Sunday, May 28, 2017

Ben Palma and News Express

"Don't be dismayed by goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends."
-- Richard Bach

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- The first editor of News Express, a bi-weekly community paper in Western Visayas, Philippines, has joined our media colleagues who recently departed.
The death of Ben Palma in his hospital bed on May 27 in Iloilo City came two weeks after Antique journalist Rey Alcalde died also in the hospital.
They thus joined our colleagues Lydia Pendon, Marcos Villalon, Teddy Sumaray, Bob Bacaling, Atty. Rex Salvilla, Dra. Vicky Primero, Ivan Suansing, Rowena Barte-Zulueta, Joe Sepulvida, Tony Laniog, Eddie Laczi, German Gonzales, Boy Pablo, Sol Genson, Mark Sumagaysay, Rene Porras, Alex Sumagaysay, Tony Masculino, Nap Nava, Lito Jimena, Edwin Alcozero, Atty. Fraulin Penasales, Atty. Frermin Sornito, and Suzanne Pastrana, to name only a few, who passed away in recent memory.
We were with Ben Palma, columnist and "editor" since the first issue of New Express, "the best alternative", rolled off the press in March 1988.


Our first office was at the mezzanine floor inside the St. Elizabeth Billiard and Bowling Alleys (SEBBA).
After two issues, we transferred to the Immaculate Concepcion Bldg. on Ledesma St., Iloilo City in the Fortune Printing Press office before we found a new home on Guanco St. in 1992 (News Express is now located in Jaro district).
The late and well-loved Inocencio "Pops" Malones, who owned the Fortune Printing Press, was the publisher. Managing editor Agnes Espano-Dimzun was the de facto editor-in-chief. Jing Torres, Atty. Teopisto "Pet" Melliza, Femia Pedregosa and yours truly were members of the editorial staff. I was also the paper's sports editor. Jessie Terre and the late Hiligaynon professor Santiago Alv. Mulato were contributors in Hiligaynon page. Now Journal Visayas publisher Giovannie Vaay was circulation manager assisted by Jessie "Onyok" Laranja.
Mariano Malones, now mayor of Maasin, Iloilo, was our business manager assisted by Ramon Vego.
In 1990 or two years after News Express was born, Palma, backed up by his late buddy, Numeriano Cajilig, Jr., staged a "coup d'etat" and asked the court to stop Publisher Pops Malones from using the name of News Express.


Palma went on to publish his own version of "News Express", a low-quality four-paged tabloid to sustain and justify his rebellion.
Pops and the original News Express team remained intact. For a while, we were compelled to use the name "Fortune News" to sustain and justify our existence, business, and public identification.
Palma was a virtual one-man army in his "News Express", which relied entirely on dubious Land Transportation Office (LTO) advertisements for survival.
After a brief court battle, Palma lost not only the right to use the name of New Express; he lost his position and regular column, The Square One (in the aftermath of Palma's defeat, he resumed column-writing in The Sentinel together with editor-in-chief Manuel "Boy" Mejorada, Dean Art Jimenez, photojournalist Alan Fajardo, and chess buddy Romeo "Butch" Paloma). 


Full-time community journalist Melliza wasn't yet a lawyer when he assumed as News Express editor. Aside from writing for The Sentinel, Palma became a hard-hitting commentator when he joined the broadcast industry in dySI in the early 90's, where he earned the monicker as "Boyong" (tenacious).
He disappeared from media works for some time and became a part-time contractor.

A former chess champion and contemporary of the first Asian grand master Eugene Torre, Palma tried to revive in mid-90's a glorious chess career that made him famous in the 70s and 80s, but was dejected badly when he was foiled by an unheralded Bacolod youngster, Trinie Olmedo, in a title match of a regional chess championship held at the Sarabia Manor Hotel in Iloilo City.
Despite his notoriety as Boyong, Palma was a favorite drinking buddy of who's who both in the political and media mainstream.
He was sometimes referred to as the "father rock", a tag known only to some enterprising media characters.
Farewell, Boyong. Rest and peace, Mr. Father Rock!

EXCLUSIVE: DOT Secretary Teo 'backs out' from New York City parade

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- Dr. Prospero Lim, president of the New York-based Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc. (PIDCI), confirmed in an exclusive phone interview on May 28 that Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo "has backed out" from the 119th Philippine Independence 27th Annual Parade here on June 4, 2017.
Lim said, "I did not exactly know what happened, but there was an official invitation given to the secretary of the Department of Tourism which was officially received (by the DOT)."
"But she is always welcome to attend on June 4," Lim added. "What I can assure you is that Cesar Montano and the three beauty queens--Miss World 2013 Megan Young, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, and Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa--are coming."
Montano is the chief operating officer of the Tourism Promotions Board, an agency under the DOT.


"If Montano who is only Teo's subordinate is coming, how come the secretary, who is head of the DOT will not?" asked a parade organizer, who refused to be named because she was not authorized to talk about the parade's details.
Teo, who had earlier reportedly expressed "excitement" to attend the biggest parade of Filipino Americans in the United States held every first week of June, could not be reached for comment.
Lim, who is on his second term as PIDCI president, said "I am not aware" if DOT has made any financial commitment to support the parade on Madison Street in Manhattan organized jointly by PIDCI and the Philippine Consulate General in New York headed by Consul General Ma. Theresa B. Dizon-De Vega.
He admitted that "money has always been difficult no matter what we do but the Consulate has been very supportive and helpful and they have been with us."
Dizon-De Vega was expected to come back from the Philippines, where she reportedly met incoming Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.


Lim said PIDCI treasurer, Nora Galeros, was "on leave."
He confirmed there was an ongoing auditing of PIDCI funds saying "it's natural".
PIDCI officer Joecelyn Aligarbes had earlier disclosed the auditing "is still ongoing."
Lim denied they are having financial problems.
PIDCI is an umbrella organization of Filipino American associationns based on the East Coast.
"It is principally dedicated to promoting history, the cultural heritage and traditions of the Filipino people through the celebration of Philippine Independence Day, hence, the name," its website declared.
Lim said: "We are hoping for the best (parade) and I hope it will not rain. Somebody up there has been good to us."

