grass skirt1Amid an outpouring of generosity for typhoon victims in Manila and other parts of Luzon, The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) issued an advisory preventing the public from donating the following relief items: old ninong-type barongs, Halloween witch wigs, lace beaded dresses, Darna outfits, The Joker masks, pastel-colored floral gowns, belly dancing outfits, Dracula capes, and silvery purple tutus.

Heeding the advice of its volunteers sorting through donations at relief centers, the DSWD also said it will no longer accept “giraffe-print panties, folk dance costumes, bathing suits, ball gowns, neckties, feather boas, pink leis and grass skirts, and multi-colored granny panties that all say ‘Blow Your Horn!’”

The DSWD public advisory read: “We appreciate your concern for our brothers and sisters badly affected by the typhoons. But please understand that we don’t want our evacuation centers to be filled with people wearing Charlie Chaplin suits and Mexican sombreros.”

“We have nothing against Charlie Chaplin suits and Mexican sombreros,” the DSWD advisory clarified. “But these items just seem inappropriate for people to wear in times of floods and other disasters.”

To demonstrate its point, the DSWD included in its advisory pictures of Chaplin as “The Tramp” and of a very young Antonio Banderas wearing nothing but a Mexican sombrero.

The list also included “underwear with zero elasticity left and bacon briefs,” together with Air Supply Greatest Hits cassette tapes and Judy Ann Santos-Ryan Agoncillo posters.

The apparently well-researched advisory ended its appeal by quoting a newspaper columnist: “People who raid their closets for donations need to ask themselves important questions. Is this something they need? Would this make things easier for them? If I was in their place, would I appreciate getting this? Pretend you are putting together a relief package for your friends. I don’t think you’d throw your bacon briefs into that bag.”

The DSWD ban doesn’t cover used clothing and other non-food items alone. The welfare department also announced it is no longer accepting packed noodles.

In the same advisory, under the subhead “Noodles Coming Out Of Evacuees’ Ears,” Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral said “packed noodles are yummy, especially when cooked, but victims of Tropical Storm Ondoy also need other daily essentials to help them rebuild their lives.”

The advisory listed down different types of noodles: wheat noodles, rice noodles, mung bean noodles, potato or canna starch noodles, buckwheat noodles, and acorn noodles. It also said that colloquially, a “noodle” is a person with poor judgment, or a fool.

Meanwhile, at a Cabinet-level meeting of the National Disaster Coordinating Council on the same day, President Arroyo was saddened by the reported shortage of instant noodles in the market in the aftermath of typhoon “Ondoy.” Arroyo said the Department of Trade and Industry will procure noodles abroad and distribute these to evacuees through the DSWD.

Arroyo said it was her first time to hear of “bacon briefs,” but that Malacañang welcomes any donation, be it bacon or briefs.

By Insoy Niñal
Oct. 13, 2009