Saturday, December 22, 2012

Speech of Alvin Dakis as the 2012 Most Outstanding Youth Leader of Quezon City

Nurse Alvin Dakis received the highest award as the Most Outstanding Youth Leader of Quezon City given by the Quezon City Youth Confederation and the Quezon City Sports & Youth Development Program. The awarding took place at the Amoranto open stadium in front of more than 5,000 young people.


Hindi po ako naniniwala sa sinabi ni Gat. Jose Rizal, na ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan. Kahit pa sabihin niyang "so you think amalayer? Amalayer!" ay maninindigan ako na ang kabataan ay ang NGAYON ng bayan.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Why I left religion

Just by reading the title of this article, you know where this is going and I might be called names after this. But my journey might be similar to yours - who knows?

I was born from a family that is devoted to Roman Catholicism. My mom grew from a family that is also very conservative (religiously speaking) and are devotees of Mary. I grew from a family that prays the rosary everyday and practices a lot of Catholic beliefs. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Friday, December 07, 2012

Launching the Progressive Youth Agenda "NOW TRENDING: #YOUTHVOTE2013"

Upon the assumption into office by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, democratic spaces for people’s and civil society organizations have opened up towards participation in governance. The key strategy of the current Aquino administration harnesses the wisdom and mandate of its constituency towards realizing reforms especially in the area of anti-corruption.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The DOH Nursing Certification Program (NCP) Guidelines

The DOH Nursing Certification Program (NCP) will be launched today, November 23, 2012 in Manila. Health Secretary Enrique Ona will lead the turn-over ceremonies of the NCP Modules.


Briefer on the DOH Nurse Certification Program
The DOH Nurse Certification Program (NCP) is designed to provide the mechanism for  establishing a competency-based learning intervention and development for nurses, which adopts a level progression directed towards certification  of competencies in the various clinical areas. 

[Vital Signs Column] What is wrong with RNHEALS?

Vital Signs Column
NURSE'S NOTES
By: Alvin Cloyd Dakis, RN
December 01-15 Issue

The nursing profession is facing with a lot of troubling issues recently - from poor regulation of nursing schools, to overproduction of nurse graduates, to nurses volunteering in the hospitals to get that much anticipated certificate, to proliferation of training centers and post-graduate courses, to increase in unemployment rate etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Many are our problem, yet we resolve to the most effective way to solve things - blame others.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

AYNLA awarded for its public service programs by H&L Magazine

Health exemplars to be awarded


A healthy lifestyle and other health promotion activities are considered important treatment strategies to prevent non-communicable diseases like heart diseases, strokes, chronic lung diseases and cancers. He
nce, these diseases are also called lifestyle diseases.

Monday, November 19, 2012

[Vital Signs Column] Leaving Home

Photo credit: http://globalnation.inquirer.net
Vital Signs Column
NURSE'S NOTES
By: Alvin Cloyd Dakis, RN
November 15-30 Issue

In the recent times, taking Nursing in the Philippines would mean one taking the possibility of working abroad, migrating and leaving home. With the increasing demand for Filipino nurses to work abroad, issues on migration become exponentially increasing.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Public service is not just public office

Time and again I have been asked "would you like to run as party-list representative?" or "is your group running as a party-list group?" and more comments such as "we will support you if ever you decided to run..."

As much as these statements of inquiry and support flatters me -- I would say I am just grateful that people see the importance of our work and the need to have more groups from the health sector be represented in Congress.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

[Vital Signs Column] Universal Health Care: Pharmacy Pawnshops

Photo credit: http://cdn7.wn.com
Vital Signs Column
NURSE'S NOTES
By: Alvin Cloyd Dakis, RN
October 01-15 Issue

Well hello October! The season is nearing for endless shopping for gifts, decorations and lots of food! I can feel the climate getting colder. I am hoping that October will be kinder to you this year.

Recently, I became part of a team that advocates Universal Health Care (UHC) in the Philippines. I got accepted and join the ranks of former Health Secretaries, national scientists and public health leaders. This group known as the Universal Health Care Study Group was formed under the National Institutes of Health of UP Manila and is currently in partnership with the Department of Health for an 8-month national campaign to promote people's access to Universal Health Care program in the country.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

[Vital Signs Column] My Final Stand on the RH Bill


Vital Signs
NURSE'S NOTES
By: Alvin Cloyd Dakis, RN
August 16-31, 2012 Issue (Part I)
September 01-15, 2012 Issue (Part II)

Many things have been said and the debates just go circuitous and tiresome. They have called me by many names because I have, time and again, supported the Reproductive Health Bill which is still pending in the 15th Congress.


