Issues of the day

Help for the Baby Factory

I surf through many blogs each day and I always find something new, something interesting, or something that will move me to action. Today, I landed on a blog that completely made me forget the many things I had wanted to blog about. But I don’t mind, because this is something I should dedicate space to.

I can’t say that I’m familiar with Ms. Chuvaness or her blog, but today I am a fan of her campaign to help equip the Jose Fabella Hospital, to care better for the 80-100 children born there each day. Visit her page, and donate via Paypal. Through her blog I clicked a link to Moms For Moms, the people behind the moving slideshow of Fabella photos. Apparently, they were moved by another blog post, this time from Handy Dandy Diapers, and so they were inspired to take on the cause. I am still checking out the last link, I’m thinking of purchasing diapers through them because they might be able to deliver it to the hospital for me, and they also make their own donation on top of your purchase.  I’ll be sending them an email right now to inquire on their pricelist.I know it is more convenient to donate via Paypal through Chuvaness, but I want to explore this route too.

I have never been to Fabella, nor do I know anyone who has actually gone there to give birth. But I have heard about the plight, not just of Fabella, but of public (government) hospitals throughout the country. I guess what makes Fabella distinct is the reputation of birthing 80-100 babies each day. It is, after all, a hospital specializing in the care of women and children.  It is no shocking news that mothers who have just given birth, or are waiting for their turn, would share beds with other mothers. It is not a surprise anymore to hear of two babies sharing one bassinet.  This happens in other hospitals too. It is a sad reality. Public health care in this country, has a long long way to go.

Which is why Pinoys the world over are enraged over the US$20,000 dinner that the Philippine president and her minions recently had at the Le Cirque in NY.

Families who cannot afford the costs of giving birth at private hospitals troop to Fabella. It is at this hospital that 80-100 babies breathe their first independent breaths. It is where they have their first taste of the world, and unfortunately for some, their first bitter experience. Understand that many who go to Fabella don’t lead privileged lives (I am generalizing here although for all I know, Fabella may have paying customers too). If our babies’ first encounter with the world is something as trying as this, what can they expect from life outside the hospital?

Let us help Fabella care better for its patients. It is ultimately the government’s responsibility to allocate more funding for the health sector, but it is also our responsibility to help where we can, when we can. Supporting this cause won’t make the problem disappear, our hospitals will still be ill-equipped and our doctors and nurses underpaid. That’s an advocacy that I leave others to tackle. There will still be 80-100 babies born there each day. Population control is another matter altogether.

(Did you recently buy a home entertainment system complete with mounts and maybe even a comfy couch? Did you recently splurge on an expensive bag, or designer outfits? I’m not on a guilt trip here, and I am not telling anyone to sacrifice the lifestyles they are accustomed to. But I am enjoining readers to think about sharing their blessings, no matter how small or big. Maybe in between your big purchases, you might consider doing something for others too.)

Yellow Ribbons for Tita Cory

The entire Philippine nation mourns the death of former president, Corazon Aquino.

She battled with Colon Cancer, diagnosed in March 2008. Since then she has had a few public appearances, but she remained vocal on many of the political issues that shook the country from that time until her death.

I have the yellow ribbon on my Facebook profile. Got it from the former president’s webpage.

I don’t have much more to say, but Ganns has a post that echoes my very same sentiments. The boyfriend and I planned a photo shoot this afternoon at the UP, we’ll swing by Times Street to pay our tributes and act paparazzi there as well. I hope the sun peeks out so we’d really be able to go.

Hamon nya sa buong bayan: magbantay, manalangin, magmasid – manindigan!

Wouldn’t it be nice if the millions of Filipinos mourning her death and expressing their praise of her integrity and moral leadership could be half as sincere as she was in her service to the country? There would be no greater tribute to her life and legacy than to be like the wife, mother, and citizen, that she was.

Tita Cory is probably dancing with Ninoy right now, reunited in heaven. Two Philippine Heroes. What a nice thought.

Edit: Dad asked to make this card for the flowers we’re taking to Times Street this afternoon.

Photo by Reuters, lifted from this site:

Taken a year ago, August 2008.


I registered to vote


Yes, true to my promise, I have registered and will take part in next year’s presidential elections.  I will make my vote count 🙂


If you’re a first time voter, check this article on voter’s registration, although I can tell you now that all you really need is a photocopy of a valid ID.  The COMELEC website has a downloadable form for first time voters but when I got to my district’s election office, I was asked to fill out their pre-stamped forms.  Filling it out is easy, there are sample forms all over the place (at least there were in QC) but you can use the online copy to familiarize yourself with the information required.


