10.23.2009

reposted from ellaganda.com

Reposting.. :)

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Aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo? (A special report from a volunteer)

Please bear with me. I’m trying to fix my site. It went all crazy. Siguro dahil sa sobrang dami ng traffic, hindi nakayanan ng powers ng site ko. My apologies to everyone.

Dear friends,

I’m asking your help to spread the word. Tulungan po ninyo akong ikalat ito. Beyond this, we should also demand action. I disabled a plugin so you can copy the photos of relief goods rotting in DSWD warehouses. You can link this post to your blogs, facebook, websites etc. You can also email the photos.

Philippine News (US based Philippine newspaper) will use this as its front page story this week. Every Filipino has the right to know where the tons of donations from the UN and other counties go. Kahit po nakakahiya sa mga nag-donate. Kung sa ganitong paraan, matutulungan natin ang mga nasalanta, then by all means, let’s do it.

For those who have the time, please try to volunteer sa DSWD warehouses. Getting in was not easy. A friend had to put in a word for us. Let’s see kung madali nang makapasok sa DSWD warehouse ang mga volunteers.

Please read on and good luck to us.

Ella

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(This post was last edited Oct 22, 12:30 pm)

Kahapon, tinanong ng Philippine News si DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral:

Editor of Philippine News: Why are the relief goods in DSWD warehouses not moving?

DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral: Wala kasing volunteers.

This short interview was done over the phone. Philippine News wanted to hear her side pero ayaw niyang makipag-usap sa press. After four tries, pinasabi na lang niya ang maikling sagot na ito sa secretary niya - “Walang volunteers”.

I don’t want to accuse her of corruption but at the very least she is showing signs of being totally incompetent. We are in a state of calamity where every second counts. May namamatay araw-araw dahil sa sakit.

In my opinion, these deaths could have been prevented if Secretary Cabral had tried a little harder to do her job.

div
    Deaths from Philippine storms nears 1,000

    “Tropical Storm Ketsana left 420 dead and 37 missing when it flooded 80 percent of Manila on September 26, a disaster the government said affected 4.35 million people.

    Some areas are still flooded three weeks later and 189,000 people remain in evacuation centres,

    Typhoon Parma hit the northern Philippines on October 3 and lingered as a tropical storm for a week, triggering landslides that killed 438 people and leaving 51 missing mostly in mountain communities.

    The government agency said Parma affected 4.16 million people, including more than 32,000 who remain at evacuation centres.”

div

During the first week after the storm, lumabas ang “bayanihan spirit” ng mga Pinoy. “Makatulong lang kahi’t konti,” katwiran nila.

kung walang volunteers, ano ‘to, komiks?

From Stella Arnaldo’s blog:

    “At the offices of many civic groups and private organizations, hundreds of people showed up to volunteer in packing relief goods.

    At the Tulong Bayan center at the Expo Centro in Cubao, Most of the volunteers were adolescents as young as 10 years old, along with their kuya or ate in high school and college.

    They came in huge numbers, many of them barkadas, classmates or siblings, dressed just in their tees and shorts, wearing their Havaianas. All were just enthusiastic to do their share!
    Photos by Leah Navarro

    bayanihan
    Even grade school kids pitched in to help!

    tulong
    Youth volunteers repack detergents for distribution

    making beds
    Making beds from carton boxes

div

GMA asked world for donations

Our government begged the world for more donations. Sumagot ang buong mundo sa ating panawagan. In less than three weeks, dumaong ang mga barko, ibinaba mula sa mga cargo planes, i-diniliver ng mga trak at container vans ang sandamakmak na relief goods. Cash donations were in the millions of dollars.

But these donations must be coursed through DSWD

Nagpalabas ng directive ang pangulo. Individuals, private companies and other nations were ENCOURAGED to send their donations to DSWD. I blogged about it here and the video of her announcement here.

This PGMA directive sounded suspicious to me then. Now I know why. Here’s the story.

A group of eight people, your ate Ella included, went to one of DSWD warehouses to help in repacking relief goods. We know they need volunteers pero hindi namin akalaing WALANG TAO TALAGA SA LOOB NG WAREHOUSE!

As in sa isang humongous warehouse (1000++ sq.m) NA PUNONG-PUNO NG RELIEF GOODS HANGGANG BUBONG, ISANG DSWD employee lang at ISANG SECURITY GUARD ang tao!!

Kailangang magpa-register at i-schedule ang volunteering

    1) UNICEF Registration (as a volunteer)

    The warehouse can only take as much as 50 volunteers at a time or per shift. Here you will find that there is a 4-hour shift, and an option for a 6-hour shift for the volunteers to indicate their availability.

What “volunteers”? Nasaan?

Aside from the 8 of us? Nope, there was nobody there. Bakit kailangan ang scheduling? Feeling hindi ba magkamayaw at nagu-unahan ang mga volunteers?

I know somebody who wanted to volunteer many times. She was always bumped off, laging nirere-schedule kasi “there were too many volunteers” daw. At tuwing Sunday lang daw puwede. What the hell is going on here?

Nakatambak ang donations ng UNICEF sa warehouse, local and international

Mga banig na dapat ay nahihigaan ng mga nasalanta. Mga imported camp beds na hindi na yata masisilayan ng mga biktima. Mga kumot na hindi naman nakabalot sa katawan nila. At mga pagkaing hindi sumasayad sa sikmura nila.

The relief goods are not going anywhere

We arrived at about 8 am and left by midafternoon and yes, you guessed it right. Kami pa rin ang tao bukod sa isang DSWD employee sa loob ng warehouse maghapon. Walang ibang dumating.

The relief goods are not moving. By the way things look, they are not going anywhere. Hindi maglalakad mag-isa ang mga donations na ito papunta sa mga evacuation centers.

LET THE PICTURES DO THE TALKING

Note: Pinagbawalan kaming kumuha ng pictures sa loob ng warehouse. I wonder why.

walang tao 2
“Not a creature was moving, not even a mouse.”

walang tao
Parang haunted warehouse ang dating. May multo na yata.

pots and pans
Kahit na daig pa ang tindahan sa Divisoria sa dami ng naka-stack na kaldero

kaldero pa ulit
At walang katapusang kaldero pa ulit

delata 2
Kahit halos natakpan na ang mga bintana sa dami ng mga kahon

coleman
Kahit umabot na hanggang kisame ang stack ng mga kahon

camp pads
(Close up ng Coleman camp beds sa previous photo) Hindi ito kasama sa ni-repack naming goods. Para sa mga “special victims” kaya ito? Ire-repack kaya ang mga “imported” camp pads na ito ever?

banig
Sabagay, may BANIG naman para sa “ordinary victims”. Ito ang kasama sa inimpake namin. Sayang ‘yung imported.

