Social Icons

twitterfacebookgoogle pluslinkedinrss feedemail

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sponsor a child thru World Vision Philippines

No child should ever suffer due to poverty and sickness. They should be able to enjoy their childhood. They should be able to smile and play and not worry about what they will eat for tonight.

World Vision is an international partnership of Christians whose call is to serve others and whose vision for every child is life in all its fullness. Their prayer, the will to make it so.

World Vision is a global organization which serve the poorest children helping transform their lives in nearly 100 countries including the Philippines. In the country, they help more than 120,000 children in 33 provinces and 44 cities nationwide.

You too can help one of these children thru World Vision Philippines.

For P20 a day or P600 a month or P7,200 a year, you can sponsor a child to make sure they are in good health and can go to school. They can also be better equipped for life's challenges through skills training and livelihood assistance. With your support, the child is taught value formation, provided with proper nutrition and safe water. Your sponsorship can change the kids' lives and even yours forever.

To learn more about World Vision and its child sponsorship program, visit their website at

You can also visit their Facebook page. There you will notice that they are also helping in relief efforts due to Typhoon Pablo.

For this coming Christmas, you can also give the poor children a Noche Buena gift thru World Vision.

Let us support World Vision and share what you have to the less fortunate.

This blog supports World Blogathon 2012, an initiative of Cebu Bloggers Society with the help of Andy's Hotel and Smart.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

MIND7, Nutrition Advocates among media practitioners in Region 7

You don't need to look far in order to see that malnutrition does exist in our communities. When you go out on the streets, you see street children which appear very thin. On the other hand, entering a fastfood chain, you will see obese persons. Both are forms of malnutrition -- undernourished and overnourished. And a certain group is not content doing nothing. This group does not wait for the government to convince them to act on the problem of nutrition. And they are battling malnutrition by doing what they do best.

MIND7 which stands for Media Information Network for Nutrition and Development for Region 7 is a group which consists of legitimate media practitioners from TV, radio, print and even the social media or blogging community which aims to "serve as a vehicle to strengthen the flow of food and nutrition information" something which is much needed. They help the National Nutrition Council, local government units and other government agencies in this aspect.

Their past activities included promoting breast feeding, information campaigns on handwashing, establishment of home gardens and many more.

I just hope more and more media personalities and even bloggers will have nutrition as one of their advocacies for believe it or not, the country's future is affected by nutrition.

You can follow MIND7 via the NutritionAdvocates PH Facebook page or via their Twitter @NutriAdvocates.

Worldblogathon supports MIND7. This post was made during the Worldblogathon brought to you by the Cebu Bloggers Society, Smart and Andy Hotel.

Loveyourself Cebu, helping in the battle to prevent HIV

Image courtesy of:
Among those with the highest risk of acquiring HIV/AIDS are those men having sex with men (MSM) so that the MSM group is a very important group to target also with regards to education, counseling and awareness.  And peers can be the best teachers in this case.

Loveyourself may just have the people to best connect to MSMs as many members may be considered peers. According to their website, "Love Yourself Inc. (for the Youth & LGBT-MSM) is a non-stock, non-profit SEC organization that aims to reach out to the community to propagate ideas, attitudes, and practices that encourage loving oneself -- to DARE to be oneself, to CARE for oneself, and to SHARE oneself as a way to multiplying joy."

Loveyourself gives assistance to those who want to be tested for HIV and they assure your anonymity and confidentiality. They are partners with the Department of Health (DOH). They have trained HIV educators and counselors that can be approached by anyone who has certain concerns related to HIV. They organize activities that help promote HIV awareness and provide support to high-risk groups like the youth and MSMs which the DOH might have difficulty reaching or connecting.

A Loveyourself Cebu Team has just been established quite recently and during World Aids Day (WAD), they organized a WAD Parade. This is a welcome development as Cebu is one of the HIV concern areas in the country and the group's entry could boost efforts to lower HIV incidence here. Perhaps if you have patients (for doctors) or if you have friends or relatives who want somebody to talk to regarding their condition, a HIV support group of sorts, you may want to refer them to The Loveyourself Cebu Team.

The Loveyourself team also accepts volunteers and contributions.

You can connect with them also thru Twitter by the way.

Worldblogathon supports Loveyourself Cebu. This post was made during the Worldblogathon brought to you by the Cebu Bloggers Society, Smart and Andy Hotel.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Reflections during the Digital Influencers Marketing Summit in Cebu

The Digital Influencers Marketing Summit in Cebu was really a very fruitful event. It inspired a lot of people to be more passionate about their advocacies. It also made me reflect on many things which I will share to you today. It gathered bloggers (including aspiring and rejuvenated ones), technopreneurs and internet marketers among many others.

The first talk on Bloggers as Influencers and Brand Advocates made me reflect on my organization, the Cebu Bloggers Society (CBSi). The talk featured advocates who also happen to be from CBSi. The talk including the questions in that particular segment made me think that Cebu Blogegrs Society is in the right path in being advocates and not lootbaggers. Many in CBSi like Ruben Licera Jr, Fleire Castro and Bjorn Bernales are becoming known for their advocacies without asking money in return.

How Influencers and Brand Advocates are Shaping Search Engine Results reminded me of being conscious on what links I put on my blog and inspired me to really provide better content in my blogs.

The topic "Building Relationships with Influencers and Brand Advocates" made me realize even more the value of interactions and engagement especially with readers and followers as well as fellow bloggers in various platforms. Perhaps I should visit other blogs and forums more often. I should make my Facebook pages more dynamic with content to engage the visitors.

