Category Archives: Daily Life

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.”



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.


“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.


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

Top Three Reasons Why Being Lazy on a Monday is Good For You

Guess what I did today?

Absolutely nothing! **evil laugh** (for those who worked like drones this Monday, I am your office deadbeat and will take this moment to savor the immense pleasure of rubbing it in my reader’s lovely faces.)

I was so lazy this Monday I rolled in bed till 8AM, read my newspaper, did my morning workout and made my carb-filled breakfast. After which, I took a shower, rolled in bed some more, read my book and took a nap. All of these before 3PM.

Come 4PM, I check my email. Scanned through the work stuff and proceeded to the best restaurant this side of Makati (aka McDonald’s) to get another carb fix. Saw my accountant on the way downstairs and she tells me I need to file my income tax return ASAP. I tell her “Nice shirt. TTYL”. **smiley**

When I get to Mcdo, I imagined I was in a conference meeting brain storming (with myself as its panel and moderator ofcourse) and managed to write down some subjects for my never ending, always evolving, editorial calendar. Once done, I proceeded to a nearby bookstore for more pointless office supply wandering.

Come 7PM, as I get home, I try to resuscitate my perishing plants by giving them a bath. Then I open my laptop to answer some emails while the mom comes home, beaming with pride to see that her only daughter works so diligently in her business. With twinkling eyes, I smile the sweetest daughter smile, “Welcome home mom! Tough day today noh?”

No mention of work. Nothing. Nada. Happy Koala!

Top Three Reasons Why Being Lazy on a Monday is Good For You:

  1. Everyone’s busy. You’re taking it easy. – Why not? Weekends with the family can get draining, too even for a family-oriented Koala.
  2. Everyone’s forced to focus. You get to choose what subjects you like to work on – I get to savor the newspaper more, and really focus on the books and subjects that I like. Surprisingly, I also get to create more zany characters and dialogue in my head and translate all of that into writing.
  3. Everyone has to be a grown up come Monday. On Monday, you can be a kid all over again – Having a 12 year old disposition in a 30 year old body needs play to be productive.

How was your Monday today? 😉

St. Paul University QC to hold movie gala premiere

The St. Paul University Quezon City, in partnership with Optimus Minds Training and Development Center, will have a gala premiere screening the movie, Ang Kamanghangmanghang Bakasyon ni Juan on December 12, 2014 Friday at SM North EDSA.

The film is produced by Sinehan Advocacy Media Projects, Inc. and is directed by Crisaldo Pablo.

The movie tackles environmental issues and attempts to offer simple solutions to preserve the environment. It also features environment-friendly products as a safer alternative to the otherwise harmful products we use in our everyday life. The movie also emphasizes nature-appreciation and saving ecologically valuable natural areas. Through this movie, SPUQC hopes to educate the youth by conveying this message: The Preservation of the Planet is the Responsibility of Every Individual.

The Ang Kamanghangmanghang Bakasyon ni Juan was filmed and shot entirely on the campus of St. Paul University-QC. The university’s high school students are its main cast with cameo appearances by some of its teachers. Local film actors, like Maey Bautista of GMA Network, are also in this movie.


You may reach St. Paul University at their website: They are also on Twitter [ ] and Facebook [ ]

The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Learning. December 9 2014

The Christian Lifestyle: Learning to Strike a Balance

Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time? It is good that you grasp one thing and also not let go of the other; for the one who fears God comes forth with both of them. (Ecclesiastes 7:16-18)

In other words my Christian friends learn to strike a balance.

Though our minds and hearts are more aware of the morality issues of this generation, let’s not forget that we live in the same world as those who are not believers. How are we to attract people to the Cross if we are so self-righteous in our walk that we neglect natural human connections?

I have met numerous people whose walk have been ‘blameless’ and with this, I have only admiration for them. However, one’s walk is different from another’s. One’s circumstances are also different from another’s. We cannot impose our beliefs. We can only show the kind of lifestyle we choose to lead.

The Christian lifestyle is more often than not, caught than taught. However, as human beings, we are extremely flawed.

It is not difficult to live a Christian life, it is IMPOSSIBLE.  So, again, why ruin yourself?

Personally, I have learned and unless a person asks me ‘What is your peace all about? What is your comfort all about? Where do you get your love? Where do you get your talents?’ that is the only opportune time for me to say (without blinking), Jesus Christ.

Strength in Weakness

The past few weeks have been a constant struggle for me.

My faith is continuously put to the test. My endurance and tenacity are both wearing thin. I have been loosing sleep and though I would want to keep a positive outlook on things, at times, I can’t help but ask why me?

I am trying the best I can. My heart is filled with anger, so much anger right now. I feel it consuming me again.

I am just glad that I am surrounded by my accountability partners to keep me guided, focused and directed. Their patience and love for me, I don’t know where they get it but I am thankful for them. They help keep my path straight.

It’s funny how things work out. When things get rough, there will always be someone either calling me, taking me out to dinner, letting me spend the night or have someone deliver a special package to my building (you all know who you are). They just pop out of the blue. It’s like they know for some reason, it’s incredible. I don’t know, probably God is there to tell me to hang on a bit, and I do.

In your weakest, that’s when He’s doing His greatest work.

I pray that He give me the strength and courage to soldier on. Help me run the race, Lord. I need you now more than ever.