Monday, December 21, 2009

Aw Cmon!!




It's one of those days that I picked up the newspaper to read. I normally don't like ruining my day by starting off with the news, but getting caught in the traffic rush during the holidays makes you decide on whether to look outside your car window with the mendicants chanting Christmas songs or just opening the papers. The lesser evil was to just go ahead and read.

Here's my take on the headlines:

"Gloria goes to HK for holiday retreat" - so GMA went to Copenhagen to attend the UN Climate Summit. And in 2 days time she was out of there! Because of the debacle in Denmark, where the delegates could not agree to anything, La Vida Glo suddenly made a quick exit. Her excuse? Mayon Volcano is about to erupt and her country needs her. Well, so much for her bleeding heart. And the plane touches down in Manila and in less than 24 hours, she is out of the country...in Hong Kong...reportedly on vacation with her grandchildren whom she promised to take on vacation. No surprise at all at GMAs actions, but come on...Malacanan should avoid making excuses for her pompous lifestyle. None of the Filipinos would care if she went to Hong Kong to meet up with the maids there or Mickey Mouse. While she is entitled to go on vacation (not that she has not gone on any using the money of the Filipino taxpayers), transparency does not seem to be in La Gloria's vocabulary. She reportedly will spend her Christmas holiday in Pampanga this year. Alongside with the idiots who will be voting for her as the next Congressman of their district.

Pork hiked in budget, says solon - The national budget for 2010 is reportedly up by P35billion, with pork barrel insertions in rush meetings last week. The government is already facing a P300billion deficit this year and would face another P300billion by end of next year (or greater). Of course, administration congressmen Edcel Lagman and Danilo Suarez are on the defense. Suarez says that some of the lawmakers (or they should call them law breakers) asked for the increase in infrastructure funding for the rehabilitation of their districts, especially those devastated by the string of typhoons and other "acts of God". Come on...natural disasters are the joy of those in public service. It's the best excuse to put their hands in the cookie jar, so to speak. Fyi, if each congressman received P70million for project allocation, and that would ALL be put into proper use and accountability, there would be no need for asking for more. Unfortunately, I still don't see where my taxes are going to. Sa totoo lang - hindi lang kayo ang may karapatan yumaman! Mga dupang talaga!

CHR slams journalists for attack - Innocent until proven guilty. That's what Leila de Lima, chair, Commission on Human Rights said regarding the unruly behavior of the journalists towards Andal Ampatuan, Jr last week. According to her, even suspected mass murderers have rights, too. De Lima wants the journalists investigated. Come on...they're just venting out their anger. Even ordinary people have feelings too. You need to make them grieve and express their anger. It's human nature to do so. We go through stages of anger, depression, bargaining, before acceptance. No matter how trivial or tragic the event, it is a human process we go through. I guess next time, someone should just go massacre the whole clan of de Lima. Let's see her reaction.

RP poor tax take worries WB - Bert Hofman, WB country director for the Philippines, said in a briefing that a 13% tax effort in the country is worrisome. The tax effort, a closely watched economic indicator, is the proportion of tax collection to the total value of goods and services produced by the economy - measured in GDP (gross domestic product). It indicates a government's ability to generate more taxes as the economy grows. A drop in the tax effort shows a declining efficiency in tax collection. The anemic tax collection according to the government is due to laws in providing tax relief - exemption of minimum-wage earners from paying income tax, cut in corporate income tax rate from 35 to 30%, and tax incentives on select businesses. Both Hofman and the government have got it all wrong. Hofman is barking at the wrong tree by squeezing out the last penny of every good paying citizen. Enough is enough. We can't give more. Of course, we can appropriate more money to the jobless Pinoys if we get rid of the expats in this country. One expat is enough to feed 50 workers in the middle income bracket or around 200 minimum wage workers. Like all watchdogs, Hofman just sees the trees, but not the forest. He looks at it from a mediocre viewpoint and not looking at the bleeding spots of graft and corruption this government has. Look at the lifestyle of La Vida Glo! He would prefer to stand politically in the middle so that he doesn't become persona non grata. The poor cannot use the excuse of being poor as an escape from having to pay taxes. They still use the same roads we use. They get the privileges from the government for the taxes we pay for. In short, the government should find a way to tax even the minimum wage earners - which include the jeepney drivers, pedicab drivers, bus drivers, taxi drivers, street sweepers, newspaper and cigarette vendors, maids - everyone that earns no matter how little. And squeeze the very rich as well - these mall owners who charge an arm and a leg just to park in the malls, taxes for cars and luxury goods, added taxes on vices (cigarettes, coffee - yup even starbucks, alcohol), added taxes on premium gasoline, sports cars, high end retail shopping, etc. You cannot squeeze from the middle class anymore. Enough is enough. Let the rich and poor contribute to the coffers of society. Oh come on...you gotta admit that these people who live in squatters area have even more than the average Joe. Look at most of their homes - DVDs, flat screen colored TVs, refrigerators, iPods, mobile phones, and even airconditioners (which I don't know how it hangs in their walls).

Mega-Bay says goodbye to 'yaya' - Yaya Luring was 83. The family of Sharon was celebrating a Christmas party for the staff at their home in Santa Rosa Laguna when Yaya Luring had a heart attack. Rushed to the hospital, she was declared dead on arrival. Sharon was 5 years old when Yaya Luring became part of their family. The rest is history. Yaya Luring was close to Sharon and Yaya Luring, in real life Loreta Benitez is just as lucky to have been part of the family of Mega. So, yes, for those of us who grew up to Sharon Cuneta, Yaya Luring had her luck in the limelight in, albeit, cameo roles as blink-and-you-don't-see her roles in Sharon's films. But as fate would have it, she would be part of Sharon's life till the very end. Her wake is at the Sanctuario de San Antonio in posh Forbes Park and will be laid to rest at Heritage Park in Taguig. Truly, the Mega Nanny in the Mega Star's life till the very end. Oh come on...I thought this should have been the headline!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Retire!



Senior citizens MUST RETIRE at the mandatory retirement age. No one should be allowed to run for public office even if they claim that their minds are still sharp (yeah right!) after age 65 y/o. The risks of senile dementia, chronic debilitating illnesses and other problems with health are highest in this age group. As a matter of fact, it has been shown that it is this age group that requires for more health care than any other segment of the population.

Watch these people during campaign sorties. They look as strong as bulls, being able to go through days and days of campaigning without sleep! They even dance the night away in events before, during and after their political heydays. Then when they are caught in a cross fire with the law and get arrested, you see all their illnesses come out - they are hypertensive, they become suddenly diabetic, they have chest pain, they are markedly depressed - it's like they have the whole health and disease manual thrown at them. And their asshole doctors and lawyers utilize the various textbooks of medicine to make sure that their clients stay in the comfort of the hospitals.

No one can and should stay in public office till the day they die. This is a travesty of the law. I cannot understand why the COMELEC can decide on whom to and whom not to run for public office. For example, Dante Remoto, a professor at the Ateneo de Manila University wants to run for senator. Well, for goodness sake, let him. The reason for banning some people in running for public office - they did not appear to have the capability and resources to wage a national campaign! You can tell that these mindless people in the COMELEC are actually thinking with their brains that are found below their belts. That small in size!

It behooves me why of 91 Million Filipinos, we cannot find another one to become the next president, or the next senator, or the next ambassador, or the next CEO, or the next chief of staff, or the next secretary of justice...why are we only picking from a selected lot? Experience? Yeah right - experience in graft and corruption!

In the same vein, I believe that senior citizens after the age of 65 SHOULD NOT be allowed to vote any longer. Look at how Binay courts the senior citizen population in Makati. So much gift giving and sharing, if I may be sarcastic, about this segment of the population. Besides, I have my doubts if these senior citizens actually vote for the next president or government official because they see the future of the younger generation. I am willing to make a bet that the majority of them will vote for those that are only of self-service to their segment. I asked my mom who is turning 73 next year on what she thought about my "harsh" thoughts and guess what - she agreed with me!

Have you ever seen some of these senior citizens in the airport? During boarding time from Manila, they are all in wheelchairs and therefore enter the airplane FIRST! When the airplane lands in their final destination, like the US, my goodness, they can ambulate already!!! And they fight their way to the door of the plane, even pushing aside the passengers on first and business class. You think they are frail? Think again. These are jujitsu experts so you don't necessarily have to be kind to all the senior citizens. Some are rude and being rude in return is but fair.

I know that sometime soon, I will reach the age of retirement and if I do live long enough, will even get to being 65. As I tell my colleagues, we need to make ourselves useful, until the day we need to retire and we need to retire with grace. There is grace in exiting the political arena. There should be grace in exiting this world as well.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas day



We live in a material world.

Each holiday celebration is so commercialized that in order to feel the meaning of Christmas, there has to be bows and hollies and trees and lights....

Perhaps to some of us, the Yuletide season is a season of gift giving. There are those, however, who are less fortunate and try to make the best of the season by living simply or just getting by.

