Sunday, September 27, 2009

toledo st., vista verde, cainta

please include in your prayers our relatives located in toledo street, vista verde, cainta. sila tita babes and my two cousins patrick and jaycee (also known as kamoteforce).

bungalow lang ang bahay nila and obviously, bubong na lang ng bahay ang natira. buti na lang, nakalipat sila sa kapitbahay na may second floor. pero ang problema, nandoon pa rin sila ngayon at hanggang leeg or dibdib pa rin daw ang tubig sa kalsada. walang kuryente, telephone connection at wala nang battery ang mga cellphones nila kaya't hindi na namin sila macontact. nagwo-worry kami dahil baka kinapos na sila ng pagkain at tubig doon. marami rin kasi yata silang nakituloy sa second floor ng kapitbahay. baka may mga bata din o kaya'y sanggol na mas kailangan ng atensyon.

naghihintay ako sa daddy ng balita tungkol sa kanila. i hope and pray that they are safe.

* * *

(a note that came from Mr. Ramil Digal Gulle that shares most of my sentiments. i couldn't agree more.)

"...Our families are not prepared for climate change. Typhoon Ondoy was true to its name, which means “little boy”—it wasn’t a supertyphoon. And yet, we all failed in so many fronts.

In our own home, we don’t have an emergency kit. The flashlight is no longer where I always put it. Furthermore, I’m not aware of any evacuation plan in our community. Who do we call? Where do we evacuate when waters start rising? I have no idea. It’s the sort of ignorance that kills.

One friend of mine lost her possessions in the floods. Her husband and kids are safe. She had the quick and sensible thinking to have her family evacuate shortly after the water began seeping into their house and after the power was cut off. They left everything and booked themselves in a hotel. “I lost everything,” she told me over her mobile phone. I told her that the most important things in her life were saved.

Our government—both the national government and the LGUs--is not prepared for climate change. If people are safe now—relatively, for some, because it’s again starting to rain and many are still trapped on rooftops, awaiting rescue—it’s because of prayer. So many people were—are still—praying. It seems the prayers were heard because we all got a respite from the rain.

Filipinos have a saying, “Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa” (God dispenses mercy but man has to do the work). God has already dispensed his mercy. Will we do our part?

There’s no excuse for the lack of rubber boats, for example. We have floods every year. But every year, we are unprepared. The two rubber boats that began rescuing people in Marikina were a relief to know about, but why only two?

Philippine National Red Cross Chairman Dick Gordon tried to transport several more rubber boats but these had to come all the way from Olongapo. And with the traffic jams at the expressways, they could not get to Metro Manila in time.

The headquarters of the National Disaster Coordinating Council and the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are both in Quezon City. And yet, for nearly 12 hours, Quezon City residents trapped in floods could not be rescued. The AFP, if I remember correctly, usually has the biggest slice of the national budget every year. But where were the choppers? Where were the rubber boats? Clearly something is very wrong.

Then we recall how General Carlos Garcia, former AFP comptroller, was caught (by US authorities, not by Philippine authorities) trying to bring in millions of pesos in cash to the US. It does not inspire faith in the military leadership.

We also recall a lot of things that are disquieting: government resources being used to secure a questionable telecoms deal with a Chinese firm; millions of pesos spent on Presidential dinners abroad; millions of pesos in campaign contributions unaccounted for; millions of pesos spent on a California mansion; billions of pesos spent on foreign trips; and a cancelled plan to buy a new Presidential jet.

How do you explain all that to kids trapped on their rooftop for nearly 24 hours—soaking wet, hungry, crying for their mothers and going insane with fear?

How do you explain the fact that the government can spend millions upon millions on so many other projects, but could only produce two rubber boats to rescue scores of residents trapped in a flooded Marikina village? How do you explain the President’s lobster and steak dinners to Rizal residents neck-deep in muddy floodwaters?

Every year, we get floods and typhoons. Every year, we give money to the AFP and the NDCC. And all that the Marikina residents get are two rubber boats?

And wasn’t Marikina always being trumpeted as some sort of “First World City in a Third World Country”? Clean and green Marikina. Disciplined Marikina, a jewel of law and order in the chaos of the Mega Manila.

The Marikina River floods every year. Every year. But when it really mattered, the City Government of Marikina did not have enough emergency equipment, did not have enough rubber boats. Or if it did, it did not have the capacity to deploy these resources in time. It seemed to have no plan for the evacuation of residents at Provident Village before floodwaters could reach it.

And former Marikina mayor Bayani Fernando wants to run the rest of the country the way he did Marikina—or at least, that’s the impression we get. We could be wrong.

