Monday, January 31, 2011

Someone who is having a seizure attack will often experience involuntary muscle contractions, movement and a change in behaviour and awareness. The victim may not be aware of his own surroundings thus putting him in danger of accidents commonly related to falls. This article discusses the things that one should do in the event of witnessing someone having an attack.

1. First thing to do is to remain calm. Watching someone have seizure may be shocking and worrying for some but staying alert and knowledgeable will help in controlling the situation.

Click on the link to read more.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The story of King George VI of Britain, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.
Colin Firth. Helena Bonham Carter. Just two of the reasons why the movie caught my eye despite the lackluster poster and the dreary feel of the setting. I'm not particularly fond of films that people expect to win awards because they often prove themselves as boringly deep, but with this one, I am glad I dived into the fascinating world of royal hierarchy and speech impediment.

The movie is surprisingly captivating and entertaining even without the presence of special effects, fight scene, car chase or a single sex clip. I can clearly see why it is nominated for numerous awards including those which celebrates the power of effortless acting, the kind that doesn't require a bloodbath of weeping scenes of  grief and dismay. A must-see for those who appreciates beauty in simplicity.

Orchestr-o-Meter: A

A small-town girl ventures to Los Angeles and finds her place in a neo-burlesque club run by a former dancer.
It seems as if it was just yesterday when Christina Aguilera was rubbing a genie out of a bottle. Fast forward to a decade later, we find her in the same position, but this time with less clothes, more feather boas and with Cher moaning, err, singing at her side.

It would have been a pretty good movie if they just let go of the utterly predictable storyline and all the bad acting. But aside from that, Burlesque did have pretty solid musical performances and a great stage setting. Unfortunately, not even Christina's stunning vocal prowess is strong enough to enthrall an audience who is looking to watch a coherent movie and not a PCD inspired concert.

Orchestr-o-Meter: B-

Maggie (Hathaway) is an alluring free spirit who won't let anyone - or anything - tie her down. But she meets her match in Jamie (Gyllenhaal), whose relentless and nearly infallible charm serve him well with the ladies and in the cutthroat world of pharmaceutical sales. Maggie and Jamie's evolving relationship takes them both by surprise, as they find themselves under the influence of the ultimate drug: love.
As a sucker for romantic comedies, I had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, Anne Hathaway's latest flick is neither funny nor is particularly romantic, unless you count a myriad of sex scenes, with almost full nudity in both actors, as "Awww, that's so sweet!" worthy.

Set in the Viagra year of 1999, the film delves into the realm of pharmaceutical sales and early-onset Parkinson's disease. Sounds interesting enough, yes. However, the movie failed to take the usual boy-meets-girl route to a higher level, thus making it, in pharmaceutical terms, quite generic.

Must watch for those who are looking to gaze into Anne Hathaway's breasts and Jake Gyllenhaal's butt.

Orchestr-o-Meter: B-

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

For most people, the explosion of feed hospital volunteerism by registered nurses all over the country is considered as news, but for thousands of professional nurses it is a lifestyle. An absurd reality where the one serving is also the one spending money for offering one's services.

It's like selling your cellphone but instead of receiving payment, you will also be the one paying the buyer in addition to giving him the gadget. Sounds absolutely insane, right?

It is. But that did not stop countless of Filipino nurses from giving in to the preposterous proposition of both government and private hospitals all around the metro for the sake of gathering experience in hopes that it will help them to finally land a paying job. Including me, my classmates in college and most probably one of your  friends, relatives or even your own child.

Now, with the explosion of this 'shocking' news, everybody's acting all concerned and affected  (politicians, the media, even our beloved PNA) when in fact, they've been turning a blind eye on the problem for YEARS now. Call me an idealist but I think that it's impossible for the media, hospital associations and even most government officials to not be aware of such injustice unless they've been living in a desolate cave without TV, radio, internet connection and cellphone signal for at least 4 years now.

And seriously, does it really have to take a physically abused and raped volunteer nurse to finally drill an opening in the thick dome of secrecy that this shameless exploitation is enveloped?

