Author Archives: Zofia Leal

College students

Bakit hindi dapat tanggalin ang Filipino bilang asignatura sa kolehiyo?

Tuesday, 15 July 2014 | Written by
College students

College studentsNoong Hunyo 28, 2013, inilabas ng Commission on Higher on Education (CHED) and CHED Memorandum Order No. 20 o ang “General Education Curriculum: Holistic Understandings, Intellectual and Civic Competencies.” Batay sa , hindi na ituturo ang Filipino bilang asignatura sa kolehiyo kapag naipatupad na ang programang K to 12 sa 2016.  Tinalakay ng nasabing memorandum ang pagpasok ng General Education Courses sa Grade 11 at 12 kung saan kabilang dito ang Filipino.

Dalawang taon pa bago ito maipatupad ngunit marami nang mga grupo at indibidwal ang nagpahayag ng pagtutol dito. Ayon kina John Kelvin Briones at David Michael San Juan ng De La Salle University-Manila, kahit ang lenggwaheng pinili para sa pagsusulat ng CHED Memo No. 20 ay taliwas sa nakasaad na mandato ng CHED na magbigay ng mga gabay pang-edukasyon na tumutugon sa pangangailangan ng mga mamamayan at ng lipunan.

“Ang halos buong CMO ay nasa wikang Ingles, isang wikang banyaga at hindi ginagamit ng nakararaming mamamayan pang-araw-araw na komunikasyon. Sa simula pa lamang ay kitang-kita na ang malawak na agwat ng mga tagabalangkas ng patakarang pang-edukasyon na Ingles ang wikang gamit, at ng mga mamamayang Pilipino wikang pambansa at/o mga wikang rehiyunal ang gamit,”saad nila Briones at San Juan.

Ang wikang Filipino sa kurikulum

Taong 1937 nang inirekomenda ng Institute of National Language na gawing batayan para sa wikang pambansa ang Tagalog, alinsunod sa nakasaad na kinakailangang magkaroon ng wikang pambansa sa 1935 Philippine Constitution.

Sinundan ito ang paglalabas ni dating Pangulong Manuel L. Quezon ng Executive Order No. 263 noong Abril 12, 1940 na naguutos na isama sa kurikulum ng lahat ng pampubliko at pribadong paaralan ang pagtuturo ng wikang pambansa. Alinsunod nito, naglabas naman ang Secretary of Public Instruction ng Bureau of Education Circular No. 26, s. 1940 na ang pagtuturo ng wikang pambansa ay ipapatupad sa fourth year ng high school at second year sa mga pampubliko at pribadong teacher-training institutions.

Sa pagdating ng mga mananakop na Hapon, ginawang Tagalog ang medium of instruction at pagdating ng 1943 ay itinakda ng Executive Order No. 10 ni dating Pangulong Laurel ang pagtuturo ng pambansang wika maski sa elementarya.

Nagbago ang ganitong patakaran nang bumalik ang mga Amerikano at ginawang pangunahing medium of instruction ang Ingles at ginawa na lamang asignatura ang Tagalog. Nanatili ang ganitong sistema kahit pa nagkaroon ng mga bagong patakaran sa wika ang mga sumunod na kagawaran sa edukasyon sa paglipas ng panahon.

Ang kolonyal na edukasyon na ito ang dahilan na tinukoy ni national artist Bienvenido Lumbera kung bakit pilit na tinatanggal ang Filipino bilang asignatura sa kolehiyo.

“Kaya’t ang mga nasa otoridad na nasa sistema ng edukasyon na gumagawa ng patakaran ay pawang mga produkto ng isang kolonyal na edukasyon. Ingles ang kanilang wika nang sila ay mag-aral, at hindi kataka taka na ang edukasyon sa Pilipinas na pinamamahalaan ng ating mga otoridad ay laging humahanay sa mga taga-kanluran ang sistema ng edukasyon na gusto nating pantayan,” saad ni Lumbera.

Tinukoy din ni Lumbera na ang programang K to 12 ay sumusunod lamang sa “isang globalized system of thinking” na hindi sapat ang edukasyon sa Pilipinas dahil sa kulang ito ng dalawang taon. Aniya, hindi na kailangang kumbinsihin pa ang mga otoridad na kailangang pantayan ang sistema ng edukasyon ng mga dayuhan dahil sila mismo ay produkto ng sistemang kolonyal.

Bakit mahalaga ang asignaturang Filipino?

Sa panayam ng bulatlat.com sa iba’t ibang propesor ng Filipino sa mga unibersidad, tinukoy ang mga dahilan kung bakit hindi dapat tanggalin ang nasabing asignatura sa kolehiyo.

Ayon kay San Juan, ang Filipino 2 sa senior high school ay nakatuon lamang sa pagsusulat samantalang ang nasa kolehiyo at pinag-aaralan ang pagsusulat pagbabasa.

