On Manny and Homosexuality

I’ve been trying hard not to react because his opinion doesn’t really matter (never will I vote for him anyway), but then he touched a sensitive topic, an advocacy closest to my heart. He crossed the line, so pardon my long post.

I’ve seen my friends in my news feed already taking sides and I am compelled to take a stand on behalf of my LGBT friends, for the record.

Yes, I’ve watched (or read) both the cut and uncut version of his interview but still felt the same with the issue. What irks me every time I watch your interview is knowing that the premise you presented is wrong, very wrong. The common sense, that you thought was common, has not been updated for centuries! Yes, Manny, common sense should tell you to research first before you speak, because if you did, you should have known that homosexual behavior does exist in animals (here’s a link for starters: http://www.yalescientific.org/2012/03/do-animals-exhibit-homosexuality/). But if I may, following your premise of not engaging in a homosexual behavior because lower beings don’t, does it not make us more superior, as humans, because we are the only beings that are rational, and able to love unconditionally regardless of age, race or gender? For me loving unconditionally makes us more human, and not lesser animals. But then of course only if your premise is correct. Google is a friend, Manny.

Further, science and philosophy, unlike algebra 1+1=2, have no absolute truth. What might be true today might be proven wrong in the next few years ( the closest example is the fact that homosexual behavior is thought to be exhibited by humans only). And so why should I not support them, even if that’s what I felt is right just because of a not so well established fact set by society.

Even the Bible has been interpreted in many ways (Surprise! JSYK the reason why we have several religious Christian Sectors), and as for me, a Christian believer, what remains as a universal truth is that God (John 13:34-45) commanded us to “Love one another as I have loved you.” And if Jesus were alive to answer if it includes gays and lesbians, I’m sure He would answer with a resounding YES! And yes, intimacy is part that. I’m laughing so hard that you’re allowed to cuddle with your wife, but they’re not because, what, their genitals won’t fit? What happened to equality? What happened to love unconditionally?

Why am I over reacting over your opinion? Of course, because you are running for a Senator! Your opinions matter, your ignorance matter, your intelligence (or lack thereof) matter, because it will shape the constitution of this country. But that’s if (at a very rare instance) you’re going to attend any of the sessions anyway. So pardon me for over reacting.

Going back, it is hard for me to understand how people were able to look straight in the eyes of their LGBT friends, work mates, or family members, laugh, work, and co-exist with them knowing they do not entirely accept the morality of their existence. How can you laugh, work, and co-exist with them but not support them and protect their rights, equal rights to freely exist, equal rights to love, equal rights to intimacy, and equal rights to LEGAL marriage? You’re like Alma Moreno supporting RH Bill, but with reservations (following the way Manny presents his argument, by analogy).

Also, you’re always saying that LGBT will rot in hell in the afterlife; if by hell you mean living each day knowing your existence can never be accepted; if by hell you mean living each day trying to fit yourself to a certain norms; if by hell you mean having no equal rights with the rest of humanity (but common sense, of course, masahol pa kasi ang LGBT sa hayop), who needs hell?

AND if by hell you mean living each day not knowing if “your friends of your same kind” still exists or jumped to the afterlife, because hell seemed to be a better place, well I do not know if any of them is still afraid of rotting in hell. This world is far like hell to the LGBT already.

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A true story of Bobby Griffith who tried to be cured by his mother because of being gay but eventually lead to his depression and suicide.

 

On your second premise on homosexuality and religion, I’d like to share this book (there is a movie adaptation of this book, I could share you the copy) that changed my whole understanding of religion and homosexuality to prove my point. This is a story a gay son born in a religious family, rejected, spiritually abused and eventually embraced death because their so-called hell must have been a better place than here. (I can’t help but cry writing this last part of my long post.) This is a story of a mother who eventually found out in the most difficult way that gay love is created, inspired, and blessed by God. If she only knew about it earlier, she could’ve saved her son.