Just yesterday, a segment in GMA 7's Reporter's Notebook aired a heart-wrenching special segment about volunteer nurses paying fees just so they can practice in the hospital. So many colleagues can relate to the story that one of my friends even cried upon watching the episode.

Another video, this time from ABS-CBN regarding nurse's protest against such inhumane treatment from hospitals demanding money from would-be volunteers. (Click on the link to watch.)

Some cynics may say that none of these will happen if no one will allow such treatment. It's easy to not experience being overworked with negative salary

Just don't do it. Do not apply, do not pay, do not be fooled by these  well-oiled mammoth institutions looking for licensed slaves.

But then see, registered nurses took an oath. A pledge made just a few moments after passing the dreaded board exam knowing that they will be receiving their sought-after license. And for some, it is a promise they are willing to uphold no matter what. So many skilled and intelligent nurses are now in jobs not related with the path they have vowed to uphold but some are, to the point that they do it without salary or allowance, just so they can still practice the profession and help care for humanity.

It is not stupidity that brought these registered professionals to where they are now, uncompensated and begging for justice and respect. It is passion, it is the love for their profession that wakes them up every morning and takes them through the night shift. It is their concern for the sick that makes them do the unspeakable things nurses do just to get through the day because without monetary reimbursement, what else is there?

So Philippines, I am speaking to you. Start caring for your professionals, not only nurses but every under-appreciated, unrewarded job there is in the country, for when the day comes that there are already too few of them, gone from the exhaustion of being used and abused, you might by then realize your mistake way too late.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

If there is one thing about politics and laws that I strongly believe in (except for the RH Bill), it is the legalization of divorce here in the country where priests hold even the most ruthless politicians by the balls.

Did you know that only the Philippines and Malta are the only places in the world that does not have a Divorce Law? I bet you already did since it has been circulating in Twitter and even in the news recently. So, what's the big deal? We are a God-fearing nation, right? We are atop a moral pedestal and are better than the 99% of the world which have already legalized such an immoral unnecessary decree.

Before we start this tumultuous debate, let us first differentiate annulment (which is legal in the country) and divorce (which is not and probably will never be unless people start to open their eyes and see the dust underneath the Persian carpet).

ANNULMENT is a legal procedure which terminates a marriage between a man and a woman. Annulment erases the complete existence of the marriage legally and it declares that the marriage never technically existed and was never valid whereas DIVORCE, or legal dissolution of a marriage, is the termination of a valid marriage between a man and a woman. After divorce both the parties can regain their single status and can legally remarry.
Grounds for Annulment are: Marriage when one spouse is under aged, marriage under duress, due to non-disclosure of previously existing marriage by one spouse, mental or physical incapability (permanent or temporary) or fraud.

Grounds for Divorce are desertion, adultery, cruel treatment, imprisonment, institutionalization, domestic violence, habitual alcoholism, abnormal sexual conduct, non-disclosure of facts, different personal beliefs and increase in martial dissatisfaction.

It sounds to me that if a couple is married (say with kids) for a long period of time and decides to file for an annulment (seeing that they have no choice since divorce is seen in this country as an evil incarnate of Satan himself as it wrecks the holiness and sanctity of marriage) they are legally erasing every year, day and hour that they have been together, under the same roof rearing children as husband and wife.

I don't know if others share the same belief but I think that admitting that a relationship cannot be saved is BETTER than denying it ever happened.

Then, think of the children. Some marriages are better off dead rather than having kids grow up in a hostile environment of parents screaming at each other day after day. But what happens after annulment? What happens to the children now in limbo because they came from fathers and mothers whose marriage never happened, whose love was consummated from a union that never was?

At least divorce has balls to acknowledge both the sweetness and bitterness of the past rather than taking the easier road by technically erasing everything that ever happened.

In the end, both accomplish the same thing. Woman and man go their own separate ways, both breaking the vow that they made before the church and state. The only difference is, with divorce still not legal here in the country, the politicians and the priests can give off the illusion of sainthood and morality as not one sacred marriage has technically been broken since it never legally happened. BRAVO!

