Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background

Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background

Shadows at play over a splash of orange sunset
Dao, Antique, Philippines

I took this photo with my Android phone.

This was inspired by the weekly photo challenge ūüėÄ



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.


Travel Light

I arrived in Mindoro after 2 hours of riding a bus, another 3 hours of sailing between islands and 45 minutes of a windy bus ride.

My friend Mike told me to travel light— this was the lightest I could ever bring: a 9-kg backpack and a big shoulder bag filled to the brim. I was having back pain as I headed to the hospital dorm to my room.

The hospital was set in the middle of trees and grass land.Wow, I felt¬† like I was still in Antique. The air was cold and clouds were hanging in the sky like curtains, giving the island a kind of melancholic shadow. A huge Acacia tree stood outside our yellow dorm, a shower of leaves fell every second, covering the dorm’s balcony with a mosaic of yellow, green and brown.

I dropped my bags in my blue-colored room and headed to the Emergency Room where my friend Mike was on-duty. I’m officially on-duty tomorrow but I asked him if I could admit some of his patients so I could get into the momentum of the hospital a day early.¬† I wrote the admitting orders for a child with dehydration, then Rups came from the OPD and greeted me with a hug. She pulled me out of the emergency room and we headed to the wards where she introduced me to some of the staff.

The hospital has 4 charity wards —Pediatrics, Surgery/Orthopedics, Internal Medicine and OB-Gyne. There is also a wing for private rooms and Phil-health wards. It’s a one-level hospital and at first¬† seemed like a maze — i got confused because of its U-shaped symmetry. I checked out the doctor’s quarters for on-duty residents — pink walls, wifi equipped with air conditioning and 3 comfortable beds and a bathroom.

Rups and I went to town to buy stuff at the groceries — the town was just a quiet neighborhood with Mercury Drug standing tall among other structures. I was quite surprised, the capital of Antique was far more progressive than this capital —- with Gaisano and City Square¬† looming over the small businesses¬† plus mushrooming of fast food like Jollibee and Chowking. This town though was thriving with local stores and businesses — mini-marts, small canteens, food stalls, ukay-ukay and sari-sari stores. It feels like my hometown —quiet with a little local buzz as the day starts, in between and as the sun sets.

Tomorrow, I’m officially starting my 10-day duty. Breathe. I can do this.

Another Day in Sleepy Town

It’s almost 4am, the sound of roosters flows¬† inside my window, welcoming the day in. I haven’t even slept yet. Sleep evades me again.

I’m in my hometown and¬† I’ve been here for 30 days straight. It’s the longest I’ve stayed for the past 5¬† years. Blame that on medical school and internship. While most of my close friends have left town, I was yearning to come home after the board exams. There’s nothing much to do here ,but it’s the best place to start finding myself again.It’s a fixation to this place that calls me back to revisit.

While thoughts rage in my head, I try to step away but the tide brings me in again. I’ve been thinking incessantly about¬† my life and why at this point I still don’t feel an iota of¬† peacefulness or bliss. It doesn’t feel the way I thought it would be — getting something I’ve always wanted.

I like to sleep the day away here because I’d rather be up at night.¬† In daytime it’s¬† hot and dusty but the nights are breathtaking.If only I could make time standstill. I stare at the night sky for hours, a luxury that I never had before. I have this huge window¬† in my room that reveals a great view every night that always makes me believe that astronomy is far more interesting than medicine.Nights make me forget the chaos in my head and how messed-up I actually feel. The starry, starry night, Venus, the shooting stars that I still wish on and the moon, are all beautiful distractions.

A friend told me that I should live in the “now” and not think about my future. I try, but I live¬† where my past intersects with my future. To be present in simply “now” is like being cavalier. Maybe I’m just seeking a catharsis after getting this golden license which feels fake sometimes.¬† I should get out of this sleepy town soon. The silence and the long days allow my subconscious to spill into the conscious . I want to be busy again and complain about it…haha.

Truth be told, I really¬† don’t know what I want.