All you have to do is stay

I wish people would stop falling in love with the idea of me because everyone who did just ended up leaving… 

I wish people wouldn’t be so quick to say they like me one day and drop it the next…

I wish people would get to know me first before realizing they like me and not the other way around…

I wish they could see all my flaws… how I get batshit crazy when I get frustrated… how I get impulsive with my decisions and end up failing in the end.. how I would constantly need someone to talk to because I’m scared of being alone but then push people away because I always feel like I’m not good enough… how I am when I get anxiety attacks… how I choke in my own tears when my depression get the best of me.

I wish people would see all of that, endure all of that before they can finally say they like me… because falling in love with me can be so easy… but staying in love is a different story. 

Featured photo from Unsplash

#SITDOWNBEHUMBLE

So for one last time, I’m gonna let myself go. 
I finally saw you again after so long, asking you to pay up and you said, “I’m not gonna pay you shit, you traumatized our kid. I’m not gonna pay you shit.”

First of all, why are you the angry one when you’re the one indebted to me. And let me give you a run down of where you got it wrong.

1. Not your kid.

2. You sent 2 of your ex’s to the hospital, you know nothing about trauma. 

3. You owe all of your ex’s money, SO HOW BOW DAT? 

4. “Borrow muna ko, di pa dumadating TF ko” was your favorite line aside from “Pwede maglambing?” to start off when you need something.

5. Okay, I’m confused here but why are you mad at me when I was the one who caught you cheating and you owe me money? Is that how the world works now or some fucked up reverse psychology thing?

6. And dude, stop saying your ex girlfriend’s spreading false stories about you when you’re the one doing that–

  • That story about your ex you broke up with because she can’t buy you “shake?” I don’t know how I bought that story but dude, you are so good with your mind games. Come on, who breaks up over a fruitshake?
  • And that other ex that wrecked your car? She didn’t just leave you there, she went straight to your grandparents to say sorry even though you physically hurt her. Hey, that’s domestic violence, you should be sued for that! And how much was the damage on the car? 200K? Come on, the job done on your car wasn’t even that good. And you make her send you money every 2 weeks while you’re already with another girl that you ask money from? And when she caught you on Tinder you’re gonna say “I love you” like WHERE ARE YOUR BALLS man, seriously? 
  • Oh, that kid you said I traumatized? You brought her there when you had a girlfriend and you just happened to get caught. So tell me, who traumatized who? 

Don’t talk to me about trauma when you clearly don’t know what it means. I stand up for everyone who suffers from Depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder so don’t start with me because I’m gonna get you schooled. 

13 Reasons Why You Should Shut The Fuck Up

13 reasons why is probably the realest show I’ve seen so far… so real to those people who had gone through a similar ordeal. A lot of you may hate it or say the lead character is so dramatic but it tackled the issues everyone is so afraid to face.

Before you start with the “Hey, it’s Hannah Baker” jokes, let me tell you what depression is… 

Depression is said to be caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. It may be caused by faulty mood regulation or genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medications, and different medical conditions or chronic illnesses. (Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School)

It is not just a feeling of being sad on a certain day or being “overly dramatic” as what other people say. It is not a choice. Depressed people did not choose to be depressed.

Depression is diagnosed based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Yes, there is a criteria so you don’t just call out someone and say “Oh, she’s just a drama queen!”

To be diagnosed with major depression, one must be in a depressed mood or should have loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities for more than 2 weeks. You can also recognize impairment in social or occupational activities or in educational aspect. You should also recognize at least 5 of the following:

1. Depressed mood or irritability almost everyday

2. Decreased interest or please in most activities almost everyday

3. Significant weight change or change in appetite

4. Change in sleep: either lacking or excess of it

5. Agitation or retardation in activities

6. Fatigue or loss of energy

7. Feelings of guilt or worthlessness or even reduced self esteem

8. Diminished ability to focus or concentrate or just indecisiveness

9. Thoughts of death or suicide or ideas of self harm.

Well, we can’t always say that it’s depression right away. There are also other factors to be considered. Was there any substance abuse involved such as drugs, alcohol or other medications? Is he/she suffering from medical illnesses that may cause hormonal imbalance? Is he/she going through bereavement? Or are there any other mental illnesses to be considered? Nevertheless, such symptoms should not be taken lightly.

So now that you know what depression is (or at least understand a little), let me tell you 13 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD SHUT THE FUCK UP

  1. Everyone is going through something. Don’t just give out unsolicited advice if you don’t know the whole story. Depressed people don’t need you to talk, they just need you to listen.
  2. When you say “It’s okay,” you’re only making it worse. It’s not as easy as just snapping the fingers and the feeling would just disappear.
  3. The shitty little comments you say can break someone who’s been trying to just make it through the day. Think twice before you drop those unnecessary words.
  4. Don’t just say stuff because you think it’s funny or cool when it’s obviously demeaning to another person. Stop trying. You can’t even put “funny” or “cool” in your resumé, so who are you trying to impress?
  5. It’s not your fault someone is depressed but it’s going to be your fault someone feels bad when you’re being too insensitive. Your words and your actions can affect the people around you.
  6. Of course you can’t know everything that’s happening in the world and in people’s lives and it’s not really your responsibility to know but it wouldn’t make you less of a person to just be nice and care about what’s happening to other people.
  7. Girls… before you start making that shady comment about another girl… aren’t you a girl too? So what if she’s a little thicker? Is it so important in your life that she’s wearing a lot of makeup or too little clothing? Don’t say you’re just looking out for her because if you are, you should be stopping those people who are judging her. It’s not a if-you-can’t-beat-them-join-them thing, you are just being a mean lil bitch.
  8. And guys, stop making that comment that she’s easy or she’s a slut, whore or whatever name you can come up with… First of all, do you even know her personally? 2nd, did she even notice you? Did she even sleep with you? Oh heck, even if she did, did you really have to talk about it? Did it make your dick any bigger or your performance any better? And please stop the “catcalling,” FYI it’s harassment!
  9. Why is there so much hate on social media, seriously guys… why do you hate so much? If you’re bored, grab a book, go out with your friends… stop making social media your sole purpose of existence.
  10. If you got a problem with someone, go talk to them. Don’t hide behind those Facebook likes and comments of people who don’t even know the other side of the story. Their opinion will not fix the issue.
  11. Stop making fun of someone’s appearance or flaws, because let me ask you this… how good-looking do you really think you are? Yes, to your family you’re a fucking gem but it doesn’t make you flawless so stop mocking anyone for how they don’t fit to your standards of beauty.
  12. To anyone who’s mocking “depression,” please stop. If you don’t understand it, you don’t have to say that it’s not real. Keep your opinion about what you don’t understand. You are the reason there’s a stigma. You are the reason depressed people hide and pretend to be okay then end up dying.
  13. Lastly, if you are not really depressed but you’re just craving for attention… JUST STOP. You are the reason why depression is being set aside or ignored. Stop being the “boy who cried wolf” and start having a life.

Your words and actions can save or end a life… choose wisely. And if you’re the one who’s suffering from depression, PLEASE GET HELP. You don’t have to suffer alone. You don’t have to be ashamed of it. You can get better. You should get better.

Featured photo by unsplash.com

If you are reading this, it’s too late


This was your message 7 months later after you first fooled me. And I can say, this is not how winning feels. This is not a game nor a competition. This is life and you fucked it up. You fucked it up again.

I am done being on the losing end. I am done hurting. I am done with all the suffering. I’ve moved on and I want everyone else to do so too. I don’t need a pity party because I’m in a better place now. 

This is my chance to speak. This is my time to tell the story… to give a piece of the truth. 
Here goes…

I caught my ex cheating on me but I wasn’t hurt from seeing him with another girl. I was traumatized with who I became when that happened. 

He cheated on me before and was all about asking forgiveness and 2nd chances, the “I love you’s” and “It’s gonna be different this time”… I thought he changed. He became an ultimately different person, or so I thought. Maybe I was just too blinded with the idea of him acting like he regret what he did. 

Fast forward to the end of October 2016… he told me he’s going on a vacation with his family… but social media was too generous that it lead me to clues when I wasn’t even looking. I messaged him about my doubts and he was quick to say “If you’re looking through my stuff, I’m telling you we are so done” and “Naghahanap ka na naman ba ng pag-aawayan natin.” He told me to not ruin his moment with his family and that we’ll talk once he get home. 

My gut feeling was just too strong, I headed to his house immediately after ending my graveyard shift. His car was there. I opened the gate and looked through the window, I’m quite sure he’s home. I checked the car and it was open. I sat inside… waited patiently… well, I wasn’t patient enough cause my anger only granted me to sit still for 10 minutes. I messaged him, told him I wrecked his car, scratched everything, broke the windshield, the side mirror and the headlights–which I didn’t really do. I was just hoping he’d come outside to check his car but he didn’t. I messaged him and the girl saying that I already know but I got no reply. 

I saw the girl through the window. She came down the stairs and that’s when I broke down. I knocked too hard on the window panel and the glass broke. I was surprised that the girl’s child is with her. They ran back upstairs and he came running down. He opened the front door and screamed at me saying, “LEAVE! GET OUT!” I ran inside and knocked on the bedroom door because I wanted to talk to her. He ran after me and tried to pull me away, asking for me to leave… I heard the worst lies said to my face. I hit his face more times than I can count, with my hand still bleeding from the glass that I shattered. I tried to open the door, fumbled with the keys and he tried to pull me away. I hit him with the keys until they broke and scattered on the floor. He threatened to call the police, blaming me for everything. I said I’m not going to leave until he tells me why he did it… he was quick to say “Di ko alam.” He asked me to leave and put my things in a black trash bag. Yes, a fucking trash bag!  He told me how can I act like that, “doctor ka pa naman”… Act like what? Hurt? Devastated? Appalled? He was even the one who got mad at me after everything. 

But did I receive any apology? Zero. Zip. Nada. Zilch. I was even the one who said sorry to the girl for the commotion I brought. 

He told me he’s going to fix it. Just about the same time he’s already introduced that girl to people as his girlfriend. And also the same time he tried to ask his other ex girlfriend to come back to him. It was a vicious cycle I’m glad to be freed from. 

Little by little, I learned about the truth. I met people that showed me what kind of person he truly is. I found out every single lie he made me believe… every single lie he made other people believe. I can’t say more on that part anymore because it’s not my story to tell.

I saw him again just recently… I can say I’ve never been more grateful. It was liberating and I didn’t even had an anxiety attack (thank God). I didn’t feel any love or pain anymore, but instead, I felt disgust and pity. 

So if you’re reading this… 

I know you don’t need my forgiveness nor even care about it at all. I can’t wish you well because I can’t bear including you in my thoughts anymore, this is the last time I will spare you a space in my brain. I forgive you for using me in feeding your ego (and of course for feeding you literally and your dogs) even without an apology. I don’t need it anymore.

I can never understand your ways because I don’t know how a normal human being with a sane mind can act the way you do… befriending every person you hated… every belittling words you said behind their backs yet suck up to them face to face… every belittling feeling you sent my way because I can’t keep up with your “fame” and how you can’t be proud of me because I wasn’t “popular.” 

You told me to quit being a doctor and pursue everything else I wanted in life… guess what, I graduated and I’m in between pursuing my passions and being a doctor and it has nothing to do with you. THIS IS ALL ME! I am everything you hindered me from being and I’m so grateful you showed me the kind of person I would never want to be. 

I speak with no hint of hate because I’ve never felt this happy for so long… I AM FINALLY FREE! 

And for the record, I’m not doing the stuff I do because of you. I’m finally pursuing my dreams and the last thing I wanted is to be associated with you. I’m done living in your shadow with people recognizing me as your ex because I am my own person–a much better person than what you expect me to be.

P.S. I don’t have bitter feelings about what you have now. I do hope and want you to stick to your decisions, at least for once in your life. Please don’t cause anyone else pain ever again. And maybe… It would be nice to pay me back because I’m no free money. 

I’m having a child!

Before you start jumping into conclusions, I would have to say I’m not pregnant. I may look like one from all the cake I’ve been eating, but I really am not HAHA! Yes, I am having a child but I’m not bearing one… not even in the near future so before you start opening your mouth, let me tell you how…


“Why do you want to be a doctor?” asked the consultant during my interview when I was applying for medical school. I forgot what everyone else answered but some said “I want to save lives” as expected. I didn’t give that answer because it didn’t feel right. 

I can still remember my exact words then: “I’m taking Medicine because I believe that this is the best choice I can have for myself and for my family. My parents sent me to the best schools and I want to make the most of  that opportunity to better myself… I want to be part of the Doctors Without Borders because I want to help different people or races, I’ve always been fascinated with culture.” I also remember telling the story about my college thesis where we hiked the Cordillera mountains for 6 hours and immersed with the tribe there to document the medicinal plants they use in their community and how I want to do a medical mission there once I become a doctor. I was so sure then of my purpose in being a doctor. But when I got in the system, I forgot all of that…

Burn out was my mortal enemy. I was used to studying just enough and sometimes not at all because I grew up getting okay (?) grades with little effort. Medicine is a different story. I wanted to learn but I didn’t know how to study. I was so frustrated because I can’t do everything I want… I want to dance. I want to make art. I want to make music. I want to write. I got so many dreams I have to let die! 


During my 4th year, I got into training at an actual hospital setting. It was overwhelming for someone whose pre-med course only involved dissecting animals and plants or looking through the microscope. There I saw the true color of the field. It felt more like a war zone than a refuge. I saw the hierarchy amongst doctors, the hate among colleagues and the shaming from patients. I wouldn’t say it’s all bad because I’ve also met a lot of good people in the field… but my heart was breaking day by day. I remembered that interview I had before I got into Med school and seeing that same purpose from other people was a rare occurrence. 

After being so down, I decided I want to change this path. I’m going back to fulfilling my purpose and my dreams. Of course I can’t join Doctors without Borders just yet. Our family is not wealthy and I can’t just go away as I please and leave them behind… I still have to set that dream aside and claim it at the end of all my pursuits. That dream would have to wait at the end of my journey. 


When I celebrated my birthday with the Pediatric Cancer Patients at Bahay Aruga, I realized that my dream can be achieved little by little, one step at a time. There are so many other ways that I can do to fulfill my purpose.” I looked for organizations I can take part of that involve giving the youth a brighter future, hence I found World Vision. 


World Vision is an organization that allows you to be a sponsor for less fortunate children and gives them access to education, health care, values formation and child protection projects in their community. It also gives leadership trainings and livelihood opportunities to the child’s family and community. 



So yeah, I decided I want a child. I received my welcome kit today and I can’t wait to interact with my child; to send and receive letters and gifts! I will be sent an annual progress report to see how she’s doing and if my schedule permits, I could even be allowed to visit her once I coordinate with the Donor Care Team. She’s in 1st grade now. Sponsorship may last from months to years depending on the sponsor and recipient’s circumstances and if we’re lucky enough, I can help her graduate through high school! Given my present condition, I don’t get really excited often anymore but this opportunity makes my heart a hundred times heavy in a good way. I want to start sending letters already! 

With everything that happened in my life, I realized that dreams take a big part of who you are. It may be big or small but disregarding it could break you as a person. I want to help someone else fulfill their dreams and I think the best way do that is to give them the opportunity to have an education–give them a part of the opportunity I was blessed to have. 

And oh, don’t think I’m rich enough to do this because I’m not! Sponsoring a child would only cost you 750 pesos a month–that’s only 25 pesos per day! If you are able enough, World Vision allows you to sponsor more than 1 child. If we can allot money for irrelevant things then maybe 25 pesos a day wouldn’t be much of a burden, right? After sending your pledge to World Vision, you will receive a welcome kit which consists of info of your sponsorship recipient and the manual. 

So if you got a few bucks and a space in your heart to spare, please please please sponsor a child! Be a blessing to someone ❤️

I am more than what you have to say about my tattoos

“You’re a doctor and you have tattoos?” 

“How many tattoos do you have?” 

“What does your tattoos mean?” 

“Is it true that you get addicted to the pain?” 

“Why are you posting pictures like that? It’s too vulgar!” 

 “They say when you get one, it will multiply because it’s like a drug and you get addicted to it… is that why you get tattoos?” 

“Kababaeng tao… pupunuin mo ba katawan mo?” 

These are few of the questions that I often get when they see my tattoos. I can’t say it doesn’t get to me, it does but I just ignore people’s criticisms most of the time. It just gets tiring to say the same story over and over again. So before you judge me, just read what I have to say…


I have 9 tattoos, as of present time. No, i don’t get addicted to the pain on my skin. I’m not a masochist! Yes, it hurts and I got high tolerance for pain but I don’t get tattoos because I’m an addict. 

I’m actually not the type to get addicted to anything. I don’t even have vices! Yes, I do drink but only for the heck of having a good laugh with friends but I can say no, which I do on most times. People would often ask me if they can borrow a lighter and they would always get surprised when I say I don’t smoke. I’ve tried and used to smoke when I drink but I don’t ever crave for it so I just stopped in an instant… but with tattoos I don’t plan to stop anytime soon (still not addicted though).


All my tattoos are planned and thought about for a long time. I don’t get tattoos by pure impulse. I’m planning to get 3 more and would probably stop after that. I don’t plan to get tattoos on my arms or fill my back, I just want to fill my hips. Why? I’ll get to that in a bit. 

First, I’m going to answer the most asked question:  What does your tattoos mean? 



1. My first tattoo is an EYE OF HORUS. I had it done at 55 Tinta at Teacher’s Village in QC. The Eye of Horus is believed to have 6 parts which is comprised of the 5 basic senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch plus the 6th sense which is often forgotten, the sense of thought. The eye of horus is a reminder to use the brain. It also signifies protection; to oversee everything and I had it strategically placed behind my ear because it’s a blind spot… a reminder to have an eye behind my back, to not forget to keep my guards up.



2. My 2nd tattoo is a CROSS and was done at P&P, Eastwood branch. People often ask me what it means and I always say “it’s a cross, what else could it mean?” The truth is, I’m just tired of explaining… My tattoo actually means that “my faith is not dictated by what my religion is but by my relationship with my God and nobody can take that away from me.” I respect the differences in religion or other people’s beliefs and I always choose not to say a word about it in any circumstances. My faith is mine and no religion can ever tell me how to be a child of God. I am a servant of the Lord and I will serve him according to my purpose. 


3. The rest of my tattoos are done by Sir Alvin Masaganda of Inkspirational. My 3rd tattoo is an identical to my college best friend’s. She had hers done on the wrist. We chose to have a tattoo on INFINITY of LOVE and LIFE (the cliche of all cliches in tattoo designs) because we have that unique bond. We have been through a lot together, life-changing struggles and even almost-death experiences. And remember the line from the Perks of Being a Wallflower? “In that moment we were infinite” –that’s our friendship. We will always have our infinity. 



4. My 4th tattoo is a TRIBAL ELEPHANT that I designed. Two of my best friends have elephant tattoos as well with just different designs. “Elephants never forget.” They stand for loyalty and courage and that’s what our friendship is all about. I don’t have a large circle of friends but I can say all my best friends are genuine and I would seriously take a bullet for them.

  

5. My 5th tattoo is a PHOENIX. (All Potter-heads should know this!) The phoenix is a mythical bird that symbolizes reincarnation. First they burn then they rise from their ashes. If you’re going to ask me to describe my life, I would say it’s like a phoenix. I always believe that whatever I go through; that even though the burn hurts badly, it’s just a preparation for a new beginning. I may be put down but at the end, I know I will rise and be a better person. 


6. My 6th tattoo is a picture of SKULL AND ROSES. It’s a symbol of each and everyone I meet in this lifetime. I believe in the saying that “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bones.” I have learned to look at people by their values in life and not on how they look. People would tend to be superficial and I chose to look past it. I don’t judge people for how they look, their status in life or their faults and flaws because I’m not perfect either… I judge them for how they treat other people and to me that’s all that matter. 


7. My 7th tattoo is BALLERINA SILHOUETTE with WINGS.. you can say it’s the BLACK SWAN as well. I have been dancing since I was little and it had always been my first love but to be a doctor, I had to make a choice. My parents have always disapproved of me training even until college. I was told to avoid extracurricular activities and to just study. The sacrifices I’ve made to be a doctor then took its toll on me, hence the dark image. It symbolizes the dream kept in the dark. I don’t blame my parents though. I want to be a doctor too, but I don’t want to be just that. I’m also a dancer and a band vocalist and with my love for dance and music, I decided I’m going to pursue music production (soon). I want to make people dance. I want people to fall in love with dancing and music the way I did. 


8. My 8th tattoo is the quote “SHE WILL BE LOVED” in my own handwriting. Oh I’m not a Maroon 5 groupie and I don’t think I’m a beauty queen who always belonged to someone else. It’s a mark reminding me that love comes in all forms–that God loves me, my family and friends love me and that should be enough. It doesn’t have to be from a guy or a significant other. It also reminds me to stop settling for less and that someday, someone will take me for who I am, flaws and all… in God’s perfect timing.


9. My latest tattoo is an ARROW and the ellipses signature by Apo Whang Od, the last Kalinga tattoo artist . It’s basically signifies that “An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming.” 

I’m so sorry parents and the entire Filipino society, I’m not the “dalagang Filipina” you expect me to be but if being a Filipina is what you want to emphasize on then let me tell you, tattoos have long existed in Filipino history. Just take Apo Whang Od as an example. Tattoos have been a symbol of beauty and courage to Filipino tribal culture and according to Whand Od, “If you haven’t got a tattoo you aren’t a true warrior.” I may not be a “dalagang Filipina” but then, perhaps I’m a “true Filipina warrior.” 

My mother once told me, “How will you get a boyfriend when you got so many tattoos…” and I almost laughed. I don’t think my tattoos told my ex-boyfriend to cheat on me, did it? HAHA! Seriously though, I don’t see the reason for guys to be bothered by tattoos at all. If you are “too clean” to be disgusted or “too much of a wuss” to be intimidated by tattoos then I don’t think you have to date me or any inked girl for that matter. I respect that. I don’t need a man for validation and to put me in any stereotype. And ladies, stop the “slut-shaming” because it doesn’t make you any better.

I’m not objectifying myself by my tattoos or how I look either because tattoos don’t scream “Disrespect me.” Your morals dictate how you treat the opposite sex or any human being and I don’t think there was ever a time “disrespect or judge other people because you don’t like how they look” was ever taught in GMRC. 

To answer all the other questions…


No, I don’t post “vulgar” pictures because I’m trying to look sexy. Oh believe me, I got flabs despite hours to days of crossfit or muay thai and I don’t think that’s how you people describe as “sexy.” I post such pictures not because I’m flaunting body (eww) but because I’M FLAUNTING ART. I have always loved art and see tattoo artists as the greatest artists of the century! You should know how hard it is for some people to draw on a flat sheet of paper or canvas so just imagine drawing on a moving model with skin that can wrinkle or stretch! To be a tattoo artist is one of my dreams and if I got enough time, I would actually pursue it and be an apprentice. I have always loved art and even sketched tattoo designs for my friends. 


<Photo of my wall with a few of my sketches. And if you see the photo of (he-who-must-not-be-named) lurking around that wall, I’m not obsessing or whatever (everyone’s moved on already, so should you).  I just haven’t started sketching again (totally true, not being defensive) so I don’t have a replacement yet and I’m not affected seeing it so there…>


<Imitation of Sara Gaugler’s art. It’s my dream to get a tattoo by her, I just have to think of where to put it…>

Like what I said earlier, I don’t plan to fill my entire body, just my hips. Why? I’m a dancer and my hips have always been my “asset” (WOW. HAHA) in dancing. I learned Hawaiian when I was a kid and even though I’ve trained on different genres growing up and nobody really dances Hawaiian anymore, it’s still my favorite dance. I don’t plan to dance naked to flaunt it though if you think that’s what I’m implying. I don’t even mean to cover my stretch marks (yes, I got lots of it) but my hips have always been my favorite part of my body (next to my eyelashes).

And lastly… Yes, I’m a doctor. I’m yet to get my license after post-graduate internship but yes, I finished a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and just graduated with my 2nd degree as Doctor of Medicine–my tattoos has nothing to with it. I have studied day and night, sacrificed my passions and missed every family event, dealt with patients appropriately and my skin marks never hindered me from showing compassion. I wanted to be a doctor because it’s my dream to be part of Doctors Without Borders but I know it’s a long way to go from where I am now. For now, I’m taking baby steps and became a World Vision sponsor and advocate–the marks on my skin probably got nothing to do with me trying to help others, right?

I’m a doctor. I’m a volunteer. I’m a dancer. I’m a frustrated musician and an aspiring music producer. I’m an artist. I’m a daughter. I’m a sister. I’m a loving godmother. I’m a true friend. I’m not bragging about my accomplishments because I’m far from being an “accomplished person.” I am who I am because I chose to not settle with being average. I will pursue my dreams and your malicious opinions can’t stop me.

All I’m really saying is that I respect we all have different views in life but I suggest you keep it to yourself… or maybe… just maybe, you can use your words and “critical” mind on inspiring other people to do something sensible with their lives rather than judging people on how they look. 

Let me put it in John Lennon’s words: “Don’t hate what you don’t understand!” 

Dalawampu’t Limang Taong Pasasalamat

On my 25th year of existence, I’ve decided to put all my energy in giving thanks… to put all my passion and talent into good use… to make all my days worth living. All the bad things of the past lead me finding my purpose in life. My motto in life had always been “Always be kind.” There’s no if’s, why’s nor but’s. Life will always be imperfect and we just have to take everything and be kind… to believe that something good will always be at the end of our journey. 



For my 25th birthday, I sought the help of Birthday Foundation to celebrate. They introduced me to Bahay Aruga, a free halfway house that accomodates pediatric cancer patients. 

with Ms. Diane of Birthday Foundation

with Ms. Marietta of Bahay Aruga

Having a mother who’s a Cancer survivor and 2 aunts who suffered the same illness, my heart have always had a soft spot for Cancer patients. Nobody deserves to go through such pain and suffering, especially children. My encounter with the Cancer patients when I had my Pedia rotation was heartbreaking for me. These kids need all the help, support and prayer they can get.


As part of my birthday program, I wrote a thanksgiving letter (that I had to read past the waterworks, I was a mess) in my best tagalog. Here it goes…

  SALAMAT 

Dadating ang araw at lilipas ang panahon na di ko na ito masasabi kaya ngayon pa lang ay gusto ko na itong bitawan… salamat. Isang salita na nagbibigay kahulugan sa kung bakit ako andito sa inyong harapan. 

Salamat sa aking mga magulang, na kung hindi dahil sa kanila ay wala ako ngayon. Salamat sa lahat ng pagpapakahirap ninyo upang mabigyan ako ng buhay na maginhawa. Salamat sa pagsasakripisyo na unahin ang aking mga pangangailangan, salamat sa pagmamahal na walang kapalit at hangganan. 


Salamat sa aking nanay na kahit hinayaan ng mundo na magkaroon ng sakit na Kanser ay patuloy na lumalaban upang ibigay sa amin ang buhay na higit pa sa kanyang nakagisnan. Salamat sa aking tatay na kahit may mga problema sa buhay ay ako pa rin ang inuuna. Na kahit hindi ko man lamang nakakamusta ng madalas ay di pa rin ako nakakalimutan. Na kahit walang wala na siya ay pilit pa ring binibigay ang aking mga kailangan.