The only downside of divorce being legal in the country is its high potential for abuse. Couples might enter marriage haphazardly since they know they can get out of it just as easily.

But I trust in the intelligence of the Filipino people, I believe in the values from the culture that we are imbued with. Just because a certain matter is already considered legal in the eyes of the law does not mean couples left and right will be filing for one. 

I believe that couples will still try, as hard as they can for as long as they can endure before even thinking about such a permanent option.

You can call me an optimist but, see, I am convinced that love can further prove itself by surviving despite the option of termination, not because it has no choice but to stay, but because it wants to.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Everyone, meet the thing that has been keeping me up into the wee hours of the night, sabotaging productivity and work ethic and over-all wasting the precious hours of my young adult life. It's not drugs (although it would be way cooler if it was).

I'm actually ashamed to say that this evil time-wasting entity is Zynga's CityVille on Facebook, the latest game craze that has hit the FarmVille playing users of the social networking giant. Seriously, before I got lured by its powerful skyscraper-building claws, I often scoff at the  childishness of some of my friends for still playing Facebook games. I kept thinking, don't they have anything else to do?  Virtual crop-planting is so two years ago.

Little did I know that the end of that era is near.

So it turns out, curiosity killed the cat and my Facebook Game Sobriety. One day, when I pathetically had nothing better to do, I saw my Wall filled with free gold coins and invitation of mayoral friendship so I foolishly clicked on the cartoon link.

And the rest was history.

Not only was it fun, but the game is also quite addicting, even to young professionals (at least those who still have free time every night) like me. And yes, that is my way of sharing the utter dorkiness of this so-called obsession to other people.

Being a hybrid of FarmVille and Monopoly, CityVille is a one of a kind time waster that ingenuously utilizes everything good about almost every popular game on the social networking site. It harnesses creativity from the freedom to design your own city, it motivates daily visits by eliciting fear that your crops and ship cargo goods might get spoiled and most cunningly of all, it is overly-dependent on 'neighbors' for level progress. After a few minutes of playing, I got to understand why so many of my friends post requests for energy and other random stuff when in fact, most people view them as very colorful version of Facebook Spam.

Scoring a 1,000 on the Geek-O-Meter or not, I have found that playing the game is a good stress reliever especially after work when all I want to do is to stare at moving pictures and click at stuff. It is the time of the day when I can't even write a single paragraph much less a whole cohesive article or a story even though I know I have to get my writing neurons going. It is a good application for shutting down hyperactive thoughts for a while so that they can rest for a moment, at least until dinner is served. 

So with that defensive rebuttal, whether a childish time black hole, Wall irritant or a stress freeing visual candy, whatever others might say, I am at peace with my inner nerdiness. And I'm keeping my Empire.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Amnesia Girl, the romantic comedy from Star Cinema starring John Lloyd Cruz and Toni Gonzaga is the It Movie of late 2010. It is the kind of film expected to bring in box office revenue and even non-Jejemons to the cinema because of its wide appeal to the general public of any demographic. Even I, who haven't watched a local film in ages wanted to watch it on the big screen when it first came out. But I didn't get the chance to do so, hence, the YouTube segmented viewing I did just before writing this review.

In this self-proclaimed movie critic's opinion, My Amnesia Girl is a romantic drama with a barrage of comic pick-up lines and a dash of cheesiness, a stark contradictory to its trailer, poster and over-all packaging of being a full pledged comedy with half a plot and no depth whatsoever. I was pleasantly surprised to find more tears rolling than laughter. (I'm not sure if that's what the writer and director is aiming for but it's a good thing in my book.)

Both lead actors delivered convincingly throughout the film, although I think Toni Gonzaga perfectly nailed it in some parts. There is this 10-minutes scene with John Lloyd where her acting prowess just shines through effortlessly. Honestly it's refreshing to watch a local 'comedy' and see some serious acting going on, unlike the usual fluff and wackiness that normally transpires during films of the same genre.

