Helplines and hotlines for Typhoon Ondoy victims

Last major update: September 29, 2009, 3:01 AM. This post will no longer be updated. In the interest of promoting focused and efficient aid, I will contribute to this database instead.

For official situation reports on Ondoy, please refer to this page on the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) web site.

*

The effects of tropical storm Ondoy (international code name Ketsana) have been devastating. Some photographs and/or videos of the havoc that Ondoy caused may be viewed here, here, and here. According to National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) Situation Report No. 11 on Ondoy (PDF), dated September 28, 2009, 9PM, these are some of the latest figures:

  • Casualties: 141
  • Missing: 37
  • Injured: 5
  • Families affected: 90,223 (453,033 persons)
  • Evacuees in evacuation centers: 23,147 families (115,990 persons)
  • Evacuees outside evacuation centers: 7,791 families (36,421)
  • Damage to infrastructure: PhP1,440,710,000.00 (≈ U.S.$30,014,791.67 at an exchange rate of PhP48.00 = U.S.$1.00)
  • Damage to agriculture: PhP882,524,884.00 (≈ U.S.$18,385,935.08 at an exchange rate of PhP48.00 = U.S.$1.00)

Flood waters have not receded in several areas, and many people have yet to be rescued. The following areas in the Philippines have been declared as being in a state of national calamity:

  • The entire National Capital Region (NCR)
  • CAR: Mountain Province, Ifugao, and Benguet
  • Region I: Pangasinan, La Union, and Ilocos Sur
  • Region II: Isabela, Quirino, and Nueva Vizcaya
  • Region III: Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Tarlac, and Bataan
  • Region IV-A: Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, Rizal
  • Region IV-B: Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, and Marinduque
  • Region V: Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, and Camarines Sur

Please refer and/or contribute to the following so that aid operations can be more efficient:

Sahana Disaster Management System is in need of IT volunteers. The system will be extremely helpful in case of future disasters. Send a message to sahana@kahelos.org.

Courtesy of ABS-CBN News Online, assorted updates and advisories may be found here, and a list of class suspensions and cancelled events may be found here.

The succeeding information has been compiled from various sources, and I am particularly indebted to Manolo Quezon, Charo Limaco, Bryan Ong, and Dementia, among many others on Twitter, Plurk, and the general blogosphere.

Unless otherwise specified, all landline numbers are for Metro Manila and therefore require no dialing prefix if you are in that area. If you are outside Metro Manila, add 02 before the number, e.g., 02 XXX XXXX. If you are outside the Philippines, add 632 before the number, e.g., 632 XXX XXXX.

For mobile numbers, callers outside the Philippines should add 63 and drop the 0, e.g., 63XXX XXX XXXX instead of 0XXX XXX XXXX.

Emergency/Rescue Operations

Private citizens who would like to lend their motor boats, please call these numbers:

  • 912 5668
  • 911 1406
  • 912 2665
  • 911 5061

For those who can lend 4×4 trucks, please send them to Greenhills Shoppng Center Unimart Grocery to await deployment. Call this number for more information:

  • 0920 9072902

Honda Cars and Nissan Pangasinan offer towing services anywhere within the Metro Manila area.

  • Hotline: 0922 850 4452
  • Maricel: 0922 445 2242
  • Arnold:  0922 899 7959

ABS-CBN Typhoon Ondoy Hotline

  • 416 3641

Bureau of Fire Protection

  • 729 5166
  • 410 6254
  • 413 8859
  • 407 1230
  • Region III (Central Luzon): (045) 963 4376

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)

All numbers are 24-hour hotlines.

  • Disaster Relief Operations, Monitoring, and Information Center (DROMIC), DSWD-NCR: 488 3199
  • Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU), DSWD-NCR: 733 8635
  • Disaster Relief Operations, Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC), DSWD-Central Office: 931 8101 to 05, local 506 or 951 7119

GMA Kapuso Hotline

  • 9811950 to 59

Jam 88.3

  • 631 8803
  • Text JAM<space>883<space>your message to 2968

Meralco

  • 16211
  • 0917 559 2824
  • 0920 929 2824

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA)

  • 136
  • 896 6000

National Capital Region Police Office (For rubber boat requests)

  • 838 3203
  • 838 3354

National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC)

Emergency Numbers

  • 912 5668
  • 911 1406
  • 912 2665

Help Hotlines

  • 911 5061
  • 734 2118
  • 734 2120

Office of Senator Dick Gordon

  • 0917 899 7898
  • 0938 444 BOYS (2697)

Office of Senator Manny Villar (For rescue dump trucks)

  • 0917 422 6800
  • 0917 241 4864
  • 0927 675 1981

Petron/San Miguel Corporation (For rescue helicopters)

  • Lydia Ragasa: 0917 814 0655

Philippine Coast Guard

  • 527 6136

Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC)

  • 143
  • 527 0000

http://www.GMANews.tv on Facebook

Relief Operations

If you are looking for a relief operations site in your immediate area, you may also check here or here. A handy map of donation drop-off points is available here.

Government Agencies, Socio-civic Groups, and Media Outfits

AKBAYAN

To donate or volunteer, call:

  • 433 6933
  • 433 6831

Aquino-Roxas relief operations/Tulong Bayan

Jiggy Cruz sounded the call for relief goods collection and distribution on September 26 (Saturday) on Twitter.

Tulong Bayan hotlines for donations and volunteers are:

  • 913 7122
  • 913 6254
  • 913 3306
  • 0908 657 9998
  • 0939 363 3436

Donations can be brought to:

  • Balay, Expo Centro, EDSA corner Gen. MacArthur St., Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
  • White Space, 2314 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati, City (care of Monique Villonco)

Ayala Foundation

Online donations may be coursed through the foundation.

Barangay San Antonio (Parañaque)

The barangay hall, which is located near Parañaque City Hall, will serve as a drop-off point. The address is Sta. Lucia St. corner San Pablo St., San Antonio Valley 1, Parañaque.

Caritas Manila

  • 563 9298
  • 563 9308

Relief goods can be sent to Caritas Manila Office at Jesus St., Pandacan, Manila (near Nagtahan Bridge).

Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF)–Ortigas

Please drop off donations at Room 402, St. Francis Square Bldg., Julia Vargas Ave., cor. Bank Drive, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

Couples for Christ (CFC)

  • 727 0682 to 87
  • 0919 363 4036
  • 0922 866 7191
  • 0922 254 2819

The CFC Center along Ortigas Avenue is now accepting donations in cash or in kind.

For those who wish to donate through bank deposit, you may do so via the  Bank of the Philippines (BPI):

  • Account Name: Couples for Christ Global Missions Inc.
  • Account Number 3103-3055-85.

Citizens Disaster Response Center (CDRC)

  • 929 9820
  • 929 9822

Relief goods for typhoon victims may be delivered to 72-A Times St., West Triangle, Quezon City.

Corporate Network for Disaster Response (CNDR)

Per Noynoy Aquino, cash donations may deposited with the CNDR. The bank details are as follows:

  • Account Number: 0031 0654 02
  • Branch: Bank of the Philippine Islands Ayala-Paseo

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)

Each drop-off point for donations has its own contact persons.

Drop-off point 1

National Resource Operations Center, Chapel Road, Pasay City

  • Francia Favian: 852 8081/0918 930 2356

Drop-off point 2

Disaster Resource Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC), DSWD Central Office, Quezon City

  • Rey Martija or Imee Rose Castillo: 951 7119/951 2435
  • Assistant Secretary Vilma Cabrera: 0918 9345625

Drop-off point 3

DSWD-NCR Office,  San Rafael corner Legarda Streets, Quiapo, Manila.

  • Director Thelsa P. Biolna or Director Delia Bauan: 734 8622/734 8642

Gawad Kalinga

A list of needed relief goods, as well as drop-off centers, is available here.

The guidelines for cash/check donations follow below:

Donations within the Philippines

  • Gawad Kalinga Philippine Peso Current Account 3101 0977 56 – BPI EDSA Greenhills
  • Gawad Kalinga US$ Savings Account 3104 0162 34 (Swift code: BOPIPHMM) – BPI EDSA Greenhills

Should you need receipts, please fax your deposit slip to Delfin Mangona, Operation GK Walang Iwanan at 726 7405.  Kindly indicate name of donor and contact number.

Donations outside the Philippines

For donations outside the Philippines, you can choose from the following :

ANCOP USA

You can send your checks to ANCOP USA, PO Box 10095, Torrance, CA 90505. Or go to http://www.ancopusa.org if you prefer to do it online via credit card.

AYALA FOUNDATION USA

You can issue checks payable to Ayala Foundation USA with project noted (Gawad Kalinga Ondoy Relief) and send to :

Ayala Foundation USA
255 Shoreline Drive, Suite 428
Redwood City, CA 94065
Tel. no. 1-650-598-3126
Fax No. 1-650-508-8898
Email info@af-usa.org

Or you can donate to Ayala Foundation USA via credit card by visiting this link.

In “choosing organization to receive the donation”, please choose “Gawad Kalinga-Community Infrastructure Program” for now.  By September 29, (Tuesday), you will be able to choose “Gawad Kalinga-Relief”.

DONATE ONLINE AT http://www.gk1world.com

Click on this link.  This facility can accept donations from all over the world.

GMA Kapuso Foundation

  • 981 1950 to 59
  • 982 7777, locals 9901/9904/9905

The foundation will accept cash/check, credit card, and in-kind donations. The office address is: 2/F GMA Kapuso Center, Samar St. cor. 11th Jamboree St. Diliman, Quezon City.

Hillsborough Village Chapel

Water, blankets, shoes, and clothes may be sent to Hillsborough Village Chapel in Muntinlupa City. These will go to families whose houses were washed out in the nearby sitios.

Kabataan Partylist

  • 0926 667 7163
  • kabataanpartylist@gmail.com

Drop off donations or volunteer at 118-B Sct. Rallos St., Quezon City.

Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC)

  • 670 0666
  • 832 6117

MBC radio stations DZRH, 101.1 Yes! FM, and 90.7 Love Radio are accepting donations, such as bread, canned goods, clothes, and water. The drop-off point is at the MBC Building, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City (beside Star City).

Marika Bouncers Cooperative

The c-op will accept donations starting September 28 (Monday), at 10 AM. Its office is located at 95 Malaya St., Malanday, Marikina.

Move for Chiz

Volunteers are asked to report to Bay Park Tent along Roxas Blvd in Manila. It is beside Max’s Restaurant and Diamond Hotel. They may also proceed to  Gilas Minipark on Unang Hakbang St., Gilas, Quezon City.

MusikLokal Luzon Relief

  • Warren Habaluyas: 0929 871 3488
  • luzonrelief@gmail.com

Starting September 28 (Monday), donations can be brought to Renaissance Fitness Center, 2/F, Bramante Building, Renaissance Towers Ortigas, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City, from 9AM to 7PM.

Office of Senator Kiko Pangilinan

  • Vina Vargas: 0917 808 1247

Donations may be sent to AGS Building Annex, 446 EDSA Guadalupe Viejo, Makati.

Office of the President

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has opened Malacañang to victims of Ondoy, according to this report. Heroes Hall will serve as the emergency center.

Operation Rainbow

  • Zac Faelnar Camara: 468 7991

Operation Rainbow in Ayala Alabang Village accepts canned goods, ready-to-eat food, bottled water, ready-to-drink milk and juice, clothing, and blankets.

Our Lady of Pentecost Parish

  • 434 2397
  • 929 0665

Per Gabe Mercado, donations are very much welcome. The Parish is located at 12 F. Dela Rosa corner C. Salvador Sts., Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

Peace Retreat Movement

Please leave all donations at the Peace Retreat Movement (PRM) office: 2/F Room 72L, Christ the King (HS) Building on September 30 (Wednesday), by 12NN.

Relief Efforts for Pasig

  • 0916 494 5000
  • 0917 527 3616

Volunteers may proceed to Valle Verde 1 Village Park.

Relief Operations Center

  • Ares: 0917 855 4935
  • Rachel: 0918 924 1636

A relief operations center has been established at AGS Annex, #446 EDSA, Guadalupe Viejo (after PET Tower). Please call for more details.

Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

Rescued animals may be brought to the shelter located on Aurora Boulevard corner Katipunan Avenue.