Sa edad kong ito, kung ikukumpara sa ibang tao, ako na dapat ang umaalalay sa inyo. Ako na dapat ang nagtatrabaho at nagbibigay sa inyo ng buhay na maginhawa ngunit andito pa rin ako, nakasandal at umaasa sa pag-aalaga ninyo. Dadating ang panahon na kayo ay manghihina na at di na makakapagtrabaho, kaya pagbubutihin ko na matapos ito upang maibigay sa inyo ang buhay na nararapat para sa inyo. Dadating ang panahon na di ko na ito masasabi, kaya bago mahuli ang lahat, Mama at Papa, mahal na mahal ko kayo at maraming salamat po. 



Salamat sa aking pamilya na walang tigil na sumusuporta at naniniwala na sa kakayanan ko. Hindi ako kasing galing o talino ng tingin ninyo sa akin pero para sa inyo ay pipilitin ko na maging matagumpay sa bawat desisyon na pipiliin ko. Hindi man ako ang “dalagang Pilipina” na matutulad sa iba, may mga marka sa balat na tingin ninyong magiging dahilan upang ako ay husgahan ng mga tao sa lipunan, papatunayan ko na iba ako… na hindi man ako ang tipikal na dalagang inaasahan ninyo, patuloy akong magsusumikap para maging dalagang ipagmamalaki ninyo. 


Salamat sa batang pinakamamahal ko… sa batang kahit hindi mula sa akin ay mahal ko ng higit sa buhay ko. Dahil sa kanya ay gusto kong maging mabuting ehemplo, maging isang mabuting tao… Sana ay lumaki siyang matatag sa kabila ng mga paghihirap na ibabato ng mundo. Sana ay maging maliwanag ang kanyang kinabukasan hindi gaya ng mundo ko na magulo. Sana ay mabigyan siya ng mga talento na bubuo sa kanyang pagkatao.


Salamat sa mga kaibigan ko na kailanman ay di pinaramdam sakin na ako ay mag-isa… na kahit di ko nakakasama sa araw-araw ay di ako iniwan… na kahit di rin nila naiintindihan ang pinagdadaanan ko ay di ako pinabayaan… Di man tayo pareho ng pinanggalingan, para sa akin ay parte kayo ng aking pamilya at ako ay lagi niyong maaasahan.



Higit sa lahat, salamat sa Diyos dahil binigay niya sakin ang araw na ito para ibahagi sa inyo. Salamat dahil ipinahiram nya sa akin ang buhay na ito at ang mga taong nasa paligid ko. Salamat sa Diyos dahil binigyan niya pa rin ako ng panibagong bukas… na sa ngayon ay humihinga ako.. na sa ngayon ay masasabi ko pa ring maganda ang mundo. 



Kailan lamang ay nagkaroon ako ng karamdaman… isang karamdaman na hindi naiintindihang ng karamihan. Ito ay karamdaman na binabalot ka ng matinding kalungkutan… binabalot ang puso mo ng kadiliman na kahit sarili ko ay di maintindihan. Hindi ko sigurado kung kailan nagsimula ngunit sigurado ako na bibigyan ko ito ng katapusan. 
Narito ako sa harap ninyo dahil gusto ko kayong tulungan sa inyong laban. Gusto kong maging inspirasyon na kahit may mga hirap kayong hinaharap sa buhay ay wag kayong susuko. Siguro ay iniisip niyo na di ko alam ang inyong pinagdadaanan… hindi ko alam ang sakit na inyong nararamdaman pero naiintindihan ko. 

Sa dami ng aking pinagaralan, naiintindihan ko na mataas ang posibilidad na magkaroon din ako ng kanser, ang sakit na dumadaloy sa dugo ng aming pamilya… walang makapagsasabi kung kailan pero patuloy akong lalaban. Lalaban ako para sa aking pamilya, sa aking mga kaibigan at para sa aking kinabukasan.


Naniniwala ako na tayo ay binibigyan ng mga pagsubok dahil alam ng Diyos na kaya nating lumaban… minsan ay maiisip natin ang tanong na “Bakit ako?” pero dapat lang tayong magtiwala… magtiwala sa tadahana… magtiwala sa plano ng Diyos at lagi nating tatandaan: Kahit ano pang problema ang ating harapin, patuloy tayong mangarap.. patuloy tayong magmahal… patuloy tayong magpasalamat.