What is the best premed course?

One of my struggles when I was still in high school was choosing a course in university. Just like the usual sixteen year-old, I didn’t know what degree should I take. No one helped me make these big decisions and since I am a soon-to-be first generation doctor in the family, there was no one that I could ask. So I sought the help of Google, which at 2009, doesn’t have that much doctors talking about how to get into med school. So kids, you are so lucky because, you can now get the help you need online. I asked the opinions of awesome soon-to-be doctors who have different premed courses from me. I do hope you find the help that you need and if you still have questions, please feel free to put them down on the comments section.

BS MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY

PROS: The advantage of being a med tech student is you have months of exposure in the hospital and you will meet people who have been in this industry for a long time. You will have an overview of the ups and downs of working in healthcare. You will also learn about how things work in the laboratory, so let’s say you are interested in pathology, you will understand why some lab results can’t be processed immediately even if it’s a stat request. Another advantage is you will feel that you played a part in the diagnosis of the patient even though you aren’t technically the one handling them. Another plus is, the lab is air conditioned since the machines can’t overheat, hence, you still look fresh (lol). It’s also fun to culture bacteria because of the colors, and it’s interesting to see actual specimens in the microscope.

CONS: The disadvantage that I see is since almost everything is automated, it can get boring, and this might lead you into forgetting the principles behind the procedures, which is bad if you are planning to take up medicine. Also, since you are inside the lab, the only time that you get to face the patient is during blood extraction. It’s the nurse’s job to meet the patient face-to-face. Another thing is, urine and feces will be a part of your life so when you go to med, you won’t be disgusted with these specimens anymore.

Irene, RMT


PROS: Medtech students are proficient in using the microscope for histopath, hence it will be a big advantage since you’ll be using it for your histology and pathology subjects. You will also gain the very useful skill of blood extraction which will come in handy in medschool. You will learn the practical and theoretical side of lab diagnostics which is a must in being a medical doctor plus, you will have subjects that will be useful when you enter medschool such as hematology, immunology and serology, and analysis of urine and body fluids. It will be easier for you to understand the concepts because of your prior knowledge and experience in this field. In addition to this, during your undergrad internship and work, you will have hospital and patient exposure hence, all those nervousness around patients and doing procedures will be off of your list of fears.

CONS: For the disadvantage, even if you have all these knowledge and experience, there will still be tons of concepts and skills that you do not know and it can be really frustrating. However, that’s the point of going into medschool, you will need to learn and learn and learn.

– Ton, RMT


PROS: One of the major advantages of medtech as a premed course are the subjects. Clinical chemistry, microbiology, endocrinology and toxicology are very useful subjects that will help you understand and make clinical correlations especially in internal medicine. We also had pathology, and learned how to do slide preparation and be proficient in using the microscope. We were also given clinical cases weekly, and were trained to determine the laboratory approach needed for a certain case, interpretation of results, and final diagnosis. We also have basic knowledge in pharmacology and experience in doing quantitative research. Overall we have a good foundation in pathophysiology, basic pathology, laboratory work and diagnostics, and clinical correlations.

CONS: Since medtech is an undergrad course, the diseases are more focused on the criteria related to clinical aspects, and not much on the deeper concepts and specific treatment protocols. These things still need to be learned in medschool. We still have a lot to study such as doing physical examination, and calculating drug dosages. There are still so many things that we do not know but we learn as we go through with our medical education.

Josh, RMT

BS PHARMACY

PROS: Pharmacists have an edge in pharmacology. Learning about the mechanisms of drugs and their corresponding physiology is an advantage for us in medschool. And this is such an important knowledge base because basically doctors prescribe drugs. Pharmacology is said to be one of the monsters of pre-clinical years so this foundation will be put in good use not just in medschool but all the more in your practice. You will also have an idea about drugs and their administration which is an important aspect since there are tons of drugs that you have to learn. I guess pharmacy teaches you the skill to analyze a lot which is much needed in the field of medicine.

CONS: The disadvantage for me is pharmacy is such a beautiful and exciting field and it’s hard to let go of your love and passion for it. Somehow, it was easier for me to love pharmacy than medschool. Also there are limited subjects that we know about which are also in medschool unlike medical technology. I also think anatomy is not our strong suit or maybe it’s just me.

