Archive for October, 2008

Tomb Dwellers of Manila

October 31, 2008

They have lost fear for the ethereal white lady in lavender lace who appears mysteriously under the full moon’s shadow behind the cemetery’s concrete-covered coffins. The cryptic presence of the black cat and the howls of hungry mongrels in the mausoleum aren’t bothersome anymore. In the pitch darkness of the night, the eerie stillness is friendlier in the cemetery than before.

It has been a hushed reality that for years, there are people who live in the cemetery. Grave diggers, sextons and caretakers of tombs may be allowed housing in the vicinity, but in some burial sites in Manila, a throng of people have found their residence among the dead. On All Saint’s day, the tomb dwellers merge with the crowd, paying tribute to the dead.

Two years ago, in Manila North Cemetery, about 6,000 men, women and children reside with the dead. The number keeps growing as the destitute convert the burial ground into a living space, disturbing the resting place of the dead. The poor seems to have no choice.

As of last count, those who sleep, eat, and bathe inside the cemetery have ballooned to more than 10,000. For generations, the government seems tolerant, ignoring the ugly and hapless sight away from the consciousness of the public.

Like the problem of exploding squatters living close to the railroad tracks, poor people who share living space with the dead pose a dilemma to urban planners, health workers, and sanitation engineers. Standard plumbing, water supply, sewer system and regular electric supply aren’t available. However embarrassing, it is clear the government has to do something to put an end to the dangerous environment which the public doesn’t approve.

Arrivals from the provinces unable to afford the high cost of housing are forced to seek a patch of squalid space in the cemetery as they seek jobs in the metropolis of 12 million. In the burial grounds, the thieves, gamblers, drug addicts and homeless roam as the housing shortage worsen.

There is a basketball court nearby. Children play on dirty alleys. They sometimes hold on human ribs and broken skull bones away from the sight of their parents. Smell of stinky effluent and garbage sometimes fill the air. Peddlers have set up stores to make the place a surreal shopping ground. Understandably, the living must not make the cemetery their home. =0=

(Photo Credits: dsrito; Bahag; dsrito; hywell; elmernocheseda)


Celebrating All Saint’s Day

October 31, 2008

Death – the last sleep?
No, it is the final awakening.

~ Walter Scott

The lines calmed my senses when my mother died a few years ago. I thought death as a final awakening could be an epiphany which brings a lot of hope.

Each time I remember a departed soul and I read the words, I feel peace and consolation. I come to think of dying not in ghastly terms, but something glorious, as resplendant as the second coming.

On Saturday November 1, 2008, is All Saints Day. It is the right time to read the lines again. We remember those who passed away—the departed members of the family, our friends and neighbors who mean a lot to us.

In gratitude, we pray for them and celebrate their lives. We recall how much they share— the fleeting joy and the lustful bliss of the earth.

We relish the muffled laughter, the rustle of the gossamer curtain, and the glowing moments of light under which we had fun together. They are all framed in memory which makes the departed truly present within us: comfy warm, intimate, and alive.

In loving remembrance of ten (10) UP Ibalon members who passed away, here is what each of them must be telling us:

Call me by my old familiar name…I am but waiting for you.

Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away in the next room. I am I and you are you: whatever we were to each other; that we are still. Call me by my old familiar name; speak to me in an easy way which you always used.

Put no difference into your tone: wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile. Think of me; pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effort, without the ghost of a shadow on it. Life means that it ever meant.

It is the same as it ever was. There is absolutely unbroken continuity. What is this death but a gateway? I am but waiting for you— for an interval somewhere very near around the corner. “ —Anonymous.


1. Rebecca (Bebeth) Espeso of Tulay na Lupa, Labo, Camarines Norte; by vehicular accident in Baao, Camarines Sur in April 1976; on her way to Legazpi City with UP Ibalon members to join Kami Minagalang, a humanitarian project of the organization for the Don Susano Memorial Mental Hospital in Cadlan, Pili, Camarines Sur.

2. Floro E. Balce of Daet, Camarines Norte; succumbed to a fatal single excruciating gunshot belly wound from an automatic carbine; in an encounter with the military in Tigaon, Camarines Sur; on July 30, 1978. As Ka Manding, he served selflessly to the cause of helping the poor and the disadvantaged.

3. Manny Raposa of Naga City; a victim of random stabbing in 1978 after stepping out of Max’s in Baclaran with his sweetheart; in Pasay City. A promising Philippine Science High School graduate (PSHS,) his death remained unsolved, one of many in the roster of clueless crimes in the police blotter.

4. Thor (Og) Aldea, from Ligao City, Albay; died of ruptured brain aneurysm in 1983; his 25th death anniversary was recently commemorated by friends at the CSWCD in the UP campus.

5. Siegfredo (Fred) Salva, from Naga City; was run over by a car in a 1989 traffic accident in Makati, Manila. His memory is honored by his Ateneo de Naga High School (AdeN) batchmates thru a scholarship named after him.

6. Juliet (Jake) Repomanta-Siron, from Guinobatan, Albay and Manila; a feminist-activist and a committed women’s rights advocate; worked with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST )where she served as its employees association president; suffered a fatal heart attack while undergoing kidney dialysis about 10 years ago.

7. Karen Canon, died in a vehicular accident while working in line of duty for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) nearly 10 years ago. UP Ibalon Grace Princesa-Escalante, her boss, took charge of the funeral services only to know of Karen’s membership with Ibalon later.

8. Joni Cadiz of Naga City; a loving father; bravely fought colonic cancer till his untimely demise; brother of UP Ibalonians Joel Anselmo and Jose Fabian.

9. George Evangelio, of Daraga Albay, an engineer-contractor and devoted family man; among those killed in a bus smash-up in Pamplona, Camarines Sur in July 29, 2008 on his way from Manila with his wife who had treatment for cancer.

10. Lourdes (Bajing) Roco, from Naga City, contracted severe unrelenting autoimmune disease (systemic lupus erythematosus,) proximate to finishing school in UP; suffered adverse effects chronic disease and medications; succumbed to a relapse; the admirable youngest sister of Sen. Raul Roco. Sources: A. Baylon & Totie Mesia)

NOTE: The ten UP Ibalon members who passed away will be remembered in a holy sacrifice of the mass on November 2, 2008 at the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Ditmars Street, Astoria, New York 11105.

==================RESQUIESCAT IN PACE==================

Photo (Credits: headlesspider; noricum; svf1972; yadnus; pathenson;__)

Dr. Doom’s economic crystal ball & the need to say the truth

October 30, 2008

“Dr. Doom foresees agony in our future,” says the banner headline of Metro, a street newspaper in the Big Apple, the world’s biggest metropolis. Metro, New York, (10/29,08, Arden, P) He believes the NYC recession will stay for more than two years.

In the financial circles, Dr. Doom is reaping vindication after he was tagged as an alarmist for his bleak predictions on the economy long before it happened. The NYU economics professor travels more frequently outside USA now, sharing to the world his Nostradamus-like prescient cataclysmic read of the financial future.

Dr. Doom whose real name is Nouriel Roubini has a lot to say about the financial downturn whose solution has moved into uncharted territory. In spite of the $700 billion bailout, persistent market volatility exists which shows no indication of abating.

“Every time there has been a severe crisis in the last six months, people have said this is the catastrophic event that signals the bottom. They said it after Bear Stearns, after Fannie and Freddie, after AIG [the giant US insurer that had to be rescued], and after the $700 billion bailout plan. Each time they have called the bottom, and the bottom has not been reached.

Across the world, governments have taken more and more aggressive actions to stop the panic. However, Roubini believes investors appear to have lost confidence in governments’ ability to sort out the mess.” TimesOnline (10/26/08, Rushe, D)

Roubini’s dire look into the future is unlike the optimism and promises of the politicians in the soon-to-be concluded US presidential election in which hope is matched with fear. It brings recall former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who expresses trust in the American people for their extraordinary patience, industry and resiliency. But,—they need to make the right choices.

