Pinay & Proud celebrates the modern-day Filipina

Who or what is a modern-day Filipina?

I am a Filipina and yet it is so difficult to quite put into words what the Filipina of today really is because she is many things. We see her in our female overseas foreign workers in all corners of the world, working as nannies, teachers, scientists, physical therapists, factory workers and even executives. We see her as an advocate, an artist, a mother, a social worker. The Filipina is in her elements in the 21st century.

Human Nature, in an effort to showcase the different facets of today’s Filipina, came up with the Pinay & Proud campaign to give tribute to the uniqueness of the Filipina woman.

They identified 4 traits that embody the Filipina:

1. Nurturing – one who encourages others to reach the full potential of their God-given talents

2. Courageous – one whose inner strength goes beyond selflessness and enables her to make sacrifices for family and country

3. Inspiring – a role model

4. Beautiful – not just outside but inside as well and who shines her light on everything and everyone around her

The result of the Pinay & Proud campaign was a roster of 15 outstanding women who have shown these 4 traits. The 15 women chosen came from different backgrounds (and ages). They had different skills, causes and goals. But they were all proud to be a Filipina.

But beyond just showcasing these admirable women, I think the message that we should all be taking in here is this: Every Filipina has the capacity to be like them. EVERY FILIPINA. No matter what age we’re at, it’s never too late to give of ourselves for others. These women never went out seeking recognition or reward. They just went out and did it when they discovered the need. We, too, just need to become sensitive to our surroundings because where we’re needed may be just there. We just are not SEEING.

From June 26 to August 5, 2012, the portraits of these 15 Filipinas will be found in different mall exhibits throughout the Metro. Try to catch it when you go shopping. The mall exhibits are:

Powerplant, Rockwell (June 26-30)
Trinoma Mall (July 2-8)
Shangri-la Mall (July 9-15)
Greenbelt 5 Mall (July 16-22)
Eastwood Mall (july 23-29)
Alabang Town Center (July 30-Aug 5)

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Earth Hour 2012

Since Manila joined Sydney and the rest of the world a few years back in turning lights off for an hour, my family has been doing the same at home.

In the last few years, the signs of climate change have become more obvious and scary. Severe flooding and landslides, more dangerous typhoons, weird weather patterns. So many lives have been lost unnecessarily and sadly. No one can turn a blind eye to the immediate need to do something in one’s own backyard. NOW. Earth Hour is one way of showing the world that an hour of darkness can save that much energy. So we’re trying to do our share…

Yes, the kids get fidgety about tuning out of the internet but after a few minutes around a dark living room with just candles giving out light, conversation starts up and before we know it, we have reclaimed our lives offline.

Today we will continue tradition but with a twist. I will join a free yoga class by Rianna Gatus as part of her birthday celebration. We will do 26 Surya Namaskars or Sun Salutations to celebrate her 26 years of life. Afterwards some lady bloggers and I are heading off to a restaurant nearby which is observing Earth Hour to celebrate another birthday – fellow yogini Ria.

I will post some photos later.

How about you? How are you observing Earth Hour?

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How to help victims of Tropical Storm Sendong

Early dawn today, two areas in Mindanao (a southern island of the Philippines), were hit with sudden and unexpected flash floods from Tropical Storm Sendong (international code name Washi). The floods hit Iligan and Cagayan de Oro around 2AM — when everyone was asleep. Many villagers were caught and trapped wherever they were, with little preparation and no forewarning.

 

 

 

A bloated Pulangui River (photo from Francis Awiten, a blog reader of mindanaoan.com and posted via Twitpic)

 

 

 

A young Sendong victim (photo posted by @mindanaoan via Twitpic, with credits to Atoy M.)

 

 

 

Dumaguete flood (photo owner unknown)

(UPDATE: Bukidnon and Dumaguete likewise need assistance so I will be including in my list donation info for these places as soon as I get them.)

I am creating this post for you, my dear readers, wherever in the world you are. If your heart is touched by some of these pictures, there are many ways you can donate, either in cash (PayPal included) or kind.

Please note that I will try to list as many as I can. I have been listing based on posts in social networking sites, some news sites, government agencies, etc. If I miss some, please leave me a comment at the bottom so I can add to this list.

FINAL UPDATE – DEC. 23, 2011 (4:56 PM)

URGENT NEEDS

Blankets
Bottled water (VERY URGENT!)

