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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How social media helped me during 2013

Inspired by my #HealthXPh core collaborators colleagues' blog posts on life with cancer or life of a patient with prolactinoma, I am going to share how social media helped me as a patient during 2013.

You see, year 2013 was the most difficult for me. I thought I would not even reach December of this year.

I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Failure secondary to my Polycystic Kidney Disease and things were looking bleak. I was losing weight fast and I was advised for kidney transplant. I do not have enough money for the kidney transplant and dialysis is too costly for someone like me who is not into clinical practice. Typical problems of patients, right? And as a doctor, I am now experiencing these very real problems.

But it turns out I have nothing to fear......Social media to the rescue! With the help of Facebook via my Transplant Fund page, donations and from friends, family and even anonymous and unknown persons poured in. If I had a matched donor, I would have been able to afford the Philhealth Z-package for kidney transplant with the donations. Unfortunately, I am a CMV IgG antibody negative recipient-to-be and I am not covered under the Philhealth Z-package if my kidney donor is the opposite. The donations were still useful for my dialysis sessions though along with the very expensive antibiotics I was on during my days of frequent bouts of fever due to an infection in my initial temporary dialysis access.

I did not lose hope, thanks to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. My spirits were always high and on the positive end due to continuous messages of support and even likes from social media. Believe it or not, it helped keep away depression for me along with writing for my blogs.

Even as I studied the signs and symptoms of my condition in medical school, nothing prepares you better of things to come than participating actively in online patient support groups where you "meet" persons in the same situation as you are. From pains here and there, questions on what to expect, previous experiences and a whole lot more. Links from Twitter, Facebook and social media aggregators taught me so many new things related or unrelated to my condition.

Unexpectedly, my network of friends not just online but offline increased now more than when I was physically at the peak of my health. More opportunities came now when I am relatively "sick" than when I was healthier and it came at the same time when I decided to tap social media's potential.

Slowly but surely, with hemodialysis and with the constant support obtained by way of social media, including moral support, I was able to regain my strength, my weight and my "healthy" appearance. I did not look sickly anymore. I was regaining my form.

Heck, I was actually on a roll towards the second half of 2013. From having frequent bouts of fever and chills, I was back to doing things. I even won a research grant this year! Also, thanks to the Lord, I won Personal Blogger of the Year in Best Cebu Blogs for 2013, got nominated for Blogger of the Year in the Globe Cebu Media Excellence Awards and was able to participate in the Google Educator Group's first Workshop for Teachers in Cebu. In the dialysis center, I was able to participate in the protest against Pork Barrel via selfie protest.

During the aftermath of Supertyphoonn Haiyan (Yolanda), in my own little way, I was able to help disseminate information for relief, help find missing persons and update loved ones of a certain town with the use of social media tools like Facebook Page, Google Drive and Google Crisis Map.

To pay it forward, I founded a kidney patients' support group, the Smiling Kidneys Club last November to help kidney patients cope with their condition positively again with the assistance of a social media component (Facebook page and group). We are planning many things for next year and we are lobbying for increased number of free Philhealth dialysis sessions, non-discrimination of dialysis patients who are also considered PWDs, equitable PCSO assistance across regions among many others. (Below is the video summary of my year).

2013: The Year That Was for CebuMD

With social media, I can still accomplish things from my dialysis chair or at home. It wouldn't require me to physically exhaust my energies. And it is helping me as well as helping others. All it took was having the positive mindset despite my difficult condition and the openness to use social media.

Why am I talking about this? It is to convince doctors and patients alike to be not afraid of social media. Definitely, social media along with other emerging technologies can have a positive impact in the healthcare of our country. And the potential of social media as a positive force gets even better with collaboration.

Come join us every Saturday starting January 4 at 10 AM via Google Hangouts on Air for #HealthXPh where we discuss emerging technologies in healthcare and social media with the improvement of Philippine healthcare in mind. Know more about HealthXPh here.

