Friday, November 17, 2017

Preaching Leadership

   It rained all night last night.  It was still raining this morning.  The rain totally washed bird poop off my car, Trixie, that’s the name of my 2008 Toyota Matrix.  As I drove off to go to dialysis I saw a postman walking in the rain to deliver mails.  I realized how the mailmen are unsung.  We all take for granted the privilege of receiving our mails right at our mailbox rain, snow or shine.

Rural mailbox 
   In the Philippines, homes do not have a mailbox.  In Kentucky, I found that I can put my outgoing mail either with Postage stamp on it or some change in my mailbox then raise the little plastic red flag to alert the mailman.  He will then take my outgoing mail back to the post office so I don’t have to go there myself.  Here in San Francisco, we have mailboxes mostly attached to the house and no red flags.  

   Outgoing mails have to be dropped at the USPS collection blue box, another thing we don’t have in the Philippines where you have to go to the nearest post office.  

   Jehovah’s Witnesses go door to door, on foot, to bring Bible literature for free as service to God.  San Francisco is known to have steeply inclined streets.  Now imagine senior citizens, with aching hips and knees, walking up and down those streets to reach every door without exemption, because the Bible said, “And every day in the temple and from house to house they continued without letup teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ, Jesus.” (Acts 5:42)

   Every congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses has a ministry coordinator to manage the distribution of doors among the members out preaching on any particular day.  My congregation was blessed with a ministry coordinator who is a retired mailman.  He knows the entire territory like the back of his hand.  He knows the steep streets, the homes with stairway to the front door, the street parking availability against street cleaning schedule and which elderly member can manage those conditions.  He drives the group to the top of the hilly street so they can walk down instead of climb and catch them at the bottom.  He assigns homes with stairways to younger members and the one level homes to the elderly, all while patiently dealing with conflicts among members going through second childhood.

   The result is immeasurable comfort and joy for the members and efficiency in the ministry for Jehovah’s purpose.

See also:
The Art of Preaching 
Talking to Closed Doors 
Google It

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A Milestone

   My first book, THE EMAIL ORDERED WIFE was completed in 2012.  I created FILIPINATHENANDNOW.COM in 2013 for the main purpose of promoting my books.  I never realized the blog would provide its own worth until I posted The Shallowness of Youth.  The article gained a few pageviews then, suddenly in 2013, jumped to 3,450 pageviews and all from Ukraine!  That put it at the top of popular post list.

   Ukraine President Yanukovych was ousted on 22 February 2014 followed by Crimea’s annexation by Russia in March.  Crimea was a part of Russia since the year 1783, until 1954, when Crimea province was transferred from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR by a decree of the Soviet Union.

   After the Russian annexation of Crimea, the pageviews from Ukraine trickled down.  Clearly, the political changes affected the territories of Ukraine and Russia putting 5,525 pageviews credited under Russia.  But to this day, The Shallowness of Youth, a totally unpolitical article, remains on top of the most read article list with 3,728 views while overall stats shows a total of 13,587 from Ukraine.  I was fired up by the historical and political impact on my humble blog.

   I was motivated to make the blog a part of my ministry.  I wrote down my personal insights on Bible stories and passages that may or may not necessarily reflect my religious organization’s teachings.  The blog, as an instrument for preaching, is not a part of ministry statistics because I have no way of knowing if the pageview led to  As for pageviews of the Biblical articles, it has reached conservatively 5,190.  Only Jehovah who can read the heart of the readers can judge the merit of my blog preaching.  “For Jehovah searches through all hearts, and he discerns every inclination of the thoughts” (1 Chronicles 28:9)

   Today my blog passed 100 thousand pageviews.  That is nothing to brag about considering the internet can deliver millions.  Four out of ten articles on the list of popular posts are about dialysis.  This blog has given me a venue to give personal knowledge as a patient about kidney disease which remains in the dark despite millions of patients dying from all over the world.

See also:

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Memory is Selective

   Memory is selective.  Sometimes we remember only the good times.  Some people only remember the bad.  When divorce happens, what memories are left behind?  Here are mine.

