Meet Dr Gia Sison, Clinician and CMO of a non-stop telehealth facility in the Philippines #doctors20

How fortunate I am to meet such extraordinary  people, thanks to the intersection of the worlds of digital health and social media; digital health innovators tend to have an active social media life which makes it easier to reach out.

And now, you too can meet the amazing Gia Sison, MD.  Gia Sison will join us in Paris, May 26-27 at Doctors 2.0 & You, where she will speak about her very active experience in a busy telehealth center, in a country sorely lacking in access to care.


Q1. Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your daily life as a clinician and a digital specialist in the Philippines like?
I’m your ordinary doctor with an extraordinary mission as a patient too. I’m a certified workaholic and a passionate advocate of health and social media. My daily life moves around digital health, I head a group of doctors as their Chief Medical Officer running a 24/7 facility for Telehealth services in the Philippines. I see patients during weekends usually Saturdays and I find time to be a brand ambassador of a fitness facility who believes that Exercise is Medicine, so I walk the talk with a simple wearable my Fit Bit and my iWatch as a firm believer of digital health.

Q2. You have a second specificity, as a former cancer patient. Can you tell us how that impacted your professional life after that episode?
Here’s my sentimental take on my whole experience– As a physician I can only hope and pray for the best being aware of the statistics in medicine. As a warrior my faith does not allow any room for doubt, just complete belief that a Higher Power will complete my belief for complete healing and a miracle. As a patient I cannot help but empathize more than others.
Q3. I know as well that you practice « good health habits »…How is that working out?
So far I am putting the health is wealth up into practice walking the talk, literally making time for physical activity doing circuit training after work. Really dead serious about it. I eat moderately though and I am more conscious with what I buy too, no parabens for me.

Q4. We know that bandwidth is an issue in the Philippines, but, besides Facebook, can you tell us which apps you use personally and professionally?
I am a strong Twitter user and my cloud space is probably more than what it can contain. I rely heavily on One Note, my iWatch is overused. I believe Instagram should be used also to promote health but at the same time also contain happy candid moments. I like Figure 1, Doodle, Netflix, Periscope.

Q5. Finally, you’ve never been to Doctors 2.0 & You. But you have gotten a lot of exposure to it online. So, what do you value about this event? What made you want to participate?
The honor of being able to share my own experience in digital health from a Philippine perspective. I value the collaboration in Doctors 2.0 & You and the strong friendships developed just like you and me and the chance to also share a part of me with all of you.

Q6. And please give us a teaser about what you might discuss in Paris, during your talk?
It’s about telehealth in the Philippines being a shy typed culture in innovation, building on empathy-driven questions during phone consults and how we have overcome the hurdles when we first launched it.

You can meet Dr Gia Sison on May 26-27 in Paris at beautiful Cité Universitaire.

Doctors 2.0 & YOU, Together for Digital Health



PH apologizes to South Korea for businessman kidnapped-slay

The Philippine government has issued an open statement apology to South Korea over the dubious kidnap-slay of a South Korean businessman inside the country’s police headquarters.


Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella extend the country’s deep regrets and assured the government will resolve it quickly and bring to justice the culprits behind the death of Jee Ick-Joo.

“We apologize to the South Korean government and people for this irreparable loss but we commit to the full force of the law to ensure that justice is served and not delayed,” Abella said in a Palace news conference.

“To the Korean people, please accept our sincerest and deepest regrets,” he added.

Abella additionally extended the President and the country’s condolence to the family of the killed Korean businessman.

“We wish to take this occasion to express condolences and sympathies of President Rodrigo Duterte and the Filipino people to Mrs. Choi Kyung-jin, the widow of Mr. Jee Ick-joo, the South Korean national who met untimely death while in police custody,” Abella said.

Jee was captured by policemen in his residence in guise of an anti-drug operation last October and was later murdered in Camp Crame. The culprits requested ransom payment from Jee’s family without informing them he was dead.

Malacañang recently vowed that there will be no whitewash or concealing in the examination concerning the kidnapping and murdered of the Korean national by suspected rogue policemen.

Abella said the government does not allow corrupt, abusive and errant policemen who deceive the Philippine National Police (PNP) organization and the people.

Earlier, the President rejected calls the resignation of PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa over the murder of the Korean businessman, proclaiming he continues to trust his top police.

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Duterte in like manner practically cleared Dela Rosa from liability over the incident, saying there was no criminal intention on the part of the PNP chief.

“There are two ways of committing crime under the revised penal code. What are they? Felony, malice or negligence,” he said. “Who would want that to happen inside your camp? No one,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Palace admits that the murdering of the South Korean demonstrates the “depth” of corruption inside government organizations including the PNP.

“Let’s go back to the President’s campaign theme to stop crime, corruption and illegal drugs. And apparently this is particular situation indicates there is truly a depth of corruption within the government system,” Abella said.

On concerns Dela Rosa seems to be untouchable, Abella insisted that the President totally trusts the PNP chief as part of the government group.


Sinulog Festival 2017

Philippines – Cebu is celebrating the yearly Sinulog Festival, held each third Sunday of January.

Street dancing parade in Cebu

The city is the focus of the Sto. Niño Catholic celebrations around the country.

Foreign and local tourists congregate in Cebu City as it holds a rstreet dancing party and also a parade where devotees depict the centuries-old image of the Sto. Niño, an image of the beginning of Christianity in the Philippines, in their performances.

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Cebuanos traditionally shout “Viva Pit Señor!” to praise the child Jesus during the festival.