kumot
Ano kaya ang laman nito? Hindi rin pinabuksan. Pang-special victim din kaya ito? (teka, dito nga pala galing ‘yung mga kumot)

jica
Mahiwagang mga kahon from Japan Aid.

japan
(close up ng mahiwagang kahon) Hindi rin ito kasali, of course. Hindi namin alam kung ano ang laman nito. “Imported” are not included, we have concluded.

toys
Marami ito, mga laruang kasinlaki ng tao. Hindi nakunan ng pic kasi nasa tabi ng sikyo.

pork and beans
PORK AND BEANS? Yup, you’d think kasama ito sa relief bag. Pork and beans lang ‘to, puwede na sigurong ipamigay,

close up pork and beans
Naaah! “Imported” pork and beans from Spain po ito. Sorry, hindi pa rin included

Now let’s take a look at what a victim will get from DSWD

sa loob ng kaldero
Look Ma, sampung lata ng sardinas! How generous! Kaldero ang unang ilalagay sa sako. Sabong panglaba (bar soap) at sampung sardinas sa ilalim. Siyam na sabon sa gilid ng kaldero. Local goods lahat syempre.

tuwalya at napkin
Tapos papatungan ng isang tuwalya at isang pack ng sanitary napkin.

kumot
Sisiksikan ng tatlong rolyo ng kumot(?) ang blue water jug tapos ipapatong sa kaldero sa loob ng sako.

sako
Last but not the least, lalagyan ng dalawang banig.

tinatahi
Sabay tatahiin na ang sako. O di ba, parang asong tinapunan ng buto ang mga nasalanta? Eniwey, busog naman sila sa SAMPUNG lata ng Mega sardinas

Do not delay

do not delay

YOU THINK?? WTF is the matter with these people? Mag-iisang buwan na mula nang masalanta ang mga kababayan natin. ISANG BUWAN!! Do you mean “do not delay ang dati nang delayed”?? Shet.

Anong ginagawa ng mga donations na ito sa warehouse?? APAT na warehouse ang nasa loob ng compound na ‘yon! APAT na warehouse na punong-puno ng inaalikabok na relief goods! Relief goods na ayaw yata ibigay sa mga nasalanta. Halatang-halata.

Marami pang pabubulukin

shipment
Wow! May bagong shipment na naman! At the rate DSWD is moving, next year na madi-discover kung ano ang laman ng mga kahong ito.
nutri biscuit
    “The first of two of the largest high-energy food shipments from the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) arrived in the country two days ago for victims of storm “Ondoy” and typhoon “Pepeng.”

    The biscuits were fortified with essential vitamins and minerals for supplementary feeding to children, pregnant women and the elderly in evacuation camps. Another 100 tons of biscuits will arrive on Oct. 24, in a continuing effort to provide food assistance to flood victims.

Sige, ideretso ‘nyo ulit ‘yan sa DSWD warehouse. Para AMAG naman ang abutin ng biskwit… at sapot ng gagamba.

Conclusion

Sa maghapon namin sa warehouse,nakagawa kami ng 150 sacks of relief goods. 150 bags of relief goods lang ang lumabas sa warehouse na ‘yon that day. At nandoon pa rin sa loob ang mga imported relief goods, safe, sound and packed as the day they arrived.

Nakisakay kami palabas sa isang DSWD delivery van. Gusto sana kaming ihatid ng driver hanggang Makati pero wala raw siyang sobrang gasolina. Ibinaba na lang niya kami sa gitna ng EDSA. Millions of dollars in donations, walang extrang pang-gasolina.

Susulpot din siguro ang laman ng mga mahiwagang kahon at mapapasakamay din ng mga tao…sa ARAW NG ELEKSYON. O mabibili na nila ang mga imported goods na ‘yon sa mga puwesto sa Quiapo at Divisoria.

Suggestions lang po sa DSWD:

  • Alam ‘nyo palang walang mag-volunteer sa inyo, bakit hindi kayo mag-hire ng mga tao? Bayaran ‘nyo ng arawan para mag-repack. Ang daming walang trabaho, makakatulong pa kayo. Hindi naman malaking kabawasan ‘yon sa bilyong pisong donasyon na natanggap ninyo.
  • Isa pa, gaano ba karami ang mga sundalo natin? Hindi ba puwedeng ipagawa sa kanila ‘yan? Baka isang araw lang, tapos na ang problema ‘nyo
  • Bakit hindi ‘nyo ibigay ang trabaho sa mga NGO, churches, private charities, TV stations? I’m sure they are more than willing to help. Time is of the essence. Huwag kayong suwapang. Obvious ba, hindi ‘nyo naman kaya.

    Kung talagang gugustuhin ninyong makarating agad sa mga kawawang biktima ang mga donasyong ‘yon, nagawa ‘nyo na ‘yan. Maraming paraan…kung talagang gusto ‘nyo lang.

    You are the government. You have the power, the resources and the money. You just have to really care.

  • 9.28.2009

    Ondoy, Ondoy!

    Ondoy, Ondoy!

    Tatlong taon na kami sa tinitirahan naming apartment. Aware kami sa kung papano bahain ang lugar namin (J Victor, Brgy Pio del Pilar, Makati ). Fot three years, sanay na kaming lumusong sa baha pag papasok sa work. OK lang naman yun. Wala naman na kami magagawa kung bahain sa amin db?! Pero grabe ang eksena sa munting tahanan naming sa JVictor nung sabado. OO! I mean sa loob ng bahay at hindi sa daan. Wala ka nang tulog, nagsswimming ka pa sa baha. AYOS! GANITO KAMI SA MAKATI !

    Sabi ni Binay, Libre daw ang paaral sa Makati . Libre din ang ospital. LIBRE DIN ANG SWIMMING POOL SA LOOB NG BAHAY!

    Eto ang itsura ng aming munting tahanan:

    Eto, ang itsura ng labas ng bahay! Ayos!

    Si KFC na umabot sa banyo!

    Ginawa na naming tabo an gaming timba!

    Lumutang ka, o tsinelas ko!

    Ang reflection ng door ng bathroom sa floor.

    Pagtatampisaw sa baha! Tsk!

    Eto ang itsura ng ayala! Ayos!!! J

    Sana lang hanggang dito nalang ang pahirap! Ayaw ko na.. tsk!

    9.17.2009

    Engineer!

    I so love waking up to a good news! Seph just passed the Registered Electrical Engineer Board Exam. I knew it! I knew he would make it!

    iloveyou Engr. Joseph Noel Martin dela Rosa! i truly do.

    8.28.2009

    Lost.

    I seem LOST!

    yeah. i feel lost lately. i have been thinking (meron bako isip?! lol) of the things i wanted and the dreams i had before i entered the corporate world. i wanted to be "somebody". i wanted money, fame, career and a cute boss (xempre naman db?!). those were the days when my college friends will tell me "malayo ang mararating mo."

