Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A.P.E. Preliminary Results

Again, am not happy with the preliminary results of my A.P.E. Every year, they always find something wrong with me, and every year, it gets worse. I don't know if it's one way for the doctors to earn their doctor's fees but it really sucks.

First of all, I was not happy with the way they extracted blood from me. When I sat down to where the blood extraction was done, I readily offered my right arm as it is where I'm used to. But the nurse or med tech or whoever she was insisted that the left arm is ok. I was rather hesitant because I knew it was difficult to draw blood from my left arm (this is my third blood test this year--don't ask), but well, I can't very well argue with the person who's holding the needle. So I just closed m eyes, bit my lip and hope that they make it fast.

When I checked the spot a few hours later, I knew the medtech/nurse botched up the job since there was a big red/violet color all over the puncture wound (there was hematoma). Meaning the vein was traumatized from the needle. Not to mention my arm is hurting a bit--until now!

After the blood extraction, the nurse took my blood pressure. Imagine my shock when she said that it's 130/80. That has never happened to me before. I started to worry and things started to go downhill.

At the opthalmologist, I was told that my right eye has gone up to 500 from 450. At least my left eye is still at 450. Sigh. I really have to save for that laser surgery. I so need it.

And for the last check, the physical exam. The doctor managed to find a lump somewhere in my left breast. She said that it could just be hormones and will disappear after a few weeks. I was surprised since when my OB did an examination last September, she did not find anything. It did not stop me from worrying though. Have to schedule an appointment with my doctor ASAP.

So there you go. A high BP and a lump. I can't wait to get my blood test results. Oh and fairness to the BP, when I checked my BP again this afternoon, it's back to the normal 110/70. I'll have it checked again tomorrow. Just to be sure.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I'll be taking our Annual Physical Exam tomorrow. I'm a bit scared with the results since I was diagnosed with high levels of triglycerides, cholesterol and uric acid last year. Being the hard-headed girl that I am, especially in terms of food, I ignored my doctor's warnings and still ate what I should not be eating. Moreover, I think I gained weight ever since I moved to Paranaque since I'm being fed with rich Kapampangan food. Actually, I could handle that. I just don't like being diagnosed with high levels of blood sugar which can be indicative of diabetes. That I cannot take.

My 30th birthday is coming up. I hope this will be the mark for me to SERIOUSLY start losing weight. It's REALLY difficult and I envy people who can lose weight so easily. The problem with me is maintenance. I can start, but it's hard to maintain. Maybe somebody needs to diet/lose weight with me. I don't know. I don't know what else to do. Well-meaning people have sent me books and paraphernalia on the latest fad diets, yet, I haven't opened any of them. Why is it so difficult for me to say no to food? I must be suffering from some psychosis or neurosis. On the other hand, I could also be an emotional eater. Oh well.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

So Be It

A month ago, I was asked to be one of the master of ceremonies for a debut of a friend at Mandaluyong. I readily agreed since I miss seeing my friends and I had nothing planned today.

When my friend reminded last week of the event, I felt rather uncomfortable in going and I actually wanted to back out. But since it was too late and it would seem bad of me to suddenly change plans, I arranged my schedule with Leo and went to Mandaluyong in the late afternoon.

It was great to see my surrogate mother and father again, as well as my goddaughter. It's been more than five months since I've seen them and we did a lot of catching up. One news that greatly saddened me was when I inadvertently learned that the parents of my godchild had some sort of misunderstanding/disagreement which caused the mother to move out. I still don't have the whole story yet since the guy is still emotional and when I saw the girl last week, she did not say anything. I don't know how to handle the situation as these two people are very dear to me. I played a significant part in getting them together and I even coordinated their church wedding (and as mentioned, primary godmother of their daughter)!

I still hope that they can still patch things up and not be another statistic.

Friday, November 25, 2005

How the years have passed....

I lifted this from Chuyie, who in turn, lifted it from Vince. Reading it made me reflect on my life as well. Just in time for my 30th birthday.

25 years ago

I just added this since I just found out that I'm 5 years older than Chuyie. Gosh, what was I doing when I was 5 years old? Ah yes, my twin sister and I were enrolled at Think N' Try. I think it's a tradition for our family to study in that small nursery school in San Antonio Village. I remember celebrating our birthday there with a cake with the Little Twin Stars as decoration. I still have a picture of that event with Mrs. Tugade in the background.