In his recent book on “Real Change” published months before the economy collapsed, Gingrich mentioned a serious problem.

“The problem is with the politicians, our news media, and our bureaucratic elites. They are afraid to tell the American people the truth. They are afraid to explain the scale of the threat and the inevitable scale of the needed response.”—Real Change: From the world that fails to the world that works.” (Regnery Publishing, Washington DC, 2008, Gingrich, N., p.298) (Photo Credits: outragousart; nicoridge)=0=

“Win or lose, after the election we go shopping.”

October 29, 2008

Except for the people of Georgia and the Philippines, CNN reveals, seventy-five percent (75%) of the world wants Sen. Barack Obama to be the next US president.

The Fil-Am Democrat (FLD,) who spoke of ethnic “ignorance” and cautioned her kababayans that “a nation of bigoted fools is hopeless” raged over the support for Sen. John McCain. As a continuation of my blog: “On Filipino’s support for McCain: This goes deeper than ignorance,” on October 24, 2008, I proceed to think more on the Filipino. See what we have and you decide.

The Georgians

The small East European country with 6 million people allied with the United States was recently invaded by Russia. Georgians probably wanted a candidate like Sen. McCain with experience to help them deal with their problem with Russia.

What do Filipinos want?

Pres. Bill Clinton’s popular catch words “It’s the economy, stupid!” helped him win over the republican Pres. George H. W.Bush Sr.

It’s the economy again, but this time, Filipinos seriously weigh in on homeland security, the war on terror, religious freedom, illegal aliens, foreign policy, social security, taxation, healthcare, education, abortion, same-sex marriage, global warming, and stem cell research. That’s hell of a lot to think about.

Everybody knows the future of American is at stake. Tied with their moral values, they face conflicting issues in their way of life which are difficult to reconcile. At the risk of losing hold of their American dream, they have to decide with their moral stand, relying on what they hear from family and friends, church, media and workplace. Like any voter, they are vulnerable to misread the election issues and decide against their own respective interests.

Religion & Tradition

There are those who think religion isn’t needed in America anymore. The liberal extremists assert tradition is blasé and counterproductive. They want to ban prayers in school. They protest the mention of God in government. They trash the Christmas tree, efface the “In God We Trust” in the US currency, and prohibit the Christ’s birthday scene display in public. To advance abortion and same-sex marriage, they push on redefining life and the meaning marriage, hoping to change the constitution.

Many Filipinos don’t agree. Families decry the assault of liberalism on morals and ethics. They worry on the effects of secularist relativism for themselves and their growing children. They recognize the contribution of religious believers in the building of America. Rejecting corruption and injustice, many quietly abide with Pope Benedict XVI, the Orthodox Christians, denominational Christian sects, and other faiths including the Muslims and Jews.

US & Philippine Politics

The US election reflects the politics in the Philippines. The ACORN voter registration fraud in USA is just as deplorable as the “Hello Garci” scandal of Gloria M. Arroyo and the Joc Joc Bolante election money diversion.

There is hypocrisy, corruption, and distortions hurled on both sides. The manipulation of public opinion through massive campaign spending and eloquent talk has made it hard to ascertain truth.

Filipinos find it hard to buy on promises of change without action. But surely there are those who put their trust on promises. In the crisis that damaged the credibility of the financial system, they have a schizophrenic view of the motives of leaders. They are disappointed and angered for even the retired economics guru Alan Greenspan admitted his mistake in handling the economy.

The financial bailout of $700 billion seems not enough to solve the economic meltdown which some say comes every hundred years. The economy continues to be volatile. Federal Reserves chairman Ben Shalom Bernanke and Treasury secretary Henry Paulson struggle to bring the economy on track. Yet, even with resiliency and optimism, Americans ask if the new president can deliver.

But Filipinos aren’t that politically engaged. They rather stay on the side to focus on their personal lives, work hard to recoup the lost time to advance their dream and that of their families. They are ambivalent to vote for a candidate with grandiose promises, questionable past, and unproven track record of service. Yet, they also worry about a president coming from the ranks of old politics.

