Sunday, December 06, 2009
But after seeing all the videos of raid operations by the military taken by the media who joined them during the raid, maybe it was a necessity.
Properties of the arrested suspected mastermind and his relatives revealed arsenals of high-powered weapons buried in different places.It was clearly a case of warlordism in the area.There were over 100 participants responsible for the massacre,majority of whom are still at large. In a region where clan wars are common,the violence wouldn't have simply ended with the 67 people massacred.
I will try to keep an open mind...
Sunday, November 29, 2009
The other day, the media reported there were more people found massacred. It now totalled 67. The second massacre had taken place nearby just some minutes after the first one. No one in the convoy was spared…not a man, woman or child.
A Philippine politician was charged with murder on Friday, November 28, after authorities accused him of ordering soldiers, police and other gunmen to kill at least 57 defenseless and innocent people, at least 22 of them women, 27 journalists and 15 motorists who happened to pass the place at the time of the massacre. They said some of those involved in the massacre felt guilty and voluntarily offered information…felt guilty???
I have no words for the unconscionable acts of these murderers. I cannot even think of calling them people. They have no conscience. But this is the reality happening now...and this is just the beginnig of election season.
What can a small voice like mine do? It seems nothing...
Sunday, November 01, 2009
I read in Facebook some days back that she e-mailed friends to say prayers for her and her husband. He is now sufffering from stage 4 liver cancer.
When I heard in the news that the latest typhoon’s name is Santi, it made me remember Khintz’ husband. I thought it was such a coincidence. Her husband’s name is Santi.
Anyway, her husband is undergoing medication now and she said the doctor made it clear that it wasn’t a cure…it was just to prolong his life. I encouraged her not to give up though deep in my mind, had I been in the same situation, I would probably react as her husband did. He said what for…it would lead to the same thing anyway. I guess people who worry about leaving their families with nothing because of medical expenses to prolong their lives, would tend to think that. On the other hand, it really is sometimes a matter of attitude.
The medication is further draining their finances. One tablet costs about $50 which he has to take 4 times a day. We parted as her husband started coughing heavily again. I could hear him from the background.
It was a sad moment to get in touch again but at least we had our laughs…and I hope that at least was some comfort for her. We will try to meet soon. I hope I can help her somehow.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I got to the office quite late Saturday to attend a seminar spearheaded by the former head of my new group. By noon, we received news of how bad the roads were. Floods were everywhere including the main highway which is normally the safest and least flooded route to take. We were stranded. Though we were told we were free to go home, several decided to stay as we would not get anywhere and only get ourselves stuck on the road for hours.
I checked on the kids at the apartment. We were lucky, the water was just on the road and never reached the apartment. If it did, they could have just moved up to the second floor. The walls along the main highway of one the biggest subdivisions in the city collapsed a lttle past noon and that area was reported to have water waist-high or even higher. It was no longer passable.
I still wasn’t really worried. Historically, the main highway I regularly use would not be flooded. And even if it was, it would totaly subside an hour or two after the heavy rain stops. I tried my luck around 3pm but traffic had stopped moving just a few kilometers from the first turn I made to the highway. I decided to go back to the office.
I got back in time. The three other group heads I was with in the meeting had decded to go to the mall nearby and wait it out. If things got worse and we had to stay overnight, we could buy food from there and just go back to the office until it was safe to go home. One of the female group heads who left earlier and also cameb back decided to check in at a hotel nearby and offered to share the room with me. I was hesitant. Knowing my sense of direction, I may likely get lost going to the hotel alone and end up in some dark sidestreet though it was just nearby…and it was already dark. I decided to just go back to the office with the other guys later if we had to which we did.
I wasn’t worried about my situation as others were who got in touch with me once in a while to check how or where I was. The only road I was going to use was the highway and once that’s flood-free I knew I could go home safely. By midnight, I decided to go home. The main areas of the highway that were heavily flooded and unpassable earlier were reported ok and traffic was fast and moving. I decided to take a chance and check if the area where I got stuck earlier was also moving now. I could just try to go back to the office again if I had to.
