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  1. https://www.quora.com/What-can-you-say-about-poverty-in-the-Philippines What can you say about poverty in the Philippines? Howard Grant, Network Engineer at U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Updated Wed I sure can answer this and it will either get me down-voted into oblivion or banned from this group. Oh well. The truth is the truth. The Philippines suffers from what I call “corruption of the rich” at the expense of the “religious poor”, controlled by the “religious ramblings of a corrupt church”, complicit in keeping people staring at the sky for answers when they need to look inwards to finding solutions to their problems. Yes, that was a long sentence. The Philippines is a great place in many ways based on many factors. The location of the islands and the unspoiled beaches and islands are a sight to see! I was introduced to the Philippines while serving with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Force along with the US Navy Gator Fleet. We sailed on board numerous US Navy Ships whose home ports was Subic Bay Naval Base back in the 1980’’s and so this was how I was introduced to this amazing country. Sailing into the Philippines, was an eye-opening and amazing experience. I had never seen such natural beauty in my life. The water was so clear yet blue. The sky was vivid blue. Weather could come and go in and instant. One moment it was sunny and hot, and then the next moment, there was a thunderstorm and it was raining heavily. The jungles were so full of life. Thick canopies that made it seem like evening-time even though it was midday or early afternoon. The wild variety of wildlife that live in the jungle and the natural vegetation is frightening but amazing. Lizards, spiders, numerous insects, large snakes, bats, monkeys and other wildlife make it a place where your heart will beat fast because you never know what you’re going to run into. The terrain can be rugged. The dense vegetation brings a coolness when compared to outside temperatures but it can still be muggy and hot in the jungle. Regardless of where I went, I was compelled by the resourcefulness of the Filipino people. They had great attitudes, amazing smiles, they looked you in your eye when they spoke to you, they remembered your name and they were always friendly and giving. It was love at first sight for me. I saw a place where people didn’t view me as an anomaly or someone strange. Instead, it seemed as if they saw me as someone to be admired. Being a Black man in America had challenges and problems that were not always front-and-center but were lurking in the background. In the Philippines, I didn’t feel that way. I felt like I belonged, I was admired. I felt like people cared for me and that no matter what, we would always have a good time even if none of us had much money. As the years passed and I got to know the people on a much deeper basis, I wanted to know more about the abject poverty that I witnessed. For example, on Subic Bay Naval Base, it was beautiful. The grass was always mowed and neatly trimmed. The streets were clean and everything was orderly. Yet, when approaching the front gate to leave the base, before you could even reach the gate, you could smell the river that flowed under the bridge that separated the base from Olongapo City. We called it “Shit River” because the river was were all of the raw sewage was dumped. Squatters built their shanty homes all up and down the river. Bathrooms were simply holes in the floor where people would urinate and defecate directly into the river. It was not a pleasant smell and I was quite skilled at holding my breath from the time I turned the corner, got through the checkpoint and would sprint across the bridge as fast as I could so I wouldn’t have to inhale the vile odor. The sad thing about Shit River is that people would throw money to kids in boats below. They would beg for peso and it was just unimaginable to me, that these kids would be in those boats, begging for peso, and I was almost gagging. If the peso fell in the water, the kids would go in the river to get the peso. My Friendships While many will look at my post negatively, I believe in honesty. I was friends with bar-girls first. Actually, it was a combination of bar-girls and store clerks but I make no apologies for my friends and what they did for a living. I know that some people look down on bar-girls but at 18–20 years of age, I was interested in having a good time in a place where I felt at home. The girls always took care of me and made sure that I was safe and made it back to base on time. Many people like to judge and criticize but for some girls, working in Olongapo or Angeles City was their only option to make money for their families. They came from far-away provinces and barangays so they could care for their parents and extended family. Why in the world would I criticize and judge girls that were my age for wanting to take care of their families? For me, life wasn’t all about beer, sex, crazy clubs or wild parties. I toured & traveled the country. I saw many historical sites. I got to ride on local vehicles from the Victory Liner, jeepneys, trikes, pedicabs, to even riding donkeys! I got to see caribou being used in farming. I got to visit Baguio and also the Banaue Rice Terraces. I rode motorcycles, played basketball and was taken to fiesta with my friends. For most people who never travel far from their home-towns, my friends took me to so many places and I got to experience life! I was able to expand my world to include people from different backgrounds. Why would I accept ridicule about what those girls did for a living when they were just regular people to me? I know many of my own countrymen in the US who would send their parents or grandparents to a nursing home or old peoples home and forget about them if they got sick. I know people who didn’t feel like raising their children so they put them up for adoption because they used poverty as an excuse. Some of my friends had children fathered by military men and tourists that had abandoned them but yet they cared for the children. Yes, some of the kids were given up for adoption. Yes, some of them were victims of racism because they were mixed but they were good kids. I saw, and treated, all of my friends exactly how I wanted to be treated. They were human beings with feelings and emotions. We laughed, cried and shared many experiences and emotions together. Some happy, some sad. Sometimes we argued but which group of friends have never had an argument or disagreement? I formed life-long friendships with those girls and make absolutely no excuses, or apologies, for my friendships. Advantages I would walk up Magsaysay Drive and buy souvenirs and things from the different stores. Back in those days, we had 110 size film & 35mm cameras and would turn in our rolls of film to be developed. Do you remember those cameras? I loved them! The developing machines would be in the window so Marines and Sailors would sit and watch as our pictures were processed. I got to know the girls that worked in the stores and shops. They would tell me where to go and if someone was a good person or if I should stay away from some people. It was funny because they would never directly come out and say “Stay away from that person!” They would just give you a look, a raised eyebrow maybe or a smirk on their lips and you would instantly know to stay away from someone or certain places. . As we talked and got to know each other, I recognized the advantage that I had, even as a Black American, over the average Filipino. I had pretty much the same level of education, and oftentimes less education than they did, but the US military provided an opportunity for me to leave my background of poverty and to get a career because of the size of the US military and its commitments around the world. They had no such option. Initial Discovery of Problems I learned that the Philippines suffered from corruption very quickly after I arrived. The small shops were taxed heavily and there was no evidence of where the money was going or what it was being used for. While Olongapo was a relatively clean city due to the US presence, there were several areas of abject poverty. The girls that I hung with were poor and lived in places that would never pass for shanties in other foreign countries. It was so sad to see. There was either outdoor plumbing or no plumbing at all. Sometimes, raw sewage would ran out into canals behind the house. There were also places with no running water and all water was supplied by a bucket or water pail. While the people paid their taxes, the governor, mayor and other city officials drove around like they were Kings, surveying their territory. They had bodyguards, big vehicles and plenty of flashy things but the every-day, average people got nothing. All they could do was work extraordinarily long hours and then try to get some rest before doing it all over again the next day. Buildings were constructed shoddily and haphazardly. There were many places that burned to the ground due to improper electrical work and if there was a typhoon, there would be damage due to flooding, landslides, rock slides, and other natural disasters that the government was always unprepared for. Shoddy construction, contractors using illegal cement standards to the point that a building would collapse under its own weight. If a person needed construction, they would need to hire an independent agent to manage and supervise the construction so that corners weren’t cut and substandard replacements put in, instead of the actual quality items that a builder or architect may have ordered. Everything was built to the standard of “cheapest cost for builder, highest profit for the contractor”. Drug Abuse I want to touch on drug abuse. While I didn’t know anything about drug use back in the 80’s, over the years I learned about how the Chinese and others had began peddling the dangerous products in PI. President Duterte has come under fire for the way he’s handled the drug problem. I never knew how rampant the drug problem was until he took office and began his war on drugs. I do not believe that it’s a war that he’ll ever be able to win. Let’s deal with facts. No excuses here. The poor take drugs to ease their pain. The sale of drugs is what desperate people do in order to try to make money simply to survive. The problem is that everybody wants