    I am stuck here. I feel rotten that i never lived up to the expectations of people around me. Yes, I am somebody for my parents. I am, as i may say, a great "ate" to my siblings. Hey, i can say i am trying to be a good girlfriend to seph. I still have friends who seek my advise and approval on certain issues.

    But i feel like i am a "nobody". I became the exact opposite of the the "ideal kat" that i was dreaming of. A nobody. tsk! Hey, at least our big boss is kinda cute. ;)

    i am still young. at my age, people say i have accomplished a lot. nevertheless, i feel bad of not having realized my dream yet. i know i still have time to fulfill my longing of being a "somebody".

    Pray for me.

    8.13.2009

    this too shall pass

    I have been rereading all books (novels mostly) that I have. I almost got all John Grisham's work. I am still trying to collect William Bernhardt books (hope I will be able to).

    Yeah. Life is boring lately. I have to drag myself to work every single day. I have to tell myself this phrase every time I wake up - "this too shall pass"(laziness)! hahaha. I am fed up with being a slave worker. I'm tired of the nonsense policies and nonsense issues. I abhor the sight of some people and the narrowness of mind of folks back there. It got to a point where everything is too much to bear. it is too much that I just distance myself from that world. Hypocrites start crawling under my skin, they are getting into my nerves.

    Well, this too shall pass. It might but maybe it won't. Maybe, it will stay with me for a long time. This feeling may never go away. Who cares anyway? I don't think people around me cares. So why should I?

    8.06.2009

    High. Low.

    High. Low.

    High Points and Low Points (so far) of the...

    YEAR

    High:
    I had my birthday, was able to save up money for my sibblings' tuition and school things. Ateng-ate ang dating ayt? hehe

    Low:
    I was diagnosed with PCOS. Yeah, I'm still suffering the effects of the medicine i take every damn single day. I hope I get better. I want children! lol

    MONTH (July)

    High:
    I felt the joy of singlehood again on the 15th! lol. after 3 looong months of saving up everything, I was able to get my hair cut, go to starbucks and splurge and buy lots of books.

    Low:
    I have a job but no career. It makes me sick to think back of the old college me who had lots of dreams and goals. I sometimes think that I had a 180-degree turn of outlook in life. I have lots of what-ifs and if-onlys. I feel sick to my tummy when i look at what i've become. Exaggerated? No, it is not!

    DAY (August 06)

    High:
    None. I had no high today.

    Low:
    I really feel bad. I feel sad, lonely and uncared for. I feel neglected, unwanted and unimportant. Yes, you made me feel all that in just that petty thing that happened. I hope this feeling goes as quickly as it came - or there will be hell to pay.

    7.21.2009

    APE Madness!

    Annual Physical Exam. July 21, 2009. Badtip! I swear, sobrang badtrip ang letcheng exam na yan.

    We were there around 9:45. 10:15, asa loob na kami for blood, urine and xray. 10:35 tapos na. wow! ayos to, medyo mabilis.

    11:00 natest ang eyes namin. Also, napulsohan and BP na kami. Height and weight was done as well. pwede db? physical exam nalang with the doctor tapos na. yes!

    12:00 na wala pa rin. Lunch break daw sila. FINE! lunch break din kami para iwas badtrip lang. by 12:50 nasa patients first na ulit kami.

    1:00 nagtanong kami sa nurse station. Next na daw kami. Sige lang, hintay pa ng onti. 1:10, 1:20 wala parin. nang gigigil nako sa pagod, puyat at inis. grrr! badtip na to

    1:25 pumunta si snowy sa nurse station. Sabi nila, sa front desk daw kami kasi dun ang exam namin at di sa kanila. I lost my patience. taena, kanina pa andyan ang papers namin sa inyo saka nyo sasabihin samin yan?! g*guhan db?

    punta ako ng front desk, tanong ko daw sa station dun sa loob. pasok naman ako. Si ateng tibo ang andun, nagtanong ako. next na daw kami. so ok, gigil parin ako pero medyo nafacify na ng onti. Konting tiis nalang. pinapasok nako sa room to change and wait for the doctor daw.

    Sinamahan ako ni T-Bird sa room. Sinabihan ako ng "Pasensya na po. Kasi po kung gusto nyo pala na matapos before lunch sana 9am or 10am andito na kayo." nandilim ang paningin ko, literally! sagot talaga ako ng medyo pasigaw na, "ano?! alam mo ba anong oras pa kami dito? quarter to 10. tanong mo sa front desk. wag nyo ipasa ang kasalanan nyo samin. the incompetence of the clinic is not to be blamed on us. (sabay irap kay ate) ang kasama naming 11 na dumating tapos na." ayun. lumabas. hintayin ko daw ang doctor.

    1:40, 1:50, wala paring doctor! WALA PA! tawag ako ke snowy, abah, tapos na si bakla samantalang nauna ako pumasok. Si mel asa loob na rin daw. Nananadya ba ang mga t*rant*dong to?! Sabi ni snowy, magtatanong na daw siya, end of call.

    1:55 pumasok ang doctor. Mega sorry si ate. busy daw at maraming tao. ang sagot ko, "30 hours nakong gising. 10 palang andito na kami. ang kasama naming 11 na dumating tapos na. ano yun?" sorry ulit si doc. in fairness, mabait siya

    2:10 tapos na lahat. 15 minutes lang pala ang lahat, naghintay kami ng pagkatagal tagal. bangag ako. badtrip ako. nanggigigil ako!

    7.14.2009

    Cartwheel lang.

    So many issues sa work. I know, it's not a new story. What is new is it's being escalated to HR na ata. why?! because it appeared in a blog. All conversation and such alike, which is confidential. tsk! good luck. yun lang ang masasabi ko.. :)

    7.10.2009

    Update Update!

    updates nalang muna. tamad magblog lately. hehe

    - haggard sa work. hindi naman sa dami ng trabaho ito kundi sa mga tao sa paligid ko. minsan nakakaumay na ang politika dito. haaay.

    - mababawasan na naman kami. Meron magreresign again. kawawa naman kami ayt? kawawa naman ako...

    - im thinking of resigning na din. It's time to move on, well, maybe. It's just too much for me that inno is leaving. wala nako kakampi at ka agapay sa trabaho. lol

    - Badtrip ang hormonal pills! Im having tummy cramps and migrane. ang chaka ng panlasa ko. lagi akong bwisit! nkakainis na talaga.

    - i wanna have aH1N1 virus. I want to rest away from the office. 10 days din yun. hahah

    - naghihintay nako ng sweldo kasi la nako pera. loser!

    - i miss my friends. i miss going out with them. I miss conference people. rehn, coffee?

