Showing posts from 2009

Reduce your carbon footprints

We have been emitting too much of carbon dioxide that global warming has been felt everywhere in the world already. Terry Root, a senior fellow with Stanford University's Institute for International Studies (IIS) and lead author of the Jan. 2 Nature study, said that the earth has warmed by an average of 1 degree F (0.6 C) over the past 100 years. She added that far-reaching effects will be felt by species and ecosystems by 2100, when temperatures could increase as much as 11 F (6 C). The global average sea level has risen, the heat in the ocean has increased as well and snow cover and ice extent have decreased. Island nations and low-lying ones like some areas in the Philippines (including Iloilo City) would be affected. Root added that the effect of global warming, she said, has disrupted the connectedness among the species, which could lead to numerous extinctions.

Humans will also suffer more heat-related illnesses as well as pulmonary problems. A not so healthy population i…

Feeding your dragons and staying young

I was able to talk to actress Glaiza de Castro during a lunch organized by GMA Network two weeks ago. She plays the role of Eunice, considered as the antagonist (kontrabida) in the teleserye entitled “Stairway to Heaven”. During our discussion, she brought up a point regarding the teleserye's impact on her.

“Being an antagonist could be draining and tiring. To be more effective in my role, I really get into the character and even after the director says 'cut' I'm having a hard time letting it out. This happens when I am in a very tense scene that need so much of my energy. It's worse if we have to do the scene repeatedly, thus I end up doing things I should not do. One time, I slapped Dingdong Dantes' character which was not on the script. Anyway, it would take a long time for me to get out of that character. Sometimes, I have to cry to just get out of that role I got into. Outside of the camera, I tend to imbibe Eunice's character. When I get angry, my sis…

Child labor and other forms of child abuse

Jomari, a child from Estancia, dives along with his father in order to operate the compressors used in nylon shells propagation. This is deep sea fishing and considered as the worst form of child labor. Soledad, 9, of Estancia, lives with her aunt and the latter asks her to help out in the house. Teaching children to help in household chores is okay, but to treat them as laborers rather than like a family member and if this already deprives the child the ability to study well, it's no longer acceptable. Soledad always absents herself from school because she has to work in her aunt's house. Jeff always sleeps in school and when he's not in school, he joins his father in collecting shrimps and crabs. There's no time for learning anymore. Bethany, 12, said that she works in a sugarcane plantation in Duenas every weekend. Sometimes, she faints from dehydration. Most of the time, she injures herself.

Children have the right to education and play, as part of their childhood…

Child laborers: Implement child protection laws

Child laborers reiterate their stand that they, too, have rights and these should be respected. They made this call when they gathered at Four-Season Hotel last Oct. 20,2009 for the Children's Month Celebration.

These child participants are beneficiaries of the World Vision Development Foundation, Inc. (WVDF), Educational Research and Development Assistance, Inc. (ERDA) and Rising Sun Association of Iloilo, Inc. here in the province of Iloilo.

The children noted that three years after the Visayas Children's Congress held in Punta Villa, Iloilo last May 20 to 23, 2006, many laws on child protection had been passed, proving that the children's voices were heard. However, the children demand that these laws should be implemented.

“The laws that should protect our rights and punish those who abuse us, were not fully implemented. We urge the government to implement these laws so that no child will ever be abused,” goes the children's statement issued last October 20.

One of the…

Initiatives against child labor continue

Child labor is still a cause for concern in the Province of Iloilo. According to statistics gathered by the ABK2 Initiative of World Vision International, as of September 2009, there are 2,104 children who are engaged in child labor and 546 at risk of becoming child laborers in the municipalities of Ajuy (727), Duenas (436), Estancia (721), Iloilo City (157) and San Enrique (609).

Most of these numbers are in the sugarcane plantations, where 1,125 children are working there, followed by 701 who are into scavenging, 452 in fishing, 362 in domestic work, six in commercial sexual exploitation and four in agriculture.


Child laborers expose themselves to risks. According to the statistics provided by the National Survey on Children 2001, National Statistics Office, 2.4-million of four million children (59 percent) were exposed to chemical, physical and/or biological hazards. The chemical hazards are silica dust, saw dust, oil, gasoline, mercury, mist, fumes, vapors, ammonia, to name a f…

ABC: Abortion and breast cancer

According to Pro-Life advocates, there’s a new reason why women should shun from using the Pill.
Dr. Rene Josef Bullecer, who specializes in infectious diseases and proponent of Human Life International in the Philippines, presented a finding by the World Health Organization that oral contraceptives can cause cancer to humans and that 599,000 deaths yearly are due to breast cancer.
He said that progesterone in pills can cause high blood (making blood sticky), increase risk of blot clots, cause breast cancer and heart disease. “The risk continues even after they stop taking the birth control pills. The effect is irreversible,” he said.
He also cited several problems that can occur with the use of the estrogen pills, like loss of sex drive, headaches, acne, weight gain, vaginal infections, depression and gall bladder diseases.
Progesterone and estrogen prevents the egg from being released from the ovaries because they make the uterus believe that it is pregnant. They make the uterus a h…

