Thursday, February 14, 2019

Heart's Desire: Evolution of Love

To love someone and be loved in return must be a source of joy most especially when we are suffering from emotional setbacks like loneliness, apathy and grief. There are times when some  people struggle to find the real meaning of love when they feel lost and empty.

However, love has different meaning to individuals. For the orphan, a warm hug gives them a feeling of acceptance and security. For the single parent and a widow, raising their kids well gives them sense of dignity and pride. For the elderly, they get the highest respect from the young ones. These are the positive emotions where love wins.

In today's society we also have the victims of circumstances that made them view love differently. For the homeless, they feel less secured and abandoned. For the rebel groups, they may feel deprived of equal rights and opportunities. And for the sick and dying, they may feel unfulfilled, uncared and unloved.

Love has several meanings as we go through the stages in life. When we are a kid, we feel so much love from our parents. As we go through teenage years, we feel the acceptance and love of our peers. When we are now working and serving people, we feel the love for our countrymen and the nation. That is how love evolves in time. 

Following Our Heart's Desire  is a reminder to chase for our most coveted goals to achieve and to keep going on when life seem to be challenging in the achievement of our most cherished hopes and dreams. That may be the stage in life when we have all the energy and hopeful desires for success.

Heart's Desire: Living A Fantastic Life is service beyond self. It's about experiencing bliss; a higher level of happiness that is Divinely inspired. When we reach out to other people though public service, we give part of our Divinity inherent of a human being. Then we go beyond our selfish desires which is all about us; our ego.

Heart's Desire: Living A Humanitarian Life is a realization of a higher level of love when we go beyond our love for self and love for our family. It is about humanitarian service though charity work or public service that gives us the opportunity to serve both the privileged and the underprivileged sectors in the society.

Evolution of love may be beyond life on earth as we may believe in 'life after death' and may continue to guide the love ones who are still fighting for love; the meaning of love and their own evolution of love.

© 2019 Del Cusay

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Election 2019: Making Voices Heard

The official campaign period for the National midterm election seem to have started already, although it's very obvious to be a premature campaigning when we have seen political ads on television and posters on the streets since 2018.

In the coming May 13 election, we will again select and vote for the candidates who will serve our country and the people. We will be choosing our 12 Senatorial bets for the national post and electing our own officials from Provincial Governors down to Municipal Councilors.

It's a midterm election and several candidates are now sharing their political views and expertise to some of the issues confronting our nation. Several issues that are currently popular like drug war, extrajudicial killings, terrorism, medical marijuana, age of criminal responsibility, defense of territorial waters and revival of death penalty. 

We also have our long time issues such as poverty alleviation, graft and corruption, unemployment, drug addiction, crime prevention, population control, reproductive heath, environmental protection and climate change. These are some of the many issues that our national candidates have to face once elected. For our local candidates, they will be representing the interests of their constituents and legislate local laws or ordinances to address socio-political issues and to uplift the living conditions of the people.

The media has the biggest influence for the public to know the candidate's profile, background and experience, and the good thing is when the media organizations serve as a medium for knowing our candidate's platforms and intentions. 

I have watched the senatorial forum hosted by CNN Philippines and the Senatorial debate from GMA network on this month and I believe that thousands of Filipinos were able to hear on what their senatorial bets have to say on various issues. We may have different reactions or emotions on their views; either we have agreed and was amused or disagreed and got disappointed. 

On March 29, we will also be hearing our local candidates on their political views. It may not be as grand as the national candidates' campaign, but their common intention is to serve and be the voice of their constituents. 

Campaign period may be the most exhausting part in the candidate's possible victory since they devote their energy, time and money. Thus, we the voters must also spend some time to know our candidates. Their stance on various issues of our nation and our locality are significant in nation-building and good governance. 

Amidst the different voices, we can learn how to filter those who are significant and a reflection of our own values and virtues. Our guiding principle shall rule and not the outside influence brought by media and black propaganda. 

Our vote matters and let us exercise this right in the upcoming May 13 election. For now, it is not just the fight of our candidates, but it is the fight of all Filipino people towards a better community and a better country.

