Monday, January 24, 2005

Break Muna

To the tungerks, ia and ai, and my ever loyal fans, myra, beng, abby, jeypi, ky, and all of you drop by every so often, I will be leaving for the province tonite and will not be able to update until the weekend maybe. Sorry to leave on such a short notice. But you are always welcome to drop by to check and increase my counter. Hehehe. Don’t miss me too much. I will try my best to find an internet café somewhere in the mountains. You never know. Oh, and please leave comments on my blog entries, I’d like to hear from you and to let everyone know that there really are people dropping by.

Marc, update your site.
Butete, tama na senglot senglot.
Ai, tama na senti senti.
Wag kayo iiyak, susulat ako....

Friday, January 21, 2005

Don't mess with me.

Sometimes I have to raise my voice, cut the smiling crap, and let people know that I mean business to get what I want. Let them shiver in fear of my wrath. I got my bank account today.


This photo was taken at a wedding ceremony in camp crame. We were a group of 6 med students who sang for weddings and events. That is rina, my soprano. She loved weddings. She'd get excited preparing for her friends' nuptials while she longed for hers. She wanted to get medschool done with so she could get to another stage of her life. Presently a first year plastic surgery resident at the PGH, she is also to tie the knot with jc in january of 2006. Finally. Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 20, 2005


I cannot believe that I, 26 years old, a registered physician, failed to open an ATM savings account at RCBC today due to……lack of identification cards! This is absurd! I presented my PRC card which indicated my profession and the teller looked at me and asked what my profession was. Either she was a total bitch or just plain dumb (I’d like to think she’s more of the latter). She then asked me why there wasn’t any signature behind the card. Well fine! I got the card and signed. Next thing she asked me was my real age. I wanted to bitchslap her right there and then. But I put on my sweetest smile just to get over with this nonsense. She asked me for another ID. I don’t know why my PRC card wouldn’t suffice. The next thing I had was my student’s driver’s license which had my picture and full name printed on it. She said it wasn’t valid. I asked why. This was a valid government-issued ID. I don’t see why it shouldn’t be valid. She said she wanted a laminated driver’s license. Oh, fart. I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. The next thing I presented was my U.P. alumni card (ya, desperate measures) which was just a laminated piece of cardboard with my picture in it. But for some strange reason beyond my humble comprehension, she accepted it. Why? Because had University of the Philippines written on it. Don’t ask me. Please don’t.

But that wasn’t enough. She still needed another supporting ID. I wanted to bite her nose off. I said I had an atm card and she answered that will do. But when I showed her my dilapidated atm card, she said didn’t want it. I pleaded and pleaded until she finally agreed to show my driver’s license to her supervisor for validation. It was almost 3pm when her supervisor came out of her cubicle “Sir, why did you came only now?”. argghhh!! another dumb bitch to contend with. Lord help me. To make the long story short, they wanted another ID. Period. They asked if I had a passport to which I replied I did which expired in 1988 when I was 10 years old. She asked me to bring it tomorrow so I could open my account.

Don’t ask me. Please don’t.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

On being a physician

I went back to the clinic yesterday after one month of absence. I never thought I was coming back despite my new found fondness of the place called quiapo. I was surprised to hear that there were patients looking for me and refused to be seen by another physician. Awww. All these months of questioning whether being a physician was worth it, and this answer just drove right through my heart.

I don’t think I will ever see them again though. My boss doesn’t think of me as a financial asset to her polyclinic because I give the cheapest drugs to my patients (mostly which are not available in her drugstore) and limit my labs to what is necessary. This is the reason why she has removed my free lunch (without informing me, which almost led to my death as I waited for eternity) and my usual 3 days a week schedule was cut down to only about once a week. I was even surprised she called me back this year. It was either due to insistent public demand (haha!) or due to the lack of options. Well I don’t blame her. She has bills to pay and kids to send to school. But who doesn’t? My patients aren’t exactly the rich ones either.

