Liebster Award

I’m back with my very first nomination for a blog award and I’m so excited! I would like to thank Aanya for nominating me. She’s a very supportive and amazing young blogger so if you haven’t already, go ahead and check out her site here and follow along for some unbelievable facts about Harry Potter that most of you may or may not have known! ✨

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is an award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers to connect and support the blogging community. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

The Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers.
  4. Ask your nominees 11 questions.
  5. Notify your nominees once you’ve uploaded your post.

My Answers to Aanya’s Questions:

  1. What is one thing you’d love to be really great at?
    • DANCING! It’s my greatest frustration.
  2. If money/funding was no problem and you created a foundation/charity, what cause would you be supporting and why?
    • I’d be a secret scholarship sponsor for aspiring medical students because I know the feeling of dreaming to become a doctor but lacking in finances.
  3. What would your superpower of choice be? (You don’t just have to pick the standard ones – get creative!)
    • To move at great speed just like Quicksilver in The Avengers.
  4. Are you an ‘in the spotlight’ person or a ‘behind the scenes’ person?
    • Behind the scenes. But there was a time that I wanted to be in the spotlight and I cringe every time I think of it.
  5. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Explain
    • Ambivert! Depends on my mood, but I think I’m becoming more of an introvert as I grow older.
  6. What’s your least favorite food and why?
    • Anything sweet and sour! I really don’t know why. Please don’t hate me.
  7. What inspires you to keep blogging?
    • First, it just feels good everytime I write my mind out. Second, the likes, comments and follows (which I never expected would happen). And lastly of course the amazing bloggers and their posts where I learn a lot from. 💕
  8. What are your favourite hobbies?
    • Playing the guitar and violin, and making music on GarageBand.
  9. How do you motivate yourself when things are challenging?
    • I just think, “If diamonds need friction to be polished, then I too will need challenges to bring out a better, more polished version of me!
  10. What quality do you look for most in a friend?
    • A good listener and responsible.
  11. If you were a scented candle, what scent would you be?
    • Any flowery scent 🌸

My Nominees:

  1. Dulcy
  2. Melody
  3. Maeve Alejandro
  4. Toyosi Alonge
  5. Sarah
  6. Sara
  7. Shanessa
  8. Aaliyazoya
  9. soobxblog
  10. feast
  11. You! Yes you, and just say I tagged you 😊

P.S. No pressure to anyone who doesn’t feel like doing this.

Questions for my Nominees:

  1. Your all-time favorite book/movie?
  2. Iced coffee or milktea?
  3. If you had the ability to turn back time, what time period would you return to? 
  4. If you could swap lives with a celebrity for a day, who would it be?
  5. If this pandemic never existed, what would you be doing right now?
  6. If you could get rid of one vegetable or fruit in the entire world, what would it be and why?
  7. Name one musical instrument you’ve always wanted to learn how to play.
  8. If you had the opportunity to make up a word and have it added to the dictionary, what would it be and what does it mean?
  9. Name 3 items from your wishlist.
  10. If you could meet one famous person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
  11. Your life goals. Name at least two!

There ya go! I definitely enjoyed answering the questions and making this post! I hope my nominees will, too! Thanks again to Aanya for the nomination. This was the positive vibe I needed amidst the ruckus going on with school and this pandemic.

Stay safe ya’ll!

Hard Times

Today, the [official] statement of fees for the incoming school year circulated in messenger groupchats. Written on it was the absurdly high tuition fee of P170,000 for third year medicine—about P30-40K increase from what it usually is. No liquidations, just the 6-digit figure. Med school is certainly pricey compared to other health programs, but tuition hike during these trying times? Definitely a bummer. 😔

I was hesitant to tell my dad about it, because I don’t want to stress him out since they’re very busy at school today (by the way, my parents’ school is even cutting down on their miscellaneous fees). But I don’t want to tell him later when he’s home either, because I don’t want my brothers hearing about it yet. I messaged our student council governor first, asking if we, as one student body, can write a letter to the administration asking for miscellaneous fees to be freezed until we’ll have face-to-face classes again. He agreed, since everyone else was also vexed about the pricing.

I gathered up some courage to finally tell my dad about it, so I chatted him, quite anticipating a negative response. He was quick to reply, asking me, “What about the scholarship?” (because I applied for the DOH scholarship)

I then answered, “I asked my classmate who is a current DOH scholar and he said the results for new applicants usually come around October or November, so we’re gonna have to wait until then (insert crying sticker).”

“Ok. We will try our best to pay for the tuition.”

“…”

Can I ever be more blessed to have a father who continually supports me selflessly? I cried upon seeing that reply and felt even more ashamed of myself, knowing how my entire family will have to give way financially for my endeavors for another few years. I don’t even know how my brothers truly feel about it—it pains me that they may be thinking they’re less important. 😔 But I hope not, because our parents never ever gave us divided attention and love. It’s just that most of our money is spent on me that’s why I tend to think that way.

