Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Greetings to all Earthlings!!!

Hope you all had a happy and meaningful Christmas.

And here's to a happy new year ahead for all!!!


Friday, December 27, 2013

I wish the best for Zamboanga City evacuees

I was told just the other day by a friend who is somewhat involved in the Zamboanga City (Philippines) rehabilitation that there are still so many people living there in evacuation sites, up to now. They are victims of a rebel-instigated warfare that happened right in their city, in September 2013. The residents were left homeless and without their jobs. They are living now in evacuation sites that have poor facilities, so poor that many children are getting sick, according to my friend.

I hope and pray that what the authorities are doing now to help these people will pick up pace and will truly be beneficial to them, as soon as possible. 

Benoit tracks bring back nostalgia

Now listening to some David Benoit tracks on my external hard drive as I try to write something on my computer. Listening to Benoit makes me long to play again my long-playing (LP) records now gathering some dust in the turntable stereo-cabinet. Records give out that certain crisp sound quality I seldom find in compact discs. Plus there's that nostalgia in playing old records that I've either bought years back or handed down to me by my elder siblings and my parents. I also remember that times that I would listen to the records together with my parents, who are now in their '80s and quite sickly. My records collection (LPs and 45s) isn't really that extensive, but there are choice pieces--like Xavier Cugat, Richard Clayderman, Liberace, Olivia Newton-John, Ray Conniff singers, of course, Benoit, to name a few.

My turntable's long been busted, and I don't have the budget yet to buy a new one. The old one was actually bought for our family by an older sibling, who had a portable stereo set in her younger days. It's been repaired twice that extended its life a bit more. Now, it serves as a table for our television set. Its speakers serve as sidetables for some living room decor.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I dedicate this Christmas to the Yolanda survivors

This past week, I met some survivors of the November 2013 supertyphoon "Yolanda" (Haiyan as known internationally) when I visited Cebu province in the Visayas region of the Philippines with some friends. My friends and I (we came from Luzon region which was unaffected by Yolanda) were supposed to go to some areas quite near Cebu that were devastated by the typhoon, to give out some help to the survivors. However, because of some difficulty in transportation and time constraint, we asked a few of our friends who were typhoon survivors based in Leyte (one of the hardest hit by Yolanda) to come to Cebu instead for at least an overnight stay and to get for themselves and their loved ones the assistance we brought for them. Some of the assistance also came from other concerned parties.

For one of the people (a friend of mine from way back) who came to stay in the hotel we were billeted in at Cebu, it was the first time for her--since the time that she and her family lost almost all their property and possessions in early November this year to Yolanda--to get out of Leyte, to once again be in a place where there was electricity 24 hours a day, to once again sleep in decent room with a soft bed with running water in the bath, to once again eat on a proper dining table with food that need not be scrimped, to once again watch TV. Now, when my friend saw on evening TV news the featured videos on Christmas lights/decors then already festooned on streets and establishments elsewhere in the Philippines, she exclaimed in the vernacular "Hey, it's Christmas already in other places."

This person I'm talking about used to be the one in charge of putting up Christmas lights/decors in the office in Quezon City in Luzon where she used to work at before going back to her home province (Leyte). And she did all that office decorating with gusto and with much creativity. When she took an early retirement and went back to her province, she set up a small business there, about two years ago.

Now, Yolanda left this person's home in Leyte hardly standing. It was made of concrete thus the typhoon wasn't able to put it down completely. But the house lost some walls and its roof. This person and her relatives who were rendered totally homeless by Yolanda are now cramped in the first floor of the house, with the floor of the house's former second story (wiped out by Yolanda) now serving as their roof. Almost all furniture in the house had been destroyed. Around this person and her relatives' small space are the devastated homes and properties of their neighbors, whose homes were made of mostly light materials. Fallen trees and electric posts are everywhere. Since the typhoon hit on that fateful day, this once vibrant community has had no electricity, and the remaining residents have to seek for and find basic daily essentials that are either scarce or have to be bought at very high prices in far places (no relief goods have reached their area yet). They are making do with what they have and can get, they have to re-start and re-build their lives from almost nothing. 

Now, with no walls and windows to hang to the Christmas lights/decor, with no electricity to run those lights and to play the Christmas carols and, of course, what more, with but the simplest of food to share and partake among the family members, my friend's family and all the other Yolanda survivors will celebrate this year's Christmas with neither the pomp nor pageantry of the past years. But this special day, albeit to be celebrated simply, will be made even more special and meaningful by the most earnest hope and determination that the survivors share together, hand-in-hand, emanating from the deepest of their hearts and souls. Their hope is alive and burning that, soon, they will rise above the rubble and reclaim their lives. 

To my friend and the other Yolanda survivors, I dedicate and share this year's Christmas celebration. I share with them the hope and prayers for their recovery at the soonest time possible. 

My friend's name is Aster.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Please pray for and help the Philippines, devastated by a supertyphoon

Photo above from inquirer.net website (of the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper) shows but a small area of the widespread devastation suffered by several provinces in central Philippines, after supertyphoon "Yolanda" (international name "Haiyan") hit the country yesterday. Haiyan is said to be the one of the world's strongest, if not the strongest, typhoon to hit this year. Strong rains and winds have rendered hundreds of thousands of Filipinos homeless, businesses destroyed, roads and other infrastructure devastated. Body count of the deceased (some lying on the roads) is just starting, and the Philippine Red Cross has an early estimate of more than a thousand dead. (Update: as of Saturday, authorities say more than 10,000 are said to be dead, in Leyte province alone. News from many other provinces devastated by Yolanda are still hard to obtain as of Saturday because communication and transportation to these areas are still not possible.)

