A Marine in Tacloban

Super-typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines on November 8. On November 24, I went to Villamor Airport in Manila with some friends who were serving as volunteers, greeting evacuees from the stricken areas and asking them about their needs. No planes arrived that night, but I did meet a Capt. Caleb Eames, a US Marine who was working there. On December 11, when he was back in Okinawa and I was in Manila, he talked over Skype about his experience with the relief effort. (Photos used with permission.)

Caleb’s story

On Monday, November 4 or Tuesday, November 5, we got notification … Read More

Scrap Pork

In the Philippines each member of the Congress is granted a lump-sum discretionary fund for spending on priority development projects, mostly at the local level. This money is called the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). In July the Philippine Daily Inquirer published an exposé of a scam masterminded by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, whose companies specialize in trading agricultural products. The scam involved members of both the House of Representatives—commonly referred to as Congress—and the Senate and was estimated to have cost the country 10 billion pesos. In the widespread outrage the PDAF has generally been referred to as “the Read More