How to Help Philippines Typhoon Victims


You can send your donations through any of these organizations:


International Committee of the Red Cross

Philippine Red Cross                                        

World Food Program   or   PAYPAL


Catholic Relief Services                     

Caritas Manila   or via   WIRE TRANSFERS


Save the Children

Doctors Without Borders

Action Against Hunger


Mercy Corps

Plan International

Habitat for Humanity International

Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development

Gawad Kalinga
is also accepting nonperishable goods such as children’s vitamins, rice, kitchen utensils and blankets.

The mGive Foundation Philippines Typhoon Disaster Relief Fund
To help from US, text AID to 80108 to give $10 donation.

The International Rescue Committee
To help from US, text REBUILD to 25383 to donate $10.

World Food Program

World Vision


Finding a Loved One

If you are looking for information about a specific person in an area affected by the typhoon, Google has set up a PERSON FINDER PAGE, which can also be accessed by mobile device or text message. If you have information about a specific person affected by the typhoon, you can also use the PERSON FINDER PAGE to share it.

Events In Southern California For Typhoon Haiyan Victims


4:00PM – 7:00PM
The Carson Community “TOGETHER WE CARE!: Bayanihan (UNITY) Vigil
Carson International Sculpture Garden, Carson Community Center
801 East Carson Street, Carson CA

4:00PM – 7:00PM
In The Spirit of Helping Each Other For A Common Goal!
City of Carson Civic Center Rizal Monument, Carson CA
(wear something red, blue, or yellow for the vigil. Also, if you can please bring canned foods, clothing, shoes, blankets & general hygiene products for general relief goods to be sent to those in need in the Philippines! )

5:30PM – 8:00PM
Typhoon Haiyan Benefit Show
Mabuhay Collective/ Pilipino Community at UCLA
UCLA, Los Angeles, California
Covel Grand Horizon Ballroom, Los Angeles CA
(will also be collecting clothes, blankets, and shoes.)

6:00PM – 2:00 AM
Bayanihan in Concert: The Music Festival for a Cause
Beyond the Stars Palace
417 N. Brand Blvd. Glendale CA

Event for the benefit of the victims of Typhoon
Contact: Remy
(323) 828-4693
St. Bernard Church
2500 W. Avenue 33, Los Angeles CA 90065

OperationPhilippines Benefit Show
Bruddahs Bar and Grill
1430 W. Redondo Beach Blvd, Gardena CA

8:00PM -2:00AM
Bayanihan in Concert
Contact: DJ Catalyst (
Beyond the Stars Place
417 N Brand Blvd. Glendale CA



8:00AM -10:00AM
Emergency Relief Zumbathon
SouthBay Pavilion
20700 Avalon Blvd. Carson CA

10:00AM – 6:00PM
The 1st Fil-Am Gospel Music Festival & Fair
Torrance Cultural Art Center
3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance CA

Help Across the Pacific
Lem Amit (
(323) 793 5141
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
555 West Temple Street, Los Angeles CA 90012-2707

7:30PM – 2:00AM
Deca Dance with Boyet Almazan
Gawad Kalinga
310 N. Madison Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90004



7:00AM – 5:00PM
Typhoon Donation Drop-Off Points at Goldilocks Restaurant and Bakery
(562) 924-5990
Goldilocks CERRITOS
11489 South Street, Cerritos CA 90703

(323) 543-2676
Goldilocks EAGLE ROCK
2700 Colorado Blvd, Ste 110, Los Angeles CA 90041

(213) 382-2351
Goldilocks LOS ANGELES
207 S Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90004

(818) 891-5253
8340 Van Nuys Boulevard, Panorama City CA 91402

(626) 964-1811
Goldilocks WEST COVINA
2429 S Azusa Avenue, West Covina CA 91792

9:00AM – 2:00PM
Drive-through donation drop-off events
City Hall
701 East Carson Street, Carson CA



9:00AM – 2:00PM
PUMA Run/Walk for Philippine Relief
Santa Monica Beach
2600 Barnard Way, Santa Monica CA

1:00PM – 2:00AM
HOPE for Typhoon Haiyan
Contact: DJ Wrex (
Spirit House
123 S Lincoln Ave, Monterey Park CA 91755

