Monday, April 30, 2007


Dozier was not particularly impressive. He was rather sort and stocky and looked like an accountant, which he was during the daytime. Not particularly handsome or muscular, he did have a quiet charm and a strong demeanor. You could feel his presence when he walked into the room. In the nightclub, he was the “cooler”.

It took three nightclub bouncers to throw the kid into the street. After being warned several times the jerk had finally grossly and inappropriately put his hands on one of our waitresses. We were not allowed to “punish” just control or eject. Outside he began to rant and rave. He blocked the club entrance and hassled people as they tried to enter.

Dozier went to the door and said softly, “Son, your night here is over. I suggest you go home before you get hurt.” The kid made his final mistake of the evening. He got up in Dozier’s face and shouted, “And what are you going to do if I don’t, old man?” I never saw the punch. The next thing I knew the kid flew three feet backward. He landed on his butt and his eyes rolled back in his head. At first I thought he was dead but slowly, groggily he tried to stand up. Two of his smarter friends offered to take him home. I turned to Dozier and said, “Damn, Doz I am glad you are on my side.”

The next time I saw my friend Dozier he had lost half his body weight. He shuffled along barely able to walk and his left hand was withered and curled. His speech was slurred and there was a constant drool at the corner of his mouth. He could not hold a job and needed to be cared for by a nurse. Dozier had had a stroke. He had a blood vessel burst and damage his brain. He was a hollow empty shell waiting to die.

Stroke is an equal opportunity destroyer / killer. Men, women and even children can all have a life altering stroke. It can not only destroy you; it can impact all those who love you. You owe it to yourself and those you love to learn how to avoid stroke and how to treat it. There is not enough space in my column to cover everything you need to know. ( this last one has a way to measure your stroke risk)

A stroke can not always be easily detected. It may just feel like a momentary spell of dizziness. Rapid and early detection is critical to survival and recovery. When doctors talk about stroke they say, “Time loss is brain loss.” How do you detect a stroke?

STROKE IDENTIFICATION: A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke. He said the trick was getting a stroke patient recognized, diagnosed, and to medical care within that time frame.

STROKE: The First Three Letters... S.T.R.
S * Ask the individual to SMILE.
T * Ask the person to TALK to repeat a simple sentence.
R * Ask him or her to RAISE both arms .

NOTE : Another 'sign' of a stroke is : Ask the person to 'stick' out their tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a possible stroke.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, go to the hospital immediately. Describe the symptoms to the doctor.

Be an Everyday Hero, teach this to friends, family and neighbors. The life you save could even be YOURS.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Before I tell you about this week’s "everyday heroes" I want to tell you about the "Invisible People". Invisible people are people you see everyday but never know their names. They are the boys that help you back out of that parking place or who guard your motorcycle while you shop. They are people you meet everyday but would not know them if they sat next to you in church. Invisible people have no future. They will never go to school or break the chains of poverty. As sad and bleak as their lives are, there is a group even more hopeless, the "forgotten People". They are the children crippled by disease or accident. Beautiful children, brilliant minds, loving hearts trapped in crippled bodies. They are often totally dependent on others and have no chance, no hope of escape. Unable to walk, they can not play or go anywhere. Their own brothers and sisters are afraid to play with them. Sometimes their own mothers will not hug them for fear of hurting them. Without schooling they can not read. Often they are poor and have no TV or radio. Their life consists of laying in bed and watching others live, while they merely exist.

This week’s everyday heroes are trying to help these "forgotten people". The Great Physician Rehabilitation Foundation (GPRehab) is a group of dedicated professional Pinoy and Norwegian volunteers. They are providing physical therapy to improve the children’s health and strength. This not only gives them some mobility but also builds their self confidence. They also give special occupational therapy training that helps the children improve their behavioral and cognitive skills. This additional special training helps them improve their learning abilities and prepare for school. Adult wheelchairs are not suitable for children so the GPRehab builds child size wheelchairs. Many of their wheelchairs and other assistive devices are built by their own students. They also educate the families on how to live, work and play with their challenged children. They help prepare over 23 challenged children attending school. Many of the special children now have a chance for a life and possibly even a career.

America had a President who led us in war while confined to a wheelchair. Maybe one of these children will one day find a cure for cancer or even lead this great nation. If that happens the Philippines will have to thank everyday heroes like Director Analou Suan, and her volunteer therapists, teachers and support staff.

I was impressed by this generous and dedicated band of professionals. I asked them how could I help. Did they need more volunteers? No, they have plenty of volunteers. Many of those volunteers were so dedicated they have to be reminded to go home and take care of their own families. I asked if they needed money. Everyone needs money. They said what they "needed" was for me to help them change the heart of the public. To let the public know that while these children are crippled they have beautiful hearts and minds just like normal children. They just need a chance at life. Most important they need our love and understanding. Be an Everyday Hero and hug a child in a wheelchair.


I started writing this column with a specific purpose in mind. I wanted not just to entertain and inform but to spotlight the good Foreigners and good Filipinos who are so often forgotten by the media. I wanted to bring host and guest together with mutual respect and build a better community. I failed.

I created the “Filipino-Foreigner Friendship Foundation” hoping we could work together to create a better Dumaguete City. The Foundation sponsored a “Youth Summer Chess Tournament” with the winner getting a year tuition at a local University. The motto was a “Hand-up; Not a hand-out”. The Oriental Negros’ best and brightest young people now had a chance to earn an education and change their destiny. Again I failed.

In almost a year of writing a column for the Negros Chronicle what have I accomplished? After repeatedly asking my readers to contribute names of people worthy of recognition, I have gotten none. People still want me to use the column to vent their anti-Foreigner or anti-Filipino complaints. Not one Filipino or Foreigner has joined the Filipino-Foreigner Friendship Foundation. Not even my close friends or co-workers. No one has donated one peso to the Chess Tournament. Several Foreigners have turned their back on me labeling me “Anti-American”. My HONEST attempts to bring balance or a fresh look to the way things are viewed has been called “pandering to the Pinoy readers”. If anything I have made things worse not better.

I refuse to let the young men and women competing in the Youth Chess Tournament down. I will personally fund the tournament costs and the prizes myself. You will get your years tuition with books. All I ask of you is when you have succeeded in life; reach back and help someone else.

To my critics out there, sorry you will soon have to get something else to get your blood boiling on Sunday morning. I am going back to writing articles for Penthouse and other international magazines. I am going to finish writing my book and take care of my family.

To my few fans who have supported me. Thank you. Our friendship means more to me than any of those false friends I lost.

As they say in the newspaper business, there are several of my columns on the “spike”. For the next few months you will still have to endure my misguided mumblings but this will be the last column I will write. I apologize for failing ; but I do not apologize for trying.


I must admit, I never could figure out why some foreigners here insist I am “anti-American”. Besides spending the greater part of my life in service to America, which includes two tours in combat, I never wrote or said anything I considered anti-American in my life. Finally one of them may have let the secret slip. I was told they base their opinion on this snippet from an article I published.

“Did you know that during the Philippine Insurrection Filipinos killed over 4,000 well armed American troops with little more than a bolo knife? That is more than we have lost in Iraq in almost the same time frame against modern weapons…. The story is that America “defeated” the Spanish and took possession of the Philippines; but is that the truth or merely the American version?”

First, I do not see where this is “anti-American”. It must be how you read it and what you “want” to see. Admittedly it gives credit to brave Filipinos who fought for freedom against the Spanish and the Americans, but it is historically accurate and I have the data to prove it.

(ref “Lessons From A Successful Counterinsurgency: The Philippines, 1899-1902” Timothy K. Deady U.S.Army War College Quarterly Spring 2005)

Mr. Deady states the insurgent force numbered between 80 to 100,000 troops with “tens of thousands of auxiliaries” but the “lack of weapons and munitions was a significant impediment.” “On the isle of Samar, a bolo attack killed 48 of 74 American soldiers in the garrison at Balangiga in August 1901.”

“The insurrection resulted in 4,234 American fatalities” From the title of the paper you can see the insurrection lasted three years; we have been in Iraq 5+ years fighting against well armed insurgents and lost a little over 3,000 troops. My statement and comparison is historically valid. This is a tribute to the Filipinos tenacious desire to be free and their bravery NOT an anti-American statement. For the record we won the insurrection not so much by force of arms but by “winning the hearts and minds” of the people. This is a lesson we might re-visit in Mindanao and Iraq. Bullets do not stop insurrections.

