Post-Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda Thoughts (And Ways You Can Help the Victims)

It has been a week since Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda battered the Eastern Visayas region in the Philippines. And by now, it is clear as to how much damage it has created.

I was actually on vacation in the Northern part of the Philippines when it struck. When I got back from vacation, that’s when I thoroughly updated myself on various social media networks. Seeing photos and watching news reports of how Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda reduced buildings and houses into shreds, how it rendered thousands and thousands of people homeless, desperate, sick and hungry and how it reduced a population also by the thousands left me shocked, speechless and unable to write. I had planned on writing this post earlier this week, but I couldn’t bring myself to. Although the Philippines is an archipelago, it is a small one, so everyone knows someone who hailed from or was in Central Visayas at that moment. Filipinos are also scattered all over the world. For this, the story hits home, one way or another.

It is heartbreaking to know that this happened to our country. Year after year, we experience torrential rains and strong typhoons, as well as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions – albeit not as much as the typhoons. But we have never experienced something so strong, and so its psychological and emotional impact are as strong as the winds and rains brought by the typhoon itself.

And for this, we are all doing our best to help each other out. This is why other government units have sent in financial aid and their staff to affected areas to help out.  This is why volunteer registration lists are filled until next week at the Department of Social Welfare and Development. This is why operations at the Ateneo de Manila University grounds are nonstop, twenty-four hours. This is why beyond the aforementioned relief operations, I cannot give more as there have been so many, I can’t remember all of them. Just refer to Rappler for an extensive list of relief operation sites. Apart from that, there are kind individuals who conduct door-to-door relief good donations and delivery operations. They are not affiliated with any group. They just want to help.

And speaking of helping here are other ways that you can help:

For those living outside the Philippines, you may give to reputable nonprofit organization that work or will be working directly for the communities involved. Please click on the name of the organization to know more how you can donate.

Typhoon Haiyan - Ways to Donate - NAFCON

Image Source: NAFCON Website

NAFCON (National Alliance for Filipino Concerns)

Typhoon Haiyan - Ways to Donate - Mercy Corps

Image Source: Mercy Corps Facebook

Mercy Corps 

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders 

For those here in the Philippines who wish to donate, kindly refer to this list of ways on how to donate from Rappler.

Here are some more creative ways you can give:

Typhoon Haiyan - Ways to Donate - YolandaActionWeekend

Image Source: Pepper PH

Eat and drink in one of your favorite restaurants / bars. Several restaurateurs have come together for #YolandaActionWeekend, wherein participating establishments will donate either 20% of gross sales or 100% net profit to the victims of typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Read more about the said campaign on the Pepper PH Website.

Buy styled donated clothing. One of the memories I have from childhood post-Mount Pinatubo-volcanic-eruption was seeing a child on TV walking and wearing a flower girl’s gown in the midst of lahar-torn Pampanga. That image stuck because it seemed bizarre to me that someone would donate something like that. But I learned this happens often. I’ve also personally experienced unloading a bag full of donated clothing including prom gowns, parkas and full office suits.

For this, the Philippine Red Cross, in partnership with stylists and clothing care products Downy and Ariel, have taken these uhm, “pre-loved” clothing, styled them and are putting them up on sale. Each item has a corresponding donation equivalent, like a set of ten hot meals, or a number of tents. For more details visit the campaign website: Aid Couture.

Typhoon Haiyan - Ways to Donate -Makati Medical Center

Or if you don’t want to go out or spend, the best you can do is sign this petition asking Makati Medical Center in Metro Manila to put up a mobile hospital and provide medical care for those in need.

We’re a strong people, so we’ll definitely get back up again. But hopefully after getting up, we would be able not only to stand, nor walk, but be capable enough as a people to run ourselves independently and responsibly, and lead all those who have helped us to look our way and smile at the changes we have made in our government, in our infrastructure, in managing our people and most importantly, in our relationship with the environment.

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Help Bohol and Cebu Rise Again

I’ve been to Cebu twice, and I enjoyed both of my trips there. Knowing how beautiful and culturally-rich Cebu is, what they are going through now makes me feel extra sad.

I’ve never been to Bohol, hence my regret for not having had the chance to visit Chocolate Hills or its churches. And I promise to visit the place as soon as things are in order again.

I, like many Filipinos and people around the world want to help these beautiful islands rise so that we may see them in their splendor once again. Here are ways you can help bring back joy and security to Boholanos and Cebuanos:

For more ways to help, please visit the follow links:

Aboitiz – http://aboitizfoundation.org/AF/index.php?p=2502&type=2&sec=114&aid=11377&pg

Gawad Kalinga – http://gk1world.com/walang-iwanan

Rappler – http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/41461-relief-visayas-earthquake-victims

The Zamboanga Crisis: Diversion Tactic or Not?

So many times we Filipinos have been subject to “diversionary tactics” in the past that certain problems now, though real, are thought of nothing more than a theatrical act. I’m speaking in terms of two political issues plaguing our country – the pork barrel scam and the Zamboanga armed conflict.

Let’s say the Zamboanga armed conflict is a diversion orchestrated by the government from the pork barrel scam. It is a weak one then, since the situation itself has lead people back to thinking about the scam – “If not for the monies stolen from the nation, our military would have the resources to defeat the rebels”. On the other hand we could think, if not for the Zamboanga armed conflict, then the president and the Department of Justice would have prohibited the exit of some of the accused through judicial orders, including Representative Rodolfo Plaza, and Atty. Gigi Reyes. But then again, crisis or not, the administration would still be soft, given the fact that some of their allies are involved in the scam itself.

