Posts Tagged ‘Philippines’

“The Filipino is worth dying for.”

Proclamation 1081 (Martial Law) was signed by then Pres. Marcos on September 21, 972. I was in high school.  Ninoy Aquino was assassinated on August 21, 1983 (31 years ago today), I was a young mother then with an eleven-month old daughter.  February 25, 1986 was the highlight of the return to democracy when Marcos and his family left Malacanang Palace for good after more than two decades of governing the land.

Watching the two-hour documentary today on the assassination of Ninoy  and the presidency of Cory Aquino made me remember the dark days of Philippine history. I remember the  bloody student demonstrations and rallies  before martial law was declared. I remember the day when we could not even listen to news because radio and television channels were closed. The glorious days of a dictator just started, the ambitious dream of a man to rule by military power. He incarcerated his enemies including Ninoy Aquino, the man who could have been the greatest president of the Republic of the Philippines, the only powerful enemy that Marcos had. I watched the documentary with my son who kept asking questions what life was like during the martial law years and how the Filipino people were affected by Ninoy’s death. I wrote a blog about this before.

Prior to what we know now in history as the People Power Revolution, I was part of the crowd at Ayala Avenue throwing confetti and yellow flowers made of crepe paper every time there was a rally scheduled in Makati. Bank of PI  (located at Ayala Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas) was at the center of those rallies and demonstration since the stage’s set-up was always facing our office building.  Now, that area is occupied by a statue of Ninoy Aquino, a tribute to a hero.Photo courtesy of ayalatriangle.comI remember collecting issues of the tabloid Malaya which was the only newspaper having regular reports of the assassination and how people reacted to it. I remember keeping a copy of a newspaper when the Marcos family left Malacanang to be exiled later in Hawaii. It was the day that ended a dictatorship.

Ah, those moments of happy celebration when all Ayala employees and their subsidiaries joined the merry dance at Ayala Avenue led by our big boss, Don Jaime Zobel de Ayala. You can just imagine people in corporate attires  dancing to the tune of Tie a Yellow Ribbon and laughing  out loud – the days when democracy was truly restored in our land.

He said, ” I believe that the Filipino will respond to the call to greatness not by coercion but by persuasion, not by intimidation but through the ways of freedom”. May his  legacy lives on and may the youth of today appreciates and remember what he did for our country.

Ninoy Aquino, my own personal hero.



Photo courtesy of ayalatriangle.com


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Let us not talk  about whether it is a fruit or a vegetable.  All I know is that fruits grow on trees and vegetables are harvested on the ground just like pumpkin, cucumber and squash. If it is a fruit, it is a healthy and refreshing one but then you’ll wonder if it is also considered a vegetable.

Yesterday, son and I bought a large watermelon at P100/head.  Watermelons are in season now and every summer you could enjoy them  served as desserts, mixed with other veggies as salad, refreshing coolers or if you are enterprising enough you can mix them with jellies or you can make them into ice pops. I love them cold and plainly sliced. They are anti-oxidants and so rich in vitamin C.

water melon

This reminds me of a recipe I tasted last week when some friends and I dined at Crisostomo Restaurant at Ayala Fairview Terraces.  It was my first time to visit this mall and  dine at Crisostomo. All branches serve authentic Filipino recipes and all the recipes are named after some characters in Rizal’s book, Noli Me Tangere and some biblical characters too. Crisostomo must be Crisostomo Ibarra.  One of the recipes we ordered was called Sinigang ni Eba and I was pleasantly surprised that they mixed it sliced watermelons. Oh boy, it was simply delicious. The blend of the tangy tomatoes and tamarind and the sweetness of the watermelons is just out of this world. Even their Laing (taro leaves cooked in coconut cream) was just as yummy. Would love to explore more of their recipes one of these days. Although, it is a bit pricey to dine there, you have lots of menu to choose from. Good ambience, friendly wait staff. They have a branch at Eastwood which is very near our place.


(note: second pic culled from the official website of crisostomo)

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I am not a political analyst, neither am I into politics but I appreciate President Obama’s visit here in our country. They say he is the most powerful man in the world on account of the USA being the most powerful country. I won’t delve into the nitty-gritty of the whys and the hows of his visit here because I am not qualified to do so. What I saw of the warm welcome, the warm smiles, the wonderful speeches that both leaders delivered yesterday are enough to gladden the hearts of the Filipino people who believe that peace could only be achieved not by arms and golds but through  a sincere dialogue and communication.

