Tag Archives: health

Sample! Sample! Sample!

28 Oct

My mom told me that I have this bad habit of buying beauty products, only to waste an enormous amount of money once I discover that my skin reacts differently to an ingredient, or I find it too tedious to apply, or just because I’ve purchased another product with the same purpose, and later on I will just dump it and forget about. It’s a cycle, really. Most times these products end up expiring, or my mom finishes it for me; and at rare times I give it to our household help. Early this year, I cleared my dresser of stuff that I don’t use anymore, and vowed not to fill up precious space with bottles upon bottles of expensive goop I don’t finish.

Enter Sample Room. I can’t remember where I discovered this gem of a site mid this year where users are given points to sample health and beauty product for free–well, not really for free, because samplers will be asked to pay a minimal amount for shipping–and more points after writing a short product review. My first sample was a cleansing cream that, unfortunately, did not meet my expectations. Can you imagine yourself buying a full product size amounting to around Php 1000k, and not use it? That’s frikkin’ expensive for a product that is said to be good in what it does, but in reality it’s the other way around!

A few weeks back, the drugstore sunblock I’ve been using ran out already. I’ve been meaning to replace it, but I delayed purchasing a new brand. I wanted to try VMV’s Armada line of sunscreen because I’ve been hearing from beauty experts that by far it’s the best sunscreen in the market; and being a VMV Id user for almost a year now, it must be really good! Off I went to the nearest VMV to inquire about the price, and it costs an arm and a leg! Hehe no, not really, but it’s enough to feed me til the next pay day.

I mulled it over for weeks, searching for cheaper alternatives over the net. I was about to doze off when I told myself that I’ll be opening my last webpage for the day–Sample Room. Lo and behold, they have samples of VMV Armada Sport! Without batting an eyelash, I ordered my sample and paid for it the next day.

This package greeted me this morning:

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The vial: Cute! It also came with a branded spatula. Thoughtful, isn’t it?

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The goop. It’s not runny nor too thick. It didn’t feel heavy or sticky at all when I slathered it onto my face.

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Today I went out to exercise my right to suffrage for the barangay elections. The precinct is just a few blocks away, so I put on some sunscreen on my face. It’s not at all sticky, and my face didn’t sting at all even under the blasting heat of the noon sun.

Verdict: I like it! I might even use it as a make-up primer and be ultimately useful for beach trips, field work and other tasks that requires me to stay under the sun for hours! Because it’s extra creamy sans the heaviness, a little goes a long way and it covers a huge surface of the skin. Talk about value for my moolah!

How about you, have you tried ordering trial packs from Sampleroom.ph?

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Oh, June!

16 Jun

Yea yea, I know I haven’t updated this since last month. I promised to talk about my hair makeover but things got in the way! So what better way to make up to y’all is to get things done!

The month of June has been consistently notorious for throwing sh*t at me. No matter how much I say, “June, please be awesome!” or “June, please be good to me!”, it will never happen. Looking at the bright side though, the past five Junes have taught me that, well, sh*t do happen and when it does, you gotta learn from it! No use sulking and crying over spilled milk!

We’re halfway past June and although as usual, things did not turn out the way I wanted it to be (I’ll blog about this later, PROMISE!) I was able to catch up on rest and realise that health is indeed wealth! So yay for midyear lifestyle changes for me! 😉

What should you expect from me, then?

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From long locks to a lob, aka long bob! Just because my hairstylist vetoed my pixie cut plan. Not complaining! 🙂

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Measles schmeasles, and my mandatory house arrest on the first half of June

Not much, I know! Will absolutely make time for this baby! Stick around, y’all! 🙂

YOLO…or twice, thrice…more lives, more fun (that is, if you’re a cat!): A Conclusion

5 May

EDIT JANUARY 26 2014: This entry, this post and this post has received the most number of viewers in this blog. People, if you have been bitten by an animal, much more a stray one, RUN TO THE NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM NOW! Click this link to find the most convenient hospital for you to go. Do also note that government hospitals have cheaper medicines compared to a private one, and the price will depend on your condition and the category of the bite. So whatever you read in this post is my experience, and may not be the same as yours. Again, RUN TO THE NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM NOW! and have yourself or your family member checked ASAP.

