Thursday, December 23, 2010

The good, the bad, the ugly...The year that was 2010

I'm taking my cue from Gigi, a classmate of mine way back in college. She writes her blog - once a year! A good write though and one to look forward to. Unlike her though, I blog a little more regularly. This probably will be the final blogpost for 2010. And as we countdown the days to Christmas, then the days to the New Year, one can't help but look back at 2010. And perhaps I should always make a tail ender each year as well.

I have a run-of-the-mill job and my life centers on family, partner and career. With that said, there was not much drama nor action for 2010. It was not a daunting year that my resources would either have multiplied a million fold (no I did not win the lotto) or would have been zapped to zero (thank God for that). And while there were extra expenses that needed to get dealt with, some blessings came along the way to balance it out.

I was trying to make heads or tails with the practice of medicine in the current scenario. The number of patients physically seen and consulting at the clinics had dropped by about 10%. The number of patients that consulted through SMS or MMS or email had gone up by about 25-40%! Yes, you read it right. MMS. Which means that there were parents that were taking pictures of the rashes, vesicles, pustules, lesions, or whatever landmarks you can see on the skin of their kids and were sending it to my phone! It's like they were board examiners asking me to give a diagnosis pronto! And of course, text back the treatment. Golly gee wow!!! Talk about scrimping!

Anyway, I think it was a financially challenging year for everyone and I hope that things turn around for the Filipinos next year.

So here's my final take on the Philippines 2010, the year that was:


So finally, GMA finishes her presidency after 9 years in office. Mired in so much corruption including allegations of stealing the presidency, she final steps down...however, to being congresswoman in a district in Pampanga. One thing I have to hand to her though, GMA is a true Madam Butterfly and this woman has got balls! She was able to computerize the 2010 elections that in a day or two, we had known - beyond the shadow of a doubt - that PNoy would be the next president of the Philippines.

All eyes on the Philippines as Charice graces Glee Season 2 and David Foster graces Manila (I'm sure it was through Charice. Now only if Oprah can come to Manila c/o Charice?). Then there was Venus Raj, the stellar beauty who almost, almost, snagged the Miss Universe title in a major major way. And Manny Pacman winning his umpteenth title against Antonio Margarito. Three cheers for the Filipino!

In the final days of the year, PNoy announces that there will be no more economic holidays in 2011. Economic holidays are meant for developed countries. Third world nations do not benefit from economic holidays because essentially, there is minimum money to spend for a vacation. Patients end up weighing whether they will bring their kids for a check up when the child is sick or needs to get immunized. They end up weighing on one hand the doctor, and the other hand whether they will go to the mall or bring their children galivanting..."doctor, pasyal", "doctor, pasyal", "doctor, pasyal"...pasyal!!!! Perhaps by cutting down on the choices, they can better take care of their kids without having to take into consideration so many many many vacations they need to take. Don't get me wrong. I am not against vacations and long weekends. But I have more serious patients this year because the parents procrastinated the inevitable. Even if the kids are sick, because they have already a scheduled outing or some other form of bonding, they will literally drag the sick child...then begin to panic when the kid becomes seriously sick. And because resources are already spent or used up, one can't really blame them for the "unwise" decision of "pasyal"!


Of course there is the brouhaha of Philippine politics. Even with the chant of PNoy on fighting corruption, I guess you gotta hand it to the fact that corruption in this country is rooted so deep that it probably will take gazillion years or even never, to wipe out. But I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that somehow, somewhere, some dumb politician who can read and write will get to read my blog. It's my way of saying NO to corruption and how we can somehow remember that it takes a people's will (not just lip service of political will) to stamp out graft and corruption.

Ahem - attention Merci and Sandiganbayan! The Garcia case has dragged the Philippines into a bad spotlight. Really now? After stealing P303M and with the statement from Garcia's wife, Clarita, that the money they amassed was "shopping money" given to them by suppliers and that she was always given "pocket money" by suppliers since 1993 is smack right of graft and corruption in the military!

What ever happened to decency in politics? Have we been so used to being abused by politicians that we just roll over and play dead?

Then there's the traffic which had gone from bad to worse. You have all these pedicabs, kuligligs, tricycles, jeepneys, busses, and motorcycles screaming at the top of their lungs their rights to the streets. Jeez. I never knew that anarchy was part of democracy. What about our rights? I never understood why there was a need to create a traffic summit - when inevitably all the rules and regulations are in black and white. Implementing them as simple as ABC. But I guess we don't have the political will. And using poverty as an excuse for committing traffic violations is pathetic.


All I can say is that the August 23 hostage taking that ended up in lost lives by innocent tourists will never be forgotten. No matter what apologies, no matter what investigations, no matter what we say - we will indelibly leave a landmark on our tourism business.

2010 was capped with the a fire that killed 16 people in a Pension House in Tuguegarao. All because the fire officials were late at the scene. They were having a Christmas party. Lives would not have been lost had the pension house been closed for not having fire escapes. It did not even have a license to operate, but operate it did. And the families will spend the holidays burying their next of kin - zapping all dreams and hopes - only because some government official turned a blind eye at safety.

2011 is a few days around the corner. As a people, we cannot just be bystanders in a nation where we live and where our children grow. We need to show more concern and resolve to do better, to think wiser, and to become more concerned - not for ourselves but for our country. After all, it is the country that we call home.

Bayan natin ito. Maawa naman kayo. Kung hindi ngayon, kailan pa tayo magbabago? Habang buhay ba kawawa tayo?

[Images: "Leanna & Bianca"
Photographer/Artist: Antonette Amora
Date Taken: 2004
Place Taken: Isla Parilla, Sarangani Province]

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