There is a deeper meaning to Christmas and this is in the sharing with whatever we have to make our fellowmen live more meaningful lives. It is in the giving that we are blessed. It is in the giving that we can find true happiness. No matter how small or big the gift, the real gift is one that comes from the heart.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish Church Preschool has a sponsor-a-child program. The preschool kids from my parish church performed for us a 15-minute number, thanking us for sponsoring them to a preschool program, during the anticipated mass yesterday. It was such a joy to see my little scholar do some song and dance number. It was a greater joy to see that she goes to school and that the money I give as a gift to improve the life or lives of one or a few are not futile.

You see, I too was a scholar. A scholar of the UST Medical Alumni Association of America who covered my fellowship training in Clinical and Molecular Pharmacology at Boston University. A scholar of the World Health Organization during my clinical pharmacology training at Mahidol University in Bangkok. And I know the feeling of being given a gift that was way beyond my expectation. They were gifts that was well used and probably the reason why I am where I am today.

I share this story because I believe in paying it forward. Watching the little children sing and dance was the icing on the cake of my gift. I believe that if we all make a difference by reaching a little deeper in our Louis Vuitton or Gucci or Prada bags and wallets, we would change and make more meaningful the lives of our fellowmen.

We need to start with one, and then there are two, and it multiplies logarithmically. We need to think beyond ourselves and share more with what God has given us in excess, with those who have less. We need to think out of the box called I, Me and Mine.

The true gift we give is not the one opened only on Christmas Day, but the one that makes each day a Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Blind faith


If there's anyone to blame in the guts and glory fight of Ate Glue on becoming the next Congresswoman of Lubao, it's the man behind the presidential figure - the little president called Ed Ermita.

The ex-general has never wavered in his support for Ate Glue. Even in an interview on her proposed plans after 2010, he has blatantly expressed that the priority of Ate Glue is charter change. In the interview, it was quoted that Ermita said that "Let's be realistic - the President is the President...because of her stature, when she gets [elected], definitely she will have a lot of clout on anything in congress...you can be sure that should she be elected, definitely she will have clout among the congressmen."

In fact, if there is anyone here who has the most power in office, it's Ermita. He calls the shots and he is definitely privy to Ate Glue's plans - now and tomorrow.

Who is Ed Ermita? Born in 1935 and hailing from Balayan, Batangas, Executive Secretary Ed Ermita finished his schooling primary and secondary schooling at the Immaculate Concepcion College then went on to pursue his military career at the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1957. His government service included being Vice Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in 1988, Undersecretary of National Defense from 1988-1992, and Congressman of the 1st District of Batangas from 1992-2001 (a total of 3 terms in office). Then he went into hiatus until the dwarf from the palace beckoned him to the most prestigious position in an appointive office. In 2004, when Ate Glue was elected into office (or reportedly stole the Presidency), the embattled dwarf found an ally in the little president. The executive secretary stood his ground and protected the dwarf from dissent in the dwarf's cabinet.

To this very day, Ermita remains loyal to the dwarf. When asked if the dwarf could be trusted not to position herself as prime minister in the future, Ermita said "We are in a democracy [and] everyone is free to do things that they wish they should do, for as long as they are within the bounds of law. Everyone has to face up to his or her future, and and when they're elected."

Except for the people in the district of Pampanga where the dwarf intends to relocate to, the rest of the Filipino people believe that the actions of the dwarf on clinging on to power is matter of addiction to it. The worst part of it is that the dwarf can utilize her resources while she is in power in order to succeed in winning again. And while it is true that we are free to do things within the bounds of law, the ethical and moral aspect of the dwarf running for a lower position in order to perpetuate power leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

You will have to agree though that there are those who follow because of blind faith. Some say that Ermita is probably as possessed as the dwarf. There's another name for it - fanatic! Hallelujah!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Waiting...


I am an impatient person. I cannot stand traffic and I am always in a hurry to get things done. To me, the concept of "better things to do with my time" is the rule rather than the exception.

Then again, there are people that are extremely patient. Sometimes, while they can be admirable, they can also be a pain in the neck. It's like they have all the time in the world to while away.

Someone once told me that patience is a virtue. And while I objected occasionally to this belief, there would be times when I would stop and pause and think of the benefits of not having to cope with this anxiety-ridden world. I guess we are all made to believe that in this material world, we need to get from point A to point B in a zip - and we become anxious when this expectation is not met. Somehow, we have allowed ourselves to be controlled by technological marvels and competitive advancements in careers and life that the expectancy of waiting and loss of patience has deprived us of a better life.

It is said that waiting is an essential part of life. "Life is not finished in itself; there is always something more to it, something yet to come. Parents wait for their children to grow up, children wait for their time to go to school and get a job, we all wait for the sun to set before we can enjoy the beauty of moonlight. What would life be if we can no longer wait?"

Then there is the waiting for Advent or Christmas. As a Filipino race, we wait in perpetuity starting from September 1 on our countdown to Christmas. Kids wait for the holiday season to get gifts under the tree or the poor wait for some good soul to give them even just a temporary meaning to sharing and giving during the holidays. While many of us wait for our 13th month pay or our bonus, there are those who also wait for a morsel of bread to eat or even another year to live after surviving the battle with cancer for the year.

Life may be difficult and the situation around us may be disheartening, but I believe that perseverance without fear of disappointment and hope beyond prayers will always be the kind of spirit that the season of Advent reminds us.

Beyond all the despair or joy, laughter or tears...lies a heart that remains to wait for longing to look forward with hope for a happy holiday and a better year ahead.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Beyond Australia



My Australian vacation blog will be posted once I get my life back together. With the long vacation we had, coming home was all work! But seriously, the respite from all the patients ringing and the stress at work came to a pause during the 9 days with my partner. It was a time to get away from it all and just enjoy not only each others company, but to have fun.

It was, so to speak, beyond the cities of Melbourne and Sydney - a well spent holiday. Expensive as it was (as the cost was being charged to my Mastercard and Visa), the actual tag price of this memorable vacation was priceless.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Missing you


Somehow, I find it strange blogging about relationships and happiness.

For the record, I am not an expert on this matter. I have been in and out of relations and honestly speaking, have had disappointments. Temporary happiness. So who hasn't?

For over 15 years, I had given up on finding the right person. I stopped looking. And embedded myself on work, work, work. Strangely, there comes a time when in spite of not looking for Mr. or Ms. Right, someone comes along and changes the course. Destiny? I think not. We attempt to thwart from our minds, hearts, and libido (of course) having to find an emotional crutch. Then we find ourselves alone and asking why? Was all the success worth it? Were all the failures in a past relation a reflection of who we are and what we are or not capable of? And someone comes along - again.

Every relation searches for the eternal companionship. One that is basically based on love and sacrifice. Of course, not all will end in a story that spells happily ever after.

I asked once the question, will you give up everything you have including your own happiness, just to make the other person happy? And I had some friends that made various comments - for or against the thought.

Life is complicated. If it were simple, then there would be no problems. I mean, let's face it, there are things that we want out of life and the journey we go through make us make decisions that may hurt others, or even the one we love.

My take is simple. We need to look in the mirror each day and ask ourselves if the relationship is worth it all. Not just the material things we share with one another, but the life we intend to make with each other. It pains me to see someone you care for so much to feel depressed and unhappy on moments together. To be unable to open up to one another in a deeper way and live a relation on superficial happiness.

Marriage is not an assurance that two people will be happy forever. To me, it's just a piece of paper. But a relationship and happiness is built on love. A love that commits to giving it all, through the good and the bad times. A love that understands what is not understandable. A love that is willing to share the bitter half of you with your better half. It is a shared commitment to finding happiness.

I am not a hopeless romantic. If the significant other in the relationship is miserable with you in the picture, there should always be a way out, even if it will hurt one or both parties.

The most painful part of a relationship is not the letting go. It's the dying each day because the other is not happy anymore.

It's the part where missing you is the most heart breaking. And finding me is the most fulfilling.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

KAWAWAWEEEE!!!





Tatagalugin ko na uli ito.

Ang malas talaga ng Pinoy. Damontres na buhay ito. Ang may kasalanan nito ay ang duwende na nakatira sa palasyo. Kung tutuusin, matalino ang duwende. Magaling siya maghasik ng lagim. Ang di alam ng nakararaming NoyPi ay kaya pinalaya ng duwende ang matandang halimaw mula sa hawla niya sa Tanay dalawang taon ng nakaraan ay para magkagulo ang bansa at malimutan ng tao ang pagnanakaw na ginawa ng pamilya ng duwende.

Kita mo nga naman. Pag magulo na ang pulitika sa bansa, wala ng panahon pa para magisip tungkol sa kahayupan ng duwende sa palasyo. Matalino di ba?

