Wednesday, 06 June 2012 03:15
â– By Maricyn A. de los Santos
'The key to minimizing mortality due to infectious diseases during disasters are adequate preparedness, rapid and coordinated response and sustained recovery'
TAGBILARAN, Bohol - The cooperation and coordination between the Department of Health (DOH), the local government units (LGUs), the public and related sectors will hasten the delivery of health services during disasters.
This was highlighted in a media seminar dubbed "Covering Disasters 101" held in Bohol last May 23 to 25 with DOH experts who updated media practitioners on the risks of covering disasters.
Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, program manager of the Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases under the DOH, added that this cooperation and coordination will also lessen the risk of an outbreak of common diseases inside evacuation centers.
Lee Suy noted that due to the unpredictability of the extent of disasters, there are instances when supplies are not sufficient to meet the demands of those who are in need of immediate health treatments.
Lee Suy also cited the case of AH1N1 in the country, and said "Philippines was not prepared with AH1N1, the same way other countries were not prepared but because during that time, we were preparing for the 'Bird Flu.'"
However, he said that with the proper coordination between concerned government agencies and the private sector, responses during disasters can be managed well for the good of the victims.
"The key to minimizing morbidity and mortality due to infectious diseases during disasters are the following: adequate preparedness, rapid and coordinated response and sustained recovery."
"The LGUs should identify any area where they can bring the affected residents of their town," he added.
He said those at the scenes of disasters should identify the immediate needs of the victims and determine what is lacking in the evacuation centers.
"This would also help the responders in managing the flow of donations from the private sectors," he added.
"Bakit tayo magdo-donate ng kaldero kung alam naman nating wala na ngang matulugan, maisuot, mainom at makain ang mga evacuees?" he quipped.
COMMON DISEASES IN EVAC CENTERS
Lee Suy also noted the common diseases that can cause morbidity and mortality in evacuation centers, especially if not immediately attended to.
"The risks of outbreaks following disasters are due to population density and displacement, disruption and contamination of water supply and sanitation services and public health programs, ecological changes that favor breeding of vectors, displacement of domestic and wild animals, and lack of provision of emergency food, water and shelter in disaster situations," he said.
Therefore, expect the possibility of emergence of common and infectious diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, measles, acute respiratory infections, tetanus, among others.
Thus, he said, "There is a need to stress among the evacuees the need for proper hygiene and sanitation to prevent another disaster following a disaster, which is an outbreak."
To control and prevent outbreaks, he noted the need to immediately implement all public health measures to reduce the risk of diseases transmission.
He added that there should also be an organized reliable disease reporting system to identify outbreaks and to promptly initiate control measures.
ROLE OF MEDIA
With media persons almost always the first to respond in disaster areas, this advantage can be of used to help the DOH staff in monitoring diseases and establish lifelines to address the victims' immediate health needs.
Dr. Ivanhoe Escartin of the DOH-National Center for Disease Prevention and Control, said that while it is an advantage for media practitioners to be first on the disaster area to gather news, it is also a disadvantage because of the stresses they will undergo in relation to the helplessness of the victims as well as the conditions they see in evacuation centers.
Escartin noted the occurrence of "second disaster," which occurs after the reality of the disaster sinks in to the victims.
"These means awareness to the situation, which include loss of privacy, community, independence, familiarity with the environment and loss of certainty with respect to the future," Escartin said.
He added that the day after the disaster means traditional roles are disrupted, "not only in the family, but also in the community."
This is also the time when 90 percent or more of the affected population can exhibit some untoward psychological effects hours after disasters.
Responders should take note of "psychological first-aid," which can help the victims connect to groups who may help in their needs. This can also comfort the victims and help them to feel calm.
Escartin, in his closing remarks, stressed the importance of partnership between the DOH and the media to address concerns during disasters or outbreaks.
"Media plays an important role, and this role must be maximized to help those who are in immediate need of health services," he concluded.*
Pioneer mortgage servicing company BFS, Inc. has helped some 21,000 Filipino families to fully resolve their long outstanding and overdue loan obligations, with yet another 27,000 accounts in the resolution pipeline.
Rosario Briones of Mabalacat, Pampanga, the latest Balikatan borrower to successfully resolve her long outstanding housing loan, receives her TCT from a BFS account specialist
This was made possible through BFS' best-practice, end-to-end mortgage servicing platform.
BFS, Inc. is the exclusive mortgage servicer and asset manager of the residential mortgage loan portfolio of Balikatan Housing and Finance, Inc. (BHFI).
"We are glad that through our efforts, families have reclaimed their homes and have peace of mind," states BFS Federico Y. Cadiz, Jr. "More importantly, they now have assets in the form of realized home equity, which for individual families is the largest component of personal savingsâ€”savings that may increase as their homes appreciate in value over time and may be passed on to their loved ones."
The most recent borrowers to successfully settle their obligation are Mr. and Mrs. Marianito Briones of Mabalacat, Pampanga.
