Twenty-five years ago I was a young officer at the US Embassy in Manila, and in my “spare time” I produced records in Manila with some really great artists as a kind of hobby and what I hoped would be a bridge to a different future. My first project was an album by Odette Quesada […]
by World Vision Philippines
The Philippines has the longest Christmas celebration in the world. As early as September 1, you can hear Christmas songs over the radio. People start to put decorations in their houses, commercial and business establishments. Everyone looks forward to the holiday, but children are the most excited.
In the communities where […]
Normally when hired to make a promotional video for a Hollywood feature film, you focus on promoting the film. Instead, filmmaker Casey Neistat spent the entire $25,000 budget he was given to promote “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” to fly to the Philippines and help the victims of the recent typhoon which devastated the region. […]
Following is an update as of December 14, 2013 on the Maslog Relief project being spearheaded by native daughter Josie Advincula Desmond and her husband Tim Desmond, and Ocean Adventure Marine Park of Subic Bay Freeport. I want to put the report’s summary right up front: “We have raised and spent over $40,000 to […]
A question that is starting to take shape as we begin replacing fishing boats in Samar and Leyte that were lost to Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) is — does it make more sense to replace the boats locally, with motorized bancas constructed locally in the traditional way, or replace them with fiberglass motorized bancas which, unless […]
Since Yolanda hit, I have been in awe of the way the Estahanon — natives of Eastern Samar–around the world and in Eastern Samar have come together in extraordinary ways to help those whose lives and livelihoods have been put in jeopardy by the storm. Today, as I woke up and began through social media […]
This is a curiously compelling little video by Gloria B. Sommer I found on Youtube of an early morning walk through the seaside barangay of San Miguel in Balangiga, Eastern Samar. Moreso that most videos like this — this one really makes you feel like you’re there. Interesting, and sad when you think about […]
As reported previously, we are engaged in a pilot project to replace the 28 fishing boats of our home barangay of Guinob-an, which were lost in the storm. We have ordered the first five and building will start in the next day or two. Meanwhile, although helping the fishermen of Guinob-an helps our family […]
There are times when you really have to pause, think, and DO THE MATH. This is one such time.
The Philippine government on December 11 announced the release of P238.6M ($5.6M) for housing aid for Typhoon Yolanda victims under the Housing Materials Assistance (HOMA) program, saying that this program will provide P5,000 in housing materials […]
Via Philippine Information Agency. MANILA, Dec. 11 — Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad has released P238.6 million to the National Housing Authority (NHA) to support the Housing Materials Assistance (HOMA) to victims of Typhoon Yolanda under the agency’s Emergency Housing Assistance for Calamity Victims Program (EHACVP).
The release—sourced from […]
In its situation update for December 10, 2013, the Phiilppine government’s National Disaster and Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) completely destroyed 593,787 houses and damaged another 598,306. The number of affected barangays is now reported as 12,122.
Full statistics and information from NDRRMC:
The Philppines has been buzzing all day in reaction to testimony given Monday in the Philippine Senate by Tacloban City Mayer Alfredo Romualdez that included tearful accusations that DILG Minister Mars Roxas and President Benigno Aquino had withheld vital support for Tacloban during the worst of the disaster on political grounds — “You’re a Romualdez, […]
It was where Magellan first landed when he arrived in the Philippines. He landed on the island of Homonhon on March 16, 1521, and dispatched crew members, who gathered on the uninhabited island. Magellan was detected by the boats of Rajah Culambu of Limasawa, who guided him to Cebu — and the rest of that episode is […]
I received an email report today from an international visitor who was in Guiuan during the past week doing advance work for a possible relief project. As most will recall, Guiuan is the town of 40,000 in Eastern Samar where Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) first made landfall. The town is on a peninsula that separates the […]
Valerie Amos, the UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, indicated on Monday that her office has “a little bit of worry that in a couple of the smaller islands there may be needs there that we haven’t managed to meet yet. I’m still hearing worrying reports in the media–indeed I […]
#ReliefPH, which is associated with #MovePH and Rappler.com, is maintaining a very helpful Google Document which you can view here . The spreadsheet (actually 9 spreadsheets, one each for Leyte, Eastern Samar, Western Samar, Biliran, Cebu, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, and Palawan) tracks the status of relief efforts on a Province by Province, Municipality by […]
This very touching and heartfelt video was shown Friday night, December 6, during a thank-you dinner to honor the foreign volunteers who are helping in the Yolanda / Haiyan relief at the Cebu Provincial Capitol Social Hall. It contains some of the most evocative photos I’ve seen — and some wonderful bits and pieces that […]
I’m back out on the ledge again. Somebody talk me down.
