Realities of the times and the humor of aging

 

Sharing these images with you for some laughter — and truth!

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Reproductive health care finally unleashed

 

rh-lawI had been writing about the ‘tethered’ reproductive health (RH), even until it became a law, advocating its implementation sooner than later, for I believe in its practicality and benefits especially for the poor folks, but it was never fully carried out.

It seemed like it was leashed and had limited usefulness only. Worse is that benefits continued to be unreachable by the poor and to think that RH care was already a law. What an irony!

My last article about it can be read at this link: https://quierosaber.wordpress.com/tag/reproductive-health-law/.

With President Rodrigo Duterte signing on Jan. 9 Executive Order (EO) No. 12, mandating universal access to modern family planning tools, I feel like this particular welfare program that was just made to dangle for the reach of the favored few is now unleashed so it could drop and roll down to those needing it the most.

Duterte is said to have ordered government agencies, namely, the Department of Health (DOH), the Commission on Population (POPCOM) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to “intensify and accelerate the implementation of critical actions” to address the “unmet” family planning needs of up to six million Filipina women.

It will be noted that foreign and local authorities have long cited the need for improved birth control in the Philippines which has one of Asia’s highest birth rates as well as high maternal mortality rates.

With a galloping population of over 100 million now and with about 25 percent living in poverty Duterte’s order could not have come at a very propitious time.

Now we could not say anymore that the implementation of the RH law is inadequate because of its limited budget.

“The important part there is that all government agencies will start inputting funds for the program in their 2018 and 2019 budgets,” POPCOM’s executive director Juan Antonio Perez said.

The government’s annual family planning budget could now increase four-fold to the ideal level of two billion pesos, Perez said.

With the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), working on the truism that delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled, and praising Duterte for his political will in providing free contraceptives to poor women, describing it as a ‘new momentum’ in the provision of family planning services in the Philippines, we can only hope and pray that the Catholic Church and its excessively pious followers will respect Duterte’s stand on this controversial issue and look at it as an act beneficial to the interest of the country and its people, for that is all there is to it.

Unborn baby showing peace sign

 

Unborn baby flashing peace sign caught in ultrasound.

Unborn baby flashing peace sign caught in ultrasound.

This is not an April Fools’ joke, though it happened on the 1st day of April.

This odd news caught my attention and I am sharing it with you because I find it not only weird but amusing as well.

It is about a Boston couple who eagerly wanted to learn the sex of their unborn baby during an ultrasound appointment.

The couple, Ryan and Janine Godfrey, got to learn that they were having a baby boy all right, but the excitement engulf them that they were unable to see the peace sign the four-month-old fetus was flashing at the very moment the little joker was being monitored!

“The baby’s moving around, raising his hands,” Janine said. “I didn’t see it. The tech was dying over there. She said ‘Look at him now. He’s giving the peace sign.'”

The expectant mother joked about her future son’s already developed sense of humor and took to calling him #PeaceBaby.

The joker is due in August.

A marriage proposal that could never go wrong

meatboquetMarriage proposals anywhere in the world have never been as creative, romantic and original at any other time than it is today.

Not only is it being done on the ground and under water, but it has also gone up in the air.

From the classic getting down on one knee with your offering of flowers, ring or what not, while surprising her with your proposal to be your wife, to having divers in an aquarium hold a sign saying, “will you marry me” while pretending to watch the show, and to the impressive and unexpected proposal of having an airplane spell those magic words “will you marry me” in the sky above an event you both are attending.

Oh, the many, many ways of making both private and public proposals!

It can be crazy, serious, funny, and even daring too.

There was even a mob dance that led to marriage proposal.

What is important is to make it overwhelming and memorable for the girl such that she can’t say anything else, but YES! YES! YES!

This is what happened to a man in China who got the affirmation from his girlfriend with his unique offering of a meat bouquet as he got down on one knee and made the proposal to his girlfriend.

Why the use of raw beef slices rolled into the shape of roses? Because his girlfriend loves to eat meat!

How could this proposal go wrong?

For more on this please open this link: http://shanghaiist.com/2015/03/30/meat-bouquet-proposal.php.

 

Muhammad beats other baby names in UK

babiesThe reason why I am posting this short blog is because I want to share with you how interesting, but intriguing, the news is all about.

