WELCOME TO MY SITE AND HAVE A GOOD DAY

Welcome to Las Vegas, Nevada- the Gambling Capital of US and the City that never sleeps! So, what has this city have to do with this site. The answer is none. I just love the photo, I took during our vacation to this city a couple of years ago. In this site, you will find articles from my autobiography, global warming, senior citizens issues, tourism, politics in PI, music appreciation and articles about our current experiences as retirees enjoying the "snow bird" lifestyle between US and the Philippines. Your comments will be highly appreciated. Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringement of your copyrights. Cheers!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Three Acts of Kindness from Strangers


The other day was my lucky day. Three events of kindness from strangers made my day.

Every week, my wife( Macrine) and I attend physical therapy so that Macrine's improved her gait in walking and develop muscle flexibility to prevent more falling as a result of her PD. While waiting in the Physical therapy office for our turn, I started coughing because of an itchy throat. I usually carry with me Halls throat lozenges, but that day I forgot. To my surprise, an elderly lady( about my age ) offered me a lozenge, exactly the same brand that I like. I accepted it with out hesitation and give her a million thanks.

After the therapy session, Macrine decided we pass by the grocery store to buy Pastrami and Havarti cheese( our favorite sandwich filling) in the deli section of the Raley store. There was a long line so I hesitated for a few seconds to get a number. A young stranger saw me hesitating and without any hesitation, he got a number and gave it to us. He commented that the line is getting long and we need to get serve fast. I gave him a look of appreciation as he walk away. The guy is Caucasian and must be in his early 30's. I will probably not recognized his face the next time I see him. Any way thanks, young man!

The last act of kindness occurred also on our way to check out from the store. We have less than 20 items. A lady customer ahead of us, asked if we are in a hurry. I said yes, because I was getting hungry and my head was starting to ache. She ask if we want to go ahead of her. I said yes and give her a million thanks and an appreciative smile.



Have you ever experience a similar act of kindness from strangers before? The three act of kindness from complete strangers we will never forget. Will I experience this kindness if we reside in the Philippines. Probably not, specially in Manila or in Makati, but perhaps in the provinces, may be even in Marinduque. Filipinos are noted for cutting in line!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

I Have Mild Food Poisoning, Yesterday


Last night, I was vomiting, was nauseated, no appetite, and had stomach cramps. I vomited all the lunch ( fish and chips)that I have and was feeling slightly dizzy. After throwing up I felt better. I took a cup of tea and went to sleep. This morning, I feel better and am back to my normal activities( writing this post). I believe I know what caused my mild food poisoning experience. The other day, after our trip from the Casino, I took the Fish and Chips that I barely consumed ( my wife and I had another dish that we shared). I placed it the refrigerator as soon as we arrived, but forgot to eat it till the next day. I am lucky my food poisoning symptoms was mild. Because of this experience, I did a little internet search on this subject and here's what I learned.

"Food poisoning is a common, usually mild, but sometimes deadly illness. Typical symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea that occur suddenly (within 48 hours) after consuming a contaminated food or drink. Depending on the contaminant, fever and chills, bloody stools, dehydration, and nervous system damage may follow. These symptoms may affect one person or a group of people who ate the same thing (called an outbreak).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in the United States, 1 in 6 people becomes sick from eating contaminated food. In 2001, the CDC estimated that food poisoning causes about 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and up to 3,000 deaths each year.

Norovirus and salmonella are the most common infectious forms of food-borne illness. Salmonella causes the most deaths followed by Toxoplasma and Listeria. Worldwide, diarrheal illnesses are among the leading causes of death. Travelers to developing countries often encounter food poisoning in the form of traveler's diarrhea or "Montezuma's revenge." Additionally, there are possible new global threats to the world's food supply through terrorist actions using food toxins as weapons.

Increased virulence of known pathogens has caused deadly outbreaks such as the E. Coli STEC outbreak in Germany in 2011".

Reference: http://www.livestrong.com/article/81362-mild-poisoning-symptoms/#

Note: This week Northern California is on triple digits temperature. With this heat, viruses that cause food poisoning grow fast, so food may be easily contaminated. Just be careful, because food poisoning could be deadly.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Time for Some Inspirational Music-The Prayer


I have heard several versions of the Prayer, with Celine Dione, Charlotte Church, Susan Boyle etc...Bot this video of Charice Pempengco(1) with the Canadian Tenors(2) is I would say, one of the best rendition of these very popular piece of music. View it and let me know if you agree or disagree. Just in case you have not heard of Charice and the Canadian Tenors, a brief description is printed below.



(1)Charmaine Clarice Relucio Pempengco
was born on May 10, 1992. She is popularly known by the mononym Charice. She is a Filipina singer who rose to popularity through YouTube. Dubbed by Oprah Winfrey as "the most talented girl in the world", she released her first international studio album Charice in 2010. The album entered the Billboard 200 at number-eight, making Charice the first Asian solo singer in history to land in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 albums chart.

She released the single "Pyramid" which featured singer Iyaz. It is her most successful single to-date, charting within the top 40 in a number of countries, and debuting on The Oprah Winfrey Show where she sang live vocals. Crossing over to acting on television, she joined the cast of TV series Glee as Sunshine Corazon.[4] She has released a new lead single, "Before It Explodes", written by Bruno Mars, from her international sophomore studio album, Infinity. Her latest single "Louder" was written by Andy Thi Hy in 2011. In March 2012, she signed on to be one of the four judges of the Philippine version of The X Factor, which began to air on ABS-CBN in June. She was in the news recently for admitting she is a Lesbian.

(2)The Tenors (formerly known as The Canadian Tenors)
are a vocal quartet (originally a vocal trio) consisting of Remigio Pereira, Victor Micallef, Fraser Walters, and Clifton Murray, with Murray replacing earlier member Jamie McKnight. They perform operatic pop music that is a mixture of classical and pop, featuring songs such as "The Prayer" and Panis Angelicus from the former genre, and Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah from the latter. The venues they have performed in include the Tel Aviv Opera House, and the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. They have also appeared on the 2009 Grey Cup broadcast and on CBC Television’s Holiday Festival of Ice.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Botanical Drugs versus Botanical Dietary Supplements


Do you know the differences between botanical drugs from botanical dietary Supplements? Please read on even if you know the answer.

There are only two botanical drugs approved by FDA as of today. Last January, FDA approved Fulyzaq, the first anti-diarrheal drug for HIV/AIDS patients. Fulyzaq (crofelemer) is only the second botanical drug approved by FDA. The drug is made from the sap of the Croton lechleri plant. It is indicated for the treatment of watery diarrhea due to the secretion of electrolytes and water in the HIV/AIDS patients gastrointestinal tract. FDA reported that a recent clinical trial of 374 HIV-positive patients established the safety and efficacy of the drug. In the study, nearly 18 percent subjects taking Fulyzaq twice daily experienced clinical improvements.

FDA approved the first botanical prescription drug, Veregen, in 2006. VEREGEN® is indicated for the topical treatment of external genital and perianal warts (Condylomata acuminata) in patients 18 years and older. It is formulated as an ointment.
Approval of this first botanical drug came about two years after FDA issued a guidance for the submission of a New Drug Application (NDA) in 2004. Prior to my retirement from FDA, I was a member of a Committee that drafted this guidance.

Two important distinctions between botanical drugs versus supplements are product claims and designated uses. In some cases the formulations of botanical drugs and botanical dietary supplements can be similar, but labeling has to be different.

Moreever, a botanical drug can claim to treat, prevent, cure, mitigate or diagnose a disease, but a supplement cannot. Therefore in order to become a botanical drug, the manufacturer/marketer must obtain pre-market approval from FDA by submitting an IND application, and then move on to the extensive NDA process to confirm safety and efficacy.
(http://theintellectualmigrant.blogspot.com/2011/11/simplified-overview-of-new-drug.html)

In the United States, a dietary supplement is defined under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) as a product that is intended to supplement the diet and contains any of the following dietary ingredients: a vitamin, a mineral, an herb or other botanical (excluding tobacco), an amino acid, a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of any of the above or a substance historically used by humans to supplement the diet.

Furthermore, it must also conform to the following criteria: intended for ingestion in pill, capsule, tablet, powder or liquid form, not represented for use as a conventional food or as the sole item of a meal or diet, and labeled as a "dietary supplement"

Based on the Dietary Supplement Health And Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements as a category of foods, and not as drugs. Therefore, pharmaceutical companies are required to obtain FDA approval, which involves assessing the risks and benefits prior to their entry into the market, dietary supplements do not need to be pre-approved by FDA before they can enter the market. Thus approval of new botanical drugs is a slow and tedious process, whereas dietary supplements are freely available for the consumers.

In September 2012, a report said sales of herbal dietary supplements in the United States rose by 4.5 percent in 2011. That report estimated 2011's U.S. sales as US$5.3 billion, whereas sales of the two botanical drugs approved was poor and sluggish.

I hope more botanical drugs are approved by FDA in the future. Botanical drugs in general have less side effects compared to the synthetic drugs.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Exotic and Bizarre Foods of the Philippines



I would never call the balut bizarre or exotic, since I am a Filipino-American. But if you are not a Filipino, I will not blame you. I have eaten the balut more than a hundred times when I was growing up in the Philippines, numerous coconut-rice cakes, fried crickets, stuffed frogs, cow internal organs, blood pudding but not the coconut and mangrove worms and the chicken intestines.

Balut is very delicious and nutritious and consider a brain food. When I was a student at the University of the Philippines, I will buy 4 baluts and gorged on it before my final examination in Chemistry. I dare you to try one, if perchance you have the chance to visit the Philippines in the future. The segment in the video about the underground river in Palawan is informative. This is an excellent video series by Andrew Zimmern.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Healing Festival of Siquijor Island, Philippines


While I was searching for Herbal Medicine in the Philippines, I accidentally found this video about the Healing Festival in the Island of Siquijor. Do you know where Siquijor is? Siquijor [siki'hor], is an island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region. Its capital is the municipality also named Siquijor. To the northwest of Siquijor are Cebu and Negros, to the northeast is Bohol and to the south, across the Bohol Sea, is the island of Mindanao.



Siquijor is the third smallest province in the country, in terms of population as well as land area (after Camiguin and Batanes). For a time it was part of Negros Oriental. During my teenager years, it was still a part of Negros Oriental, but I have already heard that is an island for witchcraft, magic and the prowess of the local medicine men and women. My interest in Siquijor Island have always been in my mind since my teenager days. The following video is a must view if you are interested in healing and alternative medicines practices in the Philippines.



Thousands of tourists and visitors flocked to the mystical island of SIQUIJOR for the annual healing festival held at Bandilaan Mountain View Park. This province has become known worldwide as the center that promotes natural healing. Tree bark, roots, herbs, dirt, insects and other 'secret' ingredients are thrown into a large cauldron filled with coconut oil. It is believed that supernatural forces roam the earth and share their healing powers to those who seek their assistance. Some sorcerers concoct 'love potions' or make amulets that are know to make their owners invisible! The videographer have personally witnessed and videotaped four healings and cures right before his eyes.! Thank you, Mr. videographer for info@globalvideoprotv.com for this excellent and informative video.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Herbal Medicine of the Philippines


Herbal Medicine in the Philippines is one of several scientific subjects also very closed to my heart. Thus in both of my undergraduate and graduate degrees, my minor subject was in natural products chemistry but my major subject was Analytical Chemistry. In FDA I was involved in the various committees promulgating requirements for the approval of botanical drugs.(http://pu.blish.us/article/585/a-brief-overview-of-new-drugs-development-in-the-united-states#).

As a tropical country the Philippines is a good and an abundant source of plants with medical benefits. Regulation of these products are under the guidance of the Philippines Department of Health (DOH).

The following are the ten Medicinal Plants in the Philippines endorsed by the Department of Health:

1. Akapulko (Cassia alata) a medicinal plant called "ringworm bush or schrub" and "acapulco" in English, this Philippine herbal medicine is used to treat tinea infections, insect bites, ringworms, eczema, scabies and itchiness.

2. Ampalaya (Momordica charantia) Common names include "bitter melon " or "bitter gourd " in English. This Philippine herbal medicine has been found to be effective in the treatment of diabetes (diabetes mellitus), hemofrhoids, coughs, burns and scalds, and being studied for anti-cancer properties.

3. Bawang (Allium sativum) Common name in english is "Garlic". Bawang is a used in Philippine herbal medicine to treat infection with antibacterial, antiinflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-hypertensive properties. It is widely used to reduce cholesterol level in blood.

4. Bayabas (Psidium guajava) - "Guava" in English. A Philippine herbal medicine used as antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, antioxidant hepatoprotective, anti-allergy, antimicrobial, anti-plasmodial, anti-cough, antidiabetic, and antigenotoxic in folkloric medicine.

5. Lagundi (Vitex negundo) - known as "5-leaved chaste tree" in english is used in Philippine herbal medicine to treat cough, colds and fever. It is also used as a relief for asthma & pharyngitis, rheumatism, dyspepsia, boils, and diarrhea.

6. Niyog-niyogan (Quisqualis indica L.) - is a vine known as "Chinese honey suckle". This Philippine herbal medicine is used to eliminate intestinal parasites.

7. Sambong (Blumea balsamifera)- English name: "Ngai camphor or Blumea camphor" is a Philippine herbal medicine used to treat kidney stones, wounds and cuts, rheumatism, anti-diarrhea, anti spasms, colds and coughs and hypertension

8. Tsaang Gubat (Ehretia microphylla Lam.) - English :"Wild tea" is a Philippine herbal medicine taken as tea to treat skin allergies including eczema, scabies and itchiness wounds in child birth

9. Ulasimang Bato | Pansit-Pansitan (Peperomia pellucida) is a Phillipine herbal medicine known for its effectivity in treating arthritis and gout.

10.Yerba Buena (Clinopodium douglasii) - commonly known as Peppermint, is used in Philippine herbal medicine as analgesic to relive body aches and pain due to rheumatism and gout. It is also used to treat coughs, colds and insect bites

Types of herbal medicine

Medicinal plants can be used by anyone, for example as part of a salad, an herbal tea or supplement. Many herbalists, both professional and amateur, often grow or wildcraft their own herbs. Making your own herbal medicine preparation is not only fun, but can be cost-effective. In using the above mentioned herbal medicines, some may require some degree of skill, you have to use your own judgement if you decide to use one. Below is a list of general ways on how to prepare your own herbal medicine. The list is not all inclusive and you have to see individual articles for the herb you use so that you will know how to prepare them.

Herbal teas: There are two methods of making herbal teas, infusion and decoction. Infusion is steeping lighter parts of the plant (leaves, flowers, light stems) in boiled water for several minutes. Decoction is boiling tougher parts, such as roots or bark for a longer period of time. Herbal teas are often used as a home remedy, and as an alternative to tea and coffee.

As a general rule unless recommended by a herbalist, Prepare 1 teaspoon of dried herb for every 1 cup of water. Let it steep in boiling water for 10 to 20 minutes. Strain the herbs out and drink 3 to 4 times a day.

Herbal tinctures: Steeping a medicinal plant in alcohol extracts the alcohol-soluble principles into a liquid form that can be stored for long periods. Herbalists may mix several herbal tinctures to form an individualized prescription for each patient. Plant tinctures are also the basis for many homeopathic medicines.

To prepare your herbal tincture you will need:

8 ounces of finely cut dried herbs,
1 large glass jar that can hold 4 cups of liquid
2 cups of vodka

Instructions:: Put the dried herb into a large, glass jar and pour in equal amount of liquid, making sure the herbs are completely covered (this is very important). Store the jar in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks, preferably 4. Make sure to shake the mixture every day. When ready to use, filter the mixture using a cheesecloth bag, coffee filter, or fine cloth, capturing the tincture liquid below in another container. Store the tincture in clean, dark glass containers, out of the sun. If stored properly the tincture will be preserved for two or more years. Vinegar tinctures should be refrigerated.

Note: A drop of tincture is equal to 1 tsp of herb juice.

For Vinegar Tinctures, use 1 ounce of herb per 5 ounces of vinegar.

Fluid extracts: Fluid extracts are stronger than herbal tinctures, and can be made with alcohol or glycerin.

Herbal poultices: Poultices are a solid, vegetable fat based mixture used externally. They have the shortest life span of any herbal remedy and must be made fresh for every use.

Powdered herbs and tablets: Herbs that are dried and (sometimes) certain parts are separated out then diced to powder fine consistency. Powered matter can then be compressed or put in an empty pill coating to form a tablet

Herbal creams and ointments: An ointment usually is mixed with beeswax (or something similar) to make it more applicable to outside the body, such as on a cut or scrape.

Essential oils: Extraction of volatile liquid plant materials and other aromatic compounds from plants gives essential oils. These plant oils may be used internally in some forms of herbal medicine as well as in aromatherapy and generally for their perfume, although their medicinal use as a natural treatment (alternative medicine) has proved highly efficacious in the treatment of headache and muscle pain, joint pain and certain skin diseases

Herbal supplements: Herbal supplements tend to be commercial products in tablet or capsule form manufactured and marketed by the health food industry for sale in retail outlets to the general public, although there are some types that are sold only to healthcare practitioners for prescription. Herbal supplements are often standardized to contain stated levels of active phytochemicals. Some herbalists may not agree with the standardization of active ingredients, preferring instead to use the whole plant.

Source: www.medicalhealthguide.com/philippinesherbalmedicine.htm

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Unusual Spike in the Number of Page Views in this Blog



The last couple of days, four of my blogs, http://lifeinus1960present.blogspot.com, http://theintellectualmigrant.blogspot.com, http://marinduqueawaitsyou.blogspot.com and http://marinduquemyislandparadise.blogspot.com showed an unusual spike in the number of page views. The average page view per day of the four blogs vary from 100 to 200 page views. In the last couple of days the page views jumped to about 1200 to 2500 page views per day. The audience came from Germany.

Should I worry about this or should I be happy about it. The spike in the page views did have a slight effect on my Adsense earnings. How how I wish it had more effect. It did not affect the neocounter in the number of visitors that day.

Is this spike in page views real or is it an artificial spike cause by a robot or malware in Germany. I hope someone could give me an explanation. If you are a blogger have you experience this incident? All my other six blogs were not affected by this spike, only the four sites I listed above.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Time for Some Meditative Music-Prayer of St. Francis


There are numerous arrangements of the song, Prayer of St. Francis. The one below is by Ryan Cayabyab and is one of my favorite arrangement.



Prayer of St. Francis
Sebastian Temple

Verse 1:
Lord, Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord,
And where there's doubt, true faith in you.

Verse 2:
Lord,Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there's despair in life, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness only light,
And where there's sadness ever joy.

Refrain:
Oh Master, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console.
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love with all my soul.

Verse 3:
Make me a channel of your peace.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
In giving of ourselves that we receive,
And in dying that we're born to eternal life.



Friday, June 21, 2013

Dinah Katague's Pottery Project


The following is an article about my oldest daughter hobby of "neriage" printed in the Contra Costa Times. Have you heard of the word "neriage"?

Walnut Creek artist says more to clay art than meets the eye By Janice De Jesus contracostatimes.com
Clay artist Dinah Katague, of Walnut Creek, displays some of bowls she has made at the Civic Arts. Eight years ago, Dinah Katague came to know her new Walnut Creek home at the same time she rediscovered a passion with clay art. The Civic Arts Education Clay Arts Guild she joined was her home away from home. "I didn't know anyone in the neighborhood so I thought, this is my time for myself," said Katague. "I thought it was a good way to meet new people."

While she dabbled in sculptures by hand in high school and using the pottery wheel in college, Katague took a long break from clay. But when she embraced the art again eight years ago, she took the art on full force, adopting a technique of staining clay with different colors, layering it and then throwing it all together. Called "neriage," the technique -- first used in ancient Egypt and perfected in early modern Japan -- has given Katague's bowls and vases new life. She and her fellow artists will be displaying work at a garden-themed Clay Arts Guild Spring Sale Friday through Sunday. The garden-art-themed show will feature several artists' work, including planters and wall pots with live plants as well as wall art, wind chimes, bird feeders and houses, fountains, garden sculpture and garden lights.

Pottery, sculpture and dinnerware will also be available, both hand built and wheel-thrown pieces. "I call it my hurricane effect," Katague said of the neriage technique. "I guess I'm in my 'chaos period.' " Still, it is a period where the artist said she feels the calmest. "I notice when I'm throwing clay on the wheel, it's much easier to get into that zone," she said. "I look forward to doing this Wednesdays and Sundays."

Earlier on in her pottery life, the second year she learned how to throw that perfect pot, she remembers sitting at the wheel during open studio feeling so new and inexperienced, she said. "I overworked my pot and one side collapsed," she said. "I was just really mentally and emotionally defeated. At that moment, I was wondering if this pottery thing was a good idea for a hobby. Then a really nice woman came over to me and said, 'Oh, we can fix that.' She proceeded to bend in the other sides to match, added a few little knobs of clay and the once 'destroyed' pot became a beautiful artistic bowl. She looked at me and said, 'Dinah, in art there are no mistakes, just artistic opportunities.' " Since then, Katague has tried to live life with that philosophy learned in pottery class.

The artist credits teacher Lynne Meade for introducing neriage to her work. "A while back I did a one-day demonstration of inlaid colored clay for Dinah's class," Meade said. "Since then she has taken the technique and made amazing progress with it. She's taken it to new places despite technical difficulties and challenges. "She has persevered with her vision even when it seemed too difficult, Meade added. "That, to me, is the mark of a good artist and a great student -- when you give them a tiny seed and they nurture it into a blossoming tree. As a teacher, it is what you hope for and wait for. When you see it, it's always gratifying."

I am proud of your accomplishments, my beloved daughter!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

FDA Apporved New Drugs for 2012


As a retired FDA employee formerly involved in the approval of new drugs, approval of new drugs by the FDA is a subject still close to my heart. Last year ( 2012) had been a very busy year for FDA. More than 200 new drugs in 26 therapeutic areas were approved. The following is a list from www.centerwatch.com for your reading pleasure and information. Consult your physician, if you think one of these new drugs will have more benefits than risks ( side effects) in the treatment of your malady.

1.Cardiology/Vascular Diseases

Eliquis (apixaban); Bristol-Myers Squibb; For the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism resulting from nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, Approved December 2012

Juxtapid (lomitapide); Aegerion Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, Approved December of 2012

Vascepa (icosapent ethyl); Amarin Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia, Approved July of 2012

2. Dermatology

Erivedge (vismodegib); Genentech; For the treatment of basal cell carcinoma, Approved January 2012

Horizant (gabapentin enacarbil); GlaxoSmithKline; For the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia, Approved June 2012

Picato (ingenol mebutate) gel; LEO Pharma; For the treatment of actinic keratosis, Approved January 2012

Sklice (ivermectin) lotion; Sanofi Pasteur; For the treatment of head lice, Approved February 2012

3. Endocrinology

Belviq (lorcaserin hydrochloride); Arena Pharmaceuticals; For the chronic management of weight loss, Approved June 2012

Bio-T-Gel (testosterone gel); Teva Pharmaceutical; For the treatment of hypogonadism, Approved February 2012

Cometriq (cabozantinib); Exelixis; For the treatment of metastatic medullary thyroid cancer, Approved November 2012

Elelyso (taliglucerase alfa); Pfizer; For the treatment of Gaucher disease, Approved May 2012

Jentadueto (linagliptin plus metformin hydrochloride); Eli Lilly; For the treatment of type II diabetes, Approved February 2012

Korlym (mifepristone); Corcept Therapeutics; For the control of hyperglycemia in adults with endogenous Cushing’s syndrome, Approved February 2012

Lucentis (ranibizumab injection); Genentech; For the treatment of diabetic macular edema, Approved August 2012

Qsymia (phentermine + topiramate extended-release); Vivus; For the treatment of chronic weight management, Approved July 2012

Signifor (pasireotide diaspartate); Novartis; For the treatment of Cushing's disease, Approved December of 2012

Ultresa (pancrelipase) delayed-release capsules; Aptalis Pharma; For the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency due to cystic fibrosis or other conditions, Approved March 2012

Viokace (pancrelipase) tablets; Aptalis Pharma; For the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency due to chronic pancreatitis or pancreatectomy, Approved March 2012

4. Family Medicine

Abraxane (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension); Celgene; For the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, Approved October 2012

Afinitor (everolimus); Novartis; For the treatment of renal angiomyolipoma associated with tuberous sclerosis complex, Approved April 2012

Afinitor (everolimus); Novartis; For the treatment of hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer, Approved July 2012

Aubagio (teriflunomide); Sanofi Aventis; For the treatment of multiple sclerosis, Approved September 2012

Cometriq (cabozantinib); Exelixis; For the treatment of metastatic medullary thyroid cancer, Approved November 2012

Cystaran (cysteamine hydrochloride); Sigma Tau Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of corneal cystine crystal accumulation due to cystinosis, Approved October 2012

Dymista (azelastine hydrochloride and fluticasone propionate); Meda Pharmaceuticals Inc.; For the relief of symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis, Approved May 2012

Elelyso (taliglucerase alfa); Pfizer; For the treatment of Gaucher disease, Approved May 2012

Erivedge (vismodegib); Genentech; For the treatment of basal cell carcinoma, Approved January 2012

Fycompa (perampanel); Eisai; For the treatment of partial-onset seizures with or without secondarily generalized seizures, Approved October 2012

Horizant (gabapentin enacarbil); GlaxoSmithKline; For the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia, Approved June 2012

Inlyta (axitinib); Pfizer; For the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma, Approved January 2012

Jentadueto (linagliptin plus metformin hydrochloride); Eli Lilly; For the treatment of type II diabetes, Approved February 2012

Jetrea (ocriplasmin); Thrombogenics; For the treatment of symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion, Approved October 2012

Korlym (mifepristone); Corcept Therapeutics; For the control of hyperglycemia in adults with endogenous Cushing’s syndrome, Approved February 2012

Kyprolis (carfilzomib); Onyx Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of multiple myeloma, Approved July 2012

Linzess (linaclotide); Forest Labs and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and chronic idiopathic constipation, Approved August 2012

Lucentis (ranibizumab injection); Genentech; For the treatment of diabetic macular edema, Approved August 2012

Lyrica (pregabalin); Pfizer; For the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury, Approved June 2012

Myrbetriq (mirabegron); Astellas Pharma US, Inc.; For the treatment of overactive bladder, Approved June 2012

Natazia (estradiol valerate and estradiol valerate/dienogest); Bayer; For the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding, Approved March 2012

Neupro (Rotigotine Transdermal System); UCB; For the treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome, Approved April 2012

Omontys (peginesatide); Affymax; For the treatment of anemia due to chronic kidney disease, Approved March 2012

Oxtellar XR (oxcarbazepine extended release); Supernus Pharmaceuticals; For the adjunctive therapy of partial seizures in adults and in children 6 years to 17 years of age, Approved October 2012

Perjeta (pertuzumab); Genentech; For the first-line treatment of HER2+ metastatic breast cancer, Approved June 2012

Picato (ingenol mebutate) gel; LEO Pharma; For the treatment of actinic keratosis, Approved January 2012