I’ve been thinking about just giving it all up so I can work instead and help provide for the family, but it would be a waste since I’m already halfway through med school. They’ve already spent too much for me to just throw away, so I might as well just finish it. I can’t work for the meantime either due to some inevitable circumstances, so I just try to help out as much as I can with household chores. Not to mention I’ve been planting vegetables so we can save on expenses. We’ve also been buying and selling cookies and chicharon to my parents’ colleagues at school, and dad has been making bonsai plants to sell at reasonable prices. We gain only a little profit from all of these, but that’s better than nothing, right?

On the other hand, our 10-year-old TV broke down last night and dad brought it out for repair today. The shop said it might be broken for good, leaving us with no choice but to purchase a new one which is way out of budget. Last month, mom and dad loaned two high-end laptops for their online classes, since the mediocre ones that they already have can’t deliver virtual lessons optimally. I’ve also been helping mom out in using the laptop since she’s not very techie, and it’s kinda hard to juggle with 2 long exams coming on August 11th. But I’ll manage. I’ve learned to not complain about anything, because the little things they’re asking of me are nothing compared to the sacrifices they have done.

What a dull afternoon it is right now—our neighbor’s radio is blasting some old, melancholic music which adds more grey to the gloomy overcast weather. I’m just here in our living room trying to study Microbiology since we were informed only last night that we will have an exam on it as well on top of Pediatrics. Sigh.

I’m just really hoping for our school to hear our plea and consider cutting down on fees because times are hard for all of us.

Over and Advanced Thinking

Last night, the true to life story of Captain Phillips was aired on TV. Dad was watching while I was reading my Pediatrics module on my brother’s study table BESIDE the TV and also silently fussing about how I don’t have my own room or a conducive study space here at home.

Distracted, I decided to watch along for a while. The story, tho seemingly unreal to anyone who is far from incidents portrayed in the movie, hit me suddenly. I remembered about becoming a Doctor to the Barrio (DTTB) if ever I will be accepted to the DOH scholarship I applied for. I’ve been praying for it so that our finances would somehow be eased at least for the final 2 years of med school that I have yet to finish. You see, I am for serving the underprivileged and underserved because I know how it feels not having easy access to healthcare, but it honestly really scares me knowing that the deployment will be in the most disadvantaged areas in the Philippines, including areas of conflict. We all know that there are possibilities of ambush, kidnapping, and other terrifying stuff (similar to the pirating in the movie) that could happen in those areas and who does not draw back in fear upon hearing those stories, right?

I stopped watching the movie and went to back to reading. But I can’t be still. So I put on my earphones and watched some documentaries about DTTBs on YouTube instead. And man, it made me feel uncomfortable seeing the doctors talk about how scary it is to be in a totally unfamiliar place, far from civilization, and more importantly, from their family. But the work that they do—priceless. It somehow made me feel lighter seeing all those hopeful natives line up at the health center for their first consultation in YEARS. It’s just so heartwarming. I can only imagine how fulfilling the doctors feel after a day’s work.

But still I can’t help but think about those horrible things that can happen in the area within the duration of at least 3 years to probably 8 years (because for every school year that you are a scholar, you will render 2 years of return service with the first 3 years in the area assigned to you by the DOH), and when you’re only starting out as a new physician. There was even that young doctor who was gunned down while he was on his way home. It terrifies me to recall that I myself have experienced being stalked by crazy pedophiles in the crowded city—how much more if I’m in a totally strange place and no familiar faces at all! The thought of politically associated killings mentioned by one female doctor and even just jealousy associated ones is already so frightening. And it’s not just that, there’s also the darkest fear of being absent in times of sickness, or worse, loss in the family. 😔

I know, I should be brave like what doctors should be, and believe me, I do try my best when situations warrant it. But I’m only human as well and sometimes consumed by my own negative thoughts.

I should not fear about becoming a DTTB, because surely there will be allies and hopefully, more doctors too in the same area. I’m confident that security for the doctors and support measures for their dependents are being implemented by the authorities as well. And those documentaries I saw is not even 5% of ALL DTTB stories out there right now. I’m positive that there are more happy stories yet to be shared to the world. I also take comfort knowing that nothing is guaranteed in life, and that does not exclude those scary events randomly popping in my head. But yeah, I really salute the DTTBs and shall be very honored if ever I become one someday!

Another reason not to fear is I am not yet there! 😂 It’s not even sure yet if I’ll be accepted into the scholarship or not, but it’s fine now if ever I won’t be (tho it would really be a financial burden to my parents for another 3 years, including post-graduate internship). I have already been informed of my slim chances anyway, so at least now I’m prepared for whatever results will come. So much for [over]thinking in advance! LOL.