Kaya eto na naman. Parang kanta ni Gary V. Andiyan ka na naman...tumutukso tukso... Nakalabas na ang halimaw. Ang mga kampon ni halimaw na pulos matatandang kapre, tiyanak, tikbalang, balimbing at iba't iba pang mga demonyo ay nagsilabasan na din. Sabi nga ni duwende --- ang saya saya noh??!!?!?!

Lait na kung lait. Alipusta na kung alipusta. Kung may karapatan tumakbo maging pinuno ng bansa uli ang halimaw, puwes may karapatan din akong maglabas ng aking paningin at pandidiri. Kung meron man akong mga kaibigan na kamaganak ng halimaw at duwende, pasensiya na kayo. Walang personalan ito. Nasusuka lang ako sa teledrama at pagbabalik drama ng isang damakmak na leche sa pulitika.

Ang pagluluklok ng isang pinuno ay di nakukuha sa mga pangako. Ang mga pangako ay para sa mga nananaginip lamang. Ika nga ni Nora Aunor - walang himala!!! At di maaaring maghimala ang isang tanga. Walang utak ang halimaw. Mangangako yan na iaahon niya sa kahirapan si Juan. Pangako lamang. Si Juan Tanga at Juan Tamad ay aasa sa pangakong yon. Isang tanong - paano mo maasahan na boboto ng matino si Juan Tanga at Juan Tamad, kung sumakay at bumaba sa tamang lugar na pampasahero o tumawid sa tamang lugar ay di nga niya magawa? Ano ka, sinusuwerte?


Maraming gimik si halimaw. Andiyan ang mga alipores niyang artista na akala nila pag pinasaya nila ang mga uto uto ay puede na sila maging kandidato sa darating na halalan. Anak ng putakte. Huwag na tayong magbiruan pa. Sa totoo lang, sa tingin mo ba pag naging TV host ka eh talagang kaya mo ng bumili ng bapor, magagarang sasakyan at sandamakmak na bahay at lupa sa loob ng ilang taon? Eh sa lifestyle lang nila, ubos din ang pera sa pagpapasikat at pagpabongga. Ang tanong - bakit hindi sila ang habulin ng BIR? Wala pa akong nakikitang artista na hinabol ng BIR na namulubi. Ikaw meron na ba? Joke joke joke lang yan BIR noh! Konting kodakan lang sa mga artista eh ayos na. I dare them - ikulong ninyo si Juday at Goma! Kaya ba ninyo?

Kung tutuusin, kasalanan din natin lahat yan. Kaya kahit anong kayod natin para umahon sa kahirapan, eh lalo tayong naluluklok sa putikan. Binenta natin ang ating boto. Hindi marunong matuto ang NoyPi. Karamihan sa atin, mga Jologs. Mga naniniwala sa mga artista at ang kanilang mga walang saysay na telenovela, drama at pangarap. Nakatutok tayo sa mga "reality shows" at sumasali sa mga "game shows" kahit na alipustahin at paglaruan ng TV host. Masokista talaga ang NoyPi. Pustahan tayo, kung may palabas na nilalatigo ang "contestant" ay mas patok na patok yon. Madali tayong mauto. Sinabi lang ni Aga na ang Solmux ay nakakatunaw ng plema o ni John Lloyd na okay ang Biogesic, ay lunok agad si Juan Tanga at Juan Tamad. Para bang di tama na okay lang walang ulam na sa hapag kainan si Juan - huwag lang mawalan ng Coke. Open a can of happiness ika nga. Clik na clik nga si Aling Dionisia, dahil siya ang pangarap ng bawat Aling Dionisia sa bansa - na magkaroon sila ng anak tulad ni Pacman na iaahon sila sa hirap - dala ng kamao!

Oras na para ang pangkaraniwang mamamayan naman ang mangarap - ng isang mas magandang buhay, isang matinong bansa, isang pamahalaang maaasahan sa hirap at ginhawa. Pag nailuklok niyo uli ang halimaw at ang kanyang mga alipores, eh talagang bago ang ating kanta - KAWAWA-WE!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Reality sucks!



Give it to the Pinoys. They will want to copy almost anything. From the Koreanovelas that have been "Tagalized" and of course to the much awaited season comebacks of reality shows like Pinoy Big Brother and Survivor.

Although one can argue that we simply copied the foreign versions of these reality shows, one cannot help but observe at how pathetic our local versions are. I have nothing against copying foreign material - whether it is a game show or reality show - but I detest at the commercialization of these reality shows to the point of personal degradation. But it takes two to tango.

It just goes to show that many of us are willing to do anything - dress like woman, reveal one's sexual orientation, be on the air for the skimpiest of clothing and show all the bulges - anything at all. In reality, these reality shows include people who probably paid their way to get into the show or who were willing to show more skin. Look at some of the contestants - I mean, really now, how many percentage of the Filipino people who audition for the show actually have great abs? Duhhhh??? Was it required to show it to be part of the show? It addresses how pathetic the Filipino can be and is willing to debase himself on prime time TV. I chanced upon watching one whole episode of these shows one night. I was starving and had to get a bite to eat and my maids were still up watching some castaway in Survivor Palau demeaning a transexual. Argggggghhhhhhhhh!!!! People waste time, and effort and money watching some losers trying to get famous. After all, they have role models to follow. Never mind looking stupid today, tomorrow you'll be rich and famous. And that's a pathetic excuse to stardom. It serves as very bad role model for the Filipinos who probably are more "Starstruck" than the rest. You can tell, because Filipino children are very early on introduced into joining Little Miss Philippines, Birit Baby and other contests on noontime television - with parents serving as "pimps" for them.

But what makes the masses become avid followers of these reality shows? In the Philippines, it's a shot to fame. Unlike in other countries where the plum IS the cash prize, here, the masses can actually empathize with the "drama stories" or the sordid tattles of the contestants of the show. Instead of getting a life, we eventually have losers who are willing to put up with looking like idiots on reality TV. Interestingly, these shows have a following - not looking for real talent - but showing the irony of what people would do to get a shot of fame and fortune.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Maarte and Pinoy!




Kamuntik na ako makasapak ng tao. Leche talaga yang mga pasahero at mga pampasadang pampubliko na tumatambad sa mga kalye natin sa Metro Manila. Sabii nga ni Fernando Poe, Jr na "masikip ang mundong ito para sa atin". At masikip nga ang kalye ng Maynila para sa mga lintik na pedicab, tricycle, jeep, bus at ang mga bagong ipis - ang mga motor!

Hindi ko alam kung sino ang nagpauso ng sangkatutak na iba't ibang klaseng mga pampasadang pampubliko sa Pinas. Parang mga kabute na bigla na lamang nagsulputan. At lahat ng sulok ng ka-Maynilaan ay nagdurusa dahil sa pampasaherong publiko.

Hindi sa pagaalipusta, pero sa totoo lang, OA masyado ang pampasaherong publiko natin. Kung titignan mo, eh kahit na anong oras may pampasaherong publiko tayo na masasakyan. Kahit na walang laman yang mga jeep at bus at pedicab at tricycle, eh nasa kalsada sila. Nagaabang sa mga lugar na nakalagay "no loading and unloading". Harap harapan ng mga MMDA o pulis o trafik enforcer na lokal na pamahalaan. Eh mga ganid din yan mga yan. Hanep naman sila manghuli ng mga "color coding" pero yung mga pampasaherong publiko, harap harapan na ang paglabag sa batas pang trapiko, eh bulag bulagan pa ang mga putres na yan.

Isama na ninyo ang mga maaarteng mga pasahero. Dapat pag sinabi nilang PARA!!!, eh dapat mag preno agad ang mga driver. Kahit na tumilapon ang matanda na nakatayo sa harap mo, eh dapat bumaba na ang hitad na sumigaw ng PARA!!! Sana bumaba na ang putres na yon nung bumaba na yung isang ale sa kanto. Eh di pa nakaka primera ang driver, eh bababa na din itong hitad. Dapat kasi, sa harap ng barong barong o sa harap ng iskwater area o sa harap talaga ng bahay nila ihatid! Kulang na lang pag sigaw niya ng PARA!!! eh bababa ang driver din para buhatin ang hitad at dalhin ang prinsesa or reyna o prinsipe o hari hanggang sa paanan ng bahay nila. Leche talaga ang mga yan.

Kung may bayag man ang ating mga pinuno, at talagang may batas sa Pinas, eh dapat siguro takutin na talaga yang mga talipandas na yan na sobrang arte pagdating sa patakaran ng lansangan. Dapat, gawin ng pamahalaan ang mga sumusunod na patakaran:

1. Pag nahuli ang pedicab, tricycle, jeep o bus na nag loading and unloading sa mga lugar na bawal, tanggalin ng lisensiya ang driver at bawal na maging driver habang buhay. Sa totoo lang, wala siyang karapatan at rason para mag load and unload sa lugar na di dapat. Walang dahilan kahit na manganganak ang unano na sakay niya! Right there and then, sinusunog ang lisensiya at di na dapat bigyan kahit kelan ng LTO!

