Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 3 - exhaustion

I'm writing my blog as I shit. Yeah. Well, I do that most of the time because that's when I have time for these and the CR is proximal to my brother's room and that's where the WiFi signal is coming from.

I am 237.6 pounds. I didn't eat after the game. The only problem is, I drank Gatorade. Ack. Lesson learned. I shall stick with water.

Ack.. and now, I can't shit well.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 2: Let's continue

I'm still drowsy from yesterday's work out. I should have really slept earlier but I'm okay with it. :)

Weigh-in: 236.4 pounds

That is after 10 laps and practically a day of starvation. :))

Monday, April 25, 2011

Because I gained so much weight, this is day 1.

For the longest time, I've keep on complaining and putting myself down because of my weight. Well actually, Bob has been making joke about it without realizing that I'm already getting hurt which probably triggered why I wanted to do this in the first place.

So, today, I stepped on the weighing scale and found myself 45-50 pounds heavier than I was at about 4 years ago. I cannot believe it and I cannot condone it. I don't know which diet to take but I am sure that I am going to go on a diet like hell yeah and match it with exercise because that's how it really is for me. I'll go on my random weight loss program and try to lose as much weight before I go to med school. Ack.

This is it. I'll be weighing myself every morning..

Day 1: 239.6 lbs

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lost for Words

I've been a writer for as long as I could remember. I've always been writing to express myself ever since I was young. I could still recall the first time I've realized that I can write.

It was in grade school during one of those undying theme papers our teachers asked us to write. I don't know why but I somehow enjoy writing those compositions and I find myself wanting to write on all the topics that they gave us as options. I usually get commended for having a nice composition and I've experienced having my masterpieces being read in class. Although, it wasn't all a hit. I had misses here and there but I just love to write. So, I cared less.

The journey continued on with theme papers in my elementary school life until I decided one day to brave the odds and joined our school paper, the Judenites. Luckily, I was able to get in and be trained in campus journalism. My talents weren't always recognized because the people I work with are insanely good and I am so proud to have worked with them because they really made me a better writer. I've grown so much in Judenites, especially after staying there for more than 4 years and being trained by great mentors. It was insane. It's the students that really made the publication alive and it was a great feeling to be producing issues that we've worked so hard for as a team. I don't know if I could speak for my EIC back then but for me, it really felt great. I suppose those were my best memories of being in a publication. We were able to compete in various competitions and we did place and I had a family there. I felt the camaraderie beyond the publication. Well, I suppose it's incomparable especially if I was able to spend a longer time with my fellow Judenites.

Anyhow, to continue, I entered college with the mindset of focusing on my academics alone. In my consciousness, I've done practically everything that concerns extracurricular activities - representing the school in different Chinese singing contests, one of the Associate Editors of the Judenites newspaper, vice president of the math club, secretary of the Knights of the Altar Society, SJCS Racketeers varsity player, Literary Editor of Scratch Comic Book Club, Member of the Science Club and Member of the Drama Guild and other activities. I just haven't had any academic awards at all. I was in the honor roll in 1st and 2nd year high school but that never happened again after. As I said, I'm at rank 40-50 from 179 students. I wanted to have an academic achievement in college. I wanted to steer clear from extracurricular activities and that included writing. I actually entered an agreement with my friends that I will not join any organization in college.

I spoke too soon.

I entered the Nursing Journal because the call of passion was simply irresistible. I signed up despite my mother's disapproval and she didn't know that I joined the paper not until I was to become the editor-in-chief and brought up the topic.

As a writer during the first year, it was a nice ride. I loved the experience in the sense that I was able to work on really interesting topics and meet great personalities. I know for a fact that making interview articles is my forte. I love meeting people and getting to know them through conversations and letting people know how great these persons are. I was able to interview Fr. Factora before he became our college regent. It was an awesome experience and I loved being a writer. However, as a writer, I was able to see some room for improvement. In my mind, I knew that I might not grow in the organization so I was contemplating on leaving or staying. I was finding more reasons to leave when I was suddenly offered by the editor-in-chief to become his features editor. It was quite a decision to make. I've said to myself, "Well, you wanted to do something. This is the opportunity."

