Saturday, December 28, 2013

pasko pasko!

di gaanong malamig ang simoy ng hangin ngayong disyembre. umulan pa nitong mga nakaraang araw. pagbabagong-klima nga ang dahilan. ngunit di nito napigilan ang masayang salu-salo sa amin sa novaliches. bukod kay izhi, lahat ng bata ay nasa hayskul na kaya naman umaatikabo ang asaran at tawanan. isama mo pa ang di magkamayaw na mga hirit ni ate she, tita, kuya bob at liz. siyempre, niloloko rin namin si papa! haha! 

may caldereta ni tita, nag-ispageting pangmayaman naman si kuya bob, may fruit salad si ate she,may mango float si liz, may lechon kawali at fried chicken. ayos ang buto-buto! alas-10 pa nga lang, pumapalok at kumukurot na sa lechon kawali eh. kaunting kape lang at nag-alas dose na rin. bigayan muna ng kaunting mga regalo bago nagsikain. siyempre, tuloy-tuloy din ang hiritan, lalo na kapag nagsasalita si luis! gising pa ang lahat hanggang alas-3 dahil sa mga tawanang ito. salamat kay ate nice para sa mga piktyur na ito.

salamat Po sa biyayang hatid ng pamilya.


di naman ako maka-starbucks talaga. mas gusto ko sa coffee bean and tea leaf. pero dahil nasimulan na ang koleksyon ng sticker para sa 2014 planner, tinuloy ko na. nagkaroon ako ng mga sticker dala ng mga meeting kasama ng philippine team. wala akong balak bumili ng kape kaya hintay-hintay lang kung sino ang bibili, baka sakaling maambunan ng tatak. suwerte namang dumating si det sa get-together kasama ng mga ex-idcers sa cafe juanita. binigay sa akin ang card niya at boom! biglang 3 stickers na lang ang kulang para makakuha ng planner. isa pang meeting at naging isa na lang ang kakailanganin. at dahil isa na lang naman ang kulang, bumili na ako ng christmas blend.

oo. isang tall hot peppermint coffee lang ang binili ko para makasungkit ng planner ng starbucks. di gaya ng mga nagdaang taon na halos 6 hanggang 10 ang kailangan kong bilhin para mapunuan ang card. bakit ba kasi ako bibili kung may ibang paraan naman di ba?! bibili ako ng tea latte ng coffee bean o kaya sa chatime. hehe!

siyempre kailangan kong banggiting tumpak ang spelling ng pangalan ko! madalas kasi kaysa hindi, laging mali ang ispeling 'pag bibili ako sa starbucks. nandiyang maging jobert, hubert o kaya joebert. minsan pa nga ay rupert! di ko alam kung mahina ako magsalita o di maintindihan ang pangalan ko pero talagang laging natataon na 'pag sa starbucks ay mali ang spelling ng pangalan ko. katuwa na magkaminsan ay may tama rin sila! haha!

panahon na para maglagay ulit ng tanda sa mga key dates ng 2014. happy new year!

Friday, December 27, 2013


must love cats! yup, this is the newest craze in our nova home. seems like the time of ming gie sue and baby boy are here again... with peaches and her new litter, plus her older daughter, cherry pie. :)


before boarding the bus to bato, i had heavy breakfast at apple tree. so when i reached argao in cebu around noon, i was still full. i then walked around the town's heritage plaza before asking someone where's the best torta in town. i first asked a teener and she said it's chitang's. i then asked a tricycle driver and he also mentioned chitang's. so off i went to chitang's! 

la torta de argao from chitang's is such a wonderful treat! they said that its distinct taste is due to bahalina or tuba. it is spongy but with smooth texture and has since become synonymous to argao. they even hold torta festival annually. till next time, argao!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

purple oven

pagkasarap-sarap ng chocolate campfire cake mula sa purple oven! tamang tamis at walang nakauumay na lasa. maski simpleng cookies o lemon square, sadyang walang sabit ang bakery na ito. kaya siguro sa kanila nga nagpapagawa ng mga cheesecake ang starbucks. 

cake ba 'ika mo? purple oven na agad. sa susunod ay 'yung sans rival naman.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


ano nga bang mayroon ka?
bakit ganoon na lamang ang iyong panghalina?
o caldereta!

dahil ba sa anghang?
dala ba ito ng napakalambot mong karne?
o caldereta!

bunga ba ito ng malinamnam mong sarsa?
dahil ba sa sahog mong patatas at carrots
o caldereta!

kung anuman 'yun, salamat kay tita.
lalo pang sasarap kinabukas at sa susunod pang mga araw.
'yun ay kung may matitira pa.

oras na ng ating muling pagtutuos.
o caldereta!

Monday, December 23, 2013

da best

da best ang pasko 'pag kasama ang pinaka-da best na mga kaibigan! 

salamat kay jake sa mga piktyur na ito dahil di naman kami masyadong nagpiktyur ng buong gabing ito. mas busy kami sa pagkain, sa kuwento at tawa. at siyempre ang walang patumanggang pagbi-videoke hanggang alas-5 ng umaga! oo, nagsimula kaming kumanta bandang alas-10 at one-to-antok na ito hanggang sumikat nang muli ang araw. ayaw pa kunwari n'ung una pero di na tumigil buong madaling-araw. hehe!

salamat sa aming magiliw na host(ess) na si pops. may pasta, cake, buttered tiger prawns, pandesal, gourmet tuyo, samgyupsal at rice wine! 

sa susunod na kabig ulit, aking mga kaibigan!


who is strongest? 
who is the best?
who holds the ace?

air of spontaneity.
a gimmick they employed.
it was like jumping on a trampoline.

unreturned serve in tennis.
a team's best starting pitcher.
aced it!

Saturday, December 21, 2013


my first time in sariwon korean barbecue last night. it was our pre-christmas vacation dinner and again, to while away time to avoid the christmas rush in BGC and ayala. the food is great but on the pricey side. medyo bitin sa galbi but the bulgogi was nice. happy christmas!

[photo taken from ivy's instagram account. thanks, ivy!]

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013


muntik ko nang malimutan ang montalban. 
ang bulubundukin nito.
pero di naman masukal.
di rin maalikabok.

sa katunayan, kaaya-aya ito.
may kung anong payapa.
masagana ang daloy.
tatalon tayo ulit.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Acceptance doesn't mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there's got to be a way through it. - Michael J. Fox

My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations. - Michael J. Fox. 
Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune. – William James

Happiness can exist only in acceptance. – George Orwell

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

–Reinhold Niebuhr 

Friday, November 29, 2013


he may have lost the finals of the atp world tour championships in london. but he definitely is the year's best player. truly, one of the best players ever!

Rafael Nadal received the “Legend Award” on Tuesday night at Marca’s silver anniversary gala in Madrid, after being selected by the sport daily’s readers as the best Spanish athlete of all-time.

In front of other Spanish sporting legends, including four-time Grand Slam champion Manuel Santana, the ATP World Tour No. 1 paid tribute to his predecessors and peers.

“I would like to thank everyone behind me and all those who aren’t here tonight because as well as tennis, I’m mad about sport in general,” he said. “I have had some unforgettable afternoons thanks to all those who have taken Spain to the highest level in sport. Thank you so much because that excitement is what makes sport feel different.”

Nadal finished first in the poll, held in commemoration of the paper’s 75 years, receiving 25.6 per cent of all votes cast. Five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain finished second with 11.6 per cent of votes, and NBA star Pau Gasol third with 8.6 per cent.  

Gasol, who attended the all-Spanish final between Nadal and David Ferrer at Roland Garros this year, sent a video message congratulating his countryman. “I want to send a special tribute to my friend Rafa for winning this 75th Anniversary MARCA ‘Leyenda’ award,” he said. “Congratulations, enjoy it, you’re the best.”

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


it’s supposed to be sentimental, emotional and syrupy. it can even be in-discussable. after all, it is about dying, cancer, pain and death. but it had none of hollywoodic schmaltz. 50/50 was an honest, very funny, side-splitting peek at how much it sucks getting sick at a young age. or at any age for that matter.

50/50, inspired by a true story (from screenwriter will reiser’s own experience with cancer), starred joseph gordon-levitt and seth rogen. their characters’ lives were changed when adam (gordon-levitt) was diagnosed having cancer. imdb says that 50/50 is about a guy's transformative and, yes, sometimes funny journey to health and reminding us that friendship and love, no matter what bizarre turns they take, are the greatest healers.

i got heavily invested in the movie. for one, it had a sharp and smart script. exchanges and witty lines such as below made for a well spent afternoon:

Adam: See, but... that's bullshit. That's what everyone has been telling me since the beginning. "Oh, you're gonna be okay," and "Oh, everything's fine," and like, it's not... It makes it worse... that no one will just come out and say it. Like, "hey man, you're gonna die."

Kyle: You could have totally fucked the shit out of that girl.
Adam: No one wants to fuck me. I look like Voldemort.

Adam: What were you doing when I called? Were you on facebook?
Katherine: You know... umm... stalking my ex-boyfriend actually isn't the only thing I do in my free time.
Adam: I wish you were my girlfriend.
Katherine: Girlfriends can be nice. You just had a bad one.
Adam: I bet you'd be a good one.

Adam: That's what everybody's been saying: You'll feel better and don't worry and this is all fine and it's not.
Katherine: You can't change your situation. The only thing that you can change is how you choose to deal with it.

touching performances breathed life to these lines. i didn’t like seth rogen in his other movies but his kyle, the best bud to adam, made for a great duo. at first i felt that anna kendrick’s katherine was just there for the requisite romcom angle. as adam and katherine’s sessions went on, it became apparent that the moviemakers put her character in there not for display but to actually help adam have a different take on his illness. anjelica huston was a delight as hardly contained mom to adam. but the movie of course was carried by joseph gordon-levitt. his nuanced take on adam transformed depression into realistic comedy while making adam a more relatable character due to occasional flare-up of anger and belligerence.

50/50 made me laugh. it also made me cry and made me appreciate life even more. good, really good.

Monday, November 18, 2013

storm surge

experts said that it was the storm surge that left tacloban, the whole province of leyte and other areas with utter destruction. CP david, my geology professor back when i was a UP diliman freshie, explains what this super alien phenomenon all about.

