Rest in Peace, Sec Jesse Robredo!

It seems I’ve been posting a lot of sad news lately, but another sad thing happened in the country for the past few days.

As of this morning, the body of Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo was found off the coast of Masbate, an island in the Bicol region, on the southern part of Luzon.

His plane crashed into the sea after missing the runway at the Masbate airport last Saturday. A search and rescue team of divers, supervised by his good friend, Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas, spent four days trying to locate him, and the airplane captains.

And as of this morning, news that the fuselage of his plane was found along with his body. The bodies of his two companions are still being retrieved.

The news of his plane crash came as a shock to everyone, and the nation kept vigil on his safe return. But alas, the inevitable has happened.

They say the nation lost a good man. I didn’t have the chance of know Sec Jesse, but I’ve seen hundreds of messages saying what an honest and humble man he was – a true servant of the people.

Rest in Peace, Sec Jesse! Thank you for being such an inspiration to the Filipino people!

How you can help victims of flood via ABS-CBN News

For those wondering how you can help with the victims of the flooding that happened in Manila:

How you can help victims of flood | ABS-CBN News.

ABS-CBN Foundation

What they need: Rice, canned goods, noodles, biscuits, coffee, sugar, water, clothes, blankets, mats, medicine and cash donations

Where: ABS-CBN Foundation-Sagip Kapamilya Warehouse at 137 Mother Ignacia Ave. corner Eugenio Lopez Drive, Diliman, Quezon City. For cash donations, interested parties may deposit to Banco de Oro under the account name “ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya” with account number 393-011-4199. For international cash donations, Sagip Kapamilya’s BDO dollar account number is 393-008-1622 with a ‘swift code,’ BNORPHMM. They may also deposit their donation through PNB and BPI which both carry the account name “ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya.” The account number in PNB is 419-539-5000-13; while in BPI (West Triangle, Quezon City Branch) is 3051-1127-75. The BPI Dollar Account is under the name ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya with the account number, 3054-0270-35.

When: Not specified. For updates, tune in to ANC, DZMM, DZMM Radyo Patrol 630, andwww.ABS-CBNnews.com.

Ateneo de Manila University

What they need: Family relief packs good for three to four days. Each would ideally contain food (tuna in easy to open cans, pork and beans in foil packs, canned goods, mixed biscuits, and rice), two gallons of water, toiletries (bath soap, laundry soap, toilet paper, sanitary napkins and towels), sleeping paraphernalia (tarpaulins, beds, tents and blankets), medicine (oral rehydration salts, paracetamol, cefalexin, antiseptics, amoxicillin, sulfur soap, Band-Aids, Betadine), clothes (sorted according to age and gender), sacks (as bags for the relief goods)

Where: Ateneo de Manila University covered courts at Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City

When: Not specified

Ayala Malls

What they need: Relief goods

Where: Concierge booths at all Ayala malls

When: Not specified

Cha Dao Tea Place

What they need: Relief goods. Cha Dao will give a regular cup of your favorite milk tea for every donation.

Where: Cha Dao branches at Katipunan, Don Antonio, UP Village and Parañaque

When: Not specified

 

Department of Education

What they need: Relief goods

Where: DepEd Central Office, Meralco Ave., Pasig City

When: August 10, until 6 p.m. For more details, you may tweet @DepEd_PH.

 

Department of Social Welfare and Development

What they need: Relief goods, volunteers who will help repack donations

Where: DSWD-National Resource Op Center at Chapel Road, Pasay (in between NAIA 1 and 2). Other relief centers also need help. Click here for the map.

When: Not specified. For more details, call (02) 852-8081.

Eastwood Mall

What they need: Food, clothing and blankets

Where: Concierge of Eastwood Mall in Libis, Quezon City

When: Not specified. For more information, call (02) 709-9888.

Gawad Kalinga

What they need: Canned goods, noodles, bottled water, crackers, rice, bread, coffee, sugar, clothes, beddings, soap, volunteers to help repack goods, and cash donations. Online donations are also accepted.

