Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 9:05 PM | 0 comments

Today, it’s my 11th month anniversary away from home. I am surprised and glad to know that I am still here. I am still alive and trying my very best to survive of my ever boring and tiring life as a private servant.

Life was never easy here. As I have previously said, I experienced almost everything here. I’ve been through a lot of emotional and mental stresses. Since I came here, my real happy days correspond to the number of fingers I have. Almost everyday was like a torture to me - physically, psychologically and emotionally. I know I am not at my very best. I know I have to do something while I am still young and more importantly while I still can. Yes, I am considering going back home and start all over again. I do not exactly know when will it be but I have to make the decision not later but sooner. I have to go and safe myself. I am slowly breaking apart here.

Today I am celebrating my 11th month. Though I wanted to celebrate it, but I cannot because I have to save some penny. I just went to Marina Mall alone this afternoon and bought a snack from Sbarro. The friends that I have here are not available to join me for they were working. I also bought some stuff for Nanay, Tatay, Kaye and Agie. Buying something for them makes me feel happy. After all, they are on the short list of my reasons why I accepted this job.

Tomorrow will be another day for me, another battle for boredom and frustration. I am waking up again and have to stand all the politics, hypocrisy, deceit and cruelty here in the world where I belong. I have to start thinking again how the hell I am spending it. But first, I have to check if there is something special for me on the dinner table. Oh, sh*t, I forgot, I am just a servant here. Then I say once more, good Lord please help me…

The dirty finger goes to all the monsters around me here. I do not want to name names. God knows who they are.
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Monday, April 28, 2008 at 8:10 AM | 0 comments
I was supposed to post this entry last week. Blame it on the limited source of internet connection here in our accommodation and my uneasiness here. Yes, we have only one connection here and that is for the technician of the palace. Nakikigamit lang ako. But of course, there is this “exclusive” wireless connection for the king whenever he is around. And there is just too much happening inside my head. I think a lot. I am in the middle of emotional and intellectual disturbance.

Anyway, here is the story. Last week, I received a surprise call from my buddy Rodjie. He was in Jordan that time along with my employer and some staff. I was fortunate not to be with them enjoying all the time that I have and resting without worries. He asked me if I experienced anything unusual or creepy things inside our accommodation. When I said there was nothing, he immediately said this: (verbatim), “Dre, kalat na kalat na dito! May nagpaparamdam daw dyan sa accommodation natin sabi ng mga Langka (Sri Lankans)”. I have to admit that I became scared and worried because I was all alone in my room that time. I said nothing. Pampalakas ba ng loob. Then I recalled that something happened during the first few weeks of my stay here.

I was ready to sleep that time. Willie, my roommate, stays outside the palace with his wife. After I prayed, I closed my eyes. I turned to be an insomniac here because of my very irregular duty hours. After some minutes or hours trying to get some sleep, I felt somebody tapped my thigh. I know it was not a dream. I really felt this cold hand as it landed on my thigh. I opened my eyes and tried to check if there was somebody else inside the room. It was so dark. There was noone except for the chair silhoutted against light coming from the outside. And besides, I was already drowsy that time that I did not mind turning the lights on. Therefore, I went back to my interrupted sleep and asked my friends here if something similar happened to them the very same day. They told me, there was nothing.

After my phone conversation with Rodjie, I looked around my room waiting for some strange thing to happen. One minute passed, then some more. There was no creepy sound or cry. I was just hearing my own heartbeat and the ticking sound of Willie’s alarm clock. Then, I decided to re-arrange my clothes inside my closet. I was so alarmed to find out that my two bottles of my perfume were nowhere to be found. Based on my recollection, I carefully placed the two perfumes on the section exclusive for my personal care. I could not find the perfumes there anymore. I was already in panic. I checked everything - my luggage, some more bags, on my bed and underneath, side tables and even on my secret box. My Ferrari Light Essence and Dunhill Fresh perfumes were gone!

Somebody must have found the key of our room on its secret location (we are not allowed to bring our room key because somebody might need the storage room key which is kept on Willie's table). I was wondering why only my things. My roommate’s perfumes are all over the place and we are used to leave our personal things inside our room. I remember that it was only before we left for Morocco that I put the perfumes inside my cabinet. I used to put those perfumes on my side table. <Deep Sigh> Hay Buhay…

As I tried to sleep that early morning, I have concluded that there are no ghosts roaming around our accommodation, only some sick kleptomaniac waiting to take my things away. Something scary really happened not because of some supernatural or whatever they want to call it. I went out of bed, counted my shirts and recorded it. I secured the only perfume that I have and decided to go back to sleep. Truly, mas dapat matakot sa taong buhay.
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Thursday, April 24, 2008 at 6:26 PM | 0 comments
Everybody tells me how I evolved - from kinda fit to overweight. I used to run every afternoon. But now ran out of reasons why I should. I cannot find a motivating force. I do not have ebough energy to stretch, move and exercise. I do not even have the power to resist the foods served here. Or should I say, my job here mad me just a plain "tamad". Yes, I am so damn tamad to move. I never been this tamad in my whole life. I swear!

