We Did Not Deserve It

5:30 AM Wednesday, September 30, 2009

... but maybe we had it coming?

First of all, there is no real defense against Acts of God. They are just forces greater than we are. They can strike anywhere, at anytime. They do not care if you're brilliant or stupid, famous or not, rich or poor, single or married, old or young. And Death, when it's your time, will not discriminate between a man wearing expensive underwear and a man wearing tattered panties (because panties are cheaper to buy than briefs).

So when Ondoy came, Manila was certainly at its mercy. It cannot simply rain that much without destroying anything. That's a law of nature in itself.

But maybe, we are also not entirely blameless as to the degree of devastation and loss of life.

After all, we marched on the streets to oust a President for gambling but re-elected a President who spends P800 million on foreign trips. And not voting at all does not make us blameless for putting her there.

And we allow her to put her cronies in key positions, all of whom drive us further into debt while enjoying what's left of the government's coffers. Meanwhile, roads are given token patches but are not really improved. Taxes we pay still do not go into health care and education. But are we offended enough by the corruption to remove these 'leaders' from their seats of power?

And do we join environmental groups when they protest the construction of certain buildings and towers? Where are we when trees are being cut down to make way for villages and industrial parks?

Do we recycle and reuse? How often do we bring our own water anywhere? How many bring their own shopping bags for groceries? How many of us dispose of our trash properly?

How many of us smoke?

How many of us save energy?

If we had leaders who were actually concerned about serving the country, then funds would have been better appropriated and there will actually be available resources to be used in such emergencies. Help would have gotten faster to people who needed it.

Plus, industrialization will happen in a more prudent way.

If we, as a people, are disciplined enough to follow our laws, respect our authorities and be concerned about the environment in which we live (and the natural resources that's abundant in the Philippines), there wouldn't be that much garbage and there would be that much more trees.

Then again, because we were so naturally rich, we have taken it for granted that we will always be. Unfortunately for us, we cannot keep what we do not care for. And now, a lot of what we had going for us is lost.

And then there's still that complacency. We know we're being wronged and yet, the most we do about it is complain or Tweet. We expect others to march in the rallies for us, to be the one knocking on doors and swinging the axes.

But wait, we still have People Power. We never lost it, after all. But somehow, after wielding it once or twice before, we always go back to 'sleep' and dream again of a better Philippines without ever waking up to do the work.

Ondoy was... IS a nightmare. I wonder, is it enough to anger us into action and make things better, or will it just make us angry? Will we finally help ourselves or just keep crying for help?

Make no mistake, had we better leaders and more disciplined citizens, Ondoy still would have ruined and killed. But I believe, we'd have saved more lives at least. And the victims would have more hope and drive to rebuild.

We did not deserve what happened to us... but seeing that it already happened, what are we already doing to make sure it doesn't happen again?


Like what I said in Facebook... Even God said we should do our best for Him to do the rest. We cannot just express sadness over the tragedy, we have to rally support for the victims, donate or volunteer. We cannot just complain about the government, we have to change it. We cannot just complain how there's too much sun or rain, we have to plant trees to ensure it wouldn't get that hot and the rains won't flood us so.

And we have got to stop nitpicking on what others did and didn't do and focus our energies on doing something ourselves.


I am equaly guilty of complacency. I have not been giving my best effort in being the change I want to see in the world.


I leave you with Edmund Burke:

"It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare. " (hello, Presidentibles and your commercials)

"We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature, and the means perhaps of its conservation."

If We Were Spared, Let Us Now Help

3:29 PM Monday, September 28, 2009

7-11 stores have been opened as drop off points for donations (people need clothes! and we don't need that many shirts!!!).

Schools and Churches are all accepting donations as well, or need volunteers to help repack the donations.

And everyone can donate money. This is a good resource site on how to donate to the Philippine Red Cross. Even people abroad can donate via Paypal.

Let's give guys. Every little thing counts.

I already did. It's my birthday gift to myself.


