The Surgeon's Logbook

surgery + medicine + photography + food + travel



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!


Birthday Part 1

Location: Tagaytay

Music: Cranberries – Linger

Time in: 11/14 – 12:05 am

Hating-gabi na at mag-isa akong nagtatakatak sa laptop ko dito sa may veranda ng bahay na tinutuluyan namin dito sa Tagaytay. Kasalukuyan akong nababalot ng ginaw ng panahon. Ang sarap ng simoy ng hangin, isa ito sa mga bagay na hindi ko nararanasan tuwing nasa Maynila ako. Malamig na nga…ber season? Marahil dahil nasa Tagaytay ako. Nakakasenti tuloy.

Kapapatay ko lang ng music player ko…mas gusto ko kasing marining ang tunog ng mga kuliglig sa saliw ng pag tak-tak ng mga aking keyboard. Paminsan-minsan ko ring maririnig ang malambing na pagdaloy ng hangin sa mga dahon ng puno sa paligid ko. Lubos ngang nakakasenti…

Ang sarap isipin na kabaligtaran ng nararanasan ko ngayon ang naranasan ko isang gabi na ang nakalipas.

Isang araw noong nakaraang linggo, naisip ko na maghanda na lang para sa mga kaibigan ko para sa aking kaarawan. Dahil hindi ako nakapaghanda noong nakaraang taon, at dahil naging tradisyon na ng barkada ang pagdalo sa birthday party ko, naisip ko na dapat mas OK ang handaan ngayong taon.

Nagpaalam ako sa nanay at tatay ko. Nang sila’y pumayag, agad ko nang sinimulan ang aking makinarya. Nang-imbita, gumawa na ng imbitasyon, gumawa na ng listahan ng mga may ispesyal na gagawin, nangulit, nagmakaawa…isang linggo ko ding iniisip kung may mga pupunta nga ba.

Ang usapan lang namin ng nanay ko, magpapa-cater daw kami ngayong taon. Natuwa naman ako nang sinabi niya yun…at least ngayon iba na. Pero hindi ko inakalang todohan pala ang paghahanda na gusto ng nanay ko.

Ano nga ba talaga ang gusto ko? Una, makapaghanda para sa mga kaibigan ko. Kahit kaunting pagkain lang, solb na! Pangalawa, mapagsama ang dalawang malalaking bulto ng mga kaibigan ko (UPIS at Intarmed) sa iisang handaan. Pakiramdam ko kasi, hindi sila bagay magsama. Pangatlo, magkaroon ng mga regalo. Tagal ko na kasing hindi nakakapagbukas ng mga regalo e, kahit krismas, aguinaldo na lang ang natatanggap ko. Gusto ko uli maranasan ang kasiyahang nadarama ng mga bata sa tuwing magbubukas sila ng mga regalo.

Nagsimula na ang klase kaya kinailangan ko nang bumalik sa dorm noong Lunes at hindi ko na nauupdate ang paghahanda sa party. Ang alam ko lang, magpapacater (akala ko kaswalan lang na catering, as in buffet sa table at kainan lang, wala nang mga disedisenyo) at baka mag-rent ng tent kapag feeling uulan. Yun lang.

Pero pagbalik ko sa bahay ng Friday, laking gulat ko na lang kung gaano kaengrande ang naging set-up ng handaan ko…parang debut! Napanganga na lang ako at saka sinabing “Ayus! Mukhang magiging under-dressed ang mga tao.”

Unti-unti nang nagsidatingan ang mga tao. Lahat sila, nagtataka…kahit ako. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa kung anong kinalabasan ng handaan ko. Kulang na lang ng video coverage, ice sculpture at live music, pwede nang pang-kasal ang venue! Hindi ko alam kung magiging masaya ba ako o maguiguilty. Hindi ganito ka-engrande ang iniisip ko…nasobrahan yata sa pagpaplano ang nanay ko.

Habang tumatagal ako sa lugar, unti-unti ko ding naipapaniwala sa sarili ko na totoo nga ang nangyayari. Unti-unti din akong sumasaya, at nagiging excited sa kung anong mang mga maaaring mangyari.

Nagsimula rin ang programa. Sinabi ko sa mga hosts na ang tanging kasama lang sa programa ay ang 19 shots at 19 regalos. Pero hindi. Ang gabing iyon ay puno pala ng mga sorpresa. Si Ino at Poto ay nakapaghanda ng rap, nagsalita ang aking mga magulang, makwela at benta ang mga hosts, at pinagsalita ako sa huli ng programa!

etong isang litrato muna, tsaka na yung iba…

nakikita mo ba yung tent sa taas at may christmas lights pa? you should get the picture by now… 😆 ako yung naka superman tie (na bigay ni Tara) at kasama ko yung imed friends ko na pumunta. 😀

Tulog na lahat ng tao. Tuloy ko na lang kwento next time…

Time out: 11/14 – 12:45am

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