Monthly Archives: April 2013

Phil Media, Luzuriaga


Few weeks ago, rumor-mongers and gossipers had a festival after media reported what was supposed to be a trial court material. A broadsheet publicized a temporary protection order for Bimby Yap against his own father as the former allegedly has been traumatized by an incident that happened in their residence sometime December 2012. Details of the complaint had been included forcing the respondent to air his side. James Yap was interviewed and the media seem to have been elated to show him crying on cam. Accusations over accusations were thrown against each other until Kris Aquino went on air to announce a major decision, which was to quit from show business. ABS-CBN however emphasized she still has a contract and thus Kris cannot just resign that easily. To the dismay of her critics.

This time around, media is again having a gabfest over the Barretto’s family feud. Some even are trying convincing readers/viewers whom to side with. How pathetic. How low.

It cannot be denied that media is influential to the Filipino people. Filipinos have been craving for a change in governance, in their life status, in their mindset. But how can this happen when the people’s source of information delivers with much emphasis gossips over paradigm-shifting ideas, opinions that matters for the betterment of the country, politicians stands on several issues that beset the country? You see that on social network, trending topics consists of celebrities love teams, celebrity’s birthday, celebrity’s fashion fad, celebrity’s faux pas, celebrity’s incoming concert/gig. Bottomline: celebrities. With social media, are we creating a generation of gossipers, teenagers whose main activity is to trend a non-sensible issue over their studies? Teenagers are willing to lose sleep just to trend their favorite celebrities; but does not exert the same effort when it comes to reviewing for their examinations. What the hell is wrong? One time, Mario Maurer just bid good night, and in less than an hour, his tweet got 6 thousand plus retweets. @nababaha tweeted about weather advisory at the same time, and he only got less than 60 retweets?

Time and again I quote Eleanor Roosevelt who once said: “Small mind talks about people. Average mind talks about events. Great minds talk about ideas.” Our media gives more attention to celebrities and their scandals. I hate to admit it, but our media is only at par with small to average minds. Oh please, don’t insult the other us who crave for something better than what you keep offering. Level up for God’s sake! We’re sick of these cheap stuff! But then, the problem with my challenge is, are there writers out there who are of great minds?

Before, I looked forward to watching “Battle of the Brains.” It was a healthy competition among different students and schools. People did not only watch, they as well learned from the questions asked. Now, Sunday noontime tv shows are battles between two production shows. And what people are left to do is pitting one show against the other, ridicule which show has better production numbers, which show has more famous stars, which show has a talented performer.

I hope the media is proud of this achievement they are savoring right now.


Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga (photo:

Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga, a Pediatric Immunologist from the University of Massachusetts, is one of the doctors who formed part of the team that cured the first baby from HIV infection. Her father is a Filipino and she speaks Filipino. She is the other Filipino included in the latest Times 100 most influential people. (Read:

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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in HIV/AIDS, Personal


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Johnny and Jack Enrile

Many weeks ago, senatorial candidates Grace Poe and Alan Peter Cayetano had their lives featured in the longest running drama anthology, Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK), that is being hosted by Ms. Charo Santos.

Not to be outdone, two weeks just prior to the election, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s life drama was also featured in a mini-series. It will not only aired in one, but two Saturdays preceding election date. While SPJE is not running yet for re-election as he has remaining 3 years to his term, his son, Jack Enrile is. And by virtue of name recall, this hopes to boost the dropping rank of Jack Enrile during the recent SWS surveys.

On the eve of the declaration of Martial Law, JPE’s convoy was ambushed at Wack-wack, San Juan. This then justified the declaration of Martial Law. On 1986, while JPE and Fidel Ramos drifted to the side of Mrs Corazon Aquino during the snap election, JPE revealed that the his ambush then was staged, fake. (Read: However, in his memoirs, JPE recanted and claimed that the ambush on him was real. (Read:

I wonder, which version of the ambush will be aired during the MMK run of his bio-drama. Moreover, I never thought JPE was as handsome as Enrique. (teehee)

Reading my timeline yesterday, I came across a retweet from @doc4dead that said…Image

In response to this, @ChiliMedley said that another friend @NoOtherNicky was almost killed as well by the back-up vehicle of Jack Enrile few weeks ago.


Few weeks ago, there was news that Jack Enrile’s convoy, while en route to Tagum City, unidentified gunmen fired at their vehicles while they were at Mawag, Compostela Valey. Fortunately, no one was hurt. (Read:… Hmmmm smells fishy, sounds familiar.

Jack Enrile was one of the top absentee during the 15th congress. He only attended 44 sessions, making him rank 4th of the congressmen with the most absences. Apparently he improved though. Because in the year 2011, he was 6th ranking among those with most number of absences.

