Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Arrgh! Feels like all my blood and innards are going opposite directions. My doctor re-adjusted my binder so tight that it makes breathing a bit difficult. As for the benefits, I could easily getup and walk around because it gives the needed support on my lower abdomen. My doctor advised me to not take the binder off for tomorrow's 8-hour travel to my home province. When we get to the province, that's when I can take the binder and the gauze off.

The knot on my stitch was already removed. I was a bit terrified when, while changing the dressing of my wound, the doctor took out a pair of scissors. I wasn't warned for any pain today. I could only imagine the pain I went through more than two decades back, when the stitches on my finger was removed. It felt like being stitched again. But to my relief, this time, only the knot was removed. The thread that was used is absorbable.

Okay, that's all I could type for now. I need to lie down. I'm feeling a tight squeeze around my waist.

Monday, December 7, 2009

here we go

Checked in for the surgery tomorrow. I got to the hospital with my Mom. My Pops will follow after the color-coding for the day lifts at seven.

Overheard folks at the waiting area talking about pre-surgery jitters. "It's gonna be okay, they will give you a shot to calm you down before the operation," one of them told the other.

"I think I'm gonna need that too," I thought.

Although I'm a picture of strength, inside, my heart was staging a mardi gras. "Sheeeeet... they're going to open me up!" I was screaming in my head. Still, I managed to smile and talk confidently to the admission clerk.

When we got to the nurse station, they asked us who the patient is, as both my Mom and I looked okay. I said it was I. And then they asked for my age when they filled out my patient record/form. I said "30," and the nurses gave me a second look. They thought I was much younger, they said. I was flattered, but still scared.

A nurse ushered us to my room. And then I was told that I am no longer allowed to leave the room. So my Mom, went back to the apartment to fetch my Pops. Before they got back, a nurse took my blood pressure, and then a medtech took 5cc of my blood for tests. She had a little difficulty looking for a good vein. It was a painful extraction.

While I was alone, I continued to pray. Up to that time, I couldn't believe that I'm about to go through surgery. I was feeling like I was strapped into a roller coaster with a thousand loops, and there's no going anywhere but through it. Like I was pushed on a slippery slide, I couldn't do anything to stop my fall.

I tried to get my mind of it by reading books.

And then my parents arrived. And then another medtech entered my room and asked to extract another 5cc of my blood, saying the first sample was hemolyzed - about which my mother was wondering (she's a medtech too) because it's too soon for the red blood cells to rupture. The medtech couldn't find the vein on my other arm, so she extracted blood from my left wrist. (Ouch!)

Before 9PM, I had my dinner. I was told to eat a lot.

At 9PM I was given an enema. A few minutes after, I pooped out everything I ate. (Ew.)

I had a hard time sleeping.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

seoul preps

I got into a tour sched, with a group of peeps from work, to South Korea. So far, I'm doing all of the preparations for the group's trip: from booking, re-booking... to setting the itinerary.

It would be my first flight, and of course, my first foreign trip. It's just odd for me to think that albeit going with a couple of non-first-time-fliers, I'm the one who's doing all the preps. Maybe I just want to make this trip as hassle-free as possible. That being said, I'm even going back on learning Hangul, the Korean language, because I've learned that street signs in Seoul rarely have English translations. Although I've heard that people in Seoul are very friendly and speak some English, it would help a lot if I would know how to read signs. Anyway, I got time until March (the tour schedule) to learn the language, and I've heard that it's quite easy to learn unlike Nippongo.

As per my last research, and our group's latest agreement, we would spend the 4-day trip as follows:
  • Day 1 - Manila to Incheon: get to Seoul and check-in to a hostel immediately. Get a ticket for KTX (bullet train) for a trip to Busan the next day.
  • Day 2 - Get up early in the morning and hop on a trip on the KTX to Busan, spend the whole day there, and then get on a KTX trip back to Seoul before nightfall. Go to Namdaemun market for souvenirs.
  • Day 3 - Get around Seoul on-foot. Stroll early in the morning at the Cheonggye stream, see the palaces, visit Hongdae (where Coffee Prince is), and go to N Seoul Tower.
  • Day 4 - Hop on a train trip back to Incheon, go to Sindo Island to visit the Full House filming location, go back to Incheon airport. Back to Manila.
It would be a fully-packed trip, but we would actually be missing some places that we would like to see like the Korean Folk Village (filming location of "Jewel in the Palace"), and Nami Island (filming location of "Winter Sonata"). If I can have another opportunity next year, I would go back on September to visit these two places in time for autumn. Nami Island would be gorgeous by then.

I'm planning to get my visa this December, and then book the hostel accommodations for the group. Something tells me I make be a good travel agent. :P

I'm even researching the weather, and what clothes do wear on March. :)

surgery schedule

Went to the doctor this afternoon and had my surgery scheduled. It will be on the 7th of December, so I will have to be admitted to the hospital on the 6th. The doctor advised me to eat a lot until 10PM on the day before the surgery. After which, I should go fasting.

