3/1 – 3/8; Sickness & Hospital Beds (Long post)

Tuesday night at around 10pm, I got started to feel a fever coming on and since I had a big midterm the next day, I decided to take advil to help me feel better. I woke up sweating in the middle of the night even though I was feeling immense chills. At around 3 am, I decided to check my temperature – 102. I took another advil because I really couldn’t afford to be sick. I woke up again to get ready for class and had bad stomach pains. I really couldn’t afford to miss school that day so I decided to tough it out the whole day, but I could only handle the day in hour intervals.

That day I had my midterm for my genetics lab. But before that was my 3 hour lecture. I had to leave halfway to compose myself and them came back. After lecture, my professor made us stay outside in the heat for what she claimed would only take 20 minutes- but actually took more than an hour. I had to wear pants for lab so being outside in direct sunlight with pants on, still feverish, and with incredible stomach pains made me completely miserable and I ended up not even doing well on my midterm.

My relatives decided to pick me up and go to Bulacan to get a check up because I wasn’t feeling well. I was reluctant because I knew I had a major test on Friday and I could not study well if I went home but I did want to get medicine that would help me get better so I went home. I found out that there was actually no running water at their house, so I became more miserable because having stomach problems + no water = disaster.

Thursday morning we went to the doctor. I was still trying to tough it out as the doctor gave me my medication. I barely had the appetite for anything as my stomach rejected even crackers and hot water. However, the medication that my doctor gave me were very strong. High dosage of medicine + “empty” stomach = disaster.

I began to throw everything up, which luckily wasn’t a lot because I barely ate. But I thre up consecutively. My body began cramping up completely and all I felt was a strong tingling sensation from my toes to my face. I could barely move anything but my lips. I started to cry uncontrollably because of the immense and unbearable pain. I found out later by my doctor that my throwing up and stomach problems caused me to lose so much electrolytes plus I was extremely dehydrated  which was why my body began to cramp up. Electrolytes help conduct nerve impulses throughout your body, which cause muscles to contract. When your body loses enough water and/or electrolytes, the nerve impulses from your brain to your muscles become messed up and your muscles start cramping.

I could not physically move to contact my relatives downstairs and had no control of my fingers to even text them. I just laid there in immense pain for a good 2 hours before my cousin came in to call me for dinner. They contacted my doctor was rushed to the nearest hospital immediately where my relatives basically had to carry me to the car and to and from the hospital bed. It sucked because it was around 5pm so it was insanely traffic.

One of the nurses could not understand that my body was completely cramped and kept forcing my hands to open up which insanely hurt. She tried to inject the IV into my completely closed up hand and my vein popped, which I now have a giant circular bruise on the back of my hand. My left hand was slightly more relaxed after a while, so they were able to inject the IV there and was given dextrose immediately (below).

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Once that was in me, I completely passed out from the pain. While I am in no place to say this, my stomach hurt as if I was in labor, which was ironic because my relatives took me to a maternity hospital (because it was the closest to them). I woke up 2 hours later with the dextrose almost empty but feeling much better. They said they it was like my body was slurping up the dextrose. I felt really bad for my relatives because they were all freaking out over me and they were really disoriented. They didn’t need that kind of stress on them and I wish I could’ve just been able to handle it myself. But I am very thankful for them and had they not picked me up, even though I thought I could handle it, I don’t know what I would’ve done (also thanks to my mom for suggesting they pick me up ;)).

Anyway, we stayed there overnight but it was a tough night for me. While my body wasn’t cramping up anymore, my tummy still felt like someone was consistently stabbing me there. The nurses also came to check my vitals every 2 hours and whenever they open the door, it sounds like someone’s breaking in since it’s so loud. My aunt barely slept too because I moved slightly at around 3am and she immediately got up to make sure I was okay.

In the morning, the doctor came to check up on me. He gave me the run down as to why I was feeling what I was feeling and gave me an analysis of my stool and urine samples. Basically I got a horrible case of amebiasis from either something I ate or drank. Looking back, however, I’ve only eaten at upscale restaurants or my cafeteria so it was hard to find the culprit. He said to just drink distilled bottled water and just eat plain foods for now. He told us we had to stay there for another day just to make sure that I don’t have that cramping problem again.

I was really restless to get out of the hospital as the bed was extremely uncomfortable and I kept feeling guilty for putting my aunt under all that stress. Also, I forgot to bring my phone charger so I was phone-less for a few days. 🙂 I finally convinced the doctor to let me leave Saturday, but he told me that I should still be on bed rest for the next few days.

I really didn’t want to miss anymore school so I asked my relatives to drop me off back to school on Sunday so that I could go back to class. However I woke and got ready for class on Monday but walking to class, I just couldn’t handle it. Philippine’s “summer” season has started so it’s hotter than ever. I can barely walk to class without feeling like death. Even with plenty of bed rest, I am still feeling sick. My head won’t stop hurting and my stomach is still not back to normal, but my doctor said it will still take 4-5 more days for be okay again. 😦 But I guess it’s all part of the experience.

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2/27/16; Spa Day

On this day, my friend and I decided to have a relaxing weekend after a hectic week of midterms. The spa with the best ratings that was near us was Bluewater Day Spa in Greenbelt. It was in a really nice area and the spa was decent. We thought we had our reservations confirmed online but they said their online website is broken and that it says we were booked even when we physically weren’t which seems to be a typical problem here anywhere we go.

Luckily, they gave us a private room without the extra cost because of it. The room was nice and came with a private shower and bathroom in the room (not pictured). There’s calming music played in the room as well and was mainly lit by candles. They also offered hot tea but I didn’t drink it because it was hot already.

The spa ladies brought their kids to work that weekend so it was kind of hard to relax when the children would open the door often and make noise but it was fine. It was just funny but they kept apologizing to us. Kim had never gotten a massage before so I let her choose which one she wanted. She went for the Swedish massage which was okay but she really liked it. The facial was the best part in my opinion.They gave us an estimate on how long it would take so we were expecting to be done in 3 hours but it actually took them 5 hours. So once we got out we decided to just eat dinner and hang around the mall which was right across the street from the spa.

Pictured: Spa images, mall area pictures, dinner: shrimp, fried rice, sauteed vegetables, mango juice; mall escalator that weren’t steps, just a large slope. 🙂

 

2/19/16; Colorama

Friday night, I attended an event that was run by the ASEC (Ateneo Student Exchange Council) Organization that was held at BGC in Manila. It was basically a paint party where they sprayed paint mixed with water on us and danced to music from student DJ’s. I ate dinner with my friends Kim, Ina, and Johnassen (Ina’s friend) beforehand. The event started at 8pm but obviously filipinos like to be late so the event didn’t really start until 10:30. It was fun because I got to see a lot of my friends from orientation that I hadn’t seen in a while and it was nice to hangout and even meet some new people and I got to talk to some classmates that I wouldn’t have had a chance to talk to in class.

I couldn’t take much pictures because it would’ve gotten covered in paint and water soon after. 🙂

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12764502_816165678528912_3140072045058789532_oKim, me, Charisse, and new friends

2/13/17; Under the Stars + Karaoke Night

I went to a school event that one of my friends hosted with their club called Under the Stars. We were only there for a few hours because it was just mainly listening to students perform while buy food at the booths run by students. It was a nice get together and I got to see some of my classmates outside of class. It was pretty dark to get a decent picture though.

At the event: We’re at the field. The lights are the projectors and the stage. It was way too dark to take a decent picture. Everyone basically sat on the field and there were booths behind us.

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Afterwards, my friends and I got kind of tired of the performances so they decided to just perform ourselves and we went out to sing karaoke for 3 hours. Kim and I didn’t really know the songs they had on for karaoke so we just held the mike while everyone else really sang because they sang loud enough to not need a mike anyway. 🙂

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2/7/16: Hundred Islands Island Hopping

It was a journey to get here. We met up at the McDonalds near Ateneo to ride a taxi to get to the nearest bus station. We took a 12:00am bus to Pangasinan and that was about 6 hour bus ride. They would make rest stops ever hour and turn on the lights so it was impossible to sleep. We arrived at the Hundred Islands tourist office but we were an hour early so we sat at their bench in front of the place and tried to ignore the beggars.