Andrea, RPh


PROS: Pharmacy is a good fallback because there are many job opportunities. You can work in public or private drugstores, in a hospital, in the pharmaceutical industry as a quality control officer, in the academe or in research. As a medical student, a big advantage is you will be familiar with the therapeutic category and mechanism of action of drugs, their generic and brand names. You will also know how to calculate the doses of medication, know what medicines, and what dose or stock keeping units (SKUs) are available in the market. You will also know how to counsel patients, and be familiar with drugs’ side effects and drug interactions. You can advise patients about what to avoid and expect when taking a particular medicine. You will also have knowledge about what alternative medicine can be given in case the specific medicine that a patient needs is not available. You will also have a good background in biochemistry, though I forgot a lot about it since that was a long time ago.

CONS: The disadvantage is the clinical skills are not yet there like handling and managing patients. Our background in histology is poor and we have litte knowledge in anatomy.

– Anonymous, RPh

BS BIOLOGY

PROS: Bio graduates are often coined as premeds who know a little bit of everything but is a master of none in terms of clinical skills. One advantage that I can think of is we are trained in doing scientific research. We also have a strong foundation about the cell. We had a taste of anatomy, physiology, histology, molecular biology, genetics, and microbiology, hence, some of the terms are not too jargon when we we studied medicine. We are trained to understand microscopic and macroscopic scientific phenomenon including connecting and correlating ideas. We also have good microscope skills and since we often present scientific papers, we also know how to teach. Above all this, the biggest advantage that being a biologist has is the innate curiosity, the inner scientist, that has helped me open one more page of a book, even when I don’t feel like studying. I get so happy by knowing and learning more and more everyday

CONS: The obvious disadvantages are more on hospital exposure and clinical skills. Being a medtech, pharmacist, or a nurse will expose you in the healthcare industry. I barely knew drugs, I don’t know the protocols for handling patients and I had zero clinical skills and poor knowledge about diseases. How I wish someone could have explained to me that Biology won’t help in these important clinical aspects but still I have no regrets because Biology was so much fun. It compensated for my fatigue in medschool.

– Katey

BS CHEMISTRY

PROS: In Chemistry your edge is you really know and understand how things work in a molecular level, which is the basis of pharmacology. Understanding the pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics of drugs and their reactions would be easier. Your skill in being keen to details will be a great advantage in understanding complex concepts such as cardiac and renal physiology. Since we are also used to reading books filled with graphs instead of pictures, we can power through reading the most boring books (which are a lot) even in medicine. We are also trained in self-studying and analyzing complex problems, which is must-have skill in medicine because most of the time you will be learning on your own. I believe the greatest edge that a Chemistry student has is their attitude and discipline, and their training to be analytical and rational in every decision they make. They are extremely careful, for one tiny mistake can cause a catastrophic effect. They are agents of change and research that is not only important for changing the field of medicine but also in producing a five-star Filipino Scientist and Physician, whom not only accepts what is given but also questions what is presented. 

CONS: Our disadvantage is we lack anatomy, microbiology, pathology and other major subjects that other premed courses have. But you will be able to surpass this because chemists have that fire within them to learn and relearn. This is my edge overall, because as a future doctor by profession, to become one is indeed a lifelong journey of learning on its own. 

-Jessa Jhen, RCh

BS PSYCHOLOGY

PROS: Majoring in Psychology is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. As a psych graduate, you’ll have a better grasp of your mental wellness. Your extensive understanding of the self also allows you to recognize when you are becoming toxic, so you can step back and take a breather. You can manage your human interactions. The psych personality you develop will keep you out of most trouble and in good graces with most of your peers. You can provide some support to your classmates who are emotionally struggling. You also have a mastery of the art of questioning. You get to use it in your daily interactions as well as in history taking. You learn how to effectively extract information in a way that is less intimidating to the patient or the relatives. Your Basic Attending Skills and Psychological First Aid will come in handy in the emergency room, given that you don’t panic when you meet a hysterical patient or relative. You’re trained to detach yourself from your unconducive emotions. Psychology will train you how to be empathetic and detached at the same time. That way, you are able to let patients feel that you care, but you keep yourself at a distance so as to not become drowned in the negative emotions of all the people you encounter.

CONS: On the flip side, you don’t learn much about the medical side of health. You might have to do a lot more catching up than those from other courses. You don’t get many opportunities to practice your profession and you’ll learn of your classmates taking part-time jobs in labs or in pharmacies. If you do manage to get a side hustle, it contributes nothing to your academic performance. Nurses, pharmacists, and med techs get to refine their knowledge when they work. If you do manage to find a job as a Psych major, the knowledge you refine has nothing to do with the field of medicine. Being a Psych grad can also be exhausting. You will always have a classmate coming to you for help, and you want to help them, of course. But it can become too often, or they can come one after another, and you sometimes even set aside your own issues so you can deal with theirs.

BS NURSING

PROS: You will definitely have the biggest chunk of hospital experience among your classmates.You know and understand the inner workings in the healthcare industry hence you’ll have less adjustment time. You will also have clinical experience and a clinical eye way before med school. Nursing students are also proficient in history taking and physical exam which will be an advantage for you to excel in medschool. You will have good clinical skills such IV and catheter insertion, or maintaining tracheostomy. I think the biggest advantage is we have prior knowledge and have actually seen patients with the disease process, and also management. The sweetest part of nursing as a premed course is you are basically trained to understand and read every situation, every move and doctor’s order, and what the physician and the patients are saying. I guess one of the best things I learned in nursing is empathy, and the way of connecting to people. I became more emotionally sensitive compared to my past self, but of course patients are not allowed to see that. You also have a good perspective and focus on anatomy and physiology, bioethics and pharmacology, because you need to be able to explain this to the patient. Nursing is overall a good and holistic premed course.

CONS: For the disadvantages, being a nurse is exhausting but I guess you already know that. If before medicine, you experienced working in a hospital you know that this job can drain you as a human being. In terms of academics, somehow the nursing subjects overpowered the basic sciences needed in medicine such as biochemistry, because your main focus in nursing are the skills and theories. There are also things that happen inside the hospital that can break you. The smell of death, the worst feeling of having to tell the family that the patient is deteriorating, the way that the family gets angry, or humiliates the healthcare worker. I somehow think you’ll enter med as a broken person if you took nursing as premed. The good feelings overpower the bad, that’s why nurses are still here, and so we keep on going. But overall, you will be prepared for life inside the hospital because, you have already lived it.

-Lyris, RN



So have you chosen your premed course? I hope this article helped you gain more insight before you enter the world of medicine.

How to stay on track when everything sucks

We all have roles in this world and sometimes we feel like what we’re doing is not changing anything. But trust me when I say, every good deed has a ripple effect. Every single thought you have and action you take, adds up.

Sometimes shit after shit after shit happens. It’s like the cycle never ends. There are just those days when you feel like a joke is intentionally being played on you. And of course our natural response is to get upset. Even as adults we throw tantrums and lash out on people who have nothing to do with what’s happening to us. I am so guilty when this happens. Oftentimes, the people around me are the casualty. For us, personal development maniacs, we don’t want this happening. We always aspire to be balanced, focused, and on track. But life just isn’t like that. Nothing is and will ever be perfect. There are days when we can master our emotions but there will be times when it will just suck. How do we still stay focused and how do we get going even when the universe is seemingly against us?

I have two not-so-secret ingredients for that. These are gratitude and perspective management.

I know what you’re thinking reader. How on earth could I still be grateful when the bills are piling up, when there are deadlines to meet, kids to take care of, debts to pay, and a freaking pandemic? Just, how?


STEP 1. BREATHE AND SAY THANK YOU.
I want you to grab a notebook, and write. Write a list of things that you are grateful for. Seriously, if you want to stay true to your mission, do it now. I’m telling you, it’s impossible to not have anything on that list. Do you have a family or a friend who supports you? Are you eating at least three meals a day? Do you have the privilege of getting quality education? Maybe you have a pet who brings you immense joy or a plant that you are taking care of. If you have time to think about everything that’s going wrong, then you definitely have time to think about what’s going right. I want you to have as much as possible an objective and fair amount of positive and negative thoughts. So there’s a pandemic, it is a reality. The government is a circus, that is undeniably true. But please, even if so many bad things are happening, don’t fall into the trap of negative bias.


STEP 2. MANAGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE.
Now that you have listed the things that you are genuinely grateful for, do the work. Where are you right now and how can you make a difference in your own space? We all have roles in this world and sometimes we feel like what we’re doing is not changing anything. But trust me when I say, every good deed has a ripple effect. Every single thought you have and action you take, adds up.



