It's Time to Say Good-bye

I believe that there will always be time for everything, and now is the most opportune moment to finally say good-bye to my LJ blog. This also means that this is going to be my last post for this year.

Nevertheless, I am looking forward to next year. It will be a start of another good life--and most definitely a lot better. After all, I promised to never be afraid anymore.

What I Learned about Health

Over dinner, Bernard pointed out to me that half of this year was filled with doctor's visit. He was right. The latest just happened a while ago, when I had to go to the dentist because of the pesky swollen gums. It didn't stop me from eating, but it's definitely quite bothersome. It didn't help that I do have history of swollen gums, especially if we are talking about wisdom teeth. I remembered that the first time I had them, I was in excruciating pain. I got chills and very high fever. I could not eat anything, not even ice cream. I had to settle for glasses of milk to sustain me. The dentists could not help me, unless, of course, I would be willing to have them removed. The best solution they could give me was to gurgle salt and water every 3 hours (which actually proved to be a good pain reliever).

Anyway, it turned out that my third molar is erupting. The dentist--a new one and I'm hoping to stick to her--said that I had two options. First, I could have my third molar removed, but it's not going to be a simple tooth extraction. I had to undergo a surgical operation. I don't know what others who experienced the same predicament as mine before think, but I found the solution too drastic. Besides, I've gone through more tooth pain than this one, and I had successfully got over it. I would not mind just one tooth pain for now.

Her next advice was to give me pain reliever and antibiotics. She also advised me to gurgle a Bactidol-like solution that claimed to be anti-bacterial. I understand. Since the molars are located at the backmost portion of my mouth, it would be very hard to reach with my toothbrush. But it doesn't mean I don't use my tooth there. Food can get stuck therefore and generate bacteria that may cause infection or even oral cavity.

Since I have no other recourse since I can't find a less-toxic way of alleviating myself from the pain, I had to stick with the medications she gave me, never mind if her secretary was hard-selling them to me, telling me how their prices are so much cheaper than those offered by other drugstores.

All the experiences I had with doctors and researches about more ways of taking care of oneself got me into the following realizations:

Juice them.

If you can't eat them, juice them. If you don't want a lot of time wasted munching on hard vegetables and fruits, grab a blender or a juicer. They can save you more than 20 minutes, and you already nourish yourself with nutrients. It is advised that a person eats at least 3 to 5 servings of veggies and fruits every day, but since I am generally a meat eater, I have to settle for at least 1 or 2 servings per day first. I still have to wean myself from pork and chicken.

Get regular check-ups.

Before I started going to doctors, I never had undergone any regular check-ups for so many years. I was proud of that, but then, it just dawned on me that it may not be a wise idea. One has to know what his or her body is undergoing. Just because you don't feel anything, it doesn't mean you are healthy. Some diseases can be asymptomatic, until it would be harder for you to treat them.

Case in point: cancer. One of the reasons why a lot of people will actually succumb to it is because it is usually detected at a later stage, unfortunately, when it has already spread to other vital organs such as the liver, lungs, and even the brain.

There are already a number of laboratories that can give you comprehensive screening examinations. Some of these screening tests include whole abdomen ultrasound, occult blood test, colonoscopy, oral exam, EENT exam, CBC, ESR, PSA (for the guys), as well as mammogram or breast ultrasound, pap smear and cervical exam (for women). You can also coordinate with your own medical doctor to know which examinations will be ideal for you.

Choose a good doctor.

I've dealt with bad ones, those who seem to be in a hurry to talk about your disease or who don't show any compassion with what you're going through. I would just not drop any names here. Get a doctor who listens and someone who doesn't take any chances. He or she may ask you to go through a series of examinations, which would cost you, but it's a lot better than a late or unsure diagnosis. He or she should also respect your decision, since it's your body anyway.

Be open to alternatives.

I don't have anything against conventional medicine. The doctors I have now are the ones I want to help me in taking care of myself and even of my family. However, I would also like to open myself to alternative treatments. There are a lot of them, and so far, most of those I've dealt with worked for me. They also worked for a large number of people. Of course, there's a huge chance that they may not for you, simply because our bodies can react differently to various situations. Nevertheless, know that there are a lot of options available.

Make your own research. If something bothers you, ask opinions to practitioners and even patients who have tried the treatments.

Take your supplements.

David Murdock, the owner of Dole, is very old. He is more than 80 years old, but the condition of his body is equal to that of a 50-year-old. For the last 20 years, he hasn't taken any medication or even supplement. He hasn't gotten ill, and there's a possibility that he may just achieve his goal, which is to reach 125 years old.

