For the first time in six thousand years, [Dor] felt tired.

“You have not died,” he began. “You are in the middle of a moment.”

He held out the grain of sand. “This moment.”

“What are you talking about?” Victor asked.

“The world has been stopped. Your lives are stopped in it – although your souls are here now. What you have done at this point cannot be undone. What you do next…”

He hesitated.

“What?” Victor said. “What?”

“It is still unwritten.”

– The Timekeeper by Mitch Albom, 2012. Sunset on a beach in Calatagan, Batangas, April 18, 2016


Doggy Dreams

What do dogs dream of?
They dream of running
On green fields under the sun
They dream of belly rubs
And peaceful windy nights.
They dream of defending their charges
Against rats and roaches
They dream of rags and sticks
That they will pounce upon.
They dream of sandals and slippers
And bags and floorboards that they chew
They dream of the warm food
And the touch of their Master's hands
They dream of itching
And of the baths they hate and love
They dream of their mother and father
And their siblings and their home.
Do they dream of tomorrow,
Do they dream of what is to come?
Do they dream as we do
Do they hope and wish as we too?
Doggy dreams are simple dreams
I wish I had them too.


“Go ahead, you can’t kill me.”20160604_132252_zpsnrk1lgvw

Tyler was laughing. “You stupid fuck. Beat the crap out of me, but you can’t kill me.”

You have too much to lose.

I have nothing.

You have everything.

Go ahead, right in the gut. Take another shot at my face. Cave in my teeth, but keep those paychecks coming. Crack my ribs, but if you miss one week’s pay, I go public, and you and your little union go down under lawsuits from every theatre owner and film distributor and mommy whose kid maybe saw a hard-on in Bambi.

“I am trash,” Tyler said. “I am trash and shit and crazy to you and this whole fucking world,” Tyler said to the union president. “You don’t care where I live or how I feel, or what I eat or how I feed my kids or how I pay the doctor if I get sick, and yes I am stupid and bored and weak, but I am still your responsibility.”

– June 04, 2016, on a motorboat bound for Laoang, Northern Samar

Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, 1996


It took us months to get here: there’s the church, the reception, the caterers, the flowers, the invitations, the rings.

And there’s the wedding gown, the souvenirs, the pictures, the videos, the entourage, the pamamanhikan, the cake, the music.

Yet it took us years to get to now: the romantic and scientific discourses, the endless arguments,

The rough patches, the passionate kisses, the sleepless nights, the shoulders we have both cried on.

The sunsets and sunrises we have shared, the places we have gone and experienced together,

The dreams of tomorrow, the hopes we have lost, the pain we have endured.

It is in those many years that we have built our wonderful castle:

A castle that will stand the test of time and of fire;

Where I shall be your king, and you, my queen,

Where our children shall grow carefree and with strength,

Where we will build the hope of tomorrow.

And so I stand with all today,

On this blessed day of days,

To tell the whole world:

I love only one

And one alone.

My Star.


Investment 101: What do I need to Invest?

This is the second [of an unknown number] of posts on a series on financial investing. I write this in order to brush up on what I learned from studying investment strategies, as well as to promote the practice with those who read it. I do not claim to be an expert, and I welcome any comments/suggestions to improve this series.

My father has always told me: “You won’t get rich from working your profession alone.” In his quest for financial security, my father has told me of the many ventures he went into different ways to gain capital, i.e. that thing you need to invest. The techniques to gain this needed resource will be discussed in this article.

What you Need: Capital!


Capital is defined as “wealth in the form of money or other assets owned by a person or organization, or contributed for a particular purpose such as starting a company or investing.”

When you begin investing, don’t feel bad if you don’t have much of this. Capital is a powerful resource, and if you invest wisely, that small amount of money will yield great dividends in the future.

Gaining Capital


There are a myriad of ways to earn money in the world. They can be classified into each of the following techniques to [legally!] gain capital. These include, but are not limited, to the following:

  1. Wages/Professional fees
  2. Interest from Loans
  3. Business ventures
  4. Real Estate
  5. Jewelry/Possessions
  6. Investments/Securities

We’ll take these one by one, how they provide capital, assessing their pros and cons, and how you can acquire and use them in the future.

