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#10YearChallenge: From cancer survivor to licensed physician

#10YearChallenge: From cancer survivor to licensed physician

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  • Lung cancer survivor shares inspiring journey to become a doctor on his Facebook account
  • Albien Gacias dreamt of becoming a doctor due to his deceased mother and brother
  • After undergoing treatment, Gacias returned back to school and studied medicine in 2013

It appears that the #10YearChallenge on social media did not just inspire netizens to share hilarious throwbacks of themselves but to also share uplifting and inspirational experiences online.

One such story is from this cancer survivor who is now a board passer of the Physicians Licensure Examination.

Albien Emmanuel Gacias, 30, wrote on his Facebook post last March 14: “10 years ago ang pinagdadasal ko lang naman ay ang gumaling, wala akong idea na gagawin mo pala akong instrumento para ako naman ang makapagpagaling ng iba.”

A nursing student at the time, Gacias shared his photo in 2008 when he was diagnosed with malignant germ cell tumor, a kind of lung cancer, at the age of 20. Beside him was a recent photo of him wearing a white coat, after passing the board exam last March 3.

He dedicated his success to his deceased loved ones: his mother who succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 2006, and to his brother, who passed away due to an accident in the same year.

Gacias started dreaming of becoming a doctor due to his mother’s illness, which only heightened when he found out that he would be suffering a different form of the disease later on.

He is the eldest in the family and takes care of his four siblings while his father works abroad. He then stopped studying for two years and underwent lobectomy—a surgery to remove part of his lung. With the help of their relatives, Gacias underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He said he lost all of his hair while being treated.

Ang naisip ko lang po that time ay mag-stop ng studies ko and yung mga brothers ko, kasi I’m the eldest in the family,” he told ABS-CBN News in an online interview.

After undergoing treatment, Gacias returned back to school even while still recovering. He still had regular appointments with the doctor to monitor if there will be a recurrence of the cancer cells.

10 years ago ang pinagdadasal ko lang naman ay ang gumaling, wala akong idea na gagawin mo pala akong instrumento para…

Posted by Albien Emmanuel Gacias on Thursday, March 14, 2019

Yung hair ko tumutubo na ulit siya. I tried to be healthy by playing lawn tennis,” Gacias shared. “At first po sobrang mahirap, pero at the end of the day mas lalo akong sinipag mag-aral kasi mas lalo kong na-value ang life.”

With the help of his uncles and aunts, Gacias was able to study medicine in 2013 at the University of Perpetual Help System in Las Piñas. Now, he is among the 1,209 new doctors in the country.

Sobrang amazing mo Lord! Thank you! I am now licensed to heal,” he proudly declared in his post.

When asked by Rappler for his message to fellow cancer survivors, he said: “Kahit gaano pa kahirap ang mga pinagdaraanan natin, just keep going. And if ever you feel sad, puwede kang umiyak. If napapagod ka, just pause and rest. Basta ‘wag kang susuko at tuloy ang laban. Magtiwala tayo sa plan ni God para sa ‘tin.”

PGI Gacias now signing off! #Grad #TatakJR

Posted by Albien Emmanuel Gacias on Monday, June 25, 2018

The cancer survivor also reminded physicians-to-be to study well and to focus on their goals no matter how trying it becomes.

Magtiwala lang tayo kay Lord…Wag po tayong mawalan ng pag-asa, laban lang everyday,” he said.

The newly licensed doctor’s Facebook post has since gone viral with over 30,000 reactions and 10,000 shares.

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Maria Ressa guffaws at Jay Sonza’s questioning about her citizenship

Maria Ressa guffaws at Jay Sonza’s questioning about her citizenship

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  • Jay Sonza was questioning Ressa’s citizenship as being  Filipino by stating that both her parents were Indonesians
  • His post was given attention by most of the supporters of Maria Ressa in defending that she is truly a Filipino with dual citizenship as an American
  • Ressa had lived in Jakarta for a decade and clarified that she has dual citizenship as an American and a Filipino

Last February 20, Jay Sonza posted on his Twitter account a message questioning the citizenship of the co-founder of Rappler, Maria Ressa, who’s currently facing a cyber-libel case and 5 counts of tax evasion.

