Wednesday, June 17, 2009

THE BIG C (January 26, 2009)

Kapisanan ng May K sa Pilipinas (KMKP), the umbrella organization of cancer support groups in the country, was founded on December 23, 1994, after our Poetry Therapy sessions at the St. Luke's Medical Center's Bea Ingram Hall that led into the Expressive Arts Workshop at the National Arts Center in Mt. Makiling.

Victims became victors when they acted, sang, and danced in a play we wrote entitled Sens Op Tyumor, which Fernando “Tata Nanding” Josef directed, at the Insular Life Theater on January 15, 1996. The satire – produced by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) National Cancer Control Program, and the Hope In Cancer Foundation – was both hysterical and historical – like the events KMKP organized -- annually.

Last year, on January 13, under the theme Kanser ay Iwasan, Healthy Lifestyle ang Panlaban KMKP had what we billed Itakbo Mo, a fun run headed by The Running Priest, Fr. Robert Reyes, around the Sunken Garden inside the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City. Dr. Romulo de Villa lectured on nutrition. Poster-making contest for families and friends of KMKP followed suit with such judges as Ching Abad Santos, Mean Bulanadi, Magel Cadapan, Joyce Reyes, and Eleanor Yu. Free checkups by Dr. Marvie Abesamis and Dr. Ramon Severino at the EAMC lasted until January 19, our birthday, when KMKP observed its yearly National Cancer Survivors Day at the EAMC Lobby.

KMKP honors people who are involved in the fight against the Big C by giving out the Salve Award (after the first KMKP president Salvacion Quijoy) and Niña Award (after our and Tita Lita's girl wonder Niña Avena) for adult and young role models respectively. Artworks by Inday Cadapan serve as trophies for the honorees.

Through its battlecry Mag-HL Tayo Laban sa Kanser in celebrating this year's National Cancer Consciousness Week on the third week of January and World Cancer Day on February 4, DOH focuses on the avoidance of exposure to the risk factors of chronic diseases:
1. physical inactivity;
2. improper diet,
3. smoking;
4. use of alcohol

Last Sunday, Joscephine Gomez' show Creative Solutions at the GNN Channel 3 Destiny Cable tackled together with director Carlos Perion the topic close to the heart of the host who is considered as the longest living cancer survivor in the country. With us, who talked about our book Poetreat (2000), were soprano Pam Pascua and businesswoman Veronica Andaya, among others.

KMKP will do its share, as usual, at the EAMC lobby on January 31, from 9 a.m. onwards with a thanksgiving mass by Fr. Junrey Ente and the Bandana Ceremony to be led by Dr. Estrella Agustin and her son Yaren.

Alitaptap Storytellers Philippines, Petals of Hope, Rizal Medical Center's Cansurvive, U.P. Student Volunteers, U.P. SPECA will perform with Dr. Luis Gatmaitan and Dr. Isabel Melgar as emcees. Invited artists include Cynthia Alexander, Timmy Cruz, Joaquin Valdez, Francisco Montesena, and Carlos Pizarro.

By the way, Big C, for Carlos, Pizarro that is, recently launched his Compact Disc called All That I Love which is a flute and piano instrumental album which was conceived and finished in 2008. It is a compilation of original works with themes primarily from poems, psalms, and prayers. The first track is based on the poem “Bonsai” by National Artist for literature, Dr. Edith Tiempo, whose first lines start with “all that I love...” Born in San Carlos City, Pangasinan, he is actually a practicing dentist by profession. His love for music made him attend short classes and seminars during summer at the UP College of Music under the likes of Ryan Cayabyab. Eventually, he finished his Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from UP in 2002 under Dr. Jonas Baes, Chino Toledo, and Dr. Ramon Santos. Carlos has worked with UP Cherubim and Seraphim, Mandaluyong Children’s Choir, and Metropolitan Children's Choir. CDs can be ordered by emailing him at

Tonight, you can catch Dr. Pizarro at O.M.G. Open Mic Gig at the Mag:Net Gallery (Katipunan) with poets Rio Alma, Teo Antonio Mike Coroza, Njel de Mesa, Marge Francia, Marne Kilates, Pete Lacaba, Rogelio Mangahas, Ed Maranan, Ginny Mata, Fidel Rillo as well as the usual suspects as Alitaptap Storytellers Philippines, U.P. SPECA, and Thomasian Writers Guild. Susan Fernandez, The Haneps, and Free Beer will provide some 70s music in commemorating the First Quarter Storm's 39th anniversary.

Tomorrow night at 7, Dr. Pizarro will be the featured artist of Conspiwriters' Tuesday at the Conspiracy Garden Cafe.

An hour after, at 6, Big C, for Culture, will be highlighted by Department of Tourism Sec. Joseph Durano and Undersecretary Eduardo Jarque Jr. during the grand launch of Kultura Filipino at the Patio de Casa in Intramuros, Manila featuring internationally-acclaimed performers like Sitti, Mandaluyong Children's Choir, Bayanihan with Edu Manzano as host. Its mission is to create a venue to showcase the country’s arts gathered from all regions throughout the Philippines.There will be regular dinner shows every Tuesday and Thursday beginning March at Barbara’s at the Walled City branch, too. For details, please contact Tahl Gopez or Iona Santos at 524-1694, or 523-8411 local 196.

Big C, for Congratulations, to our former student, Laiden Pedrina, who succeeded Hazel Saez, as president of the JCI Perlas Pasay Ladies, together with her Board Members namely Hazel Reyes, Rosel Ramizares, Catherine Biliran, Jill Legaspi, Cathy Castro, Katrina Dominguez, Pam Reyes, Iris Samson, Rosario Silverio, Cecilia Penaverde and Atty. Majella Gallevo. As their keynote speaker, we witnessed the oath-taking ceremony -- that took place last January 23 at the Villamor Golf and Country Club's Social Hall in Pasay City -- with no less than JCI Immediate National President Rip Lesaca, JCI Sen.Tel Diaz-Manacsa, JCI Sen. Agnes Angeles, JCI National Executive Vice President Louie Basilio, JCI Mem. Jeanine de Jesus, and Mayor Peewee Trinidad, who, after showing us his collected love poems in his cellphones, promised to look into the possibility of fulfilling our dream: Pasay City School for the Arts!


A soldier ran up to a Nun. Out of breath he asked, "Please, may I hide under your skirt. I'll explain later." The Nun agreed. A moment later two Military Police ran up and asked,"Sister, have you seen a soldier?" The Nun replied, "He went that way." After the MPs ran off, the soldier crawled out from under her skirt and said, "I can't thank you enough, Sister. You see, I don't want to go to Iraq ." The Nun said, "I understand completely." The soldier added, "I hope I'm not rude, but you have a great pair of legs!" The Nun replied, "If you had looked a little higher, you would have seen a great pair of balls. I don't want to go to Iraq either."

1. Never tell a person who's experiencing deep sorrow, I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL because you don't.

2. Never risk what you cannot afford to lose.
3. Once a year, go somewhere you have never been before.
4. Remember that the formula for great love is COMMUNICATION + RESPECT.

5. When declaring your rights, don't forget your responsibilities.
6. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of good luck.

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