1:00PM – 6:00PM
Bridge of Hope
Contact: Vic Perez
Carson Community Center
801 E Carson St, Carson CA 90745

3:00PM- 5:00PM
Giving Thanks” Recital at SIPA!
Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA)
3200 West Temple Street, Los Angeles CA 90026



NOON – 8:00PM
Fundraiser and Rafflle
Bob’s Big Boy
8876 Corbin Ave (Corner Corbin and Nordhoff), Northridge CA 91234



5:00AM. – 7:00PM
Philippine Typhoon Disaster Relief Donation Drive
Rose Bowl
Main Gate A, Pasadena, CA

6:00PM – 9:00PM
Supremo: Bonifacio’s 150th Birthday, KmB’s 14th Anniversary, and Disaster Relief Fundraiser
UUCLB – The Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach
5450 Atherton St, Long Beach CA

6:30PM -11:00PM
CATWALK: A Benefit Show for the Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) Victims
9461 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City CA



9:00PM – 2:00AM
Blu Monkey Bar & Lounge
5521 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles CA



6:00PM – 8:30PM
Christmas Musical and Philippines Fundraiser- Benefit Concert for Typhoon Haiyan Victims
(949) 552-1101
Woodbridge Community Church
5000 Barranca Parkway, Irvine CA 92604



RISE ABOVE II: Typhoon Haiyan Benefit Concert
Ventura Theater
26 S. Chestnut St., Ventura CA



JAZZPHIL-USA’s 9th Annual Jazz & World Music Festival  

This festival is dedicated to the victims of typhoon Haiyan. We will have a donation box in which 100 % goes to UNICEF-Philippines for the victims of typhoon Haiyan.

Catalina Bar & Grill RSVP: 323-466-2210

6725 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA


Finally, after three years…

Finally! I’m thrilled to announce that I have two different recording projects this month! The first is as a guest vocalist with the awesome Dharma Gypsys. Their debut, pictured below, is my favorite album to meditate to and practice yoga with.



Then, I go into the studio for my 5th North American album, with my Killin’ Sweethearts trio, Andy Langham (piano), Dominic Thiroux (bass) & Abe Lagrimas, Jr. (drums).



The great Laurence Hobgood will be producing the album and will provide arrangements and accompaniment.



We will also have a special appearance by the incomparableErnie Watts! Look for it in 2014!



The last recording project I did was more than three years ago. My hope is that this album will reflect where I’m at in my life’s journey and who I’ve become as a human being and an artist. The repertoire is leading us all to a higher vibe…and a potential title! More news soon…

November is a great time to reflect and give gratitude. So,thank you for your love, your continued support and your friendship. I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells, I honor the place in you of Love, of Wisdom, and of Peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are One.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends, and Namaste.


A Green Adventure with Dad

My father loves taking public transportation. When he and mom still lived in the Philippines, he insisted during my annual visits that we use the LRT in Manila to go to the big city from our home in provincial Bulacan. Of course, my mother and relatives did not approve. Dad and I went anyway, going to places of his childhood – Divisoria, Ongpin – when Manila was still, well, beautiful.

Light Railway Transit

  View from the station

Dad & I waiting for the LRT, 2.26.2010

Exploring Divisoria



Now, because of Dad’s daily need for dialysis, my parents live very close to me. Dad has not lost his desire for adventures using public transportation. He has a senior bus pass and regularly rides, even though he is still able to drive safely at age 81.
Yesterday, he and I decided to take public transportation to see the space shuttle, “Endeavor,” at the California Science Center, in downtown Los Angeles. Dad, armed with his iPad, Time magazine and senior bus pass, and me with my iPhone and Tap Card began our adventure. We walked from home to Sunset and La Brea to catch the 212 bus.
The Expo LineView of the Hollywood Sign

This ride took about 30 min. We stopped at Exposition and La Brea to ride the Expo Line.

I found the Expo Line station impressive. It’s clean, open and inviting. The train arrives every 15 minutes and has a nice view of Hollywood and the famous Hollywood sign.

Walking along The Rose GardenThe Endeavor

The Expo Line stops right in front of Exposition Park where California Science Center is located. Dad and I explored, discovered, learned, took photos, and lunched beside the Rose Garden.

After lunch we walked with our frozen desserts back to the Expo Line to head home. The whole trip one way took about an hour. We got home safely and in time for dinner with the family, featuring Mom’s menudo.

