Decembreak (December + Sembreak) Feels

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Forgive the tiny photo but at least it shows how happy I am this Christmas break..

And finally after quite some time, I am back to blogging! It is quite clear to me now that I cannot successfully accommodate the demands of being a med student and a blogger! But I have high hopes that come 2017, I can squeeze in WordPress every now and then as a sort of study break. Well, I sort of just had a ‘lag’ on what to write next due to hunger and yes, I’m forcing myself to finish this post so that I could reward myself with a nice dinner. Anyway, let me share with you briefly what I plan to do this Christmas vacation which also serves as our sem break. (Sorry if I had to break down what the ‘play-with-words’ title was and not leave you to get it! Oh well, that’s me making sure you do! )

It was only last Wednesday, December 14, when our Christmas break began and since then I have been pretty busy juggling work and rest. Coming from the most tiring and challenging semester in med school so far, I was thirsty for a break. Imagine my endurance and patience during the last days of exams when studying seemed to be an obligation and no longer a delight. So yes, you could tell I really couldn’t wait for first sem to be over! And I guess it was the same case for my batch mates. Now that I’m here living out my vacation, I just feel so relieved. Looking back, I can’t help but say “Thank God I survived that one hell of a ride!”

With only three weeks and 4 days already done, I have so much to do in such a small amount of time. And from my history of making lots of goals but ending up not achieving them all, there is just this spark of determination I feel right now for this year’s Christmas vacation to be different. So here’s me hoping and praying I get to achieve the following:

  1.  PROJECT WEIGHT GAIN: Now’s the essential time to gain back the pounds I lost while studying and stressing myself out! It is timely for such ’cause not only it’s Christmas but I’m back home! Nothing beats delicious, home-cooked meals by Nanay (mom)!
  2. Play my violin more and once again . It’s such a shame that I left my Bachendorff to rust and dust. But it’s high time for my fingers to hit some strings and hold a bow. How I wish though that this pursuit of learning the instrument more would involve a violin teacher BUT for free. (Chuckles)
  3. Christmas shopping. Well, it’s the usual routine each year but hakuna matata, I don’t forget the true essence of the season. Actually, I’m the most conscientious among my siblings when it comes to buying stuff for presents and I don’t get myself too absorbed with all the gifts and all. (Jesus Christ is the greatest gift, what more could I or we ask for?!)
  4. Finish my albums. I’ve always ended up failing to finish my two music albums. Hopefully I get to finish them before classes start.(Fingers crossed)
  5. Get more sleep. Although I’m not the type that stays up late, like until 2 am, during school days, I still consider sleep a precious physiological need (more important than sex; there you go, I said it!). I know I get less of it when I’m already a clerk so I’d better enjoy it while I have the chance!
  6. Spend more time with family. Here’s to family worships, movie marathons, scrabble time, jogging, etc. and of course, our annual Christmas games!
  7. Take inventory, plan and renew myself. Spending alone time with God is always a  daily priority for me but it comes with a deeper importance when another new year is near to start. I find joy in recalling memories and events, both good and bad, that happened throughout the outgoing year. But there is deeper joy in laying out goals and ambitions for the future especially when borne out of a loving gratitude to and humble faith in God, the One Who sustains my life until this very moment. In line with that is an overwhelming desire to always become a better version of myself, in all aspects.

So far these are the most worth-sharing TTDs I have for Decembreak! How about you? What do you intend to do?  What can you do to make your experience during the holidays more meaningful and more special? Whatever it may be, it is my wish that you enjoy this year’s Christmas and never lose sight of Jesus, the One we celebrate!

Merry Christmas!

Med Life 1.1

After finally having rested well these past few days, I think now’s the right time to spill out my thoughts on the first part of my med journey. Well, I do miss writing somehow. And it seems I have ample time of doing this so here we go!

(Breathes deeply…) Looking back to the last 4 months of med school, I can’t help but say that I am so relieved that I survived them! I am also grateful to God ’cause if it were not for Him, I could never make it through. I lost 3 kgs during this span of time and that is proof of how medicine took its toll on me. (“Medicine, why you killing me?!”) My acne also worsened. All these due to the inevitable stress imposed by assignments and weekly exams, the different challenges encountered everyday and the harsh realities med students face.Even just thinking about the things to study is stressful, considering the bulk. These are only some of the things that make med school a path which is “not difficult but just not easy” as one doctor-lecturer always emphasized to us. I guess, one can never say that med school is hard unless he or she truly experienced it.

