Week One of Internship Phase 2- Done!

What my classmates and former interns say is true. The days fly by so fast. The nights are gone in a blink. You have patients to care for, papers to write, preparations for the patients tomorrow, discussions on topics with your clinical supervisors, feedback on your performance for the day, case conferences, and journal presentations. That’s just for a regular day. I count myself lucky to have an average of 5 hours of sleep. My co-interns are lucky to have 3 hours of sleep. That is if they did not nod off while doing notes and accidentally wake up just in time to not be marked as late, lest there be make-up duties.

I’m tired all the time. I slept as soon as I got home last night. I woke up near lunchtime. I feel like crap because I don’t think I’m giving my patients the attention they deserve, and I also feel like crap because I barely eat and I can’t find the time to review for NMAT. It’s tough to balance the present and preparing for the future. My allergies are acting up again, to the point that antihistamines don’t seem to help anymore. My back and shoulders hurt (probably because of poor posture while typing notes, and poor biomechanics when treating patients). I can’t find time to go to the gym. I can’t find time to go out of my house because I feel guilty about either studying for the NMAT or reading up on the cases I’ll be handling next week. More than half my co-interns have suffered a nervous breakdown. Two of them on the first day of patient care. I almost lost it in front of a patient because everything we seemed to do ends up causing him pain, to the point that I didn’t know what to do anymore. My clinical supervisor had to pull me into the next cubicle to talk me through what I could be doing. There are demanding patients, patients who test your patience (hehe), and patients who are just confusing to talk to.

Yet despite all of that, I am actually enjoying patient care. I’m learning new things everyday. I learned how to properly execute certain treatments and I feel like I am getting better at talking to the patients and finding the root cause of their complaint. It’s just that I need to work on my assessment procedures, but otherwise, I’M OKAY. Some of my patients are already showing improvements after one session! I hope I can say the same for all of my other patients the next time I see them. My reports have more things written on them, we end up doing more exercises in each session, and I’m getting faster at basic assessment! I hope I could improve more in the next weeks to come!



I’m already in my 4th year of studies and I’m beginning to doubt whether this course is right for me. My batch mates are graduating and have gone on to achieve so many things during their stay in their universities. I have 1 and a half years to go (hopefully), I haven’t achieved anything, and I feel woefully unprepared for internship. I honestly don’t know what I’m doing.

Lately, it’s becoming more and more difficult to focus on what I’m supposed to study. Maybe it’s the anxiety over having to handle real patients in less than a year. Maybe it’s the pressure of having to take the NMAT later this year in the middle of internship. Maybe I’m just scared I won’t be accepted to any med school. Maybe I’m terrified that I’m not cut out for handling patients. Maybe I feel trapped doing what other people expect me to do. Maybe it’s because I DON’T KNOW WHAT DIRECTION I WANT MY LIFE TO GO.

All I can do is just go with the flow. I don’t think I can do anything else.

On Duterte’s Presidency: An observation of people’s attitudes and manner in pertaining to the president

It’s no secret that I’m staunchly against Duterte being president. I like his stand against drugs and the oligarchy; I just don’t like the way he deals with them. I’m pretty sure there are many other ways to deal with them besides trial by publicity and OBOSEN (ubusin/ killing them all). Not that I’m a yellowtard (Aquino supporter) either. Come to think of it, I’ve never liked any of the presidents, and I don’ think I’ll ever like any president. I don’t trust Philippine politics in general.

Generally, people wouldn’t find anything wrong with that statement had it been, for example, comparing President Aquino with President Arroyo. It is alarming that staunch and illogical Duterte supporters would only see the first sentence in this blog post, threatening you on social media and pulling asinine conclusions that are far removed from your statement. It is not uncommon to find in the comments section of a post that is critical of a certain facet of Duterte’s administration policies people threatening the authors lives as well as the lives of their loved ones. Often, you’ll see comments ranging from “Halatang dilaw (clearly an Aquino supporter)” and “BIAS(ed)!” to “Sana ma-rape ka/ang pamilya/anak mo para malaman mo na tama ang ginagawa ni Digong” (I hope you/your family/your child gets raped so you know that what Duterte’s doing is right). I’m pretty sure that the last one should be enough for someone to be sent to jail, but cyber crime is not the focus of this administration, so no one (in the government) is doing anything about it.

Recently, I’ve had a lecture on culture and how it affects the therapist-client relationship. One point the lecture brought up is the tendency for Filipinos to unquestioningly follow what people in authority say, thinking that those in authority probably know best. While the advent of accessible information has allowed others to take a more proactive role in their health care, there are still those who either don’t use it or can’t use it and choose instead to just do what the doctor/therapist says they should do.

Perhaps there is something there that explains why people are so defensive of the president that being critical about the president would merit one death threats. It is possible that people believe that he should be afforded respect by not airing out criticisms just because he’s in a position of authority. In social media, many say that it doesn’t matter what he does, as long as it works. This may be a reflection of the authority figure knowing what is best for the people.

