Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Eheads as anti-smoking advocates!!!!!

I wish! With the loud whispers going around that a big tobacco company is sponsoring this much-awaited E-heads reunion, my only wish is that this great (dis) band will use their influence for the greater good. How? By talking about the hazards of smoking on their concert night, no less. Imagine one smoke-free concert. That would be double the fun! Great music and clean air (or at least, nicotine-free).

I'm sure Eheads have reached a point in their lives (one time or another) when they looked for significance in what they do. This could be that moment. Besides, Ely Buendia should know the hazards that smoking brings. He almost died of heart attack a year or so ago. I've heard that Ely used to be a smoker. But granting that he never smoked, the second-hand smoke alone that he got during gigs could be a big factor for his illness. (Of course, we know that second-hand smoking is just as dangerous.)

According to the Department of Health, smoking-related diseases kills at least 10 people every hour in the Philippines alone. That is 240 Pinoys everyday or 87,600 every year dying from smoking-related diseases. Public health spending on smoking-related diseases reaches up to P70-billion a year. Imagine how that money could have been used to treat other diseases.

In my family alone, we could have easily spent half a million already the past few years on hospital bills and medicines due to my smoking history. =( Just this morning, I spent P3,000 for my daughter's Pulmonary Function Test. I have yet to buy her medicines. All my three children were born premature (Ben was in the ICU for almost a month), no thanks to my being a heavy smoker in the past, complicated by a previously unknown disease. Unfortunately, they all grew up to have asthma and since they were all born premature, they easily get lung diseases. Almost two years ago, Ben got confined for two weeks due to TB. It was only lately that I was able to put the puzzles together. Smoking did us in!

How did I get into smoking? My father was a heavy smoker and so were all of my siblings (except for one sister). A lot of my cousins were and (some) are still smokers. It was just but natural for me to fall into the trap, like many others.

We have long declared our home smoke-free. And so back to my wishful thinking, I really hope Eheads realize they can use their influence for good, and like their many hits in the past, spread the gospel of making concerts in the Philippines, well, SMOKE-FREE.

(photo from eheads website)

Monday, July 21, 2008

A young lady named Sofie

(Sofie - in printed black sleeveless - with friends at Ella P.'s birthday. Photo grabbed from Ysabel.)

We had a quiet dinner last Wednesday to celebrate Sofie's 12th birthday. Our dearest Ate is now a young woman, turning prettier and prettier every year.

I have fond memories when we welcomed Sofie to the world 12 years ago. Because of difficulty in pregnancy, I decided to go home to Negros where my side of the family is based. Before I went home with Ben, who was then only a year old, I got confined twice at Capitol Med for bleeding and false labor. Sofie was then less than five months in my tummy. With Ben born six months and three weeks, we were anxious of another premature birth.

And so the hubby and I figured out we would be better off in Negros where help from the family was very easy. Few days after our arrival, I got confined again at the district hospital in my hometown for premature labor. With Ben's history, the OB-Gyne decided to send us to Dumaguete where facilities were much better. The Silliman Medical Center became my home for a month until Sophie turned seven months in my tummy -- safe enough, at the very least.

Unfortunately, only a week after I went home, Sofie started to act up again. And this time, it was for real. My dilation already reached 8cm by the time the doctor checked me, too late to stop Sofie from coming out. My sisters and brothers and in laws as well, all rushed to the hospital to lend support. This would be my second premature delivery. Twenty minutes after I entered the delivery room and with a few push, a loud cry of a healthy baby girl broke the silence of the night. Everyone in the room cheered and clapped. My OB-Gyne cried with me upon seeing Sofie -- she was such a beautiful, chubby little girl. Despite being premature at 7 months and one week, she was a heavy weight at 7 pounds.

The first girl in both sides of the family, Sofie was probably the most anticipated baby. And Papa, after 10 boys for grandchildren, was just happy to welcome the little princess. He had an old but reliable crib repainted. When we came home from the hospital, my father beamed with joy. At last, a girl among the apos.

Those were the days. Today, Sofie has become her own self. She now has a mind of her own, hardly running to mama or papa anymore to get reassurance that her world would be okey. Slowly and surely, she is turning into a young independent lady with strong convictions. We pray for our dearest Ate to flourish further to become a woman after God's own heart.