My instagram appeal – Devastated, Deprived and Disabled after Haiyan wrecks Letye, Tacloban and Ormoc

I met a local Filipino man yesterday and his story triumphs all others. After being stranded overnight in Ormoc on Letye island, we were hanging around waiting for our boat back to Cebu in the morning, when this man limped past us in crutches. There was something about his feet that weren’t quite right – they flopped around lifelessly as he dragged his feet around absolutely painfully. He heaved most of his body weight onto his armpits and pleaded to us for food – Kinny, Meaghan, Yennie and I jumped up to help. We asked him if he was from this area, and we’re shocked to find out how far he had come. Despite being a cripple, he hitched his way here from his hometown in Isabela Letye, almost an hour and a half of travel from where we presently are!

No one had come yet to help his devastated area, and in desperation, he left his family and baby behind to seek food and supplies in the nearest big city. His disability, the destruction from the typhoon and lack of time all were huge odds against him but he still pressed on. We filled his bag with as much food and water as we had, sleeping mats and some money but somehow, it still feels like it’s not enough.

This man was blessed to have stumbled across a group of international volunteers, but others may not find such aid.

My name is Estelle and this is my Instagram appeal. (We are a small private group of civilians from Singapore, Australia, Indonesia and beyond, helping a small team in Philippines #styleyoursoul and #bangonormoc to provide relief aid across as many small areas as we can.) To date, we have bought, packed and distributed 8,000 food and water relief goods, 800 hygiene kits, 400 bags for children, and 300 sleeping mats/blankets/mosquito nets in Letye, Ormoc and Northern Cebu. Some clearly need more help than others, and so many more need help.

>> For enquiries, please email
>> Any amount of donations are appreciated. PayPal link:
>> Visit my blog for more information and updates of our mission in Philippines for Haiyan’s disaster relief:

No matter how you contribute or help to spread this message, it will go a long way in helping us help Philippines through the biggest disaster in Asia since 2005’s tsunami. Thank you and God bless!


Singaporeans go to Typhoon Haiyan affected areas – help us to help Philippines!

My friends packing food and water supplies this week for urgent dispatch to the organizations they are working with. It's a start but not enough.

My friends packing food and water supplies this week for urgent dispatch to the organizations they are working with. It’s a start but not enough.

Hello friends, family, Facebookers and searchers, a small private group and I are going to disaster sites in the Philippines TOMORROW onwards to help for 1 week.

ORMOC, LETYE, and there are other smaller areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) that are NOT receiving help from bigger organizations and official charities. Ask any of your friends in Philippines – a lot of people are dying from hunger and every bit you can do counts.

A few of my awesome friends have organized a small group and we are going to CEBU TOMORROW MORNING and doing day trips out by boat, van and bus to the lesser known but heavily affected areas that desperately need help. We have a huge schedule planned with transport, cleaning people, sanitizing, and urgently packing food and water – 700 packs have been sent out yesterday but we still need help to raise money so they can arrange more packs over the next weeks.

We are in coordination with 3 organizations in 3 different cities that were greatly affected by Yolanda – Bangor Ormoc, Gugma sa Guiuan which is handled by the Mayor’s chief of staff, Bangon Bohol.

***If there are any of you who would like to help or contribute to our mission, please let me know and anything at all is much appreciated. We need all your help possible.***

If I don’t respond to enquiries before I leave, I will respond when I am back – Philippines will need help for a long time more.

Since this is an emergency and my friends felt the need to help and share the blessing asap, we are not connected with any official charity.

Rice, water, canned goods in easy open can, candles and matches (no electricity there), sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets, baby formulas for the infants in the evacuation centers, hygiene kits which will include soap and toothbrushes.


This is the plan – please share the news, keep us in your prayers, contribute where possible and anything you can do is much appreciated. I will update more frequently on my instagram @estellekiora wherever I can, mostly to let my Mom know that I am alive…

Anthon Berg’s The Generous Store: A lot of chocolate, for a lot of good deeds.

Just found an inspiring alternative payment model which revolves around one of my much loved topics… CHOCOOOOLATE!

For one day only, Anthon Berg opened a pop up shop and sold it’s chocolates by enabling customers to pay with a good deed, rather than cash, rightfully calling it ‘The Generous Store’.

“Conceived by ad agency Robert/Boison & Like-minded, the project featured a temporary outlet in Denmark – open for one day only – which labeled each of its products with a task the consumer must perform in order to ‘buy’ the chocolate. Designed to spread generosity, the tasks typically included a good deed to someone else, such as ‘Serve breakfast in bed to your loved one’ or ‘Help clean a friend’s house’. Cashiers were replaced by staff carrying iPads, where chocolate-buyers could log into their Facebook accounts and pledge to carry out the favor via a branded post on their wall. Anthon Berg was able to view the results of the promises when visitors to the store then posted pictures and comments on the company Facebook Page.”

Summary and article heard from Springwise.

This was a great campaign and branding exercise for the company to portray itself as generous and socially-minded.

For chocolate, I would do a lot of things… especially a lot of good deeds. 🙂
#GenerosityIsSweet !

Korean Girl Wears Makeup For 2 Years

Does your girlfriend wear a lot of makeup? Ask her to take a look at this.

I saw this on my friend Audrey‘s blog post and just had to share it.

The admittedly pretty girl you see above is Bae Dal-mi, a South Korean girl who had chosen to wear her makeup full-time, 24 hours a day for two years. Making a point to never be seen with her bare face, she pretty much just kept applying and retouching her makeup day after day.

20-year-old Bae Dal-mi stepped into the world of makeup when she was 14 and seemed to fall in love since that first application. In developing her skills on applying, she came to apply more and more so that her makeup was more like a mask. Though it was also a face that she liked and became dependent on enough that she didn’t ever want to see herself without it.

Despite being considered rather pretty, Bae also revealed that she was dissatisfied with her appearance and wanted cosmetic/plastic surgery on at least 10 areas of her face.

Even around family and at home, she became a bit obsessed with her makeup and chose to not remove it, even at night. “I wanted to look perfect at all times, I even slept with the makeup on,” she shares. Everywhere she goes, she makes sure to have a mirror handy as her most important item and also to use it to retouch her makeup, by applying layer after layer over her existing makeup.

In the last two years, Dal-mi has not used any makeup remover. This led her mother, so frustrated with her daughter’s makeup obsession, to contact a TV station to share her story and hopefully be able to convince her to finally remove her makeup mask.

During the show, she had a visit to the dermatologist and the group of doctors managed to get her to remove the two year’s worth of makeup on her skin. After a skin checkup, they actually revealed that her skin was two times older than her actual age…making it 40 years old and not something that a young adult should have. Not to mention the loads of small bumps that lay lurking underneath.

But it’s a side effect to the type of damage that can occur from keeping makeup on your skin for so long. Besides the early aging, it also brings about clogged pores.

With the help of the show’s makeup artists, they were able to transform her makeup routine to something that was a bit more natural and with as minimal makeup as possible. She was pleased enough to be satisfied with this new look that let her feel more like herself and fresh. She was even happy enough to remove her blond wig!
#strangethingswomendo #crazyasiangirls
I bet you think us girls are crazy, but hey there are some men out there who don’t like to shower.

Story of My One True Love, Jesus – Twitter Style

This is the only man who deserves my love, and this is why I choose to follow him.

For the new age whiz kid who thinks the bible is old and boring, here is the story of the life, love, death and resurrection of my Lord Jesus – social media style.

Good Job Obama, Goodbye Osama

I got back from the US not long ago, and it couldn’t have been better timing since my first day there was an epic day of celebration – Good job Obama, goodbye Osama.

I’m sure all of you would have been well-informed of the documented attack by now, but if you were a little deluded the way I was, don’t feel silly. Here’s more details of the reality VS the imaginary below… It’s exactly as how I LOL-ed on my friend’s blog post.


America caught and shot Osama bin Laden in a rundown, decrepit compound, lacking any direct contact with the outside world.

But in 2001, the Times of London (and the Pentagon) thought he was living in a comic villain’s super fortress, a kind of bunker that would make even Lex Luthor blush.

What was described in this mystical underground oasis:

“… Ventilation system to allow people to breathe and to carry on. An arms and ammunition depot. And you can see here the exits leading into it and the entrances large enough to drive trucks and cars and even tanks. And its own hydroelectric power to help keep lights on, even computer systems and telephone systems.”