I accepted the job even if I knew that I would have to handle writers from higher levels. It was quite a challenge. I remember having a nasty encounter with my soon to be features editor (as I became his editor-in-chief) when he challenged me in our first online encounter. but it was a good experience. I was already feeling a bit of the burn out but it was okay. I was still able to write and cover some events and I was able to find the whole ensalada enjoyable. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the Dean's list for the first semester in my second year. I was then offered by my EIC to take his place for the next year. I was hesitant to accept the job but as I said before, I wanted to make a difference and this is the opportunity to share God's gifts to me and be a gift or "blessing" to others. I made sure my grades were really high for the second semester and then I finally accepted the job.

Third year was a hell year and being the editor-in-chief didn't make it easy. It was also accreditation year and the expectations for me was really high. They were really expecting a lot from me being the EIC in my junior year. It was tough. It was brutal and there were a lot of moments when I just wanted to quit. I mean I do not enjoy this. I enjoy writing. I hate the editing part and having to deal with incompetent buffoons who call themselves writers. Add to that, I had to face a lot of detractors and people who give unsolicited advices which were far off from the utmost principles and foundations of being a journalist. It was difficult to move around a world where people are so critical of whatever you are doing and where people think highly of themselves. Every issue that was released have criticisms here and there. It was either a grammar error that slipped my eyes, a layout glitch, a printing error, the delayed release... the list is endless. I have had great betrayals from non-cooperative writers who chose not to write and exploit the publication's errors publicly. I had to work with people who just know how to complain but did nothing to make things better. Heck! These people may be in the publication but they didn't even write when they needed to write. What's worse was there were people who couldn't write, draw or take pictures who can't stop their complaining. I just wonder what could they have done if they were in my position. I swear, if they asked for it, I gave it to them. I didn't want the position. I just want the art. I just want having to make a difference. If there was someone better for the job, I would have given way. That's my principle. I am not selfish enough to prevent the publication from having a better leader.

Okay, I've ranted too much once again, I suppose. Anyhow, it was truly challenging - being the editor-in-chief of the Nursing Journal. I got really burnt out and now, I find myself having a difficult time in writing anything.

Perhaps, I developed a repulsion or aversion when it comes to writing. The negative experiences are forever attached to the art that I was so passionate about. I wasn't able to write for quite a while and perhaps the only thing fueling me with this composition is because I needed to release all of this crap that I've kept intact for the duration of my editorship. I've grown tired of not expressing what I normally expressed through my compositions. I am tired of not being able to express my feelings and sentiments toward people because of my job. I am tired of keeping my mouth shut about this load of crap and concealing the hell I lived with from the others.

People think it's easy. Perhaps it would have been easier if I wasn't running for honors or I was smarter. This is me. this is what I'm given so I'll have to make the best out of it. But I guess that's also the problem. I was given the gift of writing. I had that craft. I enjoyed it and I had so much enthusiasm...

But now, it seems that it is at large...

I can't seem to write the way I used to write...

I can no longer find the words...

I don't have that same drive I had when I was starting..

I can no longer sit still and finish a composition when I'm quite lucid

I can't sit still and try writing or editing for more than 5 minutes.

My stress reliever became the sole source of my stress.

While the service was fulfilling, it was personally detrimental.

While, I was blessed with the opportunity to make a change and I would like to think that I did, I was also cursed with the burn out... and the unfortunate circumstance to see that the world can be infested by parasites.

For quite some time, I was at a lost for words. For this sporadic moment, I am not. But tomorrow, I may very well be. I don't know. But I wish things would go back to the way they were. Back when I was still happy being surrounded by my lovely words.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Little Things

Sometimes, it's the small and childish things that we do that hurts others more than we can imagine. It may have been just for fun. But you don't know the wounds that you've opened and the damages that you have done.

For you, you were able to reap a few minutes of laughter with that stupid and foolish act. For me, it reminded me of all the things that I had to endure because of that flaw in my life. Yeah. I hope you're still happy with what you've done. Because even as we speak, I'm hurting and I might be hurting for a long time.

