August 18, 2012. That date marked the first time I called the shots for breaking news. The plane boarded by the DILG chief was missing, and that was basically all we knew. Somehow we managed to stretch our coverage for hours — coverage that would later stretch for days.
We later took a break to prepare for a more organized newscast. I thanked the skeletal team who were with me at the control room that Saturday, grateful that they worked tirelessly even though we were undermanned. I promised I’d treat them to boxes of pizza once Jesse Robredo is found alive. Madali lang tuparin yan, I told myself, confident and hopeful that the Secretary survived.
August 21, 2012. It’s been three days since the plane went off the radar, yet I still hoped against hope I could break the news that Jesse Robredo is alive.
Denial had to stop at some point.
I had a show related to elections ready for airing that Tuesday night. When the unspeakable fear became a fact, I knew I had to scrap the whole lineup and produce a tribute instead. Thankfully, my awesome anchor Lynda Jumilla and my equally awesome coordinator Romeo Cruz were thinking of the same thing.
With the blessing of our boss, the one-night-only show ANC PRESENTS: REMEMBERING JESSE was born.
Sure, I didn’t break the news that he was alive. Sure, there were no pizzas to be shared. But for one hour that Tuesday night, along with his friends and colleagues, we told the world his story. For an hour that Tuesday night, he was alive.
One of the greatest printmakers from the Philippines. Attend if you can!
[image is from the e-mail sent to me; text from invitation below]
#wip-ped up several variations of logos the past two weeks. Conditions were: it must have yellow, portray biodiversity, and show the concept of “leaving a legacy.” The biggest one in the center is going through final approval whoo hoo!!!
I’ve seen a good number of logos for nonprofits and causes, and when I saw this one, I was really just so amazed by it. The colours, the message, the uniqueness of it captivate me. Maybe I’m biased - because the maker is a good friend, and because it’s about biodiversity - but it’s been a while since a logo for a cause has truly delighted me! Great work, filipeanut!
I truly do wonder sometimes if any of my 4,500++ followers actually read anything on this tumblr. But I suppose whether anyone reads this or not was never the point of all this. This started on my journey of coming home, and now that I am home, it is with me in exploring, knowing, and living home. I was reminded the other day that this space used to be called “Notes from Home.” I can’t bother myself too much with what to call this space anymore, so it’s just been Pilipinas.
Anyway, living outside of Manila has been so wonderful in terms of all the greenery and nature and trees and grass, that I am beginning to fear this place becoming more like Manila as time passes. I still look forward to my trips to Manila - for work, for seeing family and friends, for visiting Fully Booked or any other store that we don’t have here. But Manila has become too crowded for me, too congested. Manila has become, in my head, a huge block of concrete; almost suffocating when I think about the traffic and the lack of trees everywhere. Perhaps urban planners for Manila should seriously consider bringing back forests in the Metro (yes, forests - although I don’t know if we actually have space anywhere there), co-existing with nature instead of destroying it to build even more buildings and manicured lawns. That’s also something I’ve come to appreciate here: wild, untouched nature growing on its own. There is such a substantial difference between a park that’s been made to be ‘green’ and a forest that is naturally what it is: all shades of green and full of life.
Just the other night, my daughter and I heard an OWL - yes, a real, live OWL - hoot right outside our window. Right. Outside. Our. Room. Our eyes widened and we had the biggest smiles in awe of the sound of such a creature. My husband, on the other hand, actually SAW an owl hovering near our house. Are these encounters even imaginable in Manila? I highly doubt it.
I wonder if it is possible to make Manila more naturally green, with more wildlife, fresher air. I wonder.
The more equal a society, the greater the trust. And it is not just a question of income; where people have similar lives and similar prospects, it is likely that what we might call their ‘moral’ outlook is also shared. This makes it easier to institute radical departures in public policy. In complex or divided societies, the chances are that a minority - or even a majority - will be forced to concede, often against its will. This makes collective policymaking contentious and favors a minimalist approach to social reform: better to do nothing than to divide people for and against a controversial project.