It’s inspiring how an 81 year-old contributes in his own little way to a greener Los Angeles. Making a small difference is possible and, in fact, quite delightful.



Time for Gratitude

Turkey, football, Black Friday, food, family get-together are the hallmarks of Thanksgiving. My hope is that my fellow beings also include being thankful to Mother Earth during this season. Here are some tips on how we can express our appreciation to Mother Earth:

1)Do not participate on Black Friday. Instead of buying new things for gifts, I challenge you to create, recycle, upcycle or give the greenest of them all – time. If you must purchase things then practice eco-friendly shopping and use your own eco-friendly bags.

2)Use real utensils & plates or recyclable ones. Practice one plastic material (even if recyclable) per person for the day.

3)Compost discarded foods. For info on how to start composting and info on what can be composted:

4)Purchase local, organic (if you can) and sustainable produce.

5)Do not purchase bottled water; use filtered water instead with home filtration units.


‘Namaste’ which means: “I honor the place within you where the entire Universe resides; I honor the place within you of love, of light, of truth, of peace; I honor the place within you, where, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.” — Mahatma Gandhi

The actions that each individual takes at home affects the entire world as we are one.  As our world cries for sustainability, the more we need to show our gratitude to one another as brothers and sisters, as caretakers of our Mother Earth. Namaste.




Los Angeles: More Incentives to Save Water!

Dear Readers: I’m sharing with you a press release from LADWP released today, August 20, 2012

LADWP More Than Doubles Investment Water Conservation Rebate Programs to Encourage Customers to Keep Saving Water at Home and Work

Department to Invest $23 Million for Fiscal Year 12-13;
Up from $10 Million Last Fiscal Year

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has committed $23 million for its popular Water Conservation Rebate Program for homes and businesses, offering incentives as generous as $3,000 for a pH-Cooling Tower Controller for commercial customers and $8 for each rotating sprinkler nozzle for residential customers. These rebates, which are designed to encourage water conservation and help customers save money on their bills, are available during the current fiscal year, ending June 30, 2013, until the funds are spent. The Department’s $23 million investment this year more than doubles last year’s budget of $10 million.“We are incredibly proud of the fact that our customers have achieved the lowest daily water use per person on record in the City of Los Angeles – just 123 gallons per person per day,” said James B. McDaniel, Senior Assistant General Manager of the LADWP Water System. “That is the lowest customer water use in the nation for cities with a population greater than one million.  Between our rebate and incentive programs, water conservation awareness programs and water efficient building requirements, we continue to head in the right direction.  That helps the environment and helps our customers save money.”

Los Angeles, which receives average annual rainfall of about 15 inches per year, is dependent upon purchased, imported water to sustain its population of 3.9 million residents. In a typical year, the City receives more than 50% of its water supplies from the California and Colorado River aqueducts, about 35% from the City-owned and operated Los Angeles Aqueduct, with the balance pumped locally from underground sources and stormwater recharge. Water conservation, together with recycled water, stormwater capture and local groundwater cleanup and management, are part of the Department’s Local Water Supply Program, which LADWP is expanding to further reduce reliance on more expensive imported water to keep costs low for customers.

Rebates offered for residential customers include:

High Efficiency Toilet $100
High Efficiency Clothes Washer $300
Rotating Sprinkler Nozzles $8
Weather Based Irrigation Controller (less than 1 acre) $200
Weather Based Irrigation Controller (over 1 acre) $25 per station
California Friendly Landscape $1.50 per square foot

Rebates offered for commercial customers include:

Weather Based Irrigation Controller $50 per station
Central Computer Irrigation Controller $50 per station
Large Rotary Nozzles, per set $13
Rotating Nozzles for pop-up stray heads, per nozzle $8
Multi-Family High Efficiency Toilet $175
Commercial High Efficiency Toilet, Tank Type $175
Commercial High Efficiency Toilet, Flushometer $300
Zero Water Urinals $500
Ultra Low Water Urinal $500
pH-Cooling Tower Controller $3,000
Cooling Tower Conductivity Controller $625
Dry Vacuum Pump – per .5 HP $125
Connectionless Food Steamers, per compartment $610
Ice-Making Machines $1,000
In-Stem Flow Regulator, per regulator $1
California Friendly Landscape $1 per square foot

Information and applications for the residential SoCal Water$mart Rebate Program, available to tenants, homeowners, and landlords, can be obtained online at

Information and applications for the commercial rebates are available at Other tips are available at

LADWP water customers can obtain free water conservation devices, including bathroom faucet aerators, kitchen faucet aerators, and low flow showerheads, by calling the Water Conservation Hotline at 1-800-544-4498 and press “0” for rebates.

