Friday, February 22, 2013

An Unconventional Wedding

Poor toenails. Witness the muddy demise of  the red nail polish.
Have you ever tried hiking up a steep slippery slope in some mountainous region you never dreamed existed? Ever experienced having your muddied feet washed by some random stranger in a harmless and unintentional re-enactment of the symbolic washing of the disciples' feet by Jesus? And by some random coincidence, have you ever stood up eating so close to the main course table in some stranger's banquet inside a room full of guests also inconveniently eating in vertical position? Well... I have. ;) 

Chocolate-covered tarsals. Nomnom! Ate Leizel  after an effortless toss and turn down the  God-forsaken hill of doom.

 No. I am not talking about the infamous town fiesta so generously practiced by more than 70% of Filipinos with the other 30% eager feast goers who are obviously just in for the free food.(I hate to admit it but yeah, just so you know I'm part of the other 30% haha!) Yep! I hope we're on the same page because my relentless narcissistic drone on this article will be about weddings-the unconventional ones!

My first unconventional wedding happened last year in the remote town of Barili located in the Northern part of Cebu Province. Me and Ate Leizel got the humble invite from our nurse aide Ma'am Moodie whose younger brother was set to be married. Since we were both off duty on the scheduled date, Ate Leizel and I were just stoked as ever most especially because we'll be travelling on a motorbike.

The trip started off smoothly except for the fact that I had to hold on to dear life as I struggled with my "gigormous", ill-fitting helmet that made me look like a puny astronaut for I was seated at the rear end of the bike. We grazed the concrete jungle of Cebu unscathed and eventually reached our desti.... oh wait... no... By some twist of fate, a sudden blanket of ominous clouds loomed at a distance as we traversed the long and winding road along the mountainside. Yep this happened a little over an hour during our sojourn after we exited Carcar City and took a right turn towards Barili. 

Okay for starters, I've never been to Barili and honest to God I was expecting it to be just at least over an hour drive and vwahlah we'll reach the church in no time but no! It wasn't anything like that. Nah-ah! It was as if a series of unfortunate events was set in motion just for us that day. I made mention of the ominous clouds right? Well yeah, the obvious eventually happened as we continued to drive. What started as an innocent drizzle ultimately turned into a violent downpour so we had to stop by a vulcanizing shop in a vain attempt to let the rain pass. The latter turned out to be pointless as we noticed the unforgivable shower didn't seem to have plans at stopping any sooner so we had no choice but to head out again in the open. My butt did start to protest after I found out that the said church was located at the topmost hill as it was actually the last barangay in Barili. >_<

By the time we reached the church, the wedding was almost over. We were soaking wet. The crowning glory resting over our heads were so close to being gory and our feet didn't look like feet at all. I swear in that moment I felt like an Abu Sayaf who barely made it out of the war zone. Luckily, Ma'am Moodie had an extra pair of pedal pushers and a pink shirt just my size so I was able to trade my costume for a casual and comfortable one. 

The bride and groom then signed the wedding contract and had their pictures taken. (I know. We missed the smooching part.) Anyhow, we were not personally acquainted with the bride and groom so Ate Leizel, Ma'am Moodie's boyfriend and I just stood awkwardly near the church door gawking over the nameless faces surrounding us. 

Eventually, the crowed thinned out as a couple of guests piled a hired 8-wheeler truck one by one. Yep you got it, an 8-wheeler truck! Women in hot pink silk clothing and white high heels as well as men in barong tagalog somehow miraculously managed to get aboard the multipurpose truck so as not to miss the eagerly awaited reception at the bride's humble abode. By this time, the entire wedding experience just got more exasperating yet interesting at the same time. (P.S.Got a little pissed seeing Gwen Garcia's mobile transport etched with her name in acronyms across the vehicle's body which was an obvious pathetic attempt at an early political campaign.Yeah me bitching out on Gwen. Ugh!)

We trail-hiked for another fifteen minutes and boy I was just glad I got the chance to change earlier. Ate Leizel however was not sufficiently equipped with the right gear though for she was wearing an uncomfortable slippery black sandals with about an inch of elevation on the heels.On the other hand, I was wearing my comfy Caribbean slip-ons and yet I still struggled down the muddy terrain. Yep! The road to good food was an obstacle course for us. Ultimately, Ate Leizel slipped down the muddy trail and landed painfully on her buttocks and the best help I offered her was a hearty laugh. LOL. Call me mean but hey I bet you would laugh your heart out too and of course a kind villager helped her up to her feet immediately. I wasn't adding insult but merely shoving humor to the injury. Nothing beats a good old hearty laugh. =D 

Finally, we reached the bride's abode. There were already people inside and more people flocked the canopy outside the house as it was still raining at that time. An then all of a sudden, a kind-looking fellow offered to wash Ate Leizel's feet. The boldness of the offer took us aback. I mean who does that nowadays?! Plus the dude asked in a non-perverted, I'm-expecting-something-in return kinda way. He was just simply sincere in his offer to help. My friend declined the offer but the dude was persistent so in the end, Ate Leizel's feet was freed from the clutches of MUD..temporarily! :) 

