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Thumbs Down On Bigger Pogos


By Deedee Siytangco


Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words

And never stops at all.

Emily Dickenson

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon shared the concerns raised by Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana over the growing presence of Chinese-dominated Philippine online gaming operations (POGO), saying its close proximity to military camps spell danger.

“I support Sec. Lorenzana’s recommendation on POGO location. The security aspect is something that we cannot just brush aside. I cannot understand why we cannot have POGO locations farther away from military camps,” Drilon told CNN Philippines on Monday.

Drilon also described the Chinese embassy’s statement that overseas Filipino workers in China may also be suspected of spying as “absurd and beyond the realm of possibility.”

“Sec. Lorenzana is a competent official and his job is to advise us on matter of security. He has nothing but good intentions. We should defer to him.” Drilon said the possibility that POGO workers could be used for information gathering is not a remote possibility. “We don’t know. Maybe not right now, but it gives them the opportunity when there’s a need for it. It’s convenient when there is a need for it. Why should we leave that chance unchecked?”

Drilon there is no way Filipino workers in China could be engaged in spying activities for the Philippines. He said, “This is absurd and simply beyond the realm of possibilities. Our OFWs are there to earn a living.”


Franklin Drilon and Delfin Lorenzana

Would he support a total ban of POGO? Drilon responded: “I would like to think there is certainly great merit into looking at the possibility of closing down POGOs. I am against gambling.” He noted that gambling is banned in China, while other countries including Cambodia closed down online gambling. Drilon asked, “Why should we allow our country to be China’s biggest casino?”

Indeed, why should we?


I am recovering from a medical procedure at St. Luke’s Global, under the supervision of my super charming and efficient urologist/surgeon Dr. JV Prodigalidad and endocrinologist Dr. Mitos Cabral. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is during this period when you need your sanity most. You’re no longer in pain (thanks Dr. Lorina Cabaluna), you have been reassured that all went well, but you still can’t be discharged.

The surgery wound has not healed and you can’t go walking the corridors looking for new scenery. I am tired of looking at the backs of the buildings and the roof deck of Mercury Drug.

I am also grumpy now and quite fastidious about the service of the nurses assigned to take my vital signs, my blood work every four hours, and all that jazz. Some of the medical personnel are very pleasant. Some are not, but I have to endure. This is my second confinement at St. Luke’s , for a shorter period this time.

The only happy news of the day that I can share with my friends is when Via Mare comes up to bring my food orders. I guess St. Luke’s medical facilities are top notch…but my little suggestion is that they should pay more attention to recupperating patients’ needs. My room is equipped with one straight back chair and one low cushioned bench. You can’t sit comfortably in any of them when you’re recovering. You need a comfortable backrest , but you have to make do with this torturous seat for several days while recovering. One of my guests suggested I bring over my Lazy-boy or rent one from the hospital. But still the ordinary recuperating patients like me prefer to stay in bed with my pillows.

My sweet nagging doctor tells me to get out of bed and walk. But to where? So I dutifully walked to my door then to the window…to the door then to the window, then I hurry back to my bed when he leaves. The reason I tried my very best to walk is that he threatened to remove my bed because I wasn’t getting any better lying down…right! Right! Anyway ( Dr. JV), you were such a sweet doctor…I forgive you!

The other difficulty I had waking up from surgery the next day, was the pain killers administered to me were a bit too heavy. I am not used to heavy duty painkillers…I only take Biogesic for any pain. I found out later I was hallucinating already. It lasted until they decided to stop that particular pain medicine and took it out.

The other suggestion I would like to give the hospital is to add a comfortable easy armchair for recuperating patients. Straight back chairs are nice for guests… but please… not us.

Why did I order every day from Via Mare or my daughter’s restaurant Arroz Ecija ( down the block), I can’t stand hospital food, all of which I know are meant to be healthy. Anyway, I’m out now and grateful to the management and medical personnel. Oh yes, may I suggest that the nurses be more congenial, especially when they come in at midnight or 4 a.m. to take your vital signs? I know they are just doing their job, but please consider us patients.

On this second confinement, I thought myself lucky because my room was right in front of the nurses’ station. Hooray! It was supposed to be easy access for us. But no, the drawback to a room opposite the nurses’ station is the noise—the playful chatter of the nurses, the noise of the printers, and telephones ringing. And you can’t just go out and tell them to keep quiet. They might not treat you nice…hehehe. Please think of our sanity and condition inside your beautiful rooms.

When I had my CT scans and MRI, I was wheeled down to the lab and they were all in freezing temperatures. No amount of woolen blankets could drive away the cold while I lay there. So I shivered, endured, and I survived. But they were all very nice,very efficient. There must be a way.

Anyway, thank you for sharing your medical expertise with me and excellent service.

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