Now for the Americans “defeat” of the Spanish. Check the history books. Aguinaldo had defeated the Spanish everywhere in the Philippines. He and his army then surrounded the few remaining Spanish troops in Manila. Spain was NOT in control of the Philippines. Aguinaldo had only to capture Manila and the Philippines would finally be free. Meanwhile America signed a Peace Treaty in Paris paying Spain 20 million dollars for the Philippines. Admiral Perry sank the Spanish fleet in Manila bay and joined Aguinaldo’s Filipino army surrounding the city. There was no “battle” for Manila. Spain surrendered Manila to America cheating the Filipinos of their final victory and their freedom. This led to the Philippine Insurrection mentioned above.

Again this is historical fact and NOT an anti-American statement. My critics would do better reading more history and less complaining and false labeling of me. Truth is the best defense against lies.

I must admit I did make one error in the article they cited. I said it was “Cpt Cook” that was killed here by chief Lapu-Lapu when everyone knows it was Magellan. This just proves I am human and make mistakes but I want to state emphatically I am NOT “anti-Portuguese” either.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I need your help.

I ran across this problem and I do not know how to solve it. I am going to be a bit vague so as not to embarrass the individuals involved. I have researched the information and have documents to prove the salient facts.

A foreigner came to the Philippines, fell in love and got married. Together he and his wife decided to open a small beach resort. After a long search they found the perfect piece of land. The realtor told them the large beach at their back door was “public property.” This was his first mistake. He should have checked the records on file in the local land office. A large part of the beach was private property.(documents on file at the newspaper office)

The actual owner of the beach property was a little old Philippine lady and her 62 year old husband. They had saved all their life to buy a small piece of land on which to retire. Now their dream was about to become a nightmare.

The foreigner now had three options. He could go back to the realtor and demand a refund. He could workout some friendly arrangement with the little old lady and her husband. He could fight. Sadly, on bad advice, he decided to fight.

He took the old lady to court. He lost the case. (documents on file) He filed another case. While pending, the case appears to be more a nuisance suit than a real charge. (documents on file) The court will decide that. He then went onto their land and cut their fence claiming the fence was built on public land. ( note: There are two laws concerning public beach land. Depending on the zoning laws, the public land is measured from high tide using 3 meters or 20 meters. The foreigner naturally chose 20 meters. Unfortunately this is the wrong law for this zone.)

When the owners attempted to legally protect their land from erosion, he came on their land in the dead of night ( indication even he knew he was doing wrong) and destroyed the temporary breakwater. This started a series of intimidating confrontations that resulted in the Filipino couple being terrified to come on their own land. The couple did obtain a permit to build a stone breakwater. This permit did not please the foreigner. He accused the city engineer of malfeasance. Even created a public bulletin board accusing the city Engineer of malfeasance in office. This is possibly a mistake that may prove to haunt him when he tries to get a special permit to build cabins or walkways on DENR land. The mangrove swamps that border his land are ecologically fragile and important to the environment. Getting a special permit to build there may become a problem without the help of the city engineer.

The foreigner continued his ill-advised campaign. He bought the access road used by everyone for many years. It is still used by everyone, except the little old lady , her husband and their friends. He won’t let them have access to their own property. I am sure this is a violation of Philippine law covered under "userpation".

The foreigner threw hot coffee on a Filipino worker. When the worker brought the police, the foreigner dropped his pants and actually showed his ass to the police. (documents on file)

When threatened with leagal action the foreigner says he will call his "friend" the Govenor. I know our govenor. It is hard for me to believe he would support these documented outrages.

Then there is the “rape” accusation. “Someone” created a leaflet accusing the 62 year old man of raping a young local high school girl. The leaflet was printed in the Tagalog not the local language. The slanderous leaflet was distributed at the local high school. I spoke to the girl and her mother. They both deny the story and are willing to submit to a medical exam to prove it. The viciousness of this attack on this old man, his wife and this innocent young girl's reputation is unconscionable. I have no idea who did this ugly crime, but I have an opinion. Did I mention the foreigners wife does not speak Visyan only Tagalog?

There have been numerous other violations. For example, someone burned a bunch of fishing boats in the mangrove swamp. Before the case got to court all the fishermen were paid to drop the charges. Not sure who did the crime but all the fishermen now beach their boats as far from the foreigner's land as physically possible.

I have tried to think of a way to solve this vexing problem. Trespass and other constraining laws do not seem to be effective as the foreigner just pays the fine and continues his violations. Appealing to reason does not seem to be effective.

Perversely there is a degree of poetic justice here. The Filipino couple will probably be forced to sell their land. The only one who will want or afford this prime piece of real estate will probably be another foreigner. This will put two foreigners fighting it out in the Philippine courts. As these foreigners get poorer, the Filipino lawyers will get richer. It saddens me that a guest in this country can cause this much heartache and pain without any real penalty.


I was standing on the porch when I saw a small plastic crucifix on the wall. Something was wrong! Some idiot had broken the hands off of Jesus. I felt a ball of fiery anger growing in my chest. How could anyone do such a horrible thing? I looked around the porch for the missing hands. I thought maybe I could repair the damage.
Then I noticed a poem beside the damaged crucifix. It went something like this.

“As I knelt beneath this crucifix and prayed
Shocked, my Lord had no hands that swayed
I searched around; I searched from roof to ground
My Lords broken hands could not be found
Desperately I cried to my Lord on his glorious seat
What should I do; your crucifix seems so incomplete
Deep in my heart I heard His soft reply
My son, wipe that tear from your eye

If you will but
……heal the wounds of those afflicted
……care for the poor and infirmed
……give hope to the hopeless
……reach out to the weary
……clothe the naked
……protect the innocent
Doing these things my son, you will restore my hands.”

I could not find the hands of Jesus on the porch, but as I look around Dumaguete City I have found His hands in many places.

There is Jack and Penny Washington who rescue orphan children from the streets of Dumaguete City. They opened their hearts and home to these waifs, providing them a chance to change their destiny. Who knows maybe one day one of them will be a doctor who saves lives or a President who saves a nation.

Michael and Joeann Feeney constantly seek ways to share God’s blessings with those less fortunate. They give money to various schools and orphanages. Last week they took twenty-two children off the city streets and gave them a special day at Twin Lakes. The children swam, played games and had all the food they could eat. To assure the children, who sell peanuts and other items, would not lose any earnings they made sure they all took home a days wages.

There is Santiago Villarin and his “Rotary Club of Dumaguete North” brothers and sisters, who have so many programs to improve the quality of life here in Negros it is hard to keep track. This mixed group of Filipinos, Americans and Australians, with their wives, provide free medical care and dental care to remote villages. They provide wheelchairs to the disabled and cattle to struggling farmers. Jesus’s hands have never been so busy.

And then there are the Alvet brothers, Chuck and Joe. They, along with their lovely wives, Zurraida and Celie frequently open their homes to the entire village. During one of their frequent “fiestas” they served nine big lechons. They often feed between 200 and- 350 guests. But their largess does not stop with throwing huge parties; they donated over 2,000 books to the local school library. They sponsored a school essay contest “How Can I Improve My Country”, awarding the winners cash prizes and school supplies. Both brothers sponsor children, not just in the Philippines, but from around the world. They provide these children an education and a chance to break the chains of poverty.

Bob Preston and his lovely wife frequently take huge boxes of food to local orphanages and they buy the children shoes. They too opened their home to the entire village in celebration of God’s bounty. One night as Bob and his wife walked along the beach in the moonlight, an old man came up to them with tears in his eyes; he said in all his life he had never attended a more wonderful party. The blessings in life come as small gifts.

There is Diane Pool and her husband, Bill, who opened their own school. They educate local children who can little afford food or shoes much less advanced schooling. They introduce the children to photography, computers, field trips and a variety of new educational experiences. When you talk to Diane you can hear pride in her voice. She is so proud of these children she almost glows. She fully realized her little school is just a raindrop in an ocean of need that is why she named it “One Candle School”. The Pool’s bring a little light into the darkness.

And there is Susan Analou and her selfless dedicated crew at GPRehab; they work tirelessly to strengthen the mind and bodies of children whom fate has challenged. They do not see the crippled bodies; they only see the brilliant minds and loving hearts. These warriors of the wheelchair build ramps and open doors for the children; giving them productive lives and the chance to excel.

As I look around Oriental Negros I see the hands of Jesus working hard in many places. If you know of a pair of hands I have missed, please tell me. ( ) We always hear about idle hands and the devil but we hardly ever hear about the hard working hands of Jesus. I want to correct that oversight. I want to inspire others to join the Army of Jesus and fight the war against injustice and neglect. Remember, there is always room for one more pair of good hands. Stop complaining and start doing something; be an Everyday Hero.


