What you need to know about the smoking ban in the Philippines

On July 23, 2017, the President of the Philippines signed the executive order 26 or the nationwide ban of smoking. It’s a big hell yeah for non-smoker and a big hell no for smokers. 

There are around 16 million  recorded smokers as of 2015 based on the World health organization (WHO) Global adult tobacco survey and are mostly from 15 years above. Aproximately there 6 million tobacco related deaths per year. 

So the big question every smokers are asking is what is covered with the smoking ban. Here are a list of places where smoking you are not allowed light up that cig

  • Goverment facilities
  • Work places
  • Schools
  • Establishments that provide foods and drinks
  • Playground
  • sports centers
  • church grounds
  • hospitals
  •  transportation terminals
  • Markets
  • Resorts
  • Waiting shed
  • Walkways or sidewalks
  • Elevators
  • Stairwells
  • Fire hazard places
  • Public transportation

So is vape part of the smoking ban? Nope it is not. But to be more precise it is not mentioned on the the executive order. I think it should since those bad bous produce more smoke than cigarette. 

Closing note. The ban covers almost every single place that you could think of except for homes. Smokers light it up as much as they want. Also there are designated smoking areas. However there a lot of establishments especially bars that doesn’t have the facility up to the department of health standards. The EO is part of the plans to make the country free of tobacco in the future. It would take a lot of adjustment for smokers but we will get there eventually. 

Are you healthy Mentally? 

I was checking my notification this morning and saw that  somebody liked my previous post.I discovered this blog called New found thinking and the post is about  the writer’s personal experience on anxiety, depression and stress. So two things crossed my mind. 

First Anxiety and depression is so common. Everyone has felt anxious or depressed at one point in their life. Does that mean I have mental issues as well? How would this affect me in the long run? 

Second thought is what is the state of mental health in my country which is the Philippines? I know that mental health is not on a  top priority in the government’s agenda. But how bad is it? 

How do I deal with stress, anxiety and depression
Stress at work is pretty common. If you love your job and not feeling any sort of stress then I envy you. Add that  work stress  with  challenges with  your personal life then anxiety kicks in. If your anxiety worsen then depression is not far off from happening. 

Everybody has bad days or even a bad week? But if you spend your day feeling stress and depressed for a long period of time, then that’s depression. But if you just feel bad for a day and you are able pick up yourself up the quickly  then that’s pretty normal. 

So what do I do when I am down? Instead of worrying I find distractions. I either read a book, watch a movie, listen to music or just play games. I am careful enough to ensure that I am not spending to much time on distraction. At the end of the day you  have to go back and face you problem  because problem would not solve itself for you. 

There is a quote from Albert Einstein that I really like.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”


If you’re angry and had a fight with your partner, a colleague at work or a family member and you’re still angry when you are trying to fix the issue; chances are the fight will worsen instead of getting resolve.So relax then go back to the problem. 

It is always good to find someone to talk to when you are sad or depressed. Having someone to support you would go a long way. 

The state of mental health in the Philippines

I saw this article in today.mims.com about the state of mental health in the Philippines. Here is what I learned: 

  •  Currently there is no law enacted for the national mental health. There were efforts to create mental health law since 1980 but none has been implemented. 
  • Only 5% of the national health budget goes to mental health. The remaining 95% goes to operational costs of medical institution run by the government and personel’s salary. 
  • Mental health related illness is not covered on mental health insurance packages.
  • Sad to say out of 100 million population there are only 700 doctors and 1000 psychiatric nurses. 
  • The said doctors are mostly in private practice and their fees is not affordable for low income earners. 
  • Medical institution are mostly located on the National Capital Region. It is a challenge for patients living  in remote parts of the country access to mental health services. 

Personally I know a couple of people who has mental health issue. My cousin was diagnosed with schizophrenia. A former colleague suffered from depression and committed suicide. There are a few more who  are suffering  from the mental health issues. 
One of the biggest concerns regarding mental health in the Philippines is that people are not accustomed to going to Psychiatrist. People are ashamed to admit that they have a problem and information is not readily available to the public. 

Here are some signs of mental health qissue based on the site mental health America

  • Long period of depression
  • Dramatic changes on the eating and sleeping pattern
  • Always extremely worried and anxious
  • Feeling excessive anger
  • Having delusions and hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Irrational thinking

Visit their site for the complete list of signs of mental health issue. 

The cost of psychiatric check up is not affordable in the Philippines. My colleague at work had her husband visit a psychiatrist and in cost them Php3000 for an 1 hour session. We know that it would take more than 1 session to address a mental health issues. I hope the goverment check the programs that are related to mental health and review the propose mental health law. 

Final thought. Most people downplay the signs. Instead of admitting the they have prolonged depression, they brush it off as simple case of sadness. If you have at least one or more of the signs, have yourself check. It’s better to do something about it now rather than hope that the issue would cure itself in the future. 
What are your thoughts? 

    7 things you should consider before leaving your job

    Everyone gets tired of their job. Some people aim for their dream job or their desired job position but ends up regretting it once they got it. You might have gotten to fight with your boss and pride took over and utter the words most people don’t have the balls to say: I quit! 

    Before you submit your resignation letter, here are some tips that might help you decide whether to quit or stay with your job. 

    1. It’s not about the money

    People are tempted to leave their job because of additional income they are being offered. Don’t let the money be the main motivation for you to quit. Find a job that you love so that you will be motivated to excel. Money will go your way once you are performing well. 

    2. Don’t leave your  job because  your boss is the biggest scumbag in the world. 

    You may hate boss due to so many reasons. You may want to leave because of that but the chance of having a boss that you would eventually hate is unfortunately high. The universe may screw you over and give you a bigger douche of a boss than the one that you currently have. 

    3. Location, location., location

    So you got the dream job that you wanted. The compensation is way better than your current pay. But the commute or amount of time you locate is so taxing that you are trading money for the time for resting or getting some quality zzzzzs. Remember your body needs  to recharge. Treat it as a temple and not an amusement park. 

    4. You are not getting promoted

    If you have been with the company for years and haven’t been promoted you might want to ask yourself if the problem is with the company or the problem is with you. Chance are the problem is with you. Yes office politics is real but if you are that good, you are bound to be promoted. 

    5. Your benefits or incentive has change or worse removed

    You might not be getting the extra cash for performing well. They might have remove your maternity benefit, hazard pay, bonus pay or whatever incentive that they providing. Remember these are variable income. That means that the company has the option to remove it. The only thing that they can not change is your base salary. 

    By the way labor laws may differ in different countries.

    6. Your new job keeps odd hours

    There are companies that offers non-traditionally 8 to 5 shift. Some would ask you to come to work as early as 3 am. The pay of course is much higher than a normal job. Nocturnal people may enjoy this shift since there is no traffic but downside is that it is not that safe to travel. And also your body is programmed to sleep at night. Your body may be able to tolerate that for a couple of years. But you may feel the effects to your body when you grow old. 

    Another downside is that while everybody is sleeping you’re wide awake. And when you are sleeping it is the other way around. That means goodbye social life. The time you spend sleeping in the morning could have been the quality time with your family. 

     Personally I feel better sleeping a few hours a night compared to a whole 8 hours sleep in the morning. 

    7. Are you financially ready? 

    This is very important. Your cash flow will be affected if you don’t plan it right. You might resort to getting a loan or using your credit if you don’t have any savings before leaving your job. Remember the time between your last pay from your old company and your first pay with your new one might take months. So plan ahead. 

    So before you update your resume and give your resignation letter consider all factors first. Check the pros and cons first before you make any decisions. 

    Daddy’s guide when someone has crush on your 7 year old daughter

    How would you react if someone has a crush on your daughter? And how would you react if your daughter is just seven? Holy crap! So before you go bad boys 2 on the kid who has the hots for your little princess, check out this tips
    1. Keep calm bro! 
    Find that inner peace within. If you haven’t found a way to do that before then learn to do in the next 5 seconds. Listen to what she has to say. Get the details. If you react like a hysterical douche bag chances are she won’t open up next time. Best tip shut the hell up! 

    If you want to know effective ways to calm yourself  in 10 seconds click  here

    2. Watch your mouth boy! 

    Don’t go”WTF!” or “who the hell is this kid? “. Ask questions like a concern parent not like a prosecutor trying to make a suspect confess. So ask questions then go back to step 1 and repeat. It is important for your kid to be comfortable enough to tell you every single detail. 

    3. Don’t go giving her advice! 

    Let her come up with what to do next. This does not mean you will let her do what she wants. 

    During my coaching sessions with my one down, it is always vital to agree on an action plan rather than spoon feeding it to them. You have to get their buy in or commitment to the action plan. You can give them all the action plans in the world but it won’t amount to anything if there is no commitment. 

    So going back to your kid, guide her. Don’t tell her to stop talking to the kid because that ain’t going to happen. It’s part of the growing up process of your kid. 

    So I volunteered to pick up my kid from school. I was busy with my phone while waiting for her. When age came out she was accompanied by a male classmate. I had the feeling that this is the same kid she was talking about. I was not angry, I thought it was funny but tried not to smile. I fought the urge to even say anything. When we were alone and on our way home I ask who that person was. And sure enough I was right with my guess. I just brushed it off. The next day I picked her up again. Nobody was accompanying her. I ask her were is your friend. Oh well. She told me that he has a different crush. 

    If your stress, don’t be. Reserve that stress when she hits puberty. Haha! 

    By the way  did you click here on the first part of the post? Link not working? Well… It ain’t broken. No he didn’t. Yes I sure did! There is no way you could calm yourself in 10 seconds. You have to be master Yoda to pull that off. Remember to have a sense of humor and learn how to not take anything serious especially when you’re raising a daughter. 

    Chill and happy parenting! 

    The origin of Ribbon Cutting

    I was on my way to school to drop off my kid this morning when out of no where she suddenly asked “dad will there be a ribbon cutting for our new house?”. The thing about having a curious 7 year old kid, you always have to have an answer. My morning coffee failed to wake me up this morning but her question surely did. 

    My main rule for answering her questions is that if I am at least 60% sure of my answer I’ll answer right away but if I  am not certain I’ll research before doing so. And if  I gave her an incorrect answer I have to correct myself. And even if I already gave her an answer, I will still do some reasearch to give more details. 

    My answer is no. We don’t need a to have a ribbon cutting for the house. Normally there is a cermony for the grand  opening of a building, hospital, school or a business establishment. Did you now that the origin of ribbon cutting originated in Europe and symbolizes a fresh start? This comes from a European wedding ribbon cutting tradition that symbolizes overcoming obstacles or new found freedom since the bride is leaving her maiden life behind. 

    “How about the scissors?” she asked. “what about the scissors?” I replied. “Can I use the scissors that I use in school? she asked. I told her that there ceremonial ribbon cutting scissors for that.” why not?” she asked again. I answered” you need a special scissors since they put it on display for keepsake. I know she was about to ask about what keepsake means. Good thing we are already in her school. I know she has more questions in her mind. I’ll just to wait until her classes end to answer them. 

    Children always has a million questions lined up. Take the time to answer them before they start learning to google things. One day they eventually really on social media or other medium for answers. So enjoy it while you still can.