Apparently he didn’t like his job of attending congressional sessions and prefer to be with his constituents. If this was his attitude when he was a congressman, why would I trust him to be a senator, especially while his father is there for three years? Did he have epiphany that his calling is to become a senator rather than be a congressman that this time around he won’t be a perennial absentee? (Read: Also check:


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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Personal, Politics


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On Maligno, Jojo and Nancy


Once upon a time in the Middle Earth Kingdom of the Philippines, there lived several earth elements – tikbalang/kapre, dwende/nuno, tiyanaks, maligno, bampira and aswang. On that fateful day when they had to choose a leader, the maligno won the 2nd highest most coveted position in that kingdom. The leader of the kingdom created a policy never to usurp their power and violate rules, require privileges and special treatments. But in his few days in position, maligno was already seen being drunk with power. He was also noticed to be in eager anticipation of his rise the Number One position after 72 moons; he was already seen violating some even their simple broomstick rules. Not only did his convoy beat the red light, they turned on a no left turn lane.

Asked one time why he disregarded their broomstick rule, he said “wala namang wangwang e.” To which an irate aswang said… “Hindi literal ang ibig sabihin ng wangwang. Ang ibig sabihin ng “utak wangwang” walang special broomstick privileges porke opisyal ka ng lamang lupa, hindi lang yong pagpapatunog ng wangwang habang lumilipad ka sa broomstick mo. Shunga!”


Why won’t I vote for Nancy Binay? Let me count the ways…

1. Her slogan in her TV ad said: Nancy Binay, ang Nanay de Pamilya sa senado. @rapplerdotcom: Nancy Binary: Parody on son most hurtful “‘Wag na nila isama yong pamilya ko, lalo na ‘yung mga anak ko.” #PHvote”. — Now will you explain what does it mean to be Nanay de Pamilya yet you refuse to have your family parodied? …. Oh, no answer?

2. @inquirerdotnet: Nancy Binay still won’t do debates” – ano gagawin niya sa senado, interpreter para sa deaf-mute?

Nancy Binay, “Nanay de Pamilya sa senado,” still won’t do debates. – Ano gagawin niya sa senado, magpapadede habang nag-iinterpret para sa deaf-mute?

What makes Nancy be qualified to run as a senator?

VP Jojo Binay: well, she is my daughter. – Ukim!

Nancy: I was my father’s executive assistant. I was qualified by COMELEC. – Nancy, you may be qualified by the COMELEC, but to us voters, you are incompetent. Two words, big difference.



(I do not own this photo. Thanks to the one who created this meme.)


I had been trying to embed here the video clip from Saksi of that incident when he beat the red light, went against no left turn, but it cant seem get posted. I can post the link during editing but when I view the post, it does not appear. “Namaligno ata…” Anyway, this was the embed link I was trying to post:

JOJO vs BAYANI (2010)

Observe closely and find out who is blatantly lying.

If 2016 presidential election would be a choice between Jojo Binay and Kris Aquino, I would rather vote for Kris who pays her taxes well. She too is transparent enough, she can’t hide anything. Meanwhile, Binay violates traffic rules. He may have apologized then, but if you heard his explanation, it was full of bullshit.

The UNA 3 kings later instructed Gwen Garcia, Cebu’s governor accused of graft, to defy the orders of the Sandiganbayan and Ombudsman to step down from position as the case is being heard against her.

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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Personal, Politics


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More often than not, we call them autistic as “may sariling mundo” (confined in their own world). But unknown to us, there is a lot that is going on inside their brain that makes them behave as such…

Carly(photo courtesy of

I have come across this video about an autistic child who was able to breakthrough from her body and is now able to express intelligently what transpires within her body. Those we perceive as hurtful purposeless flinging of extremities, banging of the head to the floor or wall, apparently has an explanation…

“You dont know what it feels like to be me, when you can’t sit still because your legs feel like they are on fire or it feels like a hundred ants are crawling up your arms. People look at me and assume I am dumb, because I can’t talk. It’s hard to be autistic because no one understands me. What do I want? I want to be like every other kid. But I cant. Because I am Carly.

I am autistic, but that’s not who I am. Take time to know me, before you judge me. I am cute, funny and like to have fun. I think people get a lot of information from so-called experts, but if a horse is sick, you don’t ask a fish what is wrong with the horse. You go right to the horse’s mouth.”

When asked why she bangs her head to the floor, she said: Because if I don’t, I feel like my body is going to explode. It’s just like when you shake a can of coke. If I could stop it I would, but it is not like turning a switch off. I know what is right and wrong but it’s like I have a fight with my brain over it.”

“I want to be able to go to school like normal kids, but not have them getting upset, or scared if I hit a table or scream. I want something that will put off the fire.”

