The Philippines has a population of over 100 million, unfortunately about 25% of them are living below the poverty line. When any of these families have the misfortune of having a child or children born with facial deformities, there is nothing they can do about it as they have no means to pay for their operations, therefore untreated these children are left with severe speech impediments ,malnourished because of in adequate food intake due to their open palates. Some of them have not even attended any schooling out of fear of being ostracised by their classmates & the possibility of being marginalised by the society... So a group of 10 Fil. /Aussie best friends decided to form ASK Foundation Phil, a small non for profit organisation based in Manila & its only focus is to help alleviate the sufferings of their unfortunate countrymen.
ASK Foundation's members are Via Hoffmann (team leader), Des Eito, Evelyn Zaragosa,Ann Morgia, Ver Nemeth,Ahl Diroy, Wilma Warta, Sokee Wescot , Cecile Modolo & Mila Jalandoni .
ASK Foundation has made a partnership with a group of 24 Specialists surgical medical volunteers of Operation Restore Hope New Zealand headed by Dr. Tristan de Chalain & Dr. Christopher Wachsmuth of Germany .Their other volunteers are Pearl Ventura & Ana Barbajo from Australia ,Dr. Jeff Fairley , Dubai & Josephine Realisan of the UK. Remarkably for the past 20 years,the International volunteers do not only donate their time & expertise pro bono but also pay their way & accommodations to the Philippines. They also brought in the much needed machines in the operating rooms for the mission.
Ask Foundation is responsible for all the logistical needs of the ORH team ,such as, Provide the Public host hospital , Recruitment of Patients , Prepare all necessary government licenses of the surgical team, Organise & fund the pre & post op. procedures , medications,supplies, food,transportations , the housing of the patients etc..
On March 11, 2018 ORH & ASK Foundation on their 20th year has concluded another successful mission in Paranaque City where it all begun in 1998 under the watchful eyes of it's then former Mayor Joey Marquez & his medical director Dr. Leigh Obed. On his retirement , the ORH mission has come in full circle not only having served Paranaque city for 6 years but has also helped the communities of the provinces of Batangas and Caloocan city . Now back again on it roots (3rd year) in the city of Paranaque under Mayor Edwin Olivarez & Ospital ng Paranaque's Chief of hospital Dr. Neal Orteza who have been both so generous in giving the permission for the mission to take over their public hospital for 10 days each year not only for their constituents but also to help other indigent patients from different parts of the Philippines.
Ask foundation's volunteer recruiter headed by Jason & Rowena Belen oversees all the recruitments of patients nation wide working along side Ms. Christine Diroy of Cavite & Dr. Sarah Marquez of Batangas. They work tirelessly to reach out to the poorest of the poor communities to help the patients reach ASK & ORH mission whilst Ms Lirio Penafuerte is ASK's volunteer coordinator who does all the in ground works for the patients stay in hospital.
ASK & ORH organisations are purely run by volunteers and that there are no administrative cost in running it's mission.
What makes ORH /ASK Foundation's mission unique is it's dedication & compassion to their recruited patients.
4 months each year, ASK foundation's team oversees the preparations of each and every patient's making sure they are treated with any illness to qualify for their respective surgeries. (Majority of these children are afflicted with Primary Complex (tuberculosis ) Pneumonia & very malnourished.) They are brought to their local community doctors for assessment, treated & given vitamins for 3 months before being transported to Paranaque city where they are housed & fed 3 days before the international team arrives for the final screening. This year out of 92 recruited patients 74 qualified but unfortunately due to some unforeseen circumstances . 65 patients were successfully operated on with 78 procedures. 9 patients were deferred due to health reasons but were put on waiting list for the next mission. In the mean time they are are still provided with continuos help .
Whilst there are so much work in organising a successful mission, nothing can compare to the reward one gets in seeing the transformation of each child & feel the happiness of their parents but of'course this is only possible because of all the generous donors who made OPERATION RESTORE HOPE & ASK FOUNDATION"S missions a success through out the years.!