   He flew me business class from Manila to Kentucky but that's nothing. Even with my Philippine peso salary I could buy that myself.  I'd just have to save up.  That flight kicked off my midlife journey.
   He arranged for our riverboat wedding on board the  Southern Belle riverboat, docked at Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The wedding package required a Tennessee marriage license, so we got that.  We had the ceremony on the promenade deck with the mountains and the Tennessee River in the backdrop.  It was officiated by our Riverboat Chaplain.  The Bridal bouquet, keepsake champagne glasses, buffet dinner for two and dinner cruise were included.  I was 55 years old and he was 60.  The photo shows us looking like  eloping teens in blue jeans.  So I guess, yes, we were happy that day.

   He booked a Honeymoon Hills Gatlinburg Cabin for our honeymoon.  It was in the middle of the forest but had all the amenities of a city home for our convenience, like cable television and a complete kitchen.  There was a red heart shaped hot tub at the foot of the bed surrounded by mirrors like the one on the photo.

   He bought me shiny gray silk pajamas I didn't even want. I'm used to flannel or cotton. But he insisted.  I still remember how smooth the silk felt on my skin.  I looked fabulous with it on me!  

   I'm one of Jehovah's Witnesses.  I told him from the get go that he doesn't have to give me anything for birthdays, Christmas or Valentine's and I can't give him anything either. During the entire marriage, he insisted on giving me $150 for every occasion.  I was to get myself something  and show him what I bought.  I guess because he didn't want to go to the ladies section.  Looking back, that was sweet of him!  

   Funny thing, what I appreciated was the collection of Rascal Flatts hits CD he made for me.  I have moved from home to home, to another state and changed cars.  I still listen to the CD.

See also:

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Pogonophilia, I Plead Guilty

   Pogonophilia is a fixation on men with facial hair.  It mostly manifest in women with love for mustached or bearded persons.  I believe this differs from Trichophilia which is said to be sexual hair fetishism.  Why do I think so?  I have been guilty of Pogonophilia long before there was a name for it.  My condition is more on the fashion statement rather than sexual.  Touching facial hair is not my thing.  

   My Pogonophilia started with Filipino movies in the 50s where the villain always had facial hair to make the good guy easier to spot.  To this day, Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Philippines are dissuaded from wearing facial hair.  It gives householders they meet during door to door ministry an impression of villainous intention. 

   In high school, the guys I dated all had starter mustache Filipinos call “balahibong pusa” which means soft as a kitty’s fur.  After graduation, in college, every guy in campus was a fan of Che Guevara, at that time.  A mere four years from puberty had textured the boys’ facial hair stronger, thicker and trimmable into whatever suits their illusions of manhood be it Che Guevara, Fidel Castro or George Harrison.  
Che Guevara, Fidel Castro

   The first guy I ran off with had a goatee and only a goatee.  One year later the goatee blossomed into a full beard and mustache Filipinos call “balbas sarado”.  He grew it when he was out of town to surprise me although I never mentioned to him my fascination with the mustache.  He came home and blew me away!  From that moment on, I saw him as larger than life.  He was every action star in a movie.  I got pregnant.  To this day, no man real or movie character has ever approached his level of machismo in my eyes.  Two of my ex-husbands after him were clean shaven but both tried to grow a mustache as if they all could sense my Pogonophilia.  They didn’t quite make it. 

   Fast forward to 2006, I remarried to an American with rather long blond hair and mustache.  I still didn’t know back then that my psychological condition had a name nor a cure.  Even if science invents medication, it’s too late for me.  I am now 65 years old.  My ship sailed a long time ago.

See also:
Liam Hemsworth in My Eyes 
Picture of Being in Love 
Losing No.1

Friday, October 20, 2017

With Spirit and Truth

A nativity scene that shows the 3 Magi and Jesus in a manger
   Filipino families celebrate Christmas with getting together, lots of food and gift giving.  It was a practical tradition to hand out peso bills in an envelope to young people.  Other than married couples or sweethearts, adults rarely expected any present from each other.  This is in keeping with the Biblical scenario of the baby Jesus’ receiving gifts from the “three wise men”.  Mary and Joseph didn’t get any. (Matt. 2:1-11).  Every nativity image in calendars, church and home ornaments showed the three Magi in a manger where Jesus was born for lack of available room at the inn.  