to be a distributor and the person who actually sells the drugs is the one at the highest amount of risk. That person faces pressure from the police, pressure from the distributor, pressure from the customer and pressure from vigilantes who want to rid the streets of drugs and drug pushers. This makes for a toxic combination where people put little value on the lives of those who either have a drug problem, sell drugs or distributes them. Drug addicts are seen as having meaningless lives and people will kill them before giving them a chance to seek treatment. Yes, it’s true that some drug addicts bring a criminal element to society. They engage in petty theft, litter, and can be a nuisance. But do they deserve to die? I thought life was precious? I thought there was supposed to be a “sanctity of life.” Am I wrong? Killing addicts won’t solve the problem. I equate a person with a drug problem the same as a person with cancer. They are sick. They are ill. They are dependent on a substance to survive. Doctors don’t kill cancer patients. If a person is diagnosed with cancer, the doctor doesn’t pull out a gun and shoots them in the head. No, the doctor attempts to treat the cancer. The same should happen to those who are addicted to drugs. Give them a chance at rehabilitation. As for the drug dealers, they play a crucial and deadly role in this triangle of danger and murder. Ridding the world of dealers will not solve the problem. IN order to beat any war on drugs, the people must stop having a desire for drugs. Stop the demand for drugs and the sale of drugs will stop. This is a supply-demand situation at the very heart. Stop the DEMAND and the SUPPLY will dry up. I have no problems with drug dealers being locked up in prison. But that leads to another issue that the country faces that must be addressed. Is incarceration the answer? Incarceration in the Philippines is an international joke but also an international tragedy. Most jails and prisons are very poorly constructed. In some facilities, inmates roam freely around these mini cities, going from place to place within the compound, doing their tasks, working, making money, having conjugal visits, selling drugs, and doing all sorts of shady things from within the compound walls. In these types of jails, the only real punishment is that the inmates are not at home. They have food, alcohol, games and everything made available to them. It seems that some people would rather be in jail where they are much safer and not at risk. There is little rehabilitation and the inmates come out and have the same prospects as inmates in the US. No education, no real skills, no strong family background to go to and the streets are waiting for them to fall right back into the same trap. Then, there are some prisons that are overcrowded and understaffed. The actual prisoners run the prison. the few guards that are there know that if there ever was a revolt, their chances of survival or beating a revolt would be very slim. In the facilities that are overcrowded, it’s a human travesty. The conditions are deplorable and subhuman. I wouldn’t allow my animals to live in these conditions so why would we treat humans in such a manner? They will only be angry and vindictive upon release. People get locked away for years and years, with no trial date. No court date. No lawyer. No justice. How can this be? In a country that claims to value human life and human dignity, how can they treat people in such a manner? Because of the way they treat people, the gangs will always be there, waiting for the inmates to return. Drug syndicates don’t get put on hold when someone is arrested or incarcerated. They continue to operate. So, stay away from drugs! It’s simply not worth it! Corruption In the Police Ranks Police turn their heads or are involved in the drug trade. Not all police officers are bad. I would hope that most of them are good. I’ve seen some amazing officers in Baguio but I’ve also seen some corrupt officers in Manila. The war on drugs, crime and poverty will never be won if there is corruption within Law Enforcement. These men and women, are the backbone of a society that is supposed to be law-abiding and responsible. We, as human beings, are responsible to, and for, each other as we go through this thing we call “life.” Laws are enacted to protect the public at large. Not everyone follows the laws so that’s why the Law Enforcers are there. They do this job for a reason. However, in order to fix many of the problems in the country, corrupt officers must be removed from their positions. The corruption isn’t limited to drug offenses. It’s all around, on many different levels. Let’s talk about traffic & police corruption. If you have a traffic offense, you don’t go to court. You open your wallet, right there in public, and you offer the police cash. As a foreigner, your fee will be much higher than the fees for a Filipino citizen. So for example, if you are accused of running a red light or making an illegal stop, that will probably cost you $25-$40. So, if the average Filipino makes $3 per day but here is a police officer pulling in let’s say $50-$75 per day, that is really good money. Do you really know how to drive? Shifting away from drugs, prisons, police and corruption, let’s talk about driving. Do you need a drivers license? Buy one! There’s no need to actually know the rules of the road! You have no need to actually know how to drive! Just pay off the Land and Transportation Office (LTO) person and you have a license! Get that license and you can figure out how to drive later! It’s easy, right? Filipino’s are some of the worst drivers on the planet! Sorry for that comment. I love you all but some of you are horrible drivers! Do you have an overloaded truck, with bald tires, no lights, brakes that barely work, leaks oil all over the place? No problem! Take that truck out on the main roads, drive in the left-hand passing lane at a entire 20KPH and let traffic pile up behind you. Do the same thing if you have a scooter, or a pedi-bike with a sidecar. Do you need to make a right hand turn from the far left lane? Go for it! Just turn right in front of everyone else, stopping traffic, causing people to have to go around you and causing traffic jams. Just close your eyes and press on the gas as hard as you can! It’s not your problem if you run over some people! They should have known you were coming! If you’re on your pedi-bike, or motorcycle tricycle, just clog up traffic by riding along right there in the main road, pedaling, chatting, waving at your friends, updating Twitter or Facebook as you go along slowly and traffic behind you is piled up. Great job! Can people really blame you because you don’t really know how to drive? Your Uncle, Kuya or Father taught you to drive by having you sit in their raggedy car and turn the steering wheel. Or you learned by watching the Jeepney driver as he drove his route. How can we fix the problems? In order to fix the problem, the LTO, and police needs to start checking for valid licenses! It’s time to impound cars, motorcycles and trucks and lock up illegal drivers! You will only have to arrest a few people before the news spreads and suddenly people will stop driving and go to get real drivers licenses. When you have corrupt leadership, corrupt law enforcement and government offices, the people ultimately suffer. Taking a shortcut isn’t always the best way. It’s like cheating on an exam because you don’t know the correct answer. If you cheat, you may pass the exam but do you really know the material? What kind of grasp do you have on the information? The Church; Family, Marriage, Children & Divorce So there’s corruption in government, corruption in business and then lastly, I’ll talk about corruption in the church. We don’t hear of the child rape issues in the Philippines like we do with other countries. Here in the Philippines, priests just have their secret girlfriends and “special friends” who they go to in order to satisfy their sexual needs. People know. It’s an open secret in many places. Yes, I would rather have a priest with a secret girlfriend, lover, or even a secret family than a priest that is molesting children! The church is antiquated but plays a critical role in the Filipino life. Filipino’s are devout Catholics. They will attend mass as often as they can but most go at least a minimum of once per week. They may not stay for the entire mass but they go throughout the day and are always looking to the church, the priests, nuns, and leadership, to tell them what to do. The church is an integral part of the society. It forms the basis for a lot of the hospitality, congeniality, friendliness, and work ethic for many Filipino’s. The church teaches, or encourages, the people to work hard and to be diligent. The church gives them hope. Where I find fault with the church is their antiquated beliefs, especially when it comes to birth control which is discouraged and preached against by the church. As a result, you have people in poverty, who can barely feed themselves, having babies. Lots of babies. It’s not uncommon to see a mother who has had 5 or more kids. I know of several families with more than 15 kids. They’re all destitute. The kids work as soon as they can (5 years old or even younger) to beg and work to provide a few peso for their families. It’s terrible. What compounds the problem is that children are oftentimes born ill and then are malnourished or undernourished. The parents, already poor and saddled with children they can’t care for, have to focus their energies on those children that are able to contribute by begging or working. The parents/families have no insurance and as a result, the infant mortality rate is high. In a world where the strong survive, for a country that claims to be “pro-life”, there are thousands of children dying because their parents can’t care for them. The church is against divorce and it’s against the law to divorce in the Philippines. So you have people that are married, who haven’t lived together in 30 years, who are with other partners, and they let their children grow up in a single parent environment. The Mother can barely provide and the Father is long gone. Filipino men seem to love having “one woman on the side.” It is absolutely not all men, but many men do have lovers. They have the so-called “side chick.” And if that side chick gets pregnant, then there are now more problems. How does a man provide for a child when he can barely feed himself? The people work hard but when the average salary for the poor is approximately $3 per day, there’s no way that you can provide quality of life for your children. Children go to school hungry and the schools are not the place for kids to go to get a meal. How does a child study when their stomachs are growling? The Church & Contraceptives The church must change its position on birth control and contraceptives. The insane and ridiculous belief that sex is only for reproduction is primitive and counterproductive. People need love. People need human interaction. The physical touch of another human being is crucial and critical in the survival of our species. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sex or sexual intimacy. Whatever your opinion is on when a person should have sex is irrelevant to this discussion. What’s important is that we don’t introduce unwanted babies into the world. I really don’t care about your religious views. Babies are created when a male sperm meets a female egg. Period. If people are being intimate sexually, then that’s their business. They should have the opportunity to prevent unwanted pregnancy and unwanted babies by using contraceptives and birth control. There are so many Filipino men that have absolutely no idea what a condom is or how to use one! That’s absurd! Guys! If you’re going to have sex, put a raincoat on your package! This is protection all around. For you, for her and if you’re going to “have a side chick” then you’re protecting each other as well. Use contraceptives! Protect yourselves! It’s irrelevant if you “believe” in premarital sex or sex outside of marriage. It’s really none of your business, quite frankly. Just be in support of people preventing diseases and unwanted pregnancies. Education The Department of Education (DepEd) is supposed to educate the children of the Philippines. Instead, I see it as an international joke and abuse of the Filipino people’s hard earned tax money. Department heads, school principals and people in leadership spend more time in conferences than anywhere else. It is not unusual for teachers, principals, school heads and administrators to have 6–10 conferences, per school year! What for? Why are they wasting the people’s money that way? Conferences cost money. With the typical conference being a minimum of 3–4 days, with the average being 5-days, DepEd is paying for hotels or resorts, meals, transportation and the associated conference costs. Guest speakers, workshops, project materials and the training materials also cost money. It doesn’t matter if there are corporations helping to fund some of these conferences! At the end of the day, the Filipino tax payer is being burdened with these school conferences that are absolutely not necessary! Children sometimes travel for hours to get to school. They go through horrible traffic conditions, cross rivers in rubber inner tubes, walk up muddy trails and then are expected to learn, even though they’re exhausted. While this may be fun, if you’re not sleeping well or eating well, do you think you’ll be happy going to school like this? She is so cute but is this the best that the Filipino people can do for their children? The children are the heart of every country. Cute children grow up to be angry adults. Is this the best that the Philippines can do? I don’t understand how these schools are oftentimes falling down, have major problems and barely enough money to keep the facilities operating properly, but DepEd has money to send people, who usually make the highest salaries in the department, to training classes and conferences in cities all around the country. That is ridiculous! Stop wasting the people’s money! Computer Labs are given substandard computers and systems, usually built in China by companies with a reputation for poor quality products, and then put out to the students. With barely any money for Internet budget, it’s not a strange thing for schools to have 100 computers but no Internet access. How can you teach kids about modern technology and the Internet, yet have no Internet access at the school? How can schools limit Computer Lab activity for schools of 1600+ students to 2 hours per week, if at all? Many of the Computer Labs are for display only. As this is my area of expertise, I was shocked to see the level of knowledge that existed when it came to Information Systems. Most “system administrators” would barely pass at basic computer repairs if placed in a more advanced workplace. People Cause Problems The last thing to touch on is the mindset of the Filipino people. People complain about crime, they complain about their salary, complain about their lives but they are happy people. The problem I see is that many Filipino’s UNWITTINGLY contribute to their own failures. Their poverty is based on their willingness to take shortcuts or not do things right. If you throw trash in the streets, in the rivers, in the sewers and not in the proper receptacles, they should not be surprised by the inevitable backlash that will happen. So as we said before, you have corrupt government officials. So are the sewage systems constructed properly or do they have the proper drainage? Probably not. Now, clog those sewers with garbage from Filipino’s throwing their trash out of the car window, off the back of their bikes, out the back of a Jeepney and where does that trash go? So now, you have sewers that are clogged, rivers that are clogged, roadways full of trash in a country where typhoons and heavy rain are part of life. If you throw trash out into the streets, do you know what happens? This is what happens. And this. And even this. So when your entire place floods and you lose your house because it washes away due to shoddy construction practices, then who is really to blame? Shortcuts used by the contractors, government officials and cheap building materials always invites disaster. How to fix? This will be a monumental task. It won’t be easy. Salaries Eradicate corrupt government officials. Raise the minimum wage to a level of basic human decency. Filipino’s should make a minimum of P1000 per day, which is slightly less than $20. That would raise the standard of living tremendously and while the price of goods and services would increase, the need for corruption would certainly diminish. The people will always struggle to survive if they can’t make a basic decent wage. There are no surprises here! Pay the people a decent salary! Corporations are getting rich from the labor of the people, who are exhausted! Education Fix the school system. Stop wasting money on Conferences, Meetings, and Trade Shows for the DepEd leadership, School Heads, Principals, and other personnel that DepEd considers to be important. Reduce the number of managers needed. Streamline the process for School Heads to receive funding to run their schools as well as make appropriate repairs, when needed. Pay the teachers a decent salary! There are teachers with Masters Degrees that don’t make $500 US a month. That’s horrible. Fix the broken pay system! Enough with these stupid conferences. Once or twice a year is fine. Four, five, six or more conferences per year is absurd! Knock it off! Drug Abuse Prevention Continue the crackdown on drugs but open Drug Treatment Centers. Don’t just arrest drug addicts; treat them! Help them overcome their dependence on drugs. If you pay people a decent salary, not as many of them will turn to drugs. Let’s be honest. There will always be people who abuse drugs. But there will also be people who won’t see a need for drugs because their lives will have meaning. They won’t be destitute and use drugs as a way not to feel hungry or have to deal with their poverty. Police/Law Enforcement Fix the police! It’s time to retrain officers. Most officers are physically fit but are they mentally competent? Are they dedicated to their jobs? Do they care about their communities and the people they serve or do they only do the job so that they can collect a salary? Refine the laws. Make laws clear and understandable. Don’t enforce laws on the poor but allow the rich to go by. Be fair. Justice does not care how much money you have! Justice cares about truth. Fire all officers who have taken bribes. They can’t be trusted. If you are willing to break the law for a few peso then what is your limit? What amount of money is too much to take for an activity? Those who take bribes betray the history, traditions, culture, morality and the integrity of the Filipino people. Accepting bribes paints innocent people as being greedy and it’s unfair to judge the many by the actions of a few. Land Transportation Office Fix the LTO! Stop giving away licenses. Make people actually go out and prove they can drive. Getting in a car, putting on your seat-belt, shifting the gear selector lever into “Reverse”, then into “Drive” and then immediately into “Park” without moving one centimeter, is not a way to administer a driving test! Make sure the person knows how to actually drive. Make them drive onto the city streets and into traffic. See if they know how to use a turn signal. Do they know how to use mirrors? Do they know what a stop sign is for? How about a stop light? Do they know what a red light means? This will reduce vehicular homicides, accidents, and reduce congestion. Enforce the traffic laws! Fine people for operating illegal vehicles. Ban trikes from the highways and major roads. Do away with the habal-habal! There’s no reason 6 (or more) people should be on a motorcycle! If a parent is on a bike with an infant, with no helmet, and the kid is dangling off the mothers lap, then fine everybody, confiscate their license and impound their motorcycle! That will stop these crazy accidents where babies die from accidents. Yes, I know that impounding a families vehicle is very harsh, especially for the poor, but we have to be more intelligent than what has been going on! How many children have to die from these accidents? This is a picture of a habal-habal in the province. Do you think that’s safe? What could possibly go wrong? Oh! This looks so safe! I was trying to count the helmets in the picture above…maybe I’m blind, but I don’t see any helmets! Other Issues The Philippines has plenty of flaws. I’ve touched on many but there are more. The Muslim-Christian conflict, particularly in Mindanao, Philippine New People’s Army (NPA), and the incursion of China into Philippine territory. The People’s Republic of