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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Hindi Basta-Basta Mauubos

Election fever has struck. Every politician have been dropping humongous promises, voters being serenaded stupidly and what have you. Here’s my nonsense say…

POLITICS

Ang yaman ni Jamby hindi basta-basta mauubos. Pero ang palusot niya sa COMELEC, konting konti na lang.

Ang mga epal at trapong politiko, di basta-basta mauubos. Kaya ang mga iboboto ko, konting-konti na lang!

Ang mga taong makakapal ang apog, hinding hindi basta mauubos. Pero ang mga  taong may delikadeza, konting-konti na lang!

Ang mga pick-up lines ni Miriam, hindi basta-basta mauubos. Pero ang buhok ni PNoy, konting-konti na lang!

Ang pangako ng mga politiko habang nangangampanya, hindi basta-basta mauubos. Pero ang nagagawa nilang trabaho, konting-konti na lang. (Di naman lahat, awa ng Diyos).

Ang mga tanga at nagpapauto, hindi basta-basta mauubos. Pero ang mga nag-iisip, konting-konti na lang.

Ang mga politikong may kabit, hindi basta-basta mauubos. Pero ang mga loyal sa misis, konting-konti na lang.

Ang mga dakdak ni Mitos, hindi basta-basta mauubos. Pero ang laman ng kanyang sinasabi, konting-konti na lang!

Ang ipad ni Jajajajaaaaamby, hindi basta-basta mauubos. Pero ang palusot niya sa COMELEC, konting-konti na lang.

Ang mga kandidatong naglalaglag sa kanilang supporters dahil sa pagsalungat ng election rules, hindi basta-basta mauubos. Pero ang umaamin ng kanilang kasalanan, konting-konti na lang.

PERSONAL

Ang taba sa katawan ko, hindi basta-basta mauubos. Pero ang tiyaga kong magpapayat, konting-konti na lang.

Ang pagmamahal ko sa yo, hindi basta-basta mauubos. At ang mga pagkakataong hindi kita naiisip, konting-konti na lang!

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Personal, Politics

 

Why Should They Deserve Our Vote? (Part I)

This is the analyses and thoughts of Mr. Jaime Garchitorena on some of the candidates who are running for the senate. (Yes, the Jaime Garchitorena, who sang the “you’re just a smile away” close up TVC jingle!). With his permission, I have copied these from his facebook status and compiled them in this blog. He gave nice pointers for us to think about before we even dare to shade that circle corresponding to their names in that ballot. I was the one who conceived the tile.

1. RICARDO PENSON

 

RICARDO PENSON: ANOTHER INDEPENDENT RUNNING FOR SENATOR…SIGH

On Karen Davila’s show, same one that Cristian Seneres was on, Ricardo Penson, another independent also pitched his woo.

To be fair, he was pretty well spoken and seemed to have a lot of professional credits to his name. His online resume lists him as part of Office of the President of the Philippines from 1987 – 1992 ( the Cory years) where he “Represented the office in the National Intel Board, National Intel Coordinating Agency. Monitored issues affecting national security and political conditions, provided operational requirements of executive sanctioned missions.” He seemed to have his own views on what this country needed and he says he ran for some public office in the 90s (and lost) to some actor ( I cant recall as I write) so his desire for public service has some history.

On the dark side for Penson, he’s had four wives and he has had charges of wife beating leveled against him (by ex wife Dona Bonnevie …yup the Dina Bonnevie) which he refuses to expound on as (in his words) they are a matter of public record. A shame because as it was brought up, his reluctance to even quickly explain leaves the unstable husband, wife beater image hanging.

He also seems to have a sort of axe to grind with his sister Margie Juico (yes the Margie Juico of PCSO) and sites that he stopped talking to her (difference in opinion on political maters) since Aquino took office so I would say there’s some personal/political driver to his running as well.

So on paper and in his interview he doesn’t seem to have anything really wrong with him.

But can he win? I don’t think so.

If anything for me, Ricardo Penson, is an object lesson on how running for the Senate is not something you do at the spur of the moment. People will look for either history in service, a party affiliation, and/or a sparkling personality, all of which will lend to a trust factor that leads to votes, all of which Penson has not nurtured over time or has none at all.

Like every other independent, Penson is one of the many aspirants that seem to come out of the woodwork during election time and makes the average voter ask:

Who you? And Why now ka lang?

And in reality, three months isn’t enough time to let people know, and ten million pesos isn’t enough money to get the message out.

2. CHRISTIAN SENERES 

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(photo courtesy of http://halalan2013.101pinoy.net)
akala ko si Lou Veloso ito.

NOT THAT I WAS GOING TO VOTE CHRISTIAN SENERES FOR SENATOR ANYWAY:

But I love looking at these independents and trying to figure out what goes on in their heads and during his interview with Karen Davila two things jumped out the most:

One, while he was a Representative of BUHAY Partylist (2003-2007), he was quick to distance himself from Mike Velarde, even to the point of dissing him. He did this by claiming that Brother Mike called on his flock to have free will in voting (versus the Iglesias reported command voting) only because no one listened to Mike Velarde anyway. Now not that I give a shit but hey, you won under his party list and now your dumping on him on national TV? Becasue you say that the BUHAY Mike Velarde flock is going to vote you in anyway? Poor form.

The other is that, if I heard correctly, he says he’s anti dynasty, but he says his father is running under a party list? Wait a minute…aren’t you running for the Senate? So if you win and your dad wins then isn’t that a dynasty too? Maybe I misheard? Let me know.

Like I said, he was never on my list, but its just amazing how some people feel that theyre “ready” for the big time but have no one helping them along to tell them that what they say and do makes them look small time. Oh wait…maybe thats why.

