Monday, January 30, 2012

Fly High

For avid travelers such as myself, bargains are always a welcome find.  Going from one exotic destination to another has never been more convenient- there are sites that offer Cheap Flights, with Airline tickets that saves you up to 65%!  Now that’s something worth checking out.

I’ve always wanted to see the awe-inspiring Redeemer statue in Brazil, soak up the sun in Mexico’s beaches, and hit the slots in fabulous Las Vegas.  These are just a few of the destinations in this innovative site which offer cheap flights.

From Eco-tourism, culture and history, to adventure- they offer this and much more in destinations that span the globe- US and Canada, Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Australia, Central America, South America, and Europe.  Bookings and reservations are done with but a few clicks of a button.

But it doesn’t stop there!  A vacation wouldn’t be a great one if you don’t have a great place to stay, hence hotel deals (as affordable as the flights) are also available.  Transportation is a breeze with car rentals in major cities.  Simply type the city/region and hit “Search”, or perhaps browse in the “by city” category.  Vacations have never been this fun and easy.

Top vacations include 7 days in Buenos Aires and Iguazu falls, 5 days Belize package, and 10 days Colobiam Caribbean.  Subscribe to the newsletter for up to date information on the latest packages.  Cruise Vacation Deals in the Bahamas and the Caribbean are also available.  

For city tours, they offer awesome 90-minute New York Harbor Cruise and Washington DC Grand City tour.  Outdoor enthusiasts will also be pleased to know that high-altitude mountain adventure, nature hikes, and wild river rafting are also available.

What a truly remarkable travel one-stop-shop.  Live agents are also standing by, ready to assist in anything you need.  Now that spells value and convenience for me!

One-stop Shop for Tickets

See amazing Las Vegas theatre and children family concerts! Get your dance tickets conveniently in one place... has Theatre tickets for some of the best performances across the country including Broadway Theater and cirque du soleil tickets plus all Ballet Theater tickets.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Back on Track, In Time for Exams

Okay I'm giving myself 15 minutes to clear my head before Anatomy time again...

I've got a pretty good hunch (according to how I know myself and my body) as to what was really going on with my body for the past three days: fatigue, or even burnout.  I've had stool exams, urinalysis, serum amylase, CBC, physical exam and all of them came out normal.  That was physically.  But in my mind I trying to solve a lot, trying to make the best of the current situation- my nephew with a history of febrile convulsions was sick in the hospital, the construction in the house delayed, taking care of my two grandmothers, coping with med school, basically trying to run the household (for the past 6 years now) and try to do well in school and feeling bad when I didn't get the top score- I guess it all blew up.

I can relate to what Dennis Portnoy, a Phychotherapist said about addressing personality traits that foster burnouts- which had deep roots in childhood.  Here are some interesting quotes:

"Exaggerated responsibility often develops in response to difficult family circumstances. Kids who grow up in families where there is chaos or lack of predictability often cope by becoming super responsible..."

(This rang bells especially during my elementary years as the eldest of three- our Papa worked in Saudi that time and Mama was a night nurse in EVRMC so she was always tired.  By age 8 I walked to school by myself, by age 9 I was the one who enrolled my little brother in prep-school, before I was in high school I regularly woke up at 5am to prepare our baon.)

..."Your parents can be very caring yet preoccupied, causing you to rely on yourself at a young age to get many of your needs met. You may feel that it is your fault if problems arise and view your needs as further burdening your parents."

Like our father always told us, everything they did, they did for our best interest, and we always loved our parents even more for the sacrifices they made for us.  Still, the situation itself unconsciously formed these personality traits I had.

..."You learn to measure your worth and define yourself by being strong, competent and dependable. If you were encouraged to be strong and self reliant, being vulnerable or needing others may cause you to feel shame or less worthy. When you do not live up to a responsible self- image or if you let someone down, you may feel like a failure."

I guess having a sympathetic ear to listen (or a sounding board like this blog) does help, and recognizing my limits and realizing the need for other people and trusting them does help a lot.

