Friday, April 18, 2014

Kill Bill Vol. 2

Last Tuesday night, Mike and I found out that we're pregnant after a pregnancy test administered in St. Lukes. I called the office to check if we have maternity coverage under our HMO. If married, yes, they said. It was unexpected, but an accident that we would've accepted whole-heartedly. 5 minutes in the news, an ultrasound was done and they found out that it was an ectopic pregnancy and that it must be removed. Then they advised that maternity coverage of the HMO does not involve ectopic/abnormal pregnancies. It wasn't ruptured then and a laparoscpy was suggested ASAP, which as per St. Lukes will cost roughly 100-200k. We don't have that amount of money right now so we asked if its ok to get discharged and go to my actual OB. That 4 hours of tests costed 13k already. I sleeped that Tuesday night with the heaviest heart in between learning that we're pregnant, losing it yet again, questions about my womanhood and capacity to bear a child and the expenses that I have no idea how to shoulder. It was one of those death-rollercoaster types.
I woke up very early Wednesday morning and called my OB. She said she can meet me noon. I went to her clinic by myself as Mike had to go to his office first to apply for a salary loan to cover for the impending expenses. Upon check with Dr. Alcantara (my OB), she said that the supposed embryo has already ruptured and I need to undergo laparotomy, an open surgery to have the ruptured embryo removed and the bleeding siphoned ASAP, my right fallopian tube will be removed too. otherwise it's the risk of death. Recovery time is similar to Caesarian section, 2 months. I asked the probable cost and said it would be around 80k and we'd need 50k give or take prior admitting. She said we'll do it in the Paranaque Doctors Hospital where they have a blood bank, as there is a possibility I'd bleed profusely due to the procedure and would need transfusion. I met up with Mike who said his salary loan can only be approved and released the next week, since it is Lent. I advised my office about the dilemma. We're very grateful that Ms. Lesley and Tina advised that they can lend us part of the money needed. They sent kuyaChristoper to bring us 50k at the hospital.
Wednesday night, I was admitted to the OR. I was anasthetized, and in a few minutes I was out. Around 10 pm, the surgery was done. I spent about 3 hours in the recovery room before I was sent to the ward. My brothers were there, along with Mike, waiting for me, then I slept. Thursday was spent between crying, hurting, complaining, and just drinking water. I cannot eat solids yet. I'm back to being an infant, so helpless; minus the innocence.
It's Friday today and I'm still in the hospital. I still hurt. The area where the incision was done pains me like hell. Adding to the injury is the emotional toll, the financial worries. I apologize to everyone who are asking me how I was and I don't answer. I don't know how to answer, I start to cry when I do and I don't have the patience anymore to tell it separately. Tears fall from my eyes as I type this. I'm questioning everything I believed in and did not believe in. If this was some divine intervention of sorts or just reality that I must face. I've had a pretty good life. I had the education I need, a job that pays for the needs and then some, my family as weird as it is has always been functional. More than anything, I still stand by my ground on Reproductive Health. I could really use the clauses in the law right now. Maybe this will turn me more into a women's activist. Maybe this is a faith catalyst. Or maybe not.
I'm just thankful for the people who helped, who showed support, who gave the time to console and condole. I often thought that when people pray for you, you are helpless, I am often offended with that. But I am helpless right now. I feel so bad I'm running in my head ways to end things. But sure, pray for me if your faith and instinct tells you to do so; maybe it will help me, maybe it will help you. As Kurt Cobain put it, "thank you from the bottomless pit of my nauseous stomach". I'm 27 now, am I worthy of the 27 club?
I know this is a sad-borderline-morbid story and I shouldn't be thinking and writing what I am right now. I've always released my feelings best through writing and I thought this would be a great exercise for my sanity. Writing and re-reading my own thoughts give me an out-of-body experience of reading my own story and reflecting on it after I'm done. I am documenting this so I can stay sane
I'm tagging the people I want this shared with. Not everyone in my list are entitled to such knowledge and news. Feel free to share this with people who know me without malice, and would care about the story. Do not retell my tale differently...
PS. No more pregnancy jokes and when will you have a baby questions from now on. I fucking swear I'll punch in the face who will attempt to.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

On womanhood

Women around my age always gets asked (if they haven't yet) a.) When will they get married? or b.) When will they have a baby?

It gets pretty annoying after the many times it gets asked by the many nosy people, more so if one is an educated woman who have bigger dreams. Someone who at a young age instead of playing mommy to infant dolls; played with world maps and almanacs, was obsessed with the encyclopedia, dictionary and cassette player; someone who refused to play the nanay sa bahay in bahay-bahayan but the mom who drives to the office with her toy cellphone? Why are we stereotyping women to wife and mother roles? Women have different definitions of success and happiness. And WE are capable of making them ALL happen if we stop bending over backwards on achieving what traditional society asks us to be.