Compounding the problem is the Filipino trait of taking things too personally. Personally, I have observed that many Filipinos do not take criticism too well. Often, they feel that criticism is an attack on their abilities. Maybe attacking their chosen candidate makes them feel that we are looking down at them because of their choice (i.e. an attack on the president is an attack on my values, beliefs, and who I am as a person), leading them to lash out.

The most alarming factor is our increased dependence/reliance on social media for information. We know we should be wary of false information that could easily be uploaded/posted, and yet many fall victim to the stories found on Facebook. Lately, there seems to be a movement dedicated to revise history, saying that Ferdinand Marcos should be considered a hero and not the villain history has made him out to be. For those who are unfamiliar with Philippine history, that’s like saying that Hitler should be named a hero for the contributions to society he made during his regime. This is coupled by their unwillingness to see reason (ie. being shown credible sources) because it was different from what they were told or experienced. You’d hear things like “Sabi ng lolo/lola ko, masarap ang buhay noong panahon ng Martial Law. Tahimik, may trabaho. Yung mga pinapatay ay ang mga aktibista.” (According to my grandparents, life was good under martial law. Quiet, jobs were available. The only people being killed were the activists.) The threat of historical revisionism doesn’t directly tie in with the Duterte administration, but some have pointed out that this is eerily similar to what Marcos did during the early days of his administration before declaring martial law.

It is our responsibility, as Filipino citizens, to act as a sort of check-and-balances for the government. We are, after all, the people who put them in power, making us more powerful than they are. Airing out our criticisms is one way of telling the government that we are dissatisfied with what they are doing and that they should change it. Without critics voicing out their opinions, how else would the government know that we don’t agree with their actions? We should view our authority figures, with respect instead of blind reverence. We need to be able to accept criticism for what they are- point for improvement. We need to be discerning of the information that we see and believe only the sources that are credible (hello, hierarchy of evidence!). Lastly, we should never be afraid to voice out our dissent (who else would keep our government officials from having huge egos?).

Week 2: Challenge after Challenge

Week 2 of what seems to be a very difficult semester just ended. I’ve already had to pass three modules (one lecture module and two lab module) and I’ve just received two more for next week. I have an exam for Epidemiology 2 next Thursday and I’ve yet to finish the second module they sent us. Thank God I’m done with the first one. To top them off, I have an essay due on Wednesday for my NatSci50 class with a minimum of 980 words and a maximum of 1000 on the relationship between Geology and my course. I’m currently in my third year of study for Physical Therapy. I don’t understand how I can link those two topics together, but I guess I can find some way to bullshit my way through it.

Oh yeah, I’m also experiencing low back pain and the symptoms of gastroenteritis (all except diarrhea, so hooray for small miracles). 

I’m supposed to be engaging in physical activity this weekend, being almost obese and hopelessly deconditiomed for the impending intramurals, but I can’t even seem to muster up enough strength to move out of my bed. Moving makes the pain even worse.

I hope next week would be better.

On the Subject of Racial Discrimination in the Philippines

So there’s this thing floating around the net in the Philippines. It’s about this super smart, kind, and all-around amazing girl who was able to get the highest grade point average in the history of post-war University of the Philippines. She will graduate with a 1.004 average, with 1.00 being the highest possible score. Instead of people lauding and praising her for her efforts, they complain that she is not, in fact, a Filipino; rather, she is a CHINESE-Filipino, and should not have been admitted to a national university in the first place.

I would like to voice out a few of my thoughts regarding the entire debacle.

First, Filipino netizens put emphasis on her ethnicity, instead of her accomplishments, and then question her nationality. I have to admit, we Filipinos are not one of the most logical people in the world- quick to judge and complain when someone makes fun of us, but this is crossing the line. They do not understand the difference between ethnicity and nationality. They do not understand that by questioning her nationality, they are questioning the nationality of more than half of the population- the part of the population that drives the economy at that.

Second, the whole premise that Chinese-Filipinos are not REALLY Filipinos is absurd. And downright racist. No one in the Philippines is 100% Filipino, except the indigenous tribes that most people do not consider to be “regular” Filipinos. In fact, around 80% of the population has Chinese blood. Our 11th president, the late Cory Aquino is Chinese-Filipino. So is our current president, Noynoy Aquino. So is the richest man in the Philippines, Henry Sy. And those who do not have Chinese blood have Malay blood, Spanish blood, Japanese blood or whatever mix of ethnicities as a result of hundreds of years of trade relations with Asian countries, as well as the hundreds of years spent under colonial rule.

