Friday, April 22, 2011

Maundy Thursday in Manila

Yesterday, I took a walk along Roxas Boulevard to catch a glimpse of the sunset. I expected a desolate Baywalk. To my consternation, however, the boulevard was crowded with people "staycationing" in the city. This gave me a sudden surge of creativity to act voyeuristic and immortalize their activities with my camera.

This part of the city has become my favorite haunt these days. True enough, the sun and the people made excellent subjects. I thank God for the sun, and for the people He made.

Have a blessed Holy Week everyone!

Monday, April 18, 2011

My Attempts at Photography: Backpacking Baler

After years of mulling over getting a DSLR camera, I finally decided to evolve from my old point-and-shoot to an entry level, little-bit-more-sophisticated Canon DSLR. To pilot my new baby and explore (or jumpstart) my possible talents (uh-huh) in photography, I decided to slack a bit in my hospital duties and leave PGH way before off-time. With my backpack and my handy Cardiology reading material, I jumped on a bus all the way to Baler in Aurora Province, northeast of Luzon, and embarked on another solo adventure.

Here are some of my shots. Next week, I'll be "pro" enough to learn how to do Photoshop. For now, I hope these would do.

Diayo Dam. Maria Aurora Town, Aurora Province.

Surfer's sunrise. Sabang Beach, Baler.

Ruined seawall. Sabang Beach, Baler.

Tabun River, Brgy. L. Pimentel, San Luis, Aurora Province.

Almost-sunset. Baler Fish Port.

The favorite weekend hangout of Aurora locals. NIA Dam, San Luisa, Aurora Province.
Almost moontime. A glimpse of the full moon. Diguisit Beach, Baler.

Stones. Cemento Beach, Baler.

Another view of the stones of Cemento Beach, Baler.

May the pictures never get in the way of the travels. May the attempts to capture the beauty of the scenery never diminish the awe of the mere experience of being there.

Critics will be much appreciated. We all better ourselves by constructive criticism. :-)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tribute to a Travel Buddy

For years, in vain have I searched for a steady, reliable travel buddy, who would silently endure my screwed up sense of direction and my perpetual lack of plans. I have posted ads on Facebook, bribed some people, written eloquent accounts of my travels - efforts that were all useless and even pathetic. If there's no one around, oh well, I figured that perhaps my own company is already enough for myself. So, on I traveled.

Today, I reviewed my old photos from my previous trips, and realized I had one constant companion. And he silently endured my quirks, suffered my tantrums, and witnessed all my travel highs. Some of my old pictures are lost but these are what I retrieved.

To my constant wandering partner, may your colors never fade even when mine do. May you find your way back to me no matter where my feet take me or wherever laundry you land on. May you never be blown away by strong winds, or snatched by unkind strangers. May you wipe more tears, sweat, and occasional blood from wounds. May you shield more dust and more sunlight from my eyes. May you see more of the country and more of the world with me

Itbayat, Batanes. January to February 2009.

Banawe, Ifugao. April 2010.

Kiamba, Saranggani Province. June 2010.

Mt. Pinatubo, Tarlac. March 2010.

Baler, Aurora Province. April 2011.

To my tubao, thank you! You have made each of my journeys a bad-hair-day-free experience.

Here's to more adventures. Cheers! :-)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Instead of counting sheep

I still could not sleep. An avid sleeper, it's unusual for me to stay up later than 10 PM. Now it's almost midnight. I'm not on duty and I'm not out drinking either. So something must be troubling my melatonin functions, or my biological clock must have gone somewhat awry these days.

To allow sleep to take over, I couldn't help but think about mortality. Yes, death. Geeez, I am not thinking of suicide. Nah, I am not THAT stupid! And I'm not thinking about a mortality conference or that sort of stuff. I am not THAT nerdy!

What keeps me occupied is this: what is the best way to die?

Few years back, my good friend who is scared shitless of dying of renal failure and I had a conversation that went this way (errrr, sort of)...

Me: What would you rather die of - kidney failure or liver failure?
Him: Liver failure, of course.
Me: Oh really? So you want to die yellow?
Him: I'd rather die yellow than look apish. Why, you'd rather have yourself smelling like pee?
Me: Oh yeah, I'd rather smell like pee than bleed all over and smell like dead blood.
Him: And have acid and urine come out of your mouth?
Me: You'd rather have bile and poop come out of your mouth?
Him: Does it even matter? Would I even know it?
Me: I don't know. I've never tried.