I asked a little more questions from the doctor, which got me scared a little bit. For one, she told me that if the cyst would be very difficult to remove, they would have to take the ovary with it. So I'm praying that it won't be the case. And then, she confirmed that the incision would be vertical, like in an appendectomy. Another thing she told me is that they would still have to biopsy the cyst before they could determine whether it is endometrial, if so I would have to have injections for six months to temporarily stop my menstruation.

I went from relaxed to a bit nervous. I'm so worried about the possibilities. And I'm praying and hoping for the best.

So far, my facade is holding up although I feel like cracking inside. I need a lot more prayers. I need to strengthen my faith.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

scared and all

Sometimes I see myself as a strong person - whenever I get into a difficult situation, I cry but then I force myself to go through it. I've lost count of how many times I've psyched myself that "this too will pass," "this is just a phase," and "I'm just being too negative." I create a hard shell to protect the person inside that only wants to cry.

Prayers really help. I pray a lot especially during tough times like this. Like this time, that I have cysts in my ovaries: four little ones in the left, and one, 5cm., blood-filled cyst on the right.

How did I find out? I've been bleeding in between my periods lately. Normal spotting doesn't look as red as the blood coming out of my body at a time that it's not supposed to. At first, I thought it was UTI, which also worried me a lot because it could have meant something somewhere in my urinary tract could be majorly bleeding basing on the amount of blood that's coming out. But I don't have the severe UTI symptoms, like burning feeling when you pee, or severe pain on the flank area. So, I gathered my guts and went to the hospital for a consultation. Good thing I did.

The OB-GYN first interviewed me about my symptoms, and then asked me to lay on the bed then she pressed on my lower abdomen, searching for a lump. She asked me if I felt any pain, but I didn't. That's when she recommended me for a trans-rectal scan.

You read it right, it's trans-rectal. As in right up the arse.

I went back after a day to have my TRS. And boy, was it painful, if not uncomfy. I would have opted to spare the reader the details of this, but I've decided I'm gonna document this. If you, the reader, feels queasy about this, skip this paragraph. Okay, so a probe, bigger than my thumb was stuck up my arse. The doctor told me to push, but the shy and uncomfy me wasn't able to do so. Next thing I knew, the probe was already in and I felt a tear. (I know, ew!) I had to endure that for about 5 minutes. I couldn't decide on which to focus my attention to: the discomfort and the pain, or hearing that I have cysts in my ovaries. Then the doctor said, "okay, just a little bit more and this is gonna be over," to my relief, but then again the phone rang and the assistant said, "hold on, I'm gonna have to answer that." I wanted to grab her arm and yell, "No! Stay here and let's get this over with!" But even if I tried to, I wouldn't be able to do so, since she zapped off to get the phone. I was so thankful that the phone conversation didn't take long.

After the scan, I headed immediately to my OB's office, but I was informed that she's yet to come at 1PM. At it was only a little past 11AM.

I decided to go home for the meantime, because I didn't want to wait and contemplate at the hospital. I called my boss and informed her that I'm gonna take half the day's work off so I could have the follow-up consultation. I didn't tell her about the cysts, so I think it was the reason why she asked me if I could have the consultation on another day. But I insisted and told her that my OB only comes to the hospital in the afternoon. She agreed.

At home, I got to contemplate and go anxious about what I heard from the doctor who did the scan. I refused to read the printed result that she gave me. Negative thoughts bombarded my head and I went to tears. I prayed, begged, pleaded...

And then my Mom called, asking how I was. I haven't told her about me going to the doctor yet, at the time. And so I told her, but spared her the details. I told her that I was yet to have my follow-up consultation and that I would be telling her about it after.

It broke my heart thinking about the possibilities and me not telling her everything. I worry about my Mom too, since she has a heart condition. I didn't want her to worry about something that I don't even know the answer to. If I'm gonna tell her anything, I had to know exactly what I'm having first.

Before 1PM, I headed back to the hospital. My mind was further screwed while waiting for my turn at the consultation. I kept on praying. I prayed for good news.

Consultation time. I handed the scan results to the OB, and she read it before she spoke to me. And then she explained to me the anatomy of the female reproductive organ. And then, part by part, she explained the scan results to me.