Join the conversation in Twitter via hashtag #HealthXPh. The same hashtags can be used across other social media platforms. Join the #HealthXPh Community in Google Plus or the HealthXPh Community in Facebook or our Facebook group. Updates and links on the Google hangouts will also be posted there.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Google Teachers' Workshop in Cebu last November 2013

Finally, the Google Workshop for teachers pushed through in Cebu last November 29 and 30 at the USJR Basak Campus. the said workshop, if not for the recent strong earthquake and typhoon was supposed to have it's first run in Cebu. I have waited a long time for it because it could hopefully signal the start of a new Google community in Cebu -- the Google Educators' Group.

I am a witness as to how vibrant the Google communities in Cebu are, namely, the Google Business Group Cebu and the Google Developers' Group ably led by my blogger colleagues like +Fleire Castro+Ruben Licera, Jr.+Johnn Mendoza+Bjornson Bernales and +Herbert Kikoy, among many other active volunteers. Google apps and other tools are very much underutilized by some teachers and even my medical students, some of which have no clue about what Google apps can do for helping them teach or study beyond email and search. Sadly, some school administrators are even concerned that Google might take away the students' attention from their lessons.

I attended the November 30 session and it was nice to see teachers who do not belong to the Millenial generation who are interested in learning more about Google's use for education. You can feel the enthusiasm of the teachers who were around this time as learners.

Some of Google Workshop participants
The Pixsell team of facilitators with Google SEA Outreach Manager Aileen Apolo
The choice of lecturers/facilitators from Pixsell were perfect as they were very animated, lively, engaging and very knowledgeable. There was never a dull moment. Google provided snacks and a sumptous lunch. The participants were also hands-on with what was taught. There were times we simulated an online collaboration effort via Google Docs as well as a Google Hangout. It was time well spent even if I am already a Google power user to start with. Our group (the Mandaue group) won the collaboration challenge creating Google Presentation slides promoting the Visayas with the theme "It's More Fun in the Visayas".

Thanks to +Aileen Apolo and Google for bringing the workshop here in Cebu. I'm sure the +GEG Philippines will likewise be an active and enthusiastic community. Cebu Champion teachers, let's volt in!

So, when will GEG Cebu start? Can't wait.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Diabeticare Center, the first diabetic care center in Cebu

According to the International Diabetes Foundation, 4.3 million Filipinos have type 2 Diabetes and 6.2 million have Impaired Glucose Tolerance (Prediabetics). A good number are undiagnosed. With these figures in mind, not only diabetes management is important. Empowerment through education is likewise necessary.

A diabetes care center in Cebu, it's first, is having education has education has it's advocacy realizing its importance. The diabetic care center is named Diabeticare Center headed by Dr. Marissa Bravo-Garcia, a diabetologist who is very passionate about diabetes awareness making it her personal advocacy.

Doc Marissa is an active staff member practicing as a Diabetologist at the Perpetual Succour Hospital who had her Clinical Fellowship in Diabetes at the Capitol Medical center under the guidance of two renowned Diabetologist in the person of Drs. Ricardo Fernando and Rima Tan.

Talking to Doc Marissa, you can tell how dedicated she is in her mission of diabetes prevention. This dedication translates to how her Diabeticare Center works.
Dr. Marissa Bravo-Garcia talking to some bloggers about diabetes
Diabeticare Center offers not just Diabetes Consultation services but also Diet Counseling with an in-house registered nutritionist dietitian. The center also has screening and monitoring services with Capillary blood sugar testing and Point-of-care HbA1c testing. The center also can also make it easy for you to secure nutritional formulas, insulins and glucometers among others for your use. Doc Marissa is very willing and has in fact, done family risk assessment and education to some of her patients' families. She is going beyond the call of duty in extending her hand to call center companies by offering to conduct diabetic lectures or caravans recognizing the high risk for diabetes among the said group due to potential risky lifestyle practices and diet.
Point-pf-care HbA1c tesing

Doctor's desk

Dietitian's desk

The center itself has a very cool, cozy atmosphere which provides a relaxing, nonthreatening environment for patients seeking consult. It has a comfortable sofa set with television set showing cable TV programs, a computer and wifi connection.

