The Surgeon's Logbook

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Bigaten 2010

All In a Month

Exactly 1 month ago, I learned about one of the happiest, most thrilling, and most fulfilling news in my life: I passed the medical board exams! I’ve been writing in this blog some of my ups and downs while reviewing for the boards in hopes of laughing all about it once I learned that I eventually passed. After nearly banging your head on the wall, and crying your heart out while hearing mass EVERY SUNDAY, or even hearing mass on NON-SUNDAYS, you then hear yourself say, “It’s not so bad after all.” Seems to me that all the hard work in (trying) studying every single second from June to August, and near-crazy moments then have all been reduced now to small absurd memories.

It’s funny, and sad at the same time, how badly I wanted to treasure those feelings of self doubt and trepidation while reviewing so that I’d be able to appreciate my dream of passing better, and then, as soon as I learned about the results, to totally forget all the hardwork I’ve put myself through.

Well, maybe its just me and my forever trouble with memory (the reason why I take lots of pictures and write in this blog). Or perhaps its just a phase. I’m still in cloud nine, even after a months time. Still too ecstatic to look back and remember the nullest of the null times, and too delirious to accept the future. I feel like I’ve been in a whirlwind of events, and trying my hardest to grow and mature. And sooner than I think, I’ll be yet again earth-rocketing myself back to ground and start anew. Passing the boards was never the end. As cliche as it may sound, it was just the beginning of a new chapter.

But before I delve unto THIS NEXT CHAPTER, let me first rundown on what I’ve been up to (no good, surely, haha) for the past month.


As soon as the boards ended, the partying started. Five straight days of partying with friends, classmates, brods and sisses! Siympre palaging kaladkarin, or, taga-kaladkad, kaya laging nakakainom. Haha.

Day 1 (Sunday) – Koi Bar (wherelse!!) with Bigaten Substance Abuse Group (BSAG)
Day 2 (Monday) – Koi Bar (no kidding?!) with BSAG (again!)
Day 3 (Tuesday) – Central (wow, change of venue!) drank the BadTrip pitcher, kasi badtrip kami nito, after hearing about the EFFIN’ FALSE ALARM. Hay nako.
Day 4 (Wednesday) – Guess where? Koi Bar! This was the night the results came out! with brods and sisses on the 2nd floor and BSAG sa labas
Day 5 (Thursday) – I forget. Hehe. But I think this is at Koi with brods. haha
Day 6 – And on the 6th Day, I rested, went home at QC and slept. The party animal needs some shut eye afterall.
Day 7 (Saturday) – another party, this time birthday & celebration party by Miya @ Limbo Bar, Fort

Miya's Party @ Limbo


So what was I doing just before the results came out? I spent the whole afternoon with the Disc Doctors, our class’ Ultimate Frisbee Team, who gets to play only by the command of our punong matres Sonny. Haha. 🙂 We knew that the results would come out anytime that evening, so we hurriedly ate dinner together at Shakey’s Katipunan for us to get home in time for THE RESULTS. Well, we didn’t expect that the results would come out THAT EARLY!!! Binky called Myx at around 6:50 PM telling him that the results were out and that he passed! Myx then asked Binky to check our names too as everyone were all frantically screaming-crying-texting anyone we knew who could also check. I, on the other hand, had my Macbook ready, connected it to the net…and *tried* to check. Myx called out each of us in alphabetical order…then I heard it: “Ge! PASOK KA!!!” as if I won in a noon-time game show. I felt numbness…then hot flushes…then PURE ECSTASY. I never felt that kind of happiness and relief ever in my life! All I can muster to tell myself was: Thank you Lord.  Myx then proceeded the “roll call” and as they say…the rest was history.

Sonny & Alric battling it out on the field!