He should sit down with JC De Los Reyes. I think they’d have a lot to talk about.

3. NANCY BINAY

I WONT VOTE FOR NANCY BINAY, BUT I FEEL SORRY FOR HER.

It has been quoted many times, that Nancy Binay is, literally, running on nothing but her father’s name.

Of course she tries to put on a brave face, insisting that her osmotic experience with her parents and her role as a mother really qualifies her to run. Ok maybe I’ll grant her that. In fact I’ll grant that anyone, within prescription, is qualified to run. 

But in reality, how many people, with the little qualification that Nancy Binay has, in the real world, will be picked up and endorsed by, UNA, the second largest political party in the Philippines? I mean, I don’t think JC de lo Reyes has a chance of getting more than the 40 thousand votes he says he got in the presidential race of 2010 but I think he’s light years more qualified than Nancy Binay. Hagedorn! Why not Hagedorn. He’s Erap’s close friend, and has loads of accomplishments. Why not him?

So one has to ask the question, in a tight political mid-term race, why DOES, the second largest political party take on a political lightweight? Why does Vice President Jejomar Binay, already acknowledged as the man to beat in 2016 for the Presidents seat, field his inexperienced daughter in a national election that beats the heck out of even the most hardened and fit politicians?

The answer, to me, is as simple as it is sad. 

Nancy Binay is simply being used by her father and her father’s party, as a weather vane for her father’s, Jejomar Binay’s, Presidential bid in 2016.

Nancy Binay is being used as a trial balloon for name recall.
Nancy Binay is being used to test the alliances that then Mayor Binay nurtured in the League of Mayors which he used to win the vice presidential race in 2010.
Nancy Binay is being fielded to test what kind of traction the family name will get in the provinces and areas the older alliances did not reach.

Bottom line?

Nancy Binay is a child being used by her father and her fathers party for political gain. 

Period.

4. CYNTHIA VILLAR

WHY CYTHIA VILLAR IS NOT ON MY LIST: 

In an interview with Karen Davila, Cynthia Villar claimed she has a foundation with livelihood and entrepreneurship (anti-poverty) as its advocacy.

Unfortunately when asked about the financials of the foundation, her answer was pretty much an I dont know. A bit more disturbing is she says that it’s her husband Manny and her son who handles the finances. 

Aside from this apparent disregard for the money side (which is odd for someone who claims to be a businesswoman) she doesnt seem to have any hard statistics on hand on WHAT HER SUCCESS RATE IS? You’d think that if that was her advocacy, even if Karen never asked her for numbers, she should have been the first to concretise her claims into real verifiable values.

No data means all talk.

Not my kind of Senator.

5. JV EJERCITO

REASONS NOT TO VOTE FOR JV EJERCITO (ESTRADA):

1) On Karen Davila’s show (today), Karen called JV out and reminded him that when he announced his running for the Senate, he said he wouldn’t use the ESTRADA name to avoid confusing the voters. Well its clear he is using the ESTRADA name and his only excuse is…well…basically he wants to win and is leveraging off his brothers and fathers national presence. Bottom line, winning supercedes his principles.

2) Still on the show, when asked if he was PRO or ANTI RH, JV said he was a qualified PRO. But asked how he voted he said since the PRO RH was going to win anyway he voted ANTI. WHen pressed why, he said he didnt want any friction with his mom who was ANTI RH. I think someone has to remind JV EJERCITO ESTRADA that his vote in Congress MUST REFLECT what is needed and beneficial to his constituents AND NOT SOMETHING HE DOES TO PRESERVE HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS MOTHER.

So its clear. JV will go back on his word, leverage off his family name just to win, and will consider what his mother wants over what his constituents want.

Still want to vote for him?

6. JACK ENRILE

JACK ENRILE on KAREN DAVILAs HEADSTART:

While it seemed like a nice casual chat, it was pretty much the same ho-hum Jack Enrile interview replicated from one interviewer. 

There are 3 portions of note: 

First was the portion where he explains his absences in Congress to his wanting to be in the field (in touch with the people). And while he makes an interesting distinction between beeing in attendance versus being productive, a person who prefers to be in the field may not be the right person for the Senate. 

Second where he constantly makes the assertion that he is no puppet of his father. Even if I agree to that, and even if the sins of the father cannot be the sins of the son, the father has made too many questionable relationships throughout his long life and I cannot imagine that Jack Enrile can shake off these relationships even after the elder Enrile has passed on.

The last, and to me most interesting part, is where he tries to address the allegations of his direct involvement in the death of three people. As Karen Davila noted, Jack Enrile was implicated in 3 murders. The first two he attributes to over eager body guards. But despite his indirect involvement, he explains the first two to great detail. Strangely, the last death, the one involving his sister Katrina, his Chief of Security Gringo Honasan, and Alfie Anido (the alleged suicide but rumored murder victim who Jack Enrile characterises as his best friend), and where he claims he was, was the least detailed of all. Even stranger is his fathers official memoirs, claims that that Jack Enrile was not at the location of Anidos death. Im assuming that the elder Senator is nofool, and every word that went into his book was properly vetted. Jack Enrile atibutes the discrepancy to a lapse in Senator Enriles fading memory. I would imagine though, that for such a controversial event, and rumors to the contrary, any editor worth his salt with co-check the facts with Jack. 

I encourage everyone to watch the video ( please use the power of the search) and make your own decisions regarding Jack Enrile and his bid for a Senate Seat.

I really love Jaime’s take on these candidates. I hope he dissects all the others thoroughly too before the election day. Expect more from him. 

