Archive for the ‘disabled’ Category

Update on Operation Blessings: Wheelchair distribution in Bicol

January 15, 2009

Operation Blessings

by Dr. Josephine R. Bundoc

Operation Blessing (OB,) the charitable project which aims to give away wheelchairs to indigent disabled amputees in March has set its guidelines in the selection of recipients from Bicol. Since the available wheelchairs are limited, Ibalonian Dr. Josephine R. Bundoc, consultant of the UP-PGH Rehabilitation Medicine Department has the following guidelines in the conduct of the charitable giving:

Requirements of Operation Blessings for the wheelchair recipients are:

1. Name, age, medical diagnosis and reason(s) for needing a wheelchair: a
physician’s signature is preferred, but not required.
2. DSWD Case Study report on the recipient
3. Barangay certificate that the recipient is a resident of the barangay.

Operation Blessings’ counterparts— the LGUs, NGOs or partner(s) are enjoined to assist in the following:

1. Board and lodging of the O.B. team (normally 6 personnel) for 2-3 days
2. Venue for distribution – preferably gym or something like the Naga Civic Center
3. Transportation expenses of wheelchairs
4. Manpower to assist in wheelchair assembly

Operation Blessings plans to distribute free wheelcharis in Bicol on the 3rd to 4th week of March. For Camarines recipients, Daet, Camarines Norte will be the stop-over before Naga City and Camarines Sur. The distribution team will then proceed to Tabaco, Santo Domingo, Legaspi, Tiwi in Albay province, and subsequently proceeding to Sorsogon City in Sorsogon Province.

Ibalonians within and in between the above-mentioned areas may submit requirements of potential recipients before Feb 15, 2009 so they may be included in the distribution. Expecting to be in Naga City to meet with those involved with the project, Dr. Bundoc and the UP Ibalon Alumni president Butch M. Robredo express their thanks to all those who commit themselves and find in their hearts valuable time and energy in helping this worthy endeavor. The participation of more members and non-member volunteers are welcome and gratefully appreciated.(Photo Credit: Edgar Jediza) =0=

Addendum: On February 6, 2009, there will be amputee screening and measurement of beneficiaries in Naga City. Only 6 wheelchairs will be handed over since documentation by DSWD and verification of eligibility of recipients are not yet completed.—mesiamd (01/16/09)

RELATED BLOG: “UP Ibalon Alumni-Bicol pursues its wheelchair & leg prosthesis project for indigents” Posted by mesiamd at 1/09/2009


Fake Bus Stop for Confused Patients

September 13, 2008

In Dusseldorf, Germany, in front of a Benrath Senior Center is a fake bus stop designed for Alzheimer’s patients who may wander around wanting to go places. A bit heart-rending and funny, this idea became a solution for some confused patients suffering from memory loss who go astray on their intent to go home, visit friends or shop by themselves.

The bus stop with a yellow and green sign is something the patients recognize as a place they can take a ride. But the buses don’t really stop there. The oldies are often advised the bus comes later in the day and if they are invited for a coffee, most of them forget that they wanted to leave.

Richard Neureither, the director of the Benrath senior facility said, the fake bus stop which goes to nowhere is an effective way to rein over the patients with dementia and difficulty of remembering. The “trick” has been used by other senior facilities in the country. AARP Bulletin (09/08 Vol 49, no.7; (06//03/08) =0=

Hungry Filipinos, Release of 16 Innocent Prisoners And Cholera Death Toll In Mindanao

August 8, 2008

14.5 million
—-Is the estimated number of Filipinos (representing 2.9 million households) who experienced involuntary hunger between April and June 2008 according to a SWS survey. The occurrence of severe hunger rose to 4.2% which corresponds to about 3.3 million people in 760,000 families.

34—-Of the 67 prisoners attended to by the Justice on Wheels in Caloocan City, Philippines, 34 were released. Nineteen of them finished serving jail time while 16 were found innocent of their crime. The incredibly crowded Caloocan City jail keeps 1,500 prisoners in a facility that’s intended for only 500.

21—Death toll of the cholera outbreak in Sultan Kudarat in Mindanao between July 27 to Aug 6, 2008. Residents became ill in what experts believe to be linked with drinking contaminated water. As of Aug 6, 2008, 147 individuals are suspected to harbor the disease.