Friday, May 26, 2017

Senior Fil-Am chesser eyes World Open Under1800 title anew

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- "Gusto kong manalo ulit eh (Because I want to win again)," shot Normando “Andy” Bragat Punzalan, a Fil-Am winner of the 7th Annual World Open Chess Under1800, explaining why he kept himself busy practicing in Elmhurst every day since April.
PUNZALAN AND LABAY May 26, 2017 at Elmhurst Park
Punzalan, 73, targets the 45th Annual World Open in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 29-July 4, 2017 where he will play again in Under1800.
If he wins, Punzalan will become the first senior Fil-Am to win four times in different years and categories.
"This is what motivates me," he added. "I want to establish another record."
To rev up for the Philadelphia chessfest, Punzalan has tapped former De La Salle University coach and blitz king Rainer Labay, veteran of the 44th Annual World Open.
He also plans to collaborate with New Jersey-based National Master Mario Rebano and outstanding chess trainer and Mindanao champion Vincent Umayan.


"I have confidence with Labay, Rebano, and Umayan. I have played together with them in strong tournaments in the US," Punzalan explained.
Labay has started revitalizing Punzalan's speed by asking chess players in their watering hole at the "Mansion" on Britton Street in Elmhurst, Queen to spar with the senior chess champion in blitz matches.
"So far so good," enthused Labay, who aired the matches "live" on Facebook. "He beat us all in 5-1 (five minutes for Punzalan and one minute for the Britton players composed of top-rated woodpushers)."
Punzalan plays long game with fellow senior chess players at Elmhurst Park for three hours everyday.

He has tangled with highly-touted Gilbert Gonzales and Bein Villanueva, Camelo "Jun" Galinea,  among other park aficionados.
He is also coordinating with fellow Commercial League Chess campaigner Nonoy Rafael.
"Kailangan ko pa more games and more practice mahaba kasi ang tournament sa World Open (I need to log more games and more practice sessions because the tournament in the World Open is long)," Punzalan stressed. "I am more comfortable training in Labay's camp because they are really good and sincere (to help me in my preparations)."

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Caesar and Christ

He said to them, "Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
-- LUKE 20:25

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- “Caesar and Christ” is Part III of Dr. Will Durant’s monumental survey of world history.
The work on “The Story of Civilization” originated in 1914 w1hen Dr. Durant first began to collect material. Fame–with “The Story of Philosophy” -- lay a dozen years ahead.

More than 20 years later, in 1935, Part I, “Our Oriental Heritage,” was offered to the public. This was followed in 1939 by the second part, “The Life of Greece.” In 1944 came “Caesar and Christ,” the result of 25 years’ preparation and five years’ writing. Like the earlier parts, this volume is an independent self-contained segment of a 10-volume cultural history of civilization.


In this massive book, whose scope and wit recall the golden days of historical writing, Dr. Durant recounts the flaming pageant of the rise of Rome from a crossroads town to world mastery.
He tells of its achievements through two centuries of security and peace, from the Crimea to Gibraltar and from the Euphrates to Hadrian’s Wall, of its spread of classic civilization over the Mediterranean and western European world.

Dr. Durant tells of Rome’s struggle to preserve its ordered realm from a surrounding sea of barbarism and of its long, slow crumbling and final catastrophic collapse into darkness and chaos.


Primarily a cultural history, Caesar and Christ lavishly discusses government, industry, manners, morals, the status of women, law , philosophy, science, literature, religion, and art.
Besides the varied pageant of the Catos, the Scipios, and the Gracchi, of Hannibal, Marius, Sulla, Catiline, Pompey, Caesar, Antony, Cleopatra, and the Emperors, good, bad, and indifferent, we view Cicero (busy in all departments of life), Lucretius, Catullus, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Tacitus, Juvenal, and such cultivators of latterday Hellenism as Plutarch, Lucian, and Marcus Aurelius.
Dr. Durants accompanies us to watch the rise of temples, basilicas, and forums pass a day of games and spectacles at the Flavian amphitheater (correctly nicknamed the Colosseum). Turning to the eastern Mediterrarian, Dr. Durant’s book will make us accompany Christ on his ministry, witness the tragic scenes of the Passion, and sail and walk with Paul on his missionary labors.


The colors darken, Palmyra rises and falls. The Empire attains a new–and spurious–invincibility under Aurelian, declines, and finally stiffens into a bureaucratic mold.
Caesar and Christ contains many parallels to modern history, and Dr. Durant presents them with lucid authority. He believes that a reading of past events should illuminate the present. In the class struggles and jockeying for power that typify Roman history from the Gracchi to Caesar, he finds an analogue to the development of Europe and America from the French Revolution to the present time.
He reminds us that dictators have ever used the same methods. He tells us that the dole was restored to more than a century before Christ and that the first Roman labor union was established about 600 B.C.
We hear of bank failures, pork barrels, depressions, governmental projects and regulations, State Socialism, war-time priority plans, electoral corruption, pressure groups, trade associations, and other phenomena of anciet Rome that might easily fit into front-pages headlines of our own era.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

No to Martial Law in Visayas

"It is impossible for us to break a law. We can only break ourselves against the law."
--Cecile B. DeMille

By Alex P. Vidal

-- Please spare the Visayas.
In his arrival speech in Manila from Russia May 24, President Rodrigo Duterte hinted he might also declare Martial Law in Visayas if the situation warrants.
Duterte's statement came hours after he signed a document in Russia placing the entire Mindanao under Martial Law after a band of terrorists belonging to the Maute Group rolled over Marawi City and killed scores of unarmed civilians and cops and damaged government properties on May 23.
They also hostaged a priest and several others while fleeing from scene of the carnage.
The blitzkrieg caught both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) by surprise.
While many groups, experts, military and civilian leaders supported Mr. Duterte's order in Mindanao, we doubt if he can gather the same sentiments once he includes the Visayas if the Maute Group is not annihilated in Mindanao.