   However, the Bible says in Matt. 2:9-11 “the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.  When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.  And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.”  The Magi found Jesus a “young child” in his home, not a newborn in a manger.  Filipinos just assumed that the travel in those days was as speedy as today’s mechanized transportation so the “three kings” must have reached Jesus at the manger.  In the Philippines, Three Kings' Day is celebrated on January 6 or in some countries on the Sunday after January 1.  It is amazing how people read the Bible for decades and never see the details that God had put in so meticulously. 

   "the hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshipers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for indeed, the Father is looking for ones like these to worship him." (John 4:23)

   The Simbáng Gabi masses are held daily from December 16 to 24 from as early as 03:00 to 05:00 in the morning.  In the Philippines that time frame is before sunrise.  The devotional nine-day series of Masses carries a promise of an answer to a prayer upon completion.  The last day mass of the Simbang Gabi, which falls on Christmas Eve, is called Misa de Gallo, Spanish for “Rooster's Mass”.  No one has an explanation for a rooster’s connection to a celebration of Jesus Christ supposed birth date.  It was one of those traditions, like Santa Claus or Easter egg and bunny that people practiced without checking the Bible for historical nor scriptural accuracy.  

   New Year's Day is part of the Christmas holiday.  Noise is made on New Year's Eve with firecrackers and horns to dispel bad luck from the coming new year.  

   "There should not be found in you anyone who ... who looks for omens, a sorcerer,... anyone ...who consults a fortune-teller" (Deutronomy 18:10-11)

See also:

Friday, October 6, 2017

From Banking Fraud to Murder?

   When suffering injustice, imagine how the Native Americans felt.  Their land was taken from them by uninvited white men, who then imprisoned them in Reservations.  Or think about the African-Americans who were taken from their country to be enslaved.  They were forced to work for no pay, maltreated in ways present day animal activists would be in uproar when done to animals.

   The toughest thing about justice is the wait.  Crimes are never resolved in the same year.  Some take decades to get justice if at all.  William E. Gladstone said “Justice delayed is justice denied.”  In governments and courts of mere mortals, justice is so “denied” that many take the law in their own hands.  

   In the Bible, three cried “How long?”  In the Book of Habakkuk, it says: “How long, O Jehovah, must I cry for help, but you do not hear?  How long must I ask for help from violence, but you do not intervene?...So law is paralyzed, And justice is never carried out.”  (Habakkuk 1:2-4

   In the Book of Psalms, King David says: “How long, O Jehovah, will you forget me? …How long will my enemy triumph over me?” (Psalm 13:1-2)

   Jesus with all his powers as the Son of God says: “O faithless and twisted generation, how long must I continue with you? How long must I put up with you?” (Matthew 17:17

   The great thing about the above passages is that Jehovah’s faithful servants felt free to ask "How long?"  We can too.  They were not condemned for asking.  That assures us that Jehovah understands when he reads our hearts and see hurt, anger and frustration at being victimized.  

   My father died in August of this year.  Some of us in the family believe he was poisoned by his adopted daughter, a child he raised as his own and put through expensive education.  My interviews with two bank managers from two different banks showed this adopted woman managed to put her name in the bank accounts with the approval of the bank managers.  

   The Philippine banking law states that accounts should be frozen upon the death of even just one of the account owners.  My stepmother died in February, 2016.  The banks did not freeze the accounts and allowed the adopted to continuously withdraw, even closing one of the accounts one month before my father died and more than one year after my stepmother died.  The withdrawal form from the bank specifically states that “WE DECLARE UNDER THE PENALTIES OF PERJURY THAT MY CO DEPOSITOR(S) IS/ARE STILL LIVING.”  

   “The One securing justice for those defrauded…he thwarts the plans of the wicked” (Psalm 146:7)

See also:

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Intro to the Book, Matriarchs of Cavite

  What makes a woman take the reins that drive an entire clan?  Is it sheer will power?  Could it be circumstance?  