Traffic was slow in that area but moving. I decided to go for it. The area at the Metro Rail Transit intersection was still flooded but passable to light vehicles. After a few meters of that, it was smooth sailing. Got to the condo by around 1am. I was already quite sleepy and with a headache but sill ended up sleepinbg past 4am…there must have been a reason why I was kept awake that long, lol.
I just received a text message from one of my Admin Staff officers. One of my Division heads who left yesterday a little past noon is still out on the road. They cannot reach home. Their bungalow is still flooded wth water 6 feet high. Her 2 kids left at home had no time to save anything when they braved the floods on the street already 5 feet high to go to a neighbor with a 2-storey house. I instructed my Admin Staff to organize something tomorrow for the Division Head and other co-workers who were victims of yesterday’s storm.
Today, the weather is gloomy but calm…
I'm thankful that my family was safe and never near any harm throughout the storm; thankful that despite some inconvenience, I made it back home after being unable to go home for hours; thankful that company Management is showing all-out support for the employees victimized by the storm...I am blessed...
Monday, August 10, 2009
It has become his habit to pass by my office in the afternoon. He would wait in front of my glass window and look at me until I call him to give him a little something. He of course doesn’t really have to wait. I always signal him to come over to my table as soon as I see him, to give him some candies or anything to eat. I now make sure there is always something I can give him whenever he passes by my office, lol.
Last Friday, he came back some time after he finished eating the Fudge bar I gave him and showed me a paper heart he made. He didn’t enter my room. He just showed what he made through the glass window. He nodded while waving the little heart he made hen I asked if he made it himself.
It always makes me feel good and warms my heart whenever he would give a flying kiss sign after I give him something…his way of saying thank you. I even look forward every afternoon to him passing by my office. :)
The thought of this afternoon scenes makes me sentimental everytime.…always a good way to end my tiring day at work…
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Twice the authorities were prevented from entering by security people and when the authorities bypassed the guards on foot it was always too late. The law required that he should be caught in the act. The car owner used a different exit and got away. On the third operation, the authorities coordinated with the condo security. Exits were blocked but when they got there, the authorities were again prevented by guards to proceed to where the car was parked. This time the authorities didn't waste time. They blocked the front and rear of the car. The 47-year old man was arrested. His victim was in the front seat with him. He is a licensed medical doctor and working for a well-known internatinal organization which I sometimes mention in my blog entries.
The foreigner was trembling while being interviewed at the police station. His victims were mostly children - male or female, and the youngest was 10 years old.When questioned at the police staion, the pimp who brought him his victims said he had brought the foreigner about 10 minors "only" and he himself was a victim the year before....sheesh.
The embassy confirmed that the person arrested was from their country and issued a statement that they strongly support the government's efforts against child trafficking. The organization the foreigner works for had not issued any statement.
Following international law, even diplomatic personnel can have diplomatic immunity and cannot be charged with a crime no matter how heinous. They should change the law, especially if the person is caught in the act. Diplomatic immunity can't be made an escape for one's crime.
Am I upset? Yeah I'm upset...more so that the organization the man works for is one I openly support and had not issued any statement on the arrest of their personnel...
Thursday, April 30, 2009
I'm sharing some information on the swine flu that was routed at work to all employees today...
SWINE INFLUENZA FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (source: World Health Organization) 26 April 2009
What is swine influenza?
Swine influenza, or "swine flu", is a highly contagious acute respiratory disease of pigs, caused by one of several swine influenza A viruses. Morbidity tends to be high and mortality low (1-4%). The virus is spread among pigs by aerosols, direct and indirect contact, and asymptomatic carrier pigs. Outbreaks in pigs occur year round, with an increased incidence in the fall and winter in temperate zones. Many countries routinely vaccinate swine populations against swine influenza.