Yet not all of us can have access to certain types of food, which are rich in both macro- and micronutrients. One of the best ways to achieve them is through supplements. The good news is that there are so many that you can pick. Examples are Alive and Vita Plus. You can make your own research to know what the choices are. Don't forget to get to know more about the ingredients in each of these supplements and understand how they can improve the condition of your health.

Focus on what's good and positive.

Stress can make you sick. I remembered when I was still suffering from depression, my blood count was not good. I also had an elevated ESR rate (which means my body is fighting inflammation or I could be suffering from an autoimmune disease). Every time I would feel angry, nervous, or agitated, I would become sick. I even experienced constipation.

For me, taking care of myself goes beyond just looking good or dropping weight. It improves my confidence, it makes me appreciate my life more, it gives me more power to do a lot of things I want to do in life.

It's All about Good News Today

Almost the entire week, our lives revolved around a very sad news. It seems like my lolo's prostate cancer is becoming more pronounced. There's no way for us to know what's happening, but there's a good chance it's already spreading to his bones.

Yet our family is at peace for a lot of reasons. One of these is that his spirits are up, and even if he understood the seriousness of his case, his hope still floats. He also feels at peace. Thank God for the grace of strength.

He had never been on respirator. He never had trouble breathing. Except for the excruciating back pain, which had now been greatly reduced by his medications, he could still talk, crack jokes, sit, stand a little, and, most of all, manage to make a decision for himself.

We are also hopeful that with strict diet, proper guidance of doctors, powerful supplements, and lots of love and prayers, he will be able to live a much longer and more meaningful life.

On the other hand, I am also happy. My CBC and ESR results are remarkable. For my CBC, all my figures, except for eosonophils, are within normal range. ESR, which dramatically increased from 40 to 50 (August to September), went down to half, 25. I am only five points away from the normal range. I also dropped 2 pounds without any form of exercise.

I would have to attribute these to three things: apple-carrot juice combo, Alive supplements, water, and prayers.

I really don't know what the future holds, but all these pieces of news keep my hopes up. Right now, we will revel in them.

Fruits and Veggie Mania

I already got the results for breast and whole abdomen ultrasounds, and thank God they came out normal. I will just have to wait for my chest X-ray. For those who express their concerns, don't be. :-) These are just included in my annual routine check-up. Yes, I will make it my own crusade to monitor my health at least once a year. For me, it's one of the best ways to really take good care of yourself.

Today, though, I will go for light meals. In fact, I plan to just go for 75 percent fruits and vegetables and cut back on meat as much as possible. I should also have to say good-bye to white rice for a while until I can shift to brown rice once I get home. Fortunately, I found a very good grocery shop where I can find a huge variety of fruits and vegetables, so I don't get too bored easily. I also discovered a comprehensive vegetarian cookbook, which I hope to get before the month ends.

I am not so sure yet of how my body will react to such change, but I'm hoping to enjoy the benefits most people say: more energy, less infection, better detoxification process, and stronger immune system.

It's Still a Good Morning

I woke up today not being able to swallow properly. "Something" seemed lodged in my throat. Of course, my paranoia set in again, and my mind drifted off to a lot of medical conditions and terms too many to mention here. Yet I don't want to dwell on the pain right now because, in general, my morning has never been this great for the past few days.

I shared a meal with the rest of the family members on a Friday morning. The weather's great. It reminded me of summer--and yes, it's making me think of the beach. There was plenty of food on the table, including one of my favorite combos: boiled egg and sardines. Bernard prepared the carrot juice for me, and it never tasted that good. Right now, I don't feel groggy at all, even if I only have 4 hours' worth of sleep. Most of all, my throat doesn't feel too bad anymore. There's a huge chance my prayer worked. ;)

Indeed, despite of the pain, it's still a good morning!

This Solitude

According to Livejournal, I have not posted anything for the last five weeks. Has it been that long? Perhaps I have definitely gone into seclusion. I haven't talked much in Yahoo Messenger either. I haven't met a lot of friends for more than a month, and I have not done a lot of work. In fact, I reduced them.

Was I lonely? Yes, I was, for a couple of weeks. That was the ultimate reason why I became silent. I could never think of something good in my life. I was afraid of facing people. I was so afraid of myself. Yet Someone decided to pick me up from where I came from, and the next weeks of silence were nothing but refreshing and liberating.

For a week now, I realized that I can read as much books as I can. Bookstores have suddenly become my favorite hang-out, and somehow, I never left one of them without buying one. I didn't matter if it was dirt cheap or not. The most important thing is these are books I would be so interested to read, not those picked up because they ended up in the Best-seller's List or they are going to be translated into big-screens.

