Mabiskeg - Strong and Firm

Typhoon Koppu (local name, Lando) is a super typhoon that hit Northern and Central Luzon in the Philippines recently, leaving a sore devastation to a lot of communities around those particular areas. Despite this, as a nation of undeniable human spirit, we are mabiskeg enough to go through anything and move forward. Mabiskeg is the Pangasinense term that means strong and firm.

Mabini is a town in Western Pangasinan. It is one of the most devastated by Typhoon Koppu last week. In Mabini, the schools are one of the hard-hit structures, and some of them are located in isolated areas which adds to the challenge of getting them back up and running. People who watch the news or read the papers offer relief goods, clothes, medicines, and toiletries as forms of help which is good but only a few think about the education of the children who are affected or how these kids can go back to their schools as soon as possible.

Photos from Balincaguin Conservancy

This campaign's aim is to maximize and spread out whatever help everyone is willing to offer. It may sound little, but a notebook can do so much especially when a lot of families lost literally everything they had; it would help them a great deal, to get back on their feet and start again. Furthermore, the focus of this project is on the children's education.

The main purpose of this campaign is to consolidate school supplies, but it would also be best to include basic needs like cash, clothes, sheets, medicines, toiletries, and other relief goods because the families in Mabini were not able to save a single thing due to flashfloods. For local cash donations, kindly get in touch with Franz Marabe through 0999 551 4843. International cash donations are also accepted through an online fundraising campaign via Indiegogo ( Anyone from abroad may click the link in order to make a donation. Rest assured that all monetary donations will be converted into helping the children get back to school. In Quezon City area, donations can be turned in through conatacting Romelie Tamares (0936 694 9555). For Makati area, people may reach Koko Alviar (0917 826 1557). The crowdsourcing campaign runs until November 6, and the donations will be brought to Mabini, Pangasinan on the 7th of November 2015. 

Another part of this project is to tap interested groups especially student organizations, fraternities, and sororities to spearhead or partner with local teachers and government officials to help rehabilitate the damaged schools. Interested parties may email for more information.You can also help #MabiniMabiskeg by sharing and publicly posting on your social media accounts about this crowd sourcing initiative using the hashtags #MabiniMabiskeg and #LandoPH;

If typhoons can leave their mark on a nation such as ours, why can’t we do the same as well? Let's all help and rebuild our country together. As how they put it, the Filipino spirit is waterproof.

Article published on October 23, 2015