When it was finally 6, we got inside and they told us that we had to get a medium boat because small boats were not safe for the windy conditions. We ended up having to wait almost 3 hours for someone to take us there. They gave us a large boat instead to make up for it. It was funny to have a large boat for the four of us when people in large boats were for 12-16 people but we got it for the price of a medium which was great.

The weather was pretty windy most of the day which was sad because it wasn’t as nice without sun but we didn’t get sunburned so that was the best part of the trip. It was a nice experience nonetheless and our favorite was Scout’s Island because it was a secluded beach so it felt like we had an island to ourselves. We only got to see like 6 islands out of the 100 because the waves weren’t favorable to see all of them but it took most of the day so it was overall fun and a good time.

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2/2/16: Taal Trip

Since there was no school today because it was faculty day (teacher’s work day), my friends and I decided to be ambitious and trek Taal volcano in Tagaytay. We left at around 5:30am to start our drive to Tagaytay, where we arrived at around 8am. We ate McDonalds to go on the way there, which was a great idea because it was an intense journey.

When we arrived, we had to take a boat to Taal, which was supposedly a 40 minute ride. However, our boat’s pump started to give out a quarter of the way so the driver decided to turn around and switch boats for safety. By the time we got to the volcano, we were all soaked because the water would splash directly onto us since the boat was going to quickly.

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Above: view at Taal Yacht club

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The boat ride was really choppy and I was afraid I was going to get seasick but being slapped in the face water the whole time made it feel more like a water ride so it was manageable in a way. It was hard to get a nice picture of our view because it was so wet though.

Once we got there, we were immediately hit with the smell of horses as it was advised for tourists to ride horses for the trail we were going. We chose the secret trail which led us to crater lake. We didn’t know at the time, but it was a trail for more advanced hikers. As you will soon see, we were not in shape enough to have an enjoyable hike since we took a lot of rest breaks and drank at least a liter of water each but the views were worth it.

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Above: Our climb

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Our tour guide was actually 20 years old and he told us he would climb this trek every other day. He constantly made fun of us about how inexperienced we were but said it was entertaining to watch our struggles.

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Photo Cred: Kim

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Above: Trixie and Marco holding onto to her because he fell since it was too steep to go down standing.

Although it may not seem like it in the pictures, the hike was actually really intense. With the heat and humidity, we were all sweating like crazy. It was also such a steep hike that we all were afraid of falling. The guide almost fell a few times too.

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Above: Our view at the half way point – 1 hour in of Taal Crater Lake. It took about another hour to finally get down to it. For those not on the secret trail, they would just get to this point and go back down. For us, we got to go all the way down to the lake.

IMG_0183.jpg Above: Another hour later, finally at Crater Lake. It’s a sulphur lake but it really didn’t smell bad at all. Our guide told us not a lot of people chose to swim in, though it’s allowed, because they believe sulphur is bad for you which is quite the opposite.

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IMG_0179.jpg We went swimming in it for a few minutes, which actually felt so nice after sweating for 2 hours and sore legs from a constant incline.

The trip down was a breeze and we got down within an hour. We went back on the boat ride, which was even choppier since we went against the current. The boat was lifted in the air by the waves a few times and we were all drenched by the end of it. Fortunately there were showers when we got back and we all brought a change of clothes.

After we left the Lake Taal Yacht Club, we decided to eat lunch at Breakfast at Antonio’s since it was the only decent restaurant that would allow still somewhat dirty, casually dressed people. I had a bacon, mushroom, and cheese omelette which hit the spot after a long day of hiking. According to my phone, we walked a total of 9 miles today but that didn’t take the inclines to account. 🙂 We also stopped by a local pastries shop to eat some buko pie.

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*More pictures to follow as they were on Trixie’s camera because we didn’t want our phones to get wet/dirty.

1/31/16: Family Reunion

We were invited to the del Rosario family reunion which was held at Valle Verde 5 in Pasig. We were assigned color codings based on which sibling of the older generation of del Rosarios we were from. For us, we had to wear red. Other colors were blue, green, and white. They encouraged us to separate ourselves from people with the same color as us but since people who were in red were already new faces to me, I got to stay with the reds mostly. Also, my cousins didn’t remember who most of the people were so it was acceptable for me not to remember.

