Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Tale of the Band-Aid

So last December I was sporting a band-aid on my eyebrow. It was the season of parties and events, but I had to attend all of those with a band-aid on my face, and I had no choice. I didn't want to be a diva and cancel attendance because I had something, so I braved it and brought back Nelly circa 2003. Oh, you have no idea the many questions I got because of that band-aid: from patients, to friends, to family. Some people even messaged me on Viber and on Facebook Messenger to ask me about it, so after a while I came up with a perfect humorous answer: "May nangaway sa akin eh, but don't worry... mas malala itsura nya!" (Oh I got into a fight, but don't worry, his face is worse!).



Anyway, while I had the band-aid on, I realized it was as if I've put myself under a social experiment to survey what kind of reaction I'd generate from the appearance:

  • Patients who have met me for the first time gave no reaction and that is really to be expected, I think. I'm sure they wondered why but since they do not know me well enough to ask a bold question, the only reaction I got was a weird look. 
  • Two patients, whom I just saw a few days before the band-aid happened were shocked that I was sporting a band-aid when they came back. One said: "Tinatago mo lang ata pimple mo eh!" (I think you're just hiding a pimple under there.) and the other said: "Siga doc ah, sino inaway mo?" (You're looking quite tough with that band-aid doc, who did you fight with?)
  • A patient whom I haven't seen for quite some time took about an hour before she said anything. She sat on the chair, we finished with the procedure, and then just as she was standing up she goes: "Doc bakit ka ba kasi may band-aid?" (Doc why the hell do you have a band-aid?)
  • Two friends who saw a picture I posted, messaged me privately, out of curiosity. Both very concerned, they couldn't help it so they inquired about what happened. Did I really look so bad that they had to worry? Do I really seem like someone who would be in a fight?
  • At one party that I attended, I gave advance notice in an attempt to lower down people's reaction to the band-aid, but as soon as I entered everyone's greeting was still: "What happened to you?"
  • My cousins and sisters branded me Nelly and gangsta. Singing "Andale andale mommi e.i. e.u uh-oh" because I reminded them of the famous rapper. 
  • And then a friend that whom just saw last week brought it up again: "I meant to ask you, why were you wearing a band-aid before?" A month has passed and she still was interested to find out the truth. 
Anyway, the truth is that I picked a blister that I thought was a pimple and it got infected. Ewwww, right? The infection grew into serious proportions because I didn't realize until later that it wasn't a simple pimple that I was dealing with so I consulted my best friend and her derma cousin. I had to go under antibiotics for it, it was awful--and for a while I even thought I had "flesh eating bacteria" and I got so sad because I was looking at pictures on Google and saw people's face mangled by the disease.

Oh well, I'm okay now, so you do not have to worry. My face is back to normal and the band-aid has been off for awhile now. Actually, I when I opened for work on January 2nd, I was already band-aid free--but I still have a tiny baldspot on my eyebrow to remind me. I wore the band-aid to work and events for about two weeks and during that time I realized that no matter how hard you try to avoid it, it is human nature to pry. Even if you don't want it, you will be put under the spotlight and you will be asked questions, so you have to be prepared to answer. 

Now, I could have chosen to hide inside for the entire two weeks to avoid all that but what if I had that skin thing for longer--will I really force myself to HIDE all that time? It's a funny thing... worrying about what people will think and say. For quite sometime it had been a great concern of mine (and I am not talking about the band-aid anymore) then a friend said: "Why do you care? Why should you care?" And he was right, you know? Who cares if I have a skin infection hidden under the band-aid? Let them speculate. Let them ask their questions. It's human nature, anyway. But I shouldn't any of those bother me. 


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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Finding Calderon



For my cousin's annual birthday dinner, we visited Calderon. When she sent the invite via Facebook I just looked at the address and saw "Little Baguio, San Juan" and didn't research any further. In my mind I said: "I'll Google it on the day" and before I left the clinic that night I went on Googlemaps and studied it. As I was driving, however, I realized I didn't know Little Baguio well enough. I was armed with a map but there weren't good street signs (or they aren't properly lighted/inconveniently placed) so I got a little confused at some point until saw myself driving towards F. Calderon Street and the restaurant's sign became visible. Whew!