China is seeking to dominate Asia, Africa and the world. They are doing so by attacking the thing that humans love; money. China waves pesos and dollars and suddenly Filipino’s, Americans, and other countries lose their minds and puts everything they own up for sale. Giving in to China weakens countries. Owing large debts to China is of no benefit to any country. Africa is being invaded by China. So are many other territories in Asia. Move cautiously. Be well aware of what China is trying to to become the lone superpower in the Asian theater so that they can dominate both from an economic and military standpoint. There should be no room for bullies in Asia. Overseas Foreign Workers Students need to be taught how to fix their country. The students of today are the future of the Philippines. The country needs attorneys, doctors, teachers/educators, engineers, technicians, and specialists that are motivated young people who will not bow to corruption. The country needs strong, independent, caring, wise, cautious but optimistic leaders who will not bow to the whims of the church but will use honest and prudent judgement for what will work best for the country. It’s too bad that the students spend more time dancing, holding fashion shows, and participating in fiesta’s than actually being in the classroom and learning skills that will help them through life. Every day, it seems like there are students practicing for some parade, some fiesta or some event that will cost their families money that they can’t really afford and takes away from the overall education of the student. Yes! The parades and the fiestas are amazing! Yes, the students work hard! They practice long hours and they look beautiful in their uniforms, dresses, gowns and all the pageantry. I get that it’s beautiful to watch. But, I don’t care how well you can dance! Neither does the rest of the world! That is a fact! Filipino boys and girls are some really awesome dancers but what kind of job is that dancing and parading around in a beautiful gown going to actually get you? Students can do all the pageantry and parade things when school is on break. Do it then. But when there is school in session, those things need to be given a lower priority. Learning life skills such as reading, writing, math, woodworking, sewing, auto mechanic repair, sciences, plumbing, electrical and other real life skills are what students need to be concentrating on. Not looking pretty in flashy clothes! Movie Stars, Athletes & The Rich The country needs visionary leaders who will break the cycle of admiration for movie stars and the rich athletes as if their wealth will magically transform the Philippines. The rich movie stars and actors care about themselves and their immediate families only! They may love their fans but you won’t see those stars paying for housing, clothing, food, or medication for their fans! Stop idolizing those who have money! The Philippines exports more talent than any other country. Students get an education, find an agency and then fly away. Unfortunately, they oftentimes are abused at the hands of their employers. The Joanna Demafelis Story I had heard of many stories of Filipino’s being abused while working overseas but one tragedy struck me incredibly hard and that was regarding Joanna Demafelis, who was a maid for a family in Kuwait. I will state that I am typically a person who has felt conflicted regarding the Death Penalty. I think that it’s oftentimes abused and that innocent people do end up being put to death. But in this case, Ms Demafelis was working for a Kuwaiti husband and wife. They abused her repeatedly and eventually killed her. What broke my heart was the fact that those Kuwaiti savages, who are not worthy of being referred to as human beings, stuffed that girl in a freezer and then left. She was not found for more than a year. Who in the world would do such a savage and cowardly thing? What kind of mentally deranged animal would stoop to such levels as to do this to another human being? Surely they’re not human and so they were able to justify treating Ms Demafelis in such a way. It hurt my heart to see someone treated this way. I hold no kind emotion towards those vile and repugnant animals who murdered her. I never knew her but she was a human being. You don’t do those things to people! The savages, who I will not name, have been sentenced to death. In my opinion, death is too kind and would be a gift for them. Death would be too easy. Too convenient. If it were up to me, I would exact great pain on them. They should be forced to work in some of the worst conditions that many of these countries force Filipino workers to work in. Make them pour concrete. Force them to work 20 hours per day, 7 days per week. No days off. No medical care. No breaks. I would work them to death. The entire time they were working, I would force them to look at a picture of Ms Demafelis’ lifeless body and how they murdered an innocent woman. I don’t care if they go insane. That’s not my problem and it’s not your problem either. Let them suffer for what they did to her. Yes, this is harsh. Yes, this is cruel. Yes, you can call me “mean-spirited” but that girl deserved no such death by those evil people. Death sentences in Kuwait for maid murder I mention the things that I have because it’s more than one case. There are many! Filipino domestic worker bleeds to death in Dubai Beaten, trapped, abused and underpaid – migrant domestic workers in the UAE Abused OFW escapes employer in Dubai Stop Supporting Billionaires - You’ll Never Be One! In order to help the world appreciate the contributions of the Filipino people, more young Filipino’s need to stay home. Work for your country. Stop going abroad to be abused at the hands of foreigners. You will never be a billionaire working for those rich people. Start your own businesses. Maybe start your own labor unions. Organize and make these countries pay better wages. Large corporations want, and need, your work and labor but don’t want to pay you part of their record profits. There are billions of dollars going to a small number of people, while the average Filipino worker that is working outside of the country, receives a small salary that isn’t fair for the amount of work that they’re doing. That’s not fair! Make them pay better wages! They are getting richer and richer from your efforts while you are working so that your body will wear out and you can say “I had a good job.” Congratulations! You worked yourself to death and what do you have to show for it? You’ll have little to nothing! The People Make The Country I don’t have all the answers. Many will disagree with things I’ve said but I am only thinking out loud. One thing for certain however, is that we need to get people to stop relying on others and begin to look inwards about their future. Even though I have listed many flaws, I must be fair and say that the Philippines is an amazing place. I’ve been all over the world. I’ve been to most places in the Caribbean, having lived In Jamaica until I was 6-years old, I’ve been to every state in the US except for Montana and Idaho. I’ve lived in Japan. I’ve been to Korea, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia and Singapore. I’ve been to many places in Canada. I’ve been to the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany. I’ve been to Tinian, Saipan, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands and have also lived in the Marshall Islands. I’ve been to some places that I can’t mention due to military security. However, in all of the places that I’ve visited and lived, there has been no place like the Philippines. Regardless of the problems, the people are the heart of any country. In the Philippines, while they have their own way of surviving, you won’t meet kinder people anywhere. They are truly amazing people. For all of the negative things about the country that the average Filipino can’t do anything about, you will find a resilient people. They find ways to get things done. For every one Filipino that will swindle you blind, there are 999 good Filipino’s that will go out of their way to help you. They work extremely long and hard hours. They will do jobs that many people won’t like or want to do. They are a determined people. They’re loyal. They love their families and they love to sing. While some of them really need to work on their vocal “skills”, it’s always fun to listen to a group of Filipina girls trying to sing the latest songs and they may, or may not be, on key or in tune! They are a happy people regardless of the problems they face. Filipino’s may never top the worlds list of “most wealthiest people” but they have things that that money simply can’t buy. They are warm, passionate, loving, giving, caring, honest, dependable, and usually forgiving. If I had one criticism of the Filipino people, it is that they are not as forgiving to each other as they are to foreigners. A Filipino will forgive a foreigner for a major betrayal with a mere apology but that same Filipino will hold a grudge against their own countrymen for some small or even insignificant disagreement. Love more than your family. Love everyone equally. Forgive. Don’t hold grudges. This is advice that even I can use. I do hold grudges but I’m working on stopping that negative trait. It’s not all Filipino’s that hold grudges. Many do, some don’t. My Love I love the Philippines. People ask me all the time why I love the Philippines and it’s hard for me to put into words. Imagine that! A guy like me that can write all day and describe so many things but when it comes to describing my love for this country, I get emotional and just say “the people are the best people in the world.” They truly are. Now, let’s put things in perspective! Of course there’s the 10% of the population that won’t be always so nice but I’ll take the 90% awesome people any day of the week. The country has treated me well. The locals treat me as one of their own. I reiterate; I love the people of this country. I don’t know how else to say it. I don’t worry about my safety. I’m comfortable there and you will be too. Stay away from vices and questionable activities and you’ll have no problems. The Philippines isn’t the only country with poverty and it won’t be the last. The problems won’t disappear overnight. But with the right attitudes and leadership, poverty can be a thing of the past. I hope for the day when poverty will be eradicated from the Philippines.