“Kailangang malaman na ang pagtuturo ng Filipino sa general eduation curriculum sa kolehiyo ay kaiba sa track-based approach ng Filipino sa senior high school,” ani San Juan. Idinagdag niya na maski ang kulturang Filipino, panitikan, wika at lipunan ay kasama sa tinuturo sa kolehiyo. Naniniwala si San Juan na mas angkop na pag-aralan ang mga pambansang isyu sa sariling wika. Kapag tinanggal ang Filipino, mawawalan ng pagkakataon na pagusapan ang mga nasabing isyu at magiging socially conservative ang mga mag-aaral pag dating ng panahon.

Ayon naman kay Dr. Antonio Contreras ng DLSU, mas mabilis matuto ang mga mag-aaral kung Filipino ang ginagamit na medium of instruction dahil naiitindihan nila ang lenggwahe.

Sinang-ayunan ito ni Dr. Ernesto Carandang III, tagapangulo ng Filipino Department sa DLSU. “Hindi matatanggal ang Filipino sa kolehiyo dahil ang mga graduate ay nakikipag-usap pa rin sa Filipino,” saad ni Carandang.

Para naman kay Marvin Lai, tagapangulo ng Department of Filipinology sa Polytechnic University of the Philippines, ang pagtatanggal sa Filipino bilang asignatura sa kolehiyo ay katulad ng pagtatanggal sa identidad ng mamamayang Pilipino.

“Naniniwala ang mga guro sa Filipino, na ang wikang Filipino ay wika ng mga intelektwal. Kapag hindi naipapahayag ng mga kolehiyo o ng propesyunal na nililikha ng unibersidad, hindi nila makikita na ang wikang Filipino ang magiging instrumento ng kanilang pagkatao,” sabi ni Lai.

Tanggol Wika

Noong Hunyo 21, nagsamasama ang mahigit 300 na propesor at mag-aaral mula sa 43 unibersidad at kolehiyo para itatag ang Alyansa ng mga Tagapagtanggol ng Wikang Filipino (Tanggol Wika)

Panawagan ng Tanggol Wika ang sumusunod:

  1. Panatilihin ang pagtuturo ng asignaturang Filipino sa bagong General Education Curriculum (GEC) sa kolehiyo.
  2. Rebisahin ang Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum Order 20 series of 2013.
  3. Gamiting ang wikang Filipino sa pagtuturo ng iba’t ibang asignatura.
  4. Isulong ang makabayang edukasyon.

Dagdag pa, sinasabi ng grupo na ang pagtatanggal sa asignatura ay magdudulot ng malawakang pagkawala ng trabaho ng umaabot sa 10,000 full time at 20,000 part time na mga guro.

Sa kasalukuyan, mayroong petisyon ang Tanggol Wika sa change.org.

All Men Must Die

Why ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 4 Finale is the best yet

Friday, 4 July 2014 | Written by
All Men Must Die

*Warning: Spoilers abound. 

GoT logoThe Game of Thrones Season 4 is over and fans are now left to fend for themselves until the next season comes along. It will still take us a year before we can have our Arya or Daenerys fix once again, so let us just console ourselves by dissecting why this season’s final episode is the best one yet.

The final episode of Season 1 gave us dragons; Season 2 had us scared with the White Walkers and Season 3 has us calling our own mothers “Mhysa”. So what did the Season 4 finale gave us? Well, everything.

Children of the Forest

For the first time, we finally meet the Children of the Forest. North of the wall, Bran Stark, Hodor, Meera and Jojen Reed finally arrive at their destination. When they were attacked by zombie-like beings that came from the ground, it was a child-like creature that came to their rescue. After leaving an injured Jojen and retreating to safety, Bran asked who the girl is.

“The First Men called us the Children, but we were born long before them,” the creature replied.

GoT charactersThis is an interesting development as we could now expect to see more of the Children in Season 5, provided that they do not go MIA as Drogon has for the past episodes this season.

Bran also gets to meet the three-eyed raven, now in the form of an old man, who told him that while he may not be able to walk again, he will fly.

For more about the Children of the Forest, here is a quick guide:

Lannister vs Lannister

After Joffrey, Tywin is probably the most hated Lannister and the season ender just gave us what we wanted.

The man who thought himself to be above everyone else died in the loo with his pants down, killed by no other than his most-hated offspring – now that’s poetic justice. Never mind that Tyrion will be as far away to King’s Landing as possible by next season, his willful killing of Tywin cemented his place among the top bad ass characters in GoT, if he wasn’t already.

Watch the difference in Tyrion’s expressions when he killed Shae and Twyin here.

It is also worth mentioning that the confrontation scene between Cersei and Tywin was inspired and had us rooting for the scheming daughter even for just a little while.

The strength of Stannis

Stannis Baratheon has always been referred to as a great military commander. However, this particular skill is not really highlighted in the series with the exception of the Battle of the Blackwater. Throughout the season, Stannis would either be whining at Melisandre or on a debate with Ser Davos Seaworth.

Alas, the finale showed us a glimpse of the military prowess of Stannis when they attacked Mance and the wildlings outside the Wall. The formation was superb and even Stannis’ and Davos’ synchronized dismounting of their horses was an amazing sight. Watch the scene here.

It is important to note that given the army and the money that Stannis now has, he still chose to attack Mance and not immediately marched to King’s Landing. We will just have to wait for Season 5 to see how Stannis’ battle plan works out.