Qnasl (beclomethasone dipropionate) nasal aerosol; Teva Pharmaceutical; For the treatment of seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis, Approved March 2012

Quillivant XR (methylphenidate hydrochloride); NextWave Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Approved September 2012

Rayos (prednisone) delayed-release tablets; Horizon Pharma; For the treatment of certain inflammatory diseases, including arthritis, COPD, asthma and psoriatic conditions, Approved July of 2012

Sklice (ivermectin) lotion; Sanofi Pasteur; For the treatment of head lice, Approved February 2012

Stendra (avanafil); Vivus; For the treatment of erectile dysfunction, Approved April 2012

Stivarga (regorafenib); Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of previously treated patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, Approved September 2012

Stribild (elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate); Gilead; For the treatment of HIV-1 infection, Approved August 2012

Subsys (fentanyl sublingual spray); Insys Therapeutics; For the treatment of breakthrough cancer pain, Approved January of 2012

Surfaxin (lucinactant); Discovery Laboratories; For the treatment of respiratory distress syndrome in premature infants, Approved March 2012

Tudorza Pressair (aclidinium bromide inhalation powder); Forest Laboratories; For the maintenance treatment of bronchospasm associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Approved July 2012

Viokace (pancrelipase) tablets; Aptalis Pharma; For the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency due to chronic pancreatitis or pancreatectomy, Approved March 2012

Voraxaze (glucarpidase); BTG International; For the treatment of toxic plasma methotrexate concentrations in patients with impaired renal function, Approved January 2012

Xeljanz (tofacitinib); Pfizer; For the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis, Approved November 2012

Xtandi (enzalutamide); Medivation; For the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, Approved August 2012

Zaltrap (ziv-aflibercept); Sanofi-aventis; For the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer, Approved August 2012

Zioptan (tafluprost ophthalmic solution); Merck; For the treatment of elevated intraocular pressure, Approved February 2012

5. Gastroenterology

Elelyso (taliglucerase alfa); Pfizer; For the treatment of Gaucher disease, Approved May 2012

Fulyzaq (crofelemer); Salix Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of non-infectious diarrhea in adults with HIV/AIDS, Approved December 2012

Gattex (teduglutide); NPS Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of short bowel syndrome, Approved December 2012

Linzess (linaclotide); Forest Labs and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and chronic idiopathic constipation, Approved August 2012

Stivarga (regorafenib); Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of previously treated patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, Approved September 2012

Ultresa (pancrelipase) delayed-release capsules; Aptalis Pharma; For the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency due to cystic fibrosis or other conditions, Approved March 2012

Viokace (pancrelipase) tablets; Aptalis Pharma; For the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency due to chronic pancreatitis or pancreatectomy, Approved March 2012

Xtandi (enzalutamide); Medivation; For the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, Approved August 2012

Zaltrap (ziv-aflibercept); Sanofi-aventis; For the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer, Approved August 2012

6. Genetic Disease

Elelyso (taliglucerase alfa); Pfizer; For the treatment of Gaucher disease, Approved May 2012

Fycompa (perampanel); Eisai; For the treatment of partial-onset seizures with or without secondarily generalized seizures, Approved October 2012

Juxtapid (lomitapide); Aegerion Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, Approved December of 2012

Kalydeco (ivacaftor); Vertex Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of cystic fibrosis with the G551D mutation in the CFTR gene, Approved January of 2012

Oxtellar XR (oxcarbazepine extended release); Supernus Pharmaceuticals; For the adjunctive therapy of partial seizures in adults and in children 6 years to 17 years of age, Approved October 2012

Ultresa (pancrelipase) delayed-release capsules; Aptalis Pharma; For the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency due to cystic fibrosis or other conditions, Approved March 2012

7. Hematology

Bosulif (bosutinib); Pfizer; For the treatment of Ph+ chronic myelogenous leukemia, Approved September 2012

Elelyso (taliglucerase alfa); Pfizer; For the treatment of Gaucher disease, Approved May 2012

Iclusig (ponatinib); Ariad Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia and Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Approved December 2012

Kyprolis (carfilzomib); Onyx Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of multiple myeloma, Approved July 2012

Marqibo (vinCRIStine sulfate LIPOSOME injection); Talon Therapeutics; For the treatment of Ph- acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Approved August 2012

Neutroval (tbo-filgrastim); Teva Pharmaceutical; For the reduction in the duration of severe chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, Approved August 2012

Omontys (peginesatide); Affymax; For the treatment of anemia due to chronic kidney disease, Approved March 2012

Synribo (omacetaxine mepesuccinate); Teva Pharmaceutical; For the treatment of chronic or accelerated phase chronic myeloid leukemia, Approved October 2012

8. Hepatology (Liver, Pancreatic, Gall Bladder)

Inlyta (axitinib); Pfizer; For the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma, Approved January 2012

Kalydeco (ivacaftor); Vertex Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of cystic fibrosis with the G551D mutation in the CFTR gene, Approved January of 2012

Ultresa (pancrelipase) delayed-release capsules; Aptalis Pharma; For the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency due to cystic fibrosis or other conditions, Approved March 2012

Viokace (pancrelipase) tablets; Aptalis Pharma; For the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency due to chronic pancreatitis or pancreatectomy, Approved March 2012

9. Immunology

Flucelvax, Influenza Virus Vaccine; Novartis; For the treatment of influenza virus subtypes A and type B, Approved November 2012

Fulyzaq (crofelemer); Salix Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of non-infectious diarrhea in adults with HIV/AIDS, Approved December 2012

Horizant (gabapentin enacarbil); GlaxoSmithKline; For the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia, Approved June 2012

Qnasl (beclomethasone dipropionate) nasal aerosol; Teva Pharmaceutical; For the treatment of seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis, Approved March 2012

Rayos (prednisone) delayed-release tablets; Horizon Pharma; For the treatment of certain inflammatory diseases, including arthritis, COPD, asthma and psoriatic conditions, Approved July of 2012

Stribild (elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate); Gilead; For the treatment of HIV-1 infection, Approved August 2012

Tudorza Pressair (aclidinium bromide inhalation powder); Forest Laboratories; For the maintenance treatment of bronchospasm associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Approved July 2012

10. Infections and Infectious Diseases

Abthrax (raxibacumab); GlaxoSmithKline; For the treatment and prevention of anthrax, Approved December of 2012

Afinitor (everolimus); Novartis; For the treatment of renal angiomyolipoma associated with tuberous sclerosis complex, Approved April 2012

Cystaran (cysteamine hydrochloride); Sigma Tau Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of corneal cystine crystal accumulation due to cystinosis, Approved October 2012

Dymista (azelastine hydrochloride and fluticasone propionate); Meda Pharmaceuticals Inc.; For the relief of symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis, Approved May 2012

Flucelvax, Influenza Virus Vaccine; Novartis; For the treatment of influenza virus subtypes A and type B, Approved November 2012

Fulyzaq (crofelemer); Salix Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of non-infectious diarrhea in adults with HIV/AIDS, Approved December 2012

Jetrea (ocriplasmin); Thrombogenics; For the treatment of symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion, Approved October 2012

Linzess (linaclotide); Forest Labs and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and chronic idiopathic constipation, Approved August 2012

Qnasl (beclomethasone dipropionate) nasal aerosol; Teva Pharmaceutical; For the treatment of seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis, Approved March 2012

Sirturo (bedaquiline); Janssen Therapeutics; For the treatment of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, Approved December 2012

Sklice (ivermectin) lotion; Sanofi Pasteur; For the treatment of head lice, Approved February 2012

Stribild (elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate); Gilead; For the treatment of HIV-1 infection, Approved August 2012

Tudorza Pressair (aclidinium bromide inhalation powder); Forest Laboratories; For the maintenance treatment of bronchospasm associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Approved July 2012

11. Musculoskeletal

Aubagio (teriflunomide); Sanofi Aventis; For the treatment of multiple sclerosis, Approved September 2012

Elelyso (taliglucerase alfa); Pfizer; For the treatment of Gaucher disease, Approved May 2012

Lyrica (pregabalin); Pfizer; For the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury, Approved June 2012

Myrbetriq (mirabegron); Astellas Pharma US, Inc.; For the treatment of overactive bladder, Approved June 2012

Neupro (Rotigotine Transdermal System); UCB; For the treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome, Approved April 2012

Rayos (prednisone) delayed-release tablets; Horizon Pharma; For the treatment of certain inflammatory diseases, including arthritis, COPD, asthma and psoriatic conditions, Approved July of 2012

Stendra (avanafil); Vivus; For the treatment of erectile dysfunction, Approved April 2012

Votrient (pazopanib); GlaxoSmithKline; For the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma, Approved April 2012

Xeljanz (tofacitinib); Pfizer; For the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis, Approved November 2012

12. Nephrology

Afinitor (everolimus); Novartis; For the treatment of renal angiomyolipoma associated with tuberous sclerosis complex, Approved April 2012

Inlyta (axitinib); Pfizer; For the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma, Approved January 2012

Myrbetriq (mirabegron); Astellas Pharma US, Inc.; For the treatment of overactive bladder, Approved June 2012

