Issues of the day

Senator Pia Cayetano on Headstart

I missed the Headstart episode on ANC yesterday morning. I could watch it on Iwantv but via Twitter [I follow (and admire) both Karen Davila (@Karen_DaviLa) and Senator Pia (@piacayetano)] I got this link to the transcript so I read on (click image to see the transcript)

Just through the words I can already feel Sen. Pia’s passion about the RH Bill, and getting it discussed and eventually passed. She is right, there is probably much support from legislators, but because it’s nearly election time and it’s a controversial topic, they are not very forthcoming with their position.

What is wrong with us? The RH Bill makes so much sense. It is relevant. Why can’t we get it passed into law? It is true, much of its provisions can be implemented without having to be put into law, but then you leave it to the incumbent ruling party, whoever that may be at any given time, whether or not provide these vital services.

We cannot leave it up to the president, or the next Mayor, or Barangay Captain, to determine the type of reproductive health care assistance women and teenagers receive. Not anymore. The law must provide for it. It is also apparent that the proposed bill does not dictate a specific budget, only that a budget must be approved based on the recommendation of the DOH, based on expert recommendation.

When I worked in children’s rights’ advocacies, Reproductive Health was also a hot topic. Everyone agrees that depending on a child’s evolving capacities, they must receive relevant information on this, specially since their lives may depend on it. We supported RH and respected NGOs that actually gave away condoms to older girls. But we never advocated early sex. It is possible. It is possible to educate children about sexuality without encouraging them to do it before they are responsible enough for the consequences.

Let’s not be hypocrites. I guess in some ways I am. I’ve never been really comfortable talking about sex, specially not my own experiences. But we have to admit that in this age, sex before marriage happens more times than we care to acknowledge. The RH bill seeks the protection of women, married or not, so that they can receive the information and help they need.

Many are prone to be Pro RH Bill as a means for population control. Although that is a valid issue too, Sen. Pia argues that the RH Bill is first foremost a gender and health issue.

Now I realize that I may have readers who are against the RH bill. I respect that. But also think of this: if you have no need for this law, there are thousands and perhaps millions of other Filipino women and girls out there who do. You may not directly benefit from the law, but do not deprive those who desperately need the services that it seeks to put in place.

I am a woman. And I support the RH bill.


If you have time to check your Facebook stream, or go blog hopping, then you have roughly 30 minutes to spare. Spend it to watch this video. You simply must.


Thank you.

I will not tell you why you must support this campaign, I think he’s said it all. I will tell you though that I was deeply moved by this video. This is not news to me, these children were once not invisible to me. I am aware of the plight of these children and their stolen childhood. I have heard of the LRA before. But like so many others, I knew, but didn’t do anything. Or maybe I did, but then I forgot about it.

We shouldn’t forget. We can’t forget. Kony and his army must be stopped. And this is the year to do it.

Support the Invisible Children, in any way you can.


Are you Disaster Prepared?


Living in a disaster-prone area (we’re number 5, high risk for flooding), one would think that we’ve learned our lessons and are ready for another big flood. Well, in some ways we are, but in other ways, we’re not.

Two things inspire today’s post. First, the flash floods triggered by Typhoon Sendong in Cagayan de Oro City and nearby areas in Mindanao. Iligan is also affected. Second, a Pin I found on Pinterest.

Before I proceed though let me link you up to where you can send help for the victims of Sendong:

– Link list from How to help Sendong’s victims. Donating thru your mobile is also possible!

Sagip Kapamilya account numbers for cash donations

– Local Groupon also gives you an easy way to Donate to the victims of Tropical Storm Sendong today! (Red Cross gets your donations)

Prayers are free.


As for the Pinterest inspiration, here it is:

Source: via Vera on Pinterest



Do you have a disaster plan for your home and family? Do you at list have an emergency bag you can grab as you head out of your house? We have batteries, flashlights, and a battery-operated radio. Apart from that, we don’t have an emergency kit. We don’t even have a first aid kit anymore.

I think that this big problem of disaster unpreparedness in the country stems from the fact that we aren’t that conscious of preparing for what may come. I mean, seriously, if you’re Pinoy and living in the Philippines, do you have an emergency plan for your family in case of fire, flooding, massive power outages, earthquakes, etc?

Of course, the government is supposed to take care of us in situations like this. They have institutions specifically tasked with this purpose. It is their job to think of us. But if we want them to get better at it, we probably should start at home. Propagate the message until it becomes part of culture to be ready for any form of disaster or natural calamity. We have to be proactive, rather than reactive. That goes for both government and its citizens.

