Monday, September 28, 2009

A Monsoon of Loss

The rains have hit us all so hard. If not us, someone we know and care for, some who are still out there stranded on their roofs in Cainta, Marikina, Rizal and Antipolo.

A lot of people I know have lost so much in the flood.

Their life's work: writings, documents, legal papers, paintings, artworks.

Investments made with their hard-earned money (and are still paying for) - machineries for business, sewing machines, tools, baking ovens. Houses and cars! Cars now rendered useless once the engine gets submerged in mud.

Sadly, lives are the greatest loss in this calamity and there are those who lost loved ones overnight.

There is so much to rebuild and I hope our country can recover, despite the politics and bad weather.

I have lived in Espana and Sangandaan before, the worst possible places to witness Manila floods. But it never occurred to me how strong Typhoon Ondoy would be, as much as it had submerged (and sunk) Cainta and Marikina. I never thought I would see the day that posh Paseo De Roxas, Makati Ave and Ayala would be flooded. The Makati underpasses no different from the flooded Lagusnilad or the Quiapo underpass. Chino Roces, Pasong Tamo and Washington were waist-deep in water. Useless SUVs littered the streets everywhere. Malls and parking lots flooded. Commuters were bottlenecked at every MRT and LRT station. There was no place to go. You either had to stay put at the mall, or at the office (lucky if you're situated at a high-rise or condo).

The aftermath is far worse too, if you consider cleaning up the caked mud on the floors and walls while trying to 'salvage' and make every appliance work afterwards.

I don't know where some of my friends are, they never texted back and I still can't reach their mobiles, but I hope and pray that they are alright.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Japan Home Center at Waltermart Makati: Dime Stores in Manila

Going grocery shopping isn't complete without dropping by the dime stores like Japan Home Center where everything is 88 pesos or less. In Japan, it is known as hyaku-en shoppu or the 100-yen shops made popular by  Daiso Industries Co. Ltd.

We've been coming here since my boy was in diapers and this is the closest thing we could have to an el cheapo version of an Ikea in the Philippines. Though it is nothing like Ikea where you fall in love with everything clever and leave wanting more.

Japan Home Center is more of a practical alternative in getting nice kitchen wares, home organizers, space savers, toiletries and plastic wares for less than P100. 


Cow won't let go of the Mascot in front of the store.

My son wants a cart ride.

A mountain of cheap tissue paper. A dozen for P88.

I did asked one of the sales people if the store would ever sell diapers. Imagine buying them cheaply in bulks. Then again, there's always the trusty lampin (Filipino cloth blanket diaper).

My Fave Buys from Japan Home Center:

• Wooden Coat Hangers 
Arguably expensive in Home & Living stores

• Packs of Double or Triple A Batteries (12 pcs)
A practical buy for kids toys, flashlights and home items

• Artsy Salt and Pepper Shaker
Very modern like organic scupltures

• Wooden Chopping Board with Fancy Stripes

• Cloche Hat
C’est incroyable! Very frenchy! 

• Photo Albums

• Magazine Racks

• Glass lids for Cooking Pots

• CD Album Case
Great for organizing CDs and a treat at P88, compared to P200 or P450 CD album cases in electronic stores. Comes in White, Orange, Blue and Hot Pink!

Nothing says love like a heart-shaped tabo!