  2. (Philstar.com) - November 22, 2019 - 9:38am MANILA, Philippines (Update 1 9:48 a.m.) — A Philippine Airlines flight on its way to Manila made an emergency landing at the Los Angeles International Airport after experiencing a technical problem. user Geri Camahort Lamata posted a video of the plane spewing flames, describing the incident as the "scariest 5 minutes of our lives." The video was taken by another passenger sitting next to the plane's wing. Lamata told Philstar.com that she heard a couple of loud bangs as soon as the plane took off. "[A]t first I thought it was just the tires then it continued so I thought maybe it was something to do with the luggage or something but then it went on, and the plane jolted with every loud bang," she said. She said she knew something was wrong the moment a flight attendant ran to the front to talk to the purser. "It (loud bangs) stopped shortly after and the pilots right away announced that we had engine problems but that everything was under control and then they landed the plane safely." A Twitter user also a posted a video of the plane after taking off from the airport. PAL confirmed that it was flight PR113 that experienced a technical problem in one of its engines shortly after taking off from LAX. The aircraft carrier assured the public that all of the 342 passengers and 18 crew members are safe after making an emergency landing. "Captain Tristan Simeon and the flight crew elected to turn back to the airport and make a precautionary emergency landing," PAL said in a statement. The plane that experienced a mechanical problem was a Boeing 777 aircraft with registry number RP-C7775, according to PAL. — Patricia Lourdes Viray L ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTPHILIPPINE AI
  3. https://coconuts.co/bangkok/news/dual-pricing-foreigners-legal-thai-public-hospitals/ Dual-pricing isn’t just for national parks, museums and amusement parks anymore. Thai public hospitals can now legally charge foreign nationals higher rates for services under new regulations published Friday. More than dual-pricing, the new regs set four tiers of rates that can be charged based on a patient’s visa status. Treatment costs are set at four levels: Thai nationals, foreigners from neighboring countries and working foreigners on non-immigrant visas. The fourth group consists of tourists and retirees.While foreigners from other ASEAN nations appear to pay the same rates as Thai patients, they increase significantly for the third group – which includes most expats – while retirees and tourists really get the shaftFor example, a simple antibody screening costs Thais and ASEAN residents THB130. Most expats will pay THB190 while retirees and tourists pay double – THB260. Want an HIV test? The THB160 charged to Thais and ASEAN nationals goes up to THB240 for working expats and THB320 for retirees/tourists. Thailand’s medical tourism brought in an estimated THB18.4 billion baht ($US600 million) in 2018, but most seek treatment at private hospitals. On the higher end, a spinal MRI that costs Thais and their neighbors THB18,700 jumps up to THB23,375 for working expats and THB28,050 for retirees/tourists. The new rates come into effect Sept. 29. The new rules essentially make it legal for public hospitals to charge more of foreign nationals, something that has been a source of complaints over the years when it happened illicitly. Late last year, media reports said the health department and Hua Hin Hospital would refund over THB20,000 (US$650) to a Dutch man following years of complaints he’d been made to pay hundreds of baht in extra charges every time he traveled from Prachuab Khiri Khan for cancer treatments. It was unclear whether Erwin Buse ever received the compensation.
  4. Stealthing, the Non-Consensual Act of Removing Condom During Sex, Could Land You in Jail in the Philippines. The dangerous sexual trend of stealthing-- a man removing the condom during sexual intercourse after agreeing to put it on, could soon be a criminal offence in the Phillippines. A House Bill 3957 or Anti-Stealthing Law was filed in the House of Representatives by AKO BICOL Party-List Reps Alfredo Garbin and Elizaldy Co in the month of August. If the bill is passed into law, then stealthing can become a punishable form of sexual assault The act of removing a condom during sex can result in dangerous consequences, leaving the person to a risk of pregnancy or STDs. The bill was filed in the House of Representatives and the solons said, they want to prevent the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases (STD), as well as unwanted pregnancies. "A violation of this conditional consent is not rightfully considered a form of sexual assault," the bill reads. The man will be penalized if he agreed to put on a condom first and thus lead to consensual sex. But during the sexual activity, if the condom is not used or removed without the consent of the partner, it can account to sexual assault. In a case of tampering the contraceptive even before the sexual activity, the person will still face charges. "With this bill, even children, teenagers, and seniors of any gender who are victims of sexual assault through stealthing may bring their offenders to face the police, prosecutors, and judges," the Minority Bloc congressman told in a report. Those who indulge in acts of stealthing will be sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined P100,000 to P500,000. In a case of passing on an STD or impregnating the woman, a man will be sentenced to 20 years and fined P200,000 to P700,000. And those who purposely commit the act with the intention of getting their partner pregnant will face stricter punishments. They could land a maximum of 40 years in jail and fined about P1 million to P5 million. In a case of forcing the partner to have sex after removing the condom, the partner stealthing will be held liable to rape and sexual assault. Apart from the Anti-Stealthing Law, it would be counted as a separate crime. While the Phillipines will soon have an Anti-stealthing law, there are several countries where the dangerous sexual trend is already illegal. It is illegal in the UK, with consent being an important factor in the sex act. In the year 2017, A Swiss court also convicted a man for rape for an act of stealthing. In 2018, a first of its kind case of stealthing was prosecuted in Germany. https://ph.yahoo.com/news/stealthing-non-consensual-act-removing-112544275.html
  5. The Chong Hua Hospital Employees Union-Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, which has 900 members, has asked for a P60 daily wage increase but the management did not have an offer. File If demand is not met:Hospital workers poised for strike as last resort CEBU, Philippines — Rank and file employees of Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu City are ready to go on strike if the hospital management will not meet their demand for a salary increase. The Chong Hua Hospital Employees Union-Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, which has 900 members, has asked for a P60 daily wage increase but the management did not have an offer. As negotiations progressed, the union lowered the amount to P20 per day but the hospital management offered only P15 per day, which resulted in a deadlock in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). "But what enraged the workers is that ang workers sa Chong Hua Mandaue, which is mga about 200 to 300 na sila, ang hatagan og P50 per day nga increase. Wala sila nangayo og increase pero sila ang hatagan og increase. We heard it is due for implementation," said Atty. Nora Analyn Demetrio-Diego, Regional Vice President for Central Visayas of ALU-TUCP. Because of the CBA deadlock, the union filed a notice of strike and conducted a strike vote the other day at the hospital premises. The strike vote was facilitated by National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB)-7. Diego said of the 900 union members, 842 cast their votes. Of this number, 826 union members voted "yes to strike" while 13 union members voted no. Three others abstained. Mediation is set for Tuesday, August 27. “But strike is our last option. We will exhaust all the possibilities and remedies kay kami mismo, dili gyud mi gusto nga mag-strike. Pero kung ang management gahi gyud sila, the workers have no other recourse but to go on a strike," Diego said. Chong Hua’s legal counsel, Atty. Nolie Espina, told The Freeman negotiations with the union are ongoing https://www.philstar.com/the-freeman/cebu-news/2019/08/25/1946137/if-demand-not-methospital-workers-poised-strike-last-resort
  6. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1157867/ph-3rd-highest-in-number-of-measles-cases-who Patients crowd the pediatric ward of the San Lazaro Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila on Thursday, February 7, 2019 following an outbreak of measles in the National Capital Region (NCR) and in Central Luzon. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE MANILA, Philippines — Fake news about vaccines, along with the Dengvaxia controversy, has taken a heavy toll on babies and toddlers in the country as measles cases have tripled and the number of deaths from the preventable disease has quadrupled over the past seven months, according to health authorities. Records from the Department of Health (DOH) showed that some 80 percent of the deaths due to measles in the Philippines in the first half of the year were children aged 1 to 4 and infants below 9 months.Among the regions, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon provinces) had the highest incidence as of July 13 with 7,213 cases, or a 1,000-percent increase from just 632 cases in the same period last year. It also recorded the biggest number of fatalities — 123, or an increase of close to 2,000 percent from just six in 2018. Other regions that reported high incidence of measles were Metro Manila (6,969 cases and 114 deaths), Central Luzon (6,350 cases and 115 deaths), Western Visayas (2,379 cases and eight deaths) and Northern Mindanao (2,118 cases and 16 deaths). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Philippines ranked third worldwide with the highest incidence of measles over a 12-month period up to June this year with 45,847 cases. Madagascar was first with more than 150,000 cases and Ukraine, second with more than 84,300 cases. Low vaccination coverage In just the first half of the year, the WHO noted that the reported cases worldwide were the “highest” since 2006, “straining health care systems and leading to serious illness, disability and deaths.” “Major outbreaks are ongoing in Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Sudan, Sudan and Thailand,” it reported. The United Nations agency noted that the largest outbreaks were in countries with low coverage of measles vaccination, leaving large numbers of the population vulnerable to the disease. “When enough people who are not immune are exposed to measles, it can very quickly spread,” the WHO said. It pointed out that among the reasons for the low vaccination coverage were the “lack of access to quality health care or vaccination services, misinformation about vaccines and the low awareness about the need to vaccinate.”To prevent measles from spreading, vaccination coverage in a community should be at 95 percent, according to the WHO. Dengvaxia controversy The DOH said the country’s immunization rate dropped to just 40 percent early this year. It attributed the decline to the public’s fear of vaccines following the controversy surrounding the use of the antidengue vaccine Dengvaxia. Further complicating the matter is the stand of the Public Attorney’s Office that Dengvaxia had caused the deaths of the children who were inoculated with it, despite medical opinion to the contrary. While Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in April that the spread of measles was “under control,” he refused to lift the declaration of an outbreak to prevent the public from slipping into complacency. Nevertheless, the number of cases surged. Duque noted at the time that the goal of the health department’s supplemental immunization program was for the country to reach a 95 percent coverage rate. That effort seemed to have paid off as the Epidemiology Bureau’s latest monitoring showed that from July 7 to 13, there were only 175 recorded measles cases, a 47-percent drop from the same period last year. Overall figures, however, showed that as of July 13, measles cases this year had tripled nationwide to 39,184, including 533 deaths. In the same period last year, there were only 11,833 cases and 103 deaths. Children aged 1 to 4 and infants below 9 months were the most affected group, comprising half of all cases and 81 percent of all deaths. The WHO reminded parents to ensure that their children’s vaccinations were up-to-date and that they had received two doses, which were “needed to protect against the disease.” ‘Misinformation’ Dengvaxia maker Sanofi Pasteur has launched a web portal, Your Voice, where the public could ask questions on health and vaccines. “All this misunderstanding, misinformation, confusion. We saw the direct impact—a drop in the vaccination coverage, and as a consequence we faced a massive measles outbreak. A lot of kids were hospitalized, died from a vaccine-preventable disease,” said Jean-Antoine Zinsou, general manager of Sanofi Pasteur Philippines. “It’s very important to have this [conversation]. Because you have to convince people of the value of vaccines. And you can only convince them when you discuss with them, address their concerns the way they understand or misunderstand a situation,” he added.