20 years ago

Gosh, when you grow older, your memory gets more blurry. When I was 10, I saw my cousins who were based in the US for the first time. They came over to visit and I bonded with Dawn, the middle child (and a smart one at that). They told me about their home and it made me want to visit them at California. I started dreaming of what I'll do there and even visiting Disneyland! Well, that dream became a reality a year later when I left for the US in 1987. I stayed there for 2 months! My relatives there did not want me to leave and have already made plans for me to stay and study there. My dad however, was adamant that I come home.

15 years ago

High school life. I was a nerd when I was in high school. We had this little barkada called the DPS which stands for Dead Poet's Society (we sometimes change it to "Pwet") for obvious reasons (yeah, we love the movie). There were 6 or 7 of us in the group: Pam, Atha, Kay, Rae, Ruth and me. Oh, and Len (Kay's friend), would join us from time to time. All of us, except for Kay and Len, belong to a special class that does outreach work (Religion Extension Class) at the school's adopted community (Apelo at Pasay). Also, I remember watching Mobsters with the group and drooling over Christian Slater (whatever happened to him?!). High school was fun but it wasn't until college that I discovered boys.

10 years ago

I graduated from college when I was 20. Well, 21 actually. I had more fun when I was in college. The friends that I made then are the ones who I still hang out with until now--to think that they're all guys! We call ourselves the Circle of 8--again for obvious reasons. I was a freshman when the guys took me under their claws---err---wings when I joined the student press. They taught me how to play D&D and other role playing games which earned me the title, Queen of RPG at the press room. The original circle of 8 was Allan (the cleric), Rico (the DM), Mariano (the fighter), Chris (the kender-thief), Max (the mage), Obey (the telepath), Mike (the ranger) and yours truly (the bard). Other members moved to another school/country and were replaced by Edy (the dwarf) and someone else. The circle is still intact and we see each other regularly (except for Obey who's in the US and Mariano who has his family and art). I also had my first boyfriend/love when I was in college. Gosh, I can't believe I was once young and stupid! But well, we grow and learn from our mistakes.

5 years ago

I joined my current employer 5 years ago. I was also in an inter-racial relationship that time and my SO then and I were already makings plans of being permanently together. Thus, when I took the job offer, I was not thinking of staying long term. Another thing, my family was starting to fall apart this year. It was then that we learned that we have a half-sister and my mom wanted to leave my dad. It was the most painful and traumatic feeling that I have ever experienced in my entire life. The feeling was worse compared to the pain of betrayal of a former boyfriend (I was two-timed!).

3 years ago

My SO and I broke up this year. Our relationship was a rocky and difficult one and we lasted four years in a long-distance relationship. We also broke up more than once and all those times, I was the one that instigated the break-up. Although the last one, which he initiated, I made sure was the last. My mom also flew to the US to find a new life. It was supposed to be a temporary fix--for her to earn enough to pay for the debts that our family business incurred causing them to declare bankruptcy--but she has somehow made more permanent.

2 years ago

I started entertaining thoughts of taking up postgraduate studies. An officemate encouraged me and with further prodding from my mom, I decided to go for it. Good thing I did because it was there that I met my current SO, Leo.

1 year ago

I was helping my siblings get ready for their church weddings. BJ, Che and Claudine already got married in court. BJ had his church wedding last December while Che had hers last January. It was also then that we learned that my mom has divorced my dad (in the US). Yes, are now a statistic of broken families.

A Week Ago

Was the last day of my OIC-ship. It was the most stressful experience I ever had at work. Made me question if I'm ready to be a manager.


Or was that the other day? I gave Leo his early Christmas gift. Clue? It's Razor thin.


Had my Finman WCE. Not the worst exam I ever took--just difficult--since I barely know most of the subject matter. Had to do some serious self study. Also had dinner with Leo at the newly opened Good-ah (Open 25 hours a day) branch here at BF.

Makes me wonder what the next day/week will bring.

Four down, three to go

Took my Finman WCE today. I don't know if I passed but I was clueless in some computations. I can't believe it, to think this is my college major yet I suck! At least it's over and done with. I wish I feel that way with regards to my Prodman exam. We're scheduled to take it on the 16th of December! Imagine that?! And that's our company Christmas party! I don't want to miss that! Huhu.

