Archive for the ‘social sector’ category

San Sebastian Church 1891, Coconuts, CCT reflections

March 29, 2013

San Sebastian Church 1891, Coconuts, CCT reflections

Ed, Angela and I went to San Sebastian church in Legarda as part of the church visits during lenten season. As we enter the church, our eyes looked up at the Gothic inspired structure which was magnificent. We say thanks to all the stone workers who built this church and framed by Eiffel in steel. My mind and eyes were nourished by the stained windows and its portrayal of the rosary mysteries.

As i meditated inside such century-old churches, I ask, what can we do for the faithful, the disempowered, the people of God (as we preferred to describe our brethen rather than say poor) ?

Thousands of people were going in and out of the churches, but there were two sights that made me think : the enterprising informal vendors and the blind old beggars who were around the churches.
In Intramuros, there were a hundred food vendors selling food and drinks, mostly corn, camotes, bananas and rice cakes . We bought tupig, fried camote and bibingka. My mind went then to the CCT, why not help people make delicious staple food and rice cakes to sell during festivals and close all the malls ? The malls are open longer than these stalls during the whole year , the owners can use the time to do their inventories .

Why not inspire people to use their time and labor to become enterprising rather than be dependent on CCT? We were told by a friend Maitet D that the workers who used to braid coir fibers into ropes adn mats have stopped working because they get cash anyway. Other friends say the same with the cct-atms being pawned not for the children’s education nor for natal healthcare but for gambling debts. With 34.9 billion pesos, we can do rural agro-industrial devt among the poorest of farmers and fisherfolks. The coconut industry can use 10 billion to build village type CNO plants (copra made into crude oil) that can run from 25 million pesos plus and help coconut copra farmers to manage their own plants and sell to refineries. Then the copra wont be sold at P15 per kilo and the crude oil can be sold in tons to refineries. Replanting of three million hectares can be supported by DA and a research team that can study how Mexico runs its research on in producing thousands of coconut seeds from one genotype.

With 15 billion pesos, we can make urban cities sustainable for the citizens by designing antifragile structures like the one that Eiffel did for San Sebastian to survive earthquakes and fires.

We can make millions of mudballs to clean the polluted rivers and esteros (mudballs cost P5@) and have a thousand Pasig boats and ferries offer commuters faster and safer travels. Pasig river can also be transformed into river markets.

There are many governance innovations by LGUs and Galing Pook awardees with social and economic impact that the Pnoy cabinet can replicate especially now that Pnoy has 3 more years to serve. With 10 billion pesos, many can be mentored on zero-death disaster action programs and our people need not suffer from climate changes. Farm to market roads can be built by a club of lgus pooling their equipment and engineers at the cost of P400,000 per kilometer which has been demonstrated by PALMA LGUS in Mindanao. Towns and villages can become staple-food sufficient with the Dept of Agriculture assisting the farmers and lgus in knowledge and machinery support.

This lent, i really pray for all our leaders who hold the purse to think deeply as they spend their vacation in five star hotels and leisure venues. I pray that a special fire will enlighten our DBM, DUF, DSWD, DTI, DPWDH, BIR, DILG and the Palace officials as Easter church bells ring on sunday morning. Amen

Hunger Games: How to win these games?

August 13, 2012

For those who are hungry, cannot find affordable good food, ask yourself: Where ?

For those who are hungry, can buy healthy food you desire, ask yourself: Where ?

For those who never knew hunger, are willing to help those who are hungry, ask us: How?

All these questions are targetting people who can join SOAP: Support Organic Agriculture in the Philippines. SOAP is one big answer to the hunger games.

Sandy Celi and thirty more  food catalysts are running a directory for organic agriculture practitioners, suppliers, agriclients and  health advocates. It is a private volunteer initiative that needs time, energy and goodwill. People here are spending their energies for a cause: To end hunger now.

My blog is about hunger alleviation and i started with 3 questions to reach the foodies and goodies among us. Why? When you look at the rate of hunger in our country, you will discover that millions among our  landless farmers,small fishers and  coconut workers eat twice a day and it is not even a full meal.  I used to feed street children every week in our village for a decade until they grew old enough to earn their daily needs. Now i feed more  informal settlers who lose their jobs and homes to fire, floods and demolitions.

