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Showing posts from June, 2011

Ah, that SGD!

Here we see Jonas Bico facilitating our Small Group Discussion (SGD) on a pediatric case of bacterial infection in an immunocompromised host. He was a pro. He fondly addressed each of us with the "Doctor" title which made us feel better given our vast ignorance in medicine. We burst in laughter when he mistakenly addressed a macho male classmate as doktora.

Week 25: Typhoon Falcon

Yesterday HIV ceased to be a mere statistic for me

To the casual observer, she looked healthy. When she faced the class and talked about her life story, she didn't sound like she was dying. But we knew what was happening: her immune system was being attacked, making her more and more prone to infections that could potentially lead to her demise.

Stark differences

Close family friends, even family members, are fascinated when they see Sean and me. I always get comments from friends back home of how, while strolling around the mall, they spot a man who looks just like me, rush to say hello, and realize it's my kid brother, after all. It's also not unusual to hear people ask us, "Are you twins?" While we may share a similar face, we have starkly different temperaments. Consider our  tastes  in movies, for example. Last summer, he took me to watch Hop, a movie animation about Easter bunnies. I found it senseless, but he really, truly enjoyed it, for some reason I cannot fathom.

Week 24: Back to school

Accepting the presidency

During the summer, I accepted the offer to be president of Agape, a UP College of Medicine-based student organization that I've been involved in for quite a while. When Migs Barnes, the former Agape president and a good friend, asked me to seek the Lord's will regarding the matter, I felt so inadequate, so limited, and so short of God's standards. In the process, I realized how God uses the base things of this world to accomplish His purposes. And although the work ahead is overwhelming and humanly impossible, God empowers those whom He calls to do His bidding.

Dream-like state

Reality plays a wicked game with our dreams. We were in Munich. It looked like summer. My groupmates and I, we still had one free day before the Berlin conference, so we strolled along the streets, saw blocks of concrete buildings of exact geometric measurements, roamed around the busy marketplace, took lots of pictures. I saw friends I had met before; they were attending that convention, too. I even greeted my Indian roommate I had met in Leiden.

Summer break 2011: a wrap

Time for a summer wrap up. While this may not be accurate at all, I measure my productivity by the amount of books I read and the films I watch during a given time period. I praise God for the time to catch up on my reading. I had a lot of free time in my hands, and the challenge was to make the most out of it. I wasn't successful many times, but the Lord has been gracious. These are the books I've read.

Week 23: End of summer

On reading

There are some videos I watch over and over again. This is one of them. Dr. Albert Mohler , one of my favorite writers in the blogosphere, talks about reading. I always get a good laugh, of course, when he talks about how, as a kid, he loved books and hated sports because he was too nearsighted. But more than that, I love how he stresses this point: that reading is a means by which God instructs His people.

Basketball and a change of heart

The Philippines is basketball country. Makeshift courts exist in busy streets, parking lots, barangay halls, and neighborhoods both of the rich and poor. Everyone knows how the game is played. Basketball players are local heroes. They get elected into various government posts. They sign movie and TV deals. They appear in advertisements. Play good basketball, and you're almost sure you'll make it to stardom. Basketball is the subject of prime time news and is undoubtedly the unofficial national sport. "But why do you enjoy it so much?" I would ask my friends who are basketball fans. I simply couldn't understand all the fuss. I felt that the sport bordered on being barbaric, as opposed perhaps to tennis, which I found quiet, elegant, and serene. Pushing and shoving people to get your way into the ring didn't appeal to me. On tv, basketball games tend to look rowdy and noisy. It wasn't my thing.


Netherlands (Part 3): the Amsterdam tour

(This entry, of course, comes two months late. Here are parts 1 and 2 , in case you haven't read them yet.) With only four full days in the Netherlands, I knew I had to do everything everything right. And fast. I realized I could only make time to visit Amsterdam for one day, and that was during the first conference day. So I decided to go AWOL—at least for the next eight hours. I ate a hearty breakfast around 8 am.


I've watched X-Men movies with caution. I've told myself not to expect too much. I've come to accept the fact that those movies, no matter how impressive the animations, stunts, and special effects, would never live up to my childhood ideals of the original. After Julio at Julia: Kambal ng Tadhana, X-Men was my next favorite animated series. (I'm talking about the original tv series that aired in ABS-CBN during the mid-90's, not the one shown in Studio 23 years later.) I liked the opening song, sure, but I liked the characters the most. They were interesting and colorful. Even if they had superpowers, they were still human. They struggled to be part of society that tried to keep them away. I knew these characters by heart I could draw some of them from memory. I didn't expect anything from X-Men: First Class  but it turned out to be the best X-Men movie so far. The general rule for comics-turned-into-films is: lower your expectations. That way, you actually


This is by far the longest time I've been at home since 2009. A little more than a month of nothing remotely academic to do seemed like a welcome treat at first, but I knew how it could easily degenerate into a useless, idle, and tiring period. Vacation is only sweet at the beginning; it eventually gets stale at the end.

Week 22: French Open

The Hacker

To my surprise, by shading the same piece of a newspaper differently, a simple story emerged. The hacker is about to bring down a company. He mobilizes his team to team to infiltrate the company database. The counter-hacker meanwhile summons his peers to protect the company from impending disaster. I guess I still haven't gotten over the hacker/researcher, Lisbeth, in Steig Larsson's  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  Many thanks to Austin Kleon for the inspiration.