Long before I started my RH advocacy, I was advocating the issues of HIV & AIDS and the Deaf's access to information on health. I started to seriously advocate on the RH Bill during the last quarter of 2010 when I saw the need for nurses and young people to speak  up and inform the people about their reproductive & sexual health needs and the RH Bill as well. I went on to study its provisions and the issues that surround it. And since HIV & AIDS is one of the reproductive & sexual health concern under the RH Bill, I felt it was connected and my deeper knowledge of reproductive & sexual health (SRH) would lead me to become a better nurse educator to my patients.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

AYNLA United Nurses Party launched, candidates set

UNP's Official Logo
Quezon City, Philippines - The members of the Alliance of Young Nurse Leaders & Advocates International Inc. also known as AYNLA is now preparing for its first National Elections of their Board of Trustees and Executive Council set this August 20, 2012.

Some founding members of the Board of Trustees together with some national officers were set to join the race for the next set of the Board of Trustees that will govern the fastest rising nursing organization in the country today.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Those who oppose RH are the real promoters of abortion - Likhaan


Senator Tito Sotto, based on evidence copied from Facebook, blogs and other similar sources, once more accuses several organizations and civil society leaders of promoting abortion. Nothing can be further from the truth.
The single biggest promoter of increased abortions in the Philippines is the anti-RH movement. It fanatically opposes family planning, post-abortion care and sexuality education – in the guise of being “pro life.” Yet these RH measures are critical to reducing abortions and saving lives.
Effective family planning minimizes unplanned pregnancies – the starting point of most women's decision to undergo an abortion. Humane post-abortion care reduces repeat abortions through counseling and immediate access to contraception. Sexuality education by trained schoolteachers cuts down teenagers' risky sexual behaviors.

The Purple Aquino

Paolo Benigno Aquino IV
Probably he will be the only Aquino that I have to deviate from the usual color. 

Bam Aquino and I are both Fellows of the Asia Society - an international fellowship of young leaders from the Asia-Pacific region chosen annually from different fields of expertise. But before that Bam's popularity precedes him as being the former Chair of the Philippines' National Youth Commission.

Long before we have met in person, I have high regards to the man, of being the face of youth issues and in helping small to medium entrepreneurs. It was more of that than being the cousin of the Philippine President. Well, I guess that would add up now.

Monday, August 13, 2012

[Vital Signs Column] The Road to Universal Health Care

The DOH Secretary's Cup for
Universal Health Care

Vital Signs
NURSE'S NOTES
By: Alvin Cloyd Dakis, RN
August 01-15, 2012 Issue

I was live tweeting during the launch of the Universal Health Care "Secretary's Cup" at the Department of Health last July 25 and I was thinking how would young people appreciate this and how would they even care to make this goal happen? I was listening and tweeting intently but partly wondering as well.

In all honesty, many people of my age, the 20s, would care less or would not even care about this. If asked, they wouldn't even have any single hint of what "Universal Health Care" means. It is for this reason, our nurses partnered with the Department of Health to create a 7-month campaign to make Universal Health Care known to people nation-wide to professionals, students, and to the communities. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

[PhilStar Blogs] Perverts in MRT


The Manila Metro Rail Transit System or better known as MRT is a famous transport for commuting passengers from EDSA-Pasay Terminal inter-linking LRT Line 1 to North Avenue Terminal in Quezon City. It is actually quite a long & tiring ride if you are to take one end terminal to another.

MRT is the busiest transit of all the 3 major trains in Metro Manila and it has the densest number of passengers especially during rush hours and sometimes surprisingly almost every hour. The MRT caters to thousands and thousands of passengers everyday and if you are new to Metro Manila and it is your first time to ride the MRT, it is one grueling, tiresome and offending ride. Because it caters a lot of passengers (which sometimes I believe the train is being overloaded), when the train makes a turn, you would feel that it will tilt a bit.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Be an International Citizen Service Volunteer!


International Citizen Service's (ICS) Youth Action program gives young people from the Philippines and the UK a unique opportunity to live, work and learn together, develop and share valuable skills, and make practical contributions to disadvantaged communities faced with challenging situations in the Philippines.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Filipino Nurse Celebrities

So you've seen them in TV shows, billboards and hear them in your radios but you did not know that they were nurses. Some of them became nurses before they became celebrities and some finished their nursing degrees while they are already in show business.

Get to know our Filipino nurse celebrities!


AYNLA President receives award from France, first Asian winner of Connecting Nurses' Care Challenge


ACCEPTANCE STATEMENT
Alliance of Young Nurse Leaders & Advocates International Inc.
Pod.RN (The Nurses’ Podcast Project)
Recipient Helping Hands Category, Care Challenge 2012


AYNLA is the first Asian entry and winner of the
2011 Care Challenge of Connecting Nurses 
In behalf of the organization I am representing, the Alliance of Young Nurse Leaders International (AYNLA) founded and operated in  the Philippines, I would like to thank the Connecting Nurses Team and the rest of the jury who voted and chose our entry “Pod.RN” as one of the first ever recipient the Helping Hands Awards. We remain humble servants of the nursing profession.