Starting today, I will be reading three books every day: chapter by chapter. Who would have thought I could have this practice of patience? 

Truly, my life has been pretty quiet, yet I'm loving it. It's started to be ridden of too much responsibility, too much big dreams, too much of myself.

From DYAB Google Groups

Dear Kapamilya,
We have launched our Kapamilya Relief Campaign for the 350,000 flood victims in Metro Manila and 25 neighboring provinces.  Please take note of the following:
Kapamilya Relief Campaign for the Metro Manila Flood Victims Drop-Off Points:
  • ABS-CBN Complex, Jagobiao
  • UV Main Campus, Colon
  • Fuente Osmena
  • Mandaue City Hall Plaza
  • Lapulapu City Hall
  • Talisay City Hall & Gaisano Grand Fiesta Mall
  • Barangay Halls in Apas, Pardo, Tisa & Basak Pardo
  • Wow Travel & More in Robinson's, Gaisano Mactan & in front of Birhen sa Regla Parish
  • Liloan KAI Complex
  • ParkMall
  • STI Mandaue
  • Gothong Southern Shipping, Pier 4
  • NGO's:  FORGE (4126328); CPAG (2543572); & Kaabag sa Sugbo (2541878)
  • Julie's Bakeshop outlets
For Cash Donations:
Please directly deposit to Sagip Kapamilya BDO Account number 5630020111, Name-ABS CBN Foundation, Inc.  For those who insist to donate cash, we do not have an ABS-CBN Foundation Receipt, what we can give is a Petty Cash Voucher but we will crawl your names and amount of donations.

For Those Who Would Like to Volunteer:

You can come to the ABS-CBN Regional Broadcast Complex in Jagobiao, Mandaue City during office hours.  Please bring your own provision.  For group-volunteers, please coordinate with Mr. June Joseph Perez, at 4221950 or at Skype (dyab1512).


Who Would Have Thought?

The picture above is La-Salle Taft. Across it is the LRT station. Few meters away is Leon Guinto, where Bernard and I lived for a month, from February until first week of March.

I have no doubt in my mind that if Bernard were assigned to work in Makati after his training and we chose to live in the same place, we would be additions to the list of victims--worse, casualties. The place we lived for a while is a certified flat area, which means water can easily get through our door. There are no windows; once you're stuck inside the gate, you can have no other means of going out. The nearest houses are very old; they can easily be damaged by very strong winds and currents.

I've just talked to a friend who's currently in Pasig. Based on his description, it only took an hour for the water to rise so high that it is already waist or even neck-deep. I don't know if we could reach our brother's place in Makati with a one-hour window. I should also factor in people congestion and traffic.

Simply put, I am grateful because somehow the Lord gave us a new lease in life. We could have been there. Yet, I am deeply saddened for a lot of people who lost not only properties but most of all loved ones. Seriously, who would have thought?

For those who are willing to help the flood victims, you can click here.

photo credit Labuyo XVIII of PEX

Donation Drop Off Sites for Those in Cebu

For those who want to help out the flood victims, you can send your donations, cash or in kind, through the following:

From Clado

1. Cebu musicians & Outpost Restobar will help Ondoy victims! We'll need you to bring your goods, clothing food etc. Joseph Castillo, hubby of musician Lia Luisa A. Castillo will send a 20ft Container to MLA 4 esp Cainta & Marikina. Details to follow. Drop in some love while you listen to some music. Get in touch with him through 09082368999 or 09322117111.

(Ondoy-Live-Aid at the Outpost, 7pm on Wednesday September 30. Bring your donations. Let's fill up Joseph Castillo's container!)

2. Donations drop off at Banilad Church of Christ (bldg in front of Bright Academy near Sto. Nino Village), Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.

3. SUNBURST FRIED CHICKEN-TABUNOK BRANCH accepting donations from 10am to 9:30pm. Tabang Para sa mga Biktima ni asks you to donate to the victims of Storm Ondoy. Our brothers and sisters in Luzon need our help.

