Friday, December 25, 2009

Blue Christmas

a blue and white christmas for ateneo's back to back championship and my kinder to high school alma mater's school colors too haha! and yes, world peace! merry christmas to all!

baked parmesan crusted pork chops

you may want to try this out for the new year or whenever.

• 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
• 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
• 1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage
• 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
• 2 large eggs
• 1/4 cup all purpose flour
• 4 bone-in center-cut pork loin chops (each about 1 inch thick)
• 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• Lemon wedges (optional)
• Orange wedges (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix breadcrumbs, cheese, sage and lemon peel in pie dish. Whisk eggs in medium bowl to blend. Place flour on plate; season generously with salt and pepper. Coat pork chops on both sides with flour; shake off excess. Dip chops into eggs, then coat on both sides with breadcrumb mixture.

Melt butter with oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops to skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer skillet with pork to oven. Bake until pork chops are crisp on the outside and meat thermometer inserted into pork registers 150°F, about 20 minutes.
Transfer pork chops to plates. Garnish with lemon wedges and orange wedges, if desired, and serve.

i'm not fond of religiously following recipes though especially as far as measurements are concerned. i just lumped them all and there it is. i love how the crust is flaky and tasty and crunchy and the meat so tender and yummy. sweet surprise, we all love it. happy eating!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mga Napapanahong Bayani

To launch our new search for the Bayaning Pilipino Awards 2010, we conducted a mini search for local heroes the typhoon Ondoy has produced. This was mainly inspired by the story of Muelmar Magallanes, the 18 year old construction worker who risked his life to save many. Upon careful research by our staff, we managed to name 14 personalities each exhibiting unique stories of selflessness and heroism. This once again proves that our country is indeed never in dearth of noble people. Below are our Top Ten personalities with their stories. They were given apt recognition last Dec. 8 at the Dolphy Theater of the ABSCBN Complex.


from Montalban, Rizal is a tricycle driver who with the aid of an empty mineral water bottle and rope managed to save almost 5o people including little kids who were already trapped on top of their roofs. Their house was already submerged in water and the streets all flooded. His neighbors eventually helped him out and they were able to help more.


I am pretty sure that you have seen this much publicized video:

Eric and his family including his wife and 2 kids aged 3 and 6 were in that make shift raft. He unfortunately lost them when their raft collided with some debris. He also struggled to save and old woman with them but he lost her just the same. Eric is still on the process of accepting his loss and dealing with the trauma the family has encountered.


Mr. Mercado saved a family trapped inside their hut by using a raft made of banana trunks which he propelled crossing to and from a flooded area about 50 meters away. He also had with him some empty mineral water bottles and rope to tie little children and brought them to safety.

He is already 44 years old and makes a living mainly by accepting lotto bets. This humble life didn't deter him from not thinking about his own safety and proceeding to help out others instead.


In two different areas, Joel and Joseph Salvaria who are both electrical repairmen in their neighborhood proceeded to cut off electric lines in their areas after having sensed the danger of the fast rising waters.
They then went on to save their neighbors trapped on their rooftops using rowboats and life jackets. This they did until dawn and till most of their neighbors helped out too.


works as an equipment manager at an ongoing construction of church building at the Holy Family Parish in Provident Village, Marikina City.
On September 26, 2009 at around 10:00 that morning, he was to go home to their residence in San Joaquin, Pasig. However something was stopping him
until he saw the water rose up. Meanwhile around 50 or so senior citizens were having religious activities when the waters rose trapping them inside the church.
Vincent climbed rooftop, made a hole on it and took as
many old folks as he could. Using a rope as life line, one by one they swam from one fence to the other until reaching a higher building for safety. His story was featured in ABS-CBN’s The Profile, Oct. 03,2009 segment.


trapped along with hordes of others in Robinson's Junction in Cainta due to highly impassable roads, Rosalyn waited it out and had to pass along her mobile phone to those who had to call or text their loved ones. Unmindful of who she passes her mobile phone to, she was able to help them out communicate with their families.
She didn't also hesitate to charge her phone inside her car if only to accommodate more callers. The following day, she went around their neighborhood to ask them what they need. She gave them extra clothes and food and even mineral water from her own filling station.