   Women across the globe differ according to culture.  Culture is mostly developed out of historical interaction between nations.  Asian women are known to be culturally meek and subservient.  Filipinas are a different breed.  They came out of 300 colonial years under Spain stronger than their men.

   In the revolution against Spain, women were a moving force.  There were sporadic dissent by unorganized individuals throughout the centuries of colonialism.  The women of Cavite used business connections to support the Revolution. The Filipino Red Cross, established in 1863, led by the wife of Emilio Aguinaldo, had divisions from Ilocos Norte to Batangas. (Filipino Women Revolutionaries)

   In 1893, the Katipunan’s Supreme Council included a women's auxiliary section, the provincial council of Cavite later became the most successful council of the society. 

Battle of Imus Monument
   A large organized group with a meager arsenal, to dare confront the well-armed Spanish army was, at first, inconceivable.  Thus, the first big battle of the Philippine revolution called Battle of Imus, or the Siege of Imus in September, 1896 caught the Spanish colonial government by surprise.  The victory gained by the Filipino revolutionaries in this siege showed potential to win.  Two months later, in November 1896, the Spanish military retaliated against the revolutionaries in Cavite province with the Battle of Binakayan - Dalahican.  Those clashes made the revolution official.

   After centuries of procrastinating, the first to draw Spanish blood were the people of Cavite.  That placed the Caviteños’ courage and bravery in history.  Not all of those revolutionaries were men.  A good number of them were Caviteñas, the women of Cavite who earned a reputation for feistiness, vindictiveness, if warranted and only if warranted, downright malevolence.  

   By the time peace and a relative independence was reached in 1899, it was too late to break the Filipina spirit back into domestication.  She has learned to fight for her country, take sole responsibility for her family and make money.  All that took a Women’s Liberation Movement in the 60’s to teach the women of other nations.

   The Caviteñas would be the least likely to become victims of rape, domestic abuse, assault or home invasion.  They are shrewd business managers, assertive in any situation and adapt to the most difficult condition without losing charm and poise.  They make perfect matriarchs.

See also:

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Transonic Monitoring for Dialysis Access

   The Transonic Hemodialysis Monitor uses ultrasound Doppler and ultrasound dilution (Transonic) as an addition to typical vascular access monitoring done in hemodialysis centers.  The monthly transonic test shows the access blood flow.  Knowing the access flow helps to watch out for blockage and measure the function of the fistula/graft in aid of making the access serve longer.  This equipment is attached to the line while the patient is on dialysis as seen on the photo.

   A fistula can last up to 35 years, however, maturation takes three to six months, in rare cases, can take up to a year which is too long to wait for someone requiring dialysis.  For some patients, the fistula may never mature.  Mine refused to mature.  It was abandoned and a graft was placed instead.

   Grafts have a lifespan of approximately 4 to 6 years but can last longer, up to 10 years with proper care.  Thanks to Davita’s Transonic lady, Maria Tancioco, I get information that my 7 year old graft, through Transonic shows pretty good function.  According to Maria the typical blood flow for graft is 500ml per minute, mine is consistently at 1400ml per minute as per recent test.  

   “Measurement of flow could reduce thrombosis, increase thrombosis-free and secondary patency in arteriovenous fistulas, and reduce vascular access-associated costs”.  Vascular access maintenance such as Fistulagram, an X-ray procedure to check for blood clots or blockages and Fistuloplasty, a procedure to open blocked or narrowed fistula by stretching with a special balloon are expensive and painful.

   The sad thing is that I’ve been with several different dialysis centers managed by different providers and I found the Transonic Hemodialysis Monitor only in Davita.  That means a greater number of centers are not fully equipped.  

See also:

Sunday, September 10, 2017

A Glimpse of Taiwan

    Taiwan from my plane window.      
   On my recent flight to the Philippines, I got the chance to try EVA Airlines.  EVA is a Taiwanese international airline based at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei.  I had been in Beijing, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Saipan airports but I had never landed in Taiwan before.