Listening to the speakers telling their story on their Transformation as an Influencer made me recall also my own transformation from one who just has his students as audience to having now a wider reach.  3 years ago when I was not a serious blogger, I was just teaching in the classroom. But little by little I am able to reach more as I see my Twitter followers increase which include colleagues from other countries. Now I am having public speaking opportunities as well as offline writing opportunities. As I learn more from others, I am able to improve myself knowing things beyond what I studied formally for.

Only then that I realize that my transformation brought about by being active in the blogging and social media scene has after all left an impact to some people I thought I did not have influence over. This is evident in my current Kidney Transplant Fund efforts. I have cash donors who come from parents of my students and some whom I am not personally acquainted with.

Khoa Bui's advices were spot on. I am now determined to write books as my next project. I now want to be an inspirational speaker when my kidney transplant hopefully becomes successful. I will write more often. I will follow Ben Francia's lead of not giving up and treating challenges as "happy problems". Being initially "non-techy" like Alan Choachuy of METAfit Cebu should not be a hindrance to reaching other people effectively.

The elections are coming next year and Ms. Janette Toral is right in pointing out the possible role of Social Media in the elections. It made me recall Uncle Ben's (of Spiderman) message to Peter Parker which could be applicable to social media influencers for this coming elections -- "With great power, comes great responsibility."

With so much things triggered by the said summit and with many people left inspired, I would say it was really successful. Thank you Ms. Janette Toral and the organizers led by Fleire Castro for bringing the Digital Influencers Marketing Summit to Cebu. It was refreshing to see the participants sharing the same passion for their advocacies. I do hope to continue mine as I start my journey for a kidney transplant.

If you want to help me in my journey, just visit my Polycystic Kidney Disease blog. In there is my story and a Paypal donate button on the left sidebar. See you again next year!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Raise your Hands so more Children will Survive Five

Around 21,000 children under age five die worldwide mostly DUE TO PREVENTABLE CAUSES and a resounding majority of the deaths come from developing countries. According to the World Health organization, three-quarters of all child deaths are mainly due to causes such as pneumonia, diarrhea, neonatal conditions, malaria and measles -- all preventable and all may be present in our country.

According also to the WHO, coverage of key child health interventions are low and unequally distributed between and within countries. And this problem must be brought to the attention of everyone including our world leaders and the influential people. This is the wish of World Vision,
a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. For them all children should have a chance to be happy and healthy.

And so they are inviting us to join thousands of people in over 60 countries worldwide in raising our hands for health, especially the health of those under age five so that more children Survive Five.

What we can do? Simple.

Take a photo with your hands raised and show the world by pasting the particular photo on the wall of and perhaps also on your Facebook wall to show support for Survive Five. I invite especially the medical students as well as the students of other health professions, and the pediatricians to show the way. Urge your friends, your barkada to have a group picture with your arms raised. Have fun while helping raise awareness and perhaps the world will take heed and pay attention.

Cebu MD and Cebu Bloggers Society shows you how in the picture below:

Photo credit: Red Yumang of CookMyGarden
Make sure your pictures are up before November 13-20, the first Global Week of Action when World Vision seeks to bring people together across the globe to show support for the children at risk of illness or death from preventable causes.

For more information about the Global Week of Action, just go to the ChildHealthNow website.

Count yourself in and TAKE AND UPLOAD THOSE PICS NOW!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cebu-based cancer center urges proper education on HPV vaccines

Many women are still unaware about the connection of Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections and the development of cervical cancer, let alone HPV vaccination. This according to Mr. Ronald de los Reyes, the program coordinator of the Cebu-based Eduardo J. Aboitiz Cancer Center (EJACC) of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI). HPV is the same virus that causes genital warts by the way.

Importance of education

I agree with Mr. Reyes. The perception of some is that cancers are not caused by infectious organisms. In reality, there are viruses that are associated with cancers and HPV is one of them. We need to educate people regarding this especially that cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among Cebu's women according to EJACC's Metro Cebu Population-based Cancer Registry. To note, in 2003-2007, there are 162 deaths out of the 311 cervical cancer cases recorded.

“By educating women, we are helping them overcome their reservations on issues related to cervical cancer. Public education and awareness requires multi-sectoral support from policy makers, healthcare professionals, and the general public to successfully introduce HPV vaccines,” he explained.

“Since HPV vaccine is a relatively new concept, many Filipinos are unfamiliar that there are two HPV vaccines in the market that are classified as preventive measures against cervical cancer. We need to make it clear that HPV vaccines can only prevent and not treat HPV infections,” Delos Reyes said.

The HPV vaccines

Approved by the Philippine Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) last 2006, quadrivalent and bivalent vaccines prevent HPV type infections. Both vaccines protect against initial infections of HPV types 16 and 18, which cause most of the HPV-associated cancer cases. Quadrivalent vaccine also protects against HPV types 6 and 11, which cause ninety percent of genital warts.

Vaccine recommendations

To be most effective, HPV vaccines should be given before a person has any type of sexual debut, when HPV infection risk is at its lowest. The recommendation is to get vaccinated between the ages of 9 and 27. Pregnant women should not get the vaccine. “Women who are sexually active may also benefit from vaccination, but they may get less benefit. This is because they may have already been exposed to one or more of HPV types targeted by the vaccines,” Delos Reyes said.

He added that the cost of the cost of the vaccines puts it out of reach of many women. Currently, the three doses (via injection) of the vaccine cost a total of Php 6,000. The vaccine is given in three shots over a six-month period (day 1, month 2, and month 6). Another challenge is the accessibility of the vaccines.

He said that the vaccine is a cost-effective answer to the plea for women to fight cervical
cancer. The vaccination for each patient should always be determined by a doctor, he stressed

“If we will look at it, the HPV vaccine is a lifetime opportunity. The cost of the vaccination is less compared to the burdens of medical expenses caused by HPV diseases or infections that might come in the long run. Many people could even spend thousands of pesos for gadgets that become out-dated over time, so why not spend on HPV vaccination?” Delos Reyes stressed.

