Saturday, September 26, 2009

Typhoon Ondoy Emergency, Rescue & Evacuation Hotlines

The National Capital Region has been placed under a State of Calamity today due to the widespread flooding. I'm passing on a collection of the Emergency Hotlines below, thanks to Manolo Quezon.

Emergency Hotlines:

Red Cross: 143, 527-0000. Centers for relief: Red Cross chapters in Rizal, QC, Valenzuela, Bulacan. Send full address of stranded friends/family to Sen. Dick Gordon 09178997898/0938444BOYS

National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) Emergency Numbers: 912-5668, 911-1406, 912-2665, 911-5061. Help hotlines: 734-2118, 734-2120.

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA): 136

Philippine Coast Guard: 527-6136

Bureau of Fire Protection Region III (Central Luzon) Hotline: (045) 9634376

MERALCO hotlines: 0917-5592824, 0920-9292824

Contact NCRPO 838-3203, 838-3354 for rubber boat requests. You can also text 0917-422-6800 or 0927-675-1981 for rescue dump trucks. Appeal for those able, to lend 4×4 trucks for rescue: Pls. send truck to Greenhills Shoppng Center Unimart Grocery to await deployment, tel. 09209072902.

505 Rescue needs life-vests & rubber boats for their rescue operations. Please bring to Villamor Air Base.

Office of Senator Villar to rescue stranded people: 0917-4226800, 0917-2414864, 0927-6751981

Please go to GMA Facebook page & post addresses of people in need of immediate help.

Finder Service:
Ask your friends and relatives to turn this on using their cellphones so you can find out where they are (this only works as long as they have their cellphones with them).
  • For Smart, text "wis [your name] [your mobile number]" to 386
  • For Globe, text "find [your name] [your mobile number]" to 7000

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Holidays: September 7 and 21

There are two new holidays for the Philippines as declared by the Palace today:

- September 7 (Monday), National Day of Mourning for Iglesia ni Cristo executive leader Eraño Manalo

- September 21 (Monday), Eid Ul Fitr (last day of Ramadan)

There are also unconfirmed rumors that November 27 is also a holiday. Yey! That will make that weekend a four-day weekend.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Top 5 Things To Do in Kabankalan City

Here is my list of the top 5 things to do in Kabankalan City (from a visitor's point of view):

1. Take part in the Sinulog Festival (held every third Sunday of January)
2. Swimming, hiking and a picnic at Mag-aso Falls
3. Public plaza
4. Public market (just so you see what the locals do)
5. Visit the new City Hall

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra Performs

When someone discovers something awesome, one doesn’t keep it to one’s self, but instead, shares it with everyone. Recently, I discovered something rather surprising. The Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra performed recently at the Ted Talks Conference. They are the product of Venezuela’s El Sistema, where the most talented youth go on to be part of a real orchestra and go on to making great music. At the conference, where the founder accepted the TED Prize, they played Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 (2nd movement) and Arturo Marquez’ Dance Song No. 2 (wait or forward to that second number, it’s great!). The conductor is Gustavo Dudamel, also a product of El Sistema, and who is the new Musical Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

I saw one of L.A. Philharmonic's performances but unfortunately Gustavo Dudamel wasn't part of the performance that weekend. I guess I should have reserved another ticket for a performance in which he was conducting.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Exotic Food

Filipinos in other countries must be really home sick, for Anthony Bourdain's post on the Philippines episode for the No Reservations show got 407 comments. Who gets 407 comments on one post? While going through the latest tweets tonight (or this morning, or whatever), I hopped on several links and ended up at his blog. It's crazy and the conversation even extends to Colin Devroe's review of the show. I guess it was expected, what with all the lechon, sisig, kare-kare, adobo, fishballs and other food that all reminds us of home. These are the food that our grandmothers cooked for us, our mothers served us, our comfort food. Maybe even fiesta food.

Some friends once described how kare-kare is cooked to an American friend, and they had a hard time describing the dish. It's ox tail cooked in a sort of soup with peanut butter and local vegetables, and then it's eaten with bagoong (fish sauce?). So imagine describing that to someone who grew up in the U.S., someone who cannot imagine an ox tail being cooked, let alone with peanut butter. Let's just say, they were hooting with laughter that ended with the friend describing it in the end as (forgive my "French") "peanut butter and ass".

The show could have featured many other dishes. I haven't seen the Philippine episode of No Reservations yet, but since the show is about exotic food, there are a few dishes that they might have also liked to try like ox tongue (cooked all over the country), diwal (I don't know if they have it also in Luzon but I saw this in the Visayas; it's a "longish" shellfish that is usually baked or boiled with just salt, red pepper and green onion leaves to top it off), and maybe some roasted goat.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Space Food

It's always interesting to learn about space travel and the intricacies of preparing for one. A couple of years ago, I read a lot of books on the lives of astronauts, for I also wanted to be one. Then I thought of becoming a pilot because I noticed that astronauts are usually former pilots, either from the Air Force or as test pilots. As in a lot of our dreams, we dream new dreams and we end up in other pursuits.

Space travel is a lot more advanced these days. But there is always one interesting topic about it all - space food. How do they plan for it?

In the video below, Professor Joseph Marcy of Virgina Tech described the challenge of planning for how to feed astronauts on a nearly three-year-long mission to Mars.