   From the Chinese Civil War between Chiang Kai-shek's Republic of China and the Communist Party of China led by Mao Zedong, ROC was established in Taiwan.  Chiang Kai-shek moved the ROC capital to Taipei.  Under the One-China Policy of the PRC, ROC is not recognized as an independent representative of China.  

   As the world ignores Taiwan, I didn’t know what to expect at the Taoyuan International Airport.  I thought it was admirable that the airport has a library, a reading area and wall décor that encourages reading.  

   I was impressed that the Taoyuan Airport devoted a space for prayer that had three prayer rooms, one for Catholic, one for Muslim and one with a swastika on it.  

   I couldn’t read the Chinese characters beside the controversial symbol which has become known as the emblem of the German Nazi Party.  Good thing my walking Google of a daughter enlightened me. 

   That actually, “the symbol has been used by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains for millennia and is commonly assumed to be an Indian sign.” (  The oldest swastika pattern has been radio carbon-dated to 15,000 years ago.

   In fact the swastika was used by American military during World War One. The nonthreatening uses came to a halt when the Nazis used the swastika to symbolize the Aryan race, a white god-like superior race.  Ukraine National Museum of History has exhibits of swastika engraved treasures.  A number of phallic objects shows that the swastika pattern was used as a fertility symbol.  

   World War Two gave the swastika a dark meaning.  It became the symbol of suppression, and extermination of the Jews in Europe called Holocaust.  Back then it was used against the Jews, in today’s world it’s against any nation of color.  Swastika is now an emblem of hate, racism and evil.  

   “Consequently, Jehovah saw that man’s wickedness was great on the earth and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only bad all the time.” (Genesis 6:5)  

See also:

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Picture of Being in Love

   Our perception of another person’s looks registers through the eyes but is interpreted by the brain.  If we know for a fact that the person is a senior citizen, no amount of make-up will get us to see a twenty year old.  The camera has no brain.  What it sees is what you’ll get.

   When I was with the love of my life, I took our daughter to a photo studio for a mother and daughter portrait.  I was so beautiful in the picture that it didn’t look like me at all, just like my photos while pregnant.  Back then, people said it was because I was having a girl.  That’s a Filipino superstition.  My looks in photos went back to my normal after the love of my life walked out on us.

   Fast forward to 2009, I visited the grave of the same “love of my life” at 57 years old.  Upon review of my photos taken beside his grave, it showed me looking no older than thirty.  My features were modified by one of life’s little mysteries.  Just as some people’s hair turn gray almost overnight or they shrivel and look older beyond their age as an effect of tragedy.  My proximity to him made me beautiful as it did when he was alive.  On the way home, my face changed slowly back to the way it was, not ugly but fifty something Asian.

   There seems to be a level of being in love that only the camera lens can see.  It's beyond scientific explanation.  Haven’t you ever wondered why some couples look so good together?  Yet each one is not as good looking without the other.

   Was it chemistry that sitting next to his ashes made me look young?  Was it the power of being in love, which I am still?  Was it a reflection of happiness that comes from the depth of the heart, in knowing that I would be buried next to him, and will rise with him in the resurrection of the dead?

  “Your dead will live.  My corpse will rise up. Awake and shout joyfully, you residents in the dust!” (Isaiah 26:19)

 See also:

Friday, August 18, 2017

Killer Dave

   Filipinos are rice eaters.  It took me ten years in America before I acquired a taste for bread.  It’s been said that wheat is good for the health.  I tried the wheat breads sold at Target.  Subway sandwich shop has Grain Wheat Bread, Italian, Flatbread, Honey Oat, Monterey Cheddar and Italian Herb and Cheese.  I tried them all.  I still would rather eat rice plus whatever Filipino dish comes with it.

   Then I found this bread with an intriguing logo.  The logo is a thug looking man playing a guitar.  The product name says Dave’s Bread with the word killer scratched on top.  It could either mean Killer Dave’s Bread or Dave’s Killer Bread.  The second is quite discomforting.  Why would a baker want to brand his consumable product “killer”?  So, what’s the deal with Killer Dave? 

