Saturday, April 7, 2018

My Opinion



Opinion

These are collation of my opinions about various aspects in life. These were made from 2016 to 2018. Some does not reflect the present situation and maybe does not apply to current time.


Communication:


“I just realized that language is not perfect and words are not understood as one. A word spoken by one of two parties is not always understood by the other party as what the first speaker thinks and meant to be. So do not assume. Always ask if what she thinks is the same with yours. This is the right way to communicate with each other to avoid conflict and misunderstanding. Clarifying things sometimes lead to an argument. But make sure it is an healthy argument and both of you are exercising patience and tolerance. An example of this is when my wife ordered our house help to trim our yellow vines with beautiful flowers. The helper went out and cut all the branches with yellow flowers. What remained are the main vines that appeared nude and not attractive as before. This is the image that entered her brain when she heard the word "trim" which is in-congruent to what my wife's trim. Same word different images in the brain.”




Truth:

"Sometimes the glaring truth hurts so much that people can not accept it and reacts in various ways. Sometimes they are defensive and even blame someone for what happened. Others react with fear and grief. Some uses other people to side with them just to avoid the truth being exposed. Some reacts with hopelessness and tears. Others cover up the truth and exposes only the partial truth. Some are selfish and uses deception for a living. Whatever your reaction to truth is; truth will remain and always be there and should be accepted sooner or later."




Perception:

"What you perceive of something is always subjective. It maybe the truth or it may be an illusion or delusion. To be sure, it is better to verify first before deciding or concluding on something. Sometimes our emotion on what we believe leads us to pre-judged someone. You may think he is guilty by means of your emotion and information (false and true) when in fact he is not. Your belief on some may sometimes be affected by a propaganda - the deliberate manipulation of the brain through emotion to obtain a biased result. The world is full of this. Beware, take care and be cautious. You might be the next victim."




Politics:

“The crucial question in federalism is: how will you change the orientation or nature of Filipino voters to achieve equality in the political arena? The present situation always indicate that the candidate who can buy the people's vote with the highest amount always wins. This of course is accompanied with traditional use of coercion supplemented with guns and goons.
If this issue is not settled or solved, our country will continue to be divisive in nature and regions and provinces will compete with each other resulting to more conflicts in their respective borders.
If the people cannot elect a good representative, how can their country have a full development of resources?
Some say that only a dictator with selfless conviction to change the country for the better will solve this problem. What is your opinion on this?”



“Culture is greatly influenced by a governing body. When leaders show or practice disgraceful acts of corruption and deceit, it is expected that the people will perceive it as a norm and it is okay to imitate them. When it seems okay to plunder the wealth or resources of a nation and deceive the people with endless promises of change and development. When they engage in heinous crimes such as drugs, robbery and killings for the sake of money and power without suffering from guilt and shame. When they get away from it all with impunity and pride. All of these will be ingrained in the culture of that nation and expect prosperity will be slow to many of its citizens as compared to nations who value integrity with compassion and diligent to quality of service and production.

“Much have been done on the making, execution and enhancement of political strategies to have a firm grip of the administration; but to the detriment of key factors that really need focus and enduring support. Much resources have been consumed in inappropriate ways that could have boosted the morale, security and economic condition of ordinary people. One critical area that needs focus and support is the justice system. Many people are aware or have observed that our justice System lacks the facilities, logistics and manpower to properly bestow justice to people who needed it. Cases are pending too long in courts leading to the saying that; "justice delayed is justice denied". Not to mentioned that there are corrupt and biased judges who can be manipulated by money, political power and most of the time influenced by close relationship and friendship. Many citizens believe that our justice system only revolves around and only for the rich. If only they can concentrate on adding people with integrity; additional facilities like court rooms, proper penal colonies, rehabilitation centers and stringent monitoring and feedback system; many conflicts, problems involving society or the citizenry can be solved including most specifically the drug menace."

“How can people in authority in a government hospital bear the burden brought about by their conscience as they perform their duties to innocent patients with their own personal interests and ambitions by living a life full of lies and deceit? They continue to recite in every flag ceremony that they will be honest and will report any form of corruption within the hospital but continue to be blind to the conditions of the patients as long as they achieve or retain their personal mission.




Movie Lines and "Hugot":

“Bakit kung kailan tayo sa wakas ay nagkatagpo sa puso't isipan ay doon ko pa nalaman na huli na. Isang pag-ibig na dumaan sa tamang oras at panahon pero hindi naging tayo. Ngayon ang tamang oras at nasabi ko ang matagal ko nang kinikimkim at totoong damdamin para sa iyo. Masakit malaman na hindi na ikaw para sa akin. Gustuhin mo man o ako rin ay hindi na talaga pwede. Ang ating dating pagibig sa isa't isa ay sadyang naging maling pag-ibig sa maling panahon. Hindi talaga pwede
Ops,ops,ooops! bago kayo mag-isip ng ano pa man. Ito ang konklusiyon sa pelikulang 100 Tula Para Kay Estela. Tinamaan ka?”
(This is about my own interpretation of a movie line in 100 Poems for Estela. Two friends for a long time has not expressed their true emotion for each other. Until the woman fell for another guy and her friend finally found strength to say what is in his heart but its too late.)

