Radyo Bakdaw: Airwaves aid in disaster relief

BY ANA P. SANTOS GUIUAN, Philippines – Every Friday afternoon, they have a karaoke contest. That may not sound unusual at all for the Philippines and its known penchant for singing, but in the small town of Guiuan, where many of life’s basic necessities have yet to be restored after Typhoon Yolanda, a karaoke contest is […]

Importance of tech response during disasters

BY ANA P. SANTOS AND MICHAELA ROMULO GUIUAN, Eastern Samar – In Guiuan, where Yolanda first made landfall, there is no electricity, water is distributed everyday through water tanks, and many people are living in tent cities which serve as temporary shelters – but there is WiFi. Though intermittent and sometimes slow during a weather disturbance, […]

Womb for rent

For many Filipino couples that have a hard time conceiving, they go to Obando, Antipolo, and pray to St. Claire to give them a child. For the rest of the world, there is India. India, most specially the city of Anand in Gujarat has become known as the “Mecca for surrogacy.” Here, couples do not […]

Why identifying Typhoon Haiyan’s dead matters to the living

TACLOBAN/MANILA, 7 January 2014 (IRIN) – The authorities in Tacloban City, capital of Leyte Province in central Philippines, have concluded a mass burial of unidentified bodies retrieved from the debris left by Typhoon Haiyan. In a report published on 7 January, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) estimated that the category 5 […]

[DASH OF SAS] Vagina drop

My daughter calls the apex of the roller coaster and the sudden drop that sends you spinning at what feels like 3Gs, a “vagina drop.” Yes, my 12-year old uses that word. In our house, body parts are body parts—not birds and flowers. This year, she graduated from riding the kiddie rollercoasters that just kind of […]

[DASH OF SAS] Is HIV going out of fashion?

BY ANA P. SANTOS “In light of other pressing issues like urban terrorism, climate change, and the global recession, is HIV still newsworthy? Is HIV still ‘fashionable’ to talk about?” At last November’s International Conference on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific(ICAAP11), a regional conference attended by more than 3,000 delegates from government, public health institutions and […]

Building “storm-resilient” shelters

MANILA, Philippines – Two months after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the Philippine government and aid organizations are transitioning from the emergency and relief phase to the recovery phase, and shelter remains the biggest challenge. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has reported that more than1.1 million homes were damaged by Haiyan. Of that number, […]

Typhoon survivors celebrate uncertain Christmas

GUIUAN, 24 December 2013 (IRIN) – Typhoon survivors in the Guiuan area will celebrate an uncertain Christmas as aid workers and authorities struggle to provide shelter and livelihood assistance more than one month after Typhoon Haiyan made first landfall here, in Guiuan Eastern Samar Province in the Philippines. “We depend on relief goods for our […]

Analysis: Help wanted – local aid workers need psychosocial assistance too

HIGHLIGHTS Scant mental health support for local aid workers Financial needs may muffle requests for help Debriefing aid workers re-examined Line “blurred” between local responders and survivors MANILA/BANGKOK, 3 December 2013 (IRIN) – Back-to-back emergencies during the last three months in the Philippines have exposed the need for more psychosocial support (clinical and social assistance […]

Displaced first by Typhoon Haiyan, now an oil spill

  LOILO PROVINCE, 29 November 2013 (IRIN) – Local government authorities in a fishing village in northern Panay island in central Philippines are scrambling to evacuate thousands of residents after toxic fumes from a bunker fuel leak caused levels of benzene in the air to rocket. “We identified 1,042 families living along the contaminated coastline […]