Monday, 19 December 2011

How To help Typhoon Sendong (Washi) victims

Another freaky Ondoy-like weather disturbance hit Mindanao last weekend.  Typhoon Sendong  (international codename Washi) dumped a total of 181 millimeters of rainfall in just 24 hours causing flash floods. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director Benito Ramos, there are over 500 casualties (and still counting). The hardest hit are Iligan City (214) in Lanao del Norte and Cagayan de Oro (252) in Misamis Oriental.

I heard on DZMM this morning that water - especially clean drinking water - is needed and right now water is being rationed.  Below is a compilation by jsantos of organizations mobilizing efforts to assist in disaster relief operations to help typhoon victims.

Donations in-kind are being accepted at the locations listed below.
Metro Manila:
Sagip Kapamilya
ABS-CBN Foundation Inc, Mother Ignacia cor. Eugenio Lopez St., Quezon City
Cagayan de Oro
ABS-CBN, Barangay Bulua, Cagayan De Oro City
ABS-CBN, Shrine Hills, Matina, Davao City

Cash Donations can be received through the accounts listed below.
1. BDO Peso Account
Account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya
Account Number: 39301-14199
Swift Code: BNORPHMM
2. BDO Dollar Account
Account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya
Account Number: 39300-81622
Swift Code: BNORPHMM
3. PNB Peso Account
Account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya
Account Number: 419-539-5000-13
Swift Code: PNBMPHMM
4. BPI Peso Account
Account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya
Account Number: 3051-1127-75
Branch: West Triangle, Quezon City
Swift Code: BOPIPHMM
5. BPI Dollar Account
Account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya
Account Number: 3054-0270-35
Branch: West Triangle, Quezon City
Swift Code: BOPIPHMM

If you would like to donate via your mobile phone you send via the following methods.
Red Cross (via Globe)
Text RED < amount > to 2899. You may transfer P5, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500
Red Cross (via Smart)
Text RED < amount > to 4143. Valid donation amounts 10, 25, 50, 100

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)
La Salle will begin accepting donations starting on Monday, 19 December 2011.
Donations in cash and kind can be received at Gate 2 of La Salle Green Hills at 343 Ortigas Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550.
Please call any of the numbers above for inquiries.

Fr. Eric Garcia Velandria S.J.
Coordinator of Sendong Operation,
KKP Office, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, Corrales Ave., 9000 Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines.
Click here for website
The Xavier University Relief Center is conducting a relief operation for families affected by Bagyong Sendong.They are asking for donations in cash, food, bottled water, clean clothes.
Donations are being accepted at the Helpdesk set up at the University’s front gate or at the Relief Center at the Satellite Canteen near the College of Agriculture building (beside the gymnasium). Personnel and student volunteers are being deployed to buy, pack and deliver relief goods all over the City, under the direction of the University Chaplain.
You can drop them off at the Xavier University KKP-SIO.
Volunteers also needed @DSWD (Masterson Rd, Upper Carmen).
Call 09066150095 or 858-8892.
Cash donations can be deposited at this account:
  • Account Name: Xavier University
  • Account Number: 9331-0133-63

Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc. is accepting donations in kind: canned goods, noodles, bath and laundry soaps, toothpaste, rice, used clothings, slippers.

Drop Off Points:
Iligan-based Donors: St. Michaels’ Cathedral, DXIC Radio Station, City Hall, Rizal Park, and Calda Pizza Iligan City Branch
Non-Iligan Based Donors: Ship your donations via LBC for FREE (details below) and send it to the address:
ONE FOR ILIGAN (Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc.)
c/o CALDA Pizza, The Strip, Quezon Ave, Pala-o,Iligan City, 9200

Donation Paypal ID:
UNION BANK Account: Revilla N. Carbonell-Noel – 109451077611
Volunteers Needed Look for Erika Cruz (09052802002)
See at Rizal Park at 8AM everyday, until the need subsides..
You can contact the following point persons for your donations and other inquiries.

LBC will accept and deliver for FREE relief goods. Donations may dropped off at any LBC branch nationwide.
Contact #: +632.858.5999 or +632.858.5999

Text DONATE(space)AMOUNT(space)MPIN(space)SLB and send to 2882

Relief Goods: Canned goods, noodles, rice, water, medicine, hygiene kits, clothes and blankets.
Drop-off address: PDI Office, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. at Mascardo and Yague Streets, Makati City.
Cash donations: Inquirer Help Fund’s
Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), C/A# 4951-0067-56 for account Philippine Daily Inquirer Inc.
Contact: Bianca Kasilag, Connie Kalagayan at +632.897.8808 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +632.897.8808 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

PAL is offering to fly free-of-charge disaster relief donations from reputable NGOs, companies, religious groups.
Donations must be addressed to designated recipients in Cagayan de Oro and Dipolog. Recipients of donations should send their representatives to the Cagayan de Oro and Dipolog airports to receive their goods. Goods will be carried as cargo on any of the 5 daily flights to Cagayan de Oro, and weekly flights to Dipolog.Priority items will be medicines and foodstuffs (lightweight, non-bulky essential items).
PAL will require the following information regarding your disaster relief donations:
1. full details of the sending and the receiving organizations;
2. the description of the relief goods;
3. the quantity and weight of the boxes;
PAL will not accept rice, water or other items that might be “more economically procured” in-and-around Cagayan de Oro.
Neither will the airline accept non-essential goods such as toys and books.
PAL Contact Person:

Contact: Gang Badoy @gangbadoy (Twitter)
Through Rock Ed (Iligan) has set up a temporary soup kitchen for the homeless.
To donate funds to keep a flow of hot meals going, you can do so through the account listed below.
Rock Ed Philippines, BPI Loyola Heights, A/C# 3080.0073.44

DSWD Cagayan de Oro
CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS to repack relief goods.
Fr. Masterson Avenue, Upper Carmen
Cagayan de Oro City
+63906.615.0095 or  +63906.615.0095

Tel #: +632.223.5179
The Rural Missionaries of Mindanao is accepting donations in kind in the cities below.

