The Surgeon's Logbook

surgery + medicine + photography + food + travel



Open House 2010

Just came from the MedChoir Open House this evening. About four hours off-reading/studying well spent! Hehe. Masayang makakanta uli, at makakita ng mga kaibigan, batchmates at bagong mga mukha sa choir! Hehe. 🙂

Tanders & Kids!
Basses!!! Yeah!

At siyempre, masarap na pagkain!

The Food!

Oh yes. Kahit na nag-aaral para sa boards (at punung-puno na ng backlogs), pumunta pa rin kami ng batchmates ko, haha. Adik. Bakit? Probably Kuya Mark S. said it best kanina while talking about why tanders keep on coming back:

“Probably because MedChoir changed us, and we helped change MedChoir.”

The Boardtakers with our review books!

Thank you medchoir for the past 5 years full of experiences (local or abroad!!), triumphs (and defeats! haha), fun, fotos, food and family! =) To more years of singing with you! Don’t worry, ang tanders ay parang athlete’s foot…we’ll keep coming back. 🙂

More pictures here.


Video: A Very Special Love

We made this video for Drs. Kat & Donny Magno’s wedding last Feb 28! This was supposedly a “spoof” of the original video by Sarah Geronimo, haha. Congrats Ate Kat & Kuya Donny! Finally uploaded the video!

Music sung by Trinia Asuncion
Cast: Trinia Asuncion & Dada Dagang
Directors: Ge Abesamis & GK Galvez Tan
Post-production: Ge Abesamis
Original song sung by Sarah Geronimo

It was fun making this video! Sobrang amateur lahat from background/backdrop/lighting etc. Hahaha. Indie film ng mga MTV. Nyahaha. Plus, Trinia is a very talented actress, kahit anong emote ang ipagawa ko sa kanya kayang niyang ideliver nang tama. It goes the same with Dada.
Continue reading “Video: A Very Special Love”

Rald Goes to the States – Chapter 3: The Morning After

Currently in Royal Oak, Michigan, near Detroit. Reci, Eliza and Ate Mae V and I are staying at our foster parent/brod Dr. Josef Cortez, Phi 96B, and his wife Stella. Si Ate Mimi and Kuya Karl ang nagtake ng wedding photos nila. It’s a small world after all. =)

It is the morning after our FIRST concert last night. Everything’s still surreal. I can’t believe that we’re done with our Michigan concert! Parang kailan lang, nagpapractice kami 20 hrs a day sa San Francisco, and now, tapos na! We actually sounded great, and everyone was singing their hearts out. Buti na lang maganda yung acoustics sa church na kinanatahan namin. Effortless ang pagkanta. Hehe. 😀

The audience loved it. But I still think we really need a lot to improve on, pitch and rhythm wise. Hindi pa kasi yun ang full potential ng tour group. Gaya nga ng sabi ni Ate Dia, “we can do better!” And I’m hoping ganun ang mngyari sa New Jersey concert namin.

For our classmates in NY-NJ area, sana makapunta kayo sa Jersey City concert namin on May 2, 7PM, sa Our Lady of Mercy Parish, 40 Sullivan Drive, Jersey City, NJ 07305

We also had some PHI HIGH kagabi as 3 brods were there to watch us! Brods Josef Cortez, Ryan Pangan and George Pujalte. May isa ding sis but we didn’t get to meet her kasi she had to go home early. We had a picture taken (with 7 other medchoir sisses), pero sa cam pa ni Dada, kaya tsaka na yung pic. Hopefully in outher UPMASA chapters that we’ll visit, mas marami pa kaming ma-meet na brods and sisses!

There will be alot more performances in this tour. Last night was only 1 of them. But I’m happy and fulfilled with last night’s performance. Masaya ang feeling, hindi frustrated. Sana I get to feel that feeling again in the days to come. =)

Next stop, Jersey City, New Jersey!!!

Rald Goes to the States – Chapter 2: Knock on Wood

This was an entry written last night, April 21, ~11PM. Tinamad akong ipost kasi inantok na ako agad. Hehe. Anyway, here’s my unfortunate journey going to the US! =)


I still can’t believe that it happened.

It is now around 11:30PM here in San Francisco, we’ve all settled down. In fact, marami na ring tulog. Suffice to say, we all arrived here safe and sound. But HOW I got here is a different story.

If there was such a thing as Monday the 21st like the dreaded Friday the 13th, then I would be firm believer that there are certain days when certain people are extremely more unlucky than others. It can be attributed to chance, but who knows, baka nga weather-weather lang yan.

And if the case is really true, then LUCK abandoned me in every aspect of my journey to the states, on this fateful day of April the 21st.

It all started at NAIA, when I was checking-in my bags in Cebu Pacific. Maan told me already about the darned Philippine travel tax, to make sure that it was paid before, to avoid doubling of the fees. Our travel agent told her na OK na daw yun, no need to pay at the terminal. So akala ko OK na rin yung akin. Apparently, hindi pa pala. Add to that the excess baggage that I had to pay for kasi 20K lang ang limit ng Cebu Pacific. Owell. So pumila pa ako sa travel tax line na sobrang haba, then went to the counter of Cebu Pacific to pay for the excess, and then waited more for my boarding pass to be printed.