 

adaptation of a true story, devout Christian Mary Griffith (Sigourney Weaver) fights to “cure” her gay son, Bobby (Ryan Kelley). Although he tries to please his mother, Bobby cannot change his lifestyle, and his depression leads to suicide

And who knows how many other Bobby’s are there in this world that we could actually save by embracing their existence, and supporting their equal rights.

I’d be praying hard that God will touch your heart and make you realize the severity of what you said. I’d be praying that sooner you’ll realize that being gays is okay. I’d be praying hard for that day to come, but ‘til then I’d be praying hard that miracle will happen and that you will not win this election.

Because if in the worse case you will, Gaah! I’d wholeheartedly embrace the fact that “Mas masahol pa ako sa hayop”, a lower kind of panda, maybe?

And Oh,if by supporting gay rights makes me gay, I’d stop supporting animal rights because I’m not an animal.

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A lesson learned from a stolen phone: Thought Processing

I do know that God has a reason for everything, and that in every experience (good or bad) there is always a lesson to learn. Last Thursday, my phone was stolen when I was riding an LRT. I am always careful, but I guess no matter how careful you are, such things just have to happen.

Belonging to a generation of gadgets, and advanced technology my daily routine largely depends on my phone. Sending messages, emails, browsing the internet, and other social networking sites, watching movies etc. For sure, I’m not the only one. It can’t be helped to store some personal information to your gadget. It is very important, therefore, to ensure that all your personal information is secured.

Here are some of the tips I learned from my experience:

Password protect everything

I know how irritating passwords is very to all of us. In every action or every application you want to access, you key in your password, such hassle I know. But hey do it anyway, it will give you a peace of mind knowing the fact that none of your personal files will be accessed by random strangers.

Sync and back-up everything

Make sure you are regularly syncing your contacts, and have an online back-up of all your documents, pictures and important files in your phone. Such happiness when you still can retrieve the files, contacts, pictures what you thought was lost (along with your phone).

Let it go!

If you are very certain that your phone was stolen from you, the first thing you should do is to let it go. Compose yourself, and be firm to your decision to let it go. Do not risk your life looking for the thief, or tracing it through GPS etc. It might be very painful, but it might cost your life, so don’t risk it.

Un-sync, unlink, change password

The first thing I did when I lost my phone was to un-sync all of my applications, change all my passwords to all of my social networking sites, and emails. This is to protect my personal information being accessed by the thief.

Remotely delete applications

You can remotely delete all applications (facebook, Instagram, viber, BPI, mail) online. Visit this site, https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager. This will reduce the risk of him accessing your personal information.

 Android 

Remotely block your phone.

Depending on the brand of your phone, you can remotely delete and block all the contents of your phone. Iphone has this security feature. For samsung users, make sure to have a samsung account and  enroll your device to activate this feature. See below how to set-up remotely blocking your phone

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Visit https://account.samsung.com/account/signIn.do for complete steps and details.

Block your Sim

After securing all personal information stored in your device, make sure he will not use your number to send random messages to your contact. This is very important, as I for one was a victim of this. Here’s how:

  1. Bring affidavit of loss, and valid IDs and visit the nearest Customer Service of your network provider.
  2. Report to them the incident
  3. Request to block your number, and retrieve your number
  4. Depending on the network provider, and region, they will give you a new sim card registered with the number you are using with your lost phone. This will save you the trouble of informing your contacts about your new number. This sim card will be activated after an hour.

Buy a new phone (if applicable, and able)

The trauma of losing your phone will linger for quite a time, and the stress of changing your daily routine. For psychological reason, it helps that you buy a phone (or gadget) with almost the same specifications and functionality with your previous phone. Sync all retrievable contacts, files, applications, etc. It helped me somehow to move on. I had enough psychological stress with the trauma of the incident, I do not want the feeling of ‘incompleteness’ stress me any further.

Even after this incident, I am still happy I only lost my phone. I still believe that God has a reason why this happened. I hope this blog entry will in a way help someone who had the same experience as mine.

Last week was very traumatic, but I want to start this week positively so I will end this post with my usual LRT realization.

“Ang love parang LRT, minsan sa sobrang pilit mo na makapasok sa buhay ng iba, hindi mo mamamalayan na may mahalaga at importanteng bagay na pala ang nawala sayo.” #hugot

PS After what happened, I will avoid LRT/MRT muna.

WHAT’s there if Not Med School

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(Public Health Careers and Opportunities other than Medicine)

[Disclaimer: No part of this post has been reviewed by any of the persons mentioned thus may contain facts that no longer hold true or inconsistent.]

Have you ever been caught in a situation where the whole class has been asked on who is planning to take medicine after grad, and everybody raises their hand except you?

I can still remember like it was yesterday this awkward experience I had when I was just a freshie. We were asked by our PE teacher of our plans after grad and I was darn certain I’m not going to pursue medicine, while the rest of the class are darn certain to be Doctors someday. Of course the attention was on me, and I was pressured to answer the most difficult question that time— Te maano ka ya? And of course my answer then was a simple, ‘Ambot’.

Four years have gone by, as fast as AIDS spreads in Davao and I am standing in the most difficult situation where I have to answer the exact question asked to me Four years ago—Te maano ka ya?. But lo and Behold, I found an answer. Actually not just an answer, but Answers to the questions that many lost souls are dying to figure out.

I am Roy Dahildahil, a proud recent graduate through sweat, tears and blood (pricks and venis) of BS Public Health in the University of the Philippines Visayas. Yes, I am too young to experience a lot of things and put conclusions to the hypothesis ‘There is life other than medschool’. But let me apply my little learning of Epidemiology, in which I passed with a grade of 3.0 by the way, and use a meta-analysis of the achievements of the graduates of BS Public Health which are masters in their own field. I will use the paths they choose and put labels for other aspiring PH grad who wish to be like them.

Let’s Start with XERXES SEPOSO. Xerxes Seposo was the Governor of Clovers during our fresh year (lucky us huh?). During his TIME (emphasis to mean ancient), there still exists a program by the DOH for PH labeled as ‘Public Health Managers’. They were assigned in a remote community, then conduct activities with the Doctors to the Barrios on the prevalent problem in the locale. Of course, to apply was easy since it was really intended for Public Health grads. However sad, it no longer exists now. But Xerxes career didn’t end with the program. He ventured on fields of, let me name a few (like 3% of his profile maybe) evaluating, monitoring and leading programs which concerns to different health issues. Some of his Job Titles include: Project Evaluation Officer IV, Program Director,  Project Manager etc. and etc. (Xerxes is now in Japan exploring another path and finishing his PhD. As a Mombushu Scholar after he finished his Master’s degree in Environmental Health in UPOU).

Rommel Gestuveo is a graduate of Public Health 2010. After studying, he pursued his MS in Molecular Biology in St. Luke’s University. On His third year he applied as a research assistant to Dr. Vicente Belizario in the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health. Sounds familiar huh? Yep, He’s no other than the author of our Parasitology book! Now, Rommel looks forward to be absorbed by the university and be part of the Faculty of the Division of Biological Science. What an honor it would’ve been to be one of his students. Other Master’s Degree that you might take interest in includes Masters in Epidemiology, Masters in Public Health, Environmental Health Science, International Health  etc.

Adrienne Marie Bugayong, our teacher on a lot of subjects in PH was also a graduate of Public Health (wait for it)—Cum Laude. Few years after graduating, she became a part of the faculty of BioSci and taught  aspiring Public Health graduates. She chose to share his knowledge on Hematology, Clin Chem, Clin Mic, Microbiology and even became one of the advisers for the Community and Public Health practice, Special problem, Seminars etc. What nobler thing can one do than to teach and share her learning to others, multiply it to infinity. Lucky students of Ms. Adrin, put your hands up!

In the field of research, we have Ms. June Rose Naig, now a full time Research Associate of Dr. Vincent Belizario (there goes the name again). She works hand in hand with Dr. Beliz and other researchers in publishing studies not just in local journals but also international. Currently she is part of the team that screens aspiring Research assistant of Dr. Beliz, and is working on a paper about Schistosomiasis in Davao del Norte, Zamboangga etc. Imagine the honor you’d get publishing a paper with the name of a  UP Scientist IV next to yours. Ms. Naig is also a licensed Medical Technologist after passing the board exams right after she graduated.

And the last on my list so far is Afnan Omar and Julex Rey Aquila. Both of them are Licensed Medical Technologist and have been working on Hospital Laboratories. Many public health grad also chose the same path as them, passed the medtech board and work in the laboratories.  Julex is a Medtech in the Philippine General Hospital and currently a Peer Educator in the loveyourself group in MetroManila. His knowledge in Public Health is very useful in educating other people of AIDS and other STI’s. Loveyourself is a volunteer organization that advocates early detection and peer education of HIV-AIDS most especially on Class C MSMs (Men Having Sex with Men). While Afnan is finishing her Master’s Degree in Public Health in the University of the Philippines Manila.

(The list continues as I continue to come across, chat and interview other Public Health Graduates)

Other Public Health Grads ventured on the field of Social Work and landed a job at the Department of Social Welfare and Development and of course Department of Health(still researching about this).

And the list of Public Health courses and opportunities never end there. Of course, we can learn and follow the tracks of the best and those who have proved something already, or we can make our own tracks and be the best on the path we chose. There are a lot of path yet to be discovered in the field of Public Health, we just have to dare and figure it out.  You’ll never know, the next path being followed might be yours. 😉

Loves and Luck PH!

*There may be missed out details or facts, or prominent Public Health Graduate that should be mentioned, e-mail me at rdahildahil@yahoo.com or leave a comment.

**For more Job Descriptions, Titles and careers in Public Health visit Publichealth.org

Sweet Embrace

The absence of fear doesn’t make me less of a coward, the presence of fear but still doing it anyway defines courage.

Have you ever been in the situation where you think you’re gonna die? Caught in the middle of an accident, stay past 12 in the middle of nowhere, sitting on top of a 200kph speed vehicle, caught in a feud of drunkards, situations where you should be afraid you might die, but you are not. That every time you are caught in the middle of this situation, being ready to die overcomes the feeling of fear, it’s like you are starting to embrace death.

Sometimes what holds us back to do something great is fear; fear on a lot of things that when you start connecting the dots, it would only leads to one, the fear of death. Fear of heights for example, we are afraid of heights because we thought we might fall and die, fear of needles for it might stab us accidentally on vital parts and get killed, fear of getting anywhere for it might be our last. Fear to explore a lot of new things for it might lead to unfortunate circumstances, death on top of it.

I remember one time, I was grade three then, I climbed a fifty feet water tank just to feel the wonderful view up there. Or Grade six, I climb the roof of our gymnasium. Or when I was 4th year high school, I rushed in to the middle of the forest because I thought I might see something if I go further not to realize I lost my traces because of the rain. And when I was in college I would climb 20 ft high roof to play with my cloth for air dance. I then travelled to different places alone without thinking of the risk of bombing. I climbed another rooftop, another tree, another tower, another jeepney amidst the rain and even if it’s moving 200kph and a lot of more.

Where was fear back then? People often asked. But where would life be if I only thought of fear?  Death, it will just happen anyway.

There is this Rule of life a carried on since birth, Never letting my fear of dying deprive me of living the good life to the fullest. Yes, I’m afraid but I do it anyway. Because I see life on the peak of my adventure, that whenever I reach the top of the tree, it’s like my orgasm, very satisfying it soothes my soul, it reminds me of how good life can be.

However, fact is that every time I take the risk I always consider the consequence. Like, every time I climb the roof, I always take it in mind that going up is a choice, but going down is mandatory. That if I choose to go up, I must carry the consequences of going down no matter how difficult it is. Though often times when I reach the peak of my orgasm, I couldn’t figure out how I’ll manage to go down. But this is me, adventure-thrill-seeker me. It hadn’t left me, even if I’m already 20 years old, in fact it became even worse.

