Sunday, November 17, 2013

Observations from Yolanda

Days leading up to Yolanda, I was hearing news about it but was not really on top of the news. When Saturday rolled around, I was very surprised and saddened when I first saw the reports of both big media channels in the Philippines, GMA and ABS CBN. Certain by then that there will be several hundred casualties, at least.

The following days, I kept tabs of the news but barely any was trickling in. I'd google and I would wonder, "Where the hell is the news?". Where is the planned operations after? Where's the coordinated effort? Who's managing the relief and rehab operations? Why isn't he/she providing status updates to the Filipino people? What's being done? I kept mum over the issue for several days until Anderson Cooper's CNN Update. Nothing's being done in Tacloban, at least nothing in the scale that he is expecting. All hell broke loose after that. People were up in arms over that news. I was up in arms over that news. 

Some perspective: Prior to Yolanda, the country was glued to the Napoles case, the biggest corruption case in Philippine history shedding light on how public funds are being channeled right under the public's nose. You can read how that happens here

Sunday, November 10, 2013

(Supertyphoon) Yolanda You Make Me Sad and How You Can Help

I meant to write about the food from our stay at The Beaufort but this is not the time considering that several areas in the Philippines are badly hit by Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan). News of the damage to life and property to places such as Tacloban and Leyte are just trickling in. There'll be more in the upcoming days.

According to GMA footage, Yolanda (Haiyan) was felt in Borongan, Samar, Philippines as early as 2 AM (GMT +8), Friday, November 8. It is a category 5 typhoon with sustained wind speeds of 235 kph (10 minute average) or 315 kph (1 minute average). Its effect was felt in most of the country from Luzon (North) to Mindanao (South) with areas placed under different storm signals.

Satellite image from the United States NOAA service showing typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) ramming the Philippines.
By Friday evening, news of the damage started trickling in. No communication was possible for certain places during the onslaught of the typhoon as it downed communication towers and power lines.

Video below shows Yolanda's strength in Tacloban and Paco, Leyte by GMA.

I am sure there'll be more news coming in the upcoming days and the number of dead will grow. Red cross is estimating that the number of casualties will exceed 1,000.

According to ABS CBN reports, Tacloban, being surrounded by waters, was fully submerged during the storm surge at least 2 stories high. I am thinking that if you have not drowned yet and trying to keep afloat, rapid moving objects in the water hitting your head would be the culprit for a number of casualties.

Where you can help

Rappler has compiled a list of agencies accepting donations. You can check them out here. I caution though to double-check the agency/organization before sending any donations.


To my dear fellow Filipinos, the holidays are fast approaching. I know December is a month of parties. If we can find it in our hearts to share a portion of the upcoming 13th month pay, I am sure this will go a long way.

My dear Philippine government, tama na po ang kurakot. Every year, our dear Philippines is being ravaged by a typhoon or some other calamity. Sana po we'll have a proper process in place for these calamities and ensure that the Filipino people are assured na may ginagawa po tayo dito at may support po sa kanila pagtapos ng kalamidad. Sana po we have provisions on standby such as the necessary transportation for clearing roads which is very important to mobilize help and rescue. Sana po ito ang uunahin natin before our own interests. Di ko po kasi naiintindihan kung bakit ang slow natin to respond to these when this has been happening for several years na and should have had a few learnings under our belt. Yun lang po!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Joined the Bandwagon!

I am now on Instagram! I know I don't update this blog as often as I'd want to but you can bet on your life you can get daily updates from me on IG. Have been microblogging there for almost 2 months already and have already hit my 100th post mark!

Just some of what I've been up to these past days.


Follow me -> RyeAtHFTW

See you there! :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Staycation: The Sentosa Resort and Spa Singapore (Formerly, The Beaufort)

Back end of August, my dear H booked an overnight stay for us at The Sentosa Resort and Spa Singapore. The plan was for me to rest and enjoy a great massage (which did not materialize when I found out how much a massage costs! Haha!).


It was a bright and sunny day. My preschooler is raring to go. Except that taxis are really hard to come by on Saturday afternoons. We called several cab companies all without any success. Good thing this cab was in the neighborhood.

IMG_3760 Mercedes

Benz for a cab. This would be unheard of in the Philippines. Try getting the limo service from Sofitel and see how much that would cost you! Pricier than Comfort, CityCab, and SMRT but for long distances, the difference becomes negligible. Really. It will amount to just about 6 SGD for Yishun to Resorts World Sentosa.

Enjoyed a ride in plush leather seats and interiors for less than 30 SGD. Not bad.

We finally arrived at The Sentosa Resort and Spa about 30 minutes later.

High ceilings at the lobby. Check in was a breeze.

Check out the room after the jump!