"Bakit noong nakakakita ka Hindi mo ako makita pero nang mabulag ka nakita mo ako?" Kailangan pa bang mabulag ka para mapabilang ako sa 'yong mundo. Hindi mo lang alam at Hindi mo nararamdaman, narito lang ako sa iyong tabi naghihintay na mapansin at pahalagahan mo. Kailangan ko pa bang pigain ang aking diwa't isipan upang ang aking Marubdob na damdamin ang iyo mo rin madama sa pamamagitan ng pagsulat ng 100 Tula? Naks! Epekto lang ng KitaKita at 100 Tula para kay Estela. Hehehe. Sumakay kayo no?




Life:

“What really is the purpose of life in this worldly place. Not to live in excess in material things and humanly pleasure nor be intoxicated with power and fame; and most of all not to live in mediocrity. We live because we are made or programmed to strive for the highest level - perfection. "Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect". The Olympic was organized to look for the best athlete and we attend College and Post Grad. Courses to hone us mentally in the best possiblway
We kept striving to develop ourselves in the aspects of: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual in a balanced manner. We continue honing our skills in being patient and disciplined. We always try to stick to well tested principles that would guide us in our life's journey.
The most important of all our aspirations in life is to love and be loved unconditionally. When we achieved all of these, our souls will lose the urge to return again to this worldly place. We prefer to stay in heaven!

“Many lives have been lived. Many various experiences have passed. Many acquaintances and many faces have been felt and seen. Many emotions happy and sad have been expressed. But all of them are now memories of the past and they are fleeting. It would not be for long and even the memories will be gone. A new life a new day all have been forgotten but the ESSENCE of life is always there. Same feelings, there could be variations and combinations but maybe same experiences. Life goes on and on and on. The cycle of life must go on and on. Death is nothing at all but a repose.

“Life is like a journey, sometimes there are rough and difficult times but there are also light and joyful moments. From our experiences we learn how to deal with our adversities and successes in life together with people who love us as well as those who try us for what we are really are made of.

Agos Ng Buhay

“Sa aking paghihintay habang nakaupo sa isang sulok ng mall
at ang aking asawa ay namimili sa grocery, napansin ko ang dami ng mga taong naglalakad paroon at parito. Iba't-ibang klase ng mga tao: may payat, may mataba, may maputi, may maitim, may matangkad, may pandak, may bata, may matanda at 'yong isang ale may karga pang sanggol.
Naisip ko tuloy na talagang nakakamangha ang Diyos na lumikha ng lahat ng ito. Iba't-ibang mga tao na may kanya-kanyang pag-iisip at ginagampanang papel sa buhay. May mga taong mayaman pero mababa naman ang pagtingin sa ibang mga tao pero meron din namang mapagkumbaba at mabait. Mayroon namang anak ng mayaman na hindi marunong tumayo sa sariling mga paa at maangas o mayabang na kayang gumawa ng hindi tama. May mga taong takot harapin ang hirap ng buhay kung walang mga taong tutulong sa kaniya. Dahil sa iba't-iba din ang karanasan ng mga tao,
halimbawa, lumaki sa hirap at mapait na mga pangyayari, natuto ito na maging matapang at matatag sa pagharap kung ano mang ibigay ng buhay sa kaniya. Pero minsan may kaakibat ding hindi magandang epekto at ito ay ang kakulangan sa kakayahan niyang magmahal at mahalin. Nagiging "bato" sabi nga nila, matigas pero pilit itinatago o kinikimkim ang kahinaan sa takot na siya ay pagtawanan at lumabas na talunan.
Ang iba naman ay tuluyang napapaso at nagpapadala sa agos ng buhay kung saan man sila dalhin o mapadpad. Nagiging lulong sa alak at ipinagbabawal na gamot at nakagagawa ng malagim na mga krimen tulad ng pag-patay, pagnanakaw, panghahalay at panglalamang sa walang kalaban-laban na mga nilalang.
Sa kabila ng lahat ng ito dapat nating tanggapin na talagang ganito ang buhay at matuto tayong harapin na may lakas ng loob sa tulong ng Maykapal ang bawat pagsubok na maaring sumubok sa atin. Siyanawa.”


“Ang buhay ay parang paaralan. Magsisimula ka sa pagkamusmos ang isip kung baga nursery. Habang tumatanda natututo tayo ng iba't ibang bagay. Yan ang Grades 1-8 hanggang high school. Kung matanda na at marami nang karanasan at karunungan, yan ang college o post graduate. Ito ang layunin ng buhay natin sa mundo: ang matuto, magmahal at mahalin at maging perpekto kung maari kagaya ng lumikha sa atin. Kung hindi ka matutong magmahal ng tunay at tapat para ka na ring naiwan sa elementarya. Tandaan mo, maraming kahulugan ang pagmamahal. Maaring para sa iyo yan ang tamang pagmamahal pero hindi pala dahil ang taong iyong "minamahal" sa katunayan ay nasasakal.