It started off with a mass since it was a Sunday. Then, we ate buffet-style food which were grilled tiger shrimp, lechon, turkey, pasta with your choice of sauce, burritos, and fish. They only served soda and water for drinks. There were a lot of games to play but people were too busy mingling and catching up with each other to really participate. There was, however, a lot of dancing. And the older ladies of the family danced for about 2 hours straight.

I spent most of the reunion taking pictures with family and eating. It started around 11am and we left at around 2:30. You knew it was a filipino party when people took home leftovers of the buffet and when we were given umbrellas as a party favor, some took more than their fair share. For example, my aunt took at least 8 umbrellas for the 4 of us. According to them, umbrellas are pretty expensive here and are valued because of how often it rains.

 

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Above 2 pictures: Venue and decor of the reunion.

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Above: The red, Timoteo, representatives of the del Rosario family.

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12605379_10208295056234856_8704070922036103305_o.jpg Above: Picture of my aunt and cousins with with DFA sec. Albert del Rosario

 

 

2 weeks of school review

Sorry I haven’t updated this in a while. I’ve been busy with the past two weeks of school. I’m currently taking seven classes here and it takes up the whole day pretty much since I’m in class from 9-5 MWF and 8-6 TTh with hour breaks in between classes.

Classes here are a lot different than classes in America. Although Ateneo is a college, they still treat their students as if it was high school. For example, we have to follow a dresscode where teachers actually tell students to go home and change when it’s something as minor as just wearing flip flops to class. They also assign a lot of homework. On the first day of class, I already had 3 readings to do and was assigned 20 problems to do. At USF, it probably would’ve just been a day dedicated to the syllabus. It’s no wonder the students here are more stressed out here. I go to class and everyone freaks out about a pop quiz being given or homework being due. They also have bells here for when passing period is, which is about 10 minutes to walk to the next class. Finally, they assign a lot of group work. I don’t think I have a single class where I’m not in a group.

Here, they also choose “beadles” which are basically teacher assistants in class to announce things to the class via facebook rather than the professor announcing it themselves in person, which I find kind of inconvenient.

It’s going to be my third week of class and I already have a test on Friday which my classmates tell me is at least about 30% of my grade so that adds to the stress.

The classes so far aren’t that enjoyable. Some of the professors that I have are just unbearably boring. For example, my genetics professor reads the textbook word for word for a 2 hour lecture and would repeat every other sentence she says. And when we finished our lab early, instead of letting us go early, she reads next week’s lab procedure to us and manages to make up the 2 hours leftover. My other teachers reteach what we learned from the last class, which takes up half of the class time rather than just picking up from where they left off. It just makes classes a bit hard to handle sitting in for 1-2 hours along with a lot of homework it’s just difficult to bear.

Other than the intensity of the assignments, most of my classrooms are air conditioned and my classmates are very friendly and helpful so it makes the classes more manageable, which I am very thankful for. Luckily, I am adjusting to the time difference so it’s been getting better. And since February has been filled with holidays, the long weekends have been a nice break from school stress.

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1/16/16: Fontana

I woke up today at around 6:30 am to the sound of my nephew, Antione, screaming, “Tita Amanda!” at the top of his lungs. It was so loud that I thought he was right outside my room, but he was actually downstairs and outside. I joined them for breakfast where I ate a chicken empanada, which was a lot different that I’m used to because It had bits of hardboiled egg inside but it was still good. KaEstella, still looking the same, came over during breakfast and we talked a little bit. She mostly just kept saying how similar we all looked to each other. Then, we got ready to go to Antione’s doctor’s appointment at a health clinic in Bulacan. I wanted to go because I was interested to go because Ate Ara told me the story of how she went to several doctors and this doctor was the only one who was able to detect his heart problem and direct her to the best cardiologist.

It was extremely traffic on the way to the clinic and it was just in Bulacan. Ninong Andrew was the one driving us, so he wasn’t used to driving in such narrow and traffic areas. It was also his first time driving Ate Ara there, so he kept telling us how much he didn’t like it there. The health clinics here are nothing compared to the ones in America. I expected to be an enclosed building, but it was all open, where healthy people could be exposed to the sick ones because there were only two doctor’s office: one for adults and one for kids. Ate Ara didn’t want me to get exposed, so we waited in a separate corner of the office.

