Tuesday, February 6, 2018

5th Anniversary

Bible Articles Pageviews as of Today
   The Filipina Then and Now blog passed a Milestone this past year.  Page views reached 100 thousand three months ago, after 4 years in existence.  This month, let’s celebrate its 5th anniversary.  As I have written, 100 thousand is nothing to brag about considering the internet can deliver millions but as part of my ministry, not so bad.  Pageviews of the Biblical articles has reached conservatively 10,108 from 5,190 in November, 2017.

   Through this blog, I learned that I am a Pogonophiliac, Autodidactic Polymath.  Those are big strange words!  On top of those conditions, I have urgency addiction, which I have known for a couple of decades.

   Tranvia in Pasay City, Racial Divide, Time Travel and F.B. Harrison Ave. are a few articles that journey back in time.  

   2017 was a sad year for me.  My father, Marciano Camino died in August, followed by one of my brothers in November.  They will be missed. 

   I found two causes I feel strongly about, Free Dialysis Philippines and Transonic Monitoring equipment for all dialysis centers.  Dialysis patients in the Philippines are choosing to forego the expensive treatment.  The articles Guarantee to Life is Constitutional and Medicare Entitlement for Dialysis are basis for an appeal for a similar health benefit for Filipinos, which led to the article An Open Letter to President Duterte.

   The Transonic Monitoring equipment which helps monitor the efficiency of dialysis access in patients is very expensive.  Few dialysis centers invested in it because it does nothing for the center profit wise.  It helps the patients, but none of them can afford one and it takes a dialysis staff to work it.  

   Please note the comment of a patient on the left.  Without this equipment, the centers resort to needlessly putting patients through fistulagram (commonly called ballooning) every six months “routinely”.  This medical procedure is expensive and painful.  Transonic Monitoring equipment will painlessly give a monthly report on the blood flow inside the dialysis access.

   My daughter encouraged me to put up this blog in 2013.  In June 2017, she  encouraged me to launch a YouTube channel.  She gave me a tripod for my cellphone.  She fixed the lighting in my room for better videotaping.  I must admit I’m beginning to enjoy this new medium.  Let’s see where it will lead.

See also: 
A Glimpse of Taiwan 
Climate Change is a Poverty Issue 
Who Created Sunday

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Vitamins to a Dialysis Patient

   The dialysis process washes out vitamins patients get from food, especially water soluble vitamins.  The dialysis patient will suffer vitamin deficiency without dietary supplement, preferably taken after dialysis so it can stay in the body between dialysis days.  I list below the vitamins that I take and the health benefits they provide.

   Vitamins B6 is vital in the formation of hemoglobin, our red blood cells. Vitamins B6 helps the production of antibodies that fight infection and maintain normal blood glucose levels. 

   Vitamin B12  is needed for the proper functioning of the nervous system and the processing of fats and carbohydrates.  Deficiency in Vitamin B12 can lead to anemia, dementia, weakness, nerve damage and loss of appetite.

   Iron is needed to form red blood cells and work with the hormone Erythropoeitin (EPO) prevent anemia.  Typically, it is added into the dialysis treatment.  If not then it should be taken some other way.

   Biotin is found in foods such as eggs, milk, or bananas.  Milk and banana are among the potassium rich food that are not good for Dialysis patients.  I take Biotin to avoid hair loss, brittle nails, nerve damage, and many other conditions.  

   Fruits rich in Vitamin C are orange, mango, cantaloupe, papaya, banana, all of which are also rich in potassium.  Dialysis patients can't have too much potassium.  The benefits of vitamin C are protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, gum disease, eye disease, and wound healing. 

   Fish Oil benefits come from the Omega-3 fatty acids that it contains.  Omega-3 fatty acids are essential in preventing and managing heart disease, lower blood pressure.  It also helps to reduce pain and swelling which are common to Dialysis patients.