Come to think of it, both deaths would be easy, perhaps. I mean, to the dying, at least. To the living, it's insufferably miserable. But to the dying, they'd all be obtunded anyway. Who knows what surprise is waiting for you before you cross to the other side? Well, no one ever came back to tell a credible story.

Tonight I'm thinking of other gross kadiri stuff. Like If you have to put a whole durian fruit into your stomach, where would you want it to enter? Through your mouth or through your butt? What would hurt more? Being eaten by Jaws? Or being crushed to pieces by Kingkong?

What's a better smell? Diabetic foot or cervical cancer?

Ewan. I'd better sleep.

Major Major

Just had a double whammy is 36 hours. WaaaahhhHHH!!! This is what that famous beauty queen called a "major-major". Ganun pala ang feeling. When something drops on you like a bomb, you're just stunned and unfeeling and all you can think of is "Oh my God, this is a major major."

Oh by the way, the person who started that "major-major" fad became famous because of it. She's a beauty queen for chrissakes. While you, that major major fool who was caught in a major major quagmire is stuck in your major major hell.

Help!!! Something is so wrong with this world!!!


After hours of critical thinking, I therefore conclude that life should be summed up into one four letter word: KEBS!!!

Isn't it amazing how life itself will actually tell you what to do? Say, your choices are blurry and you're whimpering in a corner with all your wits scared out of you or you don't have a single inkling about why and how you're still alive or where and when you'll start living. And then suddenly, by some amazing and even hilarious design of destiny, some tragedy just happens and then pooof! Clarity follows.

For instance, when I was growing up, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I was just so content lounging around, reading Nancy Drew books, eating galunggong, and getting fat while watching Agila and Anna Luna or even Cedie and Princess Sarah. I imagined I'll be Courtney Love, or the next Sharon Cuneta, or the next Miss Universe. But then destiny stepped in and orchestrated what I still prefer to think of as a tragedy - my sheer lack of artistic talents and my absolute fatness. Aaargh, my royal fatness! Ugh, bye bye showbiz. Bye bye modeling.

To compensate for everything I lack, God gave me a brain plus a little (but frequently annoying) bit of yabang. And then he topped that with loads and loads of idleness. Oooohlahlaaah, oozing with pure unadulterated idleness. In other words, all roads led to Medicine. Now, I'm a doctor. An aging doctor who still has no idea what she will do with her life. And I am still so content with lounging around, reading Nancy Drew books, eating galunggong, and getting fat... And so on, and so forth...


Sometimes they call it pruning. When somebody cuts off something's unnecessary parts. Like when you think your ingrown toenail is so fantastic you don't want it removed even if your big toe is already festering and your sock smells like the garbage bin there at OBAS on a post duty day. Oh, you're getting my drift, aren't you?

God is doing me some pruning now. Ok, Lord. Take off my ingrown toenail, or my rotting tooth. Cut of my hair, remove my acne. Give me a nice refreshing foot spa. Prune me as you deem fit.

Do what you want with me. This time, I'm kebs. Kebsness is the way to go now. I trust in Your glory. Take me in all my kebsness!


Speaking of prunes. My blogger buddy Fox Scully Will recently wrote about prunes and cherry popping. And I was like, if a cherry remains unpopped, what will become of it? What's a dried up cherry called?

There are dried grapes and dried plums. I've never heard of a dried cherry.

But then again, who cares about an unpopped cherry? Not me, for more kebsness.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


You have killed my love. You used to stir my imagination. Now you don't even stir my curiosity. You simply produce no effect. I loved you because you were marvelous, because you had genius and intellect, because you realized the dreams of great poets and gave shape and substance to the shadows of art. You have thrown it all away. You are shallow and stupid.

Today I discard you. You are a hope long cherished that I now throw away. Any further hoping is a waste of time. Depart from me. Go away, you and the me you have made. Be still and stop creating ripples that become tsunamis without you knowing them. Look at the calamity you brought, feel the invisible damage you have caused me, had you any feeling. Leave. Take with you every trace of memory, delete every imprint that you unsuspectingly created.

From now on, you cease to exist. You have died, along with my love that you killed. You are nothing except my biggest hope that has faded away, beyond any chances of resurrection. You are my greatest what-if - you have been and you always will be. Now you are dead.

And you have killed me.

*First paragraph lifted from Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray.