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The train to Stockholm was full of people and rainbows. It was my first time to Scandinavia’s largest LGBTQIA+ pride parade and lucky me, it was also EuroPride.

I marched at my first LGBTQIA+ pride event in Metro Manila seven years ago. As a gay man, it was a liberating, happy, and proud moment. Every pride event always has its share of impressive moments.

Here are four that I had at #EuroPride2018 in Stockholm.

1. Sweden may be the world’s most LGBTQIA+ friendly place

We were changing trains to get to the Stockholm Stadshus (city hall). Two people in elaborate Filipinianas passed by.

They were Eric from Bulacan and Dianne from Mindanao. They both are now living in Sweden for more than two and five years, respectively.

Sa mga taga-Mindanao, diri sa Sweden dawat ang mga bayot. Dawat ang tanan. Pare-pareha lang ang tanan, babaye, lalaki, bayot, tomboy. Tanan, Bongga (To people in Mindanao, here in Sweden gays are accepted. Everyone is accepted. Women, men, gays and lesbians are the same. Everything is fabulous)!” said Dianne to my camera.

It was surreal to realize the contrast of Mindanaons like Dianne and me living in LGBTQIA+ friendly Sweden. “Pagdawat” (Acceptance) was always something we always wondered if “matinuod ba gayud” (could it be real)?

In 2019, Sweden will celebrate 75 years of the decriminalization of homosexuality (since 1944) and 10 years of marriage equality. Sa Pinas, siguro puhon (Maybe eventually in the Philippines).

Eric also shared a message, “Today is Europride where all LGBT families gathered to celebrate this gift from above. To all the gays and members of our society back in our country, we are getting there and we are doing this for you.”

If Sweden is the benchmark, I am not sure how far “there” is.

See this chronological list of LGBT rights progress in Sweden:

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1944 Homosexual relations are legalized

1972 Sweden becomes the first country in the world to legally allow gender change

1979 The National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) decides homosexuality is no longer a mental disorder

1987 Ban on discrimination against homosexuals by businesses and government officials takes effect

1988 Homosexuals included in the cohabitation law

1995 The Registered Partnership Act (domestic partnership law) passed

1999 HomO, an ombudsman for LGBT persons, is established (later brought in under DO)

2003 Constitutional change to outlaw hate speech based on sexual orientation

2003 Adoption rights for same-sex couples

2005 Insemination rights for lesbian couples

2009 Transgender identity and expressions included in anti-discrimination act

2009 Gender-neutral marriage law in effect

2011 Prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation is added to the Swedish constitution

2013 Mandatory sterilization stricken from law regarding change of legal gender

In the Philippines as of 2018, legislative advocacy of anti-discrimination bills based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) has reached its 18th year.

18 years in the Philippines.

74 years in Sweden.

Do you think this is how far we are from making significant progress in the legal front?

Tan’awon ta. (Let us see).

 

2. LGBTQI+ Pride is still very relevant for Europe

It did make me wonder though. With all these amazing progresses for LGBTQIA+ people in this part of the world, is there need for Pride?

Apparently yes.

Sweden is among the 29 of the 50 countries and 8 of the 9 dependent territories in Europe who recognize some type of same-sex unions. Also, among them most members of the European Union (23/28).

EuroPride, inaugurated in London in 1992, is one of the events that serve as a reminder of the more work that needs to be done. It is attended by estimated crowds of over 100,000 and is hosted by a different European city each year.

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Here are some facts that show that not all of Europe is LGBTQIA+ friendly.

Constitutions of Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine recognizes marriage only as a union of one man and one woman.

In the Balkans (Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Macedonia) 88% think LGBTI marriages unacceptable according to a 2015 NDI public opinion poll.

8 Ways to know we’ve sold ‘Pride’

3. LGBTQI+ Pride events are getting bigger

EuroPride Parade Stockholm is the largest pride event I have been to so far. News releases say that it broke all records with an estimated amount of 55,000–60,000 participants along the road.

For some time, I marched with Eric, Dianne, and other queer Pinoys. I saw their Filipinianas were big hits. The roads of Stockholm were their runways and their screaming fans were endless.

