opinion

Breast cancer awareness headlines 'Pink Day@SM" by susan palmes -dennis

October 11, 2018

A free breast check up and other activities are lined up as part of the "Pink Day@SM" program to be held at the SM Downtown Premier tomorrow Saturday, Oct. 13. Karen Lluch, chairperson of this year's working committee for the event and founder of the breast cancer awareness advocacy group Thrive CDO, said "Pink Day@SM" will be an "intimate activity in a big location." Lluch, a breast cancer survivor, said "Pink Day@SM" carries as its theme this year "Emotional Wellness During, After and Beyond Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment." During the program two breast cancer survivors, Mars B. Guibone and Jannice Sanz of Thrive CDO, will talk about their journey to emotional and physical wellness. A free walk-in physical checkup for 70 women will be offered on a first come basis with issuance of priority numbers starting at 10 am when the mall opens. A breast check up will open at 1 pm and end at 4 pm at the mall clinic at the second floor. Two doctors, one surgeon and another doctor will be on hand for the checkups.  A launching of the Missy Bonbon Cupcakes and Spruce Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign will also be held. City Councilor Maria Lourdes S. Gaane, who chairs the City Council's health committee, will deliver a message for the program.  Ophelia Gumahad Paano, president of the Rotary Anns of Cagayan de Oro, will also deliver a message and sign a partnership with Thrive CDO for their campaign. Gifts will also be distributed to mastectomy survivors and chemotherapy patients. Thrive CDO is founded by Karen Lluch six years ago after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She took inspiration from a similar advocacy group in Cebu City where she underwent treatment there. Lluch said "Pink Day @SM" will espouse for early detection and treatment of breast cancer among women in order to raise their chances of survival and recovery. Susan Palmes-Dennis and Bengie Sarmiento will host the program.

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A MOST DOWN-TO-EARTH BOOK

October 7, 2018

When tragedy strikes, it's easy to harden our hearts and cry out, "God, why did you let this happen?" Maybe then, we started praying. Before, when everything goes smooth, we would not even think a minute about praying... . "To be a Christian without prayer, "said Martin Luther, "is no more possible than to be alive without breathing." Prayer is the only way of becoming what God wants us to be. This is the reason, why Jesus spent many hours in praying. Unquestionable, our needs bring us to a place of prayer. Confronted with danger or tragedies, as I mentioned earlier, we look for God's help. Difficult times always cause the hearts of men to turn to God into prayer.  Let me ask you: How long has it been since your're brought your burdens to God? Since you asked His forgiveness for your shortcomings?  In his very interesting book "People in Prayer", Dr. John White reminds us that prayer is a divine-human interaction and it is always God who takes the initiative. White write: "God speaks and we respond. God is always speaking. To hear his voice is not usually a mystical experience. It consists merely of a willingness to pay heed to God who lays a claim to our lives." Yes, God always speaks. It is up to us whether we will listen and respond to Him. Many think we are the ones who initiate prayer. But prayers begin and end with God.  There was a time, I wasn't in the mood to pray any more. It seemed that God didn't listen my prayer any more. I didn't get what I prayed for. Of course, not... ! That's not the meaning of praying to God. All my wishes will be granted? Heaven forbid! Sometimes, after we have prayed, God's answers may puzzle us. But as time times goes by and as events unfold we see God's purpose in his answers. We might get a larger vision, what HE likes. Not what WE like... . Think about it for a moment" How does the idea that prayer begins and ends with God affect me now? Do I have the habit of listening to god? How do I respond to Him? How do I usually pray? I confess that long time ago I have been trying to persuade God to change other people in my surroundings or circumstances. Nothing changed. Of course not, what a fatal attraction? I got confused because God never granted my requests. Meanwhile I got God's answers to my prayers. Maybe very simple: I was willing to let God change me... .This is how each one of us should start. Happy endings. Because I prayed according to His will... . Talking about prayer, we also have to mention the probably most down-earth book in the bible which is  Proverbs. Its education prepares you for the street and the marketplace, not the schoolroom The book offers the warm advice you get by growing up in a good family. It covers small questions as well as large: talking too much, visiting neighbors to often, being unbearable cheerful to early in the morning. Proverbs simply tells how life works most of the time.  I always love to quote proverbs, which express truth about life in an elegant, witty kernel. You should not hunt through it for proverbs you might like. You should study the whole book to get its overall point of view. This takes time, for Proverbs covers dozens of subjects in the subtle detail. Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter or visit www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .

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It's election season again

October 4, 2018

Next Monday or this coming Monday Oct. 8 is open season for the filing of candidacies at the local Commission on Elections (Comelec) office for next year's elections. As usual it is that time of year again, when the mood becomes unusually festive since every eligible voter will receive unusual amounts of attention from the candidates themselves. At the VIP Hotel here in Cagayan de Oro City, I heard some whispers at the coffee shop about the names of the candidates to run for public office. With some effort and discomfort I heard that the other party will have a female candidate for the city's mayoral post and this candidate will eventually give way to the real beneficiary through the election legal magic called substitution. That's for Cagayan de Oro while in the province there seems to be a crowd of candidates waiting to file their candidacies. Interesting to say the least. For now, political parties are meeting with their operators, handlers and media operatives for the Oct. 11 filing of candidacies. Trust me, it happened before and the same scenario will play out again especially on the last day of filing to enhance drama and attention from the public. It's also that time of year when barangay officials are gathered to give updates on their respective constituents. This is where anyone with anything to show aside from leadership and network building is given the opportunity to make their names known and presence felt. It is also this time where leaders are made. Rarely do we see any born leader; it's not like they graduate from any school of governance. More often than not, people follow those with money not with ability especially during these times of inflation and rising fuel prices. For voters, it's what these candidates can offer to feed their bellies and not their abilities that are more important. Anyway newcomers in the political race will have to learn from Gusa barangay chairman Marlon Tabac who has mastered the course of “How To Win An Election 101.” Allow me to congratulate Tabac for his mastery of the course. Speaking of which, this year's filing of candidacies won't be as exciting as three years from now, when either incumbent Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno or Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny “Bambi” Emano would have finished their full nine years in office. Either that or Moreno would throw his hat into the race for Cagayan de Oro's first congressional district and lend his support to Cong. Klarex Uy and his son Joaquin. Or will Moreno return to the province? I don't think Moreno will run against the younger Emano for CDO's mayoral seat next year because of term limits.I can bet on pay per view it won't happen. My best guess would be Moreno will run for a third and final term next year and anyone challenging him will be hard pressed to contest his administration's achievements like building schools, roads, hospitals and more. There may be issues on traffic, garbage and the cases filed against him but as the mayor's information officer Maricel Casino would say “he got this.” Governor Emano, who was born and raised in his father's political climate, is wise enough not to challenge Moreno next year and would prefer to wait for three years before throwing his hat into Cagayan de Oro's political ring. That leaves us with other names like former second district congressman Rufus Rodriguez (again) who did really well during his tenure as he brought projects into the second district. Rufus made the big mistake of challenging Moreno in 2016 since Moreno was still in his prime as the mayor. Still the city's political landscape is flexible and he can always redeem himself. Former Cagayan de Oro mayor and Misamis Oriental governor Vicente Emano is best left alone as time, age and health had affected public perception of his capability to run the city. Instead the elder Emano, who is president emeritus of his Padayon Pilipino party, can consolidate the resources under his disposal to push for a potential emerging candidate in his daughter Atty. Nadya Emano. I can recall a few instances when I met Atty. Nadya in the past. She was with a group of lawyers under the Public Attorney's Office whom I interviewed during my Barangay S program. The second was at Pryce Plaza Hotel where Padayon Pilipino held a press conference. She was cordial and courteous to me despite my daily criticism of her father's policies and I also found her to be smart and calculating. I wonder if there is any truth to rumors that she may transfer to Tagoloan town, her family's political bailiwick or the province sometime soon? Well, I still have a lot to share before Oct. 11. In the meantime, the filing of candidacies is a process well thought out and planned for every candidate to ensure maximum public attention. When I see the horde of supporters gathering en masse at the Comelec office to witness their candidate file his or her papers I think to myself 'Oh my when did this start?' There will be the usual meals to serve and Mass to be offered before or after the filing of candidacies followed by the distribution of T-shirts and election materials as well as loud band music. It is undeniable that election politics is dominated by clans and political bosses and patronage is a persistent theme in every election season. But in this age of the internet and social media, things look a bit different.

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PEACE BE WITH US!

September 27, 2018

Peace means "calm". Peace means freedom from war, disturbance or hostilities. Peace means being free from tumults.  I am on my way to Manila. I'll be joining several events and celebrations. One thing is for sure: peace. The invitation of the Office of the Presidential Adviser of the Peace Process, my good friend Sir Jess Dureza is on my desk. The invitation is regarding the Culmination Program of the National Peace Consciousness Month. It's indeed a very important event. You can be sure, as German Honorary Consul to the island of Mindanao, I'll be joining. All of us, individuals, groups or nations, as well as societies, have to survive in a life full of uncertain, dangerous and unsure elements. Nobody and no politics on earth, where ever we are living can guarantee a total safety on this existential level. Nevertheless, it's a fundamental task and duty to state politics to flag danger and unsureness in humans living together. The modern state is therefore responsible for inner safety thru a functional legislation and police, for social safety thru organization and formulations of laws. External safety by means of military and bilateral diplomacy is imperative. External safety means he threat of national territory or peace-and-order coming from other states. International relations developed within the last centuries. Safety politics become ore and more part of national politics. Since the end of the so-called "East-West-Conflict" and bankruptcy of the "socialist world system" (wished at first by the former Soviet Union) the reciprocal threat between NATO and (former( Warsaw Pact evaporated. Former nuclear arsenals with improbable and incredible destructive weapons (multiple "overkill" of our whole planet!) didn't allow ordinary defense strategies. Globalization has enormously changed national and international safety politics. During the  Cold War, the number of conscientious objectors increased dramatically.  The state's legitimacy depends on how government can satisfy its people's needs. And, please let me reiterate: not high-tech weapons and warrior armies are the future keys of peace and safety politics in the 21st century but multi-dimensionality with diplomatic, economical and police elements. Unilateral national safety is the first step to a global successful safety. It is indeed a really heavy task for every single town mayor - and the biggest challenge of every national government. When I stepped on Mindanao soil for the first time in 1976, I experienced a lot of fearing adventures. I came back in 1982. Then 1983. Now I reside here for good. Since 1999. I hope and pray, that Mindanao is now free from disturbances and tumults. I stay here for good. I love to live in Mindanao, especially in Davao City. Peace be with us all! Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter or visit my www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .

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STANDING BY MYSELF?

September 24, 2018

  While being a columnist of "Tinig ng Bayan" (published in Abra) during the 1980's, I even remember nowadays Taiwanese coordinator Cristina Lising-Geronga, who expressed herself in innumerable write ups about the topic loneliness. Sure, "Tinig ng Bayan" has been a publication or Filipinos abroad. Loneliness, borne by Filipinos living abroad while missing their families in the Philippines became a very "normal" expression. During that time my late mentor Monsignor Professor Dr. Dr. Hermogenes E. Bacareza, Chaplain of the Philippine Community in Berlin, started together with me publishing "Ang Mabuhay". Believe me, "loneliness" became a main topic in many write-ups. How comes that loneliness is still a general topic in so many families nowadays all over the globe?  Loneliness has been called one of the main diseases of this and last century. It really doesn't strike not only the Filipinos abroad and their love ones back home. Too often loneliness is being followed by alcoholism, drug abuse and even suicide. Yes, loneliness becomes a modern day plague.  I observed several people trying to surround themselves with so-called "friends" only to find that such relationships are often shallow and unsatisfying. Loneliness can be painful but being lonely or alone at that is not always a bad thing. Ask yourself, how do  you use your time, if you are really alone? Do you simply let the time pass without doing anything  at all? Why not use such time productively? There are many worthwhile activities to engage in, even if you are alone, such as reading, writing, listen to good (light) music, play an (forgotten?) instrument, gardening... . Reading the bible can be also very particularly beneficial.  The Word of God is "alive and exerts power" and can take our minds off ourselves.  To break the cycle of loneliness, one must be a giver. Let's keep an eye, not only and always on our personal interests but also on the interests others. Look around and watch out who needs help, or who needs a real friend or good listener. Once you have spotted such a person, act! Thus, in order to have friends, you must act like a friend. Luke 6:38 says, "Give to others, and God will give to you!" Besides, "There is more happiness (and less loneliness) in giving then receiving", says Acts 20:35. Suggestions, comments, questions? You can email me: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter or visit www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .

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CDO's commitment to good education

September 21, 2018

It is never too late to congratulate Cagayan de Oro City, the City of Golden Friendship, for winning an education governance award. For the second year Cagayan de Oro was awarded the Seal of Good Education Governance during the recent 12th Washington Sycip National Education Summit held in Manila. The award is given by the Synergia Foundation, a coalition of persons, institutions and organizations committed to work with local governments in improving the quality of education in their areas. On hand to receive the award were Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno and Councilor Suzette Magtajas-Daba, chairperson of the City Council's education committee. I asked the councilor how she felt on receiving the award and she said she was ecstatic. She said the award is a defining moment for Cagayan de Oro City Hall as it represented a synergy of efforts by everyone there to improve education for the underprivileged in the city. The award meant that Cagayan de Oro checked all the boxes required to win it. What is significant is that increased spending for education as seen through an expanded Local School Board and empowerment of the school's councils.  When I covered the education beat during my time as a local media practitioner I didn't know anything about governance in education. There were school boards but they were more for compliance to the Local Government Code. Don't tell me that these school boards worked silently on their projects without any inputs whatsoever. There are 600 schools built in the city and only the mayor and the council know how much more are needed. Still that is a huge undertaking. Schools built far and near the city but especially those built in the mountains to allow children to study without having to cross rivers to reach the nearest school. More schools mean more opportunities for our children to acquire a good education. That to my simple mind is what is good education governance is all about. Education is neglected by elective public officials since students aren't voters. But not Mayor Oscar Moreno, who believed that making education accessible to the less fortunate is possible. His appointment of the right people in the local school board and building schools is a crystal clear manifestation of his commitment to education governance. For education liberates humanity from poverty.  I count myself one of those liberated from poverty. My father would always remind us that every book we read and study brings us closer to our dreams for a better life. My family worked hard for our education but the opportunities back in my day were not the same as it is now. My dream of education  was only reinforced by my working at Cagayan de Oro College (COC) TV 39.  Why? There is a Latin phrase posted at the bridge at COC during the term of then school president and then congressman Erasmo Damasing which read “Educatio liberabet vos (Education shall set you free).

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