Thursday, 27 February 2014

It Was Worth All The While

Fresh from the IQUAME interview, where we student leaders as a whole answer various questions, and I having answered a couple of questions myself was thrown this question out of the blue: "Do you still remember your first year in AUF?" Having paused for a moment and trying to traverse through the labyrinth of my aging mind (not enough time especially with the prying eyes of the interviewers seem likely to get heavier by the stare), I just had to say yes, when in all honesty, I can't remember that many events that took place when I was at first year at that moment; as if I threw all memory away of my not-so-distant past.

Now trying to retrace the events from first year up to this point and it may not be that specific like what shirt I wore on the first day, but things that I believed shaped up my years in AUF, and having reached my fourth year in B.S. Biology, a perfect means to summarize my college life.

Much like everyone else, straight from graduating high school, going through the main gate of AUF, which will later be synonymous to the likes of Big Boy, you'd probably get a rush of confidence in saying "I am finally a college student," and having the feeling of being more mature (I know I did, but I was the most immature at that time... maybe even now) and yet getting lost in the many rooms and buildings and ultimately asking a higher level where the PS building is located. Feeling good about yourself finding the room you need to be in only to be petrified by the sight of your new classmates and stiff to the bone in front of your new professors - all such things would lead to a hellish first few days of your new life in college as it did me when I was first year.

As the smoke cleared from the first days of college life, no subject, in my mind, or that of my classmates', seemed daunting, but as always, a subject that seems to be trouble-free and most likely to be taken in for granted only to outweigh any major subject that came before or after, feared and yet respected. Yes, I am speaking of CFE. Bearing the name of Christian, I am easily remembered by all my CFE professors and to no surprise, "volunteer work" and "volunteer recitations" were eminent. I also recall before taking the exams, me and my classmates bravely elbow our way through to the CFE board just to read the extra 5-10 questions based on it. And we all know how much those 5-10 points can help us.

Nearing the end of first year, I finally got my first official college crush (yes, she is and still is a beauty), at that point I told myself that I will get a girlfriend in college (has not been been fulfilled... yet). Mustering every ounce of courage I had to get her number, befriend her long enough to ask her out only to get turned down because apparently there is a height requirement. Though this experienced had traumatized me, I still get to smile about it every time I recall it.

Sophomore year came; to think it could never come sooner. Had a certain attitude towards the new "freshies" as "I am more college than them" even if most of them, guys and girls, are taller than me. Not old enough to be as cool as the third and fourth years, yet not young to hang around the the first years anymore. I was, or so I thought, in the "in" crowd - having no more 7AM classes, and finally got some lower levels to push around. So I was, like most of my friends, lax in second year.

My bonds with my friends strengthened here as we lasted a year together; my bonds with the other courses within CAS strengthened as well; and in time, my "I am more college than them" attitude was thrown out the window and I became friends with the lower levels. All throughout my second year was mulled with new friends.

The most memorable subject I had back at second year was Special Filipino, having to sing Tagalog songs and recite the national anthem in front of fellow foreigners who later will become my good buddies (the nosebleed group). We usually get away with a lot more things than any other student in AUF but we still have a way of getting into trouble with Ma'am Nepo in the ISA. I should probably give her a visit and show her the "new" Christian.

Second year flew by much faster than that of first year and before I knew it, I am sporting an I.D. with "B.S. BIO 3" on it (fine, there wasn't any number placed at that time so I made one myself). Being a certified "kuya", I have resurfaced my attitude towards the lower levels and with that I tend to strut about the campus only to be hounded by my second and third moms (my mother's close friends who are tasked to watch over me in school) to have "a better posture."

Strengthening bonds as I did in second year only this time with my professors begs for the stereotypical labeling of teacher's pet to be written on my forehead. Still pretty close with all my other friends and at this point I realized that I never had a major falling out with any of my friends. Of course, I have had enemies already made at this time, some of which are still after me (notices a red laser dot quivering on his wall), none of them were ever once a friend of mine. Well, that will all change at this point.

It happens with everyone, severing a bond with a friend, even it is for a moment, because of certain things. Tensions piling up to my third year and continue to amass in my fourth year. I have lost quite a few friends at this point, having reconciled with most, whereas others it's as if I didn't really care for them in the first place. But whatever the case, though they may no longer be in my circle of friends, I still owe them because they shaped up my life as well. So, love your enemies... it pisses them off that way anyway.

