Guess who's a Bloggys 2015 finalist!

Guess which blog got nominated for the 2015 Philippine Blogging Awards, a.k.a. the Bloggys? I know the answer is so predictable given how it’s this blog that’s asking the question, but yes, it’s this blog!

I didn’t find out until about the third email sent to me by the organizers (fine, fine, I’m that kind of person who gets buried in unread emails) and even after I had found out, I did something particularly horrific.

I absolutely forgot about campaigning for votes until the voting period was already over!

2015 BloggysI was nominated for the 2015 Bloggys! #goals

Edit: I just found out that out of almost 2,700 entries, my blog was chosen as one of the finalists! Ilabas ang lechon!

Bloggys 2015 finalist

Thirty-one nominations and now, six finalists. Happy to be on this list! Congrats to all my fellow bloggers who are also Hall-of-Famers for the #Bloggys2015!

Imagine this:

2,693 entries
1,026 qualifying nominations

~ 100 finalists

6 finalists under health category
(that’s where my blog is!)

I still can’t believe it! There’s a big chance I will be in a state of disbelief until 2016.


My blogging forgetfulness: Amnesia or dementia?

I’m sure you’ve forgotten about many things in the past – where you put your keys, where that 1000-peso bill seems to have gone (even if you know you love ordering overpriced designer coffee) – but I bet your moment of dementia doesn’t beat mine.

I’m so sorry, Philippine Blogging Awards! I’ve been a delinquent 2015 Bloggys Hall-of-Famer!


Bloggys who?

To be honest, I never heard of the Bloggys until this year when I received an email about my nomination. I said to myself, “Bloggys who?”

Stage Zero: Project Pink’s campaign for supportive care in breast cancer

Last month, we talked about Go Pink, an initiative by Festival Mall that helps spread awareness while also forwarding proceeds to three beneficiaries, including Project Pink. It’s time we focused on Project Pink, a breast cancer foundation in the south with a campaign that really piqued my interest: Stage Zero.

Any breast cancer patient knows what stage zero is. It’s the earliest stage in cancer, therefore carrying the best prognosis. If you get diagnosed with breast cancer, you hope it is in this stage. (Trivia: Health professionals also refer to stage zero breast cancer as ductal carcinoma in situ.)

Unfortunately, many women get diagnosed in later stages. Some aren’t aware that the changes they’re seeing in their breasts are red flags for cancer. Others are too scared to go to the doctor – getting diagnosed, after all, will change your life forever.

But that’s just it. We want to catch cancer early, before it spreads and becomes too hard to cure… before it changes your life in a way that leaves you more powerless than you should be.

stage zeroIn a way, this is exactly what Project Pink wants to accomplish: They want to teach women with breast cancer not just to survive, but also to live – to keep the cancer from “spreading” to other areas of their lives.


The value of supportive care

“We don’t want cancer to conquer the other facets of our lives,” says hospice and palliative medicine specialist Dr. Rumalie Corvera of Project Pink. “We want to highlight its definition in terms of psychosocial and spiritual aspects. We want the cancer to stay in stage zero by not ‘metastasizing’ to other aspects of life.”

There are 12 steps to Stage Zero. It actually reminds me of the program espoused by Alcoholics Anonymous.

5 Sad Ways Apologists Try to Justify Bullying

“I’m not saying I support bullying. But then again, bullying builds character.”

These words may seem to hold wisdom, but they are dangerously laced with one succinct message: Bullying is okay. These words therefore give bullies the thumbs-up, the implicit go signal.

Here’s the thing: Bullying exists because we let it. If we want bullying to stop, we must also put a stop to our apologist approach to bullying.


In your lifetime, you be will listening to many apologists as they attempt to rationalize bullying and why it “might be good for society”. These may even be people you look up to and love. You will hear them try to explain away bullying as “an evil with a purpose”. They will attempt to dilute its malevolence by stating its arguably good consequences.

They will fail to realize that the moment they try to justify bullying, they have already made the choice to defend it.


