Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Depression is a potentially deadly disease but we can fight against it


Life is full of ironies. Three years ago, when comedian Robin Williams hanged himself to end his suffering from drug addiction and chronic depression, everyone got the shock of their lives.  It was but a tragic way to bid his life goodbye. Despite of the glamour and glitz of Hollywood, Williams, who had rose to fame by making people laugh on his films chose to end his life by putting off his "jolly" mask and showing everyone his true emotions. This reminds me of Britney Spears' song entitled "Lucky". The said song rings true to Williams' life, it clearly states that despite the Hollywood fame, there's something missing in his life. Once the spotlights went off, he'd find himself alone and lonely. When he's all by himself, that's when depression creeps into him. 

"The truth shouts: No one is spared from depression."


Depression, a frequently misunderstood illness, seems to get media attention only when it's associated with a celebrity's death by suicide, or a celebrity makes controversial remarks about it. 

In the Philippines, depression was on the news because of now controversial remarks by comedian, TV host, and actor Joey De Leon. The veteran comedian gave such an insensitive remark that irked the public. He said: "Yung depression, gawa-gawa lang ng mga tao iyan. Gawa nila sa sarili nila." (Depression is something people make up. Something they do to themselves.) De Leon has since issued a public apology, explaining that he had wrong ideas about depression and that he was sorry for trivializing the pain of those suffering from it. 

There will really be times when we'd feel that the world will crumble before us. Personally speaking, I've had the worst time this year after having gone through a narcissistic relationship with my ex. So it's understandably so that for quite sometime, I really went through depression because at the time I really thought everything was my fault. I felt so worthless after i was devalued and then eventually discarded by him. But clinging on to God's promises, I know all these things shall pass. If it's not okay today, it's not yet the end. Eight months had passed since he left me hanging and totally left me as he blocked me off his life. I thank God for giving me the strength to carry on and I thank my family, my friends, and fellow bloggers for all the help and inspiration. It's true that there are still times when I feel sorry for myself, but still I am blessed to have been alive and enjoy the company of my loved ones. 




According to ManilaMed psychiatirst Tomas Bautista, MD, it's not surprising for someone like Joey De Leon to make incorrect, or even insensitive statements about depression, which is still a widely misunderstood and even stigmatized disease.

It’s a wake-up call. Persons like Joey de leon, whom we thought ay educated, ay wala palang alam sa depression. That’s one. Two, kasalanan ba ni Joey yun? E hindi naman niya specialty ang psychiatry.

So for his part, wag na sana siyang makialam sa mga bagay na hindi naman siya ang expert. Ayoko siyang i-bash. Kung tingin nya na-hurt niya ang mga depressed na tao then humingi siya ng tawad. Para naman sa akin, wake-up call talaga yun for everybody,” said Dr. Bautista. 

What depression means?


Dr. Bautista clarified that the word “depression” means two things. Usually, like Joey De Leon, many people think depression refers to the low, bad feeling we get when we go through loss, defeat, or feel frustration; the pain of separation, or loneliness.

In that sense, every person can get depression.  This type of depression can get really intense for example, when a loved one dies and a person grieves.

“ Pag nonpathological na depression, yes. Kasi ang depression is like you become depressed because you didn’t get what you want. Something happened that you didn’t expect. You lost somebody. May stages naman ang grieving, diba? End part ng grieving is depression and then acceptance na,” said Dr. Bautista.

This type of depression, no matter how intense or painful, eventually passes. It goes away, the person goes back to normal and moves on with his or her life.

This is not the case with pathological depression, which is not simply a bad feeling but an illness in the brain.  It can last weeks, months, years, or even a lifetime. If untreated, there is an increased likelihood that the depressed person may commit suicide.

Miss Asia Pacific International Returns



Forty-two beautiful women from different nationalities are vying for the much coveted crown in the search for the Miss Asia Pacific International 2017.  Hailed as the oldest beauty pageant in Asia, Miss Asia Pacific International began in as early as the 1960's. The good news is that it is now under a new ownership and management so we can all be assured there will be changes as well as more rooms for improvement. 


Purple Plum Fairy recently came to Edsa Shangrila Hotel to cover the press presentation of the Miss Asia Pacific 2017 candidates. The Miss Asia Pacific International 2017 is looking for women who would want to be the voice of beauty and harmony in diversity. They aim to empower women and to embrace and exercise their individuality, as well as encourage them to respect and appreciate themselves with confidence. This is not just another beauty pageant – this is a program that hopes to create ambassadors that ignite positive change in the global community.


Event's host Sam YG with Miss Asia pacific International 2016 winner Tessa Helena Le Conge from the Netherlands

Miss Asia Pacific International was in hiatus for a decade and was re-launched last year with the 22-year old Tessa Helena Le Conge from the Netherlands who emerged as the winner. The event took place at the renowned Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Now she is back in the country to turn-over the title and the spearheading of the organization’s advocacy to the next MAPI queen.

Miss Asia pacific International 2016 winner Tessa Helena Le Conge from the Netherlands 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

HIV/AIDS amongst the Youth: An Alarming Reality and What We Can Do About It?


