Thursday, 12 April 2012 04:49
â– SCHOOL OF THOUGHTS By Christopher M. Millora
A lot of things we get to learn in life, we somewhat have learned in elementary school
I have a crisp image of our elementary recognition speaker on stage even until today. Although I could not remember everything that she said, there were certain parts of her speech that stuck to me even until now.
I can remember, for one, that she was a girl. Her hair was straight; she had big, black eyeglasses that seemed to fit her perfectly. She was holding a storybook and since I was in front row, I could see from the audience that it was a picture of a yellow caterpillar. The story was simple. The caterpillar soon turned (or with further education, more appropriately termed "metamorphosed") into a beautiful butterfly. It was a simple yet gripping image of how one thing so simple and unassuming can turn into something as great as a butterfly in the eyes of an elementary school graduate.
I realized, now, that that simple analogy has become a source of many other insights connected to such idea: "Dream big," "You can be whatever you want to become," "Poverty is not a hindrance to reaching your dreams". All these things that I learned as I progressed through life can be sourced from that simple story of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. My point? Two things, one, that our recognition speaker was really good and second, that a lot of things we get to learn in life, we somewhat have learned in elementary school.
Let me present exhibit B. When I was in Grade 4, I was not a teacher's favorite, though I was in the star section, I was not the most diligent (and later on you'll realize, most intelligent) among the bunch. I even remembered my teacher throwing a used eraser at me that landed on my head. For confidentiality reason, I will not name that teacher, and also because, I could not remember who. Anyway, what I remember was that my math teacher asked me to recite the multiplication table in front of the class. I only memorize until 7x3=21. I knew 7x4 was next but the answer was just too big of a number for me. So, there I was, sent out of the room, in the shame area. Summer of that year, I took math summer classes and to cut the short story even shorter, I found myself representing our school in a Math quiz bee about a year after the incidence.
Yes, we do have references of success stories in different people we meet, people who were so poor and became filthy rich, people who were at the verge of losing his job but through perseverance walked his way up the ladder. But for me, whenever I feel down, I always have that elementary school experience, which I always refer to. See, didn't have to look far.
Looking at education in general (and from a point of view of a graduate maintaining an education column), one can see that our education here in the Philippines continues to progress, and in the process, the student must progress with it. But what makes our education great are the experiences it provides us, and those experiences start even when we were just starting our schooling.
Just a few weeks ago, I was invited as a commencement speaker of the elementary school where I graduated from. Talk about nostalgia. It was an overwhelming experience knowing that the last time I went there to speak, was during the nutrition month (for obvious reasons) and that was a long time ago. Again, I remembered our commencement speaker and how she made a mark on me. That day, I did not really wish to become like her, but the entire speech was a recount of the beautiful memories I had in elementary. It was a story telling, an inspirational one. And I can only wish that I, too, may be remembered.*
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The triumvirate of child advocates Boy Abunda, Mikee Cojungco Jaworski and Cheryl Cosim jointly announce the nationwide staging of Sinebata: Kabataang Pinoy Media Festival. It is the follow through of the successful Visayan edition that was staged jointly last year by Anak TV and Plan Philippines and other partners, which drew in a bumper harvest of over 100 video entries and 190 photographs.
The contest is open to amateur Filipino youth aged 9 to 23 who use digicams, handiphones, regular cameras and other non-professional equipment. Entries must be received by April 30 2012 at any of the following reception centers: Sinebata, AnakTV, 8A Matatag Street, Pinyahan Quezon City; Sinebata, Plan International, 2F UytingkokBldg, Veteranos Avenida, Tacloban City; Sinebata, Baguio Museum; Sinebata, Office of the VP for Research, West Visayas State University, Iloilo City ; Sinebata, Office of External Affairs, Aquinas University, Legazpi City or to Sinebata, NCCT, 4/F, Bonifacio Bldg, DepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City.
Filipino youth may enter as many video materials per category as producer/director in all four categories namely, short video clips (running from 30 seconds to 10 minutes); public service announcements or social messages (from 30 seconds to two minutes only); Creatively packaged music videos (up to seven minutes only); using originally composed or commercially available music and Mini documentaries and social commentaries (from ten 10 minutes to an hour).