Check them online in facebook at .

Visit them at the 2nd floor, The Premiere Business Loft, D. Jakosalem nearly across Indiana Condotel (which lies at the corner of Ranudo and Jakosalem Streets.) with telephone number 032-2541378 and these clinic hours:

  • Monday to Friday  from 1 PM to 6PM
  • Saturdays from 9 AM to 2 PM.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Summary of Relief Operations Post Yolanda all over the Country by Affected Town

Equitable distribution is important when giving relief goods to typhoon affected areas. there are now increasing accounts of people complaining that relief goods are not reaching their place. let this spreadsheet/list guide you when you plan your relief operations. it is compiled from the internet including Rappler. If you want to add your group to the list or you want to add your town, just contact me thru the contact page in this blog so we can add you.


I just talked to a classmate from Baybay, Leyte. Like other accounts of Yolanda survivors from various parts in Leyte, she confirmed there are relief goods alright BUT due to the absence of LGUs or baranggay officials to lead in the equitable distribution of relief goods, the relief goods are received by just a few (usually the strong able bodied ones) as they grab as many as they can without regard for others. It's a battle for survival...survival of the fittest. Even if initially Baybay and other Leyte towns not as severely affected had some food supplies and other commodities left, they are consumed not just by their own townmates but from outside their own towns as well migrating to buy supplies from them resulting in shortage. Southern towns may try to help other towns from the north but before they can reach their intended destination, the goods are being stopped midway by others. It's a dangerous recipe for even more disaster unless LGUs make some sacrifice and regroup to restore some semblance of organization and security forces are augmented. In short, the many relief goods don't reach far especially outside Tacloban. 

To those organizing relief operations, it's not enough that you have many relief goods to bring. Perhaps in the planning of where you intend to distribute your goods, let this list by Rappler guide you as indicates also the places where relief goods will be or have been distributed.

 and also found here

(I just made a summarized list per town affected reflecting where relief is lacking. It is at

However even if you planned well, the actual distribution is another story. it will be advisable to coordinate with quite a big police, Army or security force to ensure nobody get's bullied and nobody strong arms another in receiving the goods and that each person lining up receive their share of relief goods equitably especially if the LGU is inexistent. 

Surviving Baranggay captains and LGU officials including local police forces. We understand you also have families affected. But unless, you make some sacrifice in getting your act together again and organize to ensure the equitable distribution of relief goods, your family will all the more be endangered when chaos sets in without food and water entering people's stomachs. 

Many are willing to help. There are relief goods. there is an abundance of foreign aid. The private sector has done its part. But the PROBLEM IS ENSURING EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION. To the Philippine government (national and local), Mr. president, you have done your job in securing aid and securing many relief goods. Turn now your attention to ensuring these relief reaches those in need equitably by ensuring security and order. The private sector cannot do that. It's you, the government which have the capability to do that. Please DO IT FAST, or all those efforts securing relief goods go to waste and worst, more lives may be lost.

Please SHARE to reach as many people as possible especially those who can do something about this.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mendero Medical Center: Finally, a tertiary hospital to serve Cebu's northern towns

I heard from friends living in Liloan and the north that a big and modern general hospital is being constructed in Pitogo, Consolacion, Cebu. It is said to be intended as a tertiary hospital complete with all the equipment and facilities expected from such a hospital. That is really good news for those living in Consolacion and the community in other northern towns of Cebu because to my knowledge, there is no such general hospital in the north serving them yet. For cases, like surgeries for example, presently, they would have to travel to Cebu City to have a major operation.

