Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tips from an expert flood victim.

This is from an email I recieved. I know it's out of this blog's topic, but I want to share this for all of my friends living in the lower regions of the metro. (Edited to suit paragraph standards)

Advice from an experienced flooded victim
By : Gwendolyn So

Unbeknownst to many, my family and I are experts when it comes to flooding. By this I mean that for almost 10 years when we lived in a low part of Sto. Domingo Street in Quezon City , we experienced flooding INSIDE the house at least once a year and if I remember correctly, sometimes it was twice or even thrice a year.

The first time it happened we were in shock, but as it happened more and more it became routine. Here are some nuggets of wisdom that may help:

1. I learned that once the water reaches knee level, the gates can't be opened anymore because of the water pressure. We thought we still had time to take the cars out but realized we were trapped. That time our cars submerged. Make sure you know which area near your residence is considered higher ground and take your cars there EARLY.

2. Do not despair so much if your cars submerge. They can be fixed. It's expensive and takes a long time for the smell to go away, but it's not the end of the world. After the flood, just let the car dry. We were still able to use our Hi-Ace and Mitsubishi Lancer despite their having been half submerged in floodwaters.

3. I learned that heavy stuff, like the ref and shelves, FLOAT. So every year from then on, we would TIE DOWN heavy appliances like the ref (too heavy to carry upstairs but in latter years we did lug it all the way up to the 2nd floor), the big shelves with wedding souvenirs and knick knacks and my dad's collection of wine. How did we do that? Tie them to the windows.

4. Adrenalin will give you superpowers once you decide you're not afraid of a little water and start saving what you can. In my case, it was my collection of books. They're not rare first editions but regular books. However, I love my books and I'm not letting them drown! I was able to move and carry our heavy sofa powered by my body's own adrenalin hormone.

5. You can have fun in the midst of disaster so I took out our cameras and starting taking pictures. It was to make everyone have a good laugh as we surveyed the chaos around us, the cockroaches and rats swimming by, the black inky spots of oily stuff occasionally floating around.

6. Apparently, no matter how much you're enjoying yourself frolicking in the water and saving what you can, once the cold water reaches your chest (especially your nipples), you start to shiver and it gets hard to breathe. This is the time to give up and go upstairs.

7. If your electricity stays on, go to the switch box and turn off all the electric outlets downstairs but not upstairs.

8. Cleaning after the flood is a pain. Once the waters recede, you are left with mud everywhere. They stick so you have to get the hose and start using the walis tingting (how do you say this in English? It's a broom made of just think twigs/sticks tied together in a thick bundle). You just keep the water running and sweep, sweep, sweep like there's no tomorrow.

9. You must scrub the walls with disinfectant. If you only rinse with water, it will still smell. We used Lysol. Scrub, scrub, scrub like there's no tomorrow. (If Lysol is too expensive, just try the regular bleach!)

10. First time water got inside our house, we didn't know we had to use Lysol and that the drying process is super vital. So, after a few days, there was this nauseating smell and later we found molds growing everywhere! We had returned the
furniture and appliances to their normal places and the walls behind grew molds. Yuck!!!

11. We were still able to use our ref that floated in flood waters. Just clean and clean and dry and dry.

12. Once electricity is available, get out all your fans and dry everything thoroughly.

13. Yes, paint will peel off and wooden drawers and shelves deform. Salvage what can be used. Once they dry, it's still okay but sometimes the drawers get stuck because the wood expanded so you have no choice but to destroy it because icky water is still trapped inside.

14. Wait at least 2 to 3 days to dry everything. Use fans and hairdryers. Do not, I repeat, do not be in a hurry to return stuff you saved to their original places.

15. Have this mindset: Ah, it's good I'm now forced to do a general cleaning of my house. Now I have no choice but to do it.

Advice from me: It is easy to go insane after this kind of calamity, to despair of the material things we lost (especially the cars) but please be thankful you got away with your life and that of your family and loved ones. just keep on smiling. "Smile and whole world will smile with you; weep and you weep one!"...

And here's a satellite picture taken today about the next typhoon after Ondoy, Pepeng I think is the name.

I hope everything, and everyone got to their feet by the time this storm comes (hopefully by the end of this week). If not, I sincerely hope this doesn't hit Manila full force again.

Let them recover first.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Typhoon Ondoy

Which is the reason why I wasn't able to follow on my post last Saturday. On that same day, the rains are drowning the Filipino people in various areas in Luzon. Some lives were lost, some left homeless, and some left with little or nothing else.

