Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Manila, August 2010.

I can make decisions at the snap of a finger...OR at the end of 5 days.
I recently took a trip, and did some career-related things that I've been planning to do for quite some time now. It was something I've looked forward to, and since it was pretty important, and was all-business, I didn't really announce it with much fanfare. 

(I have this thing about not announcing works (or major decisions) in progress...I want to downplay things until I'm really sure. It would surely be a blow if i had had high expectations and then crashed miserably. I'm a bit selfish about my ego.:-p)

I had booked my tickets in advance ('cause it was cheaper that way) and besides, one of the hospitals I applied for really put their application schedules down. That was pretty helpful in planning everything.

The airport was packed (in Dumaguete terms, of course), and it seems many people were also making the trip to Manila that morning. I was travelling alone, which was more economical of course, since I was paying for my trip and every other expense. As much as I would've liked to bring a veritable entourage of cousins along for a fun ride, it simply wasn't going to work out. (Perhaps, when I'm a bigger name, and millions richer.)

I saw Manny Pacquiao getting off the plane from Manila that morning. His presence created quite a ruckus among the ground crew who had pictures taken with him while he was on his way to the arrivals area with his wife Jinky. I remembered that he was scheduled to speak at Silliman University's College of Law as part of the Founder's week celebration. (I didn't get the full-on view of him, but had to settle for what the zoom lens of my camera could handle.)

Manny Pacquiao being led by his entourage to the Arrivals area of the Dumaguete Airport.
Airport terminal entertainment included these three visually differently abled (they were blind) gentlemen who cranked out a variety of old-time tunes from Matt Monro (my favorite in their repertoire, actually), and even jukebox oldies from the likes of Eddie Peregrina and April Boy Regino. Which of course, were never my favorites, but I still had to hand it to him, the guy could really sing. 

The three blind musicians who rocked the airport music scene. August 26, 2010. (lol)
I seem to be getting into situations where kids abound. I sat next to a mom who had triplets...and I even got to bottle feed one of them when one of the others was acting up probably due to the pressure. I couldn't help myself and after introducing myself (and telling her I was a doctor), I asked her about her prenatal history, and all that. She was kind enough, and the kids were fun. 

The quirky little triplets. August 26th, 2010.
My uncle (and aunt and cousin) picked me up at the airport when I got to Manila...and dropped  me off at where I was staying (it was closer to the hospital than their place in Paranaque). My cousin Gerard and I had lunch 
at the mall, and for a little while, I had to be accustomed again to being in the big city, with the mill of busy people (talking in rapid fire Tagalog,mind) and the neverending traffic. (Yet, I had fallen in love with this City a long time ago, with its promise of adventure, so i figured traffic would only be a minor detail in the grand scheme of things.But we'll see about that, 'cause almost everyone I knew who's ever been in Manila has never liked being there, if it weren't for the studying or the work that they did.)

A degree in foreign services. Now why didn't I think of going into that? natch. :-) August 29th, 2010.
First off, I went to the hospital where I was going to be taking my exams the next day. I went alone, of course, I usually am lately. It's not that i didn't need anyone to go with me, it was just that i needed to get a feel of things without having to bother anybody. And besides, I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of anyone should anything go wrong. Like I said, I was terribly self-conscious about having to show anyone a work in progress. 

The secretary who handled the scheduling was friendly enough, and after getting the details (and doing some additional payments for exam fees and stuff), I walked around a bit. We wouldn't know our room assignments until the next day. Since it was my first day back, I was still self-conscious about my Tagalog-speaking skills. Argh. Nothing makes me more anxious that speaking Tagalog. (I have to translate things in my head first, and that takes practice.)

Anyway, the next day, I found out that the room assignments were by group/specializations. Mine was to be held in a conference room on the second floor of the hospital and when I got there, there were a handful of students already in (which I adjudged to be from UST, because most of them knew each other). Well, the exam was 40% general medicine, and 60% Neuropsych, and when we handed our exam papers in, the chief resident (who looked like she was going to be a tough cookie, er, senior) told us to "make ourselves available" on so and so date for the interview. 

Sto. Domingo Church. August 28th, 2010.
So it looks like I'm going to be back in Manila again pretty soon. :-D
I wolfed down lots of rice and beef stroganoff afterwards, 'cause I got so hungry. Comfort food that my roommates and I had last year when we were living near UST.

The Picture Show Room. National Museum. August 29, 2010.
I got a second-hand book on digital photography, which I totally love! :-) 

It's still pretty new, and has got great text and lots  and lots of pictures. 

The previous owner had written something in illegible scribbles which totally bummed me out, and if that were originally for me, I'd have wished, they were written like this, "Dear Stephanie, here's to a lifetime of great pictures. Love, (insert name of significant person)" 

LOL. Kidding. But of course, beggars (of good bargains) can't be choosers, and i was terribly lucky to have found that book. It smells great, and i started reading it the minute I got it. My cousin Chris doesn't like second-hand books, but I do. I always thought of them as extensions of their previous owners, and they came with attached memories, highlighted notes...and essences. They were lived/breathed/pored over and loved. I believe that makes them more special.