In 2009, I have dreamed of one thing: to see young nurses actively participating in the issues of the nursing profession in our country. Back then, many of my colleagues are likely to be a bit apathetic over the issues and concerns the nursing profession is going through and would rather focus on their individual careers and work abroad. What came to me as a revelation and a vision became my greatest challenge – to organize and mobilize newly-passed nurses for the betterment of the profession.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Keynote Speech at AYNLA Abra Chapter's 1st Year Anniversary


1st AYNLA Abra Chapter’s Anniversary
Theme: “NURSING CARE: THE CARITAS PATH TO PEACE”

Way back in 2009, I dreamt of this day to come – that empowered young professional nurses come together to help the nursing profession; that an active potent force be mobilized to help become a solution to the growing ills of the society; and to become the voice of caring peace in times of war – a war against diseases, inequities and social illness.

The rise of AYNLA International was not an easy one – in fact it was the hardest I have to hurdle in my entire life. It is the vision I have to fulfill and the calling I have to answer. From a small group of nine to the current network of 12,000, AYNLA indeed championed a lot of adversaries.

But what makes AYNLA special? How did we overturn our challenges into victories? What is our path to peace?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

[PhilStar unBLOGGED] Breaking the Code: Saving the Babies!


Photo credits: www.incultureparent.com

When I was a student nurse, I remembered how zealously we taught every mother the advantages of exclusive breastfeeding and that it increases the mother-child bond. We taught about colostrum, performed the mnemonics of B-R-E-A-S-T-F-E-E-D-I-N-G through songs and dances and how fancy we made our artsy presentations to Mothers' Classes. 

I remembered that we highly discouraged mothers from bringing neither milk bottles nor suction apparatus in the hospital premises. I remembered how the Department of Health campaigned for exclusive breastfeeding which even have a television commercial of a mother saying "my child is not a cow". This commercial struck me. That no child deserves no less than a mother's milk - not of cows.

These are our efforts as part of our roles in fulfilling the Executive Order No. 51 or the National Milk Code of the Philippines.

However the current Milk Code is now being proposed to be amended in the 15th Congress of the Republic.

But the proposed amendments are not pleasing breastfeeding advocates - mothers especially. The amendments to the Milk Code according to them is deleterious to the decades of pure hard work for all Filipino mothers and advocates who pushed a proactive piece of legislation. To some even calling it a “Monster Bill” after the bill has been consolidated.

Two decades of the Code
26 years ago, the Executive Order No. 51 was signed by the late President Corazon Aquino and was enacted in October of 1986. 21 years after it was passed, the Revised Implementing Rules & Regulations (RIRR) of the Milk Code was approved after 11 revisions. That is not such a long time wasn't it?

More than two decades ago, our mothers would not know about Colostrum and how breast milk protects their child from infection and diseases. Two decades ago, our mothers know nothing that one of the first activities to bond herself to her newborn is through breastfeeding and that there it is also a natural contraceptive for about six months. Not two decades ago our mothers would know that breast milk is superior to any infant formula milk.

Amending the Code
After a few years of the Milk Code’s full implementation, a proposal to amend it came to the House of Representatives. What was a bit confusing was when the proposed amendments had gone through the committee hearings at the House Committee on Health and is now on the House Committee on Trade & Industry under the radar. 
A consolidated bill is now being filed in substitution to House Bills 3525, 3527, 3396 and 3537. This consolidated bill is being authored by the following representatives, Rufus Rodriguez, Lani Mercado-Revilla, and Lucy Torres-Gomez among others. This consolidated bill is an act promoting a comprehensive program on breastfeeding practices and regulating the trade, marketing and promotions of certain foods for infants and children.

According to Baby Milk Action, a non-profit organization based in the United Kingdom, this consolidated bill is being backed by the Infant and Pediatric Nutrition Association of the Philippines or IPNAP which is being composed of the following milk substitute manufacturing companies – Nestle, Mead Johnson, Abbott and Fonterra.

Breaking the Code
There are four (4) House Bills that were being consolidated into one:
            HB 3396 – authored by Rep. Bondoc, also a medical doctor;
            HB 3523 – authored by Rep. Gunigundo;
            HB 3527 – authored by Reps. Noel & Rodriguez; and
            HB 3537 – authored by Reps. Mercado-Revilla & Torres-Gomez

Of the four bills, only the Bondoc-authored bill can be considered a “good bill”. However, the good representative is on leave due to her delicate pregnancy, which means, the other 3 “not-so-good bills” overshadowed the good one in the author’s absence.

