Monday, October 30, 2006

A blink of an eye

I was gone for 10 days and yet it feels like I just blinked my eye and here I am again back in Cebu.

It's like a dream. I prepared for this last night, when my pangga and I walked in the streets of downtown Davao in search of durian. I held her hand tightly, felt her hand's pressure on mine, to concretely register the moment to my memory. I watched our feet as we walked, watched our shadows, felt the coldness of the night.

I pondered long and hard inside the room where I slept, I took in all sensation I can to record the moment while it unfolded. I thought, "I'm going to miss this room, I'm going to miss this house, I'm going to miss this place..."

And most of all, I thought, "I'm going to miss your presence ga, your smile, your face, your eyes, your voice..."

I drowned my senses because I knew in a matter of hours all that's going to be like a dream.

True enough, I'm here, back home, and Davao and everyone and everything there that I experienced and hold dear feels like a dream.

Getting ready for the kabab-attack at Majid's.

Mmmmm mmmm...

How to eat a kabab (um, at least how to prepare to eat a kabab).

The videoke diva and the videoke prince at Gimik's.

Ginagmay'ng negosyo.

Donnie in his more innocent moments.

The University of Mindanao choir. Part of the Cancer Survivors Day organized by Smiles, a cancer support group in Davao. The event took place in Matina Town Square last Saturday. They sang beautifully.


Mother and future son-in-law hehehe.

Matina street at night.

"Satan's Army". A candidate of The Venue's holloween costume contest. He didn't scare us. My favorite was the "cursed bride".

"Night of the Phantoms"

The winner: King something and Queen Sofia.

Durian. I'm a convert!

That is one giant durian.

Bye Davao.

Majestic clouds over Mindanao.

Friday, October 20, 2006

All set for Davao!

I'm all ready for Davao. I'll be leaving tomorrow morning (at 5am!). I'm excited to see my baby, whom I haven't seen for about four months. I'm excited to see Davao again; and of course, I'm looking forward to my plane ride. I look at it with such childish anticipation.

I'll choose a seat next to a window if I can. I'll take photos of the view outside, especially of the clouds, which marvelled me so much the last time. This is the advantage of those who get to travel by plane only very rarely, they get to really appreciate the experience of flying.

I'll be gone for 10 days, yet I've packed clothing that can last me for about 3 weeks. It's always like this when I travel. It's a sign of being a segurista.

Our family will be in Negros on All Soul's Day. So the day after my return from Davao on the 30th, I'll be travelling again. We'll be going via the land route. It will be my very first time to drive from Cebu to Negros. It's going to be a very looooong drive. But I'm also excited because it's been many, many months (perhaps more than a year?) that I haven't seen the southern tip of Cebu, the channel between Bato and Sibulan, and of course Dumaguete, sweet old Dumaguete...

I can't wait to watch Pride and Prejudice (the one produced by the BBC) with my pangga. Yes, I'm finally done downloading it through BitTorrent, after more than a month of waiting! Unfortunately, I'm only able to burn 2 of the 6 episodes. I didn't expect it takes forever to burn a single episode into a CD.

Till then, sayonara.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Rizal in Cebu

Would you believe that a patient with a family name "Rizal" is being admitted right now in the OB ward of Sotto? Is it possible that she, or her husband, is a direct descendent of the Rizal family from Laguna? :)

I don't know, I haven't approached the patient. Maybe I will before the week is over. I imagine myself saying to the patient, "It's a great honor for me to meet you, ma'm". It seems no one else in the ward, including my duty mates, is making any fuss about this...

Another surprise for me is that the patient assigned to me this morning actually hails from Basay, Negros Oriental, the place of my birth. I told the patient this and she was pleasantly surprised. And what's more, her husband is actually a best friend of my mother's brother. He is actually from Sanque, a small barrio not far from Basay, where my mother is from. What a small world we live in.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


You should subscribe to InTouch Ministries' daily devotionals (I don't know how I did it before, just visit the devotionals page).

Here are samples:

October 07, 2006
Defending Against Temptation
James 4:7-8

Temptation never completely goes away. The intensity and form of what tempts us may change with time and spiritual maturity. But as long as we're in these earthly bodies, we will never be entirely free of it. That's why we must learn to build a defense against its pull.

The first step to defeating temptation is trusting that the Lord is in control. Believe that He will limit temptation to what you can handle through His strength. Before a tempting thought even enters our head, be determined to resist with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Second, we need to be proactive. We need to identify weaknesses--those areas of our life where we are easily persuaded to sin. Likewise, it is helpful to recognize the conditions under which we are more prone to give in. Satan prefers to attack when believers are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (H.A.L.T.).When facing temptation, we usually have little time to decide on our response. Once we are already feeling stress, the path between fantasizing and doing is particularly short.