Cagayan de Oro City and Misamis Oriental
Panday Bulig Relief and Rehabilitaion Center
Tabang Mindanao Center
12th-22nd streets, Nazareth, 9000 Cagayan de Oro City
T/F: +63 (88) 856 6413
(look for Ms. Beryl Tranco)

Iligan City
Rural Missionaries of the Philippines
Northern Mindanao Sub-Region
Room 01, Kalinaw Lanao Center, 0016 Bougainvilla Puti, Villaverde, 9200 Iligan City
T/F: +63 223 5179
(look for Ms. Ida Melody Bucog)

Bukidnon Peoples’ Center
1st Floor, Montero Residence, Purok 4, Pantaron St., Poblacion, Valencia City
Mobile #: 0926-592-1806
Contact: Zaldy Galamiton)

Metro Manila
c/o StartArt Project
10A Alabama st New Manila Quezon City
Mobile: +63926 7112450 or +63926 7112450

The Rural Missionaries of Mindanao is accepting cash donations through the account listed below.
Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
Quezon Avenue branch, 9200 Iligan City, Philippines
A/C # 009359-1348-08
Swift Code: BOPIPHMM
For Account Name: RMP-NMR Inc.
Room 01, Kalinaw Lanao Center for Interfaith Resources
0016 Bougainvilla Puti, Villaverde
Iligan City 9200, Philippines

Friday, 2 December 2011

Philippine Holidays 2012

PNoy has already declared via Proclamation No. 295 the regular holidays and special non-working days for the year 2012 which includes Chinese New Year!!  Mind you, there are four holidays that fall on a Tuesday!  Anyway, we have five 3-day weekends and two 4-day weekends.

Here's the regular and special holiday for the year 2012:

January 1 (Sun) - New Year's Day
January 23 (Mon) - Chinese New Year

February 25 (Sat) - EDSA Revolution Anniversary (only for schools)

April 5 (Thu) - Maundy Thursday
April 6 (Fri) - Good Friday
April 9 (Mon) - Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valour)

May 1 (Tue) - Labor Day

June 12 (Tue) - Independence Day

August 21 (Tue) - Ninoy Aquino Day
August 27 (Mon) - National Heroes Day

November 1 (Thu) - All Saints Day
November 2 (Fri) - Additional special non-working day
November 30 (Fri) - Bonifacio Day

December 25 (Tue) - Christmas Day
December 30 (Sun) - Rizal Day
December 31 (Mon) - Last day of the Year

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Trek in Sta Lucia Banahaw

The left photo was taken at  Santo Kalbaryo on top of Sta. Lucia in the mystical mountain of Banahaw, referred to as the new Jerusalem or the Holy Mountain of the Philippines.

I've been to Banahaw several times before but I seriously don't remember climbing up to Kalbaryo, one of the puestos of the sacred mountain  A puesto is a natural feature that is considered holy - such as a rock, cave, waterfall and even the summit. The puestos are visited in sequence and at each stop, a candle is lit.

The trek around the holy sites in Sta. Lucia took us 3 hours and 35 minutes (or 1190 calories burned). The starting point was at Boy Fajado's place who incidentally converted his home to a Bed & Breakfast called "Nature Villa".

From the B&B, we decided to do the long way - which is following a small trail to San Bernardo. The property is now  fenced (well, it wasn't during my last visit). According to our guide Gilbert, the property was recently purchased and will be converted into a botanical garden. We went down the newly built stairs and at the bottom, lit our first candle.

at Sta. Lucia falls
We followed the river, wading through knee deep water and cautiously working our way through slippery rocks and boulders. At the end of the river is Sta. Lucia falls where we went under two falls - the stronger, powerful diyos ng ama and  feminine diyos ng ina.

We then climbed the 269 steps up and headed to the next puesto  called the Kweba ni Santong Jacob, a wishing well where we had to enter through a narrow crevice and shimmy through sharp rocks to go deep down. The cave is lit by only candles. There is an underground river where we climbed down a steel ladder to dip three times in the cold, sulfuric water.

Crosses on Kalbaryo
At this point, we were soaking wet from the falls and well. We climbed up to the next puesto, a cave called inang awa.

From there,  it was an uphill climb through a  rocky path to Kalbaryo (Cavalry). The site simulated Christ's crucifixion with three crosses. Next to it though is a  mound with "Jove Rex-Al".

The next time I visit, I'll make sure to go to Durungawan and do Husgado again or try to climb the mountain again.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Delectable Taipei

the tourists
During the All Soul's Day holiday in Manila, the three of us decided to head out to Taiwan.

Its not easy to travel with a lawyer and a banker since both are very, very busy. If I didn't ask what the plans were, we wouldn't have any place to stay and probably spend time looking for a travel agent. Thank God for the web! I was able to research and short list possible sites combining what these two busy bees want - basically, spend more time outdoors.

For the tours, it was a toss up between the customized itinerary offered by a local guide from Tours by or book the  package tours offered at Viator. The latter, by the way, is the best-value site for booking trips but a warning though - it's a hit and miss with the tour guide. Our guide for the city tour may be a bit burned out because he barked "I'm here everyday, why don't you walk down to see the shrine and I will wait for you here."

125th birth anniversary of
Chiang Kai Shek on October 31
Anyway, I ended up booking with Viator. We had two half-day tours on the first day - a city and a night tour- and two out-of-town. Another warning: all the tours include a stop in a handicraft or food shop or both.

For first timers like moi, its good to get your bearings by joining a half-day city tour. The tour started at Zhangshou district's Presidential Building, then stop at a traditional Taiwanese temple, the massive Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall to see the changing of the guards (note: the guards do not blink for an hour, I kid you not),  a handicraft center, the Ming Dynasty architecture at the Martyr's Shrine and the last stop  was at the National Palace. We should have skipped the handicrafts center and spent more time in the museum. If I heard the guide correctly, in the 1930s, Chang Kai Shek transferred 3,000 crates out of China or over 600,000 pieces of anicent Chinese artifacts and artworks belonging to the Imperial family.

The night tour started with a Mongolian barbecue dinner (yes, i know - why on earth eat Mongolian in Taipei?). After dinner, we drove to the western side of Taipe to visit the Lung Shan budhist temple. It was packed with locals praying and burning incense sticks.