We then made our way up the the house after Ma'am Moodie finally noticed our starving countenance from a distance. Yet again, even upon our descent to the bride's home, two men once again helped us maintain our balance. ;)

Inside the house, we were greeted with plates, utensils and of course food. The bride and groom sat across a table filled with the usual food that Filipinos dig and yes most of the people inside the house were standing so close to the table...while eating. O_O  I didn't exactly experience a culinary orgasm with the food prepared but it was more than enough to feed tired and weary guests like me. There was just this one uncomfortable moment when a guest deliberately grabbed the food by hand and placed it on our empty plates. Geeshh! She didn't even give us the time to decide on what to eat but even so, out of respect we yielded. 

Yes. The entire experience was exhausting, quirky and unconventional yet it was fun and utterly memorable. The most striking observation that I had probably on that sojourn was the conspicuous display of classic Filipino hospitality. I am just extremely grateful for the extra hands that casually helped us while we were there and I'm just mighty glad to say that modern day chivalry didn't completely die out yet. We may not feel it in the concrete jungle of Cebu or in any other city for that matter but it does still exist in places where inhabitants are most primitive, simple and yet pure and humble in their daily living. Cebuanos may call them "taga-bukid" and Manilenios may refer to them as "probinsyano". I say they are the real kind of people. It may be a quirky wedding but in the end, it made me realize how life is definitely more fun in the Philippines! ;)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cupid's Choke Hold

You used to signify every dreamy love song that i hear
In starry-eyed movies, you were the male lead
Sweeping passion-jangled ladies off of their feet
As you whisper sweet nothings to their trusting ears

I used to look forward to my summers in the past
For you were there making each memory a colorful blast
Not a moment was dull, not an instant went dismal
 Even the slightest contact, like electricity to my skin, it was grand mal

Yes. Cupid got me on a choke hold as I continue to consume the madness of it all
I celebrated the blindness of love, even unrequited, I was still foolishly enthralled
Wrote the typical poetry extracted from the deepest bowels of my reality
Full of stifled feelings and sentiments, I try so hard to convey to thee

But you were inattentive... hell, all throughout you were deafened
Like screaming hard to a person with huge ear mufflers, you continued to be apathetic
It was hopeless. I was hopeless.
 As I made a laughing stock of myself in full absurdity

Now, dreamy love songs are difficult to endure
Starry-eyed movies became painstaking to watch
And like neon lights triggering migraine,
Passion-jangled ladies in conventional movies turn out to be just plain annoying

I struggle to write poetry and finishing one has now become an equal agony
The arrow was released and I willfully made myself conspicuous
Now bathed in crimson, I pray without inhibition
As I slither free from the clutches of cupid's choke hold
I am free. Lo and behold!

P.S.  Sorry if I wasn't able to come up with an article. I just figured writing a touchy-feely poetry was fitting for this month of love. I hope you enjoyed reading this! Advance Happy Valentines!
P.S. for the nth time, plagiarism is a mortal sin soo please do not in any way copy any of my articles or poetry for that matter or I will personally banish you for eternity into the saddest, darkest and loneliest abyss you thought never existed (assuming that I have superpowers of course).>_< ENJOY! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Final Sunset

6::02 pm
It was already dusk. The setting sun has cast its nostalgic orange hue over the thick blanket of trees in the neighborhood, as a child, roughly 6 years of age woke up with the weird collection of cacophonous sounds invading her eardrums. 

She was alone. Not a sibling in sight nor a parent around to ask how her sleep went. She fumbled down the stairs into the living room and frantically searched for the familiar scent of family. There was none. Her mom was not yet back from work and her decadent father was still squandering elsewhere in his usual drunken state. She took a sharp turn to the kitchen and saw a man in dirty white tank top  with disheveled hair and stocky build chopping away onions oblivious of her presence. His pale skin glistened and his tattooed biceps grew more sinister neath the white light as the little girl gawked awkwardly at his back. 

It was Miguel, the house help procured by her alcohol-jangled and senseless father fresh from the bowels of the local penitentiary who was previously imprisoned for 2 counts of rape and 1 count of arson. Her father thought it was a humane way to help in removing the stains of social stigma for someone starting over. It was his rehabilitation and her dad thought himself a saint for doing such. Her mom, on the other, was hand clueless of this. She was spared the details of the house help's shady past courtesy of the witless husband. So she went about her usual daily routine and gullibly left the kids to the custody of the guileful offender.

For a moment, he appeared to be so absorbed in chopping down the wooden board and then for a split-second, he turned his head in a slow and calculated manner towards her direction. A devious grin spread across his lips. The little girl continued to stare back.. unsure on what to do. And then all she managed to say was, "Have you seen my brother and sister mister?" His smile further widened into a sneer as he told the little girl they went to play with their neighbors two blocks away. 

