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How to help Yolanda victims

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So you want to help the victims of super typhoon Yolanda but don’t know where to start. One easy way is to logon to a search engine and look for charitable orgnizations. Then you may donate relief goods and/or cash, or even assist in repackaging the goods themselves. Below are just some of the institutions (with their contact details) that offer immediate assistance…


ABS-CBN Foundation Sagip Kapamilya

For in-kind donations, ABS-CBN is accepting clothes, shoes, blankets in good condition, canned goods, and drinks. You may send it in ABS-CBN Foundation Sagip Kapamilya drop-off centers.


Adamson University Charity Hub

Adamson University (AdU), through the Integrated Community Extension Services (ICES), is launching the AdU Charity Hub once more to provide relief and help to those affected by super typhoon Yolanda. The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP) and the Vincentian Family Coordinating Council (VFCC) Philippines will be collaborating with AdU in this effort. Please click here for more information.


Ateneo de Manila University Disaster Response and Management (DReAM) Team

The Ateneo de Manila University Disaster Response and Management Team (DReaM Team), in cooperation with Jesuit NGO Simbahang Lingkod Bayan (SLB) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, organized a relief operation for the victims of  super typhoon Yolanda. DReaM Team is accepting cash donations and relief goods. Please click here for more information.


Ayala Foundation, Inc.

The foundation is appealing for help to assist the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. They are accepting cash donations:

* Click here for local credit card holders.
* Click here for US-based donors.
* Click here for A-Deals Subscribers.

Please click here for more information.


Caritas Filipinas Foundation

Caritas Filipinas Foundation is accepting cash donations through banks and online.

For donation in PhP from overseas:
Bank Name: Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
Branch: Intramuros
Account Name: CBCP Caritas Filipinas Foundation Inc.
Account Number: 4951-0071-08
Swift Code: BOPIPHMM

For Donation in USD or EUR from overseas:
Bank Name: Philtrust Bank
Branch: Head Office
Account Name: CBCP Caritas Filipinas Foundation Inc.
DOLLAR Account: 0034-0001716-6
EURO Account: 0035-0000008-6
Swift Code: PHTBPHMM

Please click here for more information.


Cebú Provincial Government

The provincial government of Cebú calls for volunteers to repack relief goods for Northern Cebú, Leyte and Bojol victims. For those who are interested, you may contact Evelyn Senajón at PSWDO, Ground Floor Executive Bldg., Cebú Provincial Capitol at 254-7198 and 254-8397.


Department of Social Welfare and Development

Location: NAIA Chapel Road, Pásay City (at the back of CAAP)

The Department of Social Welfare and Development accepts cash deposits through their Landbank of the Philippines account. The account numbers: Current-3122-1011-84 Savings-3124-0055-81. If you wish to volunteer in repacking relief goods, you may call 8512681 for schedule.


Gawad Kalinga — Operation Walang Iwanan: Typhoon Yolanda

Gawad Kalinga accepts cash donations only at their Philippine Peso Current Account number-3101 0977 56 BPI EDSA Greenhills and US$ Savings Account number-3104 0162 34

* BPI EDSA Greenhills. Their swift code is BOPIPHMM

Please click here for more information.


GMA Kapuso Foundation

GMA is accepting monetary and in kind donations. For relief goods, the drops off points are:

GMA Kapuso Foundation. 2nd Floor Kapuso Center, GMA Network Drive corner Sámar Streets, Dilimán, Quezon City. Call 928-4299/928-9351.

GMA Kapuso Foundation Warehouse. 366 GMA Compound Tandang Sora Avenue Brgy. Culiat, Quezon City. Call 931-7013.

Monetary donations can be deposited at any Metrobank, UCPB, PNB and Cebuana Lhuillier branch. Please click here for more information.


Jollibee Group Foundation

The Jollibee Group Foundation accepts cash or check donations to these bank accounts:

Metrobank – Cubáo Araneta Branch
Account Name: Jollibee Group Foundation
Account Number: 473-7-47301401-3

BDO – Megamall Branch
Account Name: Jollibee Foundation, Inc.
Account Number: 100-661-267-008
Swift Code: BNORPHMM

For inquiries or donors who would want to advise regarding their assistance, you may call +63.2.688-7133. For your donations to be properly acknowledged, you may either fax the bank transaction slip at +63.2.688-7038 or send a scanned copy of the bank transaction slip to with your name, address, and contact number. Please click here for more information.



All McDonald’s stores nationwide are now accepting donations in kind such as bottled water, rice, ready to eat food, toiletries, beddings, clothes and medicines for affected communities in Tacloban and other nearby areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.

In partnership with ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya, Department of Social Welfare and Development and local government units, collected relief goods will be distributed to these affected areas.