Storm Surge 101: What they are, and how to prepare for them

November 15, 2013 8:27pm

"Daluyong." This is the closest Filipino translation to what we now know as a "storm surge," according to National Artist and Chairman of the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino Virgilio S. Almario.
The majority of Filipinos are probably unfamiliar with the Filipino term, but by now everyone knows how destructive storm surges can be in the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda. Storm surges, like other natural hazards present in the country—e.g., earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods and landslides—will surely happen again in the future. Thus, it is only appropriate that we learn about what storm surges really are: when the ocean reclaims part of the land during a typhoon.
What's a storm surge?
A storm surge is an abnormal rise of the ocean generated by a weather disturbance such as a tropical cyclone, over and above the predicted high tide mark. The US National Weather Service says that the rise in water is mainly wind-driven and therefore, the stronger the winds brought by a typhoon, the higher the storm surge. 
Hurricane Katrina, which hit the southern coast of the United States in 2005, had maximum sustained winds of 280 kph and produced 8-meter storm surges. Katrina was one of the strongest typhoons to hit land—but it's a far cry from Yolanda’s 315 kph winds, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
Along with sustained wind speeds, another critical factor is the size of the typhoon itself. The bigger the typhoon, the longer it will have an impact on a particular area as it moves along. Size will have a direct correlation with how long the storm surges will be in effect.
'Coastal geometry'
Resio and Westerink (2008) discussed other factors that contribute to the height of storm surges. They say that besides the typhoon’s wind speed and size, the geometry of the coastal area may very well tell how far storm surges will go inland. 
A coastal area with a very gentle slope—you know this from beaches where you can walk a hundred meters and the water will still only be up to your waist—is more prone to storm surges. 
In contrast, beaches with steep ocean floors will be less prone to surges. 
Resio and Westerink also said that, as waters come in towards the land, friction between the advancing water and the ocean floor underneath can slow down a storm surge. Coral reefs and rocky shores help dissipate the wave energy. 
Surge barriers
Barriers—man-made seawalls and breakwaters and natural mangroves and wetlands—also help block storm surges up to a certain extent.
Typhoon Pedring in 2011 caused storm surges to flood the Roxas Boulevard baywalk and Hotel Sofitel by up to 4 feet. The surges would have been higher, if not for the Manila Bay breakwaters and seawall.
Another factor that worsened the effect of the storm surge in Tacloban is the city’s location: Yolanda may havepushed the ocean water from San Pablo Bay, into its narrowest part San Juanico Strait, where Tacloban is located.
There might still be debate on whether daluyong is the best Filipino word for storm surge but there will definitely be no argument on the threat it poses and the need for us to do something before it happens again. — TJD/HS, GMA News

Dr. Carlos Primo "CP" David is a geology professor at the University of the Philippines-National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS). He earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Geology from Stanford University and is the project leader of Climate X.

Friday, November 15, 2013


may kabagalan nga sa paghahatid ng tulong sa mga nasalanta ng bagyong yolanda. maraming lugar na naapektuhan ang magpahanggang ngayon ay di pa nararating ng anumang tulong mula sa gobyerno. may mga ilang lugar na tanging mga brodkaster pa lang ang nakatutuntong pagkatapos manalasa ni yolanda isang linggo na ang nakararaan. maraming lugar ang wala pang suplay ng malinis na tubig at ni hindi pa nalilinis ang mga basura at kawasakang iniwan ng bagyo. ang mga sinawimpalad ay nagkalat pa rin sa kalsada at ni hindi mailibing ng mga naiwang kamag-anakan dahil sa kawalan ng pagkukunan ng suplay.

malinaw na marami ang nangangailangan, marami ang pangangailangan at maraming kailangang gawin. ngunit hindi ito ang panahon upang magbato ng mga sisi at mambatikos. hindi ito ang panahon upang ipangalandakan ng marami sa social networks na may ginagawa sila at walang anumang hakbang ang gobyerno. walang puwang sa mga ganitong panahon ang mamuna sa kung ano ang di ginawa bilang bahagi ng preparasyon bago pa naman dumating ang bagyo at kung ano ang dapat na ginawa ng gobyerno pag-alis na pag-alis ng bagyo.

sa mob mentality ng karamihan ng gumagamit ng social networks, napakadaling sumabay sa agos at dagli-dagling magkongklud na walang ginagawa ang mga kinauukulan. ngunit dapat maintindihan ng mga tao na nabigla ang lahat. sa kabiglaanan ay naging mahirap ang pagresponde sa mga pangangailangan. maging ang mga taong inaasahan ng mga mamamayang mamuno at umariba sa pagtulong sa kalakhang nasalanta ay biktima rin ng kalamidad. maging ang mga nasa katungkulan ay binaha rin gawa ng storm surge. ang mga may responsibilidad na magmobilisa at magpanatili ng kaayusan ay nangamatayan din at nawalan ng ari-arian. walang pinili ang delubyo at dahil dito, kinailangan ng dalawang araw bago naibalik ang pamunuan sa mga nasalanta.

