Failon Ngayon: Abot-kayang ganda, ligtas ba?

by Santino Honasan, Multimedia producer, Failon Ngayon

Posted at Oct 18 2011 11:00 PM | Updated as of Oct 19 2011 06:44 PM

The Ugly Truth: Although people turn to Cosmetic Surgery to look better, there are some cases where in they end up looking worse.

If you had an opportunity to change any part of your body, what would it be?

The most popular answers to this question would be the parts of the face like the nose and the lips, buttocks, chest, and the stomach.

For most people, physical appearance is as important, if not more, than any other trait. This is why a whole lot of people go to such lengths as cosmetic surgery, liposuction, and the like. There are also others who are not as daring so they resort to medicines such as whitening creams, glutathione pills, and the list goes on.


According to psychiatrists and sociologists, the need for cosmetic surgery comes with profession as well as self esteem. While others do it because their profession call for it, others go under the knife for personal satisfaction.

Actor and TV Host John Estrada admits to having work done on his behind

Actor and TV host John Estrada admits to having work done on his buttocks. He underwent butt augmentation to add form to his behind. John says that since his behind isn’t completely flat, it wasn’t such a drastic physical change. For him, the process gave him a little more confidence when it comes to his behind.

For Jeffrey Lobos on the other hand, cosmetic surgery was his answer to a physical problem that has haunted him for most of his life. When he was 19, Jeffrey underwent a nose lift operation to repair his snub nose.

The operation did not come cheap though. At P46,000, an operation of that price would sound a little hefty for a working student like Jeffrey who also stands as his family’s breadwinner after losing their mother and being abandoned by their father.

 Jeffrey Lobos had work done on his nose to boost his confidence

For Jeffrey, the nose lift is a big confidence booster that can help him better as a person.

When asked if he recommends such a procedure to others who wish to have their noses fixed as well, he says that the decision is ultimately theirs. He also states that he worked hard for that operation and is proud of having gone through it and the outcome.

Vanity gone wrong

While there are success stories like John Estrada and Jeffery Lobos, there are those who were not so lucky. 22 year old “Lea” is one such example.

Working in a bank and dealing with a lot of people everyday, it helps that one’s looks would be pleasing to see, this is why Lea has made it a habit of getting a facial. Up to three times a month, Lea would visit a well known dermatological clinic and because the prices were quite high, she would have to save up for the procedure.

Just last August 6, Lea and a friend decided to try out a new clinic named A.L.A. Skin Clinic. What enticed Lea the most was the significantly lower prices of the procedures. At just P200, Lea was about to get a facial. Sounds like a great bargain.

After the facial, the doctor applied a cream on Lea and her friend’s faces. Within seconds of the application, Lea would begin to feel a burning sensation which the doctor said was only normal. Aside from this, Lea and her friend spent almost P3000 pesos each, far from the advertised prices on the clinic’s poster. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the worst turn of events for Lea.

The following day, Lea woke up to see that her face had suffered burns from the cream. These burns were confirmed by a dermatologist at the Manila Doctors Hospital as almost Second Degree burns.

The clinic still sticks to their side, saying that the burns were normal processes.

Lea’s story is just one of the many stories of simple operations gone wrong. Unfortunately, there are worse cases that have been documented, some have even resulted in the death of the victims.

The burns that Lea and her friend suffered on their faces were close to 2nd degree burns

Cheaper is not better

Not everyone gets to enjoy the rewards of getting quality work done on their bodies. For the rich and famous, it may be something ordinary and affordable but for people like Jeffrey Lobos, it entails a lot of saving and sacrifice.

Recently however, there has been an explosion of cheap procedures and medicines available on the market. Think of it as cosmetic surgery on a budget. Dermatological wonders for all. The question is, are these cheaper alternatives as safe and as effective as their expensive counterparts?

The obvious answer would be no, as just last August 4, the Food and Drug Administration or the FDA released an advisory regarding cosmetic products that contain an excessive and dangerous amount of Mercury. Currently, there are 50 products that are banned from the market because of their potentially dangerous effects on their users.

Mercury, when exposed to the human skin can potentially damage one’s kidneys, liver, and brain.

So how do you spot the unsafe products from the safe ones?

According to Atty. Ronald Rivera, the Deputy Director of the DFA, those products that are marked without English or Filipino translations are most often the dangerous ones.

According to the Ecowaste Coalition, there are 7 products available in the market that have the most Mercury content. Among these said products are SARA, Miss Beauty, JJJ Golden Package, and Beauty Girl.
Aside from that, a warning has also been given to be weary of clinics that use the term “Dermatological” even though there are no dermatologists working for the clinic.

To be sure of the dermatological clinic, see if there is a Philippine Dermatological Society membership proof, and not just a Mayor’s permit. Also, make sure that the person performing the procedure or operation is a licensed medical professional and surgeon.

It’s not bad to want to make yourself look better, but just be sure that the steps you take to building a better you won’t be the last steps that you’ll ever take.

“abot kayang ganda, ligtas ba” was aired on Saturday, September 3, 2011

You can catch Failon Ngayon every Saturday, 4:45 pm on ABS-CBN and replays every Sunday, 2:00pm on ANC.