This is also me calling on the Department of Health. In this era of social media, it will be helpful if you guys put up a page or a website where patients can read about animal bites; and probably an updated list of Animal Bite Centers. Nowadays, people rely on the Internet for information, so it is best to keep them on the loop through this means. While I am thankful for the hits and happy to help, I don’t think I have all the info they need that should come from the proper authorities. So please heed my suggestion!

(I know I haven’t been very religious in updating this blog, so so sorry! This humble little nook I’ve built in cyberspace is enjoying a lot of hits from people who are looking for useful information regarding animal bites and treatments! Some of you are probably like me during the first few hours of my bite, looking for readables on how to get treated stat, because as we all know rabies is 100% fatal if left untreated!)

(Okay, enough yammering.) 

Nurse Michelle instructed me to get a blue patient card in the ER first before paying for my shots. Being that it was my first time at PGH, I got lost on my way to get that damned card. You see, the hospital is so vast that it’s very easy to get lost, and some people whom I asked for directions did not help at all. Luckily, I found a nurse who sneaked me into the closely-guarded, proxy-card-protected Emergency Room; but before I got to the information desk, I got lost again. Ack, too many corridors.

The information desk where I was to get the patient card is at the very entrance of the ER, and God knows how many patients of assorted emergency medical needs passed by me (I won’t elaborate)! Took me a good 15 minutes to get my card, then I went to pay for my shots; and again I had to hurdle through the proxy-carded door!

The cashier is in the other end of the hospital, just near its main entrance. The waiting on queue took ten to 15 minutes, but it only took three minutes to process my payment. Quick service from a government facility!

The PGH Cashier

I walked back to the Anti-Rabies Unit to get my shots from Nurse Michelle. When I arrived with complete and paid documents, she had me seated, prepared my Verorab shots and struck both my guns with the needle. All that in less than five minutes, but before I left she gave me the payment slip for the next session, giving me the option to pay for my next shot in advance, or on the next scheduled date.

I was given a vaccine schedule card at PGH ARU; and that’s the blue patient card behind it!

Easy? Yes! I actually prefer going to PGH than San Lazaro because:

  • San Lazaro–being a specialized hospital on animal bites–gets too crowded on weekdays. Why? Because those who were bitten during the weekend but do not fall under their must-treat-stat category are asked to come back on regular outpatient clinic hours.
  • In San Lazaro, they do not recommend their patient to buy the whole dosage of Verorab–either you have to split the tab with another person or pay for the whole vial and have not one idea where the other half of the shot goes. In PGH, they have single doses ready for you and you alone, although it’s P31 more than the one in San Lazaro. (btw, a dose of Verorab at PGH costs P500)

However, if you or a loved one is badly stricken by a pet or a suspiciously-rabid animal, you may want to rush to San Lazaro because like any other hospitals, they give urgent attention to these kinds of patients; but unlike any other hospitals–especially public hospitals–don’t stock on anti-rabies vaccines, most of the time they direct patients to San Lazaro. Private hospitals, on the other hand, do have shots ready, but are too expensive! My former officemate who got bitten by a stray cat almost paid at least P8,000 for shots at a private hospital near her dorm! Que horror! Good thing though, our HMO foot the bill for the first two shots, then she continued her treatments at Bulacan, where her parents are staying.

To conclude the Animal Bite Series in my blog, let me enumerate some lessons I learned during this ordeal:

  1. Be careful! Don’t just pet that cute doggy or kitty wandering the streets! You may have earned their trust, but some of your actions may agitate them, causing them to be aggressive.
  2. Got bitten already? Don’t hurt the animal! Just let it be, let it live! It is not only humane to do so, but you also get to observe if it’s rabid or not. If the offending animal gets sick or dies on or before the second week of your bite, then it is infected with rabies. I strongly advise, though, that you must NOT wait till this happen and rush to the emergency room of your preferred hospital  to get treated!
  3. My dad tells me the story of how he was bitten by a dog, a cat and a rat during his youth; and how he treated every wound of his with garlic. My mom also tells me that his father–my grampy–used to suck the wound of their neighbour’s animal bite to cure it. Boys and girls, THIS IS SO WRONG! While my dad and maybe the whole town where my Grampy was a town official-slash-folk healer (albularyo) lived for so many years, the medical world says otherwise! Should you be a victim of an animal bite, the first thing you should do is to let the would bleed, then wash it with soap and water. After that, clean it with alcohol, Iodine tincture (popularly known as Betadine) or hand sanitizer and keep it clean until you’ve reached your preferred health service provider. I reiterate, rabies is 100% fatal, and any wound caused by an animal should be taken seriously!