“I want people to know that no one is telling me what to say and I don’t have a hand at my butt like a puppet.”

Therapist asks her, Carly, why do autistic kids cover their ears, flap their hands, hum and rock?

Carly replied: “It’s a way for us to drown out all sensory input that over loads us all at once. We create output to block input.”

“Doctors would tell … that we have a hard time processing information. It’s not really true, our brains are wired differently. We take in many sounds and conversations all at once. I take over a thousand pictures of a person’s face when I look at them. That’s why we have a hard time looking at people.”

“Dear Dad, I love when you read to me. And I love that you believe in me. I know I am not the easiest kid in the world… Father, you are always there for me holding my hand and picking me up. I love you.”

“I think the only thing I can say is don’t give up. Your inner voice will find its way out. Mine did.

Carly, you truly are inspiring. Your voice was very significant in helping me change my perceptions of how autistics behave, what autistics are having in their brains. Now, I would say you’re not confined in your own world. You just have a lot of stimulation that makes you counteract it by those pervasive movements. Now I know why… Thank you Carly.

Carly: Autistic, Intelligent

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Posted by on April 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Journey To a Doctor’s Title, Suffixes

It’s April 23, 2012. It’s my first anniversary with WordPress as a blogger.

In celebration, I like to share an important highlight of my career as a physician, as a pediatrician.

The often question I get asked as far as medical education is “how many years does it take one to be able to graduate with the degree doctor?” Let me count the ways…


Most commonly, a candidate should first earn a bachelor’s degree from a school registered with CHED. It used to be that there are courses which are pre-medicine course. But nowadays, any course will do, and this will of course entail 4 to 5 years of your academic life. I remember I had a classmate whose premed course was Education, Engineering, Accountancy. The most common premed course during my batch then was Biology, Medical Technology, Pharmacy and Physical Therapy. When you are about to graduate with your bachelor’s degree, you take the examination “National Medical Admission Test, NMAT.” The different medical schools have different cut off for NMAT’s scores.

Then you enroll with a medical school and this will take another 4 years of your life. In medicine, no matter how genius you are, there is no such thing as “acceleration” to the next level. It seems indeed that we, candidates, have to undergo through each process of preparation to be a doctor, no short cuts. Through second and third year (from the school where I graduated from, Saint Louis University), we are already exposed to patients through our decury or preceptorship sessions. We talk to parents, interview them and arrange the data in what we call “history.” It is a tedious process and as a medical student, we hone that skill to be able to come up with a precise and concise but inclusive medical data that actually forms a big part of the diagnosis of a patient’s disease. We are also taught how to do physical examination of our patients, from pediatrics, obstetrics, surgery and medicine. Then our fourth year is dedicated to hospital works. That is the time when we are now assigned our own patients while we rotate from department to another. We usually spend either 15 days, 1 month or 2 months with one department. If during our 3rd year decury sessions, we can spend 2 hours doing history and physical examination and submit the report after 48 hours, during our 4th year, we should do it as quickly as possible as we should finish the patient’s data within 2 hours and have it incorporated in the patient’s chart or else, we earn demerits that we have to offset before we get cleared and graduate. If that patient is critical or what we commonly call as “toxic” the more that the data should be in in just an hour or less. We had to be quick or else, we would not be able to finish one report and we again are on deck for our next patient. Besides accomplishing that patient’s data, we also monitor our patient’s status and refer to our more seniors (interns, residents, consultants) when we observe something unusual or different. There’s also a patient’s conference that we need to prepare for, a lecture in some, audits/case presentation, morbidity/mortality conferences too amongst others that we listen to, (which during clerkship we consider disturbance for it takes time from us finishing our paper works) that actually serve as good venue to learn about a case which we don’t usually encounter in our daily life. These conferences are the venue for our consultants to share their expertise on these troublesome medical conditions that we chose to present.

After finally earning the degree doctor of medicine, it’s not yet over. We had to undergo one year of internship at an accredited training hospital. We undergo “matching” with hospitals of our own choice but if we were not chosen, “matched,” then, we had to find other options. As an intern, we are now better off than the 4th year medical student selves we had been, as we already can manage some conditions, but still under the supervision of our residents. After a year of internship, we are now ready to take our licensure exam.

In the University of the Philippines, they offer a different program called Integrated Liberal Arts Medicine or INTARMED. This is a straight 7-years course which includes 2 years basic medical sciences, 4 years medical proper school years and 1 year internship, before the students graduate. I have not known about this program back then as we don’t have other medium other than transistor radio where I lived.