Daenerys’ weakness

This might not come as a surprise given the fact that the dragons seemed to be burning up a lot of corpses while Daenerys and her army is stationed in Meereen, but when they were finally chained up, it was still heart breaking.

With Drogon missing, Daenerys chains up Viserion and Rhaegal to prevent them from causing more damage. You can almost feel Daenery’s pain when the two dragons cried out after being chained.

‘Valar Morghulis’

All Men Must DieProbably the most highlighted character in the season finale, Arya Stark is off to Braavos.

Not knowing who Brienne is after she successfully injured the Hound, Arya chose to travel alone and while her first option was to go back to Winterfell, Braavos seemed like a good second choice.

Arya finally got to say “Valar Morghulis” (high Valyrian for “all men must die”), to which the captain replied with “Valar Dohaeris” (all men must serve). For the first time in a long time, Arya was genuinely smiling while at the ship on her way to whatever awaits her at Braavos, a stark (pun intended!) contrast to her stone-cold face when The Hound was asking for mercy killing. If that scene is any indication of what Arya will be, then everyone should be careful not to have their name in her list of people to kill.

Other notable moments of the season finale:

Jon Snow burries Ygritte under a tree.

Jon Snow burries Ygritte under a tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.

Brienne of Tarth vs The Hound

Brienne of Tarth vs The Hound

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

Tyrion and Jaime say good-bye to each other

Tyrion and Jaime say good-bye to each other

*Photos courtesy of Facebook. 

womansbody

[Women's health] Wellness at any age

Sunday, 22 June 2014 | Written by
womansbody

runningBased on research, a woman’s life span reaches about 50 years in the 1900s, but in recent years it has increased to 75 years. Thanks to technological and medical advance and research on health, the total life span of women and men, in general, has increased.

For a woman, it is essential that she maintains a healthy body and mind all throughout her lifetime. From the onset of puberty to her journey to motherhood until reaching her prime age. That is why it is important that every woman understands her body.

To help the ladies know what health problems they should watch out for as they age, here are some of the common illnesses a woman may experience once or throughout her life.

womansbody

Age 20

Dysmenorrhea (severe menstrual pain). At the onset of a woman’s monthly period, she can experience mild to severe discomfort. According to Medline Plus, a woman experience lower abdominal pain, back pain or a sharp aching pain that comes and goes. Pain killers are usually taken to ease the pain.

Endometriosis. This is a health disorder that occurs when there is an abnormal growth of cells in the uterus in other parts of the body. Endometriosis is more common than cancer and AIDS. It is among the three major causes of female infertility.

Migraine. Migraine is a disorder characterized by repeated attacks of severe headache as defined by HealthLine.com.

STD. Younger women engage in sexual intercourse either with the opposite sex or with the same sex. Among the STDs common in women, especially those who have multiple sex partners include Chlamydia, yeast infection, gonorrhea and syphilis.

Urinary Tract Infection. Because women have shorter urethra, bacteria and germs move up easier to their bladders, making them more susceptible to acquiring UTI. Common symptoms of UTI include painful or burning sensation during urination, pain in the lower belly, cloudy and red urine color, fever and chills.

Diabetes. Although diabetes can be acquired in any age, an estimated 1.3 of women from 18-44 years old suffer from this health problem. Pregnant women are at a high risk of developing gestational diabetes.

Lupus. Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that affects mostly women in their childbearing years (15-44).  The immune system creates antibodies which sometimes attack and destroy healthy tissues. This results to inflammation, pain and damage in the body. Women are six to 10 times more likely to acquire lupus compare to men.

active life

30’s

Cervical Cancer. Half of all cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed between the ages of 35 and 55 years. It is recommended that women should start getting a pelvic exam and pap smear at the age of 21 or three years after becoming sexually active.

Breast Cancer. Studies showed that less than two percent of breast cancers are diagnosed in women under age 34. Aside from monthly self-breast exams, women should have a mammography every three years or if not, at least a doctor or gynecologist should do the exam.

Obesity. As you grow older each year, your metabolism slows down. Without proper diet and regular exercise, you become prone to excessive weight gain. Abdominal obesity is central to the metabolic syndrome and is strongly related to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Height, weight and body mass index (BMI) including waist circumference determines if you are overweight. If that’s the case, you are at a higher risk of acquiring other health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

Uterine fibroids.  This is the most common non-cancerous tumors in women. There is still no known cause of uterine fibroids but their growth depend on the estrogen level of a woman. This tend to shrink after menopause, when the female hormone levels decrease.

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40s

Hypertension. High blood pressure can lead to other serious illnesses such as kidney disease, stroke and heart disease. Be sure to under medical check-up at least every two years.

Multiple sclerosis. Women are two to three times more affected by this autoimmune condition wherein the body’s immune cells attack the nervous system. MS patients experience muscle spasms, numbness and difficulty walking. This occurs between the ages 20-50.

Gallstones. Gallstones are three to four times more common in women than in men. These are solid particles that form from bile in the gallbladder. They are most common among overweight, middle-aged woman as well as women on birth control pills.