10,000—From January to June 2008, the total number of Filipino nurses who took the licensure examination in the United States. The number is 107 shy of the total number of nurses who took the same test in the same period last year. Almost 500,000 students are currently enrolled in nursing in the Philippines today.

—-The number of Filipino girls rescued from illegal recruitment by human trafficking syndicates recently. Coming from poor towns in the provinces, the girls are locked up by their recruiters while they wait for assignments abroad as OFWs, mostly in the Middle East as domestic workers. Some of these girls end up being abused by employers and they seek help from the Philippine embassy.

12.2%—-Inflation rate of the Philippines in July 2008. Exceeding the previous inflation rate of 11.4% in June, this is the highest in 16 years. Inflation rate averaged 8.3 percent in the first six months of the year, surpassing the government’s original forecast of 3 to 5 percent for 2008

P2.50-P3.50—-Price of pan de sal this week after a 50 centavo rise. Correspondingly, the price of a loaf bread went up to by P3 and now runs at P50-55/ loaf.

66%—The percentage of Filipinos who are scrimping on food, said Pulse Asia in a survey conducted last June and July 2008 in response to high prices of commodities. The same survey disclosed households consume and spend less on electricity, cell phones, transportation, water, and medicine.

90%—-The percentage of disabled persons who are poor, according to Geraldine Ruiz, president of the Organization of Rehabilitation Agencies. As per World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, 10 to 15% of the Filipino population has some kind of disability.

—The number of families (with a total of 6,547 individuals) that are displaced due to a new wave instability and chaos perpetrated by the secessionist group MILF in Midsayap and Aleosan towns alone. Burning of houses, destruction of plantations, looting of properties and cattle rustling, among others are the reasons why civilians are forced to leave the troubled spots in Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines. =0=

"In the age of string theory, singularity, and parallel universes, something racist is in a black hole."

July 14, 2008

Political correctness (PC) is straining our ability to express ourselves. It’s confounding our proper use of language, the right way of thinking and looking at things. In our effort to avoid hurting the feelings of our neighbors, we’ve become too careful, sometimes hypocritical in the way we present ourselves.

Until some race-sensitive people who are opposed to being reminded of the label “nigger” (a vestigial remnant of the harrowing days of slavery,) the word “niggard” to denote frugality has fallen out of favor. The words are avoided like the bubonic plague to minimize an affront against the black people.

On the other hand, the term “crippled” is benign. It simply describes a person with restricted mobility until we attach emotional and political meaning on the condition. We decide it should be replaced by softer-kinder terms like “handicapped” or “disabled” to wipe away any discriminatory negative connotations. It’s preferred to call the handicapped “physically challenged” which gives some degree of escape from the derogatory label even if it obscures the true legal meaning of the disability when claims are filed for benefits and entitlements.

The street sign “men at work” has received complaints from feminists who insist that it be changed by gender-neutral words like “people at work.” They say the gender specificity of “men at work” has marginalized women who labor building roads, thus discouraging others to get into jobs dominated by men.

Even science isn’t immune to the demands of political correctness. Color-sensitive individuals suggest “black hole,” which refers to the mysterious dark matter in the vast expanse of space (see photo of NASA) isn’t a good word for mainstream cosmology. In this age of string theory, singularity, and parallel universes, there are those who don’t approve of a “black hole” the way they dislike naming a cake “black forest” especially if it’s beside a white confection called “angel cake.”

Dinesh D’ Souza, a former Pres. Ronald Reagan policy adviser in the White House and author of the 1991 NY Times bestseller book on PC entitled Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex in Campus has this say:

“The term “political correctness” seems to have originated in the early part of this century, when it was employed by various species of Marxists to describe and enforce conformity to preferred ideological positions. Books, films, opinions, even historical events were termed politically correct or politically incorrect depending on whether or not they advanced a particular Marxist interpretation. The revolutionary ideologues of that period were serious people, and there is no indication that they spoke of political correctness with any trace of irony or self-deprecation.”

Eventually the term dropped out of the lexicon, only to be revived in the 1980s, when it came to apply to the assorted ideologies of the late 1960s and early 1970s: black consciousness and black power, feminism, homosexual rights, and, to a lesser degree, pacifism, environmentalism, and so on. The new Random House Webster’s College Dictionary defines political correctness as “marked by or adhering to a typically progressive orthodoxy on issues involving especially race, gender, sexual affinity or ecology.”