    - seph and I will be on tagaytay next weekend. can't wait. :)

    - july 9 was my sis' bday! happy 7th birthday. onti nalang dalaga ka na din. ang bilis talaga ng panahon.

    - inaantok ako. nagugutom ako. ayaw ko magtrabaho!

    Update Update!

    updates nalang muna. tamad magblog lately. hehe

    - haggard sa work. hindi naman sa dami ng trabaho ito kundi sa mga tao sa paligid ko. minsan nakakaumay na ang politika dito. haaay.

    - mababawasan na naman kami. Meron magreresign again. kawawa naman kami ayt? kawawa naman ako...

    - im thinking of resigning na din. It's time to move on, well, maybe. It's just too much for me that inno is leaving. wala nako kakampi at ka agapay sa trabaho. lol

    - Badtrip ang hormonal pills! Im having tummy cramps and migrane. ang chaka ng panlasa ko. lagi akong bwisit! nkakainis na talaga.

    - i wanna have aH1N1 virus. I want to rest away from the office. 10 days din yun. hahah

    - naghihintay nako ng sweldo kasi la nako pera. loser!

    - i miss my friends. i miss going out with them. I miss conference people. rehn, coffee?

    - seph and I will be on tagaytay next weekend. can't wait. :)

    - july 9 was my sis' bday! happy 7th birthday. onti nalang dalaga ka na din. ang bilis talaga ng panahon.

    - inaantok ako. nagugutom ako. ayaw ko magtrabaho!

    6.25.2009

    to you..

    to the almighty
    for faith, hope and forgiveness
    i owe you my all

    to my family
    for the love and the support
    i'll give you my best

    to my beloved
    for the memories and care
    i love you so much

    to my enemies
    for the courage and the strength
    i wish you good life

    to my detractors
    for wasting your time on me
    i pray you be happy

    and, to my good friends
    for laughters and all the tears
    i'll always be here

    to you who's reading
    for taking time through this poem
    i thank you always!

    6.24.2009

    Recent Realizations

    recent realizations:

    1. The world is round. you might be at the top now but you may go way down the next second. beware!

    2. Relationship (Friendship, bf-gf, family etc.) is reciprocity, mutuality. "Do unto others what you want others do unto you." Don't offend if you don't want to be offended. GIve if you want to receive. That simple.

    * "Do not do to others what would anger you if done to you by others." – Isocrate

    3. "It is the latest pathetic excuse from an administration that never admits a mistake, no matter how disastrous." - J Lockhart.

    i can only agree! disastrus indeed.

    4. what goes around comes around. Do your job well and everything will go smoothly. DO NOT pass on to others what you can do for the situation. Resolution is in your hands.

    5. Cutting off people who keeps you from growing feels good. I tried and it is good. Especially if these people are selfish brats.

    6.22.2009

    Frustrating Weekend

    Frustrating Weekend

    I was at Patients First last saturday. I was refered by a friend to a good OB-Gyne there to have myself checked because it's been 4 months since my last period. (this has been happening since the start of my menstruation days.) I had spotting last week for a day then it stopped. I was at the clinic for 4 hours. Having them check on my ovaries and all.

    I was diagnosed to have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). I have cyst on both ovaries (actually it's some kind of eggs not going out of my ovary which takes up space to be used so my eggs don't mature). I was shocked at first but then i said, damn, so what?! right? I was thinking this way until the doctor prescribed me metformin which i have to take for a year! What?! that serious?! I was devastated. Doc said PCOS will decrease my chances of getting pregnant. Also, she told me I have to be cured by the meds i was prescribed with in a year or i have to conceive. duh?! Im only 21 now. Im not yet ready to have a baby. The hell!

    I am checking on PCOS information online today only to find out that I have no reason to fret at all. Yes, im sick but it can be treated. PCOS is more of endocrine problem than reproductive. It has something to do with my insulin level. (my body repels insulin accdg to the doctor and so i was to take metformin which is my dad's med for diabetes). It's really good to be informed of the things you are experiencing. Thanks to the net!


    The symptoms of PCOS include, but are not limited to the following:

    * irregular or no menstrual periods
    * acne
    * obesity/weight gain/inability to lose weight - now i know why im fat :(
    * breathing problems while sleeping
    * depression
    * oily skin
    * infertility
    * skin discolorations
    * high cholesterol levels
    * elevated blood pressure
    * excess or abnormal hair growth and distribution
    * pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis
    * multiple ovarian cysts
    * skin tags

    Q: What causes polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?
    A: The cause of PCOS is unknown. Most researchers think that more than one factor could play a role in developing PCOS. Genes are thought to be one factor. Women with PCOS tend to have a mother or sister with PCOS. Researchers also think insulin could be linked to PCOS. Insulin is a hormone
    that controls the change of sugar, starches, and other food into energy for the body to use or store. For many women with PCOS, their bodies have problems using insulin so that too much insulin is in the body. Excess insulin appears to increase production of androgen. This hormone is made in fat cells, the ovaries, and the adrenal
    gland. Levels of androgen that are higher than normal can lead to acne, excessive hair growth, weight gain, and problems with ovulation.

    Q: Does polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) put women at risk for other health problems?
    A: Women with PCOS have greater chances of developing several serious, life-threatening diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cancer. Recent studies found that:
    ● More than 50 percent of women with PCOS will have diabetes or pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance)
    before the age of 40.
    ● Women with PCOS have a four to seven times higher risk of heart attack than women of the same age without PCOS.
    ● Women with PCOS are at greater risk of having high blood pressure.
    ● Women with PCOS have high levels
    of LDL (bad) cholesterol and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.


    6.18.2009

    The Past!





    I recovered some pictures from my old blog site, freewebs. I wanted to cry when i saw this pic! Dramatikos.. I love you guys! see yah soon.. (nica, mark batac on red shirt, dale, me and richard)













    Eto naman is my pic from school, second year college palang ako dito.. obviously, im not yet stressed out! lol
















    First picture with seph.. cute daw kami dito sabi nya.. haha!

    Too Much!

    Too Much

    Current Work Scenario:

    Day 1: Delayed Greeting
    *** yadaah yadaah!

    Day 2: Customer Callback
    *** yadaah yadaah!

    Day 3: Medical Evaluations
    Callbacks
    *** yadaah yadaah!

    ***Broadcast messages via IM sent to the whole team almost twice a day.


    There is a concept of too much. Please, STOP! It isn't funny anymore. Fine, it is ok to remind your team. Fine, you are just doing your job. But please, learn to air out these concerns on proper chanels! That is what WEEKLY feedback sessions are for, for christ's sake!

    Sick Leave

    Below is the tumbling IM conversation I had regarding clarifications on Sick Leaves. (edited so as you will understand the flow of the conversation.)

