Saturday, April 30, 2011

Third Molar (Part Two)

After two weeks of a series of minor unfortunate incidents, my dentist was finally able to pull out my wisdom tooth on my lower right jaw.

It was excruciating.

The pain was nothing like I've felt before. Of course, there was anesthetics applied and I have taken a dose of pain killers before the procedure. However, it was still quite a painful experience. My dentist patiently explained to me why I still feel pain amidst all the preparations we made: the tooth was separating from the bone. The anesthesia was only there to relieve some of the pain and not entirely negate it. I tried my best not to wince in pain since my dentist was easily frightened for my sake, but I wasn't able to help it. The procedure was a success because she did one thing that was out of the ordinary: she shut her eyes tight and felt my tooth with her nimble finger. After an hour, my stubborn tooth popped out of its bony socket. Both of us were surprised by the sheer size of it, but it gave us both much relief.

A little bit afraid of the next surgery, I asked my dentist what it would be like. She assured me that the next operation would be relatively easier than this one. She calmed me in saying that she would be able to extract my left wisdom tooth in one appointment, and explained to me why it would be an easier surgery as well.

Today was an achievement for both of us. For me, the half step is now a full step forward. With determination in my mind and courage in my heart, I will continue what I have started and ensure that I will not back down and lose to the pain I am sure will be enduring.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Blind (Leading the Blind)

It was almost half past five, but luckily, I still managed to catch the bus that would bring me back to the bustling station in Ayala. As soon as my back laid rest on my seat at the very rear of the vehicle, I succumbed to the sandman's hands and drifted to sleep, even if my lower back complained because of the cold air bearing down on my upper back.

I was abruptly awakened by the noisy steps of the other passengers wanting to go home. My eyes could not bear the brightness of the light. I could feel the creases on my forehead furrowing even deeper, like the wrinkles on cheap velvet. I tightly shut my eyes to keep out the glare. But after a few minutes, my eyes regained composure. My face slowly straightened out to its normal, expressionless look. All the emotions of my face seemed to have been sapped by the tired appearance of my eyes. I could barely open my eyes to see if the train was packed with people or not. After squinting for the tenth time, it dawned in me that I was already inside the train, standing under another blast of air-conditioning comparable to that of the arctic cold.

As soon as the doors of the train opened in Cubao, the masses poured out like a tidal wave breaking the most impenetrable door. The people flushed themselves out from the chaos inside to the chaos outside. The smell of sweat saturated the six-thirty air as people drenched in their own and someone else's perspiration wiped their faces with whatever they had handy. I slowly treaded the stairs and avoided the weird heat emanating from the people clogging the way.

For the very first time, my eyes embraced the darkness with relief as the stairs were dark and gloomy. Apparently, the fluorescent lamp died out.

I climbed down and waited for a bus to take me home while keeping the darkness from that flight of stairs with me. I am tired of seeing the same things over and over and over again. I am worn out, seeing what other people don't see and from seeing things that I do not want to see.

Sometimes, I just want to go blind and live in the darkness of the night. Sometimes, I want to see nothing else but an infinite ebony sky; without stars, without hopes. Sometimes, I yearn to go back in time and remain under a starless night, forever wishing that my dreams would be carried across the sky.

It was just a short time until I found myself standing to alight the bus. However, the man in front of me was slowly walking his way towards the exit. He didn't look old or lame, but the conductor and the other passengers on board kept assisting him.

He was blind.

I helped him alight the bus since he was in front of me. It was then that he asked me with an unsure voice if I would be willing to be his eyes until he catches a tricycle home.

"Opo naman, kuya."

He placed his hands on my tired shoulders. His hand felt distracting, but at the same time relieving. Each and every step of his was a small victory in my sight. Each obstacle we overcame was a deep relief on my part. I held his hand on my shoulder and told him that we were almost there. I did not let go of his calloused hand until he was carefully climbing the tricycle to bring him home.

As I walked another distance, my shoulder felt light. The blind man was no longer holding it. Each and every step I took meant nothing, and each obstacle I avoided gave me no relief. I placed my hand on my shoulder and felt an emptiness: nothing was there but the strap of my bag.

It was about that time that everything became clear.

Or did it?

From the Tenacity of the Edge of Zweihander
May 12, 2009

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Heart Broken?

Mind the question mark at the end.

I dislike the feeling of liking someone even before knowing that someone. The thought bears a heavy load in my heart. As tough as it may sound, I keep on telling myself that what I am feeling is wrong; that it should be the other way around. The idealistic me believes that liking someone only follows after knowing that someone.


A friend of mine told me that there isn't anything wrong about liking someone first. He said that it is very much normal and realistic in having ulterior motives in knowing and building a friendship with a person. In a blunt tongue, he told me that if I weren't attracted to the person in the first place, would I be spending much needed time in thinking about him? No, I thought. He will be just another stranger who will just pass by and remain unknown, like the hundreds of strangers I cross paths with everyday. Strangers, who remain as just strangers.

It doesn't hurt to be realistic, but being completely realistic isn't too well either. Being idealistic isn't bad, but being overly idealistic is worse. Realists with ideals close to their core principles and idealists who keep an open eye to the real world are the means to those extremes, but I think what matters more is one's own happiness and contentment with what life happens to give.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holy Holiday?

A friend of mine thinks that most people doesn't care that this week is Holy Week. He told me that what people look forward to the Lenten season isn't the opportunity for a deepening of one's spirituality, but the chance to kick back and relax in a sought after vacation.

All I could say was that's how it goes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The bright sun ruled the arid skies. Waves of dry heat continuously blanketed the air. People complained how hot the weather was. Beads of sweat trickled down my forehead and streamed down my back. I hurried my pace as it was already a few minutes past ten. As soon as I entered the office building, a cool gush of air welcomed my presence and relieved me from the blast furnace that was outside.

The swelling of my cheek has subsided a little, but the discomfort and slight pain when I eat was still present. Swinging the freezer door open, I was ecstatic to see the ice tray full of ice. I filled my water bottle with the small cubes of arctic heaven, and applied the improvised ice bag to my sorry cheek. Instantly feeling the cool, pleasant sensation, a small yet very content smile escaped my lips. It was so relieving: both for my swollen cheek and my body yearning for the chilly season. My small slice of paradise was short lived; but as soon as it withered to a lukewarm bottle, the ice in the freezer was ready to once again relive the momentary pleasure amidst the heat.

Sometimes, it is the simplest of things that makes me happy. Keeping my feet on the ground, I never stop dreaming from the stars that I know in time will grant my broken fairy tale its happy ending.

All that because of two trays of ice.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mefenamic Acid

Two days have passed since my dental extraction. The procedure wasn't a complete success as the root of my enormous wisdom tooth refused to leave its place. I have been under medication of antibiotics and mefenamic acid since after the surgery, and I have to admit that things are better than what I expected. Certainly not the best, but not as gruesome as I depicted it would be.

My right cheek has swollen, although not considerably. The swelling isn't obvious, but visible if one looks well enough. The bleeding has stopped as well, but because the wound is still there, I have to gargle an antibacterial mouthwash that has a very disgusting aftertaste. It is so awful that two hours after rinsing my mouth with it, I still taste the horrible sensation in my mouth. The pain is bearable, but I continue to take anti-inflammatory medicine because I don't want things to get ugly.

Thank god for pain killers.

The desire for a better set of teeth isn't coming to me in a silver platter. The road is full of incisions, plier wrings, and mouth rinses with hints of blood, but I have decided that I want this. I am confident that the future me will thank me for undergoing through all this pain, and I hope that the future me will gain more confidence in smiling through the problems in life.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Third Molar (Part One and a Half)

Yesterday, I went to my dentist to have my right third molar removed. I was a little nervous at first, but the easygoing air my dentist always wore around her made my apprehensions disappear. The light mood inside her small clinic kindled the tiny flame of bravery that quietly burned inside me.

My dentist told me that she would make the procedure as painless as she could possibly manage. However, after three hours and three and a half doses of anesthetics, she decided to abort the procedure and continue on another day. My case was a very complex one: my two lower wisdom teeth were impacted horizontally, and to add to the difficulty, my teeth were huge compared to the normal person. She was able to remove the crown, cut the root into two parts, and kill the nerves, but both of us were tired and the effects of the anesthesia was wearing off. She explained that because I have already felt pain, my body would anticipate pain, nullifying the numbing effects of the anesthetics.

But I must admit that the procedure wasn't as excruciating as I imagined it would be. Yes there was pain, but I was able to manage it fairly well, considering I have a relatively low threshold for pain (and an above average dose of anesthesia). Hopefully, Thursday's procedure would be a success. Yesterday was just half a step -- five days morrow, I trust that it will be a complete step forward.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Third Molar (Part One)

Tomorrow at eleven in the morning, I will be going to the dentist to have one of my third molars extracted. The arch of my teeth is severely malformed because of dental overcrowding. Removing both wisdom teeth is only a preliminary step in my quest for better oral health.

My dentist commanded me to take in antibiotics and antithrombotics, and ordered me to buy some pain relievers to quaff after the procedure. I have to admit, I'm a little worried because ever since I was a kid, I feared the bright light beaming my face as I nervously sat on the dentist's chair. Heck, my last visit to the dentist was even before my first permanent tooth emerged.

I'll be spending quite a hefty sum, but as I told myself, my teeth is an investment that will last me many years to come. Hopefully, the day will come that I will be able to laugh without covering my teeth and smile without tension on the lips -- ego boosts pushing to a more confident me.

of Deadlines and Builds: Floor (Part Nine)

For the first time in the week, I wasn't late in coming to work today. I arrived at ten on the dot. Currently, my late minutes hover at a little over thirty minutes -- a quarter of the allowed late minutes every month. Arriving at ten, I was supposed to leave at seven in the evening. However, I went home already past eleven.

I did a four-hour overtime tonight.

It's not because I was asked to stay behind and finish a task. It was in my own prerogative that I extended my work hours. I wanted to accomplish the task that was given to me since I said to my team lead that I might be able to commit my code tonight. But as it turned out, I underestimated the complexity of my assignment.

Nonetheless, because of my efforts in finishing my task, I will be able to pass my code tomorrow. Even if I failed to achieve the personal victory in code completion tonight, I felt a sense of relief and contentment as I logged out -- a small triumph that I was unaware of, until now.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

of Deadlines and Builds: Floor (Part Eight)

A whole month after deployment, I can say to myself that I'm officially part of the floor.

My team lead has been giving me tasks of increasing difficulty. He gave me a part wherein I am required to know most of our application's processes. He has trusted me with the responsibility to create a new summary for our module in the project. For an experienced developer who knows the system very well, creating it would be an easy walk-in-the-park two hours. Two days have passed, and I'm just starting at the most challenging part of the task. Being one of the nicest people around, my team lead asked if I will be able to finish the part by tomorrow. I said yes without confidence backing my words, but I will try to make it a point to finish everything by tomorrow. As I always joke to my friends, "gaya nga ng sabi ni Robin Padilla: Ang hindi ko lang nasubukan ay ang umayaw!"

I have the capacity to do well, I know that. Focus just eludes me most of the time.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lola Pen

Yesterday, we went to Bulacan to celebrate Lola Pen's 83rd birthday.

We have always been celebrating her birthday ever since she turned 75. For all of us, Pen, as we fondly call her, is a blessing. She has always been a loving mother to my mom and my uncles and aunt, and has always been a great grandmother for us, her grandchildren. Through the years, she has been blessed with excellent health, in which she has devoted her time to her grandchildren and great grandchildren, teaching them things parents cannot simply teach, and loving them in a way only a grandmother like her can.

