Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Ondoy Updates and Aid Needed for Victims

I want to take this chance to thank every one of you who helped out, whether in the form of donations, volunteering, or communicating aid to others. Now is not the time for divisions but a time for bayanihan. Magtulungan po tayo.

Helplines and hotlines for Typhoon Ondoy victims (Constantly updated) « Random Salt

World pours aid into the Philippines
MANILA, Philippines - Responding to the appeal of the Philippines for help, several countries and groups have donated or pledged food, money and technical assistance to avert a humanitarian crisis following the onslaught of Tropical Storm “Ondoy” (international codename: Ketsana).

Torrential rains over the weekend triggered the worst flooding the Philippines' capital has seen in over four decades, submerging more than 80% of the city and leaving at least 246 people dead. What could authorities have done differently?

Update: A million thanks to every single person who has forwarded me info. Many of them are in the Comments below, or on Facebook. This list is being updated constantly – please keep ‘em coming.

EU gives €2M for Ondoy victims -, Philippine News for Filipinos
MANILA, Philippines — The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, has given 2 million euros (about P140 million), so far the biggest amount of disaster relief assistance for the victims of typhoon Ondoy.

OFW 'abused' after mistaken Facebook post on Ondoy | ABS-CBN News Online Beta
A controversial statement allegedly made by a Filipina overseas worker in Dubai that mocked Filipino victims of tropical storm Ondoy sparked negative reactions among many Pinoys here and abroad.

Facebook, Twitter to the rescue in Philippine flood disaster
MANILA - Amid the chaos of the Philippine flood disaster, Twitter, Facebook and mobile phones have proved to be life-savers.

The rainfall brought by typhoon ONDOY to Metro Manila and nearby areas in a span of six hours on Saturday was the most in recorded history, surpassing the previous record for the metropolis in 1967. Hurricane Katrina dumped over an inch of rainfall in Louisiana for 3 hours and another 0.5 inches per hour over the next 5 hours on August 29, 2005. Ondoy dumped an average of 2.24 inches per hour for six hours and is still going.

An 18-year-old construction worker braved rampaging floods in the Philippines to save more than 30 people, but ended up sacrificing his life in a last trip to rescue a baby girl and her mother who were being swept away on a styrofoam box.

Sunday, 27 September 2009


I want to know if everyone is safe? I'm thankful that my town was spared but it's heartbreaking to see how so many others were gravely affected by the unexpected floods. No one saw it coming. A day's worth of rain did all that? Unbelievable but true. Neither the rich nor the poor were given mercy. Cars and two-storey houses underwater, families separated, people trapped in malls or on their roofs distraught from hunger and fear, and so on. My father grew up in Quezon City and he says this never happened to them before.

I'm attaching a Facebook album with a few pictures from yesterday. Truly, pictures speak louder than words.

I hope all of this humbles the country and the rest of the world. Admit it, we did this to ourselves. The clouds and the rivers merely reacted to our folly.

Facebook album:
Want to help or need help? See here and here.

Generous souls in the U.S. who wish to help in the rescue and relief operations, you may donate through the American Red Cross. Call 1-800-435-7669.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Glossary of Philosophy, Etymology Dictionary, Skeptic's Dictionary, Coming Out Asexual, Paradoxical Gays in Phil Media

Today is Share-a-Link Day. The following were bookmarked this past week over at my Delicious page:

1. Wikipedia's Glossary of Philosophy

2. Online Etymology Dictionary
This is a map of the wheel-ruts of modern English. Etymologies are not definitions; they're explanations of what our words meant and how they sounded 600 or 2,000 years ago.

3. The Skeptic's Dictionary
The Skeptic's Dictionary is a website and a book. Each features definitions, arguments, and essays on topics ranging from acupuncture to zombies, and provides a lively, commonsense trove of detailed information on things supernatural, paranormal, and pseudoscientific.

4. Asexuals leave the closet, find community
David Jay, a 27-year-old San Francisco resident, put the movement in more personal terms, saying, "We need to know we're not broken. I've been told my whole life that people need sex to be happy."