Love: 

“It is nice to have someone whom you can share your life with. Someone who could give you strength when you're down and weary. Someone who can inspire and motivate you to achieve something more than the ordinary.
Someone who accepts you as you are and not according to her whims and ambition. Someone who will be there whenever, wherever, whatever, however and loves you for better or for worse.”





Spiritual:


“When you feel that your burden is too much to bear and it seems that no one is beside to comfort you. This is the time to realize that the power of the Almighty is much greater than anything else. This is the time when you should surrender everything to the Lord for He is the rightful owner and creator of all things and that includes your thinking and emotions. Don't bear the burden, lift it up unto Him and feel that you are important and ready to perform things that will glorify Him. Feel light and free.

“The world is filled with consciousness but each one is typically unique from one another. I am sure that all of these consciousness comes from only one source; and that is from the -- DIVINE!




Poems:

Ang Kabukiran
Nang ulan ay pumatak sa tigang at uhaw na lupa.
Tahimik na bukirin napuno ng kokak ng palaka.
Mga magsasaka'y gumayak sa bukid ay gumagala.
Nagsimulang bungkalin ang 
mayamang lupa.
Punla'y inihanda para sa masayang
tanimang magaganap.
Umaasa na ito'y yayabong at
mamumunga sa hinaharap.
Di alintana mga pagod at hirap kahit tirik man at mainit ang araw.
Tumagaktak man ang pawis
saya at sigla ang nangingibabaw.
Dating kayumanging lupa ngayo'y
naging makinang na dilaw at lunti.
Makapal na tubo ng mga palayan
ay malawak na nagpupunyagi.
Saan ka man tumanaw sa paligid luntiang palay na ngayo'y lumalaki.
Nagbabadya ng masaganang ani
na magdadala ng lualhati at ngiti.
Kaysarap maglakad mamasyal sa malawak malapad na bukirin.
Malamig at malinis na hangin sa umaga ay kaysarap langhapin.
Hangin na nagbibigay buhay sa bawat ugat ay nagpapaigting.
Sa katawan ay nagbibigay lakas
upang pag-ani ng palay ay pagigiin.
Di nagtagal butil ay unti-unting umusbong sa uhay ng palay.
Palatandaang pag-aani ay darating
at aalamin kung ano ang taglay.
Uhay na dati'y dilaw at luntian
ngayo'y gintong napaka-makulay.
Masayang anihan sa bukid dumatal
nagbibigay ng saya sa ating buhay.

Ang mga ina ay dapat mahalin samantalang sila ay buhay pa sa inyong piling.
Inang Mapagmahal
Sa unang pagkakataon nang ikaw ay isinilang at mamasdan.
Abot langit kaligayahan nadama
sa iyong pag-uha tumulo ang luha.
Magmula noon ikaw ay inaaruga
sa kaniyang dibdib ay pinagpala.
Siya'y inang labis na mapagmahal hanggang ikaw ay lumaki.
Iniaalay ang buong sarili kahit ano
pa ang sabihin nila sa iyo.
Kaya nga siya'y napalapit sa iyo
buong puso mo't isipan alay mo.
Ngayo'y wala na siya sa 'yong tabi
naiisip at nangungulila palagi.
Bumabalik-balik na alaala ng
kaniyang lantay na pagmamahal.
Sa bawat pitik ng iyong puso'y
nagpapasalamat lagi mo siyang
IKARARANGAL.

Ang buhay ay talagang ganyan may saya at mayroon ding hapis.
Dalawang Mukha Ng Pagibig
Noong una nang akoy balot pa ng payak na pamumuhay.
Sa di inaasahan ikaw ay dumating 
kamay mo'y iwinawagayway.
Sa unang pagkakataon ako ay
sumigla at umibig.
Ang mundo ko'y napuno ng saya at nagniningning ang mga kulay.
Ngunit singbilis ng 'yong pagdating
singbilis din ang iyong paglisan.
Naiwang lumuluha at nagtataka
bakit ka nagkaganyan?
Hinahanap ko ang dating ikaw
at ang dati nating pasyalan.
Animo walang katapusang saya
ngayo'y pighati ang nararanasan.
Madilim ang paligid at ang lahat
ay binabalot ng lungkot.
Hindi ko alam kung hanggang
kailan magtitiis at makakalimot.
Ngunit alam ko ito ay lilipas at
may hangganan din and dilim.
Sa dako pa roon naghihintay
panibagong pagasa at liwayway

This means season of Spring that gives hope and life to all.
Tagsibol
Muli narito na naman ang sandali na puno ng lakas at pag-asa.
Lahat ay umaawit sumisipol dahil sa matinding saya at ligaya.
Luntian at ginintuang paligid sa bawat Isa ay bumubungad.
Nagpapadama nagpapahiwatig ng matinding paghahangad.
Malumanay na simoy ng hangin na sa aking katawan ay dumadampi.
Nagbibigay sigla bumubuhay sa dugong napupuno ng sidhi.
Di maiwasang umasam ng isang bagay na malimit na minimithi.
Sa kaibuturan ng aking pusoy
Nag aalab na sinasabayan ng ngiti.
Wari'y kalangitan na nabuksan
nang ganda mo'y nasilayan.
Isa kang Diyosa sa aking paningin kumakaway sa iyong himlayan.
Nang daliri natin ay nagdugtong
di maiwasan dibdib dumagundong.
Dagitab ay lumatay sa katawan nati'y nagbigay kakaibang ugong.
Nag-apoy rumagasa at umaapaw
masidhing damdami'y sumisigaw.
Ikaw at wala ng iba aking mahal
damhin natin tamis ng pagsinta.
Hayaan mong tayo ay dalhin
sa rurok na malapit kay Bathala.
Hayaang pumayapa sa kandungan
mo'y managinip at humupa.

 Ang susunod na Tula ay katha ng aking damdamin at isipan sa panahon ng pag-limi2x at pagiisa.
Bahag-Hari
Hayaan mo akong liparin ng muni-muni at galak sa dako pa roon ng kaparangan.
Kung sa ganyang paraan lang masisilayan iyong natatanging kariktan.
Di ko mawari at di masukat 
Ang aking tuwa at kagalakan nadarama
Labis labis lalo na nang ikaw ay ngumiti
Nagningning mapungay mong mga mata.
Buhay koy umaliwalas at sumaya
Tulad ng Bahag-Hari na puno ng kulay at ganda.





Medical Research/Opinion:

It has been quite a while that I have been thinking how calcium carbonate reacts with other substances in the stomach. This is relevant to me because as a dialysis patient it has been quite a while that I have been taking calcium carbonate 500 mg. tablet as a phosphate binder to control my serum phosphorus since excess phosphorus cannot anymore be excreted through my damaged kidneys. Phosphorus that build up inside my body is very toxic and makes my skin to itch and is very irritating to a great extent. Until I chanced to read what am I looking for in the box of Calcium Carbonate that I bought. I finally learned that calcium carbonate when it reaches the stomach reacts with the gastric juice particularly the Hydro-Chloric Acid or HCL. That is why Calcium Carbonate is also a good antacid. As the Calcium Carbonate travels along the small intestine, an estimated 15 percent Calcium of the 500 mg. Calcium Carbonate is absorbed through the blood stream and the remaining 85 percent is reconverted to Calcium Carbonate and other insoluble salt like Calcium Phosphate which are excreted together with the stool. So in order to be effective Phophate binder, the Calcium Carbonate 500 mg. tablet should be taken with meals so that the Calcium could bind to the Phoporus content of what you have eaten. That's it the chemical reaction that I have been looking is eventually revealed.




Science:

“Scientists say that the Universe started with the "Big Bang". The question is what is happening BEFORE the great explosion? Scientists theorized that time does not exist before the Big Bang" and started from a certain point where you can say that nothing exists since time does not exist. The question again is where did this starting point came from? It is too complex for any person to fully understand;. Even the geniuses could not mathematically compute this phenomenon because all came from the greatest of all and we are nothing compared to -- The DIVINE! Do not be proud for you own nothing!










 








Friday, December 29, 2017

Dialysis Patient And Will Travel. #dialysistraveler

Dialysis Patient And Will Travel
#dialysistraveler


At Disney Sea Man-Made Lagoon

















Me having dialysis at St. Lukes International Hospital



I am 65 years old and an End Stage Dialysis Patient for six years now and I do not believe on someone who says that dialysis patients could not travel to other places like in their dreams. I have proven them wrong when my daughter Nadinne, who is a dialysis nurse in Australia scrutinously and painstakingly planned for a Singapore/Japan family travel and finally decided to push through with the said trip; of course I am included. Yes it is risky but it is worth taking the risk. At first I was not used to traveling but my body has adjusted to the situation and I started to enjoy: the fast boat to Cebu City and the airplane ride to Changi Airport in Singapore with my wife to rendezvous with my daughter Nadinne and my Son-In-Law Joshua who are coming from Australia. Changi Airport was decorated with beautiful flowers and orchids and we did not miss the photo opportunity  to pose and take pictures. Security and screening of incoming travelers is tight inside the airport as we pass the Custom's Area. As we went outside the airport I noticed that Singapore City is very clean and the climate is just right (not too hot and not too cold) the people are friendly and very organized. 

We took a van for hire and I gaze on the type of the van and it was a Mercedez Benz. People in Singapore have money I said to myself. There was no traffic congestion and our travel from the airport to the condominium unit of Joshua's brother was very smooth. After leaving our baggage and settling a bit, my wife, my daughter and her husband Joshua and Joshua's brother Jay and his family walked as I rode the wheelchair assisted by Joshua to the mall near their vicinity and we ate a dinner with assorted foods like crabs, fish, pork and noodles. I noticed in the basketball court and beside the mall  that we passed by that there were bicycles with the same design and color just left behind on their stand. I asked and I learned that those bicycles are owned by the government and can be used by means of a cell phone app. My impression is that it is a peaceful place and the government is very considerate to provide easy transport to their citizens. The government recognizes the importance of taking care of the environment by caring for trees and plants (the roads and hillside are lined with flowers and lush garden plants and trees). This is also true for Person With Disability (PWD) as malls, airports and train stations are provided with line of steel strips that guide the blinds and there are sufficient lifts or elevators to facilitate travel. We spent our night in the four room condominium unit of Jay and his family. The unit has enough space for a small family and has ample amenities. 


During our talk with Jay that night I have learned that in Singapore, you cannot own a land; you pay a certain amount for the condominium unit and if the government decide that another project will be put up at that place, they will pay you back what you paid to be used to pay the new unit that you will transfer in. The same is true if you decide to transfer to another place. That is why it is easy for the government to do Urban Planning. Most people are housed in condominium type (four to nine story high) buildings and are clustered to form a community. Each community is provided with a mall and other necessary facilities to avoid unnecessary movement of people to prevent congestion in the streets. There is less visibility of uniformed policemen and crime is minimal.Taxes are high but wisely spent in various projects like infrastructure; not like in the Philippines where collected taxes were used to finance political projects aside from loss due to corruption. Please write your opinion in the comment section. It does not matter if you agree or disagree. Varying opinions is good. 

There are many Filipino workers in Singapore mostly professionals, Domestic Helpers and waiters in restaurants. Jay has hired one house help (distant relative of his mother). Hiring a house help in Singapore is not cheap; you have to pay a certain amount to the government on a monthly basis aside from the regular monthly salary. The employees and workers are well paid that is why they are contented and do their job well. I think there is job for everyone in Singapore. Just like in the Philippines there are rich people in Singapore and their income, quality of life differs quite significantly from other citizens. They say that if there is corruption in Singapore, it is very low.


Changi Airport
Changi Airport

On our second day in Singapore, we rode the train and I noticed immediately that the train system and network  is well planned (passenger friendly), well maintained and sufficient (there is a train passing by every five minutes) for mass transport that somehow prevented traffic build-up in the streets. The trains were new, clean and air-conditioned. People in Singapore love spicy foods, that is why you smell a spicy scent when you ride a train. It was like a maze inside the train station as we manage through escalators and stairs (sometimes we take a short cut) as lifts or elevators were not available (this is the hard and painful part as I am forced to stand from my wheel chair and walk). People are courteous and ready to help tourists to find their destination. The train took us near Sentosa Island, a leisure park accessible by cable cars. High above, you can see the bird's eye view of metro Singapore. You can ride the cable cars that loop around the island as long as you want. After stepping down from the cable car, we familiarized ourselves with the area and we later each of us rode the Luge (small cart with wheels) that can be easily maneuvered as it rolled down a slope and turns in snaky curves downhill. A cable lift took us back to the top of the hill where we came from. Then, there was this four dimension movie house where you can see 3 D objects like logs, sawmill and crocodiles and you can feel the turns and bumpy ride in synchrony with the carousel you are riding in as it simulate the travel of logs in a river as it pass through the waterfalls (you can feel and see the drop) in a canyon until it reached the end of the line below. If someone in the viewers cannot proceed to finish the show due to fear or health problem, he can pull the lever and the show will temporarily stop and will proceed again after the said viewer that pulled the lever has left the room. There are enough food kiosks to satisfy hungry tourists. The sandwiches are very delicious, a little bit spicy and tasty. We visited the big MerLion statue where we climbed up to the top to see the panoramic view of Singapore. 




We continued to tour the area and posed for more pictures and proceeded to Universal Studio area located at the lower portion within the vicinity of Resorts World where there is a mall for celebrities selling signature clothes, bags and other items; of course aside from the delicious foods from many food stores. We posed for more pictures outside the mall with the original Merlion Fountain in the background at the other side of the Marina Bay area. We went back to the loading area of cable cars that took us back to mainland Singapore where we took a train going to China Town where we ate a sumptuous dish of Peking Duck, then after eating we looked for souvenir items for our friends back home.

View from the cable cars
Me and my wife at the boarding area of cable cars



Me, my wife Belen, Nadinne and Josh


Jay and his daughters and wife

Driving the Luge cart

Joshua, Belen, Me and Nadinne

At the Luge Entrance Area
On top of the Big Merlion Statue

At the Resorts World Vicinity
At the big Merlion Statue
Part of Sentosa Island (lower portion)