   In 2005, co-founder Dave Dahl came back to his family bakery after serving 15 years in prison.  He worked tirelessly to develop a new recipe for organic and Non-GMO bread.  Dave’s Killer Bread was born.  Today, it is the #1 organic bread in the US.

   The website claims “the Best Bread in the Universe”.  I agree!  I love that there’s thin sliced so I don’t get over stuffed with carbs.  My favorite is the Organic Bread, Good Seed (70 calories).  It has tons of sunflower and sesame seeds so it stays with me longer.

   Then, I went to the Second Chances link.  What I found blew me away!  It says “At Dave’s Killer Bread, we have witnessed the power of Second Chance Employment: hiring those who have a criminal background, and are ready to change their lives for the better. It gives people a second chance not only to make a living, but make a life.”

   The Dave's Killer Bread Foundation aims to remove the stigma of a criminal record and show that Second Chance Employment is life changing.  It invites industries to become a second chance employer.  It’s common knowledge that businesses are hesitant to take a risk.  The foundation wants to share their information and understanding about employing people with criminal backgrounds.

   Under the heading “STORIES FROM THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE YOUR BREAD” are stories of employees who have been imprisoned.  This is what touched my heart, “approximately 1 in 3 of the more than 300 employee-partners at the company’s Milwaukie, Oregon bakery has a criminal background.” Employee-Partners!

   “for this means my ‘blood of the covenant,’ which is to be poured out in behalf of many for forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)

See also:

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Dropout and Proud, The Autodidactic Polymath

   My life changed every five years or so like clockwork.  I was a Media Representative selling television show spots and newspaper advertising space for 5 years.

   Then, I was a public transport operator.  It started when I bought a beat up 45-seater mini-bus with no franchise.  That’s called colorum, a slang for illegal public land transport in the Philippines.  I went to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).  I got my bus a franchise to run legally.  It plied the Cavite City to Baclaran route.  Eventually, I got tired of owning a vehicle I couldn’t drive.  It was too big for little bitty me.  

   I sold the bus and bought a pre-owned 1990 Nissan Sentra and got it a franchise to run as a taxi cab.  Two years later, car brands gave an offer I couldn’t refuse, 50K downpayment for a brand new unit.  I sold the Nissan Sentra for 150K and put a down on one Toyota Corolla, one Mitsubishi Lancer and one Nissan Sentra Series 3.  I got all three new cars a franchise to run as taxi cabs.  I paid the car loans with the income.  That business was a great ride but then personal computers became more affordable.  

   After 5 years, I sold the taxi units and bought a Macintosh because my multimedia designer son, Chris told me the MAC was idiot friendly.  I taught myself the office applications.  The MAC had an encyclopedia installed in it.  I was living next to a university so I thought of putting my MAC to work by doing term papers for 200 fully printed ready for submission.  A year later I realized I’ve gotten good enough for an administrative job.

Ayala Avenue, Makati City
   After 2 short stints in small companies as Administrative Assistant, I was ready for an Ayala Avenue office.  There I went from Administrative Assistant to Administrative Manager in two years.  I loved it there.  I stayed for 8 years until an opportunity to come to America dropped on my lap.

Loretto, KY, From:
   I flew to a small county called Loretto, Kentucky, population 623, all white.  I was probably the first Asian they ever saw.  A friend said I was brave.  My second job in Kentucky was Executive Assistant to the Retail Executive of a bank in the city of Louisville.  That job lasted for 4 years.  
My name was changed to Lori when I became a US citizen
Louisville, KY
   All the above mentioned experiences are not rocket science but when I heard my father say “my daughter can do anything she puts her mind to,” I felt like I won a Pulitzer.  

   Someone said I must be a genius.  Another said I’m just restless and reckless.  I thought I was psycho, until I found this term: Autodidact Polymath, a self-taught person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas.  “An autodidact may or may not have formal education,” (Wikipedia) They are mostly dropouts like me.

   I have never in my life pretended to have a diploma, which is easily faked.  I’m not a genius, just an Autodidactic Polymath and my father is proud of me.


