Saturday, October 22, 2005


The other day, I was trying to weigh my reasons for making a decision to take up Masters in Public Health. Today, I found my reasons strongly supported by what I read in the papers tonight:

"...the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that around one million people in the Western Pacific region die each year from environmental health risks and this number will increase if effective countermeasures are not implemented.

The WHO said 580,000 of these deaths are attributable to "traditional" risk factors such as indoor smoke from solid fuels; unsafe water; and inadequate sanitation and hygiene.

Modern risks are responsible for another 405,000 deaths, 96 percent of which occur in the region’s developing countries. The WHO said these modern risks include urban air pollution, exposure to lead and other pollutants, industrial accidents and effects of climate change.

WHO representative for the Western Pacific Dr. Shigeru Omi said WHO member countries need to strengthen human resources and institutional capacity for environmental health risk assessment and management.

He said this concern was raised during the 56th session of the WHO regional committee for the Western Pacific. The meeting, attended by 100 representatives from various countries, discussed future health directions in the region.

Though there are international agreements to reduce environmental health risks, the committee underscored the need to develop "more systematic approaches to assessing and reducing" these risks.

The members of the committee agreed that multi-country efforts are required to address the problem since water, air and coastal pollution are transnational concerns."

It's a go!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


"In other words, the water cannon cannot discriminate." (Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago)

Alright, so we almost died laughing with regard the use of the word "canonization" or "were canonized" to mean that several politicians - two Senators - and priests (Robert Reyes among them) were hosed down during the so-called Prayer Rally in Manila last week. If the Philippine Daily Inquirer's reputation still holds water these days, maybe we just found ourselves a new noun.

And indeed, with the videos and photos now doing the circuit in TV stations and weblogs, you can say that the people hosed down were "canonized" by their actions (though not necessarily by their persuasions). The soon-to-be-saints: the politicos. The common enemy: the Arroyo government. There must be a funny way fate plays with certain people. I mean, we do not even know what Jamby Madrigal had in mind when she joined this "prayer rally." The presence of one Father Robert Reyes does not a prayer rally make, either.

Maybe they really had it coming, given the fact that this group did stray from their original agenda and decided to march towards the Palace in a brave attempt to do a Chino Roces, whose name they always use to mean "bravery." The poor dead man must be creating so much kinetic energy by rolling in his grave whenever his name is used in vain.

Okay, so I'm starting to fill in the role of Advocatus Diaboli here, but i have to leave it to the media to play the exalted role of Postulator to prove once and for all if the "canonization plot" that happened in Recto that fateful day were all worth it.

For the meantime, Satur, Jamby and Teofisto can go huddle around a bonfire and nurse their wretched egos.

Photos courtesy of ABC5 and by Jove Francisco

Monday, October 17, 2005


What a long day. Too long, in fact, that I ended up stuffing my face with anything edible that can be found in our cafeteria.

First there was coffee prepared by yaya before I left the house, then a lite breakfast of toast and eggs Benedict (lite, huh?!), then a heavy lunch of nilagang baka.

When Myette, my coffee mate, invited me downstairs for, uh, coffee later in the afternoon, I ordered a bratwurst sandwich, huge enough to make one keel over. I normally turn down the offer of ketchup (it had to be Del Monte kasi, for reasons known only to me and my mother), and had the guy slather mayo and mustard on my sandwich instead. Sinful merienda ito but it was well worth it.

2 hours later, I was again making kurot on a ham-and-cheese sandwich while poring over several patient histories. So why am I still wondering why people are protesting the breaching of my upper-limit weight of 175lbs a month ago?

Sigh. Long day, long day, long day.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


My birthday wish, courtesy of Toothpaste for Dinner :-)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Celebrating Life

Happy Birthday Dylan!

Monday, October 10, 2005


It's often hard to discern where The Beautiful South's sound comes from. Their own brand of darkly witty white-soul-cum-country sounds like many things. But what makes them tick? We find out with Golddiggas, Headnodders and Pholk Songs.

Cover albums are tricky. The band take a risk with "Don't Stop Moving" and "You're The One That I Want", aware of the fans (often their own) who may not appreciate the radical reinterpretations offered here, slowing them down and treating them as near-jazz pieces. Similarly ELO, Blue Oyster Cult, Lush (!), and The Ramones (!!!) get the treatment. Some of it works- "Don't Fear The Reaper" loses its riff but gains smoky Latin overtones--while some of the rearrangements may be considered a little arbitrary. The breadth of taste is to be applauded, as is the adventurous spirit, but this might be one that appeals more to the most loyal of fans. --Thom Allott

Product Description

The Beautiful South’s Golddiggas, Headnodders & Pholk Songs features their own inimitable take on classic pop songs. Includes versions of songs made famous by the Ramones, S Club 7 and John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John.

Friday, October 07, 2005


STOCKHOLM - Australians Barry Marshall and Robin Warren won the 2005 Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for showing that bacterial infection, not stress, is to blame for painful ulcers in the stomach and intestine.

The 1982 discovery transformed peptic-ulcer disease from a chronic, frequently disabling condition to one that can be cured by a short regimen of antibiotics and other medicines, the Nobel Prize committee said.

Thanks to their work, it has now been established that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which the new Nobel winners discovered, is the most common cause of peptic ulcers.

The Australians' proposal of a microbial cause instead was “very controversial and unexpected,” said Goran Hansson, who presides over the Nobel committee that awards the medicine or physiology prize. “They had to spend the first few years convincing the rest of the world.”


Mr. Marshall even deliberately infected himself with the bacterium in 1985 and showed that it caused stomach illness, noted Lord May of Oxford, president of Britain's Royal Society. Mr. Marshall suffered inflammation, which can lead to an ulcer.

Mr. Marshall, 54, and Mr. Warren, 68, celebrated their new honour with champagne and beer.

Read the rest of the story here.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Over and above the actual fear of Martial Law slowly creeping into our consciousness, the terrorists in our midst will now have every reason to be afraid. You can't just terrorize us all our lives, you know. Someday, all you do will just have to end.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


(Thanks to Another Hundred Years Hence)

For the lack of a better source of Christian Monsod's speech, this will do for now.