Thank you, Ms Ceniza. I am always pleased when my readers contribute constructive criticism. Your letters help me write what you want to read. After all, without you, I am just talking to myself.

There are some new heroes scheduled for publication soon. I hope we never run out of Everyday Heroes. To be sure we do not , I need your help. If you know of any person, Filipino or foreigner, making a positive contribution to our community, please contact me . We do not need to publish his or her name if they wish to remain anonymous, but these stories are important. They bring balance to the news and they bring us together. They help us respect each other and work together for a better Negros.

Global Warming, I knew this would stir up a hornets nest. After all people have even threatened the lives of those who disagree with “saint” Gore. While I do not want to turn this column into a trial of Al Gore and his emotional doomsday crowd or constantly rehash Mr. Dejaresco’s myopic column; you did miss a couple of important points. First, I do not have my “head buried in the sand” instead I have it buried in research books and the internet. Second, maybe you should read my column a little more carefully. I never said there was not global warming. Periodic global warming is a natural phenomenon which has occurred for millions of years.
The fallacies in Gore’s global warming fable are:
1. Man made hydrocarbons are causing the global warming.
2. Stopping human hydrocarbon emissions will save the world.
3. Global warming will continue unabated and cause the destruction of the world.

What I write is NOT just my opinion. The vast majority of the scientific community thinks the Gore crowd is irresponsible and not scientifically accurate. For example Gore cites distorted data which indicate the polar icecaps are melting. Al Gore measured the polar ice cap in the middle of winter using a yardstick, and then years later he measures the polar ice cap in the middle of summer using a micrometer. Based on the disparity of these two measurements Al Gore ignores credible reports that the polar ice cap has INCREASED by 4 inches and predicts melting and world wide flooding. Al Gore is a “fear monger” of the worst kind. He is a “hypocrite” fear monger.

Al Gore has a home near Nashville, Tennessee. This posh 20 room mansion (not counting 8 bathrooms) with huge swimming pool, pool house and guest house are heated using natural gas. Burning natural gas emits hydrocarbons. He pays a $2,400.00 gas and electric bill each month. Al Gore wants you to spend money to reduce your hydrocarbon emissions, while he individually continues to emit more hydrocarbons into the air in one month than the average American does in one year. Guess he is not concerned enough with the fate of the world to spend his money just yours.

The truth is the temperature at the poles is the same now as they were in the 1930’s. Even the International Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC ) on which Gore’s film is based, predicted only a generous 17 inch “maximum” rise in sea levels. Gore exaggerates their estimates by 1,500%. Gore also predicted massive icecap melting and subsequent dire consequences. His own source predicted an icecap loss of .4 inches per century. That provides a maximum creation of 2,500 cubic miles of water spread over the entire earth. It is IMPOSSIBLE for this melt rate to cause a 20 ft rise in the world’s oceans in 100 years much less Gore’s 50 years. Gore’s own model predicts global warming will disrupt the Atlantic current and causing massive freezing. Think about it. If warming stopped the Atlantic current; freezing will re-establish it. That is the way the constantly changing world climate works and has for centuries even before man and his hydrocarbons appeared on earth. (note: For those who will cite the Bible as to how long the earth has existed, please note: Gore’s prediction does not match the Bible either ).

WHY is this subject important? It is important for two reasons: 1. Anxiety: People are forced to live in fear and guilt over something that will NOT happen in the opinion of the world’s top scientists.
2. Financial: This emotional panic causes governments to implement useless policies that punish the poor. They cause inflation, job loss and curtail production.

This will be the last time I will waste space in the column on this subject. The Gore faithful are too emotionally invested to examine the facts or change their minds. If you want to continue the exchange, use the email address above. I will be happy to respond individually. Besides we have more important things to discuss in the column. We can discuss those things that can truly change “our” world here in Dumaguete City.

FINALLY, for those who may have missed some of the past columns there is now a blog, “Everyday Hero the Web Site” . You can comment there also.


Last year, Philippine President Arroyo lamented that our nation was the second most corrupt in Asia. This year the Philippines took top honors away from Malaysia. We are now “officially” the most corrupt nation in Asia.

The obvious question is: Why do we even list the most corrupt nation? Such a list does nothing to solve the corruption problem and may even make things worse. I also challenge the method used to determine which nation is most corrupt. Basing such an important and far reaching derogatory label on a statistically small handful of questionnaires seems irresponsible and potentially bias. In addition, to acknowledge this dubious title gives it credence and not only hurts us economically but wounds our pride and self confidence. It gives ammunition to our competitors and critics.

Is there graft and corruption in the Philippines? Of course there is; graft and corruption exist in every nation. Graft and corruption is a human condition not a Pinoy condition. America went through a comparable period of rampant graft and corruption. The American public was so disillusioned with our nation’s massive corruption that when a handful of police officers refused to take a bribe, they became national heroes. We even made a movie and a TV series about the “Untouchables” courageous fight against crime. America resolved almost all of its massive corruption problems and so will the Philippines.

TWO MYTHS: The first myth seems to be that Filipinos have a special affinity for graft and corruption. One of my Filipino friends once joked about how America taught the Philippines about graft and corruption. Sadly that may be closer to truth than just a joke. I have repeatedly listed real life examples which revealed the true nature of the Pinoy culture and it’s penchant for honesty. A perfect example can be found along almost any country road. As you travel through the countryside you will see bags of rice and other valuable items just laying beside the road. In a land where the police are hard pressed to prevent horrendous major crimes you might think random petty crime would be impossible to stop. Yet the theft of these valuable items is a rare occurrence. Even local petty thieves have a sense of honor and usually only steal from “outsiders”.

The second myth is that the graft and corruption is so institutionalized it can not be eliminated. Corruption erodes self respect and destroys natural values. Even people who are basically honest are sometimes forced by the system to be part of the problem.

I read a local columnist who told of his own personal graft and corruption test. He had worked hard to get a high paying job in the government only to find out he was expected to accept his cut of department bribes. If he did not take the bribe others could not trust him. Rather than sell his integrity, he quit and started a new career.
He sacrificed personally rather than be part of the scum that is destroying his country. He is a Philippine “Untouchable” and my Everyday Hero.


Most of you do not realize this, but there is a “killer” living in your home. If you do not feed and care for him properly, he can kill you, your family and possibly even your neighbors. I know you do not believe me but it is true.
Who is this lurking deadly menace? It is your septic tank. Do not laugh. An improperly maintained septic tank system can not only back-up and fill your home with fetid foul smell of real tai, it can also cause typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A and even polio. It can cost you a loss of precious time and money. It can destroy wells, lakes and streams making them unfit for drinking or fishing. It is vital everyone understand how the septic tank system works and how to maintain it.
HOW DOES A SEPTIC SYSTEM WORK? There are many different types of septic systems but they usually work in basically the same way. Waste is deposited in the first chamber where it separates. Solid particles settle to the bottom where bacteria and enzymes break them down. As the waste moves through the system it gets cleaner and cleaner until it leaches back into the ground. When the bacteria and enzymes get weak or are washed out, waste builds up and clogs the entire system. That is when your troubles begin.
HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN BACTERIA AND ENZYME BALANCE? There are two types of waste water. Black water is created by your toilet or kitchen sink; grey water results from washing clothes or your car. An excess amount of grey water can dilute your septic system and wash away your bacteria and enzymes. Strong detergents, bleach and other cleaners can kill beneficial septic system bacteria.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO TO KEEP YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM WORKING PROPERLY? Do not put strong detergents, bleach or cleaners into the septic system. Each month “feed” the system a healthy dose of enzymes and bacteria. There are several commercial products that can be used. ( “Dr Drain”, “Rid-X or “Ridex” etc ). Be on the alert for strange odors or signs of seepage. Plants that grow greener around the septic system can be an early sign of seepage. Having your tank periodically check or pumped would also be a good move and save you money in the long run.

Currently I am told the water table in Dumaguete City is not contaminated. A few thousand clogged septic systems could change all that and endanger everyone. Next time you go to the boulevard peek over the sea wall. Smell that sour odor. See all that green algae. Those are indications of a serious pollution problem. Fortunately the mayor is trying to solve that problem but prevention is ALWAYS better than reaction. Be part of the “prevention”. Be an Everyday Hero.