Thank you for being so fucking sensitive. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Editor's Note

Greetings College of Nursing!
            As our college has reached its 65th anniversary last February 12, The Nursing Journal (NJ), your only and official student publication has dedicated our 2nd Lampara Magazine issue to celebrate this milestone by highlighting the commemorative events for this momentous occasion while still preserving the essence of a campus journal.
Starting with its cover – a depiction of how the lamp shines through and gives light to everything we do. In the middle of our personal and academic challenges surrounding our pursuit of advancing in the profession is the lamp which illuminates and emanates the very much needed light that guides our paths and allows us to clearly see the way. With our Thomasian culture, we are able to shine amongst others and stand out as well-rounded and competent nurses.
Followed by its content, our publication was opened to hear the voices and views of the Thomasian Nursing Studentry and served as a venue where their thoughts, views, and opinions can be heard, or read in this matter, in the form of either feature articles or literary pieces. We hope that through their insights, you’d be inspired to work better not just as a student but as a full-blown nurse. We also hope that by welcoming contributions, we promote the love and passion for the art of writing. Hopefully, this would open the doors for all student nurses, not just the NJ staff, to send us their own compositions, art works and photographs and maintain their creative and expressive outlets. We believe that this is our way as your official publication to unite our college – through what we do best.
            To further celebrate our 65th anniversary, back-to-back with this issue is our first ever literary folio housing 65 literary pieces, either previously published or current masterpieces, giving a glimpse of the life of a Thomasian nurse put into literature. These pieces arise from the thoughts, feelings, experiences or stories of student nurses or professional nurses. We hope that as you read through them, you’d be able to relate and recall your own experiences or perhaps be inspired by them and keep the desire to serve others alive.
            As the quadricentennial year was approaching and the college has turned 65 years old, the publication has truly transformed from initially being handled by the faculty, the responsibility of keeping the publication alive was placed in the hands of the students. Variations have been made to allow the flow of creativity amidst maintaining the traditions of our publication. We believe that things will only get better from here. Congratulations to all of us for a wonderful quadricentennial year and for a great 65 years!

I leave you now with a literary piece I’ve composed for the first Lampara issue last year.

Liwanag mo'y gabay,
sa mundong madilim.

Munting ilaw ng pag-asa,
murang adhikaing nakatuon
sa pagpapaunlad
ng mga pangitain
ng kabataan

nagsisilbing pag-asa
sa sandali ng
Nagsisilbing inspirasyon
sa paggawa ng kabutihan
Ating gawing huwaran
Maging ilaw para sa bayan.

-Mervyn C. Tan (Editor-in-Chief A.Y. 2009-2011)

Thomasian Nurses: The Best or the Beast?

