Dateline: Tacloban, Six months after Typhoon Haiyan

It’s been quite a while since I have revisited typhoon devastated Tacloban City. I was hoping on documenting it’s rise from devastation.
A couple of weeks back, just before the 6 month after typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) struck and destroyed a large swath of the area, I was commissioned to do some video work for the UN’s Farm and Agriculture Organization. Below is the finished short.

May 2014
Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) hit the central Philippines on 8 November 2013, destroying some 600 000 hectares of farmland and leaving tens of thousands of farmers without a source of income, severely threatening their food security.

Thanks to an immediate response by the international community, the Department of Agriculture and FAO were able to assist tens of thousands of rice farmers quickly restore and replant their devastated fields in the wake of the disaster, working closely with the national government at all levels. Within weeks of the disaster, FAO, the Department of Agriculture and their partners, began distributing certified rice seeds and urea fertilizer to severely affected farmers, reaching 80 000 families in time for the December/January planting season.

Some have already gathered their crops, others will be doing so over the coming weeks and into early June, giving farmers hope for the future and kick-starting their recovery.

– See more at: http://www.fao.org/emergencies/resources/videos/video-detail/en/c/231219/#sthash.LGvOepTX.dpuf

Neil Young is God


For Neil Young, the Sixties never ended. The music, memories and changes haunt his best songs and records like bittersweet perfume: vital, endlessly renewing inspirations that are also constant, enraging reminders of promises broken and ideals betrayed. In “Twisted Road,” one of eight new songs sprawled across this turbulent two-CD set, Young recalls, in a brilliantly mixed metaphor, the first time he heard Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”: “Poetry rolling offhis tongue/Like Hank Williams chewing bubble gum.” And Young tells you what he did with the impact. “I felt that magic and took it home/Gave it a twist and made it mine,” he sings over Crazy Horse’s rough-country swagger, as if the marvel of that time and his dreams are still close enough to touch.

for more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/psychedelic-pill-20121030#ixzz2BOuc5LdF


Ramada Inn:
This time machine bring you back into Neil’s mind/road trip into 60’s Americana…and back before you know it. Some of the kaleidoscopic imagery remind’s me of the 90’s when I almost worked at the Berkeley System’s screensaver company doing the famous flying toasters….

Paracale Gold

In the Philippines, gold deposits are can be found in many areas. Smallscale gold mining is thus widespread, employing perhaps as many a 500,000 people across the country. There are essentially two types of small-scale mining in the Philippines: “indigenous”, which is carried out by communities or tribes for collective benefit and somewhat self-regulated by social norms and ritual, and “gold rush mining” which attracts poor migrants an others who work a site until it is considered empty and then move on. Most child labour is found in the latter. Children working in small-scale mines generally work alongside older family members in different steps of the processing and provide support services. The typical child gold miner is a boy between the ages of 15 – 17 years old who is a school dropout and who contributes about 30 per cent of the overall family income. Girls are sometimes involved, particularly in panning, but generally are exploited in other ways – by having to forego education to look after younger siblings are perform household chores, or worse by getting pulled into prostitution or domestic labour for third parties.
In the Philippines, children participate in a particularly dangerous gold mining practice called compressor mining. Here child miners dive into and open, muddy well perhaps two metres wide and up to seven metres deep. They extract soil in a murky environment with zero visibility wearing crude eye masks and breathing oxygen from a tube with the help of a compressor. The miner works in a squatting position, anchoring himself with elbows or knees pressed against the walls while shovelling mud into sacks. He usually stays down anywhere from three to five hours before taking a break.
“Paracale is a gold-rich municipality, 27km northwest of the provincial capital of Camarines Norte.
In Paracale, compressor miners usually operated through offshore makeshift mining houses.
The provincial government in January of this year allegedly cancelled the permits of all small-scale mining operations in Camarines Norte, one of the areas in the country that have sizeable minerals, especially gold deposits.”


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Mangrove Fight club


Under the canopy of the lush mangrove nurseries of Palawan, a few young boys get together to follow their dreams of being a boxer like their idol…Manny Pacquiao, as they cover their tender fists with old scraps of raggedy fabric…to punch on old sacks for practice and hoping to win PHP 500 as prize money for a regular barangay amateur boxing night.

La Oscuridad

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For Asia’s predominantly Catholic country, the Philippines…whose religious and cultural influences came mostly from it’s 300 years of colonization by the Spaniards.
Hence the All Saint’s Day, Dia de los Muertes, or Undas as it is locally called, plays a big role in remembering family members, friends and loved ones who have crossed the river of life into the other side.This is what happens after the lights dim out at the cemetery.