). I ran as fast as I could (the veteran that I am from all these flooded moments), getting the choicest jeepney seat — the front seat.

In just a few seconds, the jeepney was filled. Initially, the driver decided to drive us only up to Muntinlupà (the población), but no one seemed to care. We all had one thing in mind: to go back to our respective homes as close as we can get.

The driver chose the old National Road (Mahárlika Highway) instead of the South Luzón Tollway because the traffic flow in the said expressway was almost immobile. But it was even worse in the national road. Many parts were flooded. I was surprised. This was no ordinary rain. I’ve never seen Muntinlupà flooded that way before.

I started sending text messages to friends, asking them their situation. I learned that even in Manila, it was flooded. It was no surprise because floods in many parts of Manila is almost “normal” (no thanks to litterbugs).

Surprisingly, we noticed that there was no more traffic jam in the población. So the driver decided to drive us all the way to San Pedro, La Laguna (which is supposed to be a couple of minutes away). I wondered why there was no more traffic jam. I found out minutes later.

When our jeep drove past Susana Heights, it started to rain heavier again (I already threw my useless umbrella in the garbage bin; anyway, I was already prepared to get wet myself). I got the shock of my life to see that the highway in front of me turned into a virtual sea of flood!

So that’s why there were no more vehicles! And the few vehicles that remained were those whose engines were flooded already. Poor owners! And there were people everywhere, braving the rains and the waist-high floods.

Our driver was still apprehensive: should he drive through the waters or not? I egged him to “go for it, dude!” The guy was cheerful all throughout the trip, and was very thoughtful of his passengers (may God bless his career). And yes, he did decide to drive on. The secret to it was not to remove his foot onto the pedal. He must continue driving through the flooded road without stopping or else the waters will enter and engulf the engines.

And so he drove, turning his rickety public utility vehicle into an amphibian-jeep, creating waves along the way, splashing commuters who decided to walk through the floods. And other vehicles who were coming from La Laguna made more ripples and waves in the flood. Some of the flood waters even entered where I was seated.

For some odd reason, the sight excited me. And I was very, very disappointed for not having with me my wife’s Motorola v3i (the only “digital” camera we have). I should’ve taken pictures of the flooded scene for this website and for ALAS FILIPINAS.

When our jeep neared San Pedro, La Laguna, the floods got worse. All esteros overflowed, destroying the shanties along its coast. The boundary between Muntinlupà City / Metro Manila and La Laguna province has become water world. I suddenly thought of San Pedro’s mayor, Calixto Catáquiz, who is a family friend. His home in Barrio Sto. Niño lies is near Laguna de Bay and is not in an elevated place. I hope he’s OK.

Driving through the boundary is the most difficult drive we encountered. The flood was much higher, and there were so many standed people who were blocking the way, slowing us even more (I wasn’t ready yet to “dive” into the murky, garbage-filled flood). But luckily, we went through. I was confident that as soon as we get to the San Pedro bridge, we’ll be OK because the bridge was built very high above the river.

Although the river didn’t overflow on top of the bridge, the place has been converted into a “parking lot”. I’ve never seen the bridge filled with so much vehicles! There were so many parked cars, jeepneys, and even buses that I feared we might not get to the other side). But we did.

When we got to the other side, I dropped off because our apartment was just near. It was no longer raining heavily, but it was still drizzling enough to soak me. But I never got the chance to walk to our home which is what I usually do — the road was flooded with almost-knee-high waters. I had to take a trike. Luckily our apartment is situated in an elevated place. And even if it gets flooded there, we’re on the second floor. I later learned today that others who have two-storey homes, such as sexy actress Cristine Reyes, were not so lucky:

Even this year's FHM Queen wasn't spared from Ondoy's wrath!

Even this year's FHM Queen wasn't spared from Ondoy's wrath!

Funny thing is that after breakfast I was just reading a copy of FHM Philippines 100 Sexiest Women for 2009 where she won the number one spot, hehehe! I wasn’t able to watch TV news because we still have no cable (and no internet connection yet; I’m now at our neighbor’s internet shop). F*ck, we even lost our water supply. Yesterday was even worse: when I got home, there were both no electricity and water supplies.

Now that I’m online, I just realized the magnitude of yesterday’s massive downpour:

RELATED LINKS:
‘Ondoy’ leaves 72 dead and missing
‘Ondoy’ like ‘Katrina’
Tropical Storm Ketsana 2009
Typhoon Ondoy, Emergency Disaster Relief Numbers
Typhoon Ondoy displaces 153 families

And here’s a really scary video of Marikina River uploaded by INITIATE360 in YouTube. Typhoon Ondoy turned the river into a mammoth killing machine:

Below is INITIATE360’s account of the above video:

“I just got back from the river’s edge 5 minutes ago. A 10-15 feet height differential between the Marikina River and the embankment has now been reduced to the point that water is splashing against the high-rises of Eastwood, Metro Manila. A security guard for this sealed off area approaches me and covers me with his umbrella while I snap pictures from my phone. “Where are the police or firemen?” I asked. He first points at a speck in the middle of the river 300-400 meters out to my right. “That was a woman with her 2 year old infant clinging on to her. She passed through here in the middle of the river – waving at us for help. There was nothing we could do – she had passed though within 5 seconds. We’ve been seeing other people washed away.” We watched helplessly at the 20+ people 200 meters away that are now sitting on top of their corrugated roof-tops as the river rages beneath them on their submerged homes… waiting for emergency personnel yet to come.”