Wages/Professional fees

Your job, whatever you may do, is the backbone by which you will gain capital. Therefore, if you aren’t one “born with a silver spoon”, this is your key towards a life of financial security.

It’s a pretty straightforward way to gain capital. You come into work, put in an honest day, and get an honest day’s pay. Yet it is also one with the greatest risk, as its productivity is entirely dependent on yourself. Your ability to work will depend on several factors such as your health, your passion, your goals/dreams, and your family.

The pros of this technique is that it gives you capital continuously, assuming that the work opportunities in your area are stable. This technique also has the added benefit of giving you social capital, that is, making friends, expanding your network, and gaining expertise.

The cons of this technique is that it is still liable to the influence of market forces – the wage you earn today may not be enough to buy the goods you need in the future. Some people resolve to just put in their hours in the daily grind, earning money until their twilight years. But the problem with this technique is that it will not last forever – you will at some point have to retire, for whatever reason.

When it comes to investing, this is the technique you’ll want to give most of your energy and time into. In other words, you have to invest in yourself. Become a product that society needs, and do your work honestly and passionately. The capital will reap itself in time.

Interest from Loans

Most of you reading this will probably have a bank account already. By depositing money in a bank, you gain some interest. Interest is “money paid regularly at a particular rate for the use of money lent, or for delaying the repayment of a debt.”

The pros of this technique is that it is very low risk. In the Philippines, deposits these days are insured a maximum of Php 500,000, which has helped prevent bank runs in the past. While interest rates yield small amounts of capital, it is still capital and could be invested. This is also a technique that can be held onto indefinitely, unlike a job.

The cons of this technique is that it is generally very low return. Interest rates these days are minimal, and do not defeat inflation rates. You can check the first post of the series to know more about how inflation is the “silent killer”.

Having a bank account is a prerequisite to investing (esp. in securities), so if you don’t have one, I highly recommend opening an account. However, don’t depend on this to gain capital, because you will lose in the long run.

Business Ventures

By going into business ventures, capital can swing both ways. Lucky and prudent businesses grow into stable companies and will earn money, while the converse will lose the game.

The pros of this technique is its possibility for high returns and, if done correctly, its ability to provide the owners a means to continuously earn money. But that’s an understatement.

The cons of this technique is that it is also very high risk. The capital to establish a business is also very significant. Establishing a business requires a lot of work – you’ll have to put in time and knowledge in order to make it grow. Businesses are in the center of the storm of the market forces – hence, luck is also something you’ll need for business.

Some people were born to do business. Some people, like myself, prefer to ride the waves of their success. Keep this option open, and discover if you have the stomach for it.

Real Estate

The oldest trick in the book. You buy/inherit land, you hold onto it, and you sell it or rent it. Other variations would be building townhouses for which you can obtain lease from your tenants.

The pros of this technique is that it provides great capital and is a potential resource you can use to build capital-making businesses on. Its value also appreciates with time. This is a great technique to earn money – if you’re rich, or born into a landowning family.

The cons of this technique is that it requires great capital. Depending on its location, its value may also depreciate with time. You’ll also need to think of the taxes/bills you’ll have to expend to maintain ownership. If you’re someone trying to make it into the world, this is a technique you’ll have to bide your time for. When you’ve sufficient capital from investing in other techniques, this is a frontier you must not forget to consider.


Your possessions have intrinsic value that can be converted into capital. Jewelry is one of them. I don’t know much about the trade in jewelry, however, but selling these can offer you varying amounts of money.

The pros of these include its ability to appreciate with time, but that’s about it. The cons of this would be its susceptibility to market forces, as well as its susceptibility to make you a victim of theft.

Having jewelry and possessions helps you earn, but this shouldn’t be your primary means to earn capital, unless you’re in a family of jewelers.


Investing your money into the different investment vehicles also yields capital. An investment vehicle is a product used by investors with the intention of gaining positive returns. There are many investment vehicles, such as loans (e.g. time deposits), bonds, stocks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds. We’ll take the nitty-gritty of each one in another article.

The pros of investments include its accessibility to the common man, and its ability to defeat market forces, if used properly and wisely over a period of time. It is also a means to earn money without physically working, and one you can do indefinitely.

I always find it funny when people would remark how they picture investors as people who wear tuxedos and use monocles and sip champagne over stock market tickers, not knowing that it is the common man who plays the game.

When I began investing years ago, I thought this way as well. These are some misconceptions I’ve had, and debunked as I went through investing:

  1. I thought that investing required great capital. No; I could invest any amount I wanted to. (Note: some products require minimum investments to open an account however, so check with your bank/broker).
  2. I thought that investing made me lose control of where I put my money in. No; I choose the companies and products I wish to invest in, and I choose when to get my money when I want to.
  3. I thought that investing was a 24/7 job that would offer you no peace. No; first, there’s a test you’ll need to take to know what your “risk appetite” is, that is, your capacity to risk your money into something. Once you know how much you’re willing to risk, you’ll decide where you want to put in your chips – in stable, growing companies, or in new, dynamic ones.
  4. I thought that investing was hard to learn. Yes, you have to do some self-studying to learn about its process and its opportunities. I spent a month poring over websites and books that teach investing before I brought shares to a company. I also went to some seminars to learn about how investing works.

I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’m surprisingly gaining capital, thanks to the help of those books, websites, and people I’ve spoken to. I’m not in the big leagues, but I’m slowly gaining financial independence.

The cons of investment is its susceptibility to market forces thus making it a risky venture. There is always a possibility that the company/product that you invest in may fail, and you may lose what you invested. There is also danger in investing in ignorance. Two kinds of people lose in the stock market game – the unlucky, and those who are ignorant. Luck will never always be on your side, but if you invest wisely, you’ll at best breakeven, and at worst, learn from your misfortune. If you don’t invest wisely and do your research, however, you can lose everything you invested.



There is an adage in investing that goes: “Always be prepared to lose money.”

How is it that there are still people investing despite this adage?

It is because the wise investor only invests what he can lose (he knows his risk appetite), he accepts that market forces are fickle (he knows that, given enough time, he will regain what he loses), and he knows that fortune favors the bold.

Work smart, save up, do your research, and take the plunge.

I’ll see you along the way.

Investment 101: Why Invest?

This is the first [of an unknown number] of posts on a series on financial investing. I write this in order to brush up on what I learned from studying investment strategies, as well as to promote the practice with those who read it. I do not claim to be an expert, and I welcome any comments/suggestions to improve this series.

What is Financial Freedom?

Financial Freedom

Financial freedom is the ability of an individual to do anything that they want in life, without the constraints tied with that issue called “lacking money”.

So where does this go? It would extend to your lifetime and to the generations to come. A responsible move you make right now will carry on to your children, and your grandchildren, and those who come after.

Financial freedom will let you live the way you want to live, and it has the side effect of ensuring that the future of those you care about will be prosperous as well. It will ensure that your child will have a home, food on the table, a good education, and a head start in life.

A disclaimer: Financial freedom is not about becoming a greedy person. It is not about seeking riches and wealth and having all those new gadgets and houses and toys. It is about freedom from the constraints imposed by money in achieving your goals in life. Those I have known who are financially free are those who do not appear rich; rather, they live simply and simply live.

Why Invest?

I have experienced my generation’s desire to “live in the moment.” “YOLO”, which stands for “You only live once” has become the battlecry of a generation who has lived in a time of peace and plenty. Yet in this time of peace and plenty, many people are ironically destitute. I have seen people spend beyond their means, only to fall into discontent in the future. It is not wrong to live in the moment; but it is wrong to fail to account for the future.

Investing is one of the many routes towards financial freedom. It is defined as:

in·vest (inˈvest)
1. to expend money with the expectation of achieving a profit or material result by putting it into financial schemes, shares, or property, or by using it to develop a commercial venture.

The reasons for investing hinge into the practical and the philosophical.

The Practical Side of Investing



To understand why investing is important, one must understand the concept of Inflation rate. Inflation, by definition, refers to “the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising and, consequently, the purchasing power of currency is falling.”

A good example would be your everyday experience at a supermarket. In the past, you could buy all your basic necessities such as bread, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and some luxury goods for as low as a Php 1000, all in a nice grocery cart. Now, you’ll only get a basket of some of these goods for your money these days. What the heck happened? That’s inflation. It’s a silent killer that will bite you in the future.

I remember how my grandmother would hide her money in a tin box. I remember how my father would store his money in the bank. While your money won’t get stolen, it certainly will drop in value over time.

These days (as of April 2017), a Philippine bank’s interest rate goes from 0.25% to as high as 1% per annum. As a simplification, if you have 10,000 in the bank, you’ll get Php 10,025+ to 10,100+ at the end of the year. However, the Inflation rate of the Philippines (as of April 2017) is 3.4%, meaning that the value of your money despite the interest you get from the bank will devalue by 2.4% to 3.15% over time.

While it seems small, (in the example above, having Php 10,000 devaluing over time will make your money decrease to Php 9685 to 9760, a loss of Php 240 to 315), take note that nothing is ever static in the economy, and over time, that amount of money will lose much of its value.

Enter investing. With investing, you have a chance to defeat inflation by trying to go above that 3.4% (and ever-fluctuating) inflation rate. The rate of financial growth will be defined by yourself. That’s for another article – what do I need to start investing?

The Philosophical Side of Investing


Investing a choice you’ll be making everyday of your life. Investment does not only entail financial capital; it entails a conscious decision to bear sacrifices, to dream, and to look at the big picture.

I’ve been investing for almost a decade now. I’m not rich, but I can take my fiancee on a date, I can buy stuff I want to (but I hold off on – it’s hard!), and I can rest easy at night knowing that if an emergency comes, I have the means to address them.

Investing is a great challenge that I think builds character. I’ve made a lot of sacrifices (“opportunity costs”) throughout the years – not buying this gadget, not going to that event, and the like. I’ve learned how to be innovative though; I learned to go out with friends instead of playing a video game, and to read books for self-edification instead of splurging on expensive things.

Before going into any endeavor, it is important to know why you’re doing it in the first place. Investing is more than putting your money into proverbial soil to make it grow; it is to make a commitment to become financially responsible for yourself, with the goal of achieving financial freedom.

Before going into any endeavor, it is important to know why you’re doing it in the first place. Investing is more than putting your money into proverbial soil to make it grow; it is to make a commitment to become financially responsible for yourself, with the goal of achieving financial freedom. Your decisions make you. I’ll see you along the way.

Surviving Medical Life: The Fifth Year a.k.a. Post-Graduate Internship

I write this entry with these people in mind: my unborn child, who [might] consider being a physician someday, for my future students [mwahahahahahaha!], and for myself, that I may be reminded of who I was as a student. This is the fifth part of the series.

You’ve survived clerkship! Congratulations! You’ve graduated and earned your Diploma. You bear the title of a Doctor. And we still have a loooong way to go!

The 5th year of Medicine is the Post-Graduate Internship year, as most Philippine Medical schools give their diplomas at the end of the 4th year. This is the year you’re no longer a student per se. You will become the Post-Graduate Intern, the “apprentice doctor”.

This is the year you will rotate one last time in all the different fields of medicine – you will be an internist, a pediatrician, a surgeon, a community doctor, an obstetrician-gynecologist, a researcher. Now that I’m close to finishing my medical internship, I realized that this is the last time, the last chance I’ll get to being as close to these fields of medicine. After this will come the board exams, and after, the many paths a doctor may take.

For the purpose of this entry, I will write about my experiences as a Post-Graduate Intern of the Department of Health – Centers for Specialized Health Care (DOH-PCSHC) program, and lessons I’ve gained along the way.

An Overview of the DOH-PCSHC Program



The vision of the program is:

Five specialty medical centers under one umbrella that could provide world class specialized care to Filipinos regardless of social status in the most efficient, cost effective and sustainable way.

The mission of the program is to:

Provide a highly specialized medical SERVICE to all patients using modern, cost effective equipment and instruments.

Provide the setting and opportunities for the TRAINING and teaching of all types of health professionals

Provide the setting and opportunity for progressive and sustained RESEARCH in medicine and all its allied profession with the end in view of providing the highest quality of health service.

Institute provisions, procedures and practices that will ensure SUSTAINABILITY.

Established in 2005, the DOH-PCSHC program is one of the many Internship programs you can choose. It is a 12-month program where you will rotate in the different fields of medicine in the 5 DOH-affiliated hospitals in the Quezon Circle area – namely East Avenue Medical Center (base hospital), Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Philippine Heart Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and Lung Center of the Philippines. You’ll also rotate in the Marikina Health Department for your community medicine rotation as well.

Choosing your Intenship Program

Graduating from medical school and being released into the world was initially a jarring experience for me. I was used to the systems of my former school that I found myself out of my comfort zone during my early days as a PGI.


Working in the various DOH-PCSHC affiliated hospitals

When it comes to choosing your Internship program, you must consider the following:

  1. Desire for learning – as an oversimplification, I found that there are two types of PGIs – those who wish to focus on “book learning” and those who wish to have “experience learning”. Different programs offer different opportunities. Some programs are lighter than the others due to factors such as lesser patient loads, fewer facilities, and the like, which offer time for an intern to study. Some programs are conversely heavier than others, where one comes home, falls asleep, and survives another day. I found some PGIs chose their program that they can focus on reading their medical textbooks to prepare for the board exams, while some chose their program in order to improve their clinical skills. It is good to find a balance between the two, and to choose an appropriate program accordingly.
  2. Desire for compensation – the difference with this year and the previous one is that you’re now part of the workforce. You won’t pay any tuition fees, and some programs will even compensate you, in the form of allowance or stipends. It is in my opinion that you should put this in the least of your priorities when choosing a program, however, because the experiences you might get may outweigh any material compensation.
  3. Accessibility – Some PGIs choose their program for its proximity to their homes. I have a friend who chose her program since it was in Davao City, where she has been away from for almost a decade. Certainly being near family has helped her become happier with her work.
  4. Goals for the future – It is advisable to choose a program wherein you intend to practice in the future. It will help you get to know the culture of the program you’re contemplating, as well as getting to know your future seniors in the field. Knowing the protocols of the hospital certainly helps as well, as it will make you a more efficient and effective asset to the team should you be accepted there. One of the key advantages I noted was that I also got to know the residents and fellows of the different departments, whom I will refer to for guidance in the future.

I chose the DOH-PCSHC program for the following reasons:

  1. I wanted to improve my clinical eye by exposing myself to many varied cases. (I wasn’t disappointed with what I’ve seen along the way.)
  2. I wanted to improve my clinical skills through its performance in my duties.
  3. I wanted the challenge of working under pressure in resource limited environments.
  4. I wanted to discover the work culture and the environment I hope to work in the future.
  5. I wanted to apply for an Ophthalmology residency at the East Avenue Medical Center.

Level Up!


Open Heart Surgery at PHC

As a PGI, you will don for the first time your white coat.

The history of donning the white coat began in the 19th century, where physicians began to wear it to symbolize the transition to the scientific approach to modern medicine, and to distance it from the quackery and mysticism of its predecessors. The white coat is more than your uniform – it is the symbol of your status as a man of science and learning. It is a reward you gain for your years of sweat and tears, and also a reminder of the responsibility of how your words and actions will impact another.

Hopefully, you worked hard as a clerk, and gained plenty of experiences and knowledge along the way. During internship, from being the “grunt”, you are promoted into a “sergeant”. During clerkship, you worked under your PGIs; now that you are one, you will take under your command your clerks, whom you will hopefully teach and nurture to become better doctors in the future.

Guiding Principles

When I was a clerk, I was exposed to different types of PGIs. There were PGIs who deserve praise and respect, as they taught me things that weren’t written in the books, and then there were those who taught me what not to be.


Rest and Recreation is part of training too!

  1. Learn to prioritize tasks. Time management is an invaluable skill for Internship. You will be given lots of responsibilities – lab work, monitoring patients, doing paperwork, doing census, interviewing patients, assisting in procedures, to name a few. A good rule of thumb to prioritize tasks is to concentrate on those that will give the most benefit at a certain time. For example, if a patient has a deteriorating level of consciousness, certainly referring it to your senior takes precedence over doing paperwork. This is similar to the triage system in the ER, where you will focus concern on the emergency cases and less on the non-urgent ones. I found how this was not much of a concern when I was a clerk, as I only followed orders. In your PGI year, you will constantly make decisions on your feet, so make the best ones and make them count.
  2. Take care of yourself – this principle still holds until this very year. Internship will entail new responsibilities and challenges that will test you. Along the way, you might neglect your health and well-being, and it will manifest itself insidiously. At best, you’ll become irritable and you’ll feel like giving up; at worst, you’ll compromise your care of your patients. Take care of yourself. You cannot give what you do not have. There are some rotations that are lighter than the others; use them to reconnect with your old friends, go out with your family, watch movies and read non-medical books.
  3. Never forget who you were – you were once also a JI/Clerk. This year will put you in command of clerks. Do not become a “kupal” or a douchey PGI – treat your clerks the way you wanted to be treated as a clerk – with respect. They may not say it, but they will look up to you. Lead them by example. Give them time to eat and rest, and teach them concepts and skills you wish you knew at their level. Your goal should be to make them better doctors than yourself. Listen to your clerks when they refer to you, and do not discard their intuitions. I always tell my clerks that I don’t care if what they refer is trivial; as long as it makes them concerned about the well-being of a patient, they should by all means refer their concern. By doing these basic things, I found that my clerks would work harder and would generally tell me that they were happier with their rotation, despite its challenges. This would translate to better communication among the medical team, as well as better patient care.
  4. Respect your seniors – you will meet different doctors with varied personalities this year. Respect them for what they will teach you, and learn from them what books cannot explain. As you do not have a medical license, always consult with your seniors first before performing an intervention. It is their license on the line if anything happens to a patient.
  5. Teamwork is key – you will not survive this year without the combined efforts of your colleagues. The lone wolf archetype truly is not fit for medicine – you cannot treat a patient with multidisciplinary problems alone; you need the help of everyone to provide effective care.
  6. Communication! I’ve learned that the bulk (almost 90%) of medical work is communication. You communicate with patients to know their disease and other factors that affect their treatment. You communicate with your colleagues and allied health personnel. You label the specimens you send to the laboratory. You tell a brief history and physical examination when you get initial readings for imaging work. You endorse your patients to your replacements. You clarify the orders of your residents/fellows/consultants. You refer your patients to your seniors. You write (and pair) your orders in the chart. You write referral forms, discharge summaries, clinical abstracts. You talk to the patient and the family regarding their diagnosis and options for treatment. Communication. I honestly didn’t realize how medicine is unfit for introverts like myself. I confess that I also tire of talking to people, and that sometimes I wish I could just hide in my room for the day. But it is a reality you will need to accept everyday, and one that you have to strive to improve upon.
  7. Look out for opportunities, and take them – there are plenty of opportunities to learn and grow in internship. My fiance told me that internship year is mostly self-directed learning, and if you complain that you don’t learn anything in a rotation, it’s your fault for not grabbing opportunities as they come. You will only become as good as you allow yourself to be. When you come upon a new case, read about it when you can, and learn its unique signs and symptoms. Ask questions from your seniors on its management, and research updates on treatment. Don’t be afraid to attempt new procedures and grab everything opportunity you have – I once did an ultrasound guided IJ catheter insertion (and probably the last time I’ll do it in my lifetime), and I’ll never forget the thrill and reward of doing it. I once held a beating human heart, delivered a baby, saved critically ill infants, called a code, intubated an unconscious man – experiences that no book, no matter how brilliant its explanation, can ever match.

Moving Forward


DOH PCHSC Batch 2016-2017 Team C, taken during our Med Mission at Tayasan, Negros Oriental

My Post-Graduate Internship year in the DOH program was one of my most rewarding and fulfilling years in my life as a physician. I can definitely say that I’ve grown more confident in my skills from what I’ve been exposed to in the program. I’ve seen cases that books say are uncommon, and even rare. I’ve experienced making and calling decisions to save lives. I’ve seen suffering and death, and I’ve seen health and vitality, and have grown to accept one or the other. I felt the gravity of my words and deeds to those around me. I no longer am afraid of facing a critically ill individual, because I was taught what to do. I still weep for those patients I’ve lost, and I learn to move forward for those who remain.

I’ve always wanted to become a doctor. I’ve always imagined what my 5-year-old self would think if he saw me now. Despite the dark circles under my eyes, my constant coughing fits, and my aching limbs, I’d like to think that he’ll be proud of me.

What you are right now is what kind of physician you’ll be. The medical intern is father to the physician. I hope one day that the physicians of the future will be those that their young selves would pride to boast of, those with bright passionate eyes despite the dark circles, those with pure hearts despite the unhealthy coughing fits, and those with unrelenting will despite the aching limbs. I hope we become the doctors we wanted to be.

I wish for you a prosperous and fulfilling year ripe with learning and growth! I will see you along the way.

The Gift

The greatest gift,
Is a good night’s sleep,
Wake up to a hearty breakfast
And have it beside you

The greatest gift
Is a clean conscience
A hearty laugh
And a dash of melancholy

The greatest gift
That I have been given
Is to be loved
And to love in return


The shield of anonymity
Is where the arrows of hatred are flung
It is the bastion of cowards
And the repose of the meek.

You do not know us
And we do not know you
Both cannot be the judge
Of the other.

Yet to hide is the prudent choice
And to stay mute is the wisest course
For to do otherwise
Is to be slaughtered.

There are multitudes of bigots
And it takes but one
That one in a million
To undo everything that has been.

We hide like cowards
And take in your scorn
Yet we will continue
With this path.

On Healing

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran is one of my favorite books. I have read it countless times, yet I wish that a physician could have asked this question, and how the prophet could have spoken about this topic close to my heart. I dare to write as Kahlil Gibran.

Then a physician spoke: wise Almustafa, speak to us on healing.

Healing is the gentle touch that releases the body from Pain, yet is also the sharp strike that cuts deep into the soul. It is the well of tears that overflows to water the barren land, and it is the raging fire that cleanses the sallow pastures.

It the manifestation of Love in all of its nakedness: Love whose ways we cannot divine nor dream to ever comprehend. Just as the river carves into the mountains and valleys and fields does healing spread out and embrace all with its shapeless form. It is the torrential rain and the refreshing sunlight that falls upon the slave and the master, the tyrant and the free, the brave and the cowardly. It is the Love that which everyone possesses yet does not see.

You healers are but conduits from which the spark of Life passes through. Through you the people feel the touch of God’s hands and divine His wisdom. Your voice radiates His power, and your mind reflects His intimate thoughts. Through your hands you welcome the new delegates of Life’s procession, and through you they behold the gaze of Eternity.

When you heal one another remember that you too heal yourself. For the Pain of the other is your Pain too, and the loss of the other is your loss too. You break the bones you mend, and your heart is ripped asunder with the burdens they bear. Yet let your heart be gladdened with their fortitude, and let your soul be inspired with their peace.

Let healing not be measured by wasted triumphs nor useless endeavors. For no one can do battle with Pain and Death without losing. For as the two are your enemies so are they your final companions. Embrace them as you would your friends and your children, and know that they will too, join in your procession.

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    For people who love to think.

    Jian Carlo R. Narag, MD


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