In those heels, I just wondered how their calves and feet were after. The march was officially declared three hours and 15 minutes long from start to finish! #Kebs #TiisGanda

Metro Manila Pride 2018, which I missed this year, also broke records. 25,000 people in attendance easily topped last year’s 8,000 participants in Marikina City for two years now.

4. Pride is solidarity in opposing any forms of discrimination

Pride may it be in Stockholm or Metro Manila means different things to different people. Some expressions I prefer and some I don’t.

I see through a lens that we live in a system that breeds inequality and commodification. Competition has been a defining relationship of our individual and community relations.

I am not happy to see the irony of Pride whose rallying cry is for “equality.” It shows when priority is given to the celebration/partying, access, and mileage of LGBTQIA+ people who paid more money, are more famous, more connected, or able-bodied. In effect, giving token or sometimes hindering participation to those who don’t fit that criteria.

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Pride can always be reclaimed as the protest to this unequal and commodified system.

I am happy in Pride as a chance not only for people to show who they truly are but also to deepen understanding on people’s equal value and rights. I celebrate Pride as opportunity to show solidarity in actively opposing any forms of discrimination based on socio-economic status, race, health status, etc.

In #EuroPride2018, LGBTQI+ people who were refugees, asylum seekers, and differently-abled were present . The contingent of Marching for those who can’t include a flag that showed countries where there is still not enough legal protection for LGBTQI+ people. Labor unions, churches, government agencies, academe, and political parties also marched in unity.

In time for #MMPride2018, Metro Manila Pride and Bahaghari Metro Manila joined the call to #BoycottNutriAsia and to #SupportNutriAsiaWorkers. They echoed calls for job regularization, decent wages, and safe working conditions.

“Standing in solidarity with other marginalized sectors is important. Not just because LGBTQIA+ people are part of these sectors too. But because, as human rights activists, we must not stay quiet or stand idly by as oppression happens,” said Metro Manila Pride in a statement.

Bahaghari Metro Manila marched with a multi-sectoral (youth, church, workers, academe, indigenous peoples) contingent at #MMPride2018. Together they emphasized that “the fight of LGBT people is the fight for people’s rights; and the fight for people’s rights is also the fight of LGBT people.”

As I said goodbye to Eric and friends at EuroPride, he said, “This is actually my third pride and the feeling is still the same. I feel so proud and so happy.”

Indeed, Pride can still be a liberating, happy, and proud moment.

A registered nurse, John Ryan (or call him "Rye") Mendoza hails from Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao (where, no, it isn't always as "bloody", as the mainstream media claims it to be, he noted). He first moved to Metro Manila in 2010 (supposedly just to finish a health social science degree), but fell in love not necessarily with the (err, smoggy) place, but it's hustle and bustle. He now divides his time in Mindanao (where he still serves under-represented Indigenous Peoples), and elsewhere (Metro Manila included) to help push for equal rights for LGBT Filipinos. And, yes, he parties, too (see, activists need not be boring! - Ed).

Travel

3 Ways Boracay is (still somewhat) LGBTQIA-okay…

Over a year since the announcement of the “closure” of Boracay, how’s this tropical paradise in Malay, Aklan, particularly as far as being LGBTQIA-friendly is concerned?

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When Boracay Island was “closed” for rehab last April 2018, it was – in many ways – already a somewhat gay place – e.g. the extremely profit-oriented (and apparently environmentally not-so-friendly) LaBoracay may have been known as a “party time” for everyone marking Labor Day in Boracay; but it was overwhelmingly LGBTQIA-led and driven…

Now, over a year since the announcement of that “closure”, how’s this tropical paradise in Malay, Aklan, particularly as far as being LGBTQIA-friendly is concerned?

Following a visit, here are three signs that the place remains… somewhat gay-okay…

1. The locals are starting to organize.

There have been attempts in the past to formally organize the local LGBTQIA community; but the more recent efforts have been more well-defined (and shall we say more “formalized” and have been gaining more traction, particularly online). For instance, Malay local Aloha Filipino recently attempted to gather members of the LGBTQIA community to formally organize them (the initial attempt leading to – as expected – the stereotypical LGBT-led and -participated beauty pageant).

Organizing is important, obviously, with the local LGBTQIA community encountering issues very specific to them – e.g. sex work on the island, and the risks that accompany the profession.

But organizing isn’t without challenges, and at times, a challenge comes from the supposed supporter/s of the organizing – e.g. there are supposedly local officials who want this organizing to happen so they can then profile the members; and – if crimes involving LGBTQIA people are committed – then they know where to get the information about these LGBTQIA people. Former Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista’s ill-conceived profiling of LGBTQIA people comes to mind…

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All the same, though, that the thought of organizing even entered the minds of the locals is a plus already.

2. Gay expression abounds… along the shoreline.

No, I didn’t notice bars openly refusing LGBTQIA community members (particularly trans) from entering their premises this time around. But this may be because there aren’t as many rowdy bars in Boracay anymore – those late night partying still happen for sure, but… they aren’t as rowdy as they used to be even in the truly rowdy bars in the past.

Let me say this, then: When in Boracay, and if/when looking to score, head to the shore. That’s where the “action” happens.

3. Tolerance (though maybe not acceptance) is more “defined”.

There’s a story that’s been making the rounds in Boracay: A trans sex worker allegedly stabbed a Chinese client for shortchanging her (i.e. not paying her the agreed-upon amount). This is – according to a local source of Outrage Magazine – why local officials want to profile the LGBTQIA people here; so that if something like this happens again, then they know where to go to capture a suspect.

Despite this occurrence (or perhaps because of it?), sex work involving (particularly) trans women has been “normalized” on the island now, according to the same source. It is “tolerated”, and “acknowledged” to exist, so “they are just left to do what they do”.

Yes, yes, yes… I know that I’ve focused ONLY on the tolerance of sex work, which is not the same as tolerance of LGBTQIA people at all (!). But bear with me when I specifically mention the above because – in the past – female sex workers were tolerated (I’d say even encouraged by some venues that saw this as a come-on for tourists) while trans sex workers were barred in these same venues.

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Beyond this, though, LGBTQIA faces (particularly gay and trans) are becoming more common in Boracay as a whole – e.g. as vendors/salespeople (akin to Divisoria, if I may say so); as staff of accommodations; and even as government officials (such as our local contact).

The place still has a long, long, LONG way to go to actually openly promote LGBTQIA human rights. But this is Boracay, after all; where every sunset is beautiful not just to end the day, but to mark what surprises still lie ahead/tomorrow. So come visit and expect (if not wait) to be surprised…

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Health & Wellness

Targets to reduce harmful alcohol use likely to be missed as global alcohol intake increases

Globally, alcohol intake increased from 5.9 liters pure alcohol a year per adult in 1990, to 6.5 liters in 2017, and is predicted to increase further to 7.6 liters by 2030.

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Photo by @mossphotography from Unsplash.com

Increasing rates of alcohol use suggest that the world is not on track to achieve targets against harmful alcohol use, according to a study of 189 countries’ alcohol intake between 1990-2017 and estimated intake up to 2030, published in The Lancet.

As a result of increased alcohol consumption and population growth, the total volume of alcohol consumed globally per year has increased by 70% (from 20,999 million liters in 1990 to 35,676 million liters in 2017). Intake is growing in low- and middle-income countries, while the total volume of alcohol consumed in high-income countries has remained stable.

The estimates suggest that by 2030 half of all adults will drink alcohol, and almost a quarter (23%) will binge drink at least once a month.

Before 1990, most alcohol was consumed in high-income countries, with the highest use levels recorded in Europe. However, this pattern has changed substantially, with large reductions across Eastern Europe and vast increases in several middle-income countries such as China, India, and Vietnam.
Photo by Adam Wilson from Unsplash.com

Alcohol is a major risk factor for disease, and is causally linked to over 200 diseases, in particular non-communicable diseases and injuries.

