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I went to the Pasig office of Operation Blessing to help sort medications that were donated by some very kind souls. It was my first time to volunteer for anything and I went alone after receiving a text from one of their staff. I worked together with another nurse called Psyche, named after the Greek goddess of soul. Man, I love her name. We grouped similar medications into four and removed the expired ones. After that, we also helped in sorting and repacking clothes.

Some might find it tedious but I really enjoyed it. I often forget how relaxing it can be to stay quiet and focus on the task you have at hand. There’s something very therapeutic about how it allows you to push your thoughts aside for awhile and rest your mind (of course, provided that nothing is pressuring you to finish the task ASAP, like deadlines).  It also helps to have a friend with you (though going alone isn’t a problem; you’re bound to meet a new friend there).

Let me just say that the people at the center are awesome. They were so friendly and organized. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help. I observed the way they operated and it was like watching a well-oiled machine with all the little parts moving to keep everything running. It was very uplifting to see how hard everyone was working, and how responsive people were to the recent disaster (their warehouse was full of donations and they had a lot of work to do with repacking and distribution). Good vibes everywhere. It makes me want to go back every day.

Yes, they need a lot of volunteers. If you want to give back in your own little way or restore your faith in humanity, please sign up.

Not all of us can do something as big as going to the affected areas and assisting victims in need, but a little goes a long way. Anyone who’s interested can visit their website and Facebook page. They have 4-hour shifts for volunteers (but you can stay longer with permission). They accept walk-in volunteers, but you will need to call their office if you plan on bringing a big group.

Note: Most of you may be familiar with the verse “…but when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,” and I try hard to take it to heart. I blogged this with some hesitation because I normally don’t talk about when I “give back” (and also because I went to Operation Blessing without the knowledge of my parents, who believe that the location of their office is dangerous. It seemed safe enough to me, though). I just really wanted to share my thoughts for today.

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A little boy brought his puppy along for a ride in the jeep.  The puppy stole most of the passengers’ attention, they seem to be very fond of dogs.

moving out using the best box in the world

We’ve recently transferred to our new, insanely huge, insanely equipped, and insanely expensive hospital.  I like that it’s insane, but whoa, I am not kidding when I say “huge”.  It’s like one gigantic complex made up of three buildings.  The hallways go on forever.  And I mean FOREVER.  I’ve only been inside one of the three buildings, and I haven’t even seen all the floors yet.  I should’ve expected that though, since the whole place is located in GC, about 3 cities away from where I live.  The way I see it, a block in GC would be equal to 2 or 3 “normal” blocks.

Anyway, I’ve been taking the MRT to GC for the past week.  Commuting to GC isn’t much of a problem (even if I lose sleep waking up veeery early to beat the morning crowd), it’s getting home that drives me crazy!  You can’t help but want to kill.  Riding the train from Ayala/Guadalupe to Cubao during the rush hour is like going to war.  The MRT’s a battlefield.  Or a trash compactor.  You’d feel way more comfortable in a sardines can.

I don’t think I can take commuting to GC once we start on shifting schedules, so I spent about two months looking for a nearer place to rent.  I was lucky enough to find a room (at one of my friends’ house, oh yeah).  I love that her unit’s number is 133, same as the number of my house.  I’m moving out next weekend so I guess I have to start packing as early as now.

Bye bye family.  I’ll be home on weekends maybe.  I hope I don’t get separation anxiety.

This always makes my day!  Buskers in NYC.  I love the music, the WORDS, the people.  Everything in the video goes together so well!  Happy, happy, happy.  I could watch it all day.  I could listen to the song aallll day long.

This is random, but does anyone remember the band that used to always play in Greenhills years ago?  Each of the band members were blind and they all wore white shirts and dark, dark sunglasses.  They had this white wooden box where people could put in some change or whatever they had to donate to them.  They’ve been there ever since I was a kid and my mom always gave me coins to put in the box because she said it was the only way they made their living.

