Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Goodbye Bart...


41 years. i hope you lived your life to the fullest. i hope you achieved everything you dreamed of. i hope you are happy.

And for the last time i will say, happy birthday to you. i guess that punchline will never be delivered the same way again.

Goodbye, bart. You will be missed.

Dr. Bart, ophthalmologist, had a seizure last sunday and was brought to the hospital too late. autopsy revealed a ruptured aneurysm. he was one of the nicest doctors who was a friend to everyone. another nice person to leave us.

while lots of salbahe people abound.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Sarap Naman

This one is just heartwarming. Awww, samwan wana be layk me. Thank you faye clarice for that post.

Now I better sober up and get my act straight. Kids are reading me.

Friday, March 25, 2005


Dani after a bath. Posted by Hello

I had not stocked up for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday so my fridge was empty. I didn’t even have drinking water. The mall was already closed yesterday so i was ready to starve to death this holy week as penance (not by choice) and maybe, become a saint.

Well today I needed to buy tofu as my reserves had been depleted. So I tried my luck at the local wet market. As I was walking, I was deep in thought as to what the Tagalog word for tofu was, lest I had to explain to the vendor the intricacies of the tofu production process, just to let him know what I meant. I had it at the tip of my tongue…Tofu…tofu….ano na nga ba yung tagalong nun? Ano na ba yung tawag sa may may baboy at tofu na nilalagyan ng toyo at suka? Hmmm… ayun! Toge at baboy!

So the manong was handing me these mongo sprouts.
manong, para san yan?”
“e sabi mo toge eh.”
“manong, hindi yan.”
“e toge eh, o eto.”
“yung ano po, yung galing sa taho, yung puti, yung sinasama sa baboy.”
“ah, tokwa!”
“sabi ko nga.”

So there, tokwa, hindi toge. Tanga.

Sunday, March 20, 2005


For a change, I studied at McDonalds Philcoa last nite. I noticed that whenever I study there the jeepney trip home would be either one of two scenarios.

If boredom and laziness get the better of me, I would usually leave the place at around 2am. All would be uneventful until we reach quezon avenue when the jeep would get livelier as beautiful women all made and dressed up (more of dressed down), would ascend the vehicle. The sight would just be delightful and the air would smell of their different perfumes. Yeap, even the driver, tired and weary, gets to smile, and would drive a little bit slower, if only to be close to heaven with these angels for a longer time. After getting enough of the wonderful display, I would pretend to be asleep while inhaling the scents that would waft through my senses, and being my nosy self, would listen in on their conversations. They would talk about their boyfriends, their customers, clothes and make up, but a common topic would be about sending money back home to their families. And I whisper a silent prayer for them.

A ride home at 4am would be a totally different experience. The women passengers are older and bigger than the women of quezon avenue. They do not wear chic clothes or make up or perfume. Instead, they have on them smelly aprons over worn out dusters, and nothing fancy on their faces but the lines that mark years of burden. In place of stylish bags are pails and styrofoam containers bearing fish or meat or vegetables to sell in the market. Their nails aren’t painted bright but are dirty and black. In place of high heels are worn out slippers under their callused feet. The men are mostly able bodied men working in construction sites. The only article they usually carry with them is a small towel to wipe their sweat. They do not chatter or tell stories as they travel but just by looking at them, you can tell their tales. They try to get as much sleep before the sun rises to have enough energy to last them the whole day. The driver also looks tired and continues to play depressing songs on the radio. I try to sleep so as not to feel sad. And I whisper a silent prayer for them.

We all try to survive in this vicious world.

Friday, March 18, 2005


It is done. My sister is $805 poorer. I have filed my US medical licensure exam application for step 1 online. In biochemical reactions, this is what we call the rate limiting step or the committed step.

My papers will be ready by tomorrow. I will be giving them to kareena who’s leaving for the US this weekend. That’ll save me around P1500 fedex money.

Well I could, of course, not take the exam and forget I had a sister. *snickers*

Anyways, hemingways, I need to go na. McDonalds, here I come!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Morning After

And when i stepped out of my door today, i saw fresh, yellow, watery, smelly stuff on the ground. It was a thank you gift from that soon-to-die cat.

i should've killed it last night.

Here kitty kitty kitty...

I have been on vigil outside our building for 2 hours, waiting patiently and silently in the dark for the notorious cat who poops in front of our door every single day. I don’t know how she picked our door amongst the 20 doors to choose from. Ours has unfortunately been her flavor of the month. I handpicked three stones specially for this occasion. I figured it was time I killed her.