Mr. Cabaliw was a vegetable farmer who after relocating his wife and children went ahead to save more people by transporting them to safer areas. Their house was heavily ravaged by the floods but this did not stop him from going out and helping other people. A few weeks after, he succumbed to leptospirosis which he contracted after having waded in flood waters in spite of a wound he got while saving more people.

His family did not know about his heroism till they all went to his wake to pay their last respects and show their gratitude for having him saved their lives.


Matthew Galang first saved his family to higher grounds and went back to save more people in spite of the dangers the high waters posed.

Being a resident of a rather secluded area, rescuers had a hard time reaching their place but using an empty mineral water bottle and some rope, Mr. Galang went back to their place and was able to save at least 50 more from their neighborhood.


Using some rope and life jacket, Rommel swam from house to house to save stranded residents in their area in San Mateo. Some people even offered to pay him but he refused such offers. The following day, he also went to Provident Village to help out more people in need even if their own house was also submerged in flood waters and he had to relocate his family.


known to people close to him as Toto, he is but an 18 year old kid who was full of dreams and aspirations for his family. On that fateful day when Ondoy raged, Toto helped out and saved almost 30 people mostly women and children from drowning. A fast swimmer, his lithe an agile body wasn't enough to save himself though when a part of a wall collapsed and buried him alive after saving one last person. His body was found a day after floating in flood waters. His heroic act made it into the front pages and became an inspiration to many. He was also given several posthumous recognitions the latest of which is from Time magazine.

Friday, November 27, 2009

going green

i just have to share this.

i know my past blog entry was about a fish dish and here i am presenting you with another one *teehee*.

it's just simple fish and shrimps in green curry and although i thought the recipe at first was too daunting what with its numerous variety of spices and condiments and ingredients which i don't really know existed, i somehow manage to concoct something instant yet equally filling.


fish fillet (the lady at the supermarket tells me the variety that they had then was malapad na hasa-hasa, i don't know how it looks like when un-filleted so i didn't bother asking)

medium sized shrimps, shelled except for its tail (for effects i guess)

a tablespoon of green curry paste (which i merely picked up on the shelf)


green apple

chili leaves

green peas

a cup of coconut milk

soy sauce

chili flakes (optional)


saute ginger and curry paste
add fish and shrimps and saute it for about 5-10 minutes
add coconut milk let it simmer for 10 minutes
add in soy sauce, chili leaves and green apples
serve hot

and yes, when i mean hot it's really steaming hot and spicy. i must have eaten too much rice.

adding green apple was a technique i learned when we had this dish at Les Caraibes in Batangas. i'm not a fan of sayote nor cucumber and potatoes seem so ordinary. the crispiness of the apple was a refreshing contrast to the spicy kick of the curry and creaminess of the coconut milk. heavenly!

washing it down with Gilbey's Premium with green tea extract may also be a good idea. happy green friday!

Monday, November 23, 2009

something fishy

the truth is, i'm not really that a big fan of fish dishes. i find it malangsa and tinik ng isda irritates me. i don't mind having grilled or fried fish once in a while though. but frying fish in my tiny home with poor ventilation just gives me headaches. i can't stand the smell. and i don't eat paksiw and only tries out sinigang or tinola once in a while.

but since i'm not really getting any younger, i am slowly cutting down on red meats and now prefer concentrating on fruits, veggies and white meat instead.

i am now on the look out for simple fish dishes. i know i can't just forever have fried fish after all. i am currently a fan of this website and hopes to be able to prepare varied recipes.

here's my first attempt, baked fish fillet with mushrooms:

a few slices of filleted maya-maya
sliced mushrooms
olive oil
salt and pepper
onion powder

it is fairly simple, i seasoned the fish with salt, pepper,basil and onion powder (fresh onions may be used, i can't stand it's smell so i'm using powder instead hihi).
drizzle some olive oil on the pan and arrange the fish and mushrooms on it. bake for 15 minutes (well, i don't have a real oven so i merely plopped it in my oven toaster for 15 minutes).
and just like that, it is done!
you may want to add a zest of lemon and some butter for added flavor.
or some more seasoning, your choice.