Mr. U. Hoffmann The Cast & Crew of Koronang Hilaw
The Ladies of ASK F. Inc Joey Marquez
Mr.&Mrs John Kinsela of Billbergria Pty Ltd. Melanie Marquez
Atty. Danny & Mrs Danny Araj of Blackstone Water House Lawyers Soxie Topacio
Atty. Veno Panicker of Blackstone & Waterhouse Lawyers Kenneth de Leon
Phil.Community Herald Wyn Wyn Marquez
Mr. & Mrs Volker Heinen Dizzy Dizon
Ms.Wilma Quirante of ABC Car Rentals & Tourist Transport Inc. Albert Frias
Mr. & Mrs. Mila Jalandoni Kristina Hoffmann
Mrs. Sigrid Hoffmann Andrew Barris
Rotary Club Paranaque Southeast Bing Cristobal
The Rotary Club of Northwest Sunrise Marcus Rivera
Unitop General Merchandise Inc. Nadia Trinidad
Mr. Arnul Pan Charles Cham
Open Reel Film Gears Co Archie Lubrin.
B.I R. & I.N.D Family David Michael White
Emilio Galetzki of Penoles Metals & Chemicals Inc Vanessa Sew Hoy
Mr. Rapael Ibanes & family
Mr & Mrs Horst Kessler Lilibeth
Mrs. Chelo Hoffilena Franco Baltazar
Arch. Bobby Manosa Klein Hicks
Dr. Neal Hamilton of Cosmetic Concept Joel Corpuz &
ARTEC Technologies BHAJUNE
ABS CBN 's TFC
AS WE Celebrate ORH & ASK Foundation's 20th year & it's legacy . The team are reminded that what they do is so important in helping the unfortunate Children of the Philippines face a better future.!
Maraming Salamat Po!!
Manila Business Briefs March 2016
Food in PH. - Lets start with a suggested list of good food establishments in Manila. For those who haven’t been in “Manila” for years we can report that nearly all eating places have lifted their game considerably. That includes the old established “take out” joints from McDonalds up.
Margarita Fores has just been voted as Asia’s best female chef for 2016. She has what has been described as food “chain” in the city. The highlight of her food empire is CIBO restaurants. Go to www.theworld’s50best.com
Also recommended – Mercato Central, Friday and Saturday, 6pm to 3am, Corner 7th Avenue and 25th Street. Go to Farmers Market anytime. Here is the ultimate in up market - Champagne Bar Lusso in Greenbelt.
While we care talking food – there are reports that the humble coconut is coming out of its shell. Ha ha – joke only. The current market price for dried copra in March was US$1448 per tonne an increase of 50% over the average price in 2013. Also coconut water has jumped 37% over the last two years. Here is a statistic that will impress you. Coconut water exports 66.3 million litres and the oil 2.1 million tonnes Unfortunately typhoon Haiyan in 2013 destroyed 44 million trees, 15% of the existing trees at that time. Like in most agricultural economies, the poor old farmer cops it in the neck again.
More Bad News – on the growing front, a deadly new banana fungus in creeping around the world. It is known as Panama disease. This disease blocks off the plant vascular system which in affect cuts off the flow of water and nutrients to the plant. It is now in South East Asia, Middle East and now Australia. Very little money has been allocated to stopping the march of the disease. The reason is there is no money. However be rest assured the Australian Government has found 60 Billion dollars to purchase 12 submarines. Its not known if a sub can sink a diseased banana disease but time will tell.
Sadly, the Spratley dispute continues to expand in spite of no shots being fired – so far. Its all a bit of cat and mouse at the moment. The Philippines continues to really ignore the facts. The Chinese continue to build and develop the air/military/naval presence there. It’s a no stand off stand off. American naval, marine and air force have returned to the Philippines in very small numbers to Clarke and Subic and that’s the latest update. In another development the Philippine Navy impounded a vessel (cargo) in Subic which they considered to be owned/belong to North Korea. The vessel Mu Jin Teng appears to sail under a variety of flags of convenience, but has been declared North Korea along with 31 other floating worldwide. This seizure has been authorized by a United Nations resolution resulting from the claim that North Korea exploded a nuclear bomb. We live in very interesting times.