Mail & More, FedEx & Air21 outlets r now accepting donations. For locations please call 8794789 or log on to www.mailandmore.com.ph.


STARBUCKS NOW ACCEPTS DONATIONS FOR TYPHOON ONDOY! The ff. donations are welcome: blankets, rice, bottled water, instant noodles.


List of other official help sites and lines.

It took me Sunday afternoon before I had load for my SMART number. My SUN phone lost it's signal around 6 PM yesterday and hubby's GLOBE lost its signal around 9 PM last night. So it was only several hours ago that I had means to text friends and ask how they fared in the Ondoy tragedy.

My heart is currently breaking for my former officemate. They lived in Antipolo and their home was one of those that experienced a flash flood (you know, where water just comes from nowhere and before you can even pick up anything or think of what to do, it's already higher than your knee, your waist, or it has engulfed your first floor already).

Unfortunately, her mother must have been so surprised and stressed that she had a heart attack. They couldn't bring her to the hospital because they were stuck home because of the flood. Her mother died that Saturday and it was only 5 PM of Sunday that they managed to get her out of their village.

I cannot imagine how it must have been for them. To have your precious things ruined, to have your beloved home unsafe, to be at the mercy of the elements, and then to hold someone you really love and not be able to help them. I can't imagine how many times their loss was multiplied by not being able to get medical help, by being stuck at home with their dead for hours, unsure when they can even do the decent rituals for someone they love.

I ask for prayers for them. If it's not too much, and if you have a Facebook account, please leave her a kind message here.


Let's also pray for others who have lost family and friends because of Ondoy. Let's also pray extra for those whose loved ones died because they were helping save other lives.

And let's pray that the death toll stops soon... that diseases and hunger would not
take more lives in the aftermath of this really vicious tragedy.


Meanwhile, let's also pray and thank God that we have been spared...

God Wants You To Know...

9:51 AM Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mec got a message that on this day, God wants her to know...
... that to find out who you are becoming find stories that move your heart.

Just like a seed has an image of the tree in it, so does your heart have an image... of who you are becoming. Look for stories in movies and books that resonate in your heart, and you will find glimpses of your possible futures. What is your favorite story?

Lately, am still all about prairie, pioneer and Titanic stories. So I hope that doesn't mean disaster but I think it really means am in a rut, and would welcome great upheavals that are character-building. Opportunities to grow... opportunities to become.

Then again, I really should be more proactive and create those opportunities instead.

Facebook and Friendster Delivers

1:03 AM Monday, September 21, 2009

...old friends, that is.

I'm really happy to hear from college friends again. I'm happy knowing that they're alive still, and that life seemed to have blessed them in the end because they're generally ok. I love knowing that they have more than one kid now, and that they're still with the men that they were with when last we saw each other.

I don't like it so much though when I see them into Farm Town and Farmville and pet Society, hehe. But still, it's like coming home, this kind of happieness. Hopefully, we don't fall out of touch again.

Maybe I should invite them over for my birthday. I can just buy cake anyway (since am strapped for cash) and we can all just gab away.

September's Better

1:57 AM Friday, September 11, 2009

Although a little depressed and hassled by my recent allergic episode that necessitated a trip to the ER and a prescription of soooo many meds, September has been a little better mood-wise for me.

And although i've been hemming and hawing over plans... I think am really going to pursue something that's a little close to heart.

I am meeting with friends on Sept. 27... they are ecstatic over culinary school and party planning business. Their passions. I want to be like them. I just really have to not be scared of wanting to fail or be different.

Facebook also helped.

Mec got a message that on this day, God wants her to know...
... that what you are most afraid of is where your greatest rewards are.

If all you had to do was wish for something and you would have it, life would be pretty boring, wouldn't it? God placed barriers between us and what we want, so we can enjoy interesting and satisfying lives. God hid our biggest rewards behind the highest barriers - our deepest fears. God wants us to face our fears, and hold ground in their presence, and let them go, and that's how we get out biggest rewards. What are you most afraid of? Say it, just start by saying it.