Dad’s Astonishing Health Miracle

My father is 80 years old and has Stage 5 renal disease.

In December of 2011, I flew home to the Philippines to care for him after he had a heart attack. Simultaneously, my 75-year-old mother was in another operating room having her gallbladder removed. Ay naku!

After a grueling 16-hour flight, I saw Dad and Mom both looking very frail. After a few days of recovery, they slowly improved and were discharged to our provincial homestead.

The doctors warned that my father was close to complete kidney failure, with less than 15% of normal function. In addition, he required a heart bypass. At home we watched his diet carefully and he slowly got stronger. His creatinine level, an accurate indicator of kidney function, began dangerously high but incrementally started decreasing. I felt that Dad was out of immediate danger, so I left to go return to my responsibilities in the U.S.

A few weeks later, I learned that Dad’s creatinine went up again. This was disheartening but not a surprise. My father and mother — in fact, my whole family – love eating, though impartial observers might accurately call it “overeating.” Food is the way we show our love for one another, offering sustenance and pleasure to each other, always encouraging extra helpings, so much that sometimes it’s physically difficult to get up from the dining table.

My father had to come to the U.S. for continued care. My husband and I, with the consent of Mom and Dad, decided we should live together as a family. In order to maintain each other’s privacy and independence, we converted our former garage into a cozy apartment, which we now call “The Casita.” Instead of lawns, we have bountiful and beautiful vegetable gardens, front and back. The air is fresh and cool, and we always have plenty of delicious (and amazingly fresh) organic vegetables to eat.

This got me thinking. After reading many books on Kidney Disease, and in consultation with a dietitian, we adopted a strict vegan diet for my Dad. The results have been staggering.

Dad is happy to share these numbers. He hopes others might find similar wellness through a radically low-toxin diet.

5/18/2012 Before Vegan Diet 8/16/2012 After 3 Months on Vegan Diet
Symptoms of Kidney Disease
Itching Moderate to Severe None to Minimal
Fatigue Moderate to Severe; Sleeping almost every hour or two Min to Moderate; Takes a nap in the afternoon
Edema in the feet Moderate None
Edema in the hands Min to Moderate None
Balance Loses balance from sit to stand; crisscrosses feet when starting to ambulate Good balance; Ambulates from 30-60 min. 4-6 times a week; gardens; squats without losing balance
Exercise Unable Walks 30-60 min. 4-6 times a week
Weight 175 lbs. 150 lbs.
Blood Pressure 151/69 113/69



Lab Results

5/18/2012 Before Vegan August 16, 2012 After 3 Months on Vegan Diet
Glucose 96 82 (normal 83-110 mg/dl)
Cholesterol 241 145 (normal <=200 mg/dl))
Triglycerides 122 97 (normal 0-150 mg/dl)
Potassium 5.2 4.7 (normal 3.5 – 5.2 mmol/L)
Phosphorous 6.5 6.9 (normal 2.3-4.7 mg/dl)
Protein 7.1 6.3 (normal 6.1-8.1 mg/dl)
Creatinine 5.63 7.82 (normal 0.7-1.3 mg/dl)
Urea Nitrogen 72 120 (normal 8-26 mg/dl)

As you can see from the tables above, aside from his kidney-failure-related escalations, Dad’s vital measurements have improved in every area. This has accompanied an obvious improvement in my father’s quality of life. Now he walks daily, he gardens every morning, and his balance and agility seem like those of a younger man. His cardiologist reduced his heart medications and found Dad no longer needs a heart bypass. He hasn’t reversed his kidney disease, but his health has improved dramatically. For three months we’ve been able to prolong the need for dialysis by switching to a vegan diet and regular exercise. Although Dad will eventually have dialysis treatment, his nephrologist claims that the frequency will be less because every other system of his body is in good shape.

A vegan diet isn’t for everyone. But after seeing my dad’s remarkable turnaround, I’m convinced it can be a genuine “lifesaver.”


A mentor is not merely a wise teacher but a trusted supporter.

On Saturday, May 19th, at the book launching of “My Filipino Connection: The Philippines in Hollywood,” the new book by Philippine Inquirer columnist Ruben V. Nepales, I was reminded of the vital importance of mentorship. The book profiles notable Filipinos in Hollywood – yours truly being on one of them. None of us would be where were at (or featured in “My Filipino Connection”) without our mentors.

Prosy Delacruz, a Los Angeles’ Fil-Am community leader, cited Mr. Fritz Friedman, Vice President of Sony, as one of her mentors in the community. I, too, have many mentors, and Ms. Prosy Delacruz is at the top of the list.

At my stage in life, I’m now being called a mentor. It’s such an important role, not only for the growth of the individual but for the advancement of our community. I’m proud to serve, and I thank all of my mentors for your wisdom, generosity and tremendous support.



Green is Gorgeous 3: Healthy & Delicious in Historic Filipinotown

In the heart of Historic Filipinotown I’ve discovered a little slice of heaven. For pesco-vegans like me – people who eat fish but no other meat – the Filipino-owned and operated Tribal Café is paradise.

On the corner of Temple Street and Belmont, this funky hole in the wall café has a casual and inviting ambiance. The main wall inside presents intriguing art, much of it created by Filipinos, which changes every week.

The dining room contains small tables and chairs, many of them filled with folks practicing the literary arts. Framing both sides of the room, the cafe has three industrial sized refrigerators. These units house “the secret” of Tribal Café’s success.

The refrigerators contain an array of fresh vegetables and fruits, boxes and bags and cartons of them. The owner, Joshua Jose, who has been on-site every time I’ve visited, strongly advocates for green juice and smoothies to manifest optimum health. These are his “ammunition.”


For those who are new to the powerful notion of green juice or green smoothies, here’s the 411:  Green juicing involves using lots of fresh green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, or chard, in combination with your favorite fruits in a blender or juicer. Green leaves contain all the essential minerals, vitamins and amino acids that humans need for optimal health. When they’re cooked, you lose most, if not all, of their nutrients.  Examination of prehistoric humans has revealed that they ate a copious amount of green leaves — along with fruits, blossoms, seeds and insects. When the industrial revolution began, people transitioned dramatically from consuming whole foods to convenient processed foods. These processed food are high in calories and low in nutrition and one of the main causes of serious illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Numerous scientifically documented studies of ill people have shown that by eating more whole foods — particularly drinking green juice or smoothies – unwell individuals are able to cure themselves of their illnesses (including cancer!) by loading up on green leaves and fruits.

Traditional Filipino cuisine, unfortunately, is rich in processed food. Filipinos eat a lot of meat (fried, stewed), white rice, white bread and noodles.

The vegetables are often cooked by boiling or frying, which destroys many of their nutrients. It’s unsurprising that the number one killer of Filipinos in and out of the Philippines is heart disease.

How refreshing to see a Filipino-owned café that serves vegan cuisine and green drinks!  Though they also offer non-vegetarian food, Tribal Café’s focus is to provide low-cost, healthier food choices concentrating on health-supportive, plant-based whole foods – the foods that contain micronutrients our bodies need for nourishment and healing. According to Mr. Jose, the amazing “Green Detox” is one of their most popular green juices. It’s made from wheatgrass, assorted leafy greens, fruits, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and flaxseed.

This kind of spicy-herby-fruity drink is good for detox, weight loss, diabetes control and prevention of chronic diseases. Mr. Jose says, “I hope to develop Tribal Cafe as a ‘healing café,’” where we are able to impart as much information as possible on the subject of nutrition, healthier food choices and lifestyle changes.”

Mr. Jose, who opened Tribal Café in 2005, reports “Filipino-Americans have the highest incidence of chronic diseases among Asian-Americans in the US.  This sad state is largely the consequence of the traditional food we consume at home and in the restaurants.  To improve our community’s poor health, we need some drastic changes in the way perceive our food, the way we acquire ingredients, and the way they we consume.

We Filipinos should learn the spiritual value of food as nourishment to the various organs of our body and not merely as a source of pleasure or instant gratification.”