Your Fitness Bank

Feet of Hiker

The uphill slog—making deposits in the Fitness Bank. 

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By Wilfredo G. Villanueva

The following article is a perfect follow-up to Joe America’s humdinger of an article Greed in America, Joy in the Philippines. Why? Because I would suggest to JoeAm that another metric of progress in the Philippines is the percentage of ailing seniors. Who would be the best defenders of the status quo—Daang Matuwid? Seniors! But they should be fit and healthy to express their views. Who would love the Philippines more?  The seniors who can enjoy the remainder of their lives in relative health and fitness. Remember we’re not only talking 2016, but also 2022 and beyond for Daang Matuwid to take root. Read on. — WGV

This time, let’s talk about a bank that gives and gives especially at the time when your deposits are thinning out.  Let’s call it Your Fitness Bank.

My personal best in a 42.195-kilometer marathon is 4 hours 15 minutes; in a 10-kilometer run, 41 minutes. Did that in ’79-’81, before I got married. That is how fit I am, or was. Been running since 1975.  At my age, going on 64, I don’t run the same distances anymore. I don’t make the same robust deposits in my Fitness Bank. But I stay fit—every brisk walk, jog, run, every push up, every good-health habit is its own reward for the endorphin-high I get as an exercise junkie.  (Endorphins are morphines produced naturally by the body during exercise, eating good food, laughing, falling in love, being with loved ones, praying to and worshiping God.)

Jesus acknowledged self-love when he likened loving our neighbor to it. It’s probably the first love everyone experiences—rising to accept a medal in grade school, hitting the first ball with a bat and realizing your athletic power, finding out that muscles can grow and you’re looking better and better each day—more trips to the mirror.

You move on to other loves. Love of your mother and father, love of your crush, love of your school, love of country, until you reach perfect love—agape—the kind that relinquishes self-love for something quite noble and self-sacrificing, like fighting evil in all forms.

Do you think we could have been saved by Christ the Redeemer if he wasn’t fit? He could have died ingloriously at the Garden of Gethsemane when he perspired droplets of his own blood out of “extreme anguish” (Why did Jesus sweat blood in the Garden of Gethsemane?) for what was to come. He could not have survived if his heart, lungs, arms and legs couldn’t take any stage of the passion—scourging at the pillar, crowning with thorns, carrying of the cross, nailing and hanging on the cross—all of these in great thirst because of loss of blood. At the last stage of his public ministry, Jesus of Nazareth, son of a carpenter, loyal and obedient son of Mary who could run errands up and down the cobbled streets with a smile on his face, taught us how important health and fitness is to our ministry, whether writing a book or as a member of a Seal Team Six equivalent. Yes, fitness is key to the completion of our vision and mission.

I reflect:

Rewind to the time I had to be operated on for a growth in my urinary bladder. My urologist said I needed a cardiologist’s clearance. I talked to a cardiologist, explained to her my condition, she ran some tests, gave me clearance, the operation took place, after a few months, I’m healed, the growth is no more, determined by biopsy as benign. Case closed. Everyone happy.

Is it that simple? Yes, because I was fit; no, if I wasn’t. What if she found something wrong with my ECG or EKG (electrocardiogram) results?

“We have to address your heart condition first before any operation can take place,” she explains.

But what if, aside from my heart condition, there was also something wrong with my kidneys, and the liver function test results needs looking into?

So a simple procedure to excise a mass would have been put on hold if my body could not bear the strain of general anesthesia and the operation as a whole.

I would step back and review where I went wrong, why I was unfit for surgery:

  • No exercise.
  • No exercise because I wake up late.
  • I wake up late because I sleep late.
  • I sleep late because I have more than my share of beer or red wine—at least once a week of binge drinking.
  • I like to drink because I hanker for chicharon bulaklak, lechon skin, crispy pata.
  • I like crispy pata because I shun vegetables and fruits as if they carried disease.
  • I avoid veggies and fruits because they don’t fill me up like meat does.  Besides they don’t go well with beer.
  • Meat fills me up because it’s the only thing I like to eat with bowls of white rice, making me feel hungry often.
  • I often feel hungry because I hardly ever drink water. Since I am dehydrated, I have a feeling of malaise, and I struggle through the day dry of throat and short of breath.
  • I am short of breath because my lungs have no expanding capacity.
  • My lungs do not expand as much as it should because I smoke more than a pack of cigarettes every day.
  • I smoke a pack of cigarettes daily because I can think better and feel stronger.
  • I feel stronger when I smoke because I hardly ever have my daily seven to eight hours of sleep.

So, I could have been stuck with a body that didn’t work, delaying indefinitely the operation to excise a simple mass. A stunning system designed by the Creator of creators could stall on the operating table because I didn’t maintain it properly. What a waste of cutting-edge divine technology!

Consider, dear readers:

Health maintenance organizations or HMO withdraw from the market of 65-year-olds. You can continue coverage but you have to pay an escalating premium every year without any recourse to cash values, dividends, or return of premiums. None. It’s like paying for a third-party liability for vehicles. No accident, no benefits. HMO coverage is renewable yearly, meaning if you fail to pay, no matter how long you’ve been a client, you will be dropped from the rolls.

Philhealth is available for seniors but it can only shoulder a small amount of the total hospital bill.  Senior card, maybe another five per cent, judging by my own bill.

A friend was hospitalized for a major illness in one of the tony hospitals in Manila. A major illness is called such because it is curable but money has to be thrown to it. Everything-but-the-kitchen-sink time.  It’s also called catastrophic disease because it spells a catastrophe to the finances of the family involved. Today, my friend has been moved to a neighborhood hospital because his resources are almost gone. Relatives and friends have pitched in but donor fatigue is setting in. Philippine General Hospital, a public hospital with Grade A medical care but Grade D for hospital atmosphere beckons. A trip to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office has to be done. Government help for the destitute. Show proof.

Indigent. Insolvent. Pauper.

These words sting. Perhaps poverty is even harder to take than the disease itself, because the last resort is the family home.

Yes, Filipinos in general are in danger of heart-wrenching financial crisis in the latter years of their lives because medical science offers many options to keep the family head or member alive by all possible means. No one turns his or her back on family. Not in the Philippines.

The future is not going to be easy for those who may be stricken by major disease.

Deep breath. Pause. Let’s go back to Kindergarten where we learned the basics. A nursery rhyme goes:

“The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they’ll ease
Your will they’ll mend
And charge you not a shilling.”

And charge you not a shilling! Preventive medicine is free! I created an acronym—an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of related words and treated as a word—which goes :

S.T.E.W.A.R.D.

“S” is for Sunshine, “T” and “E” for Tiring Exercise, “W” for Water, “A” for Air, “R” for Rest and “D” for Diet.

I inserted “Tiring” among the “six doctors” in the nursery rhyme to make the acronym a complete word, which is a master stroke of an inspiration, considering God’s first commandment in the book of Genesis is for man to be the steward of creation, and that includes being a steward of his own physical self. “A biblical world view of stewardship,” according to Wikipedia, “can be consciously defined as: Utilizing and managing all resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation. The central essence of biblical world view stewardship is managing everything God brings into the believers’ life in a manner that honors God and impacts eternity.” In Isaiah 22:15, “Shebna is described in the text as ‘treasurer,’ but in the margin as ‘steward,’ and seems to combine the ideas in both the words ‘treasurer’ and ‘steward.’ Shebna was thus one of the highest officials, having charge of the city’s funds, and of administering them for the city’s benefit.” (“Steward: Bible Study Tools“) Thus, a steward is not only Chief Executive Officer but also Chief Financial Officer. A description of the six doctors in the nursery rhyme is as follows:

Dr. Sunshine

When we were babies, we were exposed to morning sunshine. Same is true for the elderly and convalescent. So why shouldn’t we be exposed to the same wholesome light as healthy adults? Sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D. What does Vitamin D do to the body? For one, as we grow older our bones will become brittle, and we need calcium stores to ward off osteoporosis. Guess what? Vitamin D releases calcium to the bones. So get lots of sunshine, but take cover between 10am and 3pm when the sun is at its hottest.

Dr. Tiring Exercise

Recent medical findings show that we need to exercise at least 40 minutes per session, three times a week. There is a school of thought that says do 10,000 steps a day (“How to Walk 10,000 Steps“). That’s equivalent to about eight kilometers of walking, but not just walking—brisk walking—like you want to run fast to catch a bus or a tricycle but you’ll call too much attention if you do, so you just walk as fast as you can. That kind of speed, stretched out for half an hour non-stop. When I was younger, I would jog every other day for ten kilometers on ordinary days, and 20 kilometers on weekends. I would also do upper body strengthening exercises. Running to me was the nearest thing to riding a horse—a childhood fantasy—or flying with my own wings—man’s impossible dream. When I became older, like now, I’ll be happy with 40 minutes of brisk walking or jogging and do the Seven-Minute Workout app in iPhone. Keeps me fit. As long as I can write with relative comfort and ease, run with my dogs and daughters, drive for the wifey for groceries and such without exhaustion, take care of my business for my clients, keep smiling and spreading joy, I’m all right.

Dr. Water

Ah, my favorite. The most neglected part of a healthy lifestyle. Almost everyone does not drink the equivalent of eight glasses of water a day. Have you noticed the proliferation of dialysis centers in your neighborhood? A friend who is a nephrologist is a success story, not that he’s happy that many people have failing kidneys, but the worker gets his wages. Kidney disease is almost like an epidemic Why? Too much sodium on account of junk food, and lack of hydration or water intake to flush out the junk. Renal failure is common even among the young. I quaff a large mug and a half of lukewarm water as soon as I wake up to jump start the day. Leaves me feeling clean all over, then onto my exercises if I feel like it, but sometimes I want to take it easy, so I write my blog instead of exercising. Throughout the day, I make sure to drink a mugful of water before lunch, after waking up from siesta, before dinner, a few sips before sleeping.

Dr. Air

Some do yoga for inhalation and exhalation. My jogging is sufficient, makes me inhale deeply. Oh, very important: not smoking accomplishes 51 per cent of your fitness goals. That means if you’re an exercise nut but you smoke cigarettes, believe me, you’re still a minority shareholder in your health-and-fitness business. So. Don’t. Smoke. That simple. One other thing, realize that I live in a metropolitan area, although at the fringes of it. I neither feel winded, nor do I have chest pains when I do my exercises. My chest X-ray showed unremarkable results. Exercise and clean living could be helping me to be sort of immune to the foul air of the metro.

Dr. Rest

I know of an intelligent and creative person whose finger is in several pies: work, family, advocacy, church. That means late-night and early-morning meetings. Knowing what I know, I understand why his impatience is legendary. It’s because he lacks sleep, staying awake at daytime by caffeine and temper. So, for the love of humanity, get your seven to eight hours of sleep. Turn off all lights, even lights of computers, gadgets—ambient light—everything blacked out. Scientists suspect that fluorescent lighting is causing a near epidemic of breast cancer among women. It could wreak havoc on males as well. We evolved over thousands of years without electricity, so the body is not used to light when sleeping. Darkness triggers the production of melatonin, a hormone that signals the body that it’s time for your zzzs. Melatonin is “referred to as your body’s trash collector, because it goes to every cell in your body and cleans out the free radicals and other toxins that are harmful to your cells. Melatonin is perhaps the most powerful anti-oxidant your body has. Melatonin also slows down your system, giving the heart and organs much needed rest. It does this by constricting the blood vessels in your arms and legs, pulling the blood away from your extremities and close to your vital organs. Your heart rate slows down… Even in people with high-blood pressure, melatonin causes their nighttime blood pressure to normalize.” (http://www.talkaboutsleep.com/the-importance-of-melatonin/#sthash.BxkQDaXb.dpuf) So, black out.

Dr. Diet

My cholesterol, blood sugar, uric acid, PSA, all blood works are normal. I am taking medication for hypertension which could be caused by heredity, and Pradaxa for atrial fibrillation, diagnosed last year. Atrial fibrillation or AF is when the heart quivers. I don’t have the symptoms yet—palpitations, weakness, shortness of breath—but I have slowed down in my exercises as I said. It doesn’t bother me, I have generally sound sleep, can still do my light exercises. The point I’m making is that we may be hit by one or two diseases or conditions completely by surprise no matter how well we take care of ourselves, but can you imagine if I’m not practicing STEWARD? That’ll be the end of me. If I don’t watch my diet—the base of the food pyramid should be fruits, veggies, nuts, fish; chicken without skin, pork without fat and carbohydrates in the middle; beef and dairy and the occasional beer or wine at the tip—I could be in constant danger of stroke or heart attack. But I’m fit, my prognosis is good, my blood tests say so, my treadmill stress test is in level six, achieving target heart rate with no signs of chest pain, dizziness, exaggerated blood-pressure hike, extreme fatigue.

Sometimes the cards we are dealt are not ideal, so many ifs and buts about our health, some illnesses not of our own making. But we can control our health to a certain extent, that much is true.

We have battles to wage, missions to pursue, good leaders to support and campaign for, loved ones to make happy with our presence, a country to love, add to that we need to nurse our retirement funds by staying out of catastrophic disease which can drive us to the poor house. Every thing we do with our time and funds redound to the general well-being of the beloved country, family and community.  Society is only as rich as its poorest, unhealthiest retiree.

I was telling my wife, now that our children have lives of their own, that our only role is to stay alive, to be as normal as possible so that our children can enjoy our presence. Love requires physical touch. Oh, I’m sure our children will not love us less if we are stricken by some illness or condition. I’m not in denial, I know the implications of hypertension and AF, but for now, as long as I can manage my condition, my best gift to my children is to be bouncy for them. Life can be as good as it gets, but we have to make the right choices by obeying the six doctors—STEWARD—free of charge, “if only you are willing.”

Please check Your Fitness Bank. Make constant deposits as long as you are able, be aware of withdrawals—such as sleep deprivation because of a project—and how you can replenish your account to keep it substantial for future withdrawals, to keep you away from destitution. And live on interest as you age.

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” — Mahatma Gandhi

(Below, taken Nov. 22, 2015 with my daughter. My other daughter who also runs took the picture. A runner’s ultimate high: running with his children who loves running as much as he does.)

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Comments
104 Responses to “Your Fitness Bank”
  1. Micha says:

    Okey na sana kuya Will yung wholesome advocacy mo sa health and fitness, sino ba naman ang hindi sasang-ayon dyan, pero bakit naparami yata ang reference kay Lord Jesus?

    Naalala ko tuloy yung sabi ni Hitchens : we were created sick and commanded to be well. He was of course referencing the original from a 16th century poet named Fulke Greville who wrote, “Oh wearisome condition of humanity! / Born under one law, to another bound: / Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity; / Created sick, commanded to be sound.”