I was very lucky to be allowed to have a glimpse of what the soon-to-be Consolacion, Cebu hospital - the Mendero Medical Center looks like. The location is not that hard to find. If you're coming from Cebu City, it is just walking distance from SM City Consolacion across SeaOil gasoline station.
Mendero hospital location in map
The Mendero Medical Center's location with respect to SM Consolacion and SeaOil

This is the street view leading to the medical center while construction is going on.
Street leading to Mendero hospital building in Pitogo, Consolacion
The building with blue and white colors - Mender Medical Center
Then below are the different views of the hospital.

A general hospital in the north
About 5 stories so far

The hospital appears to be five stories high. The front lobby is spacious.
Mendero Medical Center main lobby
The main entrance/lobby

Looking at the direction of the Emergency Room
 Below is a photo of the soon-to-be Emergency Room.
Mendero hospital Cebu Emergency Room
The soon-to-be Emergency Room
 From the looks of it, the hospital also has a laboratory with different sections.
The modern hospital's laboratory in Consolacion
The laboratory
Imaging area
Diagnostic imaging appears to be taken cared of. There will be X-ray, CT-scan and perhaps even MRI. Some of the equipments were already in their respective areas.

I was surprised to see not just one but four Operating Rooms with state-of-the-art equipment and tools. I learned from the workers in the hospital, that there will be an ICU and doctors' clinics.
One of four Operating Rooms

The operating room in Mendero hospital
An Operating room up close
Mendero hospital ICU
I think this will be the ICU or Intensive Care Unit.

The hallway

Stairways with fresh air
My wife's relatives in Liloan  along with Cebuanos in the north will surely be happy with this development. With these facilities, I am sure many competent physicians will be available in Mendero Medical Center to serve patients better. This is really good news with regards to accessibility of quality healthcare among Cebuanos far from the city and should help decongest Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.

Share this good news by sharing this post. "Plus one" it if you welcome this addition to our hospitals in Cebu.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The 2nd Globe Cebu Media Excellence Awards

It was an honor to be one of the finalists for Blogger of the Year in the 2nd Globe Cebu Media Excellence Awards. It was for me a recognition of my efforts for public health advocacy through blogging.

Attending the event, one could notice that the awards night has turned really big. It was well attended by various media practitioners from print, radio, TV and new media. Yes, they have included bloggers and social media advocates in their awards. Kudos to Globe for that. And it was nice to see that in Cebu, the media is united and bloggers and traditional media happily co-exist.

In line with the Cebu Press Freedom Week, the awards will inspire media personnel to write more about social advocacies, a welcome change from news of snatching, accidents and other bad news.

Blogger of the Year and Social Media Advocate of the Year

I congratulate fellow blogger, Nancy Cudis who won for the second time in a row, the Blogger of the Year Award whose advocacy is reading. And for the first time the award was given, Bjorn Bernales who won Social Media Advocate of the Year. They are both officers of the Cebu Bloggers Society and both are very passionate about their advocacies. They really deserve the award given them.

Below are the other winners:

  • Reporter of the Year: Ador Vincent Mayol, Cebu Daily News
  • Feature of the Year: Cherry Ann Lim and Mayette Q. Tabada, Sunstar Cebu
  • Best columnist: Michael Acebedo Lopez, Freeman
  • Photojournalist of the Year: "He's my brother", Amper Campana, Sunstar Cebu
  • Reporter of the Year, TV: Alan Domingo, GMA Network
  • TV Feature Story of the Year: Alan Domingo, GMA network
  • Reporter of the Year, Radio: Astra Zina Logarta, DYHP
Globe's head for External Affairs Antonio Jocel de Guzman was present along with other Globe executives to lead the giving of the awards.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Two from a Cebu medical school top the boards, 100 percent passing for said medical school

Blake Ang, top 1 in the August 2013 Physician Licensure Exam
Two graduates from Cebu Institute of Medicine (CIM), a medical school in Cebu ended up in the top ten successful examinees in the August 2013 Physician Board Exams where 1,834 out of 2,211 passed.