Omontys (peginesatide); Affymax; For the treatment of anemia due to chronic kidney disease, Approved March 2012

Stendra (avanafil); Vivus; For the treatment of erectile dysfunction, Approved April 2012

Stivarga (regorafenib); Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of previously treated patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, Approved September 2012

Voraxaze (glucarpidase); BTG International; For the treatment of toxic plasma methotrexate concentrations in patients with impaired renal function, Approved January 2012

13. Neurology

Eliquis (apixaban); Bristol-Myers Squibb; For the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism resulting from nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, Approved December 2012

Fycompa (perampanel); Eisai; For the treatment of partial-onset seizures with or without secondarily generalized seizures, Approved October 2012

Horizant (gabapentin enacarbil); GlaxoSmithKline; For the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia, Approved June 2012

Lyrica (pregabalin); Pfizer; For the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury, Approved June 2012

Neupro (Rotigotine Transdermal System); UCB; For the treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome, Approved April 2012

Oxtellar XR (oxcarbazepine extended release); Supernus Pharmaceuticals; For the adjunctive therapy of partial seizures in adults and in children 6 years to 17 years of age, Approved October 2012

Quillivant XR (methylphenidate hydrochloride); NextWave Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Approved September 2012

Subsys (fentanyl sublingual spray); Insys Therapeutics; For the treatment of breakthrough cancer pain, Approved January of 2012

14. Nutrition and Weight Loss

Belviq (lorcaserin hydrochloride); Arena Pharmaceuticals; For the chronic management of weight loss, Approved June 2012

Qsymia (phentermine + topiramate extended-release); Vivus; For the treatment of chronic weight management, Approved July 2012

15. Obstetrics/Gynecology (Women’s Health)

Afinitor (everolimus); Novartis; For the treatment of hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer, Approved July 2012

Natazia (estradiol valerate and estradiol valerate/dienogest); Bayer; For the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding, Approved March 2012

Perjeta (pertuzumab); Genentech; For the first-line treatment of HER2+ metastatic breast cancer, Approved June 2012

16. Oncology

Abraxane (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension); Celgene; For the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, Approved October 2012

Afinitor (everolimus); Novartis; For the treatment of hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer, Approved July 2012

Afinitor (everolimus); Novartis; For the treatment of renal angiomyolipoma associated with tuberous sclerosis complex, Approved April 2012

Bosulif (bosutinib); Pfizer; For the treatment of Ph+ chronic myelogenous leukemia, Approved September 2012

Cometriq (cabozantinib); Exelixis; For the treatment of metastatic medullary thyroid cancer, Approved November 2012

Erivedge (vismodegib); Genentech; For the treatment of basal cell carcinoma, Approved January 2012

Iclusig (ponatinib); Ariad Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia and Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Approved December 2012

Inlyta (axitinib); Pfizer; For the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma, Approved January 2012

Kyprolis (carfilzomib); Onyx Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of multiple myeloma, Approved July 2012

Marqibo (vinCRIStine sulfate LIPOSOME injection); Talon Therapeutics; For the treatment of Ph- acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Approved August 2012

Neutroval (tbo-filgrastim); Teva Pharmaceutical; For the reduction in the duration of severe chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, Approved August 2012

Perjeta (pertuzumab); Genentech; For the first-line treatment of HER2+ metastatic breast cancer, Approved June 2012

Picato (ingenol mebutate) gel; LEO Pharma; For the treatment of actinic keratosis, Approved January 2012

Stivarga (regorafenib); Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of previously treated patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, Approved September 2012

Subsys (fentanyl sublingual spray); Insys Therapeutics; For the treatment of breakthrough cancer pain, Approved January of 2012

Synribo (omacetaxine mepesuccinate); Teva Pharmaceutical; For the treatment of chronic or accelerated phase chronic myeloid leukemia, Approved October 2012

Votrient (pazopanib); GlaxoSmithKline; For the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma, Approved April 2012

Xtandi (enzalutamide); Medivation; For the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, Approved August 2012

Zaltrap (ziv-aflibercept); Sanofi-aventis; For the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer, Approved August 2012

17. Ophthalmology

Cystaran (cysteamine hydrochloride); Sigma Tau Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of corneal cystine crystal accumulation due to cystinosis, Approved October 2012

Jetrea (ocriplasmin); Thrombogenics; For the treatment of symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion, Approved October 2012

Lucentis (ranibizumab injection); Genentech; For the treatment of diabetic macular edema, Approved August 2012

Zioptan (tafluprost ophthalmic solution); Merck; For the treatment of elevated intraocular pressure, Approved February 2012

18. Orthopedics/Orthopedic Surgery

Rayos (prednisone) delayed-release tablets; Horizon Pharma; For the treatment of certain inflammatory diseases, including arthritis, COPD, asthma and psoriatic conditions, Approved July of 2012

19. Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose, Throat)

Dymista (azelastine hydrochloride and fluticasone propionate); Meda Pharmaceuticals Inc.; For the relief of symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis, Approved May 2012

Qnasl (beclomethasone dipropionate) nasal aerosol; Teva Pharmaceutical; For the treatment of seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis, Approved March 2012

20. Pediatrics/Neonatology


Fycompa (perampanel); Eisai; For the treatment of partial-onset seizures with or without secondarily generalized seizures, Approved October 2012

Oxtellar XR (oxcarbazepine extended release); Supernus Pharmaceuticals; For the adjunctive therapy of partial seizures in adults and in children 6 years to 17 years of age, Approved October 2012

Qnasl (beclomethasone dipropionate) nasal aerosol; Teva Pharmaceutical; For the treatment of seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis, Approved March 2012

Quillivant XR (methylphenidate hydrochloride); NextWave Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Approved September 2012

Sklice (ivermectin) lotion; Sanofi Pasteur; For the treatment of head lice, Approved February 2012

Surfaxin (lucinactant); Discovery Laboratories; For the treatment of respiratory distress syndrome in premature infants, Approved March 2012

21. Pharmacology/Toxicology

Voraxaze (glucarpidase); BTG International; For the treatment of toxic plasma methotrexate concentrations in patients with impaired renal function, Approved January 2012

22. Psychiatry/Psychology

Qsymia (phentermine + topiramate extended-release); Vivus; For the treatment of chronic weight management, Approved July 2012

Quillivant XR (methylphenidate hydrochloride); NextWave Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Approved September 2012

23. Pulmonary/Respiratory Diseases

Abraxane (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension); Celgene; For the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, Approved October 2012

Dymista (azelastine hydrochloride and fluticasone propionate); Meda Pharmaceuticals Inc.; For the relief of symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis, Approved May 2012

Kalydeco (ivacaftor); Vertex Pharmaceuticals; For the treatment of cystic fibrosis with the G551D mutation in the CFTR gene, Approved January of 2012

Qnasl (beclomethasone dipropionate) nasal aerosol; Teva Pharmaceutical; For the treatment of seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis, Approved March 2012

Rayos (prednisone) delayed-release tablets; Horizon Pharma; For the treatment of certain inflammatory diseases, including arthritis, COPD, asthma and psoriatic conditions, Approved July of 2012

Sirturo (bedaquiline); Janssen Therapeutics; For the treatment of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, Approved December 2012

Surfaxin (lucinactant); Discovery Laboratories; For the treatment of respiratory distress syndrome in premature infants, Approved March 2012

Tudorza Pressair (aclidinium bromide inhalation powder); Forest Laboratories; For the maintenance treatment of bronchospasm associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Approved July 2012

24. Rheumatology

Rayos (prednisone) delayed-release tablets; Horizon Pharma; For the treatment of certain inflammatory diseases, including arthritis, COPD, asthma and psoriatic conditions, Approved July of 2012

Stendra (avanafil); Vivus; For the treatment of erectile dysfunction, Approved April 2012

Xeljanz (tofacitinib); Pfizer; For the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis, Approved November 2012
Trauma (Emergency, Injury, Surgery)

Lyrica (pregabalin); Pfizer; For the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury, Approved June 2012

25. Urology

Bio-T-Gel (testosterone gel); Teva Pharmaceutical; For the treatment of hypogonadism, Approved February 2012

Myrbetriq (mirabegron); Astellas Pharma US, Inc.; For the treatment of overactive bladder, Approved June 2012

Stendra (avanafil); Vivus; For the treatment of erectile dysfunction, Approved April 2012

Xtandi (enzalutamide); Medivation; For the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, Approved August 2012

26. Vaccines

Flucelvax, Influenza Virus Vaccine; Novartis; For the treatment of influenza virus subtypes A and type B, Approved November 2012

Horizant (gabapentin enacarbil); GlaxoSmithKline; For the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia, Approved June 2012

Personal Note: I was the Chemistry Team Leader in the Division of Anti-Infective Drug Products, New Drug Chemistry, prior to my retirement from FDA in 2002. I was responsible for all the Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control (CMC) requirements for all new drugs prior to approval supervising the work of 5 to 6 Chemistry Reviewers.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Aswang and Dystonia Parkinsonism (Lubag) of Panay Island, Philippines


Halloween is still about 6 months away, but today I am sharing with you a video about witches ( or aswang) of the Philippines. I accidentally found this video while doing a search on parkinsonism. I found that there is a malady endemic to Panay Island associated with witches, because of the muscle twitching. The local residents called it lubag which meant twitching in their dialect. The video indicated that this may be the reason why the province of Capiz, Panay Island is often associated with the home of the aswangs.

