The Surgeon's Logbook

surgery + medicine + photography + food + travel



2010 PGH Interns’ 100 Days Collage

I made this for the Interns’ 100 Days Countdown before the end of Internship. All 26 regular internship blocks and 4 straight internship blocks represented! 🙂


Regression at the City of Pines

All Hail Zola
All Hail Zola

What was supposed to be a 3-day Sagada adventure turned out to be my most unforgettable Baguio experience ever.

This is PHI Class 2010 at their finest, or should I say, most juvenile. 😀

Just before the start of internship, we planned an overnight get-away in Baguio right after our annual Dagupan trip with the brods and sisses in Dagupan. We were supposed to go to Sagada and do caving and trekking (to Siena’s delight, haha), but due to time constraints and the effect of the global recession (yeah yeah..haha) the greatest summer adventure that was supposed to be was reduced to a mere overnight stay in the summer capital.

Mile Hi Inn
Mile Hi Inn

Just the same, we planned to make the most out of our little time to enjoy our 3-week summer vacation just before hell breaks loose. Maan and I, while still in Palawan, haha, reserved three rooms in an old but one of the cheapest “inns” in Baguio, the Mile Hi Inn located inside Camp John Hay. We were supposed to get a big three-bedroom suite at the Bloomfield Hotel but it was fully booked so we ended up with our second choice. Most of us wanted to spend a little more for lodging since, “minsan lang naman kasi mangyari ‘to” – (Dayrit, 2009).

From Dagufun to Baguiowww!

Dagupan was a blast! We had a humongous slumber party of almost 60 brods and sisses staying and sleeping in one room! Soon after the sizzling heat of Dagupan, Miya and I, the designated drivers of the two-car convoy drove the rest of the batch (Gera, Mel, Alvin, Bjay, Maan, Reci, and Nikki G) straight to Baguio through Kenon Road. It was our very first time to drive up to Baguio, and we nearly got lost finding where the jump-off point to Kenon was.

Welcome to Baguio!
Welcome to Baguio!

We were all used to the unremarkable sights and scenery in Marcos Highway (save for the defunct Marcos bust) that we found Kenon Road so marvelous! Kenon was right smack in between two big mountains, which is the reason why it is so prone to landslides. We were in awe with the spectacular rock formations and deep gorge! Especially our resident tourist Gera whose last visit to Baguio was about 12 years ago! We were welcomed by the Lions Head (which actually don’t look like a lion at all, more like a gorilla, haha), and after smelling the fresh pine scent and feeling the winter (WINTER DAW?!) breeze, we soon found our way to Camp John Hay.

All Hail ZOLA!

Staying inside John Hay was a very good choice. One of our must-do in our trip was to relax and have a well-deserved rest from the hustle and bustle of Manila/PGH life. We would be negating our cause if we did stay in the city proper won’t we? In John Hay, you can really feel the serenity and freshness of Baguio, sans the smoke and noise! We found Siena and Pierre at the Mile High Inn and after checking in and settling in our rooms (and checking if the toilet is dirty c/o Miya and Maan haha), I bought a new pair of Havaianas replacing my almost 4 year old pair which got lost in Dagupan, hahahaha (kinuha ng boatman!). We then heard mass, wherelese? but in the Baguio Cathedral, and soon found Jo Thomas! Siena then suggested we grab dinner at ZOLA…which later on played a very central role in our trip! Hahaha. 🙂


ZOLA was the place to be in Baguio (well, probably next to Nevada Square, ahahahaha!). It’s a resto-bar ala-Mister Kebab type with lots of food, drinks and _______ waiters! Hahaha. Kayo na bahala to fill the blank. 😀 One waiter actually said when asked “Sir, anong pasta meron kayo?” (pertaining to the type of noodles they serve). He said, “Uhm, ma’am, we have istapeggi, petuchene, angel hair and …..” If you know me really well, you’ll know that it took me a whole lot of WILL POWER and 10,000 kJ of energy to stop smirking and laughing out loud! Hehe. Anyway, despite their ______ waiters, ZOLA really got our attention when Bjay and Reci’s sandwiches came up! They were unbelievably HUMONGOUS! Apparently, everyone’s orders were all hugely parted, and with the not so hefty price tag….IT WAS A STEAL!

Siena and Pierre actually got to Baguio way earlier than us and apparently already went around town by themselves. They arrived in Baguio early morning and it was in Zola where they had their breakfast. They went around the city, and from, I guess, walking from Wright Park to Mines View, got hungry and ate at Zola for lunch. When we met them in the afternoon, we then had dinner at Zola…THREE MEALS of Siena Ona, she ate in Zola! Haha. That is why we call her the Face of Zola. Hahaha. 😀

Sexy Ladies in the House

Sexy Ladies
Sexy Ladies

After dinner , I dragged everybody to Nevada Square which, according to my online research, is THE-PLACE-TO-BE in Baguio. Being a night person that I am, of course nothing would be greater than to party in Baguio right? So we invaded a newly opened bar, 4 U 2 C. When we went in, we were the only ones there, save for two people! Haha! The-place-to-be indeed! But their offer was irresistible. A bucket of San Mig Light or Cocktail Pitcher + Fries for only P250! I think we were in a roll! 🙂 Music was KOI-ish, but the sisses were mesmerized by the changing colors of the tables. Hehe. Sana magka-ganyan din sa Koi. haha. The manager even gave them a plate of ketchup and mayo which says “Sexy Ladies in the House!” It wouldn’t be a Phi night without the ceremonial batch toasts. 😀

Because we were tired of traveling from Dagupan to Baguio, and really wanted to rest, and yes…sadly, because ageing is inevitable, haha, we went home BEFORE 12mn. :[ The plan was to drink the wine Richmond bought in Dagupan, but I think after watching a Filipino horror flick in Cinema One, everyone grew really tired and wanted to SLEEP. So…zzzz…it was.

It’s All About Regression

The following morning, we were greeted by Jo! She volunteered to tour us around HER city, naks. 🙂

Regression to childhood was the theme of the whole trip, doing the things we loved when we were still kids: eating lots of food (at Zola! haha, ALL HAIL ZOLA!), riding boats (and racing with the other team!) and bikes (and nearly hitting a child!), blowing plastic balloons (and deciding who can blow the biggest one! apparently it was Miya, hahaha), going on a street-food foodtrip (especially ICE CREAM ni SIENA!), kwentuhan, tawanan, takutan, kodakan, people watching and capping the whole experience with a sumptuous dinner (no, not at Zola, haha) c/o Jo’s hospitable mom and dad! Thanks Jo!

Alvin Chu and his copycat! Haha
Alvin Chu and his copycat! Haha
When was the last time you blew one?
When was the last time you blew one?
Food Trip
Food Trip
Z for Zola
Z for Zola

One Foggy Night

After dinner with Jo, it was time for us to leave (so that SOMEONE could catch her plane to PALAWAN the following day! haha). The initial plan was to go down thru Marcos Highway since it was safer and more well lit. But a tip from Jo’s dad made us go down thru Kenon. It was really foggy then, and since Kenon was a road built in between two mountains, WALANG FOG dun. Marcos runs on the side of the mountain = ZERO visibility. True enough, when we *tried* to pass by Marcos Hway, we couldn’t see a thing. So we back-tracked, and went down thru Kenon.

They say Kenon is alot dangerous when driving in the dark. I say, it’s all in the driver. *hint hint* Hehe.

Thanks to the new SCTEX and the apparent disappearance of cars in the wee hours in the morning, we traveled 250KM in just 5 hours! (10PM – 3AM) 🙂

We all have our own individual Baguio experiences when we were kids, but it was a whole lot funner eminiscing and reliving everything with the best and closests brods and sisses you could ever have. Thanks batchmates!