Column Name: Just Thoughts
Title: Thomasian Nurses: The Best or the Beast?
By: Mervyn C. Tan
“Congratulations for making it in the UST College of Nursing! Being accepted here would only mean you are the crème de la crème among thousands of people who aspired to enter this college!”
Or so we think.
This is not to spite our beloved Alma Mater, which has been nothing less of excellent in terms of performance and dedication. Instead, this is another perspective and perhaps a new challenge for the citizens of our college.
In this world where everyone seems to be the best in everything, or at least they perceive themselves to be, nothing you do ever seems good enough for anyone. It’s like anything and everything around you is insufficient and is coupled with a complaint or a criticism. What’s worse is that the voices of the aforementioned won’t settle for anything less than a ruckus.
Perhaps, it’s a normal course of nature, especially when a best from one end meets a best from another end—to slug it out in a face-off that could be chronic since no one would want to give in.
As we all know it, superlatives like the “best” should only be owned by a single entity—be it an individual or a group. If everyone would want to be the best, and won’t settle for being one of the best, competition persists and crab mentality may exist, eradicating the existence of a “common unity”. Instead, what would most likely exist is an unending battle of critical points, as one would only view things in his or her own spectacle and would be quick to spot the faults and loopholes committed by the other.
This prevents people from moving forward as they are fixated on being the best. Moreover, this would make them sustain their inability to accept and to be happy for another’s success.
This is the unfortunate predicament that besets most of the chronic, persistent, and cut-throat achievers in the world, who have received much praise and yet they still hunger for more. It continuously fosters one’s mentality of having to compete with another than to just compete with oneself, which simply aggravates the situation. It promotes one’s faulty mindset of infallibility, preventing someone to have the humility to accept his own flaws and defeat—which is just one marker of immaturity.
Rounding it up, it seems that pride is the number one enemy of much achievers. And if we would try to picture what would most likely be the conclusion of their stories, one might even confidently say that it would eventually lead to their great decline—all for the title of being the best.
But what do we mean by the best? Does it only focus on an individual’s intellect, skills and mastery? Or should we also consider one’s attitude?
Moreover, can the best turn into a beast who steps on others to get ahead?
As they say, the things we have to consider are knowledge, skills, and most especially, attitude. The best and the beast have a marked difference and it is vital for us to know it by heart.
The best possesses a quiet confidence, without a desire for self-proclamation. He or she is eventually recognized and appreciated by the ones around him or her. Moreover, his or her confidence is accompanied by proper behavior and right virtues, and not by a mere thirst for recognition.
Unlike the best, the beast finds a need for boastful declaration, hungers and searches for power, and abuses his or her control over others. If in case people follow him or her, it’s because of fear or force and not of reverence or respect.
The best would not choose to destructively pass on judgment. Advertently, his or her comments would be constructive in nature. Moreover, the best would make sure that fellow colleagues would be treated well and are given the ample opportunity to make things better.
Yet for a beast, it would be very easy to spot-the-not rather than to praise-the-grace. It’s comparable to an exploratory laparotomy, where a patient is placed under the knife, cut open, examined, diagnosed and then, left open and untreated...rendering him helpless and practically unable to recover. The beast has a keen sense in detecting the flaws of others and shooting disparagements where it is uncalled for. He or she would also be fast on sending low blows to give insult to injury and dampen one’s level of resilience.
The best would help his/her fellow back on his/her feet, while the beast would see someone lying on the ground and still kick them to the curb. Amidst crisis, the best would present solutions, while the beast would only bring damnation.
For the best, success is measured, not only through the recognitions he or she is given, but also through the friends and experiences he or she has gained. With such amiable personality, the best has people expressing support toward him or her, and he or she will never celebrate his or her success alone. Not to mention, he or she would also help others taste the kind of success that he or she has attained.
For the beast, success lies solely on fame and fortune. Unlike the best, the beast tells another story—preferring solitude in the limelight and celebration above everyone else.
As the University is celebrating its quadricentennial year and our college, its 65th anniversary, we, Thomasian nurses, continuously strive to be known as the best in our field, pressuring ourselves to be our best and to do our best. However, being reminded that we are the best, the standard and the cream-of-the-crop instills in us a kind of pride that we may not have actually earned – not yet. Not to mention, numerous students in our institution have a background of being achievers in their previous years. It can be said that it is difficult for a known achiever to shy away from having the need to achieve and prove that he or she is the best.
Thus, the sporadic occurrence of crab mentality in our surroundings takes place leaving no opportunities for other willing individuals to serve the college – a depressing sight as we see Thomasian nurses pit against fellow Thomasian nurses.  
This hinders us, our college, from the progress that it deserves. It impedes everyone from having a capacity to grow and from having a peaceful work environment.
 And at the end of all these, we realize: it would all depend on us.
Now, I ask you: what would you be, the best or the beast?

Silence Broken, Lessons Spoken

Silence Broken, Lessons Spoken

The Nursing Journal (NJ), the only official student publication of the UST College of Nursing, has recently been involved in an issue during the university’s election season. Not quite surprisingly, this season’s atmosphere had become a miniature replica of what most of us would call “dirty politics”—the extent of NJ’s involvement had become more than what we have expected. Yes, we did not expect to become part of this hullabaloo, yet we soon found ourselves in it.
On one hand, while various rumors have circulated and have been circulating in our campus, the truth behind the incident has yet to be revealed, and the hearsays seem to be perpetuated with much partiality brought by blurry spectacles and feared predicaments. On the other hand, this was an expected phenomenon, and the NJ sees it as an opportune time for unbiased illumination.
Moreover, the Nursing Journal has always been a harbinger of veracity. It is for this reason that the circumstances had obliged us to enlighten the student body regarding journalism ethics, coupled with simple values and principles of common decency—all in a deontological sense.

The Conflict and the Motions
An unconsented affiliation between two distinct organizations was announced in public in a college event, which was set to aid the Thomasian student-nurses to practice their rights to vote.
The Nursing Journal just happened to be the other organization.
There were expressed perceptions towards the publication. One of the most striking would be something that was said to this effect: NJ’s functionality and coverage is insufficient and the staff seemed to be too busy to fulfill the task.  a
As a response, NJ exerted effort to give the concerned people the opportunity to explain their side during the event. They then responded instantaneously, speaking of their thoughts and striving to elucidate further what they have previously said. However, we had come to the conclusion that our efforts were futile, as these people seem to miss the point.
As much as it would like to submit its rebuttal within that very hour, the NJ had resolved not to prolong the interrogation. We did not wish to monopolize such an event with our cause since the event was for the students to have an in-depth enquiry of their potential leaders—not for us to gauge on their knowledge of the publication’s contents, and even its mere existence. Thus, it was decided upon among ourselves to discuss the issue later, in a setting that would be more conducive for a peaceful dialogue between the two parties.
However, as a sequel, the NJ was soon depicted as being affiliated with the candidates, even prior to their assumption of their respective positions. This depiction was apparently magnified through various verbalizations and accusations aimed at the Nursing Journal’s integrity as a student publication.

