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Spirit of Bayanihan and alot more

Goal: To participate in relief operations for Sagip Kapamily in Meikawayan Bulacan for typhoon Ondoy Victims

Date: Sept. 29, Tuesday.

Meeting place: Mo. Ignasia Gate... ABS-CBN Studio Tour Office

Time: 7:30 pm
ETD: 10:30 pm
ETA in Meikawayan, Bulacan: 11:30 pm - 12:00 mid night

TL: Cherry and Avel

Gov. Mendoza provided the 10 wheeler truck.

Had the privileged to serve and take part in one of MANY sagip kapamilya relief operations. I was suppose to start last September 28, Monday... but due to crappy communication lines... was not able to join the first batch.

Got to Mo Ignacia gate around 7:30 ish... got inside the loop and prepared for this important night. Tied up my hair in ballet buns... and secures my bangs with a black headband... for less worries and hassle free movements while giving out the relief goods to the victim of typhoon Ondoy.

8:00 pm Met up with Ethyl, my friend way back in college... from our thesis making in Baguio, PMA.

8:00 pm to 9:30 pm hanged out inside the studio tour office... YES... HANGED OUT! unfortunately, our friends from ABS told us that the relief volunteers were restricted due to some concerns regarding security of their artists and security of the volunteers themselves... and not only that, since we will be the one's who will distribute the goods to the relief center in Bulacan, it is much better to save some energy.

10:00 pm... assembly of volunteers behind the mother Ignacia gate., but inside ABS-CBN...
This is one of th highlights that I truly liked about the Sagip Kapamilya... we created a human chain... carried what goods to be carried over till the 10 wheeler truck got full...

Ready Packages in sacks to be stacked up to the 10 wheeler truck bound to Bulacan.

Goods to be packed... this is the area where the celebrities do their repacking. YES... for their safety and whatever...

all the bread pan that we girls carried to the 10 wheeler truck...

10:30 pm... left Mo. Ignaia Compound and went to the volunteer center behind I have 2 eggs restaurant... again... created a human chain to carry over cartons to give people in evacuation centers as their mat for sleeping I had so much fun loading goodies and other materials inside the truck that I didn't even realize these would make me end up sore all over the next day...

11:30 pm... waiting... waiting... and waiting for go signal...

12:00 midnight we left quezon Ave...in convoy, Riding at the back of an F150 pick up... *YES AT THE BACK! among the 10 San beda mountaineering Org guys and a girl* (of course this is my friend, Ethyl) ... with a 10 wheeler truck, an elf with guys from other mountaineering clubs.

THIS IS THE PART THAT I also enjoyed too much! FIRST time to ride, travel out of town, and volunteer for Sagip Kapamilya in an open 4X4... WHOOHOO!!!

some bumps here and there, like of course THE obvious... NO back riders in an open elf and Pick up is allowed in North Express Way... *toinks* so we had to wait for about 30 mins or so for our Skyway Patrol escort...

1:15 am... FINALLY reached our destination... but to our dismay... the barangay Captain did not personally welcome us, the kagawad who were suppose to wait for us did not notice our arrival. *oh well... who wouldn't notice a TEN WHEELER TRUCK that has Bulacans Governor's face all over... right?* the reason behind it was, they were drinking right in front of their municipal.

1:30 am... the guys unloaded the relief goods inside the 10 wheeler truck because the truck can't actually fit inside the streets going to their barangay hall... and upon knowing that our TL agreed that the barangay will be the one to distribute the relief goods the following day. WTF! I personally wanted to make sure that the relief goods would wind up in the houses or the people who needed them most... that's plainly one of the reasons why I volunteered to give my time and body for human labor, so I could some what make sure this happens... BUT what can we do?.. the Barangay captain ordered the Kagawads to tell us that we should not wake the neighborhood anymore... because it's already late and that, they were tired... ok ok... the Captain had a point... BUT... for me... it's not a good enough reason.