    Jun 17, 2009
    kAt.KaT said at 12:19PM:
    ** question po pala
    kAt.KaT said at 12:19PM:
    duns a med eval na email kanina
    ** said at 12:19PM:
    yes po?
    kAt.KaT said at 12:19PM:
    accdg to the email, Your productivity is set to 0%.

    kAt.KaT said at 12:20PM:
    is this applicable for SLs as well? ( Sick Leave )
    ** said at 12:20PM:
    yes khat
    kAt.KaT said at 12:20PM:
    kahit meron med cert?
    ** said at 12:20PM:
    opo
    kAt.KaT said at 12:21PM:
    kasi my concern is that kung meron med cert and ti-nag ng clinic as SL, wala naman kami magagawa.. kaso parang unfair sa part namin na zero ang prod namin dahil nagkasakit kami
    ** said at 12:24PM:
    hmmm..
    ** said at 12:24PM:
    ganun nga po..
    ** said at 12:25PM:
    parang some things are invetable
    kAt.KaT said at 12:25PM:
    so kahit may med cert kami, 0% talaga?
    kAt.KaT said at 12:25PM:
    hmmm...
    ** said at 12:25PM:
    opo
    ** said at 12:25PM:
    parang ganito po kc
    ** said at 12:25PM:
    if med leave, meaning u can't work as is
    ** said at 12:25PM:
    pero pag sick leave.. some people can
    ** said at 12:25PM:
    some people can't
    ** said at 12:26PM:
    parang in between
    kAt.KaT said at 12:26PM:
    yun na nga po.. pano kung andun sa ka category na hindi na talaga kaya?
    kAt.KaT said at 12:26PM:
    zero prod ka, zero SA
    kAt.KaT said at 12:26PM:
    pero nagsubmit ka ng med cert
    kAt.KaT said at 12:26PM:
    so parang SL is just like call in
    ** said at 12:27PM:
    opo
    fema said at 12:27PM:
    same with call in
    ** said at 12:27PM:
    pede kang mag call in dahil sa fever
    kAt.KaT said at 12:27PM:
    parang kasi po ang mangyayari. don't bother getting a med cert nalang. wala din naman effect
    ** said at 12:27PM:
    so, sick leave sya
    kAt.KaT said at 12:27PM:
    parang ganun
    kAt.KaT said at 12:27PM:
    ang hirap naman
    kAt.KaT said at 12:27PM:
    hehe
    ** said at 12:27PM:
    tama po.
    ** said at 12:27PM:
    kc, those who submit a med cert
    ** said at 12:27PM:
    are those hoping maging med leave
    ** said at 12:27PM:
    especially ung NCNS
    kAt.KaT said at 12:27PM:
    ah ok..
    kAt.KaT said at 12:28PM:
    sige po
    kAt.KaT said at 12:28PM:
    thanks

    ___________________

    So, sa aming kompanya (or sa account lang namin.. not sure na rin eh!):

    1. Bawal magkasakit. Bawal magka-emergency. Bawal lahat, pati paghinga!

    2. Pag meron kang sakit, iisipin parin nila na nagdadahilan ka lang.. ganun talaga ang buhay, wala ka magagawa!

    3. Siguruhing i-aapprove ang Medical Leave mo pag nagkasakit ka. Ibig sabihin, siguraduhing mamamatay ka na bago mag-absent sa work!

    get it?! good!

    Rueda Bldg Fire

    Fire hits Makati commercial building
    By Abigail Kwok
    INQUIRER.net
    Posted date: June 18, 2009


    MANILA, Philippines— Fire of still unknown origin hit a commercial building in Makati City Thursday afternoon, the city fire department said.

    The fire at Campus Rueda Building on Urvan Street started at 3:36 p.m. and has reached Task Force Bravo as of posting time.

    At least 20 fire trucks have been deployed to the site.


    ___________________________________

    It was a sad event. I walked from home to work today due to the fire - thankful still that even if my feet hurt, i was not there to experience the said event. We frequent Chiggy's to eat also Sukina to drink after work. While passing through the street awhile ago, i was enveloped by the thought of not having to see chiggy's and sukina open everyday when I walk to and from work. There were at least 20 fire trucks in the area. At least 50 firemen were there to help and 100 "usisero" people looking at the extent of the damage. I even saw a fireman climbing up the building to kill the fire completely.

    My feet hurt. But i cannot imagine how much pain the owner, the personnels and the customers who were affected felt when the fire started. My condolences!

    6.16.2009

    Snowy's Video

    Snowy sang 3 songs with the band last saturday. Check out one of them here.

    I'll post the pix when i have time. =)

    6.15.2009

    I'm Yours

    Well you done done me and you bet I felt it
    I tried to be chill but you're so hot that I melted
    I fell right through the cracks
    And now I'm trying to get back
    Before the cool done run out
    I'll be giving it my best test
    Nothing's going to stop me but divine intervention
    I reckon it's again my turn to win some or learn some

    I won't hesitate no more, no more
    It cannot wait, I'm yours

    Well open up your mind and see like me
    Open up your plans and damn you're free
    Look into your heart and you'll find love love love
    Listen to the music of the moment people dance and sing
    We're just one big family
    It's your God-forsaken right to be loved love loved love loved

    So I won't hesitate no more, no more
    It cannot wait I'm sure
    There's no need to complicate
    Our time is short
    This is our fate, I'm yours

    I've been spending way too long checking my tongue in the mirror
    And bending over backwards just to try to see it clearer
    My breath fogged up the glass
    And so I drew a new face and laughed
    I guess what I'ma saying is there ain't no better reason
    To rid yourself of vanity and just go with the seasons
    It's what we aim to do
    Our name is our virtue

    I won't hesitate no more, no more
    It cannot wait I'm sure
    There's no need to complicate
    Our time is short
    This is our fate, I'm yours

    Well no no, well open up your mind and see like me
    Open up your plans and damn you're free
    Look into your heart and you'll find the sky is yours
    Listen to the music of the moment come and dance with me
    A lá one big family (2nd time: A lá happy family; 3rd time: A lá peaceful melody)
    It's your God-forsaken right to be loved love love love

    I won't hesitate no more, no more
    It cannot wait, I'm sure
    There's no need to complicate
    Our time is short
    This is our fate, I'm yours

    No please, don't complicate
    Our time is short
    This is our fate, I'm yours

    No please, don't hesitate
    No more, no more
    It cannot wait
    The sky is yours!