  7. https://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/253631/taxi-driver-jailed-for-tearing-ct-toda-issued-citation-ticket Taxi driver Jose Cusmod was arrested on Saturday afternoon after he tore a citation ticket issued by the City of Talisay Traffic Operations Development Authority (CT-TODA). | Photo from the City of Talisay Public Information Office Facebook page CEBU CITY, Philippines – A taxi driver was arrested on Saturday afternoon after he tore the citation ticket that was issued by a Talisay City traffic enforcer for a traffic violation which he committed. Jose Cusmod, 46, is now detained at the Talisay City Police detention cell while the City of Talisay Traffic Operations Development Authority (CT-TODA) prepare for the filing of a formal complaint against him. Jonathan Tumulak, CT-TODA chief, said that Cusmod was arrested after he parked his unit on a “no stopping” area located below the flyover in Barangay Tabunok around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Cusmod, who is from Escario Street in Cebu City, was issued a citation ticket which he tore and threw on the road. The citation ticket which Cusmod tore. | Photo grabbed from the City of Talisay Public Information Office Facebook page “Napunitan ug balik sa usa ka Enforcer sa CT-TODA ang ticket ug gi-alarma hangtud nga naparahan ang taxi ug gisikop ang taxi driver,” said an advisory posted on the City of Talisay Public Information Office Facebook page. (An enforcer saw and picked up the citation ticket which Cusmod tore and reported the mater to the police which led to his arrest.) Cusmod had told CT-TODA enforcers that he has developed the habit of tearing citation tickets that are issued to him every time he is apprehended for a traffic violation in Cebu City.
  8. https://ph.yahoo.com/news/loyal-dog-dies-15-minutes-193727526.html After Stuart Hutchison died from brain cancer, his beloved French bulldog Nero passed on just 15 minutes later. Despite trying surgery and chemotherapy, Hutchison died on August 11, at age 25, after an eight-year battle with cancer.Things took a devastating turn in June, when Hutchison learned that his cancer had spread to most of his brain and to his bones and pelvis. After trying to treat the spread with minimal success, Hutchison made the choice to move into his mother’s house to enjoy his final weeks in a comfortable space with his mom as his full-time caregiver. During this time, Hutchison’s wife, Danielle, was spending time at the house to be close to her husband. On the day Hutchison died, Danielle’s father went to the home Danielle and Hutchison shared to pick up glasses for Danielle, allowing her more time to stay by her husband’s side. While he was picking up the glasses, Danielle’s father noticed that Nero appeared to be ill and decided to rush the dog to the emergency vet. Veterinarians discovered a rupture in Nero’s spine and the French bulldog died not long after arriving at the animal hospital and just minutes after his owner passed away. “Stuart died about 1:15 p.m. that day, and Nero died roughly 15 minutes later,” Fiona Conaghan, Hutchison’s mother, told Mirror. “He had three dogs, but him and Nero were like one man and his dog.” “Nero was the dog which was always with him,” she added, touching on the bond her son ad his dog shared. While losing Hutchison was expected, it was still “a shock and traumatic” when it actually happened and the added tragedy of Nero’s death has made the sad situation even more tragic. “Danielle was heartbroken to have lost both of them, but she has been so strong,” Conaghan said.
  9. https://ph.yahoo.com/news/ceo-investment-scam-found-dead-165400449.html A TOP executive of an investment firm who was wanted in Davao since June 2019 was found dead on a grassy lot in the hills of Barangay Cansomoroy, Balamban, Cebu on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. Armando Bernaldez Oppus, 34, a resident of Doña Vicenta in Davao City, was the chief executive officer of Crowd Royals Real Estate Services based in Digos City, Davao del Sur. Crowd Royals is among the 22 investment scams that the Securities and Exchange Commission has warned the public about. Oppus was shot in the head and chest and hogtied, and his face covered with boxer shorts. He was dumped at the Cebu Transcentral Highway in Sitio Buli, Barangay Cansamoroy, Balamban. He was identified from his passport that Balamban police had retrieved from a white sports utility vehicle that had been set on fire and thrown into a cliff in Barangay Sunog. Oppus and two other Crowd Royals officers, Edmon Corona Quiñones of finance and Judy Ann Delatina-Estrella of marketing, are wanted in the Davao region for large-scale estafa. Crowd Royals Real Estate Services, set up on May 22, 2019 in Digos City, Davao del Sur, promises to double its investors’ money in a short time. Its investors said the three had run off with P400 million of their money. The three could no longer be found at the Crowd Royals office or in their homes. There were no traces of them and their families in Davao. Police Major Christian Torres, Balamban Police chief, said Oppus’s body was found at 9:40 p.m. Aug. 20, Tuesday. Oppus had four gunshot wounds in the chest and head. Police recovered four empty shells of a .45 caliber pistol from the crime scene. Five kilometers from where Oppus was dumped, a burnt Isuzu MUX was found. From the vehicle, police recovered Oppus’s driver’s license, passport, receipts, damaged cellular phone, and 47 P100 bills that had burn marks. Torres said his men are checking the registration of the vehicle with number plate AEB-4462. He said he learned from the Davao police that Oppus was wanted for large-scale estafa. “We have created a press release through our Facebook page since none from his immediate family members could really identify him. In that post, we found comments stating that Oppus was one of the three wanted personnel of Crowd Royals Real Estate Services, for allegedly swindling investors and running off with P400 million,” he said. Oppus had five pending cases of estafa, Torres said. There may be other formal complaints against them, which may be filed before the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, he said. Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) Director Roderick Mariano said he has tasked a group to coordinate with the Davao City police to dig into Oppus’s background. He said that some barangay tanods stationed on the way to Mount Manunggal in Barangay Sunog, had noticed three vehicles passing by the area. They did not suspect anything unusual since Mount Manunggal is usually visited by campers, especially on holidays. Only two of the three vehicles, a white van and a black pickup, came back. The tanods could not make out the vehicle plates and there are no security cameras in the area. (WBS, GPL of SuperBalita Cebu, MPS)
  10. https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2019/8/14/dengue-fever-what-you-need-to-know.html What is Dengue fever? Dengue is a flu-like viral infection spread mainly through the bite of a female mosquito known as Aedes aegypti. While dengue is a highly infectious disease, it is not contagious - which means, the virus cannot be passed on from one person to another. But when a mosquito bites a person with dengue, the insect becomes a carrier of the virus. That infected mosquito can pass on the virus by biting another person. It can also transfer the dengue virus to its female eggs. Mosquitoes infected with dengue can carry other viruses such as yellow fever and chikungunya. A single bite can cause multiple infections. What are the symptoms of dengue? The symptoms of dengue can be easily confused with other viral infections, which can make it hard to diagnose right away. These symptoms can range from mild to moderate to severe. Patients may experience flu-like symptoms such as high fever, joint and muscle pains, and severe headaches, four to 10 days after they have been bitten by an infected mosquito. Other symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomitting, skin rash, bruising, and bleeding of the nose or gums. Other patients will suffer from more serious forms of the infection called dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome, which can cause severe bleeding, sudden drop in blood pressure and even death. How is dengue fever treated? There is no cure for dengue. But doctors will treat dengue fever symptoms by recommending the following: Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration Get plenty of rest Take paracetamol/acetaminophen to relieve fever and pain People suffering from a severe form of dengue need to be confined in a hospital for blood pressure monitoring and intravenous (IV) and electrolyte replacement to treat dehydration. In some cases, patients may need blood transfusion to replace blood loss. Patients with dengue should not take aspirin or ibuprofen, which can make bleeding more likely. Go see a doctor or a medical professional if you experience symptoms of dengue. What tests will be conducted on a person with symptoms of dengue? A blood test is the only way to confirm the diagnosis. Where is dengue found? Severe dengue can be found in more than 100 countries. Aside from the Philippines, outbreaks are found in the following countries: · Malaysia · Laos · Vietnam · Thailand · Cambodia · Sri Lanka · Bangladesh. · Brazil · Honduras · Colombia · Nicaragua · Mexico Some 40% of the world’s population or about three billion people are at risk of the disease. An estimated 100 million people are infected with the dengue virus every year. How can we help prevent dengue fever? Protecting ourselves against mosquito bites and keeping our surroundings clean are very important strategies to prevent dengue infection. - Get rid of breeding sites of mosquitoes such as standing water - Cover and clean on a regular basis water storage containers to remove mosquito eggs - Keep mosquitoes out by repairing screened doors and windows - Apply generously and regularly appropriate insect repellant - Reduce the amount of skin exposed to mosquito bites. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. Remember, infected mosquitoes are more active in the early morning and late afternoon - If you live in an area with a lot of these dangerous insects, use a mosquito net at night These steps are in line with the Department of Health’s Enhanced 4S Strategy: S – Search and destroy S – Seek early consultation S – Self protection measures S - Say YES to fogging only during outbreaks