Female sexual dysfunction. This usually occurs after menopause. It may be one of the following: low sexual desire, sexual arousal disorder, orgasmic disorder or sexual pain disorder.

Myocardial infarctions. Commonly known as heart attack, this condition happens when one or more regions of the heart muscle experience a prolonged or severe decrease in oxygen supply caused by blocked blood flow. Within a year following a first MI, at age 40 and older, 23 percent of women die while 43 percent of women of the same age group die within five years.

50s

Stroke. Every 40 seconds someone dies of stroke. When a blood vessel is disrupted, blood will not be able to flow to the brain leads to a stroke. There are two types of stroke: Ischemic stroke which happens when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel and hemorrhagic stroke that occurs when a blood vessel ruptures and bleeds in the brain. In 2005, 3.4 million females out of 5.8 million American suffered a stroke.

Dry eye syndrome. Women are affected by this especially when they suffer from autoimmune diseases like diabetes, arthritis, lupus and Sjogren’s syndrome. This is also more common after menopause because of the hormonal changes in the body.

Rheumatoid arthritis. This is the dreaded joint inflammation with an unknown cause.  The incidence and prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis are two to three times greater in women than men.

Osteoarthritis (OA). This degenerative joint disease is the most common form of arthritis. This cannot be cured but anti-inflammatory medicine or pain-killers can lessen the pain and swelling in the joints. Most of the women develop osteoarthritis in their 50s.

Glaucoma. It is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. In this condition, the eye’s optic nerves are damaged. Females are three times as likely to develop glaucoma as their male counterpart.

60s

Atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries. The hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis can eventually lead to the narrowing and hardening of body arteries. If the arteries of the heart are affected, it is called coronary artery disease.

Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is sometimes called a “silent disease.” As people age bone mass decrease which leads to thinning and weakening of the bones. By age seventy, between 30 and 40 percent of all women have had at least one fracture linked to osteoporosis.

 Urinary incontinence. UI is the involuntary loss of urine. This can happen if your bladder muscles suddenly contract or your sphincter muscles are not strong enough to hold the urine. An estimated 38 percent of women have this condition.

Interstitial cystitis (IC). This is also known as bladder pain syndrome In IC, you will feel the need to urinate more often but with reduced volumes of urine.

Alzheimer’s disease. Among the most common symptom of Alzheimer’s is dementia. Dementia is characterized by loss of brain functions as manifested in memory loss, mood changes, confusion, poor communication or judgment.

There are more diseases that can affect a woman as she ages. It is important to have a regular check up to monitor the health condition. Vaccinations can also lessen the risk of acquiring some of the illnesses. A healthy lifestyle along with proper diet and regular exercise can lower the risk developing diseases.

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Images: Running by The Speaks from Flickr.com. Exercise ball, Vegetables and Woman’s body from Pixabay.com. Some rights reserved. 

The Legal Wife cast

Why is ‘The Legal Wife’ such a hit?

Monday, 9 June 2014 | Written by
The Legal Wife cast
The Legal Wife cast

The Legal Wife cast

Walang sa’yo, Nicole! Akin lang ang asawa ko!” (You don’t own him, Nicole! My husband is mine alone!”

This line is one of the reasons why the primetime television drama The Legal Wife got most of the televiewers at the edge of their seats every night since its airtime.

On January 27, The Legal Wife was launched on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida, a set of local drama aired from 6:00pm until the wee hours of the night. The said soap has been one of the consistent top-rating soaps on primetime TV today. It has even racked up more than 25% of the national TV ratings. On April 24, it hit an all-time national TV rating of 29.2%.  Even netizens talk about it on social media sites, making the drama a regular trending topic on Twitter worldwide.

But why is it such a hit?

The All-star cast

Contributing to its success are the stars who played the different roles in the soap. ABS-CBN was smart enough to put into one TV drama some of the best actors in the local entertainment industry.

Angel Locsin who stars as Monica in the soap, is the most awarded movie actress in 2013. In an article at Starmometer, the 28-year old star bagged 4 best actress award from PMPC Star Awards for Movies, Box-Office Entertainment Awards, FAMAS Awards and Luna Awards of the Film Academy of the Philippines in 2013 for the movie ‘One More Try’. She also starred in ABS-CBN’s hit Lobo and Imortal.

Jericho Rosales or Adrian in the TV drama is a 34-year old award-winning actor. Since he won in Eat Bulaga’s Mr. Pogi in 1996 he became one of good actors of his generation. He starred in ABS-CBN’s top-rated drama Pangako Sa’yo from 2000-2002 as Angelo Buenavista.

Maja Salvador, 25, is also one of ABS-CBN’s sought-after stars today. Starring as Nicole in ‘The Legal Wife,’ Maja has gained positive reviews on her acting skills. In 2013, she played the role of Margaux in the hit series Ina, Kapatid, Anak. Just recently, she ventured into recording as she released her own album with the hit single ‘Dahan-dahan.

Included in the cast are veteran actors Christopher de Leon, Rio Locsin, Mark Gil.

One liner hits and quotable quotes

Watching every episode of the Legal Wife is a well of one liner hits and quotable quotes one wishes to use in their own conversations with family and friends or to their enemies.