The consolidated bill is now called “An Act Promoting a Comprehensive Program on Breastfeeding Practices and Regulating the Trade, Marketing and Promotions of Certain Foods for Infants and Children”.

Let me tell you why I am against the some amendments to the Milk Code:

Compensable lactation periods – no more. According to R.A. 10028, breastfeeding and working mothers are allowed a compensated 40-minute break within the 8-hour working day. However, under the current consolidated bill specifically in Section 8d, this 40-minute break will be unpaid and either be deducted from the official work time, or none at all.

To the many working and lactating mothers I have talked to, this benefit is very essential and according to them, it reduces their absences from work. It makes them healthier and more productive. And for them, taking this benefit is nothing but a disregard to their basic rights to breastfeed their child when necessary.

Breast milk is best for babies up to 6 months…only? Section 32 of the consolidated bill limits advertising restrictions for infants 0 to 6 months which is contrary to the current Milk Code which limits up to 2 years of age. This means, milk companies can now advertise freely to mothers who have infants beyond 6 months of age.

According to the Save the Babies Coalition, allowing promotions of breast milk substitute or infant milk formula from 6 months and above will cause irreparable damages to the growth and development of infants and shall only gain these multinational companies.

Most mothers would not discriminate formula milk given to a 6-month old infant to a 2-year old one. For many especially those who are in poor communities, formula milk is ‘milk’. Allowing milk companies to advertise to the public and to mothers who have in infants 6-months and above would jeopardize the provisions of the Milk Code which encourages mothers to breastfeed until 2-3 years of age.

Only our milk can give your child +7 IQ. Under Section 16 of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (RIRR) of the Milk Code, it is prohibited for milk companies to print or publish all health or nutritional claims that would connote to increasing emotional or intellectual capacities of the infant.

Breastfeeding in emergency situations, milk companies to the rescue. Section 46 of the consolidated bill will now allow milk companies to “donate” their products to emergency situations and disaster-stricken areas with the thought of “helping” lactating mothers ease their anxiety by giving them milk formula. The current Milk Code prohibits such “donations” very strongly.

Mothers who are given formula milk and started to give to their children is a subliminal approach telling mothers how “easier” it would be for them to buy milk formula instead of exerting to breastfeed especially in times like that. It’s like once you start, you can’t stop strategy.

Your infant milk formula is in English Only Policy. Section 26 removes the bi-lingual labeling on milk containers. This means, no more Filipino translation for mothers or fathers who cannot fully comprehend those English labels. Infant milk companies are required to translate the label that says breast milk is superior to artificial milk.

Well of course these multinationals wouldn’t like a common Filipino housewife to read this in Filipino/Tagalog or else they are doomed.

I will teach you about taking care of your baby, by taking our products. Section 20(c) allows milk companies to engage in educational activities and even in the production of materials relating to breastfeeding, infant care and nutrition. What would we expect, a tone void of their products so-called claims of their products and not opposing advantages of breastfeeding?

Save the Babies. Moderate the Greed. 
I call upon nurses, doctors, midwives and other health professionals to continue educating our mothers about the advantages of breastfeeding and to oppose the following amendments to the current Milk Code.

I call upon our legislators especially to the authors of the bill to follow the voice of your constituents and consult your mothers in your locality. Tell them about the proposed amendments and solicit their responses. Would they want all these to happen to their children? Would we want our infants to be dependent on formula milk when our mothers can breast feed them?

I call upon our mothers and breastfeeding advocates to unify our efforts and continue drumming to gain support to protect mothers and infants. Breastfeeding is the single most economic, safe and effective to increase the maternal-child bond but this is being threatened once again. It is time to increase everyone's efforts to protect the vulnerable and the voiceless.  

What we currently need is to properly implement the Code and if we are going to amend it, it would be best that no ulterior motives benefiting few companies or people be tolerated and that the best interest would be for our lactating mothers and the voiceless infants in our country.

I therefore call to our milk manufacturing companies to please moderate your greed and to please do consider the welfare of our infants and mothers.


[Vital Signs Column] Kalayaan


Photo credits: www.digitalphotographer.com.ph

Vital Signs
NURSE'S NOTES
By: Alvin Cloyd Dakis, RN
June 15-30, 2012 Issue

At dahil ngayong Hunyo ay ipinagdiriwang natin ang ika-114 na Araw ng Kalayaan ng Pilipinas, nais kong isulat ang aking artikulo sa Pilipino.

Ngayong nasa atin na ang ating kalayaan, masasabi ba nating tuluyan nang malaya ang bansa? Para sa akin kahit hanggang ngayon patuloy pa rin tayo sa pakikibaka tungo sa isang tunay na kalayaan ng bansa. Patuloy pa rin ang ating pakikibaka upang makamit ang isang lipunang lubusang nagtatanggol sa karapatang pantao, malaya sa talamak na pangungurakot sa kaban ng bayan, at isang bayang progresibo maituturing.

