Snapshots of OceanaGold’s Didipio Progress

Didipio Progress: A Mine Site Coverage

These are just a compilation of some photos taken during the mine site coverage of OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. at Brgy. Didipio, Nueva Vizcaya from 26 – 30 June 2017. More of this story will be discussed further by Paula Tolentino.

 

Didipio Progress: A glimpse of the Open Pit Mine at Brgy. Didipio Nueva Vizcaya

This video was shot right smack on the mouth of the open pit mine at Brgy. Didipio, the OceanaGold Mining Project. The scale and magnitude of what the human mind can achieve is awe-inspiring.

#ResponsibleMining #PhilippineMining #Mining

SPOOF: How to epicly fail in wearing your PPEs

During an underground mine tour, our group was required to wear PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment). I had to finally ask help with wearing mine. This epic fail from my end was embarrassing and hilarious 🙂

 

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All content © Maria Paula Tolentino

The Historical Significance Behind South Africa’s Freedom Day

For South Africa, the road to democracy was a long and difficult one.

History states that South Africa’s freedom was hard earned, yet despite years of conflict, racial discrimination, and even bloodshed, South Africa continues to rise above its challenges.

April 27 also commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held in 1994. This was the first historical democratic elections where the first non-racial national elections was held. On this day, we not only remember the bitter history and wrongs of the past, but to celebrate just how far the country has come as a nation in building bridges to a better future.

Now, the country is on its 23rd year of commemorating its Freedom. Though South Africa is still in the process of achieving the truest essence of freedom, the need to acknowledge the good achieved keeps South Africa motivated and moving forward.

Last night, I was privileged to join the South African Embassy in celebrating the country’s 23rd Freedom Day Celebration.

To never forget one’s history, to fight injustice in all its forms and to see how far one has come – may it be for a person, community, or a country – is what makes freedom all the more significant and integral for humanity to thrive.

Thank you to the South African Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Martin Slabber for having me. I am one with South Africa in commemorating this milestone in your country’s rich history. Happy Freedom day my dear friends!

SA Freedom Day Celebration

Mining Pro Murdered: Social Media’s Role

With what happened to the recent murder of a colleague in the industry, this story in particular, hit too close to home. Similar to those who are actively engaged in social media, I am tempted to share such news on my various social media accounts. However, there were a couple of things that stopped me.

Ethics. Sensitivity. Respect.

I am deeply saddened by his death, and condemn the murderers who are responsible. However, if I share such sentiments, what good will it bring? Will it bring back his life? Will it give the man and his family peace?

Ethics.

As a media professional, news like this are DELICIOUS. And as human beings, we are wired to share, share, share. If you’ve had the privilege to work with, or were close to the victim, more so the appeal of sharing it on your Facebook walls. It takes a lot of self control, discretion and strength to NOT SHARE. It may get attention, but give it a few months, his case will be shelved.

The question to ask oneself: What is your purpose of sharing such information? What good will sharing such an information bring your audience/readers? It all boils down to intent.

Sensitivity.

The horrors of terrorism which include rape, extortion and murder are far, far too real, especially in this industry we all call home. Such horrors shouldn’t be taken lightly, nor carelessly shared on social media. By sharing news of his beheading and posting pictures of such a violent crime, will only encourage more acts of terrorism. You may actually be making another insurgent/terrorist happy by sharing his “masterpiece”. Balance the public’s need for information against potential harm.

Respect.

Realize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than public figures. Weigh the consequences of publishing or broadcasting personal information. The man murdered was a private individual. He no longer has the power to say no. Respect that.

With his decapitation, the images are next to useless, creating a culture of indifference. The “viral” sharing risks a sense of emptiness, creating a “numbing” effect, to shock without informing, to feed a form of slacktivism (a kind of “armchair” activism, which does not require great effort or commitment and involvement).

“I published a post, shared a photo, etc. I am at peace with my conscience, I received my amount of likes, and now we can go on with the photos of the vacation or the comments on the football match.” It is good to know that in a context such as this someone has decided to become the custodian of the awakening of consciences (again, this is the most popular explanation among those who choose to share). Or is it subtly to glorify oneself?

But the question to be asked here: will there be any concrete positive effects?

One thing is certain: if one really needs a gallery of dead bodies to become aware of the human suffering that exists around us, then we have a big problem. It can be risky in the long run to convince ourselves of the need to use death for a purpose (no matter if it sensitizes, informs, sells, etc.). There is a risk of addiction. Think of the hundreds of newspapers with photos of decapitated people? It’s entertainment.

We cannot ignore the banality of the horror included in the “save image” and “share” command. Don’t you think we’ve had enough of the panic, fear and intimidation these terrorists have sown in our senses? The buck should stop with us. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity, even if others do.

I long for common decency, respect and humanity. Rest in peace John. May you be the last in this industry.

For more information about this post, please see my references:
Journalist’s Code of Ethics
Ethics of Sharing in Social Media 
Social Media Curbs or Promotes Terrorism and Violence 
To share or not to share

American aid volunteer writes new book on “Yolanda”

How do you survive a super typhoon with the destructive force of an atomic bomb? How did the people of Tacloban City, who survived the wrath of Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), cope in the aftermath of a storm for the ages? What was it like on the ground for aid workers in the city, weeks and months later?

More than two years after the strongest recorded typhoon on Earth claimed the lives of at least 6,300 in Tacloban and elsewhere in the Philippines, William Rodney “Bill” Shaw attempts to answer these questions – and some of his own – from the perspective of those who lived through its horrors in the new book “Yolanda: The Roaring, The Waves, The Waiting”.Bill Shaw

Self-published by Shaw and printed in the Philippines, the book is based on the experiences of seven individuals living in Tacloban before, during and after Yolanda. Their stories are retold and mixed with the American’s own insights as an aid worker who volunteered in Tacloban for four months, distributing food, relief packs, and building homes for the city’s survivors.

“These seven lives represent a complicated intersection — of understanding and misunderstanding, freedom and captivity, personal faith and cultural beliefs,” Shaw says in a note on the book’s back cover. “We can find heroes in these pages, but no winners. Yolanda underscores the face of catastrophe, where everyone suffers and everyone struggles to overcome.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bill Shaw and his wife Deborah — a photographer who took the images found in the “Yolanda” book — first came to the Philippines in 2002 with Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL Philippines). Bill also worked as an administrator at Faith Academy in Cainta, Rizal until 2004.

With Filipino friends, the Shaws also founded Urban Opportunities for Change Foundation Inc., which published “The Jeepney” street magazine in the Philippines in 2008. It followed the concept of “street papers” that provide employment for the homeless and indigent in First World countries.

Urban was also responsible for forming and sending football teams to represent the Philippines to the Homeless World Cup, which uses “the beautiful game” to inspire homeless people to change their own lives. Over 70 countries participate in this annual tournament.

Bill and Debbi currently live and work in Traverse City, Michigan. Bill sits on the Board of Speak Up Magazine, Inc., and Speak Up Michigan, Inc., both non-profits giving jobs and a voice to people experiencing homelessness in Michigan and North Carolina. They also manage a series of rental properties and occasionally take on electrical contracting projects.

ABOUT THE BOOK

“Yolanda: The Roaring, The Waves, The Waiting” (224 pages, self-published by William Shaw through Urban Opportunities for Change LLC) is available in the Philippines for Php 500.

Cover Yolanda1

Please send orders to Kids International Ministries (KIM), c/o New Faith Family Children’s Home Foundation, #3 Birds of Paradise, Valley Golf Road, Cainta, Rizal, Philippines 1900. You may also call KIM at +632 658 4820.

Eighty percent (80%) of the proceeds of the book will go to KIM’s disaster relief efforts in Tacloban City.

“Yolanda: The Roaring, The Waves, The Waiting” will be launched today February 18, 2016 (Thursday) at the Nuvo bar in Greenbelt 2 in Makati City from 4:30 to 8:00 p.m.

It will also be launched in Tacloban City on February 20, 2016 (Saturday) at the “Lighthouse”, Lot# 36708, near Payapay Bridge, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.

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FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT:
Jimbo Gulle, phones (0917) 775-1479 or (0919) 999-5166; email: jimbo dot gulle at gmail dot com

Crowns and Cows

Women who try so hard to earn their place through showing loyalty and working for free… Oftentimes, having to return sexual favors, co-habit or earn a man’s trust before he will actually marry her. Or sometimes, in the work place, to render more hours or wear numerous hats just because she can…

As a woman, one can bring so much to the table: the strength of her feminity, interpersonal skills and eye for detail are just some of what she can contribute, an educated and enterprising woman, more so! The skill set, years of experience and the value of their network is something most women take for granted.

I would have to agree to some some associates who brazenly stated: “Why pay for the cow if I get the milk for free?”

Harsh, yes. But there is truth to that statement.

Women get to be marginalized, their values compromised because they conciously choose to. They let these things happen because inately are desperate for approval, friendship, commitment, loyalty, and yes, the all enduring word…love.

There is this agony to make a significance in her work, the life of her partner, children… so that in the end, she won’t be shelved/discarded/abandoned because her worth and value have been proven, established…

All at a painful price: Her youth, her beauty, her years, her life. She is destined to live her life centered around her partner, her children, her work…because without them, she’s non-existent. Worthless. Invisible.

Notice that there are more and more women who find holding the “Busy badge” as some sort of trophy, or in this case, validation for saying: “I’m such a busy wife/mother/professional/business owner/etc… all of this, is all me. Finally, I am worth while.”

Busy doesn’t necessarily equate to productive nor significant.

“Busy” also begs the question: Where do you find your worth? Do you find your self-worth in the temporary? You can be doing multiple things all at the same time, you can be productive, sure. Hats off to you. But what if all of these are gone? What if you lost your work, heaven forbid, your spouse, children, family? What would you have as a woman? When all of these things gone, does your identity go with it?

Nothing is farther from the truth.

A woman doesn’t have to compromise who she is. She doesn’t have to replace her identity with the identity of her profession or relationships. She doesn’t have to “strive”. A woman was created by our Loving Father to “just be”. His grand design is for her to be the “crown”. Woman is His beauty incarnate. Diamonds need not force its beauty to someone who can’t see it.

The same principle applies to male-female relationships. A good man would be the one to do the pursuing. Allow him to ‘man up’ to the role. Just be. Unfortunately today, that role is reversed at very unhealthy consequences.

He will compromise your values, use you sexually/physically, emotionally/psychologically, (even financially…lucky guy!) and, as an afterthought, would probably marry you because, like a good girl, you’ve “earned it” (and besides, he needs someone who can look after him/his business/his children/his interests, his, his, his, his…etc. long after he’s gone. You’ve done it for free from the beginning, why should he start paying now? Insert cow reference here.)

The woman was his investment. He knows this. She just didn’t get full price for her “investment value”.

Can he be blamed? Not at all. Everything boils down to the woman.

In this world, a woman needs to earn her place, may it be a corporate title, or a place in a relationship. And even if she earned it, she still has to constantly prove she’s worth all that she’s striven for. She isn’t supposed to be pursued. She is commodity. Replaceable. Disposable.

So much for the grand design.