   Vilma Santos is another perfect example of an Autodidactic Polymath.  She was a movie actress who excelled in public service.  She was mayor of Lipa City for 3 consecutive terms and the first female governor of Batangas also for three consecutive terms.  She is now a Congresswoman.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Liam Hemsworth in My Eyes

   Liam Hemsworth, Miley Cyrus' man,  is famous. I have not seen any of his films.  That shows how out of touch I’ve been.  Then, I chanced upon The Duel in HULU, on one of those days when the shows I regularly followed were off season.  

   Liam Hemsworth as David reminded me of Reb, the real man on whom the character in my book REBEL was based.  I know it sounds unbelievable, how David and Reb, one American and the other a Filipino, could actually be mirror image of each other.  However, the full beard, the uncut uncombed hair, the deep set eyes would have made them identical in black and white where skin color didn’t show.

   Reb was stocky like David, not tall and skinny but not overly muscular.  David spoke like Reb, with calculated words and manly tone that gets attention without trying.  The dusty, worn-out, 1800's fashion trousers of the western film incredibly matched Reb's dusty, worn-out loose blue jeans he wore in 1969.

   The way David walked, the way he moved, the way he hid in the bushes, the way he fought a fist fight, the way he taught his wife Mirasol fire a gun and the hurt in his eyes when she turned against him, were all reminders of Reb.

   Reb didn’t wear a western gun holster like David.  He tucked his 45 caliber in his back.  He didn’t ride a horse but rode a 1000cc motorcycle.  David shoots on his horse.  Reb shot at his target with his right hand while his left held the motorcycle handlebar.

   When I was writing the book Rebel I failed to describe Reb more accurately for lack of an existing photograph of him.  After I saw the movie The Duel, I realized the book does not do him justice.  Now I realize he's a Filipino Liam Hemsworth I let slip away.  My regret went a notch higher.
See also: 

Monday, July 31, 2017

The First Matriarch

   “Matriarchy is a social system in which females hold primary power, predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property,” 

   The first matriarch, was the first woman, the first wife, Eve.  In the Book of Genesis 2:18“Jehovah God said: ‘It is not good for the man to continue to be alone. I am going to make a helper for him, as a complement of him.’”  Then in verse 22, it reads “And Jehovah God built the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman.”

   Let us backtrack a little.  In verse 16-17, before Eve came into being, it says, “Jehovah God also gave this command to the man: “From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction.  But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will certainly die.”

   Eve was updated about that command when she arrived at the scene.  We know that because she said to the serpent in Genesis 3:3, “God has said about the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden: ‘You must not eat from it, no, you must not touch it; otherwise you will die.’”

   A mere three verses later, Eve makes the first matriarchal decision: “she began taking of its fruit and eating it.  Afterward, she also gave some to her husband when he was with her, and he began eating it.” (Genesis 3:6)  Adam followed her wishes instead of the powerful God who created and loved him.

   There was another tree in the garden, the tree of life, which they were not forbidden to eat from, until they disobeyed the commandment, “in order that he may not put his hand out and take fruit also from the tree of life and eat and live forever, with that Jehovah God expelled him from the garden of Eʹden” (Genesis 3:22-23)  The tree of life could have given them unending life in paradise.

   Her decision gave her descendants, the whole of mankind, a death sentence.  Soon enough, Eve’s second child, Abel was murdered by her first, Cain.

   From Eve, imperfection was inherited.  Matriarchs have risen from the most unexpected places.  In Asia, where women are petite and demure, came the Filipina.  

The Filipina
   The Filipina holds the purse string in the family whether a working wife or not.  Many of them work overseas to support Filipino househusbands.  Many fought the Revolution against Spain and WWII as guerillas.  They are shrewd business managers, assertive in any situation and adapts to the most difficult condition without losing charm and poise.  Thus, they make perfect matriarchs.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

An Open Letter to President Duterte

   In the Bible book of 1Peter 2:13-14 it says, “For the Lord’s sake subject yourselves to every human creation, whether to a king as being superior or to governors as sent by him to punish wrongdoers but to praise those who do good.”  This is what you do, Mr. President.  You are reputed to be hard on criminals but supportive of those “who do good”.