  11. Gregg M. Rubio (The Freeman) - August 20, 2019 - 12:00am CEBU, Philippines — An elderly Korean national was issued a senior citizen’s identification card by the municipal government of Cordova and had been reportedly availing himself of the benefits that only Filipinos are allowed under the law. The Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) issued on November 22, 2018 the ID card to Jong Eun Park, 66, resident of Barangay Gabi, Cordova. The ID card was discovered when the bearer availed himself of the benefits for the elderly as provided for under the Philippine Republic Act No. 9994, otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010. Under the law, the senior citizens shall be entitled the grant of 20 percent discount and exemption from the value-added tax (VAT), if applicable, on the sale of the goods and services from all establishments, for their exclusive use and enjoyment or availment. Article 5 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. No. 9994 defines senior citizen or elderly which refers to any Filipino citizen who is a resident of the Philippines, and who is 60 years old or above. It may apply to senior citizens with "dual citizenship" status provided they prove their Filipino citizenship and have at least 6 months residency in the Philippines. Atty. Jessica Banzon-Natad, public information officer of Cordova, said she is not sure if Park has dual citizenship. “Nag-istorya mi sa OSCA. Nag-rely daw sila sa House Bill and Senate Bill extending the ID issuance to resident foreigners maong ni-issue sila sa mga Koreans with SRRV,” Natad told The Freeman. The Special Resident Retiree's Visa (SRRV) is a special non-immigrant visa for foreign nationals who would like to make the Philippines their second home or investment destination. Natad was referring to the House Bill No. 7590 in the previous Congress which sought to grant foreign nationals residing in the Philippines, who are at least 60 years of age, the same privileges given to senior citizens under the Expanded Senior Citizens Act. Natad is also the legal counsel of the Cebu Korean Association Inc. or the Cebu Hanin Hue Inc. whose president is Bong Hwan Cho, also known as Charlie Cho. Cho is the husband of incumbent Cordova Mayor Mary Therese Sitoy-Cho.
  12. https://filipiknow.net/interesting-facts-about-cebu/ Tantrism Tantrism is a collective term used to describe various esoteric rituals and traditions which originated in India thousands of years ago. It believes in the principle that sexuality is a doorway to the divine, and that the “highest transcendental ecstasy” can be achieved through sexual union. Earliest record of Tantrism in Southeast Asia came from I-Tsing, a Chinese Buddhist pilgrim who recorded Tantric practices in the Srivijaya Empire in 671 A.D. Philippines is believed to have been part of the Majapahit Empire’s trading outposts. The said empire was ruled at that time by King Kertanagara who introduced a religion based on Tantric Shiva-Buddha mixture. For this reason, pre-Hispanic Filipinos, particularly Cebuanos, are believed to have been influenced by Tantric practices that are common during that era. In his diary written in the 1500’s, Italian chronicler Antonio Pigafetta describes Cebuanos as having their “penis pierced from one side to the other near the head, with gold or tin bolt as large as a goose quill. In both ends of the same bolt, some have what resembles a spur, with points upon the ends; others are like the head of a cart nail…In the middle of the bolt is a hole, through which they urinate.” Pigafetta was also told that the women requested the use of these accessories, and without these genital paraphernalia, no sexual intercourse would occur. 2. The Golden “Death Masks.” Gold death masks of Cebu. Photo credit: Cebu Daily News and Southwestern University Museum. Discovered in 2008 during an excavation activity in Plaza Independencia, the gold death mask (see photo above) is only one evidence that ancient Cebuanos already had intricate culture and burial practices before the Spaniards arrived. The said death mask was first described by the Jesuit Pedro Chirino in his Relaciones de las Islas Filipinas, published in Rome in 1600. During the ancient times, Cebuanos who could afford it honor their departed loved ones with masks made by pounding gold into thin sheets. They would make separate pieces to cover the eyes, nose, and the mouth. Gold was believed to contain magical powers, and the use of death mask was meant to protect the soul from evil forces. The death mask was only one of the things that pre-Hispanic Filipinos gave to the deceased as gifts. Just like the ancient Egyptians, they also buried their loved ones with items such as iron tools, ceramics, and other valuables to help them survive their journey in the afterlife. The first gold death mask discovered in the Philippines was the Oton Gold Mask of Iloilo. Found in 1973 in the pre-Hispanic port settlement of Katagman, the Oton Gold Mask was declared a National Cultural Treasure (NCT). 3. Museo Sugbo was a former prison. Cárcel de Cebú circa 1901. Photo courtesy of Museo Sugbo. Museo Sugbo, Cebu’s official museum, was a former provincial jail known then as Cárcel de Cebú. Built during 1870s, the prison was intended to house criminals from the whole Visayas district, which explains its large size when it was constructed. Cárcel de Cebú have witnessed several pivotal events during its 135-year history. It once served as a prison for Katipuneros who were sentenced to death, a stable for horses during the American period, and again as a prison where guerillas were tortured by the Kempei-Tei (or Kempeitai) during the Japanese Occupation. In the 1980s, the prison changed its name to Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center. It was converted into a museum in 2008 as part of the celebration of the 439th Cebu Provincial Charter Day. 4. Brgy. Hipodromo was a former racetrack for horses. Known then as Hippodrome, this place was heaven for horse aficionados. Before the war, watching a horse race was part of the Cebuano lifestyle, and Hippodrome was the racetrack that started it all. The starting point of the race was located near the entrance along M. J. Cuenco Avenue while the Pacific Foundry once housed the clubhouse where people watched and bet on horses. Hippodrome closed down during WWII, and reopened after the war only to find out that horse racing was no longer profitable. In the end, the business closed permanently. When a huge fire hit Carreta and T. Padilla in the late 1950s, the mayor opened Hippodrome to serve as a relocation site. The place later became an official barangay and renamed Hipodromo. 5. Leon Kilat’s supernatural powers. Leon Kilat as depicted by Cebuano artist Manuel Pañares. Pantaleon Villegas, also known as Leon Kilat, was not born in Cebu (he’s originally from Bacong, Negros Oriental), but his heroism is not something that Cebuanos should forget. Leon Kilat, then only 24 years old, led the Cebuano Katipuneros in attacking the Spaniards during the famous battle of “Tres de Abril” on April 3, 1898. They were able to drove the Spaniards away and control the province of Cebu for a few days. But what makes Leon Kilat special? The answer lies within his life story which almost borders on the supernatural and myth. After working in Cebu for a few years, Leon moved to Manila where he allegedly earned his “kalake” or supernatural powers. He wore talismans and was also known to be a “kublan” or someone who could repel bullets. Some stories also suggest that Leon Kilat kept a mythical animal called sigbin. This creature allegedly gave him the power to quickly move from one place to another, say one day he’s fighting in Cebu, the next day he’d find himself back to where he was born in Negros Oriental. However, no legendary tale could match the tragedy of Leon’s death. A few days after the battle, Leon was assassinated by Cebuanos led by his own aide, Apolinario Alcuitas. It is told that they let Leon drink a sleeping potion first before they removed his talismans and killed him as planned. 