Posted: May 24, 2011





“Laughter is the sound of happiness.”


            I have not laughed since I got kidney ailment in 2003.   laughed again only now because of   Laughter Yoga. It  made me feel positive in life and family.  I am happy and proud to experience  Ms.  Elvie’s Laughter Yoga.  I  will do it everyday.”  So says Ms. Ineria Santos, a kidney transplant patient.


           I was barely recovering from  shingles, which caused the cancellation of my  trip to the ADB Annual Meeting in Hanoi and the scheduled celebration of World Laughter Day with the Rotarians of Wack-Wack, when my secretary told me “Ma’am, KITAP (Kidney Transplant Association of the Philippines) is begging you to conduct Laughter Yoga  session for them.”  Deeply touched by their request,  I  gave my go signal to accept their invitation and  coordinated with  KITAP President,  Ms. Tessie Prima and Ms. Bing de Guzman.


            I was pleasantly surprised to find the National Kidney Institute building and premises in tip-top condition.  It was clean and the facilities modern.  When we arrived, the transplant patients, their families and friends numbering  120 already congregated in the auditorium.


            At the start, most of the participants positioned themselves at the back, hesitant to come to the center.  After admonishing them to take advantage of the Laughter Yoga session that will  unfold  before them,  shy and smiling  they want to the center.  To help them loosen up, we did  some warm-up laughter exercises.  Lo and behold, after a few minutes  they  participated enthusiastically and  energetically – roaring with  laughter, swaying, dancing,  and clapping    with almost  everyone in the center!


            Inspired by their all-to-give attitude and hyper-active participation,     I added some bonuses, products of my own research, i.e., on  how to sharpen the mind, increase memory power, enhance concentration and prevent insomnia  through the use of their finger tips.  They were so elated!  In addition, I shared some eye exercises which we did together  to improve the  eyesight.  After some minutes I asked them to open their eyes.   Surprise, surprise -- they  claimed to have clearer visions!


             “Live life to the fullest,” is KITAP’s slogan, which I affirmed,  YES  they CAN!  For the best things are possible with God’s help  as long as we keep our faith,  work hard,  and most importantly, help fellow pilgrims in our pilgrimage.  What we give to life …  life  gives  back to us!


            Since laughter is not only the best medicine, but the sound of happiness as well,  I encouraged them to do Laughter Yoga daily to help them nurture  positive thoughts and feel good always through the endorphins that laughter releases. I was informed that  what they learned from the Laughter  Yoga session that Thursday afternoon, they repeated and shared with those who attended their extended celebrations  till Sunday of that week.  They promised to keep doing Laughter Yoga to improve their conditions.  Ho ho, ha ha ha!


            Inspiring feedback from some participants:


RENE ATIBAGUP – “Laughter Yoga helped released all my negative emotions, worries, and fears.  Very relaxing!  I felt revitalized and young again.”


FELY CASTAÑEDA – “Laughter released our stress and  is good for our health.  Thank you very much, Ms. Elvie.”


ALICE C. BASBAS – “Made me feel beautiful, young, relax and most important forgot my sickness.  It inspired and made me happy .”


MARIVIC VERGEL-ROLDAN – “Enjoyable stress management technique.  Indeed laughter is the best medicine.”  What makes “Laughter Yoga” different from other workshop on stress management is that all the exercises are FUN and doable.  It is a “FEEL GOOD” workshop.”


EDDEN AQUINO – “I really appreciate the Laughter Yoga session.  It greatly helped  me.  God bless,  Ms. Elvie.”


GLORIA C. VICERRA – “Laughter Yoga is very good, relaxing and it releases sweat,  and anger.  It helps remove wrinkles and makes you younger.  Its better than any exercise to loose weight as  it also releases stress and helps your heart ailment.”


MOJE RAMOS–AQUINO – “Thank you for the laughter yoga exercises.  I enjoyed them and will continue doing them at home.”


            Anyone who knows the dreaded  shingles will tell you  how painful it is.  When I complained about pain on my right neck and a “butlig” on my nape to a doctor, he had  it x-rayed  and prescribed  medications and hot compress on the affected area.  After two days, however, the pain worsened and two more seemingly “butligs” appeared on my right nape.


            While having lunch with my  daughters Nina and Bunny in our fave restaurant, Tootsies, in Tagaytayon our way to Batangas, Nina took shots of my “butligs” and sent them to my brother-doctor in US, Dr. Rubio Punzalan.  In a few minutes, he called to say they are shingles,  and  advised that we go back home pronto, which we did!


            Daughter Bunny goggled shingles  and relayed to me  its pins-and-needles pain, as the nerves are attacked.  Oh  God, never had I experienced such throbbing, piercing, radiating pains every minute in my life.    The pain and itchiness are excruciating!   I took antibiotics and  when the pain becomes almost unbearable, literally I would laugh for about 20-30 minutes with tears streaming down my face.  And the pain subsides.  It was like crazy, but the laughter,  the healing mantras and my positive chanting:  “I am healed, fully healed, yey,” several times daily  did  wonders!   I was healed  in  seven days, and felt great because I learned others suffer from it from one to two months!  Let’s laugh to a healthy, happy, positive us!


            The scheduled LYoga sessions are: June 2, Lopez Group Foundation,  June 3, Cocolife Insurance, June 18, Sisters of St. Paul, July 10, St. Luke’s Hospital Visit; To laugh and de-stress, visit youtube  lycphohohahaha!