Worldwide, cervical cancer death toll remains high. He lamented that women only come for treatment when the disease has reached a critical stage.

“Women should do in all possible preventive measures that could possibly lower the risks of cervical cancer,” he said. He added that it is important for adult women to still get cervical cancer screening even if they have completed the HPV vaccine series. Other preventive measures include regular
cervical screening (pap smear) annually or as advised by the obstetrician-gynecologist, and HPV testing.

He also said that vaccines do not provide 100 percent protection against cancer but it can help women prevent cervical cancer before it starts to grow. “The development of HPV infections is due to risky sexual practices that include having sex at an early age and having multiple sexual partners of both men and women,” he said.

Original article courtesy of Chrisley Ann Hinayas of RAFI.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cebu MD among the finalists in the 1st Cebu Media Excellence Awards

Good news! Cebu MD is one of the blogger finalists in Globe Telecom's 1st Cebu Media Excellence Awards for the special award, Blogger of the Year. The awarding ceremonies will be on September 18, coinciding with the Press Freedom Week celebration at the Salon de Espana, Casino Espanol, V, Ranudo Street. Program starts at 10 AM.

Other awards to be given that day are the best Print, Radio and Television Reporter of the Year, Feature Story of the Year for the various media, Column of the Year, Radio Broadcaster of the Year and Television Broadcaster of the Year. These awards are given to recognize both traditional and online media who are "breaking new grounds in news dissemination and showing exemplary communication skills and creativity."

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Velez College Medtech Grad Tops Again

Prior to today's results, a Velez College graduate had the feeling that someone from her school will top the Medical Technology Board Exams. Her basis? The recent earthquake that rocked the country.

She noted in the recent two board Exams (where somebody from Velez College topped the Medtech Boards), there was a preceding earthquake a few days before the exam. In this recent exam, there was an earthquake a day prior.

Turns out her hunch was right.

Another Velezian graduate got the number one spot in the September 2012 Medical Technology Board Exams. Matthew Joseph Tan Po from Velez College got a score of 91.70 which put him on top of 1,865 total examinees. His individual accomplishment was the icing in the cake for Velez College College of Medical Technology led by its dean Ms. Perla Vinarta, as the school got a 100% passing rate as all 84 examinees passed.

As news of the results came out, Facebook walls of the boardpassers were flooded with congratulatory as well as thank you messages.

"Top 1 + 100% again! Congrats Velez MedTechs! Lord kami nasad next year ha!"
"Maka hilak lagi ang akong newsfeed. Mygosh guys. Amazing. Thank you, Lord! VC-MT 2012, WOW! :)"
"Lord, thank u kaayo..we made it!! 100% mi..:))"
"thanks to all my friends, my relatives, and to daddy ko, to my family and above all to the most powerful LORD JESUS CHRIST."

It was actually a good day for Cebu as Cebu Doctors' University (also with a 100% passing rate with all 29 examinees passing) had 3 graduates in the top 10:

  • No. 4. Thara Jill Sy Anasco
  • No. 5. Kelvin Jay Toledo Buensalida , and
  • No. 7. Efren John Oledan Misagal
It is everyone's wish that next year will likewise be a good year for all examinees. Here's to more topnotchers from Cebu BUT NO MORE EARTHQUAKE PLEASE!

To the board passers, congratulations! To their teachers and those working behind the scenes, good job and congratulations too!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Blogger Relations Talk During the Unilab Social Media Summit

More and more brands are recognizing the importance of bloggers. Why not? Bloggers are also consumers which can be a good source of feedback as well as content. Their blog posts are practically word-of-mouth. Many people research on the brands by reading blogs. And the message is multiplied from their blog posts to their social media accounts and bookmarks.

One of the social media adapting brands who recognize the importance of bloggers is Unilab, the biggest pharmaceutical company in the Philippines. One afternoon, I got the chance to be among the panelists for a talk on Blogger Relations together with OC MominManila and Liz of Project Vanity during the Unilab Social Media Summit held at the Unilab Bayanihan Center last July 26.

We shared our experiences about meeting with people from different brands and we appear to share the same views  regarding blogger relations especially frowning upon brands that initially approach bloggers with frank brand or product speak.

Brands should realize that bloggers are not robots that are programmed to produce content. They are people too who appreciate friendships and a conversation over a cup of coffee. They have advocacies that they support. They have interests and activities that they are passionate about. Knowing these can help brands maintain good blogger relations.

There are several brands that have good blogger relations but there are also brands that do not have a relationship with bloggers at all. These are probably brands that have not hopped into social media yet which is a surprise considering that the Philippines is among the top countries using social media like Facebook and Twitter.

Speaking of starting or maintaining blogger relations...Want to make friends with bloggers in Cebu? Then why not pay Cebu Bloggers Society a visit. Perhaps we could share each others stories over dinner.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Cebu Centre for Dance, Not Just an ordinary Dance school

Doctors are human beings too who want to pursue their passion for other things outside their medical profession. I know of doctors who send their little kids to music schools for piano and violin lessions. In the same manner, many also send their children to dance schools to learn ballet and other dances like hiphop.

I even know of one doctor who continues to pursue her passion for dance as a part-time teacher of ballet in Cebu -- Dr. Mary Poblete-Chan, an obstetric-gynecologist. And where does she teach ballet? At Cebu Centre for Dance.

My interest for the culture and arts has brought me to visit the Cebu Centre for Dance (CCD), the newest dance school providing world-class dance training established by a group of individuals who are passionate about ballet and dance and who are very willing to share their experience and expertise.

