eastwind journals17 Aug 2017 05:33 am

WEST VALLEY QUAKE IS “RIPE” * estimated 34,000 casualties

WEST VALLEY QUAKE IS “RIPE” * estimated 34,000 casualties
Related – Theology  of Disasters
eastwind journals
By Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com
After the devastation caused by the recent 6.7 magnitude tremor in Surigao, PHIVOLCS issued new earthquake warnings “for the big one … that could kill thousands” along the West Valley fault, which cuts across Metro-Manila. A new earthquake is “ripe” since it happens every 400 years and the last one was in 1658, 367 years ago. (Source – philstar.prepare-big-one).  


MMDA “risk assessment maps” available at  this geoportal site).
This geoportal is a powerful tool to harness instantly detailed earthquake data, past-present-future, at any location in the world up to less than a square kilometer zone. Risk areas, such as fault lines, are color-coded high-moderate-low. It is not hard to use.  
In the above map, the 100-km. West Valley Fault extends from Sta. Rosa, Laguna to north of San Mateo, Bulacan. The West Valley fault cuts across “Bulacan through Quezon City, Marikina, Makati, Pasig, Taguig and Muntinlupa in Metro Manila; San Pedro, Biñan, Sta. Rosa, Cabuyao and Calamba in Laguna; and Carmona, General Mariano Alvarez and Silang in Cavite”. (Map source – philnews.-big-one). 
Subdivisions Affected
The above table shows subdivisions most likely to be affected by a West Valley tremor of 7.2 magnitude and above. These are science-based ‘estimates’ whose purpose is not to sow panic but encourage preparations. (Source – 2004 Study for Earthquake Impact Reduction for the Metropolitan Manila in the Republic of the Philippines (MMEIRS); raissarobles.homes-buildings-of-metro-manila). Raisa Robles also gives a quick earthquake preparation primer.
The JICA-MMDA 2004 study estimates that a 7.2 magnitude tremor can kill 34,000 and injure 100,000. Casualties can be higher if there is severe ground or lateral movements. Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com
Vol. 5 100-year Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima

We feature here reruns of two disaster documentaries –
The mysterious appearance of oil on the floor of the Adoration Chapel of the Mother Ignacia Healing Ministry was followed by major global disasters. It was also followed by instant healings of terminal patients. The God of Wrath is also the God of Mercy.
Part 1. History.
Part 2. Healing Testimonials.
eastwind journals15 Aug 2017 11:21 pm

THE RUNAWAY GIRL * a true story

THE RUNAWAY GIRL * a true story
eastwind journals


amen I say to you, beware and be cautious
for you know not the day nor the hour
Matthew 25:12-13


By Bernie Lopez
BREAKING NEWS.  Unverified report. Urgent prayer request.20 Christian churches were recently burned. They want to destory 200 more churches in Olisabang Province and kill 200 missionaries in the next 24 hours. Christian are hiding in villagegs. Also, please pray for the 22 Christian families sentenced to death by Islmasts in Afghanistan.
I am seated on a crowded Metro Rail Transit (MRT) train, when this story happens. Dialogue has been reconstructed. A frail girl of about ten, with dirty clothes, beach sandals and a heavy backpack, enters. Teary-eyed and staring into nothing, she stands in front of me, clutching the train post. There is half a seat beside me, so I offer it to her. She gladly sits. I strike a conversation, and she begins to unravel her sad life to me.


ME. Where are you going?
GIRL. Cagayan.
ME. You mean Cagayan Valley in the north?
GIRL. Yes.
ME. You are going that far alone? That’s about 12 hours bus ride.
GIRL. That long? I can manage. (Casually) I’m running away from home.
ME. Oh oh. Why?
GIRL. (In a whisper) My stepfather rapes me regularly when he comes home drunk. Then he mauls me, so I don’t tell others about it. I can’t stand it anymore. (She displays her bruises on the left arm. She quickly wipes off tears.)
ME. Yes, you better run away before you go crazy. Have you been to Cagayan before?
GIRL. No. But I know the town where my grandmother stays. She will take care of me.
ME. Do you know what bus to take and where?
GIRL. Not yet. I will ask around. Perhaps you can tell me.
ME. Do you have enough money?
GIRL. I have some loose change.
ME. How do you expect to get there without money?
GIRL. I will ask the bus driver and conductor to give me a ride.
ME. For free? I am not sure they will do that.
GIRL. They will. People are kind.
ME. And if they don’t.
GIRL. I will ask passengers to pay for me.
ME. Do you know how much it costs?
ME. I think it would be about 500 pesos.
GIRL. That much? I will manage.
ME. Passengers can’t afford that much to give away.
GIRL. I will ask for 20 pesos per passenger. People are kind.
ME. I like your attitude.
GIRL. I have a guardian angel. The Lord loves me and takes care of me. (She takes out a tattered rosary and proudly shows it.) I prayed before I left the house. Nothing can happen to me.
ME. How about food? It’s half a day’s ride. You need to eat.
GIRL. I will be okay. My grandma will feed me.
ME. No, I mean during the 12-hour trip.