The event portrays Cebu’s rich culture and religiosity passed from generations to another.


Baby Antonio Primo gets baptized, son of Iya Villania and Drew Arellano

Manila, Philippines – Antonio Primo the son of Iya Villania and Drew Arellano was baptized on Sunday last November 13.


On Instagram, Sid Maderazo a friend of Drew who is a commercial and TV director, shared photos from the happy occasion, held at the Christ The King Church in Quezon City. Sid is one of Primo’s godfathers.

Other celebrities present in the event include Jericho Rosales and wife Kim Jones, Ryan Agoncillo, and TV host Paolo Abrera, who came with wife Suzi.

Drew thanked everyone for being there for his son on this important day.

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“Thank you ninongs, ninangs, friends and family for spending the afternoon with us,” he wrote.

Iya also posted a thank you message.

“Thanks to yesterday’s event, sumobra ako sa asukal at chika at napaos tuloy ako! (had too much sugar, chatting and ended up with a hoarse voice) Thank you to all the ninongs, ninangs, friends and family that spent the afternoon with us .Our boy is lucky to be loved by all of you Thank you Lord for allowing this to all come together for these rookie parents!”

Iya and Drew welcomed Primo last August 30, the couple’s first child who got married last January 2014.


Updates: Miss Universe 2016 in PH

Miss Universe 2015 titleholder Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach has been in the Philippines since last week to celebrate her 27th birthday with her friends and loved ones.


Aside from discussing her week-long celebration, the Filipina beauty queen additionally gave an update on the upcoming Miss Universe 2016 pageant through her latest Facebook Live video.

Last July, Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo affirmed that the prestigious international pageant will be organized in Pia’s “home court” on January 30, 2017.

When asked what her birthday wish was, Pia said, “I’m really hoping and praying that the pageant will be held here and we’re working very hard in making that happen. It’s always been a dream of mine to have the pageant here.”

According to Pia, even Miss Universe Organization’s president Paula Shugart wants the event to be staged in the country.

“It’s always been a dream of hers as well to have the pageant here. It’s kind of like everybody’s dream. We want the pageant to be in the Philippines. We’re waiting, working hard, and making sure everything’s okay. We’d get the approval of everyone so that it can finally happen,” Pia said.

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The Filipina beauty queen added, “I’m keeping my fingers crossed and if that happens, it’s gonna be historical. I may not have had my first walk but I will have my final walk here, at home.”

Before passing on the crown, Pia also plans to go back to her hometown.

“I will make sure, before I pass on my crown, I will go back to Cagayan de Oro and maybe do a quick pass by to Iligan City,” she said.

Starting July, the Department of Tourism has been looking at six possible locations for the pageant—including Cagayan de Oro.

According by Teo, “Kino-consider namin ang Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Boracay, Cebu, Palawan, and obviously, ang headliner would be in Manila.”

The Philippines is home to two different Miss Universe titlists — Gloria Diaz (1969) and Margarita Moran-Floirendo (1973) — and has hosted the coronation twice before, once in 1974 and again in 1994.



Actor Mark Anthony Fernandez arrested for marijuana possession

Actor Mark Anthony Fernandez was arrested for asserted possession of a kilo of marijuana in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Police recovered the illegal substance inside Fernandez’ yellow Ford Mustang after a car chase with authorities from Angeles City Police Station 6.


Chief Insp. Francisco Guevarra Jr. said Fernandez was signaled to stop at a checkpoint along Mc Arthur Hi-way route in Brgy. Virgen Delos Remedios because his car had no front license plate.

After inspection, police found a generally opened blue sack containing a torn plastic with suspected marijuana, but Fernandez sped away.

The actor was arrested in San Fernando City after a car chase with authorities who were forced to shoot at the tires to prevent Fernandez from getting away.

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He was brought to the Angeles City Police Station 6, where he is temporarily detained. Fernandez confessed to utilizing marijuana however said it’s for medical purposes only.

He went through a drug test at the Philippine National Police’s crime laboratory.

He is also scheduled to face inquest proceedings for violating Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Authorities said the actor stayed calm and helpful after the arrest.

Fernandez, son of late actor Rudy Fernandez and actress Alma Moreno, already entered a drug rehabilitation center in 2004.

“We continue to carry out our anti-drug campaign regardless of who will be arrested,” Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, Police Regional Office 3 director, said in a statement. “This only goes to show that, indeed, our all- out war against illegal drugs is not just lip service.”


Duterte’s reasons for allowing Marcos burial

President Rodrigo Duterte repeated his purposes behind permitting late president Ferdinand Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in the midst of opposition from a few groups.

While visiting the wake of soldiers killed in conflict with communist insurgents in Davao City, the President said the late president is qualified for burial at the heroes’ cemetery in Taguig City being a soldier and previous president.

Former first lady Imelda Marcos and her late husband president Ferdinand Marcos

“I will allow Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. He was a soldier. He was there to fight for his country,” he said, and that he will let the Marcos family choose when to bury their dead.

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A report from the Philippine Star said the family plans to bury Marcos on September 18 after he gave the go signal.

Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. explains that the burial of his dad is still in the “planning stage.”

Duterte said that he will fulfill his campaign promise of permitting Marcos’ burial at the Libingan.

The younger Marcos even met Duterte in Davao City around a month after winning the presidential elections.

The remains of Marcos have been lying in his hometown of Batac, Ilocos Norte since his death in 1989 which is open to the public to see.

Different groups demonstrate disapproval to Duterte’s proclamation and spoke to the president to rethink his position.