September 2009


Even after the floods have subsided, it is not yet over.  Time to help out now…

Donations are being accepted at the Phil. National Red Cross chapter office nearest you. Ours is at ATC, Alabang:

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Go, go go, Pinoy youth power!: Classes are suspended for a week. There is no reason for them NOT to help out now…

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The relief goods ready for distribution: We just hope they will recycle the plastic bags though…

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My donation: With just Php 500, one can buy canned goods, noodles, bottled water, biscuits, soap, shampoo, can openers, candles – at least 5 bags worth of relief goods that 5 families may desperately need right now.  One can buy groceries at the supermarket in ATC, and just drop them off at the Red Cross Office in front, near Nat’l Bookstore.

BTW, medicines are also urgently needed: paracetamol, antibiotics, analgesic, oral rehydration salts, multivitamins and medications to treat diarrheal diseases.

If you do not have any material stuff to offer, you can volunteer in sorting, packing and distributing relief goods.  Just.. help… out.  It’s the least you can do…

(This is a continuation from the previous post. For more Ondoy pics, click here and here):

Sept. 27, 2009: Here are more images taken by my niece Pchie after the tragic ordeal brought about by the floods during Typhoon Ondoy.  These were from the streets of Provident Village, Marikina – one of the worst-hit areas in Metro Manila:

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Rubber boats were already deployed in the village since the wee hours of Sunday morning. But it was nearly noon when they were finally able to see one pass by their street.

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Dramatic rescue… Pchie: “Parang sa movie ko lng to napapanuod e…” Definitely NOT Richard Gutierrez doing the rescuing.  But maybe if that person was a starlet…

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Our furry friends also need rescuing. Check the water level. This one was lucky. There were plenty of dogs lying on the street dead…

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Some family’s refrigerator ended up hanging precariously on these power lines.  When Sis came out of the house for the first time since the flood, she thought the experience so surreal: “Parang yung pelikula ni Wil Smith? I am Legend ba yun? Ganun… parang wala nang tao sa mundo…

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A common sight now… Pchie: “Mayaman ang casa/talyer ngayon!” There were flooded cars being sold at the village entrance… um, possibly all over Metro Manila…

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Refugee Levic (my 10 year old nephew in yellow-green shirt above) along with his sisters, trudged along ankle-deep mud, on the move for a safer and dryer place. They are now staying over at their Lola’s house.  While getting out of the village, Pchie and Paw shielded and distracted their little brother from the sight of dead bodies on the street…ondoy_aftermath7

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while Sis and Doc stayed behind to clean and to save what can be saved…

To all those who lost their loved ones in the flood, we are offering our sympathies and prayers. Our hearts are with you… Let’s heal from this tragedy, and rebuild anew. But we mustn’t forget as well. Let us as a nation learn from this and may this serve as a shout-out to the world that climate change is real and is happening, and that we should start making dire changes now before it is too late…

In unity, there is strength. Let us all help out any way we can through Phil. National Red Cross, and GMA Kapuso Foundation.

(Continuation from previous post)

Sept. 27, 2009:

I heaved a sigh of relief when after midnight, my sis texted: “Start na baba ng water, mga 18 ft. na lang… Lubog pa 1st flr, puro ubo na ng mga tao nrrinig d2…” At 2 am: “Kita na ibbaw ng gate…” Huhu! I was near tears reading these messages, thanking God, they’re finally safe from further danger…

Here are Before, During and After shots taken by my nieces and nephew (from the third floor of their house) regarding the havoc Ondoy wreaked upon Provident Village, Marikina:

DURING:

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AFTER:

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The water started to recede very slowly on Sunday. The last time it flooded in the village was 1988, but it did not rise up to the second floor. This 0ne was estimated to have reached up to 25 ft! Truly unimaginable…

DURING:

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AFTER:

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By noon of the following day, rescuers came with bulldozers to clear debris, and to carry flood victims.

BEFORE:

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DURING:

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AFTER:

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Paw was able to take pics of the flood waters with her cellcam  as it began to rise higher and higher. The next day, lost things, debris and all sorts of garbage emerged from the receding flood.

BEFORE: Going…

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and going…

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… and gone!

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AFTER:

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The pix above show the parking area of the house. “Dpa naaninag mga kotse,” Sis texted during the storm. “Bka ntangay na ng agos.” When the water level went down, it was only then they realized -much to their surprise- that the cars were still there… Grabe.

More aftermath pix in the next post: Picking up the Pieces…

Sept. 26, 2009:

It was a harrowing experience – Typhoon Ondoy‘s unprecedented rains were so heavy, it brought on our worst nightmares – metro-wide flooding that destroyed countless of homes, properties, and lives. And it was only Warning Signal No. 1!

Worst hit were riverside cities and low-lying areas, most especially Marikina, Pasig and Rizal. My sister, Doc, Pchie, Paw and Levic were all in the village that was among the hardest-hit in Marikina when the flashfloods came.  I was safe in my home in the south but I watched and stayed up late in the morning of the following day – monitoring via TV, radio, internet, and text messaging for every bit of helpful news I could grab on to.  I feel for everyone who got affected by the typhoon across all Metro Manila but my mind was focused more on my loved ones in Marikina who were experiencing it for themselves firsthand.

Here are the pictures taken by them during the typhoon:

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Water started rising up to the 2nd floor of the rented house they’re staying in. They rushed up the third level of the house where they stayed safe and dry. Pchie: “…after lunch that day, we didn’t expect that it would really get WORST! we’re lucky to have a 3rd floor. Ang bilis ng pangyayari…”

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But their neighbors were up on the roofs, literally weathering the storm out throughout the day and night – exhausted, wet, cold, and hungry – having only rainwater to drink. They were only able to save the clothes they were wearing and nothing else.  My sis’ text message: “Wla na lubog na 2nd flr. 90%. Pls pray 4 us. mga kapitbahay nmin, gus2 lipat d2 kaso wla kami mgwa mlkas alon baha.”

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At the height of the flood, the roofs of houses in the pic are two-story houses. The water was that high, and almost reached the third floor… Pchie: “Basta puro bubong (na lang ang makikita)… kala ko aakyat na rin ako ng 3rdfloor ng bubong namen! :(“

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A neighbor awaits rescue… Just around midnight, Sis sent this text message: “Wla pa din rescue. My dumaan lang helicopter. Kawawa mga tao, konti na lang d na kta bubong nila… May dumaan nka jetski. sigaw mga tao 2big ska fud kc nga mrmi d pa nkkain…”

(The jetski that she was referring to at that moment was actually a speedboat which had actor Richard Gutierrez on it. He circled their street a number of times, looking for a starlet actress living in that area so he can save her. Not knowing who he was because it was pitch dark, people on top of the roofs were telling him to be careful [“Mag-ingat ka dyan. May pader dyan na may bubog!”] and asking him/them to come back and at least throw some bottled water or something [“Naka-ilang balik na kayo, magdala naman kayo ng kahit tubig man lang!”]. But he never did.  I don’t care what his reasons are, he’s an ass – he could have done more to help by letting rescuers borrow the speedboat or something… Hmp!)

By 2 am, Sept. 27, the flood waters were beginning to subside…

To be continued in the next post

I say it’s a ‘semi’ obsession because it is not something I’m losing sleep over.  It’s more like a silly hobby really.

I think a lot of tweeps like me are also into this new silly hobby brought about by these ever-changing forms of technology.  I believe it is so novel that they haven’t had a name for it yet.  It’s about collecting replies from celebrities or what I call ‘celeb-retweets‘ (whether it be via twitter or from FaceBook)…

I already talked about it in my post about John Cusack. That one was something I was so excited about because it was the first one that came from someone I truly admire.  But I got other RTs from other celebs, too…

As I said, I know that this is just silly and fun! While others are wasting whiling away their time collecting stuff for virtual games like pet society or farmville (which I don’t do), collecting celeb-retweets is MY kind of ‘game.’ It requires a bit of strategy, wit, and luck, too.  You have to out-do your online opponents which happen to be other tweepers vying for these celebs’ attention as well.