"Thank you for making this affordable. Thank you because we were able to resolve our housing loan. My husband and I feel relieved that we no longer have to worry about it."
"We are inspired to continue making an impact in the lives of Filipino families who are seriously committed to settling their debt," shares Mr. Cadiz. "The Briones family's ability to own their home, as in the case of the other thousands, will now certainly have a positive ripple effect on the economy. This is also in line with BFS' objective to help improve the overall liquidity in the housing capital markets. By reintroducing liquidity to under-performing assets, money will resume circulating throughout the system, making funding available to other borrowers for new home purchases."
For more information, please contact: Marco Sindiong/Mika Palileo, Ogilvy Public Relations Manila at Tel no. (632) 238 7000 loc. 7042 or 7052. Email at
Monday, 04 June 2012 03:15
â– 360 DEGREES By Rhea B. PeÃ±aflor
'Keep faith and just flow with the wind. You don't really know where your destiny lies until it finds you. Don't stop doing what you love the most'
Born Raphael Njoku-Andie, "Felly Dee" is an international recording R&B artist who is currently based in Iloilo City.
He is a music producer, song writer and artist from Port Harcourt City in Rivers State, Nigeria.
Running his own recording studio business since November 2010 called "Swagzy Entertainment," Fely Dee will soon launch his first music video, which was shot here in Iloilo City.
Abtikfilm Production Advertising Company shot the video "Bum" in different venues such as the Iloilo Provincial Capitol rooftop and Thirdworld Sk8park in Baluarte, Molo in collaboration with local Ilonggo dancers, bikers and skaters.
Bum is Felly Dee's first debut single in his first debut album.
Back in his hometown, his songs have been featured in local televisions and aired on radio stations.
Two months ago, he arrived in the City of Love to enroll in a university this June although he already finished a degree in Land Surveying, which he never practiced since he fully concentrated on writing songs, producing them and singing - which is his first love.
IT RUNS IN THE BLOOD
Both of Felly Dee's parents were very good singers in that his mother used to lead the church choir while his father also sings very well. Dee's genes having the powerful voice of what it takes to be a singer is his most prized gift from his supportive doctor parents.
"We are gifted with big vocal chords, and I don't scream a lot too," he shares with a laugh.
He is the second son of five siblings and has an only sister, Preye. His elder brother, Edward, also is a very good singer and now takes care of his recording business in Nigeria.
"I love reggae, dancehall, blues, soul, rap, among others. I don't have a favorite genre. I do rap, R&B, sing love songs, depending on the mood I'm in," explains the 24 year-old artist who writes all his songs.
When asked of what inspires and motivates him, "I can't say anything in particular. The way I feel at the moment. I wrote songs for someone entitled Fly Away and Killin' Me. I think that my first motivation is my love for playing the piano. I can play the guitar, drum, and percussion, too. I could sober at the sound of nice rhythms, but where I come from, you'll have to tune it up a bit, afro-like to actually suit your audience," he says.
"I have always loved rap songs whether fast or slow. But the cooler and the better is what I call swag rap. R&B has been my whole life's desire. If I have to chose, I would hang onto R&B for life," proudly shares Felly Dee.
COLLABORATION WITH OTHER ARTISTS
"I have done some tracks with Swag Boiz, Cruzi, Emre, Bushmen allstars, Cally and so many underground or unknown artists. I also produced most of these songs. I am also looking forward to collaborating with local artists here like I did before with Southsyd Souljaz and Syk Unit - both are Ilonggo rap groups," elaborates Felly Dee.
So far, he finds the most wonderful voices in Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. Felly Dee gives it to Seal for the most creative harmony and acapella, Yanni for the most impressive instrumental orchestration, and Enya for soul.
Felly Dee's songs in his upcoming album will include tracks entitled Bum, Alleluia, Killing Me, Miss My Baby (in his local dialect and in english), Million Ways, Waist, Ringtone (he is currently working on this), Taken Over, Casanova, Luv In The Air, Fly Away and Still The Same featuring "tbm," his old crew.
"The truth is I really stopped thinking a long time ago in making it here in the Philippines. Maybe, I only believe that, we could all make it anywhere. It's just a matter of presentation, ideas, beliefs, and understanding," optimistically explains the young and hopeful artist.
What is his most favorite song in his debut album? "I don't have a favorite song in my list; they are all good to me but if I must choose, it will be Alleluia because it's really personal for me and intended to a particular person," says Felly Dee.
Now what is his word of advice for aspiring artists from all over the world? "Well, keep faith and just flow with the wind. You don't really know where your destiny lies until it finds you, and don't stop doing what you love the most," happily exclaims the young R&B prince.*
Happy 18th birthday to Maria Caryl Chua, daughter of J&R Family Studio's James and Dolly Chua.
Monday, 04 June 2012 03:15
â– By Francis Lloyd Sauza
People sometimes take motorcycle burn lightly only to discover that they are suffering from infection already.
Charged to experience, the first motorcycle accident I got was a burn when my friends and I were on our second day of our Dumaguete trip.