The absence of trust is clearly inimical to a well-run society. The great Jane Jacobs noted as much with respect to the very practical business of urban life and the maintenance of cleanliness and civility on city streets. If we don’t trust each other, our towns will look horrible and be nasty places to live. Moreover, she observed, you cannot institutionalize trust. Once corroded, it is virtually impossible to restore. And it needs care and nurturing by the community - collectivity - since with the bet of intentions no one person can make others trust him and be trusted in return."
The beautiful woman of the duo behind The Funnelogy Channel was my roommate in an international school in Hong Kong for two years. She is currently travelling for a whole year and documenting it in their blog. Read her powerful account about women in Iran.
Because, topical. Far far too topical.(via iwriteasiwrite)
There’s the story, then there’s the real story, then there’s the story of how the story came to be told. Then there’s what you leave out of the story. Which is part of the story too.
From MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood.
I would reblog every post from their tumblr, but that would be a bit too much (and you could just head over theirs and follow them!). I think what makes their style work so well is that they present really heavy things (mostly the awful, ludicrous, absurd politics of our country) with such beautiful prose. The truth becomes clearer with borrowed words, more digestible and more piercing at the same time.
Mangyari lamang ay tumayo ang mga nagmahal
nang makita ng lahat ang mukha ng pag- ibig.
Ipamalas ang tamis ng malalim na pagkakaunawaan
sa mga malabo ang paningin.
Mangyari lamang ay tumayo rin ang mga nagmahal at nasawi
nang makita ng lahat ang mga sugat ng isang bayani.
Ipadama ang pait ng kabiguan habang ipinagbubunyi
ang walang katulad na kagitingan ng isang nagtaya.
Mangyari lamang ay tumayo ang mga nangangambang magmahal
nang makita ng lahat ang kilos ng isang bata.
Ipamalas ang katapatan ng damdamin na pilit ikinukubli
ng pusong lumaki sa mga engkanto at diwata.
Mangyari lamang ay tumayo ang mga nagmahal,
minahal at iniwan ngunit handa pa ring magmahal
nang makita ng lahat ang yaman ng karanasan.
Ipamalas ang katotohanang nasaksihan
nang maging makahulugan ang mga paghagulgol sa dilim.
At sa mga nananatiling nakaupo mangyari lamang
ay dahan-dahang tumalilis papalabas sa nakangangang pinto.
Umuwi na kayo at sumbatan ang mga magulang
na nagpalaki ng isang halimaw!
At sa lahat ng naiwang nakatayo mangyari lamang
ay hagkan ang isa’t isa at yakapin ang mga sugatan.
Mabuhay tayong lahat na nagsisikap na makabalik sa ating pinagmulan!
Manatiling masaya at higit sa lahat magpatuloy sa pagmamahal.
[Screen capture from http://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/asia-philippines-gold-mining-child-labor-dangerous-conditions]
I was up early this morning digesting numbers of such immensity and weight that I couldn’t go back to sleep. Here they are:
18th. The Philippines is ranked 18th worldwide in the production of gold.
2.7 million. This is the amount of gold produced in our country in million ounces.
1.8 billion dollars. The worth of gold estimated to still be in the ground in our country.
Amazing, right? But let me introduce another concept that kept me up this morning: compression mining.
Compression mining is basically diving deep down into muddy water to get ore from the ground, using only a tube connected to a makeshift compressor for oxygen while under the muddy water.
Now let’s look at more numbers:
$5. Average earning for a compression miner on a typical day.
60 feet. Compression miners dive as deep as 60 feet underground to get their ore. Without anything but a tube in between their teeth, sometimes even without a mask; they just keep their eyes closed.
6. The most number of hours one diver spends under the muddy water, looking blindly for gold.
4, 10, 16, 20. These are the ages of children and young adults who work in these mines. Because, you know, everyone in the family has to work. There are no other jobs. And sometimes, the hole is too small for an adult to be able to fit.
How can one sleep after acquiring such knowledge?
Please head on over to the Pulitzer Center and read up more on Larry Price’s work on Mining and the Cost of Gold in the Philippines. Share the knowledge, perhaps knowing is truly the first step to doing something.