Monday, July 27, 2009

read THE CLUB OF QUEER TRADES by GK Chesterton

The clinic isn't so busy today, so I started reading Project Gutenberg's version of "The Club of Queer Trades" by GK Chesterton. I only just finished the first chapter, but it promises to be a super read, and I'm excited to start on the second. (There's something about British writers!)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

i support cheaper and quality medicines -- and i believe cheap AND high-quality medicines are possible

"The latest word out of the Department of Health is that the pharmaceutical industry in the Philippines has offered to voluntarily lower the prices of 42 branded medicines. The medicines fall under 16 of the 21 “essential drugs” categories that the DoH had recommended to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for mandatory price capping under Republic Act 9502, also known as the Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act."


I don't believe all drugs with the same generic name are equal. I say that from my own medicine-taking experience, not because I'm drowning in a sea of drug-company-sponsored ballpens.

Having said that, there's really no excuse for how much medicines cost in this country! My boss owns a pharmacy in the US, and he says he can buy a 100-tablet bottle of Claritin for $2.

You know what we really need? A head-to-head study of all the brands having the same generic name. I'm sure they won't all be as effective as the others, but at least we -- doctors and patients alike -- will have facts on which to base our decisions.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

dumaguete -- a year after

My friends and I had the time of our lives in Dumaguete, where we spent our post-graduate internship. Most of us actually weren't friends friends, to start with, but no one can live in the same rickety wooden house and roam the same wards and eat the same food and have the same adventures without feeling a certain affection towards each other. We did all that, and more.

Jo Anne and I had been planning our return to Dumaguete for sooooo loooooooong that we even had our itinerary all figured out. We would arrive there on a Saturday. At City Burger, we would eat grilled chicken (Jo Anne) and pancit (me). We would visit Lee Plaza and pass by Cafe Noriter, for old times' sake. We would eat lechon manok and liempo at Sr. Pedro's. (For some reason, the Sr. Pedro there is much much tastier than the Sr. Pedro anywhere else.) We would eat pancit at Chin Loong. Maybe sample the garden salad bar at Bethel. We would order pizza and our rice meal of choice at Neva's. And we would take a stroll along the Boulevard and have our photos taken by the giant trees. I even wanted to stop by La Cavitena for the lomi. (What can I say? I'm a pancit person.)

Clearly, Jo Anne and I missed the food the most. I mean, we missed the people the most, but we obviously weren't all of us gonna be there, so the food's the next best thing.

(And when I say Jo Anne, I mean, you know, Jo Anne, the traitor who didn't actually go to Dumaguete last weekend!!!)

THIS is all about what Ria and I did. (And Jeanette as well, much later on.)

Back during PGI year, Ria could eat a City Burger chicken 24/7 (it was one of the few restaurants that delivered to SUMC and didn't charge an extra fee for it), so we headed there first.

Here are two enduring Dumaguete trademarks: Lee Plaza and motorcycles.

The city also has its fair share of the non-motorized two-wheeler.

And, of course, this ubiquitous, motorized three-wheeler. When I first arrived in Dumaguete, I was bewildered when Brian told me there weren't any jeepneys or cabs. "But how do you get around?!" I wondered. Not anymore.

We then stopped by Sans Rival to pick up silvannas.

Chin Loong was deserted when we passed by, and anyway we were still full from our late CB lunch.

This is Ria standing in front of Don Atilano.

Wala lang.

The Silliman, um, museum, I think.

Ah, and here's a strange sight: KFC in Dumaguete? Could it be true? Has the long-wished-for finally happened?

And then we spent some time in Portal West, where Ria spent a fortune in clothes.

Finally, dinner at Cafe Antonio, where we probably spent more time posing than eating.

We turned in early (so we could wake up early the next day for our trip to Sumilon) but not before taking a short walk down our beloved Boulevard.

The same places...but not all the same people were there. We had hoped to relive all the good times we had. But things change. Dumaguete will never be the same as it once was for me and my friends. I sometimes think: I shouldn't have visited. But, in the end, I'm glad I did, if only to learn the bittersweet lesson that one can never really, truly go back. Except in memory.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

s u m i l o n

(Somebody stop me before I upload all 200++.)

A write-up coming right up.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Watch the movie, enjoy it, then read the book, and enjoy it even more. Either way, it's enjoyable. ^_^

I can't remember the number of times in the past that I've said, "That's it, I'm not watching another Harry Potter movie again," -- well, okay, it could only have been a maximum of 5 times -- but the latest one, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, made me change my mind.

I mean, I've maybe changed my mind about 5 times already. But you know what I mean.

Half-Blood Prince is, I think, the only Harry Potter movie that has managed to capture a significant fraction of the humor of J.K. Rowling's books. There were even humorous lines in the movie that I don't remember reading in the book. Harry and his friends managed to inject subtlety into their acting this time: Hermione no longer sounds dyspneic all the time, Ron had great comedic timing, and Harry had his moments. Quite a lot of them, actually. It does pay to grow up.

Reviewers have commended the movie for being watchable, even if the one watching hadn't viewed the earlier films or read the books. Hmm. I'm not so sure about that. There's a lot that the film didn't explain. When Snape said to Harry, for example, "I am the Half-Blood Prince," I thought, at that point in the movie, anybody could have said he was the half-blood prince and no one would have been the wiser. And the ending was a bit anti-climactic; it seemed like the filmmakers ran out of steam near the finish line and just dragged the film along for the sake of completing it.