The dance studio

CCD opened last April 12, 2012. The dance floor area according to the operations manager I interviewed is about 110 square dance meters divided into Studio A and B, with A being the larger studio. The 2 studios can be combined also to form a larger dance floor. CCD also has proper sprung floors made of Taraflex which makes injuries a lesser probability for ballet dancers and other dance students who often jump and bounce among other maneuvers.

There are mirrors all throughout and fixed smooth wooden hand rails which is preferred more by some ballet dancers and most especially ballroom dancers.

Speakers are built around the room to immerse the dancers fully into the music as they dance.

CCD also has its own toilet and 3 dressing rooms as well as lockers. Since many ballet accessories are not readily available, CCD sells tights, leotards, pointe shoes, toe pads among others for convenience.

Not just ballet

The school offers regular lessons (mainly the Vaganova method) in ballet divided into pre-ballet 1 and 2 for little kids, Ballet 1A and B, Ballet 2 and Advanced ballet. Scholarships are offered also to deserving students.

But the teachers there do not just teach ballet. In relation to ballet, French terminologies related to ballet are introduced to their wards to facilitate ballet instruction.

They also teach Contemporary (an expressive form of dance combining modern dance and ballet), Social Dance (Latin and Ballroom), Hip Hop, Jazz, Yoga and Pilates. All of these are taught by certified and experienced dance instructors in the person of couples Chris and Shiela Lendio-Manlunas, veteran Baby Cabaero (which is also a certified Pilates mat teacher), Johanna Mangubat and ably supported by Dr. Mary Poblete-Chan and Thea Pala. Zumba sessions are also offered with Emma Satchell, certified Zumba instructor, on board.

"We believe exposure to different artists is important to kids," says Johanna Mangubat who manages the operations of the CCD. She adds (referring to the trainings that they give), "We are very particular to the kind of quality we give to the students."

The Pilates by the way is incorporated in the ballet program as a strength and conditioning measure, an important aspect of dancing.

Not just a dance school

CCD is not just a dance school. It is also a fitness studio as groups can rent the place for aikido, taichi and wingchun classes. The place is also open for those who want to rent it for dance practices. Some doctors practicing for convention or party production numbers have already utilized the studio for their practices.

I happened to arrive at CCD at the time some adult students are coming out from a session. Seeing them come out smiling after a session is a good indication that perhaps CCD is indeed a nice school to learn dancing aside from their impressive lineup of dance faculty.

So why not send your kids to learn dancing from this school. Or if not, register yourself in one of the classes. Doctors out there in Cebu, join the other doctors who are already taking classes or having dancing sessions in CCD. Or you could practice as a group here. Remember, dancing also promotes fitness.

Cebu Centre for Dance is located at Door 4, Tango Plaza Bldg., Queen's Road, Cebu City, within the vicinity of the building at the back of C and E Publishing near Redemptorist Parish. They can be contacted at telephone numbers (032) 514-4283. Visit their Facebook page and website for more information or if you want to contact them through online means.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dr. Raymund Cagape: A Real Physician with a Heart

Dr. Raymund Cagape or Dr. Roel recently visited his alma mater, Cebu Institute of Medicine (CIM) for their batch Nexus's Silver Jubillee. Today he was asked to share his story to his colleagues and the current CIM students. His story is definitely one that should be shared to current and future doctors. Very inspirational...

Below is a feature by Jessica Soho last year of this humble and selfless CIM graduate who dedicated himself to the service of those in far flung and impoverished areas. He is the embodiment of a Physician with a Heart.

I thought that this will illustrate best his story in the blogosphere...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Social Media Day Cebu with Cebu Bloggers Society

Last June 30. Cebu MD celebrated Social Media day with his fellow bloggers and some journalists. Social has been very kind to this blogger. It has been helpful in spreading information and educating his readers on many things.

The Social Media Day Cebu event was held in Mactan Isla Resort, a nice venue for gatherings between close friends and family.

Highlights of the event were talks on Elancing, ethics, social media influence and having quality content on blogs. It was nice to see journalists helping to educate bloggers on ethics in journalism and writing good quality content.

There were several take home messages. One that stood out is that bloggers should not allow themselves to be dictated mainly by algorithms when they write. 

Reflecting on social media, I look forward for bloggers to lead the way in advocating for responsible social media use.

Congratulations to Cebu Bloggers Society President Ruben Licera for a job well done in organizing the event and Vice President Bjorn Bernales. Thanks also to the sponsors and partners as indicated in the poster above.

Let us all put social media in to good use especially here in Cebu.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Swish Breath Spray: Product Review

Swish comes in two 10-ml preparations: The (blue) Arctic Chill and the (green) Peppermint Fresh.

After a week of trying both variants, here is what I have to say.

What I know about the Swish product is its Mouthwash line. When I learned about the Breath spray line, I thought this was a good move by the manufacturer. It will be nice to have the benefits of the Mouthwash in this more handy breath spray line which can be carried anywhere.

The 10 ml breath spray is just the right size. It can be placed conveniently whether in the pocket or in one's work bag for ease of access when the need for a quick breath fix arises.

Spraying 1 to 2 pumps into the mouth, one can feel freshness in about 10 seconds without the sting of alcohol preparations of other mouthwashes or breath sprays. True enough, reading the product label, it says, "alcohol-free and sugar-free." Sugar-free is important since it is known that bacteria thrive in environments rich in sugars.

I actually like both variants and I won't mind using either of the two.

The spray delivers a fine stream of breath freshness that I can imagine that one can use it good for about 100 sprays.

Swish Breath spray is said to act by killing bacteria in the mouth to eliminate bad breath caused by eating, drinking and smoking. Using the product for about a week already, I believe that the spray indeed does this as I observed that my breath remains fresh for several hours.

