Batch 2007 Celebrates A Decade

“Love is not patronizing and charity isn’t about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same — with charity you give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand instead.”– Mother Teresa.

Anniversaries are celebrations. They mark a special event in somebody’s life. As for our batch, Batch 2007 of ESNCHS we marked our 10th year anniversary this year, so it has been 10 years since we left high school and embarked on our individual and varied career paths. So this might call for a celebration right?

As we celebrate ten years of friendship and camaraderie, we took a step higher and organized a mission, Operation Tuli, last April 29, 2017 at Barangay Surok, Borongan City, Eastern Samar, Philippines. To address the health needs of our community we opted to push for this project, giving free circumcision services to some of the kids and providing them with free medicines and vitamins.

So let me first enumerate some of the benefits of circumcision. According to WebMD circumcision decreases the risks of Urinary tract infections, reduces the risks of some sexually transmitted diseases in men, protects men from penile cancer, reduces the risks of cervical cancer in female sex partners, and prevents balanitis or infection of the glans and balanoposthitis or inflammation of the glans and foreskin.

With 11 volunteers from the organizing batch, together with the barangay health workers and barangay officials, the event proved to be a success, with a total of 35 kids successfully circumcised and 8 who were deferred. Simultaneously health teachings were also imparted every after operation which included topics about hygiene, sanitation, and compliance to medications. Free medicines were also given along with some vitamins and ice cream.

So in behalf of the organizing team I am very much thankful to the people who one way or another was vital to the success of our batch project. To all the donors and sponsors, to the barangay officials headed by the barangay captain, to the health workers and of course to the volunteers and the team, we really need more people like you. If we continue to help others, then there is still hope that we can still make this world a better place.

So let me quote what Thomas Carlyle said, “He who has health has hope, and He who has hope has everything”!

THE DARKNESS

So have you ever been in the dark for such a long period of time? Have you ever felt fear, despair and dread? Do you feel so alone and out of place at the same time?
The dark and I have met, but it was not the way I perceived darkness. It was the other way around.
You see, the dark isnt so bad after all.

In the dark I felt a sense of calmness and serenity. It moved me to pray, and when you pour your soul out you will be freed from the burdens of your heart and the clouds over your head.

Lately things were hard on me and acceptance to reality was far to my reaching. I felt that somehow I was a lost wandering soul.
A living but without a heart.

Yes, in the darkness have I seek what I was yearning. I was looking for an immense sense of purpose. The purpose which became weak inside me, it was beginning to fade and if I was too late then envy could have engulfed me.

What then is purpose?

It is a burning sense of reality, a vision, a hope. It makes you- you! It drives you, propels you and keeps you going. It is your underlying reason for existence. You exist because of your purpose. It can be a vocation. It can be a profession. It can be both!

You live your life the way you envision your purpose. Some has a great sense of it. Others are fading. Some, because of greed have turned corrupted and wicked.
There are also others who are still lost without a purpose, but there are also many others who are chasing and still looking for that purpose.

Have you met yours?
Take it from me, you might find it in the darkness.

Ang Dagat ay para sa Lahat: an open letter to the surfers who have always, always known better

PepperMench.

My phone has been beeping for hours now as social media notifications come flocking in every ten minutes or so. Facebook private messages come pouring in at a rate comparable to when people flood your news feed on special occasions. But today is no special occasion, and no sweet messages are sent; these are personal hate messages and raging comments related to one remark I made about the thin line between sustainable tourism and people’s greed.

Apparently, when you voice out your opinion, you become a disrespectful **sh*le. You question their intent, they tell you to f*ck off. You tell them to show some humility, they humiliate you. You show your support to boost the local economy, they start acting out. I guess most people are better off not caring. But I am not most people, and I actually care about actual issues.

Three days ago, a friend sent me…

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The Generics Pharmacy Borongan Held Its First Free Medical Consultation

“Ill-health of body or of mind, is defeat. Health alone is victory. Let all men, if they can manage it, contrive to be healthy!” -Thomas Carlyle

As part of The Generics Pharmacy’s mission of addressing the health needs of the people by providing a complete range of quality generic medicines and healthcare products and services, The Generics Pharmacy- Borongan in partnership with Sandoz Philippines, and with the cooperation of AKMA-RESBAK, a non-profit organization, conducted a free medical consultation held last August 22, 2015 at the Borongan City Hall lobby.

