On Muscles and Inches

Hi there! I wanted to share with you my journey on using the 30 Day Shred. I have known and used this method in the past and I can say for sure that this is effective, safe, and best of all-NOT A QUICK FIX. I have heard of many diets going around, my auntie, for one is a fan of those. When the lettuce diet was a fad, she ate nothing but lettuce and a few viands. When those laxative teas were advertised, she used those to lose weight. Last September, she heard of the Skyflakes diet and she indulged in that too! Sure she grew thin but not a good kind of thin. She lost weight and inches because she starved herself. She deprived herself of the nutrients that can be found in a healthy diet. Guess what her answer is everytime I ask her why she keeps on dieting.

She believes that “being skinny means being healthy.”

And that’s just wrong. Being thin does not immediately mean one is healthy nor does being overweight mean one is not. There are several factors to consider with regards to being healthy and not just physical appearance. A few months after dieting, she gained back her lost inches and pounds. Why? Because it was the wrong way of losing weight.

That is something I vowed never to do, no matter how much weight I gain, I will never, ever, resort to quick fixes especially if it compromises health. Ask yourself. Is it really worth it? Will I not regret this decision? Can I not seek other activities to help me lose weight? How does this affect my body, not just externally but also internally? 

The use of laxatives alone is not recommended for those without any signs of constipation. Otherwise, your bowel will become “addicted” to your regular use of laxatives and instead of developing a healthy bowel movement, the more you promote constipation. Dehydration and loss of electrolytes are alarming side effects of the use of laxatives, which, if not properly managed, may lead to the hospitalization of an individual for forced induction of lost fluids and electrolytes.

Scared yet?

Alright, now, there are other alternatives to losing weight and the very first thing to keep in mind is that this is a process, not a one stop, one click fix. You gained those inches for several months so expect to work your butt off to shed.

The 30 Day Shred is a program by Jillian Michaels, a known trainer in the TV show The Biggest Loser. It is divided into 3 levels, increasing the load of exercise every level but all within 30 minutes. The only equipment needed are a mat and some weights. It is recommended that newbies follow 10 days for level 1 then the next 10 for level 2 then the last 10 for level 3 for a total of 1 month. I prefer using a different level everyday. I read somewhere that this method surprises the muscles leading to a more effective workout. This also promotes muscle growth and more muscles means faster metabolism.

I was my heaviest(70kg) during the PNLE and NMAT review days that once they were finished I vowed to shred off those added inches. Enter Jillian Michaels. Her videos are uploaded in YouTube by the way so check them out if you have time. After 2 months, I’ve lost 10 kg! Here’s the 2 months documentation:

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Happy workout! 😁



Welcome to Nursing!

First year nursing life went by so fast. For the first semester, there were only two nursing subjects. The first one introduced was Theoretical Foundations of Nursing, where the  favorite nursing theory was introduced to us(Environmental Theory), as well as our nanay in nursing – Florence Nightingale. Then the application through Fundamentals of Nursing. Here’s the fun part.

The USI nursing faculty has compiled a list of nursing procedures done in hospital and community settings. They have set a standard of steps which must be done in complicance to the procedure. After each theory taught, when applicable, we had a Return Demonstration to show our skills and application of the theory. Guess what the first return demo was? Simple handwashing. For the first return demo, I’m proud to say I got the perfect score. Thus, my momentum built up and my will to graduate with honors spiked up.

First year was the time that we were taught the bedmaking skill. The night before, I was so busy practicing it in my own bed that I slept wonderfully. Who wouldn’t when your pillow is all fluffed up and your bedsheet crease-free? Haha, okay so here’s the funny part. We were all partnered up to demonstrate bedmaking with a patient. So the first thing to do would be to ask the patient to move to one side, or assist him/her to one side and do one side of the bed first, then move the patient back to the done side and repeat the process on the other side. There are 3 layers of cloth placed on the mattress – the top coat, the rubber sheet and the draw sheet. Our partner, the patient was supposed to be independent and conscious but relaxed. Well apparently, my partner was so relaxed and a bit on the heavy side that when I pulled the rubber sheet underneath her, it ripped! It was so loud when it ripped too! Not a single eye was dry after that, even my CI was laughing. Lesson learned after my turn though, a skinny person was required to be the patient after that. Me? I sent the rubber sheet to the sewing room and paid to have it resewn.

Then we were taught how to administer medications through the oral route, intradermal, sub-q  and intramuscular. We were made to perform the return demonstration on a partner. The day before that, we were advised to practice on a tomato. So as a group, we went to a medical store nearby to buy syringes. All the while I was thinking how weird must they think we were that we were buying only one piece of tuberculin, 5cc and 1 cc syringes. I went home looking for a tomato and practiced, but goddarn it, I simply cannot perform ID on a tomato, the skin isn’t as pliable as a human’s. Anyway, the next day, I performed the procedures to my classmate and I found out my weakness – opening vials. I feel like opening them using a gauze or cotton ball would pierce my skin thus rendering the medication unusable because of blood contamination. So it would be a loss to the patient or hospital as well as mine as who else will pay the for a replacement? Anyway, that passed and I passed and it was my turn to be the patient. Everything was going fine, until my partner performed the intramuscular injection. She was about to push it but the CI noticed that she didn’t aspirate, so she was instructed to aspirate. Unfortunately, her aspiration means thoroughly removing the needle then reinserting it. “STOP!” yelled the CI. Haha I was startled as well but the situation was too funny. Therefore, instead of 2, I felt 3 punctures. I consider myself lucky, the next day there was word that someone from the other section repeated ID and IM on her partner, therefore, all her arms were punctured.