The girl does not answer. I squirm in my seat. I furtively give her a 500-peso bill. I am not rich but she needs this badly. Perhaps embarrassed, she grabs it quickly without a word. All the while, Jerry, another senior citizen like myself, is listening to our conversation. He stares in surprise at the 500-peso bill.


ME. You better put that in your bag so it does not get lost. (She does so.)
GIRL. You are very kind, sir. Thank you.
ME. (After a long silence.) You know what? Do this. When you get in the bus, talk to the driver and tell him you have no money for food. Ask him to take you with him when you make a stopover to eat. Drivers get free meals from the restaurant because they bring passengers to eat there. I’ve done that twice.
GIRL. That’s clever. Okay, I will. Thanks.
There is a long pause. I squirm again in my seat. I give her three 100-peso bill. Jerry grunts.


ME. That’s for your food. The driver may not like to give you a free meal.
GIRL. Thank you again sir. (She clutches the bills.)
ME. Put it in your bag. (She ignores me. Another girl, a teenager, sits beside us.)
ME. Hello there, miss. Can I ask you a favor?
ME. Where are you going down?
TEENAGER. Pasay Rotonda station. Why?
ME. Good. This girl needs to go to one of four provincial bus stations, the one where buses go to Cagayan Valley. She does not know how to get there. I am going down at Ayala. Can you take care of her? Just ask around what bus station to go to.
TEENAGER. No problem, sir. I will do it. (She looks at the girl and smiles.)
ME. One more thing please. Escort her to the station until she boards the right bus. Please get her a sandwich. I gave her money. Do you have time for this? Is it too much trouble?
TEENAGER. No problem, sir. It’s okay. I’m glad to help.
ME. Thanks. Okay, this kind lady will take care of you. Do not talk to strangers, only the bus driver or conductor. Is that clear? Put the money in your bag.
GIRL. Yes sir. Thank you again. You also have a guardian angel. I can feel it.
JERRY. (Arriving at the Ayala Station, Jerry and I leave the train.) Wow. That was something you did back there. Why did you want her escorted all the way to the bus?
ME.  Many predators looking for victims in the jungle of bus stations.
JERRY. Oh, white slavery. Never thought of that. In all my life, I never saw someone hand out 800 pesos just like that to a complete stranger. Did you notice she is a very brave girl?
ME. Yes, an innocent lamb unafraid of the jungle of predators.
JERRY. It’s more ignorance than bravery.
ME. Extreme despair makes you brave. Kapit sa patalim. (Grab the blade in despair.)
JERRY. It’s faith, not ignorance, not despair. She never sees it as a ‘blade’.
ME. Yes, she talks of her guardian angel. That’s why she is not afraid.
JERRY. Did you not realize she could be conning you?
ME. It crossed my mind. Benefit of the doubt, my friend. If she conned me, I lose 800 pesos. So what? If she did not con me, I give her a new life.
JERRY. Her guardian angel nudged you. You gave without hesitation and so quickly. Amazing. You must be rich.
ME. Are you kidding? Rich people do not take train rides. I earn a lousy 24,000 a month. I get by. Simple living. I live alone. What is 800 pesos to me? I would spend that in three days on food and transport. I would not die of poverty or hunger.
JERRY. I give coins to beggars. Rarely, I give a whole 20-peso bill to lame people. But I am not a martyr. 800 pesos? Wow. Tell me, what made you really do it?
ME. How old are you?
JERRY. Sixty five.
ME. I’m sixty nine. You and I are in the pre-departure area. We can go anytime. There is no time. When the rare opportunity comes, grab it. All my life, it’s just me, me, me. It’s a game changer really, this thing called death. When you see it hovering about you, you start thinking not me, not me anymore.
JERRY. Do me a favor. Take this. (He hands me a 100-peso bill.) Share your spiritual bounty with me. I need it.
ME. Why?
JERRY. I have cancer of the prostrate that has spread to my lungs. Take it, I beg you. From now on, I will look for children in distress. I think I also have a guardian angel. Look at me, giving 100 pesos. Never in my life.
ME. You better look hard. Distressed kids don’t come easy in trains. When the rare opportunity comes, grab it, and die for it.
JERRY. Are you kidding? They’re all over the streets. They’re everywhere. We are just too blind.
ME. The Lord lets the poor sanctify the rich.
JERRY. Correction. The not-so-rich. Sharing is not an option but an obligation. I mean, look at the rich guy who gave to the dogs instead of to Lazarus. Where is he now?
ME. Cooking barbecue. (We both laugh. He hugs me quickly. I take the money and we part ways, as if we knew each a long time.)


Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com


almost everything–all external expectations
all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure
these things just fall away in the face of death
leaving only what is truly important


Steve Jobs, dying of cancer
as his empire lay at his feet




eastwind memoirs08 Jul 2017 10:14 pm


Based on a True Story of Adventure
eastwind memoirs 7b
By Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com
This is an excerpt from the book WINGS AND WANDERLUST on the adventures of a Filipino drifter, covering 25,000 kilometers through 18 European and North African countries for three years. The book is more than a travelogue. It goes deeper into the art of discovering one’s inner self, appropriate for those who are searching for themselves or a career or meaning in their lives.
do not look for happiness
happiness is elusive
do not flee from pain
pain is inevitable
rather seek love, for in love
happiness is assured
and pain is bearable
After two days across the Sahara, I took a boat to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, with a dozen other backpackers. In Las Palmas, we freaks mingled with Northerners fleeing the harsh European winter – affluent Germans, Finns, Swedes. The wild days in Las Palmas were a walk on razor’s edge, which is a story I will defer for now. For I was exacting every drop of pleasure in my despair for meaning, but it just did not work. I decided to move on. I longed for a quiet place. I heard about drifters living in caves in another island called Lanzarote. That was my target.
Hitching had a way of destroying plans. On my way to Lanzarote, I ended up in a place whose name I have forgotten, a plush tourist beach with a tall five-star hotel reaching for the sky. I waited at the edge of the beach until all the tourists had retired to their hotel rooms. At dusk, the beach was empty. The place was all mine. I sneaked in. 
Serendipity had a way of catching up with a drifter like me. From up above the clouds, I was not aware that a damsel in distress was watching all my moves. Olga (not her real name), a Swede, was watching me from her hotel suite in the dying twilight. She watched how I eluded the big tractor cleaning up the beach. She watched me go inside one of the beach sheds, which had a roof and a wall only on one side. No need to pitch my tent.
I went through the backpacker’s ‘bedroom ritual’. I lit up a candle and put an improvised paper wind-breaker. Candles are always better than flashlights, if you can conquer the wind. I laid out the plastic sheet. I did not unpack the foam as the sand was much softer. Then I set my sleeping bag that could stand arctic snow. I set my portable gas burner against the wall and used a cardboard as a wind breaker. I warmed some milk, and sipped it as I sat down on the sleeping bag, drinking in the cool quiet evening and the sound of rhythmic waves.
From Olga’s view, I was the size of an ant, but she could see every­thing in detail as a nearby lamp post illuminated me. As I wiggled into my backpack to sleep, like an angel, Olga descended upon me from the heavens. She startled me at first. I thought she was the hotel security. I wiggled out of my sleeping bag. Her hair was as golden as the dying sunset, her smile as wide as the beach. I was enthralled. 
OLGA – Hello.
ME – Hi.
OLGA – I was watching you from up there (she pointed to the tall hotel). I saw you make coffee.
ME – Hot milk.
OLGA – Oh, okay, hot milk. I saw you make your bed. I envy you.
ME – Why?
OLGA – You don’t even have a hotel. Life is so much simpler for some. For me, it is so complicated.
ME – Why?
OLGA – Well, I had to arrange for my trip, get reservations, fly a stupid plane (There was anger in her voice). Then my friend backed out. I didn’t want to go alone. But what would I do in my scheduled vacation? So here I am, totally depressed.
ME – Pack your sadness away, my dear. Your in paradise. What do you have there?
OLGA – Oh this. (Raising a paper bag.) My companion Johnny.
ME – Johnny?
OLGA – Walker.
ME – (Trying to hide my excitement). Oh. Please introduce me.
OLGA – (Laughing aloud and showing her inner self). Do you think milk would go with Johnny.
ME – Shhh, not so loud. Without doubt. Like husband and wife.
She took out a hotel glass from one pocket of her jacket and another from the other pocket. From a small bag which she opened, came out ice cubes wrapped in a towel. The angel prepared five-star Scotch on the rocks. There we were, raising our glasses to the stratosphere. 
