Thursday, January 6, 2011


This morning, as I was rushing out to get to work, the lady at the lobby of my building called out to me: "Miss Stephanie? This came in for you…"

(Ooooh, a surprise!)

I nearly giggled with glee. (I absolutely love surprises.)

It was a present from a good friend and mentor who sent it by mail. It felt like Christmas and I was being a big kid again; excitedly running my fingers all over the stamps and picking at the adhesive of the envelope to open it right away. My purse and book bag were kind of heavy, but I had both my hands unwrapping the present while walking towards the hospital (I couldn't wait til I had sat down and settled, of course.)

"I wonder what she got for me…" I thought as I flipped the envelope around in my hands. It had the logo of the Philippine Psychiatric Association so I figured she must've sent me a brochure for another conference or something. When I pulled out the contents, though, I got the nicest surprise ever. J

And if that wasn't enough, I got this, as well.


(Thank you for your Christmas present, Doc Eunice. I've said it before, and I'll say it again…I LOVE IT!"

Epiphany 1: Jessica Zafra does quite the sharp commentary. Biting, but true, it makes you realize that there are things in life that are so frustratingly real and stupid (or very nice), they eventually become very amusing anyway. (And no, I don't feel worthy to critique her book.) I used to read her before, but then someone said that her stuff was getting to be repetitive. And then some part of me started to think that "Hey, maybe she'll always be like that, bitter. And ranting against all these common ironies but not really doing anything about it." So ok, I'm changing my mind now.


Reading Twisted 9 was actually why I started writing… after a long time of putting it off, picking up a fountain pen and some clean white paper and writing this one out. (Irony.)


I got another book for Christmas, as well. Another Booker Prize winner of a book, and probably a secondhand one, because everytime I open the book to smell between the pages (yes, it's a habit),I conjure in my mind a 56 year-old guy who wears musky cologne, has hairy arms, a cute little potbelly tiny reading spectacles perched on his bulbous nose, reading, with his toddler granddaughter playing with her toys at his feet. And his name would be, I don't know…Herman? :-p

"What do you think about this book?" I asked Chamie, a friend and co-resident, a voracious reader herself (she's read it already)." "Well, it's a little long-winded, but it's a really nice love story."

Enough said. I'm sleeping with the book beside me tonight.

(I love secondhand books and I love [love] stories, especially those that win prizes, so Thank you, I'm very happy with the present. J)

Epiphany no. 2: The book is a "rare and spellbinding book of dreams."


I asked for a fountain pen for Christmas, a red one.

And then, I realized that I already one. Why would I ask for another one like it? (I had bought this fountain pen for myself a few months ago.)

Epiphany no.3: I don't think we'd ever be given something we ALREADY have. Instead, we will be given something we need at the time we are ready for it. J Realizing this, I suppose I should have asked for something that isn't store-bought, like maybe the heart of a boy on a silver platter, or patients that are manageable, or non-toxic duty skeds, for Christmas? Haha. Tsk tsk…but that's not how the world works.


Epiphany no.4: PGH has a lot of goodlooking men.

It does, actually. And each, probably with talent and brains to boast of. It IS PGH, after all (and I say this with pride, haha.) Kaya lang, there is a chance that they will eventually, in one way or another poke and probe you, in terms of your medical life.

Case in point. Last month, we had our physical examinations done during the application process. In the last part, the dentist check-up, I got decked to this tall, dentistry guy who lives in my building… Now, I thought he was cute in a geeky, Sheldon Cooper way, but with a techie, basketball player vibe, but I never really knew anything about him other than the fact that he was always in blue green scrubs, and had the College of Dentistry thing on his blazer pocket.


So anyway, he to got to peer in the recesses of the sanctum sanctorum of Stephanie Miaco, MD…her mouth. J My teeth, unlike my brother's, are less than perfect, so I naturally felt self-conscious. I didn't have any cavities (whew!), but he did say I needed to have my wisdom teeth taken out as soon as I can. And then he signed my slip. (DONE!)

Getting my teeth checked is like having someone probe me for secrets. It can get pretty embarrassing, and I have some of my own to hide. :-p

Oh, and I saw his first name on his nameplate, but like his last name…I had forgotten it as well. All I vaguely remember is that his name started with the letter P.


Epiphany no. 5: "There is no teaching from without."

(If that line above reads like something Yoda or Bruce Lee would say, I'd have to beg your pardon…it's the best way I can use to express this feeling that I have.")

I was the first one of our newbie group of residents to go on duty this year. And, it being a Sunday, and a day after the first of January, I really didn't have that many patients to see.

Actually, what caused me more anxiety was the idea of interviewing the patients in Tagalog, not the fact that I'll probably end up with an agitated patient running around the ER (Oh, and by the way, the people here have a short term for it, it sounds like, "ah-jit" J) ß Side note: Better nga, kaysa naman sasabihin mong "nag-wild", di ba? J)

My senior, Mafin (who refuses to let me call her Ma'am, a title we give to seniors and consultants here) was great. Anyone who's ever gotten lost in the dark would surely welcome the beacon of light, right? (Thank you, Mafin.)

Chamie jokingly called me the "sacrificial lamb" because I was the first, and I did feel like one. Kulang na lang mag-bleat ako. Baaaaah.

J Joke.

You know what else they joked about, "You know Atep, for us to easily get referrals, you should get yourself a boyfriend from the main departments…no wait, suitors! 'Cause suitors can't say "No." (Ha ha. Thank you very much…)


Epiphany no. 6: Sometimes, not getting what we want when we want it (i.e. right away) can be good for us too.

In recent months, I've learned that not everything we want will be given to us right away…it all takes agonizingly long (if it's going to count) and entails a lot of hard work (if it's going to really matter). It's basically true for everything…school, work, relationships, life itself. If we all had it easy, we'd all get bored right away, right?

(And I don't like being bored. It gives me dandruff. Kidding.)


So, today, on the day of the Three Kings (and the day when we all supposedly take down the twinkly Christmas decorations), I wish you a full, happy, insightful year ahead.

To Epiphanies! J

(Thank you, that was a long read…and you've been a great audience.)



1 comment:

  1. I like 2nd hand books too. We used to have a great store nearby, very inexpensive and a good variety. But it went out of business because they didn't charge enough money. It was fun to sometimes find notes in the books.

    I hear PGH has a lot of goodlooking women. And each, probably with talent and brains to boast of. =)



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