Category Archives: Patchwork

5 Healthy Habits of Successful Online Learners

I had an online conversation with a parent yesterday. The mother shared her concern about how her child has been skipping meals to fully focus on completing required assessment tasks the school has set. I also had a similar discussion with a cousin who is feeling overwhelmed with the bulk of work the university has sort of dumped on her. Thus, I thought it would help to put together what different institutions have shared so students could stay healthy while adjusting to the learning scheme which is pretty new for the majority. I thank all the pages I linked here as my references to create this short post.

Get enough sleep. This requirement is included in almost all pages that talk about study and healthy habits every student should take heed. I agree with Oxbridge Academy when they stressed how sufficient sleep allows the brain “to assimilate knowledge acquired during the day.” Post University also pointed out the need to reduce exposure to blue light and even recommended the use of traditional alarm clock instead of mobile phones that only tempt users “to browse Instagram [or Facebook] for hours instead of getting much-needed sleep.” In this same vein, Education Corner emphasized how every student should not attempt to cram all of his/her studying into one session. This echoes my previous post on time management. Learners are typically given new sets of assessment tasks to work on every start of the week and deadlines typically set by the end of the same week. This is to help students build a routine so they would not need to wait for teachers to upload new assignments at random hours or remember too many deadlines. Building a study schedule promotes some peace of mind that trickles down to better time management where quality sleep is prioritized.

Eat well. Do we all not get a headache if we keep on working for hours without nibbling on some snacks? Food fuels and nourishes our brain cells. Oxbridge Academy highlighted how small, healthy snacks curb hunger, keep blood sugar stable, and our minds active for longer. Post University also reminded us to avoid processed food. They reiterated that when we increase produce intake we “feel more energetic throughout the day.” I guess it is time for me to prepare more kimchi.

Stay hydrated. I used to have a water alarm. I found myself snoozing it instead of leaving my seat to grab a glass of water. Now, I set my mobile phone to alarm every 60 minutes. How is this different from the water alarm? (1) I manually reset the timer to sound again after 60 minutes. (2) I check my games to earn “coins.” Incorporating these extra steps to drink water pushes me to really take a break which again is part of what the University of Texas highly discouraged students from doing – long periods of sitting.

Stretch and walk. This can be part of the need to be hydrated. Since my work station is not next to the water dispenser, I obviously need to stand and walk. After about an hour of being on the computer, do we all not feel the need to stretch? to yawn? and even to look outside and focus on the greenery? On this same idea, Post University noted how we should remember to fix our posture especially when we feel aches and pains too often. So, let us stretch and sort of make our muscles breathe.

Choose not to be alone. Online or distant education carries isolating repercussions. This is considered a tragic fate for personalities who love to socialize. It is actually haven for the introverts. Let us remember the old adage “no man is an island.” When the notion of loneliness becomes unbearable, instead of inviting more depressing thoughts, it is healthier and is actually part of our responsibility to open all possible virtual windows and doors to keep in touch with family, relatives, and friends and even make new friends. University of Texas shared how students can organize virtual study groups or chat with their peers and make use of different collaboration tools together.

Let us always keep these five healthy habits in mind and remain optimistic as we know and learn more about our small, ever-changing world.

10 Facts on Rabies

Published by the World Health Organization in September 2017 –

Rabies causes thousands of deaths every year in over 100 countries mostly affecting under-served communities with limited access to health and veterinary systems. Successful rabies control programs comprise of three pillars: community participation; education, public awareness, and access to mass vaccination of dogs; and access to post bite treatment.  Countries are responding to achieve the target of zero human deaths by 2030 by scaling up their response to consign rabies to the history books.

Fact 1: Rabies is fatal once symptoms appear The disease affects both domestic and wild animals and is spread to people usually via saliva, bites, and scratches.  Early symptoms include fever and often pain or unusual tingling sensation around the wound.  Thorough cleansing of the wound and immunization within a few hours after a bite can prevent the onset of the disease.