As to how my wound is, it’s barely visible now; although the Verorab shots quite made a mark on both my arms, but not that much of an annoyance. Sushi is still very much alive, but she doesn’t come that often anymore! 🙂

(read Part 1 of the post here)

(read the story on how I got bitten by a stray cat here)

YOLO, part 1

5 Mar

After the Bastard Cat incident that had me running to San Lazaro, I began telling my friends that getting bitten by a stray cat was a YOLO moment for me. You see, this had been my nth attempt to adopt a feral cat; and I suppose that this may be the last time I’m doing so. Don’t get me wrong, though! I still love kittehs and I still support the advocacy of saving ’em from the streets. It’s just that, I guess I should take a break from it all. Hehe.

I will have to be honest that after my San Lazaro experience, I did not want to go back and get my next Verorab shots there. For one, I considered how long will it take me to queue for my follow-up shots yet again on a weekday. I still can’t afford a sick leave since I haven’t been regularised, and the least I could ask my bosses is a half-day medical leave. Which brings me to the second factor: The accessibility of the hospital. Since the animalbitecenter.ph website is down, I had a hard time whittling down the public hospitals to call and ask if they have anti-rabies vaccines.

Lady luck must’ve been on my side when I called PGH and confirmed that they administer anti-rabies shots to bite victims. Only catch is, they only do it every weekdays.

Great!

Day 3 of my cycle, I went through my usual morning routine to prepare myself for work. Only that I need not alight my usual MRT station. Got off Taft Avenue and took the Yellow Line to Pedro Gil, where PGH is. It was a rather easy commute since I used to take that route back in college, hence the familiarity of the place.

But boy, I got lost inside the hospital!

My first time at PGH

My first time at PGH

It took me thirty minutes to look for the Anti-Rabies Unit of PGH. No thanks to a handful of security guards I bumped into who gave me different directions! When I arrived ARU, I was all sweaty, tired and panting from all the walking I did. I never knew that hospital is mighty huge!

PGH's Anti-Rabies Unit

PGH’s Anti-Rabies Unit

So ARU is just a tiny room at the second floor of the hospital, very near the Emergency Room. Actually, you may even pass by its corridors and see patients on your way to get your shots. That Wednesday afternoon, it was just me and a kid bitten by their pet dog; and his parents. I was attended to by nurse Michelle immediately who courteously asked me to sign some forms outside the room while I wait for the kid to finish his round of shots. Five minutes later, I was called by the attending MD and was asked several questions about how I got bitten by Bastard Cat, how I cleaned the wound, and food allergies I might have. I was also weighed to double check if I was given the correct dosage of ERIG at San Lazaro. The conversation only took us a good five minutes also, and then I was ushered to move to Nurse Michelle’s desk, where I waited for her to prepare the assessment forms that I will present at the cashier.

And then again, I got lost finding my way to the cashier. But first, I had to go get myself a blue patient card inside the ER.

(to be continued…)

Bite

17 Feb

Two weeks ago, a mama cat gave birth to four little kitties in my mom’s pocket garden. My mom’s not really a fan of cats, but my dad and I are both animal lovers. We convinced mom to let us “keep” the cat and her litter, saying that compared to dogs, cats are very low maintenance. I also said that since mama cat is a stray, she may poop or pee outside.

Hi, I heard they christened me “Sushi.” I can’t wait to nom on my hooman’s hand…oops, don’t tell her that!

So she was convinced, until our gardener watered the plants. He was not aware that the cats were there. Hence, mama cat had to move the kitties to another place. Until last Wednesday, she came back.

Hi! I’m back! Oooh kibbles! My hooman must love me a lot! Guess my kits will love this, what say you, hooman?

The first two days Sushi was still being her feral self–she won’t approach me until I put kibbles on her dish. Last Friday, she started approaching me and began rubbing her body against my leg or my arm. She even allowed me to touch her! That made me happy, because I thought that this begins our friendship.

Until today.

This morning, I went out and checked if Sushi was waiting for me to give her daily feed at the front door. She wasn’t there. I then went to see my sister and my niece whose house is within our compound. Halfway through Lilo and Stitch on Disney Channel AND Tangled 2 (yes, my niece and I love multitasking two movies at the same time!), my dad called us and announced that Sushi has arrived. So my sister, niece and I went out to see her. I went to the maids’ quarters to get her kibble and placed it on her dish. I noticed that some of the kibbles spilled in the box, so I poured it onto my right hand and started placing it on Sushi’s dish. Then, Sushi started rubbing herself against my arm and BIT ME! It wasn’t so hard but it was enough for my right hand to bleed.