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Case of The Missing Blog

This is already a late entry but nevertheless, I am posting it.

I am not happy with how this went, it was getting ugly.

This morning (Feb 26), I posted a blog about Teddy Casiño, an Anti-Epal congressman, who authored the bill himself. I started the blog with an article by Inquirer dated September 13, 2012 presenting Casiño who wants a clearer definition of Epal – “misrepresentation, use of public funds for a project claimed as owned by a public official.” That article also mentioned that he is aware of the wider scope of the public’s definition of epal, which includes tarpaulins containing a government officials photo and salutations on whatever occasion is being celebrated at a certain locality. He.Is.Aware.Of.That.Public.Notion. I posted the blog and in doing so, there was no systems error, 404 or what have you. Even @momblogger was able to see the blog online.

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Few hours (between one and two hours) however after posting, the blog was deleted. Nada, cannot be found. I was trying to get its shortlink for those who were asking for the link, the blog CANNOT be found. That was how I found out it was gone.

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The first thing that came to my mind was, my blog was taken down. NO, I do not think my blog account was hacked because I can still edit it. I know for a fact that when a website is hacked, it can be defaced and/or you lose control of your account anymore/ you can not do simple editing of your articles; you can not open it. No such thing happened. What I was just saying was, my blog on Mr. Casiño was gone, as shown by the evidence above.

In my mind, the first thing that came was it was perhaps done by the supporters of Mr. Casiño. If ever its true they did it, it is a reflex – a natural reaction. Even I might also do the same thing when the person I support is being talked about, criticized or maligned by others. That was my suspicion. But first thing that should be realized is that, the blog was NOT CRITICAL of Mr. Casiño. I was just trying to point out some inconsistencies I noted in his advocacy and practices, as far as the PUBLIC’s notion of what an “epal” is. And because of that perception, I tweeted Mr. Casiño that if his supporters will and keep on taking out my blog about him and his stance about “epalism,” I will keep on reposting the same blog daily until the day of election comes. Few hours after I tweeted, he replied and said “ano na naman ba ito? I already replied to all your queries.”

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the end of our conversation on the night of Feb 25, 2012

I replied back and said that yes, I blogged about our conversation last night. And that blog was taken down. (I never used the word “hack.” Rather I said the phrase “taken down.” Also, I said SOMEONE took the blog down. I did not specify who did.

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In the blog that was deleted, our conversation ended with my question about “advertisement and endorsement is NOT “epal,” which will be to his advantage while not for other candidates?” (In other words, what I was implying was, hindi ba talaga epal ang advertisement and endorsement  kahit nanggugulang ka na ng kapwa mo kandidato?) I did not repeat my unanswered question last night to him during the present conversation.

Then, all of a sudden he replied again with this:

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Indeed, endorsement/advertisement places one ahead of the other. But, his reply was very interesting. In the last sentence he said “Epal is so broad it can cover just about any public display of one’s name and face.” Therefore, if I tie this up with his picture and name appearing on the boxes of Colette’s buko pie, this then confirms, from his own words, that his photo and name on that packaging of the buko pie is an act of “epalism.” (reference: see his tweet screed captured above.)

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If I do analyze things:

1. he left an unanswered question the previous night that got me disappointed

2. without me repeating my question last night during the present conversation, he answered my unanswered question last night. (How did he know it?)

3. the blog was taken out afterwards

Basing from the above premises, it would be logical to deduce that either:

1. he was able to read the blog so that he learned about the unanswered question that’s why he tweeted using twitlonger the above screen cap pic

2. he checked his draft and saw his unsent message?

If he saw that the message was left at the DRAFT section, then his opening sentence should NOT be “baka hindi pumasok.” Because definitely, it would not have been sent if it is in the draft section. If it was sent, it definitely would have appeared in his timeline, as well as my mentions and thus the “baka hindi pumasok” would have not been said.

Then, my analysis tells me that Mr. Casiño or his supporters was able to read the blog, afterwards, it was taken down. I suspected it was his supporters who did it. Who will blame me if I came with the above deduction with such flow of events? I may be wrong. And if I am indeed wrong, then I owe him and his team an apology.

So I told Mr. Casiño that if my blog keeps on being deleted by his supporters, I will keep on blogging about it, repeatedly post it daily until election day.

Then several reacted. Someone said it might be an act of hacking. But I dont believe it was a case of hacking as I still can edit the blog itself. All I was saying was, that blog about Mr. Casiño was taken down…

This evening, after reading my blog about him, Mr Casiño said “how dare you accuse me of  HACKING my blog.”

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As far as my timeline is concerned, I never strongly accused Mr. Casiño of hacking my account. You can check my unedited timeline, and never did I affirmatively said they hacked my blog. Come on, my blog has a small readership for it to merit being hacked. My exact words were, “it was taken down;” never have I used the work HACK. It’s hard to prove that accusation. That would require intensive search for evidence. And I am not an IT person to know how to look for one. If this were a medical case, then that would just be a flick of a finger. But IT is not my expertise.

I told Mr. Casiño that I never accused him of hacking my blog. Moreover I said pinagtanggol pa nga kita sa mga ibang tweeps na nagrereact because it is hard to prove hacking na naeedit ko naman yong blog ko after my first post was taken down.

More conversations followed. Another tweep, @misisnibok mentioned about glitches in wordpress on the same day something wrong went with my blog.

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If indeed this was what happened and them whom I accused of taking down the entry is innocent, then I express my sincerest apology.

More conversation took place afterwards. Anyway, Mr. Casiño already wrote a blog in reply to my post. Still he insisted in his entry that “epal” is only pretaining to misrepresentation and does not include tarpaulin of greetings and salutations. Well, I concede to his definition. But we public have a different perception.