“Walang sa’yo, Nicole! Akin lang ang asawa ko!”

This is the prime quotable quote from Monica (Locsin). It was used in trailers before the said primetime drama series hit the television and intrigued the audience. The much-awaited scene between Monica and Nicole can be viewed here:

“Masarap ba ang asawa ko? Sabihin mo, masarap ba?” (Is my husband delicious?)

Another hit line from Monica is the question: “Paano mo siya nilandi? Ano una mong tinanggal? ‘Yang bra mo? ‘Yang panty mo? O ‘yang konsensiya mo?” (How did you seduce him? What did you take off first? Your bra? Your undies? Or your conscience?) when she confronted Nicole at their house. Monica could not contain her anger and emotions and just blurted out all the questions in front of Nicole who said nothing but sorry and admitted her faults.

“Pinapanood kita habang minamahal ka ng lahat…Aaminin ko, inggit na inggit ako sa’yo…” (I was watching you while you were being loved by everyone… I would admit, I was reeking with envy…)

Nicole also had her own set of intense quotable quotes. After she was confronted by Monica, Nicole retorted with lines you can imagine one will say in every same intense girl battle.

Some of her popular lines are the following: “Mas masarap ang cake ko, Adrian. Tikman mo. Ang sarap ‘di ba?” and “Ako ‘yung mali. Ako yung kabit. Ako yung nang-agaw. Ako yung nanira ng pamilya.”

Rowena, Nicoles’s confidante played by Matet de Leon has her own straightforward, funny and witty lines delivered naturally. But despite her best friend’s stubbornness, Rowena remains by her side. This is one of the funniest line from Rowena: “Alam mo, grabe ka. Hindi mo man lang sinabi sa akin na naiwan mo ‘yunng manners mo dito sa bahay. E ‘di sana sinunod ko sa’yo doon!… May tenga ang lupa, may Twitter ang mga bakla. Ayan, trending ka!”

To give you more of Rowena’s funny dialogues, here is a video of the compiled lines from the pambansang best friend:

More cat fight

It is no longer a surprise that the Filipino audience always anticipate the fighting scenes. The rumble between best friends, slapping by the antagonist versus the protagonist, tear-jerker conversations are packaged in The Legal Wife. Even the fight between characters of Christopher de Leon against rival Mark Gil over Rio Locsin adds more reason why we hold up to every scene of  the television drama.

Here are some of the most intense cat fight between Monica and Nicole.

The plot happens in reality

The Legal Wife’s story can happen to anyone, anytime. This is not the first time that the story of marital infidelity is tackled in movies or series. In 2011, the movie No Other Woman revolved around the passionate love triangle between wife-husband and mistress. More films followed with the same theme such as A Secret Affair, The Mistress. But bringing the sensitive issue of adultery on primetime is a big leap to teledrama trends.

Aside from the story of infidelity, the series also presents the issues of sibling rivalry and family feud that are common in the culture of Pinoys.

In addition, every viewer get hooked up with their favorite character in the series because each role are relatable. Some fans, Legalistas, as they are called are for Team Nicole or Team Monica. Most of the housewives, who experienced the same situation or fear that they may experience the same are expected to be at Team Monica’s. While others, though they are not in reality, mistresses, go for Team Nicole because they can feel how hard it is to fall for someone you are not meant to love. Some also empathize with Adrian as the husband who committed a mistake but is willing to correct his wrongdoings.

The Legal Wife is set to air its final episode this Friday, June 13. It is directed by Rory Quintos and Dado Lumibao.

*Photo courtesy of Facebook.

iphone-324781_640

Smart ways to discard old gadgets

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | Written by
iphone-324781_640

 by Zofia Leal

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Every season, new gadgets and devices are released by consumer electronics companies. New kinds of smartphones, laptops, tablets, devices, appliances, among others, are released in the market every so often. With the abundance of innovative gadgets, consumers are more than happy to acquire more.

It’s not surprising that consumers own multiple gadgets while old or replaced gadgets just gather dust inside closets and drawers. Some even throw away unused gadgets. These gadgets and electronic devices contain toxic materials and heavy metals which the environment cannot absorb.

Instead of throwing away your gadgets away or let them pile up in your house, why not dispose it the smart way?

Getting started

Before disposing old gadgets, remember to erase or delete any data and information saved in the device. If you want to keep files like photos, videos, documents and messages, be sure to make a back-up. If disposing of a desktop or laptop, don’t just empty the recycle bin. Make sure that hidden settings and files are also wiped clean.

Here are more reminders:

Cancel any postpaid services for communication devices.

If you do not want to cancel your postpaid service, it is better if you just transfer it to another device. This goes as well for other subscriptions. You can also opt to cancel your subscription for softwares, applications and games.

iphone-324781_640

Back-up your data.

Back-up your data to avoid incidents such as photos, videos and documents being lost or corrupted after wiping the data in your phone and tablet clean. Make sure that you record passwords and license codes in a secure location. Make sure that your back-up copy is complete and working before wiping your device clean.