After Ondoy, companies checked on their buildings’ emergency exits and provisions. Fire drills were scheduled and executed. Whistles were given away. Good start. But what have we done in our own homes to ensure we are ready? What have our schools done to ensure the safety of our kids should tragedy strike while at school?

I mean, truly, our national disaster management plan must be reviewed ASAP. More localized ones should be too. If the national government is too slow in coming up with a better plan, let’s do the reverse and start from home. Maybe we can influence the village, the barangay, district, city and move on to provinces and the whole country.

We can all do something about it. And I’m not talking about sending in your donations after tragedy strikes.

Finally, click through that link along with the photo. This parent’s letter to her son, made me tear up a little.

And here’s a blog that kinda fits the theme of this post. The Burning House shows photos of people’s answers to the question:

If your house was burning, what would you take with you?

I’m still thinking of my answer. Have you thought of yours?

Impressions of the BDJ Power Planner

The Belle de Jour Power Planner 2012 was launched last month, October16th, at an all-day event at the Eastwood. In keeping with the travel theme of the planner, the fair was dubbed Take Flight. We don’t usually go to events like that, but Alfred and I went out on a hot Sunday afternoon to check it out.

I must admit though, I wasn’t really after the planner, but an online vendor was having a booth at the fair and I so wanted to check them out in person.

Off we went. Walked around and missed the entrance to the fair, and walked around some more before finding it. Straight to the Suelas booth we went. I picked a pair of shoes and then we moved on to see the rest of the tents.

Since there was 20 pesos off the price of the planner, I decided to go ahead and get one. 2012 would be the 6th year that Viviamo, the company behind BDJ, is crafting these special planners for the modern Pinay. This is my first one, ever.

Photo Nov 10, 6 45 26 PM

Photo Nov 10, 6 50 40 PM

I got it before I ever saw photos of the 2012 Starbucks planners – which I think I want to get too. I skipped on the 2011 planner but I got one as a gift. (You can read about my Starbucks planners here, and here)

It’s just the right size, not too thick and not too heavy.

Photo Nov 10, 6 47 11 PM

I love that it has a, what do you call it? A band to keep it closed when it gets too thick. Smile

Photo Nov 10, 7 00 42 PM

Purchase comes with a BDJ card, which I think can be used with vendors to get discounts, or to access events. It’s also a membership card.

Photo Nov 10, 7 21 17 PM

It came in a pocket page that looks like a temporary insert. I’m looking at keeping it there though. A pocket for loose paper and other stuff I tend to collect. Smile

Photo Nov 10, 7 20 14 PM

And the inside pages are great! I can totally see it being a Smashbook of sorts! Check out some of the inside pages on their site here. I only took a photo of this first page with a nice message:

Photo Nov 10, 6 56 51 PM

It also has sooooo many discount coupons! All those discounts more than make up for the cost of the planner itself. For just these, the BDJ Power Planner should be in every girl’s list of unusual gifts for her.

I’m still not sure if I will use this or give it away. See, I’m not a very organized person and a ‘power’ planner really isn’t my thing. I’ve recently started making lists and like doing them and ticking things off the list, so maybe I’m changing too. So yes, I will probably keep this and use it. So will I skip Starbucks Christmas this year? Maybe not. I can never have too many notebooks anyway. Smile

Take Action to End Famine

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch ONE’s new video “The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity” and sign the petition to world leaders.

The reasons for the famine in the Horn of Africa are complex and solutions are difficult, especially in Somalia, but we can’t lose sight of some simple facts:

  1. 1. 30,000 children have died in just 3 months. Thirty thousand. With over 12 million people at risk.
    2. Famine is not a natural catastrophe – drought doesn’t have to lead to famine. It can be prevented, as we’ve seen in much of Kenya and Ethiopia.

In the 21st century, it’s an obscenity that people are dying because they can’t get enough food to eat. Every one of those 30,000 children is part of a family – a son, a daughter, sister or brother. We can’t imagine what it must be like to starve to death, but most of us know what it’s like to lose someone we love.

Please watch the film and make use of the voice you have — sign the petition.

It will make a difference in putting pressure on world leaders to do more to help those in need right now, and live up to promises already made to invest in the things proven to work – early warning systems…irrigation…drought resistant seeds… and of course, peace and security.


Text copied from Posting here instead of sending via email blast to friends.

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