We are celebrating month-long Panagbenga Festival. Not one local official has posted a tarpaulin of his greetings to the public. Senator Allan Cayetano came over during the street dancing and float parade but he NEVER had any advance tarpaulin greetings for the tourists and locals celebrating. Unlike the subject of the blog who posted several ones even before arriving at Iloilo for Dinagyang Festival. There you could really see the difference.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Personal

 

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Teddy Casiño, Anti-Epal

INQUIRER ARTICLE – September 13, 2012:

Casiño wants clear definition of ‘epal’

Months ago, as a party-list representative for Bayan Muna, Teddy Casiño authored a bill termed “Anti-Epal Bill.” From the Inquirer article published on September 13, 2012, “Casiño’s bill in the House disallows the naming of streets, classrooms, gymnasiums, parks, other public places, and government projects or programs after an incumbent government official or their relatives, he said in an interview over Radyo Inquirer…”

“[Politicians] should not take credit because it’s not their money. It’s the country’s money. It should also not be allowed to perpetuate the power of a political dynasty,” Casiño said… I agree with him here, 100%. Since it is the taxpayers money being used in government projects, no public officials should claim the projects as their own and let us taxpayers feel indebted to them, that if were not for them, such infrastructures and the like have materialized.

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Furthermore in the article, “For the public however, their definition of “epal” was wider in scope. Government officials who put up any tarpaulin, like greetings during fiestas or other occasions, are also labelled as “epal,” Casiño added. “The important thing is for us to clearly define legally what ‘epal is’” he said.

He said that, generally, people view “epal” as government officials who try to get credit for public projects and becomes more popular people.

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Teddy Casiño and Victory Bus Endorsement

Several months ago, when I went to Manila, I noticed that there was a bus with his picture at the back of the bus, as if endorsing the bus lines. I did not take a picture as I was not ready with a camera. But luckily, while I was searching google for possible “epal” photos, I came across this.

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(Photo courtesy of http://fvdb.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/teddy-casino-and-his-monkey-economic-solutions/)

I asked him what his comment on this as I remember him to be an anti-”epal.” He told me that he does not belong to a party and he needed funds for his senatorial bid that’s why he did this endorsement as a fund raiser. So according to his statement, it was not an act of “epal”-ism. Why? Because according to his definition of “epal” it should contain misrepresentation and use of public fund for something an official claims to be his own. So, advertising for him is not an act of “epal.”

Teddy Casiño and the Feast of the Black Nazarene 2013

I haven’t witnessed this celebration myself as I live far from Manila but social media has a way of disclosing misbehaviors of our fellowmen.

When the feast of the Black Nazarene came on January 9, 2013, one of the thing that was conspicuous was a tarpaulin bearing his picture and name, greeting the devotees. When tweeps were reacting to it and reaching for his comment, he finally replied through twitter that it was set up by his supporters, that they were the one who did it by themselves. And that the latter were already instructed to take it down.

There are rules about campaigning and elections. I strongly believe that all supporters ought to be oriented about these rules, abide by it. Small acts of supporters, whether good or bad reflect back to the candidate/s himself/themselves. And this stance they did at Quiapo didn’t escape the vigilant eyes of the citizenry. For me, this was done with the thought that “baka makalusot. Pag nakita at may nagreact, tanggalin. Pag wala nagreact, hayaan nating nakasabit para makita ng mga tao ang pagbati ni Teddy Casiño.” But then, after his attention was called, he washed his hands and put the blame to his supporters. The incident happened in Manila, place where he can reach out to his supporters and orient them on how to go on with the campaign. Had the incident happend in Batanes where there might be delay of communication, I would understand that he could have not oriented his supporters there as he has no political party of his own. But this happening in Manila, and he being anti-epal? Such a lame excuse.

When this issue as well sprung up, a follower of mine in tweeter also said that Teddy Casiño has several large posters in Iloilo greeting tourists and locals as Dinagyang Festival was about to approach. When we asked him about that, he just said he planned to visit the place and he has several relatives in Iloilo. So, again, that was not at act of “epal”-ism, according to him.

Teddy Casiño and Cabanatuan

I am not from Cabanatuan and I havent witnessed this next tarpaulin, but I have come across this through google as well.

Teddy Casiño and Colette’s Buko Pie

 One day, a twitter friend @pawiesharpei came from Laguna and bought buko pie from a known outlet, she was disappointed by what she saw in the package of the sweet treat. This picture has been circulating for a while and when I had time, I asked Mr Casiño how does he respond to this, if this stances is not against his being an anti-”epal.” Luckily I was able to screep cap our communication via twitter and this is how it went:
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ImageImageImageAfter my last question, he did not reply anymore, I was disappointed.
I also sent the same photo to @ChairBrillantes and asked him if what Mr Casiño is doing, endorsing SME is legal in accordance with the rules regarding election and campaigning. The busy chairman of the COMELEC has not replied to my query yet as of this posting.
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This is the 2nd time I am posting this blog as the first post was taken down. If his supporters will again delete my blog, mind you, the more you kindled the fire in me to keep on blogging about this daily until the election day. I will not stop educating my followers and friends of what you are doing. I am not mud slinging you. I am just narrating what I have observed of your own doing.
 
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Posted by on February 26, 2013 in Personal

 

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How My 2012 Went

Well, how do I describe 2012? I don’t think there’s only one adjective I could use to characterize it.

During the first quarter, I was able to have my own car and in a few days time of guidance from my friend, I was able to drive by myself.

I was able to finish paying for my vacation resort (which will last for 30 years).