Kalayaan sa Katawan
Isa sa mga natatanging panukalang batas na naglalayong bigyang karapatan ang mga kababaihan, indibidwal at mga mag-asawa na makapili ng mga paraan upang mapagplanuhan ang pamilya, maturuan ang mga kabataan paano protektahan ang kanilang mga katawan at mabigyan ng serbisyo na akma sa kanilang mga pangngailangan. Ito ay ang RH Bill, na mahigit sampung taon ng nakabinbin sa Kamara. Ang bill na syang mariing tinututulan ng Simbahang Katolika at ilang mga relihiyosong grupo.

Ang RH Bill ay isang panukalang batas na dumaan na sa maraming bersyon at ito’y na i-file na nang maka ilang beses sa iba’t ibang Kongreso at marami na rin ang naging may akda nito. Makailang beses na rin itong hindi naka usad sa Kongreso o nag ala-usad pagong sa bawat taon. Sa Senado naka usad na sa Period of Interpellation ang RH Bill, na ngayo’y nasa Period of Amendments na. Ngunit sa Kamara de Representates hindi pa rin matapos-tapos ang paulit-ulit na debate na paulit-ulit naman na ding nasagot ng maayos, paktwal at base sa karanasan ng mga tao, siyensya, lohika at masusing pag-aaral.

Ang kalayaang makapag-pasya ng walang pag-iimbot at walang pag-aalinlangan na siyang ginabayan naman ng tamang pagtuturo at impormasyon. Paano makakamit ng bawat Pilipino ang natatanging kalayaan na makapag-pasya para sa kanilang mga katawan kung sarado ang isipan natin. Hindi ba tayo nahahabag sa mga buhay na nawawala dahil sa mga pangyayaring maari namang maiwasan gaya ng mga kumplikasyon ng panganganak?

Kalayaan sa katawan? Papunta pa tayo riyan.

Kalayaan sa Isip
Ang paglilingkod sa bayan ay nangangailangan ng isang bukas na pag-iisip sa lahat ng sector ng lipunan na may iba’t ibang layunin at hinanaing. Ang paglilingkod sa bayan ay nararapat na nagbubukas sa isipan at kamalayan ng bawat sambayanan ukol sa mga transaksyon ng pamahalaan upang sa gayon ay mas maging malinaw ang bawat ginagawa ng gubyerno at ito’y naayon sa mataas na pamantayan at direkta sa taumbayan. 

Ngunit ang kalayaang ito ang syang gusto nating makamit, ang Freedom of Information o FOI Bill ay isang panukalang batas na naglalayong bigyan ang taumbayan ng mas malawak na kapangyarihang suriin at tignan ang mga dokumento o transaksiyon ng gubyerno. Kasama din ng RH Bill, ang FOI Bill ngayon ay matagal na ring nakabinbin sa mga tukador at lamesa n gating mga mambabatas. Sa pamahalaan ni Presidente Aquino, ipinangako niya na sa ilalim ng kaniyang administrasyon ay mapagbobotohan at maipapasa ang mga panukalang batas na ito.

Ngunit nasaan na ang FOI Bill? Lumipas na lang ang mga laban ni Jessica Sanchez at Manny Pacquiao, na-impeach na si CJ Corona pero ang FOI at RH wala pa rin sa eksena. Sa mababang kapulungan, mukhang dapat na may matinding pagtutulak sa mga mambabatas upang kahit papaano’y mapagbotohan man lang ang mga panukalang batas na ito. Aba’y lampas sampung taon na ang mga bills na to at magge-Grade 5 na sa elementarya ngunit nakatunganga pa rin sa Kamara. Huwag naman sana natin pagradweytin ng elementarya ang mga bills na ito para naman magamit na ng taumbayan ang mga benepisyo nito. At please lalong wag naman sanang abutan na ng K-12 na baytang bago pa ang mga bills na ito ay maipasa.

Maraming nagsasabi na ang mga bills na ito ay hindi sagot sa kahirapan, lalo na ang RH Bill. Aba’y tumpak kayo riyan! Dahil ang RH Bill ay ginawa upang tugunan ang mga reproductive & sexual health concerns, ang RH Bill ay para tugunan ang reproductive health at hindi sa poverty. Gayun pa man, lagi kong sinasabi na ang maaga at tamang pagpaplano ng pamilya ay nakakatipid sa mga magulang at nag-nanais na maging magulang, nakakapag-ipon at nakakapaghanda. Ibig sabihin mas matutulungan nila ang kanilang pamilya na hindi dumanas ng mas matinding kahirapan.