STEP 3. CREATE THE THINGS YOU WISH EXISTED.
So you want a better world? Then start off with being a better you. You want transparent leadership? Then be that leader that you wish to be. Sometimes we get overwhelmed because we think only big things can make the world change. But the truth is, big wins are built by small triumphs. Start where you are. If you want to help the impoverished, then focus on making yourself financially full, little by little. Start a profitable business so that you can finance others who are in need, slowly but surely. If you are drowned in debt, start listing all those payables, and prioritize paying them. Do what you have to do to raise money to pay them. Cut back on your expenses. If you are a trauma survivor then maybe you can be that person who listens to someone who’s in a lot of pain. If you’re having trouble with academics, then be creative and specific and work on your weak points. Be your own hero. Be your own role model. You never know how much influence you are making.


You have to stay connected to your purpose and know that your mission in this world trumps every setback and every heartache. As Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Acknowledge what you’re feeling. Always remember the things which are working out. Create the things you wish to have existed and follow through. This is how you change the world, by first and foremost, changing “you.”

Dear ladies, please read this before dating.

Before diving in a relationship, you need to have something that keeps that fire in your heart burning. Work on your personal and professional goals. Keep on living the best life possible by following your bliss.

You are a strong and independent woman. I bet you got a lot of dreams and you’re probably successful or on your way to shake the world. I am so proud of you woman so just keep on slaying. However, maybe in the relationship department, things are not quite falling into place. You’ve probably dated and for some reason, it just doesn’t work out. Maybe you’ve been single since forever, which is totally awesome, but you want to experience being in a conscious and fulfilling relationship. If these scenarios ring a bell, then please read on.

1. First, be honest with yourself.
How do you get the partner of your dreams? Does that entity even exist? Well, I want you to free yourself from all your previous beliefs and be totally honest. Do you want a partner or not? Either way is okay because it’s your life so you do you. Do not get into a relationship because of society’s pressures or worries of getting old and alone in your deathbed. You have to ask yourself if being in a relationship is something that you want. If it’s not yet clear for you, then I highly suggest dating. My favorite life coach, Marie Forleo always says, “Clarity comes from engagement not thought.” Go on dating apps, parties, and events and just test the waters. This will improve your social skills, and the more you get into it, you’ll have more data to analyze. You’ll know what are your likes and dislikes, then you can make an objective decision if being partnered up is for you or not.

2. Work on your own issues.
I hear many girls who want to have a boyfriend who will be a knight in shining armor and save them from distress. They think having “the one” will cure their insecurities. As early as now, please stop this toxic mindset. Take responsibility for your self-esteem. You have to fully love and appreciate yourself because it’s not your partner’s job to make you feel good all the time. Make a list of things you’re insecure about. What brings you down? Lay your emotional baggage and consciously work on them. You can do journalling, workouts, attend seminars or make art. Heal yourself so that you won’t project your issues to your future partner. Remember that your partner will not be your savior, you are your own savior. He’s going to be there to hold your hand while you both face this chaotic world, but he’s under no obligation to do everything and be everything for you.

3. Be willing to openly communicate.
There’s probably a lot of us who are guilty of stonewalling or being passive aggressive whenever conflict arises whether it’s with friends or family. If you are this type of person, I suggest that you get out of your comfort zone and work on your communication skills. Unless your partner’s a mind reader, then you don’t have to do this. But as far as I know, no one can read another person’s mind. Practice the art of open communication to your friends and family, so that when you’re in a relationship, there will be less friction. You can work on challenges with less turbulence because conscious partners will reciprocate what energy you’re putting on the table. Your significant other will feel safe with you when you are willing to be honest and vulnerable to them.

4. Have your own source of fulfillment.
This is very important because if you’re not careful, you might just make your partner the center of your universe. You might depend your happiness in his feelings or the way he treats you. Before diving in a relationship, you need to have something that keeps that fire in your heart burning. Work on your personal and professional goals. Keep on living the best life possible by following your bliss. Your partner is like the frosting on a cake. He is someone who makes the cake taste good, although the cake can be eaten on its own. You have to be happy as an individual so that you won’t fall into the trap of codependency.

5. Know your non-negotiables and core values.
Think about the future for a second. Are there kids? Is religion a big part of your life? Is it okay if your partner drinks or smokes? Is cheating forgivable? Draw crystal clear boundaries because it will prevent major heartbreaks. Do not expect that your partner’s beliefs will change or that you can sway how your partner thinks or behaves just because you’re together. Have a filtering system so that you won’t end up fighting constantly. Remember that this person is a possible spouse, at least for me that’s my purpose when I date, so you need to accept the person’s flaws as well. Lay it on the table early on because even if you love the person so much, if your core values are different, it won’t work or it might, but the relationship will end up draining you.