Then there were these intrigues I got that my social network activities were being monitored and picked up for topics during executive committee meetings.

Another down I had was when my first ever car got hit by an unknown assailant and ran away, leaving it almost total wreck. As of this date, the repair has not even started as there were issues between the motorshop and the insurer. Since my job was being jeopardized, I had to loan another cheaper car meanwhile.

I was able to pay the down payment of a condominium I got, which initially I planned to be rented out to students nearby.

I started investing on another condominium unit, this time for my own use. (Now this explains why my savings have been depleted).

I celebrated my 38th birthday at Singapore, stayed at Marina Bay Sands Hotel. The hotel gave me a complimentary birthday cake. Well it was a small gesture but I got flattered and made me happy. Was able to visit the Universal Studio and the Harry Potter Exhibit (of most of the props used in all of the movies). It is here where I noticed how different they are from us Filipinos in terms of discipline, law obedience, amongst other else.

I met new friends through RH Bill and our meet ups had been going regular. Everytime I go down to Manila, there would at least be a gathering amongst us. I got to befriend and/or meet many legislators, journalists, showbiz celebrities, and fellow citizens fighting for the passage of the bill.

In my career, I was approved to be reclassified as Fellow from Diplomate status. However, I was not able to make it to the induction ceremonies as I was stuck in the traffic. I was then notified to be inducted on the next occasion instead.

And of course, the grandest story of all, by the end of the year, I died but got pulled out from the grips of death. Of course the big question was why did this happen to me this soon? I was known by almost all of my colleagues to workout regularly, had a controlled diet and a regular medication for about five years now. I didn’t have any major symptoms. In fact few weeks before the tragedy, I was already tolerating long-distance running without any disturbance. I was now trying to get ready for fun runs. I knew I had the risk and thus modified my lifestyle. But even long before I started this paradigm shift, my cholesterol had already been depositing into my vessels. I thought I will have this operation during my later years, not this early and tragic.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2013 in Personal

 

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PANAGBENGA: Some Scenes Behind

During the month of February, the City of Baguio celebrates the Baguio Flower Festival, which was later renamed as Panagbenga (Kankanaey term: blooming of flowers). I wonder why Kankanaey dialect was used when Baguio is a chartered city inside Benguet province and the original settlers of Baguio were Ibalois. In that regard, Ibaloi should have been the dialect that was used to call the festivity. Well, perhaps, the mayor at the time when the term was coined is Mr. Mauricio Domogan, a native of Mt. Province, and that explains why. But nevertheless, he should have respected the Ibalois, once and for all.

Well…, this is not actually the main reason why I wanted to write this blog. A friend of mine in twitter, @BinibiningCamel suggested that I blog about Panagbenga Festival and that made me think of the “behind the scenes.” Since I come from the medical profession, I thought of writing few stories and anecdotes related to or that happened during the occasions of the flower festival.

ASTHMA ATTACK

There was a time when the parade, inclusive of street dancing, bands and lyres, floats, was held on a single day, usually Saturday afternoon. It used to start at around 1 pm (often late) and usually ends in the evening at around 5 or 6 pm. Can you just imagine how exhausted the spectators are, children specially? Then, the parade started from Camp John Hay area, down through Session Road, to Magsaysay Avenue, U-turns in front of Center Mall, then back to Magsaysay Ave., through Harrison Road until it reaches Athletic Bowl. Because of this, transportation halts literally around the city, even along the national highways (Magsaysay Avenue-Halsema Highway, Kennon Road, Marcos Highway and Naguilian Road, Ambuklao-Nueva Vizcaya Highway) entering/exiting the city. Passengers and travelers are very helpless about it, as the traffic only begins to move when the parade concludes.

When I was an intern or resident, I recall one incident that happened on that unfortunate afternoon I was on duty. An adult patient had a severe asthma attack, and they came all the way from Loakan area. The attack was so severe and I cannot imagine the agony of that patient during the time when he was helpless at the middle of the road, stuck in traffic. They couldn’t walk as the patient was weak enough to do so. When traffic finally resumed and they reached the hospital, the patient was out of breath. He was revived, but didn’t make it. Yes, he came in to the hospital “dead on arrival.”

PRETERM LABOR

One spectator came from Manila (I forgot the exact place). She was about 7 months pregnant at that time she came to witness the festival. Unfortunately, she had preterm contractions and was brought to a private hospital. The labor was progressive that she had to deliver the baby, prematurely.

The mother and the baby were taken cared of without any hesitations in the hospital. But problem arose when the baby was discharged. The parents were not able to pay the bills of the baby (as care of preterm babies come with an expensive cost). They signed a promisory note to bring back the payment after discharge. In that note and in the hospital chart, they gave an address within the city. Then, they did not pay on the date they said they would. When the investigator from the hospital went to the address they indicated in the hospital record for follow-up, the investigator was surprised. The house number did not exist and the location was pointing to an empty lot, a ravine in fact. Yes, they cheated the hospital despite the fact that they were treated diligently.

(To my colleagues, if you have other stories that you like to share in this blog, please feel free to email me at clintonbalud@yahoo.com. Your first hand stories are most welcome).

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2013 in Personal

 

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A Day That Was…

FRIDAY NIGHT

The eve before the Grand Street Dance Parade of the 18th Panagbenga Festival. I had a good dinner and night cap with friends. In anticipation of the heavy traffic that will ensue during and after the parade, I went to visit my premature baby by 1 am. This will also make me feel and sleep confidently as I have checked his status just prior to going home. And so I thought.

