The tragedy that struck the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan was an event waiting to happen. It was foretold three years ago, but was dismissed by lawmakers as “too alarmist.”
Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan, chief executive of the World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF), said Monday the events in Northern Mindanao over the weekend mirrored the prediction. “It was an exact fit,” Tan said.
I still have a copy of this report in my PC. And it was the same report I showed my family a couple of years ago, after they survived the January 2009 Cagayan de Oro flood that spared our house but flooded our community. The situation then eventually forced my family to evacuate our home. They feared that the waters would continue to rise since the rain went on for days.
To be clear and fair to the lawmakers, the WWF report presents the possibility of increasing sea levels in several parts of the country, including several cities such as those in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao and of course Cagayan de Oro due to global warming. It did not directly co-relate climate change to increase in rainfall, then increased rainfall to flooding.
Since acquiring a copy of Tan’s presentation, I have repeatedly advised my family that we relocate to an elevated part of Cagayan de Oro which is not part of the areas which will be under 6-12 meters of water in the next few years. Mama then told me that I was exaggerating, while Papa was mum about it. But after surviving Washi/Sendong, both of my parents have now taken my suggestion seriously.
“My dreams, when scarcely an adolescent,
My dreams, when a young man already full of life,
Were to see you one day, jewel of the sea of the Orient,
Dry those eyes of black, that forehead high,
Without frown, without wrinkles, without stains of shame. ”—Jose Rizal, Mi Ultimo Adios
Fort Santiago, Manila - where Dr. Jose Rizal is being held prisoner. (Photo by Arnaldo Dumindin)
Manila, Philippine Islands - Diario de Filipinas has gathered from reliable sources that the Spanish authorities have refused to publish a manifesto from condemned mestizo writer and social critic, Dr. Jose Rizal. The manifesto, written last December 15, exhorted indios led by Andres Bonifacio of Manila and Emilio Aguinaldo of Cavite to lay down their arms and end the rebellion.
In the manifesto, Rizal disavowed any involvement with the rebellion by Bonifacio and Aguinaldo, although he is aware that his name is being used by these armed groups to solicit funds and gain support from the rest of the indios, the mestizos and even some erring subjects of the Crown. Rizal admits that he was consulted by the leaders of the rebellion, but he also added that he advised against it.
Rizal also said that he was willing to offer his professional services as a physician to those who had suffered as a result of the hostilities, if only to prove his condemnation of the rebellion. He also said that the rebellion was barbarous and ridiculous.
But in the same document, Rizal said that the rebellion is not the best means of working for reforms in the Philippine Islands in its current state. He said that the general population in the islands must first be educated, if they are to ensure the attainment of the needed changes in the governance of the islands.
It was this last part of Rizal’s pronouncements that made Judge Advocate General Nicolas de la Peña, wary of making the manifesto public. De la Peña said that Rizal “limits himself to criticizing the present insurrectionary movement as premature… [But] as far as Rizal is concerned, the whole question is one of opportunity, not of principles and objectives.” The judge advocate general added that the manifesto was nothing but a call for indios like Bonifacio and Aguinaldo to postpone the rebellion and not end it.
Diario de Filipinas tried to schedule an interview with Rizal concerning the manifesto, but the authorities have refused the request. Rizal’s lawyer, Lt. Taviel de Andrade was also contacted, but he refused to comment on the issue.
This is how this uncovered issue would have been written if Rizal’s impending execution happened in our time. For more of Philippine history as news, followDiario de Filipinas.
And so you see, even the Spanish authorities then think Rizal a revolutionary and not merely a propagandist. It’s a wonder then why some Filipinos, even up to this day, doubt the man’s love for the country and the people.
“The increased political and economic emancipation of the “masses” has shown itself in education; it has effected the development of a common school system of education, public and free. It has destroyed the idea that learning is properly a monopoly of the few who are predestined by nature to govern social affairs. But the revolution is still incomplete. The idea still prevails that a truly cultural or liberal education cannot have anything in common, directly at least, with industrial affairs, and that the education which is fit for the masses must be a useful or practical education in a sense which opposes useful and practical to nurture of appreciation and liberation of thought.”—John Dewey
I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You) ~ Django Reinhardt
Been down with cough and cold these past couple of days. This is probably the result of what I have been doing for a week. I guess I am no longer as young as I thought I still am. Body’s weaker now. Still that won’t stop me from enjoying Django’s hits.
“Philippine President Benigno Aquino ordered an investigation on Tuesday into flash floods and landslides that sent mud and logs crashing down on residents, killing about 1,000 people on a southern island.
The national disaster agency said 957 were killed and 49 missing on Mindanao after Typhoon Sendong (aka Typhoon Washi) triggered the slides. Most of the casualties were in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan and tens of thousands remain homeless, many sheltering in evacuation centres.
Aquino met officials in the two cities worst hit by the cascades that swept down mountainsides as residents of riverside and coastal villages slept in the early hours of Saturday.”
And I am thankful for these cool and awesome guys who are following the blog. And although the posts here depend largely on my mood and interests, I really appreciate you bearing with me and my posts.
I’d also like to say hi and thank you for new followers of this blog. I must tell you though, what you’ll find here will be about news, history, politics, stuff craved for and a whole lot of things about my dysfunctional yet vibrant democratic country called the Philippines.
I sure do hope you guys would also stick around. Stay safe y’all!
Despite the depressing state in evacuation centers, victims affected by flash floods in Mindanao still able to celebrate Christmas even in a simple way, Office of Civil Defense Director Undersecretary Benito Ramos said Sunday.
