Monday, April 23, 2018

You are PWD unfriendly, Fisher Mall!

I decided not to make my unlove letter to Fisher Mall anymore because  DON'T LIKE HATE and I choose ACTION instead.

My mom tried filing a complaint to Fisher Mall management the next day. To no avail...WALA!
Sunday we went back to Fisher Mall for the second day event.My mom went to the ladies’ CR to look for the janitress who helped us and sign as witness to the photos we took inside the cubicle. But she referred my mom to a person from an admin office representative.
According to Ms. Jendrean Lo, a Tenant Relations Officer, that wide door cubicle is intended for PWD, but my mom reitererated, how can you say it's for PWD? Not a single railing inside? Then Ms. Lo said "Mam sa ibang floors po may pwd CR"
All floors must have PWD CR, and to think that 4th floor is where their events hall are. 
So we filed a complaint directly to National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) and here's the draft of my letter.

Dear NCDA,


Last April 21, 2018, I have learned that Fisher Mall in Quezon City is PWD unfriendly because it hurt my feelings and hurt my mom’s lower back / spine. I am a PWD, my mom is a PWD – both of us have orthopedic disability.

We went to Fisher Mall to watch the National Open & Age Group Raw Powerlifting completion that was held on the event hall on the mall’s 4th floor. While watching the event, I told my mom that I need to pee and asked her to bring me to the toilet. Luckily, my dad was there to push my wheelchair because the toilet is a bit far from the event hall and since my mom uses a cane to walk, it’ll be hard for her to push my wheelchair alone. So we reached the toilet area. There is no PWD toilet. Good thing there’s a designated cubicle for PWD. Good thing? Or so I thought.

Since it is a women’s toilet, my dad can’t go inside so it was only me and my mom and that’s alright because she’s been assisting me in a PWD toilet for years and it’s not that hard since there are bars that we can hold on to that helps us in keeping our balance. 

With a flat wall and nothing to hold on to except my frail mother. We were looking around and tried to figure out how I can transfer from the wheelchair to the toilet bowl. We really can’t think of any easy way, we still can’t figure it out and I want to pee already. Bahala na! 

While I was transferring to the toilet bowl, the lower part of my left leg kind of hit my wheelchair. I have a big tumor inside it and although it doesn’t really hurt, that legs reacts and jerks every time that happens. It happened and fortunately it happened when I was about to sit on the bowl.

And so I have to transfer from the toilet bowl to the wheelchair. My mom lifted me up again. My left leg felt so weak and I can feel my mom’s brittle bones and I was afraid to hold on to tighten my hold on her brittle bone. I tried holding on to the flat wall but it just slipped. We were about to fall and then my mom pushed me on the wheelchair so that I won’t land on the floor. I was slouched on the wheelchair, my butt on the air, only my hips up to my back were touching the wheelchair, I haven’t wore my underwear and shorts yet and the worst part is, my mother’s hips, back and spine were aching. Thankfully, the janitress was on standby outside the cubicle’s door when my mom opened it to ask for help because I was still slouched and hanging on the wheelchair without underwear and shorts.

Because of their lack of sensitivity and concern for the PWDs, my mom’s weak bones that are often in pain became weaker and she need to undergo rehabilitation therapy.

Also, the so-called PWD cubicle is not big enough. The wheelchair can’t navigate properly.

***pwd door***

If this happened to us, how about the other PWDs who will be using that so-called PWD toilet cubicle? The management kept saying that there are the PWD toilets on the other floor levels? And why not on the 4th floor then? I don’t think it’s not that hard to attach bars on the toilet wall that the PWDs can hold on to.

I am really looking forward for you to take action and investigate on this. It’s not only for my sake or my mom but for the PWDs who will also use that toilet in the future.

Maria Kathrina Lopez Yarza

We are also filing a complaint against the Fisher Mall Management for my Mom's injury.
I depend a lot on her since I am partially paralyzed, totally deaf and half blind.  And her mobility after that incident is quite restricted now. What if I fell from my wheelchair during that incident?

Monday, April 9, 2018

Today was my most awaited night

Like always, Michelle & Kathreen had a joint birthday celebration and sponsored our KAINAN SA LABAS NG BAHAY dinner. It’s something we really enjoyed doing since we we’re kids. Our first salu-salo dinner sa labas ng bahay was tuyo. 

Going back, so we had dinner a few hours ago and I was really amazed with what I saw. Yes SAW! I saw the food and things on the table. I saw the utensils. I saw their faces. I saw their gestures. I saw their moving lips. I saw the foods on my plate. I saw this. I saw that. My vision is still kinda blurry but I SAW.