   The list of your accomplishments in 2016 alone does not only exceed expectations of the Filipinos, they defy the normal standard of leaders all over the world.  I have here a link to the long article of Pia Ranada from  I picked a few of what I believe to be of utmost importance.
  • “Mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija inaugurated. It is being run by the Department of Health.”  Drug users are not being exterminated as bias news claim.  Those who are willing to undergo rehabilitation gets it for free.
  • “One-stop service center for OFWs opened…has served 219,697 clients as of December 7, 2016…P455.1 million in emergency assistance extended to 10,233 OFWs displaced… in the Middle East. Of these, 2,401 availed of the government’s repatriation program.”  For the first time in years, OFWs are being assisted.
  • “911 National Emergency Hotline launched”
  • “The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) distributes land ownership awards to 50 farmers in Cebu City, 35 farmers in Sorsogon, 175 in Occidental Mindoro, and 300 in Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte.”
  • “271 new weather stations installed by Department of Science and Technology (DOST).”

   You have your hands full with the overwhelming problems of the country.  However, please permit me to bring to your attention the plight of kidney disease patients.  Dialysis, the treatment for kidney disease is unaffordable to the common Filipino.  Without dialysis, the patient dies within 3 days to 3 weeks.  Most choose to die and forego treatment if it means a child will not have to quit college, or the family does not lose residence by missing on rent payment.  Or worse there is simply no money to pay for one more treatment.  Philhealth is helping some and PCSO pitches in.

   Richard Nixon, a disgraced US president, provided to dialysis patients a law that has been keeping millions alive.  I believe that if there’s any Philippine president who can do the same, it’s you.

   “there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God.” (Romans 13:1)  That same God saw it fit to put a cursing, toughie in power.  That same God reads the heart of men and must have liked what he saw in yours.(1Chronicles 28:9)

Note: This article has been tweeted to the President and will be circulated to his social media pages.  Please share this article with tagline  #freedialysisphilippines and visit their Facebook Page

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Response to John Oliver

   I have been a dialysis patient for seven year this August 10, which anniversary I celebrate each year.  The first two years I did dialysis at University Kidney Center in Louisville, KY.  On the third year, the center was bought and operated by American Renal Associates.  I have been on dialysis vacationing, which put me with Satellite Healthcare in California and B. Braun Avitum in the Philippines.  I listed the providers to show I have been around.  Right now I am with DaVita.  

   I saw Dialysis: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.  John Oliver made good points but I would like to offer a reality check.  The episode focused on DaVita making it look like DaVita has an exclusive on “bad incentives, poor oversight and profiteering”.  Bad incentives, poor oversight and profiteering describe the entire healthcare system in all of America, maybe even the entire world, not just one Dialysis provider.  I have nothing against John Oliver but he should have researched other dialysis providers and made a comparison to be fair.

   The DaVita four stars rating from Medicare which John Oliver found unbelievable comes from a survey mailed to patients.  I am one of those patients who have given those stars.  The rating doesn’t say DaVita is perfect, four stars is not five stars.  However, patients of other dialysis providers suffer wrongful death arising from staff negligence or unqualified technician resulting in hemorrhages, “lawsuit against American Renal Associates that alleged it was responsible for a woman’s wrongful death…Sheila Marie Workman died on Sept. 23, 2013…There was a large amount of blood found under her treatment chair.” (

   Fresenius Medical Care owns dialysis clinics and provides many of the products used by other hemodialysis centers.  NaturaLyte Liquid Acid Concentrate and Granuflo Dry Acid Concentrate, both provided by Fresenius was found to cause heart attack, cardiac arrest or death during hemodialysis.  Information about the risk of using Granuflo and NaturaLyte was withheld by Fresenius, “at least 941 dialysis patients treated at Fresenius clinics suffered cardiac arrest during treatments in 2010.” (

   The episode quoted a supposedly DaVita Educator as saying patients have declined transplant because they are comfortable with their life on dialysis.  John Oliver reacted to this as incredulous.  Reality check, I am one of those patients who have declined transplant for five years until Flora Chan, a DaVita Social Worker convinced me last year.  I got on the transplant list.

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