I came from the clinic that day and I was thoroughly wasted, so I couldn't wait to have a good meal. Calderon: Cocina Tapas y Bebidas is a small two-storey Spanish restaurant. It serves tapas and paella, and for our dinner, we sampled a few of their specialties: Paella Negra, Salpicao, Pollo Iberico and Lengua.


Paella Negra

This is paella cooked in squid ink. I am allergic to squid (and kinds of seafood but fish) so I did not get to try this, but everyone at my table couldn't get enough of it. It is tasty and the addition of the mayo is perfect, but with the mess it makes on your teeth and lips, you have to avoid this as a first-date meal. N.B. It takes 20-30 minutes for the kitchen to prepare it, so better to order this in advance. 



Lengua

I've always liked lengua and this one is memorable because it is really tender and the sauce will swim beautifully in your mouth. Since I couldn't have the paella I think I ate a lot of this. Ha! This does not require pre-ordering, but they easily go "out of stock" of this so making it part of your advance order will help if you do not want to miss it. 




Pollo Iberico

Oh this chicken dish is truly special. It is so tender, the meat just comes of the bone and  the cloves garlic---amazing. Be aware that this dish should be ordered a day in advance, so do not expect this to be available if you walk in. Also, it is a little too oily for my liking, you can easily avoid the oil and concentrate on the meat and potatoes. 



Salpicao

I've always liked salpicao because I love garlic and this version is the version I like. Trust me when I say that it's garlicky taste is amazing, not too strong but you can definitely taste it, and meat is perfectly tender. 

The food was very good and everyone was happy and properly satiated. Ordering can be a little tricky because some dishes need to be ordered in advance, and some are always "out of stock", so it's like hitting the jackpot when you get everything on your list. For our dinner, we were lucky enough that my cousin researched and made reservations. We got to taste their special dishes, and finished our meal with a happy faces and happier tummies. 

Anyway, that dinner was also our Christmas get-together. It's actually become our tradition, since my cousin's birthday is around Christmas time, so we spent that night catching up, exchanging gifts and sharing lots of laughter. 

Cousin loves before we attacked the food (and there's my eyebrow with a band-aid, but that story will be for another post)


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Calderon: Cocina Tapas y Bebidas
#403 F. Calderon Street, Little Baguio
San Juan City
(02) 238-2264; 0926-7279465; 09198060358

Sunday, January 25, 2015

15 Years Ago, We Left St Paul Pasig

Technically I left St Paul two years earlier than everyone else because I went to London with my family. I never graduated high school in St. Paul and I do not have an alumni card (nor a yearbook), but I have the heart of Paulinian and no one can ever take that away from me. Growing up, we constantly heard the phrase: "A Paulinian is simple, warm and active" and although we used to chant it like robots, copying exactly how Sister Teresita Agana says it, the brainwashing seeped in. I am a Paulinian through and through and it is truly evident in me:


  1. I am LOUD, extremely loud and I don't even need a microphone. Of course there are Paulinians who are soft-spoken and demure, but we're mostly very loud and we have built-in megaphones with adjustable volumes. I don't know what's wrong with us. We all talk loud, laugh loud and when we're together it's just a riot. 
  2. I am brilliant with reports and presentations. Paulinians are all trained to report well in class and we took that skill with us in college and then to the real world. Back in St Paul, we had teachers who would stop us mid-sentence just to make a comment--it was traumatic, but definitely worth it. As a matter of fact, in Dentistry school, I may have forced a certain level of reporting in my classes just because I couldn't bear with with the manila paper/acetate trend everyone was going for.
  3. I am boyish and a sit everywhere. I may be presented in a girly package now, many of us are actually, but you'd sometimes think twice if I am a girl. Actually, many of my CLASH OF CLANS teammates mistake me for a guy because I am bossy like a man and I speak like one too. This boyishness also includes being able to sit everywhere (even on the pavement) because that was how we were growing up in campus. We sat on the pavement and we ate lunch on the floor. 
  4. I am competitive. Take into consideration the fact that I am a Camp Aguinaldo Brat and a true-blue Paulinian, you get an overly competitive female. In St Paul we had year-round competitions and contests. We competed individually, by groups, by classrooms and by batches. The worst kind were the batch competitions because we were always so hardcore about it. Good and bad--the competitiveness broke a lot of people during our time, but we eventually came out as fighters in the end and we brought this with us to the real world. 
  5. I get along with all kinds of people. I can make instant friends because I am "warm and active" like that. Haha! Take me to a party and I will come home with a new friend. Paulinians are naturally friendly (probably a doze of bitchy) but friendly nonetheless. We are used to being in a batch consist of 300+ people and we did not have BLOCK SECTIONS so every year we meet new people, make new friends and so forth. 