I think one important use of the product is in the hospital setting by patients with the tendency to have bad breath especially when the mouth is kept close for a long period of time. I recommend Swish breath spray for these patients to keep their breath fresh.

Swish Breath spray is worth trying and using for its convenience and reliability.

Swish breath spray is a part of a line of products of Unilab or United Laboratories, Inc.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Unilab Ideas Positive finalists from Cebu to be announced

On May 23, the regional finalists teams who will be chosen to join Unilab Ideas Positive exclusive 3-day social marketing boot camp will be announced at the (For live and frequent updates about the teams and the program, subscribe to their Facebook page at or follow IdeasPositive on Twitter at @ideaspositive.)

To recall, from a total of 82 entries received nationwide, 30 came from the Visayas. 6 teams came from Cebu and they had their presentations last May 16, 2012 for the Cebu leg of the Screening at the Cebu Parklane Hotel.

I was there to witness the presentations along with my colleagues at the Cebu Bloggers Society.

It was nice to see the youth participating in this advocacy of Unilab for the various communities in the country.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's Time for Coach Jim Saret's FITFIL Fitness Boot Camp

It is really worthwhile to devote time in taking care of one's health and fitness. However, getting in a gym and enrolling in fitness programs can be too expensive on the pocket for some since the figures are just too much for the budget.

Others have second thoughts on enrolling in fitness programs since they feel intimidated by the more experienced clients already showing big muscles as they lift weights.

But these should still not stop one from being fit.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The GTUG/GDG Pre Startup Weekend Cebu Bootcamp

In my continued quest to hopefully join or even establish my own startup company out of my startup ideas as well as to help me with a possible business startup plan, I also joined Google Users Group in Cebu  in their Pre Startup Weekend Bootcamp help in the University of the Philippines Cebu last May 5, 2012.

As expected, majority of the audience is made up of developers and web designers but that did not stop me from attending. I learned about wireframing and prototyping, which are also steps in coming up with a startup product. It definitely triggered me to read more in the web.

I am definitely excited for Friday, May 11, the start of the actual Startup Weekend.

Below are scenes from the Pre Startup Weekend Cebu Bootcamp which I personally attended:

See you at Startup Weekend!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Crazy Pre-Startup Weekend Cebu Workshop Experience

Last Saturday, I joined about 40 participants in a Pre-Startup Weekend Cebu Workshop, a great precursor to the Startup Weekend Cebu this May 11-13. It was held at the Cebu Institute of Technology University, Cebu City.

There I met programmers, game developers, app developers, businessmen and internet marketing specialists among others who will participate in Startup Weekend Cebu as volunteer/organizer or delegate/participant. Most of them are in their 20s.

I was the only physician among the group.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Startup Weekend Cebu: Why you should attend

I am not an information technology graduate nor a businessman. I just began reading about startups but somehow the launch of Startup Weekend Cebu last week in Ching Palace, Lahug got me excited to attend the event.

CebuMD (That's me!) is attending Startup Weekend and is inspired to share his idea and hopefully come up with a team or join a team with an idea he finds interesting to support. Who knows, I may come up with a new medical software or a new medical app with the help of the people I meet there?

So why am I excited and why should you attend the Startup Weekend Cebu? It is because:

  1. You will get to meet people who might possibly help you with your idea. I am not a programmer or a graphic designer or a software engineer but it does not mean I do not have an idea. You too may have that idea that could come up with the next Facebook, the next Pinterest or the like. The idea can even be related to social entrepreneurship. Startup Weekend Cebu will have programmers, designers, marketers, entrepreneurs, mentors and investors to help you with your idea. Who knows your idea can become a million dollar business?
  2. The same people mentioned in number one may help you in your future ideas or projects. These people can become your partners for a business or a company. They can become your friends whom you can approach. And vice versa, you can help these people someday.
  3. You will learn many things.Startup Weekend is like a speed dating session wherein you make a pitch with your idea for a minute and people who like your idea might decide to join you in your team. If your idea is not voted among the popular ones, you may decide to join another team with an idea that appeals to you. And in Startup Weekend, you get first hand experience on how to sell your idea to other people and to investors. If your idea reaches the finals, this will be presented to a group of judges and investors who may decide to support you with funding. During Startup Weekend, you learn to work as a team with others.
  4. It will be fun applying what you learned from life experiences to the development of the idea into something that can become a real product.
And all of these will take place from May 11-13, Friday at the University of the Philippines-Cebu in a span of 54 hours. Registration is P1,000 which covers the use of the venue and the meals.

For more information on the event, the organizers, mentors, judges, partners and for registration, visit Startup Weekend Cebu.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wanted: Positive Ideas to tackle Problems like HIV-AIDS, Childhood Obesity

HIV-AIDS is really a problem of great concern in the country especially Cebu.

Records of the City Health Department’s (CHD) HIV/AIDS Detection Unit showed that in 2011 (as posted in Sunstar Cebu, January 31, 2012), there were 140 reported cases. About 8 out of 10 reported HIV/AIDS cases were contracted by guess what?    ----- through sharing of needles by injection drug users.

The remaining 21% was acquired through sexual intercourse, more between homosexuals than between heterosexuals. It is believed that this "dangerous" sexual practices are facilitated by social media networking sites where "meetups" are arranged.

It is my belief (I may be wrong) that HIV/AIDS patients are also becoming younger.

HIV is a problem that needs action right away as the number of cases in the country are projected to rise by 14,000 this year with Cebu City as one of the major areas of concern. With the knowledge that drug abuse and social media play a role in its transmission, education and perhaps social media can be made part of the strategy to combat this problem. Combat bad social media by good social media. Combat ignorance and unawareness by education.