marami rin ang nagsasabi na walang anumang episyenteng paraan ang ginawa ng pambansang gobyerno upang tumugon sa pangangailangan. nauunawaan kaya ng mga walang magawang ito ang katotohanang nawasak ang mga paliparan, lahat ng daungan ay puno ng mga labi ng destruksyon. pinaralisa ng bagyo ang komunikasyon at sinira ang anumang imprastraktura. di madaraanan ang mga kalsada dahil sa nagbagsakang mga poste at punungkahoy. dahil sa destruksyon, maaantala talaga ang anumang pagtugon sa pangangailangan. ilagay mo pa rito ang natural na porma ng heyograpiya ng bansa. hindi nakakabit ang kabuuan ng mga lugar na ito sa mainland kaya’t talagang malaking hamon kung paanong higit na mabilis na makararating ang tulong mula sa manila.

hindi rin maaaring ikumpara ang pilipinas sa japan sa mga ganitong sitwasyon. pulo-pulo nga ang pilipinas habang ang naapektuhan ng tsunami at lindol sa japan ay nasa pangungahing pulo ng bansa. higit na importante, di singyaman ng mga prefecture ng japan ang mga lalawigang nasalanta ni yolanda. ang ilang mga munisipalidad sa leyte at samar ay may tig-iisang ambulansya lamang o ni walang anumang industriyal na backhoe na maglilimas sana ng mga debris sa mga kalsada. ang isang fourth o fifth class na munisipalidad ay walang kakayahang magtayo ng mga temporaryong silungang tulad ng sa japan. kung sa japan ay posibleng maisaayos ang nasirang kalsada sa loob ng dalawang araw, sa pilipinas hindi ganoon. maging ang pinakamayamang bansa sa buong mundo, ang estados unidos, ay nakaranas din ng ng pagkaantala sa paghahatid-tulong sa mga nasalanta ni hurricane katrina. estados unidos na ‘yun... ano pa kung pilipinas?
madaling sabihin na madali lang naman ang paghahatid-tulong. pero hindi ito ang reyalidad. may suliranin sa lohistika at napakaraming balakid at dawag sa daan at kakailanganin pa ng ilang araw upang maisakatuparan ang layon na marating ang bawat sulok ng dinaanan ni yolanda. imbis na manisi at mangalampag ng walang wawa, ang higit na kailangan ay makibahagi. tumulong sa iba’t ibang paraan upang maging kapaki-pakinabang sa higit na malaking larawan ng pagbibigay-tulong sa mga nasalanta. maraming paraan at hindi nito parte ang magngangawa sa facebook at twitter. gamitin ang facebook at twitter upang magpahatid ng impormasyon sa mga tao kung paano makatutulong at kung paanong magpahatid ng inyong tulong. gamitin din ang internet sa makabuluhang bagay tulad ng mga fund raising activities at samu’t saring gawaing makalilikom ng salaping di lang para sa agarang tulong ng pagkain at tubig kundi maging sa rehabilitasyon ng mga paaralan, ospital, kalsada at iba pang imprastraktura sa mga darating na buwan. pagkaraan ng ilang linggo, kung saan maayus-ayos na ang kalagayan ng mga tao sa evacuation centers, kakailanganin din ng mga boluntir upang i-counsel ang mga biktima ng bagyo o di kaya ay tumulong sa pagsasaayos ng mga klasrum o tumulong sa mga guro na muling buuin ang mga silid aklatan at marami pang iba. 

sa panahon ng social networks, ang bawat matatalim na salitang binibitiwan ng isang iresponsableng gumagamit nito ay tila isang punyal na makapagpapababa maski ng morale ng mga mismong tao na nasa tacloban at iba pang mga lugar. suportahan natin ang mga magigiting na tagapaghatid ng agarang tulong, maski ang mga namumuno sa operasyong ito. di biro ang kanilang sinusuong sa araw-araw dahil bukod sa pisikal na hirap ng pagkakawanggawa, bitbit din nila ang bigat sa dibdib na makita mo ang iyong mga kababayan sa kaaba-abang sitwasyon. hindi simpleng problema ang ating kinakaharap dito.

dapat na kaakibat ng ating paghahatid ng donasyon at tulong ay ang pang-unawang di madali ang prosesong ito gaya ng ating iniisip. pang-unawa at umunawa sana ang marami.   

to anderson cooper

Reposting this from Geraldine Wong.

Help me get this to Anderson Cooper
Anderson Cooper, I Also Saw What You Saw ...

Mr. Anderson Cooper, I want to thank you for reporting on the miserable conditions that you saw when you covered the Tacloban calamity scene 5 days after the typhoon. Your report came out on Tuesday, the day I was herding our relatives to the airport to finally get out of Tacloban. A day before, I was able to board the relief cargo plane of Air 21 Express from Manila to Tacloban when I was given the chance, getting there on Monday noon, and immediately I set out looking for my family members. On the way to the city, I saw what you saw, countless dead bodies strewn on the ground in various stages of decomposition, extensive destruction everywhere I looked, injured people walking on the streets looking like zombies - hungry, confused, desperate. The stench of death permeated all around us and sent chills down my spine. Countless times as our vehicle moved down the road, we were stopped by people in the streets begging for food. The roads were only passable by one lane, and along the way, I saw officers of the BFP (Bureau of Fire Protection) manually remove the dead bodies, along with the unbelievably massive amount of debris scattered all around. Because of this, what would normally take 40 minutes or less to traverse became an agonizing 2 hour ride. I saw what you saw, Anderson, and it angered me as much as it did you. I was also heartbroken, for this is the place where I spent some of the most wonderful summers of my childhood. I vowed to myself that I would speak up about the government's incompetence as soon as I got out. If I ever get out...