SATURDAY

Being sure that baby’s condition was stable and perfect before I left, I slept comfortably immediately upon reaching home. At dawn, the resident on duty was calling me, referring to me the baby presenting with abnormal color and oxygen saturation. I instructed her to do a blood gas analysis and was waiting for the result. I didn’t notice, I fell back asleep.

At 6 am, the phone rang again, telling me that baby’s color has become dusky and the oxygen saturation registered in the monitor kept fluctuating. I was asking for the blood gas analysis report but she said they weren’t able to do it because the test method was not available in the laboratory. I told her to ask the respiratory therapists to do it instead but she said they’re having difficulty or don’t want to attempt because the baby was too small. (in fact, my thumb is even fatter than the baby’s forearm, so I really understood why they can’t find a good vessel to puncture. I then told the resident that I will be the one to obtain the blood sample upon coming to the hospital).

As I was getting myself fixed, the phone rang again, resident telling me that they have started doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation as they could not anymore appreciate the baby’s heartbeat. I PANICKED! Immediately I ordered them what they should do, although they have initiated doing it already, properly.

In my fear that I might lose the baby, I forgot that I just survived a cardiac arrest, that I should never be stressed. In my haste, I had to forego breakfast, I forgot to bring along my medications. I had to drive with my hazard lights blinking and honking my horn just to be able to drive fast and reach the baby before it would be too late. I was indeed like a hell driver. Midway to the hospital, my phone was ringing. I was fearful of what the caller will say as I saw in the monitor that it was the resident who referred the baby. Good thing at that time, the traffic halted, so I had few seconds to grab my phone and press the speaker. She was calm unlike earlier when she sounded panicky, telling me now that they were able to revive the baby after only 2 doses of epinephrine. However, the cardiac tones are not that yet strong and the oxygen saturation is still fluctuating. That made me feel a little lighter, calmer and “come down to earth.”

I arrived at the hospital with the baby alive but still in unstable condition. Found out that baby has severe metabolic acidosis and the pH was too low that it can coagulate all cellular enzymes of the baby. I tried to reverse it and in doing so, frequently checking baby’s blood gas after each corrective measure I have done. I was able to sneak in having lunch at the hospital canteen but went back immediately to the NICU and still found out that the baby’s blood gas status was not acceptable. In 2 hours, I was able to raise the pH to higher level, safer than the initial blood gas analysis I got where the pH read an alarming “LOW.” (It should be in figures. LOW means that the level was really too low that the machine can’t read any value, that survival is nil if it remained uncorrected. On the other hand, I cannot reverse also the abnormal blood gas as rapid attempt to do so might trigger intracranial or germinal matrix hemorrhage, a bleeding into his brain parenchyma, which is more fatal).

Then, all of a sudden, while waiting for baby’s condition to stabilize, the power went off. All of the gadgets attached to him alarmed. Good thing the ventilator he was using has an hour of reserved power thus it continued to breath air for the baby. The mother who was at her room got nervous as well that she immediately ran to the NICU. (Well, she need not worry as everyone were alert and attended to him immediately.)

At about 3:30 pm, the blood gas was now normalized, baby resumed his old self of being active. I received a referral for care of a baby about to be delivered. Mother was on her second pregnancy, and arrived at 4-5 cm cervical dilatation. It then made me estimate that the mother will deliver in about 6 hours following the normal labor curve (though this is 2nd pregnancy, thus it can be shorter.) I then left my premature for a while, did my rounds at the wards. I also visited my other patients at the other hospitals. After which I went back to my baby and get another blood gas. The oxygen saturation was again dipping and after corrective measure, it went back to normal. I got an SMS that the mother was already 6-7 cm dilated so I thought there was ample time for me to go home, freshen up and probably work out for an hour before she delivers. I went then to my car. It was less than 30 mins from the SMS when the resident notified me that the mother was now 9cm to fully dilated. Instead of going home then, I just waited at the car for the call for delivery. I sent my reply and said I will just wait at the car. Upon sending the message, the resident replied and said that the mother is now about to deliver. I then immediately went back to the nursery then to the delivery room. In between the mother’s bearing down, I went to the NICU and peeked, ensuring that the premature was doing fine; he did cooperate. The baby, gladly, was term and robust. He was well. He also had his first breastfeeding at the delivery room few minutes after coming out.

I then decided to go home to freshen up then come back for dinner. But as I drove, the traffic was unbelievably still. And surprisingly, it is the traffic going out of the city proper that’s not moving, instead of the inbound traffic. So weird. I couldn’t see policemen manning the street just because it was already past 5 pm! So instead of my original plan, I dialed my phone and called a fastfood and ordered food delivery to my apartment instead. I turned back, detoured to a longer route than my usual. It was initially continuous flow but as I was near the exit to my apartment, the traffic was as bad as the one I left. It barely moved. Just imagine a 2 kilometer stretch that I took for 30 minutes. I was reassured my food will be delivered in 45 minutes. But I was already done with shower and my food has not arrived yet. Considering the traffic all around the city, I understood why the food arrived late. After devouring, I then decided to take a nap instead of going out and celebrate with my friends. Was I tired? No. I was DRAINED and EXHAUSTED. But then, with a brand new coronary arteries, I wasn’t at risk for a new heart attack. Not yet. Not this soon.

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Flu Vaccination and Pregnancy 2

PREGNANT MOM’S FLU LINKED TO HIGHER RISK OF AUTISM

Expectant moms may have one more reason to get a flu shot.

According to the latest research on flu vaccination during pregnancy, following current recommendations for influenza shots may help to lower rates of autism.

