Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 1:07 PM | 0 comments
My Pinoy band of brothers and I had just finished our nightly drinking session. Rodjie told me this: “Hindi nga dre, ang laki ng tinaba mo.” I just smiled and said, “O nga e. Ganun talaga!” But I was so alarmed and was so upset.

Actually, it was my issue right after the holiday season. Of course, we still managed to celebrate the Christmas and New Year here. And just like the previous years, losing weight was number one on my New Year’s resolutions list. There were years that I lost a significant amount of weight. But the diet and staying fit was only on my short-term goals. This year, I told myself, I wanna feel and look good. So I have to shed some pounds. I decided to start the diet and to stay fit again for good. But things did not work with me. It seemed that the universe got tired and did not support me in this fight. During the first week of my diet, I got sick. I needed to eat heavy meals three times per day and now that I am stronger as ever, I still do. Then, I was staring at the mirror and find myself so bloated as if two monays are inside my mouth. I am an overweight, stressed bum! And I hate it, I swear to God.

I made the decision to become fit and healthy but I admit I lack action. My life here is so sedentary. I got no motivation. I am running out of reasons, I am losing focus and whenever I go to the dining hall all the sumptuous foods are so tempting and I find the foods so hard to resist. Yes, I cannot resist and I find myself eating all those prawns, steaks, chicken and everything else!

Hay, bakit yung iba, kain ng kain di naman tumataba? Grrr.

This is not just the state of mind thing. I know I have to do some action, start all over again and prove to them that I can lose weight once again. After all, I proved them wrong during my internship year. I know I can lose weight and I will lose weight.

Give me some months and you will see. There is no turning back now. I will lose weight. The race is on for me to become the next biggest loser! Right Lorraine?
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Sunday, January 27, 2008 at 2:01 AM | 0 comments
I was smoking some minutes ago when Mahmud, a kitchen staff, saw me with an empty wrapper of a biscuit. He asked for some chocolates thinking the wrapper was of the chocolate. I immediately went back to my room and grabbed the three snickers from Gio. I handed it to Mahmud while the Moroccan electrician watched from afar. On my peripheral vision, I saw how the electrician wanted to ask some chocolates from me.

A minute later, I was searching for some chocolates inside my luggage and our room. But I cannot find even one. Without hesitation, I grabbed the box of biscuit and decided to give it to the electrician. I hurriedly went to the backdoor to give the biscuit to the electrician. The electrician was delighted when I handed him the box of biscuit. He uttered the words “Thank you my friend” several times with so much effort (the electrician speaks Arabic and speaks very little English). And I feel really good.

Yes, it feels so good to make somebody smile, even for a while. Really, it is. If you don’t believe it. Try it.
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Friday, January 25, 2008 at 10:35 PM | 0 comments
I know that behind my back my co-workers are dying to become me. I joined them here in Morocco and I do not work at all while most of them are working so hard. Some do not even have the chance to take a nap in the afternoon. Most of them are in heaven when they get the chance to sleep for more than six hours a day.

My co-workers are complaining about their respective jobs and I also have some complaints even if I do not work at all. It makes me feel bad that they complain to me and about me! What can I do? My employer does not call on me. I may not be working as hard as they are but they just did not know the hard work I did just to get my degree in Physical Therapy. They have no idea how I much I struggled just to be here. They just do not know.

I tried to explain but with the looks on their faces, I know they cannot understand. I do not want to explain anymore. After all, I do not owe them an explanation. And besides it will just turn into another crap! They just cannot understand because they refuse to do so or simply they just can't!

It’s very hard to be surrounded with people who cannot understand you and the things you say. I feel sorry for myself. Yes, I really do.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 10:11 PM | 0 comments
Five days ago, a bodyguard asked me to give him a massage. Actually, that was the second time I gave him a massage. He asked me the previous day. When I came inside his well-groomed caravan, he asked:

Bodyguard: How are you?
Me: I am fine Sir. How are you Sir?
Bodyguard: I am fine. Please massage my back. And you can go after I sleep, maybe after thirty minutes.
Me: Okay Sir. No problem Sir.

Then, I put some pain relieving cream and did the massage for his lower back. After a few minutes, I heard him snore. And ten minutes later, he was snoring like a bull! I decided to finish the usual 45-minute massage and finally left to attend to another bodyguard who also asked me to give him a massage.

The following morning, a Kabayan housekeeper asked me:

Kabayan: Ano ginawa mo kay Papi (bodyguard 1)?
Me: Bakit?
Kabayan: Ayun, di daw siya makatayo? Masakit daw ang likod
Me: Aba, minasahe ko lang siya.
Kabayan: Pinilayan mo ata. Hehehe.
Kabayan2: Asus, umaarte lang yun.
Kabayan: Mukha nga. Kasi kapag nandyan ang mga kalahi nya, lalong umaaray.
Kabayan2: Nag dadrama lang yun. Pabayaan nyo!

Bodyguard1 was asking the Kabayan housekeepers to attend to him whenever he wanted to go to the bathroom, eat, or just when he felt like doing so. I was alarmed and wanted to check on him but Kabayans told me “Pabayaan mo yun. Umaarte lang yun. Drama ba! Gusto lang nun mauna na sa Rabat.” And that’s what I did. We soon found out that everything was really a drama. The bodyguard was trying to pretend that he was so ill to avoid work (Siya daw kase ang tagapulot at taga habol sa mga ibon na nahuli ni Amo, and take note, the bodyguard was wearing his kondoora). He told Kabayan how much he hated to be in campsite in Wtadht.el.Haje. If the bodyguard complains how hard life in the campsite is, what more to me and to all my co-employees who stay inside a tent without a heater? They (bodyguards) stay inside a caravan with a heater, an attached bathroom and a television.

