2018 Closing Remarks

To Mon of 2018To Monica of 2018,

This is the year you became a Doctor. Officially.

You will look back at this year as the year you legitimately became the 11th doctor of the family. There’s Lolo Mando, Tito Biyong, Tito Joe, Tita Ciony, Kuya Mark, Kuya Clyde, Ate Iris, Ate Hanisah, Aaron, Justine, then you. The struggle to find your own niche will take its toll but the people before you shall stand as your North Stars – they’re there to shed light on your unchartered path. Look up to them.

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Viva La Manika x Moni


For anyone who knows me so well, it already goes without saying that I love art so much.  At the end of the day, when the World of Medicine gets a bit too cold, making art or staring at one has become my burning furnace. I have channelled all possible human emotions (rage, depression, ectsasy, anxiety, bereavement, love… everything!) into collages, illustrations, poetry, blogging, practically anything that needs the inner workings of my right brain.  To oversimplify this, I have survived one too many ordeal because of art.

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PLE protips, finally


I made a deal with myself that as soon as I pass the board exams, I will be duty-bound to give the blessings right back where they are due. And by giving back, I meant helping other future board-takers tread the path of the most awaited, most dreaded, and most anticipated examination in a med student’s life – the Physician’s Licensure Examination (PLE).

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An Open Letter to the BFF



It’s October 31. Halloween. Always our favorite time of the year. I can only imagine Black Market being so jammed right now. And in my head, I see us at the center of the dance floor: dancing, gramming, screaming, singing – perhaps a little out of beat and out of tune (but always in full costume, lol). It’s always been that time of the year when we’d cancel all other irrelevant plans and reserve a whole night just to party together (regardless if duty the next day). And, man, we gotta admit – you and I make a pretty great Halloween duo. It’s been 4 years of dressing up, showing up, and putting up awesome parties. It wasn’t even just another holiday for us. It was tradition.

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In Poetry


How to Survive

There’s a reason
they’ve always told you to
never get trapped.
After many foolish heartbreaks,
you’ve learned that you don’t really have much,
you are all that you have. And even so,
you have learned things beyond your years.
Like, mostly, of course, how we ‘lay’ and how we ‘lie’
these are hugely two different words, but
oftentimes interchanged. Continue reading

My Journals Through the Years

MementoWhen I was 9 years old, I fell in love with The Diary of Anne Frank, and knew from then on that I just had to have a diary or a journal of my own, too. I remember buying (with my own money!) my first ever diary – it was a pink Barbie notebook with a teenie tiny pad lock, with a furry pink key which I protected with all my life. I’d write, I’d draw, I’d compose bad poetry in it. I’d rant about my grade school teachers. I’d make up stories about my bullies (where they were all expelled to a far-off haunted school where they can never ever pick on me again; and this girl I super hated, who also happened to be the leader of the pack, was taken away by aswangs. In my head it was a good story ok). Then I’d always tell it about all my dreams. Journal-keeping was a habit I picked up so easily that almost 20 years later, it’s still stuck with me – a proof that some things really just stay with you. Although this time, I talk about bigger things now – bigger dilemmas, bigger ideas, and even bigger dreams.  Continue reading