Para na rin sa kaliwanagan ng ating mga isipan, ang pagsasagawa ng batas ay magkaiba sa pagpapatupad nito. Ang isa sa mga pinakadahilan kung bakit “mambabatas” ang tawag natin sa ating mga senador at kongresman ay sapagkat ang una nilang layunin ay magsagawa at mag amienda ng batas. Ang pagsasatupad nito ay gawain at responsibilidad ng ibang sangay at opisina ng gubyerno. Kung nais nating maayos na naipapatupad ang mga batas na ito, kinakailangan ang nagkakaisang pagsisikap mula sa lahat ng sektor ng lipunan: gubyerno, pribadong sektor, kababaihan, kabataan, sektor ng may kapansanan, mga matatanda, at lahat ng mga organisasyon upang maisakatuparan ng maayos ang mga batas na ito.

Kalayaan sa isip? Papunta pa tayo riyan.

Kalayaan sa Puso
Nako eto na yata may pinakamasalimoot na yugto ng aking sanaysay, ang usaping kalayaan ng puso at damdamin. Sa puntong ito ang kalayaan naman ng bawat taong piliin ang kung sino mang ninanais niyang pakasalan dahil ito ay mahal niya. Masalimoot diba? Oo. Dahil sa bansa natin, ang pagmamahal sa kapwa lalake o babae ay isang kathang isip lamang at hindi ito nangyayari sa lipunan. Ang babae at lalake na nagmamahalan ay maaring magpakasal ngunit ang nagmamahalang kapwa lalake at babae ay joke joke lang. Sa Pilipinas, maari kang ikasal ngunit hindi ka maaring makipagdiborsyo, annulment lang dahil mas mahal ito at mas matagal. Tiyak akong bago ka ma-annul ay namuti na ang buhok niyo sa kakaintay.

Ang movement for same-sex marriage sa Pilipinas ay nagsimula ilang buwan ng nakakalipas at ang usapin ng same sex marriage ay isang napakalaking debate sa bansa. Sa aking pananaw naman, ang bawat tao ay hindi secondary sa isa sapagkat sa mata ng Konstitusyon ng Pilipinas, lahat ay may pantay pantay na karapatan. Kung Constitutional Right ang pag-papakasal, dapat binibigyang laya nito ang sinumang nais magpakasal, babae sa lalake o sa kapwa lalake o babae man. Hindi dapat nangingiling ang Konstitusyon kung sino lang ang dapat magpakasal dahil kung ganun, ang Konstitusyon pala ay para lamang sa mga heterosekswal.

Ang pagsasaligal ng same-sex marriage ay hindi naman naglalayong pilitin lahat ng sangkabaklaan, sangkalesbyahan at lahat sa LGBT Community at lahat kahit mga heterosekswal na magpakasal sa kapwa lalake o babae. Ito’y kabaliwan! May mga tao ngang pinipiling maging “single till death” eh, so ibig sabihin hindi lahat ng tao’y nagnanais magpakasal. So, kung maipapasa ang same-sex marriage, binibigyan lamang ito ng karapatan ang mga nasa LGBT community na i-exercise ang kanilang karapatan na magpakasal.

Hindi rin ibig sabihin na naging legal ang same-sex marriage/union ay ibig sabihin na lahat ng simbahan sa buong bansa ay dapat nang magkasal ng mga bakla, lesbyana, bisekswal at mga transgender. Yun lamang mga simbahan o relihiyong organisasyon na pumapayag na magkasal ng mga LGBTs ang gagawa nito.
Yung mga ayaw ding magpakasal sa kapwa lalake o babae, edi ‘wag kayong magpakasal sa kanila. Dun kayo magpakasal sa taong gusto ninyo. Kumbaga, sa isang pamosong sawikain pa ay “Kung ayaw mo, huwag mo!”

Kalayaan sa puso? Papunta pa tayo riyan.

Ngayon, sa tingin nyo ay malaya talaga tayo? Tayong mga nakagapos sa kamangmangan, intoleransiya at pagkapanatiko sa maling paniniwala. Tayong baon at lugmok sa isang tiwaling pamamalakad ng pamahalaan. Tayong nakatali sa kadena ng karalitaan. Asan ang kalayaan doon?

Ngunit, naniniwala akong papunta na tayo sa tunay na kalayaan, sa katawan, isip at puso. Sige sige lang ang banat at tiyak bubuwag din ang mga kawing ng kamangmangan, kahirapan at katiwalian. Konting birada pa, FTW!

Original links: 
Mga suhestiyon o reaksiyon? Ipadala nyo sa Alvin.Dakis@aynla.org   

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sexual Health: Why Should You Care? A Forum by Young Public Servants, Sex and Sensibilities.com and Mulat Pinoy



The phrase “sexual health” conjures up images of condoms, teen pregnancies, premarital sex and HIV/AIDS. But does the picture have to be quite so alarming?

