Saturday, September 23, 2006


This week marks the beginning of the Philippine leg of oriental shrike (locally known as tibas) migration. I have been observing the birds since Monday (6 days ago) when first I heard one eeekkk-eeekkk-eeekkkk.

By this time, it should be early-morning cacophony of shrikes screaming all around.

Bird flu??

Thursday, February 16, 2006


[This is a response to the post below - Mactanman]

Right on....You should cc the city and provincial gov'ts.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


A local television show last night had a long segment on penis enlargement. The procedure is now an established practice (illegal and nonmedical) done by injecting silicone into the penis to enlarge the organ.

Shock of all shocks! This is being done in the kitchen of some typical poor person's household, under local anesthetics, using toothbrush handle for dissection, and injection of hardware-grade silicone grease through a syringe-and-rubber tube contraption.

Predictably, infections are already happening.

In my practice, I already have come across patients who lost their nose, breasts and buttocks from these practices.

I often lecture in hospital grand rounds and in major medical conventions. One of the topics that never get old is competency issues in platic surgery. I point out over and over again that anytime one violates the skin, that is already a medical practice under the existing law of the land (Philippine Medical Act of 1959). And only licensed physicians are allowed to practice medicine.

Yet, we see these businesses everyday all over. In the malls. Advertised on TV. Clearly all medical practices by non-physicians, yet they go on and on with their illegal practices without fear of prosecution.

In the Penis Enlargement TV program last night, an officer from CIDG (Criminal Intelligence and Detection Group, the Philippine National Police) said that these practicioners cannot be prosecuted because there are no complainants.

Well, duh! Who is going to go to a police station and complain that his penis fell off!?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


First, for the benefit of those outside the Philippines, Ultra stampede happened 10 days ago on a Saturday, when poverty-stricken people rushed to enter a game show venue, each one carrying the hope of getting out of poverty by getting lucky on the show. People were lining up and holding their position for up to a week before the show!

Second, for the benefit of those outside the USA, Monday-morning quaterbacking is "knowing" what and what not to do in situations that already happened. The term is derived from the popular American football (NFL) which is played during the season mainly on Sundays. The quaterback is the offensive leader of the team - he is the one who "knows" what and what not to do.

The Ultra stampede killed 76 people. More than 600 were injured. Less than 24 hours after the tragedy media savvy people parked themselves in front of the TV cameras and embarked on Monday-morning quaterbacking that still happens today, 10 days after. Points and counterpoints often throw in the term "Monday-morning quaterbacking".

So, I hope that this blog enlightens the confused Filipinos when the TV anchors and reporters and spin doctors utter the word.

Oh! By the way, there are disasters waiting to happen in and around Mactan. Please refer to this blog. When any of these happen and it turns out disaster response is inept, we're not Monday-morning quaterbacking.

Saturday, December 24, 2005


Lapu-Lapu Times wishes you
Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 25, 2005


DILG Secretary Angelo Reyes during a pep talk to the TMG people after the infamous Ortigas shoot out: "Habulin ang mga kriminal! Bring them to justice!"

Good idea!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Last week, Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP) reported that between January and October of 2005, there were 51,439 road accidents. I do not know if this is Metro Manila alone or the whole Philippines. At any rate, this is the highest incidence of vehicular accidents in Asia (maybe the whole world?). The representative from AAP was babbling about the many causes.

Well, duh! There is only one cause, the drivers do not know the rules of the road. Specifically, they do not know what right-of-way means. Why? In some places, fixers will take care of one acquiring a license. There are no manuals distributed nor sold to the driver applicants. Places without fixers...written test? The answers are given to the applicants without them reading the questions at all (The test is in English; I do not know what percentage of the applicants can even comprehend the questions). Practical test? I do not know if it is ever given at all.

A common scenario: Truck A is cruising on a two-way street , comes to a blind curve , and suddenly faces Multicab B right in the middle of his lane, passing Multicab C. Then, smack! Head on collision. Driver of Multicab B dies; driver of Truck A goes to jail.

Why does driver of Truck A go to jail? When you ask the arresting officer, "homicide through reckless imprudence". Who is reckless? Who is imprudent? They should put the body in jail instead of the driver of Truck A, who was in his lane, has the right of way, and absolutely has nothing that he could do to avoid the demise of the Multicab B driver.

A host of other scenarios happen every day. Again, either one or both drivers did not know what right-of-way means.