Since last year, whenever we would eat outside the house with friends and/or family, I would always complain that it’s too dark and I can’t recognize the people & the food especially the food on my plate so after eating, as I say, I’ll just “eat and run” and go inside the house once I would finished eating and there were times that I chose not to come outside and have then bring the plate with food to me. It’s really annoying so instead of staying annoyed, I choose ti come where the bright light is.

“Wala naman akong masyadong nakikita kaya papasok nalang ako sa bahay.” 
“Papasok na ko kasi magku-kwento pa ko sa blog.”

Teacher Michelle's creamy carbonara na masarap

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Today, it's 200 Filipino NF Friends!

I’m not sure if it’s okay to be happy about this, but I AM SO GLAD!

Ever since I met my first, NF Friend (Ate Cel), I’ve started listing down the names of my NF Friends. Wala lang. Gusto ko lang.

I started writing it on Notepad (the app).

And then the names on the list reached 15++, so I transferred it to MS Excel while we were hoping that we’ll be plenty enough to be able to form a support group.

And then NFF Support Group was born!

I keep revising and editing the list as our members grew in number. When it reached 50, I wished that if only I can group the members according to theeir location so that they’ll know who lives near who. But I think it won’t be fair for some if nobody else is located near them. 

Fast forward to today, we already have: 65 NF Friends from Metro Manila, 12 NF Friends in Rizal, 14 NF friend in Laguna, 13 NF Friends in Cavite, 8 NF Friends in Bulacan, 10 NF Friends in Southern Luzon, 23 NF Friends in Northern Luzon, 27 NF Friends in Visayas, 17 NF Friends in Mindanao, and 10 Filipinos with NF from outside the country.

Once again, I have mixed feelings about this. Happy that we already have a lot of members and it’s now a 3-digit number. Sad that there are a lot of us who have NF. And then VERY HAPPY that we found each other! We are really not alone.
The other night, while I was arranging & organizing the list, I suddenly felt so amazed, happy, & grateful all at the same time and so I posted this:

It goes something like this:

When there are members who were able to find NFF (support group) because a random person approached them and asked: “Do you have NF?” and then told them about NEUROFIBROMATOSIS FRIENDS (Philippines).

When there a students who send messages to the NFF page because of their case study, thesis or assignment that is about NF.

NF may still be not that known and a lot of people are still not aware about it but *tears of joy because even if it’s something small and only a few people knows about it, still there is something.

It’s just like the saying, “every cent counts.”

Big things are made of small things, right?

Friday, January 19, 2018

I bought Ardeur De France Perfumes from Betsy

So one of our NF Friends is selling Ardeur De France Perfumes.

While I was talking with her and getting to know each other, I decided to buy the products she’s selling. No, she didn’t talk me out of it. No sales talk or something. I just suddenly said, “I will order perfumes.”

Why? Because it made me happy.

It’s always glad to know that a family or friend sells something to earn an extra income, no matter how small it is. As you know, I’m really a big fan of the words “every cent counts” and “I CAN.”

So I bought Ardeur De France Perfumes from Betsy.

Now I know why Betsy is one of their best sellers.


Interested? Get in touch with Betsy Victor at 09278548657

You can check out  Betsy's Facebook .

Friday, December 1, 2017

I was sad today. Past tense.

I suddenly felt sad. So sad.

I remembered my dream last night / this morning. There will be a gift-giving event like MAY Birthday Project that’s going to happen on January and I was very happy and so excited. No, I wasn’t the one who organized it but I was really really excited to join. And then I woke up.

While I was taking a shower a while ago, I suddenly thought of that dream and then I felt really really sad. I was crying without tears but it’s a bit dramatic coz the water from the shower was pouring (Now I am laughing when I think about it. Haha.)

Why am (was) I sad?

Because ever since MAY Birthday Project (MBP) ended 2 years ago, I don’t hear (not literally) or read much about gift-giving events like that anymore (except for The Gift of Hearing of Ma’am Iche, Mommy G’s advocacy projects & Ate Cres’ upcoming event for PWD kids).

When there was MBP for 9 years, It seems like there were lots of gift-giving events like that here and there, and then WALA NA. I’m not talking about those that were organized by a certain group, organizations or companies, but ordinary citizens like you and me.

“In those 9 years, I have proven that we don’t have to be a celebrity, politician or someone who’s rich and has a lot of money in order to do something like that. From something that was so small, together with my close friends & family, I was able to start it. I did it, I continue doing it and surprisingly, it became bigger and better year after year, from 2007 to 2015.”

We really had to to end it after the 9th MBP and I seems to me that the joy of caring & sharing that MBP also ended with it and I am very disappointed.

I know it’s not my fault for ending it but I can’t help but feel so bad.

Para kasing ako lang ang natuwa sa tuwa ng mga nabigyan namin kahit alam ko na hindi naman ganon. Ganyan lang talaga ako mag-drama. :P

It’s just so sad and I comforted myself with 9 years worth of happy faces from all the MBP and prevent myself from crying & hyperventilating.

I don’t really know why I’ve suddenly thought about this. Maybe because it’s the December 1 today.

And BTW, I’m not so sad anymore.
  Advance Merry Christmas, everyone!  

Monday, November 27, 2017

It's a WONDERful life!

When I read Ate Pam Roman’s post about the WONDER movie block screening of PSOD, I was so ecstatic!

A post shared by Kcat Yarza (@kcatyarza) on

“When given the choice between being right or kind, choose kind.”

Juan “Dickoy” Magdaraog organized this event in celebration of his 40th birthday.

When he was diagnosed with Pompe Disease, a rare neuromuscular disorder, they we’re told that he won’t be able to reach past 30, and he will be turning 40 tomorrow. A wonderful milestone for him and to commemorate this, Dickoy wanted to do something meaningful.

It’s not just meaningful, IT’S WONDERFUL!

“Greatness is not being strong but using strength to carry the most hearts.”

Last November 25, Dickoy held a movie block screening of Wonder for the benefit of the Philippine Society for Orphan Disorders (PSOD) – a non-profit organization that advocates and cares for people, especially children with rare diseases and 100% of the ticket sales went to PSOD. Wonderful!

“I've been given the chance to live longer than what I thought possible. It will be awesome to help others live longer than they thought possible too,” said Dickoy.

“Be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battle. Be kind.”

When I learned about Dickoy’s story years back, it really amazed me. I was inspired. It instantly became one of my motivations to keep doing what I’ve been doing and that I can do more because PWDs are Persons With Determination!

with Juan "Dickoy" Magdaraog

Finally! I was able to meet Ate Pam and Julia the pretty and cheerful “silent angel” who is battling with Rett syndrome – a rare, severe neurological disorder that affects mostly girls.

with Ate Pam & Julia

"We all deserve a standing ovation at least once in our lives."

I love the book! I love the movie! And you should see it too when it comes out to PH theaters in 2 days.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

My Powerlifter #BestBrother

October 29, 2017 – We went to Great Eastern Hotel in Quezon City for the 2017 Luzon Open and National Interschool Raw Powerlifting Championships that was hosted by the Powerlifting Association of the Philippines

My brother, Maro, and his FlexHub (fitness gym) team joined the competition.

The event was so long, but very much worth it and I actually had a great time watching the completion.

I’m not really a sport fanatic but I enjoyed watching sports competitions especially when someone I know or my friends know is / are participating in it, who doesn’t anyway?

The weight of the “weights” they were lifting — whatever you call that, is just so WOW!

It’s equivalent to:
• Kcat on a wheelchair.
• Kcat times two.
• Kcat Yarza times three.
• Kcat Yarza times four.

Kcat's weight is about 50 kg, so figure it out.

I had fun watching the yellow & red lights too that signals if the powerlifter did good (yellow light) or not (red light).

It was really fun, good thing I brought  with me the baby rattle that my niece left behind at our house. I used the rattle in lieu of clapping my hands. Haha.




And so Maro won a gold medal!

He got the highest score in the men’s high school division.

Let me share with you the conversation of my mom & my brother after the competition:

Mami: “Anak, what did u learn from your competition experience?”

Maro: “Wala nman akong expectations. Wala akong paki.”

Mami: “But see, mabait ka kasi and God-fearing. Whatever your prayers nung anticipated mass (the day before the event)...... GOD gave you more than what you asked for!”

Maro: “l love God.”

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! hank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

So my tumor shrunk

"How did your tumor shrink? What did you do?"

I’ve been getting those questions lately and here is my answer:

What did I do to make it shrink? NOTHING.

Maybe it’s because I’m drinking Reliv Now with LunaRich.

Maybe because of the the turmeric and black pepper capsule that I’m taking.

I don’t know. I really don’t. It really just happened. Last September 11, it was still big and painful and then TAAA-DAAA and then 6 days after, TAAA-DAAA again!!

But this I’m very very very sure of:
GOD made this happen!

No, I'm not irritated because people keep answering these questions. Actually, I'm really so amazed and I want to share it to everyone that's why I am posting it.

Or maybe, it’s because I am exercising my legs and the tumor lose its weight. Haha. Just kiddin

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