   Vitamin E is an antioxidant. This means it protects body tissues from damage which can harm cells, tissues, and organs.  They are believed to play a role in certain conditions related to aging.  Vitamin E keeps the immune system strong against diseases, helps in formation of red blood cells, widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting inside them.  Vitamin E “can reduce the cramping, anxiety and cravings” all of which are common to dialysis patients. 

   Calcium is necessary for building bones and keeping them healthy.  99 percent of the calcium we take goes to our bones and teeth, where it supports their structure and hardness thereby it prevents Osteoporosis.  Osteoporosis means bone fragility and risk of fracture of the ankle, hip, spine, and wrist.  The heart, muscles and nerves also need calcium to function properly.  

See also:

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Addiction with No Rehab

   I have an addiction that has no rehab facility.  It’s called urgency addiction.  I don’t know when and how I got it.  I remember as a child I was never late in school or church.  As a teen, I came to my dates one hour early.  I gave myself too much time allowance.  I was afraid of getting caught in traffic, or a public transport accident.  I was always afraid if I were late my date would leave without me.  Ironically, I don’t mind waiting.  If my date was an hour late, which would put my waiting time to two hours, he would find me smiling, just happy the date is going to happen.

   As a working woman, I was never late for the office hour, even when we lived in Cavite and my office was located in Ayala Ave, Makati City.  That’s about 20 miles (31.1 km) using the old Paranaque Road before the Coastal Road was completed.  When I had to see a client, I was always too early for my appointment.  

From: http://www.ninatassi.com
   I didn’t even know I had a ‘condition’ until I found a book about urgency addiction.  I read the book and found myself in the pages.  It didn’t change me but at least I knew what was keeping me in a constant rush mode.  It had advantages, I accomplished a lot.  The jobs in my resume switched every five years like clockwork.  I built my first home at 26 years old!

   There were disadvantages.  There was that time when I had 2 jobs and a business project on the side all running at the same time.  I had to be prescribed Sinequan to help me sleep.  My rush mode had lost the off switch.  My relationship with my children suffered because I was hard to pin down.  Our ‘quality time’ weekends were a rush to the mall, movies, swimming, etc., when all we should have done was sit and talk.

   Now in my 60’s, the home, the kids, the job, all are gone but not my urgency addiction.  I have made a list to help me take/make time for myself:

1. Between tasks/chores sit on the couch for 5 minutes.  It can't possibly mess my already empty life.

2. Before driving off in my car, I need to turn the radio on and listen to a song.  That would give me less than 5 minutes to catch my breath after the long walk to my parking.
3. Upon arriving at my destination, I need to finish the song that’s playing on my radio before I rush out.  That would keep me from shutting the door on my finger, which actually happened and left a dark spot on my nail.  OUCH!!!

See also:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Paluwagan, Filipino Children’s Credit System

   Filipinos are taught to handle money responsibly at an early age.  In the 1950's, I remember every Christmas day, from the time I was five years old, my cousins and I would fall in line to kiss the hand of the adults in the family.  The adults, in turn, handed us cash as Christmas gift.  At the end of the day, we would count our loot and compare who got the most money.  We would then go to the market to buy ourselves clothing or anything that we failed to get our parents to buy for us during the year that passed.  That annual exercise taught us how to value the Christmas money like hard earned salary, since it came once in every 365 days.  We deliberated the entire year on what item we were going to buy for our money.  After we got what we wanted, we felt rewarded, not by Christmas, or Santa Claus, but by a cultural tradition unique to our nation. 

   Midyear, if we wanted something pricey, we had to save up from our daily school allowance called “baon” which came in nickel and dime, just enough for a snack during a break called recess.  So, hoy does a child buy a pricey item without waiting for Christmas?  

