Violence against women in Cebu on the rise

Whenever I hear about women who are victims in domestic abuse cases, my initial reaction used to be to wonder why these women allowed themselves to become victims. Why don’t they fight back? If not physically – which is harder for obvious reasons – then legally, where they have a fighting chance. One violent incident, one punch, should be enough for them to pack up their bags and their kids … Continue reading Violence against women in Cebu on the rise

What and why APEC? (My version of APEC for Dummies)

My favourite coffee shop is the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (CBTL), not because of their coffee but because I absolutely adore their Banana Chocolate Muffin. It’s flakey on the outside and moist on the inside. You can really taste the banana goodness in it. I never really realised how perfect a pair banana and chocolate makes until I took a bite of this muffin.

CBTL is “born and brewed” in California, USA. Other American enterprises that have become popular among Filipinos are Krispy Kreme, Starbucks, Forever 21, among others. One of the reasons why these American companies, and other foreign-based ones, were able to set up shop here in the Philippines is because of trade agreements such as those discussed during APEC Meetings.


APEC stands for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). There are 21 member-economies under APEC: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United States of America, and Vietnam. Continue reading “What and why APEC? (My version of APEC for Dummies)”

The Peso That Will Expire in 2016

If you’re a Filipino residing in the Philippines, I do hope you know by now that Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is retiring or “demonetizing” a set of Philippine peso bills starting 2016. If you know this already, then good for you. You can stop reading at this point and go back to whatever it was that you were doing before you stumbled in here.

But if this is the first time you’ve heard of this, good thing you’re here then. It’s no luck that you’re reading this post. It’s meant to be. Because this post will save you a lot of frustration, not to mention embarrassing situations, if January 1, 2016 rolls around and you are blissfully unaware that some of the bills in your wallet is no longer of any value.

Imagine this: you handing over your payment to the Starbucks barista only to be told that your money is no good. It’s basically just a piece of paper, because the bills you gave belong to the set that has been demonetized. That’s like the waiter returning your credit card because the card was denied after it was swiped. Embarrassing, right?

Continue reading “The Peso That Will Expire in 2016”

Championing the cause for a rabies-free Philippines

I’m now in the last leg of the three-part session of the Communicating Health Advocacy Mentorship Program (CHAMP) conducted by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Being a huge animal lover, this was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss, even if February has been quite the most toxic month for me in terms of event schedules at work. Rabies continues to be a public health concern, and … Continue reading Championing the cause for a rabies-free Philippines

Stop using LPG-refilled butane canisters!

Are you one of those who are using butane camping stoves? You know, those portable ones that are meant to be used during outdoor campings? Like this: These stoves are fast becoming popular in households across the region. It’s small and portable, easy to use, and cooking on it is a breeze. Plus it runs on butane fuel which are sold in canisters that you … Continue reading Stop using LPG-refilled butane canisters!

‘Turn sex tourists into ex-tourists’

Whenever I see on TV news reports of children abused by strangers or family members, I think of how hard it must be being a parent these days. Especially for parents who work and have to leave their kids with babysitters or other people, or when the children start going to school or get old enough to leave home and live their own lives. Not … Continue reading ‘Turn sex tourists into ex-tourists’

Mega Cebu Candidates Forums: Issues, not debates

The 2013 mid-term elections have come and gone. Did your candidates win? Mine mostly didn’t. But then I wasn’t able to exercise my right to suffrage this year (unfortunately!) for valid reasons.  Voting in Dumaguete would have meant me missing our Hatol ng Bayan election coverage in Cebu. I’m still a registered voter in Dumaguete City, although my name might have been dropped from the … Continue reading Mega Cebu Candidates Forums: Issues, not debates

Silliman Hall: A piece of New York City in Dumaguete

Silliman Hall: From New York to Dumaguete

The picture above is the ground floor of Silliman Hall. This hall is the crown jewel of the oldest building in Silliman University built in 1904. And this is the closest I’ll get to touching a piece – or pieces – of New York City. According to university president Dr. Ben Malayang, the materials used for the hall’s ornate ceilings, elegant columns, and checkered tile … Continue reading Silliman Hall: From New York to Dumaguete