I arrived at the city hall tent as was part of my plan, because when I was still in Manila, I did hear that there was a command post of the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) where we can get celphone signals and internet connection. From there, I was supposed to make some inquiries before I would set out on foot to look for my relatives' houses. It was while I was there that I saw with my own eyes how this government agency led by its head, Secretary Dinky Soliman, tirelessly and heroically worked almost 24/7 to immediately bring relief not only to the city of Tacloban but also to the outlying municipalities and towns that were affected by this calamity. I could not even begin to grasp the massive amount of work that needed to be done. I wanted to know why the government action seemed to be excruciatingly slow, but I couldn't stay around long enough because my mission there was to find my relatives, and I did not want to be distracted. Thankfully, thankfully, I found them in two separate locations. They were cooped up in their houses, whispering in the dark, afraid to attract criminal elements that were reported to be going around looting. They could not believe I was there right before their eyes, and it was the first time in so long that they had a glimmer of hope that they would be rescued. We hastily fled their houses in the middle of the night, I placed all of them in one location, and then I went back to the city hall because it was a strategic point where I could get the proper celphone signals and stay connected to the outside world. I made some frenzied phone calls to my family in Manila, and it was from them that I found out that Cebu Pacific Air was offering humanitarian flights beginning Tuesday morning! All systems were in place for our eventual escape, and all I could do was pray to God that my plan would go on smoothly. After I instructed my cousin to look for 2 vehicles that could transport all 16 of us the next day to the airport, I decided to stay in the city hall overnight so that I could still keep in touch with my family in Manila. It was critical that I get all the assistance from the outside world so I could strategize better. Oh, how I proved now more than ever that communication or the lack of it could be one of the determinants for life and death!

As much as I was staying around for the rest of the night, I started going around to ask the officials why things are what they are. These are what I found out:

1. After the typhoon struck on the first day (Friday), the whole world lost track of the areas hit by the calamity. ZERO COMMUNICATION! It was even said that satellites could not locate Tacloban, Leyte, and Samar from the map, as if they were totally erased from the face of the earth. Unlike the tsunami event that hit Japan, where they were still connected to the outside world, Tacloban, Leyte, and Samar were shut out. How can we even begin to help them? And so, even as the magnitude of this calamity is being identified as similar to Japan's tsunami event, circumstances were totally different. It was only the next day that we heard from Ted Failon of ABS-CBN what happened, and as the world watched in shock, it was then that we began to realize the massive destruction that hit this part of the country. This generalized cut of link to the outside world was to continue for the next 3 days, until Globe Telecoms was able to slowly bring back some of the signals on the 4th day.

2. Unlike the tsunami that happened in Japan where their airport was not affected, supertyphoon Yolanda destroyed the airport, which was just beside a big body of water. I need not say more, for CNN did cover the airport scene. All equipment, radar, watch tower destroyed. Absolutely no electricity. With that, Tacloban was even more cut off from the outside world. Nobody could either come in or go out. No relief to be brought in, no means of transportation for the national leaders to arrive with, no means of escape for the suffering people . It was only on Sunday, or the 3rd day since the typhoon hit, that the airport had a generator to make it operational, because Air 21, a Philippine cargo company, took it upon themselves to bring some much needed generators to make the airport operational. And that is how the airplane of the Philippine president and the first few government C130's was able to land in the airport. 3rd day served as the first day when things just started to move. And lest I be taken to task for mentioning the benevolence of Air 21, yes, I admit that this was the same cargo plane that I took to be able to get to Tacloban on Monday, but it is precisely because I heard that the company was one of the first to offer humanitarian help gratis to the government that made me act to get quickly hooked up with the owners of the company and be able to hitch a ride.

3. The super typhoon decimated a big part of the population that so many people are still missing and unaccounted for to this day, and the rest who survived were either maimed and injured, were grieving for the loss of a loved one, struggling to cope with the tragedy that befell upon them, or simply looking for ways to take care of what remained of their family. In other words, everyone was a victim. And who are these people? These were the soldiers, police, red cross staff, social welfare staff, airport staff, bureau of fire protection (BFP) people, nurses, doctors, even the officials like the mayor and vice-mayor! And so if we look at things in this perspective, we begin to realize why there were no military and police to protect the people in the first few days, no staffers to repack or distribute relief goods, no BFP personnel to take care of clearing up the roads filled with dead people; in other words, there was hardly anyone there to put order into things as they were all victims themselves. I found out from one of the officials I spoke with that the people who came in much later to fill those places were flown in from Manila or pulled out from the other nearby towns that were not as badly affected. And so, those BFP people I saw clearing the road on Monday, the soldiers who were helping to slowly put order into the place, the red cross staffers who tried to address the health concerns of the victims, and even the DSWD staffers who were being deployed to evacuation centers and relief centers to distribute food and water, were mostly imports and volunteers from other places, and they were only able to start streaming in on the 3rd or 4th day! Therefore, the lack of manpower was not due to a lack of preparation but because of the unexpected loss or absence of these people who were supposed to be the government's frontrunners!