2. Ang pasahero na mahilig sumigaw ng PARA!!! ay dapat parusahan din. Kung sumakay at bumaba siya sa lugar na bawal, eh dapat may karapatan siyang masagasaan. Walang kasalanan ang nakasagasa sa kanya. Dapat may premyo pa nga ang makakasagasa sa mga pasaway na yan. Kung di sila masagasaan, ay dapat mahuli. Ang multa, kulong ng isang buwan na walang piyansa.

3. Ang mga linta at lintek na MMDA, pulis patola at trafik enforcers na mahilig mangotong ay dapat may death sentence to be implemented sa loob ng 24 oras mula sa pagkahuli sa akto. Kung masyadong mapanindig balahibo itong mga panukalang ito para sa mga human rights activists, eh puede naman gaanan. Putulin ang kamay ng mangongotong sa unang pagkakamali. Sa pangalawang pagkakamali, eh putulin na ang ulo. Matigas na masyado at di madala sa pagputol ng isang bahagi ng katawan.

4. Ang mga putres na pedestrian na tumatawid sa kalye natin ay isa pang balakid. Dahil lumaki tayo sa pambansang laro na patintero, eh ganun din akala ni Pepe at Pilar sa lansangan ng Pinas. Kaya ayan, hanggang paglaki, eh akala ng mga hitad na puede silang makipagpatintero kay Pantranco. Buwisit talaga. Gumagastos ako, mula sa buwis na binabayad ko, sa pagpatayo ng overpass para makatawid ng tama. Ang mga gago ay ayaw umakyat. Nakakapagod daw. Baka lumaki daw ang bayag nila. Baka mawala ang taba sa katawan nila. Kakakain lang daw nila at baka magka appendicitis daw sila. Ayyayay!!! Pag nakinig ka sa mga katwiran nila, aatakihin ka sa puso!! Lahat may rason. Aba eh kung ganun lang naman, gawin batas na bawal na gumawa ng overpass. Sayang lang ang pera. Kurakot lang ito ni Mayor. Eh wala naman gumagamit at walang pakinabang. Halimbawa na lang sa may amin sa Alabang. Sa harap ng Ayala Alabang Town Center eh may overpass na nakatumbad sa loob ng mall. Pero walang umaakyat dito. Ang dakilang Mayor namin na anak yata ni San Pedro ay gumuhit pa na pedestrian lane, mga 25 metrong layo mula sa overpass na ito. Dios mio!!! Talk about stupidity ano?!?!?! Eh talaga naman wala kang masabi dahil wala ngang mas stupid pa sa ginawang ito.

At ganyan ang Metro Manila mga kaibigan. Isang malaking lugar na punong puno ng mga maarte. Walang urban planning. Pulos kabig kung saan kikita. Sa kurakot. Sa kotong. Sa lagay. Walang disiplina. Palakasan. Short cut. Palakasan. Inaapi kami kasi kami'y dukha. Anak ng jueteng at tipaklong. Kung lahat ng mga yan eh pakikinggan natin, talagang paurong ang bansang ito.

Kahit na gaano kalapad mo gawin ang kalye, kahit na lagyan mo pa ng fountain and bawat plaza sa ilalim ng overpass, hanggang waland direksyon at ambisyon para ituwid and mali sa mga lansangan, eh talagang impiyerno ang pagmamaneho sa lansangan ng Pinas.

Eh ano pa nga ba, maarte talaga ang Pinoy!

Only once



When I opened my email yesterday, I was stunned. I could not believe that a friend passed away. Dr. Placido Calimag, surgeon and husband to Dr. Minerva Patawaran-Calimag and father to 8 wonderful children had a massive heart attack right in the UST Hospital. They tried to revive him, but he was in asystole. He was brought to the cardiac catheterization laboratory, but in spite of all efforts, not even the best doctors present could bring him back.

I could not sleep the whole night. I was thinking about Jun and Ervie. It's always the people we leave behind that feels the loss... the pain... the loneliness... the void... the whys and why nots... the things that we've not finished doing or had said when someone we love was still alive...

We recall all the sayings on how "short life is", on "how well we should live life", on "taking care of our health", and so on and so forth. What most of us forget is we only live for today. Yesterday will always be a foregone conclusion. Tomorrow, well, we never will know will we?

There will always be stories from friends or celebrities or some unknown person on being given second chances in life. Either being saved from an accident, or having a heart attack and surviving it, or coming down with cancer and ending up as a cancer survivor. These are all anecdotal experiences. Stories of hope amidst hopelessness. Yet the majority of us who go through grief do not share the "second chances" tales. The only story we can tell is how someone whom we love so dearly has left so soon...no goodbyes, no clues or signs, no tomorrows. How so much has been left undone or unsaid or will be missed.

I once asked a friend, if you had 24 hours to live, how would you spend it? Easy question, difficult answers. But that is what life is - too many things to do, too little time.

When my niece and nephew asked me why I decided to put up a public blog (they were not in favor of it because it was like exposing myself), I had one answer...I wanted to document my journey in life. That when I go, I will be remembered somehow and some of those whom I leave behind would probably get to read my thoughts, my opinions, my craziness, my weird life...and yes, my heartaches and pains.

You gotta admit that at the end of our journey in life, we travel this world, only once.


[Photo from FotoSearch Free Photography]

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mid-Autumn Chinese Moon Cake Festival


Today marks the first day of the mid-autumn Chinese Moon Cake festival. It is the third major festival of the Chinese calendar and is held on the 15th of the 8th month. October 3 marks that day in the Roman calendar this year.

Since I am 100% Chinese by blood, we celebrate this festival with much fanfare, preparations and expectations annually. I had asked my mom the history of the event and the story she can remember, which I tell all my friends when they ask me, goes back to the 13th century. At the time, China was in revolt against the Mongols. Chu Yuen-chang, and his senior deputy, Liu Po-wen, discussed battle plans and developed a strategy to bring in weapons and armors to a certain walled city held by the Mongol enemy. Liu dressed up as a Taoist priest and entered the besieged city bearing moon cake. Inside the moon cakes were messages which he distributed to the revolutionary movement. When the time for the year's Chung Chiu festival arrived, people opened their cakes and found hidden messages advising them to coordinate their uprising with the troops outside. The biggest moon cakes had weapons hidden in them. Thus, the emperor-to-be ingeniously took the city and his throne.

There are other stories on the internet like the Lady in the Moon and the Man in the Moon, but I would prefer to relate to the story my mom told me.

In astrology, the moon is at its maximum brightness for the entire year during this day. With the onslaught of Typhoon Pepeng, we will not see the moon tonight. But we will definitely celebrate it with dinner followed by the traditional dice game where we try to see who wins the "chong wan". It is a game of luck and the dices will determine who among us will bring home the grand prize. It is said that whoever wins the grand prize is granted luck all year round. True or not, it is a gathering of family and friends. A bonding. Even during these times of tragedy and adversity, there is reason to celebrate. That we are alive. That we are well. And that we have lived another year, to be with one another to celebrate life.

Game ka na ba? Game na kami!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Life after Ondoy


The flood waters have slowly died down. All that's left is cleaning up the mud and dirt Ondoy had left behind. All that's left is caring for the victims of Ondoy. All that's left is burying the dead.

Many of my friends and colleagues were devastated by the storm. The day after Ondoy had left, people were trying to pick up the pieces from the aftermath. Many lost properties and personal belongings. Many were lucky to have survived this onslaught that had taken a lot of people unprepared. I guess for many Filipinos, preparedness is never in their vocabulary.

Now the rescue and relief operations are on the way, but the devastation is overwhelming. One cannot fathom how many of us would put our lives back in order. Help has begun pouring in. And during these times of despair, crisis and loss, one cannot help but appreciate the spirit of camaraderie as a people. Today, there is no rich nor poor. No sick or well. Just plain helping out his fellow man.

After we have cleaned up all the garbage, mud and debris from this disaster, I hope that we take stock of what has happened and not just blog or write or talk about our experience from this tragedy. As responsible citizens, we need to rise from this a better people, a better nation. If we need to clean the garbage, we should. If we need to get rid of the squatters, we must. If we need to shut down greedy business, it is time.

We only have today to act on this tragedy. Nature and God will rarely give us a second chance. Next time, when all is lost and the losses hit home, it might be too late.

Life after Ondoy means learning the lessons that should be learned.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ondoy





Last Friday, CNN had announced the arrival of Ondoy. In the local news that night, both TV Patrol (Ch 2) and Saksi (Ch 7) casually talked about the arrival of Ondoy. But the rains started pouring that night. I woke up early Saturday morning to listen to news reports on the location of Ondoy. Turning on my TV to listen to the news, Julius Babao and wife Tintin were just cheerie and yacking to death about the headlines discussing about the impending radio frequency stickers for cars. Babao called on all to wake up with his baritone voice screaming "GISING GISING GISING"!!! Umaga na". I was waiting for some news of Ondoy while I got dressed for classes.