Anyway, last December we celebrated our 15th year. It wasn't as well attended as our 10-year reunion, but I'm certain we'll do much better next time. It was the holiday season so a lot of people were busy but we had so much fun still. It's just nice to see old schoolmates and laugh about old times, you know? It's funny too because back in school we all existed in groups and we still do, but now we can hangout as a batch--as SENIORS 99. 


Happy St Paul Day fellow Paulinians...


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Friday, January 23, 2015

My Only Wish



I don't think it's right
that while I am maturing like cheese 
you gallivant beyond boundaries
with your blind mice and hog
buying designer belts and bags
out of money
that's not even yours

Sickening.

Don't mistake me...
I am having a party without you 
It's just that the ball-and-chain 
is heavy
and it keeps me immobile
but I can't pick the lock...
because no one's taught me how to do that yet

Frustrated.

Why can't you let your tattoos speak
I have ink
I just need paper and lines
a chapter to close
a door to never
open again...

Please.


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Monday, January 19, 2015

THE CHRONICLES OF AN AGUINALDO BRAT: BBQ Parties

I've been extraordinarily busy at work since we opened after the holidays and I am not complaining, but sometimes it's hard to keep up. Last week I was waiting for a patient to arrive and as I was about to message her I saw that I forgot to confirm her for the 10 am appointment that day. Then just this Saturday the same thing happened with a friend. I was actually telling him he was late when I realized I scheduled him two hours later. It's not just me, too! Last Thursday I was away from the clinic but I was coordinating my Friday and Saturday appointments with Monique via SMS, so I hoped that things are all set but come Friday I discovered that Monique mixed some appointments up (surely unable to keep up with the circus too). 

Oh the chaos is welcomed, of course, but I am being overwhelmed by tasks so I'm often left wondering if I've missed on anything or anyone. So naturally if it's a circus at work... I crave for some calm. 



When I got an invite for a BBQ at a friend's house, I was more than eager to say "yes". He messaged me earlier that week and I couldn't wait for the weekend to arrive and all my work to be done just so I could unwind. Well, being with my friends is not necessarily "calming" but the wine that is served, is. Haha! Actually my friends are loud, but when you've just had a looooooong week of work, the kind of stress they bring is very comforting. So even though I finished at 9pm that day, I readied myself and hurried to the BBQ. 

When we were growing up in Camp we used to enjoy drinking at each other's houses. We'd go out to bars too, of course, but the usual thing was to have cases of beer brought to someone's house and people arriving from everywhere (in response to the text brigade sent). That was a weekly thing back then, but that's really hard to maintain now that we're busy with work, family and all types of realities. Actually, I haven't seen my friends for awhile and I've missed them... so I was delighted when BBQ nights started happening last year. So much more relaxing and definitely less demanding than actually going out for a drink, it's perfect for people like me who's done with the NIGHTOUTS and more partial to STAY-INS. 

Anyway, speaking of growing up to BBQ parties in Camp, let me share with you a funny photo of my friends and I at our old house. I was in high school here, and back then I thought I was a boy, so forgive the baggy clothes. There is no alcohol in this party (cmon I was just in high school) but there was a generous supply of pork barbecue and isaw (intestines). I unearthed this photo from my baul last year and I promised to never post it on Facebook, but it's too funny not to share so I'll deal with my friends later. Anyway, my choice of clothing is the funniest bit about this photo, so it's probably most embarrassing for me... Haha!



Sorry my friends...

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Boy Hunting in Bali

Wait up! We did not really go to BALI to look for boys okay? But during our first dinner together, we walked to a market place near our hotel and after enjoying a plateful of Mie Goreng--the boy hunting idea was born.