I remember that I started the semester with that ‘uumph’ factor. The desire to learn was there and it was fueled by my zeal and perseverance. However, came Block 3, this momentum started to slow down until I ended in burn out. It was a tough ordeal for me when I really wanted to be the best I can be but I was just too tired to study. I lost myself somewhere during a block which needed me to be at the top of my game because the third block was the ‘start’ of real medicine. Despite this unwanted irony, I passed all my exams and I survived. Thank God for this and in addition, I was able to gain myself back. The succeeding blocks proved to be harder for me since my foundation in Anatomy and Physiology was lacking. Anyway, many activities like tutorials and dissections prompted me to study hard and learn effectively. Being a med student in West Visayas State University (something which I mostly forget and take for granted at times) is a great privilege and I should be thankful that I’m studying at one of the best schools in the country. I hope that I will hold this truth close to my heart so that I would not end up with burn out again. Because given the chance to change the way I spent the first semester, I would see to it that I lived each day with a burning desire to learn and with my studious self intact, undisturbed by petty, unnecessary things. How I wish I had more focus and less wasted moments. But I am still happy that I enjoyed the ride and learned a lot, especially from mistakes.

A coffee-free journey for me!

A coffee-free journey for me!

Anyway, med school was not all about raising my cortisol levels. My endorphins were pretty much in a steady state too! I gained a lot of friends due to my job as a class treasurer and my smiling face. I am so blessed to have found great companionship and support from my two med families: AAAACHU and my small group, Mangtwo2waz. These wonderful people have a special place in my heart and I look forward to having more moments with them! Besides new friendships formed, I had new opportunities laid out for me. I joined MedSymph, the College of Medicine’s official chorale. For the first time also, I conducted the chorale of our batch and it was a challenging task. But music certainly made my stay at Roxas Hall enjoyable and lighter. I have to include my extracurricular activities such as the IRCP parody making (it was so timely that we had to do something like this) and my active participation in 3 churches here in Iloilo City (yes, my Sabbaths were busy most of the time in using the talents God entrusted me). I just can’t express how glad I am that many moments were dedicated in serving the Lord!

Team AAAACHU

Team AAAACHU: Making my journey more fun!

We are family!!

We are family!!!

So, I guess, that’s all I can share about my first 4 months as a med student! I know I still have a lot to go through. As my father would put it, “Damo pa ko asin na matilawan” (“I still have a lot of salt to take in”). And with that in mind, I will use the remaining time left this sem break to prepare for Med Life 1.2! So help me God!

Slow Me Down

Two weeks ago, I came across an interesting blog post and after reading it, I felt like I was hit by a ten-wheeler truck. It was not fate or coincidence that such a timely message was imposed upon me. I believe it was God’s will somehow that I ended up reading it and having learned something valuable. Let me share that with you, dear reader.

I shall conceal the identity of the writer (who I know virtually and not personally) since this person was the subject of a recent entry I posted in my blog. Well, that was not the first time I wrote something about or related to him. Anyway, his thoughts were profound and accurate; very factual of the reality how this world runs. Though there were things which I did not agree with, he wrote the truth and one part of it that gave me a big slap is this fact: Many people pride themselves in being busy, showing how invested they are in gaining success and forgetting about the simple things in life that matter. He really got it right with his observations because I am a witness as well. However, sadly, I am a suspect, part of the people who belong to this category.

And the truth is hard to swallow, you know. But coming to think of it, I was and still am that type of person who considers busy, stressed, tired, you name the adjective, innate to my being. It seems like I was hardwired this way or something. Don’t get me wrong. Human as I am, I have my limits and weaknesses. But what I am referring to is I don’t want any room for idleness in my life. I want to be so productive and to feel fulfilled that sometimes I forget to take a rest, to give myself a break. I have this tendency of feeling guilty if I squandered my precious time on something not so healthy or beneficial for me. Or regretful of many lost opportunities which exist because of poor decision making skills. (Maybe I lost more by living this way?) I guess it is the desire for success that caused me to be so concerned of always doing something and wanting to do so. It stirred me to be always on the go. This and probably other factors (such as the environment I am in) have made me the person that I am today and it may have lead to some good results. But going back to the harsh actuality, I know I have gone over the hedge.

