Trivial and Not So

We continuously brave the rain and the temperamental weather here in the Philippines.  When Typhoon Glenda (International Name:  Rammasun) hit last week, it left my neighborhood almost 6 days with no power.  Although I am a big fan of rains and storms, I am not a fan of power outage.

Twitter Rampage

I do admit however, that I could have been more graceful.  Looking back now, I can’t even imagine how trivial my concerns are when planes are either being shot down or crashing left and right.

I woke up to the news of MH017 shot down, and already I felt awful for Malaysian Airlines.  I tried to follow the news as much as I can, but yeah, it does not get better.  Nations point fingers left and right, so when Newsweek publishes this article about Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his quiet move to gain access and retrieve the bodies, I am then filled with envy as our own nation leaders lack the silence and humility required when faced with such challenging circumstance.

How Malaysia Brokered the Deal With Rebels for Crash Site Access

This is the part that I really loved in this article:

Sometimes, we must work quietly in the service of a better outcome.

I wish most people think this way.


To the families of MH370, MH17, and AH5017, my sincerest condolences.  May you find peace amid these chaos.

Hope for Alzheimer’s

I don’t very often feature news in this blog, but this one is feature-worthy.

I woke up to the best news this week:  Scientists reverse memory loss in mice with Alzheimer’s.

As someone who has a family background of this illness, this is probably one of the better news ever.  I am now itching to look up and read what they did with their gene therapy experiment.  I am just overjoyed.

I hope this paves the way for the development of a drug or a cure to Alzheimer’s.  As much as I agree that pictures last longer, memories mean more.  And this is just… amazing.

Thank you for the good news, AFP and Rappler!


Scientists reverse memory loss in mice with Alzheimer’s

The gene therapy study is hoped to lead to the development of new drugs to treat the incurable disease
Agence France-Presse
Published 11:11 AM, Apr 24, 2014 | Updated 11:11 AM, Apr 24, 2014

GENE THERAPY. Spanish scientists injected a gene which causes the production of a protein that is blocked in patients with Alzheimer’s, into the hippocampus in mice that were in the initial stages of the disease.

GENE THERAPY. Spanish scientists injected a gene which causes the production of a protein that is blocked in patients with Alzheimer’s, into the hippocampus in mice that were in the initial stages of the disease.

MADRID, Spain – Spanish scientists have for the first time used gene therapy to reverse memory loss in mice with Alzheimer’s, an advance that could lead to new drugs to treat the disease, they said Wednesday, April 23.

The Autonomous University of Barcelona team injected a gene which causes the production of a protein that is blocked in patients with Alzheimer’s into the hippocampus – a region of the brian essential to memory processing – in mice that were in the initial stages of the disease.

“The protein that was reinstated by the gene therapy triggers the signals needed to activate the genes involved in long-term memory consolidation,” the university said in a statement.

Gene therapy involves transplanting genes into a patient’s cells to correct an otherwise incurable disease caused by a failure of one or another gene.

The finding was published in The Journal of Neuroscience and it follows 4 years of research.

“The hope is that this study could lead to the development of pharmaceutical drugs that can activate these genes in humans and allow for the recovery of memory,” the head of the research team, Carlos Saura, told Agence France-Presse.

Alzheimer’s, caused by toxic proteins that destroy brain cells, is the most common form of dementia.

Worldwide, 35.6 million people suffer from the fatal degenerative disease, which is currently incurable, and there are 7.7 million new cases every year, according to a 2012 report from the World Health Organization.

In 2010 the total global societal cost of dementia was estimated to be $604 billion, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International, a federation of Alzheimer associations around the world. –

Mouse image from Shutterstock

No Artitude problem here

I’ve always been a fan of everything unique.  I mean, who isn’t?  So when my good friend Algie Mabasa started her own personalized canvas shoe business, I was completely on board.

Artitude is your next step to originality, and I mean it.  Uniting a team of artists and Algie’s sketchbook, she launched this brilliant of an idea raising canvas shoes to the next levels.  It is nowhere near what you see in malls; they exert the most effort in maintaining originality in every pair.  So who won’t fall in love with these then?

Minion A Minion B Superman A Superman B

Algie comes up with a few designs her clients would choose from but in the end, she just asks them one question:  What do you want on your shoe?

“I encourage my clients to design their own shoes and wear their art with pride,” she said.  I cannot believe this is the same lady who, six years ago, was complaining about how difficult it is to be a teenager.  Amazing how exposure to the world can make us mature.  And pride really is a sentiment that should be shared by those wanting to own something close to representing their own individuality.  Artitude brings that to the table.

Ironman A Ironman B Joker A Joker B

This venture started just a little over six months ago and already, she’s preparing shipments to Dubai, Australia and Canada to say the least.  Just last week, we were looking at shipment options for a bulk buyer in Saudi Arabia.  Shoes are flying off the shelves and in the next few months, we will see stilettos.

Cards A Cards B

“This is my favorite Artitude pair, the first ever made, and it was patterned after my original doodle.”  Just goes to show there’s nothing she cannot accomplish huh?

Here’s a sneak preview of her stilettos, and judging by the actual finished goods you saw on top of this post, you can expect that what you see is truly what you will get:

S Lips S Lyrics S Wonderwoman S Bumblebee S Eyes S Ferrari

She was bugging me to make my own creation and in my head, I wonder if these will be acceptable office wear.

But then again, wear anything with pride and everything becomes much more acceptable than the norm.

Order your Artitude personalized footwear on Facebook.  It’s best if you message them with a design in mind, but if you don’t have one yet, Algie and her team have enough creative juices to go around.

Back to regular programming?

The flame that drove people to read, criticize, agree and disagree with the letter to CNN seems to have died down a bit. So in a way, I can say my blog can now resume its regular programming.

I don’t mean that as an insult or anything offensive; the latest catastrophe has turned already sensitive peoples to onion skinned (or vice versa, whichever’s worse). The letter will still be there, feel free to still offer up your opinion.

I shall post an update on the recent improvements and dramatics of the same vein within the week. But until then, let me show you why typewritten words are far more romantic than typed words.



What a weekend.

The previous post really stirred a lot of pots and I am absolutely thankful.  Comments and opinions seem to keep on coming every day, and I believe it will keep coming until Eastern Visayas gets back on its feet.

Just a quick rebuttal for those people who keep saying the author or I myself have not been to Tacloban.  I have been to Tacloban and I do agree with the issues raised by our letter writer.  In publishing that post, I don’t intend to defend the inadequacies of our own government.  However, after reading the people’s comments, I do believe that we created our own demons.  As the relief and aid continue to pour in, let us not forget the first volunteers, the first responders, the people who immediately took to land travel and the Matnog port.  I can’t help but think the more we put our government down, the more we belittle the support and the relief the smaller people gave at the very beginning.

And I think we can all agree that disaster recovery and crisis management are two different things that we — AND I MEAN WE AS A FILIPINO PEOPLE — have to learn more about.

Filipinos hating on Filipinos just because of a difference in opinion…. hay.  It’s so disappointing.  When tragedy is supposed to bring us together, this happens instead.  AND IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME.  Some people call it the blame game, some call it propaganda.  Whatever it is, we as a people always fail to recognize our pros and cons first before we pass judgment.  And oh, what a shame.

There are more and more people in need of help.  Let us extend our limbs as much as we can.  We can give more.  We can do more.  And there’s no need to exchange hate for that to be accomplished.  We are resilient and strong WHEN WE RISE TOGETHER.  It is true for any race, for any nationality, for any culture.  And it is truer for us now more than ever.

Yun lang powz.

And now, to end this post with a little positivity.