From: rediff.com/
   This is where the Paluwagan, a system of credit/lottery of sorts, happens.  Paluwagan in English means ‘ease up’.  This is how it works.  A group of children makes a pact to pay a small amount each day to a pot held in trust by a treasurer.  A raffle with their names decides the series of beneficiaries.  At the end of the month, the entire amount collected, called ‘sweldo’, salary in English, is given to the first one to get picked off the raffle.  The next month’s sum goes to the next kid.  Those who have received their ‘sweldo’ needs to continue paying for the rest to get theirs.  When the Paluwagan goes well, everybody in the group gets their lump sum. 

   Sometimes though, the first kids to get their money loses the incentive to pay their daily obligation.  The last kid supposed to receive might not get a dime back.  In this case the Paluwagan becomes pasikipan, which means in English ‘squeeze up’, because the money would have to be squeezed off from the delinquent members of the group. 

   Paluwagan was the predecessor to our current credit card system.  Aren’t those kids smart?!

WARNING: There are online Paluwagan scams proliferating these days.

See also:

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Feel It Still

   The song, Feel It Still, is like an abstract painting.  Everyone has his own interpretation of what the lyrics mean.

   “Generally inspired by a couple specific sea changes that mean a lot to us. 1966 - Civil rights movements, war protest and LSD testing.” (www.songfacts.com)

   “I really wasn't sure what kind of feelings "Feel It Still" was actually expressing.” (www.pluggedin.com)

   Here’s my humble take on it based on the Philippine political and historical scenario:

Feel It Still

Can't keep my hands to myself,
Think I'll dust 'em off, put 'em back up on the shelf, In case my little baby girl is in need

Ooh woo, I'm a rebel just for kicks, now
I been feeling it since 1966, now
Might be over now, but I feel it still

Ooh woo, I'm a rebel just for kicks, now
Let me kick it like it's 1986, now
Might be over now, but I feel it still

Got another mouth to feed
Leave it with a baby sitter, mama, call the grave digger

Is it coming back?

Your love is an abyss for my heart to eclipse, now
Might be over now, but I feel it still

Might've had your fill, but I feel it still
 In the Philippines

An old political activist on the shelf puts her little girls need in front of issues she fought for in 1966.

She’s a rebel just for kicks now although she’s still feeling it from 1966.  “The youth group Kabataang Makabayan was founded in 1964,”  It went full blast in 1966.

She’s still kicking it in 1986, when Ferdinand E. Marcos, who ruled the Philippines under Martial Law was ousted in 1986.  “Might be over now”, activists feeling it still came rushing out of the closet for a few kicks.  Some joined the local election, some went further into the hills. 

The change in administration didn’t bring change in government corruption and oppression of the masses.

The activist is reminiscing about the glorious days of the rebellion, wishing it to come back.

The activist is feeling it still about a lover/comrade but it’s been over for a long time.

You’ve really not had your fill, if you feel it still.

See also:

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Plans for 2018

   On December 30, 2017, someone asked me if I got plans for the coming year.  I replied, “I plan to live!”  

   Young people plan about marriage, career, having children, travel, immigration, etc.  Some plan on accomplishing their dreams, like missionary work for the religious, organizing and posturing for the politically motivated, or raising money for the shopaholics.  

   The aging and aged make plans about the inevitable, dying.  Doctors will encourage and/or require a Living Will, “a document that explains whether or not you want to be kept on life support if you become terminally ill and will die shortly without life support, or fall into a persistent vegetative state.”  Family and/or descendants will be subtly looking for a Last Will and Testament with their name on it.

   I belong to the aged category.  I have a Living Will, as per doctor’s orders.  A Last Will and Testament would be futile.  I have no property.  I’m living on Social Security.  I have written two books which are waiting for a movie deal.  I’m writing my third book, my masterpiece, I hope.  I have a YouTube channel and this blog for the kind strangers all over the internet who spend their precious time on whatever is on my mind.