Snake Alley 
I guess the Taiwanese love to eat because there are 14 night markets in Taipei!!!  From the temple, we walked next door to Hwashi famous for its snake alley. Meaning, snakes - the meat and the blood, including other whatnots are sold in this special market. None of us were adventurous enough to try ordering snake or turtles and even alligators but we ate everything else outside snake alley.

To cap the tour, we headed to Taipei 101, the second tallest building in Asia.

At Yehliu Geopark 
The next day we booked a half-day North Coast tour which took us to Keelung City and the famous Yehliu Geopark to see the rock formations. Another warning: do not go on Sundays, lots of  tourists and also locals.

Taipei averages about a hundred earthquakes per year. Well, we didn't feel the 6.5 magnitude earthquake that hit Keelung at 11:38 that day. I guess we were on the road. Our guide said that Taiwan is located at the intersection of the Eurasian and Philippine Sea plates and thus, seismicity is extremely active.

Must visit Shin YehJ apanese buffet
Back in Taipei, we decided to venture on our own. First stop was the highly recommended Japanese buffet  in Shin Yeh which was only two blocks from our hotel. The restaurant is listed as one of the five places to eat in the Miele Guide 2009/2010. The fare is unlimited!! There are separate food stations - from the makis and shushis, the noodle station, cold appetizers with gigantic oysters and shrimps, the tepanyaki grill, the prime rib and roast pork, pizza (yes, pizza!), hot dishes and dessert. I especially liked the drink station which served fresh juices (kiwi and guava were my staple), beer, calpis (uncarbonated soft drink, tastes like Pocari Sweat), coffee and even home-made ice cream. Another warning: favorite of locals too, go early.

local fare at Shinlin night market
After lunch, we decided to check out Beitou which is 20-min via MRT and dip in its natural hot spring. Some of the main bath houses are still in the Japanese style with tatami mats. A short historic note: Taiwan was ceded to the Empire of Japan by the Qin Empire after the first Sino-Japanese war in 1895. Anyway, the best hot spring is located in Wailu where the waters are odorless and colorless. In Beitou, there are two kinds - the clouded almost white with strong sulfur odor and the green color.

After Beitou, we stopped at Shinlin night market, the biggest in Taipei. Must try are: oyster omelette, grilled scallop, the sausages, the gigantic chicken, fried pao.

Taroko Gorge 
The next day we were up early for the Taroko Gorge Tour in Hualein touted as Asia's 7th wonder. It's a 25min flight from Taipei. Its a must-see! If I were to do this again, I'd stay 2-3 days and do the trails like the .Old Jhilu Road in the Swallow Cave area.

We were able to do Shakadang Trail, the Gorge, Eternal Spring Shrine, Swallow Caves,  the Tunnel of the Nine Turns (left photo), Tienshiang Lodge and the Chi Hsing beach at the back of the airport.

The last fourth day was some shopping and  to taste the celebrated xialong bao (steamed pork dumplings) of Din Tai Fung. Three people recommended this - Dedet, Cyrenee and Rae, not to mention the german couple with us. So we trooped to the original branch at 194 Xinyi Road, A bit pricey but I enjoyed the crab roe and truffle and the double boiled chicken soup.

I might go back next year and do the Taroko Gorge Marathon and stay longer for the trails!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Gina Lopez wants No Go Zones in mining

"In this country, for some reason, what moves and makes it happen is People Power" Gina Lopez declared at the 20th anniversary of Maalala Mo Kaya's  (MMK) premiere of "Palawan".  Gina is referring to the 10-million signature campaign that she has launched in February this year that would convince the Philippine government to finally say no to mining in Palawan.

Gina claimed that she is not against the mining industry per se and instead wants to set up No Go Zones. Meaning, there are key biodiversity areas in the country that shouldn't and must never be mined. She cited specifically the islands.

The islands are defined as [quoting Gina] "where you have a mountain, forest, coral reefs, mangroves and farmlands. It's not large tracts of land like Canada or Australia where, if you have an accident when you mine, no one will suffer. In islands like Palawan, Rapu Rapu, Manikanin and all these other islands.. if you have one accident, it goes to the ricefields [destroys farmlands], goes to the sea and kills the coral reef .. what we want is to have certain areas in the country as No Go Zones, please don't mine there because tourism and agriculture [option] is much better. The way it is now, you can mine everywhere."

The No2MininginPalawan Movement is a multi-sectoral alliance of different concerned civic groups to raise awareness and to stop current and upcoming mining activities in Palawan and in other key biodiversity areas in the Philippines.

Todate, the  campaign has acquired over 2 million signatures and has 8 million to go.  She urged everyone "if each and everyone here takes it on and realizes deep in your heart like Bogs [referring to the MMK episode], what future do we give our kids? Do we have to travel overseas to experience nature? Why can't we protect what we have here? So mining I feel is a real threat , they have a track record of suffering and destruction and in the meantime, we have economic alternatives that show there is another way."

Palawan directed by Brillante Mendoza

"Palawan" is the first television project of 2009 Cannes Film Festival best director awardee Brillante Mendoza. The story is about Bogs Villanueva, a mother who fought her way to stop nickel mining in her hometown in Calatigas, Narra, Palawan and in the process, lost her sight and almost lost her family. As of this writing, the government has stopped the nickel mining in Calatigas.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Gai's Paleo Challenge: I accept!

From paynowliveafter's youtubevideo

Today is D-day! I accepted Gai's Paelo Challenge and will now eat like a caveman for two months.

Paleo is short for Paleolithic referring to the Stone Age era where basically, at that time, hunters gathered fruits, nuts, some vegetables and protein. Yes, this diet means no grains because there was no agriculture then.

I joined Cross Fit Manila last week. It's a strength and conditioning fitness program that combines weightlifting, gymnastics, powerlifting, kettlebell training, plyometrics, rowing and medicine ball. The workouts are pretty intense - limited to 4 to 8 (like my first WOD, left photo) for a total of 20-minutes. The key is to do as many rounds as possible or AMRAPS within the time allotted.

Paleo seems to be the defacto diet for these lean and strong CrossFitters since everyone in the gym  is on it.