I was about to give up when, out of the dark, she pranced by without a care in the world, a piece of meat in her mouth. I wonder where she stole that from. Nevertheless, I crept behind her and aimed, closed my eyes….and threw. Thud! It hit her smack right in the belly and she let out a yelp. Shit, did I just do that? I felt bad. But I needed to do this or step on cat poo every night I come home.

She continued to eat right there about 6 feet away from me. She didn’t even go the hassle of taking cover from my assault! So I took aim again, this time with the mental picture of gooey and smelly cat shit under my shoes just to give me strength. It hit her again. This time she dropped her food and started to shout at me, “how dare you throw stones at me!!”… or was I just imagining that? It wasn’t the angry meows that I heard but the “please stop! please stop!” cries. Normally, they’d run like the wind but this one didn’t. She stood before me and pleaded. She wasn’t mad at me. I still had one smooth stone in my hand. I raised my arm and purposely hit the pavement beside her. I ran after her and shooed her away from the premises. I hope I scared her good.

I went back up to my unit and opened the door to see Lucky scrambling to lick my feet as if I’d been gone for years. I picked her up and cuddled with her for a few minutes until she begged me to let go of her.

Dani on her sled. I miss my niece. Posted by Hello

Monday, March 14, 2005

Candice, the wandering physician

candice, a good friend from medschool has always wanted to become a barrio doctor. so she signed up and went to far far bukidnon, away from her cars, away from her luxuries, away from the comforts of our everyday life. here's an edited journal entry of hers...

February 18, 2005
Health Bukidnon Office
Valencia City

After Limos, we then decided to kill time and just visit the nearby Buffallo area – a few minutes ride on the habal-habal. It was an exciting ride, the 4 of us (including the driver), almost huddled on the motorcycle seat. I marveled on the magnificent view of the green ricefields with the majestic mountains on the background while trying to control my dripping watery nasal catarrh because of the bumpy trip. When we got to our destination, the health workers greeted us warmly. They gave me a personal tour to the ricefields – it was harvest season. They showed me how the machine separated the wheat from the chaff. They also s howed me the different stages in the rice life cycle and the different rice varieties although it was really hard to absorb all of them. While waiting for lunch, we engaged in our usual small talk, our barrio talk. We talked about how hard they lived and how they had to budget their income from their produce. It was irritating that one of the barriofolk was taunting me just because I wasn’t one of them. He sounded a little bit sarcastic saying my family was well-off and no matter what I do, I wouldn’t understand the lifestyle of the poor people like them. That I wouldn’t fit there. The health workers came to my rescue when they sensed what was happening. His comments made me feel bad.&nb sp; The more I felt I did not belong there because I’m part of the ignorant and/or oppressive petit bourgousie. It was partly true though, especially the ignorant part but then, that’s the reason why I am here because I want to know. I want to experience. I want to help.
Sometimes I think it’s true what Dr. Gene (from COMMED) said: we go here and have this messianic complex, thinking we can help the people and that we could make a difference. But then, when we’re actually here, we realize that everything – every interaction, every problem is deeply rooted in tradition and culture and consciousness. We learn more from them than them from us. And we see that we don’t need to save them because they can save themselves. We just have to make ourselves and other people aware that they exist and they have rights; much as we, the people in the city, living more comfortable lives , exist and have rights as well. Hopefully, that’s when change can be brought about, and more importantly harmony.

Raymund. Taken 3-4 years ago while studying at Rina's place. Always trying to loook candid but actually is very conscious of the the camera. An engineer turned doctor for, as he puts it, "a quest for higher learning. Doing Emergency Medicine residency training at the Makati Medical Center. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Goodbye "Classmates"...

My so-called “classmates” at mcdonalds and jollibee will soon be gone as this week is their final stretch. It will be lonely not having them noisy bunch around as I have learned to eavesdrop on their banters and jokes. Our so-called informal acquaintance has been upgraded to nods and smiles whenever we see each other. We transfer to the next fastfood outlet in groups.., well them in groups and me by myself, but we definitely acknowledge each other’s presence. By Friday night I will be alone again save for the guard who, once in a while, interrupts my train of thought only to blurt out a corny joke to which I have to smile, lest he kicks me out of the outlet for overstaying with only a sundae cone to my bill. Yup, I will surely miss them.