Electricity – Philippines – USA – Its too early to report this status. Things will start hotting up in the end of April/May/June. The big one to watch is the USA scene. The problem is serious. In my opinion and a heck of a lot of others, feel Donald Trump is nothing but a serious nutter. People are flabbergasted at the antics and very strange statements coming from his mouth and brain. His presence also demonstrates how the Republican Party lost the control and plot of its internal affairs. These is no sane excuse for what has and is happening. With Donalds finger on the nuke button and the intransigence of North Korea – anything can happen. It appears that everyone took their eyes off the ball, and doesn’t number one shows he know no bounds. We also live in strange times.
Here is a quick way to make money. Pinch it from a central bank. Yes folks – that’s what happened. It appears two Chinese Nationals organised a transfer of US$101 million from the Bangladesh Central Bank to Manila. Mr Kim Wong, a Manila based gambling junket operator spoke to a Senate hearing in Manila that he helped the men deposit US$81 million with Solaire Casino and Resort. Then there were a series of transfers to other casino bank accounts and guess what? There was no more money to transfer after everyone got their cut. Senator Teofisto Guingona III is chairman of the proceedings expressed his disgust. Older readers will remember the crusading Guingona II and Guindona I faced the same crooked system. Senator Juan Ponce Enrile said “right now I think foreign Governments think of the Philippines as a weak link in the international financial system.
Once again how the game has changed. This snippet relates to shipping in Asia and as you can imagine the Chinese have played a trump card again. The new standard in shipping size is the the Valemar – this master can carry 360,000 tonnes of bulk cargo. The nearest completion is Capesize weighing 180,000 tonnes. As you can imagine this big size has changed the economics of bulk shipping. In 2008 the cost of Capsize was $200,000 per day. Currently a Capsize can be chartered for $2000 per day. Yes - $2000. Needless to say the shipping companies have not passed on the savings.
Check this movie out – 4 Star – “Metro Manila”. Its social justice, a presentation about poverty, move to live in Manila etc etc. You can get it on SBS On Demand download. Well done by the movie maker.
The Immigration Minister has announced that after all the behind the scene deals his department managed to settle 2 boat people in Cambodia at a cost of $60 million. One of them did a runner and appears to have gone back to Afghanistan. The whole shambles is typical of the Minister and crew not understanding the ins and outs of the game. All you can see now is the Minister at a press conference surrounded by a bunch of head nodders!
Naughty Philippines Casinos taking the loot off the table at the Casino in Australia. The Crown CEO proclaimed that “we could have grown double digits if we offered the same as some of the Casinos in the Philippines.” The CEO is Matt Bekier. I’ll give you a tip Matt – its called competition and you ain’t competing. In addition, the drinks are overpriced and the food is lousy. Look internally mate.
Further Information on the Return of American Forces to The Philippines is to hand – The Philippine Government is making the announcements. So far they have advised that four air bases will be established and one army camp. The return of American forces have been described as a rebalancing exercise. The announced locations are:-
Fort Magsaysay Luzon – (Army)
Basa Air Base Luzon
Mactan Benito Ebuen Air Base Cebu
Antonio Bautista Air Base Palawan
Lumbia Air Base Mindanao
It would appear that the Lumbia Base will have a dual role. Counter Terrorism Operation into Mindanao, an area that is becoming more critical every week. The Islamic threat in Mindanao continues to strengthen. There have been a series of kidnappings of foreigners and a few beheadings of locals who don’t comply with direction.
A Grand end to Manny Pacquiao's in-ring career, he left the ring in decisive fashion last 9th April on Saturday, earning a unanimous-decision victory at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. All three judges scored the fight 116-110 in favour of Pacquiao. The fighters each carried a win against the other heading into Vegas on Saturday night. Timothy Bradley Jr. won a contentious split decision in June 2012, while Pacquiao left little doubt as to the result with a unanimous-decision victory in April 2014. It was Pacquiao's first fight in nearly a year. Great for Manny and good for the Philippines.