© 2019 Del Cusay

Friday, February 8, 2019

Social Commentary: Lessons from Vaccination Scare and Disease Outbreak

It was on February 6, 2019 that the Department of Health declared an outbreak of measles disease in the National Capital Region including regions in Luzon; Central Luzon and CALABARZON. Just a day after, it was declared that the outbreak expanded in the Visayas; Central, Eastern and Western Visayas.

The disease outbreak is just a year after the controversial Dengvaxia scare with several deaths of children linked with the Dengvaxia: a vaccine for Dengue.

Although it was not medically proven through studies and investigation by the Department of Health, still the Public Attorney's Office headed by its Chief, Persida Acosta defended the human rights of her clients when she insisted that it was indeed Dengvaxia vaccine caused the death of children who received it.

How the deadly controversy started

It was revealed late last year by Acosta  that the President himself ordered her office to pursue on filing a criminal complaint to several personalities of the past administration who are allegedly involved in the Dengvaxia controversy and that includes former President Aquino, Former Department of Health Secretary Garin and the present DOH Secretary Duque.

Since then Acosta actively pushed for public information on the dangers of  Dengvaxia and the vaccination program, and this controversy led to discouragement and fear against vaccination. 

Dr. Acosta has the interest to fight for the rights of her clients and to follow his excellency, the President. As a Doctor of Social Development, she has the expertise and advocacy for human rights and legal aid; that I believe where she is coming from on this matter.

From Advocacy to Disaster 

Apparently, Acosta's advocacy went wrong when her allegations about the Dengvaxia-related deaths caused a sudden drop in immunization records of the DOH starting in 2018 until the present. Parents are scared to have their children get vaccinated by Dengvaxia and even other vaccinations including MMR vaccines (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) which has caused an epidemic of measles in several regions in the country and was reported to be thousands of cases and several deaths already. 

Disinformation and fake news can kill

With the Dengvaxia scare, over 2 million Filipino children are currently at risk of contracting measles which is a highly contagious airborne disease causing respiratory complications that can be lethal. 

This would not have happened if there was no mass hysteria coming from several personalities from broadcast media and social media. The disinformation easily spread and was accepted by their followers to be an absolute truth. 

Nowadays, thousands or millions of Filipinos are a victim of fake news or disinformation with social media in particular. Social media influencers has to be responsible for their words or statement so not to create confusion, and also for followers and the general public to learn how to decipher real news from the fake ones.

Turn around of circumstances

With the rising number of measles cases across the country, the Department of Health and President Duterte himself have step up to lead a campaign on national television for families to have their children get vaccinated from diseases. The public call was followed by Vice President Robredo and now, the Chief Public Attorney, Persida Acosta who seemed to be remorseful when she expressed to the public not to be scared of vaccination to spare children from getting measles considering its alarming rates: a step she made just after the call for her resignation by our Senators and some people. 

Our leaders have the biggest role to play in all of these circumstances affecting the state of health of the Filipino children. They may have reflected on their shortcomings and they are now doing their part to correct the mistakes they have caused. For the Chief Public Attorney, her sudden active campaign for vaccination may not be an admission of guilt, hence taking responsibility for her actions if her advocacy to fight for her clients led to health crisis our country is facing. 

Our Call to action 

May this health crisis serve as a call to other media personalities and social media influencers to do the same thing and to stop from disinformation campaign causing trial by publicity and untoward events and worst is loss of lives. We have lost the confidence of our people in our Government's immunization campaign and it might take time for others to regain the trust.

Full immunization is very important in developing immunity against highly communicable diseases. Imagine if all children received full immunization, we are closer to eradicating diseases like measles.

We have already eradicated diseases like polio, maternal and neonatal tetanus, hence we can also achieve a measles-free country and eradicate other diseases through full immunization. It may be a challenging task for our healthcare workers, but with the active campaign of our government and the cooperation of the public, the goal can be achieved. 

As a Healthcare advocate, I want to protect my family and the public through health education for them to live their best life that they deserve. Whoever we are, we have the capacity to become a health advocate and our advocacy can create a ripple effect towards a healthy citizenry and community. 

© 2019 Del Cusay

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