Category Archives: Environment

‘Legal’ Logging also to Blame

Here’s something from Jarius Bondoc of Philippine Star. “I once went fishing with two retired Air Force sergeants in what we thought was a quiet, sleepy cove an hour from Baler, Aurora’s capital. From lush treetops a flock of hornbills suddenly took flight in fright. Moments later came the grating whirr of a chainsaw, followed by timber falling one by one, then thick smoke. Whoever it was apparently was burning a path for his booty. My companion couldn’t contain himself and yelled, “You S-O-B, what you’re doing is wrong.” Came an unmistakable crack from a rifle and a splash in the water a foot from our boat. We sped back to town to report the incident to authorities. No action; orders from the top most likely to ignore such complaints. Everyday too along Quezon’s coast, one would spot barges tugging floating logs. Again, official inaction.”

sort of a cry for help

Magandang Araw po sa lahat.

Ang ating mga kababayan po sa Aurora ay nangangailangan ng tulong in the form of food, clothing and medicine. Badly hit by two typhoons in a matter of days, a lot of families have already left their homes and properties.

According to Mrs. Yolly Angara of DSWD Baler, one of the hardest hit is Brgy. Buhangin, while residents of Brgy. Sabang have also been evacuated to the Municipal Hall. As for other areas, Villa Aurora was said to have been completely washed out by the rain and is now erased in the map. The total number of casualties is still undetermined.

Currently, Baler is expecting a supply of food from the DSWD regional office in Pampanga. A truck is supposed to pick up the supply today and is expected to reach the town tomorrow.

However, with the incoming typhoon “Yoyong” expected to hit Aurora (again) tonight, we fear that the next ration of food is not to be expected soon.

With the blessing of our grandmaster Kidlat AKA Batangbaler, a group of volunteers, mostly active members of who are based here in Manila, took the initiative to organize some sort of a relief mission for our kababayans, under the name AURORA VOLUNTEERS.

We are gathering food – canned goods, noodles, rice, etc., used clothes and medicine, or anything that you want to give our kababayans. The plan is to bring these items to Baler and other areas on Sunday, December 5.

We are hoping that you would join us in this cause. We don’t discourage you from sending your donations to television stations and other groups as we all have the same goals, but the idea is to make sure that our kababayans will receive help and assistance. The group assures you that whatever you give will go directly to our own kababayans in Aurora.

You probably have received a text message about this but for those who want to help, you may contact any of these volunteers:

Rommel Espinosa – 0920*******
Jerome Tinio – 0917*******
Enyel Sinsay – 0919*******
Ayie Pimentel – 0927*******
Ella Friginal – 0919*******

For those who are in other parts of the world, you may send your donations to your relatives in Manila or through:

Rachelle V. Friginal
Bank of the Philippine Island
Account Number: **********

Along with the donations, we continue to ask you to please pray for the safety of our families and friends in Aurora. Right now, it’s the only contribution that we could give.

Thank you all in advance and may God bless us all.

posted by: Ella Friginal

Update . World Vision prepares typhoon relief response . As the storm devastation mounted in the province of Aurora, located northeast of Luzon, World Vision’s regional team led by Food Security Coordinator Cesar Bautista geared up for relief operations to help victims. ‘Unding’, ‘Violeta’ death toll reaches 87. … It was earlier reported the President would visit Bicol and Aurora provinces, but Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman has announced the trip to Baler may be …

More News

from 2 TYPHOONS Violent ‘Violeta,’ ‘Unding’ leave 171 dead or missing.

Aurora deaths

The death toll in the flashfloods and landslides spawned by Violeta in at least three towns in Aurora rose to 24. Officials have declared the province under a state of calamity.

Mayor Jaime Ylarde of Dingalan town said the number of fatalities was expected to increase as more bodies pinned by logs and debris were being recovered on Wednesday in his town.

Board Member Sherwin Taay said the provincial board declared Aurora under a state of calamity.

The fatality count rose after the four Dingalan victims who were taken to a hospital in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija province, died on Tuesday night, Ylarde said. At least two more bodies were recovered in the town on Wednesday.

Worst hit

Aurora Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo said the initial list showed that at least 18 people — 15 in Dingalan, two in Ma. Aurora town and one in San Luis town — died.

Reports said more than 4,000 people had sought refuge at the Dingalan municipal hall, elementary and high school buildings and churches.

Except for the worst hit village of Paltik, electricity had been restored in Dingalan’s 11 villages on Tuesday night, Ylarde said.

The only road linking Dingalan to Nueva Ecija remained blocked by rocks and soil, but personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways began clearing the debris.

The municipal board placed the town under a state of calamity.

Illegal logging

Officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Luzon blamed massive deforestation and illegal logging in the town for the flashfloods and landslides.

Regidor de Leon, DENR regional executive director, said a case for illegal logging had been filed against Jackson Padiernos on Sept. 26, 2001. Padiernos is a son of former Dingalan Mayor Zenaida Padiernos.

De Leon said a court in Cabanatuan had denied the younger Padiernos’ motion to dismiss the case.

The DENR seized Padiernos’ truck and its cargo of 11,155.31 board feet of lumber when he could not show permits for tree cutting and hauling, De Leon said.

But Padiernos’ sister, Dingalan councilor Mahalla Cabanquil, said her brother was only an accessory in the case. The prime suspect, Cabanquil said, was a certain Gatdula.

De Leon said the DENR had not issued a timber licensing agreement, an integrated forestry management agreement or other permits in Dingalan.

The environmental watchdog Multi-Sectoral Group of Aurora stepped up calls for a total log ban in the province.

“In Tuesday’s incident, Mother Nature spoke to us. The plunder of the forests must be stopped. It has gotten to a point when lives are killed and are always put in peril,” said Joey Estriber, MSAG secretary.


Here are some internet reports about the typhoon and flash floods that hit Aurora. I will tell my story later. We’re okay here. There’s still no electricity and i was able to post this because we have a generator here where i work:

from inquirer: New storm lashes Aurora; 18 killed. Reports from Aurora Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo said 15 people were killed in Barangay Paltik in Dingalan. The other towns affected were Ma. Aurora and Baler, the capital. Eighteen people were reported killed on Tuesday in flash floods that struck three towns in Aurora province at the height of Typhoon “Violeta,” reports reaching the provincial disaster coordinating council said.

from Manila Bulletin: “Violeta” follows “Unding”; death toll rises to 65. Tropical depression “Violeta” hit Aurora province yesterday, killing 16, on the heels of typhoon “Unding” which left 49 dead, for a total of 65 deaths from the two storms which hit the country in close succession.

from Philippine Star. Flashfloods kill 16 in Aurora. Violeta (international code Merbok) crashed into the east coast of Luzon, just days after Typhoon “Unding” left 29 dead. The storm dumped heavy rains that unleashed flashfloods, sweeping away residents and homes in the towns of Dingalan and San Luis in Aurora. Some 2,000 families were forced to flee to evacuation centers, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said.

from abs-cbn news. 17 reported dead in Aurora flash flood. At least 17 people were reported dead due to flash floods and a landslide that hit some towns in Aurora Province about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, DZMM reported. The report said the sudden rise of water, brought by torrential rains due to Typhoon Unding, has swept away a still-unconfirmed number of people.