I once thought I would be charging my patients big time, for the frustrations, and sleepless nights of medical school. I also dream of a nice car, my own house, and financial stability. But come face to face with an elderly patient in slippers and dirty fingernails, with rough hands and hard skin, and a face lined with all the years of hardship spent selling fruits in the market, who wouldn’t want to reach out with compassion? They need me more than I need them. And with that, I give myself.

Saturday, January 15, 2005


Posted by Hello
His makeup wasn’t good at all. There were smudges of foundation over his lip and the powder was obvious. The lipstick was light pink but it wasn’t flattering. His hair was combed back with pomade and there were a few gray ones showing. He didn’t look like his picture, not even close. My thoughts were interrupted by my cousin’s movements behind me. She didn’t want to see a dead man. Oh, I forgot, this was an uncle who had a massive myocardial infarction. I’m so used to looking at dead bodies, much more, touching them, that I forgot I was in a wake. I didn’t know this man that no emotion could strike me.

When I die, I want my coffin black, shiny, and SEALED, with no chick on top. I don’t want people’s last memory of me to be a dead face in the casket. No graduation pic too, just happy pics with friends and family. No big, red, bright lights please, just some soft, soothing light flooding the entire room. If there be flowers, please don’t send them in those ugly arrangements. Let there be food, lots and lots of food, catered if you please. Let there be a dress code, wear something chic, put on something you’d wear for a dinner out. I will have people stationed outside to do a critique on your outfit and guards to prevent you from entering if you don’t meet the requirements. I want kids running about and people laughing and gossiping (not about me). And friends, all my friends. I will haunt you if you don’t come. I want you all to say nice things about me. Burn my remains and do whatever you want with my ashes. And don’t cry for me. Just let me go.


I used to wonder how photographers get their black bacground. So i went to a clothshop and bought me a cheap scrap of black cloth to serve as my backdrop. I was stil having trouble with my flash because it stopped working so i made use of all the study lamps i could get. the picture's lighting is adobe edited. :)

Moha. Posted by Hello

Someone who loves me as a brother (why, oh why). Taken in her appartment at Kapiligan street where she stayed the whole 4 years of med school. I will never forget how she was there for me during my last days in college. i love her dearly for that. She's the reason i got into medical school.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


Eversince our tv went kaputs (3 months ago), our primary resource for daily events was our housemaid’s tabloid, Bulgar. Yup, I never thought we would go that far, but we did. It started out as Manet (or monet) bringing home a copy which we, due to the lack of things to read and to do, browsed through it. This harmless act led to another and eventually became a ritual which we would muse over the breakfast table every morning. I, myself, would go directly to Christy Fermin’s column and try to guess the blind items which weren’t so blind afterall. Manet had them all stacked and stapled by dates and soon her pile grew. I think she was proud of her collection. Once in a while I would bring home a broadsheet, like The Philipine Star for example, and every body would just delve into it to have a taste of pure, unadulterated news. But that wasn’t often.

Manet (or monet) didn’t come back after the Christmas break (good riddance). And she brought with her the Bulgar collection. Now we don’t have our daily gossip and blind items to wake up to. I don’t know what has become of Cristy Fermin’s expose on Aubrey Miles' alleged son. I haven’t got any good story on ABS-CBN’s van being burned down aside from the bits and pieces I hear from people. I don’t know how Krystala is faring in the ratings versus Mulawin.

Once again, we have become recluses from the outside world . And I miss Kuya Germ’s Master Showman. (walaaaaaaaaang tulugaaaaaaaaaan!!)

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Beauty Posted by Hello

Beauty, brains, poise, and elegance all rolled into one doctor (sigh). Kareena gladly posed for this photograph taken at her dorm about three years ago. She is currently reviewing for the US Medical Licensing Examinations.

I have been unproductive today. I woke up at 4:30 in the afternoon and did nothing much aside from stare at my computer and play warcraft. Yesterday was lucky’s 1st bday. And she’s in heat. Poor kitty.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


i feel sad that sisters have to get married and leave. I feel sad that now we share our sister with her husband and she will never be entirely ours again. We were never vocal about it but I always knew we all embraced each other dearly. But tonight I realized how much she loved us. And it made me cry.

