In the Philippines, Maharlika Dos, a maritime vessel was swept by strong winds and currents from its nautical path and eventually sank. At the moment, already seventy people are reported as missing and have to be confirmed either alive or dead. For a small ship, this was not unexpected. More than five or even ten times the size of the ill-fated Maharlika Dos, Captain Ufuk – a huge foreign shipping vessel – that was seized by Philippine authorities in a special operation, berthed far off the coast of Manila Bay, was pushed by strong wind and waves toward the bayfront of Mall of Asia only a day or so ago. Government has recently issued as of September 18, 2014 flood advisories – clearly quite a little late after many have already been submerged.

There is danger that Philippines’ Mayon Volcano might erupt at any time. One of the predicted impacts of high solar activity. Evacuations are being undertaken long before the feared incident might happen. However, those that refuse to part with their farm animals are finding it difficult to join the trek to the evacuation centers.

Activating Mayon Volcano – BBC photo.

In Serbia, horrific floods caused extreme scare among the people. Fatalities cannot be fully accounted for at this time, but the number of dead will run up to hundreds.

Fairly recently, hundreds of people died in Japan due again to floods, high waters and landslides as in Sendai-Fukushima and many other areas of Japan. No one can say that Japan is not learning, but more needs to be done. Hundreds died in India and Pakistan for the same reasons.

Japan, India, Pakistan and the rest of the world has to act now. Change policies or the entire policy regime that affects the safety of people in disaster threatened zones.

Floods since last week in India and Pakistan has killed hundreds

Japan reports: Dozens killed due to floods and landslides. How many dozens?

Policies need to change. If they do not change, then the leaders just need to be changed with new faces and new blood that will secure better chances for the survival of potential victims of disasters in the future. There is a great deal of puzzlement whether the mission of the conference in Sendai, Japan being organized by the United Nations coincides with the advocacy to save lives. Will the UN continue to just simplistically push for resilience?

Japan itself, where the conference will happen, has shown that it adopts our idea of relocation. Communities near the coast in the devastated areas of Fukushima, Sendai, among others in that country, have moved their homes to much higher ground to ensure their safety. The UN appears oblivious to this, but greater media mileage can educate others about this laudable move by the people of Japan – in the face of their great lament that national and sub-national government regrettably informed them that it had limited resources to support the resettlement. The victims decided upon the relocation themselves and went through with it anyway.

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Just Another Post

November 14, 2011

Mark 13:1-31
1: And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” 2: And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down.” 3: And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4: “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign when these things are all to be accomplished?” 5: And Jesus began to say to them, “Take heed that no one leads you astray. 6: Many will come in my name, saying, `I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7: And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is not yet. 8: For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places, there will be famines; this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs. 9: “But take heed to yourselves; for they will deliver you up to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them. 10: And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11: And when they bring you to trial and deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say; but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12: And brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 13: and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 14: “But when you see the desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; 15: let him who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything away; 16: and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle. 17: And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! 18: Pray that it may not happen in winter. 19: For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will be. 20: And if the Lord had not shortened the days, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. 21: And then if any one says to you, `Look, here is the Christ!’ or `Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22: False Christs and false prophets will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23: But take heed; I have told you all things beforehand. 24: “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25: and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26: And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27: And then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. 28: “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29: So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30: Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away before all these things take place. 31: Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

It was written as early as 2004 by author Ezky that journalists will be victims of bloody terror killings.  The massacre in Buluan town, Maguindanao may be election violence-related, but it is a terrorist act no less.  It is a footnote to the presentation by Ezky that members of the media will not be spared from the bloodthirsty terrorists, whether in Mindanao or elsewhere.  While the author is not necessarily saying it for the first time since journalists have been known to have suffered execution at the hands of terror groups, in this case the author is saying that journalists en masse were hoarded and killed like animals.  The same way the alleged Ampatuan private army killed the Mangudadatus and the media in Maguindanao in what is now known as the Maguindanao massacre.

Recently, Harvard University Hazard Institute (HHI) and John Carroll University experts led by Dr. Patrick Meier and Dr. Jen Ziemke partnered in organizing an event called International Conference on Crisis Mapping (ICCM 2009) in Cleveland USA on October.  Among the underlying issues for organizing the crisis mapping conference was the study of Dr. Ziemke on violence against innocent civilians. Manual map coding as part of the study was done by Dr. Ziemke to denote about forty years of conflict in an African country.

Dr. Ziemke’s findings are about the tendency of armed individuals and groups to commit violence against civilians when they are losing power.  Her case study was Angola.  She may have been saying the same about Colombia, Iraq, about many other countries in Africa and other parts of the world.

Are the Ampatuans losing power?  If they are and Dr. Ziemke’s findings are right, the political clan must have been losing power a long time ago.  The mass burial ground where the journalists were uncovered is notoriously called in Maguindanao as “Killing Fields.”  Among other things, the Ampatuans are suspect in the killings of many other enemies allegedly including a colonel in the uniformed services.  Like the others, the colonel’s vehicle was also buried in that same site.  Whether the equipment used was the same backhoe with the Ampatuan letterings in them, is no longer material.  The fact is, that site is full of bodies and is literally a mine of buried automobiles.

Perhaps the national security officials missed this part.  Although they were made aware of the Ziemke doctrine months before the Buluan Massacre, they did not have the intelligence that the Ampatuans are indeed suffering from pangs of anxiety over impending defeat.  What they knew about the incident was posthumous data, and really too late to make any judgment calls. At the time when rape and murder was taking place and the bodies were being mangled, all the authorities knew was that there was hostile boarding by the MNLF Tornado Command of the vehicles of the Mangudadatus and media persons.  No information about the bloodletting.  And yet it was known all over Maguindanao, including among the Mangudadatu clan that there will be violent acts that will be heaped upon them by the Ampatuans.

It will appear thus that the massacre was bound to happen.  In the South, among the tribal groups, there is an abnormal  cultural feature called the “ridu.”  It is similar to the vendetta, or blood feud between warring clans (or tribes) in other societies.  Muslim tribes take “ridu” very seriously and only put an end to it when well-meaning third parties initiate negotiations and settlement between the warring parties.

In this case, the “ridu” was brought a notch higher.  Supposedly, the Ampatuans were not expected to harm women.  And furthermore, there was no justification for involving media persons in the carnage.  But the act happened just the same and the women were even raped.

It is even claimed that the sister of Mayor Toto Mangudadatu while being raped by a prime suspect, stabbed the alleged rapist-murderer with her ball point pen in an area around the midsection.  Compelling evidence if the wound actually is there.  But this is all water under the bridge.  What happened will not bring back the victims to their loved ones.  And nowhere in history will journalists ever be safe again.  Along with many innocent civilians in this and selected other areas in Mindanao or elsewhere that there is serious conflict, as Ezky had many years ago foretold.

In the time of Estrada, serious talk going around in international circles was that Mindanao will become another Afghanistan.  It was even made a subject of a large international conference held in Mandarin Hotel with the people of Erap proudly receiving all the attention as the potential victim of Afghanistan-like terrorist mayhem and atrocities.  And the big brother role of the US will go to the Australians being the next door neighbors of the country and being that the Aussies can easily bring in troops to Mindanao for “humanitarian assistance.”

That is sheer bullshit.  Mindanao will not be Afghanistan.  Not if the people in this country will be wise to tell the ogres to stay the hell away and leave us in peace.  The solution is to remove the source of the hostility and the means with which to commit these barbaric atrocities.  That is easier said than done.  But it has just got to be done despite that ingenious  plan to turn Mindanao into a bigger killing field.

During a small group (round table) meeting in Quezon City at the residence of poet and writer Rolly Carbonell, Author, poet,on forthcoming hazards from climate change and the solar super storm in 2012-2013, everyone shared their their ideas on various psycho-social issues that need to be considered about this event in the near future.

Initially, the group discussed the impact of the tsunami in Thailand and Indonesia, Bangladesh et al, Hurricane Katrina in the US, Typhoon Ondoy in the Philippines.

The Convenor of the conference, Sen. Edgar U. Ilarde, said that there will even be bigger catastrophes come 2012 and 2013, when the phenomenon of the solar climax or solar maximum takes place.  This will be in the form of a magnetic storm or a solar super storm that has devastating effects on both humans and more potently upon satellites, electronics, communications and many other devices powered by electricity.

On the other hand, Author, poet, philosopher George Sison, said:

The way we approach disaster, those in the past and especially those that are forthcoming, it almost looks like we brought these things upon ourselves.

George was saying that as if by mute agreement, we all collectively invoke disaster and will calamities to wreak damage upon ourselves and loved ones. Our conventional conscious acts and thinking either make or help make storms and earthquakes to happen. This is a dangerous thing to do. Psychically inviting peril and death.

George was also saying that we, as a people that are called Filipinos, are the only ethnic group that apparently suffer from negative karmic vibrations that in selected places of the world, once identified as Filipinos, we are discriminated against.  In George’s experience, he says he was extremely humiliated in an airport when someone asked who were from the Philippines and segregated all those that raised their hands from  the rest and told to occupy a corner so as to be processed longer than the rest of the travelers.

Such negative karma in a collective, George says, if powerful enough can also be contributory to events that happen in the environment. Together with the negative psychic energy of many others in the rest of the planet, we could even trigger bigger, much more tremendously powerful calamities all around the world.

More about this post here.

The Philippines has a long way to go in weather forecasting.  For a long time, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration or popularly known as PAGASA has been waiting for its order of at least ten S-band Doppler Radars.  The first delivery being half of the lot.  This has not happened.

PAGASA has been relying in part on the steady stream of free inputs with its membership in the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).  Certain quarters suggested the creation of a Philippine space agency in 2007 and a data communications (satellite) based agency as early as 1988.  No one listened to the proposals.  If the former Sec. Emilia Boncodin of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) even singlehandedly torpedoed down the creation of the Congress-legislated National Transport Safety Board, much more a space agency. And because of Boncodin’s single act, the whole situation is so fucked up that tragic disasters and crises involving mishaps at sea have been happening left and right and can’t be stopped from happening in the future. There were those who unnecessarily criticized and lambasted the proponent of a Philippine space agency, a retiring engineer at PAGASA, as foolish.

The project proposed to create a functional data communication agency, the Philippine Satellite Communication Operation, Research and Development Council (PSCRDC) in 1988, at the diminishing level of euphoria over EDSA I was probably just thrown in the garbage can.  If real and pseudo scholars will check at the Records Office in Malacañang, there is heavy doubt if the document was even registered as received by the Office of the President, even under the heading of Classified matter.  The project paper had a stamp of SECRET all over it.

The PSCRDC was clearly envisioned to be a Philippine space agency and it preceded the idea submitted by Engr. Bernardo Soriano.  Soriano appears to be an admin man, although he should be equipped with a doctorate after serving more than 30 years in PAGASA.  Why he submitted the idea for PASA could be due to his years of experiencing faulty detection and forecasting at PAGASA.

The Philippine Government should review the PAGASA proposal now and not at any other later time.  S-band Radars are all right.  But is it state-of-the-art in storm detection radars (SDR)?  If the investment to buy 10 radars will not cover the entire archipelago, what is the use of having the Dopplers?

Will it not pay more to have a stronger space agency and to invest more inputs for a mechanism to generate more data from outer space than is available today for the country?  After all, how many end-users are there for satellite data?  Nearly everyone has a use for information from outer space, not the least of which are those in the field of environment management, business, civil and military aviation, shipping, land transport, logistics, defense, law enforcement and just about any Googler and ArcGIS map user out there that includes many students, teachers, professionals who know how to.  And if you count them all, the number runs to millions.

That in itself is already a huge market.  Considering that the Philippine business traffic overlaps with those of many other countries, there is also revenue potential in this area.

For this reason, Cyberpark Telecom, our company has extended its sights towards business that relies on outer space data and possibly to generate a positive relationship with Smart Communications in this regard.

While there is only one Philippine satellite, see data from SatNews below, there is also great good that will come about if the satellite were boosted and fully equipped with new components and gadgetry to increase its sensing capabilities and other functions.  And that is where we come in.  If the Agila II Satellite people will not accept our offer, we can go shopping for other partners.  There are hundreds of satellites, real and artificial orbiting in outer space. India alone has ten satellites.  Or we could opt to launch our own satellites in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology in the near future.

By then, government must have renamed the PAGASA into a Philippine Space Agency as Soriano dreamed of.  But today we urge the administration of HE  PGMA to start pushing its cluster of agencies to map out the strengthening of RP’s capacities for using outer space as a valuable resource in many of its concerns.

As we are advocating in Resource Recovery Movement, there is a need for policy regime change in the area of mapping as it relates to environment, to global warming, to its many applications in engineering, architectural township planning, urban development, agriculture, etc.

The link to information on the Agila II Satellite: SatNews

ANNUAL ECOLOGY CRISIS CONFERENCE

The Resource Recovery Movement will hold the first 2010 Hazards Mapping and Environment Summit (Eco 2010 Summit) in Manila, Philippines.

This is ultimately borne about by the tremendous changing of the Philippine landscape and those of other countries in the Pacific Rim in the last few decades.

All efforts towards risk mapping in relation to calamities and disasters in the past should now take into consideration the great shifts and transformations in land mass, the enormous amount of rainfall brought about by Climate Change and many new factors that were heretofore not factored into national and sub-national planning by governments as well as even by business establishments and non-government organizations.

Click this link to sign up: Join Resource Recovery Movement!

The 2010 Hazard Mapping and Environmental Summit (HMES) is intended to develop better approaches to mapping risks and dangers to communities in the Philippines and other countries with tropical climates.

It takes a cue from the recent experience in China, Indonesia and the Philippines, notwithstanding the previous experiences in Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan where scores of people died due to unforeseen occurrences during the incidence of a natural disaster: earthquake, typhoon, tsunami and other calamities.

The databasing, mapping and full coordination of efforts towards use and sharing of a full function GIS on hazards, volcanoes, water, flood, forests in the Philippines and Asia, vulnerability areas, liquefaction potential, crisis and hot spots is long due because of the long-running phenomenon of Climate Change in the planet. This is also significant in that the Philippines, among other countries, lies in the Pacific Rim of Fire where a large number of earthquake faults lie.

The most important value of the conference is to determine the plan and the cost of implementing such a plan to make the Philippines and other participating nations safer from increasingly hazardous calamities.

Note: The organizers reserve the right to make minor changes in the Conference details prior to the actual Event.

HMES 2010 Organizers

Super Ferry (SF) 9

September 18, 2009

The tragedy that befell Super Ferry 9 made the Aboitiz sound like Aboizit and SF 9 become more like Putrid Ferry or Smelly Ferry 9 with all the dead passengers and the rotting perishables and cargo of the passengers, paid for cargo for transport by Aboizit, er, Aboitiz.

This should not have happened if Pres. Arroyo and Sec. Leandro Mendoza have the political will to start the new national agency on safety.

Click this link  for the photos of the tragedy.