Help for Enzo’s Healing and Recovery

Enzo is a young 10-year-old boy whose health has been worsening for the past few months. His parents Michael and Marian have put up a YouCaring fundraiser page to help support their child’s continued medical care and hospitalization.

An excerpt from the parents’ message:

We are so grateful for the many prayers and support that we’ve been receiving. It is heart-warming to know that many are with us as we go through these trying times. We hope you could continue to join us in prayer for Enzo’s complete healing and immediate recovery and that he can be home soon. We also humbly appeal to your generous hearts as we are in dire need of financial assistance for Enzo’s hospital bills and medical expenses. Any aid will be much appreciated and would go a long way in helping our son be well again.

Click on the “Donate Now” button on the widget below, or visit the fundraiser page for more details on how to help. UPDATE: Online donations are currently unavailable due to issues with Paypal. You may still continue to donate via the Philippine bank accounts, or contact the parents via email or Facebook.

You may also deposit to the following Philippine bank accounts:

PSBank Account Number: 141-11-1-01568-8
Account Name: Michael Stephen or Marian Louise Mariano
Account Type: Savings
Swift Code: PHSBPHMM

Metrobank Account Number: 066-7-066-40040-5
Account Name: Marian Louise Mariano
Account Type: Current
Swift Code: MBTCPHMM

Or get in touch with the parents:

Email Address: and/or
FB Messenger: Marian Ferrer-Mariano and/or Michael Mariano

Please support this fundraiser and save a child’s life. Every donation, however large or small, counts.


Why I Started to Avoid Helping Strangers: My Budol-Budol Story

It is a familiar scene especially in the metro to see strangers trying to approach passersby asking questions, begging for alms or asking for a few bucks just so they can get home. For someone who is new to the city, you may fall for them and give them money. Worse, be a victim of a modus operandi that could cost you your life worth’s savings or your life. This is why little by little, passersby like me as much as possible try to ignore strangers asking for help. Good samaritans are becoming apathetic to protect themselves. Personally, I just smile (Important: without eye contact) and walk by them. This may be a little rude. What if the stranger actually needed help. Well, you can’t blame me. I’m just being safe.


Another Reclamation Project?!

Map view of Cordova Reclamation Project

Philippines’ “biggest” reclamation project in Cordova approved

Wala ka bang napapansin sa iyong mga kapaligiran? (Asin — “Kapaligiran”)

I learned this song when I was in first grade. I think I was six years old. This song wasn’t just a song. It was a symbol of hope for a child like me that regularly passed by the Pasig River. Smelling its foul odor. Seeing floating garbage with the water lilies on its dark brown surface. A child that heard stories from his grandmother of how clear the water was. How they’d drink the water. How they used to catch fish. I get both sad and envious thinking about it now. I was a child that was taught to memorize and practice the 4Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Return, which I forgot after I graduated. A child that was hoping that through this song everything will change for the better. But it didn’t.

Fast forward to 2015 and here we are. I’m now 25 years old and I’m reading an article that the biggest reclamation project in Cordova, an island municipality in the province of Cebu, is now approved.

I get that developed countries like Hong Kong, China and Japan have reclaimed lands as well, and locally, the land where the likes of SM Mall of Asia and Solaire were built has been a key to a lot of successful investment opportunities. However, I’m just wondering: When are we going to stop?

The Philippines is an archipelago, a group of islands. Converting a yamang tubig to a yamang lupa (no matter how useless this body of water is) is like playing God. Okay, for the non-religious: It’s altering nature’s balance. Somehow, somewhere, someday, it will have an effect on us. We may not know it now, we may not feel it now, but our sons and daughters of the next generations will.

Dear Philippines, 

Sustainability is the key for us to survive. It is not about which country has the highest GDP or currency rate. It is not about who has the most number of H&M stores or eat-all-you can restaurants. Nobody cares how many malls a country has. It is not about who can afford to go to a luxurious island for a “yaya meal” (yes, I’m talking about that island resort *evil stare*). In the long run, it is about how we maintained our natural resources for this generation and the generations to come.

Manila Bay: It’s sad that the view of the sunset is all it has now.