Here's Gai's challenge starting today, 10.10.11 until 12.10.11:

The No-No's:
- Anything containing gluten, including beer.
- The five major culprits: rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, dessert
- Grains, legumes, beans (including their sprouts), corn, soy (including tofu and soy sauce)
- Dairy
- Sugar (including raw sugar and honey)
- Processed food/drinks (including Knorr cubes, sinigang mixes, etc. Trick: if it comes in a packet, it's out)

What I can devour:
- Meat - If grassfed is an option, choose grassfed.  (Note: I guess I can eat Prado Farm's organic lechon). 
- Seafood
- Eggs - including the yolk.
- Vegetables, with a special emphasis on green, leafy vegetables and cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage)
- Fruits - If having watermelon, try to have it separately from anything else and within a few hours of eating other things. You should digest this on its own.
- Nuts
- Seeds
- Salt, pepper, dried and fresh herbs
- Tea
- Oil - for cooking, use lard or coconut oil. For salads, use olive oil.

Negotiated, Concessions:
- Vinegar - Balsamic, apple cider, red wine, tuba, etc. Read the label and choose one with a few additives as possible.
- Fish sauce, bagoong - Read the label and choose one with a few additives as possible. (Note: I seldom take any of these sauces, should re-negotiate).
- Dark Chocolate - minimum 70% dark, 2 bars per week. (check ingredients for any gluten content. If it contains a hit of gluten, it's out).
- Red wine OR tequila OR vodka (as shots, on the rocks or with soda water) - one night per week
- When you are dining out, inform your server that you cannot have anything with flour, milk and sugar. Avoid saucy items on the menu as you cannot tell if mixes were added to it. As much as possible, order anything grilled or roasted with roasted vegetables or a salad (all gravies, sauces and dressing on the side).

The Exercise:
- CrossFit minimum requirement first month: 3x a week (at least one on the weekend)
- CrossFit minimum requirement second month: 4x a week (at least one on the weekend)
- Mandatory: 2 days rest per week (doing absolutely ZERO workouts) with recommended fasting a bit. Do NOT eat if not hungry.

Points per week: 50

Bonus Points:
- No cheating (including dark chocolate and alcohol) per week = +10 points
- Eight hours sleep within a 24-hour period = +2 points per night
- >Rx Cross Fit = +1 point for 4x, +2 point for 5x (Second month: no extra points for 4x a week but +1 point for 5x).

Minus Points:
- Zero exercise = -10 points
- <Rx CrossFit (1-2x per week) = -3 points
- <Rx rest = -10points
- Consuming ANYTHING with gluten (including beer) = -50 per incidence
- Consuming ANY of the five major culprits = -50 per incidence
- Consuming legumes, beans, corn, soy, dairy, sugar = -5 per incidence
- Consuming more than the concession for alcohol = -5 per evening

If I score lower than 200 points per month, I owe Gai a bottle of Grey Goose or Patron XO per month. And If I fall off the wagon, I owe her a very expensive steak din.

Alors, for moi - if I make it, she guarantees that I will lose my targeted 4-kilos and hence, can fit back into my clothes. Wish me luck!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Claro Ramirez's Wanted: Tubero

Kudos to Claro "Chitz" Ramirez's 10th solo exhibition called Wanted: Tubero, which is now ongoing at Finale's video room until October 27, 2011. This is his mini version of what will be exhibited at the Jakarta Biennale this December 2011.

The installation features television monitors depicting works of other artists and including Chitz's; that are connected with the PVC pipes. Wanted Tubero "emphasizes the imporance of engagement, participation and community." Hence, visitors are invited to connect and join the PVC pipes. The involvment process will be documented and become a part of the evolving work.

The show, curated by Clarissa Chikiamco, is the third offering of End Frame Video Art Project 3, a project of the non-profit organization "Visual Pond."  The project focuses on the video art practices of selected contemporary artists in the Philippines.  Prior to Chitz, Tad Ermitaño and Manny Montelibano were featured; and will be followed by Kiri Dalena, Yason Banal, Kaloy Olavides and Maria Taniguchi.

Chitz is a consultant for artistic direction of exhibitions and new media projects for the Lopez Memorial Museum since 2005. He was awarded the Cultural Center of the Philippines thirteen Artists Award in 2000. A graduate of UP Diliman and UST, he has exhibited internationally, through grants and invitations in Korea, China, Denmark, Spain, Poland, Romania and USA. Aside from Jakarta, he is the Philippine curator for the Goethe Institut's international project Riverscapes in Flux 2011-12 (Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines).

Sad sad day today: Apple CEO Steve Jobs dies @ 56

Wall[paper by @jayvee
It's a sad day today. The world has indeed lost an amazing human being today.

I'm sharing a link to his inspiring commencement address to Standford 2005 graduates, a year after he was diagnosed with cancer. His speech is actually a reminder, more like a wake up call at this stage in my life to follow my heart and intuition. 

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Live's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be dramatic, but it is quite true. 

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

September and Typhoons

Photo taken by Hushbox Manila's Kebo Brown
The month of September seems to bring in the killer typhoons in the Philippines. Milenyo (international code name Xangsang) was on September 28, 2006 and  responsible for 200 deaths. Ondoy (Ketsana) was on September 26, 2009 and brought the most rainfall at 455 milimiters, almost double that of the United States' Katrina at 250 milimeters of rain. The death toll passed the 300 mark.

And on the anniversary of the fateful Ondoy, came Pedring (Nesat), the 17th storm that hit the country. I must hand it to PAGASA's (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophsycial and Astromical Services) new administrator Nathaniel T. Servando. His office was relentless in giving updates when it was first spotted as a low pressure area to a Tropical Storm (TS) until it inensified into a  full blown Typhoon. I was in Malapascua's  Gato Island diving when  I read the TS and gale warnings on my twitter feed which I promptly shared with my fellow divers and boatmen.

Photo posted on Facebook
With the repeated updates in literally all media, Pedring claimed only 18 lives and the damage to infrastructure and agriculture pegged at P100.3 billion (ten times more than Ondoy's P10.45B cost). At home, power was restored at 7pm and unfortunately, I still don't have cable TV and internet connection.

