I am not a gold person.  This didn’t start with any activism, or with any real reason other than the fact that I’m just not a jewelry person period.  I simply have never felt the desire for shiny that most people seem to possess.

Now that I know how the extractive process affects people (including those that look like me), I consider myself lucky.
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So Canada is finally winning some medals. During that first week all I could hear on the news was the refrain of ‘when’ and ‘why.’ Canada was feeling a little down on itself for its poor showing. While I empathized with the sentiment, it also made me smile a little. I’m not sure if the everyday Canadian saw the parallels between the medal drought and race relations, but that’s what I saw every time the Olympics was discussed on the news. (more…)

The Philippines is a poor country. It is also a country with public, large scale acts of religious devotion, and massive street parties (called ‘Fiestas’) that put families into debt. There is an argument that can be made to link one to the others, but whatever the case the people do alot of praying and drinking. (more…)

This was a particularly interesting Friday. Myk and JR, Fils (and KPCer’s) from Toronto, and some foriegners that were volunteering in Manila were interested in visiting some urban poor areas to see how a vast number of their fellow Filipinos lived.

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A self-portrait: I'm off to the 7.5km artificial landmass that's the result of 16 years of dumping. The causeway is made up of toxic mine tailings (a mix that includes dangerous levels of arsenic, lead, and mercury). The causeway used to be 9kms long, the tide has been slowly eroding it into the ocean. Of course this has resulted in the death of the corals and most life in this bay. What's left are caught and eaten by fishers and their families, resulting in health problems (the father and son behind me included).

I spent my Xmas on the island of Marinduque. This is where a Canadian mining company had two “accidental” spills of toxic mine tailings into two different rivers, and purposefully dumped 200 metric tonnes of the stuff right into the bay at surface level.

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I see underemployed people collecting plastic on the streets everyday. They even come by door in the mornings. They sell that plastic to bigger collectors that then truck them into plastic yards.

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