Hello, komusta, salam, ohio, g’day and WHAGWAN everyone!!
I've been dreading the day I'll be shaving off these dreads. I've even had some recurring dreams in which each time my hair gets cut off by something or someone, and I always wake up sweating and short of breath but relieved to find it all still there.
But it's finally time for a change.
So on New Year's Day, January 1 2013, I'll be getting out the clippers, loppers, lawn mowers, katanas - whatever it takes - to cut off these dreadlocks once and for all.
Great, I'm getting a haircut. What's the big deal, Shquille O'Neal?
I haven't actually haircut since I finished high school in 2006, and I've been rocking natty dreads since December 2007 – so this isn't exactly something I can just cut off, shrug, and get on with life as a baldy as if nothing happened! So to help me get over loosing that mop on top of my head, I’m going to do my best to raise some dough for a worthy cause and turn this hair-raising experience to a fundraising one.
This quite timely too - as some of you may have heard, Typhoon Bopha (Filipino name ‘Pablo’) ripped through Mindanao, the large southern island of the Philippines, earlier this month claiming the lives of over 1000 people, displacing a further 200,000.
By cutting my hair with your support, I hope to raise funds for the Philippine Australian Disaster Emergency Response (PADER) of the Philippine Community Council of NSW to try and help some of the affected communities in Mindanao.
What is PADER and how will your donation help?
PADER helps us Filipinos and Filipinas in Australia respond to the immediate and long-term needs of emergencies back in the Philippines by providing relief supplies, implementing better typhoon warning systems and investing in better housing and shelter for the most vulnerable people. The great thing about PADER is that their account is based in Australia so there are no costly international transaction fees, and this will all go directly to on-the-ground relief effort.
There’s 40PHP to 1AUD, so even a small donation goes a really loooooooong way in the Philippines.
So please help me raise $2000 for the communities in Mindanao affected by Typhoon Bopha this spiritual season, and I will express my utmost gratitude to you by shaving off my slimy, itchy, crab infested dreadlocks once and for all
Besides, this is a great opportunity for all of you anti-dread people who have told me ‘man, I will PAY you to cut your hair!’ – to put your money where your mouth is then! Hahaha
Peace, love and respect,
More about Typhoon Bopha / Pablo
While the Philippines is the most Typhoon ravaged country in the world, Typhoon Bopha / Pablo is a bit different from the regular Filipino Typhoon. It is the strongest recorded typhoon to ever hit Mindanao, which has historically been below the range of such extreme weather events. Because of this, people in Mindanao are not as used to Typhoons as the rest of the country, which is sadly reflected by the high casualty toll.
Asides from causing a lot of immediate misery to many people in Mindanao, Typhoon Bopha also devastated the regions important agricultural sector, which is a key industry that sustains the livelihoods and food security of millions of people within Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines. The provinces hit by the Typhoon are renowned across the Philippines for producing some of the juiciest tropical fruits in the world. In addition, many fishermen from General Santos City are unaccounted for, which is a further blow to the critically important artisanal fishing communities.
While most of the immediate relief has already been provided by the Philippine Government, local and international NGOs, and generous aid donations from several countries (including a $5million donation from Australia) the focus is now on allowing people in Mindanao adapt to living with changed environmental conditions.