I have stopped  putting the blame on inefficient government agencies, limited church projects, civil organizations who generate more money but serve less, corporate foundations with lots of advocacies but low on impact. Since life is precious, time is my only resource, I have focused on what can help people feel good in an hour, learn in a day and make their bodyminds grow – that is food and food lessons.  But since I am not a millionaire nor  can get a sponsor billionaire, I have to get people who can run better services – that is the SOAP people. They are in Facebook and are easy to link up with.

Why we need to help Mt. Pinatubo Aetas do Organic Farming cum Rainforestation

December 5, 2011

Three Advent Calls to help our Aeta friends sustain the organic farming and rainforestation in Mt. Pinatubo now.

Please consider the following and read more from the web sources.
“Scientists know that increasing SO2 in the air deflects sunlight, which cools down the earth; when Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines exploded in 1992, for instance, the SO2 sent into the atmosphere created a brief global cooling spell.”

“When Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991, the amount of sulfuric ash it sent into the stratosphere cooled global ground temperatures by 1°F for the next two years. To be fair, it hadn’t erupted for six centuries, so there was some catching up to do. A year before the eruption, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck about 60 miles northeast of Pinatubo, causing landslides and an increase in steam emissions from one of the volcano’s geothermal areas, ultimately setting the stage for the 1991 explosion. While the eruption resulted in more than 700 deaths, many scientists predicted the explosion, thus saving the lives of an estimated 5,000. Still, the eruption produced one of the most dramatic environmental scenes ever witnessed. With ash that rose 22 miles into the sky, it is considered the second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century.”

“Convert agriculture from chemical fertilizer to organic fertilizer derived from biodigestion of the biomass waste stream. That’s a way to cancel huge amounts of methane (due to fertilizer and manure runoff acting to decompose cellulose in wetlands) and nitrous oxide from chemical fertilizer and manure. Not to mention that biogas from the process of making organic fertilizer can help to backup distributed generation and storage smart grids.” The AETAS with Education for Life (ELF) and the Dept of Agriculture (DA) have a FOOD Security project in Zambales, especially in Botolan. We are assisting them in developing  biodiversity in their ancestral domain in Mt. Pinatubo and provide enough organic food for the indigenous communities so they will live above the poverty line. Their work is  beneficial to all of us, locally,nationally and globally. For every peso/dollar we give to the project, it saves the Earth from heating up.

1.Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1931993,00.html#ixzz1fdeXpBBJ

2.http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2014572_2014574_2014585,00.html #ixzz1fdfqRHdw

3.http://www.grist.org/article/2009-11-03-superfreakonomics-chapter-climate-change

Becoming mentally and emotionally healthy

March 18, 2010

Today, I greeted my garden with gratitude. My whole veranda faces the east and is blooming with white and pink bougainvillas. Everyday I notice more bouquets are added and the whole roof is half full of blooms. What does this mean ? Two years ago, I learned plant talk when I read a book about the secret life of plants. Tony and Beth de Castro gave  me the book and since then, I have experimented on the theory that plants can communicate with humans. I told the plants in my house to give me signs as to what I need to focus on by showing me white flowers  first inside my garden and pink outside our gate if I should serve as a bodytalk educator. Well, this summer , the whole front canopy is beaming with pink and fuschia blooms while  my inner garden, white bouquets. So I get the message.

Last year, Dorothy Friesen with Myrla Baldonado  came from the US  to  introduce the Bodytalk system. Ed, I and a group of friends in ELF and  other ngos took the course on BodyTalk Access. We practiced for six weeks and I did it almost weekly for a year. It gave us many discoveries on wellness and illness.  This year 2010,Dorothy Friesen and Myrla Baldonado returned for another schedule of BodyTalk  learning and we met Ben Manalo, a Pinoy-American who is a certified BodyTalk System trainer. The two  modules Ben gave  us opened ourselves to an energy system that is truly amazing.

Many friends whom I offered to have a session on bodytalk have a common feedback : “It relaxed us .We  felt so free when our bodies and minds  were being balanced. We do feel clarity now  in our life. The session is so gentle and empowering.”