Cleaned the bite with soap, VMV Id Sweat Acne and Overall Anti-Bacterial Monolaurin Gel; and Betadine.

My dad, my sister and my niece saw how I instinctively pulled my hand away from Sushi, and instructed me to wash my wounded hand immediately with soap, alcohol and Betadine; while my mom told me to pinch the wound so it would bleed. I was scared sh*t because I remember watching an i-Witness documentary about rabies and how fast it travels from the bite to my brain. Aside from that, I also recall how my ex-boss recounted the time when they visited a colleague in the hospital from her pet dog’s bite. The lady ignored the bite. Three days after, she was sent home from work because of high fever. My ex-boss visited the lady in the hospital and as she remembers, the lady knew when she was going to have her seizures as she politely asks her guests to leave the room whenever she feels like she’s going to have an episode. A day after the visit, the lady passed away, and so did the dog.

I digress.

I was mortified with the thought of me getting rabies, so I browsed the Interwebz quickly and look for the nearest Animal Bite Centre. My mom also called several of her doctor friends and she was told to go to either the three nearest public hospitals here in our place, or go to downtown Manila and have my bite checked at San Lazaro Hospital. I also texted a good friend of mine, Dr. B–who is currently an intern for one of the government hospitals here in Manila–to ask if the nearest hospital at home carried anti-rabies shots. Unfortunately, she told me that it is their SOP in that particular hospital to direct possible rabies patients to San Lazaro.

After lunch, my parents drove me to San Lazaro. It was near the old Manila where, as my dad recounts, my lolo (his father) plies his daily route as a jeepney driver. For awhile, we got lost at the old beauty of Manila, shattered by time and people who couldn’t care less about heritage. It took us an hour to get there from home.

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My mom was being funny when she pointed this out to me. “Anak, o. Cat’s Inn. Hahahahaha.”

As soon as we arrived at San Lazaro, the nurses checked my wound and was asked some questions at the triage. On normal days, the emergency room would not accept animal bite complaints unless it is a life-and-death situation. But since 1. It’s a Sunday; and 2. Sushi is a stray cat we just adopted to feed and still freely roams the road, I will have to be given some anti-rabies shots, plus vaccine against tetanus.

Triage: The gatekeeper to get treatment, stat

Triage: The gatekeeper to get treatment, stat

Guidelines for animal bite patients

For the bite to be given utmost attention at the San Lazaro ER on any day of the week except after outpatient clinic hours every Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, a patient will only be treated under the following conditions:

  • Children ages 0-2 years
  • Victims 60 years old and above
  • If your pet or the offending animal who bit you or the patient died
  • If the offending animal cannot be observed due to its being stray; or cannot be found
  • If you or the patient were/was bitten on a delicate part of your body
  • If the offending pet/animal bit the patient on his/her upper extremities (head, chest, back, hand, arm, etc.)
  • If the bites caused big, multiple, deep wounds
  • If the patient is a person with disability

If the patient do not fall under the various triage category, he/she will be asked to the Out-Patient Department of the hospital. If it falls on a Saturday after clinic hours, Sunday or holidays, the patient may be asked to return the following working days.

Going back…

San Lazaro only has one cashier on a Sunday. I don’t know how it goes on weekdays, but the queue can get pretty long especially when a huge influx of patients of different ailments arrive at the ER. When I had to pay for a P50 hospital card, it took me just five minutes.

Queue to pay for hospital card

Queue to pay for hospital card

After paying for the hospital card, I was brought to the far end of the ER to be interviewed by a foreign intern. He initially diagnosed my bite as Category 2, which prompted me to ask if it’s still considered that tier regardless to the shallowness of the bite. He said that for as long as it bled, it is Category 2. *insert okay face meme here*

The initial interview and examination with the foreign intern took us a good five minutes. After that, my parents and I had to wait for about fifteen minutes in a covered shed outside the ER until a young resident called me to be examined further. Stern and probably too harassed for the day (or for some personal speculations I’d rather not mention in this blog, unless I want to be the newest Internet sensation), the resident upgraded the bite wound into a Category 3, and prescribed me three shots for the day: two anti-rabies shots and an anti-tetanus shot. *insert okay face meme here*