Where: HRD Training Center at the Department of Agrarian Reform Compound, Quezon City (take Gate 1); 2nd floor of 165 Loremar Annex building, ML Quezon St., Antipolo City

When: Not specified. For more information, click here.

Gerry Peñalosa Boxing Gym

What they need: Canned goods that don’t need to be cooked, drinking water, mats, clothes, tarpaulins, feeding bottles, hygiene kits and cash donations

Where: Gerry Peñalosa Boxing Gym at 8th Acropolis Center in Libis, Quezon City

When: August 8 to 14, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

De La Salle schools

What they need: Food (preferably ready to eat and in easy to open packaging), bottled water, clothes, blankets/mats for sleeping and cash donations

Where: La Salle Green Hills Gate 2 along Ortigas Avenue, cash donations at the school’s La Sallian Mission Office. Look for Marlo Castillo at (02) 726-5851. Also accepting donations are De La Salle University-Manila, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, De La Salle Zobel, De La Salle Health Sciences Institute, De La Salle University Medical center, De La Salle University-Science and Technology Complex, University of St. La Salle, De La Salle John Bosco College, La Salle University-Ozamiz, De La Salle University-Dasmariñas, and De La Salle Araneta University.

When: Anytime

LBC Foundation

What they need: Blankets, water, milk, easy to eat food items like biscuits, rice, baby diapers, mats, toiletries. Make sure to label these as donations. Don’t use plastic bags – instead, use a blanket, towel or old shirt to carry the relief goods.

Where: All LBC branches in the country

When: Not specified

McDonald’s

What they need: Rice, noodles, canned goods, bottled water, blankets and clothes

Where: All open McDonald’s branches in Metro Manila

When: Not specified

Philippine Red Cross

What they need: Cash/check, donations in kind

Where: Philippine Red Cross national headquarters at Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila. PRC can arrange for donation pickup. For details on cash/check donations, click here.

When: No date specified

San Sebastian College – Recolectos de Manila

What they need: Relief goods

Where: San Sebastian College – Recolectos de Manila campus, Bilibid Viejo, Manila (for more information, call 734-8931 to 39, local 322)

When: Not specified

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan

What they need: Cash/check donations. For details, click here.

Where: Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan at Loyola House of Studies, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City

When: No date specified

SM Malls

What they need: Relief Goods

Where: All SM malls. For the complete list, click here.

When: Not specified

Tulong Kabataan Volunteer Network

What they need: Noodles, rice, bottled water, coffee, sugar, canned goods, bread, other food items that could be stored for a long period, blankets, clothes, thick pants, socks, medicine, sanitary napkins, undergarments, cash donations

Where: Kabataan Party-list headquarters. For more details, call (02) 437-0148 or 0926-2622040

When: Not specified

University of the Philippines – Diliman

What they need: Volunteers, cash donations, relief goods (500ml bottled water, canned goods, noodles, soap and toothpaste, blankets, clothes, medicines, eco-friendly plastic bags), transportation

Where: UP Gym (at the College of Human Kinetics)

When: August 10, 9am to 9pm (For more information, contact UP Student Council Chairperson Heart Dino through Tina Reyes at 09052936182 or call 343-1771)

University of Santo Tomas

What they need: Drinking water, instant noodles, canned goods, rice, clothes, footwear, pillows, blankets, sleeping mats, toiletries and medicine

Where: UST Central Student Council Office, Tan Yee Kee Student Center Lobby, Local Student Council Office

When: Not specified. For more details, call Argee Gonzales at 0917-8460671

7-Eleven

What they need: Cash donations. Total donations will be matched up to P1.5 million by Philseven Foundation, and will be used to provide relief goods to affected areas.

Where: All 7-Eleven branches in the country

When: Anytime

The Havoc of Habagat

If you’ve noticed I’ve been awfully quiet for the past fews days, its mostly because of the craziness that has happened here in Manila. Perhaps some of you have experienced it yourself or have read or seen it in the news, but here’s my story.