( NOTE: Before we start this friendly debate, I want to re-iterate my respect for Bingo Dejaresco. His views are normally highly entertaining, intelligent and informative. But his stand on Global Warming is just simply wrong. There is no scientific proof that global warming is caused by carbon emissions, either natural or man made. There is no scientific proof that “man made” hydrocarbon emissions have a significant impact on the environment or that the removal of these emissions will alter nature in any significant way. The Mount Pinatubo eruption put more hydrocarbons into the atmosphere than ALL of mankind did in the last 100 years; but according to Bingo “humans” are causing global warming by driving cars, using paper shopping bags and smoking cigarettes. The best scientists in the world can not predict the weather next month, but non-scientist Al Gore can predict, without fear of argument, that Dumaguete City will be under 20 feet of water in 50 years. Al Gore measures the polar ice cap in the middle of winter using a yardstick, and then years later he measures the polar ice cap in the middle of summer using a micrometer. Based on the disparity of these measurements Al Gore ignores reports that the polar ice cap has INCREASED and predicts melting and world wide flooding. Al Gore is a “fear monger” of the worst kind. He is a “hypocrite” fear monger.)
According to Al Gore, every time you contribute to hydrocarbon emissions you put another nail in the coffin of this planet and doom mankind to possible extinction. If he truly believed this you would think he would do everything in his power not to personally emit any hydrocarbons.
Al Gore has a home near Nashville, Tennessee. This posh 20 room mansion (not counting 8 bathrooms) with huge swimming pool, pool house and guest house are heated using natural gas. Burning natural gas emits hydrocarbons. He pays a $2,400.00 gas and electric bill each month. Al Gore wants you to reduce your hydrocarbon emissions, while he individually continues to emit more hydrocarbons into the air in one month than the average American does in one year.
His hypocrisy does not stop here. To spread his message of pending doom, Al Gore travels in excess of 16,000 miles each year. Instead of traveling by commercial air which would be the least polluting air mode, he elects to travel by private jet burning 65,000 gallons of fuel and releasing literally tons of hydrocarbons.
I used his own “carbon footprint” calculator to see how he rated. ( ; note: Gore’s natural gas and electricity numbers are one third of his actual usage) He rated “120.55 Much Larger Than Average”; I on the other hand rated “1.75 Much Smaller Than Average” (Please Bingo, do not go for the cheap joke) Al Gore wants you to sacrifice and save the planet but he is not willing to inconvenience himself to do the same.
When the media challenged him on his hypocrisy he said he uses “carbon offsets”. Most people would say, “What the heck are carbon offsets?” This is a system created by the convicted criminal Ken Lay. What it means is if you have enough money you can pollute as much as you want. All you need do is make a donation to some environmental cause then you can drive nails into the earth’s coffin all day long. Al Gore’s “Golden Rule”; If you have the gold; you rule.
Bingo, my friend, need I point out the humor of telling everyone to carry their groceries to the car in their hands to save paper and then ask those same people to copy your column on paper and give it to their friends. Or need I point out your father did and brother does make a living selling paper. That dichotomy puts you in sort of a personal conflict with your Al Gore style crusade to save the world?
It might surprise you that on many of these things I agree with you. I agree not because there is any “world crisis” but because saving the environment is the intelligent thing to do. Preventing pollution and reducing hydrocarbon emissions is the smart thing to do. My objection is to the distortion of facts, outright lies and blatant fear mongering. This manufactured panic is unnecessarily causing great psychological and economic damage. Gore may resemble “Chicken Little” but the “sky is definitely NOT falling”


July 4th 1947 a group of 4,000 motorcycle gang members invaded Hollister, California. The chaos that resulted was sensationalized in a movie called “The Wild Ones” starring Marlon Brando. In 1957, at age 17, I quit high school and joined the “Yellowjackets”, one of the motorcycle gangs involved.

It is only by the grace of God that I am not in jail or dead. Many of my old friends were not so lucky.

As I drive around Dumaguete City; I am getting flashbacks. Gang signs are scrawled across walls and fences. My sister-in-law admits there are students at her high school claiming “Blood” ,”Arkno” and “Crips” gang status. I seriously doubt these “children” have any realistic idea of the sewer they are so eager to swim in. I doubt they have a clue as to the risks they are taking with their future and their very lives.

To local kids it is “cool” to be a “gangsta”. They want to flash signs and rap about “ho’s and bitches”. They want to wear the hip clothes and talk tough. In gang life the only thing “cool” is your body when it is laying in the morgue. Gangs murder on average three people every day, just in Los Angeles. These are not cool rappers on TV, most of them are cold blooded murderers. “Blood in; Blood out” is the motto of the largest LA gang. It means the only way to get in is to kill someone and the only way to get out is to die.

I can hear the local “wannabe” gangsta’s saying, “We wont deal drugs or kill people; we will just dress hip hop, rap and act cool. “ Let’s take a quick look at these cool hip hop rappers. Tupac Shakur is really cool; he is dead. You can also put Big L, Proof, Notorious B.I.G., Black Alex and Soulia Slim, on that same DEAD list. Then of course there are those in jail like Black Bob, Little Eva and Swift. I could list a couple of hundred others but you get my message. You can not “talk the talk and not walk the walk”. There is an American expression: “If you lay down with dogs; you get up with fleas”. If you hang out with “gangstas”, you will pay a price. How big a price depends on how lucky you are?

Those of you with sons and daughters flirting with the gangsta life; do something! When you ignore a problem it only gets worse and in gangs worse can be fatal. Remember, even alcoholics do not get better if they continue to hang with their old drinking buddies. Give your children “new” options, new challenges, and new friends. If you do not know what to do, seek professional help. Prevention is easier than the cure. Be an Everyday Hero and keep a kid from being an Everyday Fool.


Top 4 Reasons to Have Your Tongue Pierced:

It's “Cool”. Cool ?? There is a concept we can discuss some time.
Parents hate it. Maybe there are good reasons why they hate it.
Everybody's doing it. If you want to follow and not lead; If you want to be a goat not an eagle; that is a good reason.
You have a teenage brain. Your body has not finished growing. That includes your brain. Science fact: you are not ready for “adult” risk assessment.

Top 7 Reasons Not To:

1. Chipped or Broken Front Teeth: People with tongue barbells will usually wind up with chips, cracks or fractures in their front teeth. These chips and cracks can lead to gum disease and caries. Often these have to be repaired with fillings or crowns. These repairs will have to be replaced as they wear out for the rest of your life. Some dentist will put his kids through college, on the money you pay him, because you wanted to look “cool”.

2. Gum Surgery: Often the tongue barbell will rub against the gums causing damage that can only be corrected by surgery. If you enjoy pain; this can be fun for you.

3. Lung Surgery: The barbell can come un-screwed and wind up in your lung. If you're lucky it can be removed with a bronchoscope shoved down your throat. If you are unlucky they will have to cut open your chest. Now you will have a big “cool” scar on your chest. It is possible for the barbell pass harmlessly and end up in your stomach. Do not get too happy just yet. The pointed end of the barbell can puncture the intestine walls. Punctures and tears in the intestine walls can lead to peritonitis. You can die from peritonitis. Dead is really cool.

4. Infection and, just possibly, death: The mouth is moist and full of bacteria, and the tongue has major blood vessels ideal for spreading infection to the brain and elsewhere. This can disfigure or even kill you. The case below is a girl who almost died from a brain abscess after a tongue piercing. She had part of her skull removed to relieve pressure caused by the infection. She can still feel the soft spot where the skull is missing.

5. Losing blood: The tongue contains large blood vessels, and if one is punctured you could have severe bleeding. You could end up requiring the damaged blood vessel closed surgically at a hospital. There is also the possibility of hitting a nerve. If you damage a nerve you could spend the rest of your life with a tongue that doesn't work properly.
6. Lingering Pain: Tongue piercing has been associated with cases of neuralgia - severe, long-lasting nerve pain.
7. AIDS HIV: I saved the best for last. Contaminated instruments can spread this fatal disease and other infections such as hepatitis, herpes and oral thrush. Very few piercing parlors have the proper equipment ( autoclave, etc) to effectively sterilize their instruments. Those that have an autoclave rarely maintain it properly.

HEY, Kids, Do not take my word for it. Try these web sites: Canadian Dental Association; Texas Department of Health; American Dental Association; UCSD School of Medicine; British Health Journal;

I am not trying to keep you from “being cool’……just keep you from being crippled or dead.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Most of you probably do not care about talk show host Don Imus. Maybe you do not even know or care why he was fired from MSNBC and CBS. Stick with me, I am going to show you why and how this relates to life here in Dumaguete City.

Simply speaking Mr. Imus, while broadcasting, made an outrageously racist and bigoted statement maligning the character of a group of female basketball players. He had never met them nor knew anything about them except their appearance. He based his assessment of their character on their “tattoos”. He stating they were a bunch of “nappy headed whores”.

