Children of the Rain

http://coconuter.blogspot.com/2009/03/traditional-filipino-games-larong-pinoy.html

photo  from here

It’s  June in the year 1990, I was 7 years old then.

A gust of cold wind hit my face and  I saw through my window the confluence of  gray, angry clouds hovering like giant cotton balls in the sky. Then comes what I have been waiting for —- a downpour  of  pitter-patter on our iron roof which draws a smile on my face. I am joyously happy when it rains. Rain is not an excuse to stay in, it’s the perfect time for me and my brother to go out and play with the rain gods.  And the Hawaiian frogs in our garden are vocalizing so loudly as if summoning us to celebrate this gloriously wet afternoon, inviting our itchy feet to play on the puddles and calling us to shake the rain-kissed branches of the hibiscus in our garden.

My brother and I have been waiting  for this day, the first rain of June . We haven’t seen rain this generous for a long time since we lived for 2 years in a place where sandstorms and hailstorms never gave us a reason to play outside safely.

Rain is more friendly, we believe so.  Days like this are priceless, it’s not everyday that you can take a bath in the biggest shower room created for a moment by mother nature. I say a silent thank you to my parents that we came home to this country where almost half of the year  is purely a season of rain and unwelcome typhoons.

Oh how we love rain! Rain that soaks us and creates all sorts of puddles —big, small, deep and  shallow. There’s all sorts of  muddy puddles where I can sink and stomp my feet in and the crystal clear  puddles on the road where I can see my  Philippines-to-Timbuktu smile staring  back at me. The rain washes away my old childhood longing of the Philippines and fills my thirst for the 2 years I missed doing things like this.  I close my eyes and lift my head to feel the drops of rain on my face.  The songs of the  frogs continue all afternoon — we share their joy as rain creates a whole new playground for us without the sun to spoil it. We played games, hugged trees, smelled the flowers and as a final reverence to the rain, I stick out my tongue to taste a few drops of rain— i take it as a kiss from heaven. As my brother and I race to the shower room, we look back and send all gratitude and love to the beginning of the rainy season, as it blesses the ground and everything it touches including us —  children of the rain as we call ourselves.

Yes, we are indeed children of the rain.

After we shower , we dry out and head to our dining table to join the rest of the family.  Our grandmother then hands everyone  hot mugs filled with her  homemade dark chocolate made of pure cacao tablets and we gather around  as the rain pours in the background of family chatter and the amphibian melody goes on all night. One sip of  the hot chocolate and the love  just goes straight to warm our hands and bring solitude to our young energetic souls. It warms our hearts which were soaked already with happiness from the rain but with  plenty of room to receive  the boundless gift of freedom that only  childhood can impart.

A dance in the rain, a chorus with the frogs, capped with hot chocolate shared with the love of family — that to me is the perfect rainy afternoon of my childhood.

This memory was inspired by this
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2012: The Hiatus

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There was a gap in my blog last year. When I published my first post of this year today,I realized that I never wrote anything in my blog last year.

I went into a hiatus.

I did not post but my life was in full-swing in 2012:

I did my first cataract surgery.

I was part of the ORBIS program.

I traveled to El Nido, Palawan.

I went snorkeling for the first time.

I made rapid decisions.

I lived for the moment.

I laughed a lot.

I cried a lot.

I screamed a lot.

I talked to myself.

I had weird dreams.

I fought for my first-love.

I got scared.

I forgave my self.

I forgot.

I lived.

In 2012 there was no gap in my  real life, I was alive for 365 days 😀

Roadtrip

There is indeed no place like one’s hometown.

I took my friend and her daughter on a road trip to Antique.  We spent the calm hours of Sunday in my hometown before heading back again to the city. We literally stared at the ocean and drifted away. It was by far one of the best weekends I had since residency; a much needed getaway from the hospital, patients and surgeries.

I would give anything just to do this again.

I miss home.

 

Searching for a Sunday Newspaper in Town

This is unthinkable. I never travel without a book for reading (not medical books, mind you). I forgot to pack a paper back for my Mindoro trip, I only brought 3 reader’s digest magazines straight from my Tita’s shelf in Fairview. I figured I’d go to town today because it’s a Sunday and I’m not on-duty to buy a newspaper instead. I have virtually nothing to do this morning; I have read every page of all three magazines that I brought, there is no story that I haven’t read and reread.

I headed to town in a tricycle; Rups is on-duty so I can’t drag her to come with me. I told the tricycle driver to drop me off at Mercury, they might have  a magazine stand in their grocery store.

I went inside Mercury Drugstore and searched the aisle —- no magazines, no newspapers.

I stood outside the store and scanned the street for a newspaper stand —- nothing within my field of vision.

I went to the biggest grocery mart in town and asked if they sold newspapers. The salesperson just shook his head.