As part of TGP- Borongan’s 7th year anniversary celebration and its advocacy on health and healthcare, the free medical consultation was made to reality. This of course addresses the ever-growing need of accessible and affordable health services for the City of Borongan.

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A total of 85 patients were consulted, mostly were from Borongan and a few from nearby towns.

The health care team on the other hand consisted of five doctors and six allied health professionals from AKMA-RESBAK, two student volunteers and TGP- Borongan staff.

The event started at around 9 o’ clock in the morning until 3 o’ clock in the afternoon.

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Simultaneously, while patients were waiting for their turn for consultation, health education was being imparted. Important topics about medication compliance, antimicrobial resistance, and facts about generic medicines were taught. Videos about health, exercise and sanitation were also presented.

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The event proved to be a success, owing it to the people who extended their talent, knowledge, expertise and effort. To Atty. May Mercado-Bacsal, TGP- Borongan franchisee, who made it sure that the event will become a reality. To AKMA-RESBAK who actively participated and made the event into existence, the world needs more people like you who puts the welfare of humanity first even to the expense of self comfort. And to the undying love of TGP- Borongan’s staff to the people and  for putting health first above anything else.

11911456_10205109251391116_562631999_n(The Team after the event. Photo courtesy of Bunny.)

It’s moments like these that we realize the true meaning of advocacy. If people cared for one another more often, then the world will be a better one. If we value our health more than anything then the people around us becomes healthier too.

“He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.”-Arabian Proverb.

A Challenging Endeavor

Long before I was still studying nursing, it was my biggest dream to organize a medical mission to my hometown. Healthcare and Health is just a second priority here because Health and Wellness is just for some who can afford them. Having a mission somehow can alleviate if not totally, some of the health issues we are trying to battle. Missions are free so people could be consulted without those overly charged fees we pay on hospital bills or clinics. So somehow I imagined myself to organize one. I just don’t know how.

Then years have passed and an opportunity came.

I grabbed it.

Then it is finally being realized and is now becoming a reality. Few more days and my dream wont be a distant dream anymore but a reality. I am overworked. Stressed. I am even doubting my capabilities now that it is finally fast approaching.

But dear Lord, please. I know you gave me that dream because you believed in me. Please give me that courage to push through amidst the obstacles that I will be facing. I know I’m just stressing out but shun the negativity and doubts away please.

I’m very much hopeful for a successful one, and I know I can do it with You.

Vladimir’s Curse

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Finite Creatures.”

And so I woke up in a hospital bed with an intravenous infusion attached to me. In what hospital am I in? Where was I? What happened to me?. I looked around. I’ve got no glasses on but I feel like I don’t need them anymore. But I still need it because without my glasses I feel like I’m a different person. I looked around again and this time I tried to scrutinize the things inside the room. It’s a small room. It has a small and noisy air conditioner above where my head lie. In my right was a small door probably the CR. Directly in front of my bed was a small television and perpendicular to it lay a small couch where my father’s jacket was. Where are they anyway? I’ve got so many questions in my head! I seem to not remember what had happened but this could not be amnesia because I still know who I was, who my parents are, and every detail I force to remember, but not last night.

My head was hurting.

Then the door just beside the couch swung open and my parents came all the way in with their bright smiles at me.

“Thank God you’re awake!” My father said.

“It has been three days since the accident and finally you’re awake.” Mother added.

“Wait, what?! I was on an accident?!” I blurted out. “What sort of accident? Why? Where? How!?” I wish I could watched what happened, like watching a movie at the back of my head. But there was really nothing. It was a blank space!

“Now, now. Calm down dear. I’m sure you are trying to remember what happened but don’t go hard on yourself.” Mother said who instantly came very close to my bed and grabbed my hand to comfort me. ” You were in a van that got tossed out on a cliff. The cliff was quite steep but amazingly nobody was dead. Only others had some serious fractures and the rest was a miracle. Everybody was amazed how you managed to attend to every passenger who was with you immediately after the accident. They told us that they were really thankful that you and the boy who was discharged last night on the other room were there to ease things up and you know to mend their wounds immediately. Everybody knows you now as the nurse who tried to save everyone. Thanks to you nobody got a serious hemorrhage or God knows what. Every family of those who were on the accident gave us donations to pay for the hospital bills. You haven’t waken up since today, and the doctor said that we were just to wait till you woke because they haven’t seen anything serious on you. They said that it was amazing how you and that other boy, Vladimir, were only left with minor scratches and wounds which were not fatal. Except for those two pinpoint marks on your neck which the doctors find odd. But all the rest we were just waiting for you to wake up. I will have to go and fetch the doctor or whoever is in the station so that we can work on your early discharge. You know hospitals make me feel sick. ”

My head was still hurting from trying to remember what really happened. I guess, I somehow left home because I was needing my license to be renewed. But that was all there is.

