musings

Goals for 1819

Today is the first day of our Academic Year 2018-2019! We welcomed our dear students with a special Morning Assembly, na op kors, complete attendance ang mga nagkakagulong magulang. All went well, as there were no crying pupils and less number of irate parents. Pagod nga lang ang aming mga teachers, because apparently, all of them are loaded every Wednesdays.

As for me, tinamad ako ngayong araw. What I did was to do a backlog task, which I also didn’t finish because some alumni visited and then there were 3 new students who took the Entrance Exam. I really have high hopes for this year, not just because we have a new set of school administrators, but because I feel obligated to earn the Best Office Staff award given to me last May. Pakiramdam ko talaga di ko deserve yun eh, that’s why I have to work hard this year to convince myself that I really am the best.

And that brings me to this post. Just would like to share with you my SMART goals for S.Y. 2018-2019. Of course I am aiming for more accomplishments and more prompt response to my students’ concerns, but these are the specific things that I plan to achieve for this year.

1. 100% accomplishment of Routine Interview

I truly wish to finish interviewing all our new students, though this is a challenge because we have a lot of transferees this year. I may employ a more drastic move (setting up counseling chairs outside the classroom) to achieve, but I promise to do this even if it takes until December. (Hahah)

2. Better attendance record

This is the primary reason why I don’t accept the award. I know I did my best in giving out Guidance services to my students, but really, I am ashamed of my attendance last year. I have plenty of absences due to family and health (including Ella’s) reasons, I was on maternity leave during the start of the SY, and I wasn’t able to finish it (1 day short from the last day of class and 1 week short from Graduation) because I was also in the hospital. I was also late everyday, because the travel to and from BSCS was terrible. Walang masakyan!! Kaya this year I really hope to have 0 tardiness and less absences. And good thing because I now have earlier work schedule, thus I got to somehow avoid the rush hours.

3. Regular homeroom visit

This is a yearly goal for three years now, at awa ng Diyos di ko pa din nagagawa hahah! Ang hirap kasi i-achieve! 😯 #1 ang hirap pagtugma-tugmain ng sched, #2 bigla-biglang may paper work na kailangang gawin o isubmit, #3 di ako prepared sa activities, at #4 tamad lang talaga ako. But this year I want to be serious with my homeroom visit. I want to become closer with my students so that I can know what issues they have and interventions they need. I am hopeful because this year the Homeroom module is already done so all I have to do is to compile, print, and execute.

4. Interior design of guidance office

Another yearly goal that I TRULY find difficult to achieve, because #1 hindi naman ako interior designer, #2 may mindset ako na nasasayangan sa oras na nagddecor ako ng office, at #3 tamad kasi talaga ako 😒 But I plan to ask my brother to make me an ID plan for my office. At uunti-untiing ko talagang syang gagawin πŸ‘Š

5. Save thru employees cooperative

Surprise! Due to a number of unforeseen and UNWANTED circumstances, I was appointed Auditor/Collector of our Cooperative this year. Di ko talaga ito gusto dahil wala akong alam sa mga ganyan. Huhuh. But then, dagdag learnings din naman. And I want to be earnest with my savings goal this year. Most especially that we have a lot to catch up in our savings because of my hospitalization last April. Also, I really plan to join the school’s coop though Aljhon is against the idea. Handling the coop myself just gives me the best excuse and reason for him to allow me. Yay!

Some other mini-goals:

-Be more participative with out-of-school’s events and activities (basta swak sa sched)

-Avoid na yung chismisan sa school. AMEN!!

We have new school officials and we are very hopeful that change is coming especially in the way we handle things at work. Less paperwork and more efficiency are their promise to us, employees. But I don’t think that this is not applicable to me. Madami kayang report sa Guidance!!! But knowing that the admin will now look (really) into your work and would weigh if they put into action your recommendations, just makes it fine for me even if my work load would not be lessened. Though really, I appreciate if they’ll hire another Guidance Counselor. But then, I think that’s just for another school year.

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geniuses · musings

2nd.

Aljhon and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary last May 14 doing the things we love to do as an individual- him taking photographs of me being surrounded by books. We visited the Book Museum cum Ethnology Center located at Concepcion, Marikina City. We initially planned on going to Art in Island, but it was closed due to the nationwide barangay election holiday. We enjoyed the day discovering the history of publishing in the Philippines, seeing a decent collection of different reading materials, looking through various cultural artifacts, and of course, taking photographs around the museum.

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Happy fam at the Book Museum
The most photographed area inside the compound, where every structure has its own meaning.

Review: ⭐⭐⭐ I’m naturally a nerd, and a museum is one of the places that I truly enjoy being in. I was actually excited to see and be able to read their collection of books, but I was somewhat disappointed when we arrived. Only the general reference books are allowed to be read, topics that are of real interest are just for display inside the bookshelves. Also, some reading materials are just travel pamphlets, which is because the owner of the collection, Mr. Buhain, is also a travel junkie. Parang he would just buy any book that is within his reach when he visits a place or country. But though the selection did not appeal to me, what I love about his collection are the miniature version of popular books such as the Shakespeare’s plays as well as their copies of Philippine comics. It brought me back to the time when I was just 7 or 8 years old, I would borrow comics, pocketbooks, and readers’ digest from our neighbor, and I read while my friends play. Ang nerd lang talaga, haha! The tour around the Book Museum costs P300, including 3 display rooms and a hundred-peso merienda from the cafe inside their compound, the James Dean Cafe. The price was okay, though the first display room only showcases different salakot and stones. Their ethnology exhibit is just fine, I enjoyed looking through their handiwork and learning more about the Northern and Southern culture. But it seemed to us that some “artifacts” are already modernized version of what had existed before. Hindi naman sa hindi legit, pero hindi rin yun yung lumang lumang bagay na makikita mo normally sa loob ng isang museum. But I appreciate the owner’s generosity of sharing his collection to the public. Also, the exhibit (both books and artifacts) is organized well, so all those negative observations are just fine by me. By the way, the James Dean Cafe is instagrammable, and their shakes taste decent. You’ll get just the worth of what you paid for.

The Northern Culture exhibit. I like this better than the other display room.
The Book Museum’s icon. This is Mr. Dominador Buhain’s right foot and signifies the owner’s love for traveling as well as the city where the Museum is located, Marikina. And yes, there are smaller feet by the wall, showing foot impression of Atty. Buhain’s family members.
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Ella enjoying every display as well. Takot nga lang siya sa mga bulols. Hahah
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The door with baybayin inscription. What I love about this place is even the small details have their own meaning.
A breastfeeding Mama. *sob*
This display is amazing. It has old and original published versions of some popular and well-loved fiction novels as well as the smallest woodcarved crucifix.

Starting her young. πŸ˜‰ Two of my life’s favorites in one photo.

This large mural is handpainted and shows the history of publishing.
Replica of Jose Rizal’s Triumph of Death over Life sculpture.
We got lucky because we met Atty. Dominador Buhain, owner of the Book Museum cum Ethnology Center.
Milkshakes and brownies.
We visited the Museum during the election holiday kaya we got the place for ourselves.
Happy Second Anniversary Daddy ❀

Dalawang taon na pala ang lumipas. Aljhon can’t even believed that it has only been 2 years. A pregnancy (and all its drama), Rafaella Jesusa, enrollment to Grad School, CFC CLP, 2 Best Employee awards, resignation from Kasagana-ka, family problems (and all its drama), 10kgs of weight gain, 2 hospital confinements, and 1 short haircut- a lot indeed has happened to our little family for 2 years. Some are joyful occasions, others are heartbreaking, but all of them are blessings and opportunities to learn and grow. Aljhon is still the great guy I know, and I enjoyed being married to him. But we also had fights, and I discovered some annoying habits and characteristics of my husband as we try to build our own home (totoo pala talaga yun). The two years was not perfect, but it was real. And those two years taught us that while this can’t be the fairytale we had dreamed of when we’re young, this is just the RIGHT story for the both of us. I learned to love and respect him as the head of our household, and he empowered me to become the best woman I can be. And the most important? It is that we stood by each other no matter what the circumstance (or what others may say about us). Because that is what the two years is all about- learning from and being by each other and loving every moment of the worthwhile ride.

 

Book Museum cum Ethnology Center

127 Dao Street, Marikina Heights, Marikina City

Open Monday to Sunday 9am to 5pm

570 4449

adb.bookmuseum@yahoo.com

musings

Being the school’s Best Office Employee: winning a losing battle

I have always wanted to work in a school. Perhaps because I look up to my Mom and she works in a University so I would like to do the same. But it is really a dream that I grow old looking and feeling youthful because I am serving the young people.

But this dream just happened four years after graduation. I was not so idealistic anymore, knowing the truths and realities of adulthood from the corporate world. I was even ready to settle into married life back then. But finally working with the youth opened a new chapter of my life. I started to dream again- having a Guidance Office that suits me, planning on seminars, activities, and events that benefit my students, going back to school to earn MA, and becoming a licensed Guidance Counselor. I began to see work not just as a job, but my mission. I finally understood what vocation is all about.

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Best Office Staff for S.Y. 2017-2018

Getting this award is just an icing on the cake. I would’ve wanted this not because of anything, but for the reason that I want to become the best in my service for my students. I even feel that I don’t deserve this award (I have attendance issues-hahah, I even started and ended the school year inside the hospital). I wanted the recognition to be given to my co-Non Teaching Staff, because I know deep down that the previous school year was too rough for me. I had difficulty accomplishing my backlogs when I returned from my maternity leave. I got exhausted by all the dramas in and outside the school. I always felt tired. I had already applied with another school and was ready to resign.

But God has another plan for me. Twice He has already shown me that my story with Blessed Sacrament Catholic School is not yet over. I still have a role to fulfill and a mission to finish. And though I may feel insignificant at times and that my efforts are small, or that fatigue may make me weary, I realize that I should not give up because no one else will do MY job better than me.

musings

Being shaped by the shame

Ala una na ng madaling araw pero gising pa din ako. Inaantok naman ako pero hindi ako makatulog. Biglang humarap sakin si Aljhon at hinawakan ang kamay ko. Parehas pala kami. Nagpe-play pa rin sa utak namin yung mga salita nila Papa..

“Maawa naman kayo sa anak nyo. Ampayat na ni Ella.”

“Huwag kang maniwala sa mga standards-standards (na nababasa mo), di na kailangang timbangin, tignan mo na lang oh. Pumayat siya.”

“Isa pa lang yan pero di nyo maalagaan ng tama. Di na lang sana kayo nag-anak.”

I am aware of mom-shaming- what it is and how negatively it can impact the mommy. I had even read some articles and blogs on how to properly and positively handle these unsolicited advices. Pero ibang level pala kapag sa mismong pamilya mo galing ung shaming. Yesterday, after getting home from a tiring day at the office, I was reprimanded by my Parents because- in their own opinion- Ella lost some weight. They were blaming Aljhon for not taking good care of the baby. I did not react, just smiled and listened to all the hurtful comments they threw in. I know how they are with judgments and I believe in the way we are raising Ella, after all. Pero ansakit eh. Ansakit-sakit pala.

Allow me to argue:

1) Mama believes that fatter babies are healthier babies. Just like with adults, this is very untrue. Chubby babies surely are cute, but what matters most is they are nourished properly, are very active, and not sickly. I thank God because except for some cases of colds & cough (once and it just lasted for 2 days), Ella is not sickly. She eats well (though she likes sweet, pls refer to case point #4) and active.

2) My parents do not believe in research-based facts like BMI (“standards-standards” according to them). Papa doesn’t even consider the truth about a weighing scale. All they care about is Ella has longganisa limbs and feels heavy in their arms. WALA. WALA KONG GANA IDISPUTE ANG POINT NA TO BECAUSE THIS. IS. POINTLESS.

3) They don’t care even if Ella is having growth spurts and teething. All blame goes to us if they think Ella is not eating well (kahit na kumakain naman talaga sya, we just don’t push her if she doesn’t want to eat at a certain time. I told Aljhon to be patient when feeding Ella even if it takes an hour). Though I accept their argument that we should compliment more feeding so that Ella won’t just grow in height but also in weight.

4) I just can’t accept their judgment na pinabayaan ko si Ella. I am doing everything I can- God knows that- to become a good, if not the best, mother for her. I am a first-time mom, and I admit that I still have to learn A LOT when it comes to motherhood. But this is why I read and research books and legit blogs and websites. And I also ask elders and friends on their experiences. Hindi naman ako close-minded para hindi makinig sa iba, lalo sa Mama ko. That’s why sobrang hurt lang ako sa sinabi nilang di namin naaalagaan ng tama si Ella, much more na sana di na lang kami nag-anak. Parents sila, alam naman siguro nila pakiramdam kapag jinudge sa kung paano ka maging magulang. When they insisted to feed Ella chocolate, ice cream, stick-o, and cake while I decided to follow Tamang Kain (TK), I realized it was a lost cause and just surrendered to what they want. When they got mad at me for breastfeeding Ella and pumping milk for her (everyday they would reprimand me, telling me that my milk was not enough, and Papa even cursed me one time), I kept my silence. Last night when they hurl those negativities at me, I did not speak. I would always control myself because I want to respect them. Kaya nga siguro masama talaga ang loob ko ngayon. Ni hindi ko mapagtanggol ang sarili ko.. Hindi rin naman kasi sila naniniwala sa akin. Nakakasama lang din ng loob yung ako nga pinipili kong intindihin sila, pero sakin hindi nila yun nagagawa..

I may speak ill of my parents here, but please don’t get me wrong. I am thankful of them and I appreciate that they love Ella too. I know that in the end, they are just doing what they think is best for baby Ella, just like the way that I do. We may have different styles but the point is we all love Ella. Kaya nga hindi rin talaga ako sumasagot sa kanila. Pinapabayaan ko na lang kahit sa loob-loob ko, ang sakit para sakin ng mga sinabi nila. I just pray to God that He may also change their hearts to be more open and understanding, especially if I can’t do what they want me to do. I believe that as a Mom, I need to make my own decisions on how I will take care of my child. And I really hope that they can understand and forgive that.

P. S. I am Team Grandparents, really. Kahit ganun sila, gusto ko lumaki pa din sila na minamahal at ginagalang sila. Pero I just need to vent out. Kaya ayun. Haha. πŸ™‚

geniuses · musings

My first Mother’s Day

Mas masaya pala magcelebrate ng Mother’s Day pag ikaw mismo ang mommy. Kumbaga ikaw ang bida. Hahah! My first Mother’s day was filled with food, flowers, sweet messages, and of course, a whole lot more of hugs and kisses. Parang birthday ko lang ulit! Hahah ^_^

I started the day by serving in the 6am mass at SPP. Then we already got ready to go to SM Megamall. Aljhon had to go to Kalayaan early because it was also their Fiesta Mass, so I had to do all the preparation by myself. Feel na feel ko lang nun ang hirap ng pagiging Nanay. Hahaha :p

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Twinning with baby Ella at St. Peter Parish. Thank you Lord for making me a Mom πŸ˜€

We planned on having lunch at Mesa Filipino Moderne Restaurant. We arrived at 11am but still we are 4th in line. That had been my 2nd time with Mesa, and I observed that smaller groups are faster to be seated than bigger groups (you are ordered in line but the order by which you’ll be seated is according to how many you are in a table). Also, the SM North branch is better in terms of interior design and lighting, though I could say that the servers are friendlier (they smile more!) in Megamall.

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Kami naman ngayon πŸ˜€ This lunch is brought to you by the magigiting na empleyado ng pamilya. Heheh. Love you Mama and Papa! ❀
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For a family of 71/2 (Ella included haha), this feast was very affordable for a less than 4k budget. Very recommended: Crispy Pata and 2-way Laing πŸ˜€

After dining, we strolled around the mall and bought shoes for Mama and Papa, as well as shirts from Spoofs (wala sa budget kaya lagot). Before heading home, Mama treated us sundaes and blizzards. ^_^

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Ice cream!!!!
Thank you ate Joan for the gift πŸ‘•πŸ’‹

This is my first Mother’s day and my only regret that day was Aljhon was not around to celebrate with me. I was actually preparing myself not to expect anything from him, because I know he doesn’t recognize special occasions. But honestly, it did make me sad. Kasi nga first mother’s day ko diba 😦 But anyway, he’s him, and urging him to do something he doesn’t want will just put us both in a difficult situation. Wag na lang pilitin. Hahah.

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After all the pagod of his busy day, Daddy Aljhon gave me this self-arranged flowers. Kahit galing ito sa fiesta, thanks Daddy :*

I realize that Mother’s Day is also about the little one (it’s all about the children nowadays, isn’t it?). I thank God for giving me Ella because she is the one who makes me a mother. Because of her, I learned that I’m capable of a love so deep that even I was not aware of before. I changed- physically, mentally, emotional, socially. My priorities shifted- from being self-centered to having Ella as the center of my and Aljhon’s universe. For her, I was able to know how it felt to have genuine fear for the first time (when she had dehydration fever at 4 days old, or when I once woke up without her by my side), but as well as how strong I can be especially in the face of sleeplessness, power pumping sessions, and/or immunization (seeing Ella cry because of the injection would always break my heart). I would never know the real strength I have in me since I have to go back to work, all the while patiently and painstakingly building my breastmilk stash, and then take care, spend time, and play with Ella after getting home. I would never know how tough and resilient I am until the fatigue of being a working Mom and wife, weariness of life in general, and a little bit of PPD on the side, kick in but here I am- still alive, feeling grateful even, right now. I would never how great love can truly move and change me, until I have a little baby in my arms, and I swore to God I would live the rest of my days protecting her and making her happy. God have given me the best gifts of life, family, service, work- but what I would always be proud of would be being a Mother.

geniuses

Summer learnings (as of May 2018)

Team CGS attended the CEAP seminar for non-licensed Guidance Counselors on May 8-9, 2018 at UST. It was a fruitful 2-day learning opportunity as UST Guidance Counselors gave insightful talk about Prevention Programming, Counseling theories applicable to school setting, Suicide Prevention, and Building Resilience.

I am glad that I was finally reunited with my co-GCs after a month-long absence from work. Plus, I was able to meet the two new members of the family (Ms. Jane & Ms. CJ).

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But the highlight of this seminar is that I learned new techniques as well as concrete action plan that I am positive and excited to carry out in my own school. Naeexcite tuloy ako sa parating na school year! I am also grateful (and proud) as I see my former Guidance Counselors (Ma’am Chatt & Ma’am Leni) taught and inspired all of us, participants. And I hope that they also feel the same way when they had seen me traverse the similar path they have taken. I surely look up to them as my model GCs and inspiration, even when I was still a Psychology student. I am also thankful for GC communities like CEAP (in partnership with UST) that they provide avenues which even non-licensed GCs can really learn from. One of the things I learn from this seminar is that Guidance and Counseling is really a lot of hard work, but I, as the Guidance Counselor, have the capacity and heart to do much more.

P. S. I had also attended a seminar on Promoting Mental Health through the Development and Implementation of Responsive Guidance Program at University of the East- Caloocan last Friday with Ma’am Archie.

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Though the workshop wasn’t very engaging, I enjoyed the food (haha) and learned the basics of Mental Health Act of 2018, so the day was still productive. πŸ˜‰

geniuses

Ella’s first Summer Adventure

As our family’s thanksgiving, as well as advanced celebration of Papa & Mama’s anniversary, we spent last Sunday at Noah’s Park Resort in Rodriguez, Montalban, Rizal.

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Ella enjoyed her first experience of “swimming”, though at first she was so scared of the water and the new environment. It just melts my heart to see her become curious of her surroundings, and eagerly respond to all the new things around her. I was also proud (though paranoid and hesitant as well) as other children would come to her and play with her.

Nung una takot sya sa tubig, but she eventually got the hang of it. One thing I learned with babies is that let them discover things, don’t use the word “No” too much. Just be around her as she discovers the world around her.
Sama din ang baby sa Hanging Bridge eh ^_^
Mapuno ang lugar but it can still get very hot. Make sure you wear rashguard and put sunscreen.
In front of one of the houses
#TheAgustins with Jam ^_^
Ang saya ni Ella ^_^
Nagmoment hahahaha
The “mini-bar”/ restaurant
Photoshoot! Hahahah
#ERJ

Review: ⭐⭐⭐ The entrance fee of P200 is reasonably price for a daytime (8am to 5pm) usage of their 5 public swimmimg pools, large landscape, and additional exciting amenities such as zipline, wall climbing, and rapeling. What I like most about their resort are: 1) green outdoors nice enough for instagram, and 2) lots of things you can do inside the resort. I am a fan and lover of trees so I truly appreciate Noah’s Park for having so many trees inside their premises. Being surrounded by trees also means less badtrip because of the summer heat, more especially important for a family that has a baby, like us. Moreover, you can never get bored in this resort. They have Grand pool with 2 slides (right side for kids and left side for the swimmers and adults), Garden pool, 1 Wave pool, Rock pool (lagoon-inspired), and a Bucket pool (our favorite). Aside from swimming, you can climb and walk on the hanging bridge, or do zipline, wall climbing, and rappeling, for a VERY affordable price of P50 each. Then, you can stroll in the property and take photographs of their landscape. The houses (they call it Condotel) are colorful and pretty, and make sure you spend some time for a quick photo shoot in their restaurant/mini-bar (not open during daytime, but this is the most instagrammable spot in the resort). Lastly, they have a basketball court and a team building facility (more of a playground or an obstacle course) that you can play in.

Downside would be: 1) no one was answering in their contact numbers as well as facebook page so don’t even bother calling them, 2) and because you haven’t contacted them, come as early as 6am so that you will still have cottage of your choice, 3) even if you will rent a room, the resort still requires you to get a cottage if you want to swim in the pool (SERIOUSLY, I don’t get it), 4) for a very big place, they forgot to provide ample number of comfort and shower rooms (good thing is it’s only a 30-minute travel to our house, so we just took our bath at home), and 5) their adult pool was so dirty the water smelled like sweat.

All in all, Noah’s Park Resort is good enough for a daytime summer outing with the family (just use the wave and pail pools, kahit dun lang sulit ka na din). Corkage fee is just for softdrinks, alcohol, and electrical appliances, so you can bring in home-cooked meals or food to grill (grillers are free to use). Bring lots of sunscreen as well as energy so that you can fully enjoy all this resort has to offer.

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Bucket Pool, our favorite ❀
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Wave Pool
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Ella’s favorite place in the resort πŸ˜€ abot nya eh :p
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Rock Pool. Yes, the pool can get really crowded, peak season eh.
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Hotel.
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Condotel

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Hanging Bridge. Even Ella took a walk! Hahah
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Team Building facility (i.e. playground)
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Chapel
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Haven’t seen photos of their cottages in their website, so here they are. These are the cottages in the Upper Section (Small cottages, P300 daytime rate). If you will stay here, be patient because the pools are 5-minute walk din!
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Lower Section cottages (Garden round table P700)
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Lower Section cottages (round table P900)

Noah’s Park Resort

Bgy. San Isidro, Rodriguez, Rizal (Beside Avilon Zoo)
T: 347.5031 / 517.1242 / 399NOAH
M: 63+ 922.854.4410
E: noahsleisurepark@gmail.com

geniuses · musings

Holding On (till the) Pain Ends

Holy week this year came early, longer, and had more meaning for me. Actually, I was not able to attend any mass services, nor the Washing of the Feet mass and even the Salubong; and more heartbreakingly, Aljhon and I failed to keep our commitment to serve in our chapter’s Christian Life Program. But this year’s Holy Week will always be one that will surely stay closest to my heart.

Last March 6 2018, after eating a very spicy Bicol Express meal from our school canteen, I began to experience heartburn and acidity. I automatically down cut on my coffee, but the symptoms exploded on March 9 as I went home with a very bad case of stomachache. I already experienced that before so I just did what I normally do- vomited all the food I’d taken in that day, but I wasn’t relieved until the following day, that I already requested to be taken to the hospital. Aljhon took me to East Ave, was diagnosed with Gastritis, prescribed medications and all became well.