The only time that a terrorist group entered the Visayas area was during the Holy Week in April this year when Abu Sayyaf bandits sneaked into Bohol only to be demolished by the government's superior forces before they could inflict mayhem on civilians and government properties.
There was no need for the President to declare Martial Law to nip Abu Sayyaf in the bud in that bloody raid.
Tourism and economy will be badly affected if Visayas is placed under Martial Law.
All the efforts and sacrifices undertaken by our tourism and economic officials these past months will go to waste once military rule is established in the Visayas albeit temporarily.
The Martial Law in Mindanao is only for 60 days, Mr. Duterte asserted, but it could last until the end of his term as president.


Investors are not comfortable with a military rule. Tourists will shy away from our country in general.
In a language understood by ordinary civilians, Martial Law is synonymous to violence. It also means curtailment of their basic rights.
Authorities will, of course, argue that Martial Law is necessary in order to protect the state; or, the interest of the state will always be paramount over the interest of individuals residing in the state.
If Martial Law is "good" for Mindanao in order to restore peace and order and put to total stop all potential terroristic activities by Maute or any Islamic rebellious group, it may be a bane for Visayas, Luzon and the entire country in general.
Mr. Duterte's national security advisers must evaluate and reevaluate the situation thoroughly before making drastic military decisions for Visayas and Luzon.
Congress must also do its share and utilize its constitutionally-mandated powers to help guide the President on this crucial matter.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A cultured person

The highest possible stage in moral culture
is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts.

- Charles Darwin

NEW YORK CITY -- A cultured, truly educated person is not one who knows as much as is in the encyclopedia, but is one whose knowledge -- great or small -- is in order.
The man with the most efficient education is not the one who knows things; he is the one who knows where to go to find out about them.
I am proud to state that I do not know what selenium is and I do not know the names of the bones of the human body.


Why should I mess my intellect up with this knowledge for which I have no use?
My fight is to keep books out of my library, to keep papers off my desk, to keep new furniture from being brought into the house, and to keep from eating what I cannot digest.
The eternal struggle is against the superfluous. For superfluity kills more people than poverty.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Kindness)

Kindness and a generous spirit go a long way. And a sense of humor. It's like medicine-very healing.

It's not enough that we are kind. Kindness is good but we need to also laugh from time to tome. We must possess a sense of humor so that our partners will not have to talk to the lizards and spiders if we say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing because we are "kind."

Friday, May 19, 2017

'I dedicated my victory to my beloved family'

-Iloilo's Gallon misses Empire State Chess championship by
half point.

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- Another Filipino chess player nearly wrapped up the 35th Empire City Open Under 2100 title missing it by the skin of the teeth in Madison Square Garden here on December 27-29, 2016.
Gallon's treasures--daughters Althea, 3; Kazzandra, 10; and wife Geraldine, 35.
Anthony Gallon, 37, former varsity player of University of San Agustin in Iloilo City, scored five points in a six-round tournament organized by the Continental Chess Association. 
Gallon (2025), a Bible school scholar, registered four wins and two draws. He drew his last match against Ethan Gu, who pocketed the title with 5.5 points.
"I dedicated my second place finish to my beloved family; my wife, Geraldine, and two daughters, Kazzandra and Althea," said Gallon, who also credited FIDE Master Rico Salimbagat "for his moral support."

Anthony Gallon
"The difficulties I encountered in my matches and the sacrifices that I went through were nothing because my family was always on my mind. They kept my hopes alive and they are truly my inspiration," added Gallon, a chef, who places God "at the center of my life."
Gallon's victims were Eric Wu, Kenia Jose Polanco, Aayush Ajith, and Alex Hallenbeck.


Ryan Blackwood was the other player who drew with the Filipino woodpusher, who stayed in Cabuyao, Laguna before flying to New York three years ago.
There were 71 entries in Gallon's category participated by some of the empire's highly-regarded chess titans led by Lev Zilbermintz, Bryan Lawson, Nicholas Cardenas, Joseph Bihlmeyer, Serge Adelson, Harold Scott, George P. Berg, and Chris Brooks.

The Author, Gallon, Cesar Apalla

Another Filipino, David Asuncion Apelo, winner of the 48th Annual Atlantic Open Under 2100 crown in Arlington, Virgina, finished third behind Gu and Gallon with 4.5 points.
Apelo, 58, logged four wins, one loss (against David Sullivan in round one), and one draw (against David Zong in round five).
Gallon and several other Filipino chessers will target the 45th Annual World Open in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 29-July 4, 2017.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Filipino chessers told to 'bring home the lechon'

"I am convinced, the way one plays chess always reflects the player's personality. If something defines his character, then it will also define his way of playing."
--Vladimir Kramnik

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- Some of the strongest chess players in the Philippines today are now based here and are making waves in various tournaments participated by the world's best.
In fact, the Philippines can form two chess teams in the Olympiad from their lineup.

Camelo "Jun" Galinea, godfather and founder of Elmhurst Chess Club in Queens, identified these talented Filipino chessers as FIDE Master Rico Salimbagat and blitz phenom Rainer Labay, National Master Mario Rebano, Anthony Gallon, Vincent Umayan, Bert "Ejhay" Labuac, Albert Riviera, Mike Adarlo, Cesar Apalla, Gilbert Gonzales, Leo Buencocillo, Gerry Gamaro, Gerson Caballero, Manuel Jurado, Jan Vincent, Paragua (brother of GM Mark Paragua).
GM Paragua and GM Oliver Barbosa are also based here as chess lecturers in Manhattan.

NM Mario Rebano
Galinea have egged the Filipinos "to bring home the lechon (roasted pig)" when the 45th Annual World Open unwraps at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Pennsylvania from June 29-July 4, 2017.
"I have not lost hopes on these talented chess players," Galinea said. "Watch them in the World Open as they eat alive some grandmasters."

He and impresario Bien Villanueva are pinning their hopes on Salimbagat, Labay, and Rebano, three of the highest-rated Pinoy woodpushers who will play in the open category against the world's most powerful grandmasters.

Salimbagat (FIDE Rating 2269), a former Scout Ranger and 2009 Winter Chessfest champion, was the highest Pinoy finsher in the 2016 World Open won by GM Gabor Papp.
He notched 5 points along with Labay (FIDE Rating 2197), a chess coach and one of the fastest blitz players today in New York, in nine rounds Swiss System.
Galinea and Jurado

Former female Shell champion Precious "Grace" Tambasin will join the other male woodpushers in the Under2200, Under1800, Under16, Under1400, and Under1200 categories.