“Our study provides a comprehensive overview of the changing landscape in global alcohol exposure. Before 1990, most alcohol was consumed in high-income countries, with the highest use levels recorded in Europe. However, this pattern has changed substantially, with large reductions across Eastern Europe and vast increases in several middle-income countries such as China, India, and Vietnam. This trend is forecast to continue up to 2030 when Europe is no longer predicted to have the highest level of alcohol use,” says study author Jakob Manthey, TU Dresden, Germany. [1]

He continues: “Based on our data, the WHO’s aim of reducing the harmful use of alcohol by 10% by 2025 will not be reached globally. Instead, alcohol use will remain one of the leading risk factors for the burden of disease for the foreseeable future, and its impact will probably increase relative to other risk factors. Implementation of effective alcohol policies is warranted, especially in rapidly developing countries with growing rates of alcohol use.” [1]

Alcohol is a major risk factor for disease, and is causally linked to over 200 diseases, in particular non-communicable diseases and injuries.
Photo by Kaley Dykstra from Unsplash.com

Monitoring alcohol use is part of several international programs, including the WHO’s Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and the WHO’s Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol. These targets are based on per capita alcohol consumption in adults (the number of liters of pure alcohol consumed per person aged 15 years or more in a year taking into account recorded and unrecorded use, and tourism) [2].

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The new study measured per capita alcohol consumption using data for 189 countries between 1990-2017 from the WHO and the Global Burden of Disease study. Over the same period, it also measured prevalence of people who did not drink for their whole lives or were current drinkers (ie, drank alcohol at least once a year) using surveys for 149 countries, and binge drinkers (drinking 60g or more pure alcohol in one sitting once or more within 30 days) using surveys from 118 countries. Using estimates of gross domestic product and the religious composition of the population, the results were modeled to create estimates for all 189 countries up to 2030.

In 2017, the lowest alcohol intakes were in North African and Middle Eastern countries (typically less than 1 liter per adult per year), while the highest intakes were in Central and Eastern European countries (in some cases more than 12 liters per adult per year). At the country-level, Moldova had the highest alcohol intake (15 liters per adult per year), and Kuwait had the lowest (0.005 liters per person per year)

Globally, alcohol consumption is set to increase from 5.9 liters pure alcohol a year per adult in 1990 to 7.6 liters in 2030. However, intake varied regionally. Between 2010-2017, consumption increased by 34% in southeast Asia (from 3.5 liters to 4.7 liters), with increases in India, Vietnam and Myanmar. In Europe [3], consumption reduced by 12% (from 11.2 to 9.8 liters), mainly due to decreases in former Soviet Republics such as Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. Intake levels remained similar in African, American, and Eastern Mediterranean regions.

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In the UK, consumption decreased from 12.3 liters in 2010 to 11.4 liters in 2017, compared to increases of 38% in India (from 4.3 to 5.9 liters). Over the same timescale, consumption increased slightly in the USA (9.3-9.8 liters) and in China (7.1-7.4 liters).

Globally, alcohol consumption is set to increase from 5.9 liters pure alcohol a year per adult in 1990 to 7.6 liters in 2030.
Photo by Adam Wilson from Unsplash.com

Globally, the prevalence of lifetime abstinence decreased from 46% in 1990 to 43% in 2017, while the prevalence of current drinking increased from 45% in 1990 to 47% in 2017, and the prevalence of heavy episodic drinking increased from 18.5% to 20%. However, the authors note that the changes in abstinence and heavy episodic drinking are not statistically significant.

They estimate these trends to continue, and that by 2030 40% of people will abstain from alcohol, 50% of people will drink alcohol, and almost a quarter (23%) will binge drink at least once a month.

They note that, globally, and in most regions, the volume of alcohol consumed grows faster than the number of drinkers (for example, alcohol per capita is expected to grow by 17.8% from 6.5-7.6 liters globally between 2018-2030, while the number of current drinkers is estimated to grow by just 5% from 47.3% to 49.8% in the same timeframe), meaning the average alcohol intake per drinker is forecasted to increase. Increased alcohol intake per drinker not only results in a growing proportion of heavy episodic drinkers, but also inevitably leads to an increased alcohol-attributable disease burden.

