A. Mabini st. in Cainta, Rizal is known for selling the best kakanin (sweet rice desert) in Manila. It is also a street where you can see several amputees in wheel chairs lounge outside their homes for some morning sunshine.
According to Santa Malonzo, owner of Santa’s kakanin, most of the people in that street has been passing down the kakanin business for generations. Some of her neighbors had to be amputated due to diabetic complication, more specifically, gangrene.
Diabetes is a serious chronic metabolic disease characterized by an increase in blood sugar levels associated with long term damage and failure or organ functions, especially the eyes, the kidneys, the nerves, the heart and blood vessels.
” Every day, we would wake up, and cook kakanin since we were kids. And of course, we have to taste the kakanin daily,” says Malonzo
“But I don’t have it; maybe Diabetes is just hereditary, ” says Malonzo.
Diabetes, however, can be acquired. In a report by International Diabetes Federation (IDF) for its 2009 Diabetes Atlas, there are 3.4 million Filipino adults with Type 2 or acquired diabetes.
According to a report done by Oxford Health Alliance, annual cases of diabetes in the country have gone up by 2.5% yearly since 1993. Of which, about 1.4 million Filipino adults (aged 20 and above) have acquired the disease in the last five years.