She told me that aside from the cysts, my right ovary is filled with blood. One of the theories that they, doctors, are looking at at such conditions is that part of the flesh in the uterus that turns into blood during menstruation had slipped (or somehow found its way) into my ovary, hence the blood. And the blood doesn't go anywhere. The ovary just gets filled up, menstrual period after period, and the risk in that is that at some point the cyst could burst. (Another doctor told me, another risk is that the cyst could twist along with the ovary.) She told me that there's a treatment where I could get injected with a drug that would stop my menstrual cycle for 6 months, until the cysts would disappear. But for cysts more than 4cm in size, the drug would have little to no effect. The drug can only help me with my smaller cysts in my left ovary. But for the one in the right, I would have to undergo surgery to have it removed. It has to be removed in order to save my ovary.

My hands turned cold and sweaty at that instant. The doctor tried to make me laugh, but I forgot what the joke was. I laughed a little and she seemed to be relieved. I must have looked awful to her.

And then I asked if I need to undergo surgery immediately. She told me, "The sooner, the better. But it's all up to you. You have to get yourself ready for it." I had to pick the date.

First, off I was told that I was going to be opened up. And then I have to choose when they are going to do it to me. If that's not pressure enough...

I couldn't believe myself while I watched me utter these words: "Sooner or later, I'm gonna have to have it removed, so I think we should do it within the month." I said that I'm gonna wait till my parents arrive from the province, and then we will schedule the operation.

So what's the good news? There's no mention of the "C". And my prayers might have been heard because I didn't shake and cry upon hearing what I did. I realized all that when I left the hospital and played the scene again in my head.

I told my friends whom I got to talk to, about it, right away. I wasn't seeking for sympathy, I was looking for a hand to hold and an ear to tell my concerns to. And it helped because I got to laugh while telling the whole story. And then I had the guts to call my parents to tell them about it.

I was laughing and (probably) sounding confident while I talked to my parents. My Dad even said, "I'm not worried because you don't seem to be afraid of it." I told him, "I'm actually nervous, but I know that I have to go through surgery sooner or later, so I'm choosing to have it the soonest possible time so the risks are lesser." What can I say? Though I worry about them worrying about me, lying to my parents has become a difficult thing for me to do.

I talk about it to my friends whenever I could, so I would feel less stressed about it. Although I'm thinking that I might be talking too much about it already. Anyway, nobody has complained about it yet.

I try to rationalize. I keep remembering why I should undergo surgery. I keep on praying.

I'm so scared. The last surgery I had was when I was nine, when the tip of my left index finger was amputated after getting caught in a doorjamb. I had surgery twice for it, because after the first operation (the emergency procedure) the bone was trying to protrude to they had to remove a bit off it. That entire experience wasn't pleasant at all. And then I'm having this.

Part of me is melting with fear, and part of me is trying to stay tough. I cannot be weak, at least for the sake of my family. One who has gone through the same thing might think that this is not at all a big thing. But for someone like me who go nuts at the slightest illness, and has never had a surgery in the abdominal area... this is major. Especially that I was told that the procedure is similar to a caesarian operation. My abdomen is going to have a scar. (That's one thing I'm being sentimental about, too, as absurd as it may seem. I plan to take a picture of my tummy before the surgery.)

Right now, I'm battling fear. There are times when I stop and think and couldn't believe that this is happening to me.

Apart from the surgery, I'm going to have to go through temporary menopause for six months after the operation because of the medication that I will have to go through to temporarily stop my menstruation. The doctor said that my hormonal cycle is one of the things that feed the growth of the cysts, so it has to stop for a time. The cache? Menopausal symptoms. And according to the literature that I read, there are 35 symptoms. Among them are: mood swings, hot flashes, sweaty nights, insomnia, depression, and all the things that we've witnessed our mothers went through at middle age. Menopause twice in life. Go figure.

I have warned my officemates of how I might be next year once I undergo the treatment. At this point I'm already asking for their understanding. I'm already explaining things to them so that they would know that whatever mean thing I do, it wouldn't be me, but the lack of estrogen. I'm even researching on ways to ease the symptoms.

Of all the symptoms, I fear depression the most, as I have had bouts twice before already. And it wasn't a pleasant thing at all. Talk about wondering what use there is trying to live life. You wake up in the morning and find no enthusiasm to do anything at all. And then you're constantly bombarded with bouts of anxiety. At some point I didn't know who I was. I questioned my very personality. What was the me within these flesh and bones. Good thing, I love life too much to give up. Again, prayers helped a lot during these episodes.

I've been through depression, and I know how painful it is in the mind, in the heart, and in the spirit. I fear going through it again. I hope that my prayers will again be heard. I pray that I don't go through depression again.

Here I am, scared and all. To think, that vain people purposely go under the knife to change the way they look. I wonder where they draw their courage for that.

So this is me, psyching myself for that surgery. It only feels okay when I think of holding on to The One Above for strength.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

cold, cold turkey

... pushing thru with joining the tree-planting activity on Saturday at Tanay, Rizal - despite the oncoming typhoon. We're required to bring a shovel, so I'm planning on buying a small one. (Magpa-sweet ba?) The only thing I'm not so comfy about this activity is having to be at the meeting place at 5:30AM. My usual waking hour (due to my work schedule) is around 10AM. I just hope the rains don't pour on Saturday. It wouldn't feel so nice being drenched while lacking sleep. soooo...

