Donating to the Philippines from abroad (2013 typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda)

People overseas are finding their way to my 2009 blog post when they search online for ways to donate to the Philippines. If you are looking for a way to help the survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), here is a list of ways you can donate from abroad.

(Read about the devastation on CNN and BBC. See photos on The Big Picture and Greenpeace.)

Jump to: Events | Online | Bank | Offline


  • Worldwide: Authors for the Philippines is holding an online auction from Nov. 13 (8AM GMT) – Nov. 20 (8PM GMT). Proceeds go to the British Red Cross
  • Worldwide: Threadless, slingprint, and FEED are selling relief shirts; proceeds go to various charities for Typhoon Yolanda
  • Australia (New South Wales): Drop off goods on Nov. 19 at 168 Union St. Erskineville, NSW – Please look for Ala
  • Australia (New South Wales): Drop off or help pack goods on Nov. 20 at 168 Union St. Erskineville, NSW – Please look for Ala
  • Canada (Winnipeg): Beats and Rhymes for Relief fundraising gig on Nov. 22, 10pm at Exchange Event Centre
  • Singapore: Benefit event on Nov. 19, 8pm at Artistry. Contact Prashant at
  • Singapore: AFTERSHOCK fundraising gig on Nov. 22, 7pm at Platinum Music World Disco Bar
  • Singapore: Sagip-Tulong 2013 fundraising festival on Nov. 24, 1030am to 730pm at Hong Lim Park
  • USA (Glendale, CA): Bayanihan in Concert on Nov. 22, 6pm to 2am at Beyond The Stars Palace, Glendale, CA
  • USA (Chicago, IL): One Voice this Christmas benefit show on Dec. 7, 7pm at Decibel Bar, Chicago, IL

Online (Paypal, credit card, etc)

Bank (dollar accounts)

One La Salle Relief Drive

  • Bank name: RCBC Bank (note: NOT RCBC Savings)
  • Swift code: RCBCPHMM
  • Account name: De La Salle Brothers, Inc. – Yolanda
  • Account #: 8926-001156
  • E-mail the validated deposit slip to or fax to +63 2 721 5049

De La Salle University

  • Bank name: United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB)
  • Swift code: UCPBHMM
  • Account name: De La Salle University
  • Account number: 01-120-300035-8

National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON)

  • Bank name: BANCO DE ORO
  • Swift code: BNORPHMM
  • Account name: Visayas Primary Health Care Services, Incorporated
  • Account #: 106110039631
  • Branch: F. Gonzales Branch, Cebu City

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council

  • Swift code: DBPHPMM
  • Account name: NDRRMC Donated Funds
  • Account #: 0435-021927-530
  • Branch: Camp Aguinaldo Branch, PVAO Compound, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City

Sagip Kapamilya (BDO)

  • Bank name: BANCO DE ORO
  • Swift code: BNORPHMM
  • Account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc – Sagip Kapamilya
  • Account #393-008-1622
  • Branch: Sct. Albano, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City
  • Fax (+632-411-4995) or email ( copy of transmittal/ transaction slip with complete donor’s information

Sagip Kapamilya (BPI)

  • Swift code: BOPIPHMM
  • Account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc – Sagip Kapamilya
  • Account #: 3054-0270-35
  • Branch: West Triangle, Quezon City
  • Fax (+632-411-4995) or email ( copy of transmittal/ transaction slip with complete donor’s information

Sagip Kapamilya (PNB)

  • Swift code: PNBMPHMM
  • Account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc – Sagip Kapamilya
  • Account #: 419-539-5000-21
  • Branch: Timog, Quezon City
  • Fax (+632-411-4995) or email ( copy of transmittal/ transaction slip with complete donor’s information


  • Worldwide (Asia, Europe, Middle East, USA): LBC Express will take your donations in their branches worldwide
  • Outside the USA: Call CARE at +1-404-681-2252
  • Outside the USA: Call or go to any Doctors Without Borders office in 20 countries
  • Australia (New South Wales): Drop off goods at Hemp Health and Organics, 65 Mullens St. Balmain
  • Canada: Canadians text to 45678, RELIEFNOW 4 $10, AID 4 $20, RELIEF 4 $5. Govt matches $ for $
  • Canada: Drop off/pledge donations at any Sears store starting NOv. 12 (can also donate by phone)
  • Hong Kong: Gen Ex Cargo, Hong Kong A-Freight Ltd., and Hatari Express Remittance will be accepting donations in kind to be shipped to the Philippines. List of branches here
  • Hong Kong: Donate cash or check to the Hong Kong Red Cross
  • Hong Kong: Donate cash to International Care Ministries, 21/F and 23/F Siu On Building, 243 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Ying Pun
  • Singapore: Donate cash or check to Red Cross House at 15 Penang Lane Singapore 238486, from 9am to 7pm (Mon-Fri) and 9am to noon (Sat-Sun) (can also donate via ATM)
  • Singapore: Donate cash or check to Mercy Relief, Blk 160, Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, #01-1568, Singapore 310160
  • USA: Mail a check to your local American Red Cross chapter, w/ “Philippines Typhoons and Flood” in the memo line (can also call 1-800-435-7669 or 1-800-513-3333)
  • USA: Call CARE at 1-800-521-2273
  • USA: Call Direct Relief at 805.964.4767
  • USA: Call MeryCorps at 1-888-747-7440 (can also donate by mail)
  • USA: Text $10 to donate to numerous charities; full list here
  • USA: Text AID to 80108 to give a $10 donation to mGive Philippines Typhoon Disaster Relief Fund
  • USA: Text AID to 50555 to donate $10 to Operation USA (can also donate by phone or mail)
  • USA: Text COLBERT to 50555 to donate $10
  • USA: Text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the Red Cross
  • USA: Call United Methodist Committee on Relief at 1-888-252-6174 (can also donate by check)
  • USA: Call UNICEF at 1.800.FOR.KIDS (1.800.367.5437) (can also donate by mail)
  • USA (Daly City, CA): Drop off donations at Rise-up Philippines Bay Area Donation Drop-off Center, 140 Serramonte Center, Daly City (M-F 3pm-8pm, Sat-Sun 1pm-8pm)
  • USA (Palo Alto, CA): Send donations to Neighbors Abroad, P.O. Box 52004, Palo Alto, CA 94303
  • USA (Baltimore, MD): Mail check or money order to Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090 , Baltimore, MD 21297-0303. Or call 1-877-435-7277
  • USA (Hagerstown, MD): Download a donation form and mail to Doctors Without Borders USA, P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030
  • USA (Silver Spring, MD): Download donation form and send to ADRA International, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904 (can also donate by phone)
  • USA (New Jersey and New York)RDR CARGO is conducting drop-off drives (clothing, dry goods, etc) in their stores and will ship them to the Philippines for free. Pick-up within range also available. Call Rommel at (917) 294-5107
  • USA (New York, NY): Send a check to Ms. Margaret B. Llamas, Executive Director, Philippine Jesuit Foundation, Inc. P.O. Box 312, New York, N.Y. 10028, U.S.A.
  • USA (New York, NY): Make check payable to JDC; write “Typhoon Haiyan Relief” on the check (can also donate by phone)
  • USA (Blue Ash, OH): Drop off food, personal care products, first aid, and others to Matthew 25: Ministries, 11060 Kenwood Rd. Blue Ash, OH 45242 (can also donate by SMS or post)
  • United Kingdom: Go to any Oxfam shop (can also be by phone or post)
  • United Kingdom: Send a check to British Red Cross, Typhoon Haiyan Appeal, 44 Moorfields, London EC2Y 9AL

This list needs to grow! Have something to add? Please comment here and I’ll include it. Thank you!

Sources are from social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) and other lists such as the Huffington Post, CNN, Rappler,, Clinton Foundation, and USA Today. Thanks to blogger Lala’s World, too!)

In the Philippines and want to help? Check out Rappler’s list of relief efforts.


Practitioner Level 2

Photos by IKMF Philippines

Last November, I passed my Practitioner Level 1 exam in krav maga. It was tiring and amazing and terrible. I swore I’d never do it again.

Six months later, I was standing in the same room, about to take the Practitioner Level 2 exam.

Going from P1 to P2 is a cumulative test — not only do you need to know all the new level 2 techniques, but you’d be tested on P1 techniques as well. The good thing about your second exam is you’re not going in blind. You know what the exam format will be like, and can expect a few surprises (even if you don’t know what they are). You know how to manage your energy so you can last several hours without water or breaks. Chances are, you’re stronger, fitter, and faster than you were last time. Easy-peasy, right?

Not at all!

Continue reading

Hotel Vicente, Davao City

Hotel Vicente - The facade

The Calma side of our family (my mom and her nine siblings) have opened a boutique hotel in Davao City, Philippines. It’s called Hotel Vicente, named after their father (my grandfather), and is built on the land where their old house once stood.

Hotel Vicente - Lobby

It feels more like a house than a hotel; it’s cozy and comfortable, and very Filipino-Spanish. At first glance, everything might look shiny and new, but for my mom, aunts, and uncles, it really does feel like home. That’s because parts of their old house were saved and incorporated into the furnishings of the hotel. Doors, banisters, wooden beams, even a sitting rock that my grandfather used to sit on — they were lovingly planned and refurbished into Hotel Vicente’s decor.

Hotel Vicente - Old doors Hotel Vicente - Stairs Hotel Vicente - Old door

(All of these were from the old house!)

Unfortunately, I never met my grandfather. He passed away before I was born, and I have no memories of him or the house the way my older cousins do. This hotel is the closest that I have to my family’s history, and it was amazing to walk around the hotel as my aunts and uncles pointed out things and reminisced about their childhood. “This is where the girls slept — this used to be the kitchen — this is where the boys would fight,” etc.