6. Vic Sotto’s grandfather founded the first Cebuano newspaper. Also known as the “Father of Cebuano Journalism, Language and Literature,” the late Senator Vicente Yap Sotto founded the first ever newspaper written in Cebuano in 1901. The newspaper, which he would named “Ang Suga” , served as an avenue for Cebuano writers to publish their works. Sotto’s daughter, Dr. Suga Sotto Yuvienco, was named after this news magazine. Aside from Ang Suga, Sotto also wrote “Ang Paghigugma sa Yutang Nataohan,” “Maming,” and “Elena,” which was made into a play. Sotto was the author of Republic Act 53 or Press Freedom Law (known today as “Sotto Law”) which was passed in 1946 to protect journalists from being forced to disclose their news sources. Vicente Yap Sotto is the grandfather of famous actor Vic Sotto and Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III. 7. The “curse” of the Lapu-Lapu Monument. The original Lapu-Lapu statue built in 1933. The monument in Lapu-Lapu City (formerly called Opon) looks harmless today, but it actually has an intriguing past which soon started a local urban legend. In 1933, a resolution was passed for the construction of a Lapu-Lapu monument. The original statue (see photo above) shows the legendary chieftain holding a bow with an arrow pointing at the municipal hall. After the construction was completed, Rito de la Serna, then chief executive of Opon, died. Soon, his two successors followed suit and died even before they completed their term. This tragic incident made several residents superstitious and it didn’t take long before they started to blame the statue for the three deaths. In 1938, Mariano S. Dimataga, then newly-elected executive of Opon, ordered the renovation of the statue. The bow and arrow were finally replaced by a pestle. Dimataga, on the other hand, remained Opon’s chief executive for the next 32 years until his retirement in 1968. 8. Cebu animals that no longer exist. Cebu warty pig (left) and Cebu hanging parrots (right). Both animals are now extinct. Although Cebu is a province rich in flora and fauna, there were still some unfortunate creatures that Cebuanos failed to save from extinction. Examples of animals that have been wiped out are the Cebu warty pig and the Cebu hanging parrot. Cebu warty pig (Sus cebifrons cebifrons) is a subspecies of Visayan warty pig. Its status was declared in 2000, and the extinction was mainly caused by habitat destruction, animal hunting, reduced crop raiding , and hybridization. Cebu hanging parrot (Loriculus philippensis chrysonotus), on the other hand, has been extinct since 1943 but the date of extinction was already set as early as 1906. These beautiful parrots, characterized by overall green with red foreheads, disappeared due to complete deforestation in the 19th century. 9. Malapascua Island in Cebu is the only place in the world where you can dive with the elusive thresher sharks. The thresher shark. Photo credit: www.andmoments.com Malapascua (literally means “Bad Christmas” or “Bad Easter”) is an island just off the northern tip of Cebu. It is a popular diving site because of its reputation as the only place in the world where you can regularly see thresher sharks before sunrise. Thresher shark (Alopias pelagicus), is a type of mackerel shark that was named after its scythe-like tail. It can grow up to a length of 6 meters and are night creatures, which explains why divers don’t often see them around the world. In 1997, Dik De Boer visited a sunken island near Malapascua and discovered the elusive thresher shark. Turns out, the Monad Shoal serves as the sharks’ cleaning station where they clean their gills and remove parasites from their skin. Malapascua Island also offers stunning sights like wrecks. There are two wreck sites in the area: One is a WWII boat just 10 minutes from the main island, while the other is a passenger ferry just two hours away. 10. Philippines’ first tourist submarine is in Cebu. Photo credit: travelerscouch.blogspot.com Built in 1989 in Antwerp, Belgium, the Cebu Yellow Submarine started its operations in 2012 after they received the certificate of accreditation from the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina). It can be found at Imperial Palace Waterpark Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City. The tourist submarine is 22.2 meters long and weighs 99 tons. Using an electro-hydraulic system battery, the submarine can travel up to a speed of five knots. It can accommodate up to 48 passengers at a time. Although it can go as deep as 100 meters, they currently put the limit to only 35 meters below the surface to ensure passengers’ safety. Unfortunately, the Cebu Yellow Submarine has been suspended twice: The first time was in April last year when it accidentally hit corals at Kontiki Wall, followed by a recent incident when it slammed a motorized boat off the coast of Brgy. Maribago in Lapu-Lapu City.
  13. https://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/250104/man-70-accidentally-circumcised-given-over-p1-2m-as-compensation A man was accidentally circumcised after nurses at the Leicester Royal Infirmary mixed up their notes. Terry Brazier, 70, who went to the hospital for a bladder procedure was given £20,000 ($24,000 or over P1.2 million) as compensation for the mishap. INQUIRER.net Stock Photo “I went in the surgery for some Botox and they ended up circumcising me,” he told the Daily Star last Monday, Aug. 5. He described it as “a real surprise.” Brazier was scheduled to get a cystoscopy, an operation involving the injection of Botox into the bladder wall to help control incontinence. He said he was too busy talking with the nurse that he did not realize he was receiving a whole different procedure instead. “They didn’t know what to say when they found out they’d done it,” Brazier was quoted as saying. “They said they can’t send me back to the ward and they needed to talk to me.” Andrew Furlong, the medical director at University Hospitals of Leicester, said: “We remain deeply and genuinely sorry that this mistake occurred, and I would like to take this opportunity to once again apologise to Mr Brazier.” Ryan Arcadio /ra
  14. https://theworldnews.net/ph-news/man-robber-found-dead-hanging-from-bridge-in-cebu On Monday, July 22, a man was found hanged and shot to death at a bridge in Cebu City. Based on a report from Inquirer, authorities believed that the dead man was a member of a group of robbers in the city. Reynante Otero was found hanging from the Mananga Bridge in Barangay San Isidro, Talisay City. According to the report, the alleged thief had a rope tied in his neck with a cloth covering his face. He also obtained bullet wounds in his body. The perpetrator used Reynante Otero’s belt to tie his hands. The dead man was a resident of Barangay San Isidro. The dead man had a piece of cardboard attached in his body stating: “Ayaw ko ninyo sunda. Tulisan ko. (Do not imitate me. I am a robber)” Photo Source: @dysssuperradyo FB
  15. https://entertainment.mb.com.ph/2019/06/25/cebuana-teen-wins-princess-of-the-world-contest-in-bulgaria/ Cebuana teen wins Princess of the World contest in Bulgaria By: Robert R. Requintina Published June 25, 2019, 9:34 AM A 13-year-old girl made the Philippines proud after she was proclaimed grand winner in the Princess of the World contest held at the Paradise Blue Hotel in Varna, Bulgaria recently. PRINCESS OF THE WORLD 2019 -Newly crowned Princess of the World 2019 Jashley Murro Van Hemelen (left) poses with Maan Cueto Aris, president of GlaMore Productions. Jashley Murro Van Hemelen of Singapore School in Cebu bested 39 other international teen candidates for the title. During the contest, Hemelen also won gold medal in modeling, Best National Costume, and the Albena Resort Choice Award. Hemelen is into sports such as soccer, badminton, and swimming. In her message after winning the pageant, Hemelen paid tribute to her family, mentor and supporters. “Thank you for all your support and prayers. I’m very grateful to have this opportunity and to have a very supportive country. Thank you Prince and Princess Philippines Family especially Tita Maan for believing in me. To ate Sam for my hair and make up, Sir Danny for my gowns, Lyndon for my National Costume. And to my parents who are always there for me,” Hemelen said. Maan Cueto Aris, president of GlaMore Productions, congratulated Hemelen for her victory. “Jashley did great the entire week. She overcome her shyness and was able to make friends with everyone, especially the girls from Botswana, Kosovo and Japan. But aside from that, she was able to show that she prepared very well, from costumes to executions. Outstanding performances lead Jashley to be crowned Princess of the World 2019,” Aris said. Aris also said that GlaMore Productions will be sending more Filipino kids and teens in two more international pageants toward the end of the year. Hemelen and her family are on vacation right now in Austria, Belgium, and France. They will be back in Manila on July 5.
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