Philippine Army Officers Ladies Club (PAOLC)

Relief items may be delivered to the GHQ gym at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, or to the Philippine Army Gym at Fort Bonifacio.

Philippine Daily Inquirer

  • Megi Garcia: 897 8808 local 260

Donations in kind, such as instant noodles, canned goods, formula milk, blankets and clothes, are urgently needed.

These may be brought to the Inquirer office at 1098 Chino Roces Ave. corner Mascardo and Yague Streets, Makati City, or to any of its classified ads branches, or to any McDonald’s branch within Metro Manila.

Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC)

Contact the nearest chapter to find out how you can help.

To donate via SMS, please follow the instructions below:

  • SMS: Text RED<space>AMOUNT  to 2899 (Globe) or 4483 (Smart)
  • G-CASH (Globe subscribers only): Text DONATE<space>AMOUNT<space>4-digit M-PIN<space>REDCROSS to 2882.

As of this update, Globe and Smart have waived transaction fees for donations.

For cash, check, or in-kind donations, the guidelines are below. Please note that LBC and i-Remit Singapore will be waiving transaction fees for donations.

Cash or check

Please send cash or check donations to the PNRC National Headquarters in Manila. Checks should be made payable to The Philippine National Red Cross.  We can also arrange for donation pick-up.

Bank Deposit

Account Name:  The Phil. Nat’l. Red Cross

Metrobank

Port Area Branch
Peso Acct.: 151-3-041-63122-8
Dollar Acct.: 151-2-151-00218-2
Type of Acct. : SAVINGS
Swift Code: MBTC PH MM

Bank of the Philippine Islands

Port Area Branch
Peso Acct.:  4991-0010-99
Type of Account: CURRENT

Bank of the Philippine Islands

UN Branch
Dollar Acct.: 8114-0030-94
Type of Account: SAVINGS
Swift Code:  BOPI PH MM

For your donations to be properly acknowledged, please fax the bank transaction slip to +63 2 527 0575 or +63 2 404 0979 with your name, address, and contact number.

Credit Card

Please fax the following information to 632 404 09 79 or 632 527 0575:

  • Name of cardholder
  • Billing address
  • Contact numbers (landline and mobile)
  • Credit card number
  • Expiration date
  • CCV2/ CVC2 (last three digits on the back of the credit card)
  • Amount to be donated

In-Kind Donations

Local

Please send in-kind local donations to The Philippine National Red Cross–National Headquarters in Manila.  We can also arrange for donation pick-up.

International

  1. Send a letter of intent to donate to the PNRC
  2. A letter of acceptance from PNRC shall be sent back to the donor
  3. Immediately after shipping the goods, please send the (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 Corazon Alma de Leon, Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila 2803, Philippines.

The PNRC does not accept rotten, damaged, expired or decayed goods.  Though we appreciate your generosity, the PNRC also discourages donations of old clothes as we have more than enough to go around.

Urgent needs

  • Food items: Rice, noodles, canned goods, sugar, iodized salt, cooking oil, monggo beans, and potable water
  • Medicines: Paracetamol, antibiotics, analgesic, oral rehydration salts, multivitamins, and medications to treat diarrhea
  • Non-food items: Bath soaps, face towels, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, plastic mats, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, water containers, water purification tablets, plastic sheetings, laundry soap, and shelter materials for house repair

For Mindanao-based donors without Paypal accounts, please get in touch with blogger Mindanaoan. Your donations will be forwarded to the Red Cross.

Radio Veritas

  • 925 7931 to 40

Relief goods can be brought to Radio Veritas at Veritas Tower, West Ave. corner EDSA, Quezon City.

Sagip Kapamilya

  • 413 2667
  • 416 0387

The address of Sagip Kapamilya is No. 13 Examiner Street, Quezon City. Please look for Ms. Girlie Aragon

Cash/check donations may be deposited in the Sagip Kapamilya account:

  • Bank: Banco de Oro, Mother Ignacia branch
  • Acct name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.
  • Acct no.: 5630020111

Santuario de San Antonio Parish

Relief goods of all kinds are accepted. The parish is located along McKinley Road, in Forbes Park, Makati. Please contact JJ Yulo or Mike Yuson.

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan Task Force Noah

Please drop off donations at Cervini Hall, Ateneo de Manila University.

TXTPower

TXTPower urges its members, supporters and friends abroad to make donations via Paypal.

One may also donate via SmartMoney (5577-5144-1866-7103) or G-Cash 0917-9751092.  All donations coursed through TXTPower will be sent to the Philippine National Red Cross.

Victory

Victory Fort was the first to open its doors to families affected by Typhoon Ondoy last weekend.

Other Victory centers are now engaged in relief operations as well. For a complete list, please see this page.

World Vision Philippines

The donor service hotlines are:

  • 372 7777
  • 0917 866 4824
  • Pam Millora: 0917 8623209

Donors and volunteers may go to World Vision Philippines headquarters at 389 Quezon Avenue corner West 6th St., Quezon City.

For cash and check donations, see the bank details as provided by Juan Miguel Lago on Twitter here and here.

Additional contact information:

  • 374 7618 to 28
  • 374 7660 (Fax)
  • wv_phil@wvi.org

Schools, Colleges, and Universities

Assumption College San Lorenzo (Makati)

Please drop donations off at the guardhouse.

Assumption College Antipolo

Assumption Antipolo is also accepting donations. The school is located along Sumulong Highway, Antipolo, Rizal.

Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU)

The campus is now an open shelter and will take in refugees. Call 917 895 2792. Donations may also be dropped off at the MVP lobby.

Ateneo Grade School (AGS)

Rice, noodles, sardines, and drinking water are badly needed for Ondoy flood victims.

Please bring your donations to the AGS Social Involvement Office ASAP. Volunteers also needed to sort and pack food bags.

You may sign up at the GS Campus Ministry Office from 8am to 5pm on September 30 (Wednesday) and October 1 (Thursday).

Ateneo Law School

  • 899 7691 to 96

Donations and volunteers are needed. Ateneo Law School is located at 20 Rockwell Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati City.

De La Salle Santiago Zóbel (DLSZ)

  • Angie Brazan: 09178597602

Starting September 28, 2009 (Monday), from 8AM to 6PM, DLSZ Typhoon Ondoy Relief Goods Collection Center will be accepting donations in kind. Monetary donations are also welcome. Please make cheques payable to De La Salle Zobel. Cash donations are discouraged.