There are no restrictions in themes but the contest is seeking works that define the Filipino youth's view of issues that affect him, his family, his school and his community in general. They can be about his hopes and wishes for the future, family concerns, education, environment, substance abuse, teenage life and problems, career plans and ambitions, community issues and others.
Every CD/DVD entry should be accompanied by a page containing the producer/director's name, complete mailing address and contact phones (mobile, land phones, fax and email address where applicable), birth date and school, organizational or town affiliation. The participant is also expected to write a short description of his/her entry and where possible, brief production notes. If he/she completed the material with other youth, their names and roles in production should be listed.
Photographs may also be entered. Each photographer may field up to 10 photos. There are no categories in the photography section. The entries may be in color or black and white.
The minimum image size is five megapixels (equivalent to A4 size if printed). Even cell phones may be used.
Entries must be emailed to
, each one properly titled in any language of his/her choice. (If entrant uses a dialect or local language, he must provide an English translation.)
The entries should be accompanied by a page containing the photographer's name, complete mailing address and contact phones (mobile, land phones, fax and email address where applicable), birth date and school, organizational or town affiliation. The type of camera used should also be indicated (digital cam, mobile phone with camera, etc)
Entries received early will enjoy screening/viewing opportunities in a national roadshow that will ocver Baguio, Legaspi, Manila, Iloilo, Tacloban and Davao. However, the final deadline for submission of all entries is Friday, April 30 2012.
All entrants will receive a Certificate of Participation. There will be a winner in each of the categories and in two levels: 9 to 17 and 18 to 23. A trophy and cash award will be given to each top winner. Special awards with cash incentives have been earmarked by organizing and cooperating partners.
The top choices to be declared on May 29 and 30 in Tacloban City will be sent to international video and media derbies to represent the Philippines.
Sinebata is a joint undertaking of the National Council for Children's Television, Department of Education, DSWD, PIA, PDEA, University of the Philippines, Baguio Museum, West Visayas State University, Aquinas University of Legazpi, Goethe Institut, Robinson's Malls, Leyte Normal University, PNP, East Visayas State University, Kairosolutions, Columbia's, AnakTV and Plan International.*anaktvweb.com
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 05:31
â– News & Old By Rosmar M. Villalon
Boracay is still without doubt the most popular beach in the country today. Up-scale and budget resorts were fully-booked this Holy Week as hordes of local and foreign tourists invaded the premiere summer destination for some chillin' under the sun.
Last month, our family, the Maquino clan, was in Boracay for a grand reunion-vacation. It was quite chaotic and challenging at times organizing everyone as there were 42 of us, but over-all it was a very memorable and happy vacation as the days and nights were filled with fun and camaraderie.
Our Tita Ros and family, on hiatus from their busy life in the USA, prefer to stay somewhere away from the busy crowd of the White Beach. Searching the internet for a more quiet and exclusive hideaway, they found the perfect resort - Monaco Suites de Boracay. Located in Manoc-manoc, this pricey (a two-bedroom suite costs around P36, 000 per night) and grandiose hill-side resort, overlooks Caticlan and offers a panoramic view of Bulabog beach and the sparkling blue ocean. It is about 10 minutes away from the White Beach, but transportation is not a problem as the resort provides free shuttle to its guests, which leaves every 45 minutes. The guests are dropped off at the Coffee House (in Station 2), where they can take a short tricycle ride to the D'Talipapa and D'Mall for some shopping, or walk their way to the beach. The guests are also treated to a free cup of coffee while waiting for the shuttle to pick them up to return to the resort.
Monaco guests can cool down in its dolphin-shaped pool which is five meters deep at both ends, hence, not suitable for children. The downside of this resort is its very small beach, which is quite rocky, not good for swimming at all. Guests who want to swim on the beach are brought to the Coco Loco Bar in Station 3 by the resort's free shuttle service. There, they can safely leave their things and go swim to their hearts' desire.