On April 29, we rented two motorcycles to get us to Tierra Alta. When I got off the motorcycle, the mid-section of my right leg accidentally touched the exhaust pipe.
When I touched the affected area, the skin peeled off and I discovered that the mid-section of my leg was burned.
I was told to put lotion to the affected area, which I did. However, the inflammation became painful and intolerable.
Right after my two friends were done zip-lining (which I missed), we stopped at the nearest sari-sari store to buy toothpaste which I applied to the wound, replacing the lotion I previously applied.
Back in our hotel, I bought a burn ointment and the inflammation lessened came nighttime.
The following day, during our trip back to Bacolod, I accidentally bumped my burnt leg to the seat of the car, which caused its inflammation (again).
The wound was painful during the rest of the trip back to Iloilo.
On May 1, my right foot has gotten bigger.
I continued applying burn ointment and putting some gauze dressing to protect it from exposure to dust, which can cause irritation.
The next day, the pain was unbearable and I had chills during super hot noontime. So I wore jacket and took paracetamol.
On the third day, I decided to consult a general surgeon at St. Paul Integrated Center of Expertise (SPICE). He injected me with an anti-tetanus shot and prescribed an antibacterial cream for my infected burn, antibiotics and an Ibuprofen tablet for pain.
He told me that my right leg was getting bigger due to "cellulitis" or a bacterial infection of the skin and soft tissues that causes swelling, redness, tenderness and warmth.
After taking the prescribed medicines, my right leg gradually returned back to its normal size.
So, remember, treat burns immediately. By the way, motorcycle burn is considered a second degree burn.*
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 03:15
â– NEWS AND OLD By Rosmar M. Villalon
Love. Passion. Sensuality. These are the words that came to my mind one afternoon while I was sitting in the audience watching a show.
I was transfixed by the beautiful dances on stage. I was quite mesmerized by the graceful movements of the dancers' hands, while in contrast, their feet would energetically stomp the floor, and their hips sway in time with the music. Emotions are clearly etched on their faces. Dance partners would look into each other's eyes, seeming to exchange unspoken words that they only understand. Lady dancers without partners dance with sensual expressions meant, I supposed, for the person they are dancing for. They are dancing the Flamenco, the dance of love.
I was invited to the show by my friend, Annie Divinagracia Sartorio, artistic director of Annie Divinagracia Sartorio School of Performing Arts (ADS SPA), the only school in Iloilo City that teaches Flamenco. Annie herself teaches this very intricate dance, although she also delegates the teaching to reliable assistants when her craft brings her outside Iloilo. The performers on stage are students of ADS SPA and Kawilihan Dance Troupe, with guest dancers from Fundacion Centro Flamenco, one of the best (if not the best) Flamenco schools in the country.
I noticed that the women dancers of Fundacion Centro Flamenco are all middle-aged, some are even in their 60s. In spite of their age, they dance with admirable grace and vigor. I believe this is due to years of dancing, which is a great form of exercise.
The more senior members of the group are SeÃ±ora Emma Estrada, the president and artistic director of the school, and SeÃ±ora Cecile de Joya. SeÃ±ora Estrada's introduction to Spanish dance began when she was a college student at Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain during the early 1990s. SeÃ±ora de Joya, who is a founding member of the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company started with ballet during her primary school days. Today, not only do these two continue to dance and teach Flamenco, but also persist on honing their craft. The Spanish dance keeps their body fit and supple, and their mind alert.
"Aside from being a good exercise and relief from stress, dancing promotes good health and enhances our personality through the development of our confidence and social skills," says Annie Divinagracia Sartorio when I asked her what are the usual reasons why people enroll in her Flamenco class.
It is a known fact that all forms of dancing give our hearts and lungs a good workout, which lowers our risk of heart disease, reduces blood pressure and helps with managing our weight. It is estimated that one can burn 330 calories per hour by dancing.
Since Flamenco involves a lot of foot tapping, it builds bone density more effectively than other weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, where the stress on your bones is milder. Some research shows that the more stress or intensity in your exercise workout, the more you can build your bone density. But if you have arthritis or any joint problem in the feet, this dance might not be for you.
The dance also requires a high level of muscle control and speed, making it an intense workout. Flamenco's leg lifts, hand clapping and bursts of foot tapping and stamping provide an interval workout. Fitness trainers highly recommends interval training which means alternating high intensity and low intensity exercises to speed up metabolism and burn more calories in the process.
Dancing the Flamenco will also give you a more flexible body and improve your balance. As you dance, your upper torso and arms twist and turn, your back arches, and you lift and turn your legs. All these movements stretch and balance your body.
Also, mental concentration and patience in needed to learn and master the steps. During class, it keeps your mind off other matters, hence, it helps reduce stress and improve your mood and energy. Not only that, it also helps lower the risk of developing dementia and reduce decline in memory as you get older.
If you want to grow old gracefully like SeÃ±oras Emma Estrada and Cecile de Joya, why not take up dancing? Dancing is good for the body and soul, especially if it is the dance of love.*