On January 12, 2020, Taal volcano erupted. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) issued an Alert Level 4, indicating that “a hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.” It was a phreatic eruption from the main crater that spewed ashes to Calabarzon, Metro Manila, and some parts of Central Luzon and Pangasinan in Ilocos Region, resulting in the suspension of classes, work schedules, and flights.
News about this explosion has been published everywhere. This explosion has devastated thousands upon thousands of families, homes, livestock, livelihoods, etc. And this continues to go on 5 days after Taal’s phreatic eruption. (This is when magma heats groundwater or surface water. The extreme temperature of the magma causes near-instantaneous evaporation of water to steam, resulting in an explosion of steam, water, ash, rock, and volcanic bombs).
Ordinary citizens have mobilised their own rescue missions. Small-scale, big, whatever and wherever we can come up with, we do. With or without the local government’s help. Facebook postings have been riddled by news of ordinary
folks extending help by any means necessary. You have folks who washed car windows (those caught on the roads when
the initial eruption started, resulting in ash zero visibility for motorists), you have small snack stands offering snacks/meals to evacuees, sewers sewing DIY facemasks (Which stores ran out of stocks within hours), folks offering
coffee, water, etc on pop up stands on the roads. Whether by choice or forced into it, the Pinoy spirit is resilient in these tough times.
Enter the Filipino hardcore and punk community’s members who have started donating time, money, resources (Automobiles/trucks to fetch rescuers and rescue materials), food, drinking water, clothing etc. There are countless groups who have initiated these relief efforts and have been continuing to do so since Sunday. These materials have been donated by locals within hours following the eruption. The Pinoy scenesters have a knack for doing their initiatives on demand, and not just on a whim. Most of its members are hardworking employees who work 9-5 jobs and live paycheck to paycheck. They get the job done, so to speak.
As such, you may see posts asking for donations of any kind. Be wary, be aware, be cautious, and be informed before sending in those dollars. Yes, they are a big help. Yes, we need them. But when sent to unscrupulous fraudsters and into the wrong hands, they go to waste. Sadly, our scene has been infiltrated by posers and freeloaders who love getting free shit to fund their “punk” lifestyles. These individuals have started collectives, bands, fanzines, demonstrations and such. That’s how serious they have become with their fraudulent money-making schemes. If you would like to send in help, by all means, do so. But if you are asked to send in monetary help (American/Canadian/Australian dollars, European Euros, Sterling Pounds, etc), think twice before doing so.
You may be inadvertently funding free drinking sessions by these lowlife posers. What’s worse, you may be funding drug-crazed parties these scumbags hold at your expense. Add caution to the wind. Be wise. These pieces of shit are pretty good at what they do. Some of these characters are born into families of landowners in the provinces (Read: richer than you trust fund babies). They have steadily built their scene credentials over the past decade by integrating themselves into the scene, doing what others do (Bands, zines, organizing rallies, fundraisers, “community work”, etc.). They have slowly poisoned our scene. Some of them have been outed. Some of them simply changed scenery and penetrated other scenes outside of the metro.
Do not send cash to Philippine scenesters for donations. If you have decided on sending help, please arrange purchasing goods and having them sent to legit rescue groups. If money is involved, have one, two, three, four, five different individuals check receipts. Engage your other punk pen friends to help with accountability. Time and again, we have seen these lowlives ask for cash and seen where they simply spent these for their own punk parties. They will organize convenient food-feeding, “relief efforts”, etc. just for their self-serving documentation and to send proof for when it’s time to ask for more “donations”. Do not get duped.
What rescuers need:
Water (5-gallon refillable containers, less waste than small plastic water bottles)
Portable Gas Stoves (Mountaineer/Camping) READ: There has been an overabundance of food/rice supplies that sit idly in relocation/evacuation sites, uncooked because of the scarcity of cooking stoves)
Canned Goods (Ready to eat)
Portable Nebulizers/Asthma Inhalers
Please heed our call: Stop sending donation dollars.
Do contact/follow the following pages:
Food Not Bombs-Batangas (20 KM/12 Miles from Taal)
(Legit volunteers who are transparent and never secretive of what they do).
Aklasan Records: (US-based Pinoy label)
(You can send help if you are US-based).
Delusion Of Terror Records
(Bulacan/Manila-based label, operational since the early 90s, who can vouch for scenesters who are legit vs. scenesters who just want your party money).
Getty Photographer Exra Acayan’s photos: