Hope, adulthood, and a family crisis

It’s a Saturday morning. It’s been nearly two weeks since my uncle —my mother’s youngest sibling— was rushed to the emergency room of the Philippine General Hospital and subsequently hospitalized. If you’re religious, or spiritual, or even just a little bit kind, send your well wishes his way.

This post is a life update. It’s also a distraction. Are we coping? Who knows.

Hope is the color Pink

I always joke around that I’ll migrate from the Philippines if Vice President Leni Robredo loses the presidential race (or specifically, if a certain you-know-who wins). I’m actually maybe not really joking.

So many of my friends and peers are leaving. I can’t blame them.

Mahal kong Pilipinas. Let’s make it intact in the next decade. In fact, let’s grow and bloom and thrive.

Suazo family, three weeks ago. My mom bought everyone Leni polo shirts. Our family has never been so active in campaigning before. My mom, specifically, was always limited by the politics of her job. Now the stakes are higher.
Happy birthday, Tita Fely and Tito Doc! It was a fun, simple joint celebration at my Tita’s place. (I love her house, the garden landscaping is so nice!). This is also the first time I’ve properly set foot in Nagcarlan since the pandemic began. Maybe even since a little earlier, given clerkship.
Monty family. If I’m a little active in campaigning, my father’s siblings and my cousins are dedicated. There’s merch, tarpaulins, giveaways, organization of events, and attendance at rallies. I’m blessed to be surrounded and inspired by such politically-invested relatives. #LeniKiko2022
Happy birthday, Pa. It’s my first time in a long, long while to visit my dad, whose 58th birthday fell a few days ago. I like to think that if my dad were alive, he’d also believe in the power of pink.
On Wednesdays we wear pink. In the family and community department of PGH, consultants and residents are assigned “services” which provide a structure for mentoring, learning and distribution of cases/work. My co-first year residents and I were lucky to be invited to a service party. The dress code was “colorful”. By some hive mind magic, we all arrived wearing pink.

Adulthood means reaching for the check

And paying for the drinks. Or just food, for that matter. I still don’t like drinking alcohol.

My treat. The first drop of our salary fell somewhere around March 16. I immediately invited my family to hang out. Finally, I could treat them to a meal! Unfortunately my brother and other older sister and niece can’t make it. Some other day then!
Featuring Tita Fely and Tita Mina. This was a fairly hectic and busy afternoon with relatives unexpectedly going to Manila. The planned simple lunch and rest turned out to be the beginnings of an ongoing crisis. But we’re still all smiles here.
Life constants. I’ve known Aloy and Joey for almost a decade now, and Marianne for almost twelve years. I’m lucky to have kept such interesting and accomplished friends. I’ve got a future pediatrician, a top-notch lawyer-to-be (he just won the Jessup International Law Moot), and a biochem PhD candidate. But disclaimer: we split the bill.
HK-style French Toast from Single Origin. I actually ascended with this one. 10/10 would go out of my way and commute for this toast.
Surprise panda. What I like about my FCM rotation so far is that it gives me the power to say yes when people ask “do you have time for dinner?” (unless I have night duty at the ER). Happy to catchup with RJ and glimpse the life of an earning individual/bound-for-UK physician. Also disclaimer: I paid for my salmon. He paid for the (1) mussel I ate.
“Studying out”. I mean we really did study. But I’ve barely moved an inch in reviewing for the research exam since.

I’m looking forward to another dinner with Faye and David soon (it was supposed to be last night, but I was dead on my feet). Now those’re two eagles ready to leave the nest.

To the future

I wake up every morning tired and attached to my bed. But I still end each day with not a little sense of satisfaction, and enough energy to keep going (even exercise). I also barely take any work home. The charting and census update can take care of itself another day.

Bureaucracy, congested hospital queues, VISA-only cashiers —naming just some of my headache triggers recently. But we’ve finally made it to a private room after two nights at the ER, and around 10 nights in the shared ward. There are other added struggles with the pandemic, with only one COVID-negative watcher allowed inside the room. Thank you to the private duty nurses we got on board for taking care of my Tito (and Tita) so well.
IG stories as a coping mechanism. I need to stretch my poor tense muscles. After that last night duty, I got home around 2PM and proceeded to pass out until, like. Right now. Come cry with me IG:jari_1995

“How does that make you feel?”, my inner counseling voice asks. New rotations and sudden crises are always an adjustment. I can only be thankful for my family, my kind and understanding co-residents and seniors, my family’s network of cousins and acquaintances ready to help, the hundred thousands rallying for Leni and Kiko, and my life constants.

And I’m still hopeful for the best.

(Time to yeet to #ArtFairPH after this morning’s counseling workshop.)

Until next time! ❤️

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