Jay Sonza was questioning Ressa’s citizenship of being Filipino by stating that both her parents were Indonesians. And he also wrote that she uses her US passport to gain support from the American Embassy, in declaring that Ressa as their citizen should be given a fair trial for her twin criminal cases here in the Philippines.

READ: “So you were lying?” Leah Navarro and Jay Sonza go toe-to-toe on Twitter

 

His post was given attention by most of the supporters of Maria Ressa in defending that she is truly a Filipino, with dual citizenship as American.

A comment also advised Jay Sonza to give a more reliable source to support his statement.

But there are also those that support Jay Sonza’s Twitter post – believing she is not a Filipino citizen.

On the other side, Maria Ressa also posted a reply when @jamesamparo763 addressed the question in clarifying if her parents were really Indonesians and if she is an American citizen.

This caught her attention and she wrote a post giving a direct answer to the question that her parents were not Indonesians. That it was only her who had lived in Jakarta for a decade and also clarified that she has dual citizenship as an American and Filipino.

The support from the people had just poured out for her statement justifying her citizenship that some even find more sources from the internet to contradict the supporters of Jay Sonza.

Some have speculated that the reason for Jay Sonza questioning her citizenship was to show his support to the Duterte administration.

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Inimical to national interest? Sen. Ping Lacson slams Rappler

Inimical to national interest? Sen. Ping Lacson slams Rappler

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  • Senator Ping Lacson clarified a tweet made by online news site Rappler.com.
  • He said that he never used the phrase “inimical to national interest” at the Senate hearing about NICA’s proposal.

Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson replied to a tweet by online news site Rappler.com saying that he accepted National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA)’s proposal to grant Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to shut down accounts that are “inimical to national interest”.

On November 27, Lacson tweeted saying that he never used the quoted phrase during the hearing and the interviews.

Rappler’s Camilla Elemia clarified that the quoted phrase was actually from the proposal of the NICA, and not his interview.

The senator then said that his qualifying statement “should have been included by Rappler.com to preclude malice'”.

At the Senate hearing regarding the mentioned proposal, Lacson, chair of the public order panel, said that they are studying the input, as well as money transfer services that may be linked to terrorism.

“We must be clear. The state must take immediate action in the exercise of its police powers to address the threat of terrorism.”

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Maria Ressa tags GRP owner a “minor minor blogger”

Maria Ressa tags GRP owner a “minor minor blogger”

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  • Maria Ressa slammed on Ilda Ignacio’s tweet.
  • The Rappler chief executive officer (CEO) called Ignacio a ‘minor blogger’ after saying that the information she stated was wrong.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has granted Rappler‘s Maria Ressa the 2018 Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award on November 20.

But not everyone agrees that Ressa deserved that award. Get Real Philippines‘ owner, Ilda Ignacio, said that the Rappler journalist should have followed the law as soon as she registered the website.

“She violated the law on foreign media ownership and did not pay right taxes.”

She was talking about the Department of Justice indicating Rappler Holdings Corporation of tax evasion as when the site issued their Philippine Depository Receipts (PDRs), as “it gained close to P162.5 million from the transaction, which it failed to declare in its tax return.”

Ressa then slammed Ignacio, saying that the information she tweeted is false and proceeded to call her a “minor minor blogger”

Ignacio replied, calling Ressa an “elitist” and a “credentialist”. She added that the Rappler CEO thought that she’s a propagandist just because she has a different claim regarding the issue.

“I’m a minor minor blogger just because…I have no idea why she thinks I’m a minor minor blogger.” she said.

Netizens have also expressed their disappointment regarding Ressa’s tweet, mentioning her advocacy regarding citizen journalism.

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“Ang tawag dito – arrogant ignorance.” Maria Ressa answers Rappler hater

“Ang tawag dito – arrogant ignorance.” Maria Ressa answers Rappler hater

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  • Maria Ressa fired back at Rappler hater implying that they’re covering the Liberal Party’s early campaigning.
  • She explained that every party gets coverage whenever they announce their political line-up.

