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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Observations during President Noynoy Aquino's Inauguration

  • P-Noy or BSA was very faithful to the schedule. Good thing he along with outgoing President Arroyo (GMA) arrived in the Quirino Grandstand early since the song numbers were perhaps too many.
  • Expect a tv ad which goes like this in the near future..."Soon to be available in your favorite record bars, Musika Para sa Pagbabago featuring the country's premiere singers and songwriters, Ogie Alcasid, Gary Valenciano, Regine Velasquez, Noel Cabangon, Charisse Pempengco, the Madrigal singers, etc. and the inauguration song...." Distributed by... (who else?)
  • Confirming what P-Noy's driver had mentioned in an interview, the new president is strict in following traffic regulations. His convoy stopped on a red light. For his security though, he should realize his convoy should be continuously on the go on the road.
  • Presidential nephew Josh's (Kris Aquino's son) closeness to the President was very evident during the official picture taking. Also immediately after the actual oath-taking, Josh personally went to his favorite uncle to congratulate the latter.
  • Baby James was initially in good spirits at the grandstand but had tantrums when the family official portrait was about to be taken holding on to his yaya's (nanny's) hair in front of national television. Where's his daddy, local basketball superstar James? Chief Justice Renato Corona was surprisingly present. His name was not directly mentioned or directly acknowledged during the inaugural speech. In contrast, the Senate President, House Speaker and former Presidents were acknowledged.
  • It feels very weird to see a President during an oath-taking not having a First Lady beside him.
  • P-Noy's girlfriend was seated beside an Aquino sister at the grandstand.
  • I wonder what P-Noy and GMA were feeling while they were in the same car going to the Quirino Grandstand. To recall, P-Noy installed former Chief Justice Hilario Davide to head the commission that is believed to go after GMA.
  • I thought Charisse Pempengco sang the national anthem well. Good thing it was not in acapella like in a boxing match. She was accompanied by an orchestra which guided her on the tempo. Good thing, Christian Bautista (who was also there) did not sing the anthem. It can be recalled that during a boxing match, he sang a shortened version of the Lupang Hinirang.
  • Was it intentional that Christian Bautista sang "You Raise Me Up" acapella? His voice quality was very good but he seemed to be in a hurry to finish the song thus the spirit of the song was not captured enough. But we have to thank him though because if he sang any longer P-Noy's oath-taking will be already beyond 12 noon.
  • P-Noy seems to take feng-shui seriously. He followed the advice not to visit his parents' tombs on the same day as the inauguration.
  • The arrival of guests at the Quirino Grandstand was like a scene taken from a red-carpet event in Hollywood (like the Oscars) filled with celebrities dressed in designer gowns and expensive jewelry. One celebrity even wore her signature hats.
  • People in the Quirino Grandstand witnessed an Oath for Change (Panata sa Pagbabago) made by representative of various sectors in behalf of the Filipino people. I wonder if  these same people refrained from throwing their garbage anywhere in the grandstand grounds. You see, the Oath or Panata should be practiced in real life.
  • Let's hope the new administration makes good of their promises. Filipinos should help their President carry on these reforms. Have a nice day!

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Opening of Classes: A Bad Time to Get Sick

Mark of Fitness MF-1 Digital Fever Thermometer
Here I go again. Despite maintaining amoxicillin and clavulanic acid indefinitely to keep me from urinary tract infection upon the advice of my nephrologist (since he believes my bacteria are already resistant to quinolones), I have fever. Time for my laboratory examinations.

Speaking of lab exams, good thing my father's prostate specific antigen (PSA) is already normal, although his cholesterol levels still need to be trimmed down. Of course, he is not taking diet pills. He is not overdoing it so it is good. He is not having a dramatic weight loss. That is less worry and stress for me. (Actually he may be healthier than me.) I want my dad to enjoy his retirement days unlike his brother who unfortunately is affected by Alzheimer's disease, a condition that needs a lot of patience from family members. So friends, remember. Have your father checked for PSA to help detect prostate cancer which is common in the older age group especially those beyond 50s and 60s.

Problem-based Learning in Medicine: A Practical Guide for Teachers And Students
The past week was a stressful one in Cebu Institute of Medicine. School is just weeks old and many things considered new for the incoming students and even newbie teachers have just started. Even if I was already sick last Friday, I cannot afford to be absent because there are just enough facilitators to handle the small group discussions (SGDs) for our Problem-based Learning classes (PBL) which just began. It's because the number of students compared to last year significantly increased. And I still had a class a day after for the medical technology interns of Velez College.

It was also ironic that the topic in our SGDs was about fever. It's also the rainy season and many diseases which cause fevers are common these days. With the classes just starting, coinciding with the rainy season, indeed now is not the right time to be sick.