So what is lubag? It is a sex linked recessive dystonia parkinsonism (XDP) discovered in Panay Island in the mid 1970's. It is a movement disorder unique to adult Filipino men whose ancestries can be traced to only to Panay Island, Philippines. It is characterized by severe, progressive torsion dystonia, which dominates the first 10 to 15 years of the illness and is associated or replaced by parkinsonian features in the later years of life. This malady was believed to be caused by the aswang or witches of the area.

Have you heard of the word aswang? If you are a Filipino, you know what is an aswang. But for my non-Filipino readers, Aswang (or Asuwang) is a mythical creature in Filipino folklore. The aswang is an inherently evil vampire-like creature and is the subject of a wide variety of myths and stories. Spanish colonists noted that the Aswang was the most feared among the mythical creatures of the Philippines, even in the 16th century.

The myth of the aswang is well known throughout the Philippines, except in the Ilocos region, which is the only region that does not have an equivalent myth. It is especially popular in the Western Visayan regions such as Capiz, Iloilo, Negros, Bohol, Masbate, Aklan, Antique. Other regional names for the aswang include "tik-tik", "wak-wak" and "soc-soc".

I grew up in the Philippines, so my parents had inculcated in my mind as a child to be afraid of witches at night. Today, as an adult residing in the US, the aswang phenomena was just a part of my childhood years and I have outgrown it.

Thanks for the video, Mr Jordan Clark. It is a well done and researched documentary indeed! I hope you enjoy this video as much as I do. It is one of the best documentary I have seen about the aswang of the Philippines.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Memories of a Declamation Contest-Rizal's My Last Farewell


When I was in 6th grade, I participated in a declamation contest sponsored by our school district. There were ten schools in our district from three neighboring towns. If you have not heard of a declamation contest: It is just public speaking contest reciting and acting poetry, a short story or an article. My English teacher was my coach. I remember memorizing for 4 weeks, a short story titled "A Yankee in Love". The short article were filled with American slang words that I could barely understand. The piece was more suited to an older teenager, possibly someone who has already fallen in love. As a result I delivered my declamation piece without any feelings or emotion but with an American accent taught by my coach. But I was surprise to win 5th place ( among 10 contestants). The winner was from the school in the next town and I remember very well her declamation piece was Jose Rizal famous poem, My Last Farewell.( Ultimo Adios in Spanish). Jose Rizal is Philippines number one national hero. December 30 is Rizal Day in the Philippines.

Here's the first and last stanzas of this patriotic poem both in its original Spanish and an English translation. The poem has 14 five-lines stanzas and has been translated into 30 languages. I will never forget this poem as long as I live because of the Declamation Contest that I lost during my elementary school days in the Philippines.

Mi Ultimo Adiós.

Adios, Patria adorada, región del sol querida,
Perla del Mar del Oriente, nuestro perdido Eden!
A darte voy alegre la triste mustia vida,
Y fuera más brillante más fresca, más florida,
Tambien por tí la diera, la diera por tu bien.

Adios, padres y hermanos, trozos del alma mía,
Amigos de la infancia en el perdido hogar,
Dad gracias que descanso del fatigoso día;
Adios, dulce extrangera, mi amiga, mi alegria,
Adios, queridos seres, morir es descansar.

An English Translation

My Final Farewell

Farewell, dear Fatherland, clime of the sun caress’d
Pearl of the Orient seas, our Eden lost!,
Gladly now I go to give thee this faded life’s best,
And were it brighter, fresher, or more blest
Still would I give it thee, nor count the cost.

Farewell to you all, from my soul torn away,
Friends of my childhood in the home dispossessed!
Give thanks that I rest from the wearisome day!
Farewell to thee, too, sweet friend that lightened my way;
Beloved creatures all, farewell! In death there is rest!


The last phrase, "In death there is rest" ( morir es descansar) is appropriate in Rizal's Life. Dr. Jose Rizal who was executed by the Spanish colonizers of the Philippines on December 30, 1896 for his alleged role in the armed revolution against Spain. He was in prison and on the night before his execution, he wrote this poem as a final statement to his fellow Filipino countrymen. Here's a partial video of the poem sang and with English sub titles.


The "Mi Ultimo Adios"(My Last Farewell) was originally written in Spanish. I feel that the English translation loses the depth of emotion Dr. Rizal felt at the time he wrote it. The poem is so inspiring, I do not get tired reading it again and again. How about you?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Bluebirds in My Backyard-Happy Father's Day

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It is already Father's Day in the Philippines. Here in Northern California Fathers Day will be tomorrow. Next week will be the official first day of summer. However, since mid-May this year six Blue Jays have been frolicking with abandon in my backyard. Two are the parent birds and four are the babies. I have been feeding them with bread crumbs and rice morsels, and faithfully replacing their bird bath and water every day.

For the last four years from Spring To Fall I have bluebirds residing in my back yard here in Northern California. They nest and play in the Holly and Pyracantha Shrubs planted as screens for the small swimming pool in my backyard. In addition, this year I have a pair of mallard ducks rollicking in my swimming pool every now and then. The pair of Mallard ducks are tame, so they must be pets of neighbors. They love to swim in the pool and sun bath on the sides.


As far as blue jays: Are blue jays common in my neighborhood ? I know my yard is the only one with four or more residents of blue jays that enjoys the water and food that I give them every day. Sometimes, I forget to give them bread crumbs or rice. They will remind me by their loud chirping, jumping and coming closer to the patio. They are getting so tame, that they stay only a few feet from their feeding station when I go out to give their daily bread crumbs or rice morsel. As soon as I put the food in the feeder, they would happily consume the food and bring some to their nests for their babies. If I gave them too much food, the leftover is welcome by a couple of residents squirrels in the yard.

The blue jays are also a favorite of my grand daughter, Carenna. When she visits us, the first thing she would ask is if she could feed the birds. I consider these birds my pets. We have pets in the Philippines, one dog, two cats and several chickens. But here in Northern California, our only pets are these blue jays that reside in my back yard during spring, summer and fall in this beautiful Northern California neighborhood every year. However,occasionally we house sit for Gimlet, our daughter pet cat. Do you have pets in your back yard?

Oh, Yes, happy fathers day again to all fathers of the world!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Blueberries Pancake for Breakfast



I learned to cook blueberries pancake, yesterday. In my previous posting about cooking, I wrote about my feeling of accomplishment after I cooked my first Filipino dish ( Chicken Tinola with Vegetables) with out the supervision of my wife. Please note that my wife was an excellent cook before her PD diagnosis, so I during the last 55 years of our marriage, I never intrude in her kitchen except to wash dishes.

Yesterday, I cooked my first pancake recipe without my wife supervision by just following the instruction in the box. This event was inspired when I saw fresh blueberries in the Farmer's Market near us. The blueberries are in season now here in Northern California. They look so fresh and yummy, I purchased a pint for less than $3.

I purchased a pancake mix from Raley's ( any brand will do) with an instruction that I followed as follows: Mixed 2 cups pancake mix, 1 cup milk and 2 eggs in a bowl. Mixed thoroughly. Add the pint of washed blueberries. Mixed and scoop a big spoonful or two of the mix in a flat electric skillet or at top of stove at medium heat. Do not forget to add cooking oil in the flat pan. Turn the pancake as soon as one side is brown. In 15 minutes I had 14-6 inches blueberries pancake for my wife and my breakfast. Easy and Fast.

Again, I can not believe, I can cook excellent pancakes without any sweat. Serve with bacon and brewed Baracco coffee from the Philippines. You can add butter or syrup or powdered sugar in your pancake if you wish. I am so proud of my newly discovered talent.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Top 15 Pharmaceutical Firms of the World


Last week, I posted a list of top ten pesticides manufacturer of the world. One of my readers suggested I post a similar list for drug firms having been a former FDA employee. Yes, indeed as former FDA employee involved in the approval of new drugs, the subject of pharmaceutical firms, doing well really interest me. There was a report in Forbes Magazine by Mathew Herper( 2012) listing the top 15 best pharmaceutical firms based on the number of new drugs ( new chemical entity -NCE) approved by FDA. NCE is a drug that contains no active moiety that has been approved by the FDA in any other application submitted under section 505(b) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

The list is as follow with reference noted below.

Table 1:Top 15 Firms Based on New Drugs Approved for the past 15 Years

Company - Number of New Drugs
Novartis 17
Merck&Co 16
J&J 15
Pfizer 14
Wyeth 13
Bristol-Myers 11
Hoffmann/Roche 11
Lilly 11
GlaxoSmithKline 10
Abbott 9
Amgen 9
Pharmacia/Upjohn 9

Source: Bernard Munos, InnoThink Center for Research in Biomedical Innovation


On the other hand the top ten pharmaceutical firms based on Dollars sales for 2012 is as follows:

Table 2: Special Report: Top Pharma Companies by 2012 Revenues-Billion of Dollars *
1 Johnson & Johnson- 67.2
2 Pfizer- 58.9
3 Novartis- 56.7
4 Roche- 47.8
5 Merck- 47.2
6 Sanofi- 46.4
7 GlaxoSmithKline- 39.9
8 Abbott Laboratories/AbbVie- 37.8
9 AstraZeneca - 27.9
10 Bayer HealthCare- 24.3

*Reference: Pfizer - FiercePharma http://www.fiercepharma.com/special-reports/pfizer

Note: Based on the two tables above, four firms are confirmed not only to be innovative but also profitable. The firms are J&J, Novartis, Merck and Pfizer. Wyeth and Roche made it to the top five firms for Table 1 and 2 respectively.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Song for the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus



The above song reminded me of my childhood years, when I hear my Mother sing this song in church and also in our house.