As of today, another Tropical Storm codenamed Quiel (Nalgae) was spotted 1,400 kms east of northern Luzon and is expected to enter [to use PAGASA's parlance] Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) this afternoon. According to the Department of Science and Technology undersecretary Graciano Yumul Jr. "it is likely to intensify into a powerful cyclone".   Oh well.. there are four more typhoons expected to enter PAR before yearend - these are codenamed Ramon, Sendong, Tisoy and Ursula.

To help Typhoon Pedring victims, contact:
Philippine Red Cross:  BDO Savings Account 453-0018647
Gawad Kalinga: needs food and water, call +631916 437-9941
UAA&P - food, clothes and medicine, drop off at the University located at Pearl Dive, pasig
Citizen's Disaster Response Center - Metrobank  Account 636-3-63600741-3

Some video clips of Pedring:

Monday, 19 September 2011

X marks the spot for Zero In

Well, you won't see the X unless you go to the upper level of SM Mall of Asia (main entrance area). X is the symbol for the Roman numeral ten and thus, aptly adopted to represent the tenth anniversary of Zero In. 

Zero In is the annual collaboration of five private museums in Metro Manila - these are, Ateneo Art Gallery, Ayala Museum, Bahay Tsinoy, Lopez Museum and Museo Pambata. 

Since 2001, the five museums have been working together, sharing resources, mounting annual multi-museum exhibitions and including lectures and workshops to reach out and make art more engaging and relevant.

This year, Zero In is quite ambitious and is breaking barriers by literally bringing art closer to the public through a mall exhibit dubbed Open Call Arts Festival. The exhibit is more like a teaser showcasing different forms of art forms: cuisine (Ateneo), Japanese manga and cosplay (Ayala), visual (Bahay Tsinoy), sound art (Lopez) and dance (Museo Pambata).  The event is open to the public free of charge and will run until September 24.

Here's what to expect at the mall:

 Carell Belandres  playing  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman from Ninomiya Tomoko’s Nodame Cantabile, a manga about a gifted pianist

Nyko Maca leading dance of Gumboot group of Museo Pambata Child Advocates

Ateneo's interactive food game called Crafty Critters Munch Up

Tad Ermitaño checking out his sound installation artwork  

Eric Ambata's sound art called Lethe shared via QR code capture
Escola de Samba de Manila performing Afro-Brasilian drums and dance

and here's the Zero In gang at the opening

If you do visit, please check out the trees and touch the planter box. Yes, the metallic planter box! It is part of the sound art installation. You will be amazed with the sounds that will come out.

This Saturday, September 24 - catch the following performances:
1pm - Performance by sound artists E.X.I.S.T.  which stands for Experimentation In Sound Art Tradition: Gentle Universe, Caliph8, Manner Villariba, Elemento and Toshiyuki Seido
2pm - Piano performance of Carell Belandres of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman" from Ninomiya Tomoko's Nodame Cantabile, a manga about a gifted pianist
3pm - Performance by sound artist E.X.I.S.T.
6pm - Gunboot dance of Museo Pambata's child advocates with Nyko Maca

Open Call art festival is just one of the many projects lined up by Zero In this year.  Ongoing onsite at each five museums are exhibitions featuring each genre - in Ateneo (until December 22), an interactive food-themed game called Crafty Critters Munch Up  that takes off from its permanent collection; Ayala Museum (until October 2), the world of manga in Manga Realities: Exploring the Art of Japanese Comics Today; Bahay Tsinoy (until October 23), an art installation by Con Cabrera called Kasama; Lopez Museum (until April 3, 2012), performances and sound/media art installations in Reverb; and, Museo Pambata (until October 6) , performances by Gunboot and Batang RO alongside an exhibiton of National Artist for Dance Ramon Obusan's memorabilia entitled Sayaw!.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Climbing Packing List

For those who are planning to climb, here's an equipment checklist that I use for packing. The list is from a local mountaineering group hence, quite 'local' (e.g.white flower and salonpass are included in the list).

1 ground sheet/tarp
1 backpack cover
3 giant plastic (two to waterproof backpack and one to cover backpack at night)
1 earth pad
1 sleeping bag
1 mess kit
2 liter trail water
1 liter empty bottle (for camp water)
1 umbrella
1 camp lamp
1 chopping board
2 zip lock
3 coffee
1 ID
1 pocket money
1 cellphone
1 headlamp and extra batteries (preferably alkaline)
1 comb
1 kernmantle
1 camp pants
1 camp shirt
1 long socks
1 thick socks
1 pair sandals

Med kit: white flower, diatabs, biogesic, hydrogen peroxide, plastic strips, cotton buds and salonpass, sunblock, alcohol, lip balm

Packed Food: 1 breakfast, trail food, chocolates

1 trekking shorts
1 pair trekking shoes
1 trekking shirt
1 pair arm sleeves
1 pair long socks
1 pair thick socks
1 pair trekking gloves
1 camera
1 copy of itinerary
1 group plan
1 whistle
4 pony tails

Wash up Items
1 t-shirt
1 shorts
1 shampoo, conditioner, soap, cologne, toothpaste, toothbrush
1 trovel

Friday, 26 August 2011

Good luck to Philippine Junior Powerlifting Team!!!

As a proud aunt, I am wishing my nephew and his teammates the best of luck. The four of them, all Philippine junior record holders, are leaving tomorrow to compete in the 2011 World Sub-Junior and Junior Powerlifting Championships in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada from August 29 to September 4, 2011.

The team was interviewed yesterday on Channel 4's Teleradyo Sports. Here's Part 1 of the interview:

and Part 2 (my nephew Clark is shown in the frame):

The team is composed of 18-year old Regie Ramirez, [my nephew] 17-year old Clark Cruz, 18-year old Lucas Lorenzo and 17-year  Raymond Debuque. The  delegation is headed by their coach Eddie Torres and assistant coach Allan Paje.