4. And of course, let's not forget that logistics is the lifestream of relief operations, but how could logistics have been tapped properly this time around when all roads were practically closed, nearly all means of transportation were destroyed, and if there were any remaining vehicle to move around with, either the key could not be found or there was not enough fuel! Even the ships could not dock on Tacloban shores, because the Coast Guard could not risk inviting another naval disaster seeing that the bodies of water were littered with debris. Is all this due to an ill-planned disaster preparation? I don't think so. For after all, we have heard that the warehouses filled with food and rice in preparation for the typhoon were all soaked with water, the fuel depots were flooded, and even the evacuation centers where the residents were filled into, precisely to prepare for the coming supertyphoon, practically served as the death chamber of these same people. In our language, the fact that these people were properly evacuated and the government had food stocks stored is enough proof that the government prepared for this. But then again, this was no ordinary typhoon. In fact supertyphoon Yolanda is now being called the worst typhoon in the WORLD'S history.

These are only a few of the major points - not to justify, but rather to rationalize and logically explain why things happened as they did. To put things into their proper perspective. If America, which was hit by Hurricane Katrina, a far tamer weather disturbance in comparison to Supertyphoon Yolanda, struggled as well for several days and weeks to cope with the disaster, with then Pres. Bush earning the ire of your countrymen, how in the world could we expect that the Philippines, a much poorer country with very meager resources compared to the massive resources of a superpower country like yours, be able to miraculously stand up on its feet just a few days after this magnitude of a disaster? Even the spokesperson of the United Nations admits that they are really struggling to cope with the efforts to distribute help in this present situation.

And so I write you, Anderson, to let you know that at this time, when our country is at its darkest moment, Filipinos need to rally for each and every one of our countrymen as well as for our leaders. We hear that our government officials like Sec. Voltaire Gazmin, Mar Roxas, and Dinky Soliman arrived at Tacloban a day before the supertyphoon was to hit the place, meeting it head-on. And even as they struggle with their work and commit lapses along the way, we see that our leaders are doing the best that they could under the present circumstances. I still hope that you do your part to report on the truth and cry out in disgust if you find the conditions detestable. We appreciate what you and Andrew Stevens and the rest of the media are doing, because it keeps our leaders on their toes as they know that the whole world is watching them.

And even as we grieve, we are immensely grateful and overwhelmed with the help, support, and love that the whole world has sent our way. As I write this, it is the 7th day since the disaster struck, and now we see more and more people able to escape out of Tacloban. We did our own escape on Tuesday through Cebu Pacific Air, the airline that was the first to offer humanitarian flights for evacuees, with absolutely no charge! More and more roads are opened up for transportation, buses and trucks are filing in to bring relief, as well as to bring the people out. Same goes for the military ships which can now dock on ports. More and more people are given relief distributions, and doctors and paramedics from all over the world are able to come in to set up their medical missions. The ten choppers brought in by the USS warship was an immense boost to ease the logistical nightmare we have initially encountered, with just 3 government C130's for use in the first few days. The UK, Australia, Japan, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Israel, Hungary, Singapore, UAE, and many other countries sent in valuable equipment and transportation aside from aid. And I'm sure it's hard not to notice, but practically all the citizens of this country contributed in his or her own way to ease the pain of our fellow Filipinos. Corporations readily offered their products, services, and facilities for use in this whole national operation. Our bayanihan (helping each other) spirit is a source of great pride! All told, we expect the sufferings to ease up a little, but it would be ignorant to say that we expect all things to be well. Tacloban, Samar, and Leyte will never be the same again. Our country will never be the same again. But if there is one thing that we have learned, it is this: we need to bring back the lost trust of the people with our government. For the longest time, we have been ruled with corruption and greed. Even to this day, we continue to suffer the effects of these evil thieves in our government. I wish they had been the ones swept up by the storm surge and thrown back into the seas. But not all are rotten tomatoes. I hope that Filipinos will now learn how to choose their leaders. It is time for the Filipino to stand as a nation and be strong again.

Anderson Cooper, after all this is done, please do not forget our country. If you have the time, I invite you to go around the other parts of the country which you will find to be extremely good-looking, and you will also find out that the Filipinos are some of the most wonderful and kind-hearted people in the world. Aside from this, I would also request that you and your colleagues do the following:

1. Please please please do whatever you can to make sure that the immense aid in CASH that we have been receiving and continue to receive, rightfully go to the rehabilitation of the devastated areas and not to the pockets of the corrupt few. Along the way, you might want to do a prize-winning documentary on the corruption problems of our country. On this, you will do well to be introduced to Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago to get most of your resource materials. With her by your side, your job will be half-done and I assure you an immensely enjoyable experience in her company.