Rappler Chief Executive Officer Maria Ressa answered a netizen on Twitter.

Twitter user named Zephan Jade Yaru accused the Liberal Party of early campaigning. The netizen was implying that the media have been accusing the Duterte administration of early campaigning but proceeded to report about the other parties.

Hay Naku RAPPLER @mariaressa @piaranada ehh ano ang tawag nyo sa ginagawa ng LP ngayon?! diba yun “EARLY CAMPAIGNING” . Tama na Halata na masyado! @ABSCBNNews @gmanews @PTVph @cnnphilippines @GMA_NEWStv @News5AKSYON

Ressa clapped back, saying that the tweet is a sample of “arrogant ignorance” as every party gets coverage whenever it unveils its political slate.

Hindi. Ang tawag dito – arrogant ignorance. Every party gets coverage when it unveils its political slate. If you follow earlier, we all covered the admin slate. Just remember the saying: what you post often tells the world exactly how much … or how LITTLE … you actually know

Other Twitter users backed Ressa, saying that Rappler also had coverage for Duterte last election.

Noong last election nga nakarami ng coverage si Duterte kay Rappler, isa rin sila nagpanalo kay Digong after ng election galit na si Pdutz lalo na DDS 

Na- erased sa FB ang mga DDS dito naman sa tweeter gustong mag fake news

 

Early campaigning? I have two words for you: bong go. And don’t make me raise my middle finger.

I know this to be true – since the start of the current administration undoing a lot of misconceptions and miseducation has been the norm here on Twitter. Andami kasi talagang wala nang kwentang mag-isip, bastos to the hilt pa.

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“Kailangan burahin ang lahi nila.” Larry Gadon vetoes past statements that he would kill all MILF

“Kailangan burahin ang lahi nila.” Larry Gadon vetoes past statements that he would kill all MILF

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  • Larry Gadon caught vetoing his past statements.
  • In a 2016 interview, he said that he will kill all members of the MILF, however, in a recent press briefing, he uttered that he never said such words. 

A Facebook page named Kilusan Kontra Katiwalian uploaded a video showing how controversial lawyer and  senatorial aspirant Larry Gadon denied his past statement about the members of the MILF.

In a media conference, a member of the press asked him about the issue regarding his answer during the 2016 elections.

“During the 2016 elections, you drew criticisms because of what you said on TV that the MILF should be killed. Do you still maintain the same [opinions]?”

He expressed that he only referred to the terrorists and never said that he will kill everyone.

“No. Let me explain. In that interview, I said that I’m referring only to the terrorists. And only after 10x of maninikluhod ako sa kanila, makikiusap, luluha ako ng bato, and everything. And hindi ko sinabi, even if you will watch the video again, hindi ko sinabing papatayin ko lahat. Ang sinabi ko lang dun yung mga terorista.”

The video then showed the interview with GMA 7, wherein Gadon said how he would kill all the members of the MILF.

“Lulusubin ko sila roon, dadalhin ko ang buong pwersa ng sandatahang Pilipinas at papatayin ko silang lahat. Susunugin ko yang mga bahay nila. Papatayin ko pati mga ipis at daga.”

The interviewer, Kara David, even asked if he will kill everyone, even children. He immediately answered, “Lahat. Kailangan burahin ang lahi nila. Kahit masunog ang kaluluwa ko sa impyerno, gagawin ko yan.”

When David said that the kids and mothers are harmless, he repeated his answer.

“Kailangan burahin mo yung lahi.” 

https://www.facebook.com/KontraKatiwalian/videos/501466016988004/

Gadon also recently made headlines as he supposedly didn’t have enough photos for the filing of his Certificate of Candidacy and even submitted the wrong form.

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Netizen spreads fake news, assumes Rappler reporters are Leni Robredo followers

Netizen spreads fake news, assumes Rappler reporters are Leni Robredo followers

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  • Supporter of Bongbong Marcos tweeted a photo of a group of journalists and claimed that they are the Vice President’s “troll handlers” planning an aggressive attack.
  • Rappler’s Pia Robles clarified that the people in the photograph are just Rappler reporters having a simple lunch-out.