Because San Lazaro is a public hospital, I had to be the one to purchase my three shots. I was given two options: to ask my dad to drive to the nearest Mercury Drug to buy my shots or to purchase it in the hospital pharmacy, where it’s 50% cheaper compared to commercial drugstores outside the compound. I opted for the hospital pharmacy, which gave me a total bill of P526 for a half dose of Verorab (One dose costs P948. I shared it with a five-year-old little girl who was bitten by her dad’s dog, hence the lower bill I split with the dad) and a vial of Tetanus Toxoid, which costs P52. From the pharmacy, I had to go back to the cashier to pay. The line was unbelievably long–well, not really that long, but it was longer compared to the queue I was in earlier, and it was a 15-minute wait to get to the girl behind the cash register. After paying, I walked back to the pharmacy where my mom was waiting for me, and collected my first two shots.

A good two hours after paying for my hospital card

A good two hours after paying for my hospital card

I went back to the ER alone because my mom offered to queue for me for my next anti-rabies dose. The nurse politely ushered me to the area where she was to administer the shots. Around me were kids bawling and screaming while getting inoculated. Well, I’ve had a few vaccines in my 25 years of existence. So this should be easy-peasy, I thought.

Prepping Verorab for my guns

Prepping Verorab for my guns

The pretty nurse warned me that the first shot (Verorab) she’s going to administer on both my arms might sting and cause pain. I quickly ran through my archive of painful vaccines and so far, the most painful but tolerable shot for me is the yearly flu vaccine. Okay, so I had my camera ready, her needle ready and pinched both my arms. Easy, I thought. She now tells me that the next one (Tetanus Toxoid) might also be painful and heavy on my left arm. Game on, I said. She preps me and pushed in the syringe, and HOLY MOTHER OF COWS IT WAS FRAKKIN PAINFUL! Seriously! Poor nurse had to hear my string of cusses escaped my mouth! Damn! No wonder those kids were crying so loud! After that painful anti-tetanus shot, the nurse had to put me into an allergy test to see if the next dose of anti-rabies would cause me to break out some nasty allergies. I obliged because I don’t want to risk dying of rabies AND allergies! So anyway, she took a small dose of ERIG and BLASTED SOME OF THE PAINFUL MOTHERF*@&#*$ ONTO MY SKIN!!! I was then asked to wait for thirty minutes to see if my skin reacts adversely to the skin test. Thankfully, I did not.

Allergy Test for ERIG

Allergy Test for ERIG

Amidst the pain I had to go through the first phase, of course I had to ask the nurse if there are some things I should not do after the shots, or what to expect after. Drinking liquor within the treatment is a NO-NO as it may decrease the effectivity of the vaccine, and one is not allowed to eat greasy foods. Well, I’ve been sober (meaning, I haven’t been nasty wasted and knocked out by alcohol) for a year already, and I plan to stay the same till forever. Greasy food? Oh, but we’re going on an outing this Saturday! *insert okay face meme here*

I was given clearance by the same resident who saw me earlier to proceed with the last phase of my agony–the ERIG shot. Since my mom was already on queue to pay, I only have to get an assessment form from the pharmacy guy and went back on queue with my mom. You see, the ERIG shot depends on how heavy a patient weighs. Let’s say you weigh as much as me, you get four doses of it. Each dose costs P1272.

ERIG vials

After paying for the last vials, I collected the shots, went straight to the ER and waited until someone attended to me. At 4pm, there were a lot of people having their bites and whatnots checked, so I had to wait a bit. When it was my turn, yet another pretty nurse (are ALL government hospital nurses pretty?) prepared my shots and ushered me to a gurney and closed the curtains–she was going to push in the meds into my buttcheeks! Good thing I need not worry about wearing the wrong underwear because I was wearing my best boxer-cut panties! She then tells me to stand up and prepare for the first of the last vaccine to be administered in my right glutes…AND GOOD MOTHERF@*#(^% SHIZ!!! I squeezed the IV pole beside me for support because it was THAT.PAINFUL! How could I not remember the pain I had to go through when the ERIG was first tested on my skin?! And for the last one, I turned my other cheek (pun intended) to get my last for the day. Ohhhhh pain!!!

