WELL WOW,  last week was rough.

A particularly strong monsoon hit the country and a good portion of Luzon got devastated. Monday night coming home from work I got stranded at a McDonald’s about 15 mins. from my house because of the floods, and had to wait ’til the next day to brave the thigh-deep waters just to get home. The next three days were spent in the house because the weather got nastier; we couldn’t even go out to get groceries because of the floods. I also spent those days secretly being paranoid about getting leptospirosis because we didn’t get to buy preventive meds before everything. Anyway, things fell into place come Saturday. I’m still blessed that was the worst I went through.

Here is a map of donation centers. There are still a lot of people in evacuation centers and those with nothing left because of the floods. The weather’s better! Easier to drop off donations or help pack. Also, here’s the Google Crisis Response page for last week’s crazy, with the shelter map and people finder. If you’re a student, especially those in universities, I’m sure your school is doing something to help and maybe you can volunteer there. The same goes if you’re involved in a local church.

EDIT Aug 13: You can also donate to the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) . They need caged roofs, cat food, dog food, kennel cabs (even on loan), old towels, pet bowls, newspapers, detergent, palangganas, etc., as well as ready-to-eat food donations for their volunteers! Thanks Yas for the heads up.

Other things during monsoon week:
1. Finished Dave Eggers’ ‘A Hologram for the King’. Of all the things I’ve read by Eggers, this is the most straightforward one, I think. I was waiting for the story to screw me over at any given point in the book, but it didn’t. No nonsense.

2. Came across my copy of Citizen Designer, and re-read the first essay. And particularly got unnerved (in a good way) about how we think ‘being professional’ requires the separation of biases and personal beliefs from the work at hand, and how this mindset isn’t ideal because it creates disinterested and dispassionate creatives. The challenge, therefore, is how to be ‘professional’ without putting your convictions and values in the backseat whenever you work. How to maintain functionality without losing the goal of becoming a good advocate.

And then I kind of sulked because I couldn’t participate immediately to help the flood victims. : /

The weekend was thoroughly sunny, though! Punctuated with probably one of my favorite church sermons to date. It was about the flood, to think we’ve had enough of it, but I really liked it. Will post a link as soon as our church puts it up on iTunes hehe.

On a different note, I’m warming up to my new computer, and trying to befriend my pen tablet for the Nth time by drawing jellypeople.

But back to the topic of being a responsible creative. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how graphic design can and is meant to bring about change. A lot of people think graphic design is all cutesy patootsie or hip or something used to sell products, and on one hand it is and we need and love design for those reasons too, but I’ve read about and seen good examples (1, 2, 3) of very strong non-commercial design work that have moved and changed how cities and societies work. And I thought hey I want that for Manila, too! There has to be something with more bearing we can do beyond our motivational posters, right? Something more system-related probably or something to help with information dissemination? Something more sustainable?

I used to be so idealistic, especially when I was in college. Sometimes, like now, I still am, despite having seen how thick the wall between expectations and reality is haha. Which! Is important too, because with that wisdom you can set more realistic parameters to your ideas and mold them into more feasible and practical plans. Right now though I honestly don’t know where to look or start. So far I have one general requirement: I’m looking for / want to start something that would hopefully should involve more people outside the industry.

There has to be something! *fist in the air* Feeling college senior na nag-thethesis?! Haha. It’s one of those nights when all the things I want to do and make in life are running around my head.

Regardless of the money it’ll require or anyone who’ll be against it, or its feasibility at the moment: what’s your dream project?
In whatever field you’re in. What’s that something you’d want to start? What’s something you want to improve?


4 thoughts on “water”

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