Third, Filipinos are generally incredibly racist. Filipinos are known to complain when something bad happens to a fellow Filipino abroad because of racial discrimination, but continue to propagate the same kind of discrimination while in the Philippines. We think of Indians as money changers or 5-6, who lend us money on the condition that they earn as well, kind of like a bank, or people who generally smell. We think of Chinese people as rich businessmen who abuse their workers. And in light of the rising tension between China and the Philippines, we think of Chinese-Filipinos as people who will side with China in the event of war (refer F. Sionil Jose’s article), even to the point of saying that all Chinese-Filipinos should leave the country.

Fourth, the people who question her nationality are evidence of a problem that has plagued the Philippine society for years. We Filipinos call it “crab mentality”, wherein like crabs, we pull down achievers just so we can feel good about ourselves. Try as we might to fix it, there are still people who continue to bring people down. I agree with Herbie Alimpuyo‘s comment on Facebook. He said, “Yung mga kumukwestyon na netizens malamang sila ung paulit ulit na nakakuha ng 5 nung college. Aminin na natin, ang mga tropang Filipino-Chinese marami talaga sa kanila matatalino. Marami akong naging classmate nung college na galing, CKSC, ICA (san juan), Faith, Hope at ibat ibang prominent chinese school, matatalino silang lahat. Hindi lang matatalino, mababait pa. Siguro nasa pagpapalaki ng magulang yan kung magiging mabait ka na tao o sukdulan ng walanghiya. Mas TAO pa nga sila makisama kesa dun sa purong Pilipino pero sagana naman sa porma.” (The netizens who question this are most likely those who kept getting failing grades in college. We have to admit, in Filipino-Chinese cliques, many of them are really intelligent. I had many classmates in college who were from Chang Kai Shek College, Immaculate Conception Academy [San Juan], Faith, Hope, and other prominent Chinese schools; they are all very intelligent. Not only are they intelligent, they are kind as well. It’s probably in the way parents raised their children to either to be a good person or be the worst person in the world. They are more HUMAN in the way they treat other people compared to the pure Filipinos who only care about their image.) That was a rough translation btw but I think we can get his point.

Fifth, this issue shows the hypocritical nature of Filipinos. When we recruit for our national sports teams, we literally take anyone we can get who can help us win titles, even if they aren’t pure Filipino. No one complains that these Fil-foreigners like Phil and James Younghusband have more playing time than most of the so-called pure Filipinos on the team. We are proud of people like Bruno Mars, Jasmine Trias, Vanessa Hudgens, Nicole Scherzinger, and many other performers like them because they simply have Filipino blood. Not even 50% at that. We are proud of our fellow Filipinos who are able to achieve great things outside the Philippines, and yet we are quick to scrutinize and criticize other Filipinos who are achieving great things while in the Philippines. This would be a different story had she won a Nobel Prize or something.
Last, and probably the most annoying one, is the thought that she does not deserve a UP education, just because she isn’t poor or a “pure-Filipino”. As I said earlier, no one’s pure Filipino. Besides, the only requirement for admission is that she pass the UPCAT (the admissions exam). It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor or middle-class, as long as you prove that you are worthy of the spot. If graduating with a grade point average of 1.004 isn’t proof enough, then the problem must be you. It is incredibly difficult to get a 1.50 in a 3-unit class; getting 1.00 in almost all of your classes is exponentially more difficult. And in BS Biology, no less. Many also argue that she is probably just going to leave the country, and yet her enrolling in UP-PGH to take up medicine proves otherwise. She doesn’t spend her time trolling the internet and bringing other people down.
She’s here to stay and try her hand at making a difference in the Philippines. What about you? Puro free FB lang kasi ang inaatupag, hindi na nag-iisip bago mag-comment. (All they do is use free Facebook; they don’t think before they comment.)


Bunheads Creator, Stars Spill Secrets from the Short-Lived ABC Family Series

Still completely devastated that this show was cancelled. Really loved Bunheads, and now I don’t know what to do with my life because I don’t know how their stories end. This is the worst feeling in the world, having no closure.


It’s been two years and four-ish months since the ladies of ABC Family’s Bunheads danced their way off of our screens (though never out of our hearts). So, what are the former residents of Paradise up to now?

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Date a girl who rides the MRT daily


J. Santiago

You can find her here. You can find her here.

Date a girl who rides the MRT daily. Date a girl whose basic necessity is a Stored Value Card, and not a cup of Starbucks coffee. Date a girl who rides the MRT every day. You’ll be amazed with what she’s capable of. She can do her full make up amid the wobbly ride. She can even sleep — standing up.

When she says she’ll be there in an hour, wait for her. She’s doing everything she can to be there. If she feels hopeless, she’ll blindly take the first train and step into the sweaty, rowdy coach filled with men. There, she knows she’ll be squeezed and pushed and shoved. But she told you she’ll be there in an hour; she’ll keep her vow.

Date a girl who rides the MRT. She is strong. She makes her own choices; she takes risks. She thinks…

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