Never have I imagined that I’d be spending that evening with the rest of my classmates. Since the board review started, everyone were already thinking where would they spend THE NIGHT. Some would opt to just be by themselves, turn off their phones, and just wait the next morning for the barrage of Congratulations! and You made it! Some saw their night as spending it with family. The most excited ones would like to do a vigil and wait for the list to come out on the net. Well, I initially saw that night to be spent at my home in QC, asking my sister to check it for me…if I got in, then we’ll all be happy at home! If I didn’t then at least I’d be safe from all the judgement, since I’m with my family. Who knew that Shakey’s Katipunan would be forever etched in the hearts of the 13 of us who found out that we passed the single most important exam in our medical career! Thank you to the Mojos & Dip, and the Chicken and Pizza. And also, thank you to the Top 5  JP Esteban for the gracious treat!!! It was a major major celebration for you! 😀

The 13 Disc Doctors who wrote history at Shakeys Katipunan


Celebratory Cake from Chocolate Kiss! Yum!

Earlier that afternoon, Ate Mimi asked me to buy her Dayap Cake from Chocolate Kiss. Little did I know that she wanted me to buy the cake so that when I came home, they’d be the one to surprise me with the news. It was sort of anti-climactic since my mom apparently already knew that I passed earlier that afternoon and she already told everyone at the house. Well, since it was time for a big big celebration, I still went to Chocolate Kiss to buy us some cake! Dayap was not available, but hey, my favorite Devil’s Food Cake was, so…I was extremely happy!


We partied our hearts out that night at Koi. It was really time for celebration! All the hard work paid off, and now we really get to call ourselves doctors in the truest sense. The lawyers must have it worse, the waiting takes 6 months before the results come out. At least sa amin 3 days lang. Hehe.

The next morning, Jae and the rest of Medchoir 2010 went to Tagaytay to devour the lunch buffet at Sonya’s Garden. It was Jae’s birthday treat for us, and also our reunion with one of our most missed medchoir ate, Ate Joy! It was a great afternoon filled with fun, pictures, and food. A great way to spend the first day after the board results!

Oh Hey You. - Dada & Ate Joy enjoying posing for my camera.
The birthday celebrant Jae and the girls of Medchoir 2010
Ate Joy missed posing for the camera, bawal kasi sa kanila!
Trinia: One of my favorite models/talents/guinea pigs!

Trinia, my forever blockmate since 1st year med, is always ready for the camera. Kahit anong pose ipagawa ko, she’ll gladly do it. Haha. I am actually her talent manager, so if you want to book her for your weddings/photoshoots, just give me a call and we’ll talk. Hahaha.


Sorry, this is just about it for now. I had to make this two-part since I have to sleep early because pre-residency will start at 8AM today, September 19. Probably wouldn’t get to update until pre-residency is over next month. Hehe. So again, good bye for now!


On my 25th Day

Nababaliw na sa Pharma
Day 25: Going crazy, but still up and about!

Today is the 25th day of my board review. It was only last June 1 when I started opening my books, actually, Lippincot’s Biochemistry. Labag pa sa kalooban kong mag-aral. Napilitan lang kasi may biochem review kami c/o Siena (hehe, Dr. Pilones pala). But I think it was a good start. Pa-easy-easy nga lang muna, that’s why it took me almost a week (6 days) to (barely!) finish Biochem. The review class helped me jump-start my neurons to actually accept the fact that I am about to bombard them with lots and lots of fragmented information.

Reviewing for the medical boards is hard. Really really hard. As in rurok ng kahirapan sa buhay. Some of my senior brods even told me that they’d gladly repeat initiations than repeat preparing for the boards. I definitely agree with them. I didn’t expect this to be this excruciatingly painful in both mind and body! Masakit sa utak sa sobrang daming kailangang aralin. Sa katawan sa sobrang kailangan mong gumising nang maaga araw-araw at tumutok sa libro (na may pa-facebook facebook sa gilid, hehe) at mag-highlight nang walang sawa hanggang madaling umaga.

TWELVE SUBJECTS in TWO months. Twelve subjects which took us 5 whole years to “learn” (and unlearn) and now re-learning. Well, it’s best if re-learning is the case. But why do I feel that I am only learning these concepts just NOW?

Nakakahiya man aminin, pero parang ang daming mga bagay na dapat pala alam ko bago ako nag-ICC, Clerkship at Internship years. Sabi nga ng kaklase ko, madaming mga un-answered questions before na ngayon may sagot ka na. Mga tanong na tinatamad kang magbasa para masagot. Mga tanong na nung 2nd year tayo feeling mo masasagot mo sa Clerkship o Internship dahil masyadong mahirap sa level natin, pero nung Clerk ka na, nakalimutan mo na at feeling mo masyadong basic at pang 2nd year lang ang tanong. Siympre, wala pa ring kasagutan hanggang napilitan kang mag-aral para sa board exams.

