Happy Mothers’ Day!!

Actual celebration happened a few weeks ago already but today was toy-room-cleaning-day which reminded me how blessed I am to be a mom to my son.

1. When he was still a baby, I am worried how I will keep him entertained. I was so used to playing only with fellow girls and I am into dolls and crafts and music which is “associated” with girls. I learned to adapt and he enjoyed my company as a playmate (being a mommy-friend worked for me!). We played with cars and trucks, puzzles, kitchen toys (why not??), we have dolls as well, play dough, paper toys.. to just name a few. Until now, we still play but not as much as before. He said he’ll keep most of his toys as his collections and some he’ll give away already.

2. I never needed to ask him to help out clean the room. I just “declared” today was cleaning day (because of the sudden work day-off). He was with me almost all day even if I asked him to go and do something else. (It will be faster too if I just do it myself). He was saying “But WE aren’t finished cleaning yet so I will stay.” Oh boy. 😍

3. Although he has more toys than I would want to (a lot are grandparents and god-parents sponsored or gifts), it didn t keep him from his outdoors play time. Well, he’s on the kinder side so his tendency was to bring out toys for him and his playmates to play with.

4. Almost all of his toys are Lego and car/train playsets. He created cities and “worlds” with those. They weren’t buy-play-once-and-keep type of toys for him. Commulative free play. More kalat (mess) but I was able to note how his creative juices mature even with his toys.

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Fastfood upgrade

When I was still a kid, fastfood for us meant Filipino variations of western chicken joints. We have McDonalds, KFC, Carls Jr. and some others I cannot remember anymore. But for us, mas patok sina Jollibee, Cindy’s, Tropical Hut, Johnny’s. 😁

Pizza joints are semi-special already. Oh, Shakey’s all the way since forever! It’s only when we got older that we discovered other great tasting thin crust pizzas but Shakey’s would always be our favorite. They’re for Sundays, post report card, post recital, post school event type of celebrations. (We were never a fan of thick crust, pan pizza. Just in case you would send us one 😉)

Then, independence was conceptualized in our household. It was then we realized our elders are not adventurous with food. It’s hard to make them eat foreign recipes and they say they don’t enjoy it. We were only able to try new restos when we go out with friends and classmates… then later on, it became a solitary activity for me.

Mostly solitary but ocassionally, I get to eat with good friends. That’s another story.

The point of this post is? Partly, I am thinking it would be a lot more wonderful and frugal if I have food from home. Another part of me, the “emotional eater”, is grateful to have options when going out alone. I can get away with a 30pesos takoyaki or a 60pesos fruit shake or something like this fast food bibimbap with bulgogi soup and mandu by Bonchon. Basta anything except the usual chicken set meal.

Partly, one day. I will completely embrace healthy lifestyle. Please do not reprimand me. I know.

Own space

[Repost November 2006]

As I was sitting on the couch at the coffee shop,
I was imagining I was…

In my dream house
In my spacious “den”
With a wide sliding door leading to the “asutea”
And in which a huge garden/field is just a stare away

Wooden floors, just like the one I have in my room (an old house)
Light colored wood, matte, which allows foot steps to be heard

A side with glass windows, divided into rectangles with frames
With walls in off-white, which give emphasis to light
On a wall hangs a painting of grandpiano floating on clouds
While other walls are plainly sacred.

A black and shiny grand piano stands at the center
A couch lies a few meters away
A table, lampshade,
A cabinet for music sheets and books
And yes a place for other instruments
probably a small stage to host string instruments.

That’s it.
That’s my haven.
That’s where I’ll go when I want to be alone
When I don’t need to care about anything else
Where I don’t need to think
Where I could just feel
Where I could do nothing
But where I could also feel “nothing”
Where I could play music
Where I could play “like nobody’s watching”
play “like nobody’s listening”
Where I am free.

Where I can be completely free.

 

Her, 13 Years ago

[Repost some 13 years ago, yup 2004]

My 2nd week in CAMP has passed. So far, no big problem… just yet…

Ngayon lang nagsisink in sakin na PT ang kinuha kong course. Why? The last two years I spent in UP is just like having a two year extension of my highschool years where I just took purely general education subjects (Math, Comm, Basic Sci subjects). Of course it’s also hard but deep inside I know that studying these subjects would not be very useful once I already start my profession.

Ngayon, things are very different. I know everything that will be taught is very important. Now is the true time to say that learning is not just plain memorization, it’s knowing how you could apply all that is taught and knowing how you would relate them with each other.