That’s some imagination and it was taken pretty damn seriously too, but sadly he was found in a crappy house that resembled many Hotel 81s.

Re-blogged from my friend MIZ at The Daily Lash

Article: Learn a lesson or 10 from Japan

My mom sent me this today, to share with me what I should learn from Japan’s recent disaster. It really touched me – maybe you will learn something from this too.

This letter, written by Vietnamese immigrant Ha Minh Thanh working in Fukushima as a policeman, to a friend in Vietnam, was posted on New America Media on March 19. It is a testimonial to the strength of the Japanese spirit, and an interesting slice of life near the epicenter of Japan’s crisis at the Fukushima nuclear
power plant.

This letter was translated by NAM editor Andrew Lam, author of “East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres.” It has been condensed and published by Shanghai Daily. The pictures have been added in by me for illustration.


How are you and your family? These last few days, everything was in chaos. When I close my eyes, I see dead bodies. When I open my eyes, I also see dead bodies.

Each one of us must work 20 hours a day, yet I wish there were 48 hours in the day, so that we could continue helping and rescuing folks.

We are without water and electricity, and food rations are near zero. We barely manage to move refugees before there are new orders to move them elsewhere.

I am currently in Fukushima, about 25 kilometers away from the nuclear power plant. I have so much to tell you that if I could write it all down, it would surely turn into a novel about human relationships and behaviors during times of crisis.

People here remain calm – their sense of dignity and proper behavior are very good – so things aren’t as bad as they could be. But given another week, I can’t guarantee that things won’t get to a point where we can no longer provide proper protection and order.

They are humans after all, and when hunger and thirst override dignity, well, they will do whatever they have to do. The government is trying to provide supplies by air, bringing in food and medicine, but it’s like dropping a little salt into the ocean.

Brother, there was a really moving incident. It involves a little Japanese boy who taught an adult like me a lesson on how to behave like a human being.

Last night, I was sent to a little grammar school to help a charity organization distribute food to the refugees. It was a long line that snaked this way and that and I saw a little boy around 9 years old. He was wearing a T-shirt and a pair of shorts.

It was getting very cold and the boy was at the very end of the line. I was worried that by the time his turn came there wouldn’t be any food left. So I spoke to him. He said he was at school when the earthquake happened. His father worked nearby and was driving to the school. The boy was on the third floor balcony when he saw the tsunami sweep his father’s car away.

I asked him about his mother. He said his house is right by the beach and that his mother and little sister probably didn’t make it. He turned his head and wiped his tears when I asked about his relatives.

The boy was shivering so I took off my police jacket and put it on him. That’s when my bag of food ration fell out. I picked it up and gave it to him. “When it comes to your turn, they might run out of food. So here’s my portion. I already ate. Why don’t you eat it?”

The boy took my food and bowed. I thought he would eat it right away, but he didn’t. He took the bag of food, went up to where the line ended and put it where all the food was waiting to be distributed.

I was shocked. I asked him why he didn’t eat it and instead added it to the food pile. He answered: “Because I see a lot more people hungrier than I am. If I put it there, then they will distribute the food equally.”

When I heard that I turned away so that people wouldn’t see me cry.

A society that can produce a 9-year-old who understands the concept of sacrifice for the greater good must be a great society, a great people.

Well, a few lines to send you and your family my warm wishes. The hours of my shift have begun again.

– Ha Minh Thanh


Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief. Sorrow itself has been elevated.

Disciplined queues for water and groceries. Not a rough word or a crude gesture.

The incredible architects, for instance. Buildings swayed but didn’t fall.

People bought only what they needed for the present, so everybody could get something.

No looting in shops. No honking and no overtaking on the roads. Just understanding.

Fifty workers stayed back to pump sea water in the N-reactors. How will they ever be repaid?

Restaurants cut prices. An unguarded ATM is left alone. The strong cared for the weak.

The old and the children, everyone knew exactly what to do. And they did just that.

They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins. No silly reporters. Only calm reportage.

When the power went off in a store, people put things back on the shelves and left quietly!

There are only 10 things listed here, but I think we have a lot more to learn from Japan.
As published on

***Details to Help Japan here***