For almost two weeks, Manila and other nearby areas have been experiencing so much rainfall. Given we’re a tropical country, rainfall is nothing new, in fact we’re smack in the middle of the rainy season, which happens from June-October.

But what happens when you have non-stop rains happening for 9 days?

It results into this:

It all started Monday night, August 6. It has been raining for almost a week in Manila and the rest of Luzon. Typhoon Gener has already wreaked its havoc up north of the Philippines with its strong winds. It was a typical rainy Monday. I had plans to do my usual yoga routine after work when dad said not to go anymore to class and head home instead because PAGASA (the Philippines’ weather bureau) raised the alarm on the amount of rainfall that will fall on the city. I chose not to argue and go home early instead and skip class just for that night.

Going home was an ordeal, rain was heavily pouring on the journey home and my dad was calling everyone to go home. We have learned by our past experiences with Typhoon Ondoy back in 2009 not to take rainfall lightly.

It was a sleepless night. The rains were falling tirelessly in heavy drops, just like it was back in 2009. We were closely monitoring the flood situation level in the village since we were very prone to flooding on a big rainfall-heavy storm. We sent out one of the cars out of the village to park in a safe area outside the village, but the flood waters were slowly coming in. We also bought some supplies to keep and brought up important items like our rice sack and extra water.

We woke up the next day, August 7 still to heavy rains. Schools have declared no classes and even my own office cancelled work. The floods have reached gutter-level outside the house, which meant it was deep at the gate of the village.

This photo was taken at around 8am at the house

All day we brought up the furniture and other items at the ground floor just in case anything happens. We started calling tow truck services to get the cars. Our Montero (an SUV) could still pass through the waters so we decided to bring it out. We knew from experience that flood waters won’t subside soon so when the tow trucks for the cars came, we rode the cars so we would be able to get out. Unfortunately only the Cruise was able to be transferred safely out that first night.

Mom, my sister and myself were the first to get out of the house. We checked in at a nearby hotel in the city to spend the night. My dad, brother and youngest sister came next at around two am. They actually had to get out via a boat from the Pasig Fire Department. Good thing we had cars available to get around.

We spent the next day with relatives and later on got a temporary condo unit in the city for us to stay since we were back to work the next day. Manila was a ghost town the next day with a lot of people stuck at home because of the floods. Its either they got flooded or they couldn’t go out since the highways or roads they regularly pass are flooded.

Slowly things are returning back to normal. Unfortunately just like Ondoy, our village is still flooded due to poor drainage system in our area. As I write this, I am currently back in our village to rest since I’ve been running fever, colds and cough for the past few days and took this opportunity to rest first at home since we were able to go home using the Montero. It might take a little while for the waters to get out.

Now what happened? Again this is is due to excessive amount of rainfall that fell in the country. As a matter of fact, this is not even a storm or typhoon, just your typical monsoon rains.

Here are some differences from the 2009 flooding:

There was actually more rainfall that happened versus Ondoy. Water levels in Marikina, where the flood hit went over than what happened before. It also covered a larger amount of area, spanning areas of the Southern Tagalog region and Central Luzon, where previously wasn’t hit.

However, I think Ondoy was much worse because:

  • it happened only in a short amount of time. From experience, the water levels increased dramatically over a span of 6 hours. In this years flooding, the waters rose over a longer period of time, giving people more time to evacuate.
  • Personally, the waters levels were lower inside the house. In Ondoy, the water covered our ground floor. Now, it didn’t make it inside the house.
  • People are better prepared this time. And people learned from experience. At the first alarm, a lot of people already evacuated their homes and moved to safe areas. The death toll wasn’t as high. It wasn’t shocking to a lot of people, except maybe those who didn’t really experience Ondoy before.
  • Government was better equipped. After Ondoy, a lot of government offices got rubber boats for rescue operations and I think this helped a lot.
  • People mobilized better. As early as Tuesday, civilians were reaching out to do relief and rescue operations.

Just another one for the books. I do hope government learns its lesson once again to focus on better urban planning for the city.

Thank you for your prayers!

Oh no she didn’t!

I am affected.