2:oo am we have reached their barangay hall... and the place where there was flood up to chest high BEFORE... when we got there, it barely reached my knees... and i'm only 4'11''....
(ok... ng evaporate na or na wala na yung tubig baha when we got there)... but even so... we should have prioritized those areas who are in GREATER need of help...

stupid me... forgot to bring slippers... or boots or what have you... i stepped on an open man hole... good thing I was holding on to something... or else... bye bye honey.

the helpful guys from San Beda Mountaineering Club

Stacking up the barangay hall

seeing this... I personally got disappointed, and felt that I wasted my time... If i wanted to help out... I should have just gone around UST campus where there was actual flood... *I kept quiet* and kept these nagging thoughts to myself... I thought I was the only one who was feeling this way... my friend Ethyl questioned the kagawads... but to our dismay... they said they were just following orders. together with the rep. from abs, we took a look of the barangay hall... gawd! asenso! may aircon! haha.... *just really really hope this will be reported back to persons concerned*

ANYWAY... beiang with people who almost have the same goal as mine (btw that's helping out Typhoon Ondoy victims)... I felt good... at least good enough in spite what had happened...

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Melissa Roxas
June 24, 2009
By Jean Teodoro

A person can expose their true self
by showing what they do when facing death
you showed us who you were
when you prepared for your end

But what you didn’t prepare for was to let go
you didn’t let go of your integrity and self-determination
not even when fifteen minions dragged you from your will
with your hands on cuffs
and their hands on your neck

You ceaselessly yelled your name
holding on to the only thing they could not take away
your soul, your spirit

No punch, no gun, no word, no force
could keep you from yourself
not even in nakedness inside an evil dark cell of a women’s barrack
not even in the black heart of the empire you were confined in

Because inside, you discovered that you carry a light
a light that remembers infants with hands the size of a thumbnail
a light that knows their conditions are deeper
than typhoid fever, cholera or malaria
it’s being born into poverty and oppression

A light that understands the need for a powerful hand
one that will usher this light and share it to the people
so that the children of our future will bear hands stronger than ours

You refused to betray this light and you brought it to us
while this empire has spent billions and billions to turn you off
to keep most people from knowing or even caring
and keeping many to cower, hide and fall behind

This light would be the force that pushes this movement
for genuine freedom, just peace and true democracy

You won an incredible battle to bring it here
even with the cost of your life
but winning the war needs everyone to carry this light as you did

Beautiful sister, how do you keep glowing?
when you were drugged to your slumber
to wake up blindfolded in absolute darkness
with no sense of time or place
as sentient eyes dwell in the night, watching you
how did you sense hope?
and continue to draw strength from it?

I wonder if I can carry this light like you
would I have done the same if I was taken into oblivion?
would the rest of us have?
will the rest of us do what it takes,
even if it means being where you went?
even worse, involving the people we love?

How much do we truly value freedom peace and democracy
over our individual selves?
how strong can we remain when we’re brought down
to levels we’ve never imagined?
how long can we keep ourselves from madness and corruption?

I wouldn’t know, not even about myself
I want to tell you I will fight like you
but who else is best to tell but my actions?

Your story will carry this struggle
It deserves countless poems and words
it deserves to ring in everyone’s thoughts
to empower those who believe
and to haunt those who want you dead

I will not make a promise
promises are more room for lies
but I will let you know, as I’ve shown before
that I haven’t dodged this struggle

And that I’m willing to be tested
so that one day I may know if I can fight like you

Because your story is nothing but a story
unless we keep it in our hearts
behind every action.



Melissa Roxas is a Filipina-American human rights activist who is a college graduate from the University of California, San Diego. She was on an exposure trip to the Philippines, providing medical aid to local children in need in Tarlac, Luzon. On May 19 2009, she was kidnapped, tortured and interrogated by the Philippine military. She refused to give any further information about herself except for her name. After five days, she was released by the Philippine military as they discovered that she is a US citizen. The Philippine military knew that there would be a huge outrage if she was killed, as different family members and organizations were searching for Melissa's whereabouts and refused to be subtle about it.

Melissa is currently recovering from the incident. She is being supported by many community members and human rights organizations as she pushes to spread the word about political killings and disappearances in the Philippines.

It is no secret that the Philippine government has been eliminating all threats to their operations to control the wealth of the country; even people who are simply serving the citizens with health care and resources because this exposes the government. They have been executing human rights activists, writers, community and religious leaders who choose to raise awareness about them. It gets deeper. The US government is a huge sponsor of the Philippine government. It's not hard to see that the US government is funding the Philippine government because they want to continue their occupation in the Philippines.

The question to ask every reader is, "how much does this reality matter to you?" Should one care, even if this situation does not directly affect him or her? As a US citizen, does it matter much to you if your government taxes are funding another government that is ordered to kill? Should one believe in global reciprocity and our responsibility to each other as humans? Or is this too much for us, as we are needed to stay busy fending for ourselves? Is being informed enough? Are we informed enough? What can a person do? Can our actions really make a difference? Is Melissa just another name whose truth is for us to accept as simply a part of a design? Or is she finally a wake up call for us to realize, "hey, this shit is fucked up!"

For more info, check out this video.

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Reasons Why I think I was raised well enough by my dade:

Dad taught me how to shoot. From Air Gun, to a riffle, and pistol. It was in the family to be passionate about guns... (=

Dad taught me nasty stuffs that ladies like me have, or could not imagine doing. Like:

a. kill a bird and or rats by shooing it.

b. strangling mouses on the sticky mouse trap

Dad taught me the basics when inside the bathroom

a. clean behind the ears

b. scrub the body with towel

c. use bath comb when shampooing and rinsing hair

d. recycle bath water to use for flushing

e. wash undies after taking a bath

f. how to propertly wash hands. The o.r. Doctor way

g. to ALWAYS squeeze the toothpaste tube by the rear end.

h. ALWAYS think of the next person who'll use the bathroom... replace water in the timba or drum.

Dad taught me the importance of having good and complete set of teeth. (At my dad's age of 62, he still have comple set of teeth.)

Dad taught me that no matter how computerize or hi – tech the world can get... reading the book IS still the best way to go.

Dad taught me that effective communication thru proper questioning and note taking, while on email,personal or thru telephone call, is still the best. SMS are just there to complement communication not to REPLACE it. Having and sending SMS is not a reaon to slack off on communication.

Dad taught me to know my limit, accept my limitations and take measured steps at all times. (tho I often times forget this)

Dad taught me that Jesus Christ is my savior.

Dad taught me to present my self well, at all times.

Dad taught me that being BLIND or having disabilities CAN BE an advantage. (my dad is blind, but it never became an issue to him or anyone who knew him)

Dad taught me to overcome fear... tho I haven't overcome the fear of sleeping without any lights on. This is ONLY in my room in our old house. HAHA

Dad taught me to learn how to bend like the bamboos when the wind calls for it.

Dad taught me to persevere and excel in the things that I get my self into.

Dad taught me to continue to strive for the very best in everything.

Dad taught me to not want things that aren't within our means. Dad taught me to live frugally.

Dad taught me to be trust worthy.

Dad taught me to value and always have palabra de honor

Dad taught me to be analytical... tho at times I often find myself to be a katipunera... Sugod ng sugod.

Dad taught me not to be a burden to any body else. Learn to pick your own self, learn to help others pick themselves.

Dad taught me important legal actions like:

a. Never speak unless your lawyer is with you

b. venta con facto

c. pre-nuptial agreement

d. Never sign anything that concerns with the Pulis, Army, Work, or anything. This leads to;

e. When in doubt ALWAYS consult a lawyer

Dad taught me to pick my fights. And Dad taught me to start a fire when you have a VALID reason

Dad taught me to understand and adapt to whatever situation that I am in.

and the most important thing that Dad taught me... was Dad taught me to be myself. Being a bastard does not define who you are or who you'll be.

There are sooo many things that taught me... it's just sad that I forget the wisdom dad has shared with me sometimes, but

I love my dad. I am lucky to be his daughter.

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