if you have any other fish dishes please let me know, but nothing complicated please.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

experiencing summer

watching 500 Days of Summer made me realize that i am really not the pseudo-relationship type of girl. i could well relate with those free-willy, unlabeled, take-each-day-as-it-comes stuff but eventually both of you has to decide as to what the relationship should truly be about.

back in junior year, i learned this kinda big word from Fr. Dacanay for our Theo 131 class which is the "cathexis" from Scott Peck's the Road Less Traveled, it generally means "the collapse of one's ego boundaries". we let another person into our lives. we suddenly become bold and open, brutally frank and honest to this person. we are no longer coy in showing our true selves.

for a while i thought it so alien, so much more of a mystery to this rather proud self.

but you know what, time would come and you do find that person and have that eureka! moment.

you find yourself blushing and smiling by yourself. you would feel that icky, tingly sensations in your tummy. you might deem it as corny, cheesy, embarrassingly giggly but whether you admit it or not, being with the person and sharing yourself with them is just so freakishly wonderful.

but it doesn't end there. it should not end there. cathexis is not yet love.

one needs to decide to love.

love is not that bubble gum-my, strawberry scented feeling.

it involves a conscious act. an informed decision.

do you really want to go on waste each other's time playing and feeling giddy without really giving the other that security as to where it should lead to?

i once thought i could be that all-too modern girl who could feel all those wondrous feelings without having anything to hold on to.

to continue going on with the flow.

to merely allow it to take you wherever it is going to take you.

but labeling, boxing, putting words and tags in to what you have could actually make it feel so much better. you don't need to impose any more regulations, you only have to admit to both yourselves that "yes, i am with you, and i want you to stay with me",

and have that love story you have always wanted it to be.

otherwise, yeah, at some point in time you would have to let each other go and allow that person to find and be able to write the love story of their lives. and in the process, you open yourself up and get to find your own story too.

They made a statue of US!
The tourists come and stare at us
The sculptor's momma sends regards
They made a statue of us
and it's contagious
and it's contagious

Us (Regina Spektor)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Filipino Time

i hate waiting. i know it's a seemingly simple act but i do find it excruciating. i am generally patient with life but i simply hate it when i have to wait for something or someone.

i remember a long time back when we had a staff meeting but we could not start yet since one of the staff has not arrived. we all sat uneasily inside my boss' office, sat in silence and waited. then my office mate came in panting and apologetic but my boss seethed and said, "you don't do that again! have you no respect for other peoples' time?"

that just struck me. and i would remember it each time i have to wait up for someone.

respect for someone else's time... in meetings with friends or even for business meetings, we don't really have an exact time schedule right? we don't say 8pm instead it's dinner time or 8ish or between 8-9. and yet some people would arrive at 10pm, lol!

did you know that a year ago, Pres. Arroyo actually came out with an order that says November should be the National Consciousness Month for Punctuality and Civility? yes, there is such an order. maybe it's really about time we try to be punctual and not have to make people wait up for us unless we give advance notices. what's the use of mobile phones anyway.

i don't know why it has be on November. must be because the days are extra colder and it becomes such added effort to get up earlier? or maybe because DST in other parts of the world starts to take effect. whatever.

i am a bit guilty of being late too especially during mornings which is exactly why i don't like making appointments in the wee hours when my senses are still asleep. otherwise we have alarm clocks to SuperPoke us silly just for us to get up, don't we?

anyway, here's something from Lourd De Veyra which i caught on the news weeks ago. by the way, i am also currently hooked on ABC 5's TEN, i find their news bits more interesting and their discussions and commentaries more engaging. ;)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

finding our own piece of heaven

i was browsing the net and asking people around for resort suggestions in the Batangas area for our staff retreat and felt stressed out after having been given so many, many choices. i had to draw a matrix, listed down the ideal resorts based on the location, price and amenities. i had to work on a low budget but i also didn't want to compromise quality. i finally chanced into one resort called Les Caraibes (pronounced as lei cara-ee-be) in San Juan, Batangas. it had the most competitive price, we had the option to cook or just order ala carte meals from their restaurant and it shares the same stretch of beach in Laiya with all the other resorts. i deemed it good enough and all i needed to do was hope their website and good reviews and the erratic weather work on our favor.