Two days ago, Kristen Stewart came out and admitted that she cheated on her on-screen/off-screen boyfriend Robert Pattinson with her Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders. The couple has never publicly announced their couple-hood, only glimpses from paparazzi photos and slips during interviews have speculated fans that they indeed are an item.

One day after news came out, Kristen Stewart came out with a public apology to Rob in People Magazine saying:

“I’m deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I’ve caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected. This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I’m so sorry.”

Director Rupert Sanders also issued a statement:

“I am utterly distraught about the pain I have caused my family. My beautiful wife and heavenly children are all I have in this world. I love them with all my heart. I am praying that we can get through this together.”

I adore the Twilight series and I just find RPatz and KStew such a lovely couple and their chemistry on and off screen is so obvious. It was very obvious since the first movie while I watched outtakes and interviews. At that time Kristen was dating somebody else. I was thrilled to find out they were a couple, and saddened that this happened.

Robert Pattinson has yet to make a statement and the couple’s status is something to all watch out for. The last installment for The Twilight series, where the couple stars as the lead roles is out this November.

Rest in Peace, Manong Dolphy!

Rodolfo Vera Quizon, 83

No Filipino has not heard the name Dolphy, who has reigned the Philippine entertainment scene as the King of Comedy. Sadly this evening, the man who brought laughter into the lives of the Filipinos, has passed away.

Over the past few weeks, Manong Dolphy has been in critical condition due to his lungs and has been confined in the Makati Medical Center. He is survived by his long time partner, singer-actress ZsaZsa Padilla and his 18 recognized children. He was 83.

Celebrities have took to twitter and other forms of social media to offer their condolences, prayers and fond memories to the Comedy King.

He will greatly be remembered for his roles like John Puruntong and Kevin Cosme in this long running comedy sitcoms John en Marsha and Home Along Da Riles.

Rest in peace, Manong Dolphy! You will be missed greatly!

No More TomKat!

The world is a buzz about the news that powerhouse couple Tom Cruise and his wife of five years Katie Holmes have decided to split.

I am sad to see this couple separate! They have the cutest off spring and I like how they were together.

Project 365: I <3 Queen Elizabeth II! (Day 157)

Celebrated with the United Kingdom and Commonwealth States the Queen’s 60th Jubilee year as Queen! Watched it live on BBC 🙂

Chief Justice on Trial: The Verdict

After 44 days in trial, the day has arrived for the senator-judges to vote if they find Chief Justice Corona is guilty or not guilty according to the articles of Impeachment.

After the 43 days, both prosecution and defense have presented their cases, evidences and witnesses to the public.

And the results are in for Article 2 of rules of Impeachment.

GUILTY – 20 VOTES (Angara, Cayetano A, Cayetano P, Drilon, Enrile (presiding officer), Escudero, Estrada, Guingona, Honasan, Lacson, Lapid, Legarda, Osmena, Pangilinan, Pimentel, Recto, Revilla, Sotto Trillanes, Villar)

NOT GUILTY –  3 VOTES (Arroyo, Defensor-Santiago, Marcos)

Article 2 accuses Corona of failure to disclose his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth as required by the Constitution.

Another historical moment in the Philippines as this is the first time a member of the judiciary was impeached.

Project 365: I <3 Live Trials! (Day 143)

Its Day 40 into the Impeachment Trial of Chief Justice Corona and today was the first time CJ Corona appeared in the trial court to make his statement and testify. And it was filled with drama and controversy from airing out the family skeletons, to signing a conditional waver, and a sudden walk out from the court, earning the ire of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Inspiration: The Queen B comes to MNL!

Apart from the Hollywood stars mentioned in my previous post, it was just confirmed today that another Hollywood celebrity is coming to Manila!

Leighton Meester

The Queen B herself, Leighton Meester of Gossip Girl fame, is coming to Manila this week to also grace Philippine Fashion Week as she is officially part of the Penshoppe All-Stars, together with Thai superstar Mario Mauer, Ian Somerhalder, Zac Efron and her Gossip Girl co-star Ed Westwick.