... I'm trying to get off the caffeine hook due to health reasons. Been doing it for a week now. It's amazing, actually, for someone like me who gets a daily doze of up to 2 cups. It seems like caffeine has got a hold on me. I used to be able to ignore my coffee cravings, but now I have to take substitutes like hot choco, or keep myself full so I don't crave for anything more to put into my mouth. I'm a sniff short of getting the chills... I feel uneasy whenever I feel sleepy at mid-afternoon - more so when I smell someone else's freshly-mixed 3-in-1 in the office.

... Feelin' like I have to curb my shopping drive. Couldn't help but buy, buy, buy things. Have to remind self that I still have to pay, pay, pay bills. It's not easy resisting purchasing nice clothes during a sale. Or a marked-down photographic equipment.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

bits and pieces of the day

on my way to work, midday, the rain poured in rage again. it's not a good thing, since a drizzle is already enough to cause panic to people. the cab I was in drove through the side streets of South Triangle, windshield turning white from the onslaught of water. cars had to turn on hazard lights. I was so scared that we would bump into another car because it was so difficult to see through the white-outed glass. I thought of what the flood victims would be feeling at the time.

heard over the radio that a group of militants are expressing doubts on the intentions of the US troops who are helping in the relief and rescue operations. I couldn't help but swear. how dare them to question the presence of extra helping hands for hapless people who are already complaining on the lack of such? have these people even tried to give anything or participate in the relief operations? lives are at stake, for crying out loud! this is no time for political blah-blahs. these foreigners are helping because they decided that they like to help. whatever their intentions are, what's important is that the death toll doesn't rise anymore, that more mouths are fed, more backs are warmed, that more homes are regained, and more and lives are set right again. if these foreigners have underlying sinister intentions for helping, then shame on them. we wouldn't owe them anything if they use this situation against us. at any rate, I couldn't think of how someone or anyone could have sinister intentions for helping during disasters such as this. oh, but some people... our fellow Filipinos even, have the shameless audacity of protesting against the aid that's coming the way of our ill-fated kababayans. I hope, for their sake, that these are not the same set of people who waved the banner crying for the president to step down during the burial of Cory Aquino. some people are just crass.

on the news, a crocodile was found floating on the floodwater of Cainta, Rizal. no nearby zoo claims the reptile. authorities have checked, and so far there's no conclusion as to the truth of this story. but that picture by the one who encountered it is so convincing. I hope the reptile gets caught immediately. the flood victims don't need another threat to worry about. unless they suddenly find a taste for croc meat. we all know how starvation can skew the food chain.

checked on the oncoming storm after hearing the word "supertyphoon" from Nathaniel Cruz. "Pepeng" ("Parma" to the international community) has sustained winds of 195 kph and gustiness of up to 230 kph. It's already a Category 4 storm. "Milenyo," of two years ago, had sustained winds of 150 kph with the same gustiness. Pepeng's lowest pressure is at 920 hPA, while Milenyo's is at 950 hPA. Pepeng: stronger sustained winds, lower pressure. The deeper or lower the pressure, the stronger the storm. Now, if we would recall how Milenyo was like... let's hope for the best for this country.

told the staff who would be on duty tomorrow to bring change of clothes and toiletries to get ready for what could happen due to the storm. some suggested to chip in for food.

let's pray.


broken dreams. broken lives. broken homes. broken spirits. broken souls.

Friday, the storm was merely a news item. It was just like an insignificant part of the daily stories mixed up in the lineup of things to tell the world. "Oh, another storm. It's gonna be a rainy day tomorrow." By nightfall the nightmare started to creep in. Only, no one noticed it had until the next day.

Saturday morning, I even almost had the tenacity of going malling. I looked out the window and observed the rain that has not stopped falling since the previous night and tried to encourage myself to go out despite the torrential downpour. I was planning on counting on my rain jacket. But there was a tagging of two poles in my head - feeling a bit lazy to go out because of the rain... but itching to roam. Laziness go the best of me so I didn't step out of the house. I didn't know until the afternoon that it was a decision for the best.

I "forced" myself to be a couch potato, in spite of my head screaming to go out. I slumped on the sofa and switched the TV on, only to begin witnessing the wrath of the storm that was above us. I couldn't believe what I was seeing when they showed what seemed to be a sea in the middle of the city.

One of the anchors of the noontime news program wasn't able to make it to the studio, as he was stuck in Ortigas. There, he witnessed and reported on the collapse of the Corinthian Garden wall, resulting to what looked like a waterfall dumping all that its got onto EDSA. And then news on situations from various parts of the Metro poured in. Town after town, city after city submerged into floodwater. Dams announced schedules of water release.