That said, Half-Blood Prince is easily the best of the Harry Potter films so far.

I sometimes got my stories confused, though -- Horace Slughorn sounded like Bilbo Baggins, and Dumbledore looked like Gandalf. And it seemed like a horror movie at times! The image of Katie Bell flying and screaming will haunt me for days -- I didn't expect that. Then again, I didn't expect Star Trek to be a comedy. And apparently Sherlock Holmes will be an action movie. So long as we're entertained.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

paris hilton forever

"Paris Hilton repeatedly fussed with her hair and makeup in a federal courtroom Friday, sported six-inch stiletto heels and a black dress and amused the judge with a little wave on the way to the witness stand."

(Hmmm... I've never watched anything starring Paris Hilton. Maybe I'm missing out on something.)

"The trial is being heard by Chief U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno, who reacted with surprise when Hilton gave him a little wave before testifying. 'I've never had a witness wave at me before,' the judge cracked.

"In another exchange, Moreno was puzzled by the title of Hilton's current reality show, 'My New BFF.'

'What does that mean?' he said. After Hilton gave the title — 'Paris Hilton's My New Best Friend Forever' — the judge remarked 'This will be my best case forever.'

Without missing a beat, Hilton replied 'You're my best judge forever.'"


Thursday, July 9, 2009


A lot of people are scared of going to the dentist. I, on the other hand, am not so much scared as downright lazy at making dentist's appointments and keeping them. When I was younger, I had three gos at getting my overbite fixed, first with braces and then (twice) with retainers. I was so bad at going for adjustments, I just finally stopped wearing the retainers altogether.

No, dental procedures aren't scary. They are just too darn uncomfortable. Even something as benign as getting your teeth cleaned is traumatic -- having to open your mouth for ages and ages (and ages!), with a whole lot of poking and suctioning and drilling going on. Then again, the longer you put it off, the worse it will be when you finally get around to doing it.

As I stared at the dentist's ceiling yesterday morning, I thought: I finally figured out how to torture myself. Perhaps the only thing worse than having your teeth cleaned is being the poor dentist who has to clean other people's teeth.

(It's a beautiful, rainy afternoon, and I couldn't think of anything else to write about other than canines and incisors?! Um...yeah. Sorry.)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

19 more Things to be Thankful for

I am blessed beyond belief.

I eat 3 meals a day.

My immune system rarely needs help from antibiotics.

No one in my family is seriously sick.

I've never been tempted to indulge in vices.

My sister's a good kid, someone I don't have to worry about.

I live with my family, and I can still eat my fill even if I've run out of cash.

I have a job.

I don't have to wear shoes with holes to work.

My boyfriend wakes up in the middle of the night to drive me to work.

My father wakes up in the middle of the night to drive me to work if my boyfriend can't.

My mother walks me to the street in the rare event that I have to take a cab to work.

I can afford to take cabs if I need to.

I live in Cebu, where transportation choices are abundant but not complicated.

There are lots of plants around our house, and it isn't as hot as it would otherwise have been.

We have electricity and running water; lots of people still don't.

I don't have to walk around the neighborhoods during Sundays, offering to fix people's electric fans, shoes and umbrellas.

Our school library had a whole shelf devoted to Nancy Drews.

I've read good books.

My pets wag their tails when they see me.

Gotta make a change / For once in my life / It's gonna feel real good / Gonna make a difference / Gonna make it right / As I turned up the collar on / A favorite winter coat / This wind is blowin' my mind / I see the kids in the street / With not enough to eat / Who am I to be blind / Pretending not to see their needs / A summer's disregard / A broken bottle top / And a one man's soul / They follow each other / On the wind ya' know / 'Cause they got nowhere to go / That's why I want you to know / I'm starting with the man in the mirror / I'm asking him to change his ways / And no message could have been any clearer / If you wanna make the world a better place / Take a look at yourself and then make a change

Friday, July 3, 2009

Problem-Based Learning: Real Life // Module 2: A Slice of Humble Pie Can Be Good For You

Humility, I once read, is knowing your true worth -- and thinking nothing of it. There is such a thing as false modesty (almost always a sub/conscious fishing for compliments) and it is as distinct from true humility as is a hideously inflated ego. The one good thing about the former is that it is a hell of a lot less annoying than the latter.

And so we come to:

Problem-Based Learning: Real Life
Module 2: A Slice of Humble Pie Can Be Good For You


Haha, okay, so I'm not the best person to talk about humility.

Still. A message to some doctors out there. Guys, please...di ta magpaka-uwaw! Hehe.

Actually, I have just been wading through the discussions at PinoyMD, and I came across this guy who was ranting against the whole process of applying for jobs and having to wait for hours for the interviewers and all that. Some of his gripes were valid, but then he said something about why we [doctors] have to be screened by HR people who "can't understand the level of our thinking and degree of hardships."

Come on... Ayaw sad mo pag-ingon ana. Especially since it's not true.

Off the top of my head, I can name 5 people who worked in Human Relations who are smarter than 50% of the doctors I've met. And out of the top 20 percent of all the classes in all the schools I've ever been in, only a few decided to become doctors. So that's a whole lot of smart non-physicians out there.

Moral lesson: No one is better than everyone at everything. Let's keep our egos in check.

And, oh yeah, the world doesn't owe you anything. If you think you're too good for something, get out. Otherwise, put up, suck it up, and shut up. :-) And smile. Life isn't always smooth sailing but it's still a pretty good ride. :-)