The rest of the family (the "locals") prefer to stay near where the action is so we booked several deluxe rooms at Villa Criselda in Station 2, a budget, yet functional resort. Its plus factors are its accessibility to the D'Talipapa and the beach which are just about a minute or two away by foot. The Deluxe Room costs a very affordable P2, 500 per night, but would cost even less during lean season. It accommodates four persons as it has two double beds, and other room amenities include aircon, TV, refrigerator and hot and cold shower. The standard room costs P2, 300 and is a little smaller but can also accommodate a maximum of four persons, having the same amenities as the deluxe room except that it has no refrigerator. The resort has free 24-hour hot water for your coffee or tea in their canteen, and provides five-gallon drinking water with table top dispenser upon request, which costs P100 per container. I know it is expensive, but it is a lot cheaper compared to purchasing bottled water. Villa Criselda has a common kitchen, which is quite spacious, and the guests can use the resort's cooking and dining utensils free of charge. Much to the delight of my cousin CJ, as well as my nephews and nieces, the resort has free Wi-fi. One can see them huddled in front of the laptop, accessing their Facebook accounts 'til the wee hours of the morning.
Security is not a problem in both resorts as they have security guards patrolling the area round the clock.
FUN IN THE WATER
Our vacation in Boracay wouldn't be complete without adventures in the water. First was the Banana Boat Ride, which charges P200 per person for a 15-minute ride. Since I am not as adventurous as the rest, I chose to stay at the speed boat with my two-year-old niece, Marie. It was quite a thrilling, albeit bumpy ride, as huge waves incessantly hit our boat (my butt hurt the next day!). I could hear the shouts of my relatives at the banana boat every time the waves hit them. Proof that everyone is having fun!
After the ride and seeking more excitement, Portia, my lawyer-cousin, decides to go parasailing with her son Nonoy, and our younger cousin CJ. While the rest of the group stayed at the beach to swim, I joined Portia's group as I wanted to witness how it is done. Sitting on the sailboat with my nephew Sean, it was quite exciting to watch them fly at first. However, after a few minutes I could already start to feel a little seasick since the sailboat is just floating on the sea, dancing with the waves. I was so thankful when the ride was finally over. Parasailing costs P1, 500 per person for a 15-minute thrill in the sky. Portia swears it is all worth it.
There is also the island hopping, which in my opinion is not as much fun at all, as the beaches look the same anyway. The only memorable part of this activity is the snorkeling. The younger members of the family gamely dove on the waters too see the beautiful corals down there, while the less-daring and not-so-young ones stayed on the boat.
Jet skiing is another "must" when in Boracay. It is a water sport that my cousins from the US regularly indulged in back home. So it is not surprising that they went jet skiing on their very first day in Boracay. Thirty minutes on the Jet Ski cost them P1, 500 per person.
Of course, there are more water activities that we can enjoy while in Boracay but due to limited time, we were unable to do so.
SEAFOODS AND MORE
Breakfast for us means Andok's, which is just around the corner from Villa Criselda resort. With a budget of P65-75 per person, we can choose from tapsilog, tocilog, longsilog, and cornsilog. Of course, their trademark fried chicken, pork chop, and pork barbeque are never absent in the menu. Monaco guests, on the other hand, are treated to a bountiful buffet breakfast fit for a King, free of charge. With the cost of their suites, it is only but fitting that they serve their guests only the best.
Since we are a huge group, we have our lunch daily at the D'Talipapa in order to fit our budget. We purchase fresh seafood and vegetables in reasonable prices and have a nearby restaurant cook it for us. Cooking charges at the D'Talipapa ranges from P100 to P200 per kilo depending on the dish. One dish we had the restaurant cooked for us which I found expensive is the Fish Sinigang. They charged us P130 for the soup and another P100 for the vegetables they placed on the dish, totaling P230 per kilo. Grilled stuffed squid costs P180, grilled pork/fish costs P130, and steamed talaba is the lowest at P100.
Villa Criselda also offers cooking services and charges a cheaper P80/kilo. For guests who want to cook for themselves, the resort charges a minimum of P300 per day, per room for the use of the LPG. On our third day in Boracay, when we were already quite sick with the thought of another breakfast at Andok's, my Mom decided to cook breakfast and lunch for us. We paid P400 for the LPG which is quite a bargain considering the number of persons who ate those two delicious "home-cooked" meals.