We do not have a tattoo parlor here, how does all this relate to life in Dumaguete City ? Not only are there tattoo parlors just up the road in Cebu but there is a thriving tattoo business in private homes all around the city. The fact that these homegrown tattoos parlors are operating under unsanitary conditions compounds the danger of serious consequences. That cute little dragon tattoo on your butt could literally cost you your life.

Here are three reasons NOT to get a tattoo:

1. STIGMA: Many countries around the world consider tattoos as a sign of criminality or low character. In Japan , some hot springs recreational facilities ban patrons with tattoos. This prohibition is probably due to the fact that the “Yakuza” or Japanese Mafia is traditionally heavily tattooed. The Chinese gangster triads have dragon tattoos. Historically paroled Chinese criminals were tattooed as a warning to honest citizens. American servicemen are discouraged from getting tattoos and Marines are now actually prohibited from having them. American convicts proudly sport tattoos. Teardrop tattoos on a convict’s face usually indicate he has killed someone. The current rage is for a girl to get a tattoo in the small of her back. In the trade this tattoo is called a “Tramp Stamp” or “Ass Antler”. It would seem even tattoo artists have a low opinion of women getting these decorations. If you want to have a professional career, I strongly advise you not to get a tattoo. Especially if that tattoo is in a visible area. Most people prefer their doctors, lawyers and company executives not look like a criminal.

2. RELIGION: If you are a Christian, Jew or Moslem your religion constrains getting a tattoo. Tattooing is considered a pagan rite and not fit for God’s people.

3. HEALTH: Because it requires breaking the skin barrier, tattooing may carry serious health risks, including infection, allergic reactions, and even Hepatitis or HIV. In the United States a person getting a tattoo is prohibited from donating blood for one year. The list of medical problems is almost endless. You can get a skin infection that can turn the tattoo into an ugly scar. That is why tattoo artists are often called “scab merchants” or “scar vendors”. Staph infection or anaphylactic shock can kill you. Or you can get the dubious blessings of an incurable disease like herpes. Beyond the possibility of destroying your kidneys or death, a new threat has emerged. It seems that some tattoo ink, especially those with a metallic base; react badly to an MRI scan. The wrong ink and you could prevent yourself from getting the benefits of modern medicine.

Be an Everyday Hero tell your friends about the real dangers they face under the tattoo artists needle.

You could save their life.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


On average, children smile and laugh approximately 400 times a day. An adult, on the other hand, averages only 15 smiles per day. Somewhere in the process of growing up we seem to lose our ability to smile. This may seem a small silly thing to most of you but it is actually very important to your health.

In a study of California’s Loma Linda University, Doctor Tan and Doctor Berk have discovered an important connection between your facial expression and your immune system. Under stress or when you are frowning, your body produces cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can damage and/or reduce your body’s ability to fight off disease. Conversely when you smile or laugh your body produces endorphins and neurotransmitters. These hormones not only make us feel good but they actually give the body’s immune system a boost. Smiling and laughing can actually keep you healthy.

I call laughter my “life preserver” in the Sea of Life. I try to find the humor in everything. Once I was in a terrible traffic accident. My face was crushed and torn. Covered in blood I woke up in the hospital. A nurse, I had never seen before, came over and looked down on what had once been my face. With pity she gave a little smile and said, “Oh, you are awake”. I looked up and mumbled through the blood and broken teeth, “We are going to have to stop meeting like this, my wife is getting suspicious”.

No matter how bad things are they can always be worse. Find the humor or the absurd in everything. By being able to laugh at yourself and at life, you will live longer and enjoy it more. Nothing is more important than you make it.

In a different study, by Doctor Holden in England, it was discovered that the body does not know when you are “faking” it. As long as there is a smile on your face the body “thinks” you are happy and produces the good hormones. That is why when you see me around Dumaguete I have a big silly grin on my face. It is not that I am actually happy; I just want to fool my body into being the healthiest it can be. Seriously, learn to smile and laugh, be your own everyday hero and live long and happy here in paradise.


Jeff was mad. He stomped up and down the kitchen waving his arms and yelling at the top of his lungs.

I sat quietly in a chair. You see Jeff was not mad at me. Jeff was yelling at and angry with, God!

My friend had just watched a small child die after she suffered a long illness at a local hospital. He leaned and yelled in my face, “Why doesn’t God stop this ****? He could save every child with the wave of his hand. How can He let them suffer and die this way?”

In a soft voice I reminded him I was neither a Priest nor a Biblical scholar but I could give him my opinion. He turned and yelled, “TELL ME ! What crime have these children committed? There can be NO reason to let small children suffer and die this way!!!”

I think it is beyond man to know the mind of God but we can make some good guesses. I reminded him that the little girl was no longer suffering, and that she must have a special place in heaven. Then I admitted he was correct. God could keep every child from suffering and dying with the wave of his hand. In fact with the wave of that same hand he probably could erase all crime, all disease and all suffering. If it is possible, why doesn’t He do it? To find a reason you need to use “reverse logic.”

Let’s say God waved His hand and all the children were saved. Let’s say also He eliminated all crime, all wars, all disease and all suffering of any kind. It would be a whole “new” world of endless joy and happiness. BUT THINK FOR A MOMENT…

How would you correctly use His gift of “free will?” You would no longer have to choose between good and evil. There would only be good. How would you show God your compassion without those in need of our help? How do we show God we love our fellow man? Everyone would be just like ourselves, perfect without flaw.

There would be no Jonas Salk to dedicate his life to saving children from polio. There would be no Mother Teresa to rescue starving children from the streets of Calcutta.

That innocent little girl this morning went to heaven to live eternally with the Lord. Maybe that innocent child’s suffering and death was not so much a punishment for her as a test for us. Maybe God is testing us to see if we hear his words. Maybe God is testing us to see if we have the compassion and heart to save the next child.

The next time you see a sick or injured child or an adult in need, ask yourself, “Is this my final exam?” What grade will God give you in the school of your life?


Nothing happens without a reason. I have been doing something for some time now. I am going to share with you, for the first time, why I am doing it.

When I was nineteen, I sat in a crowded movie theater. While those all about me were laughing, I was quietly crying in the dark. The movie was “Some Like It Hot”, a comedy. In the movie, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe shared a special love, a beautiful love. I wanted someone like that I could love and who could love me. I searched all my life, but never found that love… until now.

When I was first married, my wife had a lot of trouble sleeping. There had been a lot of violence and tragedy in her young life and she was plagued by horrible violent nightmares. She would wake in the middle of the night crying out in terror. While she was half awake, I held her trembling and whimpering in the darkness. As I held her tight, I would whisper reassuringly in her ear. “It is alright, Dear” “Your are safe, it is okay.” Just before she would dropped off to sleep again, ii would say softly, “Mahal Kita Walang Iba”. It has been a year now, and even though she now sleeps peacefully all night long; I still whisper softly those same four words as she drifts off to sleep.

Whenever she leaves the house to go to school, the market or visit her family; I stop whatever I am doing and see her off. It does not matter what I am doing, her departure is more important. I will stand by the gate, on the balcony or at one of the windows. I have asked her to always look back and find me. She now searches every place for my smile as he rides off. I want her to get into the habit of looking back and trying to find me. It is important. I have a special reason.

A wise man once said, “You live forever if someone remembers your name.” This is my bid for a little immortality.

My wife is much younger than I. One of these days, God will call me home and she will be left alone. When the pain of loss fades, she will start down that same road on her motorcycle; by habit she will look back for me. In that moment she will call my name. she will hear me softly say, “Mahal Kita Walang Iba” and for a brief instant, I will live again in her heart.

Who knows, maybe God will let me stand on that balcony and take care of her once again. That would be my heaven.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


This is a love story. It starts in sunny California. He is handsome ex-Air Force pilot, now flying a desk for a government agency. She is a beautiful dark haired Filipina serving as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. Both care about their health and each would run around a nearby lake every morning. As fate would have it, they met, fell in love and got married.


As Jack and Penny looked around Dumaguete City they saw the “faceless ones”. The children you meet everyday but never really see. They are the children who park your motorcycle, sell you peanuts and dozens of other “invisible” jobs. These children struggle to survive one day at a time. Seeing the need, they opened their home and hearts. There are now twenty seven adopted children with a new home and brighter future.


