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Medical Doctor Pursues Dream of Becoming a Lawyer to Push for Health Reforms

He had always dreamed of becoming a scientists, but after becoming an intern at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) while pursuing his medical degree, Lee Edson Yarcia realized he also had a calling in Law so he could push for health reforms in the Philippines.

As a young student, he wanted to study at the University of the Philippines (UP), earning a degree in molecular biology. But the Integrated Liberal Arts in Medicine (INTARMED) program of UP Manila appealed to him in that it offered students a chance to become doctors in an accelerated and intensive 7-year curriculum, instead of the usual 9 years.

While studying medicine, Yarcia was drawn to public health and health law reform. As a student leader, he helped promote universal health care program in different schools. This led to his advocacy work, something that would further be influenced by his internship at PGH.

Photo credit: Kristine Sabillo / ABS-CBN News

It’s so crowded and the resources were so limited. You would see all types of patients come in. And they would usually come to PGH when their disease has progressed… Some of them would not have money. Many of them come from provinces and they would fall in line as early as 4, 3 am,” Yarcia recalled.

He became a doctor in 2012 but decided to study Law so he could help more people. Instead of training for surgery as his specialization, he decided on becoming a lawyer instead because training would take 10 years and could stop him from doing advocacy work.

He started working in PhilHealth’s special projects office, focusing on the universal health care program and other policy work. He was also tapped to work on the maternal and child health policy as consultant for the Health Policy and Development Program at the UP School of Economics.

As a junior associate for the Poblador Bautista & Reyes Law Offices, Yarcia trains to become a trial lawyer but will also continue being a medical doctor. He was among the passers of the 2018 Bar Exams.

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MMDA Enforcer Goes Viral after Carrying Sick Child Stuck in Traffic to Nearest ER

A family stuck in traffic found help from a Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic enforcer who offered to carry the kid to the nearest ER because the cars are barely moving on the road.

Mit Javellana shared photos of the still unidentified MMDA traffic enforcer who helped them out. According to Javellana, a young boy named Earl was having chills due to high fever. Thus, they rushed him to the hospital, but the traffic was so bad that they were stuck.

Photo credit: Mit Javellana / Facebook
With the vehicles barely moving on the road, they tried to maneuver the car out of the road towards the hospital, but they were having a hard time doing so. The MMDA traffic enforcer noticed them and went to ask what was going on.

After learning about the kid’s situation, the traffic enforcer gladly offered to carry the boy, instead. They walked towards the hospital which was still a good distance away from where they were stuck in traffic. But this proved to be much faster than waiting for the traffic to let up.

Photo credit: Mit Javellana / Facebook
Thanks to this kind MMDA traffic enforcer, the boy was soon safely under the care of the doctors and nurses at the nearest hospital, Alabang Medical Center.

The kind MMDA traffic enforcer earned praise from netizens who greatly admired what he did for the family. As expected, a lot of netizens wanted to know his name and how he looks. With so many MMDA traffic enforcers and other persons in authority going viral for various reasons, it is great to have someone being praised for going the extra mile to help others in need.\

Photo credit: Mit Javellana / Facebook
Soon, netizens were able to identify him as TE3 Jeremi Jorge Ubana Lukban. Salamat po, Sir!

Photo credit: Jeremi Jorge Ubana Lukban / Facebook

What’s an ER?

An ER or emergency room is a special treatment facility at a hospital or medical facility. This is the place that provides immediate care to patients who arrive even without prior appointment. For non-emergency consultations, patients are directed to the out-patient unit or individual doctors’ clinics.

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Syrian Blogger Cooks Hundreds of Chicken Kabsa to Feed Evacuees of Taal Eruption

He might not be Filipino but for Basel Manadil who vlogs under the name “The Hungry Syrian Wanderer”, he is “The Adopted Son of the Philippines” – and he loves to give back by sharing his blessings to many Filipinos in need.

Recently, Basel went viral for the many things he did to help those affected by the Taal eruption. He gave N95 masks for free and just recently spent 11 hours cooking over 1,100 servings of chicken kabsa, a popular dish in the Middle East, to give out to the evacuees, again for free!