How about you, do you have any advice that you can share to women who are looking for a significant other? I am very interested in knowing your take on this. I dream of a world where women are helping each other out and being in this together because you are special and you deserve happiness in any form.

Ukelele

With gentle tunes
And every pluck of each string
I summon happiness
I live with glee.
Whoever made you
Has indeed a heart of gold
For the joy you bring me
One that even by words can’t ever be told.

You had me at hi
I pulled you close
Sad songs you transformed
A pretentious melody sounded true.
Lying in the hammock
In front of the sea
I strum with passion
I dream of thee.

Tell me about the first time
Our skins have touched
I never knew that love would feel this much
Every dull moment you made serene
Every song I played you with
Had love within.

I never knew this kind of happiness
Till I chose to play you
I’ve tried the guitar and drums
But nothing ever sounded like you.
How you made the sun shine
Everywhere you go
How you made me smile
Even when I thought I’ll never do.

You are mine and I am yours
Let’s compose and sing
Let’s dance to unsung melodies
Let’s make everybody plug in
I promise to take care of us
This gift of music, of love
That seemingly came from the stars
Maybe from the deepest seas or high above

The ultimate self care hack

Six years ago, I was this twenty year old college graduate who had totally no idea what to do. When I enrolled in UP, I thought looking for a job will be easy because I’ll be a graduate of the top university in the Philippines. There was so much ego in a 16-year old kid. I was totally clueless with how looking for work would be extremely difficult. I didn’t know how to maneuver my life. I felt like a new kid in the block. I froze.

Adulting was so scary. I was afraid of public transportation in Manila but I had to do it because riding a taxi will be too expensive. I thought everyone was a possible snatcher. I was so wary of my surroundings. I was just so afraid of everything new and so hesitant to take the next step because it’s too uncomfortable.

Until I decided to go back to the province and spend time with family since I probably need rest because of the four years of academics. On the first month of my vacation, I became restless. I wasn’t used to staying in the house and I also didn’t like the fact that I was twenty and penniless. So I took the leap of getting a job.

One of my orgmates was a teacher in a university and she asked me if I can teach highschool students. I was so afraid, but I just said yes because I hate not having any money. I became a Chemistry teacher in UST-Legazpi for a year. But even though I had a job, it wasn’t enough for me. It didn’t feel right. My soul was longing for more. I wanted more improvement, more diverse experiences, and a life that feeds my soul. There’s also the pressure of being a breadwinner in the family.

Finances were more tight and I had siblings in college, highschool, elementary, plus a baby brother. I had to help my family so I decided to go abroad and teach. I guess I underestimated the challenges of becoming an overseas worker. I was faced with financial and mental health problems, plus I had a turbulent relationship with my biological mother. I experienced depression, again.

But this time, it was harder to handle it because I was far away from friends and family. I had to deal with my issues alone and learn how to save myself. Giving up is not an option for the poor. That’s when I discovered meditation.

It may sound creepy but in all honesty, it worked. It still works because I’ve been practicing it for four years since then. I am so grateful that I love watching speeches of successful people and almost all of them do meditate. I was able to heal my wounds little by little, and handle life’s stresses with more ease and I learned how to let go of narratives which aren’t serving me.

Meditation may seem easy because you’re just going to be quiet for a few minutes but, brace yourself. You’ll never know how much crap is in your brain unless you meditate.

I can’t even silence my mind for a minute. I was crying in the first few months because all the repressed feelings and pain that I tried to numb with food, work, and studies started to go on the surface. I didn’t feel ready to face all of them. Recognizing these wounded parts is not pretty at all.

I stopped for a while and tried to meditate again. And from then on there’s no turning back. When I acknowledged all parts of me and radically accepted who I am, the rest became history. I made better choices and created soulful connections. I became more in tune with my gut which made me take care of what’s serving me and let go of what’s dragging me down. I became more kind and compassionate. I just became better.

Meditation did not make me perfect. It just made me work on myself on a consistent basis. It made me humble and it allowed me to go back to that sacred place inside me whenever I get out of alignment. Now I understand why successful people meditate. This world has so much noise and if you’re not careful, it might just drag you in its drama. You have to know who you are, what you stand for, and what you are in this world for.

