Monday, December 25, 2017

The Postal Savings Stamp of the 50's

   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  The funds accumulated may be withdrawn as cash.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:

Friday, December 15, 2017

Lone Wolf Friendly World

   When I was a child in the 50’s, out of curiosity maybe, my mother asked me, “How do you want your life to be when you’ve become an adult?”

   “I will live in a small place so I won’t have too much to clean.  I will work so I can pay rent,” I replied.

   “Silly girl, when you get married, your husband can help you with the rent, so you can get a bigger place and a housekeeper to clean for you,” my mom replied, based on her lifestyle of having two live-in housekeepers.

   “Can I not get married?”

   “If you don’t get married, you won’t have children.  If you don’t have children, who will take care of you when you get old?”

   “Oh I want to have children.  I will be the one who will give birth anyway, so I can have children without getting married.”  My reply was so ahead of my mom’s time, ahead of my time even.  She couldn’t wrap her head around my rebellious future plans.

   “Why don’t you want to get married?”

   “Well, a rich husband will cheat on me and mistreat me.  With a poor one, life will be difficult.”  I replied based on common plots in radio drama series.

  My mom gave up the conversation.  She could not, in all honesty, guarantee that my judgment was incorrect.

   Fast forward to the 70s, I lost my poor first husband to Martial Law.  My Engineer second husband did cheat on me.
   By 1980, the world was ready for my childhood dream.  Just as I said in the distant past, I had a child on my own, courtesy of a lover I can’t keep.

   Now, I’m 65 years old, sick and single.  Just in time, the world has turned ‘lone wolf’ friendly.  I got a security system that keeps me sleeping soundly.  The ADT thing actually talks in a woman’s voice to tell me “Window open!” or “Door open!” and sends an alarm to the nearest law enforcement.
   When I need recipes, I can Google the dish.  When I need directions to go someplace, I got Google maps and GPS.  When I want to check out services, I got Yelp.  When I need someone to talk to, I got Siri or Alexa.  When I want friends, I got Facebook.  Should I want to see a movie, I got Fandango.  If I can’t drive, I got Lyft or Uber.  Whenever I travel out of the country, they give me a wheelchair at the airport with someone to push me.  If I should need a massage, a chair will give me a good one for $1-5.
   I heard there is a hug service I can buy, otherwise I can get a comfort pet.  Now, a kiss service I haven’t heard of, but it will come along.

   I wish my mom could see me now.

See also:
Losing No.1 
Losing No.2 
One Adam for One Eve

Friday, December 8, 2017

The US Declaration of Independence is Scriptural

   The United States Declaration of Independence says “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”  

   In simple terms, it says, when events are showing that it is necessary for one people to separate from another, nature and God entitles them to assume their own power among other powers on this earth.  In short, it acknowledges that sovereignty is God given, as the unchanging Bible of the Founding Fathers of the United States and ours states, in Romans 13:1, “for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God.”

  The Declaration of Independence continues.  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

   I am not a lawyer however, in my humble opinion, the words “all men are equal… unalienable Rights to Liberty” ended slavery.  The right to the pursuit of happiness, which is not found in the constitution of the Philippines, is the footing of the divorce law.  The Filipinos will need to adapt this in their constitution if they are serious about having a divorce law.  The Philippines is the last remaining country without divorce in keeping with the Catholic’s rejection of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:32, “However, I say to you that everyone divorcing his wife, except on account of sexual immorality, makes her a subject for adultery,” Jesus clearly says divorce was allowed “on account of sexual immorality,” or he would have said, anyone divorcing his wife commits adultery with no exception.

   The Declaration of Independence continues.  “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

   In the end, the signatories of the Declaration pledged their own life, fortune and honor to each other with mutual faith in God’s protection.
   “I well know, O Jehovah, that man’s way does not belong to him.  It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” (Jeremiah 10:23)

See also:

Friday, December 1, 2017

Guarantee to Life is Constitutional

   The United States Declaration of Independence guarantees “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.  In October 1972, the US Congress passed the Social Security Amendments of 1972.  Under this Act, Congress amended the Medicare law to extend coverage to individuals who were under 65 years of age, if they had End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), and had (or were the spouse or dependent of someone who) worked long enough to qualify for Social Security.  Before this law, only 65 years of age and over are entitled to free, no premium payment Medicare.

    The US Congress enacted this historic Medicare entitlement for dialysis, the first to cover a particular diagnosis under the guarantee to “life”.  A particular diagnosis means this Medicare law does not cover other illnesses, however terminal, i.e. Cancer, AIDS, Heart Disease, etc.  It only covers ESRD.  The justification for this is that patients with Cancer, AIDS, Heart Disease, etc. can go on remission and live.  The dialysis patient will surely die in a matter of days or weeks without dialysis.  There is no remission for ESRD but dialysis would rehabilitate a big proportion of the patients.  They can work, pay taxes and support their family and the economy, but only if they have the lifesaving treatment they need so badly. 

   The US law provided for a budgeted program authorizing appropriations of “such sum as may be necessary” to financially assist U.S. citizens or legal immigrants, as it states, “aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence...Financial assistance was to be for any costs which individuals are unable to pay from funds otherwise available to them,” which in short, means rich people with means to pay for dialysis are not entitled to the free coverage.  

   Although the unit costs of dialysis seems high, the technological advance could bring them down.  “For example, Dr. Sam Kountz, a transplant surgeon at the University of California, has reduced his costs to $8,000 per transplant or no more than any major surgical procedure.” (From: Biomedical Politics, 1991, Chapter: Origins of the Medicare Kidney Disease Entitlement: The Societal Security Amendments of 1972)  

   Another study in the US showed that lives could be saved if ESRD patients can afford transplantation, otherwise, those will be unconstitutional needless deaths.  A national program of kidney transplant through the Social Security Administration was enacted.  

See also:

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Qualification for Friendship

   God created angels, a lot of them.. (Genesis 1:1)  Jesus said when he was arrested, “do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father to supply me at this moment more than 12 legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53)  The word legion was a military term commonly used by the Roman army.  It meant a group of at least 6,000 soldiers.  Jesus said “more than” twelve legions, it is speculation to figure out an exact number.  So twelve legions of 6,000 angels would denote a minimum of 72,000 angels.  No angel ever lacked company.

   The Bible says that man was created in God’s image.  Adam was given one Eve to be his wife and friend.  Giving Adam more than one would have instituted polygamy.  A look at other creatures shows that God did not intend for creatures to be without friends.  Birds fly in flocks.  Wild horses, buffaloes, elephants, etc. all run in herds.  Those animals were not trained by man to seek each other and converge.  In the wild, only God speaks their language.  Only he could have given those creatures the instinct to befriend and be a friend.

   For us, humankind, friendship is not easy.  There’s the cultural differences between nations.  Within the same land, under the same flag lies the racial division, the conflict of interests, social stratification that divides people based upon their occupation and wealth.  

   Thus, we might find it difficult to develop friendship with people from particular regions, or religion, or social status.  Rules of friendship I learned as a child playing in the streets of Pasay City taught me that having a friend starts with me.  If I can’t be a good friend, I don’t deserve to have one.  

   A backstabbing friend is not a friend, backstabbing is a result of envy and resentment.  Real friends can be happy for the other’s blessings.  Real friends understand that their differences are not cause for hate.  Instead they empathize and commiserate.  After you have extended genuine friendship towards someone and it has not been reciprocated, it’s time to let that bird fly away.  A one sided friendship is not friendship.

   Does God have a friend?  “O, our God, did you not drive away the inhabitants of this land from before your people Israel and then give it as a lasting possession to the offspring of your friend Abraham?” (Chronicles 20:7)  Abraham was called Jehovah’s friend because out of all the characters in the Bible, Abraham was the only one willing to give up his own son, Isaac, for Jehovah who gave up his son Jesus for Abraham and all of us.  May I repeat, a one sided friendship is not friendship.

See also:
The Standbys of Makati City 
The Standbys of Pasay City  
Sesame Street versus Ibarra St.

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.

Post Script:

   Recently, our Ministry Coordinator has assigned a sister  and myself a territory of our own.  The sister and I are both disabled.  Our territory is a 58 unit, three floor apartment, with an elevator.  This gives us 58 roofed doors, in a row, a few meters from each other, to visit regularly.  Perfect for our need and physical capacity.  

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 6,761 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 4,481 views while overall stats shows a total of 15,993 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 relay 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:

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.  

Postscript in video

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)

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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)

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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.