But that lasted for only 3 days, the stomach PAIN returned with full force on March 14, and it came with vomiting and diarrhea. By this time, I couldn’t eat or sleep properly. All the symptoms lasted until I couldn’t take it anymore, I was taken to the UST Hospital on March 16, and was confined until 19. Gastritis was changed into Gastro-enteritis, and I was given antibiotics. What I wanted by that time was to get home to Ella, so even though I was still having some stomachache, we went home on March 19. And the following days at home were both a nightmare and a miracle not just for me but for the whole family.

What I would always remember during that time were the hope and helplessness, the fatigue (of both puking and pooping EVERY SINGLE TIME), the sleep and food deprivation, and the PAIN. It was unbearable. A whole week passed without any improvement in my health albeit taking medications, and the pain was already wearing me, and my will to live, down. Maundy Thursday (March 29) came and I was once again rushed to UST ER. It was my father who decided to get me to the hospital, because I think he couldn’t bear to look at me and my suffering anymore. I already lost 10 kgs of weight that time.

I was not admitted on that day, but my medications were changed. The new drugs were too costly, but it hadn’t changed the situation for the better. I was still having terrible stomach cramps and the PAIN WAS STILL UNBEARABLE. Even Aljhon was becoming frustrated with me, and I knew he also suffered greatly. On April 5, we went to OPD for my follow up check up, and my doctor finally made an instruction for me to undergo Endoscopy. I knew the procedure would really cost us, but I was too desperate for the doctors to come see my insides so that they can already determine what is wrong and how they can make the pain go away.

I relented for the endoscopy and colonoscopy; however, I needed to change doctors so that the procedure can be covered by my health insurance. On April 6, Friday, with a terrible case of stomachache and a 9-month baby in tow (no one was left at home to take care of Ella), we came back to UST OPD, and met with my new doctor. She patiently listened to my horrible story, and was emphathetic enough to offer me options. But she broke my heart when she gave me an Admission slip for the hospital. She didn’t let me go home that day, because she also knew I was in pain.

And that was the day I cried. Wholeheartedly. Passionately. With all the pent-up anger and frustration on what was happening to me.

I cried in front of my doctor. I cried while waiting for the admissions officer to get me a room. And I cried much more when I was laid down on the hospital bed. I was filled with worry, doubt, and fears. Fears for myself, my family, and most especially Ella. I just couldn’t bear the pain anymore. But I am grateful that my family let me cry that night. Because that was the time when I completely surrendered everything I held even before all the ordeal began. That was the time that I finally stopped asking “bakit lord?” and started praying “ikaw na po ang bahala”.

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For 7 straight days, I would sleep and wake up with this view. Thank you Lord dahil hindi nyo po ako pinabayaan.Β πŸ’•

I was put into procedure immediately the following day. Though it was an additional expense, I opted for an anesthesiologist to make me unconscious while they do the endoscopy and colonoscopy. After an hour, I woke up with pain all over my body. I was so weak, and even a slight movement in my lower body made me wince. Good thing my family was there when I was returned to my room. They helped me eat (I was starving- I hadn’t consumed food the previous day because I was vomiting the whole day), and seeing and having Ella greatly helped me as I recovered my strength. After 2 days, the terrible pain in my stomach returned. I was still puking and pooping all the time, and we were once again frustrated and devastated.

But God has then started to work his plan of healing.. Tuesday, March 10, was the last day I experienced the stomach pain. My doctor had gotten the results of my colonoscopy, and (once again) changed my medication. Gradually, I started to eat and actually contain them inside. I still had diarrhea, but the situation definitely improved. By this time, several of my co-workers including my boss, visited me in the hospital. Some friends also dropped by. And a facebook post by my sister opened a floodgate of concerned messages and well-wishes. All these love helped me recover. Friday, March 13, I took some lab tests as my clearance, and was finally discharged from the UST Hospital.