Our Stand
As an aftermath to the damage that has been done, the Nursing Journal was faced with an imperative to enlighten the student body that it should be given due respect and be seen independent of any political or electoral proceedings, as it has never collaborated with anyone in an untimely and unlawful sense.
In this context, we, at the Nursing Journal, simply wanted to reiterate the inherent nature of the publication itself and the persons keeping its mission on survival:
We, the Nursing Journal are, have always been, and will always be impartial and neutral.
 Although, we, the Nursing Journal, have been coordinating with the student council and various organizations all throughout the decades of our existence as a publication, we have always vigilantly removed ourselves from any undertaking that is of political interest. Moreover, we only coordinate or collaborate projects with any organization during the academic year when its rightful leaders have already assumed their respective positions. We have always done this to maintain our integrity and impartiality as of a campus journal, which is believably something that the general public has been made well-aware of, and which most of the involved persons have chosen to disregard.
As student journalists, we maintain our integrity by producing evidence-based articles, presenting all sides of the story without bias—a fundamental quality that has been embedded onto us, even when we were still starters.  Logically speaking, the absence of bias automatically affirms the prevalence of neutrality in a situation—in this case, our predicament. Thus, we decided to declare our neutrality to remind everyone of that inherent quality.
We, the Nursing Journal, have every right to protect our publication and declare our stand. We believe that, in the course of our “campaign for respecting the neutral grounds”, no name or any other concrete marker of identity was even mentioned. In cases where individuals were inferred to be the trigger of the issue, the existence of these so-called accusations is of the speculators’ own doing, not ours.
We do consider that the difficulties of being in the limelight and being placed under public scrutiny entail an immense pressure that can render a person’s mind to formulate a varied response or refute. However, we believe that individuals vying for such stature should be well-knowledgeable of what they dare to speak and have enough humility to admit ignorance if it was the case. It’s a simple upholding of the values that we, Thomasians, should have already inculcated within ourselves—we should always speak and act with discernment, all for the pursuit of truth.
Criticisms are welcomed here in our publication. Ideally, these criticisms shall hold proof to the assumption that our readers have been reading the contents of each issue that we release. This gives us the drive and keeps our passion alive. It makes us desire to continue disseminating information, entertaining stressed-out students and providing an artistic outlet for everyone to enjoy.
Yet, in order for one’s criticisms to reach a wholly receptive audience like ours, he or she should not only familiarize himself or herself with each sentence that is written on paper—he or she should also immerse himself or herself in the writing that it contains per se. Therefore, if a person has not been through the pages of our issues, we then fail to see his or her capacity to pass judgment even for a sentence.
Some may say that ignorance is bliss.
But the when ignorance is coupled with disparagement, it’s just plain impulsivity.
This same impulsivity was manifested with claims that NJ is destroying fellow students and worse, even the college, with our campaign for neutrality and advocating our rights. If what they claim was true, then the people involved wouldn’t be where they stand as of the moment.
Perhaps, these people must ponder on alternative reasons and realizing that using our publication as a scapegoat isn’t a rewarding means to salvation.

As an attempt to settle these issues, the NJ staff had arranged a session with the persons involved to explain their sides and to apologize as they would see fit. Forgiveness was granted to those who admitted their shortcomings; respect was given to those who had sought ways to make amends and to improve the well-established professional relationship.
For those who refused to see a faux pas after another and accuse us of misinterpretation, it’s an opinion in which we would have to agree to disagree.

Factual Conclusion
To conclude our first/only/final statement regarding this matter, we present to you some journalism facts: (1) the reason behind the independence of a campus journal is to isolate itself from impartiality. This would make it an official student publication that releases news articles in a newsletter—which, in our case, takes the name of newsette, a name that has existed for decades already; (2) newsletters with news articles are only well-produced by journalists under a valid editorial board independent of other affiliations that are to be written for – which credits it as an official student publication of the college.
Anyone or organization can make their own publication, given that they follow the law, but they will never be inherently valid, neutral and unbiased as compared to the only official student publication of the UST College of Nursing, the Nursing Journal.