So, the Zamboanga armed conflict is real and not an orchestrated diversionary tactic. The government does not need it to protect the accused, because they have been defended from the start. If not for Benhur Luy, then nothing would have happened, and the administration would still be issuing a budget for the PDAF, including their allies involved in the scam. They struck strategically, when the government is the weakest and committed to another issue. Given that these two issues simultaneously occurring, the government must strengthen itself and address both issues at the same time. We are watching you deal with these two issues.

Just to give a background, the Zamboanga armed conflict is said to be the result of Nur Misuari’s disappointment over the 2012 Bangsamoro Framework Agreement (which you can read more about here), from which his group, the Moro National Liberation Front, was left out. Only the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, was recognized. In other words, it is a classic case of obscuring and failing to make policy inclusive, which lead the excluded faction to rebel. I admit I wasn’t looking and I guess many of us didn’t care until this happened. So now, we owe it to our brothers and sisters in Mindanao to ensure that they live in a peaceful and democratic society by making sure that the government would be more careful, inclusive and engaging in the future policy and governance processes that they will embark on, after the crisis. Meanwhile, we can donate and help them through the following networks (I know it’s hard to trust now because of the pork barrel scam, but again, the armed conflict is real and hurting our fellowmen and women, so let’s help):

AdZU

Tzu Chi Foundation

Update! Here are more ways you can give to the Zamboanguenos: (Updated 25 September 2013):

Z crisis donations PH Red Cross-Red Crescent 1

Z crisis donations Ateneo 2

Help for Typhoon Trami/Maring Victims in the Philippines

Northern Philippines (Northern Luzon, nearer Southern Luzon and Metro Manila) were ravaged by floods brought by Typhoon Trami (international name)/Maring (Philippine name). It has again displaced many of our fellow Filipinos, and for this, help is needed. You may give help by donating via Ateneo DreaM Team, Kanlungan Pilipinas or the many other relief efforts conducted all over Metro Manila. Please visit this site or search using “#reliefph” on Facebook or Twitter to know more.

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The Ateneo DReaM (Disaster Response and Management) Team is appealing for donations in cash and in kind on behalf of the victims affected by the typhoon Maring.

IN CASH DONATIONS:

For monetary donations to cover expenses for the provision of emergency relief packs, hot meals, transportation of supplies, and other types of relief, please send your help through any of the following channels.

Donations in Philippine Pesos

Donations may be made via the Bills Payment Facility of the Bank of the Philippine Islands.  The process is as follows.

1.      Donor fills out one (1) copy of Deposit/Payment Slip. Tick “Payment”

2.      Write the following details

Account Number:                               Leave as blank

Depositor/Merchant Name:            Ateneo DREAM Team

Policy/Plan/Reference No.:              Donor’s Name

Policy/Plan Holder’s Name:             Donor’s Name

Payment Details:                                 Amount of Cash or Check

Total Payment Amount:                   Php ____________

Donations in foreign currency

Donations can be made via wire transfer from any country to AdMU’s US$ Account with CHINA BANKING CORPORATION, with the following details:

Beneficiary Bank:               803-3278-269

China Banking Corporation

Manila, Philippines

Swift Address:  CHBKPHMM

Beneficiary Customer:    Ateneo de Manila University

US$ Savings Account No. 101-732651-4

For donations via this channel, please fax to the Office of the Vice-President for Social Development at (632) 709-5406 the validated bank statement with the name of the donor and his/her email address, so that a receipt for the donation issued by the Ateneo de Manila University in equivalent Philippine pesos can be sent to the donor. Receipt of donation via wire transfer may be verified with Juliet Bautista, jbautista@ateneo.edu, telephone (632) 426-6001 local 4054.

NOTE:  Donations via this channel are those that would not require a certificate of donation for USA tax deductibility purposes.

Donations through the Philippine Jesuit Foundation

NOTE:  Donations made via this channel are fully deductible for US income tax purposes. Donations may, however, be made from anywhere in the world.  Moreover, for donations made toward disaster relief, the Philippine Jesuit Foundation waives 5% service fee.

For donations by check:  Payee is “Philippine Jesuit Foundation”

On the memo line, please write: For “Ateneo de Manila University for the account of DReaM Team”

Send or mail the check with the donor’s (1) full name, (2) email address, and (3) postal address to:

Ms. Margaret B. Llamas

Executive Director

Philippine Jesuit Foundation, Inc.

P.O. Box 312, New York, N.Y. 10028, U.S.A.

pjfexecdir@gmail.com    Tel (646) 370-1526

Please email Ms. Margaret B. Llamas <pjfexecdir@gmail.com> to inform her that you have sent or mailed a check to the PJF.

Downloadable PJF Donation Forms are available at:

http://www.philjesuit.net/illhelp.asp

DONATIONS IN KIND (Preferred priority goods)

•     Medicine

•     Paracetamol

•     Drinking Water (5 Liters)

•     Food pack elements

•     Sardines (400g)

•     Corned beef (300g)

•     Canned fruits

•     Rice (1 Kg)

•     Hygiene pack elements

•     Bath soap and toothpaste

•     Laundry soap

•     Rolls of toilet paper

•     Sanitary napkins

•     10-liter pail

•     Others

•     Bath towels

•     Blankets (Double)

•     Flashlight with batteries

•     Medicated strips (10-pc. packs)

•     Trash bags (medium)

*canned goods preferably with easy-open tabs

*pail serves as family pack container and for other purposes in evacuation center

Thank you for your generosity in these difficult periods for our countrymen. For inquiries, please contact the Ateneo DReaM Team at (632) 426-6001 local 5904 and Dan Remo at (632) 917 537-2161.

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Kanlungan Pilipinas is also doing its part in the relief drive. You may help by giving financial support or donate in kind or by volunteering:

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Thank YOU for helping!

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