Archive for the 'Memories and Trips' Category

Parents: WE Still RULE

February 13, 2010

 Go to fullsize imageWhile coming back from San Francisco after attending the postgrad course of the American Diabetes Association, I happened to read a very nice article in USA today on: Teenagers do Listen.  I will be having a teenager son soon, so I was intrigued about the article.

 The article discussed a recent media survey by Kaiser Family Foundation that showed typical kids spend as much as 7 hours and 38 minutes a day consuming entertainment media like TV, computer and game consoles.  Not surprisingly why obesity is now a main global concern with our kids high tech lifestyle.

 But what was astounding about the survey was that the kids whose parents set the rule plugged in to the media for only 3 hours suggesting parents have a big influence on our kids in terms of what they do and think.

 Other studies likewise have shown that activities and behavior of kids are mainly influence by their parents:

 1. Teens who had a bedtime at 10PM or earlier set by parents got more sleep and were less likely to be depressed published in Sleep in January.

2. Teen drivers whose parents set and enforced rules were more likely to wear seat belts and less likely to suffer road accidents including the use of cellphones while driving published in Pediatrics in September.

3.Teens whose parent also set the rules also smoke less, delay sex and do better in school.

 The reality is… Teenagers care deeply about what their parents say… the challenge is getting across the rules and boundaries that don’t seem controlling!

 There you go guys.  It’s not too late. 

Let’s GIVE MORE  time to communicate with our kids…be it while eating dinner together or while driving our kids to school or while bringing them back home. The notion that fewer rules mean lesser fights may not be right after all.  The welfare of our kids continue to be a priority because for me…

What they will become is a reflection of how good we are AS  parents!!!

To My Medical Students..Past and Present

January 7, 2010

I just had the chance to teach the third year medical students again at Cebu Doctor’s University College of Medicine, my alma mater, this afternoon.  I find it interesting how these students interact and how they intently listened to every word I said. I always find it fun to teach and lecture on people who are eager to learn be it the medical students, the residents or fellow doctors.  I give lectures here and abroad but the best audience are those that you know are there because they want to learn.  And the ones that are there are present because they believe they will go out of the lecture hall with hopes of getting something important from you!!!  Is there pressure in giving lectures to medical students?  I guess… they are the most critical.

At Cebu Doctor’s, I just learned each student critics the professor at every lecture.  I really dont know my score yet hehehe but I guess this practice is great for the teachers to know if they need to change their teaching skills.  But am pretty confident with my skills having been voted “Teacher of the Year” by New York Medical College Medical students when I was there during my residency years. For those who will be visiting my website…any feedback? bad or good is welcome!!!

I thank all my students old and new… because seeing you become doctors and successful in your own practice is worth our effort in spending time preparing for our lecture making sure they’re easy to comprehend, easy to digest and worthy of your time.  And seeing you blossom to be great doctors in the future is all worth it!  Just dont forget to say thank you to those who made marks in your life and who inspired you to be better!

Teaching for me is a great way to share knowledge.  I am blessed to have been taught in an institution where sharing of knowledge is the priority.  I guess that’s what made my alma mater the Mayo Clinic world famous and that I will forever be indebted in the way medicine is taught and practiced in that institution which I hope I will continue to share to my students, residents and fellow doctors in my everyday life.

The Many Lessons I Learned in London

January 29, 2009

The experience I had travelling to London is a memorable one. I attended a postgraduate course in Endocrinology sponsored by the Royal College of Physicians and the trip was both culturally and educationally enriching.

After this trip, London is now among my top 5 must visits places in the world.  Not only is the place rich in culture ( watched Les Miserables in Queens Theatre in West End: marvelous experience), history (from Darwin to the Queen) and beautiful landmarks ( The Big Ben, The Palaces and the Eye) but also the warm hospitality that one can feel dealing with the British citizens.  One is warmly welcomed by the time one reaches the airport to the hotel staff to the cab drivers, waiters and store keepers.  You dont see homeless loitering around your path and was it safe to walk  around the Central London without fear of being mugged or robbed.

I was able to reunite with old  friends now staying in London and unfortunately some may have made it well but a lot of our OFWs are actually languishing in debt.  It makes one feel so vulnerable in a foreign land especially in times of economic crisis where London is the hardest hit among Europe’s developed countries.

The good news also is that our Filipino nurses occupy around 60% of the workforce in London’s major government hospital.  Interesting to note is that nurses are now handling endoscopy procedures as well as laparoscopic cholecystectomy procedures which is probably not going to happen in our country.  This is one thing unique in the British Health Care system.

Overall… this trip has been one welcome respite from the busy days in Cebu and what a great experience it has been.  I will definitely go back to London and this is one place that I will probably learn more things the more times I go back!

Experience in Taipei, Taiwan….

December 15, 2007

Go to fullsize imageJust on my way home from a trip to Taipei …was here in the 90’s and so much has changed since then. The progress is evident but it seems that the progress has not changed the culture at all.  The cleanliness is evident as well as the character…of the place and the people.