Saving yet eating healthy

Shiela May, 36, is a mother of three. She is a graduate of a four-year course and owns a placement agency. However, with the global economic crisis, she's forced to close down her business and look for a job in order to feed and send her three children to school. She told me that most often, she feeds her children noodles or sardines.
Victoria Jane, 32, a mother of four. She owns a souvenir shop but can barely pay the rent. Her husband subsidizes the operational and rental expenses from his own salary. To save further, Victoria feeds noodles to her children almost every morning. With noodles, children won't get any proper nutrition at all.
Jester John, 19, said that his sister had to spend hours working in a farm in order to help buy their meal for the day. He said that when his sister and his parents don't have any income for the day, they eat rice with salt or get papaya from a nearby tree and that would be their meal for the day.
With the global economic crisis, even th…

Thyself before others

The title reeks of selfishness. Yes, there are instances when you need to prioritize yourself before others.
I was reminded of a lecture made by Anthony Pangilinan. He explained that it's wrong to divide your time just between your family and your work. Rather, the division of time should be in three parts: relational, professional and most of all, personal.
The relational aspect refers to the time you spend with your family and friends. The professional aspect refers to work. Then, the most important is the personal aspect, which refers to the time you allot for yourself, like praying, rest, exercise, reading literature that interests you, sleeping and taking a break, among others.
Pangilinan calls this the “pour in and pour out” idea. In other words, how can you give much of yourself to others when you have nothing to give?
Insist on your right to get enough rest or sleep; let your family and friends respect this. A tired or sleepy parent will end up screaming at his or her kid …

No greater love

Perhaps one of the most touching stories I've ever read about was that of Joseph De Veuster's or more popularly known as Father Damien the Leper or Father Damien of Molokai.
He is of Belgian descent and was beatified in June of 1995 under the title of Blessed Father Damien, Servant of Humanity.
Despite his parents' longings for him to help them in their farm, Joseph decided to be a priest. In his growing up years, Joseph's mother kept sharing to him stories about the lives of the holy people and about God. Somehow, this has a profound effect on his decision to be priest.
Father Damien believed that the only way we can discover life is when we accept death. That conviction was put to the test when, after 13 years of his priesthood, he decided to live with the lepers of Molokai (in Hawaii).
Who in his right mind and good health would decide to live in a leper colony? Today, leprosy is curable in the early stages, thus averting disability. But in the 17th century, there …

Hope and pride

The past three weeks had been emotional times for KKK, Mga Kaibigan ng Mga Kabataang May Kanser and it had been a story of hope.
I received a message from our president, Doc Cora, telling us that the chemotherapy sessions for two of our kids (Eden Mar Miranda and John Philip Java) had been stopped and they were placed in support care. I asked her, “You mean, they will die?” And she said, “Yes.”
There were nightly tears since then, agonizing over many worries: Will they be in pain when they start to bleed? Are the parents going to be okay? It must be awful for them to see their loved one die before their eyes, bleeding. Then came the fervent prayers (close to begging) that He would let the children pass away peacefully in their sleep.
One year with KKK and spending some time with the kids during interview with their parents, children's day out, art classes and other activities with them, is enough to bond with them. For Doc Cora, Doc Lita and Doc Caso who come in contact with the c…

Renewable energy use gains popularity

The use of renewable energy to power communities is gaining popularity and acceptance. One example is a small community in Sebaste, Antique called Sitio Igpatuyao, which is powered by hydro electricity.
This project is being implemented by the Central Philippine University Affiliated Non-Conventional Energy Center (CPU-ANEC), being a partner of the Department of Energy (DOE). Their projects cover Panay and Guimaras.
This is an initiative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JAICA) and the support of the municipal government of Sebaste and the barangay council of Poblacion. The JAICA funded the project, while the municipal government provided the battery charging and power station and the barangay council provides the budget in social organizations, including training on capability and sustainability.
The P5.4-million worth Micro Hydro Pilot Project uses 15 KW power that is sourced from a river near the area. They constructed a weir (a small dam) upstream from where they get l…

Saving children through books

Save the Children, an international organization that creates programs aiming to improve the lives of children, recently came out with a book called “For Children by Children.” The said book was written by children coming from different public schools in Iloilo Province.
I was also there when the said book was launched two years ago. At that time, we were presented with unpublished copies of their stories. Also, the children were younger and smaller then. Now, they are taller and they have this air of confidence in them.
Latha Caleb, Save the Children country director, said that children have a lot to say and that we have a lot to learn from them. With Save the Children's focus on health, population and environment, one of the ways to educate other children about these issues is to tap people their age to send out a message.
Also, by encouraging book writing, we also encourage more children to read. Every child would be interested to read something written by children. And it is thro…