“Sexual Health: Why Should You Care?” is a forum organized by Young Public Servants, Sex and Sensibilities and Mulat Pinoy. The forum seeks to focus on different aspects of sexual health, and to emphasize its importance not just to women, but young people, to men, to parents, to society as a whole.

The forum will have four segments:

 “Teeny Baby Bump” will discuss not only the increase in occurrences in the Philippines, but also the ways in which educational institutions and government agencies respond to the issue.

Controversial issues like LGBT rights and PLHIV (People Living with HIV) concerns will be explored in “Stigma and Controversy”.

Most people think of sexual reproductive health as a woman’s domain and thus, only a woman’s concern. But as the male guests in the segment “Are You Man Enough? Men and Sexual Health” will tell you, sexual health is every bit a concern for men, too.

And finally, how do parents talk to their children about sex? Is the idea of sex education in schools really unpalatable? Listen to what families have to say in the “Sex Ed: Why It Needs a Parent’s Guidance” segment.

The forum will be held on Saturday, July 7, 2012, from 2:00 to 6:00 PM at the Filipinas Heritage Library. This event is free and open to the public.

The Filipinas Heritage Library is located at:
Makati Avenue, Ayala Triangle,
Makati City, Philippines 1224
Trunkline: (632) 8921801

For further inquiries, contact:

Ana Santos
Web: Sex and Sensibilities.com
Mobile: 0917-8207277

Regina Layug Rosero
Web: MulatPinoy.ph
Mobile: 0917-8163500

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Guttmacher: Inadequate Knowledge About Contraception is Common Among Young Adults


New Study Suggests Improving Contraceptive Knowledge May Positively Influence Behavior, Reducing Risk of Unplanned Pregnancy


More than half of young men and a quarter of young women who participated in a 2009 survey displayed serious gaps in knowledge about common contraceptive methods, according to "Young Adults' Contraceptive Knowledge, Norms and Attitudes: Associations with Risk of Unintended Pregnancy," by Jennifer Frost et al. of the Guttmacher Institute. The authors found that the lower the level of contraceptive knowledge among young women, the greater the likelihood that they expected to have unprotected sex in the next three months, behavior that puts them at risk for an unplanned pregnancy. These findings come on the heels of a study that found that women in their 20s have the highest risk of experiencing an unintended pregnancy.

The authors relied on data collected through telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,800 unmarried women and men aged 18–29 as part of the 2009 National Survey of Reproductive and Contraceptive Knowledge, which aimed to better understand the characteristics associated with risky contraceptive practices among young adults.

The analyses also reveal that although most unmarried young adults are trying to avoid pregnancy, many are not taking the necessary precautions to do so or have conflicting attitudes about pregnancy and contraceptive use. Sixty-nine percent of young women and 45% of young men were highly committed to avoiding pregnancy. Some 25% thought that using condoms every time one has sex is a hassle, 60% underestimated the effectiveness of oral contraceptives and 40% held the fatalistic view that using birth control does not matter. The more strongly men and women agreed that regular condom use is "too much of a hassle," the more likely they were to expect to have unprotected sex.

In addition, women's greater contraceptive knowledge was related to an increased likelihood that they used hormonal or long-acting methods, while expectations of side effects were associated with lowered use of these highly effective methods. The study also revealed that peers' attitudes are linked to behavior: The more strongly young women believe that their friends consider using birth control important, the more likely they are to rely on hormonal or long-acting methods.

"This study provides valuable evidence that improving young adults' contraceptive knowledge and dispelling common misconceptions can help change their behavior for the better," says Frost. "We found disturbingly low levels of knowledge among this high-risk age-group, indicating an urgent need for new educational strategies aimed at improving contraceptive use and reducing the risk of unplanned pregnancy."

"Young Adults' Contraceptive Knowledge, Norms and Attitudes: Associations with Risk of Unintended Pregnancy" is currently available online and will appear in the June 2012 issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.

Friday, June 08, 2012

[Vital Signs Column] Beaten Up


Photo credit: blogdomendesemendes,blogspot.com
June 01-15, 2012 IssueVital Signs, is the FIRST newspaper for the medical community. It caters to doctors, health workers and other healthcare professionals, bringing them the latest health news, scientific updates, as well as opinions, and commentaries on current issues impacting healthcare delivery in the country. You can read Alvin Dakis' columns on nursing & social issues named Nurse's Notes in every Vital Signs newspaper published every 1st & 15th of the month. www.fame.ph 

Little Johnny was a newcomer from another city; he speaks nothing like the vernacular language and knows nothing about the new culture he is in. He is usually silently sitting in his chair away from other children. He eats lunch alone, and walks home alone.