I started seeing less and less of them ever since Greenhills went under new management and they moved the band to a spot outside the malls where not a lot of people passed by, until eventually they were gone.  I wonder what happened to them?

Video found via colormekatie.  I recommend looking through the other entries on the site.  🙂

I’m trying to fix my room. And I mean really fix it, like doing a bit of spring cleaning. Except that it’s summer. I have a feeling I’m going to be busy for the following weeks, so this is the only time I have to do this. Problem is, I am a huge pack rat. Wheee. I admit that I have too many things– too many books, clothes, toys, shoes, bags, and the like. I could hold my own garage sale (and I probably will, only on ebay hehehe).

I have a feeling that my brain is wired to the thought “it’s a shame to throw this away!” In college, my friends and I called it the “hoarding reflex.” It runs in the family, and on both sides too. My grandfather was one (may he rest in peace), and so is my father, and my aunt, and my cousin. We are a family of pack rats, and it makes life at home absolutely chaotic. Living with ONE pack rat, as I’m sure my mother knows very well, is more than enough to handle already!

I think I might be the messiest anal-retentive person to walk the planet. I have tons of excuses for my behavior, all of which I can back up with science. Or at least, the things I’ve learned in the academics. And the internet. Best excuse is “I’m right-brained.” My brother and I love using this one, which is true, we are right-brained. Self-proclaimed anyway.

If you’re a right-brainer, use the excuse. People must understand. We’ve got our own way of “organizing” things. When someone “fixes” our things the “normal way,” we get confused. It throws us off. We can never find anything because that someone has “messed everything up.” Of course, saying that will probably just end up annoying the hell out of people, but hey, they have to know.

We’re not lazy, we’re just right-brained.

Have to get back to fixing the room now. The normal way. I hate it.

Right now I’m in an internet shop in Lucena. I spent my new year’s here and I’ll be staying until tomorrow. Or Monday.

Most of my days here have been composed of eating and staying up late catching up with my cousins, waking up late, and then listening to and watching our drunk neighbors play with fireworks. That’s the thing I love about spending New Year’s here in Lucena. Although the fireworks in Manila are generally better visually, (not to mention much much safer), over here you get more freedom (har har har).

I really want to go back to Manila though. Compared to Lucena, it’s a lot warmer over there. I can’t go out of the house without a jacket on (I wear the jacket inside the house too).

1.  I got my left foot run over by a wheelchair.  It hurt.  Bad.  It got me singing Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer for the entire trip home.

what I was wearing when I got run over

what I was wearing when I got run over

I was in the elevator admiring a lovely violet orchid that a woman was carrying when a man pushing an older man in a wheelchair entered, swiftly running over my foot in the process.  The sad thing is that the guy didn’t notice, and neither did the man in the wheelchair.

It hurt so much I wanted to scream, but I kept quiet because I was thankful that I could walk and that I didn’t have to sit in a wheelchair with a helper to push you around, and occasionally, apologize to people because that helper is a careless idiot.  And I really didn’t want the man in the wheelchair to have to apologize to me because of something that was his helper’s fault.

So the three of us (plus my mom) ended up admiring the lovely violet orchid (in pain) that the woman was carrying until we reached the ground floor.

2.  I finished making an emergency coloring book for Timmy, whose birthday was on December 20.  A little late, but I’m giving it to her with this cute crayon pen (it’s 8 colors in one fat pen, like those multicolor pens except that it’s crayons instead of ink).

3.  I am now my family’s official gift wrapping slave.

my own version of the furoshiki wine bottle wrap

my own version of the furoshiki wine bottle wrap

these two are best friends

these two are best friends

octagon shaped biscuit can

octagon shaped biscuit can
used the tutorial on this one

used this tutorial

This tutorial, I mean.

I realized I love wrapping.  I tried being creative with each gift while conserving gift wrapping paper.  The cat and rabbit ears and the flower on the octagon can were made out of excess paper that would otherwise be thrown away.  If I had the money I’d use furoshiki on everything!