So here is acceptance speech/message to myself: I have lived a fast-paced life for most of the time and it has to change. Being busy is important especially when it comes to achieving your goals and ambitions in life. But if it dislodges you from enjoying any moment and celebrating the simple things around you, from basking in the gift of life, it is a must to consider its rhythm before you end up in the hospital or worse, your death bed. That’s why, Kyle… Slow down!

From ‘What Ifs’ to ‘Whatevs’

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(Whew… I think I needed a simple sigh before sharing my thoughts on some very personal stuff. Well, I am teeming with regret like a coral reef with all the colorful fishes around me. And I don’t like this feeling to hold on; especially now that medschool starts in a month. So I pretty much would like to let it all out so that one of the greatest regrets would lose its toll on me and I can finally move on with my life. This is my way of letting go and to any person/institution referred in the next paragraphs; this is my way of reaching you because I can’t afford to be mum. But hakuna matata, I’m scrupulous enough not to reveal any identity.)

What if I did not expect too much and just looked for another? You may think I’m talking about a person here but na-uh. You see, the first regret I’m sharing is one of the biggest in my life. It is the fact that I never got to work in a laboratory full time, either as a fresh graduate or a professional. I’m a goal-oriented person and after graduation last year, I had all these plans of what to do with my life. Since I could not take the September board exams because some fell on a Sabbath, I planned to work as a phlebotomist so that I could save some money while simultaneously reviewing for both the boards and the NMAT. It really seemed like the perfect plan at that time. I was so excited to put it into action. I thought about the benefits and the satisfaction of being productive and helpful to my parents.

After our in-house review, I applied for a phlebotomist position at a hospital where I also had my internship before graduation. It was my dream place to work as a health worker where I could put into practice the knowledge and skills that I acquired from school. I had high hopes of being hired with all the positive notions from the staff of the laboratory. I really expected that I could get in ‘cause I also knew some people who were not registered but were able to work as phlebotomists. Sadly, to my dismay, I was not. It was very disappointing but I accepted it as God’s will. I tried to look for other job openings but in vain. How I wish I accepted a job offer from a friend before applying at that institution because the latter was laid on false hopes for me. And what makes it worse is that a year after all these employment blues (which dissipated in time for I came to accept that it was truly God’s will for me not to work yet), I came to realize some things that brought them back. And all I can say is “Life is certainly unfair”. The human resources may have had their reasons but I could not help but see the discrepancies. And it completely left me upset; it opened my eyes to the harsh truth that sometimes only those with connections can enter. But then again, God had a purpose why I did not end up there. He knows what’s best and I will continue to trust Him. It is just heartbreaking that a year is near to pass and only once was I able to work in a laboratory for compensation. On a good note, at least I got to experience what it feels like to do so than having none at all.. I may not have h

It may be hard to forget this ordeal I went through but having learned some lessons along the way, I will set my eyes on the future and avoid the same mistakes. It’s true: I never got to work either as a phlebotomist or as a RMT in a laboratory for a certain period of time. But I was able to do a lot of stuff which I normally can’t do during medschool like watch TV and rest. I was unable to help my parents financially and save for the future. But I helped a lot in the household chores that I somehow became the ‘atsoy’ of the house. I did not achieve this goal or fulfill this well desired dream.  But I was able to achieve others like having a concert for my 21st birthday and passing both the medical technology board exams and NMAT.

As I already mentioned, God had and still has a purpose for me. This does not mean the end of the world so I will just keep on going! It may sound cliché but everything does happen for a reason. And even though I may not see the reason right now, someday soon I shall. Here’s to that and also for saying goodbye to all these “what ifs” and saying hello to “whatevs”!

From Dreams to Smiles and Everything in Between

Here am I upon arrival at the place where no other can replace: HOME

Here am I upon arrival at the place where no other can replace: HOME

Finally, after more than 2 months of not being able to do so, I can write and post here in my blog again! If you are wondering why I was absent for quite some time, that is because I was in Manila where I had my review for the March Medical Technology board exams. I can’t believe it because it seems like only yesterday that I was still walking the hallways of the university or reviewing for our quizzes. And then I took one of the most important exams in my life which took place last March 11 and 12. By God’s grace, I passed and I am now a professional, a certified RMT (Registered MedTech). And on this note, let me share this exciting and memorable journey with you, dear reader.

It all started on January 4 when  I set sail on familiar waters toward Iloilo, a city near my hometown and just 1 hour and a half away. The truth that I would be leaving home for about 3 months did not sink in easily but I believe after the tiring packing and tearful goodbyes, it hit me hard. With my father to guide me, it felt reassuring not to be alone. But I knew innately that the time would come when he had to leave and I would really be on my own- it was the beginning of independence.

To make the long story short, we arrived safely and the next day I passed my application for the College of Medicine of Western Visayas State University. I was the first one to do so and good thing the process was smooth and quick. We then left for the airport and before I knew it, I was already in Manila. (We took the “two-stones-with-one-bird” opportunity of flying from Iloilo for both my application and the fact that it was more affordable.) We were fetched by my dad’s best friend who drove us to Quezon City which would serve as my new home. It was a whole new world for me- insidious traffic, evident pollution, different language and culture, etc. I already expected the inevitable realities of living in the capital but I was excited of the many opportunities I had especially the ones pertaining to visiting new places. And upon setting foot on the 38th floor condominium which was to be my abode for the next few months with new people to live with, life took an unexpected yet beautiful turn for me.

Being family oriented, it was a big challenge for me to be away from the people that matter most to me after God. I considered it an effective means though to become independent and learn how to deal with different types of people. And in faith I focused on my goals so I was able to let go of my concerns, worries and fears. And despite living with the things just mentioned at times, I went on with my life. And boy, I learned a lot! Besides the knowledge I acquired from ACTS Review Center, I took in deep insights about life and God which made my stay there meaningful. More than these, I met many individuals who became close friends. I found my church family in Manila Chinese SDA Church which was the exact church God led me to. I am so thankful to the Lord that He brought me to this spiritual oasis where the members are so hospitable and the youth very active in doing service to Him. I looked forward to every Sabbath after a strenuous week of review and thank God, I participated in many activities and programs that strengthened my faith and passion for the Lord. From the Bible study group to the choir, it felt like I was not a visitor at all but a member. I remember the first time, my friend Elmar and I attended church in ‘China’, we were warmly and enthusiastically welcomed. It was a complete contrast from the church back home and I intend to bring this essence when I return.  I was richly blessed in my spiritual life all throughout my stay in Manila and I will always be in gratitude to God for this. It seems that all these blessings far outweigh my passing the board.

*I really want to share a lot but time is so limited. I think this would be the first part and I shall share more in part 2.

Rainy Day Blues?

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Lately, my life and the weather seem to have similarities. It has been tough for me ever since, dealing with some problems. I actually don’t feel like writing right now but maybe letting this out might help. Well, hmmm, where should I start?

I’m not giving the specifics ’cause it’s too personal. But I just feel like I’m in that stage where you’ve been before. It seems like an unending cycle for me and the feeling of breaking free has never been realized. It has become stronger than ever before. I know what I’m sharing is surely vague but just know that I’m in one of life’s valleys. Simply, it’s one of life’s downs.

And it’s not because of the rain. It’s been raining hard since Wednesday due to a typhoon and I love the coolness it brings. Hopefully though, everyone is safe especially in the areas where the storm hit. It may be the essence of the weather aggravating my personal state. My heart is burdened somehow and my mind is agitated. This feeling makes me sick to the core and my paranoia makes it worse. Indeed, it’s too familiar to me.

However, on the bright side, I can feel my nothingness right now. The need for freedom is greater. The desire for change is stronger. My faith in God may have had its fluctuations but is increasing. My hope is fading but not completely. During this trial, I shall cling to God and remain in the refuge of His love.

To sum it all up, I don’t like what I’m feeling right now ’cause I’ve always ended up this way. It is sickening for life to be like this. But it brings me back to the One Who can provide me comfort and strength, the Source of everything I need to make it through right now. And so I know, this rainy day blues won’t be too long.