Part of Sentosa Island (lower portion)
Within the vicinity of Resorts World


Within the vicinity of Resorts World
On the third day we went to church. I noticed that there were many Filipinos and in fact the priest has announced that there was a schedule for a Filipino Mass. The church is huge and air conditioned. Then we ate breakfast in a Chinese restaurant and afterwards we rode the train to Gardens By The Bay area where we entered the  Cloud Forest. I was in awe at first sight of this man-made structure. Fogs and clouds were simulated inside a huge enclosure of glass that house a man made mountain covered with many (I think all known tropical species were there) type of plants, flowers and orchids complete with water falls that create fine mist making the area more colder aside from huge air conditioners and misters. I admire very much how Singapore give 
priority to large expensive projects about nature yet viewing it as an investment (boosting the tourism industry) with calculated financial returns. The Cloud Forest can be explored by the use of elevators and walk way around the man made-mountain. We transferred to another gargantuan glass enclosure called the Flower Dome and toured the different types of plants as to countries like Asia and Africa. My wife Belen was all the while very happy and smiling as she looks at the flowers and orchids and cacti (plural of cactus) of various colors and sizes. Truly it is a gardener's and tourists' paradise. There was a Santa's Cabin where many people lined up and waiting for their turn to pose for family or group pictures. There were various Christmas lights twinkling in the area. As the dusk progresses, we watched the Super Trees light up with the huge merry Christmas lights and the beautiful Marina Bay Sands Hotel at the background. We left the Gardens By The Bay area and crossed a bridge to reach the original Merlion Fountain. We arrived at the Merlion Fountain with the Marina Bay Sands Hotel at the background in all its grandeur and glory as it perform the nightly laser lights and fountain show. It was awe inspiring as we pose for pictures beside the famous MerLion fountain that was popularized by a legend of a Mermaid with a lion head signifying the start of development of Singapore. Being a disciplined dialysis patient, I managed to survive the three day tour without dialysis. We went back to Cebu City and finally back to Tagbilaran City, Bohol where I had my regular dialysis.


After a few days rest, we traveled again from Tagbilaran City, Bohol to Manila on December 17, 2017 and the next day I had my dialysis at St. John Dialysis Center at Casman Bldg. at Quezon Avenue in Quezon City. I usually had my dialysis in Manila at Capitol Dialysis Center but now it is full to third shift and cannot accommodate transient patient like me.


Cloud Forest Waterfalls

Belen with the Cloud Forest walkway at the background


Pose with huge palm trees












Super Tree at the Gardens By The Bay Area


Merlion Fountain



My wife Belen at Merlion Fountain

Marina Bay Sands Hotel



















Marina Bay View


On December 19, 2017, we started the second part of our tour which is Japan, particularly Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. When we landed at Narita Airport, I was surprised to see my name written in a placard held by a  young Japanese male attendant who was formally dressed all over in an attractive American suit. I did not know that my daughter has arranged for a wheel chair service because I have muscle and joint pain which is typical for a 6th year dialysis patient like me. The attendant was very courteous and helpful with smiling face. Narita Airport is huge, clean and very organized. The people are very courteous and very helpful of tourists. I had my first feel of Japan's weather when we went outside the airport to the train station and took a train that will take us to Tokyo. Boy it was really cold. Temperature inside the train was controlled by heaters maybe at room temperature and there were many passengers, so I had to take off my jackets and gloves again and put them back again when we reached Tokyo. I was not used to those heavy clothes, I felt I was so heavy and could not move properly. Using the GPS and walking, we searched for our Air BNB lodging house. Flag down rates of taxi in Tokyo was 4,000 Yen as they say. After some turns around the block we found our apartment type lodging house with two bedrooms that accommodated eight persons complete with heaters, WIFI, food snacks, appliances, soft cushioned beds, thick comforters and comfort room with toilet and bath. There was hot and cold water and the toilet has very modern electronic amenities with a touch of a button: videt (focuses and wash a certain private part of your body), sprinklers (wash private parts with assistance of the hand). There are other buttons but I cannot understand because it is written in Japanese. My wife told me that it has a music button. Of course the music is in Japanese. At first I was hesitant to use the toilet bowl but I focused on the illustrated drawings and started experimenting. Then, at last, success! 

We first visited Senso-Ji Temple at Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan in the evening. I forgot to wear the right clothing for winter (gloves; scarf; thermal suit) and I felt so cold and I was afraid I would pass out especially when a slight wind is blowing. Thanks to the small food kiosks that line the streets that offered a cozy place and a hot meal. I can say I enjoyed but felt uncomfortable also because of the very cold weather. Then we went back to our lodging house and got a little nervous after getting lost in the streets for a while with my Son-In-Law Joshua who was pushing my wheelchair. Despite the cold weather outside I slept well that night.
Senso-Ji Temple
Senso-Ji Temple
House near Senso-Ji Temple

The second day is thrilling for us since we have to ride trains inside Japan's subway known for its maze like and not tourists friendly signs (all are written in Japanese); but thanks to the GPS and Google translations, we managed to find our way. At the train stations I noticed that all of the people are walking in wide strides and are in a hurry. Japanese love their work very much and maybe their parents have taught them to value time, respect for other persons and money; it is in their culture. Employees at the train stations are helpful, respectful and polite. They are very professional in their uniforms and behavior.  I was reminded of a conversation between two student weight lifters (one student is a Japanese and the other one is Filipino) when I was still a student in College. Based on his observations, the Japanese weight lifter said to the Filipino weight lifter: "Philippines is a pond of frogs". It took a while for me to understand what the Japanese student said. Finally, it dawned on me that the Philippine sports training, as seen by the Japanese student, is sub-standard in terms of quality and quantity of time compared to Japanese training in the field of weight lifting. I was thinking that does this weakness is also true in other Filipino traits like discipline, honesty, self-respect, integrity and commitment and are reflected on how we work in the office whether it is in the private and government? Does this means that Filipinos are only imitating their leaders' examples but most of their leaders lack on these important traits that's why our country's development is not at par with Singapore and Japan? Am I right? Please put your comments below. 

