The Critical Role of Private Remittances and Donations Acknowedged

In the best of “normal” times, remittances from family members abroad forms a major component to the overall Philippine economy, and are a critical economic factor for many lower income families whose overseas members frequently remit a significant portion of their earnings to help the family in the Philippines achieve an improved lifestyle. Last month,

Video: Surviving Typhoon Haiyan in Eastern Samar

The International Committee For the Red Cross published this video which is as simple as it is effective — one man, Sofrnio Masagca of Salcedo, talking about what the typhoon has done to him and his family.  He’s not a relative of our family in Eastern Samar — but he could be. He like he

Sony, Warner, and Universal Release 39 Track Album: “Songs For the Philippines”

Record labels Sony, Warner Music and Universal have put together a genre-spanning compilation album called Songs for the Philippines. The album features 39 hit songs, such as Justin Timberlake’s Mirrors, Katy Perry’s Unconditionally and Beyonce’s I Was Here. It also features classic tracks like The Beatles’ Across the Universe, Bob Dylan’s Shelter From the Storm and Madonna’s Like A Prayer. The compilation album is available on iTunes ($9.99).

It’s Official: The Philippine Government Is Under-reporting the Death Toll, and It’s Very Disturbing

Based on statements made by President Aquino, and reporting from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, it is now absolutely clear that the Philippine government is intentionally under-reporting fatalities from Typhoon Haiyan. The President and NDRRMC openly admit that, for example, only the identified dead, certified by a coroner’s report, are added to the count. When unidentified victims

Philippine Government Ups Haiyan Death Toll to 5,200

Typhoon Haiyan an the Philippines made it back to the top of international headlines on Friday night (Saturday morning in the Philippines) with the sad news, announced on the  National Disaster National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council‘s website, that the  revised the death total from Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) is 5,235. The figure represents a

Dear Smart Communications — Why Is Eastern Samar Your Lowest Priority for Restored Coverage?

Smart Communications has provided updates concerning its recovery efforts since Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) that leave open one question that seems to be an imponderable. Why are you ignoring Eastern Samar? Smart has announced that it has restored coverage as follows: Mobile coverage is fully restored in cities and municipalities of Bohol, Cebu, Guimaras, Negros Oriental

Photos of Guinob-an, Lawaan, Eastern Samar — Our Home Town

As many know, Rena is spearheading a project for delivering relief to the coastal barangay of Guinob-an, municipality of Lawaan, Eastern Samar. We just got a batch of photographs back to Manila. They were taken by JR Estela, Rena’s nephew, who transported an early supply of medicine and rice, took pictures, and has now returned

Help Connect Typhoon Survivors, Family

Rappler needs your help to bridge the gap between someone searching for their family in the affected areas or a survivor trying to reach out. You can start with the photo album below or on Rappler’s Facebook page. MovePH and volunteers are taking photos of Typhoon Yolanda survivors who want to get a message out. Rappler automatically adds these

A Photo That Will LIft the Spirits

Every once in awhile a picture comes along that says it all.  This one, uncredited, is starting to make the rounds on Facebook.   I’m trying to find the credit — I did a search (see below) which says it seached 4.2 Billion images and didn’t find a match.  If someone knows, let me

Dear DSWD: An Open Letter to DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman

There follows a heartbreaking open letter addressed “Dear DSWD” and which has been posted on Facebook and is making the rounds there, with photographs that support it. If you would like to make sure it gets to DSWD, tweet this link to DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman’s personal twitter @dinkysunflower and to the official DSWD Twitter

Great Photos — Samar Welcomes a US Marine Major with Alimango, Buko, and lots of smiles

US Marine Maj. John Orio from San Diego, CA, drinks fresh coconut juice upon landing on Manicani island which was isolated by super typhoon Haiyan Saturday Nov.16, 2013 in Eastern Samar province in central Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, according to U.S. Navy’s Joint Warning Center, slammed into central

Philippine Government Hazards a Guess — Reconstruction Will Cost $4 Billion

The actual cost of reconstruction in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan is impossible to estimate with any accuracy, but one Philippine government official has started the discussion.  Arsenio Balisacan, economic planning secretary, offered his estimate of the cost to rebuild schools, houses, roads, bridges and other infrastructure in the devastated areas. “I would not be

Rose Neely’s First Relief Shipment Reaches Bolusao, Samar – Gary Neely Reports

We just go a report earlier today from Tim Desmond, and now this from Gary Neely who along with Rose Neely has a micro-relief project to Bolusao, one of the coastal towns of Lawaan municipality in Eastern Samar.  You can visit their project and donate at this link:  Update from Bolusao Rose’s parents have