“Redistribution of Wealth”

Counted among the successful migrants in America, Filipinos play by the rules. They work hard in the tradition of free enterprise. Many avoid the greed and corruption they see in their native land and they hurt when they see it happen in Washington and Wall Street.

They believe honest job gets rewarded better than being idle and lazy. They know competition is a force which drives people to advance in the social ladder; they frown on dole-outs which encourage indolence. Their friends and relatives who have not seen the gruelling work in America may not agree with them.

Unlike the 12 million aliens who gate-crashed USA, majority of Filipinos waited for years working legally to become integrated and become citizens. Taking the capitalist mindset to pursue the American dream, they look at government’s sudden interest in private property with suspicion.

The candidate who wants to intrude into private money by “spreading wealth” isn’t what successful Filipino migrants desire in spite of the fact that sharing wealth abides with their Christian beliefs. In some ways, they want other people to share America’s pie, but they want them to respect the law and work by the rules.

Filipinos are unwilling to be dictated by politicians on what to do with their health insurance, retirement money, savings, investments, and 401Ks. They desire to do charity in their own terms. Socialist liberals, riding on many cash-strapped Americans needing financial help are tempted to tap and give away money to “level the playing field.” Filipinos know the devil lies in the details of a drastic plan and they ask if an elected official(s) can have a blank check using tax-payers’ money to reprogram society.

Broken Promises & Taking Responsibility

Pres. Bill Clinton didn’t fulfill his promise on universal healthcare. Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda grew in strength and the stock market ballooned into a bubble which ruptured almost at the end of his term.

Clinton didn’t correct the warped and corrupt business practices of Wall Street in his time, paving the way for its collapse, damaging the finances of ordinary people in the Main Street.

The immorality in the Monica Lewinsky affair almost kicked Clinton by impeachment. In spite of approving reviews from democrats, he didn’t take enough responsibility as the people expected. The same frustration apply to Pres. George W. Bush and the “do nothing” warring officials of the senate and congress.

The credit card and mortgage debts are out of hand. Americans live beyond their means. The government has not exercised enough oversight and the moral guardians are losing sway over the people’s sense of right and wrong.

Greedy investors and financial managers have signed in borrowers worse than the loan scammers in the Philippines. Those who can’t pay for their homes dodge their complicity by leaving blame to mortgage lenders and the government. Responsible citizens don’t think this way.

With this mess, who then will the public vote? Those who are buried in debt and joblessness root for a promised savior-president, but Filipinos are more pragmatic. Maybe they heard of financier Bernard Baruch’s advice: “Vote for the man who promises least. He’ll be the least disappointing.”

Partisan Media

The media spread truth and lies. The public has become the captive of its bias and agenda. The media failed to vet on Obama’s background which citizens need to know. Instead, they drum up inanities which distract the focus of the electorate. By pounding on anti-American themes throughout the Bush administration, the media have succeeded in demonizing USA around the world. With huge latitude to control information, it’s easy for them to influence the thinking of the people here and abroad.

Against the majority, many take a detached and independent stand against the media’s excesses. There is lopsidedness in the information stream from the liberal New York Times, Washington Post, MSNBC, and CNN against the underdog conservative defenders in Fox News and the rightist talk radio announcers. Filipinos ask, “How sure are you that the media give you the right information?” Is it any wonder the US newspapers have suffered dropping readership and many Americans don’t turn on their TV anymore?

Movie Stars & Celebrity Politics

Hollywood has joined the political fray too. Filipinos have seen it happen in the Philippines. Talk show hosts like Jay Leno, movie star Barbra Streisand, TV darling Oprah Winfrey, singer Madonna, lesbian comediennes Ellen de Generes and Rosie O’ Donnell, atheist and anti-religion Richard Dawkins, and secularist anti-conservative movie director Michael Moore rein over liberalism while conservatism and traditional family values aren’t given a fair shake to express itself.