Today I read a news report from ABS-CBN in which the Philippine government proudly proclaimed that it will provide temporary bunkhouse shelter for 2,800 families in Yolanda affected areas by Christmas. Really? That’s 119 bunkhouses, each with 24 dwellings in the shelter — […]
As the food, medicine, and shelter situation stabilizes (and it hasn’t stabilized yet) in the typhoon ravaged communities of Samar, Leyte, and the rest of the Visayas, the question of how to re-establish livelihoods destroyed by the storm is moving closer to the top of the list of concerns for those of us with displaced […]
Typhoon Haiyan’s devastation of the the Eastern Visayas islands of Samar and Leyte has cast a spotlight on an area that played a significant role in World War II when American Naval Forces overwhelmed the Japanese Navy in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and returned General Douglas MacArthur to the Philippines in what would become […]
The Tacloban City Normalization Task Force has listed the following establishments which are now open for business:
A. Grocery Stores/Commodities
1. 1.Kokoy’s Grocerette- Sto. Niño ( 8am-4pm)
2. A1 Milling-Marasbaras
3. New Karry Convenience Store-A. Veteranos cor Sto. Nino
-selling rice and water only; (7am-8pm)
4. Hayward Convenience Store-Paterno […]
Up until now, all the reporting about the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) from Leyte and Samar has been of the “prose” variety. Now comes a poem that is different, and much needed. Kudos to Chiara Zambrano for making this. And thank you. It’s beautiful.
The following description of the situation in Guinob-an, Eastern Samar, is drawn from daily conversations we’ve had with family members there who can now reach us via cell phone. It describes Guinob-an — but it could just as easily describe any of the more than 10,000 coastal villages throughout the central Visayas who have been […]
It sounds beyond bizarre. The Philippine Daily Inquirer, ABS-CBN News, and other are reporting that today, almost a month after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hit, relief workers discovered 120 bodies underneath the San Juanico Bridge that connects Leyte and Samar.
But they won’t add to the death toll, presumably, because they are not identified and […]
I’ve been trying to learn exactly how the fishing boats are built in Samar. So far I’ve learned that you start out with a hull (‘onayan’) and then you put in the vertical ribs (“ligasyon”), then one of two parallel to the water ribs (batayola) …. so then you have a hull and ribs…..then you […]
CEBU CITY – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has launched “Ahon” (Rise), an initiative to distribute at least 10,000 boats to 20,000 municipal fisherfolk in the Visayas and Bicol regions, covering at least a tenth up to a fifth of those affected by super typhoon “Yolanda”.
BFAR 7 Director Asis Perez said […]
Okay, call me crazy but this makes me crazy and it should make you crazy unless I’m misunderstanding it. And let me say at the outset, I’ve got 60 homeless family members in Guinob-an, Lawaan, Eastern Samar so I have a personal interest in this.
The Manila Standard today is carrying a grand announcement by […]
The Diocese of Borongan continues to be a great source of information on the status of Eastern Samar. Here is a report they put out, including a good chart, ehwih provides good insights.
from Lawaan.com via Fr. Neil Gavan Tenefrancia
LAWAAN (Latest Assessment as of Nov. 27)
by Diocese of Borongan-Communications Group
-Immediate Needs: Shelter, Food, Mats
-International organzations such as USAID and WFP (World Food Programme) has been partnering with the local parish for relief distribution as the municipal hall could not accommodate the volume of […]
DRRMC Executive Director Eduardo del Rosario: December 1, 2013
-Every household will be given 24 pieces of roofing sheets, one hammer, one wooden saw, one and a half kilo of 3-inch nails, 1.5 killos of umbrella nails which they will using for the reconstructions of partially-damage dwellings.
-Distribution of the materials will commence Sunday in […]
Year of the Spy Book Trailer
Above is the Year of the Spy Book Trailer — for my upcoming non-fiction book about espionage upheavals on the streets of Moscow in 1985.
Below is a “trailer” showcasing the writing and video services I provide to clients.
Michael Sellers — Writing and Video Services
- Arsha Sellers — Today I’m One Big Step Closer to Becoming a Real Forever Dad
- Meet Abby Sellers and Arshavin Sellers — My Wife, My Son, My Inspiration Every Day
- What the Mueller Report Actually Says
- Remembering James Blount, an American Who “Got” the Philippines in 1901
- America the Beautiful? You Mean America the Pitiful. I Am Ashamed