  2. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Hi Micha! Hindi ko masyadong gets ang punto mo. Paki-elaborate na lang. Thanks.

    • Micha says:

      I just think that referencing Jesus in a subject about health and fitness, which is very fine and dandy with me (I mean the health and fitness part because am also a health buff and a vegetarian) is rather awkward, if not totally redundant.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        I know, Micha. Thought about referencing Jesus Christ’s fitness over and over again, but decided to take the plunge anyway. There’s some irreverence in it, I accept. I read about it somewhere, his superb fitness, and kept it in my metaphor bank. My apologies to those who felt offended.

        • Micha says:

          There’s this supposedly perfect, all good, all knowing, and all powerful creator giving life to inherently flawed humans and other animal forms, vulnerable to all sorts of diseases and illnesses, will eventually decay and succumb to death. Looks more like a mean and sadistic creator than a benign one.

          Anyways, one of the latest breakthrough in biology is called gene-editing. Cattle farmers in Iowa were able to bred cows without horns by splicing or editing their DNA sequence. Then there’s the genetically engineered salmon that grows bigger, pigs that can be fattened with less food, gene edited mosquitoes that will no longer carry parasites that causes malaria, Brazilian beef cattle that grow more muscles, chickens that produce only females for egg-laying, and meatier cashmere goats that also conveniently grow longer hair for soft sweaters.

          Endless possibilities offered by genetic biology in what is increasingly seen as human mastery over nature. It won’t be long before these techniques are applied to alter or edit human features like, I don’t know, maybe better resistance to particular diseases, or muscular males and curvy females that will age longer? – an achievement that will surely attract the attention of ethics police.

  3. edgar lores says:

    *******
    1. Ah, a respite from politics, a pause to refresh the body and the mind.

    2. My Fitness Bank account is almost empty. Hefty deposits were made in my youth, but as a young adult I made numerous and huge withdrawals to pay for my wayward ways.

    3. ”Mens sana in corpore sano.” I often thought that a sound mind was much more important than a healthy body. For most of us — as it was for me — health is a gift. Overcoming ignorance, attaining some measure of enlightenment, is the proper task of mankind.

    4. Now in old age, I make small installments in my daily exercise walks, my little naps, and reflective moments of rest… but I fear the outgoings to sustain the energy of surfing, reading, thinking are much more than the deposits.

    5. Fear? No, not really. The money before was well spent and enjoyed to the max. Even now the miniscule outlays still produce some value… or so I hope.

    6. Produce? Why is that so important? Between the choice of being a voluptuary and an enquiring ascetic, although I have chosen the latter, I used to wonder if I had made the right choice.

    6.1. The poet advises us to “not go gentle into the good night”, that “old age should burn and rave at close of day”… because “wise men at their end know dark is right.”

    6.2. Sorry, Dylan, I am not taking your advice. Light is right… and you know it. Didn’t you also say that “…though lovers be lost love shall not; and death shall have no dominion”?
    *****

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Do not go gentle into that good night,
      Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
      Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

      Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
      Because their words had forked no lightning they
      Do not go gentle into that good night.

      Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
      Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
      Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

      Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
      And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
      Do not go gentle into that good night.

      Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
      Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
      Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

      And you, my father, there on that sad height,
      Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
      Do not go gentle into that good night.
      Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

      Dylan Thomas

      The Jesuits in high school drilled this poem into our memories. Who would think about death at such a proud height of hormones and heft? But we were prepared well, about our mortality. I read that fit men and women will extend their lives by how much? Two years. Yes, two years only. But the joy we bring when our fitness banks are full cannot be measured in years. JoeAm is right. In the Philippines, joy is our wealth, and spreading joy as you live mindfully and healthily is patriotic. In a sea of complainers, the one who sees joy and humor—endorphins—in the situation is king.

  4. Joe America says:

    Exercise sharpens the mind, no question. Invigorates the soul, I suppose. And it’s good for the body if it does not break it or wear it out. Team sports teach important values like sacrifice and making oneself better by helping others succeed. Individual sports teach confidence and self-reliance. So exercise also improves one’s values. Or can. Some learn to be ball hogs and bad sports or have confidence demolished by not making the top rungs. So it teaches us of life, that we can’t always get what we want, or, contrary to what the Stones say, we can’t even get what we need.

    Still, as I look back, athletic endeavors gave me a lot of joy, a lot of friends, good values, confidence and arthritis. Exercise ought to be added to the model we are slowly building of the ideal citizen, willing to give of himself for his national team, a critical thinker,well read, finds pleasure in austerity, retains the good passions of generosity and laughter, and is physically and mentally tough.

    We should eat right, too. It’s a part of the exercise formula.

    I don’t, however, ever see me using those trampolines and exercise gear they peddle on television shopping networks. The seem contrived, or hokey. I like basketball best, crashing bodies, footwork of a dancer, doing a Curry now and then, forget Mike . . .

  5. chempo says:

    We don’t need a fitness bank if we live our lives backwards.

    Woody Allen :
    “In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people’s home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day. You work for 40 years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born. And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!”

    • sonny says:

      gian, I agree complaining is totally counterproductive whether it is about extreme cold or heat: my mom spent her first year a few miles below the Canada/Minnesota border. Her extreme cold was temperatures dipping to -40 deg C and going 32 deg C in the summer. She went to warmer climes after her first year. One does think of comfort level (a combination of trade-offs) really fast. She was 54 at the time.

    • Norwegians are very friendly and very tall people… the opposite are the Finns who deal with the long winters by drinking vodka like hell inspite of prohibitive sin taxes. And often look and act like real-life trolls.

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          Thanks for Night on Earth, Irineo! Sometimes we in the beloved country blame everything including the weather for our woes. Extreme cold and extreme heat and humidity are just two sides of a coin. Life gives equal opportunities and equal challenges. The key is acceptance, and adaptation. We Filipinos can live under extreme hardship, such as after a typical calamity. We just have to transpose or reinvent our adaptive abilities. Why can we not suffer with the same aplomb in normal times, treating “Triumph and Disaster… impostors just the same?”

          The whole poem, which perhaps can be a national poem while the country is a-building:

          If
          by Rudyard Kipling

          If you can keep your head when all about you
          Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
          If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
          But make allowance for their doubting too;
          If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
          Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
          Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
          And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

          If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
          If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
          If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
          And treat those two impostors just the same;
          If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
          Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
          Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
          And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

          If you can make one heap of all your winnings
          And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
          And lose, and start again at your beginnings
          And never breathe a word about your loss;
          If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
          To serve your turn long after they are gone,
          And so hold on when there is nothing in you
          Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

          If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
          Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
          If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
          If all men count with you, but none too much;
          If you can fill the unforgiving minute
          With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
          Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
          And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

    • Joe America says:

      “You can just consciously try to have a positive wintertime mindset and that might be enough to induce it.”

      My experience is, though, that once you get to that mind-set, there are sure a lot of people who complain about it. Like, they call you an apologist and whatnot . . . 🙂 🙂

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      From giancarlo’s attachment:

      “But overall, mindset research is increasingly finding that it doesn’t take much to shift one’s thinking. ‘It doesn’t have to be this huge complicated thing,’ says Leibowitz. ‘You can just consciously try to have a positive wintertime mindset and that might be enough to induce it’.”