It was morning in Tokyo and people were going to work. Every passing train was full of passengers and some, men and women, were standing with "zombie" like look on their faces (void of emotion); most were glued to their cell phones with matching earphones and some were comfortably snoring in their seats. 

Finally, we arrived at our destination for the day, the Disney Sea Theme Park which is the only one in Asia. The area is huge and organized to provide maximum entertainment to people at the right price (it cost 14,000.00 Yen per person) as well as bring in profits to Walt Disney Group. They have replicates of the Little Mermaid, Sinbad and the seven seas travel, Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and other cartoons and movie themes. We arrived at the park at 10:30 A.M. and we saw around the man made lagoon, groups of Japanese teens slumped (seated with folded knees) and clumped near each other at the concrete floor sharing body heat, busily using their cell phones and waiting for a show. Indeed at 11:00 A.M. the show of Disney characters started and there was  a lively music and merry dancing around the lagoon. The in-active crowd suddenly jolted up to their feet and began waving and shouting with very happy faces. Then we strolled around the kingdom of little mermaid Ariel, pose for photos including the water fall at the foot of a man made volcano that formed part of Indiana Jones adventures. Inside the man made volcano is a roller coaster ride where you can see and hear teens and kids enjoying the ride with loud shrieks. We did not ride the roller coaster but we chose the Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea. Using the steel stairs we descended deep into a dark cavern and rode a miniature old model submarine. This ride mimic travel under the sea. As the submarine submerges, you can see in the circular glass window that the water is rising and you can see  curtain of bubbles. The lights and sound of the sea is great as well as the sea creatures like the giant octopus which seem to electrify the mini submarine as it passes through. There were many shows like the Big Band and Ariel the floating/flying and dancing mermaid. We became priority on every show because I rode my wheel chair and got good viewing. Then the night at about 7 P.M. was capped by a Mickey Mouse Mystical show of fireworks, fountains and orchestrated dances of Disney characters in boats parade in the lagoon. The night ended very merrily as contented tourists walked back to the Disney train that will take them to the city's train station. The park's attendants and employees were all very courteous and helpful. From the looks of it this is a classic signature of American  capitalists business venture capitalizing on the entertainment needs of children and adults; but satisfying indeed at the right price. We ate our meals in Japanese restaurants and it was there that I have proven that hunger is a great motivator and teacher as I finally learned to use the chop sticks for eating Ramen (fine noodles), Udon (bigger noodles) and Sashimis (set of raw fish, shrimp, squid, vegetables and sticky rice).


Near Ariel's Kingdom










Beside the man-made lagoon
Arabian Knights (Sinbad)
Ariel's (Little Mermaid) Kingdom
Man-made Volcano
Disney Sea (Zuma's Temple)















On the third day, December 21, 2017, we packed our baggage and we left our lodging house; we rode the train to the downtown business area and it was very cold outside since there was a prevailing wind. We were able to see the big and modern buildings and did not lose the opportunity to pose for a picture. We went to the bus station to leave our baggage and rode a train again to go to Shibuya crossing (popular for many people crossing the streets at one time) and pose for a family picture beside the statue of Hachiko the loyal dog who waited for his dead master to arrive at the station for many years. Then we ate sashimis near my dialysis area. Afterwards, I had my first dialysis in Japan at the St. Luke's International Hospital at 3:00 P.M.. I had a bit communication gap with the nurses but we were still able to understand each other and my dialysis smoothly went on until it was finished at 7 in the evening. From the hospital, we hurried to take a train ride to the bus station where a bus will take us to Kyoto. Like the participants in the Amazing Race, we were able to arrive at the station with only seconds remaining. The bus ride was 7 hours long but we were comfortable inside and the seats can be reclined. I looked outside as we travel and we were traveling through numerous houses, bus stations (the bus stopped for a few minutes for passengers to relieve themselves and also to take new passengers) and many lighted tunnels as the road to Kyoto is mountainous. When we arrived at Kyoto bus station, Kyoto temperature was 0 degree Centigrade at 4 A.M. and the biting cold was alleviated by a hot McDonald's meal. 

At Kyoto Station, we took a train to visit a Buddhist monk shrine called Fushimi Inari. This tourist site sits at the base of a mountain which is 233 meters above sea level. Trails leading up the mountain includes smaller shrines which span 4 kilometers and take approximately 2 hours to walk. I remained at the lowest portion as my companions climbed up to a few shrines. There were also praying and luck giving paper sheets that are sold by Japanese monks. After looking for food in the line of food stalls and eating Japanese fried noodles, we again took a train to Arashiyama bamboo forest or Grove (group of bamboos). This is where they shoot movies with Ninjas doing sword fights among the bamboos. The bamboos were clean of thorns, big and straight and they were side by side.