Marikina River, as well as other rivers in Metro Manila, overflows from time to time during typhoons. But not like this. And according to Reyes herself, she has lived in Provident Village, Marikina City for many years. This is the first time her home was inundated.

In other news, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro has his hands busy working with the National Disaster Coordinating Council with all rescue and relief operations. According to him, this is the worst typhoon tragedy he has ever encountered. Even the Philippine Navy claimed that this was the first time that they had received so many calls for help at the same time.

Since Gibô Teodoro is at the helm of all rescue and relief operations, I’m afraid that this tragedy might be given a “political color” to it because this is actually the best time for Gibô to up the ante with regard to his presidential aspirations. He might win (or try to win) the hearts (and votes) of thousands of Filipinos who were affected by the typhoon. Nevertheless, may his rescue team be successful with their endeavors.

It’s past 4:00 PM in the afternoon. The rains have slowed down, but hasn’t stopped yet. Malacañang Palace has already declared a state of calamity in Metro Manila and other 25 affected provinces. Close to a hundred people lost their lives. And thousands have been displaced. Eighty percent of the capital is underwater.

May this serve as a GLOBAL WARNING to all those who disrespect Mother Nature (such as litterbugs, smoke belchers, illegal loggers, etc.). Like countless others, I am mighty sure that climate change has something to do with this.

Click here for more photos of the tragedy (culled from various Facebookers).

Congratulations To Dr. Eli Remolona!

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Let’s have more good news for this stormy day:

Dr. Remolona displaying his B-Pinoy Award plaque.

Dr. Remolona displaying his B-Pinoy Award plaque.

Filipino economist makes it in the global finance world

HE may not be as famous (yet) as a rock star or top chef Cristeta Comerford (the Fil-Am chef at the White House), but Dr. Eli Remolona is at the top of his game. Currently the chief representative for Asia and the Pacific of the Bank for International Settlements (the central bank of central banks), Dr. Remolona is considered to be the most prominent Filipino economist in international monetary and financial policy circles. Based in Hong Kong, he deals with the 12 most important economies in the Asia-Pacific region (Read the rest of the story at Inquirer.net).

The Filipinos –through Manny Pacquiáo, Batista, Nicole Scherzinger, Efren “Batà” Reyes, Cristeta Comerford, Allan Pineda Lindo (apl.de.ap) Onel de Guzmán (!), Charice Pempengco, and now Dr. Eli Remolona– are taking over the world!

Again, kudos to our new “monster economist”, Dr. Remolona! Despite the financial crisis, you did an awesome job! c”,)

Postmasturbatory Effect

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POSTMASTURBATORY EFFECT
José Mario Alas

The next thing you know
you’re staring on the wet
bathroom floor
watching your
limp reflection
flowing down
the drain

08/07/08

Copyright © 2010
José Mario Alas
Manila, Philippines
All rights reserved.

San Juanico Bridge

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This is nice:

RP bridges featured in Singapore stamps
(GMANews.TV – Thursday, September 24)

Philippine and Singapore bridges are featured in stamps commemorating the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Singapore.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the stamps are a joint effort of the Singapore Postal Office and the Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost).

“The bridge theme for the commemorative stamps was chosen because the bridges connects both countries symbolically, and is a popular theme among stamp collectors,” the DFA said in an article on its website (www.dfa.gov.ph).

It said the Singapore Postal Office and Philpost launched the four limited-edition postal stamps in Singapore this month.

According to the DFA, the Singapore Philatelic Museum worked closely with Philpost in implementing the project, which took almost a year to complete.

One of the two Philippine bridges featured in the stamps is the Bamban Bridge in Pampanga, which links Mabalacat to Tarlac.

While the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991 destroyed it, Bamban Bridge was rebuilt in 1998 and is one of the longest bridges in the world.

The second bridge featured is the Marcelo Fernan Bridge in Cebu City, which connects Cebu and Mactan Islands.

Opened in 1991, the bridge is named after the late Chief Justice and Senator Marcelo Fernan.

Two other stamps featuring Singapore bridges complete the commemorative issue, including the Henderson Waves Bridge and the Cavenagh Bridge.

All commemorative stamps can be ordered at SingPost’s online shopping portal vPost, at http://shop.vpost.com.sg.

Meanwhile, the Singapore Philatec Museum is now preparing for a Philippine-themed stamp exhibit in October titled “Bayanihan: Spirit of the Philippines.” – GMANews.TV

But in my opinion, San Juanico Bridge –the Philippines’ longest bridge– shouldn’t have been left out from the reported commemorative project.

The longest bridge in the Philippines

The longest bridge in the Philippines

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