But I don’t go around tweeting ALL the celebs just for the heck of it. I just choose those whom I like or respect the most.  Besides, not all of them tweet back. They don’t have to and you got to respect that. But how do I know if they’re the real thing, and not written by some secretary or their PAs? I guess if you read their tweets, you would know. It’s the tone that you ‘hear’ in their statements that tell you it’s them. Aside from that, if it’s a verified account, then there you go.

Here is (so far) my ‘collection’ of celeb-retweets. I show them off with the level of snooty enthusiasm that is akin to that of Sesame Street’s Bert when he showed off his shiny bottle-cap collection (Oh, Figgy Fizz! hehe):

1) Judah Friedlander: World’s “Greatest” Champ

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June 19, 2009: I managed to eke out a birthday greeting from actor/stand-up comedian Judah Friedlander via FB.  Judah plays “Frank Rossitano,” the trucker-hat wearing writer of NBC’s 30 Rock.  He is swell guy who doesn’t let fame get into his head (unless when he’s boasting off his feats as the World Champ). If he had a chance to talk to his fans, he would – just like any regular guy (You could catch him online via FB and he would ‘hey’ back if you say ‘hi’).  Totally cool. Thanks, Judah. You are truly the World Champ!

2) Eoin Colfer:  Teacher to Teacher Talk

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Aug. 24, 2009: Eoin Colfer is an Irish author; he was commissioned to write the 6th installment of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” but he is best known as the creator of the famous Artemis Fowl series.  Though he does not tweet as much as the other celebs, he was kind enough to take time to answer a question I posed (which he answered after the day I sent it).  I do agree with his advice. And I also admire teachers like him who became writers.  They give me hope that someday I can accomplish the same feat. Gracias, Mr. Colfer!

3) Amber Benson: An awesome Greeting from a Buffy Royalty

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May 8, 2009: I already mentioned about my love for the Buffy TV series in my previous post. Even if the series was over, countless of BTVS fans like me are happy that some of its stars are on Twitter.  Amber Benson (who played Tara) was one of the first (if not, THE first) BTVS alumni who got into Twitter.  She DMed (‘direct messaged’) me as soon as I started following her with the tweet above.  Of course, I was starstruck! Imagine, Tara from Buffy? She tweeted ME, a die-hard Buffy Fan?  Not getting it? Believe me, in Buffy-verse this is something that reaches major levels of awesomeness… Thank you, Amber!

4) Julie Benz: Scoring a Scoop from a Dexter Star!

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Sept. 4 2009:  Julie Benz (who played “Darla” in both Buffy and Angel; currently in the show Dexter as “Rita”) is a real sweetheart.  I like her. She’s polite and sensitive.  I was able to get a ‘scoop’ (ahem) for the upcoming Season 4 of Dexter (which will start on Sept. 27) wherein she revealed that she will be doing a bit of singing! (A week later, TV Guide magazine posted this article regarding it). But really, if you watched Angel, you would agree with me that this talented lady DOES have a pretty voice.  Frankly speaking, I don’t watch “Dexter” much but now… I will.  Danke, Julie!

5) John Cusack: No. Thank YOU, Mr. Cusack…

2ndtwitexchangewithjohnAug. 23, 2009: Yes. Lightning DOES strike twice (And hopefully even more than twice).  In my second retweet from him, John Cusack thanked me… Again, let me reiterate this: He. John Cusack. Thanked. Me. For watching his HBO dramatic movie, Jack Bull.  And with three exclamation points to boot!  Sweet!  Haha!  I should be the one thanking him for coming up with Jack Bull. It’s really one of my favorites among all his movies (again, the key here is sincerity.  He knows if you’re bullsh#tting him so you better make it real if you want him to retweet back).  Too bad, Max and Get Outta the Boat are not readily available here, though.

Well, that’s my bottle-cap, I mean, celeb-retweet collection so far! Too bad, I can’t sell them on ebay. Hmm…

(Note: Click soundcloud below for heightened reading pleasure):

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Every time, I catch an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer showing on AXN Beyond, I am like a deer caught frozen staring at a car’s head lights.  I just stay glued watching the entire episode, even if I have already seen it a gazillion times (I even own a complete dvd set of the series given to me by my friend, sreisaat!). That is because I’m a Buffy fan.

