30 November 2013

Good news about Panitugan and Biagayag

Map by Leigh Lingad

We have receive good news from our contact, Anthony "Dicoy" Castroverde, this afternoon.  The islets of Panitugan and Biagayag have been given tents by some donors.

We hope the other two islets - Moamboc and Silagon - will get some temporary shelters soon.  As far as we know, the people in Silagon have started building their temporary shelters from whatever they can find.

Three days ago, Shane wrote Malteser International to inform them about the situation of the islets when we learned that they are going to Bantayan and other areas areas in the Visayas aside from Samar and Leyte.  We have not received any reply from them until now but we hope that they will visit these two islets (or all of these islets) for some more assistance.  We really hope that Silagon and Moamboc will be given temporary shelters as soon as possible.

29 November 2013

Article:Yolanda and I

I wrote an article about Typhoon Yolanda and it was published on the Friedrich Naumann Foundation's website.

It was a relief for my part to have written it.  I have been able to process my feelings about what have happened.  

28 November 2013


Uplifting the community is a kind of rebuilding...

With our little project, we will try to uplift the Silagon community's spirit by giving them a Noche Buena feast.  Given the money we have collected to-date we can give each household, in addition to the Christmas dinner, food packs.

One of our volunteers is an architect and he is working now on designing a simple community hall that can serve as a community shelter and as an activity center in the future.  We might be able to help them build a small one or possibly a bigger one.  We are still hoping that our collected donations will be enough by 15 December. 

We cannot provide each of the households enough materials to rebuild their houses and this they understand.  However, we are trying our best to get the attention of other organizations to glance their way and hopefully give them some temporary/permanent shelters.


Photo from http://choosephilippines.tumblr.com/post/28294231119/asean-org-asean-community-filipino-spirit-of

27 November 2013

Donations to-date

Thank you very much to everyone who have contributed in cash and in kind to this project!  For trusting us with your gift to the residents of the islets!

We have now collected close to 50,000.00Php and some more are "in transit" to our account.

The money that we have collected will be enough to give the 89 families (~500 persons) of Silagon a simple Noche Buena for Christmas.  In addition, we will be able to give them food packages that will last a family of four for a week.  

We are still hoping to have additional donations to enable us to build a little shelter for the community and give the kids some school supplies.

We are still accepting donations and will keep this project going even after Christmas.  

We are now selling the HIP Shirts and HIP bags will be out soon.

Launching of HIP Shirts

We have launched our HIP Shirts today for you to enjoy!  It's HIP and purchasing it will help islets in the Philippines.

It's just 430Php and comes in black, blue and white shirts.  To see how it looks like, please check our Be HIP! page.

Place your orders as soon as possible to guarantee to get this cool shirts!

Be HIP with the HIP shirts!

We would like to thank Patrick Leiber for the design and Nolly Tragico for the super discounted printing.

25 November 2013

Call for Volunteers!

We need volunteers for the following groups:

Repair and Rebuild
Kids’ Corner
Camp and Safety
Runners and Scouts
Christmas Party
-   Assists the community in the repair and the rebuilding
-   Helps the community volunteers prepare food for all the volunteers
-   While everyone’s busy, the kids should be too through art work, games, storytelling

-   Ensures camp safety and security
-   Resourceful people needed to make sure the supplies needed are available
-   Use your creativity for this celebration; we will make it FUN, FUN, FUN!

Interested?  Send us an email with the following information:

Full name:
Mobile Number:
Duration of Stay:
Preferred Group/s:
Additional Info:

Find the tentative schedule here!


24 November 2013

Shelter needed!

People on the islets need shelter.  We were just told that people are back to their respective islets.  When I asked a friend who was just there for delivering relief, she said that there are no more houses on the islets.  I was actually hoping that it was only their roofs that got blown away... but sadly, no.

We will scout shops in Bacolod and Iloilo tomorrow for some tents.  Just hoping that there's an ongoing sale.

I am in Bacolod at the moment and it is raining.  I can't imagine what the situation of the people on the islets are with their makeshift shelters.  It can be cold.  Children and the elderly are our concern.

If you got spare tarps and tents, we would be happy to bring them to the islets.

We have now agreed to initially use the available money for some rice and some tents to be delivered to Silagon as soon as possible.

Feel free to contact us!

The tents that you will donate can be a source of income in the future for the people in the island.  They can rent it to tourists in the future.  Just an idea!

Assessment (1)

View on the way to main land Bantayan.
Courtesy of Ms. De Ramos
Our coordination and link to the Bantayan Island group is through Mr. Anthony Castroverde, the Mayor's Executive Assistant of the Municipality of Bantayan.  With the first conversations with him last week, he articulated how difficult the situation on the island is.  Even though Bantayan is one of the severely hit areas of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, it was never the focus of the media and of the national government’s support.
With our intention to find out where we could help more effectively to this island group, we were told by Mr. Castroverde that the islets of Barangay Sulangan receive very less relief and attention.  That is how we came about the idea of supporting these islets – Silagon, Biagayag, Panitugan, and Moamboc.

We waited for the figures to come in so that we can also strategize how to support these islets with our limited resources.  As per latest information from Mr. Castroverde, here is the number of households per islet:

·         Silagon – 89
·         Moamboc – 204
·         Panitugan – 172
·         Biagayag – 101

If we estimate 3-5 persons per household, we will not possibly cover all the islets.  We have now initially agreed on working with the Silagon community as it would be impossible for us at this time to commit to all the islets.

Today, I was supposed to head to Bantayan and check the area.  The objective was to meet with the local leaders, agree on what support are to come from us, and arrange the activity for 21-30 December.

I postponed my trip since I caught flu.  In addition, the ferry connection is not yet back to normal.  There is only one ferry per day and if I did go, I have to stay the night and back in Bacolod afternoon of Monday (which I cannot afford due to work). 

It turned out to be a good decision and coincidence since the Islamic Relief is also in Bantayan Town (and earlier than me).  I could have not possibly talked to our contact because he needed to accompany them to other island barangays.

As to other coordination established, Xavier University is on a mission in in northern Cebu covering psycho-trauma, post disaster assessment, sanitation, medical mission and relief. They are based at Medellin (mainland Cebu). I contacted the person who is currently in Bantayan and asked him to include our areas in their assessment.  They are willing to share their findings and I hope to get feedback from them in the coming days.

Bangon Bantayanons, an initiative to help the whole island group of Bantayan is also now informed about our initiative.  This is make the coordination much easier and to share information and resources.  We have linked them as well at this blogsite.

So for now, I will wait for Mr. Castroverde if he ever go to Bacolod in the next days.  I plan to visit Bantayan next weekend to bring some rice, tents, tarps and candles.  If you want to share something, please contact us.