2. Because you are Anderson Cooper, a well-respected veteran journalist who the world listens to, we ask you to please help the cause of our Philippine Climate Change Commission negotiator Naderev Sano for concrete steps to halt global warming. It is global warming and climate change that cause these disasters to happen, and the Philippines is said to be one of the countries most greatly impacted by this. We have suffered for so long, how long will we suffer more?

3. Anderson, can I also ask you to commend and show the pictures of our brave men and women as they perform their tasks, just as you show the ineptness and slow response of our officials to the current situation? Just to be fair to both sides and create an equal balance into the picture. The last thing we want is to see our dedicated volunteers lose their morale.

4. Lastly, I ask that someday, when the time is right, and the country has hopefully risen up from this fall, please come back and show the world that this time we did right. If that day does not come, I will be the first to get out of the Philippines and declare it a banana republic forever.

Anderson Cooper, for all that you and your colleagues do, we salute you! Please help our country as we struggle to be a strong nation at last. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


i just had to re-post this article... too much of these nastymails over the course of the past two years.

Responding to rude emails

Rule one: take a deep breath before replying to a rude email.

I’ve received my share of aggressive emails over the years: from readers complaining about a story; to university students occasionally complaining about a fail grade or low mark; and cranky staff, unhappy about everything, who were quick to fire rude broadsides.

There’s nothing like a nasty email – or 'nastymail' – to wreck your day. Try as you might, the nastymail gets under your skin, begging for a quick, heated reply. Before you know it, a few hours are lost as you contemplate your return serve, and perhaps even draft a reply.

You think about attacking the nasty male who, invariably, sent the nastymail, but good judgement prevails. Why stoop to that level, lose more time, create stress, and give the sender the satisfaction that you have taken the bait for a round or two of email cage-fighting?

What’s your view?
  • Do you occasionally receive rude, aggressive emails from work colleagues or superiors?
  • How do they make you feel?
  • How do you respond?
  • What are your best tips for making the nastymailer squirm?
There are many stories on the internet about email protocol and how to send professional communication. I follow three simple rules. First, never send a critical email, for it is almost always misconstrued. Better to call or talk face to face if you are unhappy about something,

Second, never send a heated email. We’ve all been there: you send a rude email without hesitation, and quickly regret it.

And third, never respond straight away – or reply in an aggressive tone. It’s unprofessional and unproductive, and frankly, lets the nastmailer off too lightly.
Here are seven ways to respond to rude, aggressive work emails, and make the nastymailer squirm in the process:

1. No response
Easily my favourite. The nastymailer fires off a cranky email, waiting for a quick return. When it doesn’t arrive, he or she wonders if the email might have been over the top, and has caused serious offence. Regret sets in and the nastymailer stews over it, preferably over the weekend. Good, let the sender suffer.

2. The brief response
I once had a staff member write a fiery short essay on the many injustices he had suffered, and how the company had overlooked his supposed achievements. My response to his 800-word diatribe: “Thanks very much, John*”. After spending a day crafting his email, the short response was infuriating. Again, it was a simple way to torture somebody who thought nothing of an email attack.

3. The impromptu phone call or pop-in
Email bullies almost always expect return fire via email. Calling them or making an impromptu visit to their workstation, to seek clarification about the email, almost always leads to a hasty retreat, or better still, deep embarrassment. It lets them know you operate many times above their level.

4. The company-wide broadcast
Wish I’d used this one more. Next time you get an over-the-top nastymail, broadcast it to other team members. You might say: “John has raised several points below you might like to comment on.” I guarantee the jerk who fires off rude emails – even if it’s your boss – will think twice if he or she knows you send them on with little hesitation and that several others will read them.

5. The pattern response
Say little or nothing for the first few nastymails, then after the fourth or fifth one, inform the sender you have noticed a pattern of aggressive emails, are deeply unhappy, and intend to show them to the human resource manager or CEO. Better still, inform the nastymailer that his or her emails have caused great stress and you feel the company has, consequently, not provided a safe work environment. Watch people duck for cover when it becomes an occupational health and safety issue.

6. Block their email
I’ve blocked emails from a few rude people who managed to get hold of my email address. Rarely possible at work, but setting your email program to block emails quickly gets the message across. Alternatively, just tell the nastymailer you refuse to respond to aggressive emails. If the email is too much, delete it from your system. Just having it in your inbox can cause stress.

7. Forgive
By all means, make nastymailers squirm if they think nothing of criticising you or your work via email. But sometimes good people get stressed and send off cranky emails in haste. The trick is to pick those situations, email politely back, repair relationships, and get on with real work, rather than email cage fighting.

nantra ploenchit

i always want to stay within the sukhumvit area when i'm in bangkok. upon checking out from sivatel, i decided to transfer to nantra ploenchit hotel. 

what was working for this hotel is its location and proximity to BTS ploenchit. it's in the quiet soi of nai lert, which isn't crowded at all. when i checked in, i unfortunately ran out of baht. the staff were nice enough to lend me 60 baht to pay the taxi driver. they also upgraded my stay to a deluxe room and gave me 1 hour extension for checking out the following day. the hotel is quite new (or newly renovated, i'm not too sure) and the room, although small, was functional. they also have an elevator, which of course is almost always absent from other bangkok hotels of this level.