The culture these celebrities promote is not what Filipinos can easily take—bait, hook, and sinker. Many believe they can better rely on themselves about how they’ll conduct their lives than trust the movie stars.

The prospect of a USA rising under a liberal president seems dampened by a silent fear of an economically and culturally waning America whose moral moorings is fast fading. Conservative Americans and Filipinos are worried by the change in society (for the better or worse.) Even the academics from universities are viewed with distrust; in their erudition they have their own self interest to pursue.

Foreign Vote in the US Election

With Obama’s African ancestry, people abroad hope he will somehow think like his Kenyan forebears and have sympathies for the cause of the outside world. Those who harbor anti-American sentiments find Obama likeable against McCain for being an “extension” of Pres. Bush. Foreigners have generously donated money in Obama’s campaign chest counting that their interest will be served if he gets elected.

Race Issue

In the privacy of their homes and in the tone of their humor, there are as much racial undertones that Filipinos are willing to admit. It also goes true with the Americans, but perhaps lesser. Lacking multiracial exposure compared to those who have been in USA longer, Filipinos are still more likely to favor a white man to be president, but this can change. A combination of simple preference, ignorance, colonial mentality, and bigotry are to blame if they vote solely on the basis of race.

You Decide

Think seriously where you stand on the issues. Decide wisely. The economy is important as the questions on where the culture of America is going— the milieu in which our children will live in the future. Resilient and adaptable, I expect all of us will accept whoever wins. We must be prepared to enjoy or suffer the consequences which go with the decision. As Imelda Marcos said in her uncanny wry humor, “win or lose, after the election, we go shopping.”

Photo Credits:; amobb; wishymom; mariozucca; Amm; leeKlement; j-walkblog; ahurey; chuckumentary) =0=


Hospital: a vacation house or a sanctuary for malingerers?

October 29, 2008

The spectacular show of Jocelyn (JocJoc) Bolante continued at the airport when an ambulance rushed him to St. Lukes’s Medical Center on his arrival on October 28, 2008. The deportee who lost his appeal for asylum in the United States allegedly complained of “chest pains” and hospital authorities are mum about his medical condition

“…as the then undersecretary for finance of the Department of Agriculture, Bolante was the architect of embezzlement of more than P3 Billion (around $64M), including P728M fertilizer fund, that were intended for farmers’ benefits…reports suggest that the fraud-tainted money was used as campaign fund of Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo in the 2004 presidential election.” UP “Accused of Plunder, Jocjoc Bolante, Returns from US a Deportee’ (10/29/08, Gimpaya, A)

Accused of stealing money from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP,) Maj. Gen. Carlos F. Garcia committed a crime similar to that Bolante is charged of. Both needed some hospital stay. Garcia had himself confined in UST for alleged serious medical problems at the height of his trial only to be found guilty of corruption and acts unbecoming of a soldier.

Convicted child-rapist Romeo Jalosjos had been reported to have sought medical confinement for conditions like cough and high blood pressure that could well be managed on an out-patient basis.

Pres. Erap Estrada used the Veterans Memorial Medical Center as a private detention house until he was brought to Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal. Later he was put under “rest house arrest” in his cozy villa across the camp on the bases of questionable medical reasons. His supporters were delighted, but the public couldn’t hide their scorn.

Yolanda Ricaforte, the bag woman in the Estrada plunder case also used some medical excuses. She pompously appeared in public in a wheelchair with a personal nurse during an investigation. With eyes shielded by dark sunglasses, she blamed hypertension for her “fragile” health. Her nurse in a white uniform plus a stethoscope on her neck stood by her side as though she could do something in case an emergency arise. After that appearance, Ricaforte surreptitiously rode a plane, skipped Manila to hide as a fugitive in America.