Ramirez who graduated from Valencia High School in Ormoc City, will compete in the 53kg class. He is the 2011 National Open Powerlifting Champion (59kg class), the 21011 National Sub-Junior Powerlifting Champion (53kg class), 2011 Asian Sub-Junior Bench Press Chamption (56kg class), 2011 Visayas Open Champion (56kg class), 2011 Visayas Open Best Lifter awardee and holder of 19 Philippine records - 8 junior, 10 sub-junior and 1 open record.

Cruz, a student of De La Salle Zobel, is the 2011 national Open Powerlifting Champion (74kg class), 2011 National Sub-Junior Powerlifting Champion (83kg class), 2010 Asian Sub-Junior Bench Press Bronze medalist (75kg class), 2010 National Sub-Junior Powerlifting Champion (75kg class), 2010 National High School Champion (75kg class). He is the holder of 22 Philippine records -  9 junior, 9 sub-junior and 4 open.

Lorenzo, a student of Ateneo de Manila, is the 2011 National Sub-Junior Powerlifting Champion (93kg class), 2011 National Sub-Junior Powerlifting Best Lifter awardee, 2010 Luzon Open Powerlifting Champion (93kg class), 2010 Asian Sub-Junior Bench Press Silver medalist (75kg class), 2010 National Bench Press Sub-Junior Champion (82.5kg class) and 2010 National High School Champion (82.5kg class). He is the holder of 14 Philippine records - 5 junior, 5 sub-junior and 4 open.

Debuque, a student at the University of the Phlippines, is the 2011 National Open Powerlifting Champion (120kg class), National Open Sub-Junior Bench Press Champion (120kg class), 2010 Asian Sub-Junior Bench Press Champion (125kg class), National Sub-Junior Powerlifting Champion (125kg class) and 2010 National College Champion (125kg class). He has set 11 Philippine records - 5 junior, 5 sub-junior and 1 open.  

The four teeners will compete against strong contenders from the United States, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Finland. Among the other countries participating are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denamrk, Ecuador, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Iraq, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Sweden, Uzbekistan and Venenzuela.  A total of 294 young powerlifters from 28 countries will compete in this event.

Please pray for the Philippine team and for their safety!! Go Junior Powerlifting team!!!

Red Hot Chili Peppers dedicate "Cant Stop" to Filipinos

AsiaWorld arena was like a Manila venue on August 9, 2011.  A lot of Filipinos flew to Hong Kong to watch the kickoff of Red Hot Chili Peppers world tour concert.

Lead vocalist Anthony Kelidis dedicated his second song "Cant Stop" to us pinoys!! He said, "How are you Hong Kong? I'd like to hear a little bit now from the Filipinos in the audience. This is for you."
watch here:

Friday, 22 July 2011

Birthday wish: help "I dive Culion" Project in Palawan

Isla Culion

Dear Friends,

My birthday is coming up in a few days and this year, I want to do something different. Instead of the usual fanfare celebrating, I've decided to help others and give back to the community.

Since I am passionate about diving, I've decided to help the people of Culion through the "I dive Culion" project that my diver friend Memey is leading together with Father Xavier Alpasa, SJ.

Culion is an island situated at the northernmost part of Palawan in the Phlippines, about an hour away by boat from Coron (Busuanga).  Some of you may remember that Culion used to be a leper colony.

In 1904, during the American period, the then Civil Governor Luke E. Wright signed the transfer of jurisdiction and control of Culion from the Municipality of Coron; and hence, the island has been established as a leper colony. In 1988, the administrative control of the island was transferred from the Department of health to the Municipality of Culion, ending nearly one century of administrative control by the health department.

In 2006, the World Health Organization declared the island free of the disease.

Please note that the "I dive Culion" project is only one of the components of the Isla Culion, Hotel Maya social entreprenurship program of Fr. Alpasa.  His vision is to make the once shunned leper colony, self-sufficient through ecotourism.

As a diver, I want to help create and make the planned dive facility sustainable and income generating. The target is to open a dive center on the island on December 8, 2011. At present, most of the dive centers are located in Coron.

The first step is to train a local as a divemaster. Memey has identified a local "Renli" to undergo dive training from open water to divemaster in Coron.  He needs support as follows:
1. Transportation allowance to Coron for training (P120 one-way x 24 trips) = P2,880
2. Open Water course to start on July 21 - P15,000
3. Advance Open Water course to start on August 21 - P12,000
4. Rescue Course to start on September 21 - P12,000
5. Payment for EFR - P5,000
6. Dive Master Course to start on October 2011 - P31,000

The total cash support to cover Renli's training amounts to P77,800. By the way, he also needs a buoyancy compensator (BC) and regulator to complete his gear. A kind soul already gave him mask and fins.

Of course, aside from training Renli to become a divemaster, the following are also needed:
- dive equipment (in good condition) for the dive shop
- and support for the coral reef protection program

The next step is to educate the residents of Culion (at a later date) on how to protect their environment and preserve their reefs so that eventually, it will be an ecotourism area that will give them employment opportunities.

I do hope I can appeal to your kind hearts to help the "I dive Culion" project. This is either in cash or in kind. I will be visiting and diving there next month - during the four day weekend, and if you want to join, please do drop me a note.

I've always believed that life is short, opportunities are few and I have only so much energy.. So I'm taking this opportunity and focusing my energy on "I dive Culion" as my personal social responsibility this year. I will for sure see it through the d-day on December 8, 2011.

Let me end by sharing what Martin Luther King Jr. said "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?" Thank you and God bless.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Most reliable weather forecast site:!

It's the rainy season alright but strange that its way too hot. I guess we can all point at climate change for this bizarre unpredictable weather. I can no longer rely on my usual weather sources -  AccuWeather and even  Weather Underground-  since lately, both have been pretty off. So, for this weekend's beach plan, I am happy to be introduced to WindGURU.

WindGuru is the preferred site for most windsurfers and kitesurfers. It can provide forecasts in any place on the planet. For the Philippines, it has 36 spots to choose from and I'm pretty sure its all the popular surf destinations. The site gives a forecast for the next few days in increments of  3-hours starting at 05-hour. There is a disclaimer though that the data provided should not be deemed as the official forecast. According to the site, "What you see is only raw model data in human readable format, it's up to you how to interpret it. Please note that models are only models..., predicting weather is extremely difficult task and these models are very complicated, if the forecasts are not perfect, it's normal."