I miss you a lot.

Monday, January 10, 2005


Today I downloaded and filled up the application forms for the USMLE step1. It will cost my sister and her husband 805 US dollars (roughly P45k). scary. isn't that enough pressure to pass??

A friend and I dropped by the Kaplan review center the other day to check how the review process goes. There were rows and rows of television sets with students listening to videos of lectures via earphones. I asked how much would it cost me. the review was priced at P35k but is to increase to P41k by mid january. Huwaaaaaaaat???!! But of course i pretended to look calm and just nodded. We asked for some brochures and took a last look at the privileged people before we left. There is no way i am going to afford this one.

I tried to brush up on fluids and electrolytes but months of idleness seemed to have dulled my mind. I had a hard time trying to absorb the book, which incidentally was entitled Made Ridiculously Simple.

Couple Posted by Hello

Taken in Boracay one afternoon in 2002. Eugene is studying for the feb boards while Victoria is now a first year resident of Internal Medicine at the PGH.

Sunday, January 09, 2005


Sorting thru my pile under the bed last month, I came across some pictures I had taken three years ago using my sister’s manual SLR camera which had a lot of problems but was still useable nonetheless. The cam’s lightmeter wasn’t working and the lenses had traces of molds growing inside. I couldn’t afford to have it fixed and cleaned. I couldn’t even afford to buy myself a photography book hence I would frequent Powerbooks just to read about shutter speeds, apertures and stuff about photography. In the next couple of days I will be posting shots of friends who volunteered (were coaxed and bribed, rather) to be my subjects. some were candid, tho.

coffee Posted by Hello

taken at a coffeeshop in quezon city while studying for an exam in physiology. the film looks overexposed at the left side but i like how the photo turned out. reason for the overexposure is a leak in the cam where some light could get into the film slot. i told you it was an old cam. that's susan (left) and rina (right). Rina is currently a first year resident of plastic surgery at the PGH while susan is studying for the february boards.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Finally, a direction.

I have decided. I’m going to take the US medical licensure exam. I’ve been wandering aimlessly for four months now and I think it’s time to set a goal again. I realized that all my 26years, my life goal was to have the M.D. attached to my name. I thought everything would be alright from there. But no. Four months into being a doctor, I am lost. There are a lot of doors opening but I do not know which one to take. I’ve been bumming around for months. Not that I’m complaining, it has been wonderful. In fact, I’ve never enjoyed slacking more than ever.

I went back to the hospital last night to return some borrowed CDs to a friend who was starting residency. He looked 10 years older from the last time I saw him (which was only last month, by the way). He didn’t even smile when I handed him his stuff. He fumbled with his census and walked away. He was not in a good mood, I could tell. Must’ve gotten a dressing-down from the consultants that night. But it’s part of it all, something u have to accept before starting residency. I still refuse to come to terms with it, but that’s just the immature me. I will, of course, eventually go the same path. But not just yet. I’m not ready.

Big Time

The other night I had dinner with the mayor of Manila and a few congressmen from the House of Representatives of the State of Hawaii (one of whom was a personal friend and the reason why I actually got to hobnob with the rich and famous that night). Well ok, there were other important people there whom I didn’t know. Of course they didn’t know me either. I got a chance to be introduced to the Mayor by my friend and got to shake his hand and exchange a few words (few meaning about 6 words or so). It was so impersonal and I think he even didn’t get my name, but hey, you don’t get to do this everyday. Dinner actually sucked as they served crabs and lobsters and seafood (allergies). But I was there for a personal reason. I had my own agenda, one of utmost importance to me, of which I will not mention here yet.