Global warming is just one of the reasons, because seriously, this has NEVER happened before.


This limited Fungi Shelf by Katharina Mischer is just sooo cute~!

Source: Freshome

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Favorite Things Part I (Art Nouveau)

More like ideas. Haha.

First things first, I'm having browser problems in the other computer so I wasn't able to post anything for the past two weeks.

Second, my favorite things. I'm going to list down the design ideas/structures/things that I like, and that someday I'll be able to do when I make my own home :D

1. Art Nouveau

I may not get all the facts right, since I'm writing this through memory, so bear with me (and post a comment if you see some discrepancy). The things that I remember whenever Art Nouveau comes to mind are swirlies, nature (like flowers and vines), linear style art, posters, Mucha, and Gaudi.

Art Nouveau is a response against classical, historical art that has been going on for the past century. It can be describe as using nature themes like using plant motifs such as fleur de lis, flowers, and vines. It is also described as using flat, linear outcome, similar to Japanese artstyle called ukiyo-e.

This movement came out from the Arts and Crafts movement and started in Europe, and depending on the location, is known for different names, such as Jugendstil in Germany, and Vienna Secession in Austria.

Alphonse Mucha's posters were used mostly as advertisements. For example, the poster above is Maud Adams as Joan of Arc. What I like about Mucha is the successful use of ukiyo-e technique, the intricacy of the work, and the use of colors and gradients.

And here is Antoni Gaudi, probably my favorite architect of all time. His works gives me a feeling of grandeur, and childish fantasies. Look it up on Google. He even designed and constructed a roof that looked like alligator skin (complete with the spikes).

The above picture is Casa Batllo. Reminds me of a Casper film for some reason.

And that's all for now. I'll post my second favorite thing tomorrow. Bye~

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Project Icarus

I was browsing through my online reading lists for the day (this replaced newspapers every morning), and encountered this article through Yahoo.

I was like, wow. Just wow. Now kids who have a knack with space and astronomy will have a chance to feel it.

This is a story about three MIT students who launched a $150 or less photography equipment to near space. They blew up a helium-filled balloon, strapped a beer cooler under it, with a Motorola digicam with 8 gig memory card, and a cellphone that served as a tracking device.

Taking pictures of space, or at least the earth's curves (Oohh la la), is not a new concept to professionals and students alike. It's just that, with new technologies coming in, they forgot what was essential.

"I would like to reiterate that high-altitude balloon photography has been around for a LONG time. (decades, probably) What is special about what we’ve done is our low budget and ease of assembly/creation."

The balloon reached 17.5 miles (around 90,000 feet) high up in the atmosphere, dropped back to earth five hours later within the Massachusetts state.

I don't know about you, but I find this really cool.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Of Rules and Lawmaking.

Rule number one, whenever trying to transport a potentially dangerous chemical (e.g. rugby), try to wrap it with plastic first before putting it into your bag. Otherwise, it will spill and destroy your P2k worth of Hongkong Shopping [someone did] a few months back.

True-to-life rule I must live by from now on.


If I am a lawmaker, not a graphic designer like I am today, there is this one law I want to mull more over and pass to the senate.

Putting up trees in the backyard.

Article 1. If you have a big backyard, it is compulsary to put up at least one tree. If a backyard does not exists, at least 3 meters worth of potted plants, or three (3) potted tree plants.

a. If living in a condominium or apartment complex, it is the responsibility of the apartment owner to put up a tree or potted plants around the area. Utilize free space for this (e.g. rooftop for potted plants)

b. Building permits must now pass through DENR to give it's thumbs-up sign and forego the building project.

c. Living in the squatters area is NOT an excuse.

d. If the person has a house but he's not living in the city, that person is still bound to this law.

e. If the person has a house outside cities/metropolitan areas, and trees grow around the house, the nearest tree must be at least 5 to 6 meters.

f. Offices, private companies, government buildings, and the like, without single ownership are complied with these rules as well. The punishable party is the highest officer in charge for that building (e.g. CEO, President of the Philippines, Proprietor, etc.)

Article 2. Problem with trees.

a. When the tree is crossing over the fence and onto the neighbors, and if it's becoming detrimental to the other party, the only damage to the tree allowable is cut its branches. Permission from the tree owner must first be acquired. Then, a municipal permit must also be acquired and have an engineer look it up and see if it cutting can be avoided. If not, the length of the cut area is to be negotiated by the owner, the neighbor, and the engineer.

b. The longest length of a branch to be cut is up until where the branch started from. Cutting the whole trunk is NOT an option.