Blake Warren Coloma Ang (with a rating of 89.42) and Alvin Christian Borbon (88.47% rating) ranked 1st and 7th respectively. Meanwhile, their school, CIM was one of 4 medical schools nationwide with 50 or more examinees getting a 100% passing rate (79/79) for its graduates who took this particular board exam.

Blake did not expect to top the boards especially after encountering difficulty in Pathology. He initially learned about the board exam result from a friend’s text message. “Someody texted me a ‘congrats, Blake’ so I just assumed that I just passed and so checked it for myself on my phone's net. I was just amazed when i saw my name sa topnotchers list. It was totally unexpected…”

But it seems it was only Blake himself who did not expect Blake to top the board. His classmates and teachers expected him to be in the top ten. He graduated top of his class in CIM and was also top 9 in the June 2008 Nursing Licensure Exam after graduating in Cebu Doctors’ University.

So how did he prepare for the boards? The key for him appears to be his medical school years and balance. “I personally believe that the board exams is a measure of how much you have studied for the past 4 years, not just on the 3 month period of speed reading. So I read whenever I can, play computer games when I can and go out when I feel like it. I sleep before 12. I wake up at 8-9 AM,” he narrates.

Having his postgraduate internship at the Philippine General Hospital in Manila, a government hospital with so many patients, it was only until April when Blake was able to fully devote his time studying. Until then, he was only able to read his notes whenever he can. He tried to study in coffee shops or in the condo where he stayed and his friends played DotA, a multiplayer video game. In his words, “He was studying for the love of knowledge and for refreshing the memories that seemed to have faded throughout the years.”

He eventually went back to Cebu to join his batchmates taking the board exam here since he likes to be in a familiar place when he takes the boards. And the rest was history.
Blake, who is also the first doctor in the family and hails from Surigao City plans to eventually practice his profession within the Philippines serving his countrymen as a pediatric surgeon. He will therefore apply for residency training in Surgery next.

When asked for advice, he had this to say for future medical board exam takers – “Study eat at your own pace since it is never guaranteed that the things you are reading are the ones who will come out in the actual exam. Don't overdo it, and remember to respect your bodies. Pray and trust God. Just make the whole review an enjoyable process.”

Below are some congratulatory tweets for Blake and CIM.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Smart's PayITfwd: A chance to give social good a boost

I know of doctors and medical student groups who find time to do social good in various ways. Some do free clinics. I know of one doctor who is passionate about educating people about organic farming. On the other hand, some of my students volunteer for a known advocacy group helping build houses.

Technology can actually bolster social good efforts to help bring more benefits to communities. For these individuals or groups including school organizations (excluding those foundations or companies with CSR programs) which have projects for social good, grab this opportunity to give your project a technological boost.

Smart Communications has this #PayITfwd initiative, a contest shall I say, which you might want to consider. Winners will be given a technology package consisting of:

  • 1 Smart Bro Pocket Wifi
  • 5 tablets
  • Smart Bro load worth P 3,000
  • Cash prize of P 50,000
All you have to do is make a 3-minute video describing you and your project, its mission, the impact of your project on your community, how you envision it in the future and how technology could help you attain your goals regarding this project.

The competition will have 2 rounds before the final winners are selected.

For more details, go to Smart's Payitfwd mechanics page.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

What adjustments Miami Heat need to possibly win Game 2 of the Finals against the Spurs

I know, my blog is not mainly a basketball blog but hey health is fitness and many workers in the health field follow the NBA finals so I will continue with my NBA finals series of posts. Today we are going to discuss what the Heat must do to possibly win Game 2.