Just this morning, I went to the office to give my passport back to the PRO. On my way out of the office, I heard a voice (it was from Rehan, a purchasing officer):

Rehan: Hey!
Me: Hello Sir, Good Morning.
Rehan: Good Morning. How are you Mr. Fitness?
Me: Mr. Fitness? Me? I'm fine thank you. And you?
Rehan: I'm fine. Okay, see you again.

I never heard someone call me Mr. Fitness. Never, not even in my dreams. It was the first time. And it feels good. Finally I got a reason to smile even for a while.

I haven't lost a significant amount of weight since I promised myself to lose some. Now, I promise myself again to shed some pounds next time I see Mr. Rehan. I hope this time, the promise is not made to be broken. Put the pressure on me.
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 6:55 AM | 1 comments
When asked about health care practitioners, we usually say doctors and nurses only. Little do we know that the family of health care profession is a huge one. There are medical technologists, pharmacists, midwives, speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and a lot more. It is a sad and harsh reality that there are a lot of licensed, competent health care professionals suffering from maltreatment in Philippine society -- be it from the common tao, the professionals, or the government.

I am a licensed, competent and proud Physical Therapist. I was hesitant to work abroad when I was still studying my degree. My co-interns and my classmates could attest to the fact that I used to say I am not interested in working abroad. But here I am now, thousands of miles away from home working as a private PT of some royal. I am not happy here. I loved my job as a contractual Phyisical Therapist in Rizal Medical Center eleven months ago. However, I had to be practical. I had to look at some attainable long-term goals as a person and as a professional while opportunities still come my way.

Nobody informed me about the down side of our chosen profession. In case you do not know, a licensed physical therapist in the Philippines starts as a volunteer PT staff in either a government or private medical institution. The chosen few (the ones who top the licensure exams are lucky enough to get an offer for some permanent post if some decided to pursue the career abroad). Majority of us end up giving up our profession or working as a volunteer PT staff. I myself was a volunteer PT staff for more than a year. Though we (my fellow volunteers) received a certain amount of compensation every three months. (Thanks to the consideration of the administration of Valenzuela General Hospital and PhilHealth benefits).

So how did I survive more than a year as a volunteer PT staff? Well, I was lucky to have very supportive parents. I could never ask for more. I also did some part-time jobs. I applied as a caregiver instructor but later gave it up due to some issues. (That's another story). I taught English for some Koreans and I did some home service for a few patients. Most of my classmates that time were either working as Medical Transcriptionists and Call Center agents. I refused to give up my profession. What could I do? I love PT more that you know. I patiently waited for some vacancy to come and nearly after 20 months and two government hospitals, I finally got a post as a contractual PT with the help of our Physiatrist in Rizal Medical Center.

I do not know whether the Philippine Physical Therapy Association (PPTA) has some records on how many licensed PTs are there back home. What I only know is that, every Disability Week in the Philippines, PPTA conducts some seminar for "some continuous learning process and to update the local practitioners on what is good for our profession". They charge hundreds of pesos for a one-day seminar and that's it. I am not a member of PPTA because I refuse to be a part of some association that could not even stand up for what we deserve.

I know we have the worst political system and it will be an uphill climb for the PPTA to lobby for any changes in the existing policies. But this problem did not arise yesterday. This is an old issue which was left and ignored by the previous officials of said organization. I have nothing against the past officials who are currently working in the US or UK right now. Maybe they tried to solve the problem but they did not pursue it the way it should be pursued. They recognized the problem but they gave up when they found out that the battle will be very tough. What they cared about was to conduct some seminars and ignored the dilemma and the abuses of the profession. I mean, how can they conduct this seminar and pay no attention to the basic problem of the profession. We are not even recognized the way we should be! Most of the Filipinos know that a Physical Therapist in the Philippines is synonymous to a massuer or masseuse.

I know that our profession plays a vital role in health care industry. I am not asking for us to be treated the same way our society or the government treat the Medical Doctors. A licensed PT deserves to be compensated. We ought to have the benefits of the other professionals. After all, we worked hard (the years of studies and the licensure exams) to obtain our degrees and licenses.