But not to worry, lots of people frequent Mcdonalds. I shall, once again, content myself into weaving their life stories as I see them and listen to their private conversations. Like there was this onetime, a was couple seated at the next table, the lady holding a piece of paper looking worried. Why was she worried? Coz the guy she was having an affair with was actually married and the good wife got her revenge by way of the court order the girl was holding in her hands. Aha! Interesting. I could’ve found out more had they not left so early, feeling suspicious. And there was this other time, a bunch of ladies entered the door, dressed to kill, and sat guess where?? Beside my table again, of course. The noisiest of them all had on these really pair of tight fitting pants that hung really low below the waist. Oooh, sexy. But when she bent over to sip her coke, I couldn’t help but notice (yes, couldn’t help) the waistband of her panties peeking from where I was sitting. It was all bacon and overworn with the big tag SO-EN shouting at me. Well I guess it all boils down to underwear, huh? Big turn-off.

And a lot more stories that amuse me. A good icebreaker to my review.

So I guess I won’t be lonely afterall.

dB. candid shot taken at the ULTRA swimming pool. dB is moonlighting in some hospitals in Marikina and Antipolo. He will be taking up residency in internal medicine early next year.Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Teacher Teacher!

Last night at McDonalds while trying to squeeze embryology into my saturated brain, I noticed the couple beside me trying to figure out their ECG tracings. They were medicine undergraduates. Ah, kids. I overheard the girl say she wished somebody would teach them. My ears perked up and I soo wanted to shout, Me!!! Me!! Lemme teach you!!!!

I started looking their way, desperate for some eye contact, so I could smile and introduce myself and volunteer to teach. But neither of them looked my way. I started to fake a cough and even purposely dropped my pen just so somebody would take notice and I could lock that gaze and smile. But they just continued to talk and ignore me. I kicked the chair in front of me and said “oops!” aloud to make it seem unintentional but I was invisible to them. All of a sudden, the guy started raising his voice and the girl looked like she was about to cry. They were having a love quarrel. My hopes went down the drain. They argued til McDonalds closed for the night.

I transferred to the next 24hour place, Jollibee, just across the street. Some of the med students were there too. I finished studying at 2am but I refused to leave yet. I desperately wanted to teach someone. So I gathered up courage to talk to a familiar face, a batchmate’s girlfriend who I used to exchange smiles with. Heck, I didn’t even know her name. So I said…”psst, huy, (sheez, I really said psst, huy!), turuan kita ecg”, and she beamed and got all excited. And so we did ecg tracings til sunrise. By 6am, I could bet she could take on any general practitioner in reading ecg strips. And I’m so happy.

I used to teach batchmates studying for the board exams (I am not a know-it-all, but I just want to share with people what I know). I would even do online consults for people with medical problems on the IRC taking hours to explain to them the normal menstrual cycle, pregnancy tests, STDs, contraception etc. (yup, a lot of irc people are promiscuous but don’t even know what ovulation is all about). One was even so paranoid as to ask me about HIV and how to be sure he hasn’t been infected yet.

I love teaching people. It’s a different kind of satisfaction when they learn to appreciate concepts they used to dread or hate. Fulfilling. Yep, that’s the word, fulfilling. If only teachers were valued more, compensated more, I would be one. But I need to feed myself first. Maybe when I am older and settled, and financially stable (meaning filthy rich), I will go back to the academe to teach. Teaching, afterall, is one of the noblest professions there is.

I wish I could teach my cat to stop drinking from the fishbowl.

Sheez, I just noticed, my socks don’t match.

Ging. Fondly called Gingivitis by me, has been a friend for over 10 years now. She is moonlighting in some hospitals in Bataan. Taken in her appartment shared with Moha at Kapiligan street some 3-4 years ago. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Sori sori

Errrr….regarding my last entry, could we just like forget I ever wrote that? Your comments were touching, but I fergot to update my blog. The day after I wrote that article, somebody called my cellfone saying that my bag was with her and that I was to meet her at the Westin Philippine Plaza that evening to get it. So I went. That night I met an old woman, noisy and bubbly and so grandmotherly. She handed me my bag with my things in it and proceeded to tell stories. She even brought me to her table at the grand ballroom and introduced me to all those important people there…oh, she was the president of the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians. She was just so nice I wanted to kiss her.

I just feel guilty and ashamed for my rants and cusses and curses in my previous post that I owe everyone an apology. I think I overreacted in the heat of it all. I’m a nice person, really. You can ask my friends. Hehehe.

So with this unexpected turn of events, I resolve not to have other people ruin my outlook in life. I will still be a trusting person. I will still be nice. And to all who will take advantage of me, God bless you.

Ok, sa mga naapektuhan masyado sa huling post ko…..sige…batukan nyo na ako…..hehehe.
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