  1. More aggressiveness from their Big Three. 
    • Wade for example, had fewer shot attempts in the fourth quarter. His drives to the basket including a dunk during the first half of Game 1 which worked well for Miami were becoming becoming fewer as the game ended. He needs to remain aggressive in the fourth quarter and not just have two shot attempts. A Wade rushing to the basket is difficult to stop without a foul so he might as well try it.
    • Bosh was aggressive alright...aggressive in firing the three even if his rebounding, defense and inside presence is more sorely needed and he has teammates who are better known to make threes making a living out of it named Ray Allen or Mike Miller. Lebron had more rebounds than Bosh and the latter should be ashamed of that.
    • James must play more like Michael Jordan, not Magic Johnson. He must know when to pass and when to take it himself. He is athletically-gifted, even stronger physically than Jordan, but still lacks the killer instinct and competitive fierceness of Michael, or even Kobe. You can just feel something is lacking even if James finished with a triple double in Game 1. We want to see the James who went hard for the hoop against Paul George in the Indiana series to win one game against the Pacers on the last second. I do not know if James realizes this but he can practically do what he wants in the game if he just wills it. He is big, strong and has excellent hops. 
  2. The team must hit their shots. James expressed that he is not changing his game. That he trusted his teammates and he will still make passes to them. So his teammates better make the shot so that LBJ will not look bad. Imagine if his Heat teammates made the shots that they missed in Game 1, who knows? They might have won Game 1.
  3. The Heat must force more turnovers, it's because it leads to points in transition. The Spurs just had four turnovers in Game 1. The Heat are supposed to be good in forcing turnovers. Well, it's the Spurs they're playing against so it will really be difficult.
  4. Make life difficult for Parker, the focal point of the Spurs offense. If it means having Lebron on Parker for longer periods, so be it.
So there you have it. Those are the basic things Miami should take note. But I think the Spurs will still win Game 2. Heck there's even a possibility however small that the Spurs will sweep this thing and it will be Spurs-Cavs 2007 Finals again. 

Wade may want to be aggressive but his knees are weaker than they used to be. Bosh may receive a word from Spo about his knack for staying downtown but Bosh is actually soft. James might try to get aggressive with his shot-making but his natural game is more Magic than Michael. That's just his nature. The Heat may be good in forcing turnovers but the Spurs execute well and take care of the ball better than others. Lebron may succeed in stopping Parker to score but it will just leave other Spurs to do the scoring with their nice execution.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Why the Spurs will win the 2013 NBA Finals

Many sports analysts like those in Yahoo Sports picked Miami to win this championship series in 6 or 7 games. And I am also sure that many of my friends pick Miami especially because they have Lebron James on their side. Well, I beg to disagree with them. I think the San Antonio Spurs will win this year and here's why:

  1. The Spurs perform best during the Finals. When the Spurs reach the finals, they end up champions as their finals trip record suggests. The team somehow rises up to the challenge even more when in the Finals.
  2. The Spurs is not just about Duncan, Ginobili and Parker. The difference between last year and this year is that the Spurs' youngsters have successfully integrated in the system. Guys like Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Tiago Splitter have also made important contributions in defense, scoring or making threes. 
  3. Spurs players are healthy this time unlike in previous playoffs where a key player is playing injured. Duncan is turning the hands of time and is playing like the vintage Duncan we know.
  4. Spurs are not just a defensive team anymore. They have evolved to become a faster, more offensive-minded team with each player capable of hitting shots. They work the ball around quite well and they have good passing skills. Despite this, they have managed to remain a good defensive team especially which they have accomplished with the help of their younger teammates making this edition of the team more athletic perfect for a team like Miami. Remember how the Spurs adjusted their defense to both the Warriors and Memphis?
  5. The Spurs are motivated. This year is the best chance for the Spurs trio of Duncan, Parker and Ginobili to have a title together. Parker has promised Duncan to deliver him another Finals and I am sure his other teammates have the same intention.
  6. If Miami has James, the Spurs have Parker which has proven to be difficult to stop. Ask defensive specialist Tony Allen. Maybe Miami will decide to have James on Parker but I'm sure the Spurs know how to counteract this.
  7. Duncan will be a headache just like Hibbert was both offensively and defensively. And remember, Duncan has more experience than Hibbert and he has an equally big backup in Splitter. Miami will have to do well in rebounding.
  8. Wade is not the same Wade of the previous years. Injuries have slowed him down. The explosiveness is not there. When before, Wade drives the hoop then say dunk you very much, now you see Wade just throwing lay-ups. That is why you hear during the Pacers series that Miami resembles Lebrons' Cavaliers. Those Cavs who reached the Finals against the Spurs got swept.
  9. Popovich is the best active coach in the game. His schemes against Curry and Zach Randolph for example were very brilliant.
  10. The Spurs have learned their lesson from last year and will try to avoid a repeat of last years' disappointing results in the playoffs.
So I am sure many of you will react to this. You may write your comments below. I respect your opinion. But this is just my humble analysis as an NBA fan. I cannot predict how many games it will go except that the Spurs will win. Go Spurs!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Why we should support She Matters Cervical Cancer Foundation, Inc.