after about 4 hours of travel from QC passing through SLEX, Sto. Tomas, and finally San Juan in Batangas we reached the resort. we passed by Kabayan, Coco Grove, Blue Coral, Acuatico, Sabangan, Tivona and Tiramindu. farther down the beach stretch is La Luz Resort. it was drizzling a bit but the place looked calm and serene. we had a reservation in their cluster room which has 4 bunk beds and could accommodate 8 people but we saw the nearby kubos and just fell in love with its rustic, simple style. it was nearer the beach too. the kubo cost us 4000 for 2 nights and could accommodate 4 persons per room. it had a nice veranda too which served as a perfect venue for our retreat sessions.

i was initially apprehensive with the food because of the prices but it proved to be all worth it. their website after all boasts of their in house French Chef Philippe and so yes, each meal was an experience in itself. the food is delectable and truly well-prepared with all the flavors, spices, garnish and all.

these are some meals we had:

this is grilled blue marlin with lemon zest. it costs 800 but is good enough for 8 persons even more.

this pork sinigang costs 350 pesos and is said to be good for 3-4 pax but of course it was enjoyed by all 8 of us! it's not your usual maasim na sinigang sa sampaloc. we don't really know what the chef added their but it had a lot of pepper and some red spices and a lot of vegetables. it was perfect for my hangover!

this is called Moroccan chicken, it is grilled and added with orange slices, garnished with eggplant and bell pepper, parsley, etc. and added with flavored tortilla. they say it's an authentic Caribbean cuisine. it costs 800 for 8 people but we had a lot of left overs we were able to have it again for breakfast the following day.

meals cost us 1600 to 1800 for all 8 of us, it reached a whopping 2600 though on our final dinner when we had three main entrees and drinks and ice cream dessert. the price is all worth it though and we were all sated.

the sun shone brightly the following day that we were able to enjoy swimming and sunbathing. the water was cold but clear, the sand was fair, a bit coarse but not that rocky.

all in all we had a truly perfect experience. the sand may not be as powdery fine as Boracay and all those other white sand beaches but this one is good enough. and it is much nearer to Manila. the staff are all warm and accommodating, the basic amenities are well thought of and provided for. and their bar is open for 24 hours! they have great music selection too from rock, alternative, house and old blues and sounds.

given the chance, i would not mind going back and enjoying the place once more. their website is at and can be contacted at 0920-9706985.

Friday, November 06, 2009


there is no such thing as an accident.

a few days before our scheduled staff retreat, i was quite in a quandary since all of the retreat masters i've asked politely declined one after the other. plus the long weekend came which made it more difficult for us to contact anyone. i did not want to give up. i didn't want to not have any retreat taking place. i have asked for this and was granted and i could not even organize it well? argh! a day before the retreat, i was advised to just ask for a written guide and use it for us to help each other out in the process, in short, no retreat master was going to accompany us but ourselves.

out of desperation, i chose 7 topics from what the Center for Ignatian Spirituality gave me (salamat po kay Fr. Cel Reyes, SJ) since there was 8 of us including my boss. i cut out small papers, labeled the topics and ask them to pick out a number. i was a bit ashamed when i told them i'm giving them an assignment for the retreat and they were supposed to present each process in their own way. thus, each one of us was going to be the retreat master. thankfully each one received their tasks with open hearts and open minds.

we proceeded to the resort and was greeted with a truly heavenly place. although the skies were a bit overcast, it actually contributed in giving us a more relaxed and attentive disposition. and i was more amazed at how each one was able to deliver, show their creativity and help bring out the emotions and the real feelings. i'd like to say it was the true guidance of the holy spirit. we were able to share ourselves and at the same time listen to each other.

on the first night after the first two sessions, i asked them to have a couple of drinks and continue with our sharing maybe and just relax. the resort's bar is open 24 hours btw. we ordered a pitcher of sex on the beach, the cocktail drink. there were 5 of us sharing the drink, while the two guys ordered beer. one son of the owners was there and he offered us sisig as a freebie, he jammed with us and even asked for song requests. we had such a great time. before we were supposed to call it a night he offered us another pitcher this time it was margarita. waah! but such freebie was so good to pass up eh? we finished the drink, talked, shared some more and finally crawled back to our cottage at past 3am! and my boss-pari who retired ahead said he woke up at just before 4am hehehe...