Me with my plate of mie goreng, enjoying a bottle of ice cold Bintang beer

So anyway, it was a very tiring day for us. I was already in Bali on my own the previous day, but my other two cousins just arrived that morning and we immediately hopped on to our van and started touring. We went temple hopping, shopping and food tripping. We even decided to walk 500 meters (for kicks) and our van overheated, right before we got back to the hotel, so we all wanted to EAT--and I just needed a cold beer.

Anyway, as Filipinos it is quite easy to blend in with the locals. Actually, we get Indonesians talking to us in Balinese or Bahasa because we look exactly like them. So during our lovely mie goreng dinner, everyone thought we were locals and they were quite fascinated to find out we weren't--especially this very good looking foreigner. (especially, ha!) After our dinner, we stood up and thanked the cook, then asked to take a picture with him. We exchanged goodbyes and he asked us to come back, and just as we were heading out the foreigner dude decided he couldn't let this pass (he had to talk to us).

Note: I do not recall who said what, anymore, so I will name all three girls BG for Blanco Girls. Also, this conversation may be longer, like I'm sure we asked where he's from, but I do not remember much anymore--I just know he spoke to us!

Guy: Where are you guys from?
BG: We're from the Philippines
Guy: So you're just visiting, how long have you been here for?
BG: We just got here
Guy: Oh cool. How long do you plan to stay?
BG: Oh, we're here til Saturday
Guy: Just this Saturday, you should stay longer
BG: Oh yeah? How long have you been here?
Guy: 6 months
BG: Wow, you've been here a long time
Guy: Yeah, you should stay longer
BG: Yeah maybe next time. Anyway, it was nice meeting you
Guy: Yes, have a good vacation


And then we all walked out with huge smiles on our faces because the guy was hot and he actually talked to us. We were all so elated (and speechless), then we continued walking back to the hotel until we realized we made a major boo-boo. I can't remember who spoke first, but we all suddenly realized that we shouldn't have left. We had a guy there talking to us, and we could've ordered another round of beers and talked to him some more. Ha! We even wanted to go back inside, but we figured that'll be so obvious so we had no choice but to charge it to experience and right there decided that if and when it happens again--we signal each other to stay and mingle. "What happens in Bali, stays in Bali"--that was just our first night together so we knew there will be more of that... but we were wrong!

That never happened again! Throughout the trip we we're on the lookout for our "second chance", but it just never came. This, of course, made the market scene so much more funny because had we known that we'd be given only one chance to SCORE, we would've all gone back inside and ordered a few more rounds of beer--JUST KIDDING! (Seriously, I am just joking! Do not take me seriously). 

Promise, it's a joke!

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Lifting My Personal Travel Ban


I've always enjoyed travelling. Growing up, my parents believed it best to spend money on travelling rather than on material things so we were able to go around. Exploring a new place is quite educational, you know? The experience you gain is so much more valuable than an expensive pair of shoes or a brand new watch, so I am truly grateful for that. And of course we took this tradition with us now that we're all grown ups and spending for ourselves. Always eager to try and see something different, I make it a point to schedule trips every year, and 2013 was a good travel year for me. 

Eat, Pray, Love in Bali

One of the places I explored in 2013 is Bali. Oh it is such a beautiful place and when people ask me if it's worth it to go there, I tell them:"It's got all you need" because that's the truth. Some places are good for food tripping, some are perfect if you want to embrace some culture and history, some are great for some sightseeing, some you specifically visit for the beach or a dose of nature and some you want to go to for the nightlife. Bali gives the perfect mixture of all of that so it satisfies the craving of every type of traveler. It is relatively cheap despite what you actually get, so my cousins and I were very pleased with ourselves for making that trip happen. 



I was there for 5 days and I fell in love with everything. If you are ever going there, do try their babi guling which is roasted pork (lechon) but it's flavored uniquely and served in different ways. We tried it in two different places: Ibu Oka with a more commercialized taste that suits the foreign palate and as recommended by our driver, we tried it in Pac Malen, to experience it just as the locals preferred. I also enjoyed flying briefly to Lombok Island. It was a little secluded and very quiet, but we were at luxurious Sheraton Hotel so we devoured the beauty of the beach by sunbathing the entire day until we were knackered and toasted by the sun. Of course we also went to Pura Tanah Lot and you have to go there during sunset so you can take postcard-worthy pictures by the sea and watch the sky darken to the night before you retire to your villa, which was what we exactly did. For our final days in Bali, we rented a villa and closed our trip drinking vodka while swimming, before we headed to Potato Head. 