Article 3. Punishment.

a. Failure to comply with the one-tree or potted plants rule will be penalized with at least P100k fine, 2 years jailtime, or 5 years worth of community service (aka tree-planting sessions).

b. Failure to comply to Article 2 will be punishable with the same conditions as Article 3.a.

Well, there are still loopholes, and I'm guilty of lack of research when it comes to permits and stuff, but hey, the purpose here is to provide a greener and healthy places to live in, especially in the cities.

And I may sound harsh in some areas, sorry about that. That's my sadistic side smiling.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Affordable and durable car? Yes! It exists!

And I'm talking about here in the Philippines. Norkis group of Companies released hybrid vehicles called their Legacy First line.

These cars (since they are small) have smaller engine, hence, less fuel use, uses 3 cylinders, and requires less plugs. It's lightweight and compact so finding a parking spot is easier and less hassle (dangerous? stressful? Haha). It also requires smaller tires and less wear and tear.

These vehicles started out in the provinces, specifically in Cebu area where they usually use them as PUVs (Public Utility Vehicles), and private cargo vehicles. They recently set up their showroom in EDSA (Guadalupe, I heard)

Above: Norkis Spider

Above: This one was seen in Pampanga for P200k at least.

I don't have the price list or warranty details for these cars, but I've looked up in the Tsikot forum that their warranty duration is smaller (6 months at least). The price for one of these babies is P80k to P150k, depending on the model.

So if you want a low maintenance, no frills driving experience, and wanted to help the environment as well, this is one of the vehicles you may want to consider buying.

Norkis Group
Tsikot Yehey Forum

Monday, September 7, 2009

How is your weekend?

We just had a long weekend because of a holiday that yet sprouted up because of a death of a famous person. Did you notice that more celebrities/famous personalities are dying this year?

Anyway, I wanna start this week with this:

It's a usable sculpture, I swear. I did not put it there because it looks really...pretty xD

See? You can put your secret stash of...whatever in there. No one will suspect haha.

Oh, and thank Peter Wolfe for that.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Houses made from recycled materials not a new idea. This has been presented, seen, and done by various people in various parts of the world.

Dan Phillips, 64, owns a construction company called Phoenix commotion. He mostly works around his community where he lives (in East Texas) and provides both inspiring, and eco-friendly ways of building homes.

Read full article here

Idea: Chain linked fences

This idea has been cooking up in my mind for sometime. It originally involves smal pieces of a chain link fence (which eventually evolved into something else, but more on that later).

1. Can be used as dividers: Chain link fence can be good dividers. It divides the room, but you'll be able to see what's on the other side as well

2. Can be used as hangers: You can hang your bags, trinkets, paintings, etc. Place this against the wall, and hang whatever you want.

That's as far as I've gotten as of the moment. You can paint the divider into whatever color you want (red fence against a white or black wall, or paint it silver). It gives this steampunk-ish feel.

Check out the pictures showing this divider in action. Sorry about the unpolished drawings tho haha.

I think putting up shelves against the fence is possible, though I haven't thought about that idea much to make up a working schematic.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another set of witty installations for homes

Let's start with the door, shall we?

Here is Leandro Erlich's Shattering Door.

Finn Juhl's Baker Sofa. I find this sofa simple, elegant, and space efficient. I like to have this one, if ever.

I want to have this chair as well: Elizabeth Cordes' The Etch Chair. It's like seeing an optical illusion in 3d form.

This is what it looks like, without confusing people:

And last but not the least: would you live in a Lego House?

Top Gear's James May loves Lego. So much in fact, that after this one is completed, he intends to live there. I'm worried about the durability of that thing, but I find it a cool endeavor and nostalgic.

Even kids won't say no to this kind of labor. Haha.

Have a nice day~!

Jack and Jill Teenage Pregnancy

One of today's problem with the youth is teenage pregnancy. Statistically, there are more teens in the impoverish areas that succumb to this problem which results to overpopulation, and possibly malnutrition, lack of education, and sometimes child abuse to the innocent party.

I think contraceptives is a practical choice, though I am with the idea of leaving the sex after marriage (or until capable of sustaining the child when that happens, like a job).

So here's a comic I did, which ironically, wasn't made for this topic. The song was made up by a friend, Chepot.

You may want to read this as well.