I am scared of not being good enough. Of starting from scratch. Of not knowing. Of failing.

It Sucks to be a Female Patient

4:52 PM Wednesday, September 09, 2009

One with a sex life too!

Well see, my back started being more of a pain than usual yesterday. Bad enough for me to feel numb and weak and dizzy when I carry Yakee. So hubs insisted on me going for a check-up today. I braved rains to do so.

Anyway, the interview with the HMO doctor left much to be desired. She wasn't even interested in my activities that could have led to the back pain (are you engaged in strenuous activities? did you carry anything heavy lately? what's your sleeping position? had too much sex? have you been gaining weight?). She just non-chalantly wrote a prescription for pain reliever and an order for urinalysis and x-ray.

But the thing is, I am a day delayed. I actually don't feel am preggy and i've been irregular every now and then. But they think it's still too early for me to get a pregnancy test and any suspicion that I may be preggy trumps the need for the x-ray.

And no, my darling doctor didn't ask about the possibility of me being preggy. To her, I was just a person, not a female patient, who requires a different approach, maybve even diferent medicines.

Book Love

12:49 AM Sunday, September 06, 2009

My parents say that i've loved to read ever since I didn't even know how just yet.

But it wasn't like my parents also surrounded me with books. We had a lot of reference books (one of my favorite ones was this huge, heavy reference for diseases, the graphic pictures were exciting for me) and I even read the book "Where There is No Doctor".

So when I was in Grade 1 & 2 at Montessori, the library was my second classroom. And I guess since it was Montessori, and I had foreigner classmates, the books must have been mostly in English.

But I really became a bookworm in Grades 3 & 4 at Concordia. They had this really, really, really huge library. They had complete editions of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew (which I never touched). Instead, I immersed myself in American textbooks donated to the country by different libraries in the U.S. I even relished the fact that the books were hardbound but in mint condition, that my hands were the first to ever turn their pages, and my name is the first to be stamped in the library cards. For the two years I was there, I was in the top 5 borrowers. And always, i'd gladly finish one textbook through the night so I could borrow another one the next day. I wanted to finish shelves upon shelves of them.

That was how I got to know about Africa, and American pioneers, and American Indians.

And then, I was transferred to PCS by my Mom. They also had two sections of donated books that nobody ever goes to. There, I immersed myself in Greek gods and goddesses and faerie tales and Enid Blyton. And the American textbooks.

So although I never read other typical classics, I still spent a third of my childhood reading, getting lost in stories from a different time and place.

The catch, however, is that I prefer American prose over ours.

Anyway, I bought two such textbooks again today from Booksale. I love them all the more because they come with study guides and suggested activities or points for reflection. I tell myself, these will be handy when I start homeschooling my kid.

And am just waiting for the right date to start charging on our credit card because it's sale at NBS. And am looking forward to the Manila Book Fair. I plan to start shopping for Christmas gifts to nieces and nephews early. I am hoping OMF Lit books will be on sale as I intend to buy a collection of the children's books.

Sigh. Bliss. I spent some 5 hours at Booksale and NBS this afternoon.

Again, bliss.

Kitakits for Kuya Rich

5:46 PM Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I've known the FAD people for over a decade. They're one of my oldest friends and they knew me when I was still an enraged, confused teener. We lost touch over the years as each one pursued careers and family life.

But last Saturday, some of us managed to make time for one of our own. Ya Rich has been battling with a serious kidney disease for over two years now so we met up to cheer him up and let him know we're there for him.

Twas a riot reminiscing about old times, how we still crave for the pancit miki bihon we used to buy before, the old love teams, the old boo-boos, the things we did for the NGO that made us friends. We gossiped and caught up with news and info. I finally confirmed for them that one of us was already gay even back then :D

Anyway, i'll be seeing them again this December... hopefully with more pics and better food :)