Philippine tropical cyclones

Typhoon Ulysses: Weather updates, latest news in the Philippines

Typhoon Ulysses: Weather updates, latest news in the Philippines


Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco), the Philippines’ 21st tropical cyclone for 2020, hit Luzon hardest from November 11 to 12.

The typhoon unleashed powerful winds and torrential rain that killed dozens of people, destroyed thousands of homes, and left swathes of the island region flooded.

Ulysses has become the deadliest tropical cyclone to hit the country this year, so far.

Bookmark this page for the latest on the aftermath of the typhoon.


DSWD gives P52.1 million worth of assistance to Ulysses victims

Bonz Magsambol

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Wednesday, November 18, that it provided P52.1 million worth of relief assistance to victims of Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco).

In a televised briefing, Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista said that relief assistance such as family food packs and non-food items were distributed in Cagayan Valley, Ilocos region, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol region, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Metro Manila.

FALSE: Robredo donated chicharon to typhoon victims in San Mateo, Rizal

Pauline Macaraeg

Claim: Vice President Leni Robredo donated chicharon (deep-fried pork rind) to Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) victims in San Mateo, Rizal.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: Robredo did not donate chicharon to the victims of the typhoon. She had not yet visited San Mateo when the posts first cropped up on social media.

Why we fact-checked this: At least 49 pages and users posted this claim on Facebook, which were flagged by Claim Check. A reader also emailed the claim to Rappler for verification.

Read the complete details here.

[OPINION] Challenging the narrative of Filipino resiliency

Abu Al-Rasheed Tanggol

In the wake of 4 typhoons that devastated the Philippines in a two-week span, numerous areas in the country were left submerged, with hundreds of thousands displaced and the death toll still rising. As the country reels from the effects of the typhoons, people have taken to social media to share stories of suffering, and appeals for relief and rescue for those affected. Interspersed between these appeals are calls from netizens not to “glorify resilience.”

What does it mean to glorify resilience and why is it problematic? “Glorify” is defined as “to cause to be or seem to be better than the actual condition.” To glorify Filipino resilience is to make resilience appear better than it actually is. While praising resilience in and of itself is uncontroversial, as with many things, context matters. And it is in the context of post-disaster recovery and survival that the narrative of Filipino resilience often takes centerstage. The narrative of Filipino resilience is derived from overcoming experiences of suffering and trauma due to disasters.

Read more.

Abu Al-Rasheed T. Tanggol is the Peace Action Coordinator at the Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao and Associate Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology. He’s been involved in different disaster relief operations in the past for local and international organizations.

[OPINION] When will we ever learn?

Mary Racelis

Last Thursday, thousands of beleaguered Metro Manilans were shoveling layers of mud off their living room floors when pictures from the Cagayan Valley began appearing on their social media sites. As in Marikina, they saw northern fellow sufferers perched high on rooftops awaiting rescue from the three-meter-high inundation. 

Television screens captured dramatic scenes of men and women pushing through chest-high floods, carrying a child or a valued household item on their head or shoulders. Anything that could float became a makeshift boat – from surfboards to styrofoam containers to door-less refrigerators. The luckier among affected Metro Manila residents only had to contend with the loss of water, electricity, and internet. Predictably, the much-touted Filipino resilience was hailed as our saving grace, but angry voices rejected that as government’s excuse for its failure to respond appropriately. 

Why is this happening? Yet again?

Read more.

Mary Racelis is a social anthropologist who teaches at the Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines. She is Board member of Community Organizers Multiversity.

[OPINION] Memories of my childhood in Provident Village

Dinna De Guzman

I grew up in a humble house, in a quiet and secure village where neighbors were friends, almost family. As I remember it, our house was very homey and welcoming, where friends loved to gather. My mom was such a stickler for cleanliness and orderliness that every single item had its place.

Growing up in an era when there were no computers, internet, or mobile phones, my afternoons and even weekends were spent walking or biking around the village. I hold very good memories of this place, where I lived in until I was 15. I grew up in Provident Village.

Read more.

Dinna Gamboa-De Guzman works as Chief of Staff and HR Director for a local property and hotel management company. Her parents built a house in Provident Village in 1970, where she lived until 1990. She now resides south of Metro Manila with her husband and daughter. 

House to probe massive flooding in Cagayan, Isabela on November 24

Mara Cepeda

The House committee on agriculture and food will kick off its investigation into the massive flooding in Cagayan and Isabela on November 24.

Lawmakers will look into the decision of the National Irrigation Administration to open the spillway gates of Magat Dam in the Cagayan Valley Region, leaving large swathes of Cagayan and Isabela submerged. House agriculture and food committee aims to get a “full picture” of what led to the flooding before Christmas.

“Malinaw naman dito gusto natin makita in particular. Pagdating ng Bagyong Quinta, did they release water? Pagdating ng Bagyong Rolly, did they do the same? We want to see the official report, the timely releases of water,” House panel chair Mark Enverga said in a press conference on Wednesday, November 18.

(It’s clear what we want to see here. During Typhoon Quinta, did they release water? When it comes to Typhoon Rolly, did they do the same? We want to see the official report, the timely releases of water.)

Duterte melts down and the internet is not having it

President Rodrigo Duterte’s meltdown in his late-night address on Tuesday, November 17, sparked the hashtags #DuterteMeltdown and #NasiraanAngPangulo to top Philippine Twitter trends.

Filipinos online called out the President’s sexist remarks and false claims against Vice President Leni Robredo. 

Read the rest here.

Duterte approves Luzon-wide state of calamity

Pia Ranada

President Rodrigo Duterte said he approved a state of calamity covering the entire region of Luzon following the devastation of back-to-back typhoons Rolly (Goni) and Ulysses (Vamco).

Mukhang napirmahan ko na ata (Looks like I signed it), last night I think, I signed the proclamation,” said Duterte on Tuesday night, November 18, during a meeting with Cabinet members.

Read more.

‘Almost criminal:’ Senators question DSWD over P83-billion unused funds

Bonz Magsambol

Senators questioned the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) over P83 billion in funds that remain unused as millions of Filipinos still reel from the pandemic and the recent typhoons.

During the Senate budget deliberations on Tuesday, November 17, Senator Imee Marcos, who is tasked to defend the DSWD 2021 budget, told her colleagues that over P83 billion from the agency’s past budgets have not been spent due to “difficulty in disbursing during the period of COVID-19, during the repeated typhoons.”

“Not to distribute P83 billion to our affected countrymen is almost criminal. I say that with emphasis,” Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said.

Read more.

‘Misogynist, pikon’: Robredo fact-checks Duterte’s lies on typhoon response

Mara Cepeda

Vice President Leni Robredo quickly debunked President Rodrigo Duterte’s lies about her typhoon recovery efforts, calling him a misogynist and peevish for resorting to crass remarks.

Robredo did not waste time on Tuesday night, November 17, correcting the President’s false claim that the Office of the Vice President (OVP) supposedly has done nothing to assist victims of back-to-back Super Typhoon Rolly (Goni) and Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco). 

“When a President is a misogynist, the conversation goes down to this level. Ito po ‘yung ginagawa namin gabi-gabi, nagpupuyat ilang linggo na para, araw-araw, may madala lang na tulong sa mga nangangailangan,” the Vice President tweeted while Duterte’s weekly televised address was still ongoing. 

Read more here.