He is often teased as a sissy boy, often a laughing stock for being “soft”; he was even compared to soggy noodles. He was teased as “faggot” even by children across the street, children he even does not know. He was beaten by larger guys in his neighborhood. And he does not have the courage to tell anybody.

He was bullied and discriminated in his elementary school.

High school didn’t change much as he still experience bullying and teasing. He was called sissy, as he had been labeled during his elementary years, for he does not know how to play basketball and baseball with the other guys. No girls would like him. No guys would like him as well. He was found nowhere to be liked.

He was bullied and discriminated in his high school.

College was no stranger to him as the same events of discrimination happened. But this time things are quite different – he started to fight the discrimination by speaking up; empowering himself and developing his strengths in areas he is very much interested. He started to rise in the leadership ladder.

This Little Johnny is ME.

Yes, I was discriminated, bullied and hurt when I was young (and should I say even up to now). This is no different to countless children in schools and to many young people in workplaces. Discrimination and bullying are real.

Why bully?
When I was young I always ask myself why others would look down on me or why others would think it is alright to hurt someone when they appear, speak or act differently from them. I realized that these people who bully others are also victims of bullying themselves either by their parents or someone higher, older or in authority than them.

Bullied children tend to project their anger to other children which they perceive to be weaker or someone that they can scare or threaten because that is also how they perceived they are when they were physically or verbally abused.

Discrimination and bullying
Why do people bully? It’s because we learned to discriminate first. From the moment we learned to differentiate a boy from a girl, we learn to discriminate as well. In an uptight society like ours, we teach children how to become intolerant and outcast those who we think are different, unique and special.

Discrimination springs bullying and after the bullying is done, discrimination still remains. Bullying is the physical manifestation of an intense discrimination towards a person or belief.

But if we say bullying is the physical manifestation, does this mean there are other types of bullying and discrimination? Physical bullying is one of the most common and very identifiable while verbal and emotional/psychological bullying may become more detrimental to another person. Verbal bullying is at most of the time, more hurtful than the physical bullying. But then to most I encountered, physical bullying is often times accompanied with verbal and psychological bullying as well.

Coping with bullying
I was not physically bullied that much but I have been verbally and psychologically bullied and discriminated. Different people have different ways of coping with bullying and discrimination. Sadly, some cannot cope with it positively.

When people don’t cope with bullying when they were young they tend to become bully themselves when they grow up. Or they can become very introvert, shy and have low self-esteem. Others develop a personality that is tough, strict, inconsiderate and intolerant.

However, others are successful in overcoming this traumatic experience and are able to cope by empowering themselves. Some become very competitive in their chosen fields. Usually they choose a field opposite to those where they are the weakest and where they are bullied or discriminated. In my case, I developed my artistic and creative side, to counter one of my weakest – sports.

I started drawing and joining poster-making contests, essay writing contests and singing in our Children’s Choir when I was in elementary. Then I started singing solo, joined impromptu speaking & debating, hosting, and excelled academically in high school. Too much for one boy but during that time, I have only one goal – to be the best where they (the bullies) are not.

Others cope by excelling in their academic performance. This is one of the most common I noticed especially among young gay men (aside from their artistic talents of course). Gaining academic expertise is a great tool of influence and control. To some, this is one of the pre-requisite to lead people. Remember that in order to become a very influential leader, a certain level of academic expertise is much appreciated. Having this kind of expertise negates the effect of earlier bullying and discrimination and affirms that those people are wrong about that person. Having academic expertise also empowers the person and sets certain level of respect from the public.

People who have that strong desire to achieve and overly competitive usually have a deep history of either discriminated, bullied or ostracized. They may not be too honest telling people the real reason behind their extreme determination to succeed or achieve but we can be sure that this is one of the reasons.

Gaining leadership titles and roles are also ways to cope with bullying and discrimination. There are some who are too eager to get leadership roles because this is an avenue where they get a certain level immunity and reverence. Becoming a leader is not wrong, but there should be right reasons to lead, not to cover up from past hurts, or to use one’s status to also bully another. Egocentric and control-freak leaders are usually another bully who cloaks themselves in the prestige of leadership.

Anti Bullying Act Passed
Just recently the Anti-Bullying Act or House Bill 5496 was passed for the third and final reading that seeks to provide students, parents and guardians the awareness of the impact of bullying and how it can be prevented and also requires institutions to adopt policies that will address the existence of bullying in their respective schools or establishments.

Now that Anti-Bullying Act has been passed, I call upon Congress to pass Anti-Discrimination Bill as well. No one should be discriminated and bullied because of their differences and uniqueness. Our society should develop an environment of tolerance to individual differences, preferences and create mutual respect to one another.

For your comments, please email me at: Alvin.Dakis@aynla.org