These needles had to go through both my buttcheeks

These syringes had to go through both my buttcheeks

I already expected that I was in for an adventure on my way to get treated, because I was too used to the luxury of having to wait comfortably in an airconditioned private hospital, where medical staff ran around to get things done for you. Another thing is, the shots were unbelievably and incredibly painful! To get to the bottom of it all, I must say that it’s too hassle to travel from our place to downtown Manila. Before going to San Lazaro, I googled Animal Bite Centers nearest my place and sadly, no positive search results turned up. The first website on the list–which probably have the whole list of specialised centres in the country, at least online–is down; and to get treated at a private hospital means coughing up a great amount of hard-earned cash! That explains my option to go to San Lazaro not because of the cheap bill I was to get as soon as they’re finished treating me, but because I know that they are an experienced bunch over there with regards to treating animal bite cases.

Sadly, the influx of animal bite victims hailing from everywhere in the Metro (the kid I shared a vial with is from Antipolo!) is just insane! While every city have their own general hospitals; and every barangay have their own health centres, why can’t every locality have their own animal bite centers because frankly, bites from a beloved pet, whether it’s yours or a neighbours; a stray cat you had just started to fall in love with, or just an obnoxious animal lurking in the streets are a daily occurrence! You just don’t tell people to take care and not touch every animals they see, because some of them tend to attack even without provocation. I just hope that someone heeds this call and take action not for me or some people looking for cheap but effective anti-rabies shots, but for the people who leave the comforts of their districts to seek medical attention they can afford.

I exactly don’t know what lesson I learned from this incident, because I will never stop being an animal lover. Well for now, my parents have decided to give Sushi the boot by putting away her dish and water, and I now call her “The Bastard Cat” for nomming my hand and for the inconvenience it caused. Heh.

The Mane Story

16 Dec

I am currently sporting a bra-strap-length hair. This has been the longest I’ve grown my hair after 2006 for my college graduation picture.

Eons ago

This was eons ago back in 2007. Pardon the grime, our maid broke the original frame the school gave me. I don’t know how it got that dirty, I wasn’t home when that happened.

Truth is, I hate growing my hair long! Why? Because I hate tying it up on a bun and I hate just letting it flow and blocking my sight. My long hair also lacks volume that it just lays flat like a doggie playing dead! And in between summer and rainy seasons, my scalp breaks into oil and flakes making a winter wonderland out of my shoulders! I hate it!!!

You may ask me why I’m still keeping my hair long. I know that there’s no hiding the fact that I’m fat in the face as much as my body because most times I put my hair up in a bun and marinate it with either a styling mousse or hairspray to achieve a wavy ‘do. Some say that sporting a volumized mane may emphasize one’s round face and chubby cheeks more. That’s according to beauty experts, but I don’t care because I think I still look good with wavy hair! Putting up my hair in a bun is more like for convenience because as I mentioned earlier, I don’t want hair on my mouth when I’m eating or speaking.

Pardon the duckface, but this is how my hair gets unruly and I don't mind it, really. Photo courtesy of Pop Picture. And yes that's my sweetart! Yiiiihee! :P

Pardon the duckface, but this is how my hair gets unruly and I don’t really mind. Photo courtesy of Pop Picture. And yes, that’s my sweetart! Yiiiihee! 😀 

Now that 2013 is fast approaching, and with a myriad of illnesses that I went through this year, I suppose it’s high time for me to lose weight not because I want to look good and I want to fit in nice clothes, but because I want to live long and to bear kids and watch and enjoy them grow. Yikes! So as a reward after losing weight next year, I plan to chop off my long tresses into something like this:

My pixie-cut hair peg. Photo courtesy of Daily Makeover

My pixie-cut hair peg. Photo courtesy of Daily Makeover.

It’s fun and practical to have a short hair!!! The last time I had my hair cut short was in second year high school because the salon lady said it will look good on me. I believed her and yes, it suits me and I liked it (unfortunately I don’t have a photo of me with short hair ready, so sorry!) I won’t have to trouble myself with a million-and-one dandruff shampoo. And I love how it needs little maintenance compared to having a flowing coiffure that gets tangled in the long run because I really don’t like combing my hair! At work, I get a lot of “Magsuklay ka naman!” and “Mahangin ba sa labas?” comments from colleagues. But hey, my hair=my life! Well, unless I’m Skype-meeting with my boss then I have to pretty up, hehe!

What do you think? 🙂

Back with a vengeance!

9 Jun

Hello, hello!

I haven’t been here for awhile! Reason being is I got sick, was busy doing some government paperworks, and made a big career leap! Yep, all in three weeks!