Girls are an integral part of a guy's life, so girls continue to beckon me all through my years in AUF. Eager to advance from my stagnant love life only to have the height requirement laugh at my face again. Once asked from the guidance and counselling if I had any problems with my love life, I simply answered no, with my philosophy, I wouldn't have a problem in my love life if it never existed in the first place.

Now I am at my graduating year, being bullied by my thesis, valiantly trying to ensure my graduation, and typically trying to make the most of my last year with my classmates before going our separate paths later on. I must admit though, it hasn't been smooth sailing this fourth year for me in terms of academics or interacting with my friends appropriately - lost track of my studies for many a reason and haven't always been a good friend if need be.

Just now entering the finals of the first semester, plenty of time still to make up for my shortcomings and make the most of my last year, I could easily say that these four years in college will, in due course, overshadow my elementary and high school years combined.

So that's how it went, some things omitted, turning out like this from a scrawny kid back in the day, learning a lot from the academe and life in general and now I would try and finish my final year with a lot more memories to be placed well in my heart. Like that time when I feared my new classmates but would later become my close friends; that time when I can't find my way around school but ultimately can go through the school blindfolded; the three day weekends; and when you don't know your classmates well enough, let alone your new professor, but share a laugh in class - that's when I felt like I belonged. Answering my question I threw when I was second year, "What's the point of all this? What is it worth to study this long and hard?" well, with all my friends and memories I shared with during my studies, simply, "it was worth all the while."

-End of Article-

This was written Circa 2009 for my then college, The College of Arts and Sciences, where I was a student under the B.S. Biology program. I was asked to contribute two articles that year, quite fitting that it was my graduating year, so out of the two, this is the only one I can recover from my old files. I don't remember where I saved my second article that year, but anyway, this was better than the second article. Plus, this only took me 10 minutes to write up; I was a better stringer of words back in the days...

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Tuesday I'm In Love...

Yes, since it isn't a Friday, I couldn't use in reference the ethereal "Friday I'm In Love" by The Cure. Now, I have just have been out of the of nearly 36 hours our Duty/From Duty status in the hospital, where I will admit, to no embarrassment or regret, that I have escaped an hour early... Why would I escape an hour early you might ask? A role model clerk (or quite close to that at least...) doing something like leaving an hour early? It's more of a sacrilege! It's like tipping over a snow cone of a 3 year old...

Well, I did so... for love.

Now that is too cliche?

Sure, maybe so, but I am grinning from ear to ear, not a care in the world, and suddenly my fears and hatred of the rest of my 2 weeks of clerkship is nothing but a distant memory... well until the reality of it all breaks my every bit of happiness again.

Anyways, we live far apart from each other, me and this dream girl of mine, a nurse, who I worked with in JBL. She was literally every little bit I dreamed of. And every bit more than that. But sadly, as I said earlier, she WORKED at the same hospital as me, her contract expired, and she decided to not have it renewed, so seeing each other, especially her locations admixed with my schedule is impossible to say the very least. 

I always said that once I graduate, I will visit her often in her far flung of a home. But that is still a ways to go; I've tried many times however to visit her when I'm out of the hospital early, but something else comes up and leaves sad and dead on the insides.

The only way we get to see each other is through Skype (thank you Skype <3), and in one of our many Skype conversations, I made a joke if she would visit the hospital to see her old friends, and she replied "I don't have my old friends there anymore" (because they, too, didn't renew their contract). And I subsequently replied, "Well, I'm still here, that should account for something, right? So why not visit me?", then she replied "I'll think about it..."; which usually means, NOPE. But suddenly, I received a text message saying she will meet up with me in the hospital, and I immediately asked her out for a coffee date that she accepted if only I am able to leave work early, since she lives quite a ways after all, she doesn't have the complete luxury of time at her side.

Oh happiness... it was all around.

We agreed on Tuesday (today) and it couldn't have come any sooner... and sadly, I wasn't told to leave the hospital early, and yet, I decided to escape. Looking, for even just a little moment with my dear, I'd do anything.

So we met each other, exchanged late Valentine's Day gifts, hugged, exchanged kisses on the cheeks, and had our usual walk around the mall before settling down for coffee. Nostalgia. Familiar. I was madly in love with her and the feeling.

And this is us:

And that's how happy life should be.