“Alcohol use is prevalent globally, but with clear regional differences that can largely be attributed to religion, implementation of alcohol policies, and economic growth. Economic growth seems to explain the global increase in alcohol use over the past few decades – for example, the economic transitions and increased wealth of several countries – in particular, the transitions of China and India – were accompanied by increased alcohol use. The growing alcohol market in middle-income countries is estimated to more than outweigh the declining use in high-income countries, resulting in a global increase,” says Manthey. [1]

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The authors note some limitations, including that there is uncertainty around estimates of unrecorded alcohol consumption, in addition to scarcity of data in certain regions. In addition, drinking status estimates were based on surveys, where individuals often under-report their intake. Their estimates for 2018-2030 are based on economic conditions and religion only, and cannot take future policy changes or behavior changes into account.

Alcohol use is prevalent globally, but with clear regional differences that can largely be attributed to religion, implementation of alcohol policies, and economic growth.
Photo by Sérgio Alves Santos from Unsplash.com

Writing in a linked Comment, Dr Sarah Callinan, La Trobe University, Australia, notes that the shift in alcohol consumption globally from high-income to lower income countries could lead to disproportionate increases in harm, as the harm per liter of alcohol is substantially higher in low-income and middle-income countries than in high-income countries. She says: “An increasingly robust evidence base supports use of key alcohol policy levers such as increasing price and restricting availability to curtail growing alcohol consumption beyond Europe and North America. However, this evidence comes largely from high-income countries, and the potential efficacy of such policies in lower-middle-income countries, where more than half of alcohol consumption is unrecorded, is likely to be limited without substantial reductions in unrecorded alcohol consumption (although previous studies show that unrecorded consumption tends to decline with economic development). Thus, although price or availability-based policies are important, strict restrictions on advertising and other promotional activities are crucial to slow the growing demand for alcohol in these countries. Similarly, rigorous drink-driving countermeasures are necessary so that increasing consumption does not lead to increases in road traffic injury. Supporting evidence-based policies outside high-income countries, despite anticipated strong industry resistance, will be a key task for public health advocates in the coming decades.”


[1] Quote direct from author and cannot be found in the text of the Article.

[2] Pure alcohol in liters can be converted into grams using the specific weight of alcohol (0.789 g/mL), where a liter of pure alcohol equals 789g. How many drinks this becomes varies by country as the definition of a standard drink varies internationally – for example, in the UK it is 8g of alcohol, compared with 10g in Australia, 12g in Germany, and 14g in the USA.

5.9 liters of pure alcohol per year is equivalent to about 1 standard drink per day containing 12g pure alcohol. This would be roughly 1 can of 330ml beer per day per adult (not per drinker).

6.5 liters = 14g pure alcohol per day = 360mL beer per day per adult

7.6 liters = 16g pure alcohol per day = 410mL beer per day per adult

[3] The study uses WHO world regions. This means that Europe includes countries which may be considered Asian by other classifications.

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Travel

Kenya’s High Court backs prohibiting same-sex sexual activity

Kenya’s High Court ruled to maintain Sections 162 and 165 of the penal code, relics of the colonial era, which prohibit same-sex sexual activity or “carnal knowledge against the order of nature”, and prescribe a jail sentence of up to 14 years for those found guilty.

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Photo from Pixabay.com

Kenya’s High Court ruled to maintain Sections 162 and 165 of the penal code, relics of the colonial era, which prohibit same-sex sexual activity or “carnal knowledge against the order of nature”, and prescribe a jail sentence of up to 14 years for those found guilty.

The key argument centered around the fundamental importance of family, as defined by marriage between people of the opposite sex, and argued that decriminalization of same-sex activity would lead to same-sex marriage.

The case challenging this law was initiated in Nairobi by the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC), the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK), and the Nyanza, Rift Valley and Western Kenya Network (NYARWEK). With other partners, they argued that the laws stand in breach of the assurance of protection from discrimination and the right to human dignity and privacy for all prescribed in the country’s constitution.

But in a ruling that lasted almost two hours and quoted both international case law and national provisions protecting the family, culture and religion, Justice Aburili, Justice Mativo and Justice Mwita stated that the contested provisions do not target a specific group of people, but rather “any person”, and therefore cannot be considered discriminatory. Furthermore, the judges argued that Sections 162 and Sections 165 do not violate the right to dignity or privacy of LGBTIQ individuals. Ultimately the petition to declare these colonial-era laws unconstitutional was dismissed on the grounds that “decriminalizing same-sex sex would contradict the provisions of article 45 sub-article 2”, which defines marriage as between persons of the opposite sex and “would indirectly open the door to same-sex unions” which “would be against values of the constitution”.

READ:  State of origin

“The continued existence of these long outdated laws gives a green light for harassment and discrimination of LGBTQ people. The ruling issued today is a horrific reminder of this. It establishes once again that LGBTQ people in Kenya are not only second-class citizens, but even criminals, merely for loving whom we love. We are extremely disappointed with the ruling today, but it will not stop us from continuing our struggle for recognition, tolerance, and respect, because #WeAreAllKenyans and #LoveIsHuman,” said Njeri Gateru, NGLHRC’s Executive Director.

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Technology

How to stay safe when shopping online

While online shopping is super convenient, it is also essential to be aware of the dangers of internet shopping and take steps to keep your details safe and secure.

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It can be hard to remember what it was like before online shopping took the retail industry by storm and transformed the way that people buy goods forever. According to research, 75% of Americans have shopped online, and it’s easy to see why when it is such a convenient option with so much choice readily available for you to browse from your own home. Nowadays, you can buy pretty much anything and everything online from groceries to cars; you can even buy weed online.

Image credit: Pixabay

While online shopping is super convenient, it is also essential to be aware of the dangers of internet shopping and take steps to keep your details safe and secure. Cybercriminals are continually coming up with new ways to get us to part with our personal information and cash, so being savvy when shopping is so important.

Here are some ways to help keep you safer when online shopping.

Passwords

There’s nothing more irritating than forgetting a password, which makes it all the more tempting to stick with the same password for absolutely everything. While using just one password may make it easier to remember it when you need it if your password is compromised, everywhere that you use that same password is compromised too.

WiFi

While WiFi is an incredibly useful thing, it can also leave you vulnerable to hackers too. Using public WiFi connections when you’re at the coffee shop or in a store is tempting, but it can leave you vulnerable, especially if you are doing some online shopping.

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Lock

A simple way to see if the online retailers you are buying from are secure is by checking the address line. Any site that you are purchasing from should start with HTTPS rather than simply HTTP, you should also be able to see a padlock in the address bar too. Having https and a padlock shows that the site has secure sockets layer encryption.

Feeling

Some websites can give you a bad feeling about them from the get-go, if you visit a site that you don’t like the look of, trust your instincts and don’t make a purchase. You may be wrong, it may be entirely reputable, but you don’t want to find out the hard way that it is not.

Check

You may have been happily shopping away without anything sending alarm bells ringing about a security breach, and then the post arrives, you open your bank statement and get a shock. Even if you don’t think that anything untoward has occurred while you were shopping online, it is still essential to check your bank and credit card statements so that you can check through for any irregularities.

Credit

Never use your debit card when shopping online, as this could leave you open to trouble. Using your credit card when you buy, means that you have a better level of protection if something goes wrong with the transaction, such as your item is never delivered to you despite your payment still being taken.

READ:  Luxembourg named best country for workers in LGBT community

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Freeze! Is CoolSculpting for you?

You may experience some amount of fat loss but there are really certain fat areas in our body that’s too difficult to ditch. This is why some people prefer to turn to the experts to have such issue resolved.

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It can be such a frustrating thing to experience when intense workout and strict diet don’t seem to work to help you get rid of those excess fats. You may experience some amount of fat loss but there are really certain fat areas in our body that’s too difficult to ditch. This is why some people prefer to turn to the experts to have such issue resolved. And, if you’re the type who is not comfortable about the invasive way of losing fats, you may turn to cool sculpting.