Raising such a large family is not easy or cheap. The cost each month is over 70, 000 pesos and getting more expensive all the time. While they do have several sponsors, Jack and Penny have never been very good at asking others for help. They decided if their family is to grow they need a reliable source of income besides their meager retirement checks. They needed a business, but not just any business. They needed a business that was good for the Philippines as well as their bank balance. Penny is a nurse. She knows that Soy Milk is the perfect drink for healthy adults. It has zero fat to clog your heart and is almost pure protein. Using the finest soy beans in the world they make the freshest best tasting soy milk in the Philippines. Now people who drink their soy milk not only help the children but are healthier because of it. (


Jack handed me with pride a picture of his extended family. He saw his children: I saw the future. These are tomorrow’s lawyers, doctors, teachers, maybe even the next President of this great country. A wise man once said, “As long as people remember your name you are immortal”. Many generations to come will remember the name Jack and Penny Washington. They will be “immortal”. They are today’s everyday heroes.



There is a war going on here in Oriental Negros! The warriors are not soldiers in snappy uniforms. They are lawyers, doctors, students and everyday businessmen. They do not do it for medals or even for money. Their motto is “Service Above Self” and they live that motto everyday. They do not shoot people with guns. They vaccinate children and heal the sick.

Sunday, I went with Dumaguete City Rotarians (North City Chapter & Central Chapter) to a beautiful little village high in the verdant mountains above Sibulan. There along with nursing students from St. Paul’s College, doctors from Silliman Medical Center and Medical Technology students from Silliman University they waged war against disease, pain and suffering. The patients are men, women and children from the village, many of whom had never seen a doctor in their life. All the services of the team were free.

The volunteers come from many nations. These are Americans, Australians, British and of course many Filipinos. Wives tirelessly work shoulder to shoulder with their husbands. It is truly a labor of love and compassion. These Medical and Dental Civacs are paid for by donations, often coming out of the pockets of the volunteers themselves. Currently they only do four a year. They would like to do more but medicine is expensive.

First the doctors and student nurses give each patient a full medical exam. Based on that exam the patient is taken to a treatment area. Sometimes the enemy is an intestinal parasite that can cripple and even kill. Sometimes it is just a simple infected tooth. Regardless of the enemy, the Civac team is ready. While the conditions are primitive; the service is very professional.

Thanks guys and gals. I enjoyed your work. This week I have a whole platoon of everyday heroes.


In western North Carolina is a college with a problem. It is the same problem experienced by several other colleges and universities but this college came up with a new innovative solution. There was no problem recruiting minority students. Black, Hispanics even Filipinos enroll in the school regularly. The problem was most of these minority students did not seem to graduate. What is the use of having a special program to help minorities get an education and break the chains of poverty, if no one graduates?

In some schools they take the easy solution. They simply reduce the standards and let less qualified minorities graduate. Beyond the fact this cheats the students, it is also a slap in the face of every minority graduate who actually worked hard to earn his degree. Lowering the standards does not help anymore. So what can we do?

The answer is “expectations”. If the teacher does not believe the student can perform, the student will not perform. If the student believes they can not perform, they will not perform. The North Carolina college put the minority students into special classes. These classes had HIGHER standards. The minority students had to work harder to get a good grade. Many expected massive failures and increased dropped out rates. You guessed it; fewer students failed or dropped out. These minority students began getting better grades than the regular students. They met the challenge and won. Minority students now graduate in significant numbers.

I have taught at schools around the world. Filipino students have more innate talent and intellect than I found in most countries. The biggest problem here is most students lack self confidence. I blame the recent nursing scandal not on their ability to pass the test but on the fact those students did not believe in themselves. The first step to any success is to believe in yourself. If you do not believe in you, no one else will believe in you either. The second step is perseverance. If you fail ; do not quit. Each failure is a lesson in life. John F. Kennedy Jr. took the bar exam nine times before he passed and became a lawyer. I was rejected three times before I was allowed to go to Officer Candidate School. I graduated in the top of my class. Failure is not the shame, giving up is the shame.


I am not often at a loss of words. I can usually can express myself adequately. This time, I know I am in trouble. It is going to be almost impossible to give you a true sense of a total joy a good teacher gets from watching the light to go on in a student’s eyes. That light that tells him the student finally understands what you have been trying to teach him. It is impossible for you to feel the warm swell of pride that makes you almost burst, as a student passes the test, you always knew he could. How can you appreciate the sheer exhaustion that makes you want to quit. The exhaustion that makes you ask, “Is this really all worth it?” Only to get your answer loud and clear, when an old student brings in his family and shows you the difference you made in his life. A good teacher is a treasure.

I have known good several good teachers since I have been in Dumaguete City. Mary Rose of Foundation High School is one of the best. She combines knowledge and skills with dedication and compassion. She is a role model that student teachers should emulate. I have seen her devote long unpaid hours to her students and their projects. When events force her to expel a student, she secretly broke down and cried. She lost one and it hurt. She cares and is truly worthy of the title, “teacher”.

If Mary Rose has a flaw it is too much dedication. She often works herself to the brink of exhaustion. She has made herself physically ill by working too hard. Mary Rose, my friend, you have a great teaching staff. Many of those teachers are just as skilled and dedicated as you are. Give them the chance to shine; to mold character and change lives. You have a good crew, let them help.

Sadly not all teachers I have met here are this good. One teacher, at a different school, augments her meager salary by overcharging her students for supplies she requires for class projects. Another teacher at a local University has students running personal errands and washing his vehicles. Still another teacher, at the same University, told his students that his course was not important to their major, so he does not teach anything. I could name names but I want to give these teachers a chance to come back to the standard and the honor of their profession. If I get more report from the students of your misconduct, I will report you to the Superintendent at Siliban High School and Doctor Malayang at Silliman University. I know Doctor Malayang personally and he is a man of impeccable integrity. He certainly would not tolerate a slacker of his faculty. As a teacher myself this conduct makes me very angry and ashamed.

There are other slackers out there abusing and cheating the students. I encourage you to read the Teacher Code of Ethics and come back from dishonor. I hope the Department Directors and high school Superintendents at all the schools, start making frequent and unannounced visits to the classrooms. The students deserve our best.

I firmly believe in the credo, “If the student fails to learn; the teacher failed to teach”. Our job as teachers is not just to impart knowledge but to motivate. We must make the student want to learn and make that learning an exciting process. I am proud to be a teacher. Today’s Everyday Heroes are all those other dedicated “Teachers” out there truly worthy of the title.

As a teacher, I went by a Teacher Code of Ethics.

- Develop and maintain a platonic professional relationship with students based upon the best

interests of those students.
- Always be a professionally and continuously seek self improvement.
- Present the best and latest information available about the subject.
- Present all subject matter from an informed and balanced viewpoint.
- Never bluff or lie. If you do not know the answer to a question, admit it. Then either research the

answer yourself and provide it to the class or assign it as a class project.
- Encourage students to think critically about significant social issues. Once a student expresses a

particular view; have the student research and present the opposite view.
- Be flexible enough to present the subject in a variety of styles suited to the learning ability of the

- Constantly promote the physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual well-being of the

- Maintain confidentiality of information about students obtained in the course of your professional

- Never physically touch the student except to prevent injury or consistent with approved

professional teaching goals and techniques.
- Show the student respect and they will respect you. Never verbally abuse a student for any

- Establish a professional, honest and respectful relationship with the student’s family.
- Involve the family or guardian in decision-making about the care and education of the student.
- Actively support policies and programs which promote equality of opportunity.
- Never falsify documents or credentials. Be truthful when making statements about qualifications

and competencies.
- Treat colleagues, associates, and students with the same respect you demand for yourself.
- Report to appropriate authorities all behavior in breach of this Ethics Code.

Sunday, April 8, 2007


David Atwood contacted me the other day. He recommended I not brag about my military service. He said, “Others have done more and they do not brag.” He is absolutely right. I let the actions and inane mumblings of a couple of critics fill me with unjust self-righteous indignation. I lost my perspective. I lost my cool.

Five year old Maria Del Rosario watched as the Japanese hacked her beloved grandmother to death. Her father was gut shot and barely survived. After his recovery her father, a skilled surgeon, repaired bicycles for the Japanese during the day; at night he and his family supported the Philippine resistance. When their service to the resistance was discovered they barely escaped execution and ended the war in San Tomas prison. They did not get a parade. They did not get any medals. They were not paid. They fought evil because that is what you do. They fought for their country because that is what you must do.

Marcelo Yap and his brother were too young to carry a rifle but that did not keep them from fighting the invaders. They gathered intelligence and carried vital communications for the Philippine Resistance. When Marcelo’s brother was captured the Japanese left his headless body on a Cebu cliff to rot. Marcelo had to sneak out and recover his brother’s body to give him a proper burial. He never stopped fighting and after the war testified at the war crimes trial of his enemy. He got no parade. He got no medals. He was not paid for his service or sacrifice. He fought evil because that is what you do. He fought for his country because that is what you must do.