Well, it just leaves Mansci, Eco and Prodman. At least I've passed the halfway mark already. Man, I just want this to be over!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Make or Break

A couple of weeks ago, my boss told me he's going on block leave. I was initially filled with excitement since it's a chance for me to prove myself (ahempowertripahem). Of course, there was trepidation since who knows what would happen in those two weeks. My boss did reassure me that he's just a phone call away and he's not leaving town.

On the start of my first week of OIC-ship, things were kinda ok. I was putting out fires left and right and I could still smile. My previous boss, AC, who's still with the company, talked to me and I was touched when she said that I should not hesitate to approach or disturb her if there's anything that I need. If anyone's picking a fight with us, I should tell her (she actually gave me permission to make "sumbong" to her. Of course, I only did that once. Nakakahiya naman). However, things started to take a downturn towards the end of the first week. I was expected to do things that was impossible to do and it was really SO stressful.

On the start of the second week, I was already counting the days until this Friday. Things started to get worse since the boss of my boss is also out of the office and referring concerns to them is getting to be more difficult. Moreover, the mother of one of my staff passed away last Tuesday. Other impossible and difficult things were referred to us and I could feel myself drawn so tight. Today, being the last day of the week, was the worse. I had a stress headache the whole day and my department was asked to finish some deliverables beyond the usual working hours. Not to mention, I had my Prodman WCE scheduled tonight!

So I just did what I had to do and hoped that nothing would explode at my face next week. At least my boss will be back next week so if other departments wants to raise an issue or complain about something, my boss will handle it.

I left the office beyond 6 pm hoping that the exam hasn't started yet. When I got to school, my headache got worse. After waiting for half an hour, the student secretary came out and said that our exam was cancelled for reasons I still can't understand. I should be relieved since I was not able to study as much as I should this week. However, I felt more frustrated and stressed since I still have to worry about it these coming weeks.

So I went back to the office and tried to get some more work done. I took a Paracetamol tablet but it did little to alleviate my headache. By the time Leo picked me up, I was ready to scream or cry, and in the privacy of Leo's car, I chose the latter. I broke down. I cried and I sobbed. I wailed and I weeped. I let go.

When I recovered a bit, I sent a text message again to AC, who helped me through some tight spots in the past couple of weeks. When she replied to my text, I started to cry once more. Leo thought that I was getting upset again, but I was just touched by the message. She said, "I have always believed in you Shine, you did well in your boss' absence in pulling the team together. Enjoy your weekend." That was the BEST thing I have heard in the last two weeks. Someone to just affirm and thank you for all the work you've done--even if she has nothing to do with your appraisal. Somehow, it made all the pain and stress so worth it. It feels great to know that someone who I greatly respect, believes in what I do and what I have done. It somehow nullified the feeling of incompetence that I was feeling earlier.

Now, I'm going to spend the weekend relaxing and pampering myself. I think I deserve it after all the stress I went through. Moreover, walking in the shoes of my boss made me think twice whether I would want to be in his shoes. I don't know if I'm strong enough, or smart enough, or "mataray" enough. I don't know how he (my current boss), does it but he deserves more than a pat in the back, for sure!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Constantine and Mig

The Inquirer featured my favourite "idols" in their front page today. Constantine Maroulis (American Idol finalist) arrived in the same flight as Mig Ayesa (Inx's Rockstar finalist). I would very much want to catch Constantine in his shows but unfortunately, I won't be available during the times of his shows--both in Greenbelt and Town Center. Plus, I just realized that I don't adore him enough to jostle and wrestle with hundreds of other people just to see him. I guess I'll just admire him from afar (sigh).

As for Mig, he's early for his Dec. 1 concert since he was scheduled to sing in the Ad Congress closing. I wish I can watch all those concerts. Sigh.

Ah, speaking of the Ad Congress, their current radio ads are hilariously funny! There's the one with the diva singing "Per DTI permit 1007 series of 2005". But the one that really had Leo and I laughing our heads off was the one that had them using the name game to advertise generic names of medicines.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Cry No More

I wrote this review a few weeks back but was not able to post it. Well, at least it's still relevant.


CRY NO MORE by Linda Howard

I was not satisfied with the output of my favourite authors lately (Jude Deveraux, Judith McNaught,Julie Garwood), that was why I was pleasantly surprised when I finished Linda Howard's book that I found in Powerbooks.

It's a relatively old book published in 2003, but it still managed to leave an impact on me regardless of the publishing date. Morevoer, the scenes described in the book were so poignant and intense that I could actually feel and imagine myself being in that situation.

The story revolved around a woman who lost her child to kidnappers. She was stabbed and almost bled to the death in the proces. When she recovered, she was told that no ransom was demanded for her son. In her grief, she devoted her time and efforts in finding her son that she ignored her husband and their marriage which inevitably ended in divorce (the book also spouted a statistic wherein almost all couples who are victims of kidnapped children end up separating). Even if she didn't ask for it, her husband provided her with a generous alimony and a medium-sized condo unit which according to her husband, is his way of helping her with the search. He eventually got on with his life by remarrying and have two kids.

It has been 10 years since our heroine's son was kidnapped and it was only a couple years ago wherein she had her first solid lead regarding her child's disappearance. She also managed to start an organization whose purpose is to assist police and other government agencies in search for missing people--especially children. She pursued her lead and much to her consternation, had to team up with a person with questionable character.

In their investigation, they discovered that there was a human smuggling ring operating in the vicinity of their neighborhood. The woman's OB-Gyne, who is also their friend, reported births to the head honcho and he orders the kidnappings. They smuggle the babies to other countries where they are subsequently adopted--with the adoptive parents and lawyers believing that the babies are acquired through legal means. By then, their baby was adopted by an upstanding couple and was obviously and dearly loved by both.

It was here wherein the beauty of the book lies. I read this chapter again and again and still managed to shed tears in the process. I myself was left wondering how everything would end up. The woman spent 10 years looking for her son and now that she found him, what will she do? Will she fight for him or leave him be?

The next thing that happened was expected but it still surprised me. She met with her son's adoptive parents and informed them of the circumstances surrounding their son's adoption. Expecting that their son will be taken away, they were majorly surprised when they were handed a legal document with the biological parents relinquishing their rights to their child.

As the woman's partner said, it was the most hard-assed courageous thing that he had ever seen someone do. And so have I.

Giving up your child, moreover, having searched for him and devoted your life to him for the last 10 years, just like that, can take a lot from a woman. Her family and friends have been telling her to move on but she refused. Her partner even thought that she would run away with her son once she finds him. But all the while, all that she ever wanted, was to find out if he was alive, if he was safe, and if he was loved. When she found her answers, it was the time she let go.

Of course, she was a wreck afterwards. She spent three weeks crying and functioning like a robot until she woke up one day and clearly looked around her. She was numb, yes, but the pain was not that sharp anymore. Moreover, her partner stayed with her throughout her time of sorrow and need.

The mother moved and married her partner and had 3 kids. She learned to be happy again and managed to let go of the pain and guilt. And what made the ending happier, her grown son came to visit her of his own accord.

I loved this book because it made me see the other side of the fence. Call me heartless but I have low tolerance for people who refuses to move on with their lives, especially if it involves break-ups. I totally agreed with the mother's relatives and friends when they told her to move on. I was silently telling her to let go and rebuild her life. She refused to heed their advice, and in hindsight, I'm glad.

People have different ways in dealing with sorrow and grief. Other people take twice the time to move on, and other have different ways of closure. For our heroine, her closure is finding what happened to her son. Even if she did manage to move on, there will be that niggling thought of not knowing if her son is alive, or dead, or if he is alive, is he ok.

This book taught me to think twice before telling a person to "move on". It's not that easy until you walk in their shoes.

Worklife Balance

I had a nice chat with my friend who recently moved to our company after resigning from her job at a multinational company. She said that though her job at her former employer was very fulfilling, it took a lot from her in terms of time. She was spending so much time at work that she seldoms see her son, or her husband for that matter. Shorter working hours is what was promised to her when she moved to our company and I'm glad to know that she got what was promised to her. At least now, she gets to spend more time with her son.