The event has a $225,000 prize fund unconditionally guaranteed. FIDE norms can also be obtained in Open Section.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (God)

Do not be afraid of tomorrow for God is already there.

God won't be there to babysit us if we act like spoiled brats just because we have been assured of His presence tomorrow. While waiting for tomorrow we must behave, do what is right, and show to God that we are worth His attention and won't abuse His kindness.

'God ended Tongtong's sufferings'

"Farewell, dearest friend, never to see one another any more till at the right hand of Christ."
--Donald Cargill

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- "I cried while seeing him in that very sad state."
Thus was the lamentation made by Block 22 NHA, Mandurriao village chief Ray Rico when he visited childhood friend and former classmate, Dr. Erwin "Tongtong" Plagata, in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Iloilo Mission Hospital in Iloilo City, Philippines May 14.
Dr. Elmer Pedregosa, hospital administrator, confirmed that Plagata, 61, a former city councilor, died of heart attack at around two o'clock in the afternoon on May 17.
"Tongtong was a fighter. He tried to hold on but God ended his pain and sufferings," sobbed Rico, who graduated with Plagata in the Central Philippine University (CPU) high school batch 1973.
He described Plagata as "my childhood buddy" since kindergarten and elementary.
Rico said Plagata's wife, Franzine, and son, Toto Ach-Ach, "lost a loving husband and father."


Rico said the last message he whispered to Plagata was "you can make it, but rest if you must."
The ailing physician extended his right hand for a shake with Rico as their usual gesture, but he had a shortness of breath, recalled the village chief.
"Tongtong nodded. I then asked for his permission to go because I couldn't stand seeing him in that state. Tears were starting to roll down from my eyes," Rico narrated.
Plagata last held the position of senior executive secretary to Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.
He died without clearing his name after he was one of the two former Iloilo city councilors named by President Rodrigo Duterte as alleged protectors of illegal drugs. The other was lawyer Antonio Pesina.
Plagata's shining moments were in the late 90's when he was first elected as city councilor. Aside from being the son of the late charismatic former PNP Colonel Achiles, who himself was a former city councilor, Plagata gave young boys free circumcision in the barangays.
He earned the monicker as "Dr. Paltak". Paltak is Hiligaynon of circumcision.


Plagata hogged newspaper headlines in 1996 when he accidentally hit with a stray bullet Philippine News Agency (PNA) Iloilo employee Virgilio Orquiola on the leg in a night club imbroglio.
He was then Mayor Mansueto Malabor's chief of the task force on anti-drugs, prostitution, and pornography, and was "inspecting " the Anata Night Club on Ledesma-Quezon Sts., City Proper.
Plagata bedgrudged the headline story in our newspaper (Sun.Star Iloilo) where we named him as the "triggerman". He berated our Super Balita reporter Nelson Robles after he was lampooned as "Tong-tong-tong-tong Pakitong-kitong" in a blind item.
He raised his voice when he saw me one morning (I was the editor of Sun Star Iloilo) in the office of the late councilor and then city hall executive assistant German Gonzales.
Plagata also threatened to confiscate copies of Super Balita, Sun Star's sister publication, branding the tabloid as "pornographic."


After years of a turbulent relationship with Plagata, his real person came out sometime in 1998 during the campaign period in the national elections, where he was again a candidate for a local position.
Plagata was guest in a morning candidates debate show aired "live" on ABS-CBN Iloilo where I was one of the moderators.
He gamely accepted the challenge, agreed to participate in the debate, and never cast doubts on my impartiality as a moderator.
After the debate, he volunteered to bring me to my destination in the Atrium. I joined him in his car and we exchanged pleasantries.
On that day, we buried whatever hatchet we had and decided to let bygones be bygones.
Plagata, after all, was human imbued with passion to make friends with former adversaries, and to embrace humility and generosity when no one was watching.
Mary Worthley Montagu once said, "While conscience is our friend, all is at peace; however once it is offended, farewell to a tranquil mind."
Rest in peace, Dr. Paltak. 'Till we meet again.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Bonne décision on Maria

"I've been asked a lot lately if tennis is clean or not. I don't know any more how you judge whether a sport is clean. If one in 100 players is doping, in my eyes that isn't a clean sport."
--Andy Murray

By Alex P. Vidal

I used to write good articles about Maria Sharapova during her halcyon years.
Aside from her beauty (her golden hair is unique, she reminded me of ABBA's Agnetha Faltskog), the Russian tennis queen was the only player in the world to legitimately give the dreaded Williams sisters--Venus and Serena--plenty of trouble in the clay, hard, and grass courts.
I watched her conquests in the Australian Open and in the Wimbledon where she dominated tennis the way Laila Ali ruled women's super middleweight and light heavyweight boxing.
I also used to chronicle the games of the talented Martina Navratilova, Pam Shivers, Steffi Graf, and Martina Hingis. But none of them can match Sharapova, a combination of beauty, brains, and prowess.
I thought Sharapova was a symbol of tennis rennaisance, the sport's "great white hope" despite the presence of Venus and Serena.
But not anymore when Sharapova self-destructed by taking a banned substance.


Thus, we support the decision of French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli to deny Maria Sharapova the wild card entry in the French Open set on May 28.
Bonne decision, Monsieur Giudicelli.
In a "live" broadcast via Facebook, Giudicelli announced May 16: "I'm very sorry for Maria, very sorry for her fans. They might be disappointed; she might be very disappointed. But it's my responsibility, it's my mission, to protect the game and protect the high standards of the game."
He added: "I read the results of several polls and I could see that about two-thirds were in favor of Maria being granted a wild card. Of course I felt some pressure. We did not want to treat Maria Sharapova differently."
"While there can be a wild card for return from injury, there can't be a wild card for return from doping," Giudicelli explained.
In the first place, Sharapova should not have been allowed to play again after serving a 15-month doping ban.