Phi Class 2010 + Jo Thomas
Phi Class 2010 + Jo Thomas

So, as we start the best year of our med school life, and become the kings and queens of PGH…good luck to us! See you all again in Boracay 2010! =D

Patience with patients (From Youngblood, Inquirer)


Friends, family, alumni, Co-interns, young clerks and ICCs, read on. This article by Chara really sums up the realities, kahit na medyo masama minsan, of being an Intern/Clerk in PGH. Hay…

Patience with patients
By Charisse Hanne Te
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:35:00 05/09/2009

Filed Under: Healthcare Providers

Earlier this evening, I was walking along Padre Faura Street in Manila on my way home to the humble apartment where I have been living for the last six years. It was not an unusual night. There were many shoppers rushing home after spending the day at the mall. I saw resident doctors and a couple of fellow medical students either walking home or walking to the hospital, which really did not matter because they all looked tired and weary. The street was filled with cars and jeepneys tailing each other closely and honking every time the vehicle in front stopped.

As I was approaching the part of Padre Faura fronting the Outpatient Department of the Philippine General Hospital, I noticed the all-too-familiar huddle of patients camped outside the hospital gate. Most of the time, I would catch them sleeping on the empty boxes they had spread on the ground to temper the coolness of the hard ground. This time, I came upon them as they were eating supper and preparing for bed. I saw a couple of men and women, who looked to be at least 70 years old, bundled up in their knitted hats and sweaters, eating the dinner they had brought with them. As my eyes scanned these faces, the tiny hairs on the back of my neck stood up, giving me a tingling feeling that reached my fingertips.

These are our patients. Here are the people who patiently wait in countless lines just to be able to tell their doctors about their dry throats, backaches or the queasy, indescribable, bad feeling they have been having lately. These are the patients whom we sometimes end up scolding after we have to repeat the same question several times because they cannot give us the straightforward answer we expect.

As doctors at the Philippine General Hospital, we try desperately to be kind, sympathetic and extremely patient with them despite the many hurdles we encounter every day: the far-from-ideal patient load, the severe lack of supplies, the extreme poverty which comes in many forms, shapes and sizes. But even the most patient doctor has his limits, the breaking point, which when reached, causes us to snap at an uncooperative or agitated patient.

Definitely we are not proud of this. Nobody encourages us to react this way. Early in our medical education, we were taught time and time again that we should never become hardened and numb. But despite our many personal promises and resolutions, we always end up doing what we shouldn’t do. It could be because of a mother in labor seems to move too slowly. Or because another mother cries uselessly instead of pushing her baby out. Or because a son in the Emergency Room Triage pesters us to admit his unwell, though relatively stable, mother amid a sea of patients needing urgent attention. Or because a disoriented watcher cannot find a stretcher for his patient. Or because a man has allowed his mass to get so huge that you cannot imagine how he could have endured it for five long years. Or because a stubborn patient does not understand the meaning of maintenance medication. Or because a woman simply replies “siguro” or “medyo” to all our questions instead of giving categorical answers.

Whether it is because the supply of alcohol, cotton or linens has run out; or there’s a sign on the door that says, “Interns proceed to the bathroom behind the stock room” as if we were dirty, lowly people who were not worthy of using the toilet at the nurses’ station; or we are forced to push the heavy stretcher beds and oxygen tanks around the hospital as if we were born to do such work; or we have not slept in more than 48 hours; or somebody has made the scary observation that our ankles are swollen from all the running, pushing and crouching—somehow, no matter how hard we try to avoid it, we do reach that point when we become irritable, seemingly less sympathetic and harsh to our patients.

After observing that scene outside the OPD this evening, I realized that stress and pressure sometimes cause us to snap, it is during such hellish moments, more than ever, that we should remember that our patients entrust their health, and their lives to us, that they spend the night on a dirty, cockroach-laden Manila street just to be able to see us in the clinic the next day and that the last thing they want to hear is a surly employee telling them, “Sorry, puno na ang slot. Hindi na kayo umabot sa quota. Balik na lang kayo bukas.”

I am not the nicest, kindest and most patient intern. I have my own moments of impatience and irritation. But it is unforgivable to just acknowledge this and say, “Hey, this is PGH,” as if that explains everything. We owe it to our patients to always try—and try even harder—to be more patient, understanding and sympathetic, like every doctor should be.

(Charisse Hanne T. Te, 23, is a medical intern at the Philippine General Hospital.)

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