    I just so love this song! =)

    The MOA Escapade

    saturday was a bomb!

    at last, I went out with friends after soooo long! napadpad kami sa MOA. Dinner at chiggy's with crista's kwento-to-the-max usapan and the lechon kawali na truly-ng nakakaheart attack!

    by 9PM asa "The Pits" bar na kami.. front seat kami pumwesto at ilang beses na-okray na board of judges daw! haha. Naka 5 tower kami ng beer.. nakikanta si snowy and cindy. take note, super palakpak at super daming fans ni snowy! ayos! Magaling kumanta ang board of judges.. haha.. BTW, dami namin! leo, allen, yung friend nila, ako, seph, crista, snowy, JR, Cindy, Jorge and the BF and the friend! bongga!

    lipat kami ng bar around 2:30AM.. i was with cindy, roger and seph nalang by then kasi naguwian na ang mga tao. wooaaah! tumbling naman ako kasi hinarapan kami ng isa pang tower ng beer at tequila! si pareng jose kumakaway sakin.. tsk! e di mega inom naman ang beauty ko dahil feeling ko hindi ako tinatablan.. kain ng pizza dito, shot ng tequila dun sabay hugas ng beer! ayos db?!

    4:00AM.. puno na ang tiyan ko.. antok na si seph.. so sabi ko, uuna na kami. ayaw pa man sana nung magasawa dahil bday daw ni JR ng 16, sinumpong naman ang migrane ko so uwian na talaga.. aba naman, pagtayo ko ok pa naman ako.. nakailang hakbang palang ako e nafeel ko ang biglaang tama sa ulo ko.. traidor talaga si pareng jose cuervo! astig talagang mandaya.. tsk!

    4:30AM, finally home! ayos.. rest rest rest dapat pero nagising din ng around 10AM. hang over! this is the worst part! The best?! conversation and laugh trip with friends..

    I enjoyed the night. =)

    6.08.2009

    Shorts!

    At last, pinayagan nako ni seph magshorts lumabas ng bahay! wahahha

    and ako naman, nanamantalaga.. mega buy agad ng couple of shorts.. ayos!

    goodbye mainit na pantalon, hello shorts! =)

    6.05.2009

    Wow! June Na!

    June na... Halfway na ng 2009. Wow! ambilis ng panahon.

    June na, tag ulan na.. tagbaha na rin sa aming lugar sa makati. ayos! kahapon lang ay lumusong ako sa baha. Yes! Sa sobrang arte kong ito e lumusong ako sa baha na umabot sa gutter ng aming street. woohooo! gusto ko na naman umiyak. Umuwi kasi ako nun dahil nag- e-LBM ako.. masakit na masakit na ang tiyan ko. tsk! swerte db?!

    June na, pasukan na. syempre pag pasukan na, gastusan na naman. Tatlo ang kapatid kong nag-aaral. 2 elementary at 1 high school. Sa entrance fees palang patay na ang budget ko, idagdag mo pa ang gamit nila, sapatos at kung ano-ano. tsk! June = taghirap. LOL

    June na, mid-year bonus na! Kung applicable lang sana samin ito e masaya! kaso hindi naman kami kasali sa mga mapalad na meron bonus. asa pa kami db! haha

    June na! officially, 3 years nako sa pinapasukang kompanya. Andami nang nangyari. Andaming naging kaibigan, Andaming nawala. 3 taon nakong nagttiyaga sa lahat ng kalokohan at kabaliwan ng aking mga kasama. haha! Salamat at meron akong trabaho. :)

    June na. Masarap na matulog. Ayaw ko magtrabaho. Inaantok ako!

    5.27.2009

    reminiscing..

    Im sad today. So I had this bright idea to list the things i am thankful for and the things that made my life uber happy.


    I thank God for....

    1. my family who loves and supports me in all things i do. I really feel loved for this.

    2. letting me see life in a different perspective through Seph.

    3. all friends who has been with me through thick and thin. For those friends who understands me though I don't speak about my problems.

    4. my job. It's not much but it is a job. It is a big blessing for me and my family especially now that my dad needs constant check-ups and medicine sustenance.

    5. Mel, Snowy, Inno, Xandra, JB, Dean, Leo, Milen, Daddy and the people at work who makes my everyday happy. They make me smile when I see them.

    6. COnference people - Rehn, Alvin, Dex, Ckhoree, Rich, Khaye, Rein. I love you much. I know I am not visible this past few months. Bawi ako pag may time.

    7. Powerhouse - Rhaie, Glena, Dette, Kaname, Danz, Verdict, Joy. You are the light of my "masalimuot" college years! You will always be most special. Remember that!

    8. KAYABE - I will always be thankful for those things you taught me, especially the "stand up for what you know is right" lesson. You played a great part on my development as a person. Thank you!

    9. Dramatikos - I will always look back to the meetings and plays we've done. "Walang anghel, Walang langit!" LOL!

    10. SCENARIO - I might not be active, you might not see me. But never think I wont do everything for you guys! Nica, Kuya Richard, Russel, Kuya Roy, I will love you guys forever!

    11. Theater Guild People 2005-2006 - Dale, Rhemz, Rhen, James - the memories of the things we shared will always be one of the most treasured in my life.

    12. USC / CSC 2004-2006 - for all those overnights, ngarag moments, takbo sa oval - OSSA - Office times. Salamat!

    13. Eng'g people so close to my heart - you'll always be a family. Adopted ako diba?! hehe

    14. Mommy Anne and Sir Kleng - you taught me many things about running organizations, time management, BS 101s and leadership. Yes, you taught me a lot! But never will I forget that you showed me how it is possible to love what you do, fight for the things you like and make good friends with anyone - friends and foes alike. I love you both! You will always be my second parent.

    15. Nica and Russel - showing me the essence of real friendship, tested through time and overcoming differences. You will always be one of my greatest friends.

    16. Elias - for being a real buddy. A great friend as always and for sacrifices you did for me (baha moments remember?) Love you tol! you deserve to be happy.

    17. Corky, Lea and Chet , for being the greatest ate in the whole world, salamat! Dakal ku pagkukulang pero I know you love me just the same.


    Marami pang kulang kaso di nako makapag-isip. uniiyak nako eh.. take note, asa work ako nito ah.. parang tanga lang!


    salamat sa lahat ng taong naging parte ng buhay ko.. (drama, tae!) haha..

    what to do?!

    I discovered something painful. Very painful...

    what do i do?!

    Confront or shut up?



    ugh! I hate this feeling!

    5.26.2009

    William Berhardt Books at last!

    Went to watch Angels and Demons last Saturday. It was ok I guess. But what really made my day, no my week even!, was when I saw 2 Bernhardt books at Buy-the-Book store. To those people trying to find books by him, you would know why I was so happy to stumble upon copies of the Capitol Murder and Capitol Threat. I could contain the happiness that i was smiling the whole day!

    I hope i can complete all his books. =)

    SE USB Cable

    Nananawagan po ako sa mga taong meron extra o hindi ginagamit na USB Cable ng Sony Ericsson.. bibilhin ko nalang po. Sa aking katangahan ay nawala ang sa akin.. ugh!

    paki-send nalang po ako ng mensahe sa khat_trin07@yahoo.com o sa serenesoul@earthlink.net


    salamat po!

    5.22.2009

    Fan Mail for Ryan Buquir

    I have been silently following Ryan Buquir's blog at travellerspoint. Uber galing kasi ni buquir eh! sobrang natutuwa ako sa kanya. Also, hindi dumudugo yung ilong ko sa grammar nya unlike other bloggers.. Saludo talaga ako sa taong ito!

    Pero ngayon lang ako nanghina at nanlambot sa pagbabasa ng blog nya... My Gulay! Super dalang ako pumuri ng tao lalo na kung kagandahan at kagwapuhan lang ang labanan. Pero mahal ko na sya... haha! I love number 2 sa top ten list mo buquir!! sobra! lol. (eto sya oh.. hanapin nyo si number two)

    Nanginig kaming dalawa ni snowy. Ang ganda naman kasi ng katawan ni kuya.. Enge naman kanin dito! haha! Si snowy nga ata gagawin pang wallpaper ng phone nya yung pic ni billy na nakabriefs lang.. hehe!

    To Buquir, salamat sa pagpapasaya mo sa amin.. I am your fan. Always! CallCenterConfidential rocks! Buquir is the greatest! haha...


    Love Lots!

    5.15.2009

    Meaning of Katrina

    You are a seeker of knowledge, and you have learned many things in your life.
    You are also a keeper of knowledge - meaning you don't spill secrets or spread gossip.
    People sometimes think you're snobby or aloof, but you're just too deep in thought to pay attention to them.

    You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
    You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
    You have the classic "Type A" personality.

    You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life.
    You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. You're most comfortable when you're far away from home.
    You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble.

    You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.
    You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.
    You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

    You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
    You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
    You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

    You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
    You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
    You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

    5.13.2009

    Comments on the Great Book Blockade

    I have been reading comments and blogs regarding the issue raised by Hemley at the Mcsweeney's site. I have encountered lots of insights on this matter, especially the in the "legal" aspect. Let me just raise my personal and, i believe, biased opinion.

    - Customs Officials are corrupt. This is a fact that every Filipino knows. I am not saying this just because of this particular case but because we have had dealings with these people.

    - The Philippine Government needs to straighten this out. Hey, I am a book lover. And I always encourage people to read books. If you will not follow by the rules of the Florence Agreement and let these corrupt officials make the law, we will have few people reading because of high-priced books.

    - We learn lots of things from books. It personally enhances my vocabulary and improves my grammar and diction. If we don't protect or create a "book law", we might wake up one day with literacy rate lower than Bhutan! Wake up!

    - We are the 2nd most corrupt country in Asia. Wow! It pays to be a Filipino huh?! Ayusin nyo buhay nyo! (fix your lives)


    I admire officials who would never succumb to the temptation of corruption- may it be in business, schools, organizations or government. It is a shame to admit that these things happen in our country. Let us resolve to do our little parts in making sure this will be lessened. It is time we work on putting this to stop even if it's just on our own home. remember: great things start from small beginnings.

    The Great Book Blockade of 2009

    Very enlightening read! - khat

    _______________________________________

    With Issue 31 set for release, there's never been a better time to subscribe to McSweeney's Quarterly Concern. The new issue features Douglas Coupland, John Brandon, Shelley Jackson, and many others, reviving some genres you may have overlooked or previously didn't care for. Subscribe to McSweeney's and get this issue and the next three for the special price of $50.

    Dispatches
    From Manila.

    Robin Hemley is the director of the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa. He's spending the year on a Guggenheim Fellowship in the Philippines with his family. Why the Philippines? Read on and find out—he'll be checking in regularly.

    D I S P A T C H 6

    The Great
    Book Blockade
    of 2009.

    By Robin Hemley

    - - - -

    Occasionally, my daughter Shoshie announces that she's going to be the richest person in the world when she grows up—this is what living in a poor country like the Philippines will do to a kid. She recently made this remark as we passed a girl about 9 years old, dressed in an odd kind of caftan many sizes too big and holding a limp infant as she begged.

    "You should just want to have enough money," I said. "Why have too much?"

    "I'm going to give a lot of it to the poor," she said.

    "Then you won't be the richest person in the world," I told her.

    "But I'm going to have a lot of jobs."

    "Then you won't be the richest person in the world." I explained that typically people are rich or poor in inverse proportion to how many jobs they have or how hard they work.

    "You only need one job," I told her. "You're a dual citizen, so when you are old enough come back here and be a customs official. Then you'll make a lot of money and won't have to do a thing for it." I'm not sure she got it. It's hard to explain to a 6-year-old. Hell, I don't even understand it.

    Few countries can compete with the Philippines when it comes to corruption—it's always near the top of the list of most-corrupt nations and the G20 nations recently blacklisted it, along with only three other countries, for its banking practices. In polls, Filipinos tag customs as the most corrupt department. And for good reason.

    Over coffee one afternoon, a book-industry professional (whom I can't identify) told me that for the past two months virtually no imported books had entered the country, in part because of the success of one book, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. The book, an international best seller, had apparently attracted the attention of customs officials. When an examiner named Rene Agulan opened a shipment of books, he demanded that duty be paid on it.

    "Ah, you can't be too successful in this country," I said. "If you are, then people start demanding a cut."

    "Even before you are successful," she said. "But, yes, I'm a Filipino, but I have to admit this is true. Have you heard of 'crab mentality'?"

    I'd been hearing of this so-called crab mentality since I first arrived in the country 10 years earlier. It's the notion that crabs will climb on top of one another to escape the pot in which they are to be cooked, but, instead of letting one crab escape, the remaining crabs pull the other one back.

    But most crabs I've encountered in the Philippines are small-time little hermit crabs or dashing sand crabs. The crabs in government are the kind you'd find in an old Japanese horror film, with an entire city's population running in fear as the crabs snip away public works, entire highway projects, intangibles, such as hope and justice, and, now, books.

    "Yes," I told her. "I've heard of crab mentality."

    The importer of Twilight made a mistake and paid the duty requested. A mistake because such duty flies in the face of the Florence Agreement, a U.N. treaty that was signed by the Philippines in 1952, guaranteeing the free flow of "educational, scientific, and cultural materials" between countries and declaring that imported books should be duty-free. Mr. Agulan told the importer that because the books were not educational (i.e., textbooks) they were subject to duty. Perhaps they aren't educational, I might have argued, but aren't they "cultural"?

    No matter. With this one success under their belt, customs curtailed all air shipments of books entering the country. Weeks went by as booksellers tried to get their books out of storage and started intense negotiations with various government officials.