tried it once and never again.
ayoko na po ng sex on the beach kahit kelan!

i woke up with such a bad hangover. i was puking and feeling faint each time. one of my officemates cursed me for letting him drink haha! it was such a bad feeling i thought we could not go back into the retreat process anymore.

my boss-pari was laughing at us after hearing how much we've shared and opened up to each other. in vino veritas indeed. amidst headaches and some kremil-s and Filter's Take a Picture running in my mind that entire morning, i eventually felt better and washed the hangover with the piping hot sinigang we had for lunch. salamat po, Lord.

and the sun came out and we were able to take a stroll on the beach, take naps, went back to the sessions, reflected, prayed, shared, cried, and cried again.

we were a bit exhausted each time that we most often vented it out on food. ang sarap kumain! but then food at the resort was exceptional. each meal was and experience. we would always have to savor and relish and guess what kind of ingredient or spices the food has. even the sinigang had several flavors our taste buds could recognize.

on our last day, the sun continued to shine brightly that we were able to swim and enjoy the waters. it was a fun relaxing feeling.

to end our retreat, we had our simplified mass and more sharing on impressions and evaluations. everything came out well. as our boss said, the best retreat master is indeed ourselves and our Maker. what we needed was some guidance and everything just flowed freely and meaningfully.

it was a different kind of retreat. we were on the beach, we could enjoy to our heart's content, even allowing alcohol to serve as balms. we directed each other and learned from the other's life stories and realizations.

it was unorthodox and unconventional alright but the results proved to be more effective and caused more impact.

Indeed He has His own ways of unraveling His graces and most often we get to discover it in the most uncanny circumstances.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

the e-passport

i have just applied for the e-passport after dilly-dallying on it for a while. the last time i had it renewed was through courier service since i really hate those long queues and the travel all the way to DFA in Pasay.

this process however proved to be quite a more convenient experience. here are the quick steps:

1. make an appointment by signing up at the DFA website click on the e-passport and fill in the data. you will automatically receive an email in your account confirming your application. after a couple of days, you will receive another email detailing your schedule.

2. prepare your requirements, this will consist of a print-out of your letter/email, an accomplished application form which you can also download in the website, a photocopy of your passport details (front and back info page), recent stamps/visa (if any), your old passport/s, and your fee. rates are at Php950 for 14-working days, Php 1300 for an expedited process (7 working days). photo taking will be done during the process so wear your formal shirt with collar.

3. come to the appointment early, proceed directly to Gate 3 and Window 28. vehemently ignore the fixers, they could become totally annoying. look for the guards if you need questions and directions. at the Window 28, you need to submit all your requirements. you will be given a voucher and will have to pay at the cashier where you will be given a receipt. then proceed to the second floor for the picture taking and biometrics (thumbmarks and signatures and basic information). once this is done, then you are done! it was over in less than 30 minutes.

4. you can opt to avail of their courier service in case you don't want to go back anymore to pick up your new e-passport. proceed to the basketball court (yes, there's such a court in our DFA office!) and search for your chosen courier service providers like aboitiz 2go, DHL, LBC, etc. rate is at Php99-100.

now for my bloopers and anecdotes .


i thought i had it all figured out, my appointment was for 9-10am so i thought of leaving the house by 7:30 and just take the LRT2-MRT route which i hoped will take me to the DFA by 8:30. but yay, the MRT was jampacked! i waited for 3-4 trains and i could still not squeeze my tiny self in! it was almost 9am so i had no choice but to retreat and hail a cab instead. napamahal pa tuloy ako, oh well.

-i say vehemently refuse those fixers, i almost fell into one haha! imagine there was this girl who approached me as i neared the gate who introduced herself as a "guide". she told me i should get into this place where i'm supposed to get my "priority number". i almost went inside but took a second look, my it was a mini carenderia. although there was a table and a guy sitting behind it, there was no one else there. i hesitated and eventually left the place and walked away fast haha! i saw a guard farther up who was holding a megaphone telling all those fixers to stay away. and i finally saw the tiny gate with an obscure DFA sign, yehey!

- there's a dizzying alley that leads to the main doors and i finally felt safer as guards abound and those fixers were no longer allowed entry.