Remove any external memory drives like SD cards, hard drives, etc. This also applies to appliances and gadgets like TVs and digital cameras which could contain sensitive information like username, Wi-Fi password, etc.

Most devices like phones and tablets can be wiped clean through factory reset while laptops and PCs can be wiped clean by re-formatting with use of an installation CD or a recovery partition like OS X Recovery. It is not enough to delete all unimportant files that are visible. Recovery programs can retrieve those files as well as passwords and account names. Try to overwrite the disk several times.

Disposing of gadgets properly

There are different ways to dispose old or broken gadgets. Usually, consumers swap their old gadgets with new ones. Other consumers sell their old gadgets while others recycle its parts to be used as school projects, emergency battery supply, etc.

Trade-in and swap

Some buy and sell shops offer ‘swap’ or ‘trade-in’ offers where consumers can trade or swap their old cell phones and avail new mobile phones at a discounted price. You may also swap your phones with older models (some stores do not require additional payment). Be aware that traded or swapped gadgets are often second-hand and may have minor problems with the hardware or software.

It’s time to sell it

There are stores that accept broken or damaged gadgets like cellphones, tablets, TVs, CPUs, and the like. These stores scavenge for parts which can be used for repairing or replacing parts of other units. 

Aside from ‘buy and sell stores’, consumers can also sell their old gadgets online. Check out olx.com.ph, ayosdito.ph and ebay.ph.

If you are selling old devices, sell them based on the condition and use value. Since they are already used, they will sell for a lower price compared to the price of brand new units.

Recycle your gadgets

Think of ways to your gadgets to make it into something useful. Broadband sticks, for example, can be used as external storage device by inserting SD or micro SD cards into it.

Others recycle cellphone batteries and turn it into a power source. Last year, University of the Philippines Physics students and professors recycled discarded cellphone batteries and chargers into disposable power sources for Yolanda survivors. It can be used to charge cellphones during emergency situations.

According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 homes in a year. Every one million cell phones recycled saves thousands of pounds of copper, silver, gold, and palladium.

Donate

Another best way of disposing your old gadgets is to donate it. Schools, non-government organizations, and social institutions often start donation drives for old computers and old devices.

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Soak up the sun and don’t get sick this summer!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 | Written by
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by Zofia Leal

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Summer is almost halfway. People are going to beach trips and outing to relax and have fun under the sun. Keep your family’s health and safety as top priority also signals the start of certain kinds of diseases due to the hot and humid weather.

The Department of Health (DOH) announced the six common diseases and conditions during summer season. These are sunburn, flu, sore eyes, stomach ailments, skin diseases and rabies.

Common summer diseases and its symptoms

These diseases are common during the summer season because people often travel and go to places for vacation. Interaction of people from different parts of the country or the world is a condition for different types of viruses or bacteria to be passed on from one person to another.

Sore Eyes

Also known as “pink eyes” or conjunctivitis, sore eyes is the inflammation of the thin covering of the eyeball and inner eyelid. It is often caused by bacteria, virus or allergy. It is highly contagious and spread through ‘eye to hand to eye contact,’ or even runny nose, cough and contact with contaminated objects. Prolonged and severe cases of sore eyes can lead to corneal scarring and decreased vision.

Symptoms are redness of the eyes, discomfort, burning, gritty sensation, sensitivity to light, eye pain, difficulty in opening the eyes after sleeping, eyelids stuck together after sleeping, water-like discharge, soreness and sore lymph nodes. It may last for 3 to 14 days and patient is recommended to consult a doctor immediately to avoid further damage. It is also advisable for the patient to stay at home until he/she is cured.

Sunburn

Sunburn is caused by prolonged exposure to the sun. In some cases, prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause DNA alteration and in severe cases, skin cancer. Sunburn occurs depending on the period of exposure, skin type and sun’s intensity.

Sunburn makes your skin red and irritated. In severe cases, the skin swells and may develop blisters and can make you feel feverish, nauseated, and weak. Treatments for mild cases of sunburn includes bathing in or applying cold water. Calamine lotion will also lessen itching and irritation.

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Stomach ailments

According to the DOH, vomiting and diarrhea occurs when contaminated food or drinks are consumed. The public is warned against eating street foods and packed food that are pre-cooked for out-of town trips. “Remember that food spoils easily during hot summer months,” the DOH said. 

Symptoms of diarrhea are abdominal bloating or cramps, thin or loose stools, watery stool, sense of urgency to have a bowel movement, nausea and vomiting in mild cases. It can be treated through over-the-counter medication. However, in severe cases, blood and mucus are found in the stool. If the patient suffers weight loss and fever, immediately seek medical treatment. 

Rabies

Rabies is caused by being bitten by a dog or any animal that carries the virus.

The first symptoms to look out for after being bitten is having a headache, fever and general weak feeling. The bitten part may also feel itchy or prickly. When left untreated, the person infected with the rabies virus will feel anxiety, confusion, agitation and cerebral dysfunction that will eventually lead to delirium, hallucinations and insomnia.

According to the World Health Organization, the Philippines is among the top 10 countries that deal with rabies annually. It is estimated that 200 to 300 Filipinos die of rabies every year.