For cash or check donations, customers may be advised to directly deposit to:
Account Name: Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Philippines

Citibank N.A.
8741 Citibank Bldg., Paseo de Roxas Makati City
Account No# 060-1374-005
Swift Code: CITIUS33

Account Name: Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Philippines
Bank of the Philippine Islands
CA# 3021-4107-47


Operation Blessing Philippines

The group is accepting cash donations only. The following are the details to send money.

Account number: 270-3-27050273-4

Banco de Oro (Bdo)
Account number: 30000-55279

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
Account number: 3001-0040-33

You may also send your donation in the form of check or postal money order payable to Operation Blessing through mail. Address it to Operation Blessing, P.O. Box 2572 MCPO, 1265 Makati, Philippines. Please click here for more information.


Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippine Red Cross

You may donate to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) through SMS by texting RED and send it to 2899 for Globe and 4143 for Smart. You can donate the following denominations: Globe: ₱5, ₱25, ₱100, ₱300, ₱500 or ₱1,000 and for Smart: ₱10, ₱25, ₱50, ₱100, ₱300, ₱500, or ₱1.000.

For cash deposits:

Banco De Oro
Peso: 00-453-0018647
Dollar: 10-453-0039482
Swift Code: BNORPHMM

Peso: 151-3-041631228
Dollar: 151-2-15100218-2
Swift Code: MBTCPHMM

Philippine National Bank
Peso: 3752 8350 0034
Dollar: 3752 8350 0042
Swift Code: PNBMPHMM

Unionbank of the Philippines
Peso: 1015 4000 0201
Dollar: 1315 4000 0090
Swift code: UBPHPHMM

For in-kind donation you may send it to the PRC – National Headquarters in Manila. You may also contact them to arrange donation pick-up.


United Nations Children’s Fund

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are accepting cash donations. The amount that you may donate from the choices are ₱1,500, ₱3, 300, and ₱5,000. Please click here for more information.


University of the Philippines

The University of the Philippines (UP) Office of the Student Regent are accepting donations in cash or kind. Their drop off point is Vinzon’s Hall, UP Dilimán, Quezon City. You may contact Alex Castro at 0917-8725396 or tweet him at @uscupdiliman, Eds 0927384-1392 and Zie 0916796-5740. Please click here for more information.


IMPORTANT NOTE: The government has been receiving some flak over the seemingly incompetent handling of the crisis, particulary the distribution of relief goods and medicine. One major complaint is that these have not been reaching their designated areas on time, if at all. To my observation, I think one major reason why the flow of relief goods is slow is because there is a severe lack of repackers. There has been a steady supply of donations all right, but not enough people to repack them, hence slowing the pace of our government’s relief efforts. This has been confirmed by Twitter user Lendl Tan-Monterola (@_lendl_) who was part of one of the repackaging teams.

To those who read this: please, please, PLEASE spend a few hours of your time to join the repackaging of relief goods. Our countrymen in the Visayas region are starving every day. Thank you so much.

Was super typhoon Yolanda man-made?

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Admittedly, I do pay attention to conspiracy theories but only those which concern my country. Go ahead and kill me.

Nowadays, people usually think of conspiracy theorists as ingenious loonies locked for hours inside their dingy rooms crammed with books, documents, and Elvis Presley photos scattered all over the floor, seated in front of their computers while feasting on oily burgers and sugary coffee. Holier-than-thou keyboard warriors often make fun of such people due to the seeming hilarity of their pronouncements as opposed to an already accepted political dogma. But a friend of mine said that not too long ago, conspiracy theory was not categorized as a “science of screwballs”. Most, if not all, of these people are highly respected individuals. Pure geniuses and not just smarter than the average bear. But due to the polemics brought about by their discoveries, the powers that be are compelled to marginalize them just to remain in control of the weak. So there you have it, in a jiffy.

Anyway, if conspiracy theorists claim that super typhoon Yolanda originated from the U.S. military as implied in the scientifically articulate video above, then I believe them. After all, it is already common knowledge that the U.S. Government is power-hungry. Now THAT is no conspiracy theory.

Because if cloud seeding and birth control are made possible, why not artificial typhoons?

You be the judge.

Everything you need to know about Aling Yolanda

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Sorry I’m not able to blog here regularly anymore. Life is always on the way. Been too much of a busy bee that I wasn’t even able to blog about last month’s heritage-killer quake (but I did mention it here in brief).