-there was no one in line at Window 28, it was past 9am but i was only applicant number 19.

-there is a separate cashier for e-passports as well and i was served in no time.

-i had my picture taken at the second floor, if you are lucky and there's no one next to you could actually request for retakes till you are satisfied with your photo. hey, this is after all your passport for the next 5 years! if you could help it though, ask for an afternoon appointment. you really can't go there and smile wearing your just-woken up face, or have that look of someone who just had an all-nighter. haay, i looked like an old haggard woman in my picture. or maybe i'm really just getting old already. i've got creases, wrinkles on my face, sigh.

-i chose aboitiz 2go to deliver my passport, it says though that i'm only getting it by Nov. 20. matagal din pala. but at least i'm done with the process and all i can do now is wait.

-before i left the DFA area, i went back to that mini carenderia and took a photo, heto po siya:

imagine, i'm supposed to get my "priority number" there daw? lokong mga yun ah!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

corned tuna

finally got to taste this latest craze. i've heard about it for months now it's just that i could not get hold of any stock in the nearest groceries not even in 7-11 or mini stop. i had to buy these at the supermarket in Megamall.

Century Corned Tuna is more solid, with little oil and has its usual pale color.

San Marino, the newer band, is more flaky and oily. it's saltier too. i dunno what's up with its reddish color? must be because it is full of love as modeled by the hot couple Dingdong and Marian? hehehe...

i'm not much a fan of corned beef but for this one i'd probably buy Century corned tuna again, and again. it tastes much better for me compared to San Marino. it's almost like tuna sisig.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

thirteen jogging/running songs

i have started jogging/running again when there are no more rains in the afternoons. now i have updated my playlist for some good enough company while i pant around the field. here's my top 13!

1. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi (RADIOHEAD)

2. Soul Meets Body (DEATH CAB FOR CUTIES)

3. Violet (HOLE)

4. 747 (KENT)

5. Motorcycle Drive By (THIRD EYE BLIND)

6. No Ordinary Love (Deftones cover)




10. Satellite (DAVE MATTHEWS BAND)

11. Siren (TORI AMOS)

12. Bouncing Off Clouds (TORI AMOS)


Wow, i could add more but i have to list just thirteen for now. :)

Friday, October 09, 2009

waiting for the purple summer

I was able to catch another Tony award-winning musical at the RCBC Plaza last Friday, Oct. 9. Atlantis Productions' The Spring Awakening introduced me to another star-crossed lovers Melchior and Wendla. Set in the late 19th century Germany, these teenagers tackle issues on puberty and their raging hormones amidst repressions in the society.

it is particularly interesting to note that Duncan Sheik composed most of the songs here giving it some pop rock feel.

Joachin Valdez and Kelly Latti stars as Melchior and Wendla who both shine in their roles. i am amazed at how melodic and youthful their voices are. it particularly disappointed me though that Jet Pangan was not given a solo but i got impressed upon hearing that Sitti Navarro could actually sing and it doesn't sound bossa!

there is some bit of nudity and vulgar language amidst all the innocence and naivete. it is sweet and angst-y at the same time, gloomy yet hopeful too.

The earth will wave with corn
The gray-fly choir will mourn
And mares will neigh
With stallions that they mate
Foals they've borne

And all shall know the wonder
I will sing the song of purple summer

The show will run until Oct. 18. For tickets and more information, call Atlantis Productions at (632) 892-7078 or 840-1187. You may also visit .

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

this is my first time to join this meme and i find it unfortunate to have joined in a not so nice circumstances but i am grateful i am just fine though. and i hope to see my country rise from all these trials.

after typhoons Ondoy (Ketsana) and Pepeng (Parma) ravaged our country for days, i would like to try and list down 13 things which i hope i could save from among my belongings in case i am going to have to evacuate pronto!