Cancel the noise and tune in with your soul. It does wonders.

I’m back technique

For the past few weeks I’ve been studying for our online male and female reproductive system exam. Yes, in the midst of lockdown, crappy internet, and electricity, we are required to have online exams and just one exam for the entire module. But that needs another blog post to talk about. With the overwhelm sprouting like weeds us medical students with turbulent mental health need to have a system in place in order to achieve our MD goals.

The system that works so far for me is Josh Pais’ “I’m back technique .” It’s catching yourself whenever you get out of alignment. I have been using this for a while and I practice it when I need more clarity. You can totally try this too especially if you are someone who’s got a lot of things on your plate.

I say I’m back when:

• I’m feeling tired
• The trauma resurfaces
• I get distracted by social media
• I feel like quitting studying
• I want to watch useless stuff on the internet instead of study
• I’m tempted to eat unhealthy food
• I want to get another cup of rice
• I start to react to our crappy government
• I don’t see the empathy of people in power
• People are testing my patience
• I get lazy
• I think toxic and negative thoughts
• I start to be overwhelmed and frustrated
• Overthinking and anxiety kicks in
• My fears of abandonment are resurfacing
• I lose patience when someone or something disturbs me
• I get angry to the universe
• I miss my dad
• The results I want don’t come into fruition
• I start comparing
• I feel jealous
• I’m bored
• I fight with my partner
• I get fed up when my younger siblings are having petty fights when I study
• It’s noisy and I can’t concentrate
• Our dogs are fighting
• The summer heat and isolation is killing me
• Project my issues to somebody else
• Things don’t go my way
• Albay Power Electric Corporation fails to provide reliable electrical supply
• Internet providers can’t provide a stable internet connection
• I get irritated with my partner
• Talk to someone with opposing views
• My expectations aren’t met
• The weather is too hot

So that’s just putting it out there to make it more clear when I should say I’m back. How about you, when do you have to say i’m back. Tell me about the specific situations when your patience is being tested. I hope you have a great and productive week.

Permission to be


I have been ambitious for as long as I can remember. Heck, I wanted to be the Mayor of our town when I was like three. I even remembered saying that I want to be the President of the Philippines in gradeschool. I wanted to soar as high as I can and be the best in what I do. That is how full blown ambitious I was.

But of course that was just the little girl in me talking. I just want to emphasize how being ambitious was ingrained in my DNA. I have been its epitome way before I understood what that word means. I just laugh when I remember all those things I’ve said. And then I grew up.

I started to get scared of the world. I began watching the news and became anxious to death about almost everything. I became afraid even in walking alone, being embarassed, and making a mistake. I became fearful even of the good things ever since I got exposed to the dark side. The fire died. It was like someone poured a huge bucket of water to the blazing fire in my heart. Sometimes it still flickered, but most of the time it died.

Thankfully, this world has angels. They gave me the space, the extra nudge, to be who I was meant to be. They pushed and inspired me to be the game changer that I truly believe I am. Now, I can say that it’s back, and although I’m not as fierce as I used to, I am now more stable and calm. The fire knows when to burn so high, when to slow down, and most importantly how to get the fire back up.

Let me just dedicate this blog post to the people who gave me the permission to be unapologetically myself, to grow, heal, survive, and thrive.

1. My second grade teacher: You are smart.

Thank you ma’am, for opening the door to learning. You are beyond amazing. Because of you, I discovered and believed that I am smart. You opened me to the world of short stories, cultural music, public speaking, and dance. You made me feel seen and heard. You were the first one to ask me to host a school event. Because of you I just felt so seen. I believed that I was special because you had your way of making kids feel like that. Until now, I’m still ever curious and inquisitive. I still love music. I still love learning. For the doors you opened, I’ll forever be grateful.


2. My bestfriend C: Be creative and bold.

Oh wow, the road we travelled C. I can’t imagine life without you as my partner in crime. You influenced me to be creative and bold. You were my playmate, the person I told hilarious stories to, the one who influenced me to be so imaginative, my mentor and inspiration. We dreamed of a lot of things together. We’ve been through so much together. Because you are so brave, I felt and still am feeling that I can give birth to the great things that I am dreaming of because you inspire me to be bold and relentless in my passion. Thank you for being my sister from another mother. Thank you for the listening ear, for teaching me Buddhist principles, for treating me as family. I am so excited about what we are going to accomplish in this life.


