Monday, April 27, 2009
In behalf of all well-intentioned workers, I would like to remind you that:
1. Workers have the right to be sick!
2. Sick people have the right to work!
Someone Who Is Sick Of Having To Play By Your Rules
P.S. I sincerely hope, for your sake, that you never contract any sort of illness. Because then I would gleefully decline to give out a med cert / clearance. After gleefully saying, "Well, well, well, look who's here."
P.P.S. But of course you won't get sick. You're not human. You're a walking bottom line.
Friday, April 24, 2009
I know it's weird, but this song -- usually sung at wakes, during the 9-day pangadyi -- is one of my favorite, favorite songs. Getting to sing it is one of the things that makes the monotony of wakes bearable -- aside, of course, from the food served afterwards. :-)
Pahulayng dayon ihatag kaniya, Ginoo
Kahayag nga di mapalong ipadan-ag mo
Gikan sa kahiladman kami nagaagulo
Pamati-a Ginoo ang among mga bakho
Kay ikaw ang among maloloy-ong Manunubos
Ngalan kanimo angay, sibo gayod ug takos
Dili bug-os hukom ang among gikinahanglan
Sanglit daghan ug dagko ang among kalapasan
Kalooy ug pasaylo ang among gipaabot
Ang imong gasa sa grasya gikan sa kalulot
Nag-ingon ka: "Dali kamong tanan nga nagbudlay,
Sa kahago tagaan ko kamo ug pahulay."
Tan-awa kami, Jesus, kanimo nagadangop
Nagpaabot sa imong kalooy ug kaaghop
Hinumdumi ang igsoon ug ang ginikanan
Pagkaon, wala kami magkinahanglan
Misa, pag-ampo, among gikalipayan
Ang luha ugod ma-uga, ang bulak malaya
Ang kalag magpadayon samtang ang lawas madugta
Ginghari-an sa Dios kami dili makalabang
Kon kamo sa mga pag-ampo dili motabang
Sa kanamo pag-ampo dili kami malimot (?)
Aron ang Dios kaninyo kanunayng mahimu-ot
Kon kamo mahinumdom ug malooy kanamo
Kami unya alang ninyo kanunayng mag-ampo
Another favorite is that one sung during Holy Week, the one that goes:
Jesus malo-oy ka kanamo
Pasaylo-on mo kami
Ang sala gidumtan namo
Dili na mag-usab kami
What I love about this one is the sheer misery with which it is sung. :-)
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Lolo Octoy is my grandfather's eldest brother. When they heard that I had taken up Medicine, Lola Uping was very happy. She would hug me and kiss me whenever we met, and she told me she looked forward to the day I would become the family's first doctor.
As med school took up most of my time, our encounters, already sporadic, became even less frequent. While I was in Dumaguete, I only heard that Lola Uping's eyesight had totally failed her. She could no longer go on her daily walks with Lolo Octoy. Her life became restricted to the four corners of her room, and she grew even more cantankerous.
My life, meanwhile, went on. I reviewed for the board exam, and passed. I got my first job, and quit. I got another job, and stayed. I was busy being a doctor, or busy resting from being one.
At 3:40 AM this morning, I received a call from my aunt, asking me to come over to their house, where Lola Uping was staying. When I got to her room, Lola Octoy was there, sitting on her bed, leaning over her and arranging her hair. She was no longer breathing.
No doubt Lola Uping is now in a better place. But I couldn't help crying my heart out when I had gone back to the darkness of my room. To have become a doctor, just as she hoped, and yet to have done no more for her than to pronounce her death...
And yet, in my heart, I know Lola Uping is happy now, where she is.
Please pray for her soul, and for those she left behind.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
1. Don't go in blind. Get rid of the basic questions first. What is a mutual fund? (People pooling their money, paying someone to invest it, and proportionately dividing the returns/losses. Basically. Take note of the slash-losses.) Is it better than a savings deposit? (Potentially. The rule of thumb -- whether it's savings deposit versus mutual fund, or one type of mutual fund versus another -- is that potential rewards are directly proportional to the potential risks.)
2. "Profile" yourself. Why do you want to invest in a mutual fund? (Aside from the obvious coolness of it. Hehe.) Will you be needing the money right away? And how much risk are you comfortable with? All this will help you decide on what type of mutual fund you want to invest in. Generally...
