Haiyan

No, I would not call my people “resilient.” We are valiant, courageous and, most importantly, metamorphic. Resilient seems so spineless - or like a Reagon Teflon quality. We don’t just shake off suffering; we go through it with gritted teeth, take full measure of it and emerge on the other side luminous and terrifying and magical.
—  Ninothcka Rosca, Filipina feminist, journalist, author, and human rights activist

Bangon Pilipinas (“Rise Up Philippines”) inspired by the all the heartwarming international support in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan last November. Every character is made up of my personal English translation of the Filipino patriotic song Bayan Ko:

My country, the Philippines, a land of gold/ 
and of flowers, held Love in the palm of Her hand,
and held beauty and splendor as/ offerings,
and because of Her refinement and beauty,
those from afar grew enticed. My home/
You were enslaved and thrown into darkness and pain.

You cage a free bird, and it will cry in anguish. How much more for a people/ She, so beautiful,
yearning only to be free to fly/ My Philippines,
my treasure, cradle of my tears and suffering/
My dream is to see thee truly free.

I am hoping to make this available as an order-able print soon, if people would like me to.

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This is an image of Calbayog as Typhoon Hagupit continues to bear down on the eastern islands of the Philippines. I am disgusted by the lack of information considering this is still the equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane, and the area it is striking is already in shambles after Super Typhoon Haiyan 13 months ago and several other storms in recent months. This is a very dangerous and dire situation yet the media is more concerned about President Obama’s sore throat or a truck fire blocking a street in Jersey. My heart is with all those riding out this storm, you have shown people like me so much in the last 13 months, it is time to once again show the world how to pull through. Much love and best wishes Philippines.

“Alice Rocks” is my contribution to Haiyan typhoon relief fund. We’ve been working on staging this concert and art auction for a few months now and it’s almost here. If you’re in Oakland this Friday come down to the Uptown Nightclub. Great bands from folks at Pixar, raffles for rare merchandize and original art of varying price ranges from your fave artists. All for good cause to help those who can really use it. Check us out here.

March 21, 2014
The Uptown in Oakland, CA.
1928 Telegraph Avenue
$20 cover (Ages 21+)
7:30pm - 11:30pm

Art to Heart: Philippine Typhoon Relief Fund is a group from the Bay Area art, animation, film, and video game industries focused on long-term aid in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

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In November of 2013, a category 5 super typhoon named Haiyan [Yolanda] devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, resulting in over 6000 deaths and left millions homeless. We took part in a charity workshop organized at the Movement Lifestyle Studio that donated all of the money to relief aids for those affected. This is the choreography that we taught at the workshop.

Before creating, we tried to find out as much as we could about what was going on at the time and, when we had a small grasp of the devastation at hand, all we could do was pray. We prayed about everything, for the victims, for their families, for their future…and it really put things into perspective for our own lives. We hope that this routine serves not as entertainment, but as a message to those out there who have found any amount of suffering from this tragedy that there are people that are praying for you still. You are in our thoughts and our he[art]. We dance for you.

God bless,
Anthony & Mike

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ENDURING HOPE: AFTER HAIYAN

Though grief, bitterness and pain visit often, the only permanent resident here is hope.

The place you buy your bread, the woman who sells it to you, your favorite way home, and those you walk with…picture them all gone. The people here don’t have to imagine that kind of tragedy…they live it. Everywhere they look they see glaring reminders of what Typhoon Haiyan ripped away. It washed their boats onto land and lodged them into the hills. It ripped up their homes and tossed pieces of them into the sea. It tore the memories from their walls, and for a while cut them off from the rest of the world. But their story is out. The images you are about see speak volumes of the determination of the people affected by this storm.

The thought of my pain, my homelessness, is bitter poison.
I think of it constantly, and my spirit is depressed.
Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing:
The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue,
Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.
The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope.
The Lord is good to everyone who trusts in him,
So it is best for us to wait in patience—to wait for him to save us—

Lamentations 3:19-26
Good News Translation (GNT)

Batkid taken to Philippines to lead Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts

Miles Scott, the 5-year-old with leukemia who miraculously saved San Francisco on Friday, is expected to prevent a major humanitarian disaster in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

CEBU, Philippines – Batkid to the rescue! Just days after the cancer patient improbably saved the city of San Francisco from criminal masterminds, young Miles Scott has been tapped by an international organization to lead efforts to get vital food and water into some of the hardest-hit areas of the typhoon-ravaged Philippines.

“I want my mommy. I want to go home. I’m so tired,” Miles reportedly said while en route to the remote island of Manicani in Eastern Samar, Philippines.

Batkid was chosen for this important task specifically in light of his amazing capture of evil supervillains Riddler and Penguin on Friday. A U.N. official said that Batkid’s response to the San Francisco’s crisis proved that he was the person best qualified to head international aid relief for the nearly 2 million who have been left homeless after Typhoon Haiyan.

Today’s announcement comes after an already busy weekend for the kindergartener from Tulelake, California. After being honored by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee at City Hall, Miles was whisked to Washington, D.C. for a formal congratulatory dinner hosted by the President and First Lady at the White House. On Saturday, he was asked to weigh in on the U.N. Security Council’s potential deal over Iran’s nuclear program.

PHILIPPINES, PALO : Relatives of those who died in Tyhpoon Haiyan light candles at a mass grave in front of the San Joaquin Church in Palo, Leyte, on December 8, 2013, marking one month since the typhoon hit. A month after one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded hit the Philippines, masses of survivors are living amid rubble in rebuilt shanty homes and experts warn rebuilding destroyed communities will take years. AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS

Today, the Pilipino Organization on my campus (Samahang Pilipino at UCLA) had a general meeting on Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, highlighting what we can do to help. The picture above in the Candlelight Vigil we dedicated to those affected by the typhoon.

I heard a lot of personal stories of people being affected, families in the hit areas, and a lot of crying. Being an emotional week for me, it’s hard to know people in my home country are suffering through this.

We are a resilient people. But we weren’t born with that resilience. We’ve had adversity to fight through, and this one, well this one may be the biggest one for us as a people. So as part of the Pilipino community, I ask you, if you can, please donate to charities to help. (And if you do, please research a charity which to donate to.)

Thank you to those who have helped our people’s cause.

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Soo honored to be a part of unicef’s “There for the Philippines” campaign. Millions of children have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan and they need our help! Watch my PSA above and learn more about how you can get involved here: http://uncf.us/1bmxtfK

Xo V

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Philippines says THANK YOU to the WORLD for helping us from Typhoon Haiyan.