Omron HEM-790IT Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor with Advanced Omron Health Management Software 
Good that my blood pressure is controlled as I monitor my bp using an Omron digital product and I do not feel any pain which is unusual for me each time I have a fever. I am hoping it is not a recurrent urinary tract infection which is common for some PKD patients. And I am hoping tests will come out negative. I do not feel weak though. Just a little tired. But not tired enough to write this blog entry. My reliable laptop is my Paracetamol. I forget that I am sick every time I use this laptop to compose my blog posts.

In case you don't know, my ASUS EEEPC 1000HA netbook is one of the cheap laptops around but I think it was a good buy. It is already one year old but it has done many good things for me.

For example, now that I am sick, it helps me to be productive. But I must not forget though that I still need enough sleep. So after I finish this post, I will be turning this laptop off.

I need to be energized for next week for my students.

As one famous local TV ad would mention, "Sa panahon ngayon, bawal magkasakit." (During these times, you are forbidden to be ill.)

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Friday, June 18, 2010

A Gift for Dad and Memories from Way Back

As we celebrate Father's day, I would like to publish in my blog a poem by my dad. He made this years back for a Catholic newspaper in Luzon and months back he was asking me to have it published in his own blog. Since he does not know the ways of the net, I'll publish it in my blog instead as my gift to him so it will not be lost forever. It's in Tagalog or Filipino, by the way. It talks about our parents love for us from our childhood days bringing us to who we are now.

 Talking about remembering the past, I cherished the days when me and my father watched a movie together in Colon. This was ages before Ayala or SM. There was still Ultravistarama, Seven Arts and the decent Vision theater then in Cebu City. I remember watching the young John Voight as a boxer and father in the must-see movie The Champ. The song "If You Remember Me" from that movie still remains a popular song.

The Champ Clash of the Titans (Keepcase) Saturday Night Fever (30th Anniversary Special Collector's Edition)
I also remembered watching with him the original Clash of the Titans and Saturday Night Fever with the younger John Travolta. (Am I revealing my true age here?) I don't know why I remember these particular events but I missed those days.

My dad is in Luzon and I'm here in the Visayas. I can't personally greet him Happy Father's Day or thank him for everything. (He is already hearing impaired).

Dad, I may not look as tisoy (mestizo) as you. (yikes!) I may not have the genes on good looks from you. But I certainly got all the other better things that you taught me. And I thank you for that.

Take care of your health. Happy Father's Day!

Grrr!!!! You Just Can't Get Everything!

I am sad. The Celtics lost. I felt bad for the Big Three. They tried their best but their best was just not good enough (am I singing a song here?). The blame goes to Ron Artest's psychiatrist. He or she (whoever he or she is) made Artest relax and reportedly told Artest that he could shoot a three.

And what a three it was! Amidst the barrage of threes including a miracle three by Rajon Rondo, Artest made a killer three that provided enough separation between the Lakers and the Celtics. And Artest made sure to thank his psychiatrist at the post-game interview.

No one had seen this coming. Artest who often fired empty bricks in previous games just helped Kobe win another one. Of course, special mention goes to Gasol too for his magnificent rebounding along with Kobe who had double digits in rebounding. The Celtics surely missed Perkins on the floor.

So there you have it. The Lakers have their rings. Kobe and Fish added a fifth ring and Jackson collects another championship.

Indeed you cannot have things your way all the time. I may be a little sad. Just a little. It's just a basketball game. I won't lose sleep because of it. I won't have acne all over my face. I won't be undergoing treatment because of this.

There are many things to look forward to.

There is an NBA free agent extravaganza coming full of interesting free agents. A new season for my fantasy basketball team. Several pain-free and hematuria-free days despite PKD. A new challenge to overcome in real life as a teacher.

For one little thing not going my way, a flood of blessings come rushing in toward me.

That's just my pet dog at the start of this post who is frowning....

I am still smiling. :-)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Watch NBA Finals 2010 Game 7 Livestream!

This is it! Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Do or die!  No second chances. Two storied franchises. Two legendary teams. One trophy.

On one side are the Lakers. Kobe with a chance to cement his legacy as one of the Lakers greats if not the greatest according to many. Expect him to give his all for there is no tomorrow. This is the game he was waiting for all season. We know he can explode anytime. We know he can be unstoppable. We know deep inside, revenge is on his mind. Joining him are Gasol, Artest, Bynum, Fish and for me, the X-factor for this game for the Lakers, Lamar Odom.Which Lamar will show up?

On the other side are the Celtics. The proud Celtics. The Big Three now the Big Four minus Perk. Too bad. Perkin's defense is very valuable. Good thing though, there is Rasheed Wallace. Many seem to forget that Sheed used to be a starter for his previous teams. He too can play good D although age is catching up on him. He on the other side is the wildcard along with Big Baby.

Magic and Bird in the past. Now Kobe and the Big Four.

Even if the last game was a blowout, I think there is too much in this game for each team to just give up. That makes the game exciting to watch.

Can't watch the games because your not at home? Do not despair. You can watch the game online too via free livestream. Here is a link to the free nba final game livestream.

I know there are more Lakers fans. But what the heck......GO CELTICS!!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lessons of the Day: How to Choose an LCD Projector

As part of the IT Committee of my school, I was ask to attend an end user tech update of a known brand of printers and lcd projectors who just built a solutions center in Cebu. I was specifically asked to inquire about LCD projectors since the school may be planning to buy projectors to be used in an open area as well as a mobile projector.

I was one of the early birds and therefore I won a gift certificate for a body massage at a known spa. Of course, I cannot avail of that body massage unless I want to see how it feels when my kidney cysts burst. So I gave it to my wife who will avail of the service later because she still has sunburns from a previous outing with friends.

Back to the tech update venue. What immediately caught my attention were the projectors displayed and the product catalog distributed to us. I looked at the pages for projectors and the specs were laid out for each LCD projector.

The lumens I already have an idea. If you want a bright image, go for higher lumens. But what lumens exactly will be good for a venue which is not really enclosed like our school's main social hall which had no walls? I asked the tech support people and they said 2500 or 3000 ANSI Lumens and above. Hmmm... But I became curious because I saw in the specs "contrast ratio", "1024 x 768 pixel display" and "XGA Resolution".

I realized that laptops have different display size and I somehow got the point when I was told by a Ma'am Anniebeth that the newer laptops have a 1024 x 768 pixel display which is perfect for the LCD with the same pixel display. I remember the sight of my laptop display adjusting to other LCD projectors once it is hooked to the latter since they have different displays.

How about the contrast ratio? A high contrast ratio projector will allow the viewer to differentiate an object from a dark background like a person walking at night with few lights on. For usual presentation purposes a high contrast ratio is not a must but for home projectors I learned, it is ideal in order to enjoy movies at home.

Yes, LCD projectors can be used instead of LCD TV and the screen I imagine will be much bigger with the former and the cost cheaper. I think these are the kind of projectors rented by baranggay officials when they hold a free showing of a Pacquiao fight.

Now I know more than Lumens about projectors. I also learned there are filters in some LCD projectors and USB can be used to connect the laptop to the projector. A wireless connection may also do.

But I remembered there are two types of projectors. The LCD projector and the DLP which according to a colleague of mine was said to be the best in terms of clarity of projection.

A demonstration wherein an LCD projector and DLP projector showing the same presentation with pictures was made. It appeared that the LCD projector did better when colors were involved.

So it was recommended to me that for school lecture use an LCD projector with an XGA Resolution, a 1024 x 768 pixel display, 2500 Ansi Lumens and a 2000:1 Contrast ratio will be enough for the purpose and a higher 4000 ANSI Lumens be bought for the open venue.

I learned a lot today about choosing an LCD projector. And next week, I have to report to my boss and narrate my experience.  For now, all I have is smiles........

I just won a printer-scanner-copier in one from the event. Behold...


Friday, June 4, 2010

Sleepless in Guadalupe

The school opening is fast approaching and the past few days has just been crazy for me. These few days are probably one of the busiest for me. That happens when you are a teacher and a student at the same time.

I was just appointed research coordinator for the Velez College medical technology interns which is a very challenging position but a welcome challenge nonetheless. This is my opportunity to apply what I learned both in my Masters in Health Professions Education and Master of Science in Public Health. I believe that for research to truly be embraced by students, emphasis should not be on the number of lectures but on learning which takes place after the lectures, application and feedback.

And so I am having sleepless nights lately in our home in Guadalupe.

Apart from global warming making nights warmer for us to have difficulty sleeping, I am creating an instructional design for research which reflects the emphasis I mentioned and doing some long term planning. In the process, I am applying what I learned from my mentors, Dr, Erlyn Sana, Dr. Alvin Mojica, Dr. Fajutagana, Dr. M. Atienza and even my colleagues in CIM to guide me.

At the same time, I am working on my thesis proposal for my Public Health studies targetting June as my deadline and also having my paper on abbreviation usage checked by Dr. Mojica for submission later to Acta Medica.

I am also working on improving my Google and Alexa ranking for my blog in order to later explore paid blogging. I tried to apply to Entrecard last night and have been editing my 3 blogs and doing SEO stuff.

Then I just finished editing our Microbiology laboratory manual, reading other people's researches, preparing my lectures for the medical board exam review and the actual classes for the 2nd years.

Maybe if I don't really love teaching and research, I could have just left these tasks until the start of the actual classes.

Hey, I am forgetting that I am a PKD patient! I have to watch out for my health still.

Maybe, I am just excited to finally appreciate blogging. I am just as excited to finally have the opportunity to change the research culture starting with the premedical courses.

And don't worry, I still have a life outside school. People who do not really know me think I am this very serious guy who only talks about academic stuff.

I guess they just have to read more of my blog in the future to know me more.


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