So I went through immigration, then final security check, OK na. I was all set and raring to go the US! At the back of my mind, something tells me that there’s something about to happen.

While in the plane bound for HK, I reviwed my itinerary. The ETD at Manila was 8:00, but we started boarding the plane only at that time and we left Manila at around 8:30 already! Then I saw that my connecting flight to San Francisco (via United) was at 1145AM! The Cebu Pacific flight was supposed to arrive at HK at 10AM but we arrived at about 1030 already. Nagmadali ako papalabas to check kung saan ko makukuha yung bags ko from the Cebu Pacific flight para macheck-in ko on time for the United San Francisco flight! I then realized that I only had 1 hour to do all these! I then hurried to the Baggage claim area (following the directional arrows at the HK airport, then I soon saw the LONGEST QUEUE LINE I’ve seen in IMMIGRATION. Then it dawned to me…before I can get my bag, I have to go through this HUMONGOUS line!

SOOO…I asked first the aide there on what should I do. I just need to get my bags, and not really enter HK per se, so I thought I didn’t need to go through IMMIGRATION pa. She said I had to ask my airline, United, about this. At this point, it was already 1050AM. The united check-in counter was at the other end of the terminal (think: whole span of University Avenue in Diliman!) and I had to walk going there because the only train there was going the opposite direction. Pati walkalators, pakabila ang takbo! So I was running wild from the immigration end to the opposite side of the terminal. When I arrived at United, the agent told me that I should get my bags FAST and really have to go through immigration since THEY DON”T HAVE ANYAGREEMENT WITH CEBU PACIFIC. If it were PAL or CATHAY, madali lang ang transfer, BUT NO. Sabi nung check-in guy, “You have 10 minutes. Good luck!” Parang mas kinabahan ako! Nyahahaha!

A mental note registered at that point, something I could or would secure forever: NEVER FLY CEBU PACIFIC for important occassions. EVER!

So, again, I ran back to the other end and pleaded to the Immigration aide na paunahin na ako since I’d be missing my flight in 10 minutes! Thank God pinauna na ako sa pila! But then, biglang wala pala akong ball-pen! So it took me around 10 minutes to undergo the immigration, and then alas, I was able to claim my bag!

While I was claiming my bag, as I held on to my carry-on dresser bag for costumes, BUMIGAY YUNG HANDLE! Great.

Di pa tapos ang lahat! So I had to go to the Departures area, 2 floors up, along with my big luggage, BROKEN dress bag and my other carry-on bag. While running up the escalator, nadulas ako sa floor, TWICE! Feck.

When I finally found the check-in counter of United, as if a photo-finisher in a marathon, I dyspneicly asked if I did miss my flight. And I was answered with a resounding YES.

My world fell apart.

Could things get any worse than this? Ang dami ko nang strikes

So to cut the long story short:
YES, I missed my flight.
YES, hindi ko kasama ang choir.
YES, I traveled alone from Manila to US.
NO, I went to LA instead and paid $100+ for rebooking fee.
NO, I didn’t arrive with the choir in San Francisco.
YES, I eventually made it to San Francisco from LA. I arrived 5 hours late.

When I FINALLY arrived in San Francisco, I thought hard if I really was IN SAN FRANCISCO, or baka dream lang yun and I boarded another plane! Hehe. After all of the things I had to put up with earlier that day, it wouldn’t hurt naman if I double checked everything.

Natakot din ako nung hindi pa lumalabas sa carousel yung checked-in bag ko. Ang tagal! Pero buti na lang lumabas din. Akala ko magkaka-strike pa uli ako. Nyehehe.

Is it because of my taunting statement in my previous blog?

I was actually disappointed that I won’t be travelling alone this time. Hehe. Akala ko nung una, mag-isa ako dahil I booked at a different agent from the rest of the choir kasi I’ll be staying behind. Turns out sabay lang din pala kami ng flight from HK to San Francisco. Owell, at least may mga makakausap ako. =)

Sabi ko na nga ba, makakarma din ako. Hehe. Better knock on wood next time!
I really wasn’t able to document my whole trip going here dahil sa sobrang TOXIC. All I did was to take a picture of me, FINALLY in San Francisco, hoping that from now on, everything would turn out better. 😀

Rald Goes to the States – Chapter 1: The Beginning

I want to chronicle my whole US 2008 trip right, kaya may series ang blogs ko ngayon. Hehe. I hope magawa ko nang tama at hindi tamarin sa pagsusulat. Nyahaha. =)

It’s already 2:30AM and in an hour I’ll be getting ready to leave for the airport.

AT LAST. The MedChoir tour will finally start!

