The 2012 Manila Flood

Back in 2009, Typhoon Ketsana, known locally in the Philippines as ‘Ondoy’, dropped a lot of water on Manila in a short amount of time and caused extensive flooding.  I remember there was a lot of public concern outside of the Philippines for the well-being of the people, not just in the Philippines but in the other countries affected.  A lot of sympathy was shown.  I think there were even international donations sent to the Philippines.

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Manila is just recovering from another bout of flooding.  Over the last week or so, Manila and surrounding provinces were covered by flood waters, affecting about 2.4 million and killing 65 (as of writing) in what was described as the worst flooding since Ondoy.  I only found out because I’m still subscribed to the US Embassy newsletter for the embassy in Manila, and the offices were shut down for quite a few days because of heavy flooding on Roxas Boulevard.

I was struck by the contrast between this flood and the last, when almost everyone seemed to know what was going on.  It could be that I was biased, of course, since I was in Asia at the time and news probably tends to give more coverage to local big events, but my wife, who is from the Philippines, didn’t even know there was any flooding until long after it started.  I knew first, because of the embassy newsletter.  I assumed she knew.  I assumed she’d seen it in the news, but I guess it just wasn’t in the news.

I was wondering why there is so much less coverage this time.  I think there are two reasons: it doesn’t sell and no one cares.  With the action in Syria and the Olympics, who has time to talk about flooding in a third world country?  It’s not like the massive flooding in 2009 that affected multiple countries.  And of course, there’s the feeling that Filipinos just didn’t learn.

The flooding was caused the first time around through a lack of proper drainage and littering.  There was so much garbage in the streets, in the rivers, jammed into the drains and drainage ditches that the water couldn’t pass through adequately, making a bad situation a lot worse, so now that Manila is flooding again, you can’t help but feel that they didn’t learn their lesson from last time.  When I say that no one cares, I don’t mean that no one is concerned about the hardships that people face in that sort of situation; I mean that people find it harder to pity people who are suffering from self-inflicted tragedies.

Filipina girl crouches on cement pillar to avoid flood waters
Filipina child crouches on cement pillar to avoid flood waters.

And there are tragedies.  A few years ago I visited my sister-in-law’s house for her daughter’s birthday and I remembering thinking how lovely the house was.  Now it looks like this:

Flooded kitchen at a home in Pasig City
Flooded kitchen at a home in Pasig City

It’s going to take a lot for people to rebuild their lives and their homes again.  Where does a person even begin in their cleanup efforts?  I can’t imagine how much work it’ll be for people to fix their houses and businesses again.  Hopefully, this time, the hardships suffered will make people think harder before dropping trash on the ground, and make them push harder for their government to take real steps toward improving drainage in and around the city.

Not that this is anything but sort of related, but I thought the image below is worth sharing.  I found it on a bulletin board, claiming it’s from the recent flooding in the Philippines.

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Filipina dressed as Ariel, making the best of recent street flooding. “Under the sea… under the sea…”

New Horizon Hotel in Manila, Philippines

On my recent return to the US from the Philippines, I had to find a hotel in Manila to stay in for the night because it’s impractical to commute from Antipolo to make a 7:30 AM flight.  Even if there was public transit at that time of the morning, it definitely wouldn’t be safe, especially when carrying a bunch of bags, so I booked a room at New Horizons hotel in Manila.

New Horizons Deluxe Suite

New Horizons Deluxe Suite

New Horizons Deluxe Suite

New Horizons Deluxe Suite

New Horizons Deluxe Suite

This hallway goes to the bedroom, which I forgot to take a photo of.  It is about the same size as the living room area as seen in the 3rd photo.

My wife and I have stayed in New Horizons before in 2008 so it was a natural choice.  We enjoyed the service on our last visit, so we wanted to go back again.  The first time we were there we got the Deluxe Suite which was as big or bigger than some apartments we’ve lived in.  The rate was really good on that too, only 85 USD* per night.  This time, though, we were only going to be in the hotel for about 14 hours, so it just didn’t make sense to go all out on a spacious room.  Instead, we got their ‘Superior’ room, which is the smallest one and goes for 60 USD* per night.  Even though it’s their smallest, it was still really spacious.  It was way better than what I’d expected.

I reserved a room online and made the required 10% deposit.  When we checked in I was a bit surprised but the girl at the desk knew that I’d stayed there in 2008.  When you check in, you pay up front rather than after.  I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in a hotel where you pay after.  Instead of offering me my change, the girl asked if it would be alright to hold the balance at the desk until we left, to be used against any items we took from the mini bar.  I didn’t care too much and we did wind up raiding the mini bar.  The drinks in there are actually well priced and they were really cold.

New Horizon Hotel Superior room.

New Horizon Hotel Superior room.

Don’t mind my underwear.  I swear I wasn’t naked while taking these photos!

New Horizon Hotel Superior room.

Cigarette smoke ruins so many good photos…

New Horizon Hotel Superior room.

The bathroom in this room is set up the same way as the bathroom in the Deluxe Suite.  It’s spacious, comfortable and the water runs warm, but not really hot.

As you can see from the last photo above, we had our cat with us.  It’s not normally allowed, but I worked out an exception with the manager prior to booking by asking politely and agreeing to pay any damages she might cause.  We kept an eye on her and she was a good girl.  Thankfully she didn’t go nuts on that fake leather couch.

My cat exploring a New Horizon Hotel Superior room.

My cat exploring a New Horizon Hotel Superior room.

My cat exploring a New Horizon Hotel Superior room.

Like I said, the room was comfortable.  The air conditioning got good and cold.  The room service was decent and well priced and the cable TV was fun.  If you’re considering staying at this place, it’s well worth it, and it’s close to an MRT line.  You can walk out of the hotel and be in the train station in about 15 minutes, counting the time it takes to get your ticket.  It’s a few short stops from Megamall and there are restaurants all around it.  Despite being right along EDSA (a highway) the rooms are quiet at night.  Broadband Internet was optional for the room as well.

They did us a good favor by letting us have Marble there overnight and the place is nice anyway, so we’ll definitely be using them again in the future.  I’m planning on making more trips to the Philippines to visit my wife until she’s ready to follow me to the US.

Click here to visit New Horizons’ web site.

*Note: The rates are showing up at 5 dollars more than they were when I checked them last week.  I’m not sure if that’s a permanent increase or not, but it may have something to do with the fact that they’re in the process of renovating the rooms.  The room we stayed in this time wasn’t renovated yet.

The PNB Financial Center

When we moved to the Philippines, one of our cat carriers was damaged during the flight.  After quite a bit of e-mailing back and forth I convinced Philippine Airlines to cover the cost of the carrier.  The catch was that I had to go all the way to the PNB Financial Center which is near the Mall of Asia in Manila.  It takes about two and a half to three hours to get there from where I’m staying in Antipolo.  It might be a quicker trip if I had a personal vehicle, but I was and still am relying on public transportation, for now.

The building was a lot more impressive than I thought it would be.  I expected to walk into a standard office building with a lobby and some elevators and then go up to some musty offices.  The building had musty offices alright, but the architecture was really amazing.  The eery part is that the place was mostly deserted.  It’s not surprising, considering how it’s in such an out of the way place, but at one point it must have been a bustling center of activity.  Maybe before the advent of ATMs?

PNB Financial Center, Manila

PNB Financial Center, Manila

There is a huge room with a semi-circle of counters that at one time must have served as teller stations for people making over-the-counter transactions at the bank.  The mezzanine has rows of offices, which is where the PAL cashiers are.

PNB Financial Center, Manila

PNB Financial Center, Manila

The balcony and courtyard areas of the building were closed off, but I could look through the windows and see statues and benches.  It would have been nice if I’d been able to look around out there.

Relief Carving at PNB Financial Center, Manila

On the way out of the building, I noticed the relief carvings mounted on the walls of the lobby.  They each had a different scene.  If I remember right they depicted different periods of Philippines history.  I should have taken photos of the other ones, but I was worried the guard would stop me and then make me delete the photos I’d already taken.  I have no idea if photos are allowed in there.

The building has the quiet, empty feeling of a tomb, but has potential.  I think it’d make a great building for a museum, art gallery, or exhibition hall for small events.

My wife mentioned that at one point that area had all been part of a bay and had been modified for use through land reclamation.  It’s no wonder Manila floods.  Part of it is below sea level and the other part is barely above it, as reclaimed land.  Land reclamation is still an impressive thing, though.

The iPad 3G is for sale in Manila, but WTF?

While we were out in Manila last night at Megamall we wandered into the electronics area to find some speakers for my laptop.  Some of the ‘specially priced’ movies we’ve been picking up have low volume so we needed something to give it a bit of a boost.  While we were there we saw this in the window:

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The iPad3G is a pretty neat item.  I personally have no desire to get one.  I still think of it as nothing more than a giant iPod Touch.  Plus, it doesn’t really match up with life in the Philippines.  Walking around with something like that in your hand would make you an impressive… target.  Ya.  People would see that and that incident where the guy got his fingers ripped off while his iPad was being stolen would seem tame by comparison.

Anyway, what prompted me to take the photo was the price tag.  The iPad isn’t being sold here officially, that I know of anyway, so the hand-imported ones are selling for higher than what they should.  The price on that iPad is 59,950 PHP, or approximately 1,290 USD.  Electronics in the Philippines typically carry a higher price tag.  I think they’re highly taxed by the government, but this is just over the top.

The next ‘toy’ that I shell out money for will probably be the iPhone 5 next year, if even that.  I’ve had to rearrange my priorities since coming here and I can think of plenty of other things I could spend that money on.  My trusty iPhone 3G will just have to keep chugging along for a few more years.

Squatters in Manila

Something I noticed on my first visit to the Philippines two years ago was that people seem to live anywhere there’s room enough to set up shelter.  I thought that there must be no sort of zoning regulations or building codes, both of which would prevent this sort of thing in the US.  I still don’t know if there are building codes and zoning regulations in the Philippines, but I know why there are houses everywhere.  People just do what they want to do and because so many of them do it, it’s too costly for the government to try to stop it; they just ignore it instead.  This has led to a class of people who are locally called ‘squatters’, at least in English.

Squatters are people who don’t own the land they’re living on.  They have no legal agreement, tenancy or title, or anything of the sort.  They just see an area that looks like a good spot for a house (or in some cases just a ramshackle shelter) and they start building with whatever they have the means to afford or acquire.

No area is off-limits to squatters, in their own minds at least.  If there’s a 10 feet of ledge along the top of a sharp ridge by the road, they’ll build on it.  If there’s a space under a bridge, they’ll build on it.  If there’s an empty lot near a major mall that’s not being patrolled regularly, they’ll build on it.

What you wind up with, at least in Manila itself, is something that looks like this:

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I don’t remember the name of the area where I took this photo.  It’s where two major train lines intersect and you pass between them using a covered walkway.  One of the protective grills was missing so it gave me the perfect spot to take a photo.  The squatters homes are made of pretty much anything they can find and put to use.

The most bizarre thing about squatters is that they have electricity.  Some of them even have air conditioners and they usually have running water too.  In the interests of earning money, the utility companies in Manila have done installations to provide them with their basic needs, further legitimizing their claims to their homes, and the land they sit on.  Imagine being a politician and trying to shut down all of the areas like this in Manila.  Imagine the public outcry over the ‘inhumanity’ of it.  So, despite the fact that these people don’t own the land, it’s not likely they’ll be removed any time soon.

Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila, Philippines

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The Intramuros area of Manila is actually pretty big.  There are still sections of the original wall wall running through the city, complete with rusty cannons and stone guardhouses, which people can still walk on.  These areas aren’t maintained well, though they’re kept relatively clean.  The inner area of the wall seems to have been converted into mostly tertiary schools, souvenir shops, restaurants and a few businesses.  We didn’t wander the walls or the greater Intramuros area during this trip; we went straight to Fort Santiago.

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Fort Santiago is the site of the oldest military compound in the Philippines and has been attacked, destroyed, rebuilt and used by the Spaniards, Filipinos, British, Americans and the Japanese during various wars and occupations.  It’s purpose has been both noble and terrible as a site for national defense and the scene of a major massacre.  Currently, the area is in varying states of repair, with some areas looking well manicured and others crumbling with every gust of wind.  You can see where some structures have been shored up with improved technology over the centuries, like a few steel braces and beams we saw on the original red brick Spanish military barracks which was originally built in 1593.

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Before entering Fort Santiago proper, there is a well manicured area that must have been rebuilt to give you a sense of what the area looked like in its prime, under Spanish control.  It’s really quite nice.  There are also a few cafes and gift shops in this area, as well as a partially restored warehouse that was used for storing goods brought in off ships.

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There are still a few ugly ducklings around that need some attention and restoration, but I saw plenty of construction material positioned alongside and in front of them, so at some point these should be fixed up nicely.  I’m especially curious as to what the second building was for.  It looks like a residence.  A rough guess is that it belonged to the owner of the shipping warehouse across the plaza.  Some of the chips on the walls look like they were caused by bullets though, so perhaps at some point a group of soldiers tried to use it for a makeshift defense.

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To enter Fort Santiago proper, you have to cross a moat using the original bridge.

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Flanking both sides of the gate are relief carvings of what look like Spanish soldiers.  They’ve both been heavily damaged, perhaps through intentional defacing by angry Filipinos who resented Spanish rule.

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These red brick ruins are all that’s left of the barracks built by the original Spanish soldiers in 1593.  During the American period they were used by military officers and their families.  The building was destroyed during World War II.

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The two holes in the first image, and a few others like it, were placed along the waterfront area of the fort, by the Pasig River.  When we first saw them my wife said they looked like places for holding prisoners.  I looked down in one and saw that it had a tunnel that led back into the fort so I guessed that it was a powder and munitions storage area.  Turns out we were both right.

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The Spaniards originally used the area as storage vaults for munitions and powder, but it was too damp to suit their needs.  They built a new storage area further away from the river and turned it into a dungeon for prisoners.  This area would later be used by the Japanese to imprison and torture Filipino and American guerrillas, civilians and POWs.

Just past that sign I’m standing in front of in that picture there’s an opening that leads down into the lower level.  It was locked up.  I’m guessing it was damaged during the Ondoy disaster last year and hasn’t been reopened to the public yet, which is a shame because it would have been very cool to get a first-hand look at something with so much historical significance.  I’ll have to find out who to annoy into reopening the area.

Since I couldn’t go in, I stuck my arm down through the opening and took a few pictures with my camera.  When I got home later and transferred the images to my laptop, this is what I saw:

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Notice anything odd about that image?  Here are two more that I took from different angles:

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That’s just a tad bit creepy right?  I think it must be a statue, because later I saw bronze statues through an opening in another closed off area, but those were all one solid color.  This one has different colored clothing on and a more natural looking skin tone.  The area is creepy anyway, because the Japanese massacred 600 people in there at the end of the war:

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The whole Fort has a pretty heavy atmosphere.  A lot of lives were lost in that small area and during the majority of its existence it has been used as a stronghold for a foreign military on Filipino soil.  As we walked through I couldn’t help but imagine the way things must have been in the past, what the soldiers must have done, both good and bad, or how the Filipinos felt when they saw the walls.  I spent some time in the US military so I wasn’t imagining ‘glorious battle’.  I was just wondering at the daily routines.  What did they eat?  Where did they eat?  I wondered how they’d adjusted to the heat and if they ever flicked cigarette butts over the wall into the river.  I wondered where they used the toilet.  The simple stuff that often gets overlooked in action movies.

Fort Santiago is well worth a visit and I’m looking forward to going again when more areas are open to the public.  Besides the dungeons, the actual building Jose Rizal (the Philippines national hero) was imprisoned in as well as a walkway down by the river were blocked to the public.  I still think it must be due to last year’s Ondoy storm damage so I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a reopening sometime in the next few years.

Note: In this post I deliberately avoided talking about Jose Rizal, though his presence in the fort does play a large part in the nation’s history.  The reasons for that are that I don’t know enough about him to discuss him yet and I focused on the areas that interested me or had significance to me as an American.  The fort has a very nice Jose Rizal museum which you can take a look at if you have an interest in that aspect of Filipino history.  I’ll be posting about Jose Rizal in the future when I’ve heard about and read up on him more.

The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (AKA Manila Cathedral)

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That’s a pretty big mouthful, but basically what I’m talking about here is the church that’s designated as the command center for the Archbishops of Manila.  To be precise, these esteemed gentlemen:

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A few posts ago I showed some photos of the cathedral in in Antipolo.  It’s pretty nice, but the Manila cathedral was designated as a Minor Basilica for a reason.  It’s got great architecture and a LOT of history, as you can see from the picture above, which shows archibishops dating back to 1573.  We went through it rather quickly, because it was as hot as an oven in there, but on a cool day we could go back and spend a few hours reading all of the information that’s put out on display.  A quick history is that this church was originally established by the Spanish during the colonial period.  It originally fell under the diocese of Mexico, but eventually gained its own authority and power structure.  The building itself has, in part, survived multiple wars, a massive fire and an earthquake.  It’s been rebuilt a few times.

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The exterior and interior of the building are in pretty good shape.  There was some quiet renovation work going on while we were there, but it didn’t detract from the overall experience.  I’m not Catholic, but it was still inspiring to be in such a sacred place with over 400 years of history, so we took a few moments to offer up prayers before leaving to continue our self-guided tour of the Intramuros area.

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This is a view of the cathedral from the main entrance towards the chancel.  It’s a pretty big area.

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If you walk to the front and then turn and look above the entrance, you’ll see the pipe organ.  A plaque I read said that the first Catholic missionaries to the Philippines brought musical instruments with them, including a portable box organ which was probably destroyed in a major Manila fire in the 1500s.  It didn’t say exactly when the pipe organ was put in place, but it said that for almost all of the cathedral’s history, there’s been a Master Chantre, some of which were specifically named as organists.

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Just after taking this photo, a young guy walked in, embraced this cross and began to pray silently.  I’ve noticed that Catholics place a lot of importance on symbols, images and things as objects or focal points of prayer.  It seems bizarre to me, because there shouldn’t be an object between yourself and God.  On the other hand, I suppose something that inspires (properly placed) devotion can’t be all that bad.  Being in the cathedral was a strong reminder and incentive for me reflect as well.

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This is the “La Pieta”.  I didn’t read the plaque, so I don’t understand the symbolism behind the statue, but it’s well made.

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This is an image of Our Lady of the Philippines located in the Manila Cathedral.

I’m looking forward to visiting this cathedral again.  We were a bit short on time and just happened to see it while on our way to Fort Santiago so we rushed through.  I may create an additional post about this cathedral in the future, since it’s such a wonderful and rich landmark in Manila.

Giant Billboards

One of the first things you’ll notice as you leave NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport), besides the hellish traffic, are the gigantic billboards.  Ya, giant really isn’t even enough to describe these things.

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Billboards aren’t anything new to me.  They’re all over the place in the US, especially along highways, but Manila takes it to a whole new level.  These things are about four times the size of the average billboard in the US.  They’re so big, in fact, that they pose a safety hazard during bad weather.  My wife was telling me that a few years ago there was a hurricane that caused a lot of the billboards to fall over.  They fell onto the highways, which had cars on them, and killed a few people.

I think they’re pretty interesting to look at, but only because of how big they are!

Typhoon Ondoy Aftermath, More Disaster



(Image via bardagols on Flickr)

The aftermath of Typhoon Ondoy is turning into a huge disaster.  I’ve been hearing bits and pieces of news and I figured I’d try to put it all together here.  It’s very disheartening to say the least.  Of course, you can’t expect a lot of good news in the middle or immediate aftermath of a disaster, but some of the things that are going on are just ridiculous.


One of the biggest problems right now is that there are vacant homes everywhere.  Granted, they have water damage, but there are still valuable items in some of them.  Unscrupulous people are taking advantage of this and there is rampant looting in affected areas.  These families have already sustained massive damages to their homes, and they’re going to be financially crippled for quite some time.  Having their possessions stolen will only make matters worse.  Plus, vandals aren’t going to be using the spare key, so there’ll be additional property damage on top of what was caused by the typhoon.

One thing that’s really bothering me is reports of politicians “branding” the relief packages with their faces and names.  This practice is common in the Philippines.  Every time there is road construction, or some new public facility is being built, politicians waste plenty of citizens’ tax money to put up huge billboards describing the work in progress, the responsible politician’s name, and more often than not that politicians face, or even a family portrait.  Is that really necessary?  Everyone knows who was elected to serve in that region, so it should be plain who backed the roadwork or the new construction.  Putting up all of those billboards is a waste of funds that could be put to better use in a country that is, on a normal day, already struggling to keep afloat economically.  Now, after this huge disaster, when so many people are suffering, the politicians aren’t worried about providing relief.  They’re worried about advertising and branding.  It’s fucking disgusting.  They have no sense of propriety.  This is not the place or time for that sort of thing.  What’s even worse is these packages aren’t being provided by those politicians.  It’s being provided by multiple donations from all around the world.  The politicians are repacking it and putting their name on it, as if they paid for it all themselves.

Many Filipinos are also claiming that relief goods are only being handed out when media is present, and not before, nor after.  It’s as if this whole tragedy has become a platform for politicians to advertise themselves.  How heartless is that?  Rather than focussing on what’s important, they’d rather use it as an opportunity to try to ensure they get reelected.

Here’s a news flash.  It was partially through failure on the part of elected officials that this disaster happened in the first place.  Lack of awareness campaigns to reduce pollution, lack of announcing the impending disaster, lack of rescue personnel and equipment, lack of funds.  Lack of leadership.

This raises the issue of government misuse of public funds, most notably the Philippine president, Gloria Arroyo, and her huge expenditure of approximately 1 million Philippine Pesos in New York City for a dinner.  Personally, I hope that this causes a shift in the right direction in Philippine politics where there is more accountability of where and how money is being spent.

The icing on the cake is that another tyhpoon, named Pepeng in the Philippines and internationally known as Parma , is expected to make landfall tonight Friday night, and only 1/4 of the rainfall produced by Ondoy will be required to recreate flash flood conditions.  Oh, and Pepeng is a stronger typhoon than Ondoy was.

I’ll be keeping the Philippines in my thoughts and prayers tonight.  Good luck guys.

Heroes of the Typhoon Ondoy Tragedy

This is a photo of the Laguna area, roughly 60 km south of Manila. It’s not the exact location where the following events took place, but it’ll give you an idea of what the area looks like. Also, I found the sign in the image to be rather ironic, given the circumstances. Maybe putting up huge billboards describing what you’re doing isn’t such a great idea, politicians.

Typhoon Ondoy brought a lot of tragedy to the Philippines but it has also brought out the best in people in terms of risking themselves to save others.

One inspiring story is that of PFC Venacio Ancheta, who was able to save 20 civilian lives before losing his own to the floodwaters. PFC Ancheta belonged to the 2nd Infantry Division disaster response team, led by Lt. Arnel Marcos. His team was responding to affected residents of Barangay Tunhac, Famy, Laguna when he bravely lost his life.

PFC Venancio Ancheta was just one of seven Philippines Army casualties suffered during rescue operations, but his actions inspired many others to put their lives on the line to save their fellow Filipinos. A quote from the statement issued by the Philippine Army says: “His heroism [serves] as an inspiration for the whole Philippine Army and, in particular, his teammates who continued the mission and rescued another 600 civilians in Famy, Laguna”

Another inspiring story is that of CPL Adriano Regua, who lost his life while trying to save one of the militiamen on his team. The militiaman was drowning and CPL Regua risked himself to save him. Unfortunately, neither made it. This selfless act spoke highly of his dedication to his duty and his team, as well as his quality as a leader. Additionally, under his supervision his rescue team was able to save 200 residents in the area. Perhaps the most telling sign of the quality of his character was that he was putting forth his best effort to perform his duties, despite the fact that his own family was in danger in Tanay, Rizal, which was also hard hit by the storm.

On the other end of the spectrum you have something that initially looks heroic, but doesn’t stand up to reason when you really think about it.

Christina Reyes, a famous young actress in the Philippines, was stranded on top of her house with her family. That’s a situation that was faced by thousands of Filipinos, and yet her case was somehow made special because she is a celebrity. I think this is one of those times when social class and celebrity status shouldn’t make a difference. Everyone’s life is just as valuable.

Richard Gutierrez, fellow actor and co-star of an upcoming movie, somehow appropriated an Army speed boat and made his way through the wreckage of Manila to Reyes’ house to rescue her. Some sites are describing it as a real life scene from a movie that should be hailed and praised. I see it as misuse of government property, shameless self promotion (on Gutierrez’ part) and a gross mockery of the suffering Filipino flood victims are experiencing. Also, I can’t help but wonder how many victims he passed on his way to and from rescuing her.

I found a rather poorly made fan video of the incident, which is embedded below, but what really caught my eye was the sentiment of one of the commenters, included below the video embed.

A YouTube user had this comment to make about the situation:

Don525 (6 hours ago) [[As of 11:04 PM, Tuesday September 29th]]

Whats so special about this BITCH?The whole country is in chaos..hundreds already died,thousands are homeless some are hungry and missing and they are worried about a famous 2 face celeb..?VERY SAD,,very sad indeed,,who gives a shit!!there is more at stakenow help our kabayan..and dont be an asshole like our gov..blame it global warming and bad devlopment and bad dicipline…

I can’t really say that it’s Reyes’ fault, because it’s only natural for someone to appeal for help. I blame Gutierrez, for being selfish in taking an Army speedboat that could have otherwise been used for rescue operations to save just one person.

The Reyes incident aside, PFC Venacio Ancheta and CPL Adriano Regua are heroes. They’re certainly not the only ones, but they’ve become figureheads for the relief efforts in the Manila area.

I sincerely hope that a portion of tax money is used for something noble, the erection of a monument in Manila to honor the heroes and the dead in this tragedy.