I read an old article this morning that some people are still swimming in Manila Bay despite government warnings. Are these people really at fault or are they, in a distorted kind of way, a symbol of hope? The natural thing to do when people see water is to drink and bathe in it. We can call them stupid or reckless for swimming in polluted waters but they do remind us that Manila Bay and other dead bodies of water and land are still alive. There is still hope for restoration. If Singapore and Korea have successfully done it, why can’t we? To this day, in spite of the growing number of natural disasters, the government still has no efforts in place to protect the environment.

We just need to do it now. Not tomorrow and not next year but now.

When will we start caring? Is all the money in the world worth it? When will stop destroying and start creating?

When will we stop?

Advocacies News

Think Before You Click: “Viral” Stories

Today I read a “viral” news from my Facebook newsfeed, recently picked up by ABS-CBN News (“VIRAL: Man walks away after woman trips on his bag”), about an incident in a local airport. For me, what happened was a mere lapse in judgement. The man decided not to help a woman in the accident he indirectly caused. It could generally be considered as rude but you can’t really call that “injustice.” The man should have went back, helped and apologized. On the other end, maybe he saw that airport staff were already helping the woman and out of embarrassment, he decided to leave.

Well, that’s my opinion and I’m like every netizen crawling in the web waiting for the next news to arrive. Once it catches my attention regardless if I’ve seen/read the video/article, I would immediately repost it on my wall along with my unsolicited opinion.

Think before you click. This is something that we Filipinos have been hearing for quite some time now. But really, do Filipino netizens think before they click? In this incident, viewers can only judge by the video, which by the way has no audio. Even if it does have audio, we are only seeing one angle to the whole story. Giving our own opinion without knowing the whole story is a dangerous affair. Moreover, we are irresponsibly putting these people in a public trial.

I am not siding with anyone. I just want to emphasize that the internet is a very powerful tool. It can make or break someone’s reputation. Before sharing or posting something, we should consider how it affects others especially the people in the video.

The internet is sadly becoming a venue for selfish rants and biased complaints (I’m also guilty and I’m not saying that this story is). It’s just disappointing that news sites have to pick up viral stories to stir the emotions and opinions of their readers. I read somewhere that, because of the internet, the demand for news has become 24/7 and naturally, quality is one of the obvious trade-offs.

I can’t help but think if mainstreaming viral stories is a way for the media to distract netizens and the general public from the more pressing issues happening in the country.

Just my thought. What are your thoughts on this matter?


Where is the Mercy and Compassion for the Environment?

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Although it wasn’t highlighted as much during the Pope’s apostolic visit to the Philippines, one of the messages that Pope Francis advocates is the environment. His namesake St. Francis of Assisi is known to be a “steward of God’s creation,” with utmost respect to the earth and all of its inhabitants.

This situation is disappointing, to say the least. The theme of the Pope’s apostolic visit is “Mercy and Compassion.” However, being merciful and compassionate isn’t just reserved for people, but to all of God’s creation.

With super typhoons wreaking havoc on communities yearly becoming the new normal, the government should be placing more focus on launching projects for the protection of the environment. Climate change, global warming — all of these are more than just buzzwords. We are clearly experiencing the effects caused by centuries of damaging and neglecting Mother Earth.

Let us be like St. Francis and Pope Francis, who love the environment as their brothers and sisters.

via Mounds of trash left in Manila after grandstand mass, GMA News Online.


Just a Thought: How We Can Save Filipino Society

We hear people complaining about how Filipino society has changed through the years.

In most cases, it changed for the worst. This is not a generalization but it’s a statement of something that’s obvious. So obvious that we have learned to live with it. Infected by a spreadiing cancer called apathy, we just let it happen.

Observe the little things: How pedestrians walk in the streets of Manila or some other crowded city in the metro. How children would talk to their parents minus the po and opo. How people fail to dispose a piece of Mentos wrapper or ATM receipts in the bin.

Advocacies Videos Viral

Bekitaktakan na!


1 Year of World Vision


It has been over a year since my friends and I decided to sponsor a child’s education. This is our small contribution in trying to change the world. We aim to sponsor more children in the future once we get stable financially.

Education is important. It equalizes opportunities for people to elevate and change their lives.

Visit to sponsor a child.


What the Philippines Needs: Sustainability

The 2013 Philippine Elections is just around the corner. I’m writing this post not to comment on candidates I like or more importantly, the candidates that I don’t like. I am writing this post because I want to share what I think the country really needs. I am a graduate of Industrial Engineering and not in any way knowledgable on the law or the things that I’ll be talking about but this is what I feel should be prioritized. Sustainability.