Before its release, there was this controversy that the movie is a copycat of previously released motion pictures like 50 First Dates and the likes, but anybody who have seen, at least, the first 30 minutes of the movie will know that those are just premature comments from the misleading trailer. And poster. And official theme song.

Although it was promoted to the consumer audience as mindless fluff with funny/cheesy pick-up lines from a song originally sung by two Love Radio DJs, I'm happy to find out that it has an unbelievably moving backstory and more heart than it cared to initially show through teasers. In short, it is so much more than what it appeared to be at first glance.

And just like what Apollo had said in the movie, "Naniniwala ka ba sa love at first sight? Eh at second sight? Pwede!"

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sex is often considered as a taboo subject in most cultures. What happens inside the bedroom is most commonly considered as an immensley private matter that talking about it in a casual way with other people may sometimes be deemed by some as a social misconduct. That is probably the reason why there is so little that we actually know right now about the most basic pillar of the survival of our race. This article delves into some of the least known facts about the least openly-talked about subject in the world.
  1. Normal amount of ejaculated sperm is 3-5 cc or 1 tablespoon
  2. The ovum (unfertilized egg from the ovary) is capable of being fertilized within 24-36 hours after ovulation.
  3. Sperm is viable within 48-72 hours or 2-3 days inside a woman’s uterus.
  4. Normal blood loss during menstruation is 50 cc or 1/4 cup.
  5. Smokers experience menopause up to two years earlier than non-smokers.
  6. It is only the sperm of the father who will determine the sex....
Click on the link to

Monday, January 10, 2011

Probably inspired by the recent nationwide fad of changing one's profile picture to a cartoon character to help the cause of anti child abuse and negligence, the Nurse's Black-Out Campaign aims to raise the public's awareness on the various depressing situations of Filipino nurses nationwide like paid volunteerism and unemployment. The total black-out of primary pictures on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter supports the online campaign in sharing the experiences and pleas of nurses all over the country.
 Title: The Nurses' Black-Out Campaign 2011
Main Objectives:
  1. To utilize social media as a tool for nurses' rights awareness building;
  2. To initiate social & mass mobilizations in relation to the protection of nurses' rights;
  3. To garner online & non-online support from individuals, organizations and communities to end all forms of discrimination and abuse to nurses in the workplaces and communities.
In 2010, the Philippine Professional Regulation Commission, head agency for all the professionals in the country stated that there is already close to 200,000 unemployed and underemployed professional registered nurses in the country. And with the recently concluded December 2010 Nurse Licensure Examinations, the Philippines will be expecting more than 20,000 additional new nurses joining the unemployed sector. This rapidly growing concern of the nurses is now a crisis in the country. The Philippines is the top producer of export nurses and supplies the nursing shortage to many foreign countries but ironically lacks many skilled nurses itself.

The country's rural health units were lacking of many nurses to take care of the communities. One nurse is employed by the government to take care of 20-50,000 residents. In government hospitals, a nurse takes care of 20-50 patients in a ward. Still to some private hospitals, the nurse-patient ratio is imbalanced. Hospitals and healthcare facilities acknowledge their shortage of nurses but fails to hire more because of proclaimed budget constraints. Leaving dozens of nurses flooding in workplaces other than in the field of nursing.

Many expectant young nurses, wanting to gain hospital/clinical experience as a presumed key to international employment, offered their professional nursing services to the hospitals without getting paid. This practice led to the acceptance of hospitals to new nurses to practice in their hospitals tagging terms such as "Volunteer Nurses", "OJT Nurses" and "Nurse Trainees". However, with the overwhelming response from the new nurses, hospitals started charging training/OJT fees in exchange a certification stating that they are "trainees" of the said hospital.

Other abuses such as unfair working conditions, staffing, workplace bullying among others are being experienced by nurses who remained to be largely unreported. Other exploitation are also prevalent such as the exorbitant fees charged by Review Centers to nursing students are also rampantly unregulated.