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Above: The front entrance of the health clinic for kids. There is only one doctor and it’s all first come, first serve. Nothing is by appointment. Since Antione has a heart condition, he’s first priority so we had to just wait for the previous appointment to finish and then we were next. The door and the charts are elevated in case of flooding. The charts also aren’t in any cabinet whatsoever, so if it floods they’re all gone.

When we went into the room, it was a cramped and narrow. In the states, it’d be the size of a room for one patient, but here, it’s a room for one patient, the family of the patient,the doctor’s office, the doctor’s supplies – including the desk and other files, the medical machines all in that one space. Also, the doctor did everything. There was no nurse to assist her in doing anything like checking height and weight. It was also surprising that they do not even use computers for even a doctor’s office. The doctor manually computed Antione’s BMI and hand wrote his measurements, prescriptions, blood pressure, etc all on a piece of binder paper and depended on a booklet that Ate Ara kept to keep his immunization records up to date. His chart contained only his personal information sheet and then several binder papers stapled to it. IMG_0073.jpg Above: I was sitting against the wall, so this is other side of the office. To my right was  only the patient bed. And to the left was the cabinets. They use a poster taped to a wall, to measure the height.

IMG_0074.jpg Above: The doctor and Antione getting his height measured with the poster.

The doctor said Antione’s heart was fine for now but to schedule an appointment with his cardiologist next week to have a 2D echo, which is basically an ultrasound but for his heart. She told Ate Ara that he needed to get shots, which Ate Ara said she’d get today but the doctor jokingly suggested not today because this was the only appointment that her and Antione got along. Ate Ara agreed and decided to wait until next week for the Varicella and flu shots.

While driving back, Ninang Evelyn got a call from Kuya Aron that he was at Fontana, with his in-laws, trying to get a villa but they weren’t accepting his membership. Apparently, when you’re a member you get 50% off of everything like the villa and food. He also wasn’t accepted because he was a member under the name of Ninong Andrew and Ninang Evelyn but since he’s over 25 now, he’s no longer considered part of it. So, Ninong Andrew and Ninang Evelyn had to be there in order for his to get the discount. As a result, we had a surprise trip to Fontana.

We drove back to Bulacan to get our things and then we drove three hours to Fontana, which was completely different from what I remembered. They recently built a really fancy hotel lobby, which was pretty much palace-like. While waiting for Ninang Evelyn and Kuya Aron to settle everything, the rest of us ate at their international restaurant. The food was priced insanely high but since Ninong Andrew was a member, they got 50% everything. Ninong Andrew ordered me a salmon steak, which was good but was also drenched in butter. The kids each only ate half a plate of mashed potatoes and then they ate cake and cupcakes for their meals.

IMG_8625.jpgAbove: My salmon steak – that’s not gravy, that’s butter.

After resting a bit, we went to go swimming. Fontana recently made a new addition to their water park by adding a hotsprings section. Antione doesn’t like the cold water, so he preferred swimming at the hotsprings, which I found funny because it’s already so hot in the Philippines and the reason to go swimming is to cool down but he wants to stay warm. Anyway, since we were only registered to swim at the hotsprings, it was way too hot for me. So, I opted out of it and just sat in the cool shade and talked with Ate Glenda, Antione’s Yaya. She told me that Fontana is nice but it’s only a place for the rich because it costs more than 1 million pesos a year for membership to Fontana, which is $20,905.07 approximately and that’s not including entrance to the waterparks or the food. It’s that much to just be a member. Since Ninong Andrew and Ninang Evelyn were members a long time before that, they only pay about 50 thousand pesos. Ate Glenda and I talked while the kids swam, which was only for about 1 and 30 minutes and then we headed back home, because Ninong Andrew was anxious about driving in the dark. The drive took another 3 hours or so back, where we arrived at around 8pm. We were all tired from the trip, so we ate KFC for dinner and then we all went to bed.

IMG_8628.jpgAbove: Fontana Entrance of the hot springs.
IMG_8634.jpg Above: Shallow hotsprings for the kids. We went to another one too, which had actually bubbles but there were too many people for me to picture.

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Above and below: Waterfall themed pool, which Zavier was too scared to swim in so we didn’t go in.

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