Photo credit: The Hungry Syrian Wanderer / Facebook

It did not matter to Basel that he and his team spent many hours cooking the dish and preparing the meals in packs for easy distribution to the evacuees, as long as he can help many people in need. He bought all the items out of his own money, not even asking for any donations. This endeared him more to many netizens who admired his big heart for Filipinos.

Photo credit: The Hungry Syrian Wanderer / Facebook

A lot of netizens agreed that Basel did not really have to do this; he has no obligation whatsoever to give anything to Filipinos. Yet he has proven so many times that it did not matter to him whether he’s Filipino or not, because by heart he is one – and he is ready to help his fellowmen without asking for anything in return.

Photo credit: The Hungry Syrian Wanderer / Facebook

Many netizens thanked him for his kindness and for letting Pinoys taste the favorite dish from the Middle East, while others joked that perhaps he should also give them some because the food looks so good!

Photo credit: The Hungry Syrian Wanderer / Facebook

And while there were those who took notice of the feathers still on some of the pieces, others commented that it was difficult for Basel and his team to check each piece of chicken because of the volume they prepared. The Taal evacuees could just take the feathers out with ease. What’s important is that Basel is helping out!

Photo credit: The Hungry Syrian Wanderer / Facebook

What’s Chicken Kabsa?

Chicken kabsa is a popular dish that’s thought to have originated in Saudi Arabia but is also picked as national dish among many countries in the Middle East. This dish makes use of basmati rice, chicken thighs or wings (or even whole chicken), carrots, lemon, tomato paste, and other vegetables.

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Woman About to Celebrate 75th Birthday Cancels Party to Buy Relief Goods for Taal Evacuees

She was about to turn 75 years old and already had grand party lined up for her birthday on January 24, 2020; but a woman canceled the party to buy relief goods for Taal evacuees using the money she was supposed to use for the party!

In a post that has gone viral on Facebook, proud son Sherwin Mulingtapang shared photos of his generous Nanay Belen, revealing that everything was ready for the party but he is proud of this woman for thinking about others in need by canceling her own party to help the evacuees affected the eruption of Taal Volcano.

Photo credit: Sherwin Mulingtapang / Facebook

According to Sherwin, everything had been booked for the party, from the caterer and events place to the lights and sounds, the mobile bar and live band, and the photographers. They had already commissioned someone to make the gown for Nanay Belen’s grand 75th birthday party and the makeup artist was booked.

Photo credit: Sherwin Mulingtapang / Facebook
Photo credit: Sherwin Mulingtapang / Facebook

Despite it being just a few weeks away, Nanay Belen decided to cancel the big party. Why spend a lot of money in a 1-night event enjoyed by a handful of people when you can spend all that money to help hundreds in need at the evacuation centers? That’s what Nanay Belen thought – and she really canceled the party!

Photo credit: Sherwin Mulingtapang / Facebook
Photo credit: Sherwin Mulingtapang / Facebook

The family did not disclose how much money Nanay Belen spent on the relief goods but it was clear that it was at least a couple of thousands! They bought sacks of rice that they repacked for the evacuees. The family also got cans of sardines, lots of biscuits and instant noodles, packs of instant coffee, and bottled water.

Photo credit: Sherwin Mulingtapang / Facebook

Everyone in the family also helped out, including the kids, to repack the items and place them in individual eco bags. They also traveled to the evacuation centers to personally deliver the items and hand out to the evacuees! Even Nanay Belen was up to the challenge, accompanying them and talking with those affected by the eruption.

Photo credit: Sherwin Mulingtapang / Facebook
Photo credit: Sherwin Mulingtapang / Facebook

God bless and happy birthday, Nanay Belen!

What are Relief Goods?

Relief goods are food, water, clothes, sanitary packs, and other items that provide the basic needs of people affected by a certain situation. These are temporary help to a quantified group of beneficiaries, in hopes of helping them alleviate their situation until they are able to go back home.

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