To be fair, none of us expected something like Typhoon Ondoy. But the lack of rubber boats, the seeming lack of coordinated response, the empty promises made over the media—these are simply not acceptable. These do not inspire our confidence in government once the next super typhoon hits.

I mentioned Marikina only as an example. I’m not blaming Fernando or his wife (the present Marikina mayor). I’m just stating how things appear. The real story about the slow rescue, etc. might unfold in the next few days.

[Kris Aquino was talking on TV about Marikina rescue efforts. She said that according to one Marikina resident, there were rubber boats deployed by the Marikina government--but the river's currents were so strong that the rubber boats got overturned. It was also pointed out that Marikina Mayor Marides Fernando did everything she could but "nature's wrath" was just too powerful. In the interest of fairness I should point this out.]

What happened to Marikina can happen anywhere. The local governments of Bulacan, Pasig and Rizal fared no better. Are our local governments prepared for climate change? Are they prepared for typhoons like Ondoy, or much stronger ones? Your guess is as good as mine.

What would have happened if Ondoy didn’t leave the country in the hours following the massive flooding? What if it was a super typhoon that decided to stay for a few days?

The answer is so obvious that we’re scared to state it: Death and Chaos. So many people, so many children will die. Our loved ones will die. We will die.

The next few days, weeks and months will tell us whether the government cares to prevent this, or whether it wants to use climate change as a kind of population control.

The government’s priorities have been clear in the way it spends its money and allocates its resources. For example, the AFP budget keeps growing. But what about the budget for the national weather agency PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration)? There were reports a few years back that the budget was actually slashed.

During a report on GMA-7 news last night, PAGASA OIC Nathaniel Cruz said that there was a piece of equipment that could help the agency estimate a typhoon’s potential amount of rainfall (very useful in the case of Ondoy, which poured a month’s worth of rainfall in about five hours)—a Doppler radar. Does PAGASA have this equipment?

No. The national weather agency, the only one that could warn us if we should evacuate because a typhoon will bring a deluge, does not have a Doppler radar. But it’s on its way, clarifies Cruz.

PAGASA, in Filipino, also means “Hope”. Based on how the government seems to prioritize PAGASA, the weather agency, do we have reason to hope?

It was drummed into my head a long time ago that when we use the term “government” in a democracy, we should really refer to ourselves. After all, in a democracy, governance must be by, of and for the people.

So it’s either we’re not really a democracy (because we always stand back and just let a bunch of evil yoyos run things for us) or we’re all just not getting this governance thing right. We’re not governing things the way we should.

It’s raining again. I hope we get our acts together soon."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

the lonely hearts club band

gusto ko ng ganitong t-shirt. the lonely hearts club band ang tawag ko sa kanila, na gawa ni christian san jose. astig 'di ba?

sino pa bang hindi nakakakilala sa kanila? sumikat na tuloy ang magkakabarkadang 'to. nasan na kaya sila? ano na kayang itsura nila ngayon? buhay pa kaya sila?

Monday, September 21, 2009

old manila

kapag napupunta ako ng manila, bumabalik sa isip ko yung years ko noong college. araw-araw, back and forth from valenzuela. sumasakay ng tricycle at jeep papuntang monumento, lrt, bababa sa central station at maglalakad papuntang intramuros. isa't kalahating oras ang byahe one way. hindi ako kumuha ng boarding house dahil iba pa rin ang comfort ng umuuwi sa sariling bahay. libre kain, libre tubig/kuryente, libre laba, pati ligpit ng kama libre na rin. hehehe.

kapag nasa biyahe, ginagawa kong libangan ang pagsa-sight seeing ng mga cute na mga students na nakakasabay at nakakasalubong ko. pero i had this conclusion na halos karamihan (80%) ng mga students ng UST ay magaganda, lalo na kapag white dress ang uniform. sa intramuros area, nandiyan ang mga girls ng lyceum (40%) at letran (30%). (note: ang mga percentages ay sariling haka-haka ko lamang) eh ang sa mapua? okay, next topic.

ngayon, kapag nasa bakasyon at mapapadaan ako ng manila, binabalikan ko pa rin ang porkchop ni manang na makikita isa sa mga stalls sa pader ng intramuros. makikita ito sa gitna ng mapua at lyceum. masarap ang pagkakaluto ng porkchop with her patented sauce na talaga namang di mo makakalimutan sa sarap.