This is a song in honor of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is one of the most popular spanish religious song in the Philippines in the 20th century. It was written by Manuel Bernabe, a Filipino poet who was a master of the Spanish and Latin languages. Bernabe was one of the most gifted luminaries of early 20th century, whose volume of work spanned translations, anthologies, and countless poems. No Mas Amor was originally written as a poem, and then set to music by Simeon Resurreccion.

No mas amor que el Tuyo
O corazon divino,
El pueblo Filipino,
Te da su corazon.
En templos y en hogares,
Te invoque nuestra lengua,
Tu reinaras sin mengua
De Aparri hasta Jolo.

Coro:

Ha tiempo que esperamos
Tu imperio en el Oriente,
La fe de Filipinas
Es como el sol ardiente,
como la roca firme,
Inmensa como el mar.
La iniquidad no puede
Ser de estas islas duena
Que izada en nuestros montes,
Tu celestial ensena,
Las puertas de infierno
No prevaleceran.

There is no greater love than yours

There is no greater love than yours, O Most Sacred Heart,
so we, the Filipino people, offer you our hearts.
In our temples and in our homes, we cry out to you.
May Your kingdom stand firm from Aparri to Jolo.

Chorus:

Long we have hoped for Your empire in the East.
Like the sun burning bright is the faith of the Philippines,
It stands strong like a rock and fills all void like the sea.
Never shall these islands be possessed by sin,
For on our mountains is raised your heavenly sign
And the gates of Hell shall not prevail.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Advantages of Dual Citizenship( PHL and US)


About two years ago, I reacquired my Filipino citizenship. I became a dual citizen of the US and of the Philippines. After a slow two hours and foggy drive from Sacramento to San Francisco, Macrine and I with son David arrived at the Philippine Consulate at Sutter Street at 9:30AM. After one hour I was ready to be sworn in and took the Oath of Allegiance in the presence Of Alfonso A. Ver, Deputy Consul General, Philippine Cosulate, San Francisco, California.

It was a very smooth process although six other Filipino-Americans were also applying along with me at that time. We were out of the consulate by 11AM, plenty of time to celebrate my birthday lunch at Fisherman's. Wharf with Dungeness crabs that was in season at that time.

I applaud the Consulate for the smooth process. The application fee was $50. So why did I apply for dual citizenship. The advantages are as follows:

1. One who re-acquires Filipino citizenship can vote in elections in the Philippines according to Art V, Sec.1 of the Philippine Constitution.

2. One can own real property with no size limitation.

3. One can practice his/her profession provided he/she is licensed or permitted by the Philippine authority to engage in such practice ( RA 9225).

4. One can own and operate a business not generally open to foreigners among others, explorations, public utilities, mass media, cooperatives, and advertising.

5. The citizen's spouse can get an immigrant visa that entitles him/her to permanently reside in the Philippines - come and go, avoid exit clearances, entry fees, etc.

6. Can run or get an appointment to a public office provided that the person renounce his allegiance to the other country.

7. Can apply for Philippine passport and can stay in the Philippines for an unlimited period.

Ownership of real property is a significant advantage, as existing law in the Philippines restricts ownership of real property to its own citizens. Although a foreigner is permitted to take title to a condominium, he/she cannot take title to real property (land and a house). A foreigner can lease land from a Filipino and then take ownership of a house on the land, but this type of transaction is extremely rare in the Philippines. Thus, through re-acquisition of his/her Philippine citizenship, the Filipino is once again able to purchase real property, with no restrictions.

For those wanting to retire to the Philippines, the ability to run a small business or practice one's profession is a strong benefit. Through dual citizenship, retirement in the Philippines can be the start of a new chapter in one's life, as a business person or a professional. Ownership of business as a sole proprietor or as a wholly owned corporation is severely restricted, unless a foreigner makes a significant investment ($200,000 as a minimum).

Without citizenship, a foreigner wishing to operate a business in the Philippines is limited to forming a corporation, of which he/she can only own a 40% interest. As a dual citizen, the Filipino re-acquires the right to wholly own his/her business. Thus, a foreigner married to a Filipino with dual citizenship can take 40% ownership of a business and keep it in the family by his/her dual citizenship spouse taking the remaining 60% ownership.

Other than being in an immigrant status, there is only one way a person carrying a foreign passport can reside in the Philippines for any significant amount of time, and even then it requires the foreigner to be married to a "Balikbayan" (a returning Filipino who was born in the Philippines). A Balikbayan and his/her spouse can visit and reside in the Philippines for up to one year, after which they must exit the country, and then re-enter should they wish to stay another year. This must be repeated on an annual basis

Balikbayan status is not an immigrant status, but rather a special non-immigrant visa status. Yes, one can enter without a visa and stay for a maximum of 21 days, and then get a renewal for another 38 days, followed by two month extensions for about USD $100 per extension, up to a maximum of one year. There is also a special retiree visa program permitting unlimited stay status, but it does not permit real property or business ownership.

There are only two ways for a foreigner to be registered as a non-quota immigrant and those are (i) be the spouse of a Filipino citizen who was never became a citizen of a foreign country, or (ii) be the spouse of a former Filipino citizen who has re-acquired his/her citizenship by obtaining a dual citizenship status. If desired, the door is open after 5 years residency for the foreigner to also obtain dual citizenship.

With a dual citizenship status, the Filipino has the best of both worlds - citizenship in the Philippines and all the rights that attach to that plus citizenship in his/her other country (e.g., Canada or USA) and all the rights that attach to that status.

But there are duties and obligations one must follow: Exercise the right to vote, pay taxes on income earned in the Philippines. Last but not least, support and defend the Constitution of the Philippines and obey its laws. To apply for dual citizenship call the Philippine Consulate nearest to your residence.

References: Will Irwin (http://www.retirementlivinginthephilippines.com)and brochure from the Philippine consulate, San Francisco, California, USA

Personal Note: On item 6 above, there are a number of cases in the last Philippine election that a dual citizen was elected, but has no proof of renouncing US citizenship. The most discussed case here by American-Marinduquenos is the case of Gina Reyes. Although she is a dual citizen and claims she renounced her US citizenship before her filing her certificate of candidacy, she has not shown proof of her renouncing her US citizenship.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

I got a Call from BBC Radio 4-UK


I received the following e-mail two weeks ago. I am a little bit apprehensive to give my phone, but with a chance of publicizing my blogs I gave Melvin my telephone number. Last week* I got a call from Mr Melvin Rickarby. Yes, I wrote a piece on Concierto de Aranjuez- a piece that really touched my heart (http://lifeinus1960present.blogspot.com). Here's the letter from UK.

Dear Mr Katague

I’m making a radio documentary for national radio in the UK. It’s programme about the Concierto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo, and it’s called Soul Music – it features moving personal stories about music which has changed people’s lives in some way.

I read your thoughts about the piece on the blog, and it struck me that you have been truly moved by this piece. Would you have a moment to talk so I could hear a bit more of your story? With a view to recording radio interview if it feels right.

If you have a number to call on, I’ll gladly do that, or I’m on +44 7715 038 511.

Best wishes

Melvin

................

Melvin Rickarby

BBC Radio 4

Bristol

07715 038 511

*Personal Note>: I told Melvin how the music touched my heart: It reminded me of tropical and lush gardens of my home in the Philippines, the year after I left my family for graduate study in US. Listening to the concierto minimized my homesickness during the holiday seasons here in the US( during my graduate student days) while my family was still in the Philippines.

Working Alone versus Supervising the Work of Others



In my 40 years of professional career as a Chemist here in the US, I have experienced working alone as well as supervising the work of others. I have worked in four private firms( for 28 years) and the Federal Government( for 12 years), specifically, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). I enjoyed both types of job situation. I tell you why.

My first job was for Chemagro Corporation in Kansas City, Missouri. The firm was a subsidiary of Bayer Corporation a German conglomerate. My title was “Chemist” and I worked for the Analytical Chemistry Department. The department was composed of about 50 employees half of them were either chemists or biologists. My specific task was to develop analytical methods for the detection of pesticide residues in plant and animal tissues. It was a very challenging job, being my first.

I worked alone with six other bench chemist and we report to a supervisor. I worked in Chemagro for five years. The firm sponsored the change of my student visa to a permanent resident visa, so my family and I can reside in the US permanently. The firm treated their employees very well. On Christmas time, all of us received a 13-month salary bonus. The employees along with their immediate families were also treated to an extravagant Christmas Party in a downtown Kansas City hotel, complete with dancing and free drinks all night. I left Chemagro to move to the West Coast for a milder winter climate as well as a 20% raised in salary. My supervisor wanted to keep me, but the company was only willing to give me a 10% salary raise.