When Ed and I went to  Cambodia I offered it to the Pinoy expats and ten people asked for a session. They all got a de-stressing and I added a life goal for each of them. That really made them wonder why their bodies affirmed it.People kept asking me how I get  their bodies to talk even when they were sleeping already. I told them a big word – neuro muscular feedback. I told them I ask a priority from a body part and  wait if it  is answered by a YES or a NO . I have a navigation chart that guides me when I scan the body for messages.   Even if they didnt fully understand it, they felt it was good I listened well. Of course I listened so well that I have now a  clarity I never had. I can almost feel the healing zone when I start the session and request permissions. Oh  how those bodies talked! It was like being in a body universe  where the organs systems , from the brain to the kidneys, want to tell me how they were faring ! Talk of a skull joint that wanted balancing or of a scar that had a long story and needs to heal completely .

When I trained to do BodyTalk, I did  not expect to be informed that our own body wisdom is growing since inception. What did I discover? We have the healing resources to care for ourselves. We can be mentally and emotionally healthy all our life, no matter what stress and issues come into our environment.

I told everyone who came to receive the session that they will experience new and old things in the session about their selves but that is not because of me –  the things they will experience comes with  their own emotional and mental clarity. A session can last for 5 to 45 minutes, depending on how balanced or imbalanced the person is. By balanced, it means the whole body system is able to take care of each other and there are no energy blocks. As a metaphor, the body system can communicate to all the links and there are no communication problems. Everyone gets the attention that the brain and heart give. When a person is well, she/he is able to function creatively and productively. A person at peace  and feels ease with herself/himself – that is a balanced person. A confused and unhappy person – can be ill or experience dis-ease with life.

BodyTalk system is an effective and affordable healthcare system. If I were a policy advocate of the DOH  and the wellness community , I would  promote BodyTalkSystem  as part of  the continuing education course for many of our doctors , nurses and caregivers. It is the complementary medicine of the 21st century. Really portable especially in the rural areas where there are not enough primary health systems in place.

How to start 10 million solutions for climate change with two solutions

January 17, 2010

Ed blogged about Earthday’s campaign for ten million solutions. “Girlie, let’s list small and big actions to get the ball rolling for climate change.”Ed said as his first task one  morning. “Well, we are already doing it in our house and in the  E4 Resource Center in marunong street.” I replied.  So for everyone, we will share  our   small and easy solutions.

First, cultivate three plants :  mother-in-law-tongue plants, areca palms and money plants  in your house and office. These three plants are  effective in cleaning the air toxins inside the house and office. The scientist Kamal Meattle explained that it you have all three in shoulder length heights, it will convert carbon dioxide to oxygen and  also rid the air of nitrogen oxide and formaldehyde.   If  you dont know what these plants  looks like,  go to http://www.ted.com and find Kamal Meattle as  speaker on cleaning the air .

Second, start learning bodytalk.  It simply means, ask your mind what needs to  prioritize and do it with the whole body in balance . To understand how to do it , visualize your whole self as a growing universe  of  websites, bigger than Facebook and Google  subscribers . Go and imagine yourself as a   living computer, with a superb operating system and a search engine that can go anywhere, inside other operating systems, living or nonliving.  Each day, whether you are awake or asleep, your bodyweb operating system  is at work, sensing, asking  and communicating, working with millions of  your neurons, cells, nerves, bones, muscles and ideas and dreams . Every second, messages are sent by the brain to the heart to  monitor what needs to grow, glow and go.  With our lives becoming enriched by so many messages inside and outside our bodies, we select what we need or want to do. It’s fine  we are healthy and in tune with all that we are. But when we get ill and dont heal easily, then it means our body system is not able to work as it should. There may be a virus wrecking havoc on our codes and deleting vital signals. When we cannot make sense of what is happening and  health professionals tell us we have a serious  incurable disease like ALS , then it means  we failed  to listen to all the signals our brain was serving us.

But we dont have to wait  for a death sentence . We can  learn in one hour or one day  how the brain and heart balances  its  health act. Bodytalk is based on this discovery of our body universe and its innate wisdom . It  combines Western and  Eastern medicine to provide us a portable health operating system. It’s features are easy and even young children from ages one to five can do it.  It is a system that allows all living things and non-living things to contribute, like a universe in synchrony. Hence , a vital contribution to changing our lives and  environment for the better.

Bodytalk has many health programs and one of the better systems is that of the International BodyTalk Association . Please visit its website http://bodytalksystem.com and learn what,why and how it serves our need for effective healthcare.