      I was going to delve on our own people’s, errr, touchiness or grouchiness, but my article had crossed the 3,000 word limit I had set for myself. Why so many trolls? Why so much negativity? Resentment, thy name is Philippines? Maybe it has something to do with, as I said, sleep deprivation or one’s overall health condition going south. Personally, when I feel a dip in my joy output, I just step out and sweat it out by sun, exercise, dog love, and viola, I’m a net contributor again to the beloved country’s GDJ (Gross Domestic Joy). Mindset is it. Thanks, giancarlo!

  6. bauwow says:

    How I wish all my patients are like you Will. Someone who puts premium to health and invests in a fitness bank. If all individuals think like you do, I’m sure I will be out of work! But sadly, Filipinos do not even have health in their priority, or if it is included it will be the last. We do not have a decent health care, and to add to the burden, Filipinos in general, think that healthcare should be free.
    From the bed, to the doctor’s fees, to the laboratories and ancillary procedures, all should be given free. Probably this is the reason why Filipinos do not save for healthcare.

    Another thing that bothers me is that generally, people will seek consult if their condition is already grave, or “the last two minutes” of their sickness.So the treatment becomes complicated and thus more expensive. And if you take the history, they sought the opinion of an “albularyo” first before coming to the ER for treatment. If you further ask them why did they seek an “albularyo’s” consult, the answer is due to poverty or financial constraints.inally

    I agree that there is no such thing as a perfect health care program, but if we only educate patients that health is wealth, then maybe we are a step towards the right direction.

    Finally, an unsolicited medical advice, pineapple juice does not lower down your BP.
    Lowerin your salt intake will help you.

    • sonny says:

      bauwow, my sob story is a $8,500 ER bill in a California hospital. I admitted myself for chest pains. I definitely do not have Wil’s health. What he says is true, maintaining our health seriously (w/discipline) is the best pathway. The STEWARD is the lowest cost to implement. Note: Statins were not yet discovered in my time of coronary need.

      • bauwow says:

        Wow! That’s 382,500 in pesos! For an ER consult! Don’t have any HMO? Maybe the MD ordered the whole “chest panel”.
        Yes statins are already used for prevention of strokes and heart attacks.

    • Joe America says:

      I’m inclined to think that wealth makes health, too. Most of the loans we give out, never expecting and seldom getting repayment, are for medical care. Plus, in the remote areas, we have generalist doctors and not specialists. The experts are a plane ride away. Also, people are afraid to go to the hospital because too many people leave there for a ride to the mortuary.

      I do know that improving health care for the poor is on the Aquino agenda. I wonder if Duterte will support that, or Poe who seems more interested in cutting taxes.

      • True, on medical care loans to siblings and relatives – I usually don’t expect repayment. I told my sister, don’t sress about it, if you have the means, repay me, if you don’t, stressing about it will just bring you back to I.C.U. So, might as well we both forget it. We just rejoiced that hers and my angiogram results did not necessitate angioplasty or worse, a heart by-pass operation.

        My own mild heart attack, cancer bout and pneumonia confinement was fortunately paid for by the office HMO and my personal health insurance, the balance was through my employer’s generosity who told me to go for whatever procedures to bring me back to normalcy. So I did not spent a single peso.

  7. bauwow says:

    Will, they may have over billed you, Senior citizen deductions are automatic at 20%.
    Most of my fans are above 65 years old.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      That’s good then, Doc. I’ll need the 20 per cent Senior discount in case I need medical care outside of HMO because I’ll be 65 in a jiffy.

      • bauwow says:

        Hi Will! Senior citizen starts at sixty. 😊

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          Say that again, Doc. Wifey and I are enjoying the perks. Senator Angara is forgiven for siding with Erap. He started the law that makes seniors pay 32 per cent less, effectively. I wish they would exempt seniors from income-tax filing next. Anyway, millennials can take up the slack, they’re 43 percent of the population.

  8. Will, very good… November is passing, the month of many death days over here in Germany… All Saint’s Day, Sunday of the Dead, People’s Day of Sorrow… the onset of cold, dark, short days and the onslaught of winter killed many in less developed times over here… especially less robust.

    My personal constitution has always been a robust, Bikolano one… yet my stewardship of my own personal constitution has been lousy…I have been reconstituting myself for some years now…

    Taking care of oneself translates into taking care of the community around oneself, because their well-being is also related to one’s own… taking care of the community translates into taking care of the nation… I am happy to live in a nation that has realized that robbing people of opportunities breeds crime, resentment and hatred… robbing people of respect does so as well… and in a community of nations that has realized that war only destroys the gains of progress, after many centuries of killing one another and conquering half the world… over here we are now bearing the brunt of the results of America’s wars for oil, sorry to say… we have no Atlantic to hold them back.

    There is a joke about Donald Trump… why are all his wives immigrants… well because there is dirty work no self-respecting American would ever do after all. Finally Edgar Lores is one who has understood that the world is a community – I say the well-being of every one of us depends on it.

    President Obama, who has relatives in poor Kenya, Muslims at that, has been a good steward for the world. A good leader remembers the marginalized… http://biblehub.com/matthew/25-40.htm – whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ – the world climate conference in Paris at the moment is about our long-term stewardship of the earth and finally, we might have to ask the leaders of militant Islam and of China, and also the present leader of Russia, whether they love their children too. Sting’s old song still is relevant today.

  9. karl garcia says:

    Sleep is very important. Walking for a few kilometers also prevents depression.Because of lack of sleep before,I had to take relaxants and anti anxiety or anxiolitics,like xanax and anti depressants.Exercise besides laughter is a good medicine.Micha and the others just skip the part when I say that praying is also good for mental health.When you are healthy you may also have a good sex life.

  10. karl garcia says:

    If you have dogs,walk them. If your dogs are big and heavy,they will walk you.

  11. karl garcia says:

    do not stop your maintainance meds,do not just switch to herbals,i tried that with negative results.

    If you feel depressed, there is no shame in going to a shrink, i go to a shrink twice a month,aside from my other doctors.

  12. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Ana Marie Pamintuan in her Philippine Star column “Defining Issue” says that the main issue has shifted from corruption to management, hence, Duterte’s surge at the surveys in the Lingayen-Lucena corridor, from where 64 (?) per cent of voters come from. Alleged admin mismanagement can be handled by trotting out stories such as how Bangkok built its skyways, supported by public sympathy and patience for the project. Anyway, here’s an attachment that says life gets better in senior years. Perhaps we need to shift attention away from millennials and more towards elders, who can talk about the journey from dictatorship to Daang Matuwid (like the 40-year passage of Israelites over the desert). Fortieth year from 1986 is 2026, so near yet so far, if Mar loses.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brianna-wiest/10-reasons-why-life-gets-better-as-you-grow-up-not-the-opposite-way-around_b_8611010.html

  13. andrewlim8 says:

    FOR ALL DUTERTE SUPPORTERS:

    http://www.rappler.com/nation/politics/elections/2016/114416-rodrigo-duterte-womanizer

    So when Duterte wants to do something, he is not accountable to anyone- not to the law, to God or to morals.

    So when he decides to become corrupt, or when he decides to kill his critics, who will stand up to him?

    This is the man you want in Malacanang?

    All non-Mindanaoans unite!

    Down with Duterte! No to the devil in disguise! He is only using his tough anti-crime history to cover up his own wrongdoing!

    • There are several steps of abstraction of authority that human history has gone through:

      1) warlords (Ampatuan, Nebuchadnezar, General Tilly, Sforza, Cortes)

      2) God-Kings, Caliphs, Emperors (Duterte, Ramses, Shih Huang Ti)

      3) Prophets of God as Leaders (Moses, Mohammed, St. Paul)

      4) Moral codes (Ten Commandments, Torah, Islamic Shariah)

      5) Legal codes (Justinian, Napoleon, Prussian King Frederick)

      Duterte is just one step ahead of Ampatuan and two ahead of Norberto Manero.