How about... When will you win your Nobel Prize? When will you earn your first million? When will you be able to buy your first car, your first house? When will you go to Europe for the vacation you dreamed of? When will you get your PhD? When will you be a popstar? When will I save enough money to buy an RV and tour the entire Luzon coastline? 

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Pixie

So I finally decided to chop off my hair and go pixie yesterday. And this was how I felt about it.

I thought that pixie won't look good on me too for a long time. Not to sound too melodramatic, it took me a few months to make myself ready and lots of overanalyzing. I though that my face is too round, that I need to lose weight and get those jaws going on first and that I'd look like a boy and society might not find me pretty/attractive anymore.

Maybe Buddhism, yoga, research on all the varieties of pixie available and lots of inspirational and women empowerment quotes and the RH law made me make up my mind. I never felt more beautiful and strong. Yes, that haircut is an ode to womanhod.

RH Law

I've never felt so passionate over something for so long. The feminist in me is crying and shouting in wild joy. Again, it's not about shoving principles down people's throats. It's always about choice.

Part of my conscious ultimatums prior to child bearing was the RH Law. My faith in humanity is partially restored; the branches of the government despite the plethora of errors in so many facets has done one right. That's still a good thing.

And to commemorate this win, I've decided this afternoon that the #RoadToPixie must go on. They say feminists cut their hair short as a political statement. Then let this be it...



Now, let's fight for more freedom. Let's all choose to be in the correct side of history (specially when left is right).

#SafeSex #RHLaw #NoGloveNoLove #ProChoice #ProGoodLife #ReproductiveHealth #NotReproductiveDeath #SeparationOfChurchAndState #TaxTheChurchIfTheyInterfereWithState

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dear Raul Dancel

A reply to this social climber rant disguised as journalism.

The Philippines -- Metro Manila might be a ruckus; a dangerous, noisy place to live in. But I'd rather be braving this danger and feeling the vibrant culture, the bass-driven beats, the non-1984* way of life in the country I was born. I'd rather be anything THAN be a stuck-up balikbayan who suddenly feels all high and mighty just because he uses 'lift' instead of 'elevator' and 'takeaway' instead of 'take-out' -- as if those words will give him some effed up sense of entitlement. In case you don't know, BPO employees and Harry Potter fans were able to learn all that without having to leave the country.

I have greater respect for people who can speak 4 different languages -- accents included -- fluently. People who goes from country to country, absorbing and learning different cultures and traditions instead of idioms, slang or whatever-isms they picked up in that place. People who travel to feel small, as opposed to those who do to feel big.

Now, a person who cannot comprehend simple 'Filipinisms' and Filipino way of life-- even if he was born, went through preschool, puberty and adulthood in the Philippines just because he was exposed to a few years of 'Singlish' and 'discipline', should not be writing at all.

And yes, this is another ad hominem tirade, but sometimes, some things must be addressed such that the growing ignorance will be kept at the minimum.

*1984 is a novel by George Orwell depicting a dystopian society where people are so disciplined and anal because they are under the watch of 'Big Brother' and behaving otherwise will literally kill them.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

So Far

At 26*, I just turned 27, I'm in that point of life where I eject toxins out of my life as I've realized that life is too short to spread myself too thin and end up suffering.

I value my family -- my husband who showers me with love (in the form of hugs, kisses, jokes, intimacy, finances, food, thoughtfulness, respect); my parents who are there for me as I am there for them; and my siblings -- as different we are.

I have friends, they're real and are not mere names that accummulated on my social media blackbook(s); we sometimes don't talk for long periods of time but when we do, it's still like it is -- 5, 10, 15 years ago.

When meeting other people, I keep my mouth shut - at first. I observe. How they behave, interact. I don't impose me. When I've gotten a hang of these new people and I enjoyed their company, they are promoted to friends.

I have fun, but not with strangers anymore. There is always a gaping hole, an emptiness after socializing with phonies. I laugh and scream my lungs out in joy -- with people I love, people I care about.

I respect other people's times. I am punctual, majority of the time; and I respect people who knows how to respect other people's time -- after all, time is the only thing we cannot really earn back.

I love myself, I fully realized that all the money in the world -- working like farm animals to get to that money -- is worthless if your health and wellness struggles. I love myself enough that I make sure I get enough sunshine, breathe fresh air.

I measure my happiness with the number of morning hugs I get from my husband and number of hours of sleep each night and not with the number of social network likes. I stretch -- probably more than my muscles, bones and joints can handle, with yoga.

I plant, I care for animals. I read books, articles, poetry -- I have been reading since I was four. I follow the news, I stay aware and informed on the real and important stories; I put gossip, fashion and drama at the least of my priorities. TV time has decreased immensely than I used to 7 years ago. Stretching the mind is just as important.