This is touted as one of the safest places to go around in Asia. It may not boast of a lot of touristic destinations but the history in itself is worth the visit.  You dont see a lot of tourists from the US or Europe and majority or 90% of the people visiting places like the museums and nearby cities are from the domestic travelers.  It is unfortunate though that one place which is worth the visit which is the Chiang Kai Skek Memorial Museum will be closed down in the near future and will be renamed the Democracy Museum…for whatever reason for now mainly political.

From the way people live to the way they manufacture things are totally not the same as in mainland China.  For one… the motorcycle scooters are parked without locks including the helmets…just incredible trust with their fellow Taiwanese that nothing is going to be stolen.  The taxi drivers are honest and the services are great that you dont fear going around by yourself.  The plus factor is that many Taiwanese including the waiters and waitresses speak good english…a plus for foreigners who dont speak Mandarin.  The market also is not flooded by imitations but true Taiwanese made that are cheap and looks sturdy especially the elctronics icluding clothes.  There is no intimidation of haggling which I like and they dont get angry of you dont buy the things you are asking for unlike in other Asian countries.

I seldom see people smoke and I dont see a lot of obese Taiwanese. This translates to a healthy standard of living.

Overall…this trip has been rewarding in terms of learning more about the history and the culture of Taiwan and how this renegade province of China has become one the safest and disciplined countries in the world… and probably healthier that the mainland China.

I will be posting some picture soon in my flicker website and travel website for the sites in Taipei including the now tallest buildng in the world: the Taipei 101 with 101 floors and having the fastest elevator that can bring you to the top in less than 40 seconds. 

And lastly…of course…the experience of Excellent Chinese food…nothing beats Taiwan!

I Am Taking A Break….

November 4, 2007

I will be one of the 12 to 15 doctors worldwide invited to attend a 7 day preceptorial study at the University of San Francisco- Stanford University Program in Endocrinology courtesy of INNOVARA, USA starting today till November 10.

This is one opportunity that I will never miss as this is already my third invitation from them after the same study program done at Massachussetts General Hospital- Harvard Univiersity Program in 2004 and the Johns Hopkins University Program in 2005.

Having been trained at the Mayo Clinic for my endocrinology fellowship has been a big advantage in having the confidence to meet and discuss interesting cases with professors in these prestigious institutions.

Not only is the experience rewarding but likewise a memory to behold. Interacting with professors in your field of work and sharing knowledge with fellow endocrinologists from different parts of the world is all worth the time off form my practice and my family!

The camaraderie and the social bonding that develop with fellow doctors and professors is what counts most as we share our calling cards and ideas in the small classroom! You get to know each one of them as we share the same hotel, the same lunch and dinner area and the same classroom throughout the week.

I will still try to update my website if I can but my apologies for the coming week if I will be too tired learning and enjoying at the same time….

Life Is A Cycle….

October 17, 2007

2098012768.jpgI just saw a special patient this morning.  Routine checkup? or an emergency I asked after receiving a call from the secretary yesterday. 

Doctors…let it be known are the worst patients! We doctors also have this longstanding fear that someday, we will be hit by an illness that we specialize in.  As For me… I am extra careful because my mother is a diabetic and I am specializing in endocrinology dealing with diabetes and therefore I am concerend that I will have to deal with treating my diabetes in the future! Whew…scary…..

So going back to my patient this morning… it happened to be my mentor…our boss and our teacher when I was a first year student in Medical school.  Scary thought? …definitely.  Will I satisfy his questions?  If he can grade me again…will he pass me?

What made me write about him today is the thought that… In life… you just cant predict what will happen to you in the future.  We are blind as to what future holds for us in terms of fate or health!  We do what we can now to reduce the chances of getting ill or getting poor! 

But what I know is this simple fact: If you deal with people with kindness now… that favor will go back to you when you need it most.  If I can recall bad memories in my student years… these were not with this guy!  It is just a weird feeling and ironic that he who is in front of me seeking my medical advise … was the one in the past who helped mold me into what I am now!

Life is Short…Very unpredictable and really can come into a full cycle.  Let us treat everyone with kindness because one day you will not know who and where to seek for help in times of need!

Kindness Bears Fruits of Happy Memories!

The Benefits of Classical Music: Lessons Learned In Vienna

September 7, 2007

Just came from a week off in Vienna , Austria.  Definitely…one of the best places to visit and one of my Top 5 places that I enjoyed very much.

Aside from the beautiful landscapes and beautiful architecture… the history and the culture are so rich that you just cant digest too much information in one setting.  But one thing that made this trip enjoyable was the people…from the receptionists in our hotel, to the taxi drivers… everyone seemd so mild mannered and helpful.  And one cant help but wonder whether the people’s exposure to classical music so well known in this part of Europe because of the influence of Mozart may have made a difference.