The suites at Monaco have well-equipped kitchens, and it is there were we cook and gather for our dinner. We just purchase food from the wet market and bring them to the resort. The cookwares are small, though, so cooking has to be done in batches which is quite time consuming.
In our last night in Boracay, the family gathered at Don Vito Ristorante Italiano where we were treated to gastronomy of food choices of Filipino, Western and Italian dishes, amid the soulful music from the live band. After dinner, we were entertained with a fiery performance from their marvelous fire dancers who are very agile and graceful. The rest of the evening was spent walking around, stopping by Epic Bar, simply immersing ourselves in the pulsating nightlife of the island.
The next day, we were all so sad for the vacation to end, our legs dragged on our way to the van that will take us to the Cagbang jettyport. Not only do we hate the thought of leaving Boracay, but we also didn't want to part ways again with our beloved auntie, uncle and cousins from the US who are flying straight to Manila from the Caticlan airport. What made the whole five-day affair very memorable is that it further strengthened the ties that bind our family together.*
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 05:26
â– HEALTH@HEART By Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS
The measles outbreak between Jan. 1 and Feb. 2, 2010, which involved 17 villages and 742 cases, left four unvaccinated children dead in Tondo and Quiapo, Manila. The other areas affected were Las Pinas City, Dasmarinas, Cavite, San Francisco town in Quezon Province, and Balabagan town in Lanao del Sur.
Needless to say, these disasters, whose victims ranged from one to nine years of age, could have been prevented by timely vaccination.
Measles is a highly contagious airborne disease caused by paramyxovirus and transmitted by virus-loaded droplets circulating in the air coming from an infected patient who can potentially infect as many as 18 or more unvaccinated persons breathing in the contaminated air.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF MEASLES
About 14 days after exposure to a patient with measles, the following start to show: flu-like symptoms, fever (about 39C or 102.2F), general weakness and occasionally conjunctivitis (red eyes), sensitivity to light, barking cough, sore throat, and Koplik's spots (grayish spots, the size of sand, appear in the mouth) just around the molar teeth, seen a day or two before the skin rash appears. The rash (clear red color) usually starts as small (2 mm) spots that double in size fast and joined together, initially around the ears and then in the body and legs. When the rash appears, the fever may shoot up to 40C (104F) for a couple of days, and normalizes when the rash disappears (leaving some brown spots). After seven days, the child will feel well again. Children can return to school/childcare facilities only after they have recovered and the temperature is normal.
WHEN IS MEASLES CONTAGIOUS AND SERIOUS?
The patient with measles is contagious for about nine days (starting four days before the rash appears and five days thereafter).
While measles is a viral infection that is self-limiting (generally leads to spontaneous full recovery), it can be serious, especially among those with weak immune system, where complications are prone to develop. Among these complications are diarrhea, corneal ulceration causing corneal scarring and blurred vision, otitis media (ear infection) pneumonia and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), meningitis (inflammation of the tent-like covering of the brain), the last three account for most of the deaths among patients with measles. Fortunately, the last two complications are not that common.
CAN ADULTS CATCH MEASLES?
Yes, unvaccinated persons, who had never had measles, can get infected when exposed to a patient with measles. Measles is usually more dangerous to adults who catch the disease. My professor in medical school was vacationing in the United States when he caught measles, and died from its complication (pneumonia). Children usually breeze through measles, but it is wise and prudent for all children to have the MMR vaccination, which includes Measles-Mumps-Rubella (German Measles). Chicken Pox vaccine is likewise essential for all children to have.
WHEN SHOULD THE MMR BE GIVEN?
For children, the first dose is given on or after the first birthday, and the second dose at age four to six, before the child enters kindergarten or primary school, or anytime after 28 days from the first does. For adults, at least one dose for those who never had MMR or the measles vaccine, and a second dose is recommended for those who are at higher risk of exposure to, and catching, measles. The vaccine confers up to 90 percent immunity against the virus. Children under one year of age, who are exposed to measles, must be given an immunity injection within five days to ward of the disease.
HOW CAN MEASLES BE PREVENTED?