      He is not even at the level of the Shariah, much less Justinian’s 7th-century legal precepts.

    • chempo says:

      After seeing the video, any reading his ex-wife’s comments on the physical abuses under his hands, any women who vote for him are no less different to those Muslim womenfolk who tolerate Islam with such anti-women inclinations.

    • @ andrewlim8,

      This morning I woke up to desert sunrise, freezing my ass off, but I had hot coffee. Now I’m here reading Wil’s article and the commentaries, catching up on what I missed the past couple of days. But yours stuck out as the most relevant to my experience in the desert, of death & dying, of healthy living and what it means to be a man—- and Wil’s article.

      I drove up to my campsite early Thursday eve, just enough light left to set the tent up and get a fire going. As I waited for the water to boil, took a quick hike around my surroundings to check-out the area, lots of boulders for privacy, with my closest ‘neighbors’ just a bit more than 50 feet from me.

      Gave ’em a quick wave, Hello… noticing an older guy with a beard and a young girl, must be a Dad & daughter camping trip. Got back to my now whistling kettle, had hot coffee, enjoyed the night sky for a bit, called it a night—– the plan was to wake up early to do some climbing (I was testing out some gear).

      As soon as I got comfy in my sleeping bag, I heard what I thought were coyotes. It was faint at first, then it got louder. Finally, I realized it was the sound of sex. I’ve camped before and heard people having sex— no biggy.

      Noise identified, now I’m trying to range it. Then I realized it was the old guy and that young girl—- ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww… So I’m listening to the girl’s high pitched moans, and there were words said I thought then was Spanish. Then I couple of male grunts interspersed, you can tell the guy was getting a good work-out, a tiring exercise. Then climax.

      Then it happened 2 more times, almost on the hour the next couple of hours.

      I didn’t get to wake-up as early as I planned. But after a quick breakfast, I managed to swing by their camp to say Good morning. Turned out they were Italians. The girl said they were part of a college group studying Geology in the area, and that they were gonna catch-up with the others—- they were in the process of breaking camp when I walked by.

      The guy didn’t say much, while the girl spoke more English (though really difficult to understand), but he must’ve been 65+ yrs old and she, early 20s— she knew I heard them the night before and that I was just checking her out to match face to memory, it was worth the Good morning.

      Which brings us back to the death & dying portion of this story. When I think about dying, I don’t think about it in the sense of dying of sickness or old age. Maybe it was all those Samurai books or ‘Gladiator’ or ‘Last Samurai’ I read & watched, of dying a ‘good’ death, that I never bothered to think of myself as 65 yrs old.

      But my epiphany, if you can call it that, in the desert was that old man and young woman, just going at it in the desert, like Adam & Eve, w/out a care in the world.

      I don’t know about healthy living, I’ve seen the healthiest most, righteous guys get maimed or killed. And the least deserving of life get to old age. So my epiphany in, living well and the meaning of manliness, is getting to 65 or older and just going to town with a hot young co-ed in the middle of the desert— with or with no-one listening.

      So with that said Dr. Tiring Exercise is right on top of that list, to Wil’s point.

      Which brings us back to andrewlim8‘s comment on Duterte. I can understand campaigns and dirty politics during election cycles. And over here, politicians and tele-vangelists are always in the news for extra marital trysts and other weird stuff. In the military, I’ve seen my share of affairs done well and affairs that end up with every party involved worst for it—–

      and yes, I agree, for people who assume moral high ground or invoke piety, ONLY to get caught for the very acts they’ve castigated against, there is a lesson in that.

      But Duterte seems to be simply laying out his cards on the table, knowing full well the Filipino male, Christian or Muslim or no religion, will not only be forgiving, but like that Geology professor (my presumption), they, the Filipino male, will simply be appreciating what I came to appreciate in the desert—— that your fitness bank account expands when you win the lottery, in the form of a hot young 20-something co-ed.

      andrew, I can understand the moral argument, so too the slippery-slope argument, but it’ll all fall on deaf ears since most Filipino men (all men) endeavor for similar arrangements. So if you want to invoke, IMHO, some sort of higher ground character attack in attempt to diminish Duterte’s fitness bank, then it should be in the John vs. Pimp argument—- ie., he’s not a Pimp (one who girls pay), but a John (one who pays girl).

      The moral high ground attack is inherently weaker, because all men want to be that Geology professor in the desert—– and all women, want power, in the form of a large fitness bank account, figuratively or literally. What Trump calls low-energy vs. high-energy (it’s always been like that since the dawn of man) 😉 .

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        My thoughts, too, about Duterte. But wait, what a life you have @LCpl_X! Would that I can do that, too. But no worries for me. I may not be camping much but I do have the camping mentality, you know, going it alone, discovering life on my terms. Back to Duterte: the guy knows his business, as in the principles defined in “Takuza, Tagay.” May tulog nga si Mar, if Duterte’s candidacy proceeds. His numbers will go up some more. All hands on board, we have to help Mar’s sagging popularity. Miriam said Mar is simply an academician. But elections are entertainment—toys for the big boys—and Daan Matuwid so far is a sleep fest. I would show Mar doing pushups, jogging with his dogs, hugging Korina, show fitness. Testosterone time, Liberal Party. And who managed the photo shoot of the couple showing them backs to each other? Please. Fire him. Doesn’t he know snuggle?

        • Marien says:

          @Wilfredo:

          It’s sad that our politics has never changed, no?

          I saw that photo of Mar and Korina. What were (PR People) they thinking??

          They need to show genuine emotion in photos that people can connect to. So far, their campaign really is a snoozefest.

          Mar Roxas ought to be interviewed by Kris Aquino- No Holds Barred.
          Filipinos will love that.

        • That’s the Obama/Bear Grylls episode set to air on Dec. 17 over here, Wil. Maybe Mar can also do something similar, to promote the outdoors and healthy living, as well as love of land and love of nature.

          If not Mar, then maybe Pres. Aquino.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Ahaha! I’ve heard of teacher-induced epiphanies, book-induced epiphanies, alcohol-induced epiphanies, drug-induced epiphanies and fasting-induced epiphanies. This may a third time for me: a sex-induced epiphany.
        *****

      • “But wait, what a life you have @LCpl_X!”

        Camping’s camping, Wil. I would’ve much rather had been warmed by that 20-something co-ed, than my trusty heater that night— that’s the life,

        “This may a third time for me: a sex-induced epiphany.”

        edgar, more like the lack of it, induced the epiphany. But at least I know what I’ll be by the time I’m 65 yrs old… a Geology professor.

  14. partly off-topic: Joe wrote about context as something important for Filipinos and everyone…

    this map shows how big the Philippines is in comparison to Europe… the Mercator projection makes the countries of the North look inordinately big… one must not forget the time during which Mercator projection became popular… it was colonialism… and Filipinos often still expect the President to be like a mega-barangay captain… Gordon in Subic and Duterte in Davao managed to be mega-barangay captains of their areas, but just take Metro Manila and that approach fails.