Now lemme tell you a little bit about:

HOW I GOT SICK:

My new employer called me two weeks ago, informing me that I needed to have myself cleared for work. You see, I have Polycystic Ovaries (which I mentioned here) and the HMO apparently didn’t want to clear me for that. Also, as per my OBG, taking pills (yes, THE pills) to regulate my hormones may elevate my blood pressure. So a host of risks for having PCOS, and I can’t start my new job unless I get myself cleared!

As if not yet satisfied with our OBG’s warning that I may have hypertension due to the medications I took, my parents took me to a cardiologist who confirmed through a battery of tests that I have essential hypertension. It means that I inherited my mom’s hypertensive gene, and my weight, according to the doctor may have contributed to its early manifestation.

It did not end there! As soon as I got home, my throat started feeling weird and sore. I helped myself with a cap of Tylenol but my throat just got tight and swollen the next day. Aside from that, I had to wake up in the dead of the night because I can’t seem to stop coughing! I lost my voice eventually, and the only thing that relieved my sore throat and cough is a lozenge of Strepsils Dry Cough.

On the other hand, I was given the green light by my OBG and the cardio to start work. This is after I had my blood pressure controlled by a tablet I take every morning. And shameful as it was, I came in for my first day at work wheezing and sounding like a honking tractor. ¡Que horror for a first impression!

ON GOVERNMENT PAPERWORKS:

Completing my pre-employment requirements, I had to go through several government offices that tested my patience. I had a mindset that time not to expect so much from them, given the notoriety of inefficient service I’ve heard from people who experienced it; as well as my own experience from a few offices I had to deal with in the past.

First off I’d like to thank the gods who invented the Internet for being agents of change! Several government agencies like DFA, NBI, and PAGIBIG (the latter which I found out too late about) uses the interwebz to service the whole populace, which I believe takes off half the burden for busy people like me (chos!) It’s so easy dealing with them, especially PAGIBIG because unless you need to get your HDMF ID replaced (in my case), you don’t really need to traipse down the Quezon City area just to update your information. In just several clicks in the comfort of your own home (or office!) Less waiting, no long lines!

NBI

So during my short terminal leave before I started my new job, I sacrificed my mornings going to and from the previously-mentioned offices–save for DFA–as well as BIR and SSS. I prioritized those offices where I’ve previously experienced long lines and inefficient service. Good thing for NBI though, they now have this online application for clearances. Before signing up, I had to pay a corresponding amount in the Globe Business Center near my place. Then I was given a reference code which was asked of me when I applied for my account. Took me half an hour to fill up the online form, five minutes to send a text message for my appointment and another 5 to receive the appointment confirmation.

I drove to UN Avenue in Manila two hours earlier during my appointed date, expecting the horrible Monday traffic, lack of parking space and the long lines awaiting. I was welcomed by horde of people queued up for the manual application, and was led to the 4th floor by a kind gentleman where all the online applicants are. Much to my surprise, at 8am (I was expected to come at 9am), there were only six people waiting outside the door for data capturing, and after thirty minutes I had my turn. Then I was asked to come back after three days to claim my clearance. And so I was done even before my appointed time!

Come Thursday, I commuted back to NBI to claim my clearance. I came early so that I could go home early to prepare for my despedida in my previous job. In twenty minutes, I was already hailing a bus going home!

SSS

After my appointment with the investigating bureau, I headed home and ate lunch early and took a nap at 11am. Two hours after, I walked from home to the SSS Member’s Assistance Center at East Avenue.

It would’ve been an easy experience for me had I printed that E-6 form I downloaded in the SSS website. But because my printer’s running short of ink, I nixed that part and against my will and pride, I lined up for it. It would’ve been a breeze lining up if I wasn’t protecting my queue from uncouth people who weren’t educated enough to follow a line (I was actually stopping myself/too tired and sleepy to create a scene). Nevertheless, it was an easy feat. When I got in front of the line, I was instructed to get my number at this booth. I was given number 520 and was instructed to go to the area where window 47 is.

I looked at the electronic queue board where window 47 is, It’s not working. I went closer and settled in one of the chairs as I filled up my E6. Then the personnel began calling out numbers by batch:

“350 to 355, sa Window 46 na lang po!”

You’ve got to be kidding me.