For the first time, we were able to ride the "Bullet" train at Shinkansen station going to Osaka. These modern trains are exclusive for those who can afford as the fares are soaring high; but the comfort and speed of travel is well provided. We arrived at Osaka in the late afternoon. Our room good for eight persons was of a studio type with heaters, bath, comfort room, kitchen and appliances. Our room in Tokyo was far better compared to Osaka. It is on the third floor and has no elevator and hand railings and it became dangerous and agonizing for me to climb and go down the stairs. No pain (including courage and determination) no gain.


 
Set of Sashimi items
Downtown Tokyo
Shibuya Crossing

Statue of Hachiko the loyal dog

Fushimi Inari Shrine
On top of Fushimi Inari




































Me, Belen, Mariele, Nadinne, Mabelle and Adriane
at Bamboo Forest














Universal Studio (Harry Potter Castle)






























On December 23, 2017, Nadinne with her two sisters Mariele, Mabelle and Joshua went to the Universal Studio while my wife Belen, my daughter Adriane, her husband Joel and I went to the Osaka Aquarium, the largest in Asia, we had some pictures with the whale sharks, other species of sharks, seals, penguins, king crabs and many species of fish; afterwards, we rode a train again and I had my second dialysis at the Shin-Osaka Iseikai Clinic which also went smoothly. The place was modern with complete facilities. I was surprised because I was able to tolerate a hi-flux dialyzer at 240 ml./min. blood flow for four hours straight. 


On our last day at Osaka, we were able to shop (some stores have tax free items) and eat at the Doton Bori, which is the "Divisoria" of Japan. Divisoria in the Phillippines is known for its cheap products and lots of people are shopping in the area. Doton Bori have lots of shopping and food stalls in long line which the tourist and locals can select from. Long line of tourists are queuing to buy Takoyaki, a Japanese food with octopus as one of the ingredients. There were Koreans, Chinese, Filipinos and a few Caucasian tourists.

Joshua, Nadinne, Mariele and Mabelle





















Osaka Aquarium (whale shark)

Joel, Adriane, me and Belen at Osaka Aquarium










Osaka Aquarium (KIng Crabs)


Doton Bori Bridge


Takoyaki (Japanese delicacy)
We again took a train that took us to the Kansai Airport. It is huge like Narita Airport and also very clean and organized. Our flight from Osaka to Manila was at 8:55 P.M. We arrived safely  in Manila at 12:20 A.M. Christmas day.

Our trip has provided enough bonding moments for our family and proved that disciplined dialysis patients can also travel if they are determined to endure physical pain to a tolerable degree. It also shows that countries with good and dedicated leaders can pull out from chaos and poverty to a well developed nation. Not like in the Philippines where full development has continued to lag behind other countries because of too much politicking and ineffective system of doing business and other transactions like the Red Tape that was supposed to provide check and balance became a dragnet for those opportunist gov't employees whose hungry for grease money from private contractors just to facilitate the movement of the required documents for bidding and award of projects and also for almost all gov't. transactions. They justify this by saying they have small salary and this pave for the existing "cancer" like system of corruption perpetrated by syndicates of gov't employees, dirty politicians and private contractors. As a result, the supposed original budget for the project is affected and the contractors have to skim on the project design resulting to a less quality infrastructure or supplies or machines and higher price of commodities. When will we learn from these mistakes and keep away from these evil deeds? Please write your feed-backs or comments. I will love to see them.

Sorry, because I cannot stop from comparing our beloved country the Philippines to other prosperous and developed countries like Singapore and Japan. It is our deepest desire that we Filipinos unite to make our country successful. This is just my way to create awareness no matter how small it is.

I do my travel not just for fun and sight-seeing. I always look for things that I wish our country could have also. 

I thank God for making my travel to other countries possible with the full support of my family.
 
I chanced to read in the internet about a dialysis patient who dreamed of joining the Iron Man Triathlon. He did this with passion and determination; and one day he had the chance to fulfill his dream. He joined the triathlon and was able to finish it.

My message to other dialysis patients is to be brave and try your best to travel to other places like in your dreams while you still can.

Enjoy!

P.S.: Tips for dialysis traveling patients: The first thing to do before you travel is to go to your Nephrologist. Ask her/him if you are fit for travel. Have your blood test for regular monthly tests like Sodium, Potassium, Ionized Calcium, Inorganic Phosphorus, Albumin, Blood Uric Acid, Blood Urea Nitrogen, Serum Creatinine and CBC. Make sure the results are normal or near normal especially that of Hemoglobin value of your blood since Hemoglobin and Iron combined takes care of transporting oxygen to your cells. You do not want yourself panting or gasping for air as you travel from one place to another. You can also feel less cold if your Hemoglobin value is okay. The ideal Hemoglobin value is 11 or slightly higher. Before you travel, make sure your heart is okay and can take the rigorous part of your travel. You do not want to stress your heart to the point that you will have a heart attack. Take your medicines on time and regularly. Make sure your blood pressure is okay. Lastly, be sure to bring a wheelchair with you and a strong companion, preferably a male, to assists you as you ride your wheelchair. Of course, a strong determination, discipline and passion is needed to make your trip successful.