Filipinos understand that medical problems are used as props, distractions, and excuses during an inquiry or litigation. Lawyers exploit health reasons for their clients with the cooperation of their doctors. Not negating the need to stay in the hospital if there is true medical indication, the public is usually distrustful whenever people like Bolante goes straight to stay in a hospital suite (not the emergency room?) after his arrival in the airport. (Photo Credits: shashamane; suetortoise) =0=

UPDATE: GMA News reported on October 30, 2008 that Joc Joc Bolante is confined at St. Luke’s Medical Center for medical tests that will take 5 days—rather slow for a VIP. There is no apparent medical justification to keep him in bed in the hospital which can be better used by sicker patients. Many MDs suspect, with Bolante’s “stable” status, such tests on him are better done on out-patient (ambulatory) service.

Accused of Plunder, Jocjoc Bolante, Returns from US a Deportee

October 28, 2008

Former Philippine Agriculture Undersecretary Jocjoc Bolante returns after getting released from a US prison and deported back to the Philippines. Bolante stands accused of plunder together with the Philippine president and first gentleman. In the heat of a Senate investigation in 2005, Bolante suddenly disappeared and became inaccessible to the investigators. A few months later he was arrested in the US because of expired travel visa. He has been detained at a Michigan prison until his deportation today. Even while in prison, Bolante continued to claim that he left the Philippines not to escape investigation to but to comply with previous commitments.

According to former Solicitor-General Frank Chavez one of the complainants who filed he case at the Ombudsman, documents show that as the then undersecretary for finance of the Department of Agriculture, Bolante was the architect of embezzlement of more than P3 Billion (around $64M), including P728M fertilizer fund, that were intended for farmers’ benefits. Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez has sat on the case for three years now.

Several reports suggest that the fraud-tainted money was used as campaign fund of Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo in the 2004 presidential election.

Technically, Bolante is now under the custody of the Senate Sgt.-at-arms who served a warrant of arrest when Bolante arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. On the side, protesters yelled at him. The protesters included Jun Lozada, the star witnesss in the senate investigation of the scandalous ZTE broadband deal that also implicated the first gentleman.

Bolante was brought to the St. Luke’s Medical Center when he complained of chest pain.

Fears of a new senate investigation of the fertilizer fund scam getting watered down persists. Gloria Arroyo’s allies in the senate are not so keen about it. Senate agriculture committee chairman, Sen. Edgardo Angara said that resumption of the senate investigation is no longer needed because a case has already been filed with the Ombudsman. Blue Ribbon Committee chairman, Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano is out of the country. The senate will not resume session until Nov 10. And Bolante’s initial announcement doesn’t sound like he intends to tell the full truth.

Jose S. Losa of Nabua, Camarines Sur

October 28, 2008

Joceline Losa-Masauding, president of the Bicolandia Association of Charleston, South Carolina announces the demise of her beloved father, Jose Sumayo-Losa on Octorber 26, 2008 at the age of 93 in Nabua, Camarines Sur.

Mr. Losa, a magnanimous, fun-loving, and affectionate man, served as a brave US Army sergeant of engineering during the World War II. A well-respected school mentor, he is esteemed and popularly remembered by his students in Nabua High School where he taught before he immigrated to the United States and later settled in San Roque, Nabua after loving Basilisa (Grandma Bisay) Hallare, his wife died.

Grandpa Joe who passed away peacefully in his sleep has seven (7) accomplished living children namely: Lourdes L. Baylon (San Diego, CA,) Joceline L. Masauding, R. N. (Charleston, SC,) Jose Losa, Jr, D.V.M.(Legazpi, Albay,) Lillian L. Navarro, R.N. (San Diego, CA,) Vivian L. Abagat (Nabua, Camarines Sur,) Jane L. Coralde, M.D. (AFP Medical Center, QC,) and Mamerto Losa, M.D. (Malacanang, Manila.) Two of his children, Clarita L. Melagro, M.D. and Dolores L. Manzano predeceased him. He is survived by 35 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.