Anyhow, the movie and the overthinking that transpired served as a reminder that despite not having the things I wish I had, I should not complain but instead be thankful and happy that I’m with my family right now—safe and free even during these trying times. I should just continue making the most of what little we have and do my best in everything, especially in my studies.

Life really has its own way of bringing us back to reality when our minds have wandered off so far, huh? The thing is, nobody’s perfect, and there are times that we are like spoiled, ungrateful, entitled brats especially when we find ourselves in bouts of inconvenience. I’m guilty of that too (grumbling about how I don’t have my own room and how I’m sick of all these forever dust-accumulating amakan walls in our house). What’s important is we should acknowledge our shortcomings and imperfections and strive to be better each day. And lastly, always bear in mind to cherish the NOW, pray for the future, and be thankful for everything. ✨

Dead Pixels Resurrected

Last July 22, 2020, my laptop suddenly had a horizontal dotted line in the middle of the screen when I turned it on in the morning. I tried to troubleshoot it myself and looked for similar issues on online forums and my search mostly led to this thing called dead pixels. I contacted support, and after a few diagnostic tests they told me it’s probably a hardware issue and the LCD might need to be replaced. I was saddened because how come it broke this early when this laptop which my dad won in a Christmas party and gave to me as a gift, is not that old and not even abused. I took really good care of it. But maybe I did use it beyond its capacity a few times. Its processor is only an Intel Pentium—works really fine but I sometimes play DoTA 2 and edit HD videos which are quite heavy work for this processor. And the night before the dead pixels appeared, I was watching Harry Potter on my laptop and it lagged twice, so I also forced it to shutdown twice. It’s probably one of the causes according to the support agent but I have to have it checked physically for a more precise diagnosis.

Anyway, I was disappointed but not surprised, because I’m used to having defects on my gadgets and I’ve learned to love them as imperfections. The support agent was very accommodating as well, so I didn’t feel that bad for long (like I usually do). I can’t afford to have it repaired, so I just had to be extra careful in using it. 

TODAY, July 30, I uninstalled an app on my laptop (Internet Download Manager) because its free trial ended today. I was in the school with mom and dad, multitasking—downloading study materials here on my laptop and designing a virtual background on Lens Studio on my mom’s for her online class. I was so absorbed in the designing that I forgot to check on my laptop.

In the afternoon at around 3 p.m., my work was done so I went back to my laptop to continue downloading stuff and study at the same time. It took several minutes of random scrolling before I realized that THE HORIZONTAL LINE WAS GONE!

Oh, what excitement! I looked for a second time, and then a third—it was really gone! I almost squealed in disbelief inside the library! I hurriedly spread the good news to our family groupchat and my bestfriend. I really can’t believe it! Seems like only yesterday I was dreaming and hoping that it’d be just a glitch and not really a permanent LCD damage but today it actually came true! 

And so a typical quarantine day ended with good taste. I went home really happy. It feels like I have a brand new laptop! I’m probably going to wake up tomorrow thinking that this was all just a dream, but we’ll see—I won’t see this post on my blog then! 😂

I don’t really know what it exactly was—I also found bad display and stuck pixels in my search, but for sure it wasn’t a dead pixel after all! Maybe it was a malicious software from IDM (but the app is from a verified source so I can’t really be sure of that) or another underlying issue. It might even come back. 😔 But who knows? At least for now I won’t have to spend money for repair (but hopefully never).

What’s important is I learned something from this experience and that I’ll take this as a “second life” for my laptop and be more careful from now on.

Because if you take care of things, they’ll last. ✨

Goodbye Canva Pro

Thirty days ago, I signed up for a free trial of Canva Pro. I could never afford the actual Pro so the trial was a dream come true! I had so much fun exploring and designing to my heart’s content and yes, about 90% of my blog design is from that free trial. Sadly, today is the last day, so I thought I’d make some final art of my favorite quotes before I cancel my subscription (unless you wanna sponsor 😁). School is also just around the corner, so I probably won’t be able to have this much free time as well.

Here they are:

Amen! This is my ultimate favorite quote.

I found this quote written on the back page of dad’s old college notebook.


So there ya go! It’s not that much because I’m not really artistic, but I used up as many Pro features as I can! 😂 I also didn’t have that much time to spend on Canva because of other chores, but it was still worth it. I especially loved the transparent background feature (which I used for my site icon and sidebar labels), the magic resize which saves time, and the Brand Kit in which you can upload your own fonts, logos, and create color palettes!

But still, the free subscription by itself is already awesome, and it only takes one’s creative mind to make a masterpiece! 💖 Hopefully I’ll still be able to make nice stuff myself and improve my craft with just the free subscription from now on. 😁