Northern Luzon needs your help!

Note: continuing updates/alerts/information via my Twitter account.

Please read this appeal in the Marocharim Experiment: Northern Luzon needs your help:

Typhoon Pepeng is wreaking havoc in Northern Luzon. There are reports of landslides, floods, and devastation in the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, and my homeland of the Cordilleras. The worst part for me, personally, is that many of my friends still live in the area, and are suffering the brunt of this storm. Messages from friends are describing a waterworld in Baguio that I never got to experience in 22 years of living there, and it saddens me to realize that the geography of Northern Luzon makes it a challenge to help people.

Let us rise up to that challenge; not only as Filipinos, but as human beings who help out in times of calamity, disaster, and devastation.

For us here in Metro Manila, the Internet has been a powerful tool for rescue and recovery in the wake and wrath of Typhoon Ondoy. We can harness that same power for the victims of Typhoon Pepeng up north, and perhaps translate that to a relief effort that will alleviate their suffering.

The scale of the calamity -following at the hells of the calamitous past days in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces- means all those involved in Typhoon Ondoy relief are already exhausted and resources are stretched. The ongoing power failures in Metro Manila are also surely hampering the coordination of relief and rescue efforts, as well as the receiving, collation, and transmittal of information.

An overview of the situation as its developing can be gleaned from this map:
View GMANews.TV Storm Watch: Pepeng in a larger map. For the database version of this map, see Typhoon Pepeng Disaster Response Database. To add a report to the database, Use this Online Form.

Other media organizations establishing their own maps (see ABS-CBN’s Northern Luzon Floods October 2009) but I think it’s necessary at this point to appeal to the media organizations, considering the scope of the disaster and the manner in which the public is turning to media as an adjunct to official channels, to consolidate their efforts. All media outfits can rely on the same map and form a pool of volunteers to maintain it. A common reference is a wiser use of resources than simply insisting on duplicating work or information on the shallow basis of not using information branded by one media entity.

Once again, online volunteers are passing along updates and appeals for rescue/relief. Volunteers are also preparing themselves for a fresh round of relief efforts.The ad hoc tools that emerged from the Ondoy Calamity have been brought out once more and are being used for consolidating and collating rescue efforts, situation updates, and aid efforts.

Please make sure that all appeals for help or situation reports you encounter online are reported here: RescueHub North Luzon: SOS Calls. Encourage people to send SMS (Text) updates if no Internet connection for any concerns or to report additional cases, please contact the volunteers updating the RescueHub at 09159885674 (Edgar), 09233151120 (@kay_bu) or 09299509173 (@bicolanodevil).

See Ralph Guzman: Holtine Numbers for Northern Luzon Typhoon Victims for national and regional numbers to call. I suggest we all use this directory as the Master Directory, and perhaps find a way to maintain a Consolidated Directory for all bloggers to refer to, again to minimize unecessary duplication of effort. Zambales is operating on this principle.

For organizations and volunteers, concerned family members and friends, please refer to Bayanihan Online, which is consolidating Twitter/FaceBook updates, appeals, and information.

Donations to the Philippine National Red Cross, to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, various Catholic and religious charities, will be required. Once again, Official Philippine Government Regulations on Donating for Relief. And please refer to How to Avoid Donations for Flood Victims From Being Taxed at Customs:


Donations in kind are welcome & can be sent directly (door-to-door) to their Quezon City Headquarters in

c/o David Liban
389 Quezon Avenue corner West 6th Street,
Diliman, Quezon City Philippines

Please send an email to [email protected] or call +632 3727777 to inform them about this donation including all the details of the shipment and you will receive a letter of acceptance will be given as well as proper coordination.

Worldvision will make an inventory of the donations and coordinate directly with the DSWD for declaration as well with the local government units (LGU) for distribution.

Those abroad who wish to send in monetary donations to this organization are also encouraged in order to avoid the hassle of shipping.  This is a Christian, private and credible organization that uses up only 6-8% of annual financial contributions for administration expense while the rest goes to beneficiaries.

To know more about Worldvision Dev’t Foundation, you may check out their website.

As a celebrity advocate for Worldvision for 7 years now, I can vouch in behalf of Worldvision that donations that are made listed for the Relief Operation Fund will go to the typhoon victims. Please remember too include this note in your donation.  All monetary donations must be accounted for in order for it to be used immediately and for the purpose it was made.  Unaccounted donations will float in the account unused for 6 months so please indicate all cash donations for the Relief Operation Fund.

For monetary donations made through bank deposit, instructions are listed on this page.

For online donations to Worldvision, click here for the online form.


The following lists the procedure in order to avoid your donations from being taxed at customs.
Before sending the goods to Phil National Red Cross,

1. Send a letter of intent to donate to the PNRC addressed to:

PNRC Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang
[email protected]
and CC [email protected]

2. A letter of acceptance from PNRC shall be sent back to the donor

3. Immediately after shipping the goods, please send the following:

(a) original Deed of Donation,
(b) copy of packing list and
(c) original Airway Bill for air shipments or Bill of Lading for sea shipments to:

The Philippine National Red Cross National Headquarters
c/o Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang,
Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila 2803, Philippines.

4. All boxes or goods shall be sent under the name of

The Philippine National Red Cross National Headquarters
c/o Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang,
Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila 2803, Philippines.

5. Notify PNRC of the shipment details as soon as good are sent.

“The PNRC will not accept rotten, damaged, expired or decayed goods. Expiration date of food and medicines should not be less 6 months. Medicines should comply with our standard – no to herbal or alternative medicines pls. Though we appreciate your generosity, the PNRC also discourages donations of used clothes as this is not allowed by Phil Customs. For those who are sending good, we appreciate more if you could also contribute to the mobilization or operation expenses of the distribution of goods.”  Sec. Gwen Pang

Everyone is further encouraged to send in your monetary donations through this page of Philippines National Red Cross or you may donate online via credit card through this page to avoid the hassle of shipment.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

31 thoughts on “Northern Luzon needs your help!

  1. Guillermo Arduino of CNN says that “Pepeng” has already dumped 2.5 meters of rain on Baguio. That’s 3 times more rain than “Ondoy” dumped on Metro Manila! And it still isn’t over.

  2. I shall not enjoy the modest luxuries I usually enjoy until Christmas.

    We also need coverage on goods getting into the hands of people who should get them. Donors need this sort encouragement. Stories of pols putting their own names on relief goods are demoralizing.

    I am also rethinking my position on 2010. Maybe Villar? He’s the development expert, right?

  3. ‘Maybe Villar? He’s the development expert, right?’

    Most of Villar’s housing project are in flood prone areas of Paranaque and Las Pinas.

  4. You know what saddens me? The support shown for Ondoy victims weren’t shown for thevictims of Pepeng despite Pepeng being a more destructive than Ondoy.

    When Ondoy hit Metro Manila and surrounding areas, there was massive call for help. Many twits and blogs — the Philippines even became a trending topic at Twitter. Sadly, it does not happen for the victims of Pepeng. The international community isn’t aware of the effects of Pepeng as they are of the effects of Ondoy since hardlt from the Philippines lets the international community know. Not even the government who appealed for international help at the height of Ondoy. It’s always been like this, everything centered in Manila and its surrounding area.

    But then, I know the Northerns can do it by their own as they’ve already done it before. A few years ago, Pangasinan became so isolated and without electricity all over for a month yet they recovered with minimal help from the international community or the national government. My prediction even is, the places devastated by Pepeng will recover more quickly than those devastated by Ondoy; because they help themselves and not just waiting for outside help.

  5. “The support shown for Ondoy victims weren’t shown for thevictims of Pepeng despite Pepeng being a more destructive than Ondoy.”


    That’s the sad tale for the rest of the country. And it goes on every day.

  6. Jane, Carl,

    Gives you a bad vibe, doesn’t it?

    When can these people learn: good works and acts of great empathy are only valid when effected to others who do not have a direct link or shared interest with you.

    Pakikiramay is different from charity.

  7. ageofbrillig: RT @jedeva: #Pepeng is proving to be deadlier than #Ondoy but coverage of the former pales with the latter. An example of NCR-centrism?

  8. hi
    i have noticed this climate since the 1970’s. when i was i young boy i could see eagles coming from the north flying over metromanila going south probably in the mountains of rizal or laguna. then that disappeared. metromanila floods goes deeper and deeper as the decades gone by. and it will get worse as climate change, systematic and indiscriminate deforestation and overpopulation brining along with it the garbage problem, congestion, mismanaged use of land and zoning.
    i propose a twenty year program to untangle the mess in metromanila and would entail maybe a 100 billion pesos to finally solve this problem:
    1. get schools out of metromanila – if you notice there is no traffic in metromanila during vacation time. universities should get out of metromanila. this also true for industrial
    2. reorganize the tranfort system in manila and focus only on the metrorail system and scheduled buses.
    3. ressurect all the water channels in metromanila what ever the cost and dig up this canals and free them from garbage and structural impediments. plus there should be at least 50 to 100 meter easement on both sides of the river banks without exception. then we have waterlocks and pumping station and control waterflow in these channels. devise a water channeling system between manila, laguna de bay and manila bay
    4. provide each city and municipality the most modern garbage collecting eqiupment. we should implement rational grabage disposal starting from each household to the barangay level. we should imposed a dry and wet garbage segreration system.
    for bigger trash items – we should provide pick up service free of charge. each household must recycle. and all recyclable items can be sold to designated recycling centers.
    we should also have water treatment plants for industrial wastes stratigically placed in metromanila.
    5. we should build tenement homes to all manila residents at low rent and have periodic maintenance inspection to ensure correct upkeep of these dwellings. we should also provide mini camp or mini hotels for travelers and transient worker so they dont have to sleeping in the steets on end up delapitated boarding houses. tenement ownership or occupancy are not transferrable and tenement units are not allowed for rent.
    6. we have to strictly implement zoning regulations and must be able to teardown building or convert them to correct zoning regulations.
    7. we have to clear informal settlers out of the their shanties and move to tenemnent houses where they could rent to own this homes. of course we have this tenement homes within the metropolitan area so as not to displace informal settlers.
    8. we should register citizenry into brigades to keep their communities free from violence, crime, and garbage.
    9. initiate a ten year program for the metromanila to switch to green fuels and solar energy. mandate all carmakers in the philippines to switch to hybrid cars or electic vehicles. all public utilities vehicles should switch to natural gas. all buildings should obtain 20 per cent of their energy from solar energy and then 5 percent thereafter.
    10. strictly impose logging ban 50to 100 miles around metromanila to stop this delubial flooding
    finally, there should a twenty year commission to implement this changes who has enough balls to see it through. and this plan must not be altered or changed with any change of ruling administration.
    this blueprint can be replicated in other metropolitan areas in the country

  9. It baffles me as well how all political discussion was considered taboo during the whole Ondoy affair.

    Manilenans seem to be taking a holier than thou approach to tragedy when it happens in their neck of the woods.

    We can discuss Mindanao politics during the refugee tragedy of Sulu citizens who have dispersed all the way to Ilocos. We can discuss the errs of politicians in garbage collection, city planning, and reforestation bungles now that the typhoon is concentrated in the north. Hell we can discuss any politics in the time of tragedies such as sinking ships, typhoons, earthquakes, floods, etc. etc., just as long as it’s outside Manila.

    But when the tragedy is in Manila, it will be considered insensitive, improper, taboo to discuss politics. What gives?

  10. it’s a function of the extent communication infrstructure was devasted in northern luzon. for example only this morning did someone manage to contact bayanihan online to inform they had access to fiber based internet. prior to that people cellphones were already conking out, there was no power. the advantage metro had was even as some areas submerged there were pockets elsewhere where electricity and net unimpeded. updating actually got more difficult afterwards when meralco failures started taking place. asking for la union updates virtually impossible even by cellphone relay, fewer updates even from tarlac and nueva ecjica, on the other hand updates were coming in even if only at a trickle, from pangasinan. zambales updates have been few and far in between. baguio, very well connected net-wise, was isolated, at one point only a few people with cellphones managing to transmit updates.

  11. Jane, the problems are twofold. First, getting to grips with Ondoy was only beginning to happen, and still has to take place (esp. Laguna, Rizal) when Pepeng struck. Pepeng was more destructive particularly in terms of wiping out infrastructure: at a time also when world community and domestic resources nearly at breaking point due to compounded tragedies everywhere. The volunteers for Ondfoy were already physically, emotionally, financially exhausted; now comes Pepeng and as other areas are beginning to calculate their costs (for example, with Ondoy alone the BSP has announced it will have to back-stop banks bracing for defaults on many loans; insurance industry also bracing itself for unprecedented payouts; the isolation of northern luzon and effect of ondoy on poultry and pig farmers has led to rapid escalation of food costs, and announcement national importation of rice is going to be certainty) and everyone is facing the dire reality already overstretched institututions have empty larders. Even the UN is scrambling to undertake Pepeng Relief just when it’s beginning to get a hold on Ondoy relief. The inability to trend was as much a function of an absence of information as anything else. It remains a problem.

  12. No, this is the first time Manila went into massive relief drive. It’s not like this is the first such disaster in the country.

  13. Yeah, Baguio, where Manilans used to summer. Pinatubo… maybe the fact that it’s in an international headline played a big part.

    I remember Pinatubo when everyone had an idea how the affected areas can recover. Reminds me of tupperware parties.

  14. Also reminds me of the Palestinian issue where I saw Cory and Jim Paredes marching for peace in Israel and to stop the carnage… for CNN. When Erap declared an all-out war with Mindanao, I didn’t see the same marches or the same faces i marches for people in Mindanao.

  15. And what were the dynamics for same events -Baguio quake, Pinatubo, fighting in Minda-elsewhere in the country, Brian?

  16. What I think Brian wants to point out is that life is often unfair. NCR gets most of the attention, because government, business and most of the powerful people and celebrities are based there.

    Well, life is, indeed, unfair. Barack Obama gets the Nobel Peace Prize for his celebrity and position. Others who sacrifice quietly in the background for years are not even recognized. When the Western world goes into financial and economic collapse, spigots of money come to the rescue. Monetary easing and deficit spending become the rule. When Third World countries get into financial trouble, monetary tightening, high interest rates, economic contraction and pain are prescribed.

    Celebrities marching for peace in the Middle East probably get more mileage than doing work for our own who have been displaced by war in Mindanao. After all, the world knows, nor cares, very little about Mindanao.

    In the same way, Baguio, being the summer capital and playground for some of our rich and powerful, will probably get much more attention and aid than say, Buguias, Benguet.

  17. “And what were the dynamics for same events -Baguio quake, Pinatubo, fighting in Minda-elsewhere in the country, Brian?”

    Don’t entirely understand this question. If by “dynamics” you mean there are several variables, no. It’s a few simple factors: the west-seeking consciousness of Manilans, the Roman self-importance, as if the provinces of the Philippines were conquered territory like the old Roman provinces. One reason may be the conscience of Manilan residents. Many people here were provincial oligarchs, taking provincial money to spend in Manila.

  18. No one can possibly meet the needs of all the victims. I’m just glad there were people who helped…we have a choice, we can focus our energy into helping some more, or we can just sit down and gripe about who’s not helping as much or who’s plastic “pakitang tao.” Or we can continue to blog about politics, its supposed to be a our choice, we make it and not allow others to make it for us.
    …even those who chose not to do anything made their choice, let them…in the end, it just boils down to character – are we truly happy looking at the face in the mirror?

  19. Pepeng was more destructive particularly in terms of wiping out infrastructure: at a time also when world community and domestic resources nearly at breaking point due to compounded tragedies everywhere. The volunteers for Ondfoy were already physically, emotionally, financially exhausted;

    I understand but I’m not even talking about money or physical material. When Ondoy hit manila, all blogs and tits were everywhere; bringing attention to what happened in manila. When Pepeng hit Northern Luzon as Manila was recuperating from Ondoy, Filipinos were twittering how delicious their cheesecake were. To think of it a lot of Northerners twitted for help with regard to Ondoy aftermath. When the north needed help, people twitted about their brand news whatevers, they blueberry cheesecake…Clearly, it is INSENSITIVITY toward regions outside the Greater Manila Area

    Exhaustion and lack of ‘resources’ is a poor excuse. Earlier this year wildfires ravaged North, Central, and South California but there were no excuses despite the State having BILLIONS of budget deficit; and other states too came for help despite them, too, being financially challlenged. People would make the distance an excuses: but how far is the East Coast from the West Coast? California is even bigger than the Philippines. It’s just LACK OF WILL in disguise. Say that 40 million Filipinos have twitter. One twit could make a difference, bringing the attention of the world to the devastation of Northern Luzon. Imagine in California: there are people trying to fight the fire and there are those trying to contain it and there are those who stand near by residential areas in oder to protect the people. And this did not happen once, but everytime California faces a great wildfire. There are no excuses, just actions..especially this year where the devastating la brea fire just happened a few months after the Jesusita fire; and a few weeks after the La Brea fire happened the great wildfire in LA county. There’s the problem with Filipinos: full of excuses. ighting a fire is not easier than rescuing people from a rvaging typhoon.

    When Pangasinan was ravaged by the same intensity by the storm — where there were no electricity for a month! — few years ago, it was just announced in the news, hardly help from Manila.

  20. ‘In the same way, Baguio, being the summer capital and playground for some of our rich and powerful, will probably get much more attention and aid than say, Buguias, Benguet.

    True, to think of it La Trinidad suffered more casualties than Baguio and anywhere in the Cordillas. The media is blamable here, too for their inaccuracy and love for inaccuracy for the sake of selling news. Like for example, while people in Baguio and La Trinidad would tell everyone that strawberries comes from the the Strawberry farm of La Trinidad, the media will continue to say it is from Baguio.

  21. To make my point even clearer:

    Why is that the Filipino twitterians were able to constantly twit about Ondoy, thus making it to the trending topics yet are unable to do it when Pepeng hit? After Ondoy, Filipinos twitterians resumed twitting about their new cellhpone, how sweet their BF’s text was…to think of it that these very people were too pround to claim that they have the bayanihan Spirit? Where’s the bayanihan Spirit now? Only a few good Filipino souls know the meaning of it, but they don’t go parading about it.

  22. “Like for example, while people in Baguio and La Trinidad would tell everyone that strawberries comes from the the Strawberry farm of La Trinidad, the media will continue to say it is from Baguio.”

    It’s just like some Fil-Ams in the Bay Area would say they are from San Francisco instead of from San Bruno or Burlingame. My classmates in college who were from Visayas would say they live in Manila instead of in Paranque or Caloocan. People tend to point to the more well known territory.

  23. Jane,

    ‘Why is that the Filipino twitterians were able to constantly twit about Ondoy…’

    Maybe because MOST Filipino twitterians are from Metro Manila and surrounding provinces like Rizal and Laguna.

    ‘thus making it to the trending topics yet are unable to do it when Pepeng hit?’

    It’s called free will.

  24. the title of this blog is Northern Luzon needs your help.
    The date stamp was October 9.

    it was a result of passing the message from bloggers from or with families in the northern part luzon like marocharim and some others.

    manolo lives in manila and made an initiative to disseminate information.
    many people read this blog even without having to comment.

    manolo links his blogs and articles at facebook, so it will reach more than a thousand. then passing the message can go on.

    i don’t know about tweets because i don’t tweet.

    just a friendly reminder.

    i watch tv, and the lack of coverage claim is not accurate.

    i agree that most of metro manila got most of the coverage, of course their management and key staff are there, mas madali.

    i understand west coast is 3000 miles from the east coast and people do make distance as an excuse,and lack of resources or exhausted resources. di pa nga umaabot ang tulong sa ibang parts of laguna.

    3000 miles so far yet so near 300 or even 30 kilometers so near yet so far.

    parang coast guard lang yan eh nung lumubog ang princess of the stars nasa maynila lahat. it is a logistical and distribution problem. The will to help was there but they can’t come on time.
    during typhoon Frank nagkataon me warship na malapit galing hong kong. they were in r and r there so most of the relief goods they gave were bottled waters na naka stock na don. Choppers? they are all in the visayas and mindanao, me isa pa yata dito.

  25. “Typhoon Pepeng might have eliminated the CPP-NPA in Northern Luzon.” – supremo


    May be wishful thinking. But it probably didn’t do them any good. Although I don’t expect it to be on the same level as the 2004 tsunami, which dealt a mortal blow to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka. That precipitated the steep decline of the Tamil separatists in that country.

  26. i don’t know about tweets because i don’t tweet.

    I read the link above about twitter updates and i now have a basis that information dissemination was done via all channels possible.

  27. the twitter updates are on the side(slaps forehead)
    and it has been there for a long time, i was just not paying attention until after hearing complaints about the moratorium of not tweeting anything except the typhoon and its aftermath ;and this thing about how insensitive people from ncr are, that i have to read older entries just out of curiosity.

    sorry, this is the last time i bring this up.

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