In research published in the journal Pediatrics, scientists studied the rates of developmental disorders like autism among nearly 97,000 children born in Denmark between 1997 and 2003. The children’s mothers answered questions about infections they might have had during pregnancy — colds, sinus infections and urinary tract infections, among others. They also reported whether they’d suffered from the flu or had fevers that lasted more than seven days before they gave birth.

When the researchers compared the mothers’ answers to the registry of developmental disorders, they found that moms who fought the flu while expecting had children with double the risk of being diagnosed with autism before their third birthday. Mothers who endured flu-based fevers for seven days or more had triple the likelihood of having kids with autism, and those mothers also had a 60% greater chance of having a child diagnosed with developmental difficulties falling into the more expansive category of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In addition, moms who used antibiotics while pregnant had children with a small increased risk of autism. Infections and antibiotic use can also contribute to low birth weight babies, another risk factor for developmental abnormalities; in a 2011 study, researchers concluded that premature babies who weigh less than 4.5 pounds are five times as likely to be diagnosed with an ASD.

Influenza seemed to be the only infection linked to a higher risk of autism among these mothers’ children; other common infections such as colds and sinus infections during pregnancy did not seem to increase autism among their offspring. While it’s not clear why influenza is so potentially harmful to early development, experts suspect that the fevers associated with flu might be largely responsible, since previous studies show that periods of high fever during pregnancy are associated with birth defects. So bringing down rising body temperatures while expecting is a must, they say, to avoid potentially detrimental effects on a still-growing baby.

Still, as worrisome as the results sound — after all, avoiding the flu isn’t entirely in a mom-to-be’s control — Coleen Boyle, director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (one of whose members contributed to the study) says that the research is “exploratory. (bold and italics mine)”

Adds Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, chief of the center’s developmental disabilities branch: “It’s important to note that most women experiencing flu, fever or taking antibiotics during pregnancy did not have children with autism spectrum disorders.”

The results however, emphasize the importance of protecting against influenza, particularly for pregnant women, and the researchers urge expectant moms to get vaccinated to protect both themselves and their babies. Throughout gestation and even after birth, for the first six months of life, babies depend on mom for any immunity against bacteria and viruses like influenza. So a flu shot can give an infant a head start in fending off infections from a virus that’s hard to avoid. “It’s flu season and pregnant women should get vaccinated immediately,” says Boyle. Good advice, it seems, for many reasons.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/11/12/pregnant-moms-flu-linked-to-higher-risk-of-autism-among-children/#ixzz2LUdciEWP

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in Pregnancy

 

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Flu Vaccination and Pregnancy

WHY PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD GET FLU SHOTS

It’s not too late to get a flu shot – especially if you’re pregnant, say experts at the March of Dimes.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging all Americans to get an influenza vaccine, and pregnant women should be at the front of that line. The flu vaccine is safe during pregnancy and can protect both mother and baby from the flu and its possible consequences.

Pregnant women are at higher risk of complications from flu because pregnancy takes a toll on their respiratory and immune systems. Pregnant women are more likely to be hospitalized with flu and influenza infections can increase their risk of preterm labor and delivery. Health complications from influenza, such as pneumonia, can be serious and even deadly.

Newborns are also at an increased risk of severe illness and even death from the flu.  Nationwide, 64 child deaths have been reported this flu season.

Studies have shown, however, that if mothers are vaccinated during pregnancy their newborns are less likely to become ill with the flu during their first six months. It’s critical for a newborn to have this passive immunity from mom during those early months since it’s not recommended that babies under six months receive a flu shot.

Concerns about flu shots having a negative impact on developing babies in utero also seem to be unfounded. Studies that included thousands of pregnant women who received the seasonal flu vaccine found that their babies did not have a higher risk of being born too soon or developing a birth defect when compared with babies born to women who did not get immunized. In fact, researchers found that women who were vaccinated were less likely to suffer a stillbirth compared to those who did not get vaccinated.

Based on this evidence, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the March of Dimes, and the CDC all urge pregnant women to get their flu shots to avoid getting infected, and if they do, to treat their symptoms as soon as possible in order to keep themselves and their growing baby healthy.

Women seem to be listening, since almost half (47%) of 1660 pregnant women surveyed by the CDC in early 2012 reported they had received their flu shot, up from less than 30% four years ago.

And flu shots aren’t the only way that pregnant women can lower the risk of catching influenza. They can limit contact with others who are sick, and if they do get sick themselves, they should cough or sneeze into a tissue or an arm, and avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth. Washing hands with soap and water before and after touching others, and making sure not to share dishes, glasses or utensils with those who are sick can also protect them from influenza. The worst of the flu season may be over, but it never hurts to be careful.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/20/why-pregnant-women-should-get-flu-shots/#ixzz2LUbILAR5

 

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Olay Conversations Between Boy Abunda and Mons Romulo

I had no topic in mind to blog. But when I saw this TV commercial, I was captured by the conversation as it reflects the current emotional phase I am at right now. This is my attempt to transcribe the conversation between Boy Abunda and Mons Romulo for Olay.

Boy: Take me back to the night when you read his letter, when he was saying goodbye.

Mons: he left for abroad that time

Boy: few days before you anniversary

Mons: yes! few days before our wedding anniversary, and he said he needed to find himself so I said, yeah, okay, good… and he called me that he extended his trip and he said that he left a letter in one of the cabinets in the room so I was excited to look at it ’cause it was a letter or, ’cause I never thought we would separate. When I opened it, when I read the letter I was really shocked and it was the most ahhhmmm it was the most loudest, loudest cry I’ve ever done in my life that ahmm my kids all rushed to me

Boy: was it a goodbye? I’m going away?

Mons: It was a goodbye

Boys: this is the end of the story?