3. My siblings: Love

Thank you for being the fuel of my engine, the wind beneath my wings, and the reason that I am still living. You are my army and my foundation. You teach me love, patience, and bravery. Because of you, I want to do so much good in this world. I want to be a good example to you my younger siblings. I want to be in a good financial standing so that I can provide your needs. I want to take you to Disneyland. Know that I am forever grateful for you five. I love you so much.


4. Mommy Oprah: Heal and live with a purpose

Ever since I watched your Harvard graduation speech, everything has changed. I was blown out by how amazing you are. You have gone through a traumatic childhood but you never let that experience beat you. Thank you for telling your story. You made us feel that even if there are so many challenges in your life, you can still heal and thrive. Because of your teachings, I managed to find my way to healing and be in alignment with who I am. You are the mother that I never had but thankfully there’s youtube and social media. I now can say that I am living my life on purpose and you played a big role on that.

5. My partner: Kindness, patience and unconditional love

Hi boyfriend. Although we see each other almost everyday I just want to flex you in this blog. You were a big part of my healing. Your presence consistently taught me that being kind and loving is not just something you feel and say, it’s something you work on every single day. I learned to be more kind and gentle even in really challenging situations. I also am learning about this partnership thing that we have. With you, I realIzed that love is a choice, and that we are teammates even if sometimes we are so pissed with each other. Thank you for reminding me that having patience is a must, and that it takes time for good things to come into fruition. I truly believe that you are God’s gift for every good that I did in my life.

6. Beyonce, Ashley Graham and all the curvy girls out there: Beauty

If I could have dime for every instance that I said, “You are fat and ugly,” to myself, I’d probably be a millionaire. Like, seriously, I hated looking at myself in the mirror because of society’s flawed beauty standards. I grew up thinking that I need to be skinny to be loved and called beautiful. You can even check my 2015 blog posts about that. But when I saw Beyonce and Ashley Graham slaying, I knew that my body is just not being represented a lot more in media. Thank you queens for representing us curvy girls. Now, I feel more free and confident to wear what I want to. I am proud of every curves and edges and I am now being kind to my body. I take care of it and speak kind words to it. We are all beautiful. We don’t have to be tall, skinny, and white to radiate that beauty. It starts with our heart.

7. Papa: Passion and Bravery

Hi Papa. You and basketball are two peas in a pod. I knew what passion looks like through seeing you play and teach basketball. I knew what genuine love looks like because you consistently showed that to us when you were alive. I know that every step needs bravery, even when you have to make unpopular choices. I understood being passionate and brave at a young age, so thanks for that Papa. I am who I am because you were such a good example to us. Now, I am so dedicated to my goal because it’s very clear to me that service is my passion.


I wouldn’t be where I am and who I am without these people who gave me permission. How about you? Who are your heroes and how did they influence you?

The one question that you must ask yourself everyday

Enough said.

I’m at a point in my life wherein I won’t allow anything or anyone to dim my sparkle. It’s been almost two months and we are still on lockdown here in my province.

Hi reader, I hope you are doing better and hopefully found a healthy coping mechanism from all the changes, good or bad, that you are seeing in this world.

So last week, as I was lying in bed, disappointed as usual with how this pandemic is being handled by our leaders, I had a lightning bulb realization. This epiphany struck me so hard and shifted my perspective. I asked myself one question and it’s so big that it changed how I maneuver each day. This is the question:

“If I am going to die tomorrow, would this be how I want to spend my last day?”

I answered with a resounding, heart pounding, “DEFINITELY NOT.” I don’t want to die as a depressed, heartbroken, and eternally frustrated entity. Would I spend it debating about politics, who’s right or wrong, which side is telling the truth blablabla. Nope. I definitely won’t.

If I have the power to choose, my last day would be a really peaceful one. I would spend it eating meals with my family. I would teach my little brother about science and reading. I would watch korean dramas with my youngest sister. I would call my sisters who are living in Manila, listen to them and hopefully ease their stress and worries during this pandemic. I will listen to really good music. I will take care of my body, the vessel that was entrusted to me by the universe. I would study my calling, medicine, because this day is the closest I’ll ever be to becoming a medical doctor.

I will write. I will sing. I will dance. I will read. I will eat yummy food. I will take care of my siblings. I will tell my partner how much I love and appreciate his presence in my life. I will cuddle our dogs. I will say what I want to say and be the most authentic person that I can be.