Now with these two solutions, my day is complete. I can breath better and get my bodyweb growing, mother-in-law tongue plantglowing and going well into my 60th birthday.

They are our Mothers

December 2, 2009

Since the massacre in Maguindanao, I have been grieving and reading all the articles  and reports. The one item that has not been discussed is the fact that many of the victims were mothers,  both were Muslims and  Christians, some were human rights lawyers, media,  teachers and professionals, but many were mothers. I do not accept that what happened is part of the rido culture and that demons were behind the massacre. To reduce this brutality to a Muslim cultural practice is to excuse the masterminds and inflict more injustice to our Moro sisters and brothers. To label the killers as demons is to box in  criminal minds  and bar people from doing the right thing . Demonizing criminals enhances their power, imposes a climate of fear and weakens action that is possible among citizens. Many clans, from Cagayan to Basilan, even those in  Metro Manila must act against such powerful display of brutality, that lawlessness in those areas challenge members of the the modernizing elite to reform our justice and political  system. It is a fact that during elections, more violence is committed by those in power. Steinbeck said that  ” power corrupts but  the fear of losing power corrupts more.”

What should we do now ?  There is a Buddhist practice that we can develop as  a meme  : mindfulness and seeing the mother in all of us.  In planting the motherhood meme , we must regard  both victims and enemies as mothers. The power to kill mothers, wives, sisters should not be allowed to take root in our nation. This power can be challenged when we switch to  a powerful meme :  that all of us are mothers.  As mothers, women and men  have the power of life and truth. We carry every life to full term and  we have the duty to raise our voices and end all these  violence.

Every week, get people to wear their protest.

Then around Xmas time, enliven the period with loving mothers  issuing the call for truth and justice. Mga Ina ng Bayan tayong lahat.

Living on a Green Budget

October 23, 2009

There are five green things I do for making our  future  greener and  healthier.

After three weeks of cleaning the house and retrieving our  wet documents and books, Ed and I realized that we had accumulated so many books and papers. I counted the books that Ed had bought in the last 20 years since we came home. One fourth  has  been read and used for lectures, one half has been read but  gathering dust and molds, and the rest, has been unread and unused. Then I made a note which books I can still keep in the house and which ones  we will have to donate to libraries and resource centers. But it is difficult to let go, mind and heart since Ed and I love books. Half of our surplus money is spent on books.  So the  green act  is to choose  a book, a file, a document  one feels valuable but  is  growing  moldy, take it and  feed to the worms. Educate the vermi.

Second green move, go to the pantry or kitchen  and make a note of what you  eat. Usually we spend about P6000 a month on groceries and food  but we now buy what we need for three days. We planted  some vegies and herbs in the vacant lot beside our house and would pick leaves for tea, salads and soups. After Ondoy and Pepeng, we noticed that our garden was full of  balanoy, mint, chives, serpentina, talinum, tarragon, sambong and alugbati. I was so happy to note that  the floods didnt drown them so in gratitude, I started  giving edible bouquets to friends such as Gilda Cordero Fernando for her opening  art exhibit, to the young feminists in JAZZ and exchange saplings for cakes with Pi. Everyday that we prune the herb and vegetable vines and bushes, they keep growing  abundantly.  My  friends, make edible gardens now.

Third green item was to use vinegar for most of the cleaning of the drawers and cabinets that became moldy with the floods. One spoon for every liter of water in a  spray bottle and sprayed them inside drawers and cabinets. The I put them out to dry under the sun. Wow, they all looked clean and gone was the foul smell. next week, I will dry pandan leaves and put them in the cabinets to rid them of cockroaches.

Fourth green act is to take all the fake wood furniture  ( those desks and chairs  that got warped from the flood) and give them to others who can use them for firewood. We found our house cleaner and bigger after giving away four damaged desks. We are thinking of bamboo papags when we can get them cheaper in the provinces.

Fifth green resolution is to re design our clothes. Since we dont really follow fashion trends, we can pare down our clothes to the season’s challenge –  water repellant, climate change suitable  and shrink free clothes. Ayen is telling me to go shop at 168 for new clothes but until I know they sell the most comfortable, the lightest rain-thunder-lightning pants and shirts, I will stick to my old attire and paint it with slogans

”  I will make my Yearning greener than my past”.

or “Make your questions greener than your answers.” Amen


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