My second industrial job was in the Agricultural Research Division of Shell Development Company in Modesto, California. My job title was “Research Chemist” and again I worked alone with five other chemist reporting to a supervisor who then reported to the head of the Analytical Department. My specific job was again developing analytical methods for detecting pesticide residues in plant and animal tissues. I worked for Shell Development for five years until the company decided to get out of the pesticide business and closed their research facility affecting the job of more than 200 employees.

My third industrial job was with Stauffer Chemical Company, Agricultural Research Division in Richmond, California. My job title was “Senior Research Chemist”. Again I worked alone doing the same project as my previous industrial jobs. I worked for 12years at Stauffer Chemicals with outstanding performance evaluation every year. I reached the position of Principal Research Chemist, the highest position attainable in the company without supervisory duties.

One day my supervisor called and informed me that my job has been terminated and I have one day to vacate the facility. It was the most shocking experience in my life. My feeling of anger, sadness and humiliation had been unforgettable. This incident was the lowest point in my professional career.

Fortunately, due to my networking abilities, I found another job just 4 weeks after my termination from the company. My job was in the same field as my expertise- Analytical Method Development for the Detection of Pesticide Residues in Food, Plants and Animal Tissues.

A friend from church hired me as a “Senior Research Chemist” and as a group leader with two technicians to supervise. My new employer ( Chevron Chemical Company) was also in Richmond, CA so I did not have to relocate my family. This job gave me the introduction and basic knowledge of managing the work of others. I worked for Chevron Company four and a half years, until the company decided to consolidate their research facilities in Texas. By this time after experiencing three lay offs working for a private company, I vowed that I will never worked for a private company.

My new goal was either to work for the state of California or the Federal government in Washington, D.C. Four months after I lost my job in Chevron,I was hired by the Food and Drug Administration(FDA)as a “Review Chemist” in the Fall of 1990. In 1994, I was promoted to “Expert Research Chemist” with a Government Service(GS)-14 rating. My expertise was on Antimalarial and Anti-parasitic drug products.

I worked alone doing Chemistry and Manufacturing reviews of all new drug anti-infective drug products submissions (NDA and IND) from pharmaceutical firms submitted to FDA.

As a reviewer, I have the privilege of working 2 days per week at home. I enjoyed this independence so much that I refused a promotion to team leader once. To be a team leader, you will not be able to work at home. You will be required to attend meetings both in-house and with representatives of Pharmaceutical firms every week. In addition you need to supervise six or more chemistry reviewers. However, the second time another opportunity arise, my co-reviewers and supervisor insisted I should apply since I am the best qualified. I did and in 1997, I became a Chemistry Team Leader. As far as I knew, I was the first Filipino-American to attained this position in the history of FDA.

As team leader, I was responsible for prioritizing, assigning, and assuring the technical accuracy of all chemistry, manufacturing and control issues for all new drug applications submitted to the Division of Anti-Infective Drug Products, Center of New Drugs. It was also my responsibility to give advice, instruct and promote high morale and teamwork in my group.

In 1998, I won the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Award. The citation reads, “For outstanding accomplishments in fostering the objectives of the EEO Program by hiring minorities and encouraging their professional growth while providing excellent leadership.” The award was the result of my hiring the first Black-American chemist in the Division.

I have received numerous certificates of appreciation, awards in leadership and communications, commendation for teamwork and excellence in the accomplishment of the FDA mission. I have also received several letters of appreciation from private industry for my review work.

There is nothing wrong with working alone, if you enjoyed your job. It is even better if you like your immediate supervisor. Working alone develops your skill in goal setting and scheduling. But in general, the monetary rewards is much lower than a person who has supervisory responsibilities.

Managing the works of others is not easy. However, it develops your skill to be more people-oriented and the monetary rewards are great. It is more stressful, more work and responsibility than working alone. But a supervisory job give more personal growth and satisfaction from my personal experience. My work in FDA as a team leader managing the work of six scientists had been the happiest and the most rewarding experience in my life.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Perils of Casino Gambling Addiction


Just recently I was reading an article on gambling addiction written by Daniel Bortz and published in the US News and World Report. In the article he reported that more and more Americans of both genders are seduced by the casinos due to accessibility. This is indeed true based on our personal experiences. Prior to the construction of Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln , California, my wife and I go to the Casinos may be twice a year since we have to drive more than one hour to the nearest Casino from our residence. With the construction of Thunder Valley and Red Hawk, we go to the casinos every week. Both Casinos are only about 30 minutes drive from our residence. Besides gambling we patronized all the restaurants inside the Casino.

I have a relative who was addicted to Poker. His wife divorced him. If you think you are addicted to gambling, call 1-800-555-1212 and asked for the number of Gambler Anonymous (GA). I hope GA can help you.

The report mentioned that about 2 million adults meet the criteria for “pathological gambling or addiction.” and 4 to 6 million are considered “problem gamblers”. This is due to the fact that the number of casinos in the US is growing not including gambling online. Gambling addiction affects both men and women from all socioeconomic classes, according to figures from the National Council on Problem Gambling.

The gap between the number of male and female gambling addicts is closing. As more Indian and local casinos with slot machines are added, the number of female problem gamblers increases throughout the country, says Sam Skolnik, author of "High Stakes: The Rising Cost of America's Gambling Addiction."

However, Skolnik says betting behaviors vary by gender. He says men are more likely to be "action gamblers," meaning they prefer games that involve skill (e.g., poker or blackjack), while women tend to be "escape gamblers," meaning they're more drawn to machines that are based on luck (e.g., slots or bingo) and gamble to distract themselves from problems in their personal life.

Personal Note: My wife and I go to the Casino every week with a definite budget. We also partake the reasonably price food besides playing the slot machines. I believe we are not addicted yet. We used to go to the movies, Broadway plays/musicals and eat at expensive restaurants as part of our monthly entertainment budget. Again, may I reiterate, if you are a gamboholic, call 1-800-555-1212 and asked for the number of GA.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Are Filipinos Hispanic?


Are Filipinos Hispanic? I have been ask this questions a number of times especially during the last census in 2010*. Here are the answers of Dr.Barbara S. Gaerlan, Ph.D., Assistant Director at the UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies.

The answer could be "yes" or "no" or even "yes and no." It is a personal choice on how people wanted to identify themselves. The person's definition of the word "Hispanic" would be crucial in making the decision.

The U.S. Census Bureau defines "Hispanic" as a person of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin. By this they usually mean people whose ancestors originated in Spain and/or Latin American countries that speak Spanish today as their main language.

By this definition, Filipinos would not be Hispanics, since they come from an Asian country, and very few Filipinos today speak Spanish at home.

The most widely-spoken languages are Tagalog-based Filipino and English (the result of a U.S. colonial presence from 1898-1946 and continued close political, economic, migratory, and military ties with the U.S. since 1946). And, in the U.S. Census, Filipinos are included as a separate, Asian American category.

So for people for whom these criteria are most important, and who choose to define Filipino identity by the country's evolution during the 20th century, the answer would be "no."

On the other hand, a different definition of "Hispanic" could yield a different answer. Filipinos can be considered Hispanic if one prioritizes the definition that countries colonized by Spain are "Hispanic" because of that historical influence -- no matter what their location on the globe or current linguistic status.

Spain colonized the Philippines in 1565 and ruled most of the country until 1898 (333 years) -- a longer time period than in some Latin American countries. To research Philippine history during those 333 years, knowledge of Spanish is essential for scholars.

Ethnically, although there was not as much migration to the Philippines from Spain as there was to Latin America, quite a few Filipinos can claim some Spanish ancestry.

Migration to the Philippines from Spain was quite extensive after the Suez Canal opened in 1869. By this definition Filipinos could choose to self-identify as Hispanic.

Even today, the Philippines nationally continues to exhibit numerous traits inherited from Spain: overwhelmingly Roman Catholic religion and related cultural legacies, many Spanish personal names, Spanish musical traditions, many Spanish vocabulary words incorporated into Filipino indigenous languages, etc. People emphasizing this historical and cultural legacy could answer "yes," Filipinos are Hispanic.

Finally, people could acknowledge the complexity of Filipino history and say "yes and no" -- claiming some Hispanic heritage but recognizing that in the Philippines at least, it is receding as time goes by.

I definitely agree with the three answers to the question above. Now, please leave me alone and do not bother me again with the above question.

Read more: http://www.hispanic-culture-online.com/are-filipinos-hispanic.html#ixzz2UtvYuddM. Here's a video for further discussion.


Personal Note: I was born and grew up in the Philippines but immigrated to the US in 1960. However, I have Spanish blood since my great grandfather from my mother side of the family ( Balleza) was from Spain. But I do not consider myself Hispanic or Asian. I identify myself as a Filipino-American. I have also Chinese ancestry as my great great grandfather on my father's side originally came from China. Comments anyone?

Here's a video of an American artist singing Porque in Chavacano- the dialect of Zamboanga with Aria Clemente. Is this song Hispanic enough or not for you?


* In 2010, my daughter Ditas Katague was in-charge of the Census Operation for the State of California.
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