I lived my life for almost 21 years and I’ve come to the point that I’m not afraid to die. Not even the slightest idea that I might die at this exact moment bothers me. I’ve been through a lot of things especially on my 20th year, break up, self actualization; series of attachments, stressors that I thought I already had much of my life, enjoyed and endured the most of it, that every succeeding day is just a bonus day for me.

My heart (literally) hurts from time to time, beats louder than ordinary people, got nodules on my hips, coughs hard sometime, lost appetite on food, random things that I often thought, what if one day I’ll wake up and be told that I could no longer live another day or that yesterday’s was my last. It’s in the back of my mind that I would live a life shorter than anyone else, that maybe tomorrow or the day after is my last. I just thought I’m just so over with my life that I can die anytime, I’m ready, I’m just ready.

Sometimes, I thought what if one night, I’ll be walking down the street I’ll get hit by a car, or get stabbed by a knife, or gun shot dead. Or sometimes, I thought what if I’ll just jump off this bridge, stand in front of a fast approaching truck. What would it feel? Would it be like another orgasm like when you successfully climbed the roof? How does it feel to have finally come to an end?

Then I would often ask myself, why? Have I done what makes me happy today? Or most important, have I made someone happy today?

Maybe, I did. But maybe I should just continue doing it. I’m ready to die anytime, but until then I’ll make use every second of my remaining time touching other people’s lives. As the cliché would go, you were born because you are going to be important to someone, I still continued on living because somebody needs me better alive.

I just don’t embrace death, I welcome it but until then, I just know that I’m just here  for a purpose.

Life: A Ten Pin Bowling game

By simply looking at the game of bowling one could say that it is simple and easy. All you need is to throw and have it rolled over the pins and the rest depends on luck.

Reality check, it’s not that easy. Aside from the fact that the balls are heavy, bowling demands Concentration. It is a battle of mind over body. Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus on your goal: to strike the pins all at once or at least not to have the ball rolling off the course. Focus not on your score, but rather on the game.  I’ve been playing bowling for quite some time yet still wasn’t able to get the perfect strategy to win the battle with by opponent. Every time I play, I always struggle to learn from my mistakes but never actually learning from it. Even in the duck pin, I often lose. For me, bowling is always been a game of chance, seldom to got it right, oftentimes I fail. I know I’m holding it right, my foot steps and hand movements are just the same but there are inconsistencies once that ball starts to roll. I always ponder on how to get it right and gets frustrated for always losing.

And there was that day, when it finally came to me how bowling is played.

The secret of bowling revolves partly on steps that you take before releasing, the position of your body, the strength and angle of the throw. But everything boils down on that very instant you are about to release the ball. This is the crucial part where everything could fail on that single blow, The strength and angle, the position of the body, the manner of releasing. That very instant could change the course the ball, that very instant where you decided to LET IT GO.

The ball gets heavier the longer you hold it. Bowling is the mastery of the art of letting go.

One, know you goal. Your goal always is for the ball to hit the pins. Focus on that goal. Don’t let your opponent; your frustrations and emotions distract you from your goal. Visualize everything clearly and focus on that.

Two, learn from the past. Discover your strategy, your mistakes, and the rooms for improvement and dwell on that. Don’t rely too much on chances and good luck charms. Make sure that for the next ten turns you get to perfect how things should be done.

Three, never compete to anybody but yourself. Frustrations affect the course of your ball, Never get panicky each time your opponent gets a strike or a spare. Believe in yourself that you too can do it.

Four, don’t push yourself too hard. Not all the times you get what you want by forcing it to happen. There is always a line where you should set your limitations, beyond that your foul.

Lastly, Never hesitate. When all things are set, never ever make that instant your about to let go affect you, that instant that you’re about to release the ball. Always remember that life, like bowling there is a long way to go for the ball to your goal. And letting go plays a big part on achieving it. No matter what, you have to do it, Life goes on.

Life often imposes us challenges to let go of things that we know is for the good of all, and just like the game of bowling no matter how many times you let it go, just believe that at the end of the day it goes back from where it belongs, right in your hands.