It has been months that I last attended an event but I thought that a cervical cancer awareness-related event was really worth supporting so I carried my feet to Choi City to learn more about She Matters Cervical Cancer Foundation, Incorporated (SMCCFI), a Cebu-based foundation.

Reaching the venue, I was glad to see that the group was able to successfully invite a good number of young bloggers who hopefully can spread the message that cervical cancer is preventable and something can be done about it.

It was my first time to meet their founder, Ms. Emee Y. Aquino. Nope, she is not a relative of Kris Aquino but like Kris, she is a good communicator. Her presentation conveyed to the young audience all the basic things one should know about cervical cancer, especially the prevention aspect. Miss Emee is a sister of a patient who succumbed to cervical cancer at age 41. Listening to Miss Emee, you can feel that she is really passionate about her advocacy. And what she's doing is not actually easy, mind you.

Ms. Emee Aquino addressing the young audience
Most of the attention when it comes to cancer awareness among women appears to be on breast cancer awareness where many OB-HYN doctors are already very actively involved. There is actually local support also for cervical cancer awareness among various groups but it is not yet as big as breast cancer's.

For one, it is hard to let cervical cancer survivors to talk as there perhaps for fear of being talked about falsely as having multiple sex partners. But one has to remember that anyone who has ever had sex may be at risk, even if one had only one sexual partner in his or her lifetime.

In Cebu, SMCCFI (to my knowledge) is the only foundation specifically for cervical cancer awareness. It is still a young foundation and it needs everyone's support -- from doctors, mothers, students and the community. Their page enumerates ways on how you can help SMCCFI.

So why should we care? Why should we support SMCCFI?
  • Because cervical cancer, next to breast cancer is the most common cancer among women between age 15 to 44 claiming 12 Filipina's lives everyday.
  • Because cervical cancer is often detected in the later stages when little can be done and mortality rate is high so that spreading awareness for prevention and means for early detection (Pap smear, HPV test) can greatly help lower the number of cases.
  • Because cervical cancer may affect you and your loved ones directly or indirectly.
  • Because cervical cancer which has an infectious etiology can be prevented and the means are available(example: vaccines).
  • Because SMCCFI with its dynamic and passionate core group can accomplish more things with your support.
 For more information about SMCCFI, visit their website and Facebook account.

For more info about human papillomavirus (HPV), the cause of cervical cancer, visit the CDC HPV website.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Philippine Elections 2013: Some sites to help you decide who to vote for as senator

In this edition of my blog, let me talk Philippine elections. Physicians and medical students are so busy with their profession or studies that they find little time to research for candidates' backgrounds. In this post I will provide some links to sites that may be good resource for knowing more the senatorial candidates at least.

