Help Those Affected by Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda

November 21, 2013

Hello all,

By now, you've probably heard of the trail of destruction that Typhoon Haiyan left in the Philippines. You've probably seen the pictures, too, and read the stories. I must admit I was too personally affected to write about it, and so this is a late post.

Despite the heartbreak, there have been many tales of resilience and an equally moving outpouring of support from all over the world. Around here, it's said that the DSWD has had to introduce a shifting schedule to accommodate all the volunteers coming in!

EDIT: I've been adding new links and will continue to do so as long as I can find relevant projects and events online.

UPDATE: My brother is part of a team that's delivering relief goods to Palawan. The help will go to communities in remote islands that have received little or no media coverage. I'm told that some of these islands are even unlisted in the map.

His contacts at Taophilippines Expeditions have a network of locals, tourists and adventurers who have worked closely with the communities for years. They've already accepted donations from groups in Ateneo and La Salle. They're sending off another boat on Saturday, so if you'd like to contribute, please see the details below.

According to the Palawan Information Agency, the islands towns of Coron and Taytay have around 2,700 families affected by Typhoon Yolanda. Tourism landmarks have been destroyed, including the giant cross in Coron’s Mount Tapias. The towns are now under a state of calamity.

Local air drops and foreign aid are concentrated in Tacloban, Leyte, Samar. Let us not forget about the more remote areas with families who are in dire need of help.

We are in contact with a boat that can carry 5 tonnes of relief goods to the affected areas in Palawan. Friends who are based there say that they are generally holding up on their own, mobilizing people on their own, and have yet to receive more aid. 

If you wish to donate, please see the link for the "family kits" that are needed in Palawan

The drop off points are at Mayumi Street, UP Village (Send me a text at 09198960679), or at West Triangle (Contact Clementine Novales for details at 09179046407).

For cash donations, you may send them to Taophilippines Expeditions. Please select the account in your currency to avoid bank charges and include the reference 'TYPHOON DONATION + YOUR NAME'

Account Name: Eddie Brock, Coron, Palawan
Account No: 008-080384-046

Bank Name: HSBC UK
Account Name: JACK FOTTIT
Sort Code: 404646
Account No: 2139 1259

Account Name: EDDIE BROCK
Account Konto Nr: 478 3023
Sort Code / BLZ : 10070024
IBAN: DE4210 0700 2404 7830 2300

If you are in a country with different currency, please donate via their Paypal account with the merchant address

More work needs to be done; but with everyone's concentrated efforts, we can help rebuild homes and lives. Please help us help the people of Palawan.

Here are some more ways you can contribute:


Arts and Crafts and Books

The proceeds of which will go to the relief effort.



Guilty Pleasures: The Inertia Variations by John Tottenham

November 5, 2013


John Tottenham's poems about the will to do nothing are anything but unremarkable. In fact, the things he says about laziness turn out to be quite charming. This one flashed on my Tumblr dashboard over a week ago and made me grin with glee. I was on a break and had several projects to return to; the sentiment was spot-on.

Just as there is the desire to succeed, so exists the pull to vegetate. It's selfish and destructive and culturally scorned, but here it finds unabashed expression in verse. It's outrageous--oh my god, are you serious?--and that's what makes it so funny.

I have been awake since the dawn of noon,
And I have nothing to show for the time that
Was mine. To begin with I never began.
I sat down at the table with vaguely creditable intentions
But they were soon replaced by mere struggle
To remain awake, and with all the energy I could muster
I relocated to the sofa, where – several drowsified hours later –
I begin to chastise myself again.
Lifelong Lean Period

 Useless! But it's the thought that counts. I, like many others, have been conditioned to make myself useful. Thus, I make an effort, thanking God and all the gods above that I get to do the work I love. Then again, maybe these poems also speak of the particular difficulties of the creative life; that is: starting properly, and then making, always making, until finally it's finished. And then you make again. I can almost imagine the writer pacing in his apartment or the painter staring at an offensive blank canvas. Sometimes it would be enough to face the narrator and say, wait. let's languish together.

If anything is escapist, then this is, and I mean that in a good way. Reading these poems was indeed a relief, a pit stop, the perfect lunch break. There's a space in the world for works that refuse to deal with an honest day's work.

The Inertia Variations by John Tottenham

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A good time to let you know what I've been up to, then: this weekend will be the Christmas edition of the 10a Alabama Handmade Arts and Crafts Fair, happening at 10a Alabama, Quezon City. I'll be there with my hand-carved stamps under Rubber Ducky Stamp Co.

click here for the event page. poster by asa montenejo

I haven't joined the fair since April so it would be great to see you there!