   I am sorry to disappoint my haters.  Instead of planning on dying, I have determined to plan on living for as long as Jehovah God allows.  Now, how do I do this?  I Googled “plan on living” and this is what I got, an app that boasts of a happiness tracker, a digital mindfulness manager and wellness platform.  Right now, I have no idea how this app will help me.  I will try it, though, because it’s free.  Filipinos are inclined to try anything that’s free.

   This app aside, my plans for living are as follows:

   1. Focus on my health problems and be proactive in finding solutions.  Instead of relying on doctor’s referral, I searched through my health insurance’s list of providers.  I have not been to a dentist for three years.  I found a good one!  I went over and it did not cost me any.  I had an allergy doctor in Louisville, Kentucky four years ago.  Now I have found one here in California.  I will call for an appointment.

   2. Manage my finances, what little I have left.  My descendants will have to wait for the final nail in my coffin.  All my previous generosity were repaid with hate.  Now I'm afraid if I gave anyone anything, I will be packing hate on top of hate.  “For men will be lovers of themselves...boastful, haughty... unthankful, disloyal,” (2 Timothy 1:2)

   3. I will keep writing and self-publishing.  My books are tributes to people I loved and have loved me.  My intent is to immortalize their characters, that should remain floating in the wind like a plastic bag, long after I have died.

See also:
Google It 
Sites of Manila 
Paperback Writer - Book 2

Monday, December 25, 2017

The Postal Savings Stamp of the 50's

From: http://www.raylcoughlin.com/
   A postal savings stamp is issued by a government in collaboration with a local bank to enable small amounts of money to be saved as a thrift account.  The funds accumulated may be withdrawn as cash.  Often issued in conjunction with post office run savings banks.

   The Philippine Postal Savings program was introduced in 1907 to enable the poor to have a savings account with the smallest denomination.  Attractive postal savings bank stamps in five, ten, or twenty centavos were sold with a free folding cards with spaces on which to stick the stamps.  

   Well, what do you know?! The US followed the great Philippine idea in January 1911 and in 1942 used it as a war fund raiser.  The US Schools at War Program, was initiated to encourage children into school-based savings.  After the war, the Treasury Department continued to promote Savings Stamps to teach children about banking without having to commute to a bank.  The children purchased stamps from the teacher then filled a savings booklet, that when full, was surrendered for cash.  The program was successful throughout the 1950s.

   I was privileged to have a first hand experience with the postal savings stamps, as a student of Jose Rizal Elementary School, an elementary public school in Pasay City.  I still clearly remember how I embraced the thrift program by buying as much stamps to fill my booklet, from my daily allowance called ‘baon.  The teacher promised saving money would lead to riches and higher grades.  I remember getting my cash back from the filled booklets.  I didn’t get rich or the higher grade.  School postal banking declined in the 1960s and 1970s.

   The notable thing in this piece is that I found an original Filipino idea that the Americans took from us.  And there’s more:

   “Pedro Flores (26 April 1896- December 1963) was a Filipino inventor widely considered as the first Yo-yo maker in the United States and with his Flores yo-yo created the start of an international craze.” 

   “Erythromycin was discovered by Abelardo Aguilar when working for the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company as a researcher”  

   The video phone as early as 1954, “National Scientist Gregorio Y. Zara, a physicist, invented a device that makes it possible for two people to see each other on a television while talking on the telephone as early as 1954.” 
Filipino scientist Gregorio Y. Zara demonstrating his “telephone-television” invention in 1954. (Image: National Academy of Science and Technology Philippines via Facebook )

   “The Cordillera Rice Terraces are one of the few monuments in the Philippines that show no evidence of having been influenced by colonial cultures.  Owing to the difficult terrain, the Cordillera tribes are among the few peoples of the Philippines who have successfully resisted any foreign domination and have preserved their authentic tribal culture...The Banaue Rice Terraces are 2,000-year-old terraces that were carved into the mountains of Ifugao in the Philippines by ancestors of the indigenous people. They are frequently called the "Eighth Wonder of the World".

See also: