October 18, 2019 - Friday
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Davao City, Philippines


June 14, 2019 - Friday 4:06 AM by Eva Aranas Angel

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I promised I won’t say ‘I told you so.’

So it has come to this.

A few days after I wrote a two-part piece last week about investment scams and pyramiding schemes, the President coincidentally ordered the closure of one alleged ‘per donation basis’ ministry. He did so for reasons of fraud and failure to comply with four SEC orders to explain and justify the sources of its improbably high rate of return, dubious financial statements, and for continuing its operations despite the ‘Cease and Desist’ order from SEC on April 2019. Citing and age-old adage as the rationale for such order, ‘If something is too good to be true, it must be fraud,’ the President directed the personnel of PNP and NBI to raid the offices of this alleged instant pyramid scheme.

And just like that, my Facebook newsfeed has been flooded with memes – hate memes, mockful memes, prayerful memes, philosophical memes, and insanely hilarious memes. Leave it to the Filipinos to always find humor even in the prospect of losing their chance at economic gain. As the late Stephen Hawking once said ‘Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.’  Seriously, this is no laughing matter. In the comment threads were long litanies of sorrows, and stories of despondency over the loss of millions of their monies and numerous extinguished and vaporized dreams.

Just like that.

Consummatum est. Wala na. Finished na.

The President probably wouldn’t have ignited much resentment and incurred hatred directed at him, and received overt threats to his family’s political future, had he made the announcement over government TV. Instead, he made the order over a cable TV network of PAC-Q, who allegedly has been seen gloating as the President’s making the announcement. That is perhaps how, now, it has become a war of the Apos – Apollo and Apolinario and millions of their respective followers.

The situation is made even worse by those who have either not been affected or have come out of it unscathed. They are either stoking the fire or gas-lighting both the trolls and victims. There’s the proselytizing of some know it all bloggers and the stiff upper lip of the self-righteous and holier than though.

Last Sunday, the pastor from the Christian Fellowship which we attend started his sermon with ‘How do you respond when you discover the truth?’ We must believe, be eager, and spread the truth. The truth about the questionable investment scheme has been unravelled. Many people are hurting economically and emotionally. May this overwhelmingly traumatizing chapter in the lives of ‘investors’ and ‘victims’ be a lesson in history. I have lived long enough to have seen close to a dozen widespread investment scams and schemes. Some have upended their family, their careers, their entire future.

The aphorism by George Santayana, a Harvard professor and philosopher, remains relevant and relatable in these times: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." It was John Leguizamo in his Off Off Broadway stand up comedy act ‘Latin History For Morons’ who added the last word ‘cono.’

Training of Trainers

I flew out of town to attend a very important workshop, Training of Trainers: An Orientation Workshop on Healthy and Productive Aging Program and the Use of Blended Geriatric Module for Regional Coordinators and Comprehensive Geriatric Training of Health Care Providers from 27 DOH Retained Hospitals with Geriatric Centers on June 11-13, 2019 in Makati City. 

This workshop is participated in by more than 200 government doctors, nurses, gerontologists and Geriatrics specialists, Internists, Family Medicine physicians, medical residents, dentists, allied or auxiliary specialist groups and representatives from all regions of the Department of Health (DOH). This is to put in place a stipulation in RA 9994 otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of the Philippines (ESCAP) 2010, the Madrid Action Plan, and Universal Health Care which mandate all government hospitals to have a Geriatrics ward, wing or unit.

The problem, however, is that there are only less than 150 (147 to be exact) Board Certified Geriatrics specialists in the country and many are in private practice and confined in highly urbanized areas like Metro Manila which has more than a hundred. The distribution of Geriatricians is disturbing and markedly skewed.

This statistics is deranged in that the population of older persons is progressively growing fastest in Southeast Asia and other developing countries, the Philippines included. The current population pyramid shows a much less tapered tip for a population segment 60 and older, meaning there are more and more older persons in the country.

This is what I have learned from this training so far.

There are 7.8 million Filipino older persons. There is a need to train health professionals at the frontline levels on how to manage an older person properly, whose disease presentation is atypical and whose needs are ramified, going beyond just the disease as it involves mental health, psychosocial, psychological and even socioeconomic. The DOH is designing 27 DOH retained tertiary hospitals nationwide to become Geriatric Centers. It is because of this misaligned, disproportionate provider-stakeholder ratio that the DOH is proposing training and coaching modules that can be used in service delivery networks.

It is with great pride that I share with you that the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC)- Department of Internal Medicine will have a Geriatrics Institute in close partnership, and joint collaboration with the Department of Family Medicine and Community Medicine, represented by Dr. Evelyn Abasolo Lao and a new graduate from Clinical Fellowship training in Geriatrics at St. Luke’s Medical Center, Dr. Grace Tanjili.

May our tribe increase.


On my flight back to Davao last May 11, I took a red eye and dozed off during the entire flight. I was using my favorite ‘Cult Gaia’-esque Ark Bamboo bag that has slits, which must have been the reason my PRC card, which I enclosed in what’s left of my boarding pass, slipped out and fell on the floor.

I have since given up hope of finding it again. I already have an affidavit of loss that’s just waiting for my signature.

On June 11, arrived in the airport early for my 3:45AM Davao-Manila flight (yeah, I like taking red-eyes) so I took my chance of asking the PAL office. It’s a long shot I know, but I’ve nothing to lose but a little time. I asked the personnel on duty if there might have been a PRC ID that’s found on the last Manila-Davao flight on May 11.

I barely finished my sentence when a middle aged man walked into the room and muttered ‘Dr. Eva Socorro Aranas Angel.’ I heaved a huge sigh of relief. The security OIC handed me my PRC ID.

Thank you very much Mr. Armando Carcueva. Sir, my sincerest gratitude.