Canned goods
Clothes (for those abroad, pls note that there may be some requirements for donating used clothing. Am trying to get confirmation directly from government agencies)
Diapers
Food
Gauze
Hydrogen peroxide
Mats (banig)
Medicines (anti-tetanus vaccines, Betadine, gauze, cotton, bandages, for cough/colds/diarrhea, etc)
Milk (preferably breast milk)
Mosquito nets
Off lotion
Rice
Toiletries (sanitary napkins, toothpaste, etc)
Toothbrushes
Towels
Underwear
Utensils

DROP-OFF POINTS

Bigby’s – branches in Megamall, Ayala Cebu, SM City Cebu Northwing, Abreeza Davao, SM City Davao, SM City Bacolod, Limketkai Center, SM City Cagayan de Oro, Robinson’s Place General Santos

Caritas Manila – can pick up cash and donations in kind. Call 563-9311 for cash donations; 564-0205 for donations in kind.

DSWD Field Office NCR: San Rafael St., Legarda, Manila

DSWD Field Office IV-A: Alabang-Zapote Road, Alabang, Muntinlupa City 1770
Tel. No.: (02) 807-4140 Fax No.: (02) 807-1518
Contact: Gina Laranan 09108860826

DSWD Field Office IV-B: 1680 F. T. Benitez St., Malate Manila
Contact: Shiela Tapia (02) 5252445

DSWD relief Samar:

Ludwig Lao, 85 del Rosario St., Catbalogan City or Samar ChamCommerce, DTI Bldg., Catbalogan City CP No. 09189351993

DSWD relief drop off Zamboanga: Ateneo de Zamboanga Univ Gym, La Purisima St., Zamboanga City. Tel 9910871 local 2224 n 2225; 9913711

GMA 5 (Davao) – Please leave donations at Shrine Hills, Matina, Davao (info from @mindanaoan)

GMA Kapuso Foundation – for info on where to bring donations in kind, click HERE

Kristohanong Katilingban sa Pagpakaban (coordinated with Xavier University) – call (088) 8583116 loc 3210 for details

La Salle Greenhills – will start accepting donations Monday, Dec. 19 (info taken from HERE)
Donations in cash and kind will be received at Gate 2 of La Salle Green Hills at 343 Ortigas Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550. You may call any of the following telephone numbers for further inquiries:
Alumni Office — 721-2729, 722-7750, 725-4720
GS Principal — 721-2482
HS Principal — 721-8914
Buildings and Grounds Office — 721-8904 (Telefax)
La Sallian Mission Office — 726-5851 (Telefax)

LBC Foundation – bottled water, food, blankets, clothes, etc. Drop off your donations at the nearest LBC branch nearest you, nationwide. Call (632) 8585-999 to find the closest LBC branch. Donations must be addressed to LBC Foundation; they cannot ship for free if goods are addressed to specific consignees.

Mercato Centrale (BGC) / Soderno (Alabang) – bottled water, rice, canned goods, bottled water, utensils, toothbrush, mats, used clothes, blankets

Moonleaf Tea Shop, Maginhawa St., QC – They’re open every day, 10AM to 11PM.

National Resource Operations Center (NROC) – Chapel Rd. Pasay City (Back of Air Transportation Office)
Contact: Francia Fabian 0918 9302356

OneMeralco Foundation

– accepting cash/kind donations. Please bring between 8am to 5pm to G/F Lopez Building, Meralco Compound, Ortigas Ave., Pasig. Look for Joy. Donations in kind will be issued acknowledgement receipts. Cash donations will be issued official receipts.

Parish of St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral (Dumaguete, Negros Oriental) – receiving cash/relief items. Contact: Msgr. Julius Heruela

The Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces ave Mascado cor Yague, Makati ph.+63 2 8978808 Ms. Kasilag/Ms. Kalagayan.

Sagip Kapamilya ABS-CBN Foundation Inc., Mother Ignacia cor. Eugenio Lopez St., Diliman, QC – for goods in kind

Sen. Kiko Pimentel – accepting donations starting Dec. 19 at Room 512, GSIS Building, Senate of the Philippines. Contact person: Ron Munsayac (new media group)

TEAM MANILA – they are accepting donations in the following places:
Branches: Mall of Asia, Trinoma and Rockwell
TeamManila Warehouse: 71 Ecoville Townhomes, Metropolitan Ave., Makati. (near Meralco Ayala Ext ofc.)
TeamManila studio: 3rd floor, 20 Jupiter Ave., Valdecon Building, Bel-Air Makati (near Buendia Car Exchange) till 7PM

TV5 Kapatid Foundation Inc. – Donations in kind like food, clothing, utensils, blankets, mats, water containers, and medicines may be sent to News5 Aksyon Center, TV5 office in San Bartlolome, Novaliches, Quezon City. For inquiries, please call News5 Aksyon Center hotline – 938-6393.