Flu/cough and colds

The DOH said that cough and colds easily spread during summer due to occasional rains due to the erratic weather.

The difference between the common cold and flu is that the latter will be felt instantly and will include a fever and aching muscles. The common cold will come gradually and will affect just the nose and throat. Having a cold is also not a hindrance to do your usual activities while flu will make you feel unwell to resume daily work.

Skin diseases

“Skin diseases abound when one swims in dirty water or unmaintained public swimming pools,” the DOH said.

One common skin disease is ‘boil’, or a pus-filled infection of the skin. Usually, the hair follicle is infected and will spread to the surrounding areas. The skin will then swell and turn red.

Another example is prickly heat. Tiny bumps of red skin will appear in affected areas which is usually the forehead, upper arm, chest or at body folds. This is caused by the sweat glands being clogged.

Prevention

Prevention is always better than treatment. For the abovementioned diseases, the DOH provided easy ways on how not to get sick this summer. Here are some do’s and don’ts while enjoying your time under the sun:

  • Drink lots of water or fluids (at least eight to nine glasses a day) to avoid dehydration and to replace fluid loss when sweating.
  • Vaccinate your pet dogs and cats against rabies.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Make sure to use sunscreen lotion (at least Sun Protection Factor 30 or SPF 30 is recommended) when swimming, jogging, hiking or any other outdoor activity that will expose you to the sun.
  • Avoid staying under the sun for more than 3 hours. According to the DOH, “sunburn can be prevented if you time your outdoor activities. Outdoor activities must be done in the early morning or late afternoon. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hide in the shade or seek cool places to prevent ill-effects of too much sun exposure.”
  • Bathing before and after swimming in the pool is important to avoid contracting sore eyes and skin diseases.
  • Avoid eating street foods.
  • Cook food properly and make sure that it is packed in clean containers.
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Make sure they are properly washed before cooking.
  • Wear loose light colored clothing. Dark colored clothes traps heat. It is also not advisable to wear tight clothes.

You can also do these in your community:

  • Encourage maintenance of public swimming pools. Water in swimming pools should be routinely cleaned and changed regularly to avoid diseases and illnesses from spreading.
  • Organize your neighbors, especially children and senior citizens, to avail of free flu vaccines at local health centers.
  • Always clean your surroundings to avoid breeding of mosquitoes.

 

Images by Jun Acullador from Flickr.com. Used under CC license. Some rights reserved.

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Stay hydrated this summer

Wednesday, 9 April 2014 | Written by
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by Zofia Leal

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As the temperature rises during summer, people also tend to perspire more, shedding off more water from the body. During hot weather, adults typically lose as much as 2 to 3 liters of water daily.

Of all the nutrients in the body, water is the most important. It helps break down and supply essential nutrients in the body. It also aids in waste removal.

Water is also essential in maintaining blood circulation. It also maintains the body temperature especially when you exercise or perform strenuous activities.

Excessive water loss

Dehydration, according to Medicine Net, occurs when there is excessive water loss than water intake. We lose water by urinating, bowel elimination, breathing, sweating, and maintaining the body’s normal temperature.

A regular adult needs to take at least 8 ounces of water daily. This is equivalent to 2 liters or half a gallon per day.

Since the human’s body weight is made up of 75% water, it is important that we replenish the water loss from daily activities to maintain a healthy body especially during the summer, when the temperature is at its highest.

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Signs of dehydration

There are a lot of signs and symptoms for mild to severe dehydration according to the Mayo Clinic, but these are the earliest signals that you may be losing water in your body this summer.

Thirst. Thirst is the basic symptom of dehydration. Once you start feeling thirsty, you have automatically lost about one percent of your body water. When the water loss reaches 2 percent, this can lead to serious cardiovascular problems and fatigue.

Decreased Urine Output.  The general average of urine output a day is 1,500ml. Observe the color of your urine. If the color is darker than usual, then it may be a sign of less water intake though medicine or food intake may affect its color.

Constipation. If you are having a hard time excreting, then increase your fluid intake.

Dry skin. In humid weather, having dry skin is common. But this is also a sign that you need to drink a lot more water.

Headache. Staying under the sun for a long time may cause headache. Even the excessive heat may result to dizziness or nausea.

Skin flushing. If you experience redness on your face and neck, then you should take a moment to cool down by dipping in a cold swim or a short cold water shower.

HIGH-dration 101

You now have ideas on what happens to the body once you suffer from dehydration. The best way to avoid dehydration is prevention.

Here is a list of easy-to-do tips from Live Science to avoid losing your body water and enjoy all the days of summer.

  1. Drink enough water.
  2. Monitor your urine input and output. You should urinate at least three times a day. If it’s less, then drink up more.
  3. Hydrate an hour earlier before your daily exercise routine. Drink between and after your workout session.
  4. For strenuous exercises, taking sports drink is essential to provide more electrolytes and carbohydrates to your body. Athletes should drink more because they lose more water than a regular adult.
  5. Avoid alcohol. Beer and other liquors make you dehydrated. If you can’t avoid alcohol, then wash it down with lots of water.
  6. Eat more fruits and vegetables. This food group contains high water content. An apple is made up of 89% water. Combine it with variety of fruits like watermelon and this will boost your water intake. Consume at least five cups of fruits and vegetables to keep you hydrated.