If you’re from Quezon City and you’re planning on registering, here are my tips:

  • Enter the City Hall compound from the East Avenue gate. The COMELEC offices are located past the construction site, SSDD and the Public Library. Be on the lookout because the signage is very small:


  • Registration is per Congressional district. Yesterday, Distric IV looked busiest.
  • The COMELEC team apparently goes mobile.  They setup sattelite registration centers in the different barangays. Each district has it’s own schedule.   It would be better to call COMELEC before your planned trip to City Hall so you’re sure that they will be there on that day. District II, for example, was closed at the City Hall for the day but only because they were busy at a specifc barangay (North Fairview if I remember correctly).  They will be in our barangay on June 18 and 19 so if you’re from Barangay Kalusugan and you need to register, clear those dates and troop to our Barangay Hall with a photocopy of your valid ID. 
  • When you get there, give the personnel the papers required (if registrant is not yet 18, the birth certificate is needed).  They will run your name on the COMELEC database and then give you the appropriate form.  They should be able to determine if you’re a first time voter, or a transferee.  First time voters need to fill out the white form.
  • After filling out the form in triplicate, submit it to the personnel and wait. And wait.  Apparently someone checks the form and will reject it if the wrong barangay is entered, or if the address doesn’t exist in their list. For example, I was called in because they said I may have made a mistake.  According to their list, there is no 19th Street in Kalusugan. Er, duh?  I had to tell them that we’ve lived in the area all my life, and that Papa (my grandfather) was the first chairman of our barangay so I couldn’t be wrong.  I said that there’s 16th, 17th, 18th, and then 19th Street.  They only had upto 18th Street. I described the map of the area for them. They took my word for it and approved my registration.  I asked the personnel, “what about the others in our street?” All he could say was “siguro okay na rin” Ugh. My cousins are all registered in this address, they voted last time. 
  • I overheard that they don’t accept Barangay Clearance as a valid ID.  The best ID would be a government issued one that shows your address too (like my TIN ID).  Oh, that’s one loophole I noticed in the process – they don’t actually ask for the original ID, not even to just look at it. They were quite content with the photocopy I submitted.
  • They have the Biometrics thingy there so be ready for your picture to be taken (don’t expect to see it though).  There’s a finger print scanner too (thumb and index fingers only) and you give them a sample of your signature through a pen and a very small tablet.  You don’t see your signature though because you do this behind the monitor, so you have no idea if it was captured correctly.  You have no choice but to rely on your writing hand and trust that is having a good day and is signing your name properly. 😉
  • After the biometrics scan, you take your form to another table, fill out what looks like an acknowledgement form (that has your name, barangay, and precinct number). Then you have to place your thumbmarks on all three copies of the application form. You have to do this in the presence of COMELEC personnel. Then they give you a small slip of paper that serves as acknowledgment that you have successfully registered to vote. 

I hope someone finds this post useful 🙂

Go out and register to vote!

Credits for my layout: June Schutrups/Cen’s Stuff for the paper (altered), Misty Cato Spotty Dotty Alpha (freebie), and FeiFei’s designs for the brush used for the photo.

Juana Change

Last night through The Probe Team, I met Juana Change.  She embodies an advocacy calling for social renewal and political reform.  We will be electing a new president in May 2010, and Juana Change (May Paner in real life) and her friends seek to educate the Filipino electorate such that they may vote wisely for the next leaders of this great nation. 

On a more personal level though, she is also undergoing changes.  She seeks some reform in her own life.  She’ll be undergoing a politicized weightloss program in the next 360 or so days.  After all, she says, how can she call for change when she herself cannot let go of her excesses in life?

I would love to say that I want to join her in her journey to wellness.  But I don’t want to commit to something again when I am unprepared.  I will take little steps in this journey.  Next week, I will register to vote.  Then maybe, I’ll also be able to plan out my own path to a lower BMI.

Anyway, here’s one of Juana’s YouTube videos, visit their blog to learn more about their campaign, and see her other videos:

I will register to vote!

After the Pacquiao fight, there’s been a lot of talk about a new advocacy that was launched on the same day (right?) – Ako Mismo.  The TVC had appeal, there were some known personalities along with unknowns, but more important than the endorsers – the message was timely and very relevant.

I checked out the website right away but was disappointed (as were many others, I later learned) to see that you had to register before you can read about the campaign.  Why not allow people to see who was behind the campaign, and what they aim to achieve?  I closed the page and went about with my usual Net activities. 

A few days later, I saw Chorva’s post about the same campaign and she posted an excerpt from the site.  Looks legit, not bad at all. I decided to check it out again and sign up too.  I was disappointed yet again because the wall of committments had spam already! Anyway, there’s still buzz about the campaign and I’ve seen a couple of blogs about it, it’s been on the papers too I think. I sincerely hope this isn’t some movement that is actually supporting a specific candidate.

This country needs advocacies like this one. It needs campaigns that actually get people to move their big butts and do what they can to get the society they want for themselves, and their children.  Next year, we’re set to elect a new president.  We need voter education campaigns, I don’t know if Ako Mismo will have that too. So guess what I pledged when I registered on the site? Ako Mismo magrerehistro para makaboto (I myself will register to vote).  Okay, I forgot the exact verbiage but that’s what it was. 

Yes, now I’m admitting a shameful fact in my blog: I am 27 years old but I’ve never cast a vote because I’ve never registered to vote.  And this isn’t out of protest, it’s not even a political statement.  When I turned eighteen, I didn’t know the deadline for registration that year.  Then I just didn’t make any effort. But this year, I will register.  It’s in my list of things to do in my upcoming vacation (that I am so looking forward to).

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