In an article in a national daily, KC Concepcion was quoted as saying, “We used to be taught that when you help others, be discreet about it. But that's not the case anymore. You have to let people know.”
She was not being boastful. But rather, she is setting an example. By using her popularity as means to make visible her efforts in helping people, she can attract more support. Honestly, how can you support a need that you don't know about, right?
KC Concepcion is our National Ambassador Against Hunger of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP).
Her effort reminded me of the many philanthropists in Iloilo City who had been very visible and vocal about the help that they have given society. To the malicious, this can be misinterpreted as being boastful.
But I think any good deed should be made public for two reasons: to set an example and to generate help in the cause. The stories of philanthropists are those that can inspire others to follow suit. Just imagine a world filled …

Psychic demons

Two weeks ago, I attended a tapings of Cable Star and their topic for that episode was about yoga and homeopathy, with a certain Dada, a Yogi from Maharlikang Bahandi and Dr. Elmer Hubero, a homeopathy practitioner, as guests.
PSYCHIC DEMONS. I was struck by what Dada said about “psychic demons” or the fears, hatred, loneliness and other negative emotions that we carry. He added that these are ghosts what we have created. Fear causes us to worry about things that may or may not happen. Hatred pushes us to do things to could harm others, which eventually causes damage to us in the long run. Loneliness pushes us to look for happiness from outside factors, failing to realize that man and man-made sources of happiness are inconsistent, and could bring us back to that state of loneliness at one time or another.
I believe that these are the demons that are the hardest spirits to get rid off in your heart. Your accomplishments in your chosen career or endeavor will not matter if you don't …

Amazing Women

Men have varied standards of what an “amazing woman” is. Thus, this month of March, in celebration of Women's Month, I'm coming up with this article with the help of my male friends. This is also my way of acknowledging the two most amazing women in my life and the lessons I've learned from them.
Councilor Mike Gorriceta said that his idea of an amazing woman are the working mothers out there. “I say that they are the best example of an amazing woman because they work at daytime and then, when they arrive home, they still help with the assignments of their children and still manages the household.” To which I replied, “Oh, just like my mother.”
Vice Mayor Jed Mabilog, on the other hand, says that his amazing woman is someone who is simple and in order. “Modest and intelligent. God-fearing who lives a Christian life, a loving and understanding wife and caring and responsible mother.”
My cousin's husband, Warren Salvilla of Ford Iloilo said that his amazing woman is someone…

'Aspirin breath' relieves stress

Master Del Pe is an international expert in energy medicine and the chief designer of ESOCEN Healing Science with 10 healing specializations including AIDS/HIV, cancer, pain, life-threatening diseases, diabetes, sleep issues, menopause, addiction elimination and learning issues. He is co-founder and president of the World Institute for Incurable Diseases (WIID) and the author of five books, self-healing CDs and exercise DVDs. He believes that good health is not just the absence of disease, but rather, can be achieved through physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. His system is both preventative and enhances long-term health for his clients. The result is in-depth healing, higher inspiration and transformation of core health issues.
Master Del Pe is quite credible as he has 25 years of work in this area. He has worked with government, associations and non-governmental organizations, pharmaceuticals and health care, computer and technology companies, banking and financial …

Change sucks but deal with it

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” starring Brad Pitt (Benjamin) and Cate Blanchett (Daisy) was adapted from the 1920s story of F. Scott Fitzerald about a man who was born in his eighties who ages backwards, until he dies as a baby. The movie revolves on his life story and the lessons he has learned from his experiences.

Benjamin, because of his old features when he was born (one person even said that the child may not be even human), was abandoned by his father on the steps of a old folks home where he was loved and cared for. When Benjamin grew up, his father sought him out, made time with him and finally revealed the truth. Benjamin was angry why his father abandoned him. “Why?” he asked.

While he was also growing up (getting younger, I mean), the people around him are getting older and dying. He has witnessed deaths in the old folks home. Until his mother died, too. Getting attached to these older people and losing them is a change that he had to experience again and again. “The …

More children with cancer need care

The birth, growth and early development of Alexander John “Sander” Hitalia, 6, were normal. He is a Kinder 2 student at Pandac Elementary School and is in the top 5 of his class. He is playful and friendly.
In April 2006, he suffered joint paints, on and off fever, loss of appetite, paleness and weight loss. In July 2006, he was diagnosed with Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Chemotherapy was required. His parents raised money from 5/6 loans and P10,000 from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office but that money has been depleted.
Rommel Jad Kale Oliveros Deopita or “RK”, 3, of Dumangas, developed an on and off fever last September 2008. He was later on diagnosed with ALL.
ALL is a type of cancer with symptoms of aches in arms, legs and back, black and blue marks for no apparent reason, enlarged lymph nodes, fever without obvious cause, headaches, pale-looking skin, pinhead-sized red spots under the skin, prolonged bleeding from minor cuts, shortness of breath during physical activity…