Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Warehoused Relief Goods

Relief goods donated from Asia, Europe and other parts of the world are said to be stockpiled in the Philippine government's Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) warehouses. Meanwhile, I am getting email about people starving, falling ill, sleeping in the streets, and girls signing up with traffickers.

The photos above were sent to me via email. Other photos show the pathetic bucket of soap, two thin mats, etc., which comprise what are actually distributed to the flood victims. Next year being election year, one can only assume that the undistributed goods are being held back for the campaign. There was one report of campaigners pasting the name of their candidate on relief goods. Eh, what else is new?

Friday, October 16, 2009

4th Typhoon

Typhoon Lupit to possibly hit the Philippines on Oct. 21st, likely as a Category 4 storm. Lupit means cruel in Pilipino -- as in napalupit, kuya eddie... I'm trying to make light of a really bad karma for the country. Jeez, four typhoons in 30 days!!! Must be some kind of record.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Foolish Old Man & One Smart Girl

For GabNet’s 20th Anniversary Celebration in San Diego, California

The parable of the Foolish Old Man Who Removed the Mountains was made famous by the late Mao Zedong. It goes like this:

An old man living in Northern China with his two sons found his way to the south blocked by two mountains. Irritated, he decided to dig up the two massive peaks and set to work with his two sons and some hoes. A neighbor asked what they were doing and upon receiving the reply, said that that was silly; the old man would die even before a dent was made on either mountain. Whereupon the foolish old man said that when he died, his sons would carry on; and then his sons’ sons, and his sons’ sons’ sons… and so on to infinity until the mountains were leveled. Mao used this to as a metaphor for the effort to remove imperialism and feudalism from China.

But that was only Part I of the parable. Here’s Part II:

As the foolish old man and his sons spent 10 hours each day digging up the mountains, their wives and daughters had to look for food to cook; to wash clothes soiled by the digging, to make beds so the men could recover energy for the next day’s dig and to generally keep homes in order and operating. Then there was the matter of the sons’ sons and sons’ sons’ sons, so the women also bore children, found other women to bear children, raised them, cared for them, taught them how to hoe and dig up the mountains. This went on for centuries.

One day a little Chinese girl looked at the path being made through the digging up of the mountains, looked at the women and said to herself: “This road will be of no use to me. I will have bound feet, a baby strapped to my back and pots and pans hanging from my left and right arms.” She went into the untouched forests and found a river that flowed southward. She returned to her home and told her mother. “If we built a boat,” she said, “we would get there sooner.” And thus the women, along with some men, built a raft and sailed southward.

The first 20 years of GabNet’s existence correspond to Part I of this parable, when we enabled other movements to endure, survive and achieve victories big and small. No one can beggar that record.

The next 20 years of our existence, whether under this name or another, will now correspond to Part II of the parable, when we enable our own movement to come to fruition, survive and endure, and achieve victories big and small.

Filipinos may leave the Philippines for economic reasons but their objective is not simply to get a job but also to build a life, to find a home, a community and a nation.

Twenty years are but the wink of an eye in the vast historical terrain of womankind’s struggle for emancipation and liberation. The next 20 years will be another wink of an eye. But if we find the southward-flowing river, we can likely make the way easier and achieve the dreamt-of society sooner, with no backward sliding.

Let us begin. -- #

Sunday, October 04, 2009

For what?

Eight US troops killed in Afghanistan; two in the Philippines. The latter was characterized as an "isolated incident" by a Philippine military general.

Events are usually "isolated" until an increase in frequency renders them commonplace.

As we all know, the occupation of Iraq started with hardly anyone among US/Coalition forces injured. Ditto with the invasion of Afghanistan. - #

Saturday, October 03, 2009

In San Diego

October 8th -- 11th. I'll be attending the 20th anniversary celebration of GabNet. See y'all there.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Victim Registration Blues

Philippine Government dole-out to victims of typhoon Ketsana:

Three (3) cans of sardines
Two kilos (4 pounds) of uncooked rice
Four packages of noodles
One bottle of mineral water...

To be received after hours lining up.

Government now wants to separate child victims of the typhoon from their parents.


Contact to send direct help to the victims.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Supertyphoon -- Bad Karma

Supertyphoon Pharma, with winds up to 147 mph (seven short of a category 5 typhoon) will hit the Philippines this weekend, scything through Bicol, which still hasn't recovered from the last typhoon that leveled its villages. Photo of Pharma from NASA.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has decided “to register typhoon victims,” for fear that some receiving aid were “bogus victims.” Hai, how this government distrusts its own people, even the afflicted!

Meanwhile as well, typhoon orphans are missing. Fears are that they will have no recourse but to join hundreds of thousands of street children into petty crimes, drugs and prostitution. Meanwhile, the contraceptive ban remains.

GabNet is raising donations for Operation Sagip-Bata (Children Rescue). Please contact if you wish to help. And hey, you must help; otherwise, this bad karma will go around. -- ##