* MIGHT NEED IT RIGHT AWAY = LOW RISK = BONDS = LOWER RETURNS
* WON'T NEED IT FOR YEARS = HIGH RISK = STOCKS = HIGHER RETURNS
"Equity" funds generally mean stocks. Bond funds are also known as "fixed income" funds. There are also such things as "balanced" funds, which invest more or less equally in both stocks and bonds.
3. Learn as much as you can before taking the plunge. Do some snooping. Which mutual funds have performed well in the past? Which are known to have poor customer service? Which ones have easily accessible offices? What is the initial investment required by each fund? How much is the minimum additional investment? (I think it's better to invest with the ones that are known to perform well, have good customer service, preferably with nearby offices or at least a representative who answers emails promptly, and with a low minimum additional investment so that you can take advantage of the occasional dips in the fund value to buy more shares.)
But enough with the hypothetical.
Let's say you've thought it through, and researched what there is to research, and you've decided to invest in the First Metro Save & Learn Mutual Fund.
You will need:
1. P5,000 - as initial investment
2. 2 valid ID's
3. Account Opening Form, Investment Application Form and Signature Card - may be downloaded from their website
What to do:
1. Email Ms. Florabelle J. del Mundo at FAMI@firstmetro.com.ph and ask any questions you may have. Otherwise just, you know, let her know you exist and that you plan on sending your hard-earned money their way.
2. Deposit the P5,000 at the appropriate Metrobank account:
3. Fill up all the forms.
4. Email the forms, a copy of your 2 valid ID's, and a scanned copy of the Deposit Slip to FAMI@firstmetro.com.ph. They will then process your investment.
5. Send the original filled-up forms and clear photocopies of the Deposit Slip and your ID's to:
Disclaimer: I am so not an investment professional. Take any of my advice at your own risk. :-)
Sunday, April 12, 2009
It is the fresh, new blog from Nathan Cataluna, and it is S U P E R.
After warning would-be readers that his school essays often bore a red-inked "Out of Context" comment when they were returned, Nuts proceeds to make his hilarious first ever contribution to The Blog Rounds with "Life and No Letters" then makes me cry with his simple tale of a mother's love in "My Story."
Be sure to include NUTS UNLIMITED in your reading list.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Ready? Here goes...
Hmmm... Since some of these items can apply to more than one of us -- for example, I suppose I could also be an egotistical self-righteous preachy idealist, hehehe -- your answer will be considered if you own up.
Seriously: I expected only...maybe five contributions. So the overwhelming response is overwhelming me! Thank you, everyone, for participating. Happy, happy summer! :-)
Friday, April 10, 2009
This question was posed, to me, by my 9-year-old nephew Joshua.
Twenty-eight-year-old me scratched my head. "Huh? What do you mean?"
There were, I suppose, several possible answers to his question, but nothing sounded quite right at the moment. It was as if somebody has asked me the meaning of life. (And Josh had been living most of his life in California, so this really was in English, which made the whole thing more surreal.)
"Well, do you know how to sew?" he demanded.
"Um..." I thought of the sequined pencil cases I used to make and sell. "A little..."
"Do you know how to carve?"
(No! Who the heck knows how to carve?)
"Do you know how to tame a wild cat?" Josh persisted.
Having thus measured and found me wanting -- at least in terms of needlecraft, woodcarving and wild-cat-taming -- Josh shrugged, let me off the existential hook, and invited me to join him in his search for spiders.
I'm a doctor by profession, so I guess I know how to do that. People come to me when they're sick, and I listen to them, and I examine them, and I tell them what to do. I am a general practitioner, so the cases that come to me don't stress me out too much. (Which is good, because I intensely dislike being unnecessarily stressed out.) I don't have my own clinic -- yet, although I'm keeping my fingers crossed for next year -- but I'm one of two general practitioners in a multi-specialty clinic being run by an HMO.
That's what I do in the mornings. Afternoons I work for the same HMO as a medical evaluator, which basically means that, for each patient who comes in for an annual or pre-employment physical examination, I put together their history and PE findings and lab results, and come up with a diagnosis and recommendations. It's a job that involves a lot of paperwork, and all my friends have a good laugh when they hear about it -- they remember all too clearly that I almost didn't get to join my med school graduation ceremony because I had fallen behind (like, way behind) in my paperworks.