Swine influenza viruses are most commonly of the H1N1 subtype, but other subtypes are also circulating in pigs (e.g., H1N2, H3N1, H3N2). Pigs can also be infected with avian influenza viruses and human seasonal influenza viruses as well as swine influenza viruses. The H3N2 swine virus was thought to have been originally introduced into pigs by humans. Sometimes pigs can be infected with more than one virus type at a time, which can allow the genes from these viruses to mix. This can result in an influenza virus containing genes from a number of sources, called a "reassortant" virus.
Although swine influenza viruses are normally species specific and only infect pigs, they do sometimes cross the species barrier to cause disease in humans.
What are the implications for human health?
Outbreaks and sporadic human infection with swine influenza have been occasionally reported.
Generally clinical symptoms are similar to seasonal influenza but reported clinical presentation ranges broadly from asymptomatic infection to severe pneumonia resulting in death.
Since typical clinical presentation of swine influenza infection in humans resembles seasonal influenza and other acute upper respiratory tract infections, most of the cases have been detected by chance through seasonal influenza surveillance. Mild or asymptomatic cases may have escaped from recognition; therefore the true extent of this disease among humans is unknown.
Where have human cases occurred?
Since the implementation of IHR(2005) in 2007, WHO has been notified of swine influenza cases from the United States and Spain.
How do people become infected?
People usually get swine influenza from infected pigs, however, some human cases lack contact history with pigs or environments where pigs have been located. Human-to-human transmission has occurred in some instances but was limited to close contacts and closed groups of people.
Is it safe to eat pork and pork products?
Yes. Swine influenza has not been shown to be transmissible to people through eating properly handled and prepared pork (pig meat) or other products derived from pigs. The swine influenza virus is killed by cooking temperatures of 160°F/70°C, corresponding to the general guidance for the preparation of pork and other meat.
Which countries have been affected by outbreaks in pigs?
Swine influenza is not notifiable to international animal health authorities (OIE, www.oie.int), therefore its international distribution in animals is not well known. The disease is considered endemic in the United States. Outbreaks in pigs are also known to have occurred in North America, South America, Europe (including the UK, Sweden, and Italy), Africa (Kenya), and in parts of eastern Asia including China and Japan.
What about the pandemic risk?
It is likely that most of people, especially those who do not have regular contact with pigs, do not have immunity to swine influenza viruses that can prevent the virus infection. If a swine virus establishes efficient human-to human transmission, it can cause an influenza pandemic. The impact of a pandemic caused by such a virus is difficult to predict: it depends on virulence of the virus, existing immunity among people, cross protection by antibodies acquired from seasonal influenza infection and host factors.
Is there a human vaccine to protect from swine influenza?
There are no vaccines that contain the current swine influenza virus causing illness in humans. It is not known whether current human seasonal influenza vaccines can provide any protection. Influenza viruses change very quickly. It is important to develop a vaccine against the currently circulating virus strain for it to provide maximum protection to the vaccinated people. This is why WHO needs access to as many viruses as possible in order to select the most appropriate candidate vaccine virus.
What drugs are available for treatment?
Antiviral drugs for seasonal influenza are available in some countries and effectively prevent and treat the illness. There are two classes of such medicines, 1) adamantanes (amantadine and remantadine), and 2) inhibitors of influenza neuraminidase (oseltamivir and zanamivir).
Most of the previously reported swine influenza cases recovered fully from the disease without requiring medical attention and without antiviral medicines.
Some influenza viruses develop resistance to the antiviral medicines, limiting the effectiveness of chemoprophylaxis and treatment. The viruses obtained from the recent human cases with swine influenza in the United States were sensitive to oselatmivir and zanamivir but resistant to amantadine and remantadine.
Information is insufficient to make recommendation on the use of the antivirals in prevention and treatment of swine influenza virus infection. Clinicians have to make decisions based on the clinical and epidemiological assessment and harms and benefit of the prophylaxis/treatment of the patient.