Jay and his online community, which he said has 30,000 registered worldwide members, aren't seeking to create new civil rights. What they want is respect in a sex-obsessed culture.

5. The paradox of gays in Philippine media
The whole situation is just so frustrating to me because the Philippine entertainment industry has such a powerful hold over the people, and with mostly gay men in charge you would think they would be smart enough to use it to their advantage and change the way people think about gays. Instead they just keep on perpetuating the same old cliches about themselves. Sheesh.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Euripides: "The wisest men follow their own direction."

Note: I hereby declare Saturday to be my Share-a-Quote Day. Sundays will be Share-a-Link Day.

This Satuday's quote is from Euripides: "The wisest men follow their own direction."

This wisdom is perhaps one of the reasons why I was never attracted to the 'Good Shepherd' metaphor. To follow one's own direction is not an open invitation to anarchy nor does it confine oneself to one's own ideas only. And anarchy is not necessarily chaos. Who needs a government of idiots leading a herd of idiots? No, not me.

I have no shepherd. I am no sheep. Do not ask my faith, I do not give it blindly. Do not demand my trust, give me a reason why I should. Do not lead me, I shall not follow. But you may take my hand and we may talk. Like men, like companions, like friends. Like free thinkers.

What about you? What is faith and up to what extent should a person act on it? Is faith even a reasonable concept?

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Convert or Die: Fact or Fallacy?

Just a few days ago, in one of the lists I'm subscribed to, a topic was raised about certain organisations aiding the poor and homeless if they 'transfer' their affiliations to the said groups. Quite bluntly, I am talking about several Christian foundations offering (more like pressing) aid to non-Christian peoples if they convert Christianity.

A few replies later someone brought up a hilarious idea that the pre-Christian peoples of Europe readily converted to Christianity. He went on saying that Christianity represented some sort of introduction to morality and civilisation, and that Charlemagne was a beloved and respected leader, a 'fact' that prompted his people (and his neighbours) to convert to Christianity.

What a load of bull.

Who marched into Saxony in the 8th century to cut down its most revered symbol, Irminsul, to wage war and declare conquest? Who provoked the Frisians and Saxons to war because they would not convert and yield their native land to the Christian Franks? Who issued several decrees to forbid aboriginal practices on pain of death? Who had several seid-men (Norse male-shamans) tied to skerries because they would not convert to the new religion of the king? Who shut down the temples that were of no business to him just because his god was not housed in those same temples? Who burnt the books and shut down the libraries? The list can definitely go on.

Wars have been with us since the dawn of time but, make no mistake, supremacist monotheism brought upon the world a halt to scientific learning and the unleashing of a new breed of violence called 'killing in the name of my god'. Pursuits unknown to the people they called 'barbarians'.

Whatever order or education the Christian institutions introduced to the aborigines, it wasn't something original; in fact, something adopted from the earlier pagan Greeks and Romans. 'Love thy neighbour' was neither original nor revolutionary. Far greater things had already been taught before the gospels were written.

I'm not saying the pre-Christian peoples enjoyed a 'Golden Age'. But whatever advancements the Christians brought in, it wasn't theirs, and whatever they created that was indeed theirs (such as the Crusades) was something one can hardly call a 'gift' to mankind.

Somebody put the love back in Christ, please. I'm sure there are many respectable and intelligent Christians out there who do the work of their master because they genuinely think it will better humanity (not just so they can earn tickets to 'Heaven'). May they multiply so they might outnumber their murderous asinine brethren.

Related reading:

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Ze Plan For English

I thought this was too funny not to share. Apparently it's from a bloke named Gai Dennett. I think.

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as 'Euro-English'.

In the first year, 's' will replace the soft 'c'. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard 'c' will be dropped in favour of 'k'. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome 'ph' will be replaced with 'f'. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent 'e' in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing 'th' with 'z' and 'w' with 'v'.

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary 'o' kan be dropd from vords kontaining 'ou' and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.