These are only two of the thousands of such war stories here in the Philippines . Their heroism makes me embarrassed about my brief encounter with the dogs of war. I was hired to do a job. I did that job and was paid. I am no hero, but that old pedicab driver, that little old lady in the park or that sari-sari store owner, are probably silent unheralded heroes. Do me a favor. The next time you pass by Foundation High School stop at the little sari-sari store and give Mr. Yap an amin. He earned your respect. He is my Everyday Hero.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Usually columnist Bingo Dejaresco puts bullets on target with his engrossing and interesting column. But his column on global warming was a misfire. Mr. Dejaresco is an avid fan of Al Gore’s movie, “The Inconvenient Truth”. While this is an entertaining film with a lot of facts and striking images, it contains some serious flaws. Instead of an academy award for best documentary film, Al Gore should have won the award for best science fiction movie.

American author Mark Twain once wrote in “Life on the Mississippi”.

In the space of one hundredand seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles… any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.

Gore has taken a “trifling investment of facts”, irresponsibly thrown in a truck load of conjecture and created a world panic. This is bad enough, but it gets worse. Global warming has become such a popular fad that anyone who disagrees with Gore is punished. Scientists who disagree with global warming not only are ridiculed but many have had their research de-funded and even had threats on their lives. Millions are being spent on spreading Gore’s fairy tale and those trying to expose the distortions and lies are being ruthlessly silenced and crushed.

Gore claims scientists have “100% consensus on Global Warming”, Richard S. Lindzen, atmospheric Physicist, states that is “flat out incorrect”. He also said, “….I can not stress enough-we are not in a position to confidently attribute past climatic change to CO2 or to forecast what the climate will be in the future."

Alfred P. Solan, Professor of Meteorology at MIT, states, “A general characteristic of Mr. Gore’s approach is to assiduously ignore the fact that the earth and its climate are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external forcing. To treat all changes as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse.”

Gore supporter, Social Scientist Nancy Oreskes claimed that all the scientific papers on global climate change, between 1993 to 2003 (Web of Knowledge Database) “supported Al Gore’s view.” Examination of these papers revealed out of 913 research papers by top scientists only 13 supported that view.

Roy Spencer, University of Alabama research scientist, criticized Al Gore’s findings in an open letter. “Temperature measurements in the artic suggest that it was just as warm there in the 1930’s… before most greenhouse gas emissions” He also states references global warming, “…we have no idea how much you can attribute to mankind.”

Tim Ball, climatology professor University of Winnipeg, revealed Gore’s cooking of scientific facts to suit his bias agenda, “The survey Gore cites was a single transect across part of the Artic basin in the month of October during the 1960’s when we were in the middle of a cooling period. The 1990 runs were done in the warmer month of September, using a wholly different technology”.

Chris de Fretas, Associate Professor University of Auckland, “There is evidence of global warming, but warming does not confirm that carbon dioxide is causing it.”

David Deming, Professor of Geology University of Oklahoma, “The amount of climatic warning that has taken place in the past 150 years is poorly constrained, and its cause-human or natural-is unknown. There is no sound scientific basis for predicting future climate change with any degree of certainty. If the climate does warm it is likely to be beneficial to humanity rather than harmful. In my opinion, it would be foolish to establish national energy policy on the basis of misinformation and irrational hysteria.”

Khabibullo Ismailovich Abdusamatov, Russian Academy of Science, “Global warming results not from the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, but from an unusually high level of solar radiation and a lengthy, almost throughout the last century, growth in its intensity.”

Sallie Baliunas, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, “The recent warming trend in the surface temperature record cannot be caused by the increase of human-made greenhouse gases in the air.” He continues,” There is no reliable evidence for increased severity or frequency of storms, droughts or floods that can be related to the air’s increased greenhouse gas content.”

I can literally fill this paper with similar quotes from reputable scientists that say NONscientist, tree hugger, Al Gore is wrong. Why is this an important issue? First because people here are terrified. Dumaguete City will be under 20 feet of water in the near future unless we stop driving our cars and farting. Second, and more importantly, history proves government policies based on this misinformation and hysteria will cause massive inflation and job loss.

I do not care that they are considering Al Gore for the Nobel Peace Prize for “saving the world” with his documentary. They gave President Jimmy Carter a Nobel Prize for doing almost nothing; they might as well give Al one for doing absolutely nothing. I just want my readers to do some research before they buy this load of panic-crap.

Sunday, April 1, 2007


Her name was Bernie O’Brien and she was my “FIRST”.

No, not my first lover; she was my first female platonic friend. I was over 40 years old and all women had either been mothers or lovers. I had no female acquaintances that were just “friends”. This was a whole new world for me. It was like living in black and white and then suddenly seeing things in color. Women do not think like men. Our friendship allowed me to see a whole new world through her eyes. She even saved my life once, but that is another story.

We shared secrets and could be completely honest with each other. There was no need for silly games or hollow lies. She confessed she was attracted to a tall dark handsome Military Police sergeant. I arranged for them to go on a blind date. They hit it off and fell in love. It was the worst thing I ever did in my life, especially to a friend.

My first clues were the bruises. She said she fell down or bumped into a door, but I knew there was something else wrong. Finally he made the mistake of hitting her when I was there. I slammed him against the wall and told him if he ever touched her again, I would make him limp the rest of his life. For Bernie, that was the beginning of the end of our friendship.

He always told her he was sorry and promised to never hit her again; but somehow he always forgot those promises. I could feel the sadness in her voice as she said we could no longer be friends. I asked her to be careful and told her I loved her. Her last words to me were she loved me too. We spoke those words over twenty years ago but I never forgot my friend. Every Christmas I would call Bernie’s mother and wish everyone health and happiness. This year her mother said Bernie was dead. Her husband had broken his promise one last time.

It is difficult to imagine partner abuse being in the city of “Gentle People” but sadly it is everywhere. It is not a problem with easy solutions. If psychological or physical abuse is destroying your life get professional help. Protect yourself. You are not alone. Others have faced the same problems, let them help you find an answer. Help is a close as your neighborhood church and internet cafĂ©. (

Someone who loves you does not hit you. Despite the promises, once the hitting starts it probably will never stop. It can even spread to include your children. The violence will usually gradually get worse until serious injury or even death can the result. If you are the abuser, seek help. You have anger issues and need professional help. If you are being abused, leave. Bruised pride and being alone is better than being crippled or dead.


OK, I have had enough of this male bovine fecal matter!

It was fine when Pinoy lady I admire and respect, complained that I “painted too rosy a picture of life in the Philippines”. She said there was an ugly side to life here and I was not being honest. I admitted there is an “ugly” side to life no matter where you live but that I felt that the ugly aspects of life in the Philippines have been exaggerated. I went on to explain that as a guest in this country it was not my place to criticize my host. If she wanted to see the ugly side of life here she had only to read the rest of the newspaper. While she is a critic, I admire and respect her forthrightness and courage to speak her mind to my face.

It was fine when a South African challenged me to write something “intelligent”. I pointed out I have written about the unhealthy aspects of public urination. I have written about teaching and ethics. I even gave my views on local traffic. While he was never specific in what was or was not “intelligent”, his honesty was refreshing.

It began to bother me when my best friend for over 30 years, a man I had served with in the Green Berets, accused me of being an anti-American. He said people were saying I was “bashing America”. His concern was that I was alienating the foreigners here and making enemies. During the discussion, I found out he had never even read one of my articles. I offered him my copies to read. If he found just one incident where I had “bashed Americans”, told one untruth or even distorted the truth; I would publish an apology and a retraction. He backed off and said, “truth did not matter”, I was hurting America’s image and creating enemies. I pointed that there are hundreds of thousands of Pinoys living and working in America. Did he really think there was any negative aspect to the American lifestyle that the Philippine people did not already know? As a writer I need credibility. How can I expect the reader to believe anything I say if I am not honest about my own country?

If you have read my column you will note I never criticize other countries. I will vaguely refer to “some other Asian country” or a “prominent European country”, but I avoid naming them. It is true; I only name my own country. Am I being “anti-American” or just honest? Do I hate America? Do I even have a right to criticize my own country?