UP Ibalon requests readers, relatives, and friends to pray for the eternal repose of Grandpa Joe. So long Grandpa Joe! We love you! Burial is tentatively scheduled in Nabua Cemetery on November 6, 2008. Contact: Jane 916-308 6524 (Marikina, Manila); Vivian: 54-478-0718 (Nabua) Photo Credit: bylinderrox. =0=


Colostrum Conference in Bicol

October 27, 2008

The special antibody-rich, nutrient-packed milk called colostrum is produced by mothers in the first 72 hours after delivery. The milk contains valuable disease-fighting immunoglobulins (Ig) which support the body’s defense system, foster cell division, tissue growth, and body repair. Complementing the campaign that breastfeeding is best for babies up to two years, recent studies reveal that colostrum has other uses beyond the baby’s first few days of life.

Bovine colostrum (from cows) together with skim milk has been developed by Creeyan Laboratory, a company in Auckland, New Zealand. The company manufactures the Smart Naco Colostrum Product (SNC,) a novel immunoglobulin-colostrum (IgCo) milk that can help improve immunity, shorten recovery time from infections, repair arthritic joints, prevent and treat osteoporosis, lessen allergies, and delay the aging process. The main bioactive ingredients of the melamine-free SNI/Ig-Co include immunoglobulins (IgGs,) lactoferrins, proline-rich peptides and growth factors.

The newly introduced product is helpful for a lot of medical conditions including those with diabetes, asthma, allergies, patients with disordered and depressed immunity (immunocompromised,) cancer patients on chemotherapy, and those with chronic kidney problems and osteoporosis.

Dr. Amy Goleta-Dy, a UP Ibalonian and prominent pediatric-oncology specialist of St. Luke’s Medical Center, Manila who actively uses SNC/Ig-Co for her patients in the Cancer Foundation announces that SNI Philippines will present its product in Bicol to familiarize local doctors of the varied uses of SNI/Ig-Co.

The conference will be in Villa Caceres on October 30 at 5:30 PM in Naga City followed by another on October 31 in Chowking Pacific Mall at 5 PM in Legazpi City. All doctors, healthcare workers, caregivers and interested patients are invited. (Photo Credit: CreeyanLabs/ SNI Philippines) =0=


World’s heaviest man takes a bride

October 27, 2008

The world’s heaviest man Manuel Uribe has been getting much attention lately. After shedding much weight from 560 kg to 310 kg, the world’s heaviest guy tied the knot with his 38 year old girlfriend Claudia Solis, in an unusual, but well-celebrated ceremony.

Staying on his bed, the 43 year old Mexican mechanic, escorted by the police through street traffic, was towed by a truck to the wedding.

Uribe’s special bed in the civil ceremony was merrily decorated with white canopy and flowers to the cheers and joy of about 400 friends and well-wishers.

Holding hands and moving to the tempo of a ballad, the duo had their memorable first dance. Splendid food was served and an enticing 5-tiered cake was prepared. Uribe didn’t break his diet.

Surely, the loving couple inspires the entire world. Cheers and good luck to them! (Photo Credits AP/ Monica Rueda; Flowersmadeeasy)=0=


Fun times with Noah

October 27, 2008

There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.”

I couldn’t agree more with Elizabeth Lawrence, the gardener-writer. Especially so, I received a few photos of Noah, my grandson, the child of my niece Jo Marie D. Cannady who resides in Greensboro, North Carolina. Jo Marie and hubby Matt are pretty delighted by their little boy setting out to discover the outdoors this time that Halloween is across the bend.

Noah was with his little friends in a park riding in a kiddie train a few months ago. Another time I saw him with his grandparents, Joe and Cindy Dacanay of South Carolina on a weekend visit. This time he prepares early for thanksgiving day, choosing his pumpkins from some unnamed garden.

Come Halloween in October 31, 2008, I’m pretty sure he has a costume prepared for the trick a treat and be with friends to knock on doors and fetch a few candies in the street.

Noah reminds me of all the children of the world who bask in the best fleeting moments of their time before “the hour of reason comes knocking at the door.” As I look at his handsome innocent face, it’s as if morning has arrived and the first rays of the sun are trailing in. (Photo Credit: Jo Marie Cannady)=0=