Come to think of it, may malaking point din pala ang boards. Kahit na gaano pa man tayo magreklamo kung gaano ka-absurd ang mga pinagkukunan nila ng mga tanong (at ng mga sagot); kahit anong sabihin natin na “the boards only measures your theoretical knowledge, and not your clinical judgement!“; o kahit isinasa-Diyos na natin o ipinababahala kay Batman ang kahihinatnan sa sobrang hit-or-miss o chance-chance lang ng lahat ng mga tanong, kahit papaano, napilitan tayong mag-aral lahat.

I’m on my 5th subject now on the basic sciences. “Tapos” na ko on my first reading of Biochem, Micro+Para, Physio, Patho, and now Pharma. Next up is Anatomy. Sabi nila, dapat may 2nd reading ang lahat, especially the BASIC SCIENCES. Basic. Ba-sic. I’m sick of it. Nakakasuka sa dami ng kailangang aralin! Di na siguro sanay sa sobrang hardcore science. Applied na kasi ang nakasanayan sa clinics. Puro diagnosis, treatment, management, patient care, nurse-hood and manong-ship.

Ngayon, parang mas gumanda-ganda na naman ang pace. Nakaka-100 pages na ako a day, nung isang araw naka-200 ako, dahil ki-nram (crammed, haha) ko yung Patho to start Pharma as scheduled. Minsan nakakalungkot din kasi kahit ang dami mo ngang nabasa pero parang wala kang naaalala.

Ask me anything about biochem now and chances are I don’t know an effin’ thing about it. That was 3 weeks ago. Demmit.

Oh well, in order to proceed, I must accept, thus this GRAND realization that keeps me going everyday:

Mangyayari’t mangyayari din naman siya. Mag-eexam ka din naman talaga ng August. Wag na magreklamo. Shat-ap and just do it! Just keep moving!

Kahit gaano pa man natin gustong mag-whine at magdelaying tactics, the inevitable is NOT as inevitable as it may seem. It WILL happen on August 7,8,14 & 15, 2010. Isipin mo na lang, matatapos din lahat ng ito, iinom, malalsing at mag-cecelebrate tayong lahat sa August 18 when we receive the news of a 100% Pass! 😉

Sabi nga nila, we should own it to make it happen.

Papasaya tayo! Go 2010! We can do this! Let’s go for 100%! Let’s make UP proud.

This Is It

UPCM 2010 Grad Ball
This Is It: The 2010 Graduation Ball @ Hyatt Manila
Taken during our class’ graduation ball last May 20 by Dr. Gelo Manalang. I stitched the photo and edited it a bit. We can do this 2010! Let’s go for 100%!


First day sa LA! Hehehe. Ang saya ko dahil may wireless internet sila dito sa inn na tinitirhan namin. Yeyeye. :p

Punta ata kaming Hollywood mamaya, plus sa Redondo Beach. Sana masaya. :p

Ang sakit ng ulo ko kahapon sa flight papunta dito. May mga batang makukulit kasi sa likuran namin, sigaw ba naman ng sigaw! Nakakainis! Long haul pa naman yun dahil east coats-west coast yung flyt. Nyaaaarrrr!!!!

Now I know kung gaano kainis yung nanay at tatay ko sa akin nung ako’y batang makulit pa. Hahaha. Ganun na ganun daw ako, malikot at maingay. Hay…

I’m re-thinking my taking Pediatrics…hahaha. Di ko ata kakayanin. Ahahaha!

Whoopee! May libre ding breakfasts dito sa inn. Kumain ako ng cereals kaninang umaga. At mukhang mapapasubo ako doon dahil lactose intollerant ako. Nakupo, gudluck sa akin mamaya!

Andami kong mamimiss na orientations at meetings para sa aming freshies…di ko pa makikilala mga bago kong klasmeyts.. 😦

Yun lang muna! Kailangan ko nang umalis at magready para sa lakad namin! :p

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