I pray that I will still have the chance to experience and witness the changes on the way the Philippine society treat the licensed Physical Therapists. I am very much willing to go back home if it happens now. But with a lot of crisis there, I know it will never happen. I have to wait some more years.

For now, I have to deal with it. I have to stay here or look for a job elsewhere to pursue my personal plans for myself and my family. Anyway, things will never change. I am still a proud Pinoy Physical Therapist.
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Monday, April 21, 2008 at 7:15 AM | 1 comments
I do not understand why nobody believes or understands me when I say that my present job will never be a dream job for anybody. Yes, I am compensated good enough, I work in the palace and I travel with all expenses paid (except for shopping and some other extra curricular activities). However, most of the people look only on what the eyes can be seen. They are judging me and my work based on the pictures I posted and based on the sole reality that “I am working abroad”.

Yes, I know that life back home is bad or even worse. Let us also admit the fact that life away from home is even tougher. I have my reasons why I want to give up this job. I may not be able to narrate it now but in time, I know you will understand me. I suffered enough here -- physically, emotionally, and mentally. My inner self needs to be healed. My life inside the palace is not a piece of cake because I am a servant. I am not the king and not even close to a prince.

I am just an ordinary man with some extraordinary dreams. I just want a job that will make me a better man. My growth is at stake here -- personally and professionally. Do me a favor - believe me for once and pray for me. I do not know how long I can last but I know, with God by my side and with all your prayers, I will survive.
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Saturday, April 19, 2008 at 8:03 AM | 0 comments
David Cook delivers a consistent performance week after week (I'm sad to watch Brooke White delivers the other way around). He is an exceptional talent and I hope he wins.

Click here and watch his latest performance. I have to say that his is one of the most amazing perfomances by an idol hopeful in the history of the show.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 4:58 PM | 3 comments
Sometimes, it feels good to watch the details and complexities of life. But as we all know, too much of everything is bad. I've seen a lot of things since I came here. I've been to different places and experienced almost everything - heaven and hell; good, bad and the one in between. I do not know how long I can last.

I am turning to be a night owl. The more I see, the more I do not speak. And the more I do not speak, the more I hear. Believe me, you will not like to be me - an owl.
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Sunday, April 13, 2008 at 4:56 PM | 1 comments
I've been staying here in Morocco for two weeks now. And I gotta tell you that it is not funny and it is not exciting the way you think it is.

Since we came here, we transferred to two locations. We've been to a villa on top of the mountain, transferred to the hunting ground, moved back to the mountain, scheduled another trip somewhere else, cancelled the trip, scheduled the trip again, cancelled again, and finally my employer along with some staff went to Germany for a meeting. We were advised to stay here for an indefinite period. Everything to me seemed so insane!I do not understand what is happening around me. I swear!

Last night, I went to bed early. I had a bad hang-over from the previous night's drinking session with some Pinoys. I woke up from a dream at 4 am and was not able to go back to sleep. I decided to prepare some snack (we own the kitchen since the king is not around!) and watched Heroes. I accidentally went outside the room and smoked a couple of Marlboro at 7 in the morning, and to my surprise, I found out that some of the staff here are going back to Abu Dhabi. I rushed to our room and reported the news to my Pinoy roommates who were sleeping soundly. They were so shocked, and made some inquiries on what is going on. I made the call to the purchasing officer to know my fate - if I am staying here or am I also leaving. The bad news is, I am staying here!

Since I came here, I've been through a lot of headaches! This is adding up to the unending list of the reasons why I hate my job. Ang hirap magpalaki ng amo! Lalo na at ang amo ko ay isang milyonaryo!

Posted by rehabman
Monday, April 7, 2008 at 2:09 AM | 0 comments
Kahit saan, kahit kailan, basta kainan at inuman...... Pinoy ang Number 1!

Noel, Rehabman, Tito Arturo

Noel, Rodjie, Tito Arturo

Rommel, Keith, Noel, Rehabman, Tito Arturo

Rommel, Ang Musa

Takot Ako!

The Wild Valdez


Sultan Patan at ang Musa

The Wild at ang Patan

Rommel at Noel - Judy Ann - Piolo?


Olryt! Maya Ulit!

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Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 5:14 AM | 0 comments
Maligayang Kaarawan Pangulong GMA. Mag-resign ka na sana! Para mas masaya!

Here's the host webpage http://news.inq7.net/nation/index.php?index=1&story_id=29875 with the image in its original context.
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