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Elsewhere

 

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BAD news surrounds us everywhere. It strikes at all hours. We live with it or we overcome it. Forget it and move on. As the Brits say, “Keep calm and carry on.”

For a change of scenery, here’s some good news.

To reduce the impact and spread of dengue fever, finally the Food and Drug Administration, notorious for not acting on thousands of pending applications, gave the imprimatur to Tawa2 capsules (Euphorbia hirata L. or Tawa Tawa Leaf) as “traditionally used to relieve the symptoms of asthma” without mentioning dengue fever.

It’s no laughing matter, despite the Health secretary’s humorous take on the name of the weed, but the green capsules are now available in Mercury Drug’s 2,000 stores in Metro Manila. Shirley Alampay, who with her researchers and pharmacists formulated the product, spent 10 years studying, producing, applying for FDA clearance.

Occasionally when I feel my blood pressure falling, I take a capsule and it works. Call it a psychosomatic response similar to swallowing a placebo; so long as it helps, why not. Another believer, photographer Mandy Navasero, advised Tawa2 as the antidote to vertigo, but Mandy is not a doctor.

The stories coming out of the earthquake-shattered communities in Mindanao are particularly heart-rending where babies and children are concerned.

Sickness and disease, trauma and malnutrition are sure to follow. Against the background of the humanitarian crisis in Mindanao, Hans Sy vows to establish the Mindanao and Visayas versions of ChildHaus Manila and Quezon City. Over the last 16 years, Hans has partnered with his friend (and FVR’s “first bakla”) Ricky Reyes to provide a temporary house and home for children suffering from cancer.

The “cancer” of traffic troubles will continue to spread as more cars pour out into the streets, more young people learn how to drive, and more families buy their first car. The good news is that car sales have been dampened by what Toyota calls the challenge of traffic congestion.

Good news for traffic-traumatized commuters, bad news for car salesmen, though not really. If Toyota aims to produce 54,000 cars this year, just try to imagine how many other new, non-Toyota vehicles will be plying EDSA and other highways starting Jan. 1, 2020.

You don’t need 20-20 vision to appreciate friends who have successfully beat the premature Christmas traffic by sending their gifts early. The champion early bird this year, a lovely person by the name of Menchu, picked mid-October to do it, buena mano.

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