1. my wallet with all the money, identification cards/passport/ atm/ credit cards and all those other cards

2. mobile phone and charger

3. digital camera and rechargeable batteries

4. my laptop (negotiable *sniff*)

5. a couple of shirts

6. a pair of jeans or shorts

7. a few pairs of underwear

8. my son's printed photos

9. a toiletry kit (with the basics like toothbrush/paste, deodorant, soap, alcohol)

10. my Sandman graphic novels (these are negotiable though)

11. The Sandman Companion Guide (I'd like to take all my books but i might have to choose only one)

12. an extra pair of flipflops

13. rain jacket

i'm going to have to wrap them all in plastic and hope to dear God i'd be kept from all harm.

a real hero

at the height of Richard Gutierrez's controversial rescue of fellow movie star Cristine Reyes, i sent Kuya Ef some news bits and asked his opinion on the so called heroic act. all he said was, "Hayaan natin si Chard kung doon siya masaya".

i felt a bit ashamed of myself especially after having religiously followed the scoops and controversies regarding the issue. true enough, now is not the time for us to merely dwell on trivialities and nitpick on other people's weaknesses and mistakes, admitted or not.

i first met Kuya Ef or Efren Penaflorida, Jr. in 2004, when we opened our Bayaning Pilipino Awards search for young people who also chose to make a difference. He was nominated for his active involvement in the values formation of young people in the depressed community in Cavite. and he is a young person himself and as economically challenged like most of the younger ones in his care.

he did not emerge as the top winner but this did not hinder him from his continued service and dedication to help others. he is now one of the endorsers of Ako Mismo! and is also one of the Top Ten candidates for CNN Heroes to which i'm going to solicit for your votes.

if you are as convinced of his ideals as i am, then click here and vote for him. note that you can vote as many times as you want.

I vote for Kuya Ef!

let us all spread the good news!

Friday, October 02, 2009

what to save?

i am currently staring at the stuff scattered around my room. i realize i have indeed accumulated a good number of things since my stay here last year. to think i have already lost and discarded more of my things from the many instances when i had to move from one place to another. after all, i must have moved homes more than 5 times for the past 16 years since i first came here in Manila (which also means i've been living here like half my life hmmm..)

i've been reading a lot about disaster preparedness lately. been trying to make a checklist as to what i should store and keep handy around the house in case an emergency arises. i realize i don't have a flashlight nor a candle. i don't have extra container/s for water in case the service is disrupted. i have enough food somehow to last me a few days. heck, i've been eating several times a day just to curb the nervousness and fear (yeah right!).

i have given already bagfuls of my clothes to charity. some of those items i'd have to close my eyes and not think twice before i chuck them into those bags. i thought i have given away most of my clothes back then to my nieces anyway. i have even had garage sales with some close friends before. purging one's closet can actually be cathartic. and yeah, it gives me the excuse to buy some more in case i'll once again have the urge to shop.

Typhoon Ondoy has become such an eye opener for most of us. it isn't just about the idea of mortality but also on how we hold on to our possessions. and how we've focused more on the finer things in life and neglecting the necessities.

exactly a week ago, i have been talking with friends and making plans on the parties, the events we could go to. fast forward to a couple of days ago, i could not even bring myself to go out and drink even with just the prospect of being able to meet up and hang out with friends. i was also contemplating on getting more stuff for my tiny home. more linens, an additional furniture perhaps. but such idea is so remote right now.

so what do i need to save in case i do need to evacuate in a flash? (God forbid!)

I don't know really.

must be my laptop (mostly because it's not mine). it conveniently contains most of my files.

my passport and all my other identification cards perhaps.

my cellphone and charger.

a few clothes.

my books! but they all seem so heavy.

oh wow, i don't know.

i just wish i won't have to be confronted with such a predicament ever.

i cannot possibly keep on buying anymore stuff. i won't be able to take them all with me anyway when the need arises.

i grieve for the people out there who just lost everything so quickly. some of them have been accumulated and saved for for years on end. maybe we should just stick to the basics and not have to spend so much on luxuries and everything else that are deemed disposable.

i really don't know. but i do know that as long as i will be able to save myself then i should be alright.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Calling Out for More Heroes Please

We are still in need of more goods be it in cash or in kind like clothes, toiletries, rice, canned goods, noodles, biscuits, bottled water etc. We are also in dire need of more volunteers to pack and be deployed to distribute these goods. More volunteers are also being sent to the different araes to help clean up. So many things are needed to be done, so many items are still needed to be distributed, so many people still need our help.

Let us not be selfish, let us not turn our deaf ears to their cries.