So we’re hooked with political correctness and we invent euphemisms and jargons to make many submit to some conformity of thought and interpretation. We find it hard to eliminate the negativities, apprehension, and paranoia when we find ourselves diametrically opposed to someone else’s point of view. We struggle to see the truth clearly. Therefore, we’ve become tangential, restrictive, and sometimes derisive, in using terms like “guest relations officers” to refer to prostitutes, “erectile dysfunction” for impotence, “senior citizens” for old people, “different” for gays, “mentally disturbed” for crazies, “laid off” for those who lose jobs, and “vertically challenged” for persons with short stature.

Advocates of PC believe prejorative labels lead to stereotyping which limits the dignity, rights, and freedoms of people. But our prickly obsession to be politically correct seems overriding to define a derangement akin to a chronic allergy. That’s why the list of politically correct words gets more complicated each day.

Though political correctness promotes a change that must redress unfairness on matters of race, class, social stature, gender, age, religion, scientific belief, political affiliation or sexual preference, too much PC is starting to cloud our senses. No wonder there are those who believe hypocrisy and political correctness should be interchangeable terms. =0=

"Merci" Goes a Long Way in Paris

June 17, 2008

At boarding time in New York’s JFK airport, they called an airport assistant to push me on a wheelchair right at the plane’s door. To avoid explaining my physical disability, I brandished a steel cane which was earlier cleared of explosives by the Homeland Security.

I wasn’t too old to strut with that walking stick, but without it, people wouldn’t believe I wasn’t in good health. My pallor, a result of long-standing severe anemia, was deceptively masked by my dark skin.

I was the first to board the plane. The crew members of Air France escorted me to my seat close to the aisle, a spot I chose so I could stretch my legs and walk in-flight to avoid blood clots in my legs during a six-hour transatlantic trip. They spoke French, but I insisted on English to which they cordially responded in a heavy accent.

On my arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport, I had Benoit Geiger, a Frenchman and his Filipina wife eagerly waiting. Having friends like them was a big treat. In their small, fuel-efficient car, off we went to tour the city. I discovered a lot about Paris—a bit of its history, its genteel charm, and the pleasures it could offer its visitors.

There are many tourist attractions at center of the city. Among the most popular is the Arc de Triomphe which is a grand traffic stone landmark beside an awesome tree-lined garden commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte, honoring the military achievements of the French people.
The Eiffel Tower, one of the most imposing landmarks in Europe, stands prominently in the skyline, a favorite sight which draws people to muse on the splendor of steel: a broad-based needle tapering out in the wind, hovering high, close to the clouds.

The Cathedral of Notre Dame, a magnificent 14th century ornate gothic cathedral reminds visitors of the city’s vibrant religious past. The Louvre Museum is among the countless cultural gems which show Paris’ exquisite aesthetic sensibilities—mostly pre-20th century artworks which date back before the days of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. The Seine River, a picturesque waterway with beautiful arched bridges offers a romantic boat ride (Bateaux Parisiens,) giving a fascinating view of the city.

Many buildings in the center of Paris are historic. Though they’re old, the mostly beige-colored edifices are religiously maintained, giving the locale its ambience of elegance, character, and beauty. Even their shopping centers are housed in stunning old stone buildings. Not as tall as I find the refractive glass towers of New York, the Paris constructions exude a more relaxed, earth-bound feel of the metropolis.

The most exciting part of my visit is the food. The Parisians are known for their culinary delights and wonders. Their veggies are carefully presented; their meat dishes well-seasoned and yummy. A mixture of aroma and flavor goes well with French food and its famous wine and bread. Not as greasy as the American fastfood, the French meal is a true epicurean treat.

The Parisians speak their language with palpable pride. That’s why I carried a handy survival book of words to ease communication. Monsieur (mister,) mademoiselle (miss,) and merci (thank you) are some words which go a long way with bonjour (good morning) or bonsoir (good evening.) Like divine mantras, the words are quite helpful in every conversation. They are almost indispensable at the end of every dinner when it’s time to pay and give away appreciation for some food and service. An average service charge of 15% is usual, but tips of 1 to 3 Euros are appreciated.

Because there are countless wonderful things one can spend for in the heart of Paris, staying there can be captivating, if not addicting. Certainly, there are less pricey places in the world than the French capital city, but visiting the place is worth the “thank you’s,” the memory, and the cost. I didn’t even think so much that I was physically handicapped the last time I was there. =0=