Read further to learn more about CoolSculpting and see if it suits you.

What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is also referred to by experts as cryolipolysis. It is a body contouring procedure that makes use of cooling technology that is non-invasive. When a person undergoes CoolSculpting, a plastic surgeon will make use of a device that freezes fat cells. When these fat cells were destroyed, they are moderately broken down then removed from your body as it is being shuttled out by the liver.

CoolSculpting utilizes patented cooling technology. It is an FDA-approved procedure and was developed by reputable scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University. This high tech cooling procedure eliminates fat cells without the need for surgery in the shortest time possible. It typically takes around an hour to complete one session. This non invasive fat loss removal reduces the amount of your fat cells from 20 to 25 percent. People who underwent coolsculpting procedure claims to have noticed the positive effects just few days after their treatment. However, full result of this treatment usually takes about 1 to 4 months to complete.

READ:  State of origin

CoolSculpting  is Meant For Whom?

Though CoolSculpting is an efficient fat removal procedure, it is only meant for those who are trying to find mild improvements only. There is no available procedure designed for your one-stop-shop extensive fat removal just like what liposuction does. When people come in for CoolSculpting, there are various factors to consider. Their skin quality, age, and firmness of tissue must be taken into consideration. If the customer has a thick tissue, then chances are the procedure may not yield the level of results that are considered too impressive.

What are the results?

It usually takes several sessions to see optimal results. A single treatment session may yield minimal changes only. After the session, the results could be too subtle to notice by the clients. Some people even tend to look at their before and after photos and still were not able to see results after undergoing first session. It is helpful to know that experts guarantee more apparent results if the client undergoes more treatment sessions as well. After several sessions you may now start to notice a reduction in your waistline. Cellulites will be reduced to minimum levels as well.

Although fat removal procedures are all aimed at reducing excess fats, but  CoolSculpting seems to stand out from any of them. This is because CoolSculpting offers a more reliable, safer, and non-invasive way of reducing fats.

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Travel

In first for Asia, Taiwan parliament legalizes same-sex unions

Taiwan became the first place in Asia to legalize marriage equality, as it passed a bill that allows same-sex couples to form “exclusive permanent unions” and another clause that would let them apply for a “marriage registration” with government agencies.

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All photos taken during Taiwan's Pride parade in 2015

Taiwan became the first place in Asia to legalize marriage equality, as it passed a bill – by 66 votes to 27 – that allows same-sex couples to form “exclusive permanent unions” and another clause that would let them apply for a “marriage registration” with government agencies.

In 2017, Taiwan’s top court ruled that not allowing same-sex couples to marry violates the constitution, with judges at that time giving the government until May 24, 2019 to make the changes or see marriage equality enacted automatically.

The law, however, only: 1. allows same-sex marriages between Taiwanese, or 2. with foreigners whose countries recognize same-sex marriage. It also permits adoption of children biologically related to at least one of the same-sex pair.

But while this development is monumental, there are members of Taiwan’s LGBTQIA community – much like in Western countries where marriage equality has also already been legalized – are also lamenting the over-emphasis on same-sex marriage as a seeming “end-all issue”.

In 2015, for instance, during Taiwan’s Pride, some members of Taiwan’s LGBTQIA community lamented the “hijacking” of an LGBTQI event because of the lack of opportunity to highlight “non-mainstream LGBTQI issues.”

LGBTQIA activist 徐豪謙, for instance, noted at that time that “people only talk about the politically correct and popular issue of same-sex marriage, as if we don’t have other issues to face.”

In other parts of Asia, only Vietnam decriminalized gay marriage celebrations in 2015, even if it stopped short of giving full legal recognition for same-sex unions.

READ:  Swift(ly) it goes...

In the Philippines, various government officials – including Pres. Rodrigo Duterte – have expressed support for civil unions, not marriage equality per se. To date, however, even the anti-discrimination bill is failing to gain traction in Congress, and is still stalled after almost 20 years.

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