not so nice things? wifi was really slow. i could not even upload a photo on instagram. breakfast needs a lot of improvement. while i'm ok with toast, some butter and strawberry jam for breakfast, they should have at least included fried egg. apart from bread, the only other choice you have is the cereals and they didn't offer any fruit. at night, there won't be anywhere near to go to for quick snacks. there's not even a 7-11 nearby and you have to go all the way to soi sukhumvit 1 for the nearest or the one in front of wave place along wireless road.

overall, my stay was ok. again, it has got to do with lowering your expectations so that you won't get very disappointed. till next time!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


anong gagawin mo ngayong 11/12/13?

ako? wala lang. malamang nasa bahay na ako pagsapit ng sandaling 'yun. nanonood ng tv. wala lang. ordinaryong panahon.


this was the email i sent to my boss regarding super typhoon yolanda:

On November 8, super typhoon Haiyan (also known as Yolanda in the Philippines), struck the eastern portion of the Philippines. It is one of the strongest typhoons in recorded history with sustained winds of up to 315 km/h (195 mph). Upon its first landfall on Guiuan, Eastern Samar, it officially became the strongest landfalling typhoon ever. Haiyan/Yolanda made several landfalls in Bantayan Island, Panay and Busuanga before leaving the Philippine area of responsibility Saturday afternoon. The super typhoon left utter devastation not only in remote coastal towns but also in major urban centers such as Tacloban City, Ormoc City, Roxas City, among many provinces in the Visayas, southern Luzon and northeastern Mindanao. Storm surges as high as second storey building struck Tacloban City, leaving trail of destruction, cutting off communication lines, with Leyte governor fearing at least 10,000 people dead in the province of Leyte alone. Government agencies estimate that Haiyan/Yolanda destroyed 70-80% of the areas in its path as it tore through Samar, Leyte, northern Cebu, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan and northern Palawan.

Food, medicines, water, clothing are badly needed, especially in areas where authorities have yet to reach due to damage to highways and infrastructure and till now, communications are still down in most of the affected areas, especially in Eastern Visayas. Any aid or donation would be greatly appreciated.

due to utter devastation, looting also became prevalent in tacloban city. but of course, lawlessness only happened because people became so desperate. they had to survive and with the entire city not being reached by any aid for almost 3 days, they had to look for ways to secure food, water and any supplies. this got me thinking about below line...

tsk tsk... i hope that the crooks in the government realize their own lawlessness.

loha prasat

the way of the faithful. loha prasat, wat rachanadda, bangkok.

tuesday meditation

Binondo Church

this historic church was originally built in 1596 to serve chinese converts in the binondo area. it was destroyed and rebuilt several times and has been a witness to storied lives of filipinos. san lorenzo ruiz served in this church before joining a missionary to japan.

when we were there in october, i was so glad to see foreigners visiting the church. but unlike in big european cities where large churches are becoming more of only tourist spots, binondo church is still a place for worship, to hear mass and commune with god.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


may umalma na nga. pag-alma laban sa salot na dulot ng demona. sobra na rin kasi talaga ang isang ito. tama naman na sa loob ng apat na taon, ang krityur na ito ang pinakamalaking dahilan kung bakit nagsisilayas ang mga tao. akala niya yata ay wala nang aalma.

sa wakas ay may nakapansin na rin sa maitim na gawi ng pangit na ito. may naglakas-loob na iparating sa aw-aw at dambumbay na kailangan nang kalusin ang nakapanlalasong ugali nito. ang unang hakbang ng mandaragat ay hindi palampasin ang lason nito sa elektronikong sulat. pangalawa ay ang pakikipaglaban nito sa pinagsamang puwersa ng dambumbay at demona.

sa huli, napagpasyahan ng mandaragat na palayain ang kanyang lipi mula sa galamay ng mandragora. idinarawdaw kasi nito ang pera bilang pamblakmeyl. matindi ang kapit nito sa mga kataas-taasan dahil wala ngang nais gumawa ng mga bagay-bagay na ginagawa nito. walang anumang respeto ang mandragora sa mandaragat at sa lahat ng tumutulong upang maisayaayos ang mga bagay-bagay. ang kauuwian, pinuputol na ng mandaragat ang anumang ugnayang pantrabaho sa pagitan ng kanyang pangkat at ng demona.

mas mabuti na ito kaysa naman mag-akyat pa ng sangkatutak na sakit ng ulo ang lasong dala ng demona. aanhin pa ang pera mula sa mga gawain mula sa demona kung lagpas-leeg naman ang suliraning manggagaling dito. lahat na lang kasi ay isyu at ni wala itong anumang suporta upang sawatain ang mga problema. panay-panay lang naman ang sisi at kaka-cc nito sa kanyang madidilim na imeyl.

ngayong may umalma na, sana naman ay matauhan na ang demona. nawa’y magkaroon ng pagbabago sa pakikitungo nito sa mga tao. di pa naman huli ang lahat. sana’y tulungan siya ng mga ispiritung kanyang kaulayaw sa araw-araw.