I teach the graduate school on Saturdays and as I quickly got prepared for classes, I was worried about the rain. The clouds were there and the sky was getting darker. I asked my driver to turn on the radio, but there was no news of Ondoy.

In the middle of my class, around 930am, the secretary of the graduate school announced that due to the rains, classes were being suspended at 11am. My students and I looked out the window and knew that Ondoy had made his presence felt already.

After seeing a few patients right after my class I immediately left the university. By that time, we were already Waterworld. Every nook and cranny, every road and side street, every walkable pavement was simply eradicated in just 2 hours of non stop rain. And it poured and poured and poured for the next 4 hours more.

This was one of my most unforgettable day. When mother nature strikes at the core, you realize your humanity and a tragedy like this does not delineate the rich and the poor. You realize that the guys who are wading in the flood waters in skimpy underwear all soaked are not different from your dry clothes waiting for the flood waters to subside. I was hungry and tired. I picked up my wallet and noted that not even my Visa or Mastercard or the cash in the wallet was going to make a difference between me and the young children swimming in the flood. One guy was busy plying water, Ovaltine and junk food, clearly taking advantage of the calamity. My driver had jumped to the nearest Jollibee as we were stranded in stand still traffic. There was no more food. They were closed at 2pm.

As I looked out the windows of my car, I was humbled watching the people on the streets because they were free to wander around and wade through the water without any care in the world. They were making the most out of the worst scenario, while I was imprisoned in the confines of my car - miserable, hungry and tired.

After 4 hours, our car had moved 10 meters. Probably the flood waters had pushed the vehicles forward. Night time had arrived. A few meters away from our car were delivery vans for San Miguel Beer. Young men in states of undress were climbing up the back of the van and carting away cases and cases of beer. It was dark and the workers of the van had given a chase, but after several cases had been stolen. Up front you could see the despicable low lives of the people living around the San Andres area. Where was a cop when you needed one? Where were the MMDA traffic enforcers when you needed them?

Ondoy had come and gone. I had to experience getting stranded in 15 hours of traffic to come to grips with reality - that in the worst of tragedies, we are all the same.

Typhoon Ondoy left lessons imprinted in both the strong and the weak, the rich and the poor. The Philippine government officials and media had a heyday finger pointing at each others underestimating the supposedly "weak" storm. Let's face it. We were all unprepared. Complacency is man's greatest tragedy. We never learn until we come face to face with calamity. Perhaps we simply brush many things aside when it affects only the poor. But when it affects even those like us, we realize our vulnerability.

I shared some cookies and candies and some water with my driver during this 15 hour ordeal. When we were able to get through the traffic, we had a hearty early morning dinner at 3am at a 24/7 ChowKing outlet near our home. Hungry and tired, we shared a meal together with my partner who had come to meet me to find out if we were alright.

When we got home, I told him to go home to check on his family and thanked him.

It takes a calamity to humble us.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Is there a road to happiness?



There are good days. And there are bad ones. For some, each day can mean a better day. Others don't have such luck.

This is a respite from my usual blogging about politics or entertainment or drama in any form.

This morning, I was surprised to find my 10 year old dog, Genie, wagging her tail on my bedside. She has osteoporosis and now finds it difficult to walk on all fours. She manages to run around limping on three paws. The past weeks, her daily stroll around the village and to the chapel where she accompanies my mom has been downgraded to just simple strolls around the garden. I've taken her back and forth to the vet and the vet just says that it's natural for her old age to take a toll on walking. Every day seemed difficult for me and my mom to watch her limp around. But Genie has learned to live with her limitations. And every time I come home and my driver would honk the horn of the car, Genie would be at the window, wagging her tail and barking with joy that I am finally home. She looks up to me when I arrive home and waits for that proverbial pat in the head and the hug on her bulky body. Then she limps around in circles. Happy.

Happy.

This morning I looked at Genie and saw in her old droopy eyes happiness. And asked myself, what does it take to make one happy?

The material things we have are actually temporary provisions in keeping us stay in touch with the current world. A new iPhone, a MacAir, a new Accord, a brand new house, a trip to Europe, a million bucks, a diamond ring. You get one, you try to top it with the next. Our endorphins are wildly stimulated, temporarily, until it hits us that we're not happy with what we have and we need something new, something more, something else.

I am sure that all of us wake up to moments of emptiness. Another day. Breakfast. Driving to work. Working for the money. Going home. Another day. Some of us, nope, all of us, one time or another have wished we were in other people's shoes. What we forget is that many of those who eventually found happiness have taken the road less traveled. While there are a few who probably were born with a silver spoon, or had material things shoved to them by a stroke of luck or through graft and corruption, not all of us become contented with these temporary breaks of "happiness". And many of us have own stories to tell. Yet we fail to answer the big question - is there a road to happiness?

Contentment, many people believe is a parking stop for those who have no dream or ambition. I disagree. Contentment is an idling zone which all of us must make. It serves as a temporary pause that all of us must make to assess and reassess where we are with our stories in the journey called life.

In spite of Genie's temporary limitations, she had mustered enough joy today to jump up my bed and I gave her a great hug. Then my cat, K2, joined Genie in a group hug. Today, I woke up to a different view on my quest for the road to happiness. I know that like Genie, there will be ailments or bad luck that may come my way, but there is a road to happiness. We all need to find that road.

No matter what the cost, I am determined to find that road...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tim Who?



His name is Timothy Mark Depakakibo Garcia. He is the 25 year old son of former Maj. General Carlos Garcia, the erstwhile former military comptroller of the Philippines who has been accused of plunder charges to the tune of 300M pesos (together with his wife Clarita and sons Ian Carl, Juan Paolo and Timothy Mark).

Who is Timothy Mark Depakakibo Garcia? Last September 16, 2009, out of nowhere, Peter Davis wrote a feature article on Tim Garcia in the news website "The Daily Beast" on the young Tim who is now a publicist for fashion label Marc by Marc Jacobs. In the article, Tim is seen living out his house arrest fashionista style. He is supposedly kept company by a friend named Bryanboy (whatever that means). The family is wanted in the Philippines for a string of plunder cases, what with the father supposedly making headlines years ago from acquiring multimillion dollar cash from his measly pay as an army official. In January 2004 (or when Tim was only 19), he and his mother purchased a $765,000 condominium unit (Unit 6A) at the Trump Park Avenue Condominium right smack in the heart of Park Avenue, New York City.

Interestingly for those that failed to follow the trail after the expose on the illegal wealth of the general, this is the trail as reported:

On March 5, 2005, Timothy Garcia was "arrested by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents and presented in this District."

The court was also informed that Clarita Garcia was arrested and presented in the Eastern District Court of Michigan in Detroit and Ian Carl and Juan Paulo Garcia were arrested in the Northern District of California. All four are currently detained.

Clarita Garcia, 58, and her husband, retired Major General Carlos F. Garcia, and their three children – Timothy Mark, 25, Ian Karl, 30, and Juan Paulo, 27, are all facing plunder charges in the Philippines. Plunder carries a penalty of 30 years to life in prison.

General Garcia, a former comptroller of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and others were accused of “willfully, unlawfully, and criminally amass, accumulate, and acquire ill-gotten wealth in the form of funds, landholdings, and other real and personal properties in the aggregate amount of not less than 303-million pesos (US$6.2 million)."

The source of funds used by Timothy and his mother, Clarita, was believed to be the unexplained 303-million (US$6.2-M) acquired by General Garcia. The Garcias were able to transfer $2 million from the Philippines to the United States.

Except for General Garcia, the rest of the members of the family are all US citizens and are subjects to extradition.

In addition to extradition, Juan Paulo and Ian Karl are detained in the Northern District of California in San Francisco for bulk smuggling charges related to $100,000 being transported to the United States from the Philippines in 2003.

Timothy Mark and Clarita Garcia are only facing extradition charges and have no other criminal charges.

General Garcia is serving his two-year sentence for perjury in the Philippines. The Garcia couple, as well as their three children, will face plunder charges in the Philippines as soon as the Garcia family members are extradited to the Philippines.

Before purchasing the Trump condominium unit, Clarita Garcia deposited on Jan. 15, 2004 $308,327, approximately $200,000 in cash and in two certified checks from the Bank of the Philippine Islands totaling $108,327 into the Citibank account in New York she holds jointly with Timothy Garcia.

The Garcia also transferred over $1-M from Export and Industry Bank in the Philippines to the United States in a three-month period. On Jan. 21, 2004, $357,418 was wire transferred from General Garcia’s account in the Philippines to Clarita and Timothy Garcia’s Citibank account in New York.

On Feb. 3, 2004, $265,673 was again wire-transferred by Gen. Garcia to the same account of Clarita and Timothy.