Lastly, there's this quote about perfectionism:

"The pursuit of excellence is different from a relentless need to be the best. When you seek perfection and cannot measure up to your ideal, your self- esteem decreases. Developing realistic standards and self- compassion go a long way to counteract stress that leads to burnout... We live in a society that measures worth by what you do rather than who you are. We are taught the measure of success has more to do with your image and what you produce than on internal qualities such as honesty, humor, or perceptiveness."

I guess sometimes we are just too caught up in numbers- grades, ranking, achievements, that we forget that still, the most important thing in life is living it an honest, decent way.  Being a well-rounded person who possess a healthy relationship with people.
The 15 minutes is almost over so I'll close it now- human as we are, we really have those times when our strength fails and that's where faith comes in.  As the saying goes,"Work like everything depends on you, and pray like everything depends on God."  The Benedictine maxim- Ora et Labora.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Sick Role

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, our limitations just catches up with us.  Yesterday, during Histology laboratory I had to go home and ask for a prescription of Tramadol 50mg from our professor for severe abdominal pain.  Well, it started in the morning- a dull ache, a four, in a pain scale of one to ten.  It escalated and finally reached an eight on the pain scale and I couldn't help but grimace from the pain.  This is not the first time this happened to me, the first time was after a hike in Hidden Valley, the second time was in November 2010, weeks prior to the board exam.

The symptoms were the same-  abdominal pain on the left upper quadrant, no fever, Urinalysis returned normal results with no elevated WBC, an abdominal ultrasound revealed normal condition of the kidneys and ureters, non-distended bowel, and vital signs normal.  I was given analgesic for the pain, and eventually the pain disappeared as mysteriously as it had appeared.  Maybe it was just stress.

Now, I'm experiencing the same symptoms and plan to go to the hospital tomorrow for another round of laboratory work-ups.  It's just bad timing- my nephew is also sick in the hospital, the weather here is always raining and threatening to flood just like it did last year- and the carpenter/ mason I hired just informed me earlier they won't be able to work tomorrow but on Sunday instead (we needed to flood-proof our home the soonest possible time), I have three exams next week- Anatomy theoretical and moving exam on Thorax, Biochemistry quiz on nucleotides chapters 32-38, and Physiology, and I missed the meeting with the Alumni who is supporting the motion for the school publication.
I can't be sick!  I need to be strong to run this household and fulfill my goals, so message to my body, and my plea to God is to help me resume normal health.  We're going to rise from these trials, I am sure of that.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Anti-flood Measures

Photo by Gerry Ruiz. Palo Leyte Flood last March 2011.
The effects of climate change have been felt by our country throughout the past year, and we can only hope that such natural disasters like floods would be something we can prepare for when it happens again.  Marikina, Cagayan de Oro, and Iligan were among the hardest hit, and even our beloved home Tacloban experienced the wrath of flood waters.

Since my return from Manila, we have experienced 3 major floods which entered our home.  The first one caused our furniture to rot and the paint peel, and it happened before the first time we renovated our home.  The second was last March when on a single day, the triple amount of the average monthly rainfall fell in Tacloban and neighboring towns.  The first floor was flooded that we had to check-in at a hostel downtown for three days.  We were lucky because in V & G Subdivision some parts had water neck-deep and they had to be evacuated.  In Brgy. Nula-tula they had landslides.  The third one was Just this December- during the time the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro were devastated.

My brothers and I decided to take action.  I researched about anti-flood measures (mostly though were applied in Netherlands and similar low-lying areas) but the idea I believe may be adapted here.  One such idea would be to put a barrier to prevent water from entering the house.  Our 1st floor had been filled and raised almost a meter from the street level in 2009, but we are creating a concrete porch which also serves as a barrier to the flood water (can't explain in detail) and our laundry area which is in the back area will also have a barrier.  In addition, we are building a new CR raised 1.5 meters above ground with its own septic tank.  This will solve the problem of the other water closets inside the house which are rendered useless during floods.  Our carport is also elevated.  We planted additions to the existing trees in our lot: 2 mahogany trees, acacia, mango, java plum, santol, guyabano, tamarind, a handful tall woody shrubs, ornamentals, and ground covers.

Tacloban bay area is relatively well-protected, and the mountains are a distance away. We just hope and pray that such an occurrence won't happen, or at least be prepared.          


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