As I write this, Filipinas is now bearing the brunt of one of the most powerful super typhoons in history (the winds are howling like mad outside our apartment unit). So powerful it is that I have no other choice but to “invoke my right” to be absent from work tonight. Also, I thought of sharing to the lazy internet user what I found out about Super Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda (usually preceded by a hashtag by the social media addict):

Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) comes from a Chinese word which means “petrel”, a tube-nosed seabird. From time to time, you might stumble upon the characters 海燕 just to emphasize its being Chinese.
Wind: 270 KPH (as of 11/8/2013, 2:00:00 PM [Malay Peninsula Standard Time])
Location: 11.4N 237.4E
Movement: W at 25 mph

Below are some of the strongest monster twisters in world history:

Super Typhoon Nancy (1961), 215 mph winds, 882 mb. Made landfall as a Cat 2 in Japan, killing 191 people.
Super Typhoon Violet (1961), 205 mph winds, 886 mb pressure. Made landfall in Japan as a tropical storm, killing 2 people.
Super Typhoon Ida (1958), 200 mph winds, 877 mb pressure. Made landfall as a Cat 1 in Japan, killing 1269 people.
Super Typhoon Haiyan (2013), 195 mph winds, 895 mb pressure. Made landfall in the Philippines at peak strength.
Super Typhoon Kit (1966), 195 mph winds, 880 mb. Did not make landfall.
Super Typhoon Sally (1964), 195 mph winds, 895 mb. Made landfall as a Cat 4 in the Philippines.
(Source: Dr. Jeff Masters’

It ain’t called super for nothing: tropical cyclone Haiyan/Yolanda strikes the typhoon-prone municipality of Guiuan in Sámar Oriental, like a freaky boss.

• Super Typhoon Haiyan had winds of 195 mph and gusts of 235 mph. This is one of the highest wind speeds ever recorded in a storm in world history.
• It made landfall as the most powerful typhoon or hurricane in recorded history, as based on wind speed measurements from satellites.
• The strength of Haiyan is equal to that of an extremely powerful Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic. (Typhoons are the same type of storms as hurricanes).
• No hurricane in the Atlantic has ever been this strong; Hurricane Camille hit the U.S. Gulf Coast with an estimated wind speed of 190 mph.

Fight web surfing remissness! Click here for more!


“Many might wonder if the proper name Yolanda is Latinate. Yes, it is Latinate. In Latin, it is Violanda or Violans, which, respectively, means ‘she who shall be violated’ or ‘the violating one’.”
Dei Præsidio Fultus


My paternal grandfather, Sr. Don Godofredo Alas y Sarmiento (1925-1997) of Unisan, Tayabas, would have turned 88 today. Requiescat in pace.

The year of the “digital karma”

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In the Philippines, at least, the year 2012 has ushered in the “Age of the Digital Karma”.

Thrilla in NAIA (6 May 2012)

Motorist bullies MMDA officer (14 August 2012)

Man attacks female restaurant cashier (21 October 2012)

Amalayer (14 November 2012)

Moral lesson: RESTRAINT. If you don’t want to be the next viral superstar of the worst kind, take this 90s advice from Prettier Than Pink:

So next time you’re caught on camera doing the nastiest, don’t say that you were not informed.

Let us all save the Alberto House of Biñán

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PRES. BENIGNO AQUINO III: Save the historic Alberto Mansion in Biñán, La Laguna.
Dr. Bimbo Santa María

The house is almost 200 years old. It was built by Lorenzo Alberto Alonso, father of Teodora Alonso and grandfather of Dr. José Rizal. The house was in almost perfect shape until the current owner, a descendant of Alberto Alonso, sold it to a resort owner in Bagac, Bataán. The local government opposed it and did not grant the dismantling permit. However, in May of 2010, the house was dismantled from the inside.

A campaign to save the house was launched spearheaded by local heritage advocates called the United Artists for Cultural Conservation and Development (UACCD). With the help of the print and broadcast media together with netizens, the issue gained public interest.

A new law on heritage conservation was approved by then President Gloria Arroyo on March 2010 stating that structures 50 years and above have to be conserved if it has cultural importance. The National Historical Institute (now National Historical Commission of the Philippines or NHCP) was ready to put a marker in the house recognizing it as historical since the 90s but was refused by the owner. Since then, and in spite of the public clamor to save the house, the NHCP till the present has reiterated it was never declared as an important cultural property, at the same time saying that they do not have the funds to save the house.

The house is the only remaining original structure on site in relation to Dr. Rizal. The Rizal Shrine in Calambâ is only a replica built from its foundation and floor initiated by then Pres. Elpidio Quirino through funds coming from donations of schoolchildren in the 1950s.

Many would say that it is not that important since it is “just” the house of Rizal’s mother. Not realizing that without Teodora Alonso, there would be no Pepe Rizal. Teodora was Rizal’s first teacher and was the one who moulded his character of love of country. The house is the living soul that reminds us of the memory of this great woman and her contribution to Philippine history.