Friday, January 07, 2005


click to enlarge

And they thought it was just a wave. It was. Some of them are even smiling.Posted by Hello

How many can u count? Death toll 155,000 and counting. Posted by Hello

Before and after pictures of parts of Indonesia.Posted by Hello

More before and after pics. Posted by Hello

Just a thought. What if Malaysia and Indonesia weren't in the way of the wave? Posted by Hello

Mission Accomplished

i hope.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


After a day's work, farmers head home in a kuliglig.
Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Humble Beginnings

This is where my dad was raised. It’s been deserted for years now and is currently being used as a storage area for rice. It also served as a milling station run by inang long before she left for the states. The house is surrounded by ricefiels and that cemented road in front used to be dirtroad with all the dust going inside the house. I haven’t been here in a long time. I have fond memories of this place which we seldom visited when we were kids. Inang used to have a sari-sari store and sold junk food with all the freebies inside. She would save for her grandchildren those plastic action figures, marbles, cooking sets, and even bottlecaps and cigarette cases we used as playmoney. Every after a visit in that little barrio called Cul-lit, we would come home with a lot of stash to play and gamble with. I remember one time my dad brought me to visit inang, I think I was in first grade then. I needed to poop. My dad said the plumbing wasn’t working so he gave me a sheet of newspaper to poop on. Sheez, if I had better control of my sphincters then, I would have waited til I got home. But I had no choice, so I sat on it and did my thing while trying to read the news. Too much sharing, eh?

There’s not much to do when you are in cul-lit. I think it’s a good place for hiding if you’re on the other side of the law. But life is simple and quiet here. So simple that u wouldn’t know how to survive. I don’t think I would last three days here.Posted by Hello

Trying to catch a rooster. Posted by Hello

Climbing a coconut tree. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

HBD Ena!

Ena, our youngest, turns 23 today. :) Posted by Hello


An aunt decided to conduct a medical mission in a place where her roots began. Cul-lit. u wouldn’t find it on the map because it’s just a little barrio in the North. I’ve never really counted how many doctors were in the clan until now, 13 (better halves of cousins included). We could start our own hospital. But my aunt thought it was time to go back to where we started and give something back to the community. How noble. So there we were, 7 doctors present, meeting aunts, uncles, cousins, and nieces and nephews, for the first time. A sort of a reunion, u might say. We were treated to a late lunch of crabs, shrimps, kilawen, kaldereta, and pinakbet Posted by Hello

Monday, January 03, 2005


Sorry for not having updated my blog for the few days I was in the province. But I will make up for it. I have a number of photos taken during the holidays to last me a few days while nothing much is happening.

Taken in one of my dad’s rice fields. This is what got me through college and medical school. We are the people who dread storms more than you do, who believe that the soil is more than just dirt beneath your shoes, who give thanks to God for the sunlight and the just-enough rains. We are the ones who rejoice when the price of rice goes up. In my 26 years of existence, it’s only now that I get to see where my dad’s funds come from. My mom’s a government physician and earns just enough to get us through the day, while my dad’s money is set aside for the big expenses (like medschool) . And I chose to be a physician, dumb choice no? Now I want to be a farmer. Posted by Hello


My sister turns 28 today. Happy bday sha. Miss u. Posted by Hello

Good 2004

2005. Everybody seems to be reflecting on the year that was. Here’s mine.

I finished internship in May with SPs in OB. Damn them all. I then started to review for the medical boards and gained 10lbs in those 3 months of review, took the licensure examination in August and by God’s grace, took my oath in September. Dad got a new lease on life with his triple bypass at the heart center (this was last year’s highlight, I guess) and everyone in the family became health conscious after that. Lucky came to touch our lives and scratch our sofas, while my sis’ family left for Canada in November. Got my student’s driving license finally and started to learn to ride behind the wheel just last week (thanks, Weng) . Spent New Year’s Eve with my family, finally, after two years of having it in the hospital. And I started to live off on my so-called earnings and have been 2 months allowance free from my parents. I was seen on national tv three times and had an invitation to be featured in the local newspaper.

So there. That was my year in a box. Not bad, I may say, not bad.

Everything with God’s grace. God is good. Posted by Hello
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