    I don’t blame Angela Merkel if road construction takes too long in my neighborhood… or if the construction site near the Munich central station has cause a lot of dirt and riff-raff to gather at the entrance… I don’t even blame the mayor of Munich because I know they have a long-term plan and are really working on it… the present inconveniences are part of a larger clean-up… ever since the new hotel at the southern entrance of the station opened up the gypsies are not there anymore… they liked the dirt and chaos caused by the construction site for the hotel…

    Now blame the President for Mamasapano? Trillanes mentioned PNP SAF people refusing to help their comrades two kilometers away, texting instead, similar to Capt. Janolino’s people playing cards instead of helping Heneral Luna defend the front… we all know the Army refused to help the PNP SAF with artillery cover, echoing General Mascardo not coming to reinforce Heneral Luna, and both Capt. Janolino and Hen. Mascardo accepting orders from the President only. Now at Mamasapano same thing, all of them waited for the President’s order to make any move at all…

    Now if that was inappropriate at a time when the county was effectively the area North of Manila, retreating from Caloocan via Bulacan and Pampanga to Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija and all islands had only 10 million people max, how much more now, with nearly a hundred million people as well? Magsaysay was an exceptionally strong character, he could manage to be the barangay captain for 20 million Filipinos, and 2 million were at his funeral, but those simpler days are over.

  15. “Sometimes the cards we are dealt are not ideal, so many ifs and buts about our health, some illnesses not of our own making. But we can control our health to a certain extent, that much is true.” – Will

    Yep, this is applicable to our clan. Most of us are genetically predisposed to hypertension, diabetis, and that “exercise limiting” vertigo.. The last one was exhaustively dealt with by my doctors at The Medical City – neurologist, cardiologist, hematologist with each of them ordering so many laboratory tests, fortunately all shouldered by the HMO of our office. To this day they couldn’t diagnose what is causing this vertigo and its complication – fainting spells or syncope. That cost me my regular zumba workouts, even brisk walking is so limited. Even my treadmill test / stress echo had to be on drug induced fast heart rate…dipyridamole / dobutamine.

    Dieting is such a challenge. A strong will power is a must. A 3-day weekend here in Batangas had me tasting newly harvested veggies once again. My dream of retirement in the province to raise our own veggies and fruits is still a dream, I have to return to the city tomorrow, work is waiting.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Mary, could it be a matter of ear balance? Caveat: I am not a wizard.
      *****

      • Thea says:

        @Mary

        Why not see EENT specialist? Got a friend who had similar problem. An ear infection of that sort was diagnosed. Now she is enjoying her walks and grandchildren.

    • Thanks Will, sir edgar and Thea.

      That was also done in the Med City, the ENT endorsed me to the neurologist after the scan with contrast in my inner ear failed to produce a diagnosis. After yet another scan to the whole brain this time, all the ENT could say is that I had some mini mini strokes in the past, quite normal? in some individuals. haisst. After a second, then third opinion, I gave up.

      My mother and her siblings have the same problem. My worst days are when nausea decides to join in the mix even inviting cold sweats, the bastard…. hahaha..

      It seems so strange that I have attacks even when I’m in deep sleep, I awake to a feeling that the bed is spinning, or when I’m at the office, the sense that there’s a strong earthquake going on….once, I almost fell in the reception area, in front of my boss. ewwwww.

      I guess I will just have to grin and bear it and to be extra careful that I don’t have a bad fall. My zumba instructor can only shake his head and after witnessing more than one attacks, then finally advised me to rest for a few months. I start the work out with a normal BP of 120/80 (my BP monitor goes where I go these days) but the vertigo is strangely producing an abnormally low blood pressure ranging from 70/40 to just a palpable one, blurred vision and near fainting. I somehow learned to deal with it by keeping still and holding on to someone or something to keep me steady and wherever possible, to put my feet up.

      A visit to yet another specialist will have to be squeezed in though I am quite losing my hope.

      Political rallies and manning the voting precincts are now things belonging to the past.

      Now, am just a keyboard warrior for RORO.

      • Joe America says:

        Gadzooks, Mary, bp at 70/40! Your blood is not flowing, it is just sitting there!!!!

        • Strange, isn’t it..and it happened while in the middle of a zumba work out…sweating and with heartbeats at a maximum allowed by the cardiologist.

          • bauwow says:

            Mary check with your cardiologist! ASAP! That BP is to low to support yout kidneys and your heart . That BP may be the cause of your dizziness. As Uncle Joe would put it, Gadzooks!

            • Thanks, doc. I’ll make the appointment, after posting this. Fortunately it goes back to normal after I put up my feet for about…30 to 45 minutes. Kidney and heart? Oh my!

              • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

                If a doctor in hospital saw you with that BP, Mary Grace, he’s empowered to clamp you in a room and monitor you, the whole works. Prayers on your way.

              • Had been in I.C.U. so many times with that erratic BP, doc. God is truly good, for I’m still alive.

              • Thank you for your prayers, doc, truly appreciate that. It’s what’s keeping me alive, with so many praying for me. It’s why am still here, appreciating and smelling the flowers, posting to FB groups for RORO, trying to earn as much as I can, so I can be of help to anyone who really needs it.

                In one of the lab test that I underwent, I barely heard the nurses rushing and doctors shouting to adjust the bed I’m strapped in, feet up, head down while dopamine was being injected through the IV.

                Such is my life.

              • Will, I just realized, I called you doc…hahaha

              • Mary,

                If these fainting spells only happen when you’re exercising, then there’s a good chance you’re heart’s just pumping overtime, not able to get blood up your head— hence, the fainting.

                Instead of Zumba why not just do walks, or if Zumba community is the reason for going, then be with them, just don’t exert too much.

                Or maybe instead of Zumba, get into Yoga. I’m sure it’s just your heart telling you to get into Yoga. I did Zumba last year, someone’s idea of a date, and I nearly passed out as well, I’m pretty fit.

              • @ LCpl_X

                Yep, I thought so, too, hence my temporary deferral of the zumba work outs. Yoga and taichi is something I intend to focus on but their classes fall on my work days. Not that fun when I just follow the video tape all by my lonesome ..hahaha. Walking is limited as my legs are folding down. and my feet are stepping on each other when vertigo is on the prowl. It could be funny to look at, so pathetic. My first fainting spell was when I was quite stationary, my God mother was cutting my hair then, back when I was a 7-year old kid. I woke up with an albularyo in attendance who prescribed chicken liver diet..yum, yum…., as he said I was as pale as a sheet of white bond paper. Too poor to have a proper check up in those days.

              • “My first fainting spell was when I was quite stationery, my God mother was cutting my hair then, back when I was a 7-year old kid.”

                Mary,

                So it’s not from exercise. Are you Anemic? Are you just calling it vertigo, or is an actual diagnosis, because actual Vertigo is a different animal, not just fainting, vertigo means not knowing up or down— we had a guy that incurred vertigo from a head injury and his eyes kept on twitching. If you have no twitching, you should be good. If it’s simply anemia, then follow your medicine man’s advice, lots of chicken liver for iron.

                But look into Yoga, Tai-chi’s good too, do both.

              • Two incidence of fainting had me banging my head on the floor, but that should have shown in the x-rays and MRI and scans done when I got myself worked out. Nada. I have told various doctors about that history, hence, those tests. How did your friend manage his vertigo. Eye exercises involving eyeballs meeting with the use of objects like pencils in front (as prescribed by the ENT) do not help.

              • Am not anemic, err severely anemic, just slightly anemic. I had tried to donate blood but was rejected. Recent tests show my RBC, hematocrit and hemoglobin are normal. Doctors cautioned me not to drink tea as it will prevent absorption of iron I can get from foods.