The destruction of this house is man-made. They took away the ceiling, the floor, and even dug the foundations, leaving only the shell of the house. A part of the roof caved in last week. A call for help ran in the internet for the government to immediately intervene before the whole house collapses, but it fell into deaf ears. On 22 October 2012, 75% of the roof went down along with a big part of the façade.

But the house can still be saved. It took one president in the past to rebuild the Rizal Shrine in Calamba. Now, we call on our president to step in and help save and reconstruct this irreplaceable part of our history in Biñán. A fitting honor for a mother of a national hero.


Day of Action vs. Cybercrime Law

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Citizens, netizens set Oct 2 Day of Action vs. Cybercrime Law
Maui Hermitanio

Groups opposing Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Law signed by President Benigno Aquino III, will troop to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, October 2, to challenge the law which they say violates the people’s constitutional right to free speech and free expression.

The Day of Action against Aquino’s Cybercrime Law is supported by umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Kabataan Partylist, Computer Professionals Union (CPU) and other cause-oriented organizations. Bloggers and netizens will also join the activity.

Bayan will urge the Supreme Court to give due course to all the petitions filed and will be filed against the draconian cybercrime law.

Five petitions against the controversial cybercrime law were filed at the Supreme Court.

“The new cybercrime law reeks with potential violations of our constitutional rights including our right to privacy and right against unreasonable searches and seizures,” said Renato Reyes, secretary general of Bayan.

Click here for more.

Happy 441st anniversary to the province of La Laguna!

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A blessed day to you all!

Today, 28 July 2012, is a very historic day for all of us Lagunenses. On this day we commemorate our province’s date of becoming. Today is a celebration of life…

The province of La Laguna —commonly known today as Laguna— marks its 441st foundation anniversary today!

But this is no ordinary foundation day celebration because on this day we mark the first time in its long history that the province of La Laguna will commemorate its date of inception! And what makes it more unique is that this first ever foundation anniversary is being celebrated online!

Why online? Unfortunately, since the controversial resolution regarding the date’s recognition is still in limbo (no thanks to hispanophobic ultranationalism), La Laguna Governor E.R. Ejército is unable to physically celebrate it today. He, however, sent his greetings earlier this afternoon. Be that as it may, we have the internet to celebrate this memorable event. Since the date was discovered in the age of Facebook and Twitter, I believe it is appropriate to celebrate it for the first time right here on the web!

Spread the good news! And I invite my fellow Lagunenses to take a moment of silence and thank the Lord God Almighty for giving us this wonderful province as our home!

Today we truly have a festival of life!

I would also like to acknowledge all those who have strongly supported this date against detractors. Each and every one of them had a special participation on this and, in one way or another, shared their inputs, time, and knowledge to push for the date’s annual celebration. They are (in alphabetical order):

1) Mr. Albert A. Abárquez — Chief: Provincial Sports and Games Development Office.
2) Mr. Delto Michael “Mike” Abárquez, Jr. — Provincial Government Department Head: Laguna Tourism, Culture, Arts, and Trade Office (LTCATO).
3) Mr. Gil Nielo Almendral — Creator/administrator: About Laguna (Facebook group).
4) Mr. Bong Arcángel — Chief: International Relations and Trade Office.
5) Ms. Regina B. Austria — Chief: LTCATO Tourism Division.
6) Professor David Dwight Diestro — Associate Professor of History: UP Los Baños College of Arts and Sciences.
7) Señor Guillermo Gómez Rivera — Academic Director: Academia Filipina de la Lengua Española.
8) Hon. Neil Andrew N. Nocon — Board Member: La Laguna 2nd district (author of Draft ORDINANCE NO. 44, s. 2012*).
9) Ms. Daisy Pelegrina — Assistant to BM Nocon.
10) Dr. Nilo Valdecantos — proprietor: Kape Kesada; arts patron of Paeté; tourism consultant to the governor.
11) Mr. Ronald A. Yu — Publisher/editor/photographer: In-Frame Media Works.

Ron (the publisher/editor/photographer of my forthcoming coffee table book about La Laguna) has exerted so much of his strength, time, and even finances for the right to celebrate our province’s birthday. I don’t know of any other Lagunense who knows so much about the history as well as every nook and cranny of our province, not to mention the passion and love he has for it. Take a bow, my friend!

Special thanks to Alex Pascual for the slick foundation day logo. Fact: he did it in just a couple of hours with his hands tied while blindfolded!

And of course, there’s my lovely wife, Yeyette Perey de Alas, who has never faltered in her support for what I believe is right. ¡Te quiero mucho!


Pepe Alas,
A Proud Lagunense


2) 28 July 1571: The story behind the discovery of La Laguna’s foundation date.
3) The truth about the encomienda (FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES’ 3rd anniversary special)
4) La Laguna, Una Sa Lahát (music video)



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