On Feb. 20, 2004 and on March 11, 2004, $263,809 and $176,324 were transferred from Merceditas Garcia, sister of General Garcia, to the same bank account of Clarita and Timothy Garcia, respectively. - GMANews.TV


We probably would not know what was going on in the mind of Mr. Davis when he came out with the "fashionista" lifestyle of Tim but this definitely was not a venue to brag and brandish the lifestyle of the crooked and famous. One of the readers had commented that unless proven guilty, no one had the right to lambast the Garcias. Come on, give us a break. Not all are morons in this country, where money laundering and corruption in government is the RULE, rather than the exception.

A fashion statement? Duh, yeah right. But highlighting the "fashionista approach" with Garcia "perched on a sleek white Armani Casa chair in his apartment in the modern, gilded Trump Plaza at 502 Park Avenue, Garcia is decked in head-to-toe designer: a supple caramel leather Alessandro dell’Acqua jacket, Alexander McQueen jeans, a thin white LnA tee shirt and YSL boots. His wrists are adorned with a big Cartier gold and silver Tank watch, a Cartier Love bracelet, a white enamel Hermes bangle and a $1000 dollar large gold plated spiked Hermes cuff called the Collier de Chien." is a crime on the the Filipino people by displaying ostentatious living from apparently "stolen" wealth. This apparently obnoxious display of travesty of the Philippine justice system can hardly be downplayed and must affect the senses of even the most callous and the most snobbish among the faux elitist fashion circles.

As if the rise to the Imeldific or the Arroyo banquet were lifestyles that would catch the ire of the citizens of the world, Tim is not some important personality that is provided the God given right to go ahead and spend the money of the impoverished country where his father happens to have been the former comptroller and happens to have plundered from. And I have no idea who and what Marc by Marc Jacobs is. Marc may be some fashion icon in the hubris of New York whose eclectic crowd of wannabes may be going gaga over his world, but he definitely needs some constant reminder that the rest of the world does not revolve around him and that a little sensibility on social responsibility among these fashionistas should slap some sense into their ever snobbish attitude of never care.

I praise the Filipino for being able to rise above the proverbial poverty level and make it big in, yes, New York New York, there has got to be some reality check among the youth on how to grab the limelight with a conscience. The likes of Manny Pacquiao, Aling Dionisia, Boy Abunda, Lea Salonga or other Pinoys who have shown that their lifestyles have changed because of hard work are the epitome of the kind of people that those of us who struggle to make it big in this crazy world should emulate.


I loathe, however, those who have no right to spend other people's money for their own gains.


We do not need to publicize people like Tim Who, who seems oblivious of the limitations of what his family financially is capable of and utilize the Filipinos money to pamper his sordid taste in fashion with the approval of "fashionista" cohorts in New York City. It's people like these who justify the glamor and glitz of an empty lifestyle. No morals. No values. A designer's name attached to their wrist, their backpacks, or their ankles.

But Tim Who is no Paris Hilton and like the other thieves of the night, he has no right displaying unabashedly the gold that he has no right to wear. It is a shame that people like Davis even make a sense out of nonsense.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The difference between entitlements and entanglements



Before I joined the pharmaceutical industry three years ago, I had a different perspective of the physician. Now that I wear two hats and three years later, I share with you a different perspective that I had learned while in the industry.

I do not know how to write this blog without probably touching some nerves among the doctors in the community. But I will try to discuss briefly the debacle between entitlements and entanglements of the Filipino physician (or most physicians at that) in the era of cheaper medicines and generic equivalents.

Entitlement is defined as the state of condition of being entitled; it is a right to benefits specified specially by law or contract. Entanglement is getting entwined or involved in a perplexing or troublesome situation. These two words pose problems in their relationship with the pharmaceutical industry and must be delineated.

A decade ago, I had given the plenary talk to the Philippine College of Physicians regarding the relationship between the pharmaceutical company and the physician. I have to thank Tony Dans for "forcing" a pediatrician to talk about a topic that a lot of physicians would prefer to keep quiet over. While it was well received and that I had to give a repeat talk on the topic at Makati Medical Center a year or two later and at the Philippine Dermatological Society as well, I guess just like the seeds that fell on good ground, some fell on deaf ears.

Now more than ever, the issue of entitlements and entanglements in the industry has captured the eyes and ears of every patient and every government official. In short, we just need to answer the inquiry - SHOULD DOCTORS RECEIVE GIFTS FROM THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES?

I initially took a poll at Facebook but only a handful of my doctor friends gave their honest to goodness opinion. The rest remained quiet (or dead to the world). This issue is an anathema and may spark changes in entitlements that the pharma companies provide to the doctors in terms of convention trips, lavish gifts, dinner and shows, and other "marketing gimmicks".

It is clear that the industry is partly to blame for the current thinking of some doctors who believe that they are "entitled" to gifts from the industry. While the industry tried to police itself through the Pharmaceutical Association of the Philippines following "ethical" guidelines on "gift-giving" to doctors, some of the drug companies, especially large local generic companies refused to join the association. A "me-too" company has no research and development expenditure. They merely wait for patents of multinational companies to expire and just "copy" a generic version of the drug. No drug development fees. All information that is being utilized by a generic company are actually studies from the originator or innovator company. After all, they are already public material because they have been published. Naturally, with every new study that the innovator company comes up with, the generic company simply quotes the results of that study. With RA 9502 on the Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act, one cannot help notice that the word Quality comes after Cheaper. Time and again, I remind everyone that the most expensive drug is the one that does not work. And Quality Assurance as a pillar in ensuring quality generic equivalent drugs in the market is still a distant dream for the local Food and Drug Authorities. In the meantime, many generic companies spend most of the "marketing strategies" NOT AT DEMONSTRATING their products are equal to the innovators, but rather at sending doctors on "junkets" and sponsoring drug stores and retail outlet owners to "extravagant" trips through "gifts" disguised as an assurance that their companies are in the "playing field" as the rest of the world.

Then there are the bad eggs in the profession. There is the doctor who thinks that the drug company "owes" him a trip to Jerusalem or should be "up there" with the other big prescribers. There are "stories" of doctors asking pharmaceutical companies to pay for their birthday parties, dine outs, lap tops, office equipments and other sorts of remuneration for a prescription. Then there is the evil thought of banning the pharma company that "forgot" to sponsor him to the annual convention or paid his annual dues. What the physician has forgotten is that these are ENTANGLEMENTS and not ENTITLEMENTS. None of us are entitled to what the industry MAY give. That is why these are called conflicts of interest.

Specialty societies also demand from pharmaceutical companies "sponsorships" for annual meetings so that they organization has money to run its projects. Some societies end up being very harsh and demanding. If the companies refuse to sponsor an activity, the officers consider "banning" the company from the "corporate friends" of the society.

The harsh reality is that there is a need to rethink about this scenario. A paradigm shift in this changing era of consumerism and cheaper and quality drugs should be the focus of all concerned. This shift is a wake up call to all that the ethical and moral obligation of the medical professional is upon the better good of his patient and not of his own frills and follies.

The recent news of Pfizer paying a record $2.3B settlement for illegally promoting 4 prescription drugs sent a shockwave not to the medical community, but to the public. The public became enraged when they found out that "to promote the drugs, authorities said Pfizer invited doctors to consultant meetings at resort locations, paying their expenses and providing perks. "They were entertained with golf, massages, and other activities," said Mike Loucks, the U.S. attorney in Massachusetts.

"Pfizer's corrupt practices went so far as sending physicians on exotic junkets as well as wining and dining health care professionals to persuade them to prescribe the company's drugs for patients in taxpayer-funded programs." In the Philippines (and in the world might I add), it is not only one company that has engaged in unethical detailing of drugs, but this marketing tool of wining, dining, and gift-giving to the physician has bloated not only the budgets of the companies and sent the prices of drugs soaring, but has bloated the egos of doctors who think that they are "special" in the eyes of the pharma industry.

We need to remember that in the corporate world, "gift giving" requires an exchange in the end. No one is asking us to be a saint. The next time the gift giver provides us an extra happy meal, let's try to remember why the meal comes in a special wrapper.

The devil once asked, "So, how much is your soul worth today?"

Friday, September 4, 2009

The beauty and the bitch



As the Pinoys would have it, September has begun. And of course, as campy as it may sound, the Pinoys always relate the -ber months to Christmas. It's the only joy they have. What more can you ask for? In the Philippines, the longest holiday is in December. Nothing gets accomplished well in this country because of the countless holidays we have. And we have the dwarf in the palace to blame for the "economic holidays".

But the month didn't start off on the wrong foot. As a matter of fact, Sen. Mar Roxas, alias Boy Padyak, began the month by announcing his withdrawal from the 2010 presidential elections to give way to Sen. Noynoy Aquino. It took Malacanan by surprise. The following day, the other dwarves in the palace started twitting the move of the Liberal Party. They began undermining the capabilities and even mocked Noynoy who went into retreat to contemplate on the issue at hand. Spokesperson Anthony Golez was eager in the attack on the topic. Can Malacanan please shut the F++K UP?!?!!? Nobody wanted their opinion. Golez should just suck his balls dry if he has nothing better to say.