In this elections, there are familiar names because the candidate is a relative of a current senator or major government official past or present. Well, you might decide to vote for them because of the winnability factor - because they are popular in the surveys, because they belong to a prominent family, because they are already famous, etc. But I say why not vote who you feel will best contribute to the betterment of the country even if you feel others will not vote for him or her. Let not surveys dictate who you will vote for. Nevermind if he or she is winnable or not. If everybody thinks this way (vote not according to popularity or winnability) then perhaps we will get the right people in power, don't you think?

So here is a site to acquaint yourself with lesser known candidates in Facebook.

You might want to vote candidates based on qualifications and experience, not popularity. There was a time that senators were selected among the most qualified. See for yourself this list of previous senators the likes of Jovito Salonga.

You might want to see their previous record in lawmaking or simply their attendance. There might be candidates who were known absentees in Congress so what will you expect from them in the Senate? Here is one news item about the absentees in Congress. Check the names of the absentees.

There might be candidates who are hiding something.

Some have been linked to offshore accounts and the possession of such are considered by some as "turn-offs" for voting a certain candidate.

A lot of candidates avoid discussing issues, debates, TV or media guestings or forums. They fear perhaps that their ignorance in certain issues will be revealed or they might encounter a "slip in the tongue" and their true selves will be revealed. Speaking of TV guestings, here is one that early on before the election campaign period started, invited senatorial candidates to their programs. Questions from panelists coming from the TV network, the audience and social media were asked these candidates and perhaps their answers will help you decide if you will vote for them. Just search "GMA Hiritan" in Google or go here.

There are other TV interviews and programs that you might want to watch. You might want to visit ABS-CBN or Rappler Election websites for example.

So there you have it. My simple election-related post to help physicians and busy persons know their candidates. Vote according to your conscience. Vote for who you really want. Vote NOT based on popularity and winnability. Vote wisely this coming election.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Lose Weight, Get Active, Fight Diabetes

Diabetes is here and now. Many are affected by it. There is no need to deny it. It is better to battle it head on.

The Philippine Diabetic Athletes (PDAT), a non-stock, non-profit organization seeks to inspire, educate, and encourage Filipino diabetics to manage their disease through a healthy and active lifestyle with a series of events entitled "Lose Weight, Get Active... Fight Diabetes where they bring in notable doctors, nutritionists and coaches.

On February 23, 2013, the second leg of this series will be at the Ayala Mall Activity Center from 10 AM to 5 PM. Diabetics, those at risk for diabetes, and their families are invited to take part in this event.

This event is free to the public.

  • 10:30 am. - 11:30 a.m.  Early Detection and Prevention of Diabetes Through Active Living
    • Dr. Marian K. Denopol – Diabetologist.
  •  11:30 a.m. - 12:30 a.m.  Proper Nutrition for Diabetics who Want to Lose Weight.
    • Dr. Marissa Garcia – Endocrinologist.
  •  1:30 a.m. - 2:30 a.m.      What Diabetics Need to Know when Getting into Sports or Weight Loss
    • Dr. Albert L. Chu – Doctor for Internal Medicine – Endocrinology.
  •  2:30 a.m. - 3:30 a.m.      Running Basics
    • Coach Noy Jopson - Running Coach.
  •  3:30 a.m. - 4:30 a.m.      Sports Related Injuries and Precautions for Diabetics
    • Dr. Joefrey Arbatin - Orthopedic Surgeon.
  •  4:30 a.m. - 5:30 a.m.     Starting a Commitment to an Active Lifestyle.
    • Dr. Raymund "Reel" Bontol – Internist Physician in Adult Pulmonology, Founding Member of Team Reborn.

 For more information you may email and look for Ms. Alisa Cruz, PDAT Secretariat.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Free, Discreet, Confidential HIV Testing in Cebu City

On February 23, 2013, there will be free, discrete and very confidential HIV testing in Cebu City. If you feel you are at risk for HIV and want to make sure, check-in and register online at In that link you will also learn more details.

This event is brought to you by Love Yourself, Inc.

CebuMD supports activities promoting health including HIV awareness, diagnosis and treatment.

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