For the ongoing outbreak of the swine influenza infection in the United States and Mexico, the national and the local authorities are recommending to use oseltamivir or zanamivir for treatment and prevention of the disease based on the virus’s susceptibility profile.
1 International Health Regulation (2005) http://www.who.int/ihr/about/en/
2 For benefits and harms of influenza-specific antivirals, see
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Visit the website of for the Global Campaign for Education at www.campaignforeducation.org/bigread to add your name to the many supporters promoting quality education. 75 million children are out of school globally. 1 out of 4 women can't read.
I first heard about the campaign when a friend of mine who works for a Non-Government Organization, and a strong advocate for education, posted a link in her Facebook blog to invite others to join in the BigRead campaign.
You can help the campaign not only by signing up but also by doing the following:
1 – Telling your friends and forwarding this message:
Add your name to the Big Read, and add your name to those who want to end illiteracy. Join Nelson Mandela, Natalie Portman, , and many others in this campaign – The Big Read. Visit www.campaignforeducation.org/bigread to add your name and find out more.
2 – Adding your story to the Big Read
The ONE CAMPAIGN has also teamed up with the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) to support The Big Read in its campaign for literacy and quality education. They have also posted a link promoting this in Facebook .
Like I always say, every little bit helps...
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Make a Difference...join ONE’s Campaign by signing the petition to call on the African Union to do everything in its power to end the human rights violations against Zimbabweans and hostility towards humanitarian groups in Zimbabwe.
I've always loved Cadbury chocolates. The Company's recent move to work with the Fairtrade Foundation to help increase sales of cocoa gives me reason to love Cadbury even more. I'm posting an excerpt from their press release and related links...
Cadbury and the Fairtrade Foundation, on the 4th March 2009, announced plans to achieve Fairtrade certification for Cadbury Dairy Milk, the nation’s top selling chocolate bar, by end of Summer 2009 for the UK and Ireland. This groundbreaking move will result in the tripling of sales of cocoa under Fairtrade terms for cocoa farmers in Ghana, both increasing Fairtrade cocoa sales for existing certified farming groups, as well as opening up new opportunities for thousands more farmers to benefit from the Fairtrade system.
Friday, March 06, 2009
The very first International Women's Day was launched the following year by Clara Zetkin on 19 March (not 8 March). The date was chosen because on 19 March in the year of the 1848 revolution, the Prussian king recognized for the first time the strength of the armed people and gave way before the threat of a proletarian uprising. Among the many promise he made, which he later failed to keep, was the introduction of votes for women.
Plans for the first International Women's Day demonstration were spread by word of mouth and in the press. During the week before International Women's Day two journals appeared: The Vote for Women in Germany and Women's Day in Austria. Various articles were devoted to International Women's Day: 'Women and Parliament', 'The Working Women and Municipal Affairs', 'What Has the Housewife got to do with Politics?', etc. The articles thoroughly analyzed the question of the equality of women in the government and in society. All articles emphasized the same point that it was absolutely necessary to make parliament more democratic by extending the franchise to women.
In 1913 International Women's Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Wommen's Day ever since.
S.Arabia urged to halt floggings, give women rights
Reporters stripped by S.Leone circumcision society
Agree to differ over women bishops - Anglican leader
Few women follow pre-pregnancy recommendations
India grapples with high maternal death rate
Olympics-Women's boxing takes step closer to Games inclusion
Human rights still poor in Africa, US says
Birth control knowledge lacking in developing world
In hard times, more U.S. women try to sell their eggs
Billie Jean King targets gender unity
A drink a day poses cancer risk for women
Are women the key to soft power?
Why Isn't Anne Burras Famous?