We compared notes. I talked about my adventures in Tetouan in Morocco, where I met a British guy who was raped. I warned him never to hitch in Morocco. He pooh-poohed my concern. I did not ran out of stories. She laughed and was totally fascinated.
She talked about Stockholm as one of the most expensive places on Earth. Her one month salary would probably pay for eight months of my travel. Lonely Swedish girls often picked up handsome Spanish guys, but not Olga. I could discern she was not like that.
ME – Let’s compare pains. You start.
OLGA – I am an executive secretary in a big firm in Stockholm.
ME – What firm?
OLGA – Is that important?
ME – I guess not. Is it a nice job?
OLGA – I get a high salary.
ME – You didn’t answer my question.
OLGA – I hate it, okay? I tried to kill myself three times, you know? (In a trembling voice). I am sorry I’m telling you all this. You must be tired and want to sleep.
ME – My turn. I was a computer consultant in New York. My salary was probably double of yours. But that’s not important. I had a protracted depression. I hated my job. New York was a spiritual desert. I felt absurd. So I came to Europe not for adventure but to run away from myself.
OLGA – How nice that you have your kitchen with you anytime.
ME – And my bedroom too.
We talked for about four hours. Johnny shrank and finally vanished. We were both whoozy. I was hoping the pink dawn would come. But it did not. Very gently, she placed her head on my shoulders and, without tears, unravelled a world so full of pain. I touched her golden hair which had the aroma of flowers. I could feel her chest trembling. 
OLGA – Can we pray for each other?
ME – Sure.
OLGA – In silence, please.
I thought in silence, “Dear Lord, take care of Olga and the thousands more like her, like me. We grope in the dark, but we know, no matter what, You are there, for all paths lead to You, the Light”. 
When we were exhausted from talk, she gave me a long lingering kiss and stood up and said goodbye. I thought we would end up in her plush bedroom or in my not-so-plush sleeping bag. But nothing like that happened. That would have been a bad ending for such an evening full of spiritual pain unraveled. It was good enough that it ended that way. I was alone to meet the dawn and she went back to her world. I felt very sad for her.
Why was there so much pain in affluence? It was the same in Amsterdam and Geneva and Copenhagen. I would meet so many people in pain. One would think such afflu­ence bred a paradise of comfort and luxury, but no. Under­neath the well-ordered cor­porate life, underneath the comfort and luxury, there was chaos of the spirit. So I was right about New York. And the pain back home in the Philippines was more physical poverty. The pain in the West was worse – spiritual poverty. 
Olga left as suddenly as she came. I was alone again but I could not sleep. My mind churned. Thoughts came like a tornado, whipping up a violent eastwind. I ended up sleeping for about two hours until the first pink light of dawn revealed a fantastic empty beach. I had to pack up because the children and security guards, the early birds, would come down soon. I hid my backpack in an inconspicuous place and took a walk. I ran fast in a sprint and fell on the sand after about a hundred meters. That felt good.
The sea was like a mirror, placid as my soul. Not a sound. No waves. I was happy that I was free, that I had wings like them, yet I was sad for Olga. A seagull hovered above me, gliding effortlessly, uttering a sound as if asking me how I was doing. I screamed at the seagull. I did not care if the guards heard me. 
ME – I’m fine. I’m fine. But I am so sad for Olga. How about you, Jonathan?
Three more seagulls joined Jonathan. They floated motionless in the winter wind just above me, listening to my screams, asking perhaps who this lunatic was. 
ME – Time to move on, guys. (They left instantly.) Lanzarote here I come.
It was always like that. When I felt sad, wings were the medicine for pain and loneliness. The next day I hitched to Lanzorate where I lived in a cave for a month, reading about Buddha and the Tibetan Book of the Dead. There were many caves and many of us freaks. But that’s another story. (Read that book excerpt – === ).
after a few months on the road
i discovered that
the key to discovering yourself
was not to look for enchanting places
but enchanting people
for people are mirrors
where you see yourself
in all your beauty and horror
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Request by email at eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com
Read other book excerpts, eastwind memoirs mini-library –
Book Cover –
Mother Ignacia Healing Ministry25 Jun 2017 12:57 am