It was the second straight two days that I allowed myself to stay in front of the television to watch the canonization of  Saints John Paul II and Saint John XXIII in Rome the other day and the arrival of President Obama yesterday.  I enjoyed watching both. I found some pictures posted by the Gazette of the Republic of the Phils. on Facebook which I follow.

I love this.  he took his time shaking hands with the ordinary Malacanang employees, smiling and looks truly glad to step foot in the Philippines.

I love this. He took his time shaking hands with the ordinary Malacanan employees, smiling and looks truly glad to step foot in the Philippines.


U.S. President Barack Obama's inscription in the official guestbook of Malacañan Palace: "I thank President Aquino and the people of the Philippines welcoming me. May America's oldest alliance in Asia always be renewed by our friendship and mutual respect."

U.S. President Barack Obama’s inscription in the official guest book of Malacañan Palace: “I thank President Aquino and the people of the Philippines welcoming me. May America’s oldest alliance in Asia always be renewed by our friendship and mutual respect.”


The welcome ceremony at the Malacanan Palace grounds.

The welcome ceremony at the Palace grounds.


It was short (not even a twenty-four hour visit) but I saw a glimpse of the man who is so polite  and knows what he is talking about.  Report says this is the eight visit of a President of the United States to the Philippines.


(photo credits: Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines)

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Hello everyone! Finally got my order of t-shirts from ABS CBN.  Josef and I ordered three but there is no size yet for the third one. A shirt costs P250.00 and all proceeds will go to the survivors of typhoon Yolanda. Another way of sharing aside from donating goods and sending cash.


Loosely translated, it means “let’s help” or “let’s be one  in helping”, extending our hands and making our kababayans  cope and rebuild and bring back life to normalcy again.  And with God’s grace and determination, we can do it.

Tulong na. Tabang na. Tayo na.

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Saying thank you would probably be not enough so we say MARAMING, MARAMING SALAMAT! God bless you  all.

thank you

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I am reposting this here  for what it’s worth,  the Philippines’ lead climate negotiator, Nadarev Saño, delivered a tearful plea to diplomats assembled in Doha almost a year ago.

And I am sharing this link from CNN so everyone would see the devastation caused by typhoon Yolanda. We are appealing for your help even just through prayers but if you can spare something to help our people, we’ll be forever grateful. No matter how resilient the Filipino spirit is, we still need to extend our helping hands to those who badly need them right now.
Here’s another appeal from our Philippine delegate on the ongoing United Nations Climate Conference in Warsaw. May the  aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) speaks  for itself.

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“You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”― Anne Lamott

This is my first attempt at blogging since typhoon Yolanda struck the country last Friday morning. Seeing all those video footage, updates on local radio and television, I could not begin to fathom the depth of sadness I feel for our “kababayans” affected by the strongest and most destructive typhoon that visited the country. How could one survive such devastation? How could one endure such pain of losing loved ones and seeing your properties destroyed beyond repair? And you wonder, typhoon Yolanda made six landfalls. And there are still more areas not reached by help from our government because communications are down and the roads are impassable. Some remote villages in Leyte are almost wiped out. You can see how desperate the people are , looting business establishments just to survive.  The government assured everyone that there is enough food for all the victims but the problem is, it is slow in coming. It was only today that some roads were cleared for help to pass through by land. What was left of Tacloban airport  is the runway which is being used now by C130 planes to bring relief goods to the typhoon victims.

One thing good though that you will see everywhere is the desire of everyone to help in any way, financial or otherwise. We will rise again just as we stood on our feet seeing calamities after calamities in our midst.




Typhoon Yolanda brings back sad memories of typhoon Ondoy, another destructive typhoon that devastated Metro Manila four years ago. Our house was almost seven feet under water and most, if not all of our belongings were destroyed by the flood. Lucky for us, we had a house to come back to although we had to do some renovations to make it habitable again. Have you ever imagined that kind of helpless feeling and just cry your heart out in frustration?  When all you can  do is pray and hold on to each other because you are not sure if you’ll still see each other tomorrow or the following day or the next?

We are having our own fund drive here in our town to help the people in  the Visayas and some parts of Luzon. Our mayor is encouraging everyone to help in any way they  can. And donations from other countries keep pouring in. Thank you so much. God bless the Philippines.

(photos courtesy of DZMM)

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WHEREAS, Typhoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan) caused widespread death, destruction and incalculable damage in several areas, including the Samar provinces, Leyte, Cebu, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan and Palawan;

WHEREAS, in accordance with Republic Act No. 10121, or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has recommended the declaration of a State of National Calamity;

WHEREAS, the declaration of a State of National Calamity will hasten the rescue, recovery, relief, and rehabilitation efforts of the government and the private sector, including any international humanitarian assistance; and

WHEREAS, this declaration will, among others, effectively control the prices of basic goods and commodities for the affected areas and afford government ample latitude to utilize appropriate funds for rescue, recovery, relief, and rehabilitation efforts of, and to continue to provide basic services to, affected populations, in accordance with law.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and by law, do hereby declare a State of National Calamity.

All departments and other concerned government agencies are hereby directed to implement and execute rescue, recovery, relief, and rehabilitation work in accordance with pertinent operational plans and directives.

All departments and other concerned government agencies are also hereby directed to coordinate with, and provide or augment the basic services and facilities of, affected local government units.

Law enforcement agencies, with support from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, are directed to undertake all necessary measures to ensure peace and order in affected areas, as may be necessary.

The State of National Calamity shall remain in force and effect until lifted by the President.

DONE in the City of Manila, this 11th day of November in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand and Thirteen.


By the President:


Executive Secretary

source: Official Gazette of the Republic of the Phils.

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We are now under state of national calamity. I don’t know, since typhoon Yolanda, I have almost forgotten how to make a blog. Just crying my heart out and bombarding heaven with prayers for our unfortunate brothers and sisters affected by the strongest typhoon on earth ever recorded in the last three decades.  May I ask you all to say a prayer for our country? Thank you so much. (I have posted the English translation of PNoy’s statement below).

Kagalang-galang Benigno S. Aquino III
Pangulo ng Pilipinas
Ukol sa bagyong Yolanda

[Inihayag noong ika-11 ng Nobyembre 2013]

Nitong Biyernes, humagupit sa malaking bahagi ng Kabisayaan ang Bagyong Yolanda. Isa ito sa pinakamalakas na bagyo sa kasaysayan ng bansa, kung di man ng buong mundo. Nagpapasalamat po tayo sa mga dalubhasa mula sa PAGASA, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Phivolcs, at DOST, na kumalap at nagbigay ng tama at detalyadong impormasyon na naging dahilan upang makapaghanda nang maayos ang ating mga kababayan. Ito ang nagbigay-daan para sa iniuulat na mababang casualty count mula sa ilang mga probinsyang dinaanan din ng bagyo, tulad ng Oriental at Occidental Mindoro, Negros Occidental, Palawan, Aklan, at Romblon, kung saan maagang nakapaghanda ang lokal na pamahalaan.

Sa kabila po nito, personal din nating nasaksihan ang matinding pinsalang idinulot ng bagyong ito sa Leyte at Samar. Dito sa kung saan tila naembudo ang mga storm surge ni Yolanda nakita ang pinakamabigat na pinsala, at dito nakatutok ang ating pagbibigay lingap sa mga sandaling ito.

Humihingi rin po tayo ng pang-unawa sa lahat. Sa paghahagupit ni Yolanda, nawalan ng kuryente at komunikasyon sa maraming lugar. Apektado po nito, hindi lamang ang pakikipag-ugnayan ng mga nais makasigurong ligtas ang kanilang mga kaanak, kundi pati na rin ang koordinasyon ng ating relief efforts. Para mapadala ang pangangailangan, kailangan nating malaman ang kakulangan ng bawat lugar; nahirapan po tayong makuha ang mga datos na ito. May ilang lokal na pamahalaan, sa lakas ng delubyo, na bumigay din po dahil kabilang sa mga nasalanta ang kanilang mga tauhan at opisyal. Isipin po ninyo, bumalik tayo sa situwasyon kung saan pasa-pasa ang impormasyon—walang TV, cellphone, o internet; sarado ang mga tindahan; hindi naging madali ang pag-oorganisa ng relief efforts. Naging ugat po ito ng kaguluhan sa ilang mga lugar.