Main Organizing Body: 
The main organizer of this online movement is the Alliance of Young Nurse Leaders and Advocates International Inc., a national registered organization of nurse leaders & advocates in the Philippines.

This project is coursed through the Alliance's network local chapters & through Ang KatipuNurse the Alliance's political arm in the following areas:
National Capital Region
  1. Manila
  2. Pasay
  3. Makati
  4. Valenzuela
  5. Caloocan
  6. Taguig
  7. Mandaluyong
  8. Las PiƱas
  1. CAR Baguio-Benguet
  2. Ilocos Sur
  3. Pangasinan
  4. Pampanga
  5. Nueva Ecija
  6. Nueva Vizcaya
  7. Tarlac
  8. Bulacan
  9. Bataan
  10. Camarines Sur
  11. Rizal
  12. Tuguegarao
  13. Cavite
  1. Ilo-ilo
  2. Aklan
  3. Cebu
  4. Negros Oriental
  1. Davao
  2. Davao Del Sur
  3. Davao Del Norte
  4. General Santos
  5. Zamboanga
Implementing Partners: These are online communities, societies and organizations who are fully supporting the online campaign. Together, they raise awareness to their subordinates online and maintains communication with AYNLA to get materials necessary for the campaign.

Current listing of online Implementing Partners:
1. Filipino NURSES online community (base members: 197,303)
2. I am a Student Nurse online community (base members: 4,547)
3. Ateneo de Davao College of Nursing online page (base members: 1,988)

Medium of Campaign: Online resource mobilization; social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Tmbler, Multiply etc.)

Online Slogan: "Over 200,000 nurses are unemployed, underemployed & abused in the Philippines. Many of us are overworked but extremely underpaid. Help us gather awareness & support by changing your profile picture to pitch black from January 01-11,2011. It is time we take care of our prime care professionals! Appreciate your Nurses, take care of them - like they take care of you. Join the campaign now! []"

Campaign Period: January 01 - 11, 2011 (Initial 11 days from the start of the year)

Core Agenda:

1. Nurses' right to security of decent employment
  • Demand urgent action of the Philippine Government to the ballooning unemployment rate of Filipino nurses through (A) Senate and Congressional inquiries and investigations, and (B) Formation of a multi-sectoral/agency commission or task force to oversee the Nursing Crisis.
  • Implement Republic Act 9173 or otherwise known as the Philippine Nurses Act of 2002 and the Magna Carta of Public Health Nurses especially the implementation of Salary Grade 15 (SG15) for entry-level nurses and other stipulated benefits such as hazard pay, night differential pay & allowances.
  • Reject internationally signed treaties such as Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) where the Filipino nurses are in the losing end because of inequalities; pass Reproductive Health Bill with emphasis on trained Nurses being in the frontline of RH education and service employed by the government deployed to clinics nationwide.
  • Regulate exorbitant charges made by institutions such as Review Centers to students taking the Board Exam.
2. Nurses' right to equality & to be free from all forms of discrimination
  • Eliminate all forms of discrimination in the workplace such as but not limited to (A) verbal, physical and sexual abuse, (B) name calling, branding and stigmatization, and (C) LGBT nurses rights.
  • Practice equal staffing in hospitals and clinics abolishing coercive 16, 18 to 24-hour duty shift and adherence to desired nurse-patient ratio of 1:20 or lesser.
  • Provide avenues for alternative earning opportunities for Filipino nurses such as initial seed funding for Nursing Clinics and or loaning for interested nurses venturing on cooperatives.
  • Phase I - Nurses Black-Out Online Campaigning through major social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Multiply. Total black-out in profile photos are solicited when participating in the campaign. The online campaign will last until January 11, 2011. A probable culminating awareness activity may be set on the last day of the campaign.   
  • Phase II - Nurses Rights Day After the Black-Out Campaign, we will declare every 11th of the month as the Nurses' Rights Day where we can once again go on Black-out online and do some awareness drives in localities where nurses belong. Awareness drives may be in form of pictorials, forums, seminars etc. The Nurses Rights Day shall be commemorated every 11th day of the month until we reach it's first year. Then we will evaluate each progress of the campaign. Nurses Hour is an hour allocated per working shift dedicated to Filipino nurses.
  • Phase III - Physical Mobilizations will be done after we have gathered sufficient online support. Mass mobilizations such as gatherings, legislative fora, consultation meetings, benefit shows etc. can be done. International mobilizations are also expected.

