Monday, December 26, 2011

Sendong victims needs our help!

Send cash donation via text messages to Smart and/ or Globe
This year's holiday season will go down as one of the saddest Christmas to many Filipinos especially those living in the provinces that were affected by killer typhoon Sendong.

According to a report from Unicef, almost 200,000 children were affected by the flash flood brought by Sendong.  What's more depressing is the fact that more than a thousand lives were also taken and another thousand people are still reported missing.

I am just proud that I am part of an organization like People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) under the leadership of outgoing President Bong Austero who immediately released funds to help out affected employees of our member companies based in Cagayan De Oro and Iligan City.  It's our own little way of reaching out to them, especially to CDO who adopted us for a week during a PMAP event held in the city last October.

I was also inspired by friends and fellow bloggers based in CDO who has been active in conducting fund-raising activities for our kababayan in spite of the fact that they too are victims of Sendong.  One of them told me that "you'll be moved by the scenes when you are here.  You will feel that you're just lucky that you did not experience what they have gone through and that's my motivation to help them in the possible ways I can"

Yesterday, my family spent lunch at McDonalds in Proj. 4, QC and I consider it one special day not because of the holiday celebration but more on the joy that I felt when we brought something to donate for the victims of Sendong. It was the first time that I actually made extra effort to share something for the needy since I stopped doing a yearly gift-giving activity in 2007, the year I lost my daughter and younger brother in a span of three months.

Prior to that date, I've been organizing activities like feeding programs and donation drive for Christmas using a portion of my 13th month pay since 1997.  But I somewhat lost the excitement and the Christmas spirit when I got hit with a back-to-back personal tragedies.

Typhoon Sendong may have brought sadness to the lives of thousands of people but it's really amazing how hope can do wonders.  Hope touches even the heart of stone, uplift spirit, and unite a nation.  Personally, my heart was broken many times looking at the images of mothers cradling lifeless bodies of their children, people crying out for help and sad faces of children.  But I have to admit, it awaken me to relive a good deed that I should have not ceased doing in the first place.  I have just pushed the "reset" button and will do more action than just writing for this advocacy blog.  

For those who have old clothes, foot wears, bedding, canned goods and other useful things to donate, McDonalds outlets nationwide are accepting donations for the victims of Sendong.  Below are other organizations who have also offered their services and accepts your donations:

Inquirer Relief Drive
1098 Chino Roces Ave.
Cor MAscardo and Yague Sts.
Makati City

GMA Kapuso Foundatrion
2nd Floor GMA Netwrok Bldg.
GMA Drive, Diliman, QC

All LBC outlets nationwide.

For cash donations, you can visit any outlet of 7-Eleven or Cebuana Lhuiller or log on to or

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Yuri's Search for his Missing Mom

It's only a couple of weeks from now and the whole world will be celebrating Christmas day.

Personally, I am excited for my son Charles on how he would react in all the gifts that my wife and I have brought for him. It's my biggest joy to see his face light up and smile. Whatever that can make him happy is now my lifelong quest.

This morning, as I check my mails and Facebook notifications, an image made me pause for awhile and gave me goosebumps.  It was a hand-written letter from a 6-year old boy named Yuri looking for his mommy Collen Gabrido who went missing since Dec. 6 of this year.  I may not be his father but I can feel his pain of longing for his mom.

Well, this is the first time I'll admit it but sometimes my son seems to look for something that only his mommy can give.  I'll act silly, bring out all the toy and sing along with Disney characters shownon TV when Charles is crying but sometimes I just can't make him stop.  Then, when his mommy comes to the rescue, I don't know what potion she have that she can make him laugh in an instant.

I feel for Yuri. And also for his dad.  My blogger friend Myk Rome, who personally the Gabrido family, was the one who informed me about the incident.

Spreading across social media platforms in the Philippines especially on Facebook is a photo of a woman named Coleen Gabrido who has been reportedly missing since December 6, 2011. What moved me is the letter of a child to his mommy.

 According to Coleen's husband, his wife left home at about 1pm to attend to a review class and never came back. Coleen is a registered nurse and is recently attending a class for her IELTS (International English Language Testing System) for their family's plans to go abroad (Australia/Canada). Before she left their house, Coleen messaged her husband at about 12:40pm on December 6 saying, "Dad, papasok na ako. (Dad, I'm going to school)". That was the last text he received from her. The review center is just 15 minutes away from their home.

Coleen's husband tried to contact her mobile phone upon finding that his wife hasn't returned yet nor replied back to his messages. Her phone was still ringing in December 6 but next day, December 7 after 5pm, she can no longer be contacted.

Coleen is about 5'4" tall with an estimated weight 120-125lbs.  The young mom at 26 had with her, her Nine West black shoulder bag, mobile phone, books and wallet. She did not leave their house with any extra clothing to dispute thoughts that she might have run away. From her review class, Coleen usually arrives at around 10-10:30pm but she did not get to come home since the night of December 6, 2011.

The Gabrido family has already filed a police report but it has been 8 days now. Yuri is very sad and very worried about her mom. Please help Yuri find his mom... it's his only Christmas wish. Have a heart to help in the search.

If you have seen Coleen or if you have any information about her whereabouts, please contact immediately  +639159013848 / email

All photos and text below where taken from The Social Media Chameleon's Racing Thoughts.