Purple Plum Fairy recently attended a round-table discussion on HIV and AIDS held at the Manila Medical Center(ManilaMed) Hospital with no less than Dr. Rontegene Solante, Infectious Disease Specialist. This initiative from ManilaMed is with regards to the 2016 National Study on the State of HIV Epidemic. 
Dr. Solante with the members of the media and Purple Plum Fairy herself.

As one of the country’s leading hospitals, ManilaMed is taking the lead on the issue of urban health, seeing that there is a need to address it in the midst of rapid urbanization and gentrification. I was surprised to find out that HIV had not only become prevalent amongst adults but more so with the youngsters. Yes, you’re reading these facts correctly. The youth aged 15-24 accounted for all new HIV diagnoses according to Dr. Solante based on a recent study by the Department of Health. 
Dr. Rontgene Solante, Infectious Diseases Specialist, Manila Medical Hospital (ManilaMed)

According to Dr. Solante, most of those new diagnoses amongst the youth (roughly about 81%) occurred among gay and bisexual males. Most likely out of any age group will be linked to care and have a suppressed viral load (that is, having a very low level of the virus in the body, which helps the person stay healthy and greatly reduces the risk of transmitting HIV to others). Addressing HIV in youth requires that we give young people the information and tools they need to reduce their risk, make healthy decisions, and get treatment and care if needed.

Mama Sita Foundation and Ateneo Celebrate Ilocano Cuisine and Crafts

Sweet Potato is the highlight of the night

Who would've thought that the mere Sweet Potato or locally known root crop Camote would be the highlight of the night when the Ateneo de Manila's students of SA 157: Introduction to Cultural Heritage under Fernando N. Zialcita, recently organized a special dinner featuring Ilocano cuisine? Camote was served in different ways that night. I never even thought there were a lot of other ways we could serve our good 'ol camote aside from having it boiled as it is or as camote cue.



Ilocanos are vegetable lovers


Ilocanos are known for their love for vegetables and root crops. They're vegetable-loving people and they would only include meats during special occasions where they serve some of the most popular Ilocano meat dishes such as igado, bagnet, dinardaraan, among many others. But then, these dishes are reserved for fiestas but aren't served during ordinary days. 


Ilocano Recipes for a Warmer Planet

Monday, November 6, 2017

Rediscovering Old Manila with the United Architects of the Philippines Makati for World Architecture Day




Finally. I was able to sit down and write so now I'd like to share with you my recent experience on rediscovering old Manila through the United Architects of the Philippines Makati Chapter in partnership with Walk With Chan and Philippine Post Office. 

My apologies it had taken me quite sometime before i was able to come up with this blog post. Anyway, this Crossover Manila Walking tour was organized in celebration of the World Architecture Day last month. Through the kindness and invitation of my good friend, Rence Chan who has partnered with UAP-Makati for this Old Manila tour, we immediately said yes and were excited to revisit Intramuros, The Philippine Post Office, Escolta, and Binondo. 


The facade of the Philippine Post office as captured by the camera.


After years of merely passing by the facade of this glorious Philippine Post Office building, (I used to watch it from the safe distance in Plaza Lawton way back in college), the opportunity was finally ripe for us to explore its inner workings. Decades after decades of being overlooked, the iconic Philippine Post Office never really lost its grandeur. It somehow got the retrofitting it deserves. It was such a great experience to see that during out visit one of the gargoyles on the top of the building's columns were spouting water because there was a typhoon during our visit and it was raining. Too bad though, I only had with me my mobile camera, so i wasn't able to take a good shot of it. (You actually need a good DSLR camera for you to be able to capture its beauty). Nevertheless, the old Manila Post Office despite some of its paint peeling off and a few flooded areas, continue to stand amidst the rise of technology. 

Manila Central Post office from afar

Even if the said building fades from its former architectural glory, it was a delight to know that contrary to what some people believe, it's not entirely an urban decay. People still do send tangible letters to their loved ones. In fact, the Philpost has also opened new services sch as Bayadcenter. Yes, you can now pay your bills by going to the Philpost. We were so lucky to be given a tour of the Philippine Post Office building. But since we had a very limited time due to the many itineraries that day, we had to do it really fast. One thing I had learned, Philpost is a story of Hope: as it embarks on a lot of restoration. It also captures the imagination of the younger generation, particularly the so-called millenials, most of them were not even born yet during its heyday. 


We were also introduced to its rich history as well as its legacy. Ms. Arlene Labao, project officer for the Philately Collection and Museum Division was the one in-charge to tour us around. She also taught the milennials on how to write on postcards while Mr. Renaldo Ong, Philippine Philatelic Federation President also brought with him and showed us his rich stamp collections, some of them are really rare ones. He was also game enough to answer all the queries on stamp collecting. 

With the said Walk with Chan tour, my nephew Kyle, with his infectious optimism said having seen the insides of the Philpost, he confessed that he has fallen in love with the structure. As for its stories, the two hours of touring it isn't enough to share with you both the eerie and the good parts of it. 

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