The following contacts may be reached for information on donating, volunteering and providing/receiving assistance:

Sanggunian ng mga Mag-Aaral ng mga Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo de Manila
Gio Tingson
Kacci Morales

Office for Social Concern and Involvement- Loyola Schools
Mary Ann Manapat
4266001 loc.5090 or 4261017

Office of University Development and Alumni Relations
Jun Dalandan
426-6001 local 4085, 4084

Personnel Office
4266001 local 4128 (Cora)

or you can go directly to the Ateneo Covered Courts to drop in your donations and volunteer yourselves even your vehicles.

Are you a first time volunteer? Then read this:

Questions One Has About Volunteering for Relief Operations, But Was Afraid to Ask
by Pat Te Seng

1. I don't know anyone there!

- I didn't know anyone in the relief operations when I showed up. It's been a looooooooooong time since I was at the Ateneo. Just go there, head for the volunteer registration table and sign up.

If in doubt, look for a volunteer and ask how you can help. Someone is sure to point you in the right direction.

Don't be shy. Make new friends! You never know, you might even meet that special someone :D.

2. What should I bring?

- Yourself. Really.

No special equipment needed, just wear comfortable working clothes. A change of clothes and something to freshen up with would also be good things to bring. Ateneo's relief operation did ask those who want to help clean up stricken areas (clean up crews) to bring shovels and boots, but that's about it.

3. Which relief operation should I go to?

- It's really your choice. I went to the Ateneo because I studied there and saw that they were looking for volunteers in Facebook. But there were people from other schools (UP, etc) who went to the Ateneo operation.

You might want to go to somewhere you're familiar with, or the one nearest you.

4. What's there to do?

- A lot. One can be tasked to do the following:

Receive donated items - greet donors, accept and carry their donations for them, answer their questions, etc. Service with a smile! :D

Sort items - segregate donated clothes by gender (M/F), type (Top/Bottom), age (Baby/Child/Adult), or food by type (noodles/canned goods/biscuits/etc).

Pack items - stuff a set quantity of food/water/clothes into a plastic bag. Usually done assembly line-style, so people take turns putting different items into one bag. At the end of the line, there were people who tied the bags up (with the sheer volume there had to be people whose job was to tie the bags shut).

Last Sunday night we were putting out 45 bags per minute at one point. To put that in perspective, if we were able to sustain that clip, 2700 bags would've passed through our hands in an hour.

Distribution - People with cars/pickups/vans may be tasked to deliver the packages to stricken areas. Volunteers may be assigned to go with these people to help unload at the site.

Cleanup - Go to the stricken area and help clean out the area, including clogged drains, etc.

5. Is it hard work?

- I have to be honest, it's going to be manual labor, and in our case last night, have to sit/kneel on a hard floor to work because we had no work tables.

6. How much time should I put in?

- It's really up to you, as there is no time limit. It's going to understood that on weekdays, some people have work to do so they're going to welcome any help they can get.

7. Will I get fed?

- Not sure about the other relief centers, but Sunday night at the Ateneo, there was hot packaged food for the volunteers (donated) and bottled water/energy drinks/juice being passed out. There were people passing out Krispy Kreme stuff too.

8. I'm sold! But for how long will relief operations go on?

- Operations will go up to this Tuesday at least, and may be extended. Other organizations might do this all week.

8. OK, I'm here at a relief center. But I'm just standing here doing nothing, everyone else is busy

- That's fine. Ask people carrying stuff if you can lend a hand. Pick up discarded wrappers and toss them in the designated garbage pile.

And listen for an organizer to yell out "Volunteers! We need volunteers who aren't doing anything!!!!" Make your way to him or her, and volunteer, whatever that may be. :D

9. I really can't volunteer. :(

-That's okay! One can help in other ways: donating, or just by spreading word on how others can help.

You're probably reading this on Facebook, you can help disseminate updates about relief operations or calls for help in your status message. Every bit counts! :D

10. Wait! I wanna do those daring rescues and be on TV!

-Errr. No.

Please leave that to trained rescuers.

You think these are a lot already? No, we definitely still need more. So Please, pretty please give some more.

Or better yet, join us and feel really great about yourselves. ;)

There is a hero in all of us, so please, wherever you are, whatever it is you are doing...come out, come out!!!