He inched his way closer to the poor little girl with the razor sharp knife still in his hands. This time, naked panic shot through the little girls eyes as Miguel continued to advance towards her direction while purposely toppling down the dining table and chairs across the room. She was helpless. She tried to scream but it was immediately stifled by Miguel, his hands corrupt with malice. 

Muffled sounds erupted through the room. The little girl tried with all her might and scrawny body to fight off the ruthless beast but to no avail. She struggled so hard to break free from his vice-grip arms with the silver blade inching closer to her gut. She was bleeding now. She was bathing in her own blood and yet the vicious animal still continued to pin her down determined to finish what he started. 

Seven minutes of struggle had passed and finally, Miguel tried to slow down as he noticed the little girl no longer resisted. He then suddenly let go of her limp body as the enormity of his actions dawned to him.

She was lifeless and drained of blood. Her duodenum protruding. And for the last time, she lay motionless on the cold, damp floor as if asleep. But this time, it will be a nap that will keep her in deep and eternal slumber, no longer to be awakened by a weird collection of cacophonous sounds in her eardrums. That was the last sunset she ever saw.

P.S. This article is simply a product of my imaginative mind. Nobody was harmed in any way in conjuring this idea. I have written this in honor of the many women and children who died, suffered or those who are currently suffering from male objectification, human trafficking, molestation, rape and other forms of abuse or injustice especially in New Delhi, India and around the world. I hope this little article of mine can create further awareness on this issue so please feel free to leave comments, suggestions or better yet subscribe. Thank you and til next time! God bless!

Why Nursing Anna- Lyda Version

I'm a registered nurse, 22, single and  frustrated. And no this blog wont be about me wallowing in the delicious misery of my singleness just to have a last-minute hook-up with a potential hottie out there for the cliched Valentines Day extravaganza. This will be a perpetual rant on one of the most "oversubscribed courses" in the Philippines- NURSING.

(L-R)Monique, me, Michu and Bop2 during our momentou s Oathtaking and Rededication Ceremony.  That's me  immersed in my own cynical thought bubble very opposite from the excited faces of my plus-sized companions. =D

 I'm sure many others out there also fell for the luring sweetness of sugar-coated promises of greener pastures and a trunk full of the infamous S-shaped bills in the past but hey, more often than not, (p.s. i don't intend to act as a poisonous snake on the young hopefuls out there) those promises turn out to be rubbish. You may virtually punch me for this if you think amalayer. =D 

According to CHED Executive Director Julito Vitriolo, there are about 400, 000 nurses aimlessly walking out there today down the road of unemployment, 200, 000 of which are jobless and a little under 300, 000 underemployed. Now, if you're a parent who seriously only want the good and bright future of your child, then please do take my unsolicited advice on this. DO NOT LET YOUR CHILD TAKE UP NURSING!
It's a fool's gold and only a few fish make it out to open waters. Considering the monetary investment every parent has to allot, I mean, it's definitely no joke because truth of the matter is, getting back your investment is such an arduous process that will take years and even millenniums to suffice. Okay, that part may have been exaggerated but still, there's a ring of gripping truth in this because I've been down the same road too. I've had my own share of the so-called exploitation from the hospital I once worked with.. Overworked. Underpaid. Delayed arrival of salaries. TY OTs (thank you overtime pays). Oh wait.. it gets better. Let's not forget the condescending doctors who think we're still their handmaids (obviously stuck in the era of Nightingale). >_<

Okay so at this point in time, if you're still not getting a good grip on the issue, let me enumerate it for you:
  1. Nursing is a lot of things. It's 5% profession and 95% vocation. So if you're thinking of getting rich pronto then better wipe that smirk off your face because this job is no walk in the park.
  2. If you're the couch potato kind, then please please lay off this course. I'm death serious. 
  3. There is no room for mistakes. So, if you have the tendency to slip into daydreams and what not, then better scoot and save yourself the future trouble of a lawsuit gnawing up your arse.
  4. Are you the squeamish sort? If it's a yes then better prepare your own version of  Mi Ultimo Adios to the Nursing Profession because you're gonna be definitely seeing more goo, urine, blood, mucous and your other friendly bodily fluids for that matter.
  5. Patience is a virtue but time is gold. So which is which now? HAHA! You're gonna be yelled at, cursed and insulted not only by impatient patients but by people in the hospital so better prepare your ear mufflers. No seriously, THIS IS NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED!
  6. Rest days and vacations are essentials in every working arena. Now if you're looking for a fixed and long vacay, then i hate to break it to you but nursing is definitely off the line. Rest days in the nursing profession is like a prized coupon that has to be won and savored in every piece since it only comes once every three, two or four days. It's not fixed so anytime, you could still be put on call so might as well cancel your previous appointments. And if you're the holiday aficionado, oh boy. NO you're not gonna be getting one! It depends on the schedule though but most of the time, you have to sacrifice many Christmases, New Years and birthdays for that matter.

Okay, so for now, I'm gonna have to stop here.. I hope this has been a luminous read to you as it has been writing for me. Tootles for now! You can read more on this through this link from GMA7.

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