It's a big insult to tennis and to other clean-living tennis stars when Sharapova, the two-time champion at Roland Garros, was given the green signal to the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) last moth after testing positive for the newly banned heart drug meldonium at the Australian Open in January 2016.
The former No. 1-ranked player and one of the world's most recognizable athletes, was given a two-year suspension after testing positive for the banned heart drug meldonium at last year's Australian Open.
Bu the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced the ban on appeal, ruling she bore "less than significant fault" in the case and she could not "be considered to be an intentional doper."
Sharapova had been taking meldonium for many years, but overlooked announcements by WADA that it added the drug to its banned list on Jan. 1, 2016.
A tournament may grant a wild card to any eligible player.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Like shabu, cyber-sex dens are hard to stop

"He who does not prevent a crime when he can, encourages it."
--Lucius Annaeus Seneca

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- The Archimedes of the Philippines' law enforcement has not yet found the leverage to yell "Eureka" in the solution of their campaign not only against illegal drugs, but also against another criminal operation, the cyber-sex den.
Shabu and cyber-sex dens have victimized minors and exploited our women.
Ten months after the Philippine government launched an "all-out" drive versus narcotics, police authorities continued to raid hideouts of notorious drug pushers and seize kilos of shabu.
Those who "engaged lawmen in a shootout" continued to be riddled with bullets and killed on the spot.
"Oplan Tokhang" has not sent shivers down the spine of drug traffickers. Kilos of illegal substance hidden in secret laboratories have not been located and continued to be distributed clandestinely.
Ditto in the crackdown against cyber-sex dens.
Even before President Rodrigo Duterte came, authorities were already arresting cyber-sex den operators in various cities nationwide.


Most arrested cyber-sex den operators were foreigners who are either engaged to local women or staying in the Philippines as temporary visitors.
They usually connived with local partners and have chosen far-flung cities and provinces as their burrows to avoid detection from lawmen.
The case of a 62-year-old Lee David Colglazier, American tourist arrested in Brgy. Taculing, Bacolod City recently after being caught uploading videos of him having sex with different partners, is an example that cyber-sex activities are still very much rampant despite continuous police operations to curve them.
In recent months, another foreigner was nabbed together with his Filipino female live-in partner in Boracay for molesting and torturing minor girls and uploading their videos for their foreign-based clients.
Every now and then, discovery of cyber-sex dens has been dominating the news alternately with raids on lairs of durg traffickers and other minor crimes.
Now that we have a law like the Republic Act 9995, or the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009 that deals with cyber-sex criminals, authorities must continue crack the whip on cyber-sex criminals anywhere in the Philippines.


We were shocked to hear the alleged complaints from some RMN radio netizens that Iloilo City Councilor Joshua Alim "abused his authority" in a recent traffic fracas involving a cabbie in Jaro district.
The unidentified cabbie reportedly nearly hit Alim's car prompting the city alderman to call the cabbie's attention.
Instead of acknowledging his mistake, the cabbie reportedly hollered at Alim.
It was only in the police station where the cabbie was able to know who was the person he had reportedly abused verbally.
Alim reportedly forgave the cabbie and didn't press any complaint. The two settled the row amicably, it was reported.
I don't believe that Alim, a lawyer, would use his authority to put the cabbie in bad light.
I know the city official since way back in the 90's when we were together in media, and he is not the type of person in authority who will throw his weight around.
Alim is one of the coolest public officials who won't even hurt a fly even if he has been insulted. The netizens who lambasted him without basis were wrong.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Can we still forgive Msgr. Tuvilla?

"For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?"
--Bell Hooks

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- Because they are humans, priests and other spiritual leaders will also commit the same mistakes being committed by ordinary faithful.
Like you and me, they also lose their cool; they raise their voice; they drink; they smoke; they gamble; they commit sexual indiscretions, among other "bizarre" sins.
They also violate the 10 Commandments and are required to do the act of contrition after confession.
In other words, they are not saints. And they, too, are answerable to God.
Which explains why some priests have been expelled after having been proven of giving the church gargantuan shame and scandal.
The complaint filed against Msgr. Juanito Tuvilla, Catholic parish priest of Sta. Barbara, Iloilo in the Philippines by the family of a child he allegedly berated inside the church for belting a eulogy song for her late grandmother after the requiem mass on May 11, 2017, is one of the many cases where members of the clergy can be in trouble.
Armando Sondia, the child's uncle and son of the deceased, was reportedly determined to pursue the case against Tuvilla for child abuse aside from the formal complaint they lodged against Tuvilla before Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo.


In fact, Sondia reportedly nearly assaulted the parish priest when he himself lost his cool during a confrontation inside the church.
It was not the first time Tuvilla got entangled in an ugly controversy.
In an article I wrote on August 1, 2014, I asked readers and the Susvilla family of Brgy. Dalid, Sta. Barbara, Iloilo to forgive the senior parish priest after he reportedly grabbed the microphone from a grieving family member and threatened to switch off the church lights when the family "overstayed" inside the church on July 19, 2014.
After three years, Tuvilla was in the news again.
This time, all of those who have been tormented by Tuvilla's "uncouth" behavior appeared to have banded together and are demanding anew that Tuvilla be removed as the town's parish priest.
They recalled Tuvilla's past mistakes and appeared to be saying "enough is enough."
While Archbishop Lagdameo and the church authority review the complaint filed againt Tuvilla, we would like to renew our appeal for those who may have been offended by the priest to again forgive him.


