April 2002 Vol. 2 Issue 7

An Internet Newsletter publication of the American Society of CIM Alumni, Inc.


Dominador Ong, M.D.
Maida Antigua, M.D.
Dolores Lao, M.D.
Epifania Aranas, M.D.
Clem S. Estrera, Jr., M.D.
P. R. O.
Anita Avila, M.D.

Board Members:

Horace Cabasares, M.D.
Perry, GA
Ramiro A. Cadag, M.D.
Kings Point, NY
Mike Espiritu, M.D.
Okeechobee, FL
Elie Gonzales, M.D.
Oswego, NY
Cecilio Delgra, M.D.
Charleston, WV
Rosario B. Gonzaga, M.D.
Cumberland, MD
Teresita Varona, M.D.
Oakbrook, IL

CME Chairperson:
Rise Faith E. Dajao, M.D.
Portsmouth, VA


Editorial Board:

Maida Antigua, M.D.
Boston, MA
Horace Cabasares, M.D.
Perry, Georgia
Eli Estabaya, M.D.
Yuma, Arizona

Editor and Technical Adviser:
Clem S. Estrera, Jr., M.D.
Petersburg, VA

Staff Correspondents:
Roland Pasignajen, M.D.
New Jersey
Henry L. Yu, M.D.
Cebu City, Philippines
Ernesto Yu, M.D.
Buffalo, New York

Wilmo C. Orejola, M.D.
Pompton Plains, N J

Send news, articles, pictures, announcement, obituary, etc., to:clems3ra@rcn.com

Editor's Column

    "Tell them how we love all that was beautiful." - Anonymous American Indian


Women and Beauty
    Victor Hugo, one of those novelists who were considered as romanticists, the author of Les Miserables, declared that, "The beautiful is as useful as the useful. More so, perhaps." Beauty can do remarkable things for people. It helps women in particular get away from the many hardships in life. It is said that thirty is the perfect moment in a woman's life when she retains the beauty of youth but tempers it with the knowledge of experience. Suffice it to say, many women become obsessed with their youth and beauty like in the movie, Death Becomes Her, so that when the process of aging starts accelerating its undesirable effects, they seem to lose their self-esteem and self-respect. They would readily choose to become the gold mine of plastic surgeons doing face-lift, liposuction and other youth or beauty-enhancing procedures.

    Yet many of those who had undergone few to several enhancing procedures to maintain youthful looks don't have much success in defying the ravages of time. They continue to age like everyone else. Looking at them after a certain number of years, you can still see vague traces of beauty left in them, like clues to what once was, but those procedures had overlaid their past with a harsh brush. Sophie Tucker once said, "From birth to age eighteen, a girl needs good parents. From eighteen to thirty-five, she needs good looks. From thirty-five to fifty-five, she needs good personality. From fifty-five on, she needs good cash."

     But those women of beauty who have accepted the normal biological process of life with the graciousness and gracefulness of a ballerina or a ballet dancer, seem to grow more beautiful with time. They continue to move with fluidity, pose with confidence, and their faces reflect the love of life. Their mood is sweet, personality pleasant, and good cash or no cash, the process of aging has no effect in their self-esteem and self-respect. Their smile even becomes more radiant like the rising sun itself, glowing and glorious. Age doesn't seem to dull their glory.Their charm still magnetizes, and the intensity of their eyes could still melt your cold, cold heart.

Beauty, the Healer
     There is evidence although may be anecdotal that a passion for beauty may have played a dramatic part in the recovery of many persons who are actually ill. In one of the magazines many years ago was a story of a man who, was about to enter the ministry when he discovered he had tuberculosis. This was at a time when not many survived the dreaded disease and the main treatment was finding an occupation that kept him out of doors. He moved to an estate that he had inherited and sadly endeavored to readjust his life plans. He planted a couple of rosebushes and got such a spiritual lift from the beauty of their blossoms that he decided to turn the estate into one big garden. More roses were planted and hundreds of azaleas and camellias were imported for the purpose. Over the years he developed one of the most beautiful gardens in the world, and while he was thus engaged he earned back his health so completely that he was able to resume his original plans for the ministry. "Mishaps," wrote James Russell Lowell, "are like knives that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle."

In Search of Beauty
     Frank Lloyd Wright warned, "If you ignore beauty, your life will be impoverished." While many of us enjoy a spectacular sunset or a majestic landscape, there is a lot of beauty around that never penetrates our awareness. One reason is that in our profession, many of us often lead a life in fast-forward, like one of those space rockets that has to go a certain speed to break free of the earth's gravity. Or, we are like playing football and we only have two minutes with no more timeout left to score a touchdown and win. And it's almost like that every day for many of us that by the time we look at ourselves closely in the mirror, our hairs had already turned gray and few wrinkles have developed around our eyes. For when we are free for the day, our mind is being pre-occupied with either the excess baggage of the past or the anticipation of the future. Some of us spend most of our free time planning and calculating the future, like our retirement in relation to our health, to our funds and investments, lifestyle, etc. Don't get me wrong. Of course, there's nothing wrong with it. In fact, plans and preparation are often the key to success. But if they constantly occupy our mind in the form of either worry or anxiety, or to the point that we are basically living in the future, then we need to realize that the future is always uncertain. Nobody can predict the future. The longer you look into the future, the more uncertain it’s going to be. Many of us must have heard someone who was well-prepared for his future and just as he was about to retire, he suffered a stroke and went into coma for weeks before he died.

    It's a whole lot different when we were in the Philippines. We had minutes, we had hours, and we had years. Our time was cheap; it had almost no value except as chronology. Oh, for the good old days! Life was sweet and problems were few. Here in the U.S., there are so many things to do and so little time to do them. And that is how many of us see our life - time is gold and thus finding things of beauty is not easy.

     Yet if we are open to seeing beauty, we find it all around us, and time would just be there for us to take. We know how much the American Indians love the earth. To them, there is so much beauty in every tiny piece of nature. The rocks, the mountains, the wild flowers, the animals, the bark of the tree, the veins of a leaf, the murmuring brooks, etc., are beautiful to them. And all they have is the simple ability to open up themselves and let beauty in. But for us, we have to struggle to possess such ability.

     It is said that a thing of beauty is a joy forever. A truly beautiful object like a dazzling diamond, a state-of-the-art bridge, or a well-designed building can be appreciated from many angles. From side, bottom, top, close up, etc., a thing of beauty is still beautiful. Even a drop of water under a microscope, by the same token, reveals complexities that are dazzling. But as we move on in a hurry to meet life's daily demands and obligations and to go over the plans and preparation for tomorrow, little things of beauty such as the drop of water, the blooming flowers in our own backyard, the robins that often wake us up in the morning with their beautiful songs, the trees that start to have foliage in springtime, etc., would pass unnoticed. Indeed there is beauty everywhere.

    So how do we find beauty? One way is to stop taking life for granted and start noticing things by living in the present and looking around. Natural beauty can be spectacular. There is the bright, full moon, glowing orange or ethereal white. We can see it reflected on shimmering waters of a lake or an ocean, like silver streaks on a cool, black mirror. We simply have to open our senses and take it in. Dale Carnegie wrote: “One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.”

    More than one person has discovered all manner of beauty after coming close to death, from that vantage point everything is beautiful. Yes, beauty is life and life is beauty. So wake up, start living, step outside of your own private world and take time to see the beauty of it all! - Clem