Tag Archives: Philippines

This Well-Known Hair Stylist Spends His Day Off Giving Haircuts to the Homeless

Mark Bustos is a hair stylist based in New York City. Currently, Mark works at the swanky Three Squares Studio, which  has been featured in magazines like GQ, Details and Vanity Fair, among others.

But on his day off, you won’t find Mark shmoozing with his high-end customers. Rather, you’ll find him walking the streets of the city, offering free professional-level haircuts to homeless people.

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The idea started back in May of 2012, when Mark took a trip back to his family’s native home in the Philippines.

While there, he rented out a chair in a local barbershop to give haircuts to underprivileged kids.

According to Mark, he meant it as a tribute to his girlfriend’s late father, who had always gotten his haircuts at that shop.

During his time in the Philippines, one boy’s reaction really stuck with Mark:

“My most vivid memory of one particular child’s reaction was a simple smile… He was 12 years old, and so shy, and rarely made eye contact with anybody. He had no shoes on his feet and looked extremely rough and callused.

“During his haircut, he looked upset the entire time and didn’t look up once, until the cut was complete. One man in the shop said, ‘Now you look like you’re from NYC!’ He looked up and cracked the most unforgettable smile.”

This experience stuck with Mark, who decided to continue the tradition when he returned home to NYC.

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Now, every Sunday, you can find Mark on the streets of New York, looking for somebody who looks like they could use a random act of kindness.

One of Mark’s biggest motivations is giving these people a boost in confidence and the chance to be treated with some dignity:

“I do believe people with a proper, professional haircut receive more respect than those who do not have a proper haircut… Having a proper haircut also gives the recipient much more confidence.”

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Mark didn’t always take pictures of his free haircuts, but decided to start doing so recently in the hopes that he could, “inspire others to do great things for fellow human beings.”

But when it all comes down to it, Mark is simply motivated by the desire to be a positive force in the world:

“There is so much negativity in this world today, and I just simply wanted to bring some positive energy and hope into this world.”

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Jemar Banks. Tompkins Square Park. 💸💸💸

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“If we all do one random act of kindness daily, we just might set the world in the right direction.”

(h/t TODAY.com)

WikiLeaks Reveals the Other “Mystery” Country Under Total NSA Phone Surveillance: Afghanistan

This past Tuesday, The Higher Learning reported on an article from The Intercept which revealed (via documents released to them by Edward Snowden) that the NSA has been monitoring and recording virtually every single phone conversation in the Bahamas.

In their article, The Intercept admitted that the documents named another country as also being monitored under this extremely invasive program, but chose not to release the identity of the country because they worried that the revelation would almost certainly cause deaths.

Despite their worries, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange vowed that his organization would reveal the identity of the mystery country. Yesterday, he delivered on his promise:

The revelation has sparked worry amongst the intelligence community, who don’t believe that WikiLeaks has full access to the Snowden documents.

It’s still unclear whether someone sent them a copy of the documents or whether they just got a tip from someone working with The Intercept. The leak site Cryptome even suggested that WikiLeaks may have just assumed that Afghanistan was the mystery country based off other already public information.

The MYSTIC Program was also collecting metadata from Mexico, Kenya and the Philippines

I must say I don’t think many people will be shocked to hear that the NSA has Afghanistan under heavy surveillance. Personally, I think the surveillance in the Bahamas is much more odd and unwarranted.

However, I do understand why The Intercept and Edward Snowden were worried about revealing Afghanistan. It’s highly likely that this revelation will be used to help fuel anti-American sentiment in the already unstable country. Whether or not that leads to violence remains to be seen.

Read more from Time here.

Prisoners Who Escaped In Philippine Typhoon Return After Helping Families With Aftermath

Almost half of the nearly 600 prisoners who escaped during the height of the recent Super Typhoon Haiyan have returned to the facility, many after returning home to make sure their families were safe and taken care of.

The ferocious winds of the storm tore the roof off of the prison, and as swollen mountain waterways poured water into the complex, the prisoners climbed the grills to freedom; one could only assume that at this point the water outside was already above head level as well.

But 251 of the prisoners have now returned. One man, whose home was entirely destroyed, said,

I just wanted to make sure that my family was safe. After that, I returned on my own because I don’t want to live the life of a fugitive.”

Another man, on trial for rape, said,

After escaping I helped my family harvest rice for 3 days before I returned. I could have stayed away but I decided to come back because I am innocent of the charge. I want my case to be finished so that I can get free legally.”

Read the full story here.

To donate to the Red Cross relief effort, click the image below.

Stranded Typhoon Victims Create Giant SOS Messages (Slideshow)

Though Typhoon Haiyan has now came and gone, the devastation it left behind continues to grow more and more serious. Despite massive relief efforts, many people are still stranded without access to food or clean water because the damage and standing water left behind by the typhoon is making it extremely difficult to distribute all of the available aid. So, in desperation, many people have started creating giant SOS messages in the hopes that airborne aid workers will see their cries for help. Here’s a few such messages:

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US Aircraft Carrier Aids in International Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Relief Effort (video)

A group of carriers led by aircraft carrier USS George Washington sailed out of Hong Kong tuesday in way to “save famished survivors in the typhoon-ravaged Philippines”. The group hopes to give relief by delivering supplies from each carrier by helicopter to land, and coming 7,000 sailors deep they may do some damage. Check out the original article and read more about how an American effort is trying to make a difference in the Philippines.

Outrageous Video:

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