Donors may pass through Gate 7 (Molave St.) to drop off donations at the Collection Center found at the Ground Floor of Gym 5 (Lower Grades area).

Teacher, staff, student, and parent volunteers to man the Collection Center are needed. Please text your contact details to Ms. Angie should you wish to volunteer.

De La Salle University Medical Center (DLSUMC)

  • 844 7832
  • (046) 416 4531

Donations of canned goods, blankets, clothes, and water will be accepted. DLSUMC is located at Congressional Avenue, Dasmariñas, Cavite.

La Salle Greenhills

Donations can be dropped off at Gate 2 of the LSGH campus starting 9AM on September 27, 2009 (Sunday).

Per ageofbrillig, LSGH also has a booth for donations at Unimart in Greenhills Shopping Center.

Playschool International

Relief goods may be dropped off at Playschool International, 46 Ghana Street, Better Living, Parañaque. No cash, please.

Saint Pedro Poveda College

  • Social Action Center: 631 8756 local 121

Poveda is now accepting donations of relief goods.

San Beda College of Arts and Sciences Student Council

The student council is accepting donations in cash or in kind. San Beda College is located at 638 Mendiola St., San Miguel, Manila.

Southville International School and Colleges

  • 825 6374
  • 820 8702
  • 820 8703
  • 829 1675

Southville is accepting donations of canned goods, packed noodles, clothes, drinking water, etc. at the Luxembourg Campus, which is located at Luxembourg St. corner Tropical Ave., BF Homes International, Las Piñas City.

University of Asia and the Pacific

UA&P is accepting donations. Donation booths are at Study Hall A.

You may also get in touch with Dae Lee, the Executive Vice President of the Student Exective Board at 0917 832 3533. Donations and volunteers are needed.

University of the Philippines Sigma Alpha Nu Sorority (Manila)

  • 0917 885 7188
  • 0917 665 9948

The sorority is collecting food, water and toiletries. You may drop them off at Unit 12-O One Adriatico Place, Ermita, Manila.

University of the Philippines Diliman College of Arts and Letters

  • 0929 6454102

CAL is accepting donations in cash and in kind.

University of the Philippines Diliman University Student Council

  • Titus: 0917 800 1909
  • Jose: 0927 305 6607
  • Tin: 0915 490 6106

The council is is collecting food, clothing, and/or cash.

University of the Philippines Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Community Affairs

  • 928 2947

The office is accepting donations of relief goods.

Xavier School

Please bring donations to the Multipurpose Center (MPC), Xavier School, 64 Xavier Street, Greenhills, San Juan.

Commercial Establishments

7-11

All stores will serve as drop-off sites for donations.

Alabang Town Center

Please drop off donated goods with the concierge. For inquiries, please call 842 2782 or 772 1860.

ARANÁZ

Donations of any kind for Payatas communities affected by Ondoy will be accepted at ARANÁZ stores in Rockwell and Greenbelt.

Binalot (Greenbelt 1 branch)

  • Tetchie Bundalian:0922 857 3277

Brainbeam Events, Inc.

Relief goods may be dropped off at the Brainbeam office: 2/F MB Aguirre Cornerhouse Building, 15 Pres. Ave corner Elizalde St., BF Homes, Parañaque (across the old Caltex in BF).

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Canned goods, water, clothes, blankets, towels, medicine, and emergency supplies will be accepted in branches on behalf of the victims of Typhoon Ondoy starting September 28 (Monday) until Friday.

Fantastik! Manila

  • 729 0530
  • 501 7405

Please send donations to 5729 Calasanz St., Barangay Olympia, Makati City.

Jollibee

All stores will serve as drop-off sites for donations.

Luca

Donations can be sent via Luca branches in The Powerplant Mall, Shangri-La Mall, or Eastwood City.

Mail and More

Donations for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy are accepted at all Mail and More outlets. The complete list of all outlets nationwide is available here.

Manor Superclub

Relief items will be accepted starting September 27 (Sunday) at 10AM. Manor Superclub is located in Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City.

Ministop (Ibarra branch)

Food (non-perishable goods only), clothing, medicines, beds, pillows, blankets, and other emergency supplies can be dropped off at the Ministop store located on España cor. Blumentritt, Sampaloc, Manila.

Moonshine

Donations for victims in Marikina and Cainta can be sent to Moonshine in The Powerplant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati.

Myron’s Place

Myron’s Place in Greenbelt 5, Makati City, will accept relief goods.

Papemelroti

You may drop off relief goods, such as canned goods, milk, bottled water, and used clothes at any of the following Papemelroti branches:

  • 91 Roces Avenue
  • Ali Mall Cubao
  • SM City North EDSA
  • SM Fairview
  • SM Megamall
  • Glorietta 3
  • SM Centerpoint
  • SM Southmall

No cash will be accepted.

Petron

All Petron gas stations will serve as collection points for relief goods.

The Powerplant Mall

Donations will be forwarded to the ABS-CBN Foundation. Please drop them off at the adminstration office, P1 level.

Redkimono

Redkimono will accept canned goods, bottled water, clothing for all ages, basic household items. You may find the contact information for the branch nearest you here.

Recreational Outdoor eXchange

  • 856 4638 to 39
  • rox.cs@primergrp.com

ROX will accept relief goods for Typhoon Ondoy victims. The store address is B1 ROX Building, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

Shell

All Shell gas stations will serve as collection points for relief goods.

SMART

Donations may be dropped off at the following SMART branches:

  • SM Fairview
  • SM North EDSA
  • Gateway Mall Cubao
  • Ali Mall Cubao
  • SM Megamall
  • SM Muntinlupa

Starbucks

All Starbucks stores are now accepting blankets, rice, bottled water, and instant noodles for the victims of Ondoy. These will be used to support The Ateneo Taskforce Ondoy.

TeamManila

TeamManila stores in Trinoma, Mall of Asia, Jupiter Bel-Air and Rockwell shall be accepting relief goods for distribution by Radio Veritas.

Total

All Total gas stations will serve as collection points for relief goods.

Unimart (Greenhills Shopping Center)

  • 721 0592
  • 721 1717

All cash and in-kind donations will be forwarded to La Salle Greenhills.

Vivere Suites

  • 771 7777
  • 771 0158

Vivere Suites will accept relief goods. The hotel is located at 5102 Bridgeway Ave., cor. Asean Drive, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

Private Citizens

Karen Ang

  • 0920 952 0900

Donations may be dropped off at 3 Kagandahan corner Kabutihan Streets, Kawilihan Village, Pasig. They will be forwarded to the Philippine National Red Cross.

Anne

  • 0915 285 4240

Relief goods from donors in southern Metro Manila are accepted.

Bianca

  • 412 3861
  • 0927 8436002

She will pick up donations from Greenhills/San Juan area. Donate food, medicine, or clothing.

Joseph Castillo

  • 0908 236 8999
  • (032) 211 7111

He will send a 20-foot container to Manila and is looking for donations from Cebuanos. Please get in touch with him.

Kelly and Jodge

Relief goods will be accepted at Colonade Residences, Legaspi St. corner C. Palanca St., Makati City.

RJ Ledesma and friends

  • 0917-8131601

Please call to have your donations (relief goods only) picked up.

Gerald Lim and friends

  • 0918 979 1229
  • 0917 797 4098
  • 0932 699 1794

Donations on wheels! If you have donations to give, but no means of transport, please get in touch.

Colleen Manabat (Heartrio Prints)

She will accept donations of bottled water, canned goods, blankets, clothes, medicines from 9 AM to 6PM. Please drop them off at Stall 2, MGY Building, 2444 Sto. Entierro St., Sto. Cristo, Angeles City. She will forward the donations to Sagip Kapamilya (ABS-CBN Foundation).

Miriam Quiambao

Donations may be dropped off starting September 28 (Monday) at One Orchard Road Building in Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City. Send a message via Twitter for more details.

Erica Paredes

  • 0917 474 1930

Donate bread, packed juice, sandwich fillings, and the like. You can help her make them, deliver your own sandwiches to her house, or help her distribute. Call for more details.

Omel Santos

  • 501 7405
  • 729 0530

Drop off donations at 5729 Calasanz St., Barangay Olympia, Makati City or call for pick up.

An Xiao

Artist An Xiao has set up a Kickstarter account to make it easy for anyone with an Amazon account to make a donation. She hopes to raise U.S.$500 by September 30 (Wednesday), 8:49AM EDT.

Vivere Suites 5102 Ridgeway Avenue, Fil-Invest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Contact (+632-7717777) for inquiries or drop off at concierge area. Will accept relief goods.

The abjuration of nostalgia

Into the darkness of a Carmelite monastery in Zamboanga did Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III retreat to pray for the light of discernment, and what emerged from that protected and protective space, that veritable womb, was a presidential candidate.

Unlike many a birth, however, that of Candidate Noynoy was met with less than unmitigated joy, though some reactions were certainly hagiographical in character. The neonate candidate also aroused in Filipinos trepidation, cynicism, outright hostility, and, I suppose, no small amount of befuddlement, especially among those who came into the world or grew to awareness after the EDSA Revolution.

As Manuel Buencamino has pointed out, Noynoy has not done too shabbily for a lucky sperm. He is at least as qualified as any other person who has declared his or her intention to run for president—and I do not refer merely to the requirements provided for in the Constitution—and his very entry into the race seems to have generated greater public interest in the 2010 elections as a whole. Nevertheless, I do not think it baseless or unfair to remark that, at this point, the energy animating and driving his pre-campaign (the official campaign period begins in November, after all) is primarily—though not exclusively—a longing for what once was.

I am not saying this to put down his candidacy. I do bear in mind that the presidency was probably not an office that Noynoy aspired to before the clamor for him to do so began, and that his choice was an extremely difficult one, flying in the face of financial and logistical odds, starting with the fact that he is standard-bearer for a badly fragmented party. And while Candidate Noynoy was unavoidably—perhaps even necessarily—born under the aegis of nostalgia, that is no reason to dismiss him. In his speech announcing his candidacy at Club Filipino, Noynoy recounted a conversation with a customs employee who, upon learning that Noynoy was running, said, “Salamat naman at pwede na po muling mangarap.” Furthermore, a recent SWS survey showed that 50% of respondents in vote-rich areas of Luzon were on his side.

The value of nostalgia is not that Filipinos have been given cause to look back on the past. Rather, they have been given cause to realize what could have been, and what could still be. From within the halls of memory, Filipinos can draw the resources to re-member what more recent years, particularly those under the present administration, have torn and broken—themselves most of all.

That said, nostalgia is rough magic that Noynoy must abjure in favor of a solid, compelling platform for the changes that he would see effected. The battle for the presidency, for the hearts and minds of the citizenry, cannot be fixed along the lines of Good and Evil. Already the permeability of these lines has been underscored by representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, who have denounced Noynoy for his stand on the reproductive health (RH) bill, and whose self-proclaimed monopoly on Goodness is hardly unquestionable, as Ricky Carandang points out.

The shape and character of such an abjuration has to be defined very quickly. While, strictly speaking, Noynoy need not commit to anything specific until November, and it is reasonable to expect that he will not deviate significantly from his previously publicized personal and party positions, he is now under such intense scrutiny from all quarters that he needs to take the initiative in clarifying what he stands for and what he intends to do, and not merely speak out when criticized, attacked, or otherwise provoked. Although he cannot act preemptively at all times, allowing his opponents and naysayers to consistently set the parameters for what he can and cannot say is dangerous, and ultimately a losing proposition. “Be your own man” was doubtless a barbed exhortation, but it is also a challenge that Noynoy must answer with due force and speed.

The right to dissent

That Cebu archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal would presume to tell his flock not to vote for Senator Noynoy Aquino or other politicians who support the reproductive health (RH) bill, and that Father Melvin Castro of the Commission of Family and Life would propose bloc voting against allegedly anti-life candidates, are not merely disturbing developments for Roman Catholics such as myself. These are also contradictory to what canonists and theologians have commonly held: that it is licit and moral for a member of the Church, whether of the clergy or the laity, to disagree with an official teaching should the teaching run counter to his or her tested objective reasoning. If, after thorough study and reflection, a Catholic cannot hew to the teaching with a clear and honest conscience, then he or she can—and should—dissent without fear of being hypocritical or disloyal to the Church.

While the Church may be against all forms of artificial contraception as set forth in Humanae Vitae by Pope Paul VI, the encyclical is by no means infallible. Papal infallibility has to do exclusively with teachings on divine revelation—that is, what Jesus Christ taught his followers to believe and to do. It does not extend to the realms of natural science and human wisdom, as even the most rapid survey of Church history would indicate: past popes have authorized the torture of alleged heretics (Innocent IV), upheld the Ptolemaic theory of geocentrism (Urban VIII), condemned freedom of religion and the separation of church and state (Pius IX), and claimed that the proper place of a woman is the home (Pius XI). The Code of Canon Law itself proclaims, “No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident.”

In view of the foregoing, it is only the position of Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo that can be said to be correct: “The Church is not in favor of bloc voting like what others do because our citizens should have the freedom to choose their candidates according to their conscience.” In the matters of the RH bill and of the elections, the Church cannot impose its will upon its followers. Rather, the task before it is to ensure that each Catholic is sufficiently informed about the issues at stake in order for him or her to make the best possible decision, according to his or her conscience. That its leaders would prefer to take the path of least resistance by engaging in sweeping, uncritical condemnation and baseless paranoia-mongering—not to mention singling out Aquino, which {caffeine_sparks} has rightfully deplored—constitute a dereliction of moral duty.

Precisely because the final hurdle for any Catholic is his or her individual conscience, it furthermore behooves the Church to be fully transparent about its own official stance and the circumstances that gave rise to it, instead of simpl(isticall)y arguing against the RH bill. And yet where is the cleric who will say that, prior to the issuance of Humanae Vitae, a majority of the papal birth control commission actually supported contraception? That, upon issuance, the encyclical was widely unpopular, sparking the publication of a dissenting statement signed by over 600 U.S. theologians, and the release of the Winnipeg Statement by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops? That the encyclical fails to cite or contemplate the thoughts of Paul on marriage in 1 Corinthians 7, or similarly relevant assertions by the Second Vatican Council in Gaudium et Spes? That, specific considerations of Humanae Vitae aside, the clergy is thoroughly ignorant about the realities of married life, and therefore should temper its judgments in that area with prudence, compassion, and, most importantly, modesty? As the National Catholic Reporter pointed out in 1997:

The Vatican’s unmarried males who are the final-word authorities on sexual activity not only have a lopsided view of the subject; they have no experience of an intimacy that is wholesome, bonding, forgiving, sharing, romantic, mutual. There is no sign of joy. A batch of married Vatican officials would indeed be surprised by joy. They would soon discover what normal Catholic couples discover: that sexual activity is one essential component of the lasting joy that marriage brings.

This is not to say that the Church should be neutral or silent on the RH bill. It obviously has a responsibility to educate Catholics on its official stand. It ought to recognize, however, that it cannot and should not deprive the faithful of their responsibility to and for themselves and their families—that it cannot and should not deprive the faithful of the right to dissent when their consciences so dictate.

The dangers of no-sweat journalism

What Domini Torrevillas wrote for today’s edition of The Philippine Star is, by any measure, a rather pitiful excuse for a column, consisting as it does of text practically lifted wholesale from three separate e-mail messages that her friends had forwarded to her. This is not a practice exclusive to Torrevillas, of course—one columnist in another major daily did this so frequently that the paper had to ask that person to leave. In all fairness—and the defensive self-importance of some writers notwithstanding—writing is difficult work, and cranking out anywhere between 3,000 to 5,000 characters for a coherent, compelling column at least once a week is not a task to scoff at.

To make such a concession, however, is not to excuse the writer from accountability. While the writer may not have to come up with anything especially original—whatever this might mean in the 21st century—it behooves him/her to ensure that the information he/she is disseminating is accurate and reliable, a notion that unfortunately does not seem to occur to or is dismissed by many journalists because of laziness, ignorance, or both. (A recent demonstration of these vices occurred during the furor over President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s lavish dinner at Le Cirque: a theoretical bill posted by Manuel L. Quezon III in his blog became reported as the actual bill by several media outfits.)

In the third section of her column, Torrevillas cites an e-mail from a friend—hardly a credible source—on the supposed dangers of using antiperspirants: antiperspirants are allegedly “the leading cause of breast cancer” among women. This claim is based on the following premises: first, that sweating allows one to purge toxins; and second, that an antiperspirant prevents one from sweating, and therefore from purging toxins.

In addition, men are supposedly less prone to cancer from antiperspirant use because the antiperspirant chemicals “are caught in their hair and are not directly applied to the skin”, while women who apply antiperspirants right after shaving increase their risk “because shaving causes almost imperceptible nicks in the skin which give the chemicals entrance into the body from the armpit area”.

That antiperspirant use leads to cancer has been floating around the Internet at least as far back as 1999, but no causality between the two has been firmly established up to this time. A fact sheet on antiperspirants and deodarants by the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) identifies three separate studies on the presumed relationship:

  • A 2002 study by Dana K. Mirick, Scott Davis, and David B. Thomas did not show any increased risk for breast cancer in women who reported using an underarm antiperspirant or deodorant. Nor was there  increased breast cancer risk for women who reported using a blade (nonelectric) razor and an underarm antiperspirant or deodorant, or for women who reported using an underarm antiperspirant or deodorant within one hour of shaving with a blade razor.
  • A 2003 study by Kris McGrath [PDF] suggested that underarm shaving with the use of antiperspirants/deodorants may be related to breast cancer, but failed to demonstrate a conclusive link between these underarm hygiene habits and breast cancer. (The McGrath study was used as a reference in a 2006 CBS news investigation [streaming video].)
  • A 2006 study by S. Fakri, A. Al-Azzawi, and N. Al-Tawil found that the use of antiperspirants had no association with the risk of breast cancer, while family history and oral contraceptives use were found to be associated.

According to the NCI, “additional research is needed to investigate this relationship and other factors that may be involved”. A 2003 monograph by the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), which established conditions under which over-the-counter (OTC) antiperspirant drug products are generally recognized as safe and effective and not misbranded, did not rule out the possibility of a link between antiperspirants and cancer—or indeed other diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease—but generally found that data pointing to the link was, at best, inconclusive.

Torrevillas does say that her readers should check with their respective doctors regarding these claims, but if she had bothered to do even the most perfunctory online research after checking her e-mail, she could have provided much better information and raised actual awareness instead of stoking unwarranted fear among women. She did not even have to wade through highly technical literature—all she had to do was review the entry on perspiration in Wikipedia, a resource that her colleague Carmen N. Pedrosa so loves. She would then have found out that sweat does not contain “toxins”, that oft-abused term of pseudo-medicine, at all. If toxins enter the body, it is the job of the kidneys and the liver to get rid of them—one cannot sweat them out. (On a related note, those popular “detoxifying” foot patches do not work, because such a manner of detoxification would involve what is thus far only fit for science fiction: turning one’s feet into a pair of auxiliary livers.)

My impression—which I wish were wrong—is that articles on beauty, health, and wellness tend to be particularly soaked in sloppiness, which is certainly the case here. Whatever the merits of scaring people into taking care of themselves may be, that journalists, especially lifestyle writers, settle for what is essentially paranoia-mongering instead of public enlightenment is irresponsible, unethical, and thoroughly deplorable.

An anti-labor proclamation? (Updated)

Proclamation No. 1874-B [PDF], which declares September 7, 2009, the day of interment of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) Executive Minister Ka Eraño “Erdy” G. Manalo, as a “special (non-working) day” seems little more than another demonstration of presidential caprice—no mean thing, of course, but something that the public has had to become inured to after years of “holiday economics”—until one arrives at the antepenultimate paragraph:

However, considering our national economic interests, the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Electronics sectors are exempt from the purview of this Proclamation.

This means that employees in these sectors are not entitled to the additional pay that they would normally receive for working during a special non-working day, as provided for by the Labor Code of the Philippines. (Nor will they receive any additional pay on September 21, Eid’l Fitr, per Press Secretary Cerge Remonde, though the relevant proclamation is not yet available as of this writing. Update as of 9 September: Philippine Daily Inquirer quotes Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita as saying, “So far there are no exemptions [for Eid’l Fitr]“.)

With regard to compensation for work rendered on rest days, Sundays, and special holidays, Article 93 of the Code states that:

Work performed on any special holiday shall be paid an additional compensation of at least thirty percent (30%) of the regular wage of the employee. Where such holiday work falls on the employee’s scheduled rest day, he shall be entitled to an additional compensation of at least fifty per cent (50%) of his regular wage.

As for work rendered on regular holidays, Article 94 of the Code states that:

The employer may require an employee to work on any holiday but such employee shall be paid a compensation equivalent to twice his regular rate

These same articles are further clarified by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Memorandum Circular No. 1, which was signed on 8 March 2004. Below is a copy of the circular that I have uploaded to Scribd:

Among other things, terms like “Special Non-Working Day”, “Special Public Holiday”, “Special National Holiday”, “Nationwide Special Days” (see Executive Order No. 297)—and,  presumably, “Nationwide Special Holidays” (see Republic Act Nos. 9177 and 9492)—have been subsumed under the general category of “special days”, work rendered during which entitles the employee to additional compensation in accordance with particular rules. (The JLP Law Blog has an interesting post on the applicability of these rules to employees who are paid daily versus employees who are paid monthly.) “Special days” are different from “special working holidays”. Work rendered during a special working holiday does not entitle the employee to compensation above his/her basic rate.

None of the aforementioned documents specifically allow the President to declare certain sectors exempt from paying additional compensation to employees who work during holidays, regular or special, “national economic interests” notwithstanding. In fact, the only entities explicitly exempted from paying additional compensation for work rendered on regular–not special–holidays are retail and service establishments that employ fewer than ten workers.

It seems appropriate, then, to raise the following questions:

  1. Will the BPO and electronics sectors henceforth continue to be exempt from the purview of proclamations declaring special holidays? Does this exemption set a precedent?
  2. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reportedly cited the “24/7” nature of the BPO and electronics sectors in requesting an exemption. Does this same argument apply to hospitals? To convenience stores and fast food restaurants that are open 24 hours?
  3. What makes a sector so vital to “national economic interests” that it must be exempted from clearly established labor laws?
  4. How is this exemption not an unfair labor practice, discriminating as it does against workers in the BPO and electronics sectors?
  5. Was the exemption of the BPO and electronics sectors lawful in the first place? Or, in signing Proclamation 1874-B, did the President authorize an illegal, anti-labor act?

Try to understand Ramon Tulfo

There can be no doubt that assorted self-righteous women’s groups and bleeding hearts were outraged—or will be outraged, once they have moved on from the virtuous cause du jour—by the latest installment of “On Target”, the Philippine Daily Inquirer column of Ramon Tulfo.

Entitled “Try to Understand Chavit Singson“, the article is an admirable attempt on the part of Tulfo to enlighten and educate otherwise undiscerning readers on the factors that led Deputy National Security Adviser Luis “Chavit” Singson to beat up his common-law wife, Che Tiongson, and her lover—a decision, it must be empahsized, that was generous in the extreme, for, as Singson himself pointed out, he could very well have killed them instead.

***

Tulfo makes a point of saying that he does not necessarily condone what Singson did—a nuance that will likely be lost on the School of Sanctimonious Sympathizers—and thus strengthens his case with compassion. Rather than condemning Singson outright, Tulfo exhorts his readers to bear in mind two important things.

***

First, given that Filipino society is inherently macho, Singson was only acting according to the time-honored standards of genuinely masculine behavior. Singson would have been violating custom, itself a source of the law, had he chosen to tolerate the infidelity of Tiongson. He had already forgiven her twice before, and would have lost much face if he continued to be merciful.

If anything, he had actually saved her from an inferior penis: her lover, based on what Singson saw for himself, is so unfortunately endowed as to qualify for the Guiness Book of World Records.

***

Second, while this apparent bias in favor of men is unfair, which Tulfo readily acknowledges—yet another subtlety that will escape the generic agitators and malcontents—this bias is nevertheless so pervasive and so enduring, finding as it does expression, perpetuation, and reinforcement in all aspects of life, including the law. How, after all, does one argue with tradition? The present generation must learn to live with how things are today—it is the task of the next generation to usher in change.

***

I am not saying that Tulfo is right, but we should understand him in the context of the fact that he has no balls.

For all his bluster and swagger, for all his bravado and braggadocio, and for all his promiscuous, public, mediagenic ejaculations, Ramon Tulfo might as well be a eunuch.

***

Tulfo has no balls because he believes that doing harm to another human being can be justified, depending on the circumstances in which such harm was inflicted, when no such circumstances exist.

Tulfo has no balls because he sees no need to question cultural norms, practices and activities, regardless of their actual consequences. A mindless automaton, he is content to comply with such norms, practices, and activities, secure in the belief that these have been handed down through the ages, and are right by virtue of their age and their ability to survive.

Tulfo has no balls because he does not take responsibility for his existence and act as an agent of positive social change. He assumes that the generations after him will effect it, heedless of the fact that the change is needed now, at this moment in the history that he unwittingly helps to form—or deform, as the case may be.

***

Singson and other men who include violence toward others under the general rubric of “manliness” are of a piece with Tulfo—or perhaps I should say similarly lacking in pieces.

Let us try to understand them. Let us be better than them.

A road yet untaken

Trite though the image may be, to say that the promise of change has been gathering strength and is blowing more mightily about us with each passing day would not be inaccurate. The void that ripped open within the heart of the nation upon the death of former President Corazon C. Aquino was also a window on the past, and the initial breeze that wafted in brought with it reminders of a time when the people of the Philippines toppled a dictatorship and regained their freedom: a time more hopeful and more exultant, a time full of possibility and a sense of community—a time, it must be emphasized, that will not repeat itself (one would be foolish, nay, downright insane, to think otherwise, as the incumbent head of state continues to prove EDSA II a debacle rather than a triumph), but whose spirit can nevertheless be revived, intensified, and deployed in the decidedly appalling present.

At this point, it seems widely believed that the avatar of this spirit is Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, who is, after all, a descendant of two heroes—his mother, Cory, the reluctant president, and his father, Ninoy, the fiery senator—and a presumed legatee of the principles that they held dearly, the values that they lived and died for. Few accidents of birth have ever been or will ever be as onerous, particularly in view—or perhaps I should say within earshot—of the growing clamor for Noynoy to run for the highest office in the land in the 2010 national elections. How popular this clamor really is cannot be determined until the next round of surveys—that in any case may not be entirely reliable—is completed, but the idea of Noynoy entering the race has certainly soared from the moment William M. Esposo of The Philippine Star and Conrado de Quiros of Philippine Daily Inquirer gave it wings and flung it into the air of public consciousness, over which it currently dominates, in their respective columns—Esposo last August 9, and De Quiros last August 10.

True to Filipino cultural form, the notion has begun to acquire a mystical dimension: the presidency is not a competition among flesh-and-blood candidates standing firm upon specific platforms and pursuing concrete agendas, but an all-out war between the cosmic, contentious, capital-letter forces of Good and Evil. If Cory, the queen of the people and the saint of democracy, has followed her husband to a higher plane of existence, then it falls to her son to take up rosary and yellow ribbon in order to do battle with the ignoble, ignominious, inglorious Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her maleficent minions—as well as with some of her opponents, who are as odious as she is.

Consider, for instance, what happened at Club Filipino yesterday, on the 31st of August, a day dedicated to the memory of all our national heroes. Sonia Roco, widow of former Senator Raul Roco and chair of the Aksyon Demokratiko party, had this to say to Noynoy: “You are this Chosen One, the Anointed to run for president of this ailing country. It is very clear. See the hand of God in the events that have transpired recently.” Nostalgia for EDSA, grief for Cory, and the concept of filial duty—these elements have converged and delineated an economy of enchantment that will remain robust at least until the end of this month, although Noynoy is likely to announce what he has decided about his political future very shortly after the 9th of September, the 40th day following the death of his mother.

Should Senator Noynoy declare himself Presidential Candidate Noynoy, the game, as so many have already pointed out, will change significantly. Even now the landscape is in a state of flux, unsettling and resettling and unsettling again, for no one could have foreseen that these weeks leading up to the start of the campaign period in November would be anything other than predictable. Coalitions are being re-cobbled, slates are being reshuffled, and press statements are being re-worded, all because of a heretofore unassuming man. An oddity among the avaricious, grandstanding, scandal-ridden specimens of officialdom, Noynoy, armed with integrity, an indisposition to grab for power, and illustrious parents whose cause he must not betray, could well be the president that the country needs to redeem itself. As for the deficiencies identified by his critics—inexperience, say, or lack of charisma—he can overcome them with a sufficiently united, organized, and massive base of backers.

And yet, and yet—if the winds of change are indeed upon us in our yellow neck of the woods, more than one road diverges here, and at least one other is just as fair as the road that may lead Noynoy to what will doubtless be the most difficult job in the Philippines. It must be acknowledged, however grudgingly, that the entry of Noynoy into the game has the potential to set in motion one more truly horrific sequel to the People Power Revolution, rather like a film franchise that refuses to put itself out of its own misery simply because the original performed well at the box office. The temptation is to cast Noynoy as Cory, Macapagal-Arroyo as Marcos, Mar Roxas as Doy Laurel, and so on, but that would be lazy and dangerous, not to mention ominous, for then Noynoy should expect to face a coup d’état or two—or seven.

Much has been made, and will continue to be made, of the prospect of Noynoy as king. What about the prospect of Noynoy as king-maker of the Liberal Party? In some respects, this is the more difficult choice for Noynoy, especially given the calls that have been made for him to run, and his familial past offers no good portents: Cory’s anointed successor, Fidel Ramos, did not win by a majority vote. But joining the presidential race buoyed by a tide of public support is not the only move that can bring about change. If Noynoy situates himself at a remove from the political arena—for which his personality may be better suited anyway—he gains the capacity to critique buttressed by (relatively) untarnished moral authority, with which he can keep the new administration in check, particularly if his chosen candidate is victorious. This is no small thing: with the Catholic Church brought to heel by the Arroyo administration, and with the opposition perpetually divided by internecine struggles even as its members claim to be united, there is much that Noynoy can accomplish outside Malacañang—it is not only in the palace of power that power can be found and used to make a difference.