              • “How did your friend manage his vertigo. “

                He fell a lot, Mary. I think eventually he was able to sense it coming, or caught on to what triggered it, but it was a whole life-style adjustment. I think he was also on medications in the beginning but eventually opted out of ’em because of side-effects, so he just made sure there were no points of injuries around his home, made it safe.

              • Mary,

                I’ve heard good stuff about this book, though I’ve not read it—- might be worth looking into,

            • LCpl_X

              Wow, thanks for this. I truly appreciate your concern. I wonder if its on BookBub, e-book.

  16. NHerrera says:

    Off topic.

    This is something Will Villanueva will appreciate because of the operative word, “love.”

    I was listening to Karen Davila in her DZMM Teleradyo Program, “Pasada Sais Trenta.” Davila related that in a recent forum a participant addressed a comment to Mar Roxas that some will not vote for him because of his wife, Korina. According to Davila, Mar answered:

    That is sad. Korina is my wife. And I love her.

    I like the answer. I believe even Pnoy cannot top that.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      I was supposed to send you this last night, NHerrera, but the internet was off:

      Maybe I’m a bit harsh on Mar. He has moves. Problem is, the AlDub in him and Korina isn’t projecting well. If you view the stats of the article The Social Significance of AlDub, published Sept. 22, it’s still getting 40 views average over a ten-day period Nov 21-30. That’s two months after publication. Tell me love isn’t a power in and of itself in the beloved country. Starry, starry eyes.

  17. chempo says:

    Wil, I’m still building my health bank like you. I jog about 3 times a week, but problem is I’m taking in too much traffic exhaust. That’s city life Makati. Good air is something even Binay can’t give us. But one thing that pleases me is that at my regular jogging route, lots of locals and the occasional foreigners we are jostling each other. I get a bit ‘annoyed’ when I see 30-ish guys and gals running past me, and then when I round a bend further up, I see them walking, and I get lifted when I overtake them haha. In physics we like to boast.

    In my younger days I do a lot of physicals – jogs, soccer, biking, nature walks and I find I have lots of credits in health bank that is sustaining me. Just 2 years ago I was doing vertical jogs – running up stairs in my condo. I could do about 20 floors, but not anymore. Heart and muscles willing, but knees complaining now.

    Your are right. Health is wealth PLUS I would add, healthy body, healthy mind.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Great going, chempo. Twenty floors? Wow. Them legs. Try iPhone’s Seven-Minute Workout if you have a busy day. Good for muscle-tone maintenance. Thigh power.

  18. LP hitting back at Duterte… the comments of Duterte supporters are “amusing”…

  19. sottocopied from an Inquirer article forum… I like the summary of Daang Matuwid achievements.

    If people are hungry – they need food.

    If people are IGNORANT – you feed them INFORMATION !!!!

    ISN’T THE CORRECT CHOICE RIDICULOUSLY OBVIOUS ????
    MarLeni is not about making self-serving POLITICAL PROMISES. MarLeni is about CONTINUING WHAT ALREADY EXISTS !!!

    Iyang kay Grace ??? They are all promises that SHE DOES NOT HAVE THE MEANS nor CAPACITY TO DELIVER !!!

    MarLeni is Tuwid na Daan version 2.0

    Eto ang Tuwid na Daan version 1.0.

    Jinggoy, Manong Johnny, Bong Revilla jailed for plunder. Gloria JAILED for
    plunder, an inefficient OMBUDSMAN forced to resign, a corrupt chief
    justice (Corona) impeached, corrupt generals jailed, corrupt former
    chief of staff Angelo Reyes committed suicide when faced with reprisal,
    PAGCOR Chairman Efraim Genuino is now facing a plunder case, JunJun
    Binay and Jejomar is ABOUT to be charged with plunder, our PAG-ASA
    weather forecasting has improved by leaps and bounds, our DISASTER
    MITIGATION systems have GREATLY improved since GMA’s Ondoy fiasco, we
    have 2 new BIG SHIPS, we are about to receive 12 NEW fighter jets, we
    are about to purchase, 8 new AW109E Power helicopters (attack
    helicopters) of which 4 has been delivered will be received by our Navy
    and Air force, 142 M113A2 Armored Vehicles Arriving for the Philippine
    Army, top NPA leadership CAPTURED, our armed forces is no longer the
    butt of jokes in the region. our COAST Guard have been guarding our
    coastlines as if they mean business, we have been killing ASG’s, we have
    been killing NPA’s, we have been jailing chinese druglords left and
    right, we have killed BOTH Usman and Marwan, unprecented increase of
    DRUG RELATED arrests during Mar’s stint in the DILG, PNoy’s
    administration has so far built 86,748 new classrooms in stark
    comparison GMA’s 17,305 classrooms during her last term, our credit
    ratings have improved consistently over the years, we are among the
    fastest growing economies in the globe, we have the CCT that RESCUES
    those who have virtually nothing in life, the Philippines has shown it’s
    balls when we correctly filed a case against China’s usurping of our
    territories in the west Philippine sea, we have been able to forge
    defense allianses with the USA, Japan, Australia, Sout Korea, Vietnam in
    checking china’s pacman tendencies, our christmas bonuses hehe are more
    substantial because of tax shields, Php 133 billion PP programs are now
    awarded with another Php 400 billion to be awarded this year. our Gross
    Domestic Product vs Debt ratio has decreases from 54.8% in 2010 to
    37.3% in 2015 (the lowest EVER), according to Bloomberg the Philippines
    will be the SECOND fastest growin economy in 2015 (HOLY COW … KELAN PA
    NANGYARI IYAN???)And did you guys know that the Arroyo administration
    collected Php 5.13 trillion in taxes for her 9 years in office ????
    PNoy’s administration in 5 years, collected Php 5.36 trillion. That is
    the reason why, the oft repeated phrase ‘walang budget para dito’
    disappeared during PNoy’s term. The Binays, father and son INDICTED by
    the OMBUDSMAN for graft. Junjun Binay SACKED and banned from running for
    or occupying government. positions. PNoy has reduced the number of GOCC’s
    (government owned corporations) by 20 and is planning to reduce it by 14
    more by 2017 by focusing on the non-performing companies and those that
    are not really needed. But inspite of that, during PNoy’s term, the
    GOCC’s turned over dividends to the national government amounting to
    Php131.8 billion from 2010 to 2015 (4 years roughly) as compared to Php
    84.18 billion for GMA’s administration from 2001 to 2009 (roughly 8
    years). A testimony to our governments reforms in good governance.

    Hindi po ito DROWING. Walang mga pangakong ginagawa dito. Ito ang KATOTOHANAN !!!!

    • Lui says:

      Social Media is on fire with what Duterte said towards the Pope.

    • noggy says:

      Thanks for this Ireneo. I will now just copy and paste this if someone asks what this administration has done 🙂

      Just to add, with the fiscal space good management and programs have given the government, PNoy I believe is now able and is starting to address the root cause of corruption – low government pay (http://www.rappler.com/nation/112199-salary-standardization-law-2015-aquino-abad)

      I think the program of government they undertook has been well though of and prioritised very well. I hope FOI too would eventually pass or even the Tax Reform law, but I understand that there are more urgent things that needs to be done.

      I once thought that social media would be good as it would democratise information, but now there is too much misinformation going around. People would have to be discerning and read the whole news article, or watch or read the whole interview, and not to judge and share instantly. At the end of the day, just look at what the government has done compared to when they started.