The forecasts are shown in tables indicating the wind speed and direction including the wave height and period, temperature, cloud cover, precipitation in milimeters for every 3 hours and the wind rating.   So, if I do go to Subic this weekend, the weather forecast is:

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

From Russia with Love

I’VE always dreamed of going to Russia, home of Anastasia, Rasputin and Dostoyevsky. The best time to go is during the Easter season when it is unfortunately still freezing (about 0-3 degrees Centigrade) because you practically have most of the tourist spots to yourself, except for the Hermitage. I would recommend a week’s stay—4 days and 3 nights each in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Here are my top picks:

Moscow musts
1. Go around town via the subway primarily to beat the horrible traffic and view the artworks! Established in 1935, there are 132 stations, each of which is made of marble and granite. Each station has a story to tell, from communism to revolution. Some stations are dedicated to the Russian victory over the Nazis. The subway is so far the deepest that I’ve ever been into. It is designed to withstand a nuclear attack and seems sturdy enough to pass for a bunker. My favorite stops are Revolution Square, where you can rub the nose of the bronze statues for good luck, and the pre-World War II Mayakovskaya.  

Monday, 11 April 2011

Marathon du Paris in Spring! Alle!!

It's wonderful to be in Paris, especially during springtime when the weather is just right and the Parisians are in good spirits.

Our group—(shown in photo during the practice run from left) Arnel Bañas, Leah Caringal, Leana Carmona, Tessa Valdes, Lit Onrubia, moi, Lara Parpan, (not in photo) Gem Padilla and husband Nick, the Ong siblings (Jane-Jane, Veronica and Andrew) -- had flown in to represent the Philippines in the 35th edition of the marathon.

This is my fourth international event and second full marathon, the first full was in New York in 2008; and half-marathons in Great Wall (2010) and Hong Kong (2011). 

I must say that New York and Hong Kong were fairly more organzied.  The 45,000 runners in New York were distributed in seven color-coded corrals in Staten Island and had three different wave starts. The corral is based on the projected finish time indicated by the runner in the application form. In Hong Kong, the 65,000 runners were distributed in different wave starts on Nathan Road in Kowloon starting as early as 5am until 9am.  In Paris, all 40,000 runners started at the same time on Avenue des Champs Elysee at 8:45 am with the exception of the handicapped runners who were given a ten minute advantage at 8:35. 
On race day, all streets were closed and the only access to the start line on Avenue des Champs Elysee was through the subway. So, we were up bright and early to make it to George V, the designated meeting place. As you can imagine, it was difficult to find anybody with thousands trying to reach the start line.

It was also a bit chilly and the regulation plastic ponchos found inside our race packet was heaven sent and quite fashionable. In New York, I was freezing at 8-10 degrees Celcius and I, including others, donned black garbage bags making us look rather like a bunch of homeless people than runners.

The team somehow got divided into —the fast ones gunning 4:15 were Lara and the Ong siblings; Tessa, Leana and Lit targetting 5:00; husband and wife team Gem and Nick; and the somewhat injured ones: Arnel who just recovered from a meniscus tear (rupture of the fibrocartilage strip in the kee); Leah with plantar fasciitis (pain in the heel); and moi with iliotibal band friction (pain in the thigh cuasing laterally knee pain).

After depositng our personal affects, we got to Champs Elysee by 8:30. Arnel, Leah and I plodded along for more than 45 minues from the Arc du Triomphe to the start line. The mood was festive with bands playing, crowds waving and cheering. 

Once we crossed the start line, we started the Galloway method, with a 9-min. run and 1-min. walk. The route was mostly on the Right Bank. The first monument was the Egyptian Obelisk in place de la Concorde (the other pair is still in Luxor, Egypt), straight on Rue Rivoli (where my favorite breakfast place Angelina's is located), with the Jardin des Tuileries on the right and the Louvre, past the Hotel de Ville (city hall) then Bastille. We had to preserve our energy because the water stations were spaced 5 kilometers apart; each station though offered a virtual feast with lots of water, oranges, bananas, sugar cubes and sponges.

We reached the eastern point of Paris at Bois de Vincennes, a park three times larger than Central Park (left photo).  The park is right next to Château de Vincennes, which used to be a hunting lodge during the 14th century.

It was here, at the 18-km. mark, that Leah's heel started acting up and couldn’t manage to run and it was too painful to walk. We couldn't find any 'sag wagon' and thus, stopped the first car we saw. The driver agreed to take her back to Paris. (She told us later on that she hitched a ride with the photographers).

The finish cutoff time in Paris was set at 5 hours, 40 minutes. Usually the permits to close streets to make it safe can be costly. New York's cutoff time was generouse at 8-9 hours. Hong Kong and Beijing were strict; in fact in Hong Kong, a net was hoisted at specific cutoff times.  By the time we got back to running, we saw the sweeping cars already buzzing behind us ready to clean the course, and when we reached the water station at the 20th kilometer, the water bottles and everything else were aready in cartons. The volunteers though were kind enough to give us water and fruits. We filled our water bottles and balanced fruits and more water between our hands.

From the Bois de Vincennes, it was back to Bastille down the embankments of the Seine, along the the quais of the Right Bank past the cathedral of Notre-Dame on Ile de Cite. Here  I was tempted to make a quick detour at Berthilion, my favorite ice cream store.  Then  down the tunnel on Voie Georges Pompidou coming out to see the majestic  Eiffel Tower (named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair). At this point, Arnel and I felt like Hansel and Gretel. Volunteers were taking down banners and we were literally following the track of empty bottles, banana and orange peels to find our way.

When we got to the Trocadero (30-km) at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, there was a mishmash of tourists and well-wishers. They were still encouraging us, chanting “Alle, Rosan! Alle, Arnel!” We had to scrounge in the organizers’ boxes for water and bananas.

Another 12-km to go! We headed toward the Bois de Boulogne, the westernmost park of Paris on the 16th arrondisement. This is where the famous Roland Garros stadium, host of the French open is located. The last leg of the race cut through the greenery via Avenue de Longchamps.

