Thursday, November 23, 2017

Philcare's ER Vantage: Affordable Emergency Care for All

With the goal of making sure every Filipino can get adequate healthcare services, Philcare has come up with ER Vantage prepaid cards. Somehow, this takes away one's worries of increased hospitalization costs, especially during  times of emergencies.  It is Philcare's initiative and effort to reach out to more Filipinos who still can't afford to have their HMO coverage. 

Philcare's ER Vantage cards are both available for adults and kids.

Cliche as it may sound, but while it is true that nowadays, it is indeed, "Bawal magkasakit." Ironically, based on a survey, only 4% of Filipinos enjoy HMO coverage and most of them get such benefits from their employers. Unfortunately, for the typical hard-working Pinoys, they aren't simply prepared if and when a major health crisis does occur. 

I am speaking based on my family's own personal experience back in the summer of 2014, where me and my mom suffered from an ATV vehicular accident in an adventure theme park in Porac, Pampanga. Since I am working freelance, I did not have an HMO to begin with. It was truly heartbreaking going through that ordeal and because I did not know where could I get all the expenses needed for my Mom's hospitalization and operation since she has fractured her femur during that accident. I remember I had to knock on the hearts of people in order for us to get by. Looking back now, I regret not getting an HMO or at least a prepaid health card like Philcare's ER Vantage. 

ER Vantage Plus prepaid cards are available in ward, semi-private and private

Medical costs can be very expensive. In case of health setbacks, you need to have the right financial solutions so you can focus on recovering as soon as possible. 

When you're sure that your health is covered, you can focus more on the most important aspect: your own recovery.

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

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