That, Mr. Golez, is drawing attention away from the children of the dwarf in the palace who are being accused of malversation of public funds by not declaring the actually wealth in the statements of assets and liabilities. The twin thieves have declared that if anyone has proof to just go ahead and sue them. Okay, so much for decency in this government. Let's stick to the facts. With the salary of a government official, where can the dwarf's kids get the money to buy million dollar houses in San Francisco? And in the Bay Area ha? Sige nga Golez, ipaliwanag mo ito ng di kumukurap! Mga ganid!


Then the following week the dwarf in the palace decides that we declare the day of Ka Erdy's burial a non-working holiday?!?!!?!? Dang her economic holidays. Did not see any relevance at all. And this month alone, the last day of the Ramadan on September 21 has been declared a national holiday - AGAIN! Ang saya saya noh!!!!!!!!!! So many holidays in this country. Why don't we just create a day where the dwarf farts and there's no work automatically? I don't just get it. If there is a declaration of holidays to show "equality" among the minority sectors then we should declare a day of "Gay and Lesbian Day" as well, di vahhhhhhhhhhhhhh?


Then the story of Rachel Tiongson pops up in the news. ABS-CBN snatched up the video where she proclaims that she has been beaten up by Chavit Singson, her husband (or live-in partner for 17 years). Dang again! The GABRIELA group is up in arms that this is no way to treat women. Yeah right! If a woman get's beaten up, it's called abuse. If a woman treats the man like a dog, it's called "Under the Saya". Ano ba yan?!?!!?


So here's the take, Che was married to Chavit at 18 years old. They have 5 kids. The eldest is 16. I hate to be judgmental but let's face it. It's got to be about the money. They have 4 children. Chavit has caught her with the other guy several in the past and has sent her away. She has always come back begging for forgiveness. And for the kids sake (daw!). She says that Chavit womanizes that is why she cannot take it anymore. So does it justify her looking for another man? I don't think so. If she thinks that the children are caught in this crossfire she needs to be more mature to consider the fact that she should not get F++K+D just to make things equal. Ang tawag diyan - LIBOG! Her lover happens to be just a few years older than their eldest child. Talaga naman!!! She has come out open in the media because she is afraid of what will happen to her after she saw that the bodyguards of Chavit had stripped the guy, and beat him up in front of her. News is that he was castrated in front of her and she just ran and ran and screamed after seeing the jewels of her lover removed. Anyway, that's the unpublished news because the lover is a TV matinee idol. But going back to the point, her media blitz was actually to save her life. She is afraid that Chavit will end up killing her.

How's that for a week in the news in the Philippines? Ang saya saya talaga dito!!! Andito ang impiyerno at ang langit! In the words of Imeldific, what you just saw in a glimpse was the True, the Good and the Beautiful. Leche talaga ang mundo!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67KXPwmtf34

Friday, August 21, 2009

Mayabang ang Pinoy



Mahirap man tanggapin, aminin natin na sa buong mundo, ang Pinoy ang ISA sa pinakamayabang na lahi. Di ko alam kung mas mayabang sa atin ang Bumbay o ang Intsik.

Itong talakayan ukol sa mas murang gamot ang isang halimbawa ng kayabangan na punong puno ng hangin ng Pinoy. Kaya gagamitin ko ang wikang pambansa sa talakayang ito.

Pinagpapatayan ng mga mambabatas, ni Boy Padyak, ng mga aktibistang lukaret na ibaba ang presyo ng gamot na sabi nila ubod ng mahal sa Pinas kung ikukumpara sa ibang bansa. Ano ba ang pinagbasehan ng mga magagaling na ito? Sabi ng iba mas mura daw sa India at Pakistan ang gamot kesa dito. Sabi ng iba dapat lamang pantayin ang presyo ng gamot sa bansa natin sa kinikita ng pangkaraniwang mamamayan.

Mga sira pala ang tuktok ng mga ito! Habang nasa tama ang iba, na may pagkamahal ang gamot natin dito kumpara sa ibang bansa, isipin din naman ninyo kung ano ang tunay na "essential medicines". Aba, hindi naman ganyan kagaling ang Pfizer at sobrang naging batayan ang benta ng kumpanyang yon para sabihin na apat sa kanilang mga gamot ang kailangan ng MRP o "maximum retail price".

Hindi lahat ng mataas na presyon (hypertension) ay ginagamot lamang ng amlodipine (Norvasc). At hindi lang Pfizer ang nagbebenta ng amlodipine. At bakit naman pati ang gamot na Lipitor (Atorvastatin) eh nasama sa listahan? Dahil matataas daw ang cholesterol ng Pinoy! Eh kumain ka naman ng chicharon, lechon, estofado, kaldereta, talaba, taba ng talangka, adobo, Jollibee, McDonald's, KFC, Max fried chicken eh di kaya tumaas ang cholesterol mo? Isara ninyo ang mga tindahan na yan muna! Turuan ang Pinoy na kumain ng tama. Eh parang mga kabute naman yang Jollibee na yan. Pati nga si Doc Aga, tumaas ang cholesterol dahil sa prankisa ng kanyang Jollibee! Turuan ang Pinoy na mag ensayo. Turuan ang Pinoy na maglakad! Tamad ang Pinoy! Bus, Jeep, Tricycle o Padyak ang sakay niya, eh dapat ihahatid hanggang sa tapat ng bahay niya. Di bale na kung wala sa tamang sakayan at babaan. Basta nabarayan na, eh dapat sa tapat ng bahay or kung san man nilang gustong sumakay at bumaba!

At bakit naman pati ang gamot na Zithromax (Azithromycin) eh napasama sa listahan? Tanga talaga ang nag-isip (o wala talagang isip) yung naglagay sa gamot na yan sa listahan. Bakit kamo? Eh hindi naman pangkalahatang sakit yang Zithromax na yan. Kung kelangan mo ng mas murang Macrolide, aba, andiyan ang Eryrthromycin na pinagpatayan pa ng Pilipinong naka-diskubre ng gamot na yan sa lupang hinirang ng bayan!

At bakit dapat isama ang Tazocin (Piperacillin-Tazobactam) sa listahan? Lahat ba ng Pinoy eh naka-ICU na? Sobrang tapang ng antibiotic na yan. Hindi rin naman tama na yan ang unang gagamitin tuwing may sakit ang Pinoy. Sa totoo lang, madaming murang gamot na tatalab sa pangkaraniwang sakit ng Pinoy. Maraming gamot na dapat inuna. Ang gamot sa tuberculosis halimbawa. Bakit di nakasama dito? Eh kung tutuusin isa sa bawat anim na Pinoy ay may TB!

Maliwanag na ang mga gamot na nakalista sa MRP ay pampulitiko lamang ni Boy Padyak at ng kapitbahay ni Ate Glo na ngayon ay kanyang health secretary. Malinaw na hindi napagisipan mabuti at malinaw na walang isip din yung gumawa ng executive order na yan! Pirma na lang ng pirma si La Presidente! Kaya pag may bulilyaso, eh pulos paumanhin at paunawa ang hinihingi ng mga spokesperson niya sa palasyo. Kung tutuusin, kahit na ibaba ninyo ng 50% yang mga gamot na yan, eh di pa din kaya ng pangkaraniwang Juan de la Cruz makabili niyan! Kulang ang kanilang sueldo para makabili ng gamot o pambayad sa ospital o sa doctor man lamang.

At bakit di natin pagpatayan na lamang na walang parking fee ang bawat mall na pagaari ng mga Ayala, Gokongwei, Sy at iba't iba pa? Nung namatay si Sen. Cayetano, namatay na rin ang mungkahi ukol dito. At ang pagkamahal mahal na SLEX! Usog pagong na, kelangan pa magbayad ng 48pesos mula Nichols hanggang Sucat! Mga gago talaga ang mambabatas natin. Binatikos nila ang pamahalaan ng Skyway dahil dito. Nagbababa ng 20pesos sa Skyway, pero hindi sa pinagmumulan ng sobrang sikip ng trapiko. Tumahik ang mga hitad na mambabatas! Sanamagan! Saan ka nakakita ng mga tanga na uto uto pa? Dapat diyan, libre na muna ang daan mula Filinvest hanggang Nichols tulad ng nuong ginagawa pa ang NLEX! Dupang talaga ang lumalatay sa dugo ng Pinoy. Kanya kanyang hirit. Kanya kanyang yabang.