I am also starting to think of what I’ll do next after I finished my course. Primarily, I took PT as my pre-med course. But now that I am here, I am not sure anymore. I am starting to think that I would like to teach (as a prof). I also would like to take further studies about special children. Even before, I am already interested with dealing with them. I want to know their world. I want to know their hidden talents. I wan’t to help them live as normal as possible…

The first day of YOUR life

[Repost. Written  2012 April]

On the 23rd of March, dressed in black gown with green stripes and a (should I say, unexpectedly cool) barrette, we were HOODED. Publicly, we were introduced as WHITE COAT worthy.

It marked the first day of the LIFE we chose. As such, we are welcomed to ANOTHER YEAR of learning, of having a feel of independence while still absorbing as much as we could from our seniors. We are NOBODY’S RESPONSIBILITY anymore. We will work as pseudo-employees without license numbers. Our faults will make or break our still budding careers. This is the critical phase of being unprotected. Mess up and you are on your own to clean your mess. REALLY cool isn’t it?

I’m sounding too negative because I’m scared. I’ve always been scared. Every time I still ask myself , What the hell am I doing? Where the hell am I going?

At that day though, my mind is clouded, my heart hopes but my soul accepts. Whether it’s really the will of my deep persona or some random fate, I’ll just go through with the flow.

Just as always, in moments of SANITY, I decided to just take one cup at a time.

Clerkship at OBGYN

He was about 6 months old at that time. On most days, he was left with our nanny and a helper. I  was staying at a dorm near the hospital.  I knew he has low grade fever and seemingly mild cough and cold.  Just a few hours after starting my duty, I got a call from home saying that he was rushed to the hospital because he turned blue (cyanotic).  With my few clinical experience at that time, I thought of the worst but at the same time I was not sure what to do and who to turn to. I was afraid to ask my seniors if I could go home.  It was a weekend.  I was too shy to ask my groupmates initially and I knew if I go off duty without a replacement, the whole group will suffer. 

I ended up crying in our quarters. It was then that our clerks monitor, Dr. SC, came to look for an intern. She saw me, heard me. I remember she said “Why are you crying? … Of course you can go home, it’s your child… Just call for someone to replace you on your duty. “There would be someone willing”, she assured me. 
I ended up calling  JDT, one of my batchmates. She willingly agreed.  I was eventually able to go home when she came for duty.

Looking back, the decision is simple right? Go straight to the hospital where he was admitted. But it wasn’t easy for me. Fear ate me up.  It’s like I had an immature understanding of what duty and accountability means. I was only a clerk at that time but I felt I already have the responsibility to be 100% present when I am on duty.

This was the incident that made me think of how I would handle my priorities. I am a single mom and I am a novice physician. I can do both. But at that time, I decided that if I will have to choose, it’ll be my family. 

I know some collegues will not completely understand. I know some may think it seems easier to leave the job to go home, thinking it’s R&R. They don’t know we get ashamed when we feel we become additional burden to the workforce because we have to attend to problems at home. I know some, in their minds hope they also have a child so they can get “perks” of additioal leaves – sarcastically.  (This I heard during internship).

I know there are really those who understand. If I have to choose, it’ll be my family.  I have to set aside my initial plan of becoming a full pledged community doctor because I want to be close to the neighborhood in which my son will grow. I have to choose the training that will allow me to go home as much as possible – even if it means 3 hours travel home, with only 30 minutes quality time left to spend with him. I have to accept doing reports, projects in my free time in the hospital and cram the rest at home. His social and emotional growth is more important than mine. 

Limitations

WE HAVE OUR LIMITATIONS. As your doctors, rest assured we are doing our best to serve you. Unfortunately, sometimes that’s all it is. Service. Our knowledge and skills and compassion and care. But we cannot give our own lives to you. We have our family to feed and take care of. We are workers just like you. It is the job of the hospital to provide equipments, laboratory and medications. If the hospital fails to provide, it is your responsibility to look for funds and if not at least look for help. The hospital has social services to help provide for the indigent but has limitations as well. We can sometimes donate but we cannot exhaust our own wallets. 

There’s only so much we can do. Trust me, it frustrates us as much as it frustrates you.

Health “care” itself has no limit but those man-created medical care gadgets have.  The sadder part is that limitations is monetary based which reminds me of another thought.  Those who are truly in need find it hard to “borrow” money but those who have excesses can borrow at whim “millions” of credit.  We know why; it’s because return of investment is more assured from the rich, but still…