I used to work for a medical software company, and, just a few days ago, they asked me to come back, and offered me as much as five times my old salary. What?!?! It was a ridiculous amount of money, and it was unreal. And I refused.
I sometimes look back on the decision and curse. But, well, it was a job I wasn't happy in. And it would mean giving up my current job, which I happen to like a lot. And, not too long ago, didn't I loudly preach, "Don't make decisions based on salary alone"? Some people would say I wouldn't have been making that decision based on salary alone. I would have made it because of what the salary can give me -- a clinic, perhaps a house -- a chance, in short, to achieve my dreams. But I don't believe in doing something I thoroughly dislike now so that I can do the things I want later. LIFE STARTS RIGHT NOW. And I refuse to accept that re-conceptualization of the Golden Rule: that "those who have the gold make the rules." The rules of this world suck, so I'm making my own. I want to do what I want to do starting now. Besides, I am already financially blessed -- not because I already have lots of money (I honestly don't), but because I have so few needs. I take the jeepney. I don't wear make-up. I don't have to have my hair rebonded every so often for the simple reason that I have never had it rebonded and therefore it doesn't look the awful way hair does once the chemicals start to wear off. I like coffee but it doesn't have to be Starbucks.
And I'm telling you all this because this is what it means to be me. Hehe.
And, oh yeah:
1. I'm from Cebu, and I have lived here all my life, except for PGI year, when I lived in Dumaguete.
2. When you're in Cebu, try...the lechon. Hehe! The ones in Carcar and the ones sold near the Liloan church are the most lami. Also try the lechon manok sold near the sports center in Talamban -- it's The. Best. As for places to visit, um, the islands of Bantayan, Malapascua and Camotes are known to have great beaches. (But I've never been there. Unbelievable but yeah.)
3. I'm not married, but maybe next year. Hehe. If all goes well.
4. I say "hehe" all the time.
5. I do remember my first mortality. I was in Family Medicine, and a little boy came in for diarrhea. He was so dehydrated, his fontanelle was sunken beyond belief, and his eyeballs were literally dry. His guardians had been playing mahjong and hadn't noticed.
6. When I'm not working, I...do nothing. Hehe. I do a lot of staring into space and thinking about nothing in particular.
7. I'd really like to be a travel writer.
The writers who have influenced me the most are:
1. C. S. Lewis
2. J. R. R. Tolkien.
Anyone who knows me could have predicted that. Hehe! But it's true. They have. I have often said that I am the product of what I have read, and although that statement can't be wholly accurate, I do have a tendency to find parallels in literature for the things that happen to me. In that sense, Lewis and Tolkien rarely disappoint. For example, when initially faced with the ridiculous job offer, I remembered this passage from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King:
"In that hour of trial it was the love of his master that helped him most to hold firm; but also deep down in him lived still unconquered his plain hobbit-sense: he knew in the core of his heart that he was not large enough to bear such a burden, even if such visions were not a mere cheat to betray him. The one small garden of a free gardener was all his need and due, not a garden swollen to a realm; his own hands to use, not the hands of others to command."
1. The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings go without saying.
2. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
3. The Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
4. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
5. the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling
6. The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton
7. My Dick Francis favorites are To The Hilt and Decider but most of his stories are good. Warning, though: the ones co-written by his son are written by his son. (That's just my theory, but do avoid Dead Heat at all cost.)
Three blogs I regularly visit:
1. Jessica Rules the Universe
2. Clever Girl Goes Blog
3. Not a blog but I love it -- Wikipedia. Haha! For anything you want to know under the sun. For example: my latest searches: Who is that guy who plays Lucy's husband in Seventh Heaven? Did Dan Brown really say that 99% of the Da Vinci Code is true? (Yes. He did.) But that's crazy! I can cite several inaccuracies off the top of my head! Am I only the one who read Bible stories as a kid? What do the others say about it? And, more important, what's up with the guy who played Eomer these days? Oh, yey, he's gonna be in Star Trek! He'll be playing Dr. McCoy. Hey! What's he doing clean-shaven?! Wikipedia = Addictive.