4. Aunt Genie's Breadhouse: 1279 Talamban, Cebu City (In front of the Talamban Sports Complex). call at 416-0495 if you need directions to the drop-off area. (Accepting: Canned Goods, Old Clothes, Blankets, Diapers for babies, Noodles, Rice, Medicine, Soap, Toothpaste, Water Container, Iodized Salt)

5. Bizroute Solutions (Mon - Sat 11PM to 4PM) Unit 302 Keppel Bldg. Ayala. call at 416-0495 if you need directions to the drop-off area. (Accepting: Canned Goods, Old Clothes, Blankets, Diapers for babies, Noodles, Rice, Medicine, Soap, Toothpaste, Water Container, Iodized Salt)

6. Bizroute Solutions Lahug Office (Mon - Sat 11PM to 2PM) Unit 201 MIT Bldg. Gorordo Ave., Lahug (near JY Square). call at 416-0495 if you need directions to the drop-off area. (Accepting: Canned Goods, Old Clothes, Blankets, Diapers for babies, Noodles, Rice, Medicine, Soap, Toothpaste, Water Container, Iodized Salt)

7. Cue Cafe Crossroads accepting donations in cash or kind as part of JCI Zugbuana relief ops. Accepting clothes,blankets,towels,underwear,footwear,food and water for our suffering brothers and sisters in manila.

8. Citigym accepting donations in cash or kind as part of JCI Zugbuana relief ops. Accepting clothes,blankets,towels,underwear,footwear,food and water for our suffering brothers and sisters in manila.

9. Y101 station accepting donations in cash or kind as part of JCI Zugbuana relief ops. Accepting clothes,blankets,towels,underwear,footwear,food and water for our suffering brothers and sisters in manila.

10. CEBU WORLD VISION SPONSORS and VOLUNTEERS can help. Cash donations to BPI: 4251-0024-15 or BDO: 2700-4341-1

11. Holiday Gym & Spa Banilad Cebu set up a relief operations Drop-Off center beginning today 1:00 PM, Sunday, September 27. Please bring blankets, clothes and canned goods to the front desk/ reception area.

12. ABS-CBN CEBU is now accepting relief goods... adto lang mo sa ABS mga cebuanos...

13. Victory Cebu is a part of the Typhoon Ondoy Relief Operations, send your donations of goods to Victory Cebu center and they will consolidate sending of it to Metro Manila. They're located at 3/F Dacay Building, 72 Escario St., Cebu City.

14. Veco is accepting donations for the victims of flooding in Manila. Non-perishable donations (preferably canned goods, clothes, powdered milk, uncooked rice, used clothing, blankets, etc.) are accepted at the following VECO offices: SM, Talisay, Talamban, Consolacion, and Liloan. This is in addition to the 2GO outlets in Cebu as well as Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Dumaguete, Davao, GenSan, Puerto Princesa, Tagbilaran, and Zamboanga. Veco and 2GO will consolidate and turn over the donations to the DSWD.

From Nancy Cudis

15. FORMO in Banilad Town Center, Monday-Thursday, 6 p.m. onwards

16. VUDU in Crossroads, Tuesday - Thursday, 6 p.m. onwards.

17. TOYS @ WORK in Banilad Town Center

18. VERY MARY SHOP in Myra's Pensionne in Escario St.

Other ways you can help:

1.ABS-CBN through Banco de Oro account number 56300-20111 account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Incorporation

2. Red Cross Load Donations: Right now the easiest way to make donations from the seat of your chair is via mobile phone load. The Red Cross Rescue and Relief Operations. Text: RED AMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) or 4483 (Smart)

3. TXTPower now accepts donations via SmartMoney 5577514418667103, GCash 09179751092 and Paypal

4. Worldvision Foundation is also accepting donations/volunteers to pack relief goods in QC. For $-donations, BPI:USDacct #4254-0050-08

You can also visit the following blog sites for more updates on drop-off sites:

Love Anything Japanese?

There are two people who influenced me greatly when it comes to my admiration toward Japanese culture: Bernard and Dothe. Bernard, a great lover of Asian films, has introduced me to Itchi the Killer, Grudge, Audition, and Ran, to name a few. Dothe, on the other hand, cultivated my great love for J-pop music. If it weren't for him, I would not have learned to sing "First Love" of Utada Hikaru as if it's just another OPM song.

That's why it's definitely such a thrill for me to know that there are actually two Japanese-inspired events that are coming up in the next few weeks. These are J-music Festival and UP Otaku Fest.

J-music Festival of CIO-AMAGE will be held on November 7, 2009, in Talamban Leisure Center. It would be a three-and-a-half event filled with nothing but live and definitely worth-hearing Japanese music coming from local artists. For those who want to participate, you can check out ImmortalUndead's page.

The third annual Otaku Fest, meanwhile, will be one of the biggest gatherings of cosplayers and Japanese culture lovers in the province. It will be held on December 12, 2009, at UP grounds. There are a lot of activities and competitions in store for those who want to join in the fun. For complete guidelines and forms, click here. You can also visit the Multiply page for updates.

As for me, I'm definitely wishing that I can be one of the witnesses of these two well-prepared events.