What better way also to combat this problem than to empower the youth like college students to help solve it. Social media is something a lot of young people are good at. Harness their creativity and enthusiasm to counter misplaced curiosity and immaturity that may lead some of them to stray in the HIV trap.

Like HIV, Childhood Obesity is another problem that needs attention.

Many would love to pinch an obese child's cheeks. They think making children obese is making them "cute" and actually healthy. Fact is, children's health are endangered when they become obese. And it becomes difficult to convince people that it is not okay for someone to become obese even if he or she is still a child.

Unilab through its Unilab Ideas Positive program (a social marketing congress and competition) invites the country's college students (nationwide) to come up with ideas to improve the health and wellness of their communities with their social marketing ideas.

Health issues like HIV and Childhood Obesity are just examples of health problems in communities which may be addressed by these college students. Ideas to combat these problems are very much welcomed.

15 youth teams will eventually be selected in this contest that fosters teamwork among the youth. The teams are to be given P100,000 seed money for the implementation of their ideas to 15 chosen communities in the country to produce positive change.

The teams will be flown to Manila where they will undergo a 3-day boot camp training with free transportation, accommodation and meals to learn social marketing approaches from experts through case studies and workshops. This way also, the Bayanihan spirit is cultivated by Unilab among the youth participants.

Last year, the winners were from UP Diliman. They won for their Tuberculosis Detection and Prevention Program for a community in Quezon City which they are currently implementing.

Unlike the previous years, Unilab Ideas Positive now expands to include students from Visayas and Mindanao with more focus on outcomes in rewarding the winning teams.

Interested college students can join by teaming up and registering at Deadline for submission of entries is on April 16. 

You may also get more information from

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cebuanos should take Colorectal Cancer seriously

Based on the Cancer Registry of the Eduardo J. Aboitiz Cancer Center (EJACC) of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI), colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths among Cebuanos.

EJACC recorded 653 cases from year 1998-2002 with 364 dying from it in Metro Cebu.

In the year 2002-2007, there were 862 reported cases with 489 deaths related to colorectal cancer in Metro Cebu. An estimated 944,717 cases were identified worldwide in 2000.

The incidence and mortality rates of this cancer is slightly higher in males than in females. The incidence increases with increasing age, rising rapidly after age 50 but it doesn't mean colorectal cancer cannot occur in younger ages.

Colorectal cancer appears to have a multi-factorial cause with a genetic component. Diet high in fat and low fiber content has been implicated in its development along with alcohol and smoking.

Simply put by EJACC, "Individuals age 40 and above, who have a sedentary lifestyle, who are eating high fatand low fiber diet, who have family and medical history of the disease, and who have polyps and
ulcerative colitis, face high risk of acquiring colorectal cancer.

Bleeding is the most common symptom. However may of these patients exhibit no symptoms and are  discovered during digital rectal exam or proctoscopic screening examinations.

Colorectal cancer is characterized by a change in bowel movements, blood in the stools,
abdominal discomforts, unexplained appetite and weight loss, fatigue, and pelvic pain in the later

With the above information, one can see that colorectal cancer is not to be taken lightly. Thus this blogger supports EJACC in its call for the public to be health conscious and to undergo regular screening to discover cancers while in their early stage.

Diagnostic procedures in detecting colorectal cancer include fecal occult blood test, rectosigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, fecal DNA test, and double contrast barium enema. The disease may be treated through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

For more information about colorectal cancer in Cebu, please contact EJACC at 254-6351 and look for Gina Mariquit.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

CIM graduate top 2 in February 2012 Medical Board Exams

CIM is again 100% and one of its graduates is in the top 10. Congrats to all of the Medical Board Exam takers especially to our good friend Fr. Alfonso Suico or should I say Rev, Fr. Dr. Alfonso Suico.

Names of those who passed are here.

Names of those who topped the boards are here.

This is the link showing the performance of schools for this particular physician board exams.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Medical Blogging: Keeping It Ethical

(Shortened version of a talk given on February 9, 2012 on the occasion of the 45th Association of Philippine Medical Colleges National Convention held at the Cebu Institute of Medicine, Philippines)

Lost in the talk on Medical Professionalism is the online aspect of Medical Professionalism. In this day and age, we must be thinking also of how we conduct ourselves online like in our blogs.

A blog is a very powerful tool. What is cool about blogs is that we as the author or writer of the blog post can also be our own editor, photographer and publisher rolled into one. A blog encourages interaction, conversation and feedback through its comments section. It makes readers part of the conversation and makes them part of the content. It also encourages sharing and networking through the social networking or sharing buttons.

A blog can come in many types. There are microblogs like Twitter and Tumbler. But there are also blog types according to genres. A blog can be personal, can be dealing with sports, events, entertainment, etc. But it can also be a medical blog.

There is an increasing trend of Filipino medical doctors who are blogging. Perhaps, Filipino medical students too. But only few are actually medical blogging.

The uniqueness of medical blogs

A medical blog has medicine or health as the main topic. A medical blog is unique because patient confidentiality is a consideration even online. It has to be accurate especially that medical blogs are often quoted. Otherwise, the results can be bad for both reader and author.

There is so much at stake with medical blogging. The author’s reputation and the reader’s health and even life may be on the line.

Medical blogs are prone to abuse. Some may pose as medical bloggers even if they are not competent to be one. They may pretend to be imparting medical knowledge when in fact they are just making articles up revolving around a medical keyword which has a high value in the online advertisements.

Many medical bloggers are also blogging anonymously.

And medical blogging is something new in the Philippines even if Filipinos are very much into social media.

Considering the reasons given above, ethical blogging should be practiced all the more with medical blogging. 

Ethical blogging

To keep a medical blog ethical, a medical blogger must observe the following:
  • Bloggers must respect the patient and medical professional relationship. Care must be taken not to accidentally reveal a patient’s identity. In the discussions, extra caution must be observed so that a patient’s identity cannot be inferred.
In the United States, there is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that protect individual’s personal health information which medical bloggers must comply with. The same principles mentioned in this act should perhaps also apply in the Philippines.

Bloggers may not mention patients’ names in their blog and think they have already complied with privacy rules. But other information such as the date, time, hospital service or department the blogger serves, the place, and uniqueness of an injury or uniqueness of an event may still lead to the patient being easily identified.      
  • There must be clear representation of authority and perspective. The blogger even if he is blogging anonymously must reveal his credentials or qualifications and must show the readers where he is coming from in writing this article. An About Me page may do this.
  • It must be made clear whether the post is a paid one. Commercial ties must be made clear. Clearly differentiate between editorial content and advertising content.
  •  Information imparted must be reliable and sources must be given due credit just like in writing a research paper.
  • Practice courtesy. Do not use curse words. Do not engage in personal attacks.
  • Think, think, think before you post.
In conclusion, I would like to leave a quote from my favorite uncle….Uncle Ben Parker (of Spiderman) who said “With great power comes great responsibility.”

I would like to repeat that a blog is a powerful tool. It is even made more powerful when a physician does the medical blogging because of the trust and confidence that he usually gets from his readers especially patients. 

Therefore I say to the medical bloggers out there, keep it (blogging) ethical.

Good afternoon and thank you.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Globe Run4Home 2012 in Cebu: Running for the Love of the Sport and for Charity

If there is one run newbies and veterans in running shouldn't miss, it is this year's Globe Run4Home which will be held for the first time in Cebu.

Not only will the runners get to improve their personal records or enjoy the running sport with their friends but they will also get to help noble causes for people, nature, endangered species or the environment especially with the recent calamities that hit the country.

Beneficiaries of the running event include Gawad Kalinga, Habitat for Humanity (both providing housing development projects and build communities), Cebu Biodiversity Conservation Foundation (which help preserve the environment by empowering communities) and the Philippine Tarsier Foundation, Inc. (which help spread awareness about the endangered Philippine tarsier and its habitat as well as how to protect them).

Registration fees

Below is the different categories and the corresponding registration fees:

  • 3K  - PHP 300
  • 5K - PHP 400
  • 10K - PHP 500
  • 15K - PHP 600
  • 21K - PHP 700

The above registration fees are actually the most affordable in Globe Run4Home history.

Included in the registration fee are race shirts in various sizes, race bib number, and timing chip with Facebook tracker. Runners also get the chance to choose their beneficiary from the organizations mentioned earlier.

Runners registering as a group of 5 and running on the same category will enjoy free registration for their fifth member.


The winner of the 21K will receive a finisher's medal. The first three 21K finishers will bring home P15,000 cash, P10,000 and P7,000 while the top three 15K finishers will receive P10,000, P7,000 and P5,000.

10K top 3 placers will receive P7,000, P5,000 and P3,000. In the 5K race, the best 3 finishers will have P5,000, P3,000 and P2,000.

3K fastest three participants will get P3,000, P2,000 and P1,000.

Race details

The Run4Home will officially start at 5AM with the 21K race at the Cebu International Convention Center. Below are the other starting times:

15K - 5:30AM
10K - 5:45AM
5K  -  6:00AM
3K  -  6:15AM

And here is the race map:
Registration is ongoing at Paseo de Ciudad at the 1st level of Ayala Center, Cebu City or at the comfort of your homes via

This activity is supported by Alaska, Fox Channel, Gatorade, StarWorld and Summit Natural Drinking Water as major sponsors.

Minor sponsors include Cebu Marriot Hotel, McDonald's, Rexona, AirPhil Express, Active Zone of Ayala Center and Timex.

Media partners are the Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin, Cebu Daily News, the Freeman, Newsbytes, RadioGMA, and SkyCable.

For more information, please contact Ms. Yoly Crisanto, Head, Corporate Communications of Globe at telephone number 730-2627 or email

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Leprosy Elimination: Still Unfinished Business

During a three-day WHO Western Pacific regional meeting of national leprosy program managers, it was revealed that the Philippines registered the highest number of new cases in the Western Pacific region in 2010 as some areas remain leprosy hotspots.

A report cited that according to Former Health Secretary Alberto Romualdez, leprosy hotspots in the Philippines include some areas in Cebu City, Metro Manila, Davao City, Ilocos Sur, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Tawi-tawi and Sulu.

Romualdez heads the Culion Foundation, a non-government organization working for the prevention and control of communicable diseases like leprosy. The foundation apparently got its name from Culion Island in Palawan, a former leper colony where patients with leprosy throughout the archipelago are brought for isolation (and incarceration) as there was no cure for leprosy at that time.

According to ILEP, leprosy existed in the country even before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers. And its incidence was said to be fairly high during the time of the American occupation thus the creation of the Culion leper colony which at its peak held over 5,000 people.

In 1986, the National Leprosy Control Program was established in the Philippines. Since then, the incidence has decreased. Although the disease is considered eliminated in the Philippines (elimination = less than one case per 10,000 of population), with a current Philippine prevalence rate of 0.31 per 10,000 people (2,041 new cases), there remain to be pockets of leprosy cases. The social stigma of leprosy is still believed to be present making it difficult to really see all leprosy patients as some patients would try to hide their condition because of shame. This age-old stigma as WHO mentioned "is an obstacle to self-reporting and early treatment."