There are so many things to be excited about. Eversince I was a kid, I really enjoyed long travels. I never really minded getting stuck in the airport during long stop-overs, I like being in airports. Masayang tumingin ng mga tao tao, mga bagay bagay, lalo na sa duty free — thinking that one day sana mabili mo rin yung luxury watch na nakadisplay. I also enjoy long flights, and developed a certain liking of airline food (except ones that come from Korea, yung may kimchi..yech.) I like discovering new things about a place, reading magazines of different countries, answering crosswords puzzles while waiting to board the plane. I was actually disappointed that I won’t be travelling alone this time. Hehe. Akala ko nung una, mag-isa ako dahil I booked at a different agent from the rest of the choir kasi I’ll be staying behind. Turns out sabay lang din pala kami ng flight from HK to San Francisco. Owell, at least may mga makakausap ako. =)

I’m also looking forward to the concerts. Returning to MedChoir only this January after a nearly 2 year hiatus, the concert in Michigan would be my 1st concert with the choir in the last two years. Di ko pa uli nafifeel yung “high” when singing on stage. That’s something to look forward to.

Another one would be the experiences with the choir while on tour. The Xiamen experience we had was such a great one, each one of us grew with each other. Nakakatuwang balik-balikan. 🙂 I hope the US Tour would form and strengthen new and old friendships alike.

And most of all, I’m looking forward to that vacation in the end of the tour. My whole ICC year was the best and worst year of my life. I’ve rediscovered myself in this year as I was pushing and pushing myself to my limits, nearing to points of breakdown. Buti na lang ‘di ako natutuluyan. I remember writing a blog at the start of ICC year, (see Super Gerald) saying na baka hindi ako makasama sa US Tour, and I was “overly terrified of not doing my jobs well”. Well, ICC year is done, and my posts are finally officially over. But despite all the hardships I’ve been through this year, I also enjoyed and had a blast. Sayang hindi ko pa natatapos yung Photo-recap ko ng ICC year, hintayin na lang. Mejo well documented kasi lahat lalo na it is this year that I had my OWN camera to tinker with. =)

And yeah, another thing to look forward to is celebrating our 4th anniversary at NYC! May 22 is the date, world premiere of Indiana Jones (and Sex and the City for Maan, hehe)! Last year we celebrated it on Bora, this year international na! Hahaha. Buti na lang at summer ang anniversary namin, we get to choose where we want to spend it! Weee. =)

So there, I hope we all have a safe trip! And for all the bigatens who will leave the country for their respective electives, see you when I see you! =) New Yorkers, wait for me! I’ll be joining you on May 14th! Brod (Alvin, hehe) and sisses, set the date of our NY gimik! May 19 nga ba Miya? Hehe.

I WILL ENJOY AND RELAX AND HAVE FUN! I think my mom and dad thinks I deserve it. Good for me. =)

Next posts will be overseas. =D

MedChoir US Tour 2008


US Visa: Check.
Renewed last Dec 26. Multiple entry until 2017! Yeah baby! 😀

Iteneray: Check

  • April 21, Monday Arrival at San Francisco, California — Choir will stay at my place in the Bay Area (Dublin), travel via BART from SF International Airport to Dublin/Pleasanton
  • April 22-25 Allow members to acclimatize, practice for all performances
  • April 26, Saturday Flight to Michigan (Detroit Metropolitan Airport)
  • April 27, Sunday 7PM Targeted performance date for Michigan (St. Hugo’s Church in Bloomfield Hills)
  • April 30, Wednesday Travel to NJNYCT Chapter (Newark Airport, New Jersey)
  • May 2, Friday Targeted performance date for NJNYCT Chapter (church in Jersey City)
  • May 3, Saturday Travel to Baltimore/Washington DC Chapter (probably by Commuter Plane)
  • May 4, Sunday Targeted performance date for Baltimore/Washington DC Chapter
  • May 5-6 Reserved dates for possible performance at the Philippine Consulate at Washington DC
  • May 7, Wednesday PM Travel from Washington DC to Las Vegas, Nevada via Commuter Plane with LOTS OF TRANSFERS so that we’ll arrive on…
  • May 8, Thursday Arrival at Las Vegas, Nevada
  • May 9, Friday Targeted performance date for Nevada Chapter (Doc Rando Musical Hall, University of Nevada LV)
  • May 10, Saturday Return to San Francisco, CA via Commuter Plane — Choir will stay at my place in the Bay Area (Dublin), travel via BART from SF International Airport to Dublin/Pleasanton
  • May 11-13 Possible courtesy call to the North California UPMASA Chapter/R&R at Bay Area
  • May 14, Wednesday Flight back to Manila, PH
  • May 14-31+ Back to NYC! Bum around and bug classmates who are taking their off-campus electives in the area. Go to Six Flags Great Adventure, jog at Central Park, roam around the city, eat chocolates, take lots of pictures, REST.

Learning Pieces: Ongoing.
Been practicing with the choir again! So good to be back! :]

Sponsors: Still looking.
Anyone with a kind heart, please donate for my plane ticket. Hehe. I have this agreement with my mom that if I dont get sponsors for the tour, I can’t go..huhu. Your goodness will reach a thosand miles, literally. :p

Yahoo! Looking forward to a very exciting and fun tour/vacation this summer!

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