Without prejudice to the result of investigation, it is best to let the process take its course and wait for the verdict on Tuvilla's fate.
While we don't countenance Tuvilla's behavior, we are also looking into possibility that he may be having some complicated personal issues or battling an ailment related to age, which causes him to become mercurial.
If the church hierarchy finds it necessary to "retire" him if it's "too harsh" to expel him, let the chips fall where they may.
Like President Rodrigo Duterte who cusses and changes his mood from time to time, there can be no guarantee that senior priests like Tuvilla will behave according to what his critics would want him to behave.
If his case has become medical or otherwise by nature, let's approach the problem from the spiritual point of view.
I know it's still difficult; it's easier said than done on the part of the child's family, but if we can forgive our enemies, we can also forgive Tuvilla, at least not yet.
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” -- Matthew 6:14-15

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saturday with Demetrio

"A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us."
--John Steinbeck

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- To escape the "lackluster" day-long rainy Saturday (May 13) in the Big Apple, my friend Demetrio and I spent a fruitful day at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.
"The weather forecast says it will rain tomorrow whole day. We need to relax once in a while," volunteered Demetrio, a salesman, while we were killing time and watching chess match in the Queen's Elmhurst Park Friday (May 12) afternoon.
It's not about the trip's "pleasure" why this article was made. It's the accidental journey, the abrupt decision to hit the bus early in the morning and come back in a dreary metropolis at 7:30 in the evening.
More importantly, it's about the lesson and how fruitful was the journey that helped snap the otherwise jaded and stressful week leading to the unplanned state-to-state trip.
"Saturday with Demetrio" was a subtle crash course about healthy living, life after retirement age, how to economize, how to live a simple life, how to deal with man's freakish behaviors, what to eat and what food to avoid in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, why journalists are non-combatants and why they should be spared from violence, why we should regularly take a laboratory test, how to fight gambling addiction, why we should have a regular exercise, and about family.


We paid $13 each for the round-trip in a Chinese-run bus that left Elmhurst Park at 9:17 o'clock Saturday morning.
Two hours later, we arrived in one of the largest and most modern hotel-casinos in the United States, with 364,000 square feet (33,800 square meters) of gambling space located on 240 acres (97 ha) along the banks of the Thames River.
As we disembarked from the bus, hotel staff gave us three certificates each--one for a free buffet meal worth $20 and two for the casino table games worth $25 each. Not bad for a $13 round-trip fare.
We had a meeting of the minds. Our purpose was not to gamble but to "ransack" the salubrious buffet area. We went straight to where the action was: the tsibugan galore.
It's a world-class Seasons Buffet featuring nearly 800 seats for the ultimate dining experience.

There were live action cooking stations with an endless array of scrumptious selections featuring fare from around the world like BBQ St. Louis Ribs, Baked Mini Rigatoni Bolognaise and Stir fried Baby Bok Choy.


Some of the traditional Seasons favorites were Rotisserie Turkey Breast and a new sweet treat Peach Raspberry Trifle.
Demetrio and I immediately "went into action" and availed the buffet room's comfortable and stylish digs.

We had a choice of 106 flavored beverages from the first Coca-Cola Freestyle soda system. Again, not bad for a $13 round-trip fare.
We feasted on Japanese Sushi, suimono soup, wagashi, veggies, fruits, pizzas, Vanilla ice cream with strawberry. We ordered hot tea--black for Demetrio and green for me.
A $5 tip was enough "to make the waitress happy," hissed Demetrio.
When we arrived back in the Big Apple it was around 7:30 in the evening and we parted ways.

Rain hadn't stop until midnight. It was a priceless trip. Worth remembering.
Thank God for the "Saturday with Demetrio." APV.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Eating contest: Hotdog in US, mango in Guimaras

"The travel and tourism industry, it's just a huge part of our economy."
--Karen Hughes

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- Guimaras in the Philippines could get international attention for its unique Mango-Eat-All-You-Can event as part of the 2017 Manggahan Festival launched on May 11.
Americans have been on international cable TV for many years now for their hotdog eating contest in Coney Island that offers huge cash prizes for the winners.
Aside from its famous ice cream, Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York, became a by-word worldwide also because of the annual Nathan Hotdog Eating Contest that has been attracting participants from other parts of the world.
In Guimaras, all that the participants need to do is consume as many mangoes as they can and become celebrities in their own locality.
The Guimaras Mango Growers and Producers Development Cooperative (GMGPDC) has reportedly prepared 10.4 tons or 10,400 kilos of mangoes for the event which unfolded on May 11 until May 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 at the Guimaras Provincial Capitol Grounds in San Miguel, Jordan
Organizers may also invite foreign mango-eaters in their future festivals so they can attract more tourists and further promote Guimaras' No. 1 fruit product now known in America, Europe, and other parts of the world.
Guimaras' groundbreaking style of promoting its mango and tourism industry is expected to help buoy its economy and inspire other provinces in the Philippines.


No earthquake panic in Western Visayas. Let's ignore the earthquake soothsayers who continue to plant fear in the hearts of the Ilonggos after the recent earthquakes in some parts of Luzon and Mindanao
Just because other parts of Luzon were recently rocked by tremors doesn't mean that Visayas will be the next, as what the soothsayers have been spreading via the social media and text messages.
The test of a hypothesis is whether it makes predictions that are borne out.
Unfortunately, geologists do not yet have a clear enough understanding of earthquake phenomena to predict reliably and consistently where and when earthquakes will occur.


A popular security guard of a famous Chinese school in Iloilo City had a near-death brush with heat stroke two weeks ago.
"Maayo lang nahingaw ako dayon sa emergency room (It's good that I was immediately rushed in the emergency room)," the sikyu, who did not want to be named, told a former student he recognized while he was recuperating in the intensive care unit.
The sikyu first experienced a facial droop uneven smile, followed by arm numbness, and arm weakness.
He also had slurred speech, difficulty speaking or understanding. When he realized it's stroke, he acted fast which was the key to treating stroke.
Get will soon, Koroy!
May, by the way, is a Stroke Awareness Month.


If we exercise regularly in a warm climate, it doesn't matter what time we work out, according to Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.Weather it's at the beginning or end of the day, we are likely to see the same strength gains, thanks to our body's response to the consistent conditions...Let us eat more vegetables and fruits and less meat. Let us minimize if not totally stop the wanton slaughter of animals...TO ALL LOVERS OF CIGARETTE: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cigarette smoke contains about 4,000 chemicals. Carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, and nicotine are some of the major components, with lesser amounts of acetone, acetylene, formaldehyde, propane, hydrogine cyanide, toluene, and many others.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Insulting Trenas won't restore Gina to her post

"Any people attempting to govern themselves by laws of their own making, and by officers of their own appointment, are in direct rebellion against the kingdom of God."
--Orson Pratt
By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY --  Only former Iloilo City councilor Nielex "Lex" Tupas himself can confirm or deny persisting reports that he was prompted to relinqish his post as chief operating officer and executive director of the National Youth Commission (NYC) because Pres. Rodrigo Duterte was eyeing the appointment of somebody, a political ally, for the post.
When he was appointed by former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino in 2015, Tupas paved the way for his wife, Dra. Candice to be elected as Iloilo City councilor.
Tupas submitted his "irrevocable" resignation to President Duterte through their chairperson on April 6, according to reports.
The youngest son of the late former Iloilo Gov. Neil Tupas worked at the NYC until May 5, 2017, the report added.
Tupas said he wanted "to spend more time with my family."
Before his NYC, it was reported that he was being groomed to run for vice mayor of Iloilo City.