The following morning was a relief. Dr. Angelica came by and checked everything. She said we could go home now. There was really nothing serious though she referred me to a psychiatrist to work with debriefing to prevent post traumatic disorder or whatever.

I was discharged. My father insisted that before leaving the hospital I should go visit and say our goodbyes to the other passengers. So I went with him to every room where they were staying. I went to a man with a cast. To the one with bandages, and so on. Nobody was familiar but they keep on thanking me. I always nodded and smiled and told them to be all right and lastly goodbye because we were to leave hospital soon. I somehow wished that I could stay a little longer and asked them what happened and all but I guess I will be giving them a hard time to reminisce the whole event

So there It was, goodbye but still with confusion lingering within me.

We left Mother Of Mercy Hospital while the sun was scorching hot. It is July but seasons are changing here, it is now a hot July not like before, when July comes so is rain. Did i say that It was terribly hot and felt like I can’t bear the heat and the glare! God! The glasses might be killing me, I really can’t stand the glare.

Our small town was a 4 hour land trip from the city. During the trip my parents tried to point where exactly was the cliff that we had our accident. But I really was not minding because of the sun. It was really hurting my eye. Or was it really my eye? Nevertheless, I tried to have a conversation with them till we arrive at our home.

Nothing really feels like home! The smell, the sound, the air, everything!

I hurriedly went to Robyn, my goldfish and gave her some pellets. My parents were away for three days, so she must have been very hungry.

I went to my room and lay on the bed. I missed it. Then I slowly dozed off.

I woke up almost around midnight. I wasn’t feeling hungry which was odd, because I always feel it every time. haha! It was dark but I can see the light from the outside post. Then a voice spoke, the sound of a man.

“I came to say sorry to what I did to you. But that was the best thing I could do. People there were dying. the accident was fatal and you too were bleeding to death. I sensed you were from the healing people because you attended to the person injured right next to you. I’m really not the type of healer, I even find it hard to heal myself. I’m more of a harsh form of creature. I can give you the best and the worst pain there is without even touching me. So compassion is really not my type but immediately after the crash I know I needed you to save those other passengers. You were dying anyway. I gave you your second life, hence the scar on your neck. You saved the passengers on the accident, but I saved you! Having said that, I apologize because you no longer belong to this world. You are among us now. By the way, you should meet my sister Ann, you two will get along fine. You might even fall in love with her! Just be careful. I will tag her along with me the next time I come here. But for now I have to go. I have to face the Highness and explain to her what really happened. For now let me tell you this, you are no longer human. Vladimir by the way, nice meeting you!”

Was this a dream? I did not see him exactly but I think he was really inside the room. I pinched myself, I felt it. No I’m awake! Am I? I closed my eyes again.

Then I heard the alarm. The sun was up again and I was hating the glare for the second time. ugh! That was intense nightmare! Good it was over! Its time for work again.

Then I saw it, the pinpoint scar on my neck.

Thoughts Of A Broken One

So we met. After that seemingly endless years of not seeing each other, we met.

Not the kind of unexpected meeting because on my part, my friends planned everything up. Yes! Your real friends who try to see what you really have been dreading, and making sure it will happen and things just go crumbling down. Well at least for me anyway.

So you see, I’m a mess. This blog is even messier. But I needed something to vent out what I have been holding back.

Way back then, I must have been really proud and arrogant because you loved somebody like myself. I really wish I could turn back the hands of time and loved you the same.The kind of love you really deserve.

How many times do I have to tell myself that everything is better now! You are happy, with him of course I know that, judging by the way you smile and telling us that you are somehow waiting for him.

Am I really okay with that? I think not. But I’m trying hard to be. What do I need to do that I will be free from this hopelessness?

Sorry, but I’m really a mess.