Other tips:

  1. Dress for the weather. To avoid excessive sweating, to wear light-colored clothes made of light materials.
  2. To avoid the scorching heat from the sun, use protective gear like umbrella, visors, hats and bandanas.
  3. If you’ve had enough of tap water, try squeezing fresh lemon in your drink. Fresh juice from fruits and vegetables can also replace a glass of tap water. Make sure you lessen its sugar content.
  4. Avoid salty food because it makes you dehydrated. If the fries and chips are too tempting, make sure to drink a lot.
  5. Increase caffeine intake. Contrary to popular belief that sodas, coffee and iced tea must be avoided because of its diuretic effects, WedMD Weight Loss Clinic Kathleen Zelman, says that coffee is second best to water.
  6. Eat meat. Zelman also suggests that meat contains as much as 60% of water. Hamburger and chicken breast can be a good alternative source of water to meet your daily needs.
  7. Always carry a water bottle with you so you can quench your thirst right away.
  8. At the onset of a light headache or dizziness, take a quick rest  and drink up to let your body cool down.

Images by Daniel Staemler and David from Flickr.com. Used under CC license. Some rights reserved.

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Is the future of local contact sports in peril?

Monday, 7 April 2014 | Written by
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by Zofia Leal

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Last February, Ako Bicol Partylist filed a bill seeking to ban minors from engaging in full-contact sports like boxing, mixed martial arts, jujitsu, muay thai, judo and other forms of karate. House Bill 3646, filed by Rep Christopher Co and Rodel Batocabe, aims to regulate a minor’s involvement with “leisure, non-competitive sports and in training.”

This was after 16-year old Jonas Joshua Garcia, died in a boxing match sponsored by the Department of Education in Iba, Zambales.

Garcia was competing against another young boxer from Bataan at the Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association meet. During the second round of the match he complained of dizziness and was rushed to the Zambales Provincial Hospital. Early into the fight, his nose bled but an on-duty doctor cleared him for competition during initial check-up.

Garcia suffered blood clotting at the right side of his head during the match. He went into coma and was eventually declared brain dead. After two days, he died at the UST hospital.

Ban boxing

Due to the event that led to Garcia’s death, a debate stirred over the banning of all minors from engaging and competing in contact sports.

DepEd suspended all boxing matches in Central Luzon after Garcia’s death. Other regions followed. Last month, Education Secretary Armin Luistro banned boxing in the elementary division of this year’s Palarong Pambansa in Laguna. But boxing in the high school division was retained along with other contact sports such as arnis, taekwondo, and wrestling.

The measure aims to prohibit all minors from entering full-contact sports competitions. Sports organizations and event organizers will also be prohibited from inviting minors in any full-contact sports competitions. Parents and guardians will not be allowed to authorize their children from participating in such events as well. Those who will be found guilty will be fined P50,000 for the 1st offense up to P200,000 for the third and succeeding offenses.

Event organizers, schools and sports institutions will lose business permits and licenses and will face closure if they violate the ban.

The banning of contact sports is not a new issue. In 2012, super flyweight Filipino boxer Karlo Maquinto collapsed after a draw-decided match. He went into coma and died. In 2007, Lito Sisnorio died after an unsuccessful brain surgery due to sustained brain injuries he got in his fight with Thai boxer Chatchai Sasakul.

A sportsman’s perspective

According to DepEd assistant secretary Tonisito Umali, an all-out ban on boxing is not yet possible due to the sport’s popularity in the country.

Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao said banning boxing competitions and practices in schools is not the answer. He added that amateur boxing breeds fighters for the Olympics and international competitions.

A specialist’s perspective

In other countries, specialists suggest that minors should not be allowed to participate in full-contact competitions. Dr. Robert Cantu, a neurosurgeon from Boston, suggests that full tackle football must not be done by under-14 players. While helmets and mouth guards can protect the skull and the teeth, it won’t stop concussions from happening according to Dr. Cynthia Stein.

Marie-France Wilson of SportAccord International Sports Federation said that concussion is one of the serious problems encountered by young athletes in full-contact sports. The key to lessening the risk of accident is effective and preventive measures.

  1. Athletes, especially minors must undergo medical check-up prior to a match. Post-match check-ups are also necessary.
  2. Changes to the rules of full-contact sports in which young athletes participate (e.g. prohibition of full-tackle in football, and full-body checks in hockey are only allowed in professional league)
  3. Attitude and behavioural changes
  4. Establishment of concussion guidelines by medical experts and sports leagues
  5. Raising awareness on the risks of full-contact sports

Sports vs. drug abuse

Banning of full-contact sports in the country is a long shot. Many believe that a ban might increase the drug abuse percentage among youth.

United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (UNODCCP) said sports could be used to prevent substance abuse among young people. A particular sport has the ability to develop a child’s skills as improve community conditions. Sports can give the youth a set of goals to improve their life skills.

 

Image by Ian Go from Flickr.com. Used under CC license. Some rights reserved.

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