POSTSCRIPT / July 6, 2004 / Tuesday

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

Philippine STAR Columnist

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Palace falls into trap on cha-cha question

GMA LOSING POINTS: It is amazing, at the same time alarming, how easily Malacanang can be drawn unnecessarily into a discussion it cannot win.

Take the debate on constitutional amendments. Whatever position President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo takes, she will end up on the losing end. The irony is that there was no need in the first place for her to take up the question at this point.

Yet the one-week-old Arroyo presidency is now caught in the vortex of the charter change (cha-cha) debate and continues to lose points without moving any closer to solving priority problems on the President’s 10-point agenda.

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MOSTLY REACTIONS: Malacanang always gets into this kind of no-win situation because it is, by force of habit or sheer laziness, reactionary and not proactive.

The President is in a position to determine what this nation should talk about and do, but her handlers often make her merely react to newspaper headlines and the needling of broadcast media.

It seems that every morning, the Palace boys simply gather the front page stories, listen to radio commentaries and prepare reaction statements for the day.

So when a major newspaper made Constitutional Amendment the subject of its front page mainer some mornings ago, Malacanang — like everybody else who wanted to get into the front page — jumped in.

Malacanang, the creature of habit, fell into the trap. It did not occur to the bright boys in the Palace that such a discussion was untimely and counter-productive.

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MISIMPRESSIONS: Until it drops the cha-cha subject, President Arroyo will continue to lose points. Fanning the discussion will leave the misimpression that:

  1. President Arroyo is so greedy for power. Not content with being president, she also wants to be prime minister.
  2. President Arroyo wants to stay longer than her appointed six years, inconsistent with the spirit of her present mandate.
  3. President Arroyo has no focus and sense of priority as manager. She has not made any headway in carrying out her 10-point agenda, yet she is already adding constitutional amendment to the heavy list.
  4. President Arroyo is willing to spend P7 billion of scarce resources on a non-priority item when the country cannot even balance its budget, pay its ballooning obligations and guarantee essential services.
  5. President Arroyo is participating in a divisive debate when what she and the nation urgently needs at this point is national unity and consensus.

Malacanang is sure to commit the same blunder again – unless the President’s handlers stop simply reacting to newspaper headlines. They should learn to think ahead and discern implications of public issues.

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RADICAL MEDICINE: Among the interesting items circulating among Yahoo groups is this collection of health tips attributed to a Dr. Yasuy Moralla, who is reportedly a nutritionist, dietician, microbiologist and into homeopathy.

We start today reprinting excerpts for the benefit of readers, most of whom do not have Internet connection.

The Yahoo email said that Dr. Yasuy, a UP graduate, is against synthetic medicines, surgery and hospitalization, because she believes that every ailment can best be healed naturally.

She is sometimes described as radical because she deviates from synthetic medicine and surgery. She talks about natural healing, healing manifestations, proper nutrition and sanitation, sexuality, diseases, allergies, SARS, PMS, high blood — nearly all kinds of medical conditions.

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HEALTH TIPS: Some of Dr. Yasuy’s health tips:

* If a child starts being fed with too much fried chicken and fast foods at age 1, chances are, she would have irregular menstruation by age 12. At 18-20 years, there is a big probability that she would have breast lumps.

* Fat is the perfect food or breeding ground for cyst formations. Pork increases the risk of getting breast cancer. Fat raises estrogen levels, which in turn increases the risk of a cyst formation, which in turn can cause breast cancer.

* Do not buy canned foods with even the slightest dent and rust. There is something called Cl. Botulism poisoning (which is fatal), a kind of poisoning in vacuum-packed foods. Some bacteria are anaerobic (i.e. they can live without oxygen). Spores can enter the tiny dents in the cans.

* Kids who eat too much breads, biscuits and starchy foods are more prone to diabetes and lung diseases later in life, while those who favor junk foods are susceptible to allergies.

* Some 85 percent of diseases are self-limited, meaning, they all have a limit and will go naturally. There is really no need for synthetic drugs — the immune system could always do its job. Too much synthetic drugs can make the immune system sluggish.

* Fever is good, because it is the body’s most natural form of defense. A rise in the body temperature can kill the toxemia or the virus. There is no need to lower the fever with synthetic drugs — sufficient rest and natural foods and supplements will do.

* Diseases are the result of a long-term developing process that begins early in life and finally leads to saturation of toxins in the body.

* Fiber consumes fat.

* Anti-perspirants can lead to breast cancer. Their aluminum salts and other chemicals clog the pores in the armpits, thus suppressing sweat. We like to be nice and dry in the armpits, but sweat actually contains traces of waste material. If we stop them from exiting our pores, they only clog up in the armpits. These toxins eventually accumulate in the breast area (where there is plenty of fat) and they gradually form into cysts. Although the majority of those susceptible to breast cancer are women, 10 percent of men may also be prone to it.

* Soda crackers are good pampalipas-gutom because they are high in energy. But a whole can of crackers can be bad because it is also very high in sodium.

* Some 85 percent of processed Oriental foods (particularly Taiwanese) are cancerous. On the other hand, a diet that is “too Western” can lead to ulcers.

* The essence of cancer: manufacturers make bad food taste good.

* People who always feel sleepy after eating are those with inefficient digestive systems. It takes too much energy to digest the food. To conserve energy, the body’s energy is therefore concentrated on the digestion. Either this is the case, or:

* Foods such as pork, beef, chicken, ginisa and oily foods naturally make one sleepy because it takes too much energy to digest them. Steamed veggies and salads do not require too much energy.

* The most efficient pampagising foods are fruits, and not coffee. Caffeine only gives a momentary kick of energy, but makes us feel lethargic after a couple of hours. But fructose (from fruits), on the other hand, gives more energy and endurance.

* Fast foods use week-old oils. Recycled oil is carcinogenic.

* Any oil, when heated up, becomes “bad cholesterol.” That is why it is not a good idea to deep-fry foods in olive oil – it is just a waste. Better fry with corn or canola oil because of the lower boiling point compared to olive oil. But olive oil is very good when taken in its raw form. When eating fried fish, it is best to soak it first in balsamic vinegar with olive oil so that the polyunsaturated fats will get converted into monounsaturated fats.

* It is okay to eat French Fries. But the fries should not be thawed when taken from the freezer. They should be cooked only for a maximum of two minutes. The fries should be crunchy on the outside but mealy on the inside.

* On SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome): The countries hardest-hit by SARS are not only those with cool climates, but are also those with the highest consumption of antibiotics. Synthetic drugs, especially antibiotics, eventually weaken one’s resistance to diseases.

* Still on SARS: The longer people wear masks, the more susceptible they are to SARS because they are just accumulating the microbes on their masks. To be safe, they have to change their masks a minimum of three times a day. But the best form of protection against SARS is a healthy lifestyle and a strong immune system.

(We continue with more tips next issue. But we can email the entire piece to those who will ask for it by email.)

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of July 6, 2004)

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