Prayers are really needed to help the devastated people rise again from this calamity. And donations for their needs will help them very much also because they now urgently seek for food, water, clothes, shelter and other daily necessities.

You can forward donations to one of the institutions now accepting donations, which is the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Philippines's leading newspaper. And also the Philippine Red Cross. See details below (image from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/524095/inquirer-accepts-donations-for-yolanda-victims). For cash donations coming from abroad, I believe that Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) mentioned below has international branches. 

Thanks very much for your prayers, sympathy, and help for my country.

(Update November 11, 2013: Please see http://www.spot.ph/the-feed/54864/how-to-help-yolandaph-relief-operations-and-donations for list of more ways to send in donations to the Philippine Red Cross, the Department of Social Welfare and Development or DSWD of the Philippine Government, and the Gawad Kalinga, which is a nongovernment organization [NGO].)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fighting in Zamboanga City--hope it stops soon enough

This photo appears on the front page of today's Philippine Daily Inquirer, a daily in my country, the Philippines. Thousands of my fellow Filipinos are now displaced in Zamboanga City, south of the Philippines, because of more than a week-long fighting between government soldiers and extremists, who have taken hostages. I really hope and pray that this senseless fighting will end soon because of the many lives lost and thousands of people evacuated from their city dwellings and now cramped in various evacuation centers. 

Photo caption: A woman and her two children wait for food to arrive at Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex, where thousands of people have taken shelter from fighting between government forces and Moro rebels in Zamboanga City. Photo by EDWIN BACASMAS, PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER
A woman and her two children wait for food to arrive at Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex, where thousands of people have taken shelter from fighting between government forces and Moro rebels in Zamboanga City.  EDWIN BACASMAS

Friday, August 16, 2013

It's "bon voyage" not "von voyage"

Okay, I've seen this one thrice too many on Facebook. People writing "von voyage" to, well, wish their friends a happy trip. The intention is appreciated BUT, as far as I know and as verified by Google (including dictionary dotcom), it should be "bon voyage" not "von voyage." 

But because Facebook (and other social media websites) seem to thrive on making trends out of the usual and ordinary, I just don't know if using "von voyage" is just one of those trends that people trying to be "cute" (heheh) are using nowadays. 

Anyway, I'm sticking to using "bon voyage" (in and out of the Internet) because I'm already cute (heheh). 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

My newest song video...hahah!!!

Yup, that's me crying, ahhh, singing...trying to sing!!! King and Queen of Hearts (by David Pomeranz), the fave song of a friend of mine who celebrated her birthday just this May. Video was for her, although I don't know if she was able to open it at all! But she did hear the audio, which I think made her a little happy, anyway. Heheh.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

No child should be poor

Yesterday morning, hurrying to get a ride to a meeting, I came across a little girl about to enter our village gate. She was clad in dirty t-shirt and shorts, and was barefoot. I am one who can never accept that a child should be in such condition. I stopped her and asked why she had no slippers, as if i didn't know why. She told me she was eight and didn't go to school. Knowing that we kept some small slippers at home for such kids, I told her to go to our house, a few blocks away, to look for my mom or my brother who can give her a pair. I scribbled on a piece of paper our home address and a note to my brother about the slippers. I asked the little girl if she could read or remember the number i wrote. She said yes. But she didn't go to our home, I learned later. 

For how long still should children be poor in clothes, food, shelter, and education? For how long still should children--and their present and future--be victims of poverty? I hope not for long. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

So long, Rustan's Superstore Cubao!!!

Rustan's Superstore Cubao (Quezon City, PH) was the in-store way back when, with its huge supermarket, modern interiors, stylish stores, accessible location, and everything else. With the various developments (read: new buildings) ongoing now at the Araneta Center, Rustan's big white structure is a mere fraction of its old self, and its imposing signage has been long gone. Rustan's building has been halved as a start to putting up another of the condos in the area. Short video shows the space (behind the trees) once occupied by Rustan's other half of its building. The remaining half still standing will probably be gone soon, too, as soon as the banks and other small establishments now on site are transferred. I'll miss Rustan's. The same way I'm missing Fiesta Carnival and COD with its animated Christmas display (not the same even if it's in Greenhills now) :) Just have to look back to the memories :)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Kitten cats meow milk :)

These two mother cats (gray and triple color) gave birth at almost the same time. They've been transferring each other's kittens here and there (as in mixing up their kittens). I guess to settle the matter and after getting tired of all that transferring, they finally decided to share a nursery area (a.k.a. our home's doorway), so their combined kittens now have bottomless milk and comfy body beds :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Happy Women's Month 2013

I wish that all women will be able to exercise their rights, and enjoy all benefits and opportunities on equal footing with men. While many world conferences on women have been held, a number of covenants and agreements on gender equality and promotion have been signed by different nations, and many countries have made great strides in gender equality advocacy and promotion,  sexism still occurs in various levels in society. In some cases, sexism (especially discrimination against women) occurs in small scale (such as in the household level--e.g., delegating housework only to girls and women because it's supposed to be "women's work") that sometimes we tend to dismiss it as nothing else. But when such sexism occurs everyday in many places in different situations and nothing is done about it, eventually all these "little incidents" merge to become large cases and hard-to-reverse sexist and gender-insensitive situations. 

Here's hoping more women and more men will be enlightened enough to end discrimination because of sex. So that every year, the celebration of International Women's Day (March 8) and Women's Month every March will become more and more meaningful and joyous.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Blessed New Year to all!!!

I hope everyone had a meaningful Christmas 2012 celebration, and will be even be more blessed on this new year 2013. Well, the world didn't end in 2012, so let's all be happy that we've got some more time to be good girls and boys :)