Personally, I think it is a valiant effort to utilize the Internet in spreading the word to other people who are still blissfully unaware of the standings of nurses all over the country, especially those who have just graduated in the recent years. The lack of a stable job, the myriad of trainings and seminars to undergo, the endless volunteer work, hospital experience paid BY the volunteer himself (and not the other way around, the way it should be in normal circumstances) and the work hazards in the hospitals are just a few of the things that needs to be heard by the public and even by the politicians who can actually do something about it.

Unfortunately, blacking out one's profile picture is not as fun as thinking like a child and choosing a suitable cartoon character to upload. Also, having everyone have the same black void as a thumbnail is confusing in identifying who's who in comment pages. I think those are a few of the reasons why the campaign is not as popular as compared to the one against child violence. As a graduate of nursing school, I have at least 100 friends in Facebook who are registered nurses and are experiencing the things that this campaign is trying hard to fight against, however, I have only noticed less than 5 friends who have committed to the campaign.

Blacked-out or not, I still support the advocacy and the fight that we nurses are desperately trying to win, especially since we are without help from national certified nursing organizations who all seem content on doing nothing else but hold seminars and trainings and distribute membership cards to fresh graduates. I may have not changed my profile picture to a black tile but hopefully, by writing articles and blog posts about these very topics like the one listed below, I've done my part in trying to make a better world for the graduating Filipino nurses of the future.
And may I just say, the injustices has been festering for too long, it's time we try to break out of our submissive cage and hit back.

Friday, January 7, 2011

TERATOGENS are drugs, virus, irradiation or any harmful substances that the exposure to which may bring damage to a developing fetus. These agents cause the development of abnormal cell masses during fetal growth, thus resulting in physical defects in the fetus. Knowing which elements can affect the health and physiologic development of your unborn child can spell the difference between a child's normal functioning or disability. Here are some of the medication / food that you should avoid if you are pregnant:
Streptomycin / Quinine - Damage to the 8th ...
From: Substances That May Be Harmful To Your Unborn Baby

Click on the link to

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I never thought that there would come a time that I would describe the Filipino weather as cold. Actually, the only time we tropical dwellers experience frigid temperatures is when the air-conditioning unit is turned on in maximum settings.

But lately, as everybody have already noticed, temperature has significantly dropped throughout the northern part of the country. Whether this is just a fortunate coincidence or one of the early signs of the impending Apocalypse, nobody knows.

So, what can you do to further enjoy such God-given Celsius drops?

Top 5 Things To Do  This Unusually Cold Season in the Philippines:

5. Have fun wearing all the jackets and sweaters that you possess.  I've realized that we wear jackets and hoods as often as we can, probably because those instances happen  once in a blue moon, or at least twice every year. So if you have lots of long sleeves and hoods in hiding, here is the best time to let them out of their lonely cabinets. Heaven knows how long we'll have to wait until this pleasant freak of nature phenomenon happens again.

4. Shave ice blocks and pretend you're in some winter wonderland. A still very warm winter wonderland.

3. Act cool and nonplussed as if you did not notice the change in temperature. "Cold? Nah, I've experienced worse. Been to Antartica."

2. Bring out the comforters especially if you don't have an AC unit in your room. It will probably be the first time you can use one without feeling as if you're in a sauna.

1. Enjoy every freaking hour, minute, second and millisecond you feel the chill of the morning/afternoon/evening breeze. Because come April, you'll be swearing every saint and sinner for the hell that is on earth that is your home and everywhere else you go to.
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