UP Manila

– accepts donations at the Office of Student Affairs (Padre Faura, Mla) and PGH. Call 526-8419/526-0527/554-8400.

Xavier University KKP-SIO – cash, food, bottled water, clean clothes. You can drop them off at the Xavier University KKP-SIO.

[important]Strictly for breastmilk donations:
1. 17 Green Grove Villa, Lantana Rd., Barangay Mariana, New Manila, QC (office of Kalusugan ng Mag-Ina, Inc)
2. UP-PGH Human Milk Bank, 4th Floor, Left Central Block (LCB) c/o Tina or Grace (during office hours) or the NICU Fellow (after office hours)
PGH can pasteurize the breastmilk before sending this to CDO/Iligan.[/important]

CASH DONATIONS (INTERNATIONAL)

Ateneo de Manila University – please see how to donate HERE

Caritas Australia (for Australian residents) – for donation details, please click HERE

GMA Kapuso Foundation – for info on how to donate dollars, click HERE

HELPCDO (PayPal Donations) – Proceeds will be donated and delivered to Xavier University Cagayan de Oro where the members of CDOBloggers are planning to volunteer. (Note: Info received c/o Ria Jose)
Email Address for PayPal donation: francis.siason@gmail.com

ONE FOR ILIGAN – a Google doc that tells you how you can donate at least US$1 via PayPal
Your Donations will be shown at: www.iliganbloggers.com
For donations on Paypal, your names and initials HERE

Simbahang Lingkod (info taken from HERE)
Direct deposits may be made online from any BPI branches, pay to:
Account Name/Payee: SIMBAHANG LINGKOD NG BAYAN
Bank Name: Bank of the Philippine Islands (Loyola-Katipunan Branch)
Dollar Savings Account Number: 3084-0420-12

TV5 Kapatid Foundation Inc.
BDO Savings Account No. 005310-410164
Bank of the Philippine Islands Savings Account No. 1443-05333-2
For inquiries, please call News5 Aksyon Center hotline – 938-6393.

CASH DONATIONS (WITHIN THE PHILIPPINES)

For Globe subscribers:
via S

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A Conversation in Manila: a social media event with US Sec. of State Hillary Clinton

It’s not every day that I get the chance to be in the presence of someone like U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. So when I found out that I was one of the bloggers invited to grace the social media event which was being hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Manila in cooperation with GMA News TV, I jumped at the chance to be there.

We arrived early. People were not allowed yet into the main hall where the “conversation” was to be held because Secret Service people were sweeping the room. So we waited at the ground floor of the National Museum, the venue, with other bloggers like Juned, Noemi and Brian.

U.S. Embassy staff manning the registration table

After a while, we were given the signal to proceed to the main hall. The crew and anchorpersons were already there as well as the audience which were composed of select Twitter celebrities (spotted Heart Evangelista, Maxene Magalona and Isabelle Daza), Congressional interns, editors-in-chief of different university publications and of course, us – bloggers. Also spotted in the crowd were blast survivor Raissa Laurel, Winnie Monsod, Maria Ressa, and other GMA-7 newscasters.

Part of the audience

There was a quiet air of excitement in the air. Ramon Bautista of GMA News TV went around the room asking young people what they thought of the Secretary and everyone seemed to hold her with the highest regard. Some even commented that they’d like to see her as the first woman President of the United States.

We bloggers had our corner on the right side of the room. Cocktail tables were set up near power strips. Noemi, Bong and I took two of the cocktail tables and quickly had our gadgets set up. Later, we were joined by Janette in our table. Marcelle and Vince also joined our little group later.

Bong and I (livestreaming with mobile phone, tweeting with iPad) and taking photos with digicams (photo courtesy of Noemi)

Secretary Hillary Clinton spent a total of about 45 minutes with us, answering questions sent in through text, Skype, Twitter and Facebook. Questions ranged from political (would she help Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo get treatment in the US) to personal (does she have further political ambitions to run for President) to curious questions like what were the contents of her purse, iPad or iPod.

Secr. Clinton with hosts Vicky Morales and Howie Severino of GMA News TV

 

Maxene Magalona asks a question

All went smoothly except for one incident where the editor-in-chief of the UP Collegian, Marjohara Tucay, stood up just as another question was about to be asked from the floor. Tucay held up a cloth sign (cleverly folded and tucked away to avoid security scrutiny) and began shouting “Junk VFA” (Visiting Forces Agreement). He continued shouting as he was calmly led out of the hall. Meanwhile, Sec. Clinton kept her cool as she witnessed everything. Just before this, she was saying that in politics, one had to have skin as thick as a rhino. She indeed showed she could not be fazed even under frequent protests she sees in many places she visits.

As for the message that Tucay was trying to deliver, he has his points but I really doubt that the method he used delivered that message across effectively. He seems to have come off as a distraction who actually spiced up the entire forum. If only he had addressed the question directly to Sec. Clinton.

Protest sign held up by EIC of UP Collegian

In an article published by GMA News prior to this event, it was referred to as “groundbreaking”. It was, indeed. When we were chatting earlier with Robin Diallo, Counselor for Public Affairs with the US Embassy, she told us that this was the first time EVER that Sec. Clinton would be doing this. With security always very tight around her, mobile devices and gadgets were never allowed. The fact that the US Embassy Manila was able to get her (and her security) to agree to doing this was one-up already. Robin said that internally, as they were planning for this event, they referred to this as “townterchat” (short for TOWN hall, inTERview and CHAT). To actually get citizens and social media together and up close with her was a social media coup.

I am happy to have been part of this social media event. I congratulate the US Embassy in Manila for putting all this together. Indeed, they are the social media pioneers in diplomatic circles in this region. The success of this event will hopefully pave the way also for others who visit Manila to do something similar and engage netizens and the citizenry.

 

Here’s the entire Conversation in Manila, courtesy of GMA News TV’s YouTube channel:

 

Also visit the US Embassy Manila’s post on this event HERE.

 

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VISAtisfied Voyager: new visa blog of the U.S. Embassy Manila

The U.S. Embassy Manila is now the most active embassy in the Philippines on social media (with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr). And just recently, they did it again!

They now have….*drumroll*…..a VISA BLOG!

You read that right. They have an official visa blog, VISAtisfied Voyager, whose goal is “to provide timely and relevant information to members of the public interested in learning about the Nonimmigrant and Immigrant visa processes.”

The choice to put up a blog shows the determination of the embassy to draw in feedback from readers. Every week, topics relevant to visa applicants will be posted. You can ask questions, leave comments and even provide feedback with any experience you may have while applying for a U.S. visa.

Behind the blog is a team of visa experts from the embassy’s Non-immigrant and Immigrant Visa units. It is hoped that through this blog, visa applicants can be kept up to date with new developments that may affect their applications.

Take note though. The U.S. Embassy Manila will not be able to respond to individual visa-specific questions on the visa blog. If you have questions that are specific to your situation, email the embassy at the following addresses:

consmanilaniv@state.gov (for individual, non-immigrant visa applications)

ivmanilareplies@state.gov (for individual immigrant visa applications)

With literally thousands of Pinoys applying for travel visas every year, the addition of this visa blog is sure to clear up many myths and provide clear advice for everyone, more so for those who may be applying for the first time.

Congratulations to the entire team of the U.S. Embassy Manila who are behind VISAtisfied Voyager as well as responsible for all its social media efforts!

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Yahoo! pays tribute to Pitong Pinoys

Yahoo! recently gave recognition to seven Filipinos (‘Pitong Pinoys’ in the vernacular) whose contributions in the realm of volunteerism and advocacy work made a significant impact in the lives of Filipinos. It is Yahoo!’s first initiative to celebrate patriotism and national pride among Filipinos. This recognition, for me, is so timely because, under an administration that was elected on a platform of transparency and good governance, there is a clear need to show the Filipinos that despite general cynicism stemming from scandalous revelations of corruption in all corners of society, there is no dearth of ordinary heroes.

During the launch, Yahoo! Philippines Country Editor Erwin Oliva related that they were wondering at first whether they could actually find 7 heroes. After the initial call for nominations some time in May 2011, they were surprised by the submission of hundreds of applications representing people from all walks of life, including simple folk who were doing community work without any prodding or thoughts of compensatory recognition. Those applications were eventually whittled down to the final 7.

What made this awarding ceremony particularly special was the fact that two good friends were among the 7 awardees: Jay Jaboneta and Anna Oposa.

Meet the Pitong Pinoy awardees who have chosen different advocacies to make life better for the ordinary Juan.

(L-R) J. Jaboneta, T. Leonor, J. Enriquez, A. Oposa, T. Saniel, H. Mendoza, A. Belonio

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