Lack of Investment News – the reason for no investment news is that there is nothing to report because of the impending elections. Everyone is busy out in the hustings. But its coming soon.
A few dozen paces from the corner of Lacson and Espana, there is a beggar who carries around her baby. When the traffic light turns red, she quickly makes her rounds of the vehicles, knocking on car windows and making the hand-feeding gesture, meaning she needed money so she and her baby could eat. Like many beggars lining the streets of Metro Manila, she looked dirty, harried and generally miserable, and her baby didn’t have a diaper on and looked like she hadn’t eaten for days.
I drive through this route every evening on my way home, and I always see her and her baby. Not far from her spot, closer to the corner, there is another beggar who is in crutches, and hobbles from car to car, but I noticed that sometimes, he just doesn’t bother anymore. When the lights stop, from his spot on the dividing island, he peers through the windshield of the nearest vehicle and makes the same begging gesture. Perhaps, it is too physically difficult for him to beg from one car to another, and he has decided to just pin his hope on the car which happened to be closest at the moment the lights turned red. I always have spare coins tucked away for these two because of all the beggars who have knocked on my window, they seem the most miserable and therefore the most believable.
Why has it come to this, when one has to question the motives of beggars in order to spare a few pesos? Why do we have to make these decisions, casual for you, but life-saving for the real beggar, when the act of begging itself is probably humiliating enough already for the beggar?
For example, the carrying-the-baby act. We’ve read from newspapers that there are syndicates which actually deploy and control these beggars, “Oliver”-like, and that the baby was probably not hers, but was just a “prop” of some sort. Even so, I give whenever I am the closest vehicle, and even when I’m not, I toss a few coins out the window on the fly. I don’t really want to make analyses and assumptions every time a needy human being knocks, because for me, the act of begging itself is humiliating enough for me to question the beggar’s motives. It is not my place to judge, nor make distinctions. For me, beggars have already given up on a life of decency and dignity, and why add to their misery by making judgments about whether or not they are just unwitting tools of organized gangs?
However, I put my foot down on children begging. It is not something which you ought to teach children. At the corner of Agham and North Avenue in Quezon City, children beggars are an everyday sight. Sometimes, they carry sampaguita leis to sell, or offer to wipe the dust off your car. Selling flowers I can understand. But offering to wipe the dirt off your car is a cheap tactic because no owner of a new and shiny car would agree to it, considering the danger of scraping. In serious cases, you’d have to have your car buffed or probably detailed to remove the scrape marks. Nobody is serious in believing that the small child beggar, about the height of my SUV’s front tire, could complete the job of “dry-cleaning” your car because of the limited time available at the traffic stop, but they do it anyway because they’re taking advantage of the owner’s fear of scraping. At the corner of General Luna and Padre Burgos in Intramuros, I scolded a girl aged around twelve not to wipe the car because it might damage the paint, but she boldly faced up to me, and demanded: “Then, you give me money if you don’t want your car damaged!” Good Lord, I thought, begging has become extortion.
I’m particularly concerned about the child beggars of Agham. Since they just live nearby, the children have integrated begging into their play routine. They’d sit on the curbs and play around when there are no cars to beg from. They not only risk their life and limb. Their parents are probably openly encouraging them to beg. Is this a good thing to teach children? You want some money to spend at school tomorrow? You better beg. Instead of teaching them the value of hard work, these children are being told if you want something in life, you’d have to go out and take it.
Why do I make the distinction? The adult beggars have already taken their shot at life, and they have obviously failed, and they now face the reality of shame every time they go out to the streets. These are the people who need my help. The children, though they need my help, too, should never be allowed on the streets because of the danger to their safety, but should be in their homes studying or playing. They still have a long way to go, and they should as they grow up be armed with the values of hard work, patience, honesty, fairness and respect for others—so that they need not beg again for. the rest of their lives.