On August 28, a Rappler journalist slammed a supporter of  former senator Bongbong Marcos for spreading ‘fake news’ against them and Vice President Leni Robredo.

A certain Daniel Panganiban on Twitter called the attention of followers of the President to warn them about an alleged attack of Robredo‘s “troll handlers.”

LEAKED: Meeting daw ng mga “millennials” a.k.a troll handlers ni Vice. Word to me is that they are going to get aggressive in the next weeks. Guess who kung sino kasama nila..

Credits to the owner of the photo.

Rappler’s Malacanang Palace reporter, Pia Ranada-Robles, immediately clarified the misinformation and said that the “troll handlers” do not actually work for the Vice President, but for news site Rappler.

Proof that false information is being spread about Rappler: Some Rappler reporters were just having a working lunch last Friday near our office when someone (likely a fellow diner at the restaurant) took our photo and claimed it was a meeting of VP Robredo’s “troll handlers.”

Robles then added that it was just a simple photo of people having a meal together. She identified the reporters she was with as Patricia Evangelista, Paterno Esmaquel II, Mara Cepeda, and Camille Elemia.

Nothing in the photo supports this claim. It’s really just a photo of people having lunch!

The people in the photo: Reporters Patricia Evangelista, Paterno Esmaquel II, Mara Cepeda, Camille Elemia, me.

The reporter then recalled the time that people spread the fake news of her being the daughter-in-law of journalist Raissa Robles. She also encouraged everyone to spread her clarification to debunk false claims.

This reminds me of that also false info that I am the daughter-in-law of Raissa Robles. Some people actually still believe this lie!

If you’ve seen this lunch photo in your newsfeed, I hope you can share this post of mine to debunk it. Or tell your Facebook friend who shared it that they are just spreading lies. Thank you!

Back on Twitter, a certain Don Kevin Hapal defended the reporters, telling Panganiban that he just made up the context of the photo.

“Guess who kung sino kasama nila”

Lol. No need to guess. Those are all Rappler reporters holding a meeting. Reporters all over the world do that. Taking a picture and lying about its context just to badmouth others is just pathetic.

Panganiban replied that the information was not from him but from a “very reliable friend.”

Don’t even bother commenting if you were not there when they are having that stuff. That is a shamful way to gain credibility. Photo and feedback was not mine but was given by a very reliable friend. KTnxBye crybaby!!

The Twitter user has deleted his controversial tweet.

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Palace welcomes National Press Club remarks; self-rated poverty declines

Palace welcomes National Press Club remarks; self-rated poverty declines

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  • Palace welcomes National Press Club remarks; self-rated poverty declines
  • Roque underscored that the SEC gave Rappler the opportunity to be heard and an ample time to comply with the law.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. on Wednesday, January 17, welcomed the statement of the National Press Club (NPC) saying “the exercise of press freedom and the freedom of expression has not been affected or threatened with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decision on Rappler”.

The SEC revoked Rappler’s certificate of incorporation due to the latter’s violation of the constitutional provision limiting the ownership and management of media entities exclusively to Filipinos.

“So it is not an issue of the freedom of the press. It’s an issue of upholding the constitutional ban on foreign ownership as far as the business of mass media is concerned,” Roque said in a Malacañang press briefing held in San Fernando, La Union.

“You cannot claim a violation of the freedom of the press unless there is a prior restraint or actual censorship,” he added.

Roque underscored that the SEC gave Rappler the opportunity to be heard and an ample time to comply with the law.

“(B)inigyan sila ng pagkakataong marinig, binigyan ng show cause  order, sinabihan na mali iyang iyong PDR (Philippine Depositary Receipts) na nagbibigay ng control sa mga dayuhan. Ang sinagot nila: Walang mali diyan, inaamin namin, walang mali diyan!,” Roque recounted.

In a related development, Roque debunked news reports from Rappler that Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go intervened in the multi-billion-peso frigate procurement project.