Once a doctor passes his physician licensure exams, he can have the option to start working as a community doctor, or undergo residency training in his discipline of interest for another 3 or 4 years. After finishing the residency, we are now called “specialists.” From my end, I decided to pursue pediatrics. This took three years of my life. After specialization, we are now eligible to join the societies of our own specialties. But to be able to be accepted, we have to undergo series of examinations. In our case, pediatricians, after graduation from residency, we can already take a written examination after fulfilling the requirements set by the society. After passing, we are still not full-fledged members of our society. We have to undergo two-years of private practice, while still attending post-grad courses, conventions, conferences as we need to fulfill certain CME (continuing medical education) units required before becoming eligible for the second part of exam, the oral part. During our oral exams, we usually have to go through 3 panelists. After satisfactory passing marks, we are now considered full-fledged DIPLOMATES of our society, Philippine Pediatrics Society, and of course, can now be called “consultants.” Of course, there are privileges that come with it… But this is not the end.

We still need to continue earning CME points per year. After 5 years, with a research paper done during the years you were a diplomate, or after 10 years of being a diplomate in good standing, the diplomate is now eligible for reclassification into FELLOW.

Others venture into further training, “subspecialization.” I myself went into post-residency fellowship training in Neonatology at the University of Santo Tomas Hospital, requiring additional 3-years of training, hospital duties. After graduating from fellowship training, we also undertake an exam (both written and oral) before we can become a member of our own subspecialty society, the Philippine Society of Newborn Medicine, PSNbM. At present, I am a DIPLOMATE, of our subspecialty society. (And if I remain to be in good standing as such, after 5 years, I will be eligible to be reclassified also as FELLOW).

And this, I have come to achieve. As a fellow, there are more duties and responsibilities, benefits, and privileges that comes along with it. So yes… I am now a Fellow of the Philippine Pediatric Society and I was just inducted as one last April 17, 2013. My complete title is: Clinton Balud, M.D., FPPS, DPSNbM. And in a few years, it will soon be, FPSNbM as well.


Awarding of the Medallion by the President, Dr. Melinda Atienza


Conferment of the Certificate by past president, Dr. Wilberto Lopez


That big hug I felt as an expression of extreme joy and love from the UST and PPS communities, after surviving my heart attack, and being able to reach this stage in my career as pediatrician.


The 3 Fellow Inductees from Baguio City. Malou Trajano at my right, my dancing partner, and Therese Tolentino at my left, a trusted friend.


With Dr. Mae Andres, one of the new Diplomates from Baguio City, and our PPS Norlu Chapter President, Dr. Rain Runez.

Others ask, how long does it take to be a doctor… I’m here to say, it is not in the number of years you stay within the four walls of your school. Medical education… is lifetime.


Posted by on April 23, 2013 in Education, Personal


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First Run, First Medal


One activity during the 50th PPS Annual Convention was a fun run with the them “Takbo Para Sa Mga Batang Pinoy.” Since I was already having my treadmill runs for about a month already, I highly considered joining the activity, just for the fun of it.

There were 4 categories, 500m dash for kids, 500m dash for adults, 3K and 6K runs. ambitious as I was, I chose to enrol in the 6K category. As I was already doing 10K runs in the treadmill at 47mins, I though I would be able to run it in a shorter time as well. But then again, I never did my runs outdoors; all were indoors. Still I was determined to join and be in that category.

When the actual run came, I was surprised that from my chapter, I was the only on who will be doing 6K while most of my colleagues will be doing 3K and some 500m dash. I got nervous. I prepared for it I guess. I brought and charged my ipad which would help me determine my pacing. But at the field however, I forgot to bring the ipad, nor a watch to help guide my run. I think I did not have sufficient warm-up as well as shown by my quality of run later on.

The fun run was also scheduled in the dusk. the air was warm and humid. It was suffocating.

Gun start. I began with a regular pace. But as I was running some distance I came to realize that it was indeed different from running on the treadmill. I was slowing down. At the first water station, I had to gulp water while when in Baguio, I could finish a 10K with just few sips. After the first kilometer, I was feeling tired on my ankle forcing me to walk a few meters then resuming run again. This went on.

After four kilometers, I was already feeling tired. I was thinking maybe I can stop now. But then I came to remind myself, that my run is a statement. A statement where I wanted to say, “just because a person underwent by-pass surgery that he should be resting, babied, under the watch of a caregiver constantly. I came here to show that even just a few months after surgery, once can be fit to run.”

I just went on, still with that reminder in my mind… Alas! I did not win. I was not even at the top 10 runners. By 45’44” I was able to reach the finish line, earning myself a medal, but most of all the determination to finish what seemed to be a herculean task, on my very first outdoor run. Honestly I was disappointed as it was not a good finish. But this is my first run ever… A record I will be beating soon in my future runs.

Will I do this again? Hell… YES!

(With colleagues from PPS – Northern Luzon)

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Posted by on April 18, 2013 in Fitness


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