1 week after my last confinement, I am now feeling well and good, PRAISE GOD. I already gained 3 kgs, and I can now carry Ella. I am under medications until next month, but I think I can already return to work next week. Aljhon and I also managed to get Ella vaccinated this week, and I am so happy that our life is coming back to its normal grind. I am grateful to God because He has been very good and generous to me, I know that. I admit I was so hopeless before that I wanted to question God, but I realized HE DOESN’T OWE ME ANY EXPLANATION. He is the giver of my life, after all. He has the sole right to give, or to take it away. I am His creature, and I don’t have the right to demand anything from Him. And I am also thankful because this painful experience actually helped me gain insight to what was wrong with my life- physically, socially, spiritually, and even emotionally and mentally. My illness had made me aware that I started to backslide in taking care of myself. Because of the pain, I got to discover that I was already too stressed in expense of taking charge of my family and my work.

Google Images

And so I decided to share my story so that I can be reminded of what happened. I know God has put me into the situation, however painful it had been, for me to evaluate myself and that I can make certain changes that will make my life more beautiful and fulfilling. And that I am hoping that sharing this can also help someone, especially those who are in pain. You might be suffering now, but all of these will pass. You will recover and be healed, certainly and eventually. Just trust God. Look for the meaning of what you’re feeling now, and offer all them back to God.

geniuses · musings

Of field and failed days

This year’s educational trip for the Preschool and Grade School departments was held last Saturday at Paradise Adventure Camp in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. The landscaping of the area is neat but very simple. What I like most about this field trip is the activities offered by the camp, which were enjoyed not just by our pupils but by the parents as well. Our students (and their parents) participated in bracelet-making, pottery & jewelry box- painting, math problems- solving, and various science experiments. They also have a mini-Lego land, mini- 3D art museum, and Ifugao museum. Though this is not the most enjoyable field trip I had attended, what we did was not bad either (plus points for the fact that the camp has energetic facilitators enough for us teachers to have a day off, hahah!).

While this day was spent well, I only had regretted leaving Ella longer than the usual. I left home at 5 in the morning, and got back by 6:30 pm. Aljhon also had his photography class in the morning, so the babe was left with the parentals. According to them, Ella was gloomy that morning. 😦 Also, I struggled with pumping milk for the little one. 😦 We aimed for 8 bottles (32 oz), but I managed to pump only 6 (24 oz- even if I pumped at 12mn, 2am, and 4am). Napasabi pa tuloy daw si hubby na tipirin ang gatas, kaya siguro tumamlay ang baby Ella namin. 😦 It just broke my heart knowing I failed in meeting the needs of my child. I know being a working Mom entails a LOT of sacrifices, but even having the justification of “no mother’s perfect” wouldn’t give me (or any mom) comfort. I failed. Period. But what’s beautiful about motherhood (and life, per se) is that we can always learn from it. One bad day would not make me a bad Mom, and failures won’t make me stop trying to be a good one.

musings

Breaking goals

Just would like to share how my #sembreakgoals went on so far:

I made this list two days before I temporarily said goodbye to my role as school GC. I had high hopes for the next 9 days without work: to process legal docs and requirements, spend quality time with the fam (especially Ella), and build on my breastmilk stash. While I did succeed (partly) on the first 2 goals, I failed miserably in my pumping goals. Actually, I had stored 9 bottles already, but then Friday at the Monkey Mic KTV and Saturday’s Worship Team Summit happened- I had to leave Ella to the Parentals, and I’m down to 5 bottles. Huhuh 😦

12 hours into resumption of classes/work, I decided to write (type) this down and post it immediately. I just had an important realization that (might) deviate from the usual content of what we see in the social media. What we commonly read in the internet are success stories of goal-setting, but here I am baring myself by posting (not just poorly-done lettering) my half-accomplished to-do checklist. I made some goals, did try to achieve them, but failed to succeed in them.

I decided to share this because I know that in our real, unedited, and unfiltered life, we often do the same. We’re always trying hard to have that polished look (and profile) that can gather some 100+ likes, but then the truth is, that’s not how life goes. We fail- in our goals, in relationships, in our dreams- and fail some more. But as the words of a famous MMA fighter goes, “It’s either you win, or you learn.” We never actually lose, because failure is just temporary. We may not have the formula to everything’s success, but we will always learn from every obstacle that come our way. And that is the true beauty of a life that’s real.