At dito ko ikukuwento ang pangkaraniwang araw ko sa Mercury Drug Store. Kasama ko si Inang na bumibili ng gamot. May babaeng pumunta sa counter, binigay ang reseta ng gamot at tinanong ang tindera, 'magkano ang isang tableta niyan'? 38.50pesos po, sagot ng tindera. 'Ang mahal naman!', reklamo ng ale. 'Wala bang generic niyan?'. 'Meron po, eto 8.50pesos lang', sagot ng tindera. 'O sige, yan na lang', sabay sagot ni aleng mamimili. Mayat maya, andiyan ang anak niyang pitong taong gulang na may bitbit dalawang latang Pringles. 'Mommy Pringles o', sabi ng bata. Sagot ng nanay sa tindera, 'O isama mo na yan'!

Putres talaga! Di man lang masabi ng nanay sa anak niyan - o anak, generic na lang, yung Jack ang Jill na lang. Kelangan talaga Pringles ang lumapat sa dila ng anak niya. Kasi, habang hawak hawak ng bata ang Pringles, may ipagyayabang sila. Naka-pringle si bunso! Ang gamot, walang makakakita. Lalaklakin lang at itatae na ito! Pwe! Yabang lang talaga ang Pinoy!

Kung ang mga katulong ko nga eh kelangan dalawa ang celfone. Isa pang Sun Call and Text, yung isa para ewan! At dito ubos ang sueldo ng mga hitad. May pera pang load. Pagdating sa pagbili ng gamot, wala! Lecheng buhay ito talaga! Kahit lubog sa utang basta ginagamit ni Piolo ay dapat naka-Bench din na brip si kuya. Kahit na ito lang ang brip niya at binabaliktad na lamang araw araw para lang may ipagmamalaki (ewan naman kung sino sisilip diyan.) Basta sinabi ni Pacman, "you know", e iinum ng VitWater kahit na tubig lang ay puede na. Sobrang OA! Driver ko nga ayaw ng tubig na pinakulo. Dapat mineral water! Eh mahirap pa sa daga, naghahanap pa ng bongga!

Di ninyo napapansin na tuwing malapit ang petsa ng suweldo tulad ng 15 and 30 eh nakikipagpatayan si Henry Sy sa sueldo ng mga Pinoy? The great sale ika nga! At kahit na basura ang binebenta sa mga mall, eh dapat sugod mga kapatid!!!! Basta may bitbit, kahit na asin na lang ipangkain mamayang hapunan, nakapag Time Zone si bunso at nakabili ng step-in si Ate. Mayabang talaga ang Pinoy. Di marunong mamaluktot.

Kahit na anong antas sa lipunan galing, sadyang mayabang ang Pinoy. Sa pinagtratrabahuhan kong kumpanya meron kaming mga distributors na nakabaon na sa utang eh akala mo mas mayaman pa kay GMA ang asta. Astigin talaga. Dahil lubog sa utang eh di malaman kung paano kami babayaran. Binenta ang kanilang Volvo. Bumili ng Camry para mag downgrade. At tumalbog ang tseke na pambayad sa amin. Putres, eh sobrang yabang talaga ng mga yan. Pag pupuntahan na ng sheriff para ma-sequester ang mga ari-arian, babayaran ang pobreng sheriff at tatahimik na lang ang hitad. Dapat, lethal injection ang sheriff at yung distributor para ma-sampolan.

Ang problem sa ating bansa ay di tayo marunong mamaluktot kung kelangang. Daig pa ang spoiled na bata. Pag kumakain ang trabahador ay isang maliit na platitong ulam na dilis, 2 cup na kanin, toyo at patis para magkalasa, at isang latang COKE! Putres talaga ang buhay na ito. Kaysa bumili ng ulam, inuna pa ang COKE! Eh wala kang magagawa, ika nga - 'open a can of happiness'! May pang-yosi pag natapos kumain, walang pera pambili ng Biogesic. Okay lang mag-tomaan na may kasamang pulutan, ayaw naman kumain ng tama! Diyos ko! Mahabagin langit, eh kung ganito lang ang takbo ng utak ng Pinoy, eh kahit na si Pokwang mananalo sa susunod na halalan bilang senadora at magiging presidente natin uli si Erap.

Kaya huwag kayong magrereklamo kung bakit sa Le Circque kumakain si Ate Glo. Hanggang hindi nagbabago ang ihip ng hangin kung paano matuturuan ng tama ang mga mambabatas eh sunud sunuran lang ang mga mamamayan. Yabang ang iiral! Ikaw nga, "monkey see, monkey do"!

Walang masama sa magyabang. Sana lamang nasa tamang lugar. Kadalasan, eh yabang to the max lang tayo - pekeng Louis Vuitton, pekeng DVD, pekeng Bench brip, pekeng Nokia (Bokia), pekeng pakikitungo sa kapwa. Walang masamang humangad na umangat. May tama at may mali. Ang yabang, dinadaan sa pagiging mapagkumbaba muna.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Gaga and Lady Gaga




The president has a penchant for luxury. And her ministerial entourage will always try to defend the luxurious spending, whether it is people's money or it is their own. The latter is rather indistinguishable considering that you are in government and that politicians have a difficult and iffy time trying to discern which of the money in the coffers or in their pockets are theirs and which belong to the people. Of course, the majority of our government officials have very poor arithmetic background, so it's a "one for you, one million for me" rhythmic chant when counting money.

Scandalous to say the least on splurging on caviar, champagne, lobster and steak. Why not? After all, she happens to be president. But there is a limit on what you can eat. Never mind if it is out of your pocket, but if it is from the average Juan de la Cruz, whatever she's stuffing into her mouth has got to be counted not in terms of caloric intake, but in terms of the peso contribution of the average Juan. The rah-rah boys and girls should just shut the f**k up if they want to defend her. They have been incarcerated for the longest time and have no morals anyway. A calloused nation is what we are and we are either stupor dead in the expenditure extravaganza of this administration or have joined the pig stye. In Pilipino, we call that "Gaga".

We seem to be so masochistic that we do not even have the time nor energy to get involved in having the assholes kicked out of office. Never mind if we kicked out former president and movie star Erap, but to get the Pulse Asia survey that we would want him back in office is damn rightfully deserving for the Filipino crap that is suicidal in nature. We should just go ahead and hang ourselves or have ourselves castrated.

And for the house speaker to comment that Infomercials of the government branches are okay with the various agency secretaries who are planning to run in the 2010 election flashing their ugly faces on the screen is a no-brainer for NogNog. Shameful. That's all I can say. No morals, no ethics. No Laban! With the passing away of Cory Aquino, the devils have won this round and they continue to desecrate the face of the Philippines by explicitly being the sadists that government officials are.

On a lighter note though, I needed to take a break from all this political hogwash, so off to the Lady Gaga concert I went last Tuesday. It was a 1 hour show. The front act called Pedicab was pure noise. I don't know why some people in the audience went gaga over the songs they sang, but it was pure noise. The youth can call it anything they want. It was like watching a bunch of drug addicts bang on their thingies and prance around like chickens being f**ked by a really big d**k. I was telling my partner that I think they were actually security guards from the mall who were asked by the management to dress up like punk stars and just bang the instruments and nobody would care. The keyboard player in particular was dancing strangely, that I thought someone had a fist up his ass.

Then Lady Gaga came out at 915pm. The crowd went wild and rightfully so. Her songs, her antics, and yup her stage presence was worth the ticket price. She's some gutsy lady and had the balls to call a spade a spade. I gave her two thumbs up and a standing ovation the whole show. You've got to hand it to her. She carried the 10 songs well and the last song Poker Face came in two versions - acoustic and rock. Too bad it lasted just an hour and ended promptly at 1015pm.

Only two Gagas in a week? How lucky could one get? As if to it I thought that only the government had gagas, the Araneta Coliseum was another gaga. We bought DQ ice cream outside and tried to bring it into the event place. We couldn't bring the ice cream inside because there were DQ outlets inside and you needed to buy from there if you wanted to eat it in Araneta. Just goes to show you that the Araneta management deserve the last song of Lady Gaga - Poker Face! And if the owner of Araneta Coliseum was around, I would have shoved the whole DQ store up his ass.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tita Cory 1933-2009





I grew up in the Martial Law era. The mid 80s were tumultuous times in the political system of the Philippines. The dictatorial government of Marcos was ousted after the death of his political foe, Sen. Benigno (Ninoy) Aquino. His housewife, Corazon, ran for president. The rest was history.

Overcoming EDSA revolution and several coup attempts during her term, President Corazon Aquino, or as Tita Cory to many, was the icon of democracy. In spite of all the dirty politics in this country, Cory stood as the symbol of a president whose principles would not be corruptible. She was indeed, the symbol of democracy, in a country ridden of graft and corruption.

The turn of events in her life would be remembered as the woman who fought the greatest battle in the political arena of this country. On August 1, 2009, at 3:18am, Tita Cory had lost the battle to colon cancer.

In this time of mourning for the Filipino people, let us hope and pray that we do not forget the battle that Tita Cory fought for. During her lifetime, she was the pillar of democracy that helped tide the Filipinos even in their worst times.

Let her struggles not be in vain as we remember the woman who changed the face of politics, not only in this country, but the world.

Paalam...Tita Cory...