I wish it holds true for me. I don't know where to begin on just to describe how things are at work. Even though I don't have a family to come home to after work, I try to leave my work problems at the office. Even if I still have to contend with stress (my Prodman WCE this Friday), at least it's not as debilitating as that with my job.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

You fit in with:

Your ideals mostly resemble those of an Agnostic. You are fairly ambivalent towards any religion or spiritual connection. You lead a very busy life and find that religion and spirituality are unnecessary to your life.

0% scientific.
20% reason-oriented.

Take this quiz at

I'm back!

Yehey, it looks like I'm back. Hopefully my DSL access will be permanent. I had my techie brother come over and fix my connection. Hopefully this will stop the intermittent connection.

Sorry for being so out of touch this past month. I had friends and loved ones calling and texting if I'm still alive. Well, I'm still alive and kicking.

Let me see, what happened the past month...

My brother-in-law who's based in the US came home before Halloween and he and my sister went around the country beach-hopping. We also joined them at Anilao. Here are some pictures.

This is my very cute niece, Chloe Mei. She's five months when this picture was taken. She's growing to be really fat and sassy :)She looks like my family. I don't know how much she weighs right now but she's really heavy. I carried her when they went trick or treating in the office. My arms grew weary and tired after a few minutes of carrying her. She was dressed as a piglet by the way :)

This was taken at Anilao when we went boating with my family. Leo and I arrived at Anilao at around 3 pm. It was such a stressful trip. One thing that I've learned about Leo in our 20 months of togetherness, is that he doesn't like going to places he hasn't been to before. It took a lot of persuading from me to make him come to this trip. Eventually, he agreed but not after shedding a few tears. Heh. It was a fun boat ride considering we stayed in the boat most of the time while the rest of my family, except for my pregnant sister, me and Leo, went diving. I'm a bit hesitant in taking the plunge literally since I was wearing my contacts at that time. I really wanted to join them but I was scared that water will pour into my goggles rendering me blind (try getting salt water in your eyes with your contacts on and you'll know what I'm talking about).

This was taken by my cousin. A really nice sunset of Anilao. You guys should see it. It's absolutely breathtaking.

This would make a really nice family picture, except we're not technically a family. Hehe. It's a nice candid shot and a pretty one at that. Everyone liked it because we're all smiling, especially Leo. Most of our pictures seldom has him smiling, so this one is such a treat. The little girl on my lap is my niece Chloe, and the boy that Leo's lifting is my cousin/godson, Kiko.

And this last photo features my whole immediate family and their respective spouses. That's my dad in the middle carrying my one and only niece. From the left to right are: Jeff and Claudine (my twin sister), Mhon and Cheryll (who happens to be 7 months pregnant now), Lorelei (my half sister) together with my dad and Chloe, then there's me and Leo and beside us are my sister-in-law Nessie (mother of Chloe) and BJ. Yep, everyone's married now except me and Leo. Hehe.

Lemme see, after the Anilao trip, we had the Halloween party at the office. It was really fun. Too bad I still don't have pictures of that. Am still waiting for my siblings to send me pics. I'll post them once I get them. Chloe is really cute in those pics.


My WCE's have started last October 17. Since then, I've already taken 3 exams and I feel good about them. That means 4 exams more to go. I still haven't received the results but I do hope I pass.


Though I continually gripe about my work, I was promoted to assistant manager last October 1. I don't know if it's something that I should welcome considering the promotion comes with additional job responsibilities, but at least it helps me appreciate my job more. If I was in the same position when I started my MBA, I would've access to lots of raw data which would help me with my pre-MBA and core papers!

Peter Parker's uncle was right in saying that "with great power comes great responsibility." I was never this responsible for so much when I was just a junior officer. Now I could feel the pressure and the stress. Not only to perform as expected, but to ensure that those under me would perform and exceed expectations as well. With our new organizational chart, I'm going to have 5 people under me. 1 junior officer, 3 permanent staff and 1 temporary staff. I've already requested for reorganization of workstations to enable proper working conditions. We're grouping all working teams together. I now think more about work, rather than of school.

My boss also went on block least starting last Monday. It means that I'm OIC until he returns. I'm glad I survived the past week and just one more week to go before my boss returns. During the past week I realized that the position as head of our department should be a manager position. As the case may be, my boss is only one level above me and one level less before the manager level. I hope he does get promoted soon. I don't know how he handles the stress that the job brings.