The bodyguard’s drama was not funny and really annoyed me. I love my profession (Physiotherapist). I worked so hard to get my diploma and to have a license in the Philippines. People who know me can testify to that! For the past years, I am trying to prove my worth and build my reputation as a well-competent health care professional. Nobody can ruin the reputation I am trying to build; not a stupid fake drama king, not a malingerer, not a bodyguard and not even a Sheikh!
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Saturday, January 19, 2008 at 3:45 PM | 1 comments
For the more than 48 hours now, I am sick. Yes, I am very sick.

Since we came here in Morocco, some members of the staff are starting to get ill. I am sure that the mishap is due to the climate change plus the poor accommodation that we, (the staff) have. We are all staying in a tent (at least 4 in each), without a heater and is never a cold proof. We have three blankets, but even a dozen would not help.

During my first night here, I know something will be wrong if I do not take care of myself. I started to take Ascorbic Acid again, and to drink plenty of water. I also started to eat healthy. Healthy, meaning, less carb and more protein and fiber-rich foods in-take. I did some stretching exercises before I take a bath. However, none of these seemed work. On our second night, a bodyguard asked me to give him a massage. The session lasted a little over an hour. The following day, the said bodyguard called me up again. Immediately after the session with bodyguard 1, bodyguard 2 asked for a full body massage. And, take note, the bodyguard 2 wanted a full body hard massage. I was exhausted after nearly 2.5 hours.

When I was about to rest, I felt something wrong with me. I checked my body temperature using the dorsum of my hand and found out that I am slightly hyperthermic. I drank two bottles of water and tried to rest, and I did. At 20:30, I went out of bed and found myself in terrible cough and body pain. I was not able to visit the camp doctor because no car was available to bring me there.

The following morning, the sickness worsens. I got headache, body ache, flu, cough and fever. I started to take Paracetamol every 4 hours. I even prepared a pure lemon juice for me, but nothing changed. I was sick and no car was available to bring me to the doctor.

It was only this morning that I managed to visit the camp doctor. The camp doctor took my oral temperature and it read 37.8deg C. There were no history taking, auscultation and other objective procedures. I told them I need Mucosolvan for my cough. The Pakistani doctor also gave me Anti-biotic, Paracetamol and Anti-Allergy Meds. I rested the whole afternoon after taking the meds, when I woke up, I am feeling slightly better.

I hope tomorrow, I will wake up feeling a lot better.
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I am feeling terribly bad - I have a cough and a fever. I also got a runny nose. Good thing there is a doctor for us here in the middle of Wtadht.el.Haje, Morocco. The sad part though is that, after the supposedly “consultation”, I prescribed my own medicine for my cough and my fever.

Buti na lang, I still managed to recall some of the basics of my Pharmacology class.

I started to ask myself, is he a real one or he’s just a quack?
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Sunday, January 6, 2008 at 8:18 AM | 0 comments
On the first day of 2008, I was 30,000 feet above sea level. I joined seven more other members of my employer’s private staff on the way to Casablanca in Morocco and later in Oujda. We arrived at Aero port Mohammed V in Casablanca half past eight in the evening (local time) and waited for more than two hours for the flight going to Oujda, Morocco.

It was already one in the morning when we arrived at the palace owned by my employer’s brother. We immediately went to sleep and woke up at nine in the morning for the trip going to, Morocco (campsite). Just before, three in the afternoon, everybody managed to settle down on the partially done tents. The portable restrooms were not yet ready and the weather is extremely cold. The late afternoon breeze was blowing so hard and it was so damn cold. Tents were ready for occupancy just before the clock hits eight in the evening. Rodjie and I shared the tent while Gio and Noel (black) shared the adjacent one.

I woke up the next day with the dust all over me. I dunno if sand storm was happening that time, but the unforgivable gustiness of the wind made our tent its first casualty. The tent next to ours followed and some more other tents including the fabricated majlis (Arabic living room) for my employer and his friends. The area supervisor raised concerns to my employer who happens to be (that time) in Switzerland with his family. After three windy, rainy days and two rainy and freezing cold nights, the good news came to us. My employer cancelled the trip here due to extreme weather conditions. All of us immediately packed our luggage and travelled for more than ten hours on the way to Rabat.

At four in the morning, seven individuals (including me) headed to Aero port Mohammed V for the flight back to Abu Dhabi. It was a total relief when I finally handed my passport to the immigration officer safe and sound.

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Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 11:09 PM | 0 comments
For the past seven months, I was complaining a lot about my job. Kiko, Rain, Chabe, Duday, Roy and some more friends can testify! As I welcome the first day of the 2008, I came up with the 10 reasons why I should be thankful for all the good things that happened to my professional life last year. I think this is the best way to start the new year and make 2008 my year!

1. I have a job. There are many who are unemployed.
2. I am being paid regularly. There are many who are not.
3. I have an air-conditioned workplace and rarely sweat. There are many who do not have such workplace and those working under the brutal heat of the sun.
4. I work only for an hour, the most is two hours per day. Some are working up to twenty hours per day.
5. I have the rare opportunity to work for a very important person.
6. I have the opportunity to live and work in UAE. There are many who would just love to have that opportunity. My food and accommodation are free. I can eat some of the cuisine that only the richest Pinoys can afford.
7. I get to travel to other countries with all expenses paid! For the record, I already visited three continents and five countries in seven months.
8. I get the chance to buy the things I like out of the salary I have and manage to send some money for Nanay.
9. I have the chance to show the world the goodness and greatness of a Filipino through the knowledge and values that I have.
10. My job is not tough physically and mentally. What is tougher though is to be working away from home and dealing with some difficult people. However, I cannot stop to be thankful because with these difficult people, I am being provided with some learning experience that will help me become a better me.
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