I admit faults. I am fast at apologizing and fixing them. When other people have faults, I give chances, I explain what was done wrong, and I try to fix things if I can do it so as not to hassle the other party. In the event that the other party used up all the chances, I come up with a solution such that similar events will not transpire anymore. To avoid further conflicts. I forget faults. Give me time and space and I forget faults. Repeat faults and brat your way, and I don't forget, nor forgive; at this scenario, toxins are identified and ejected from my system.

Then we go back to to the first paragraph.

*Originally penned February 21, 2014

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

No.

I get offended when people tell me they'll pray for me when I'm going through rough times.

I am fully aware though that my view will be highly controversial, if not regarded as the act of the devil.

But really, I get offended.

I'd like to think of myself as someone who reached what I reached, gone through life, became who I am, because of my own conscious effort to be like this. I studied and worked my ass off. I'm strong. I can get past through anything on my own conscious drive to do so and with the support of people around me.

But don't pray for me. Doing so makes me feel and think that I am not in control of things, or my emotions that I'd need an external, sort of magical force to get me through whatever it is someone is praying for me for.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Olivia, will you marry me?

Ang misteryo sa'kin dito ay yung bakit apektado ang karamihan ng tao.
May nakapagtanong na sa'kin kung lumalabas ba ako ng bahay at wala akong pakialam and/or alam sa "misteryong" ito.
Na parang napaka-walang kwenta kong tao dahil sa apathy ko sa hinayupak na billboard na to at sa bagong pelikula ni Piolo.
Mga biktima ng media ang mga naging "curious" dito.
At pasensya kung sa mas importanteng bagay ko tinutuon ko ang pansin ko kesa sa billboard na ito.

Olivia billboard mystery solved
MANILA, Philippines -- Mystery solved, and Olivia said yes.
The "Olivia, will you marry me?" billboards are part of a marketing campaign for Pioneer Woodlands condominium in Mandaluyong.
A new billboard appeared on EDSA that says, "Olivia Said Yes! So we bought our first investment together at Pioneer Woodlands Mandaluyong City."
On the week of Valentine's, mysterious pink billboards with the words "Olivia, will you marry me?" popped out accross main thoroughfares in the metro. Also written on the billboards were the numbers "21414," that many assumed to be Valentine's or the proposal date.
It turns out, "21414" refers to the weekly price of a unit in the said condominium. "For as low as P2,141.4/week," said the new billboards that recently popped out.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Cross that out (Part Trois)

Read the first part so you'll be able to understand the whole process. Part One is here and Part Two is here.

And so, for the final steps

9. Releasing of the cheque. BDO texted us that the cheque is ready for release.

Upon providing the seller with the down payment in item no. 7 (in Part two of this trilogy), we prepared an acknowledgement receipt, two copies, one is seller's copy and another buyer's copy.

This is what the bank required from the seller to provide to claim the cheque. And a valid ID/

10. Bringing home of our car. And so, we went to the seller's house, and gave her two boxes of Tipas Hopia (optional) and finally brought home our car!

Next on our agenda were:

  • Giving the car a name
  • Buying a car cover (since our garage isn't covered)
  • Duplicating the car keys
  • Photocopying the OR, CR, Deed of Sale and payment acknowledgement documents.
  • Smile. We are now car-owners!



Sunday, February 09, 2014

Cross that out (Part Deux)

Read the first part so you'll be able to understand the whole process. Part One is here

6. Providing Bank with necessary documents. Now you need to bring to the bank the documents obtained after the transfer of ownership.They advised us that a car history check will happen, this will take about 3 days and finally advised we pay the down payment to sellers, as they will release the cheque in 3 to 7 working days.

7. Paying down-payment. BDO only allows to pay 70% of the total cost, so the 30% less the earnest money, we provided the seller -- in cash as we don't have a chequing account.

8. Getting a Comprehensive Insurance. After three days, the bank loan officer asked us about insurance. This is where it got a little confusing. The sellers bought TPL insurance in LTO, but what the bank needs is a Comprehensive Insurance with Acts of Nature included. They advised us to get one as the TPL cannot be used at this point.

Being the busy office people that we are, the first thing we did was go to the internet to search for an Insurance. I contacted MAFPRE and followed Standard Insurance's online car insurance auto-calculator for a quotation. Standard Insurance provided lower rates (lower by PhP 5,000), so it was the obvious choice.

For a less than 2-year old car with 3K km on it's mileage, Standard Insurance priced the insurance at Php 11,000. We settled payment online through credit card and the insurance policy was sent through email. They, however, needed to create another version of the policy which has the mortgagee's name (BDO). They asked us for the mortgagee's name and address to include in the insurance policy and asked as well if we want to send the policy to the bank by ourselves or alternately, they can send it. So we let them send it to the bank, one off our plate.

Another 5 working days passed since we sent the bank the Transfer of Ownership documents. Total days, 28 days.

As of 2:33 pm today, this is how far we've gone. I'll post on the final steps again maybe next week. Part 3 is here.