Friday, February 29, 2008

Sta. Fe, Leyte Community Extension

My toes wiggled inside my black rubber boots, under six inches of mud. At 10:30 am today, I found myself trudging a swamp-like area towards the scattering of houses beyond the rice fields of Brgy. Victoria.

I grumbled under my breath, and clutched my hands tighter on my book while I balanced my umbrella. I was assigned the task of a spot-mapper, together with a classmate. We followed the BHW in silence.

In the blistering heat, we went from house to house. Maybe if I had taken my breakfast I wouldn’t be too irritable, maybe if I had more sleep I’d be less grumpy, or maybe if I didn’t have to wear these heavy boots I’d be more comfortable. But today wasn’t about our comfort; we were here to do community work.

I swallowed my complaints and hurried along.

Here we go...


First house.

With our BHW guide.

Kinarir ang itim na payong. The road less travelled.
Seryoso! lol

Tama na ang pagpa-picture..
The group walking past a cow.
Where's the toilet? Teka, eto na yata yun.
A lady and her husband (not in the pic) busy constructing their house.
A mountain of paperwork..
Finally home = )

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Thing of Beauty

Thanks to the one who made this great weekend possible :-)

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Longest Day

What would be officially known as the longest day of my life finally ended at 10:00 pm last night. I had been up and about for 18 hours, struggling to accomplish one task after another.

The day started at 4:00 am. I woke up, silenced the blaring alarm clock, and wiped the sleep from my eyes. I had but a few minutes to prepare. I gathered my RLE kit, Thermo tray, Lab gown, and my backpack. My immaculate uniform hung at the back of the door, and my shoes shined to perfection.

Taking a shower early morning had me shivering. I hurried and changed despite the cold, and stepped outside the house. The full moon greeted me as I walked about 50 meters to the highway, with my Thermo tray and RLE kit on my right hand and my white coat to be worn over my uniform draped on my left.

I arrived at the Hospital at 5:00am, with my stomach grumbling. I had not had time to have breakfast- but I wasn’t worried about that, I was worried about attending the morning endorsement and the rounds.

I was finally given a patient. A little boy of 10, who came down with Dengue fever. They had come from Sogod, Southern Leyte, which was a three hour drive from Tacloban. I proceeded to check the boy’s vital signs whilst he was sleeping. Normal. According to his mother he had fever yesterday in the afternoon, but it had already subsided. The IV fluid was almost empty.

I stayed with them for the entire shift, finishing the Comprehensive Health History by interviewing the mother, while assisting in any way possible such as helping the boy eat his breakfast, assisting his mother who did a half-bath, doing environmental sanitation, and other simple tasks such as getting hot water. Being a student nurse, I was neither allowed to sit or eat or accept an invitation from the client to sit or eat.

After my shift, a couple of my mates decided to have a meal. We went over our experiences on the second day of our hospital exposure; laughing over our novice mistakes- it would not be uncommon to hear something like:

Student 1: “What’s the respiration rate?”

Student 2: “80.”

Student 1 hisses: “Are you crazy? He’s not tachycardic! Check again!”

Student 2: “Shit, I think that was the pulse rate. I’ll check again for the respiration.”

Student 1: “Are you going to auscultate his chest?”

Student 2: “Nah, I can observe the rise and fall of his chest.”

Then Student 1 smiles at the significant other of the patient, trying unsuccessfully to hide his nervousness.

After satisfying my hunger, I went home to change. Time for Swimming class. Today was no ordinary meeting- we had two practical exams- Butterfly Stroke and Breast Stroke. I was able to swim the entire length of the 50 meter pool, and back again to demonstrate the two strokes.

Unexpectedly, our Instructor made us an offer- if we do the IM (Individual Medley) and perform correctly, we need not show up for the following meetings, and the final grade would automatically be 1.0. I felt confident since all my practical exams for Freestyle, Backstroke, Butterfly, and Breast Stroke all got a perfect score. Little did I know that my exhaustion from the hospital duty would come to haunt me.

I started with the Buttterfly stroke for the first 50 meters, returning with Backstroke for another 50. While swimming the Breast Stroke, I managed to swallow mouthfuls of pool water. My legs were starting to cramp. I reached the end of the pool, and returned for the last 50 meters. It was Freestyle, supposed to be the easiest. At this point my energy was depleted. Each arm felt like a ton of weight, and my legs ached as I did the flutter kick. I seriously thought I was going to drown, but I kept going.

“A meter more, a meter more, a meter more…” I kept telling myself as my lungs screamed for oxygen. Finally my fingers touch the tiles. I have competed the medley- and my final grade? 1.0!

Alas, the victory was dampened by the next two classes. A lecture in our Healthcare (in which I forced myself to recite at least three times in hopes I’d be exempt from the graded recitation for the Finals) had me dozing off at least twice. The final class for the day and for the week was the formidable Microbiology and Parasitology lecture. The class was 5:30 to 8:30 in the evening, and by this time I was “empty batt” already. I managed to survive the lecture and the quiz on Non-lactose Fermentors, and just when I thought I would go crazy, we were finally dismissed.

I hurried home, dropped my things at the floor of my bed, and blacked out.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


“…a brave and honest revelation of the writer’s identity and sexual orientation.”

- Dr. Musca (Humanities, Eastern Visayas State University, Tacloban)

“You have a unique personality… with substance akin to professionals.”

- Prof. Dacillo (Phil Lit, Bioethics, and Logic Instructor, SSCHS, Tacloban)

Receiving positive remarks from people who know me (and perhaps have worked with me one way or another) is one thing, but getting them from people whom I’ve never met is an incredible thrill.

One lazy afternoon, I managed to “escape” for a few hours of our College Days to make my rounds at a few Colleges and Universities in Tacloban. I gave copies of my book to a number of Hum and Lit professors in order to get feedback. By no means do I regard my work as “great”- it is clumsy, with a few typos here and there (pardon me!), and lacking the refinement of an accomplished author. What I wanted was simply get feedback. As in, should I continue with trying to improve my writing skills or simply abandon it because I have no promise whatsoever?

The verdict was in from two people, and so far they were favorable. Tuloy, I got inspired to take up Creative Writing – but that would be after Nursing, of course. I’m crossing my fingers for the rest of the feedback from the others.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Baha (na naman?!)

Large expanse of water... Tall buildings... Heaps of young people... Nope, I'm not talking about Hawaii or Florida, sobrang ulan dito sa Tacloban ayan floating college na kami! Kaya lang tuloy pa rin classes.. tsk tsk! Ang mga Waray-waray talaga, naalala ko nun signal number 3 na, tuloy pa din Christmas Party namin nung High School. Sa Manila konting ulan lang wala nang classes agad... lalo na sa Uste! = )

Monday, February 18, 2008

Chenellyn of the Month

OA naman ang mga 'to! Haha ; ) My high school buddies reading Remejoy's copy of my book. On another note, thanks to Mark the Vegan Prince's efforts, someone from Dumaguete is interested in getting a copy. He featured the book on their talkshow. I also talked with Mark over the phone last night for the first time (sheeet kinabahan ako lol!), and Mink the Arabian Paladin (o baka binago na nya uli yung title nya) called me up also. Salamat Mink sa pagtawag! Mark, thanks again = )

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Ormoc Trip and the Fate of my Camera

Huhuhu! This was my first big cash purchase in 2005 at 21K (I spent my 13 month pay on this cam and the Sagada trip).. sad ako kasi may sentimental value talaga 'to. The cam is still working but the LCD is not.
At the dorm
At the Leadership Seminar
The lovely Sabin Resort
With fellow delegates


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