Favorite past posts (just 'cuz):
1. My First Ever Post
2. PGI Year 2007 in Pics
3. the first part of Murder I Wrote
4. Shot Sa^
5. Outside Looking In
6. About A Guy
7. Lessons from Beggars
8. Freedom from What
9. Bloody Hell
10. His Ways
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
1. Take the guy's housekeeper from him, see how he likes washing his own socks
2. Publish a "classified" psychological profile obtained from "highly reliable" sources -- come on, the guy obviously has delusions of grandeur, apart from an irresistably kickable a$$ -- and if there is no such report, why, manufacture one
3. Other unprintable courses of action, and I mean action
I'm just kidding. Sort of.)
Anyway. It's more dignified not to rise to an insult. But one can't help coloring in the face nonetheless. A kick from a smelly camel still hurts. (No offense to camels.)
By all means, make a bet on Pacquiao, but don't make a bet with him, or come to any sort of agreement with him. One would think people would learn from his Golden Boy Promotions (not sure that's the right name) deal.
But most Pinoys won't care. It's just our thing to let people who don't keep their words get away with it.
Once upon a time, someone planned to run for president with Sen. Tito Sotto as her running mate. Then she changed her mind and ran as vice president under someone else's banner, leaving the senator out cold. When she eventually became president (not on her own merit, though she seems to have forgotten Edsa Dos was done to remove a corrupt president, not to install a new one), she promised not to run during the next elections. But she did. Not only ran but made controversial phone calls left and right to ensure she got "elected."
We aren't slaves. We're just stupid. And in the end we get the "heroes" and "leaders" we deserve.
What's a satire anyway? Hehe.
The ever-reliable Wikipedia comes to the rescue:
Satire is often strictly defined as a literary genre or form; although, in practice, it is also found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, or other methods, ideally with the intent to bring about improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, the purpose of satire is not primarily humour in itself so much as an attack on something of which the author strongly disapproves, using the weapon of wit.
A very common, almost defining feature of satire is its strong vein of irony or sarcasm, but parody, burlesque, exaggeration, juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre are all frequently used in satirical speech and writing. The essential point, however, is that "in satire, irony is militant". This "militant irony" (or sarcasm) often professes to approve the very things the satirist actually wishes to attack.
Full text of 'The War at Home' by Chip Tsao
(taken from the Philippine Star website)
The Russians sank a Hong Kong freighter last month, killing the seven Chinese seamen onboard. We can live with that-—Lenin and Stalin were once the ideological mentors of all Chinese people. The Japanese planted a flag on Diàoyú Island. That's no big problem-—we Hong Kong Chinese love Japanese cartoons, Hello Kitty, and shopping in Shinjuku, let alone our round-the-clock obsession with karaoke.
But hold on-—even the Filipinos? Manila has just claimed sovereignty over the scattered rocks in the South China Sea called the Spratly Islands, complete with a blatant threat from its congress to send gunboats to the South China Sea to defend the islands from China if necessary. This is beyond reproach. The reason: There are more than 130,000 Filipina maids working as HK$3,580-a-month cheap labor in Hong Kong. As a nation of servants, you don't flex your muscles at your master, from whom you earn most of your bread and butter.
As a patriotic Chinese man, the news has made my blood boil. I summoned Louisa, my domestic assistant who holds a degree in international politics from the University of Manila, hung a map on the wall, and gave her a harsh lecture. I sternly warned her that if she wants her wages increased next year, she had better tell everyone of her compatriots in Statue Square on Sunday that the entirety of the Spratly Islands belongs to China.
Grimly, I told her that if war breaks out between the Philippines and China, I would have to end her employment and send her straight home, because I would not risk the crime of treason for sponsoring an enemy of the state by paying her to wash my toilet and clean my windows 16 hours a day. With that money, she would pay taxes to her Government, and they would fund a navy to invade our motherland and deeply hurt my feelings.
Oh yes. The Government of the Philippines would certainly be wrong if they think we Chinese are prepared to swallow their insult and sit back and lose a Falkland Islands War in the Far East. They may have Barack Obama and the hawkish American military behind them, but we have a hostage in each of our homes in the Mid-Levels or higher. Some of my friends told me they have already declared a state of emergency at home. Their maids have been made to shout 'China, Madam/Sir' loudly whenever they hear the word "Spratly". They say the indoctrination is working as wonderfully as when we used to shout, "Long live Chairman Mao!" at the sight of a portrait of our Great Leader during the Cultural Revolution. I’m not sure if that's going a bit too far, at least for the time being.
Make your own judgment. :-)