Fact 2: Over 59 000 people die of rabies each year Over 95% of human rabies cases occur in Africa and Asia, mostly impacting children.  Rabies can be transmitted to people from animals, with over 99% of cases due to dog bites.  Rabies is a neglected disease found in poor and disadvantaged populations who often have limited access to healthcare.

Fact 3: Education is key for rabies prevention Teaching communities and especially children how to avoid being bitten to understand animal behavior and what to do in the event of a bite is crucial to prevent rabies.  WHO works with various partners to educate entire communities by raising awareness of the disease and supporting responsible dog ownership.  Education works and has saved the life of a boy in Goa, India, after he was bitten by a rabid dog.

Fact 4: Wound washing is lifesaving The wound must be thoroughly washed immediately with soap and water.  If bitten, seek immediate medical advice.  Vaccination, and in severe cases, immunoglobulins may be required.  Kenya has developed a community-based reporting system using a hotline that provides advice.

Fact 5: Vaccination against rabies saves lives Vaccination for travelers may be recommended before visiting rabies-affected areas.  Individuals should consult with their healthcare provider.  Every year, more than 15 million people receive post-bite vaccination against rabies.  It is estimated to prevent hundreds of thousands of rabies deaths around the world.  To improve access to rabies post exposure treatment, the government of Bhutan has committed to covering the costs of rabies exposure treatments.

Fact 6: Vaccinating dogs reduces human infection Rabies is a vaccine preventable disease.  Vaccinating all dogs, including roaming and strays, prevents rabies being passed to humans and stops other dogs becoming infected.  A cost-effective rabies elimination program in Bangladesh, which involves mass dog vaccination, resulted in 50% decrease in human rabies deaths between 2010 and 2013.  Tanzania, the Philippines, and Kwazulu Natal have also demonstrated that control of rabies is feasible through mass dog vaccinations.  Vietnam has also developed a strategy that includes mass dog vaccination.

Fact 7: Reporting of dog bites and suspected rabid animals supports rabies elimination Reporting of dog bites and suspected rabid animals improves resource allocation and the response of health and veterinary systems.  A WHO-supported study in Kenya is demonstrating the values of community-based reporting to improve human and animal rabies case detection.  Technological advances, such as Smartphone-based applications used by Mission Rabies, improves efficacy of mass dog vaccination campaigns.

Fact 8: Technology improves access to rabies treatment in rural and hard-to-reach locations Rabies is often found in remote locations with populations who may have limited access to healthcare services.  WHO advocates and supports the development of innovative mechanisms and technologies to improve treatment possibilities within these communities.  Drones are being used to deliver rabies vaccines for post-exposure prophylaxis and blood to remote health facilities in Rwanda.

Fact 9: Rabies is a success story for implementing One-health Rabies is a zoonotic disease, which means it is transmitted to human from animals.  Coordination of elimination efforts between human and veterinary health is the only way to prevent human rabies deaths long term.  A cross-sectoral approach that provides treatment after dog bites and vaccinates the local dog populations has been successful at reducing human rabies deaths in Sri Lanka and also in many countries in Latin America.  WHO collaborates with strategic partners in agriculture and animal heath to support access to affordable, safe, and efficacious vaccines.  WHO develops technical guidance and supports governments to improve their laboratory capacity and strengthen disease surveillance.

Fact 10: United Against Rabies to Achieve “Zero by 30” WHO, Food and Agriculture organization, World Organization for Animal Health, and Global Alliance for Rabies have launched the global anti-rabies initiative.  This is the first time that major players in human and animal health have committed to a common strategy for rabies elimination.  The “United Against Rabies” platform will catalyze and coordinate the worldwide efforts to achieve the global goal of “Zero human rabies deaths in 2030.”  A strategic plan is being developed to catalyze investment in rabies prevention and provide guidance to countries as they implement a One-health, cross-sectoral approach for their rabies elimination plans.

Tongue Twisters for Singing

Tongue twisters are a fantastic tool that you can use to establish good articulation (so the audience can clearly hear your lyrics) and to help warm up your tongue, lips and mouth before you sing.  They also assist with the development of tongue muscle memory for particular vowel sounds.  For example, if you speak English as a second language and some English consonants are left out of your native vocabulary then tongue twisters can help you.  Here are five super effective tongue twisters that you can add to your singing practice:

(1) To assist with R and L sounds: Red letter, yellow letter, red letter, yellow letter, red letter, yellow letter

(2) To assist the tongue moving from the front of the lips to the soft palate and back again: A proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot

(3) To move your lips from an “O” shape to a flatter “A” shape: Wayde went to Wales to watch wrens riot.

(4) To assist with forward tongue placement: I am not a pheasant plucker. I’m a pheasant plucker’s son, but I’ll be plucking pheasants when the pheasant plucker’s gone.

(5) To exercise the soft palate and back of the mouth: Six sick hicks nick six slick bricks with picks and sticks

Make sure you can pronounce each tongue twister properly first, then repeat it over and over and speed up as you improve.

Consider including tongue twisters into your vocal practice as frequently as possible to ensure that your articulation is super clear.

Thank you, for this resource: Milan, N. (2014). Five effective tongue twisters for singers. Singers’ Secret. Retrieved from

Hello, 2017!


Remember well those days when problems reigned.
On gloomy paths and painful days, they drained
Yet strengthened well our will to carry on.
Gigantic may the feat that must be drawn,
Believe and keep the way that wraps the heart.
In faith and hope remain to be a part,
Victoriously prepared for every start.

* Remember the colors of the rainbow? Seven of them for the last digit of this year.

Flying CP

I could no longer remember the exact date, time, and reason when I started booking and taking flights from Cebu Pacific (CP) aka Cebu Pathetic Air.  I am definitely aware of two things – their flights have never been on time and that their baggage handling meant the death of my trolley bag.

It was CP that caused the first crack near its handle.  It was also CP (just four days ago) that broke the entire handle.  Please see photos showing how the whole section went taking another flight off its body (I gave the whole handle to one of their attendants who suggested that I go to their office to get my trolley bag fixed – talk of silly and insensitive assistance!).

to CP

This is simply sharing how they sell their insurance policy.  If you do NOT sign for one, they play football or such rough handling to get even.  How else am I supposed to interpret what they did to my dear trolley bag now invalid?  Please take note that this write-up is the calmer version of my first extremely angry feedback.  I screamed all the bad words into the air to taunt and haunt their planes (though this is only effective in fiction where all wishes come true).

What lessons should I learn from this experience? Here is my list of points to ponder:

  1. Pack way, way lighter so there will be no need of checking in any baggage.  This will make things fair – deprive CP of their baggage fun and additional baggage fee.
  2. If unavoidable, do not buy any trolley bag.  CP seems to love breaking it.  A bigger backpack may actually be better.
  3. Avoid destroying too many neurons.  Be ahead of their boarding time for they have this tendency to fly minutes earlier only to go taxiing the runway for more than half an hour after landing (thus, the whole trip is still delayed).  Please remember that for most instances, actually in ALL instances if you take it from my experience, their flights are always delayed if not cancelled.  Be ready with lots of entertainment like
    • music,
    • movies,
    • games,
    • ebooks,
    • fun company – family, friends, colleagues, or bother fellow passengers if you are travelling alone,
    • checking all open shops at the airport,
    • taking a nap – only if you travel with company who could keep an eye on your belongings,
    • making use of all open restrooms,
    • bugging their clerks with annoying questions, and
    • being creative with wasted minutes instead of sulking in a corner

because CP’s favourite line is “we are sorry for the inconvenience” or “we apologize… blah, blah, blah” and of course, they never mean what they say.

Unless they change for the better, this airline will always live up to its real name – Cebu Pathetic Air.