Dito po’y papasok ang pambansang pamahalaan. Imbis na dumagdag lamang tayo sa lakas ng mga komunidad, kinailangang manguna ng pambansang gobyerno. Nilinis ng DPWH ang mga kalsadang binagsakan ng malalaking puno at mga poste ng kuryente ; lahat ng naireport na bara ay nabuksan na. Ayon na rin sa kahilingan ng mga lokal na opisyal, nagpadala tayo ng karagdagang 800 mga sundalo at pulis sa Tacloban upang ibalik ang kaayusan. May tatlong repacking center po tayong naglalabas ng di baba sa 55,000 mga family food pack kada araw; inatasan na po natin si Secretary Abaya ng DOTC upang imando ang pagdadala ng mga relief goods kung saan ito pinakakailangan.

Inuna natin ang pagdadala ng pagkain, tubig, at gamot sa mga pinakaapektadong lugar. Dadaanin po natin sa mga barangay ang pagpapamigay ng mga pangunahing pangangailangang ito; 24,000 family food packs na po ang napamudmod sa Tacloban kahapon, at nakasentro ang pagpapamigay sa walong pinakamalaking barangay doon. Mayroon tayong dalawang water purification facilities, at marami pa ang darating, upang masigurong may maiinom ang ating mga kababayan. Inaayos na natin ang mekanismo para mapalawak ang saklaw ng social housing program ng pamahalaan. Mula po sa ating mga calamity funds, contingency funds, at savings, mayroong 18.7 billion pesos na maaaring gamitin upang ibangon ang mga lugar na pininsala ni Yolanda.

Dumarating na rin po ang tulong mula sa ibang bansa; 22 bansa na po ang nagpanata o nagbigay na ng tulong, kabilang na ang Indonesia, Amerika, Inglatera, bansang Hapon, Singapore, New Zealand, pati na rin po ang Hungary. Tumutulong na rin po sa iba’t ibang paraan ang pribadong sektor upang ibangon ang mga nasalanta, gaya ng sa pagbabalik ng daloy ng komunikasyon at  pati ang pagmimintena ng krudo sa mga apektadong lugar.

Kasabay nito, idinedeklara po natin ang State of national calamity upang mapabilis ang mga pagkilos ng pamahalaan para sa pagsagip, paghahatid ng tulong, at rehabilitasyon ng mga probinsyang sinalanta ni Yolanda. Mahalaga rin ito, hindi lamang para panatilihing kontrolado ang mga presyo ng mga pangunahing produkto at serbisyo na kakailanganin ng ating mga kakabayan, kundi upang maiwasan din ang overpricing at hoarding ng mga mahahalagang bilihin. Inaprubahan din natin ang kabuuang P1.1 billion para pandagdag sa Quick Response Funds ng DSWD at DPWH, para sa agarang pagpapatupad ng mga kinakailangang suporta para sa muling pagbangon ng mga kababayan nating hinagupit nitong trahedya.

Bagaman nakapagtala ng mababang casualty count sa maraming mga probinsyang dinaanan ni Yolanda, sa mga lugar naman na tila naembudo ang bagyong ito, talaga naman pong malaki ang pinsalang nasaksihan natin. Tulad ninyo, gusto ko ring malaman kung paanong maiibsan ang situwasyon sa mga lugar na tulad nito.

Sa mga darating na araw, maaasahan ninyo, lalo pang papaspas ang ayuda. Ang panawagan ko lang po: Ang pagiging kalmado, pagdarasal, pakikisama, at pakikipagtulungan. Siya ang magpapabangon sa atin mula sa sakunang ito.

Maraming salamat po at magandang gabi sa inyong lahat.


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It’s the start of the BER months and in our country, it’s the official start of the Christmas season. It has been said that we celebrate the longest Christmas ever so just to start the day and the month of September, I am posting a Christmas song here. I’ve just had a LSS this morning humming this song silently in my head.

♫♪♫♫Said the night wind to the little lamb,
“Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite.”

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
“Do you hear what I hear?
Ringing through the sky, shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song, high above the tree
With a voice as big as the sea.”

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
“Do you know what I know?
In your palace warm, mighty king,
Do you know what I know?
A Child, a Child shivers in the cold—
Let us bring him silver and gold.”

Said the king to the people everywhere,
“Listen to what I say!
Pray for peace, people, everywhere,
Listen to what I say!
The Child, The Child sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light,
He will bring us goodness and light.”♪♪♫♪

Do you know that this song was written in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis as a powerful plea for peace by a man who had experienced the horrors of war? It was composed by Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne.

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