4.  There was a sale on Converse shoes at the Megatrade Hall in Megamall on Sunday and I missed it!  😦

5.  I cannot get over the whole Bush gets shoes thrown at him by an Iraqi reporter.

Bush and his mad matrix shoe-dodging skillz

Bush and his mad matrix shoe-dodging skillz

You can check out some more funny bush-shoe gifs at BoingBoing

Also, I am planning to participate in this photo project, Thank You for Throwing Your Shoe.

white here, gray at the end of the day

white here, gray at the end of the day. bored in my seat.

It’s People’s Day today.  People’s Day is a medical mission that they hold every month at the Heart Center.  I wish I could be a nurse there.  I spent half the day as one of the volunteers.  There weren’t a lot of patients, probably because no one wants to go to the hospital during Christmas season.  Who would want to find out that he might have diabetes just 15 days before Christmas?  You’d want to postpone it until after you’ve finished all the holiday food.  My task is to record their cholesterol results (in which you have to wait three minutes for the machine to read the data from their blood samples), and it gets so tedious that a few times every three minutes, I  keep looking down at everyone’s shoes.

My friend Mia was wearing this beautiful pair of white nursing shoes that don’t make your feet like Ronald Mcdonald’s (which most of the nursing shoes we own do).  Oh and I’ve learned never to wear a pair of shoes full of holes when in a very cold room.

I’ve been walking all day again.  After volunteer work I went to the mall with my friend Bayan.  My feet hurt like hell.  I still love walking though.  I’d walk around forever if I didn’t feel like I would injure myself.  I’d walk all around town and from town to town..

These past few days I’ve been doing a lot of walking (and getting lost).  Still on that job hunt with a few little errands thrown in.  I need something to remedy my sense of direction (or lack thereof).   Like a map.   Maybe it’s not just me, since I was with my friend Toku and we still ended up lost even after asking for directions.  I did warn him beforehand about me never knowing where to go.  I feel like my ankles are going to collapse on me.

it felt like this

like this

It was my first time boarding all three metro trains (twice) in one day.  On another day, walking from PGH to the city hall and finding out we went in the wrong direction.  Off into the rain to go get our first aid and basic life support certificates.  It was easier for Toku since he was wearing sneakers.  I was wearing my beloved jelly shoes and they didn’t keep my feet from getting wet.  They did however become very slippery to walk in (and disgusting).

manila bay

Here is a view of Manila Bay before sunset.  That’s how lost we were.

mimes at eastwood- they're saying hi

mimes at eastwood- they're saying hello

I also went to Eastwood today for the Philippine Canine Club’s Christmas party (and got lost once again looking for our car).  I saw these two “power ranger” mimes (check out the white one, he looks like a white ninja/RO assassin.  That’s almost a sakkat on his head).  They wanted me to pose with them.  I should have taken a picture of their shoes.  Damn.

Oh, and they don’t have peppermint mocha at Starbucks this year. And that is a crime.  It’s deprivation.  How depressing!

our shoes...  me and my friends

tired

All shoes shown here belong to me and my friends.  We were riding a jeep on our way to a hospital.  As you can see, everyone has comfy shoes (yes, those flip flops make you feel right at home… they also get you banned from entering most buildings, as my friend Gelo learned the hard way), since heels won’t work at all in our profession.  Today we were jobhunting, which is a task that should never be done alone, at least, if you’re a nursing graduate living in a country overflowing with jobless nurses and almost all the hospitals have a freeze on hiring even if they’re way understaffed.

By the way, I’m wearing a different pair of jelly shoes.  Soft and comfy and perfect for my feet.  I wear them everywhere.

We had plans and plans and plans and plans- all the talk nowadays is always about un-bumming ourselves.  This scene is familiar.  Nothing happened at the end of the day.

Endless worries.  I hate thinking about life and futures.