One will always find ways, or in this case, two will always find ways to have a moment with each other; she went out of her way to meet me, and I risked having a demerit for disappearing one hour a bit early.

And as the Moon now shows itself in this clear night sky, short of having a lake, river, or the like, I am reminded of Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad's (Anime) or Beat Crusaders' (Original artist of the song) "Moon on Water", where a verse goes:

"Full moon sways
 Gently in the night of one fine day
 On my way
 Looking for a moment with my dear..."

Looking for a moment with my dear... Well, I found a moment with my dear.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Valentine's is SAD (Single's Awareness Day)

I actually hate the thought of Valentine's this year, that being the fact I won't be able to see or spend that day with my favorite girl in the world (I will constantly call her my favorite girl, because we aren't an official couple. I sure wish we were... but hey), do the cliche things that a would be couple would do at such an auspicious occasion. So all the more, I being reminded how SINGLE I really am... Thus, it is SAD... Single's Awareness Day.

For years, I've had this ritual per se, thanks to my loving mother; that is, to give all the girls, all the close friend girls to be exact, roses on Valentine's Day. I started doing this ever since High School and still do it up to this day... well maybe not this year, because I'm in clerkship, and the fact that I have that one special girl on my mind that I just want to shower a bouquet on her and drown her on chocolates. But again, can't see my would be better half because of clerkship... Ah, medicine, thou is such a heartless bitch that entails so much sacrifice that it is gnawing away my insides.

I stumbled into this cover of "Officially Missing You", the types of songs an alternative rocker like me would normally NOT listen to, but since it was covered by Natsumiii (AKA Sweetiebutt in YouTube), who happens to be a League (of Legends) junkie, as well as a great singer, I had to click on that thumbnail of a video, and was pleasantly, audibly, surprised by her cover. Then again, I should have not expected any less from her.

Here is the cover:

Yes. I am officially missing my favorite girl in the world. But until I graduate from Medicine in a few months time, I should keep a clear mind that she will still be around by that time and I should just focus on my immediate studies first.

Anyways, as much as I hate the occasion this year, I will still wish you all a Happy, love filled, Valentine's Day!


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Just Take a Chance

Here I am again to share yet another film inspired post process... I have really gotten into this type of post process as of late for some reason.

With my latest post process, the photo was inspired by my childhood where me and cousins used to make origami and one of which was the fortune teller origami. I thought of adding "Just Take A Chance" on there, since most of the time we are taking a chance playing with the fortune teller origami, and also this implies that some things in life, you must take the chance or lose it altogether.

Anyways, here is the shot!

Again, not muted colors, slight saturated, but with high grains to give that old film look. Will try and take a photo of my shih tzu puppies and try yet another film edit. But those little rascals will surely give me a run for my money trying to get their shots.

So there yah go!


Got High in Our Class Picture

I was literally high during our class photo this morning... as tradition, after 2 or so serious shots, there comes the wacky shot, and I was high because my classmates who are taller than me (that is 98% of the class that are taller than me), lifted me up in the air for fun. It goes to show how me and my classmates get along; has to be, since we've known each other for nearly 4 years now, and being in medicine, the bonds are a lot stronger than normal friends.

It was great seeing my other classmates' faces again, since clerkship begs our class to be separated in groups for the different rotations per department. There were no cheesy hugs or anything, but we knew, from the way we simply smiled and talked from hours on end, that we missed each other and were happy to see each other again.

Just a few more hurt and we are done with our studies and on to the next level... PUSH!

This will be another short post LOL

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Yet another "vintage film" style post process...

Lately, I have been quite interested in film style post processing using Lightroom 5.3 and Color Efex Pro 4. I have always to shoot with real film, and having my dad's good ol' Canon AE-1, one would think that I am able to do it at a regular basis. But sadly no, I still stick my own Nikon D5000 and try and post process photos ala film.

One reason why I still haven't shot with film using my dad's camera is that I don't have the confidence of shooting with film and having it developed in a way that I don't intend it to. So, until I learn how to mix chemicals for developing, and garner enough self esteem to shoot with film, I will resort to what has tickled my fancy as of late: Post processing with the style of film...

Here is yet another vintage film inspired edit:

A little back story behind the shot: This was taken last June 2013, during which one of my very first residents in my medical clerkship decided to leave the hospital we are both in for a better post in a different hospital. So this is her going away party, where THEY drank (yes they, I don't drink alcoholic beverages... that happens to be my Coke on the left); where we ate; and where we sang... and pray it won't rain thanks to our horrible voices.