THE TYCOON AND THE BEGGAR * inspired by a true story

Inspired by a true story
By Bernie V. Lopez
I met Delfin the Tycoon in an art shop in Ermita. Comparing art notes, we instantly became friends and went to a coffee shop, where he told me the story of his life.
He stood 4 feet 4 inches, but was ironically known as the Golden Giant because he had made his pile from his tiny gold mine in a remote island off Palawan in the Philippines. He eventually catalyzed a gold rush never before seen in Palawan history. He later on moved to a small palace in Manila close to an office he rented, at the heart of the crowded Malate district.
Wealth had changed Delfin from being humble, kind and hard-working to being arrogant, vicious and greedy. He cheated even the poor of small amounts in spite of being so rich. It was an obsession to impose his arrogance on the world, vengeance against his former poverty. They say it is hard for a tycoon to go to heaven.
He walked every day 5 blocks, cut across a pedestrian overpass, to his lofty office across. On his first day to go to office, he was shocked to see an old man in his 70s on a dilapidated wheelchair on top of the overpass. He had an oversized half-torn umbrella tied to the wheel chair, and a large tin can on the ground where people could throw their coins. He stayed there the whole day from 7am to 5pm. It was his ‘office’.
He was snoring. Delfin woke up him and gave him a 20-peso bill. He looked at Delfin, annoyed for disturbing his sleep, took the money, threw it grudgingly into the can, and without saying a word, went back to sleep. When Delfin went home at 4 pm, the old man was still there snoring. He peered into the can and tried to lift it, guessing there were about 3 kilos of coins.
The old man haunted Delfin. From then on, every day, Delfin saw the old man, and threw a 100-peso bill into the can without waking him up. He was intrigued. It was an ingenious way to beg. He was a pro. He just slept the whole day off, cooled by the large umbrella, and went home with 3 kilos of coins – no muss, no fuss, the easy life. Delfin admired the guy. The old man melted his hardened heart.
Delfin wondered how the old man took the 40 steps to the top of the overpass. So one day, he left for office two hours early to see how he did it. He waited a good hour, and there he was, pushed on the wheelchair by a young teenage boy. The old man could hardly stand up. He took his cane and waited while the young man folded the wheelchair and carried it to the top. On his second trip, the young man brought up the large umbrella, and on his third, he assisted the old man to the top. When he was settled, Delfin talked to the young man.
DELFIN. Hey there. You’re the son of the old man, right? And your name is … ?
RENATO. Renato, sir. My dad gets depressed doing nothing at home. Here he is happy. We live together over there. (He points to a ghetto area nearby.)
DELFIN. He’s happy because he earns a little money, right?
RENATO. Not really. He doesn’t care about the money. He gives it to me every day and I add to our food expenses. He is happy because he is of some use and help to me, and he is no longer bored.
DELFIN. And what do you do for a living?
RENATO. I collect plastic bottles from the garbage bins, mostly from the big restaurants over there. (Pointing to where Delfin would normally take lunch.)
DELFIN. Is that enough to live on? Here, take this. (He hands a 100-peso bill.)
RENATO. Oh no, no. Dad told me never to accept big money, just coins. See you around. Bye.
The boy was gone in an instant. Delfin could not get over it. A beggar who refused big money –that made him think. After two months, the old man suddenly disappeared. Delfin waited 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, 1 week, nothing. For 3 weeks, he waited, worried sick. He was nowhere. Delfin had sleepless nights. He had to find the old man.
He went to the ghetto area and asked around. Finally, he found their empty home after walking a muddy maze of crowded shanties. Delfin had never been inside a ghetto before. It was hardly a home. A flight up a steep staircase so narrow, he had to go up sideways. Their room was dark, 2 by 1.5 meters, enough for a plyboard for a bed father and son shared plus walking space of half meter. No pillows, no blankets, no cushion, no windows, no door. Dirty clothes hang on nails all around. The stench was terrible. Then did Delfin understand the violence of poverty
Neighbors said the old man and the boy had disappeared for more than a week. Delfin went into a protracted depression. Then one day, Delfin’s heart jumped. There he was again under his umbrella. In his excitement, he almost stumbled. He woke up the old man.
DELFIN. Hello. (The old man put a hand to his ear.) (Delfin screamed.) Hello.
No answer, just a smile. Delfin noticed that his feet were swollen. He knew instantly it was a heart condition. He saw the left hand limp on his lap. A stroke, definitely.
DELFIN. (Screaming three times.) I want to bring you to the hospital.
The old man just smiled and brushed him away. Delfin was helpless. He was in tears. After another month, the old man was gone for good. There was a change in Delfin. He was now kind and humble and gentle. He talked to the sidewalk vendors and bought their fruit although they would rot on his dinner table uneaten. He stopped cheating people and started giving to them instead. Once, it was his turn to be cheated of millions in a big business deal. He just remembered the smile of the old man and brushed away the thought. The Lord said He gave us the poor to enrich our souls. How true it was for Delfin. Bernie V. Lopez eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com
Send to Friends -
you may not know who I am
but you can find Me
in the eyes of the poor
in the words not of orators
but of the mute
I am not so much in churches
but more in ghettos
please take care of Me
and I will take care of you
giving is not an option
it is an obligation

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