Mons: yeah, that I was a perfect wife. I was too perfect that I became like a mom to him, so he needed space himself.

Boy: What did it tell you?

Mons: ahhh I was taking care of him too much probably, but he never told me that so I never thought it was wrong.

Boy: Did you question…

Mons: I did question

Boy: why her

Mons: what did he see in her but

Boy: right

Mons: it was the start but not. Probably there was something in her that made him smile… That time when he left me I felt like I was the ugliest person in the world. My… my self esteem was so low,

Boy: How were you looking at yourself during this time?

Mons: I forgot myself, I couldnt eat. I couldn’t eat, I didnt want to get out of my house. The moment that he stepped out of the house and he told me that he wouldn’t come back home. I remember telling my ex-husband that I just wanted to sleep and never wake up. During the day I would be happy, I bidded my kids, I bidded my friends, and then when I sleep at night, I have my daughter ahmmm hugging me, holding my hand. But the moment you close your eyes it’s between you and yourself.

Boy: and that can be scary.

Mons: and that’s the most painful, painful moment.

Boy: that can be scary.

Mons: So putting yourself to sleep ahmm trying to forget the pain.

Boy: and talking about pain Mons, does it really go away or you just get used to it?

Mons: ahm when I was going through the pain ahm I never thought it would go away because he was my true love at that time.

Boy: uh oh

Mons: and I remember going to my psychologist asking him if there’s anything I can drink to forget the pain, any medicine and she just said no, you just have to feel the pain. You just have to go through it everyday until you become numb.

Boy: What wrong did you do to deserve all the pain that you went through? Was it too much love,

Mons: ahhh

Boy too much attention? What is too much what, what?

Mons: Anong maling nagawa ko? I made him my world. I made him my everything. I gave him my all

Boy: and that’s wrong

Mons: uh emm.

Boy: that’s really wrong

Mons: yeah

Boy: I mean to me, because no one should be your world.

Mons: yeah, at that time. But now I know it’s wrong.

Boy: pero Mons, doon sa mga pagkakataon na talagang sumadsad ka. You were crawling in pain, because ahm you went through that, what was your prayer like during that time?

Mons: just to bring him back to me. Give him back to me, I’ll give up everything

Boy: But inspite of that, he was not brought back to you.

Mons: I had to give myself also a deadline Boy. I couldn’t wait forever.

Boy: ah meron

Mons: I tried for almost ahm almost two years. I… I knelt down in front of him, I begged him. I went to his family, to his parents. Ahm I told myself December, if he doesn’t come back at this time, ahm then I’ll just have to move on with my life. He talked to my kids and I asked them their opinion if I can already file an annulment

Boy: and they said

Mons: that’s up to you mom, yeah.

Boy: When you decided to file annulment you knew that it was going to be messy.

Mons: yes, and no turning back.

Boy: and no turning back.

Mons: no turning back.

Boy: and it was going to be painful

Mons: But I knew myself Boy, so whatever he throws at me, at that point in time

Boy: kaya mo

Mons: kaya ko na. I went through the lowest already. He was the one who brought me to the lowest. He was the one who prepared me for that.

Boy: how did you get to that place of deciding and choosing to move beyond the pain?

Mons: actually Boy, I… I don’t know how I got to that space.

Boy: hindi mo alam.

Mons: hindi ko alam.

Boy: Nangyari na lang.

Mons: Nangyari na lang.

Boy: that’s a miracle.

Mons: yeah. Because it was talagang the worst. I thought I wouldn’t be able to survive. I won’t be able to get out of that. At this point in my life, ahhh, there’s no more pain. I don’t know if I got used to it but I think it’s because I dont have any love anymore. Probably if I’m still in love with him now, probably, uhm, there would still be pain. But wala na eh.

Boy: But Mons today I look at you and you’re just so beautiful.

Mons: oh thank you Boy. thank you

Boy: totoo yan.

Mons: thank you

Boy: you sparkle, you glow. The skin

Mons: thank you

Boy: the hair, the total persona. Im not even talking about the inside. I’m talking about the external Mons and you’re beautiful.

Mons: Thank you Boy, thank you, thank you.

Boy: I mean, is that a decision you make everyday? I’m gonna be… the best. I’m gonna be good.

Mons: ahh no. I dont think about it.

Boy: you don’t?

Mons: I don’t think about it. I just want to do good, and be good, that’s all and do what’s right to make my… my kids proud of me, my parents proud of me.

Boy: you’re taking good of yourself, better I think today, are you?

Mons: because I’m much happier. I’m much happier today than I was even before, even during my married life.

Boy: why do you say so?

Mons: Because I’m at peace. There’s no more,  ahmmm no more fear of losing someone because I lost someone already. No more fears of being unloved because I felt being unloved already.

Boy: what did you discover about yourself after? What what what do you do now?

Mons: That I can stand on my own without a guy.

Boy: That you can stand

Mons: on my own without a guy.

Boy: So… Mons, if you were to say today and if you were to declare today, I am beautiful because…

Mons: nakakahiya naman

Boy: no I mean because you are. I mean on the concept of total beauty.

Mons: I am beautiful because of the pain that I went through in life. I realized that people should not be afraid to face pain, to go through pain. Because after every pain there’s always something. There’s ahh the sun that will come out.

Boy: The woman who goes through the most pain is beautiful forever. That is a line that I will always attribute to Mons Romulo. Thank you for your time. This has been Boy Abunda for Olay Conversations, where women claim their beauty.

Awwwww…. Im just reduced to pain…

Here’s the link to that conversation:

(Disclaimer: I was not paid to blog about this. This was a voluntary on my part as I have said I could relate much to the conversation that took place).

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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