I have tried several types of edits, but this film inspired one is my favorite. It may look more saturated as compared to my previous film edit... here it is in case you've missed:

But either way, they are definitely edits that are akin to classic film shot... high grains, either muted or saturated colors... NOSTALGIA.

So that's it...


Keep shooting! Never look back!

Spell Toxicity

Second day of my glorious return to medical clerkship, and I have tasted what I was already used to before. The toxicity of medical clerkship.

To think I am used to it by now, why am I bickering about it? Well, this is of a different level... one that not even I can get used to. Now here, I wonder, how can I get through the last 3 weeks of clerkship with this kind of toxicity?

Sadly, no other way to go about it but to just face it, head on. Just like how your room gets messier before it gets any cleaner, in medicine, it just gets harder before it gets any better.

This is just going to be a short and sweet post, because that's who I am; literally short and sweet.

Bright days are definitely ahead of me, and my classmates... Respect to all the doctors out there for going through all this crap... and never, ever, giving up. So what makes them any better than me? I will make it. Pass all this crap. And where that white coat with an MD at the end of my name.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Playing Doctor...

I have returned to my medical clerkship this morning after being struck down with measles and was out of the loop for 2 weeks as a result of it.

I must say, having to get my body used to the workload, having to get used to being a slave all over again, and having to train mentally and emotionally to deal with all the banter, insults, demands of patients just because we have yet to have our very own coveted white coat, is quite overwhelming as I am not totally recovered from my illness just yet, and having to do all these in one day, is just a tall task. But its a tall task that I can do, indeed.

The only thing that is hovering over my head right like silly friend rearing his/her ugly head while your texting your significant other is that I have a pre-operation report tomorrow that I just received the chart to study tonight (in which I will do after a power nap LOL). I hope I won't get eaten alive tomorrow.

Overall, I can say that it's good, no, it is great, to be back in clerkship. 3 weeks to go, before our class review for the comprehensive exams and its graduation. 3 weeks, gotta be strong. Just 3 more weeks.

Now, I will take my power nap, and hopefully return later tonight with enough energy to kick ass in tomorrow's pre-operation report. FIGHT!


Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Mysterious Plushie

The mysterious plushie... since I don't know what you call these kinds of
plushies... Let me know, if you know.

So this plushie thingy, whatever it is, was given to me by my favorite girl in the world. It has become part of my workstation and basically has become my everything; it is my companion at night (yes, I'm a lonely bastard); my stress ball if I die in a video game; my means of remembering "her"... simply, everything.

It has been awhile since I held my camera, and I had no better subject than this. I used Lightroom 5.3 and Nik Software Color Efex Pro 4 to achieve this "vintage film" look. The high grains, the bokeh, and the muted colors definitely gives the nostalgic feeling of shooting and developing with film.

For now, I just want to share with you my sentimental plushie and share my "vintage film" edit. I will be sharing more info on how I achieved this look by sharing my settings, etc. But as always, that will be for another post.

Til then...


So, hello... I haven't been here in awhile. How are you?

Some random title that akin to become more of a conversation opener if anything.

So, yes, it has been too long since I placed my hands inside my head, into my brain, picking out words to synthesize together to make a sensible blog post. This is so because I am nearing the end of my junior medical internship (AKA clerkship) and it had to be the major rotations at the tail end of my junior internship. Guess I'm just lucky?

Well, to make matters worse, just a few weeks ago, I was struck down with an incredible 5 days straight of migraine (I do suffer from chronic migraine, but this was the first time in my life that I experienced a migraine more than 2 days and non-responsive to whatever medications I'd overdose myself with) and with measles. Can you believe that... measles?

Tomorrow, I will return to the hospital known as JBHell (JBL) and finish my last 3 weeks of clerkship with a bang! I was out for 2 weeks, and pray that I don't have to make up for it in such a huge way since we got no time for make ups after this as we are preparing for our exams by 3 weeks time.

I'm edging ever closer to my dream white coat, and nothing, not even the scary comprehensive exams will stop me from reaching my goals. I WILL WEAR THAT WHITE COAT; I WILL HAVE AN MD AT THE END OF MY NAME. I am determined.

So to that end, wish me luck and give me prayers as I cap off this 1 year clerkship the best way I know.