The third step is training our mind to focus on the big picture rather than the immediate pleasure. The following four questions can help us make wise choices: Is this a violation of God's Word? What are the consequences? Am I prepared to pay that price? Is there a right way to meet this desire?

We can't be totally free from temptation, but we can defend against it. Begin now. Make yourself mentally and emotionally ready for the next time you're tempted. Preparation helps build a barrier of protection around your mind and heart.

October 06, 2006
The Result of Rejecting God
Romans 1:24-32

By its very nature, a vacuum can never be full. In the same way, when a man or woman denies God's rightful position as Lord over their life, that person's heart will remain hopelessly empty.

It's impossible to know true satisfaction if you refuse the divine call--to be filled with the Holy Spirit and have constant communion with the Father. Instead, a person will fall into idolatry. He or she will find some philosophy or object to devote time and attention.

Without the Lord, people will keep seeking new ways to satisfy the emptiness that only God can fill. Then, taking the short step from idolatry to immorality becomes all too easy. Indulging the sinful nature can take many forms. For example, some people are drawn to sexual perversion (Romans 1), while others who worship wealth may be lured by unethical business practices. Scripture clearly warns that idolatry and immorality will incur divine wrath.

God uses a subtle but potent kind of punishment on those who degrade themselves in the service of a false god. We're told in Romans 1:28, He "[gives] them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper." There is no worse penalty than to have the Creator turn away and leave one of his children to be devoured by that which he or she worships. The heart becomes like an iron prison, locking God out forever.

There is only One who is worthy of your worship. If you have denied the Lord, you are already on the slippery slope to immorality--worshipping something that does not deserve honor. Let this be a loving warning for you: Turn back to God before it is too late.

October 05, 2006
The Privilege Corrupted
Romans 1:18-23

A person cannot deny the Lord and still live successfully. Mankind was created to acknowledge God and share a relationship with Him. When someone chooses to ignore the truth of His existence or His sovereignty, he or she begins a downward slide. It's a choice which ends with a hardened heart and eternal separation from a loving Father.

God gives everyone the capacity to understand Him and the free will to choose whether to pursue that knowledge. The truth of His existence is revealed in nature and written into every person's conscience. However, many people ignore reality because it interferes with their preferred lifestyle. Instead, they chase false philosophies, which are usually mixed with just enough truth to make them believable to the inexperienced.

Any "truth" crafted by man is foolishness. A mind that has rejected the fact of a sovereign Lord cannot see its error. It has slipped from intelligence--an inherent knowledge of God--to willful ignorance. In this state, even when all evidence points to the truth, a person can still convince him- or herself that the opposite is right.

All the denial and atheistic arguments in the world will not change what is real. Jehovah is God. Jesus Christ is His Son. God created you to love, obey, and honor Him. If you resist the truth, you choose a life of darkness and willful ignorance. The choice is yours to make.

God invites you to see if He is better than all that the world has to offer. Psalm 34:8 challenges us to "taste and see that the Lord is good." Will you taste and see?

October 04, 2006
Dealing Wisely With Temptation
1 Corinthians 10:12-13

As believers, we sometimes hear wrong information about temptation. For instance, many people believe that feeling tempted is sinful. But Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert. (Matthew 4:1) If the Lord remained righteous after being encouraged to do wrong, then temptation itself cannot be a sin. We must guard against false ideas that could disrupt our ability to stand strong.

The truth about temptation is that it's an enticement to take our God-given desires beyond God-given limits. We all feel the pull of our natural, sinful selves to do and think things that are immoral. In this lifetime, we will never be so mature or spiritually minded that we can relax our vigilance. Satan will always try to capitalize on our weakness and selfish desires.

Temptation is based on fantasy--the capacity to enjoy something we want to possess or do, without actually taking any action. However, the lack of action is deceptive. We tell ourselves it's okay just to think as long as we don't act. But if we allow ourselves to dwell on a tempting thought, that idea connects to emotions and produces desire. Desire grows until a choice must be made about whether to act. Temptation starts small--with a "one won't hurt" attitude: One drink. One lie. One kiss. The problem is that once we give in, sin gets bigger and more demanding until one turns into a lifestyle.

Thankfully, our Source of help is greater than both Satan and our fleshly desires. The key to victory over temptation is to protect our relationship with God.

Is it wrong to listen to devotionals from other Christian denominations? (InTouch is Baptist). It's probably harmless, right? The InTouch devotionals are really beautiful. Try to listen to Charles Stanley's daily radio talks, too. His talks, too, are beautiful. A local (AM) radio station used to carry his talks nightly.

I'm not about to convert to another denomination, if that's what you're thinking. I just appreciate the way they practice their faith. My own responsibility as a catholic is to educate myself more about my own faith. When it comes to knowledge about my faith, I'm still in kindergarten.

And now for this piece of news...

Davao reviewer says nursing board cheating was nationwide

A NURSING board reviewer from Davao City on Saturday corroborated reports that cheating in the June 2006 nursing licensure examination (NLE) was nationwide.

Daryl Joel "Butch'' Dumdum, a registered nurse and former nursing professor, said he got information that NLE test questions were also leaked in the cities of Davao and Tacloban.

Dumdum, who said he is now a reviewer for a review center after quitting a teaching job at the Davao Doctors College, said a certain review center which has branches in Davao City and other parts of the country offered tests questions to a dean in a Davao City nursing school a day before the June 11 and 12 NLE.

“The dean who is also teaching the subject (of the leaked questions) was offered a leakage by a review center. She refused to take it,'' Dumdum told the Inquirer by phone.

Dumdum said one of his students relayed the information to him just a week ago. He said the same review center, which he did not yet want to identify, could have also given the questions to its examinees in other areas.

Dumdum said he learned of another leakage in Tacloban.

“I called an ally from Tacloban and he said there was also a leakage there,'' Dumdum said.

Dumdum said he was convinced that the leakage of the NLE questions reached not only Manila, Baguio and Davao but also other parts of Mindanao and the Visayas as pointed out by Rene Luis Tadle, president of the faculty association of the University of Sto. Tomas College of Nursing.

“The leakage is everywhere. It's simple logic because the review centers in Luzon have branches in the Visayas and Mindanao,'' Dumdum said, adding he was willing to help investigators.

"I will disclose the information I have (to the NBI),'' Dumdum said.

Dumdum said he came forward to support efforts to restore the integrity of the nursing profession.

“And the only way to do that is to have a retaking of the entire examination. The far-reaching effect of a no-retake is unemployment and shame to the country,'' he said.
(Emphasis mine)

“How can we claim now that we can produce globally competitive nurses, which we had before, if this issue is not resolved in a justifiable manner? I hope MalacaƱang would listen to this. Let not our sense of hopelessness, despair and vested interests cloud our duty to those people whom we have sworn to serve,'' he added.

I agree with him. There's no question that a retake, especially for those who had completely nothing to do with the leakage, is truly unjust. But what can they do about it? What can anyone do about it? The best that the authorities can do is to go after all those who are responsible for this whole mess (go after as many of the guilty parties as possible) and make them accountable for their crime. But that won't change the fact that the NLE was tainted. There's no telling how wide the leakage really was, because as was pointed out, the different review centers alluded to have branches nationwide. So a retake, no matter how painful the preparations will surely be for the retakers, is the only measure that can restore some integrity to the profession. It's truly, truly unfortunate that the examinees are victims twice over...


This morning we had our last lecture in Maternal and Child Care Nursing. We discussed three chromosomal disorders (Down, Turner, and Klinefelter's syndromes) and had a long exam afterwards.

Then we had our Health Teaching activity in Pakigne, Minglanilla. It's our final requirement for the subject Strategies in Health Education. Our topic was Breast Self-Examination.

Next week we will have our final clinical duty in the OB ward of Vicente Sotto Memorial Hospital. Then after that, finals week.

I'm looking forward to our semestral break. I'll be in Davao in my baby's arms hehehe...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hawiran ta ang kagabhiun

I was listening to this AM radio program tonight and I just realized how much I love classic Cebuano music.

The program is called "Hawiran ta ang kagabhiun". Isn't that title so poetic? :) The format of the "show" is like this: They have "hanaristas" in the studio and people call in or text to request their favorite classic Cebuano songs.

I just feel that these classic Cebuano songs (I call them "classic" because they're immortal, they have survived the test of time) are cultural treasures; they hold within them the soul of our culture; they hold within them our identity.

How sad it is that these treasures are dying, because fewer and fewer people continue to appreciate them. They're mostly those who belong to the older generation. Probably these treasures will die when this older generation will be gone. I really hope that those who belong to the younger generation will appreciate and preserve this great treasure that we have. The growth of the "Bisrock" music scene might be seen as a hopeful sign. Majority of the "followers" of this scene are teenagers. Appreciation of Cebuano rock music can probably lead to appreciation of classic Cebuano songs.

Catch "Hawiran ta ang kagabhiun" every Sunday, 7 to 9 PM at DYRF (1215 in your AM radio dial).
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