I checked my phone for the time. 1:15pm. Despite that I stayed and patiently waited for my turn while falling countless times on Temple Run and feeding my Sushi Cat. I even finished five games of Sudoku on Easy mode and chatted with friends on BBM. Goodness me, the last time I waited this long was when I renewed my US Visa! At 2pm I was already fidgeting at how they take so long, because some ID applicants have deficiencies with their requirements. To apply for one you’ll need two IDs: a government-issued one (in my case, my driver’s license) and another valid ID, say your company or school ID. I checked the back of the E6 form, and it says there that you may present ATM cards as proof of identity. So just to avoid these unnecessary hassles, bring everything you need. And yes, you will still need a BLACK INK ballpen.

Two hours passed. At 3:15pm, numbers 516 to 520 got called. After careful scrutiny of my requirements by the SSS lady, she instructed me to go to the booth where I was to have my mug taken, as well as my fingerprints. The process took me fifteen minutes; I waited three hours for that. I asked the lady behind the mug booth how long should I wait for my ID. In six days, she said, it will be delivered to my home address.

While waiting for my card to arrive, I realized that while I was waiting for my turn, there were some people collecting their ID cards. So two week after, I went back to SSS and inquired about my ID.

Kuya, I was told by your receiving officer that I will be receiving my ID six days after my application. I applied two weeks ago and I haven’t received it. Can’t I just claim it here?”

Matagal pa po yun ma’am (It will take long, ma’am), the guy behind the counter answered, poker faced and not making eye contact. 

“What?! Why did you guys say it will only take me six days to wait? Ano yun, joke?! (Is that a joke?!) I need my card tomorrow!”

Yung dinedeliver pa lang ngayon eh yung mga nag-apply nung February. (We’re only delivering those who applied last February.)”

“What the fuck! Seriously?!”

No answer, guy still not making eye contact.

“You condescending son of a bitch!”

I’m still waiting for my card to arrive.

TIN ID

Applying for a TIN ID scared me the most. I am unfamiliar with the system of BIR, and I was expecting a long queue for just a piece of paper. The night before my planned trip to the agency, I told myself I should wake up early so I won’t spend the whole day waiting in pure agony in this sweltering heat.

Alas, I woke up at half past noon! I calmly ate lunch and prepped for my trip. I was supposed to go to the gym in the afternoon had I woken up early. So if ever there’s a long line waiting for me, I’ll just postpone my TIN ID application for  early morning the next day; and drive to the gym instead. I even planned on leaving my car at the gym and just take the jeep to the BIR in Quezon Avenue, since it’s just a stone throw away from it.

It was a sweltering Monday afternoon and the heat was driving me crazy. Before heading to the gym to leave my stuff and my car, I passed by BIR to just check if there’s parking. Oh but there’s one or two vacant parallel slots waiting for me and my truck, so I parked my car, grabbed my stuff and headed to the BIR office, where I had to ask the guard at the main door where to apply for a TIN ID.

I went as Manong Guard directed me: to the RDO where my office belongs (you may ask your dear HR generalist where yours are). I entered the cramped office, almost filled to the brim with people applying for their different needs. I asked an employee on which table to approach for TIN ID application, and he pointed me to this lady who was busy with her computer. I approached her and told her that I need a TIN ID. She then asked me for my TIN number, which she counterchecked with the system. After verifying my details, she handed me this piece of paper where I was to fill up my details. I submitted that piece of paper to the kind lady. She wrote on the tearsheet when I’m supposed to collect my ID–which is the next day at 11am, and handed it back to me. I was done in five minutes!

My dad drove me to the BIR post again the next day to collect my ID. Again, it took me five minutes to queue and collect my ID. That was the shortest time I had to stay inside a government office!

THE BIG CAREER LEAP

After 4½ years working for the TV station, I finally let go and dove into another field that I’ve bee always interested about–marketing! I’ve always known that I have a knack for it, letting others aware of the brand by enticing them, not hard-selling. Although my new work doesn’t involve me actually selling stuff, my job description says that I have to help the sellers sell through various marketing requirements–be it posters, flyers or events. I still can’t say so much about it, as I’ve only been in the job for two weeks. The past week has been packed and busy but very productive. But nevertheless, it’s fun and exciting despite the long hours. I appreciate that I’m learning so much about the job, the market and myself. I know I have little experience, but right now I can see that it’s a very promising job, and I can’t wait to flourish in this profession!

So given that, I will still try my best to update this! There’s so much going on and I also have big plans for this blog. That’s what you gotta see soon, so stand by! 🙂