saan ba patungo itong post ko na 'to? hindi ko din alam. nakita ko lang kasi sa inbox ko itong old pictures ng manila. mga panahong buhay pa ang mga magulang ng mga lolo't lola ko. mga panahong puro kalabaw at kabayo pa lang ang means of land transportation.

binondo early 1900's

escolta year 1884

gate to intramuros late 1800's

gateway to fort santiago

ilog pasig 1900's

luneta park 1900's: wala pa halos mapupwestuhan ang mga mahihilig mag-quickie.

napakahirap palang magplantsa noon, pero kahit madali na lang ngayon, tamad pa rin ako magplantsa. hehehe.

ang malacanang noong panahong hindi pa niya kailangan ng gates at sandamakmak na pulis para bantayan ito

may tram din pala sa atin noon. 1900's

san sebastian church and hidalgo street

sampaloc street

Saturday, September 12, 2009

baby under construction

today marks the first birth and death anniversary of our twins. ang bilis ng panahon! kung tutuusin, dapat kalimutan na lang para hindi masakit kapag inaalala pa. pero it also marks the day when my beautiful wife was given her second life. dahil lalong malalagay sa panganib ang buhay nya kung patatagalin pa ang mga babies sa kanyang sinapupunan. kumbaga, nailabas ang mga babies in the nick of time. at iyon ang gusto naming alalahanin sa araw na 'to, thanksgiving.

bachoinkchoink is in her 18th week of our third baby. so far so good, very very good compared last year. kung totoo yung kasabihang kapag maganda at blooming ang buntis ay babae ang magiging baby nya, siguro ay babae na naman ito (pero kapag humarap siya sa akin sa webcam nang hindi pa naliligo, wari ko ay lalaki. hehehe).

binibiro ko nga siya. sabi ko next year ulit gawa kami baby para blooming siya ulit lagi. hehehe. bisyo na 'to.

(ninenok lang ang larawan dito)

Monday, September 7, 2009

and after all i'm only sleeping

nitong mga nagdaang araw, lagi akong balisa tuwing pagkagising ko sa umaga. lagi ko kasing napapanaginipan na nasa college pa rin daw ako sa mapua.

pero ganito ang scenario: nasa kalagitnaan na raw ang isang semester na hindi ko pa napapasukan ang isang major subject na nag-enroll ako. nasa resibo ang list of subjects na binayaran ko sa registrar pero hindi ko napansin ang isang major subject na ito. ultimate katangahan.

ilang beses na raw nagro-rollcall na wala ako, at ilang exams na rin ang nalagpasan ko. hindi ko na alam kung makakapasa pa ako kahit ano pang gawin ko. maiiwanan ako ng mga kaklase ko. magkaka-dungis ang transcript of records ko. papagalitan ako tiyak sa bahay.

pero pagkatapos kong mahimasmasan pagkagising, sigh of relief. buti na lang at panaginip lang. nagtatrabaho na ako at wala na sa college. pero bat ba ako kinakabahan eh sanay na sanay naman akong bumagsak noong college. hehehe.

mas gusto ko kasi ang freedom ng working life kaysa sa college life:

1. bahala ako kung ano ang gagawin ko sa sweldo ko. nakaka-konsensiya kasing gastahin sa kabulastugan ang pera kapag bigay lang sa iyo.

2. bahala ako kung anong oras ko gusto umuwi. hindi tulad pag college, monitored ang oras lalo sa gabi. parents have their rights, pera nila ang ipinampapa-aral sayo.

3. bahala ako kung ano ang gusto kong gawin paguwi ng bahay. walang iintindihing homeworks at exams (na kokopyahin lang din naman).

ilan lang yan sa mga naiisip ko ngayon. hindi ko na isasama yung nakakapasok na ko sa mga sinehan nang walang kahirap-hirap kapag R-18 ang palabas. pero kahit noong college naman ako eh hindi naman ako nakaranas pigilan ng ticket booth at gwardiya, eh mukha pa naman akong baby noon.

* * *

kagabi, nasa classroom ng mapua na naman ako sa panaginip ko. this time, ang professor daw ay si berlin manalaysay. hindi ko pa nakikita ang itsura ni berlin manalaysay pero para sa mga hindi nakakakilala sa kanya, siya dakilang gumawa ng combatron na sobrang idol ko noon. 'stig di ba?

sobra lang siguro akong nanghihinayang sa mga nawala kong funny komiks noon. kumpleto ko pa naman ang combatron series mula sa simula. nabasa kasi ng baha lahat at bumaho kaya itinapon ko na lang. kung hindi eh ako lang sana ang may kumpletong archive ng combatron na available sa internet.

(ang komiks ay inumit dito.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009