Does Classical Music make a place safe to live?  Does exposure to this kind of music make people well mannered?

I found this one report entitled: How Classical Music Help Fight Crime… made me realized that my conclusion may be right!


In 2004 in London, England, the British Transport Police piped classical music into London Underground stations in some of the area’s most dangerous neighborhoods. After playing the music for six months:

  • Robberies were cut by 33 percent
  • Staff assaults decreased by 25 percent
  • Vandalism went down 37 percent

This is not the first time that classical music has been used to deter crime. In 2001, police in West Palm Beach, Florida installed a CD player and speakers on an abandoned building in a crime-ridden neighborhood. After playing classical music — mostly Mozart, Bach and Beethoven — 24 hours a day for about three months, shootings, thefts, loiterers and drug deals decreased.


During the convention, one of the doctors suffered a minor ailment and we have to rush him to a County Hospital.  It was really a surprise because it was clean and huge but very well equipped and you dont see a lot of crime related cases loitering in the emergency rooms.  We later found out that Vienna has one of the lowest crime rates in the region…. Because of Classical Music?

While roaming District One area which is the commercial center of Vienna, one can see a lot of Mozart like costumed guides marketing different concerts featuring different orchestras playing in different parts of Vienna.  If we have lots of singers and dancers in our country, Vienna has lots of violinist or cellist in the ranks…. 

Exposing our babies to Classical Music has long been advised by our pediatricians and I guess Vienna as a place to visit confirms that teaching…. that this kind of music can soothe ones nerves, calms us down and uplifts our moods.


If You’re Not in The Mood? Listen to Mozart!

The Health Benefits of Visiting The Beach….

May 21, 2007

boracay-at-night.jpgWe all heard of Boracay… we all heard of the pleasures of going to a beach, enjoy the breath of fresh air, the crystal clear waters, the white sands and the fun!  Indeed… these things are true with Boracay.  Ive been to different resorts and I agree that nothing beats the beach of Boracay!  Except probably for El Nido in Palawan, the beauty of Boracay stems not only from the white sand beach but more so… the people, the view, the sunset and whole of what the place brings…

another-castle.jpgNo pollution, no factories, no litter ( or else you’re fined) and literally you feel so safe strolling down the stretch of white sand beach up to dusk!  People know that tourists are their means of livelihood so everybody tries to protect them from getting harmed! You just feel so relaxed and so free from all the hassles of everyday life in the city.  For me, this brings to what we doctors always recommend to our patients to explore a a stress free environment especially to people who have no time to sleep, think a while about themselves and their families and just take time to sit down, enjoy the view, the sun and have fun!  This whole experience can really rejuvenate oneself and help boost one’s immune system to help help fight long term chronic diseases like cancer, depression and infections.

I however recommend to visit the place in times where there are not much crowd.  If you want to explore Boracayand enjoy the benefits of what relaxation can bring, then avoid going there in December or in April.

sunset.jpgMy visit to Boracay this weekend was perfect.  Not only was I able to share some tips on how to manage Diabetes to fellow doctors coming from Bacolod and Iloilo but also had time to explore the place and relax with my family who enjoyed every minute of the experience.  I enjoy teaching so I welcome sharing what I know to fellow doctors all over the country because not only am I able to live my advocacy of sharing my expertise in the field of endocrinology but also the chance to visit places in our country far better than in other parts of the world! ( Click on the pictures that I took during my visit to see how beautiful this place is.)

Lastly…Dont ever miss the beautiful SUNSET of Boracay!  It’s worth the visit and time!  Truly this place can work wonders to help us feel better and healthier!

A Breath of Fresh Air Is Worth A Thousand Cure!

A Family Vacation: A Great Way To Bond with Your Kids

December 31, 2006

This Christmas vacation, my wife and I decided to bring our kids to South Korea.  To explore what a cold place can offer.  playing-the-snow.JPGWe were there at the time when it was the coldest of the season which reminded me of my time while training in Minnesota.  For me… going out on a family trip is the best way to spend quality time with the kids since you are with them from the time they wake up, take a bath, eat breakfast up the time they sleep. No household help at all and the kids spend the whole day with us.

South Korea was a delight and a surprising find in terms of excitement and fun.  The kids loved the theme park Everland and the Lotte World Complex. lotte-world.JPG the-snow-buster.JPGBoth offered quality, entertaining and fun games, rides and shows. If you see the smiling faces of the kids and the contentment they express after the visit… then all the hard part of taking care of them is all worth it!  But I was really longing for my weekly massage now that am back home! Whew!

One does not need to go out of the country to spend quality time with the kids. Explore areas around you where interaction with your kids is the priority from day to night.  Bet you… you will feel the satisfaction even if tired and the fun even if  you feel wasted! 

Indeed… A Family Vacation is worth it… even if you need another vacation afterwards!

This New Year….

Let’s Spend More Time With Our Family!