Towards the end at the 40-km, we made a dash for the finish line to Avenue Foch. We obviously didn't make the 5:40 cutoff, but happy to see volunteers at the finish line waiting, smiling and handing out medals, T-shirts and water.

As expected, the Ethiopians were the top finishers: Tadesse Tola finished in 2:06:41 and Atsede Baysa in 2:22:04. In our group (shown in photo from the left), Andrew was first at the finish line (4:02:10), followed by Jane-Jane (4:16:46), Veronica (4:21:02), Lara (4:25:29), Leana (4:49:50, not in photo), Lit (4:57:20, not in photo), Tessa broke her personal record with 4:57:23 and Paris-based Pinoy Rupert de Jesus (5:16:34).

Well, Arnel and I finished after seven grueling hours. Thanks to my doctor and coach who both strongly advised to DNF - this is not the dreaded "Did Not Finish" but —Do Not Force!

I must say that this is definitely one of my favorite marathons and, next to the Great Wall Marathon, the most scenic. It’s like a “walking tour” on fast-forward where you get to see one famous Paris monument after another. So for those doing next year, DNF!!!

For those who plan to join next year's marathon, Paris is a bottomless pit of cultural and culinary attractions. Go early to acclimatize. Here are my Top 5 things to do before race day:
1. Museums. There are almost 200 museums in Paris alone, so make sure you visit at least one. We caught the Manet retrospective in Musée d'Orsay when we were in town. Tip: No need to queue, there’s a kiosk by the steps selling tickets.
2. Macarons. My current fave is Paul Henri with its out-of-this-world flavor fusions. Also drop by Laduree ( love the one on Place Madeleine.
3. Brasseries and cafes. When in Paris…sit in a cafe and have an espresso!
4. Church of the Miraculous Medal on Rue du Bac. Also known as Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, among other names, this is known as the site of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the early 19th century. I always make it a point to visit the chapel.
5.  And definitely Shop!  For starters, check out the quaint flea markets, the Boucherie du Grand Marché where they have everything from caserolles to truffles and of course, Rue du Faubourg St. Honore (high end) to Marais and St. Germanin des Pres.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Marikina Valley fault line, earthquakes and what to do...

After the devastating 9.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Japan and triggered the 10m tsunami, experts reveal a grim scenario for Manila.

According to National Institute of Geological Science Mahar Lagmay, the Philippines experience at least 5000 earthquakes each year and a 5.0 magnitude is normal fare. The last strong intensity, 7.9-magnitude earthquake happened 21 years ago on July 16, 1990 (Luzon earthquake that toppled Hyatt Terraces Hotel) and 4 years earlier, on August 17, 1976 (Moro Gulf earthquake).  He said "statistically, the metropolis is likely to be hit on an average by a strong (Intensity VII) earthquake every 17 years; moderately strong (Intensity VIII) earthquake every 79 years; and extremely strong earthquake (Intensity IX) in 112 years."

There are five seismic source zones in the Philippines: (1) Markina Valley Fault System (right photo), (2) Philippine Fault Zone, (3) Lubang Fault, (4) Casiguran Fault and (5) Manila Trench. The Marikina Valley Fault and the Philippine Fault Zone are the ones which can strongly affect Manila.

The Marikina Valley Fault extends all the way North of Angat and cuts through Quezon City, Pasig, Taguig,  Muntinlupa, Sta. Rosa all the way down to the fringes of Tagaytay (click google map here to check location). The magnitudes predcted from the Marikina Valley fault varies from 6-7.0 (Nelson et al, 2000) to 7.2 (MMEIRS, 2004) to a maximum of 7.7 (Rimando & Kneufer, 2006).  Lagmay said that a 7.0 to 7.9 magnitude is considered a ‘major earthquake’ and may cause serious damage with an intensity of VII or higher. Residents living 5m from the left/right of the fault line are warned of the potential damage caused by an earthquake. This is, possible collapse of structures caused by ground shaking and worst, ground rupture. Those living near coastal and river sediments may experience destructive effects due to ground liquefaction.

Based on the evidences of movement collected through the years and using the elastic rebound theory, he said that there is a strong indication that a 7.2 magnitude earthquake may occur. And if this happens, the 2004 MMEIRS earthquake model scenario for a Valley Fault of magnitude 7.2 (referred to as Model 8 or ‘worst case’) estimates: 170,000 residential houses collapse, 340,000 residential houses will be partly damaged, 34,000 persons will die,114,00 persons will be injured. Secondary disaster includes fire breakout that may burn approximately 1,710 hectares and 18,000 additional lives lost. Also, infrastructures and lifelines will also be heavily damaged.

Recently the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has drawn up an earthquake response plan called  "Oplan Metro Yakal". Under the plan, in case of an intensity 8 earthquake, fuel shall be rationed; in case of an intensity 7, classes in all levels will be suspended for three days or more; and in case of a high magnitude quake, all grocery stores will be kept open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m, (assuming they have not collapsed). Four evacuation sites were designated for the different sectors in Manila: North- Veteran’s golf course in Quezon City; South - Villamor golf course in Pasay City; East- Wack Wack golf course in Mandaluyong City; and West - Intramuros golf course in Manila.

Indeed as the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry. Lagman offered tips for earthquake safety and awareness: (1) estimate the size of the earthquake that may occur; (2) given the size, estimate what the shaking will be; (3) given the shaking, estimate the response of different types of buildings.

To plan for an earthquake, he advised to establish a meeting place where all family members can reunite (for those with children, find out about earthquake plans developed by the school),  secure items at home for things that could fall or move; and to remember that transportation may be disrupted and best to prepare an emergency surivval kit that is good for 72 hours. The kit should contain essential provisions like water (about 3.5 lites or gallon per person per day), food, a whistle, flashlight and extra batteries, a first aid kit with necessary medicine, antiseptic, scissors, bandages. Rice, easy to open canned goods, noodles and a transistor radio is good to have. Have emergency cash and important documents like passports and hospital records within reach and wear sturdy shoes. 

Lastly, in case of earthquake, the best protective action is to "duck-cover-hold". Below is Philvoc's guide on what to do before-during-after an earthquake: