live through this

Manila, 14 November—Oh wow, where do we start with this week? Far too many things happened between today and the last time I sat down to write a letter.

Like this one, which broke a few hours after I put the letter to bed:

This felt like exhaling after a long-held breath. I’m happy for them mostly, because finally, it seems like they are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel after a long, chaotic ride. My favorite side-story here is obviously the tale of that bizarre Trump press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping—in the words of the wise, you can’t make this shit up.

Meanwhile, hereabouts we dealt with tempests of our own—we’ve been reeling from one typhoon after another, and the back-to-back onslaught of Supertyphoon Rolly and Typhoon Ulysses truly brought many parts of Luzon to their knees, particularly Bicolandia, which bore the brunt of these storms.

As expected, the President seems to have slept through both storms. His spokesperson even defended him, saying the supertyphoon—one of the year’s largest and strongest—happened to enter the country on a Sunday, and on All Soul’s long weekend, no less. (When the next typhoon entered on a weekday, his spokesperson said he was attending a virtual ASEAN summit. The President later addressed the nation (too late) then said the PSG is barring him from swimming with the people in the floods (wtf) and then rode a chopper for photo ops. In short, wala namang ambag gaano.)

What I have been happy about is the Vice President’s very visible handling of the situation. A former representative for Camarines Sur, Vice President Leni Robredo has been everywhere, touching base with local leaders in typhoon-hit areas and offering assistance to severely affected LGUs. I’ve been watching her team’s organic coverage of her trips to Camarines Sur, Albay, Catanduanes, etc with great interest, and I realized I have missed watching a government official doing on-the-ground relief ops without having to double check if I am being gaslit or hoodwinked or manipulated. It’s refreshing.

Anyway, I made a Summary of this Week in Five Slides, which is an interesting format, but mostly it is just an excuse to tinker with Canva. You guys should try their presentations templates, I heard they’re really good! (Haha)

To wrap this up, sharing some donation initiatives on my radar that I can vouch for:

And of course, this week definitely deserves a meme. Here, have Lani Misalucha singing “Bukas na lang” over and over—because we all get those 5:30 p.m. emails amirite?

I’m still laughing HAHAHA. God we all need a good laugh these days, don’t we? :)

Thanks for making it this far. Happy weekend!