We understand the revulsion of some fans of rejected Environment Secretary Gina Lopez. Because they admired the firebrand lady so much, they became emotional and didn't spare members of the Commission on Appointments (CA) from their slanderous wrath.
Especially Iloilo City Rep. Jerry P. Trenas, who is one of the 25 CA members.
The 24 others, composed of 13 senators and congressmen, also had their own share of vilification from angry Lopez fans in their respective districts, where the ex-cabinet official also has die-hard followers.
In Iloilo City in the Philippines, critics of Trenas accused him of "siding with the enemies of environment" and "waltzing with the mining executives who have vested interests on mining."
For detractors of Trenas, it was a perfect opportunity to exploit the issue and lash at him without being accused of politicking. They have always been waiting for the Iloilo congressman to slip in the banana peel to marshal their grudges. 


So virulent was the rage that some of them went as far as accusing Trenas, et al of receiving "lobby money" in exchange of helping put away the loquacious Lopez.
The charges were, of course, unfounded and slanderous.
In every issue there are always pros and cons. If Trenas, et al had voted yes for Lopez's confirmation, anti-Lopez groups would have also slammed them.
CA members are always in the precarious situation of "damn if you do, damn if you don't"
Now that President Duterte has made it clear CA members were not motivated by monetary considerations, the scurrilous attacks on Trenas, et al by irate Lopez fans became unnecessary and uncalled for.
They can call the CA members names and question their motives in the most constructive manner, but they can no longer bring back their idol to the DENR post now occupued by Sec. Roy Cimatu.


AN Ilonggo passer in the 2016 bar exams wants to clear his name before May 22 when the new set of lawyers will take oath in Manila after he was reportedly implicated in a cash advance controversy.
"Until now, he has not yet liquidated his cash advances incurred since 2015 when he joined a field trip in Manila," said a source from the accounting office. "He wants to clear his name so that the controversy will not embarrass him in the future."
The new lawyer, a good person and very dedicated to his civil service responsibilities, works as staff in a local government unit office.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The mayor is his brother's keeper

Only younger brothers will understand me. We're following in the footsteps of older brothers. You are looking up to your brother. You want to do the same things. You want to do as good as he and do it even better."
 --Wladimir Klitschko

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- Blood is thicker than water.
Now a full-fledged politician as head of the Kieve City State Administration and mayor of Kieve, Vitali Klitschko might be forced to step on the ring once more to avenge the shocking technical knockout loss of his brother, Wladimir, who was badly butchered by British IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in a double world title tussle at the Wembley Stadium, London on April 29, 2017.
The 11th-round stoppage defeat was an ugly sight and was witnessed by Vitali at ringside.
Wladimir's loss is also Vitali's loss. The mighty brothers have been terrorizing the heavyweight division with total dominance since the retirement of Lennox Lewis.
When his crestfallen brother, nicknamed "Dr. Steelhammer", was being led to his corner after being officially declared as loser by TKO, Vitali's face was gloomy like he was fighting back tears.
Before the referee rescued Wladimir (64 wins, five defeats with 54 KOs), Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) wobbled the knees of the 1996 Olympic super-heavyweight gold medalist with a wicked left uppercut in the chin for a mandatory eight count.


Wladimir pretended he wasn't hurt and moved his body side to side only to be shellacked by Joshua's murderous combinations.
He was never the same again. It was only a matter of time before the once Europe's deadliest Olympic champion would exit the historic arena as a dethroned champion (also at stake were the WBA and IBO baubles).
The signs that Wladimir was fading out were recorded on November 28, 2015 when another Briton Tyson Fury outduked him via unanimous decision in 12 heats before his countrymen in Düsseldorf, Germany.
At 41, Wladimir could be heading for retirement unless there was a clause in the contract that he would face Joshua in a rematch, or unless Vitali, 45, will rise from retirement and enter the picture to fight Joshua.
The mayor Klitschko hasn't fought since disposing of Manuel Charr on a fourth round TKO for the WBC heavyweight title on September 8, 2012 in Moscow, Russia.
Vitali has been known to be "his brother's keeper."
When Wladimir lost by second round TKO to Corrie Sanders for the WBO heavyweight belt on March 8, 2003 in Munich, Germany, Vitali was furious as it interrupted his brother's six-title fight winning streak.
The mayor avenged the defeat via 8th round TKO in Los Angeles, California on April 24, 2004.
Will he fight Joshua next?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

My former heckler, Tito Sotto

"Making people uncomfortable is one of my hobbies. I'm always hoping that half the people get the joke and the other half are the joke."
--Josh Homme

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- The incident occured in the morning of April 2, 2004 while I was being interviewed by GMA-7 in the lobby of the Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center in Iloilo City, Philippines.
The TV crew had been tipped off that I witnessed how then Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP) presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr. or "FPJ" accosted TV reporter Sandra Aguinaldo on stage during a rally in Tigbauan, Iloilo's southern coastal town afternoon on April 1, 2017.
I told the GMA-7 what happened as I saw it:
Aguinaldo was preparing a stand-upper when Poe, who was speaking in front of a crowd, noticed her. He approached Aguinaldo, handed her the microphone, and angrily muttered, "Gusto mo yata mag salita eh (Maybe you would like to talk)."

Unknown to me, Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, FPJ's campaign manager, was listening, his body partly hidden behind a newspaper rack on my left side near the hotel's restaurant.
Suddenly, I heard a male voice protesting, "Hindi totoo 'yan, pare. I was there. Hindi ganon kasama si FPJ (That's not true, buddy. I was there. FPJ is not that bad)."
When I turned my back, I recognized my heckler through his moustache: Sotto.
I brieftly retorted: "I wasn't only there, senator. I saw and heard everything, and I was standing in the middle of FPJ and Aguinaldo."