    What doubly frustrated booksellers and importers was that the explanations they received from various officials made no sense. It was clear that, for whatever reason—perhaps the 30-billion-peso ($625 million) shortfall in projected customs revenue—customs would go through the motions of having a reasonable argument while in fact having none at all.

    Customs Undersecretary Espele Sales explained the government's position to a group of frustrated booksellers and importers in an Orwellian PowerPoint presentation, at which she reinterpreted the Florence Agreement as well as Philippine law RA 8047, providing for "the tax and duty-free importation of books or raw materials to be used in book publishing." For lack of a comma after the word "books," the undersecretary argued that only books "used in book publishing" (her underlining) were tax-exempt.

    "What kind of book is that?" one publisher asked me afterward. "A book used in book publishing." And she laughed ruefully.

    I thought about it. Maybe I should start writing a few. Harry the Cultural and Educational Potter and His Fondness for Baskerville Type.

    Likewise, with the Florence Agreement, she argued that only educational books could be considered protected by the U.N. treaty. Customs would henceforth be the arbiter of what was and wasn't educational.

    "For 50 years, everyone has misinterpreted the treaty and now you alone have interpreted it correctly?" she was asked.

    "Yes," she told the stunned booksellers.

    The writer David Torrey Peters, who once spent a year in Cameroon (which is even more corrupt than the Philippines), wrote of being pulled out of a taxi by a policeman who demanded that he produce his immunization card. David did this, but the cop told him that he was missing an AIDS vaccination. When David told the man that there was no such thing as an AIDS vaccine, the policeman was indignant.

    "You think just because there isn't an AIDS vaccine I can't arrest you for not having one?"

    This is the I-will-say-everything-with-a-straight-face-no-matter-how-absurd hallmark of corruption. It's what Orwell wrote about in his classic essay "Politics and the English Language" when he warns of the ways in which bureaucrats defend "the indefensible" by twisting words to suit their purposes. Though he singled out English, corruption happens in every language. However, he did make special mention of undersecretaries as being among the worst purveyors of actual meaning. Not that that has any relevance here (cough, cough), Undersecretary Sales.

    Moving on.

    During this time, the only bright spot for book lovers in Manila, or at least those who wanted to read foreign as well as local authors, came in March with the sailing into Manila Bay of the M.V. Doulos, the oldest operating passenger ship in the world, built only a couple of years after the Titanic. Destined to be scrapped within the next couple of years, the ship chugged into town, laden with books. The Doulos is run by a religious group and sails around the world as a kind of floating bookstore/library with an international crew of volunteers.

    What?!! Volunteers?! Have they no shame?

    The sheer shock of a boatload of selfless individuals sailing into Manila Bay must have given customs officials a brain freeze, dazing them long enough for the old ship to make it past the Great Book Blockade of 2009.

    I visited the Doulos on one bright Sunday afternoon with Shoshie, Margie, Naomi, and two of Shoshie's friends. We walked up the gangplank into a scene of sheer chaos—a frenzy of book-hungry Manileños. A heartening sight, but not unexpected—the Philippines is one of the largest markets for books written in English in the world and new bookstores with such names as Power Books and Fully Booked have been cropping up all over metro Manila in recent years to compete with the ubiquitous and aptly named National Bookstore.

    Throughout February and March, bookstores seemed on the verge of getting their books released—all their documents were in order, but the rules kept changing. Now they were told that all books would be taxed: 1 percent for educational books and 5 percent for noneducational books. A nightmare scenario for the distributors; they imagined each shipment being held for months as an examiner sorted through the books. Obviously, most would simply pay the higher tax to avoid the hassle.

    Distributors told me they weren't "capitulating" but merely paying under protest. After all, customs was violating an international treaty that had been abided by for over 50 years. Meanwhile, booksellers had to pay enormous storage fees. Those couldn't be waived, they were told, because the storage facilities were privately owned (by customs officials, a bookstore owner suggested ruefully). One bookstore had to pay $4,000 on a $10,000 shipment.

    The day after the first shipment of books was released, an internal memo circulated in customs congratulating themselves for finally levying a duty on books, though no mention was made of their pride in breaking an international treaty.

    As the narrator of Aravind Adiga's 2008 Man Booker Prize–winning novel, The White Tiger, says, "Stories of rottenness and corruption are always the best stories, aren't they?"

    Now, once again, Filipinos can read those words from a foreign author and customs can reap the benefits. And Shoshie? We were just reading a Filipino folktale the other night about a certain King Crab and his war with the mosquitoes. She only laughed when I suggested she might like to grow up to be Queen Crab.

    4.20.2009

    Small things you do for a friend,,

    Im sick!

    Been suffering from sickness since thursday. Lagnat, ubo, sipon, sore throat, allergies. nakakainis. nakakairita na ang gamot pero wala ako choice.

    naubusan ako ng gamot ngayon. Nagpapasama ako bumaba, ayaw ako samahan. ok. buti nalang si xandra sinamahan ako. Salamat again badet! :)

    I just remembered a good friend (kaya ako nagblog). I miss mark batac. I miss his kalokohans. I miss all those laugh trip and food trip we do. I miss the care and patience.

    I treasure this person. Kahit di nagkikita, I super love this friend of mine.

    way back college, I was very sick one day. I was texting mark that time and told him na may lagnat ako. He has a cast sa legs kasi katatapos lang nilang maaksidente that time. He went up to my room (5th floor) to bring me medicine and water. sweet ayt?

    Small things you do for friends mean a lot. Story for the day!

    4.15.2009

    payday!

    LOL...

    payday again! thank God!

    went to the grocery.

    bought shoes.

    pampered myself with food.. Lots of food... haha

    save for my siblings' tuition.


    waiting for the next payday again..


    pathetic?! you bet!

    4.09.2009

    Choose to live!

    John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, 'If I were any better, I would be twins!'


    He was a natural motivator.


    If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.



    Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, 'I don't get it!


    You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?'



    He replied, 'Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or ... you can choose to be in a bad mood

    I choose to be in a good mood.'

    Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or...I can choose to learn from it.

    I choose to learn from it.

    Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or.. I can point out the positive side of life.

    I choose the positive side of life.



    'Yeah, right, it's not that easy,' I protested.

    'Yes, it is,' he said. 'Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice.

    You choose how you react to situations.

    You choose how people affect your mood.


    You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life.'




    I reflected on what he said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.


    Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.

    After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.

    I saw him about six months after the accident.




    When I asked him how he was, he replied, 'If I were any better, I'd be twins...Wanna see my scars?'


    I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

    'The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter,' he replied. 'Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or...I could choose to die.

    I chose to live.'




    'Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?' I asked



    He continued, '..the paramedics were great.


    They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take action.'


    'What did you do?' I asked.


    'Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,' said John. 'She asked if I was allergic to anything 'Yes, I replied.' The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity'.'



    Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.'

    He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude... I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.




    Attitude, after all, is everything.