Baby-Boomer Women Have Experienced Gender Issues
Cost of a life was worth $2.00
The Alternative - Developing Culture of Peace
Women's self awareness and leadership
Women and Sport
Being A Woman
IWD in Kenya
Women demand bigger say in UN climate talks
Norway tops gender gap index, Yemen ranked worst
Educating girls single most effective strategy for economic growth
China sees more female than male suicides per annum
4 in 10 births worldwide not attended by doctor or health professional
Number of women holding university qualifications overtaken men for first time
Gender gap closing on health and education but not economics and politics
Harassment forces Afghan girls out of school
Women's rights key to Africa AIDS crisis
Vodka for women said to fuel Russia's acoholism
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thank you! Advocates like you made an enormous impact this year to positively change the lives of vulnerable children around the world. We have witnessed several advocacy successes this year for which we can thank God.
Here are just a few successes and highlights for 2008:
Protecting children: The passage of the Child Soldier Prevention Act
Years of persistent advocacy paid off as Congress passed and President Bush signed into law the Child Soldier Prevention Act on Dec 23. Some 12,000 citizen advocates contributed to this success by contacting their members of Congress to express support for this bill. World Vision was a leader in initiating, drafting, and gaining passage of this law.
Joseph Mettimano, World Vision's vice president for advocacy, thanks you for contributing to the passage of the Child Soldier Prevention Act.
The law ensures that U.S. taxpayer money will never fund the use of child soldiers abroad.
Here is why this bill is so critical: Some 250,000 children are fighting in about 20 conflicts around the world today. In most cases, it is rebel or guerilla groups that abduct or coerce these children into conflict. However, the national governments in eight countries also use children as soldiers in war. The U.S. government currently provides military assistance to six of eight of these governments. This military assistance is highly coveted.
This new law will restrict all forms of U.S. military assistance to these governments — and any governments in the future — that use child soldiers. To receive any funding, the children must be removed from conflict and demobilized, and the government policies must change. These restrictions will compel culpable governments to stop using children in conflict, thereby saving the lives and childhoods of countless children.
Thank you for your support on this issue! By speaking out, you are truly saving lives.
Fighting poverty and disease
This year — with your help, and by God's grace — our advocacy contributed to an increase in U.S. government resources that will improve the lives of the poor, especially orphans and vulnerable children.
AIDS and malaria: A new five-year reauthorization of the Global AIDS, TB, and Malaria bill was signed into law, providing $48 billion with 10 percent of all global AIDS money going to care for orphans and vulnerable children. Resources for malaria were drastically increased in this bill as well ($1 billion each year, over 5 years).
The global food crisis: A new Farm Bill signed into law provides funding for more effective hunger relief programs, including sustainable, long-term development programs. A supplemental spending bill that also passed includes an additional $1.7 billion to respond to the global food crisis.
These resources, which you helped secure, will help prevent children from suffering from hunger, malnutrition, and possibly death.
This year, World Vision partnered with folks like you to host four different advocacy events in Washington, D.C.
The second annual Youth Empowerment Summit: In July, some 70 young people from at-risk communities across the nation gathered in Washington, D.C., to discuss their solutions to youth-related poverty and violence in the United States. The students also met with their congressional leaders to explain how gang violence has affected them and urge their lawmakers to address these issues that negatively impact youth in some of the nation's most distressed communities.
Acting on AIDS Summit on the Hill: In May, World Vision's advocacy program for college students hosted its first-ever lobby day event in Washington, D.C. An estimated 100 participants visited Capitol Hill to push for the passage of a new bipartisan global AIDS bill.
The Northern Uganda Lobby Day: In February, an estimated 800 concerned advocates from some 40 states came to D.C. to seek congressional support for peace in Uganda, where a two-decade war has turned thousands of children into soldiers and sex slaves.
Democratic Republic of Congo Lobby Day: In April, nearly 250 people from 30 states came together to press Congress and the Bush administration to do more to end the humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) — a crisis that causes some 1,200 deaths a day.
Again, thank you for being a voice for impoverished children and families around the world. We look forward to your continued partnership as we speak out against poverty, injustice, and human suffering in the coming year.
Vice President of Advocacy, World Vision
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
— Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV)
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Visit their ONE website at http://www.one.org/ and ONE's Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/TheONECampaign