Davao: Seeing Duterte Country

The final trip I had in 2013 and the last trip I've had in awhile was to Davao. I had it with my sisters and cousin, and like most travels here in the country it was all about the sea. We visited Pearl Farm and since it was off-peak, it was pretty secluded and we got to enjoy it for ourselves. And then we left Davao City Proper briefly, crossing via ferry, to see the bat cave and go jump down a giant slide to plunge into the dark sea--it was an exhilarating yet frightening experience. 



That trip was so much fun because I hadn't gone out with my sisters in awhile and we got to a eat a crocodile (it's like chicken, but very chewy) and then sampled tuna cooked in different ways. Also, we got our tour guide talking about their love and praises for Duterte. He talked about how strict he is and how they don't mind that at all; and he said that Duterte loved to disguise himself as a taxi driver sometimes just to get a good feel of what is really happening around him. 


Ending the Travel Ban

So anyway, I've rambled on about my trips, I've forgotten what I was really writing about. Ha! With all the travelling I did in 2013, I was determined to have a repeat of it all so even before 2014 began, I was already planning my next set of trips with family and friends. I was pretty excited and I had Bangkok and America lined up but I had to put a stop to all the planning when the building got sold and I had to spend a great deal of money on the clinic.

Moving the clinic was a great expense that I certainly did not plan for in 2014. With the amount of money I took out, I declared a "personal travel ban" so that I could put a stop to the continuous exit of money from my wallet and bank account. You see, I've also put a down payment on a condo early last year, so even though I was itching to travel I couldn't even fathom spending anymore of my hard-earned moolah. I told myself, I did quite a lot of travelling the past year, it should be alright to take a break. Anyway, I could always make up for it... and I sure am because as early as December last year I have booked for Boracay this coming May. Ha! I'm psyched. It isn't much, but that I've broken the ban means... I can keep the ball rolling. I am going on this trip with a great friend of mine from Dentistry school who is based in the US and is coming home briefly this May. She is just here for two weeks and when I found out she was going to Boracay, I forced her to tag me along. 

Anyway I'm very excited and hopefully I get to plan other trips to this year. Any suggestions?

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Clash of Clans: New Year, New Clan

WARNING: Do not proceed if you are not a COC fan because this is extremely GEEKY



So if you know me well, you'd know that:
  • I am a geek to the core
  • I can get obsessive
  • I am pretty loyal
And this blog post will illustrate these three things in vivid color. 

My story begins 2 years ago when an unfortunate turn of events brought me to an all-time low and I needed a high--and that "high" came in the form of a game, called Clash of Clans. It was perfect. I was taken back to my Red Alert and War Craft days--and I was automatically hooked. So for two years now I've been playing with my best friend and her husband. I joined a team that they built and it grew. It was quite steady for a while, but Clan Wars came mid-2014 and it changed everything. You see, in Clash of Clans when you're playing on your own you play by your own rules. When Clan Wars began, however, we had to lay down all our weapons and I basically found out that I was doing a lot of things wrong and so did most of the team. 

The game evolved, but the players hadn't been able to keep up with the pace, so it weighed heavily on everyone else. It was survival of the fittest and when our team proved hopeless in war--a group of players staged an exodus out of the clan and formed a new one, SYNDIKOS.  Oh that was devastating. In the beginning, 6 of them left and in the next days a few more followed. The clamor of our ineptitude suddenly magnified but we couldn't do anything, we just had to all carry on as a team and keep our head up. What happened was like a wake-up call and it was a loud one. After that I forced troop upgrades until I had capable war troops and this rehabilitation included the creation of a second account, which I hoped to strengthen properly and eventually join with the team. Ha! Join a team, it did. 

About a month after I created my second account I got a message from one of the guys who exited our clan and I ended up there instead. At first I was really feeling guilty about it (remember, pretty loyal) because it was like I was going behind my best friend and my own team, but then I was seriously enjoying it there--it was an ethical dilemma. You see, the people at Syndikos, they know their COC well. They are much too organized and so knowledgeable of the game; meanwhile my original clan was a sinking ship and we were collecting LOSSES rather than WINS, so I didn't know what to do anymore. The longer I stayed there, the more convinced I became that I had to leave them, but I couldn't leave my best friend behind especially since we built AMORE ELLAN together. Also, it was bad enough that I had a secret clan, if I left her there that's just insane. So after careful thought and contemplation, I set another resolution apart from resurrecting this blog:  NEW YEAR, NEW CLAN. 

To do this, I recruited 5 of our original members and convinced them to EXIT with me from AMORE ELLAN to SYNDIKOS. This happend last December 31st. We said goodbye to our old team and joined Syndikos. 



I was actually supposed to float "clanless" because I had to clean-up the thread so we won't leave a trail of breadcrumbs that will lead the AMORE people to where we're going. Anyway, my second account is there already so the entry of my first is basically just formality. But I think I got I got so sad being on my own (and perhaps quite excited to become Syndikos) so I scrapped all plans to float and entered the team along with everyone else.

New Year, New Clan... you have no idea how happy I am that I no longer have to lie about a "secret clan" to my best friend. Pretty loyal, it pained me to keep that a secret for so long, but that's all water under the bridge now...

Clash on...


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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

SONG IN MY HEAD: Breathe In, Breathe Out

I don't exactly remember why and when I downloaded this song on my phone but I think I heard on the radio, Shazam'd it and it's been there for awhile but I only just really appreciated this song recently. Anyway, I don't even know who Tich is, but her accent is British, so let's assume she is because I couldn't be bothered to research about her. I used to play this song while driving because my singing voice (or the lack thereof) sounds good especially during the BRIDGE part, and I also like to play the start of the song to my sisters who used to take the MRT (train) to work everyday--saying this should be on their playlist.


Breathe In, Breathe Out
Tich



Woke up too late for the train
Routine is always the same
Another day in a life like any other
I ran straight trough the rain
Saw your face when I felt the flame
Both knew it wasn't a day like any other

We're in a moment now
I can't believe how

One touch, and suddenly I need you
Tough luck, won't you tell me that it ain't true
If you're gonna push me
Promise you'll break my fall

Oh, hold me close as I
Breathe in, breathe out
Breathe in, breathe out
I'm on the edge
Just take me now
And if you'll gonna push me
Then promise you'll break my fall

Face down, I hit the floor
Nothing to hide anymore
I've tried, but what is use ya
I was always
Looking from a Birdseye view
Dreaming of when I'd find you
But I know I will never be the same

We're in a moment now
I can't believe how

One touch, and suddenly I need you
Tough luck, won't you tell me that it ain't true
If you're gonna push me
Promise you'll break my fall

Oh, hold me close as I
Breathe in, breathe out
Breathe in, breathe out
I'm on the edge
Just take me now
And if you'll gonna push me
Then promise you'll break my fall

Breathe in, breathe out
Like a drug I can't stop
Need you here, need you now
Cause you've got my heart
Breathe in, breathe out
Baby, forever free falling, free falling

One touch, and suddenly I need you
Tough luck, won't you tell me that it ain't true
If you're gonna push me
Promise you'll break my fall

Oh, hold me close as I
Breathe in, breathe out
Breathe in, breathe out
I'm on the edge
Just take me now
And if you'll gonna push me
Then promise you'll break my fall

Then promise you'll break my fall...

Anyway, I realized it's beautifully written despite it being upbeat, and I think it basically sums up how it is to be a girl when she meets a man for the first time. That was a long time ago for me, meeting a man you know, but I remember how it is to feel so excited that something is brewing but then at the same time you feel really anxious because FALLING in love can actually mean falling and hurting yourself. 

Men have the tendency to do that, you know? They lay out all their cards and you place your bets, but you find out in the end that they've kept one card hidden. "If you're gonna push me, just promise you'd break my fall", isn't that what a lot of girls say in the beginning? Please be careful with my heart because I am vulnerable. Please don't make promises you cannot keep because I do not know where to go from here. Anyway, as a 30-something woman who has gone through so much, here is what I have to say about this: falling in love is really just like breathing, you let it in and out. Sometimes it will be fast, sometimes it will be hard, sometimes it will be free-flowing and one day, it will just stop. So no matter what the outcome, regardless of the inevitable failure, let yourself FREE FALL--but perhaps afford yourself enough cushion for the impact, just in case. 

In other words, inasmuch as you would want to control everything, you can't. There is no way that you can maneuver things to make it work your way. You can try... you can try to trick people through it, but what should happen, will happen. So "breathe in and breathe out", and hope that the guy you're with understands that when he pushes you, there's a limit, and if you fall--he ought to be on the other end to catch you.  


Are you ready to breathe in and breathe out?

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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Rebuilding the Clinic

In the beginning of 2014 I received the saddest news of the year. I was going about on my day, I was heading out of the clinic for a quick visit to a nearby store and the owner of the neighbor shop said: "Narinig mo ba? Nabenta na daw nila yung building, ah" (So, have you heard? They've finally sold the building.) I looked at him. I pretended to be totally okay with it and I ran back inside. It wasn't exactly the first time for me to hear this. Rumors about selling the building circulated 2 years prior but it was never pursued and we were assured that we would all be given proper notice once things are certain, so I stopped worrying about it a long time ago until I heard it again that day. When I got back upstairs, I took my phone and called the caretaker. She was shocked I knew about it, but she had no choice but to confirm that it was indeed happening--the building will be sold and we had three months to get ready to move out. 

MOVE OUT. Ha! I spent a few days just bawling after that. In between the crying I would be driving around Timog Avenue, West Avenue and E. Rodriguez looking for commercial spaces for rent or I'd be online looking at ad placements, hoping to get lucky. I was in shock. Talk about getting out of your comfort zone--I was settled, then all of a sudden I was being asked to move out and was barely given time to do it. It was either I find a place that's perfect or I don't find anything at all, so I thought about giving up the practice or closing for awhile until something good comes along. 

The total control freak, this time I had no clue what to do and on top of that, I had no idea where to get the money to do what I had to do. The only comforting thought I had during that time was I knew the Lord wouldn't leave me alone on this and He surely didn't. After the unsettling week of crying and finding no direction, things just suddenly happened. Like a gift being handed to me, wrapped with ribbons, everything just fell into place. During that time, patients with big cases came in and I was suddenly given more than what I needed. I was also led to the perfect location, the right team of workers and the magnificent set of hands to make all things possible. Like He did in 2008 when we built You and Your Teeth Dental Clinic for the first time, the Lord provided for me, so let this be the testimony of His love and faithfulness in my life. One by one, the plans became concrete... and suddenly I wasn't even scared about moving anymore. 



By March 2014 I was already set to leave. I had the money (savings untouched), the plan and the team: from trepidation, I was brought to excitement, that is how the Lord works. He took all of my worries and replaced it with hope, so everything was just easy after that. By April 30th, we were completely moved out and we said goodbye to the old place.

Well, it's been 8 months since we moved. I heard the bad news around February last year and almost a year after we're completely settled in. Despite the relocation we didn't lose our patients because we retained our PLDT line and we basically just moved a few buildings away so everyone just had to walk a few blocks from the old location. As a matter of fact we still get patients calling us and asking "Where are you now, we're here in the old clinic" and that definitely brings a smile to our faces. Also, the move was a personal fulfillment on my part because I've always wanted to remodel the clinic but I just never got to it. Suddenly, the unplanned move made remodeling inevitable so I got to tweak every aspect of the clinic from the color, location and sizes of cabinets and drawers, position of the chairs and so forth. I took into consideration everything that I used to rant about with the old one and made sure 2.0 will be flawless--and it sure is. 


“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
- Jeremiah 29:11-

Always trust in the Lord. In my life, especially in the state where I am in now, I have learned to entrust everything to the Lord because my plans are nothing compared to HIS. I remember during the building stages I met a single roadblock that had the potential to put everything off course. I was almost hopeless and I remember crying to the Lord and asking Him: "Should I just sell the clinic? Is this what you want me to do?" And, believe it or not, within minutes I got the call that finally made everything possible. 


Isn't our God amazing?

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You and Your Teeth Dental Clinic 
Unit 312 3F Sir Williams Hotel
#39 Timog Avenue, Quezon City
(02) 4412981