“Kagabi nairaos naman ang pag-celebrate ng Pasko,” Ramos told INQUIRER.net in a telephone interview.
Ramos said that the Department of Social Welfare and Development distributed “noche packs” on Christmas Eve, consisting of ready to eat food.
Also, various socio-civic and religious groups, like the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and the group of Bishop Antonio Ledesma, also volunteered to assist in evacuation centers on Christmas Eve, Ramos said.
He said there was no formal program and no singing and dancing were done during the very somber celebrations inside evacuation centers.
“In deference to the dead victims, wala nang program. Walang nagkantahan,” Ramos said.
In its latest situation report issued at 6 a.m. Sunday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that the latest death toll has reach 1,100 while 1,079 others remain missing.
“There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember, time is short, and suddenly, you’re not here any more.”—The Ghost of Christmas Present (via zhipwreck)
More than 1,000 people are missing in the aftermath of a tropical storm that wreaked havoc across the southern Philippines last weekend, the country’s government said Friday, as it grappled with the mounting humanitarian crisis in the region.
A total of 1,079 people remain unaccounted for, the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in a statement. Earlier in the week, the disaster council said it had lost count of the number of missing as it tried to assess the scale of the destruction.
The death toll from Tropical Storm Washi, which set off landslides and flash floods that swept away whole villages, has risen to 1,080, according to the council.
The United Nations said Wednesday that the storm has created “huge” humanitarian needs on the island of Mindanao, the scene of the worst devastation. It has made an appeal to raise $28 million to deal with the immediate problems in the area, with hundreds of thousands of people displaced in and around the port cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro.
"I was shocked by scale of destruction I saw," David Carden, the head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Philippines told CNN on Thursday after visiting the region. He said it looked as if an "inland tsunami had struck the area."
“To love is the greatest thing in life; it is very important to talk about love, to feel it, to nourish it, to treasure it, otherwise it will soon be dissipated, for the world is very brutal. If while you are young you don’t feel love, if you don’t look with love at people, at animals, at flowers, when you grow up you find that your life is empty; you will be very lonely, and the dark shadows of fear will follow you always. But the moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed.”—Jiddu Krishnamurti, Think on These Things (via mohandasgandhi)
Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines – Living on the edge of riverbanks, families displaced by Sendong (international name: Washi) a few days ago had once fled their homes in 2009 at the height of a storm. With no alternative relocation then, they had gone right back, holding on to their proximity to the city and the assurance of livelihood.
International aid agency Oxfam called on President Benigno Aquino III as he visited Cagayan de Oro City today to work out with the local government safe permanent relocation sites for residents living on vulnerable areas.
“The relocation process should respect and promote the rights of the residents affected. Communities should be consulted and be made part of dialogues with government agencies, and the relocation areas should have basic services in place, with access to livelihood options,” said Snehal Soneji, country director for Oxfam. In 2009, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) had made a recommendation for families living close to the city’s water systems to be permanently relocated.
“The Philippines is highly vulnerable to natural disasters like typhoons, sea storm surges and tsunamis. People living in vulnerable areas – for example, housing projects that are almost built at sea level – would be courting further disaster,” said Soneji.
“You’re an interesting species. An interesting mix. You’re capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you’re not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.”—Carl Sagan (via misswallflower)
Arrived in Cagayan de Oro yesterday and I really don’t have much time to post something. The city of my birth is in ruins with family and friends reeling from the destruction brought by Typhoon Washi/Sendong.
From the onset, the local government unit did not address the threat of the storm properly and the national government and national media had mixed feelings with how to treat the disaster. As the days go by, the recovery and rehabilitation efforts are further complicated by the actions of political leaders, resulting to more frustration from the flood victims as well as the other locals who are doing what they can for those who need help.
But for now, as the tweet above says, me and my family will rebuild first. And I will definitely rebel later.
Kim, I hope you, your friends, and your family are at least safe. As if a tropical storm wasn’t bad enough, it’s truly a terrible time of year for such devastation to hit. My thoughts are with you, your friends, family, and everyone affected in the Philippines.
Thank you very much Anna! You don’t know how important such words are in this trying time. It is true what you say about the storm hitting the area at this time of the year. The day prior to the floods, most Filipino Christians in the affected areas were already having their Christmas parties to signal the start of the Holidays. It was also the first day of the dawn masses - which are observed until the 25th.
Truly, the devastation will dampen spirits for everyone. But it can also be a source for reflection on what the spirit of Christmas really is for a country which flaunts its supposed predominantly Christian identity. And we must not also forget that several Muslims in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan also perished and had their lives ruined by the flood.
The destruction in several areas of the city is enormous. Some of my friends have lost their life’s accumulation and work; while others lost loved ones. Whole families also perished since the floods hit the cities in the ungodly hours of the night. In Cagayan de Oro, it also struck in the midst of a black out.
As for me, I am lucky that my family is all accounted for (including our dogs and cats). Still, it might take a while before we are able to rebuild the house and recover the losses. And in the process, I shall bear in mind your words. Again, thank you very much.
And yeah, seems like politicians are all the same no matter which country they come from.
“Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, open-mindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake. We do not hold our convictions dogmatically… We are not immune to the lure of wonder and mystery and awe: we have music and art and literature, and find that the serious ethical dilemmas are better handled by Shakespeare and Tolstoy and Schiller and Dostoyevsky and George Eliot than in the mythical morality tales of the holy books. Literature, not scripture, sustains the mind and — since there is no other metaphor — also the soul.”—Christopher Hitchens (via kateoplis)
“The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility.”—Vaclav Havel ( October 5, 1936 - December 18, 2011)