Leprosy is a chronic disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, an acid-fast bacilli (like tubercle bacilli) affecting the skin, peripheral nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract and also the eyes among others with an incubation period of about five years. It is transmitted via droplets, from the nose and mouth, during close and frequent contacts with untreated cases.

IT IS CURABLE with Multidrug therapy of dapsone, rifampicin and clofazimine. However for treatment to reach all patients, treatment needs to be integrated into general health services. Community awareness must also be promoted to combat leprosy social stigma and encourage self-reporting so that patients will voluntarily seek treatment. Monitoring of treatment performance is also important.

Indeed we still have a lot to do to complete the business of truly eliminating leprosy in our country.

Like or Google plus this post to express your commitment to help battle leprosy in your area at least by spreading awareness.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

When some photographers are not getting the real picture during Sinulog

The Sinulog Grand Parade is a marvelous sight to behold. Full of color, fun and even beauty. Even after the Sinulog, the beautiful imagery remains because of the photographers who took pictures of the dancing contingents, their colorful costumes and the beauty and grace of their festival queens captured in the photos. Sinulog photo exhibits are must sees.

This Sinulog was well-participated and well-watched. People gathered in the streets which became a giant stage for the participating contingents, floats and higantes. Photographers, professional and amateur were plenty since they gained access inside the rope barrier by paying a registration fee.

I also gained access to the parade route like the photographers due to my Media ID card being part of online media. I was also in the center of it all. I was positioned in Fuente, live-tweeting the Sinulog events as they unfold and there was one thing that is very noticeable in this particular year's parade especially in Fuente....

Even as I stand in the streets with a good vantage point or good view of the contingents, I had difficulty seeing the dance performances. Much more, I cannot see the festival queen, the star of the contingent from different angles. Why? Because she was surrounded by some photographers who were already positioned in arm's length of her. Same with the other performers. Like bees colored red swarming to get honey, some undisciplined photographers were storming to where the dancers are and surrounded them like a human shield blocking my view, more so of people behind the rope barrier and the people assigned to keep the audience off the dancing contingents.

I asked myself, what were the expensive zoom lenses of the photographers for? How about the ordinary person who wants to view the parade? How about the tourists who were watching with the masses? How about if these people would want to take a picture too? Isn't the Sinulog for everyone to see as it happens  live in the streets?

I have great respect and admiration for photographers that I also wish to be one someday. I have also friends who are photobloggers or bloggers who are also into photography. I have also colleagues in the medical profession who love photography. I saw them myself. They were respecting the desire of the crowd to see the parade. They were not among these "red bees".

But other photographers were like hungry wild animals let loose. While live tweeting, I hear people in the background complaining about their view being blocked by these undisciplined photographers. I am sure public forums are also abuzz complaining about this. I am also writing about this to confirm what these people are complaining about because I also saw this behavior myself.

I asked a crowd control person and asked his opinion about the photographers that were blocking the nice street performances and he said it would have been best if an orientation was made among the registered photographers regarding where photographers should position themselves or what lens to use. He suggested that people should write the Sinulog Foundation and make the matter known to the organizers for a better Sinulog next year so as not to repeat the same mistake.

The Sinulog is supposed to be for everyone and it is not there just to provide good subjects for photographers. Selfishness should not reign among photographers.

Any suggestions to address this problem and improve next year's Sinulog?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cebu Institute of Medicine (CIM) hosts APMC convention

The Cebu Institute of Medicine (CIM) plays host to the 45th National Convention of the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges (APMC) on February  9-11, 2012 with the theme  “Professionalism in Medical Education”.

The three-day convention will start with a Eucharistic Celebration at the CIM Social Hall at 9:00 a.m. of February 9 followed by the opening ceremonies with Dr. Cawilihan T. Zubiri as keynote speaker.

A panel discussion (composed of a teacher (Dr. Raymond Sulay), an administrator (Dr. Felix Vicuna), a student (Dr. Hester Gail Lim) and a clinician (Dr. Liberty Tablante) dealing on the role of current medical education programs in teaching professionalism and how medical education programs contribute to professionalism, will be the main topic after lunch at the CIM Social Hall. There will be a welcome dinner at 6:00 p.m. to be held at Casino Espanol de Cebu.

Morning session of  Day 2  (February 10) will have for its theme“Professionalism : Teaching Innovations in Medical Education”This includes the following topics among others: “How to Teach: Challenges in Teaching Professionalism" (Dr. Armand Crisostomo)and “How to Teach: Challenges in Teaching Professionalism, Tools and Strategies for Modeling and Reinforcing Professionalism” (Dr. Melflor Atienza).

The afternoon session’s theme will be "Inter-professional Education and Improving Collaborative Practice". Lecture topics include the following:"Leadership" (Dr.Tomas Fernandez); "Professional Medical Speakers: Conflicts of Interest?”(Dr. Camilo Roa); "How Should Professionalism be Assessed in the Undergraduate and Postgraduate Medical Education?” (Dr. Erlyn A. Sana); "Assessment of Physician's Competence in Professionalism”.

Also happening on February 10 is a workshop for the medical students entitled “ONE LAST CHALLENGE: Transforming  Students and  Residents in their Commitment to Excellence and On-going Professional Development" and a talk on Medical Blogging "Medical Blogging: Keeping It Ethical" by Cebu MD.

Capping the day’s activities will a Heritage Tour of Cebu City (“Gabi-i sa Kabilin”), followed by dinner at Fort San Pedro.  
Day 3 of the convention (February 11) will start with a plenary session on "A Patient's Perspective of Professionalism in Medicine" followed by "APMC Declaration of Medical Professionalism" (by the CIM Dean, Dr. Thelma Fernandez) and the closing ceremonies and lunch.

(Contributing Author: Dr. Henry Yu)


Sample text