Hotel Vicente also has its own restaurant and bar called Cristobal, named after my grandmother, who is turning 94 years old and now resides in Davao. Before she moved, I would see her during the holidays, where she would beam with pride if asked how she raised her 10 children in the province. She and my grandfather somehow managed to put all 10 children through college and into very distinct, successful careers – dentist, doctor, engineers, executives, entrepreneurs, I.T…. All of these careers eventually culminated in a hotel that was designed, built, decorated, and managed by the 10 Calma siblings. How 10 siblings can all get along is beyond me, let alone build a hotel together! When I walked around Hotel Vicente, I couldn’t help but feel immensely proud of what they had achieved.

Hotel Vicente - Room Hotel Vicente - Room

Hotel Vicente is along F. Torres Street in Davao City, Philippines. We’ve already had some guests stay with us and we’d love for more people to come and tell us what they think. To book, you can call Hotel Vicente at +63-82-295-7053 or +63-82-295-7393 or e-mail them at hotelvicentedavao [at] gmail [dot] com. If you have questions, you can ask them here and I’ll pass them along. I hope more people can come and see it; hopefully, you’ll feel the warm, familial love that serves as the foundation of our hotel. Thanks!

Early reviews of Hotel Vicente:

Hotel VIcente Room RatesRoom rates

Hotel Vicente
Florentino Torres Street, Davao City 8000, Philippines
Phone: +(63 82) 295-7053; 295- 7393; Fax: +(63 82) 295- 7383

Road Review: The Purplechickens

When Karl Roy passed away, I went through my dusty CD collection looking for my old P.O.T. album. I decided at that moment to pick out CDs by Filipino bands to bring on the road with me as I drive to and from Makati each day. The rush hour traffic lets me listen to an album the way it should be heard, before iPod shuffling was invented: from start to finish, in one sitting.

Yesterday, I listened to P.O.T. Today, it was The Purplechickens’ Here’s Plan B.

Plan B is nine years old. I first heard it live, in their album launch in 2003. I spent three years with the band as a “purplechick” (a girlfriend of one of the band members), which meant I got to see them live often. It is impossible for me to listen to this album without imagining them performing it, down to every mannerism, the way Aldus makes love to the mic, the guitar poses, the white of Zig’s eyes when he’s drumming in the zone.

I have not listened to Plan B in years. I no longer have the ripped mp3s, and so every song was a pleasant surprise. I still love “Common Cold”. “A Break In A Prayer” sounded better than I remembered it. “Ars Terror”, interestingly, was the only song on the album that I repeated soon as it was done. It is a self-aware rock ballad, gratuitous and marvelous. I covered it a few times in a short-lived band, years ago. Our version was terrible. I’m so sorry.

The Purplechickens

The Purplechickens are a band that you must experience live. The album is good, but it doesn’t do them justice. The best way to describe them is that they are a wall of _sound_. I remember one time at sound check, Aldus motioned to me at the back and asked if the sound levels were good. I vaguely said ‘okay’ (what do I know?). Then Marco came over and gave a list of maybe 10 things he heard that they didn’t like. They are like that. It’s a blend of technical skill and poetic freelance.

Driving back from Makati now. I got to “Dream Systems”. It is absolutely one of my favorite songs in the world. I love everything about it: the lyrics, the melody, and how it is pleasant and recommendable to everybody. I don’t have to explain it; it’s just good. During their early days, the band would be compared to Radiohead or Muse, comparisons that were altogether unfair — the Manox (as the fans call them) are just what they are. “Dream Systems” is likened to their “Champagne Supernova” — it is long, near the end of the album, and epic in scale.

I could write pages and pages about this song, but the short version is: I was lucky enough to direct the music video for it. It was a watercolor animation, rotoscoped by hand, and at once the most beautiful thing ever made and the worst production disaster. It took two years to finish; the painting team lost steam by the end, and many fights were had (some with the band; I fear I lost friends this way). But in the end, the video won awards and was screened at Cannes. This song is emotional for all of us involved with the video, but hearing it again in the car, it all went away. I love this song. It’s perfect. And I’m still proud of the video we made, in spite of what it cost to make it.

The last song in the album is “Carry Two (Remainder One)”, which strangely was the reason I wanted to listen to the album in the first place. I felt like the song was my destination. I wanted to introduce The Purplechickens’ music to my boyfriend, and chose “Carry Two” to play in his car in the States, but the sound system was weird and you couldn’t hear the guitars at all. It was a shame, because that’s the best part of it; the guitar riffs are like a violent kick to the nuts, meant to be heard at full blast.

Me with The Purplechickens

I sessioned once! I was awful.

The song ended just as I was pulling into my street. “Carry Two” is maybe one of my favorite album enders. It ends with a yell.

That was a good drive.

Tomorrow’s driving music is The Purplechickens’ second album, “Girls, Etc”.

The Purplechickens are on Facebook and Twitter.