I asked a tricycle driver if he knows a place in town where I can buy a newspaper.  He smiled and told me, “Ma’am, this is not Manila where you can find newspapers on all corners”. I grinned and said thank you anyway.

I asked the guard in another store if he knows where I can get a Sunday newspaper, he pointed to a direction to my west and told me to try at the store that sold Gasul tanks. I walked two blocks and there was no sign of  a newspaper stand. I walked further for another 3 blocks, past a Pharmacy with no positive signs of newspaper being sold. I went past another grocery store that didn’t have what I was looking for.

Finally, I decided to give up.

The newspaper search is over.

I rode the tricycle and as last attempt, asked the driver if he knows where I can buy a newspaper.  He stopped by a shop which looked like a car repair shop and asked if they have newspapers. The answer was still negative.

Mission failed. I asked the driver to drop me at the ER so I can  rant just once to my friend Rups how I combed every street in town to find today’s newspaper and ended up with nothing. She laughed and said that only tabloids are available here.  The nurses told me that I can have newspapers delivered to me at the hospital if I wanted to. Never mind, I’m only here for 10 days anyway.

Note to self: bring a bunch of books next time.

The Long Wait

Wow. I felt so busy that I thought 3 months had gone past and yet it’s only been a month since my last post .

June was a busy month but I was at home most of the time—- spent 1 week in Boracay  for MD duties and that was my last stint at the island for sure. Why I’m not coming back is reserved for another post.

I’m done with being a couch potato; no more hours of watching reruns of Flash Forward, CSI or the Family Guy. Working for a Philippine-based freelance writing company has turned my fruitless hours into nights of typing relentlessly on my laptop to beat 24 hour deadlines and squeezing my brain to write articles for web publishing.  This has saved my sanity from crossing the line because I no longer have the luxury of delving into thoughts about what-nots and why why why medicine.

This writing job is a good thing.

First, It keeps my brain from going into atrophy of disuse because I’m constantly learning new things with my assignments. Now i know what public domain means, learned the basics of internet marketing and I realized that the most popular products online are the penis enlargement stuff. Hahaha.

Second, what better way to wait for residency openings and application results than this?I’m earning and learning 🙂

Still, I’m anxious about residency. I went to WVMC last week to revisit the hospital where I was once an intern and where I’m planning to apply for residency in Ophthalmology.  Turns out, there is no opening for Ophthalmology applicants until January next year. Still,  I was happy to see again my favorite residents,  med school classmates, friends and my favorite manong guards plus the ER nurses.

I already passed my application for Doctor to the Barrios (DTTB) program but I heard they won’t be hiring till October. I also have an application form here pinned to my cork board —- it’s part of my contigency plan to apply at the Department of Ophthalmology of the  Jose Reyes Medical Center in Manila if all else fails in Iloilo.  I haven’t filled it up though, which signals a lot of hesitation. It’s not that JR is not a good choice, it’s going back to Manila that makes me think twice. I used to love Manila but things have changed. After my Lola’s death, I have this fear of going anywhere too far from family.

So, it’s still a long wait. I’m starting to feel despair about my future in medicine. I’m actually excited about training in Ophthalmology but when will the doors open for me? Plus there are other things to consider.

I’ll wait. For now, writing is a wonderful distraction.

String of thoughts

I can’t sleep. Random thoughts are tossing and turning in my head.

A salad of doubts, dreams, plans, things and people.

——————

It hit me. My relationship with the guy-next-door/childhood friend is hitting 10 years next month.

Slap me. It’s been a decade?

I’m suddenly freaking out.

It’s ineffable.

——————

I’ve been asking my friends who are already on residency training if they’re happy. I’m currently doing nothing medically related. It gets boring but this is where I want to be right now.I don’t miss the hospital and I’ve never worn my white coat since I got my license. I feel like a college student on a summer break. I spend half the day flipping channels —AXN, Fox, Star World. I spend 2 hours watching CSI everyday. I’ve seen the back-to-back Flashforward episode twice, watch reruns of Glee over and over again and I watch House MD with my Internal Medicine textbook beside me. My Globe Tattoo is my best friend at night for surfing the net—bloghopping and this unshakable habit of checking my Facebook for updates. I just finished reading The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai and I finally finished reading Junot Diaz’s The Brief  Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I bought the latter  a year ago and never got to the end of it until last night.

——————

I went to the farm today with my parents. I took some pictures, most of them were lame.The plants were all withered anyway and everything was just a mass of green and brown until I saw specks of red. These red seeds in a pod caught my eye. We call them oyangya.The color just fascinates me.

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I’m till thinking whether I should send my application to the Doctors to the Barrios program (DTTB).

DTTB or Ophthalmology?

Both?

That’s possible.

I just don’t know what to do first.

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I’ll sleep on these thoughts.

oh well, good night 🙂