While many of my critics were watching television in the comfort and safety of their home, I was loading the body of my demo man into a MedEvac helicopter watching little red bubbles form as he tried to breathe through the mess that was once his face. While they were swimming in their backyard pool, I was pulling 12 dead soldiers off the bottom of the Saigon River. While they were decorating their Christmas tree, I was pulling pieces of nine of my men out of trees after the bomb went off. While they were laying around getting a sun tan in backyard, I was crawling in the Grenadian mud with 50 cal. bullets bouncing off the rocks. I put my life on the line for America more than once. That is more than most of my critics can say. I think I paid my dues. I earned, with my blood, the right to say what I want about My America. I am as proud of my country as any Pinoy is of the Philippines. I am an American. I am an HONEST and proud American.

The source of most of these false rumors of my being anti-American probaby originated from one critic. At first I tried to ignore his backstabbing foul mouth. He did not have the courage to face me but prefers to talk about me when I am not around. I even spoke well of him to others. I refused to be drawn into some childish squabble. I did not mind his attempt to enlist others to “teach me a lesson”. The implication being he and others would “punish” me. Son, I am 67 years old. I have a back broken in two places and both my knees are damaged. I got all this from serving my country, something you never did. If you and your friends decide to carry out your threat be sure to pack a lunch. You are going to have a long days work.

He does not have the gonads to face me but he is brave enough to approach my wife with this petty little vendetta. Let me make this clear to you. I know things about you others do not know. I know the ugliness you try to hide. Trust me, you do not want to continue this one sided war.; BACK OFF.

You can continue your anti-Pinoy rants. I won’t even tell you to shut up and sit down, as I should. Eventually some Filipino will put a stop to your ugly diatribe; but this vendetta stops here. You will leave me and my wife out of your conversations. Unlike you, I do have the cajones to face you. You do not want a war with me. I will beat you with the TRUTH not lies. You are NOT my Everyday Hero.


The Maryland Institute College of Art called this photo, “The most famous photograph in the world…”

As I travel around the Philippines I frequently see people wearing T-Shirts, backpacks and other clothing with Che Guevara’s picture emblazoned on them. Most of the people I spoke to did not, or a least would not, admit to knowing who he was and what he represented. The few that did know him had a “highly” romanticized idea of his role in history. They see him as a heroic champion of the common man. He was a lone warrior struggling against imperialism and the oppressive feudalism of the rich. A physician forced to lay down his medical instruments to take up the rifle and fight for the oppressed people of the world. He is a counterculture hero who was murdered by the imperialist slave masters.

The truth is not nearly an inspiring. Everything from his nickname to his military successes is phony. He was a failure in almost everything he attempted.

“Che” means “friend” or “buddy” in a colloquial Spanish. The assumption is that Guevara was awarded this pseudonym because of his camaraderie with his fellow revolutionary soldiers. Actually he was first called “Chacho” or pig by his schoolmates. He was quite proud of the fact that he rarely bathed. He got the name “Che” because he often used the word in his conversations. It is more analogous to a California surfer being called “Dude”. The nickname was a gibe, not a compliment. Fact is he was disdainful of those he considered as his “intellectual inferiors”. He was feared not respected.

Che’s cult followers like to point out he was a “physician” or “doctor” who heroically gave up his medical profession and began fighting imperialist oppression. The truth is he was a dermatologist. Now, this is a noble and skilled specialized profession. I have a personal friend who is a member of this important branch of medicine. Why do his followers not just say he was dermatologist? They avoid this accurate title possibly because the image of someone treating acne is not as heroic as our image of a surgeon saving lives. This is a typical of the manufactured false image that has replaced the truth about Che.

The myth is Che was forced into war out of compassion for the poor and downtrodden oppressed masses. Truth is he had little or no compassion and even less respect for life. He was feared by his own comrades because of his ruthless disregard for human life in and out of combat. As the commander of “La Cabana Fortress”, a Cuban prison, he was directly responsible for the summary torture and execution of over 500 prisoners. I have a personal friend who spent ten years in that prison and lost an eye to Che’s “compassion”. Several of Che’s fellow officers resigned, shocked by his total disregard for “legal and judicial principle”. Guilt or innocence was not an important issue to him. Even Fidel Castro said he was “excessively aggressive”.

I was a professional soldier. I was trained and eventually had to kill other humans. I took no joy or pride in this dark ugly side of my profession. These are Che’s own words on the subject: “Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any enemy that falls in my hands! My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood.” Confessions like this beg the question was Che fighting imperialist or merely feeding a savage blood lust in his dark soul.

Ernesto “Che” Guevara wrote several books and magazine articles on revolutionary warfare. He is considered the “expert” in this area. Or at least that is the myth. The truth is he had no military training and that flaw eventually got him captured and killed. While he did win the critical battle of the Cuban Revolution, that had less to do with his military skills and more to do with his savagery. During the Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba, Fidel Castro used Che’s military “expertise” (?) and made him police the obscure Pinar Del Rio province far from the combat zone. All of Guevara’s military excursions on three continents were utter failures. He was all image and no substance. In Bolivia he violated almost every principle of Revolutionary Warfare he ever wrote and it led to his death.

Some say Che was a brave man. I do not know. Where does savage blood lust end and bravery begin? I do know that when the Bolivian Army, with the help of American Green Berets, captured him he cowered and cried out, “Don’t shoot! I am Che Guevara and worth more to you alive than dead.” I have friends who were there. This is the final picture of our “brave” (?) revolutionary.

(La Higuera, Bolivia – 9 October 1967) I could go on with my revelations of this world class phony. I could point out the fact that he abandoned a wife and child to live in sin with another woman. I could point out the fact that he was a miserable failure as the Cuban Minister of Industries. He left hundreds of abandoned empty factories as testimony to his total incompetence. During the Cuban Missile Crisis Che recommend that Castro launch a nuclear attack against America. The fact that America’s forced retaliation would have killed millions of Cubans and turned his nation into a green glass parking lot, did not even bother this “intellectual” giant (?). A huge cult mystique has grown up around this dirt bag failure and it is an insult to true heroes and visionaries. The socialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre called Che Guevara. “The most complete human being of our age”. If you hold him as a “hero” of the oppressed masses, you need to do some comprehensive realistic research and maybe re-evaluate your political philosophy. Socialism and communism “sound” good as an intellectual exercise but there is a reason they both have failed miserably when applied in the real world. No one typifies that failure more than “Chacho”, the pig boy, Guevara.


Emilda was crying. Her sister and her four nieces were crying. It was not the first time she had cried in her hard life, but this time her tears were of joy not sorrow.

Growing up in a small fishing village south of Siaton life had always been difficult. Her loving husband works hard but there is not much money in the village. Mudslides and red tide have not made times any easier. She wants her children to have a better life. A better life means they need an education. To get the money for that education she was forced to come to Dumaguete City and get a job. Her husband takes care of their little cubo while she cooks and cleans for a DOM and his Filipina wife. She must be content with a few brief hours with them every couple of weeks.

Today was her birthday. Her employer gathered all the relatives she had in the city and gave her a little party. There were balloons for the kids, some presents, good food and even a birthday cake with her name on it. While everyone gathered around the kitchen table for a picture she began to cry. The tears just would not stop. You see Emilda is almost forty years old and this is her FIRST birthday party.

So all you everyday heroes out there, when you have a chance to do a little kindness for someone, do not just think about it, do it. You never know how important that small act will be in their lives or what special memories you might create. You always have enough time for kindness and love.


Someone called me a “hero” the other day. They based this on the fact that I served in the military and went to war. I am not a hero. I selected a career that involved some risk but that does not make me heroic. Just like a banker, lawyer, policeman or fireman I did my job and was paid.

To truly be “heroic” you must go beyond just merely doing your job.

You have heroes in your own family or sitting next to you in Chow King. You just do not realize it or appreciate it.

Take that woman over there having that cup of coffee. She gets up every morning and goes to job she does not like. She works hard all day and then goes home. She makes dinner for her family then cleans the house. Later, while they are sleeping, she stays up half the night sewing a costume for her daughter’s school play. She does this and more day after boring day and still keeps a smile on her face. What is her payment? She gets a quick “Thank you “and a kiss on the cheek as her daughter rushes out the door to be with her friends.

Or take that man walking by. He is not taking shabu or getting drunk every night. He does not cheat on his wife. He works hard everyday to put food on the table and a roof over his families head. He is constantly trying to improve the future. He wants his children not to have to work as hard as he does. He wants them to have a brighter future.
Having someone shoot at you and surviving is not heroic. Molding and shaping the future of the Philippines, teaching morals and values by setting the example, that is heroic. So if you want to honor a true hero. Put your arms around your father or mother they are the greatest heroes you will ever meet. They can never be paid enough for what they do. They are our “everyday heroes.”