But yesterday, we were saddened by the fact that Pen's health, despite her remarkable strength at her age, was declining. She has been unable to eat by herself for three days because of a severe bout of hypertension. My mom wanted to admit her to a nearby hospital, but the old one stubbornly remained at home, as she wanted to see us, her grandchildren living in Manila.

However, before we left, she said something in a voice only a very tired person can say:

"Matanda na ako. Gusto ko na mamahinga."

We went home with doubt filling our saddened hearts.

Pen, mahal na mahal kita.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

21KM (Part Two)

I should be getting ready for Nat Geo Earth Day Run right now. Gun start for the 21KM leg of the race is at 5:10am. But here I am, blogging.

I decided not to participate, even if I really wanted to.

I fell ill to an unknown stomach disorder last Sunday, which made my guts feel terribly uneasy. I fought bouts of fever and endless waves of stomach spasms. I have recovered since Friday, however it was a tad bit late for me to prepare for the monumental undertaking I wanted to finish.

I know there is still a next time. I'll patiently wait for that opportunity to come and hopefully, nothing out of the ordinary would happen.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


For the most part of today, I have been enduring a headache I am quite familiar to. It is the kind of pain where the head seems to have twisted itself to a helpless fleshy knot, topped with periodic throbs at the right part of the back of my head. The pain is bearable but so agonizingly constant that I have been putting up with the unwelcome resident in my head for the past nine hours. My suspicion: my eyes have increased its impairment.

I'm not sure. I tried not wearing my eyeglasses for a few hours, but the pain lingered. It's either my eyes haven't adjusted yet, or this headache is another installment the first of four predicted sicknesses I will have for this year. At least my stomach is better now.

The only thing I can think of for consolation is that I didn't have to suffer an excruciating headache and a volatile stomach at the same time.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sick (Number One)

For those who don't know, I get sick more or less four times a year. I've been sickly since I was a kid, and things haven't changed, it seems.

I participated in a 9K leg of fun run last Saturday. I was tired, other than that, I felt normal. However, the day following that, my stomach started to complain. It rumbled every few minutes or so, and I was left with a literally heavy feeling in my guts. Things got worse towards the evening, as I burned up to a 38.4° fever. But, as soon as I sat on the throne, the fever went away with whatever went out. I thought I was going to be better, but that was only what I thought.

Yesterday, things turned for the worst. My stomach felt bloated with air, but I was unable to pass gas: high five or down low. I had the urge to sit down again, but no matter how hard I tried, nothing came out. My guts screamed so much that I wasn't unable to go to work. The fever went back again, but to my relief, subsided before the day ended.

With that, I was able to go to work today. I went to work with a very upset stomach. In contrast to what I underwent for the past two days, my stomach was way too active that I had to sit it six times -- almost once every hour.

Now, things are getting slower. At least that's what I want to think.

Getting sick four times a year. Got sick for the first time. I can't wait for the next!
(sarcasm intended)

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Earlier this morning, I participated in BDO's Run for Life 3. An office mate of mine joined the 6K leg, while I decided to run 9K. I was persuading him to sign up for the longest leg of the run, but he declined as it was his first time to run in a fun run.

With the 21KM I have to run next week, I made the bold decision to run the nine-kilometer leg.

The leg consisted of three laps around the complex of SM Mall of Asia. Each lap was three kilometers long. Gunshot was fired at six in the morning, but to my dismay, I came in a few minutes late. I started my run almost 15 minutes after the other participants have started, but that didn't stop me from still running. Remembering the tips of a friend of mine, I conserved my energy until the last three kilometers before picking up the pace. At the few final hundred meters, my legs were starting to burn, buckle, and give way, but the sight of the finish line powered me to keep on running and finish the run.

I managed to complete the leg in a little over an hour, adjusting the time a little bit since I came in tardy.

I proved myself that if I believe in myself that I can accomplish something, I will be able to finish whatever I start. It was an arduous run for me, but in the end, I claimed a small victory that will carry my interests in running forward.