      I hope that eventually, Mar and Leni’s integrity and competence will shine through despite all the misinformation.

      Mar Roxas was outstanding in the recent “Meet Your Candidates” forum (https://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/11/25/15/poe-roxas-face-off-at-presidential-forum).

      And Leni Robredo was great at yesterdays ‘s UP event (http://www.rappler.com/nation/politics/elections/2016/114491-robredo-escudero-up-forum)

      • Joe America says:

        Noggy, FYI, 3 or more links gets your comment sent to moderation. That delays it.

        • noggy says:

          Thanks JoeAm, am glad to you put up this blog, as it uplifts my spirit with all the negativity I see in social media. Your blog has been part of my daily routine for years now. More power to you and looking forward for more entries.

          • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

            Just thought of a succinct reply to those who would say “ayusin natin ang Pilipinas,” or “let’s fix the Philippines,” thus:

            Why fix what ain’t broke? It’s painful because the country is giving birth, giving birth to new projects long delayed because of corruption.

            (Pilipino: Ba’t aayusin ang hindi sira? Masakit kasi nanganganak ang bayan, nanganganak ng bagong projects na matagal nang nabinbin dahil sa corruption.)

            • Joe America says:

              That is so true, Will. As I look at work being done at some of the agencies, those old misconceptions, deeply ingrained in my own ignorance, fall away. The idea that this is an “inept” administration is a huge misconception stoked by political opportunists, crooks, crabs and ignorance.

            • Joe America says:

              That is so true, Will. As I look at work being done at some of the agencies, those old misconceptions, deeply ingrained in my own ignorance, fall away. The idea that this is an “inept” administration is a huge misconception stoked by political opportunists, crooks, crabs and ignorance.

  20. DAgimas says:

    with the high humidity in our country, you don’t even need strenuous exercise/activity. a brisk one hour walk at 9am or 4pm is more than enough to shed your fats.

    compared that with the very dry air in CA, where you have to don sweatshirt/workout suits and run for miles and miles just to generate the equivalent sweat of a 10 minute walk under the sun In the Philippines

    • josephivo says:

      ???
      1. Losing water is not losing weight. Dehydration not the intention of a workout.
      2. Evaporating is part of the temperature control system of the human body.
      3. Evaporating in dry air is much easier than evaporating in humid air. Loosing temporary water weight and keeping body temperature safe is easier in California.
      4. Feeling sweat because it does not evaporate is a wrong indicator of exercise. Cheating on a weight scale has many forms, comparing a saturated before the body with a dried out one afterwards is one of them. Sweatshirts are good business, but only for those selling them. Slowing down evaporation and consequently the cooling that the body requires is unwise.

      • DAgimas says:

        dont know but it was easier for me to maintain my weight when I was still in the PH just by sweating a lot by just walking

  21. NHerrera says:

    Although, it is partly touched in the blog — by way of a sound mind in a sound body — I am wondering if, in general, humans have a TOTAL mind fitness bank and body fitness bank that is relatively constant. Meaning for example extremes in both mind fitness bank and body fitness bank is rare or outliers — especially as this is constrained by the direction of our activities or career if you like. More likely a high in one has the complement of low in the other.

    An example: Einstein or the astrophysicist Hawkins had/has extremely fit mind, an exemplary mind fitness bank and low body fitness bank. On the other hand the great ballet dancers and sportsmen have high body fitness banks but may have relatively low mind fitness bank. In short, what I am saying is that because of activities that lead us in one direction a high in one results in a relative low in the other. Will Villanueva as manifested from his several blogs and his present one is rare in having relatively high fitness bank in the two areas. I wish I have that capability.

    In my case although I can still do relatively brisk walking daily, if I want to, I am giving priority to the care of the fitness bank of the other kind.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Wow, NHerrera! I’ll print this and show this to my family when it’s Kill Will time. My intensity in both areas sometimes make me fit to be crucified. My toast to you: I wish that when I am your age, I’ll be as kind, wise and loving. Let’s drink to that.

      • NHerrera says:

        Yes, let us drink to that. Joe’s Blogsite and the articles and comments here keep the grey matter in shape and working.

    • Wow, sir NH, I’m glad to hear that you can still do relatively brisk walking daily. And it shows that you do care for the mind fitness bank as well, your posts are a model for clarity and sense with no typo error at all, much like sir edgar and the others here. Congratulations!

  22. An interesting exchange in FB group Netizens Coalition Against Binay (NETCAB): an excerpt of reactions to Will’s FB status message which I re posted in various FB groups…Giancarlo participated in the early part of this discussion:

    Dred del Rosario: Nope. Because I know where I stand, Rey. I’m from Davao and works at the Boy Scouts of the Phil for 23 yrs and was the only employee of the national office Manila who didn’t vote for Binay when he ran for VP,, now would you still question my credibility?

    Dred del Rosario: Ok coz try to check whose the secretary general of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines now and a dummy of VP Binay at HUDCC and BSP, he was the one who affixed his signature for the sale of Alphaland after it was negotiated with VM mercado for the rent,,, Wendell Avisado is the secretary gen and a close friend and political ally of Duterte and his 4 term city administrator of davao city

    Rey Vergara: Holistic progress will never be achieved if there are public servants who perceive government positions as their means of living. squint emoticon

    Dred del Rosario: Agree that’s why Digong Duterte is silent or near silent about Binay’s corruption

  23. Marius de Jess says:

    You are writing in Joe America blog, but you are not Joe America, and I thought that you are Joe America, or are you?

    I came to this Joe America blog while looking for a critical thinking society in the Philippines, if any exists at all.

    Then I came to your post, and I like it very much.

    Fact is I am a senior citizen: male, 78 years old, healthy and active, and I am working on the idea for all us senior citizens with some substantial financial resources to get together to live as a community, we will take care of ourselves.

    I have two kids on their own, they are I don’t blame them too busy with their own concerns: meaning happiness, pleasure, ambitions, etc., to be the way I see sincerely having me in their heart and mind — if you get what I mean.

    That is why when I think about it, what senior citizens should do for themselves, we must put our resources together to take care of ourselves, in terms of health, material needs, and emotional vicissitudes, namely, how to not be lonely, etc.

    I live by himself in a self-owned condominium unit for already six years since my wife passed away.

    I congratulate you for having still your wife and she you.

    What do you say, about my idea of us senior citizens forming a community to take care of each other; you see, you want to be part of society but society does not need you and they don’t want you around: so, if you are not careful you end up playing what they want you act like, out of sight and out of mind from their part.

    Think about it.

  24. Bill In Oz says:

    Wilfredo, I did dome wider searching of older posts on Joe Am and found this one. It is a subject close to my heart as I am 69. And I wish to prevent the aging process as much as I can. And that includes heart disease. And at a wild guess many of the folks reading & commenting here are in that same situation even you Joe.

    Recently I saw a reference to the research work of Dr Lester Morrison in the USA in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He discovered that a cheap supplement Chondroitin Sulfate can help restore our arteries and heart function. His 1973 research study into Cardio vascular disease treated with Chondroitin sulfate as reprinted online :
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/17vsix1d1qbctft/morrison1973.pdf?dl=0

    A life saving supplement that has been completely ignored and forgotten about despite being researched for many years by Morrison in the 1960-70’s . Ignored because there is no money for pharmaceutical companies, in a natural supplement that cannot be patented. Ignored an forgotten by doctors as it an over the counter purchase rather than purchased via a prescription ?

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