The President’s spokesperson narrated a chronology of events to disprove Rappler’s claim, showing all stages in the procurement—from submission of bid documents to declaration of winning bidder—happened during the previous administration.

“Ang tanging ginawa lang po ng administrasyon natin sa pamamagitan ni Secretary Lorenzana iyong Notice of Award na. So bakit pa po manghihimasok ang kahit sino dyan eh done deal na po yan?” Roque said, referring to Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana who issued the Notice of Award to Hyundai Heavy Industries on August 18, 2016.

Under the government procurement law, once a bid has been awarded it is then given a Notice of Award.

‘Self-rated poverty declined 44%’

In the same press briefing, Roque was pleased to announce that fewer and fewer Filipinos were considering themselves poor.

Citing the latest report from the Social Weather Stations (SWS), he said that Filipino families considering themselves ‘mahirap’ or poor dropped to 44 percent in December 2017.

“(Our) campaign to alleviate poverty continues as we strengthen our social protection mechanism which includes conditional cash transfer, social pension for indigent senior citizens, supplementary feeding programs, among others, while expanding opportunities in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries to make food available in every table,” Roque said, assuring everyone that no one will be left behind in the Duterte administration.

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Palace: SEC decision not an attack on press freedom

Palace: SEC decision not an attack on press freedom

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  • Palace: SEC decision not an attack on press freedom
  • Roque said that although the State should not in any way suppress press freedom, it should also not exempt anyone, media outlets included, from complying with the country’s laws.

Malacañang on Tuesday, January 16, decried media firm Rappler’s claim that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decision to revoke its certificate of incorporation over constitutional violations was an attack on press freedom.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. in a Palace press briefing assured that Rappler reporters would not be prevented from exercising their duty as journalists in the light of the SEC decision.

“Truth is the reporter of Rappler is still in our press briefing. She is not being prevented from exercising her profession as a journalist. None of the individuals behind Rappler will be prevented from performing their duties as journalists,” he said.

The Spokesperson clarified that the SEC decision was based on its own findings that Rappler, Inc. and Rappler Holdings Corporation violated the constitutional provision of limiting the ownership of media entities to Filipinos.

Citing the SEC decision, Roque said the news organization issued Philippine Depository Receipts (PDR) in favor of foreign investors.

“You see here an instance where although they are not shareholders, nonetheless, the holders of the PDRs are given the same right to control the company in terms of amending the articles and bylaws,” he explained, adding that the move was a circumvention of the prohibition set by the Constitution.

Secretary Roque also said it was a “great disservice” to SEC Chairperson Teresita Herbosa to assume that she could easily be influenced to come up with a decision contrary to law.

“The SEC is looked upon as one of the most efficient agencies of government. Chairman Herbosa is renowned and respected for [her] dedication to the rule of law and for her consistent stand against corruption in government as well,” he said.

Meanwhile, Roque said that although the State should not in any way suppress press freedom, it should also not exempt anyone, media outlets included, from complying with the country’s laws.

“Particularly when you’re talking of a media outfit in the exercise of a public trust criticizing government officials for violating the Constitution and the laws of the land, I would hope that they would be first and foremost compliant with all constitutional and legal requirements themselves,” Roque said of Rappler.

Palace: $380M PH-ADB loan for Mindanao infra signed

Meanwhile, the Palace announced that the Philippines, through the Department of Finance, signed last week a $380-million loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to fund the Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project (IGCMRSP).

The ADB’s first Mindanao-specific loan in 16 years is by far its biggest infrastructure investment in the Philippines approved in 2017.

The project involves the construction and improvement of road networks and bridges in the island, including the construction of about 280 kilometers of primary, secondary, and tertiary roads in the Zamboanga Peninsula and Tawi-Tawi.

“Modernizing the infrastructure of Mindanao will not only develop and contribute to the growth potentials of the region, but will also help in achieving peace and prosperity in the southern Philippines,” Roque said.

The Palace official also commended the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) for remitting P5.220 billion in 2017 to the Bureau of Treasury (BTr), the highest amount generated since 2012.

The BCDA will allocate its P4.839 billion disposed assets to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program and other beneficiary agencies, Roque cited.

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