Why will I always love Buffy? Here are the reasons why:

1.  Buffy creator, Joss Whedon is first, and foremost, a genius.

2. Vampires are my childhood fear.  Sparkly or not, I hate them. I also hate weak-willed, pathetic, and clueless female lead characters.  Ergo, I hate Bella and Twilight. And also ergo, I heart Buffy.

buffy3. When E! presented years ago their TV’s Top Guilty Pleasures, I was infuriated along with countless of Buffy fans when our beloved series was included in that list.  It shouldn’t have been considered a GUILTY PLEASURE BECAUSE THERE WAS NO GUILT FEELING WHATSOVER TO BEGIN WITH!  Get your facts straight, E! We were proud of being Buffy Fans. Sure, some fighting scenes with monsters and vampires can be taken as kitsch and campy for some.  But hey, it was MEANT to be kitschy (but not as the same level as Xena – sheeze! Now THAT deserved to be on the list).  Buffy somehow tastefully came into its own – thanks to the riveting story lines, the talented actors that breathed life to the unforgettable characters that they played, the directors’ creative approach, the superb and ingenious script, and of course, the magic touch of Whedon who presided over this fun-filled realm of action-fantasy. Guilty for watching it? NEVER!

4. It doesn’t get old! Even the clothes! Especially Buffy’s outfits.  Cynthia Bergstrom, and all of the show’s costume designers obviously made it a point to choose classic wear so that the show will not get stuck in some outmoded time warp. I mean, the show has ended years ago but people now can still wear most of the outfits that were shown there.  Two of my favorite Buffy-slayerwear include:

09-12-2009_21-27-01 Her classic white blouse that she wore after her second resurrection (from Season 6 “After Life,” at Left)…

09-12-2009_22-09-15…and the sheer lacy top that she had on (and not for long…) when she and Spike did the Bad Thing for the first time (from “Smashed,” at Right):

5. I almost have no favorite episodes. I like them all. But of course, I concur with others that say that Hush, Once More with Feeling, Normal Again, and Forever are some of the truly best ones.  But the one I find truly memorable and that affected me the most was the one directed by Whedon himself – “The Body”.  It was the episode wherein Buffy’s mom died.  Someone mentioned that this episode simply “is more of an experience…cannot be explained… You just have to see it.” I’m telling you again – pure genius, that Whedon guy is. After watching the part wherein Buffy discovered her mom’s body and longwayhomethe scenes that followed thereafter, I cried my eyes out.  It was… totally heartbreaking.

There are many other reasons why I love Buffy.  But I can’t mention them anymore here.  When I underwent a ‘marathon-viewing’ of the dvd set of the series many weekends ago, I admit that I cried all over again when I reached the end.  I never realized how much I miss the Gang, knowing that there will never be anything like it ever again. I miss the fun, the action, the dustings, the laughter, the repartees, the drama, the jargon…

Nowadays, Buffy fans are settling for the Dark Horse comics’ Buffy 8 (left pic) of which I am way behind *sighs*. And of course, hairs on our backs began bristling when rumors circulated that there will be a Buffy movie remake that will star Megan Fox (Sacrilege!). Thankfully, it remains a rumor.

AND! we are thrilled to find out that some Buffy stars are on board Twitter now!  You can’t call yourself a Buffy fan if you’re not following @alydenisof, @amberbenson, @anthonyshead, @emmacaulfield, @elizadushku, @julietlandau, @tomlenk, @nathanfillion, @juliebenz, and @adambuschbuffy3all verified, genuine accounts.  Now if only Sarah Michelle Gellar, David Boreanaz, James Marsters, Charisma Carpenter, Nicholas Brendon, and Seth Green would only join in… If not, oh well, there are still the occasional reunions and Comic Cons.

Buffy and the Scoobies (right): I miss u guys. Srsly.

When it comes to slaying vampires, Buffy will forever rule. It just is. Period.