5 Apologist Reasons for Bullying (and Why We Need to Stop Using Them)

All tragedies bring out our tough nature, but I’ve never heard anyone say, “I’m not for violence against women, but violence against women builds character.” So, why do we say that about bullying? Puzzler.

Of course, that’s not the only thing an apologist would say in an attempt to sublimate bullying. Check these reasons out and find out which ones you’ve already heard.


Apologist reason #1:

”Bullying builds character”

Just because a tragedy builds character doesn’t mean we should belittle the damage it causes.

I don’t even have to look far – just one glance at my doctor colleagues and I can see how bullying inevitably takes its toll on a very important stakeholder: the unsuspecting patient.

Leukemia According to Carmella

Edit: I’m reposting this article, originally published two years ago, as a tribute to Cecile (featured here). She was an awesome mom who fought a brave battle against cancer. Cecile may be gone, but her memory remains in our hearts. I am honored to have met her.

Below, I wrote about the story Cecile shared with me not so long ago, about her daughter’s own fight against cancer.

I always tell my friends that cancer is the next hypertension. In one of the magazines I contribute health articles to, I mentioned how cancer is literally next to hypertension and other cardiovascular disorders as the most common cause of death.

If death was a school, cancer would be the salutatorian.

I know, the analogy is morbid. But cancer is morbid. Despite that fact, many people would rather not think about it.

Hypertension is more relatable than cancer. We even make jokes about getting high blood pressure when we get mad. High blood pressure is so “in”.

Hypertension, on the other hand, is easier to relate to. Almost every adult I know has high blood pressure. My relatives have it. Your parents probably have it. And if you’re my age, you might have it, too. Everybody even talks about having high blood pressure. We even make jokes about getting high blood pressure when we get mad. Ah, high blood pressure is so “in”.

What about cancer? It’s definitely trending; the statistics don’t lie even if we try our best to deny it. But we can’t make jokes about cancer, can we? At least, not yet, not when it’s something people can’t imagine having, despite its being the second most common cause of death.

But I digress. I was talking about that article I wrote for a magazine. It was about childhood leukemia. As a health article writer, I’ve always had the pleasure of speaking with inspiring people – and the day I sat with Cecile Jaleco was no exception.

Battling Cancer: Carmella’s Story

Cecile was a mother in her early fifties whose only child was diagnosed with leukemia. “My ordeal started when my daughter, Carmella, was diagnosed with a benign tumor in the neck. She was three years old then,” revealed Cecile during our chat. Surgery wasn’t a safe option, she said, because the mass in her neck involved a lot of important nerves. Chemotherapy was suggested to shrink the tumor, so they gave it a try.

The tumor disappeared. It was a miracle! Everyone was happy. It was a medical rarity for such a tumor to respond to chemotherapy drugs. It was a happy ending… or was it?

Carmella Jaleco Battles Leukemia

Unfortunately, Carmella was diagnosed with leukemia – and it was most probably caused by the chemotherapy she received for her neck tumor.

It all started when one day, Carmella started getting feverish. She was given antibiotics but her fever persisted. Carmella’s mom was in shock when her daughter’s blood tests pointed to an initial diagnosis of leukemia.

Leukemia According To CarmellaCarmella, after recovering from a neck tumor, was diagnosed with leukemia.

5 Things You Do That Your Doctor-Friend Hates

Do you have a friend who happens to be a doctor? Has he ever been Mr. Hyde with you or is he always the perfect Dr. Jekyll?

Chances are, he's very good at keeping his inner demon at bay, even when there are five things you keep doing that your doctor-friend hates.

doctor pet peevesGet ready, folks. This one’s a stinger.


5 Pet Peeves Your Doctor-Friend Has About You

Take a look at the list below and find out which pet peeves your doctor-friend has about you. Are you ready for your shock treatment?


Doctors’ pet peeve #1:
When you text, “What should I take for my cough/
stomach ache/ itch?”

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