Vaccination is the best way to prevent measles, on top of a healthy lifestyle for the children to maximize their immunity and resistance to illnesses in general. The other is to avoid exposure to patients with measles. Children who had measles will never catch the disease again, ever, because infection with measles confers a lifelong immunity to it.
WHAT WAS LIGTAS TIGDAS?
Ligtas Tigdas ("Safe from Measles") was a national campaign launched by the Department of Health of the Philippines in early 2004 (the first such preventive program in the region), which vaccinated 18 million children between nine months old to eight years old using door-to-door vaccination service. This program reduced the cases of measles in the country by 96 percent and the deaths from it by 99 percent. From June 2004 to December 2006, no measles were reported, "a historic first in the Philippines following the nationwide Ligtas Tigdas vaccination campaign." Before that program, there were an estimated 6000 children in the Philippines who died from the complications of measles, majority of them from poor households who had least access to public health. The impressive results of this DOH project convinced even the most skeptic that vaccination really did (and do) save lives.
CAN MEASLES OCCUR DURING PREGNANCY?
Yes, measles can infect women during their pregnancy, if they had never had measles before or never had been vaccinated against measles in the past. While measles during pregnancy does not cause any congenital anomaly, it can infect and kill the unborn, it is best for pregnant women to have measles vaccination unless they already had measles as children. If unsure, consult your physician for possible MMR vaccination.
WHAT'S THE HOME TREATMENT FOR MEASLES?
Basically, this is limited to the management of the symptoms, tiredness with bed rest, fever with acetaminophen (like paracetamol or Tylenol) and cough syrup prescribed by your physician, and a lot of fluids to prevent dehydration. Aspirin is not recommended for children as they can be dangerous for them. Children usually tolerate measles well, but if the fever persists for more than four days, or if the child has shortness of breath or if there is any doubt at all, urgent medical consultation is recommended.*
The University of the Philippines Pep Squad is known for their breathtaking stunts and smooth moves. They rally the UP Fighting Maroons with their graceful flips, spins and tumbles.
Young, dynamic and fierce, the UP Pep Squad has been a force to reckon with on the dance floor in the past seven years, beating other schools in the UAAP Cheerdance competition on several occasions. In fact, the squad has held the title for the years 1999, 2000, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2010 and most recently in 2011. They recently joined some of the world's best cheering squads when they won the bronze medal in the mixed team category at the prestigious 6th Cheerleading World Championships held at the Hong Kong Coliseum.
This time around, they will be rooting for young people as Sun Cellular's Youth Icons, a title given to a group of young, unique and passionate achievers who epitomize the brand's personality. "We are proud and happy to welcome the UP Pep Squad to the Sun family. It was an easy choice for us because they represent what Sun Cellular is all about insofar as the youth is concerned," said Jocel Adorable, Sun Cellular's assistant vice president for Marketing Services.
The official announcement came during the much anticipated Elevate: Lift One Another Up, the sold-out annual dance concert held at the UP Theater featuring a dance and music spectacle. One of the highlights of the event was a dance routine by the UP Pep Squad where they performed their own interpretation of the Sun Text Unlimited (TU) Power Move, a series of hip swag moves inspired by the equally cool Sun Text Unlimited offers. Their number was oozing with style, confidence and energy, much like what Sun is all about.
"We are truly honored," said Coach Lalaine Perena, who has been at the helm since the team was formed in 1998. She added, "I do hope we live up to their (Sun Cellular's) expectations." Perena shared that what started out as a proposal for a one-time sponsorship culminated to a year-long partnership. Their collaboration started with this year's "ELEV80s Concert" and things went uphill from that point forward.
With Sun Cellular coming in to support the UP Pep Squad's numerous activities for a year, Coach Perena believes that communication among members will be more efficient and seamless given Sun's unlimited calls and texts which the entire team can now enjoy. Sun Power Text Unlimited 200 comes with 30 days of unlimited Sun texts, four hours of Sun calls and 500 texts to other networks, enabling the team members to call each other and coordinate their schedules.
"Sun Cellular boasts of its power to improve the way people communicate and just like Sun, I believe the UP Pep has this power." Together, Perena said, they are a powerful team with strong and energetic moves. "That is how we will represent Sun Cellular, UP Pep with Sun Power!"*PEP