One would think that because this is happening in England, newly born babies would be given royal names, as parents are in the habit of doing, like, Charles, William, Harry, and George or the more popular names, like, Ryan, Tyler, Anthony, David, Jack and Joshua.

But, surprisingly, according to BabyCentre in UK, which among other things has a complete online resource of baby names, the name Muhammad, with its different spelling variations, like Mohammed, Mohammad, etc., is ranked at the top of the list of the most used boys’ name in 2014.

Oliver was the number one name until the spellings of 3,499 Muhammads, 2,887 Mohammeds and 1,059 Mohammads were combined, giving a total of 7,445 babies.

The name Muhammad literally means “the praiseworthy” is thought to be one of the most popular names worldwide.

Other Arabic names gaining popularity in the list for 2014 are Omar, Ali, Ibrahim and Kian, which can also be Irish in origin.

For girls, Sophia was the most popular name given, coming in ahead of Emily and Lily. Sophie, a close cousin, came ninth. Olivia, Amelia, Isabella and Chloe were also high up in the list.

A fast-riser was Elsa, given a boost by the character in the Disney box-office hit Frozen.

Gaining in popularity also are Arabic girls’ name like Nur and Maryam.

Failed wedding converted to successful charity event

Phil Laboon

Phil Laboon

For those who may experience a wedding day that never will be, for one reason or another, you can very well learn this instructive lesson from Phil Laboon without getting drunk, grieving or falling into depression.

Surely, Laboon was heartbroken when his supposed wedding on August 31 was called off by his fiancée, but he did not allow this adversity to get the better of him.

Since he already had booked the reception at the Priory Hotel in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, paying around $20,000, to include food and drinks, Laboon decided to go on with it instead of letting all the preparation go to waste and with a positive attitude broached a noble idea to his friends, saying: “You know lemon and lemonade.”

Laboon was in fact determined to make the sour taste of the breakup into something sweet and fulfilling.

Thus, “LemonAID” was born – an aptly called charity event which proceeds go to Surgicorps International, an organization that provides free surgical and medical care to disadvantaged children in Third World countries.

Tickets sold at $75 apiece snowballed into tens of thousands of donations.

Word of LemonAID spread quickly on social media making Laboon’s phone ring non-stop for pledges and more donations on the way.

“It makes you feel really good that we’re literally going to be changing a massive amount of kids’ lives. It makes it almost feel that it’s not the worst thing in the world to cancel a wedding,” Laboon said.

Not at all and thanks to the heartless fiancée for Laboon’s enduring happiness now, which can’t be said of them had their union ever materialized.

Extravagance cost Chinese official his job

weddingThere is some kind of parallelism between this story and the lifestyle check conducted by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on some of their own employees and employees of other notorious government agencies such as the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

We could even say that if it is about extravagance we are talking about, then the parallelism is more evident and the lifestyle check becomes more imperative for those involved in the PDAF/DAP scam tormenting the country today.

The only difference, however, and this is a very significant difference, is that while the Chinese official mentioned here got sacked for lavish spending, in our case, we still have to see whether or not our plundering compatriots will meet the same fate especially that, unlike the low-level Chinese official, those implicated in our country are high-ranking officials and lawmakers to boot.

In the same manner that the Philippine government is instituting reforms and running after and exposing corrupt government officials, Beijing also has been stumping graft and corruption by cracking down on excessive and wasteful spending by Chinese officials.

One such official that is said to have attracted major media attention and earn the ire of top leaders in Beijing is Ma Linxiang, the deputy village chief of Qingheying in suburban Beijing, who allegedly spent 1.6 million yuan or more that $261,000 on his son’s lavish three-day, 250-table wedding ceremony at the upscale China National Convention Center.

Although Ma denied having spent that much money, claiming that the bride comes from a wealthy family of businesspeople from China’s eastern Jiangssu province, and could not stop them from inviting famous performers and celebrating extravagantly, still it went against the much publicized anti-corruption campaign, which China’s new leader’s warned could undermine the ruling Communist Party.

Indeed, this is swift justice that, while deserving for the Chinese official even without evidence that he embezzled public funds, is more appropriate for the Filipino officials in the scam with the voluminous evidences attesting to their culpability.

But, then this is the Philippines and it can only happen here the way the lifestyle check and the PDAF/DAP scam is unfolding that we have to wait, and wait, and still wait until we know who has been sacked or has been meted a jail sentence – if any.

Tsk tsk tsk!