I was able to get a good picture of what was going on before the electricity went out. And then text messages from the Library staff trickled in. One informed me that he cannot come to work because he woke up to the scene of all his things floating on floodwater - including his clothes. I coordinated for his pinch hitter right away. It was then that I realized how skeletal our manpower is, as it would not be easy - if not impossible - for most of the librarians to make it to the office. Those who were already on duty were forced to stay for hours after their time off. One was stuck in Bulacan when a bridge collapsed and the NLEX was closed. One librarian braved flood and traffic to get to work and sub for those who were already off-duty. Even though I wasn't able to get to work, I spent much of the time coordinating and re-configuring staff schedule just to ensure continuity of the Library operations for the sake of the news programs. It's a chain of responsibilities, if you would look at it. We have to keep the news programs airing so that the public would be kept informed.

I was working like a call center agent, connecting to people well into the night. The next day, I tried to catch up on my sleep only to be woken up again by a barrage of text messages. Alas, I had to reconfigure staff schedule again, as personnel get stuck in their homes, get sick, or get overworked. I thought that I was having a bad day, but thought again when I was reminded of the flood victims.

The first weekday was no less of a chaos: relief and rescue operations here and there, images of flood victims everywhere, houses submerged in water and mud, cars stacked up and jumbled like bowling pins and turtles on their backs... everyone, everything is grinding to make things better as much and as soon as possible. But it's so hard to pick up the pieces from what Nature has left of us.

I had to fight tears as I watched stories of victims air in the primetime news. It feels as if giving goods to these people, or working for relief operations would not be enough to make things right again.

We say that the Filipino spirit is resilient. We haven't seen the conclusion of this episode. Heck, another storm is coming... so soon. It's forcing the flipped pages open again. Maybe we are strong. But the times is trying to test how strong we are. I'm starting to wonder as I watch a father break down in tears as he told the story of how he tried to save his family. "I tried all that I can, but I wasn't able to save them," he said. And then he appealed to his father on TV, "please come and help me. I can't take this anymore. I can't do this on my own."

It's frightening what's happening these days. Here in the Network, and in the newsroom, we are exposed to the events of the world. Bad news after bad news. One coming after the other in such a hasty pace. It's so difficult to keep an upright psyche with all of these. Maybe we had all these coming. What goes around comes around, and our planet is tossing our shit back to us. But no matter how you see everyone to be at fault for what's happening, there's nothing you can feel but compassion when you see who reaped what we sowed.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

stay strong, Inang

Inang is my only surviving grandparent. Cornelia Orpia Ursua is my Mom's mother. Liling to her siblings and her contemporaries, Cory as playfully called by us, her grandchildren, has outlived many including one of her movie idols, FPJ.

Whenever I would see her, Inang often complains to me about the pains of old age. She would often say, "Matay ak san," (I must be dying.) while holding my hand. I would dismiss that and reassure her that she's way too strong for dusk.

Lately, she's been in and out of the hospital. Her body is shrinking, as an old lady would. Having difficulty to breathe often. She's long been having her mood swings and difficult behaviors, which some of her children couldn't deal with. Left in this world by Tatay twelve years ago, despite having seven surviving children and a truckload of grandchildren and great grandchildren, I could see that she is lonely most of the time. She often sits in that balcony, looking at nowhere. Watching her children and their children walk in and out of the compound.

My Mom had offered to take her to our home so she could be taken care of very well. One of my aunts even petitioned for her to migrate to the States, but after a month in Texas she couldn't stand it and flew back home. She just couldn't leave that house in Vizcaya. That house that Tatay built. Maybe there is too much memory in it. I, myself, have so much memories in that old house too.

I never had the chance to bond with my lola. As a kid, I only got to see her and Tatay whenever we would visit them from the neighboring province. As a student, I only got to see her during school breaks. Nowadays, I only see her whenever I go home during my vacation leaves. I had more memories of Tatay. He was the more involved grandparent. Inang, back then, was mostly occupied with matters of the household. It shouldn't be, but whenever she holds my hands it feels a bit awkward. It's maybe because I didn't grow up with that. But I just let her hold my hands whenever she finds them. I just let her tell me stories of how things used to be for her. Or tell me over and over how much I've grown, or ask me endlessly why I haven't settled down yet. I think she was bit concerned when she learned that I'm already 30 and still single.

When I asked my Mom how she's doing, Mom said that old age is already taking the best of her. And I knew exactly what my mother meant when she told me that she plans to sleep over at the old house to be with her mother. I hope I could also make the most of the time that could be left for my grandmother. She's like... my remaining connection to the past. Small or big role in my life, she's one of the contributors to this life I'm living. I don't have much memories with my lola - I wish I had - and I wish I could cram (and make it happen as easy as it sounds).