I will spew positivity. I will keep on expressing to the universe how grateful I am that I was allowed to live this life, amidst its imperfections and complexities. I will thank God that I was raised by a man who put others above himself, someone who loves selflessly and lived with so much passion.

I will do what I love. I will keep on spreading motivation, humor, and inspiration. I will show respect and refrain from speaking negatively. I will help in whatever way that I can as long as it is in line with who I am as a person.

So far, if it’s my last day, I can say that I am proud of how I chose to live my life. That includes being able to battle the demons, and recover from abuse. If this was my last day I hope that I made my father proud, and I hope that he will smile and say he’s proud of who I became when we meet each other again.

Death is a taboo concept for many people, and having experienced witnessing the sudden death of the person that I love most, changed me. It changed the way I see things, I realized the impermanence of it all. So if it is my last, if people would remember me, I want them to tell people how freakishly real I am, how I chose kindness, how I showed my vulnerability, how I fought the monsters, how I forgave but maintained boundaries, how I rose, and how I lived in line with the mission that was planted in my soul.

If all of us would ask ourselves this question everyday, maybe we will hurt less, and we will not keep on chasing things which are unhealthy for us. I hope that you, my sweet and beautiful reader would ask yourself this question, and be brave enough to honestly answer it, and live each day as if it’s your last. Why? Because it will guide you to do only those which are important and that which resonates to your soul.

Dear Food,

I haven’t had the best relationship with you. I can’t exactly pinpoint when our love-hate relationship started but bottomline is, I don’t know when I should or shouldn’t eat you.

I want to thank you first and foremost, for giving me the energy to do my tasks as a medical student, my role as a sister, a friend, and a leader .You became my bestfriend aside from writing. When my parents fought, I ate. When I get low scores, I eat. When traumatic stuff happens, I eat.

I want to really apologize to you because I used you as a drug. You numb me from reality and gratify my need for life’s simple pleasures faster than a lightning bolt.

I know that it’s not healthy to use you in order to shove off these turbulent feelings. You were not meant to be a coping mechanism with life’s unpredictable twists and turns. That one cup of rice, one more serving of chicken, just one last bite. You are worth more than what I used you for.

I created an illusion that things will be okay as long as I have good food. But here me out please, I have to make peace with you and use you for your real purpose, which is to nourish my body. I have to take care of this body because this is the vessel by which all the ideas and creativity that come from the ultimate source will fluorish.

I have to consume you moderately in order for this body to function optimally.

It has been my belief that all of us have been put in this earth to fulfill our life’s purpose. Therefore, we owe it to the universe to be kind and loving to our body. That would involve feeding it with what it needs, not too much nor too little.

Again, this is not about looking good so that others would approve of me, or that guys will like me. This is about making the best out of the body that has been entrusted to me. So let’s start this journey.

Should I study or should I rest?

This pandemic has put a lot of medical students on a limbo. Suddenly we have all these free time to study, which is amazing but on the other side we are in this endless cycle of worrying.

I am in grief because of so many healthworkers dying. I am worried of any of my family members getting sick. I am thinking about my friends who are all alone for almost two months. I get panic attacks. I am sick to my bones because of worry.

I don’t know if you are feeling this too, but typical me would be spewing these thoughts, and sometimes I do believe them. So far, I can’t stay as productive and efficient as I used to. But, I try. I try so damn hard to break out of this toxic tendency to overthink.

On a typical pandemic day I would read medicine books for two to four hours. I have also set a practice that would give me a boost and make studying a religious and spiritual practice:

1. Read a non medicine-relate book for thirty minutes while drinking coffee.
2. Write on my journal about yesterday’s events.
3. Take a bath. (because it’s summer)
4. Watch my favorite life coach on Youtube for some pep talk. (Marie Forleo).
5. Write creatively for thirty minutes.
6. Study or make reports for two hours.
7. Study another subject for one hour.
8. Eat lunch.
9. Study for 2 hours which turns into an afternoon nap.lol.
10. Laze around the entire day: Watch kdrama, talk to family, play with my brother, phonecall with my partner, or watch TV.

Based on your judgement, is it productive? By the way I probably do this four out five days in a week. So yeah, maybe I am productive. But I also had three breakdowns already. My point is, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t be productive. Just take care of yourself. It’s okay to be scared, to be productive, to be lazy, as long as you are safe, okay?

How about you? Tell me how you are holding up. Let’s support each other.