(And so,with dramatic flourish, I therefore say to the heavenly love that has made it possible to get that book to me, thank you very much. I love it. It's absolutely perfect!)


Overfeeding time, with JoeJoe. A Veneto, Mall of Asia. August 27, 2010.
Oh, and I got to see my dear friend JoeJoe, an old schoolmate and fellow staff member of the school paper. Like any true friend would, he took me out to the Mall of Asia and fed me A Veneto pasta until I could no longer take in anymore and threatened to lose my cookies. Initially, I had asked him to take me out to a Japanese restaurant instead 'cause I was so hungry and was dreaming of a plateful of sashimi all to myself. He laughed and then said, " Just wait til you try this pasta place I'm taking you to, THEN we'll see if you'll still want Japanese after."

The darned dude was right, after all that pizza and pasta...I didn't think I could look at another plate of food again for that night. And after we walked around the grounds of the Mall of Asia, he got me a long tall glass of Caramel coffee at Seattle's Best and challenged me to down the whole thing down. I couldn't, of course. The next things I want to try when I get there would be the bungee jump thing, and take pictures of the sunset on Manila Bay. <-- I'm looking forward to it.

Joejoe did his internship year at the Philippine General Hospital, and since I was going there to visit a family member who was admitted, I asked JoeJoe to give me a tour after. Haha, Joe was great. He talks to me mostly in English, in that off-the-cuff comfortable way that I'm used to have him talk in ever since we were in school. He showed me around the hospital and gave me useful info and "side notes" (although not all of these were terribly useful to me, they were just pretty hilarious, that's all.)

One time, we passed by this guy (an intern, i suppose, judging from his clothes) and I had to stop walking for a bit. :-) I elbowed Joe, "Joe, check that out, remember my crush back in med school... the tall guy, XXX? I thought I saw someone who looked like him, eek!!!" Joe didn't see the guy, of course...because among the two of us, I was probably the one who was more likely to have her attention caught by a guy.  Oh but the resemblance was uncanny... *sigh*. I got giddy. Joejoe just pretty much laughed at me in amusement.


A painting of the Philippine flags in the Picture Show Room. National Museum. August 29, 2010.
I applied to two hospitals, and they're both interviewing next week. I'm nervous about it, actually, I mean, I love doing interviews...but I feel that this one is no joke. Joe said that I might have to prepare a script or something, haha. :-) I downloaded something from the internet, and well, the resource person who wrote it said that there was a need to get things down for some questions that were routinely asked, so I might have to work on that too.

Oh, if only interviews were as easy to do as honestly telling someone you like what you felt. (I got the idea from watching Sharon last night on tv with Hershey, over delicious hotdogs).

Bituin Escalante and Sharon Cuneta were doing a duet, and they were doing this great song that went something like, "Kung ako na lang sana ang 'yong minahal, di ka na muling mag-iisa... Kung ako na lang sana ang 'yong minahal, di ka muling luluha pa... Narito ang puso ko, naghihintay lamang sa yo..." (Anyway, the song's down this paragraph.)

LOL. it's corny, I know, but the principle is still the same. You're basically letting these people know that you're a good person, and you're willing to work hard at making [training] work, and that, deep in your heart, that is all you ever really wanted.



(I hope I didn't embarrass myself with that CORNY spiel. haha)


Hershey Miaco at the National Museum. August 29, 2010.
I checked out the National Museum with my little cousin Hershey. I loved it...even if we didn't get to finish looking at everything. AND my camera's batteries went flat when we got to the Spoliarium. LOL. I'm definitely going back.

I love Art and History...although I wouldn't say my feelings as academic, because, the closest description I can come up with is this, "Seeing great works of art makes me overwhelmed enough to feel like peeing in my pants." That's how I love looking at art. lol.

"Those who have eyes hear, and those who have eyes see." By Camille Dela Rosa. National Museum. August 29, 2010. (I liked the Salvador Dali flair and feel of this one. Edit: even if it is kind of disgusting.)
Anyway, I've got work tomorrow. Be seeing you. This was a pretty long entry...and I hope it made up for the week I was away.
Oh, and in reference to my opening sentence, my decision was that...i am decidedly scared. afraid. anxious. of what the next few months will bring. That, despite my best efforts, and despite giving myself away...I wouldn't get picked anyway. and that would totally break my heart.

Which is why I haven't made contingency plans in case I don't get in. :-) I so want to.

(And that goes for other things in life, too.)





  1. i really love the way you write doc :) sa psychiatry ghapon ka? goodluck! i know you can make it through the interviews in flying colors! hehehe

  2. Dear Stephanie, Here's to a lifetime of great adventures and happiness! =)

  3. Nice one steph;) I was actually in Manila when you were there...



Popular Posts