It pains me to write this. It's like saying goodbye, but memories or no memories, I sure ain't ready to say goodbye to Inang. Writing this is an acknowledgment of what she is in my life. She deserves every bit of gratitude I could give her. Even if in a blog that she could never read.

With her unstable health, it feels like my world is changing again. It's part of growing up, it's part of growing old. But it's painful.

I hope she gets well - not for my sake, but for her. With all that she's been through bearing and raising nine children and surviving a world war (and the headaches her grandchildren brings), she deserves every happiness she could get from this world. Every drop of it.

downsize the F's

... cleaned-out my Facebook account: cleaned my personal info, removed my photo albums, removed my notes, removed those boxes, deactivated some applications. I only left Farmtown and Fish World active, mainly due to sentimental value. And because it's where I could let play the inner decorator in me.

... cleaned-out my Friendster account too: cleaned my personal info, removed my photo albums, removed my blog entries, removed some friends. Mean! I know. But I think they don't want to have anything to do with me too.

... was tempted to close both accounts. Thinking about spending time on more productive things. (Was really tempted to close the Friendster account, kasi nababaduyan na ako.) What stopped me from doing so are the friends whom I still want to stay connected with.

... still not doing a more productive alternative to Facebooking. Still Facebooking.

... why did I erase the photos? My photos are everywhere: buzznet, flickr, blogger, multiply, friendster, and facebook. It's time I keep them where they should be stored. Besides Facebook (and friendster) is not giving my photos justice, as per their color. And my friends don't really have the time to browse through those photos anyway, so what's the point of "sharing" it in a social networking site where everyone is very much occupied with their own vanities? Better reduce my own vanity and keep the stuff in my FB (and friendster) account lean.

Monday, July 20, 2009

welcome aboard, Lil Harry!

I'm blogging using Mack's new brother, Lil Harry - a 2140 HP Mini. Bought it last Saturday with Curly and Esme at SM Annex. I wasn't very sure then about purchasing a netbook, but seeing how the HP Mini works made me decide to buy one.

Yeah, I already have Mack, why have another mobile PC? First off, I can't bring Mack and Nik-Nik together. I don't have the courage to jam them both in one bag. Secondly, Lil Harry, with its size and build (aluminum body), can happily swim with Nik-Nik in my backpack and emerge unscathed, unlike Mack who is now showing battle scars from frequent use & abuse.

And no, I'm not disposing Mack anytime soon. Should I buy a new MacBook Pro (which I plan to on December), Mack will go to my folks. :)

So far, I'm having fun using this new toy. What I like most about it, apart from the aluminum body, is its keyboard - the buttons are larger than that of a regular PC keyboard. It's very comfortable to type on it. It's MacBook look is also a bonus - hind ba jologs tignan.

And of course, hindi takaw-pansing dalhin si Lil Harry. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


So I got this new extension tube for Nik-nik, so I could shoot macro with it. The thing takes the lens farther from the camera sensor so the lens could have higher reproduction ratio - close-up on the subject much better.

This one I bought is an ordinary extension tube (made in China), with no mechanism that connects the lens to the camera body. So I have to set the aperture of the lens first before disconnecting it from the body (which is still powered on) and fitting the extension tube in between.

It scared me a bit to use this extension tube, because aside from this being the first time I'm gonna use one, the thing came with an all-Chinese manual. I guess it's the price I pay for buying a P800-worth extension ring. I just hope this would not cost me any further.

This tube is actually segmented into three parts - hence the numbers 1 to 3. The parts could be separated (1 being the shortest) and fitted in between the camera body and the lens solo or in combinations.

A friend recommended buying this after I made shout out at my Facebook account regarding my dilemma on buying macro lens so I could shoot more interesting subjects for the art exhibit I joined for reasons I don't exactly know why. I will make an entry about that exhibit later on.

I preferred this over close-up filters, which adds another layer of glass to the lens, affecting clarity of the shot. I have to be very careful in using it, though, as it exposes the sensor to dust while I fit it on the camera, and it's not that stable.

And so I experimented shooting my "souvenir items" from beaches I've been to. This one here is a shell about an inch in size. If I remember it right, I got this from Baler, Aurora.

This one is another shell of the same size. (From Baler too, I think.) I shot the inside part of it to show the other side of the twirling pattern.

This one is a coral, about 1.5in. in size. The pores that can be seen on the photo are actually very small, pinheads coud fit in them.

I will post more macro shots later.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

that la, la, la song!

Just a while ago, I was weeding out mp3 files from my iTunes library to free up Max's memory space when I saw the Coffee Prince theme song, "La, La, La, It's Love!" I played it out of fancy, and in an instant I was zapped back to my Coffee Prince addiction.

The song, as I'm writing this entry, is playing on repeat on my iTunes. Scenes from the TV series are flashing in my brain, making me want to watch a marathon of Coffee Prince once again. (Oh, I remember the last time I did it, I barely slept during the weekend - I practically camped out in the living room: food, beddings and all.)

Oh my goodness! (Where's that DVD, by the way?)

7 more months before Gong Yoo (Arthur) comes out of the military. And one month to his birthday - July 10. He will be turning 30. He's one of us, '79ers!

Happy Birthday Gong Ji-Cheol!

Alrighty then!

Yes, yes, yes, yes, I'm good!

One! Two! Come on!

La, la, la, la, la... La, la, la, la, la... La, la, la, la, la... La, la, la, la, la... La, la, la, la, la...
La, la, la, la, la... La, la, la, la, la... La, la, la, la, la... La, la, la, la, la... La, la, la, la, la...

Friday, June 5, 2009

snapshots of the day

The number of people infected with the virus is growing. As part of the company's preparations to prevent/deal with a possible infection in its own yard, people were given masks and encouraged to wear the protective covers especially when they're starting to feel the "symptoms." Simple message: If you think you have it, then help to not spread it.

But trust the people of the Jungle Watch Crew to put a little twist to it by making it appear like a new fad...

Too much work can drive people nuts. Sometimes to avoid going nuts, you have to pre-empt the symptoms...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I am currently "window-shopping" in the Net for ideas for my photo entry to the art exhibit that would be mounted by the news dept. of the network to celebrate it's 50 years of bringing valuable information to the people.

The last day of submission of entries is only two weeks away, and I only have a handful of ideas to work with. I'm even contemplating on buying a new lens (macro), or extension rings. And I'm reading my photography books again.

Processing my shots in Photoshop is one hurdle I'm yet to overcome. I know a bit on working with Photoshop, but I don't have the knowledge and skills to make my photos come out exceptionally well with it.

What nerve to did I have for joining the exhibit!

little boy genius

9AM. I was awakened by the ringing of my cellphone. (I usually wake up around 10AM during weekdays because of my odd work schedule.) Recognizing that the ring was for a voice call, I pried myself from the bed, as if in an automatic sequence of movements, grabbed my phone that's sitting on my desk and answered the call. The delightful voice of my nephew spoke from the tiny speakers.

He read me a letter from his teacher, addressed to my brother and his wife, which tells the (good) news that my nephew will be accelerated to fourth grade (from first), and that he did very well in the Math portion of the exam. And then the line became chappy, so he had to hang up.

Accelerated. Fourth Grade at 8. Math.

Really. The family genes seem to be improving then! Ha-ha.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

the view

Often, while moving along busy city streets, you look up at the skyscrapers and find a little platform dangling on the side of a building with people on it, cleaning windows. You know how it looks from the outside and below. Here's how it looks like from the inside...

Just so you know.

tries hands at art

Bought a sewing machine, for I've been itchin' to sew my own pillowcases, curtains, and sofa cover. Yep. I'm that brave - I will attempt to sew cover for the humongous couch in my living room, so large it could double as a daybed. And I have no training - formal or not, whatsoever - in sewing.

One thing I learned from using the sewing machine, though - read the manual before attempting to do anything with a machine that punches needles. Here's what I did:
  1. tried to sample stitches on the sewing machine with a piece of fabric.
  2. fabric got stuck, but didn't take my foot off the pedal at once.
  3. heard a loud snap from the needle. took foot off the pedal.
  4. checked the needle - it's intact.
  5. checked self - no injury.
  6. read the manual, it says something like this: adjust the stitch length accordingly and use the right pattern for the corresponding fabric type. not doing so may cause the fabric to get stuck, causing the needle to hit a metal part in the bobbin, which may cause you injury.
Okay, I'm embarrassing myself now.

Exhibit A below shows how amateur I am with this craft.

But I don't stop at sewing...

I bought these little foam patterns for scrap-booking and is turning them into stamps by sticking them into an illustration board.

So far, I haven't succeeded with any of my "crafty plans." All of the stuff are in my craft box, sitting and waiting for me to be in the mood for art again.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

stand still

I stand still as I watch the entire world move around me. Funny when you consider how time flies.

Like a programmed robot, I do things at work. Spinning... spinning... spinning... I watch things happen, as if I don't have any participation in anything that transpires.

Friends doing great at work. Friends having fun with their adventures. Friends finding new loves. Friends finding new friends.

On TV are news of events, diseases, political wars, actual wars, and scandals. Mostly, negative things make the lineup of news-worthy things.

I look at myself and find that I'm still the same. Just sitting here. Sometimes standing there. Sometimes running. Sometimes, too lazy to do anything useful for anyone, including myself. Sometimes trying to break out of the monotony of everyday.

Today, I opened my eyes and saw that a mountain of responsibilities have piled up before me at work again. *Sigh* There are a LOT of things to do to get my arse off the hot seat.

And then I have to think of a subject for my piece for a charity exhibit.

And take care of various matters for the family business.

And plan my out-of-the-country travel.

In the meantime...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

the heat and the question that made my mind itch

Probably, staying at the back seat of an fx taxi that's running under the noontime sun isn't a very good idea these days - even though you're in a tight budget and in a hurry to get to your destination and the almost-full AUV is your last option for a ride.

I could feel the sweat popping from my skin pores, especially on my forehead. I felt like siomai cooking in a steamer, and the chef doesn't want to remove me from the heat just yet. Even my palms were covered with sweat - they looked like I've dunked my hands in a bucket of water or something. Really.

The excessive heat was enough to drive anyone crazy... I felt like bursting out from the fx, that is an oven on wheels. However what awaits me then, outside, is the scorching sun. And fumes from vehicles running along the avenue.

What took my mind away from my ordeal was the conversation between my fellow passengers...

Nursing student 1: Target ko, makarating sa Ireland. After graduation, lalakarin ko na papers ko.

Nursing student 2: Buti ka pa may plano na. Anyway, 'yung tita ko, gusto naman akong isama sa New Zealand. Malapit ba 'yun sa Ireland?

Nursing student 1: Hindi ko alam e.

I sooo wanted to answer that question for their sake. Really. But they would be embarrassed. But then again, they should not repeat that conversation elsewhere if they want to be respected. But then again, that's none of my business.

If it was the location of Patagonia they were wondering about, I would've understood. But New Zealand? And I thought the Lord of the Rings saga has already made the country very famous.

A couple of minutes later, I still felt like I wanted to answer that question. And so I turned my attention to the scorching heat. And then I got off at my stop.

Hours later, at the office, I still couldn't stop thinking about that question. I should have butted in their conversation.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

feel da heat!

Gosh! It's summer already?! T'was like just the other week, we're all chilling to our bones because of the weather. And now everyone seems to be desperate for an ice-cold drink after spending a few second under the scorching sun.

Imagine that tall glass - soda inside, swimming in cubes of ice, fizzing - dripping with dots of condensation.

It's crazy. My electric fan is close to no use - it's merely circulating warm air. I fall asleep and wake up floating in a pool of my own sweat. And since it's the season of recession, I just can't turn that airconditioner on. *sigh*

These days you just wanna... look at that.

The beach calls, doesn't it?

Don't you just want to pack up, hit the road and get to the nearest beach so you can swim on something like that?

Those are my 2007 photos of Patar Beach in Bolinao, by the way. A beach so wonderful, and yet so far (8 hours from Manila).

Thursday, February 5, 2009

up and running again

I got my momentum back. At work, I mean.

Somehow, I am able to (temporarily?) put my laziness aside and focus my attention back to work. With the aid of a planner (as if blogs and MS Outlook isn't enough) that I purchased the other week, I'm tracking and planning my day-to-day activities.

The planner looks like one from Starbucks, but IMHO better - it has a nice, plain black leather cover and a page allocated to every day, which allows me to write a bunch of stuff that I plan to do, or have already done. And I tend to fill up every page. Check out Exhibit A below:

This really helps, because with the things I have to do listed, I have less time doing non-work related activities. Before, I used to freeze in thought after every accomplished task, trying to recall the next thing I'm supposed to do, which often leads me to opening Internet Explorer *grins* or one of those MS Excel trivia games.

Browsing through the pages of my planner, I get quite amazed at the volume of tasks I get to accomplish each day. I thought, "So this is being productive."

You wouldn't believe the amount of work that I have to do if only you could look at my list of objectives for the year. From the development of an in-house asset management system, to preparations for the automation of utilization of media collection, to supervising seven loony librarians... I don't think I could squeeze in play between work any longer.

But I can always try. :)

In the meantime... I'll try to get a good bunch of my objectives done at the earliest so I could take it easy towards the end of the year. And so I hope.

they all get hitched...

... which makes me wonder if it has something to do with me.

"They," meaning, the guys I have crush on.

Everytime I find a new one - a very single one - he either gets into a relationship with another girl, or gets married.

The Nose was being accused of being gay, but I liked him anyway. Months after I've known him, he got hitched with his then-preggy gee-eff.

Hugh Grant was so single when I joined the org (he was actually the reason why I joined the group), and then a few weeks later, his long-time girl-friend became his girlfriend. And then after college, he got hitched.

Josh Duhamel married Fergie. (ain't I shameless?)

And just recently, I've learned that my newest crush, whom I call "The Hair of Aragorn," is getting married on March in the beautiful Tagaytay. :(

It's kind of a
Goodluck Chuck situation I'm having here. *sigh*