Welcome to the “ber” months! We’re rolling out our traditional Christmas gift guides early to give those with extra-long lists a head start on their shopping. For this month, check out our goodies from ABS-CBN Foundation Inc., the BayaniJuan community and ICanServe Foundation.
On the cover, we revisit the recent tribute to Lopez Group chairman emeritus Oscar M. Lopez (OML) hosted by First Philippine Holdings Corporation. As he narrated it, but for a near-accident involving his family, OML would have followed his heart and become a farmer. But business and the academe were never able to fully claim the chairman emeritus, as he made sure to inject his passion for farming and all things environmental into his life’s work.
Three new books were launched during the event. Produced by First Gen Corporation and Energy Development Corporation (EDC), the books are a treat not only for nature lovers but also for people who want to get acquainted with the country’s other natural attractions. “Philippine Native Trees 101: Up Close and Personal,” for example, is sure to be a nostalgic read for those who spent countless hours playing in the trees in their backyard when they were young.
This focus on protecting and enhancing our natural resources becomes even more urgent, more significant in the wake of the prodigious monsoon rains that fell on Metro Manila early last month. It has been only three years after Ondoy, which a scientist described as a “once-in-a-hundred-years ‘rainfall event’”—but Mother Nature surprised us once again.
Ondoy’s onslaught was more intense (341 millimeters of rain in a six-hour period) but its 455 millimeters in about 24 hours were surpassed by the habagat, which dumped 472 millimeters of rain in less than 22 hours from August 6 to August 7.
However, we did do better in terms of reacting to the disaster. As early as August 7, Sagip Kapamilya already started helping the thousands of Filipinos displaced or otherwise affected by the relentless rains and the resulting floods; thanks in part to our experience with Ondoy and Sendong, and an even stronger presence on Twitter and Facebook. Once again, the multitudes came together to collect and distribute relief goods. Indeed, as the Pinoys’ battle cry during those days went, “the Filipino spirit is waterproof.” And to keep you warned, we are publishing Pagasa’s color-coded rainfall advisories.
Opening this month at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila is the Claudio Bravo retrospective, which was put together by OML through EDC, and the Chilean embassy. This is a must-see not only because Bravo was a world-famous hyperrealist painter, but also because of his Philippine connection: as a young man, Bravo lived in the country for several months and worked on important portrait commissions and paintings. Most of the portraits, being private property, have never been seen by the public since the one time they were exhibited in the late 1960s.
We’re also counting down the days until the year’s big advocacy run, 09.30.2012 Run, Ride & Roll for the Pasig River. We have a short Q&A that will answer some of the whats and wheres of the event on page 10.