When the interruption happened, the TV interview was about to be concluded.
The crew then shifted attention to Sotto, who moved closer for the camera, where he belied everything I just mentioned.
It became Sotto's words against my words.
A video taken during the rally in the basketball court of the plaza later showed I was correct. Sotto was wrong. I was even seen comforting the flabbergasted lady reporter from Manila (a fact that escaped Aguinaldo's memory when she failed to mention this during an interview with IBC-12 and Radyo Budyong anchor Leo Dumagat days later).
Because so many people saw my presence during the imbroglio in Tigbauan, I became a recipient of invitations for interview from fellow journalists that very afternoon and during the night time newscast.
First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, whose wife, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, was running against Poe, must've seen the GMA-7 interview in Manila. He contacted Passi City Mayor Jesry Palmares and asked for my number. The rest is history.


I never wrote about Sotto's behavior in that incident, but I critized him eight years later when he plagiarized the ideas of the late US Senator Robert F. Kennedy in a speech he delivered in the Philippine Senate on September 5, 2012.
Sotto's mortal sin in journalism didn't escape the attention of the revered senator's daughter, Kerry Kennedy, then 53, who bewailed Sotto's plagiarism in a formal complaint dated November 9, 2012:
"As President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, I wish to inform you that Senator Vicente C. Sotto III, Majority Leader of the Philippine Senate, flagrantly and deceptively plagiarized Robert Kennedy’s 1966 Day of Affirmation Speech in his remarks to the Philippine Senate on September 5, 2012. Neither Senator Sotto nor anyone associated with him contacted us for permission, and he failed to cite the remarks as those of Robert Kennedy, presenting them instead as his own words."
Sotto was in the news again on May 2, 2017 when he made fun of Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo's status as single but with two children during the Commission on Appointments (CA) hearing.
Because of his penchant to insult people and pass it on as joke to make them laugh, sometimes we suspect that Sotto is a genius disguised as comedian and politician.
Stephen King once said, "A tragedy is a tragedy, and at the bottom, all tragedies are stupid. Give me a choice and I'll take A Midsummer Night's Dream over Hamlet every time. Any fool with steady hands and a working set of lungs can build up a house of cards and then blow it down, but it takes a genius to make people laugh."

'Promdi' power in bar exams

"The power of the lawyer is in the uncertainty of the law."
--Jeremy Bentham

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- The results of the 2016 bar exams showed that law schools outside Imperial Manila are getting better and can no longer be taken granted.
For the first time in history, perennial topnotchers University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, San Beda College, University of Sto. Tomas, Far Eastern University, University of the East, and De La Salle University have failed to dominate the top 10.
The big guns have been overshadowed by the "promdi" or "from the province" law schools led by the University of San Carlos (Cebu), Silliman University (Negros Oriental), University of San Carlos, Andres Bonifacio College (Zamboanga del Norte), University of San Agustin (Iloilo City), Ateneo de Davao University (Davao City), and Northwestern University (Ilocos Norte).
Since the passing rate of 59.06 percent was considered as one of the highest in history, it is believed that most of the 3,747 new lawyers (out of 6,344 examinees) to be sworn in on May 22, 2017 also come from the "promdi" law schools.
When "promdi" parents send their sons and daughters to study law in the future, they will remember the 2016 bar examinations.
They will think that it isn't actually necessary anymore for those aspiring to become lawyers to spend much by enrolling in faraway law schools and renting in expensive apartments because some of the best law schools in the Philippines are outside Metro Manila.


Because of unprecedented level of humidity in the Philippines this summer, Filipinos have been warned to be careful when they spend an extended period of time outside their residences while exposed in the searing heat.
Many deaths have recently been attributed to heat stroke.
Who are prone to heat stroke? According to health experts those who have chronic illnesses like heart disease, obesity, alcoholism, old age, Parkinson’s disease, uncontrolled diabetes, those who use certain medications such as diuretics and antihistamines, and those who use some psychoactive drugs as alcohol and cocaine are prone to heat stroke.
Also known as sunstroke, thermic fever or siriasis, heat stroke occurs when our body’s mechanisms for controlling temperature fail, according to C.Health.
In other words, it’s a life-threatening emergency needing immediate treatment.
“While many people feel sick and faint during heat waves,” it explains, “most of these people are suffering from heat exhaustion, a related condition usually less serious than heat stroke.”


C.Health stresses that the causes of heat stroke is working or exercising in hot conditions or weather without drinking enough fluids.
“You can get heat stroke by not replacing lost fluids over days or weeks, or you can bring it on in a few hours by exercising strenuously on a hot day without drinking plenty of liquids first,” warns C.Health.
Why we need more liquids in the body, especially this summer?
C.Health says liquids help to cool us down by allowing the body to produce sweat.
“However,” it stresses, “liquids are also necessary for bodily functions, such as keeping up blood pressure. You can lose large amounts of body fluid in the form of sweat without noticing any effects, but at a certain point the body will reserve the remaining fluid for vital functions and stop sweating.
“The body’s core temperature then shoots up, and cells start dying. Sweat evaporates more rapidly in dry weather, cooling the body more efficiently than in humid weather.
“When working in humid conditions, the core temperature rises more rapidly. This is why forecasts add a humidity factor or heat index to represent how you will actually feels outdoors.”


Health experts also warn that heavy clothing and some skin conditions can also contribute to the occurrence of heat stroke.
The symptoms of heat stroke are quite different from those of heat exhaustion, C.Health warns further.
A person suffering from heat exhaustion will usually be sweating profusely in an attempt to get rid of excess heat, it explains.
“Someone with heat stroke has stopped sweating, due to a failure in his or her heat control system. High core temperatures damage the internal organs, especially the brain. The fluid loss can also produce dangerously low blood pressure,” C.Health points out.“Most people who are killed by heat stroke die when their heart stops pumping effectively (circulatory failure). Even people who survive are likely to have permanent brain damage if their core temperature has been over 40.6C (105F) for more than an hour or two.”