On White Caps and Photoshop

When I entered nursing school, I had no idea of the formalities entailed in the course. All I knew was that student nurses wear an all white dress, stockings and shoes, with their hair in a clean bun, all neat and pretty with their black duty bags, going to the hospital for their duties and what not.

Well apparently, I left out one of the most vital ceremonies in nursing- the Capping and Candle Lighting Ceremony.

In our school, the ceremony is a departmental affair. This was the day that second year students formally receive their nameplates, white caps and their Nightingale lamp. Yup, even boys get a white cap, the only difference was while we get ours “capped” by our dean, they offer theirs to a statue of Mama Mary set up on the stage.

Let’s go back to a few weeks prior to the event. A classmate named Nicole, scouted for people who can learn photoshop and were willing to volunteer as part of the invitation committee. So off we went, learning the ins and outs of Photoshop through YouTube and internet tutorials. As I mentioned before, this was the year that the clinical instructors left the planning of the ceremony to the students, from the invitations to the venue. I consider it a blessing that I was an officer in the Nursing Students’ Association at that time and our president was very adamant on helping us go through with the ceremony. With Kuya Jayson’s leadership, we had a photoshoot with Kuya Gau and the fourth year students became our instant backbone.They, together with the third year students also consisted more than half of the audience during the ceremony, as per the mandate of the dean, so the auditorium would not look empty. It was nice that my NSA ’12-’13 family voiced out their concerns regarding the CI’s decisions and immediately responded to the crisis at hand. Going back to the invitations, here’s the very first project that was forwarded to me by Nicole, the CI’s wanted Nightingale to be at the front cover of the invitation, as well as St. Vincent, as well as of course, the title, the theme, the venue, the time and it must represent the colors of nursing – green and yellow. Easy task no? Not.

FB_IMG_1463462526552Apparently, he had a meeting with our batch moderator and the CIs wanted those elements in the front cover and they wanted to see the cover as soon as possible. That night, he sent me his little project and asked for improvements. And that was when I first opened and started my photoshop project. Can you see her yeeeeett?

Hahaha, try squinting your eyes a bit, or increasing the brightness of your gadget. You’ll see that there’s a person there, a person named Nightingale. Yup, that’s her, or a sketch of her. Florence Nightingale, the mama of Nursing, the lady with the lamp. Get it? That’s why there’s such a thing as the candle lighting ceremony. Anyway, so that file was sent to me to include improve and add the required elements, and thus, I created the front cover as well as the back:FB_IMG_1463488057926

The CIs chose Nicole’s design for the front cover however, as the font in mine was, apparently, unreadable. But I got dibbs on the back cover, so all efforts weren’t wasted.IMAG5637_1

Now, the invitation was done. 14 pages in total, including the front and back cover, done in one month by two photoshop noobs. I’ll say holding that invitation was a very proud moment.

Next up, the day itself. The program, as you can see above, started in the afternoon. We walked to our seats to the tune of At the Beginning, a song that was “wasoy” during my high school years. Soon, to the tune of Sanctus by Libera, we were marching to the stage accompanied by a parent to obtain the pin, cap and lamp. During the mass, the priest blessed the caps, nameplates and the lamps, then the ceremony started immediately after. First task: The Pinning Ceremony. Our nameplates were a literal pin and most of the parents were nearing the 50’s-60’s years thus, there were some delays in the pinning. This was why the succeeding batch had magnetic nameplates oh di ba, less hassle. Then from that station, we moved on to the next ceremony: The Capping Ceremony. Basically, we kiss the white cap, then the dean simply pins the cap on top of our bun, congratulates us and the parents. The boys however, kiss the cap and offer it to the statue of Mama Mary before proceeding to the next station. Don’t worry, each cap has a name sticker inside so they wouldn’t get the cap with another boy’s spit, hehe. On to the third station, The Lamp Station. Here was where we received the mini lamp, and posed next to a big lamp for a souvenir photo. Then we went back to our seats, standing, as practiced, until the last person in the row arrived and we sat down altogether.

On and FB_IMG_1463462112073on the ceremony went until the fourth year students were passing white roses to the sophomores. Apparently, the NSA prepared a gift for the parents, to thank them for their effort and support that we were able to arrive in that stage in our nursing career.

We thought that was the last surprise, bu apparently, our babies(freshmen) also had a surprise for us! They gifted us with red, blue and black ballpens – much needed items for duty – for good luck. It was nice.

The ceremony ended not long after, with our NIghtingale pledge.

Time to go and celebrate! We were finally, officially, “Student Nurses”!

Duty starts Monday.

Kinalas Chronicles

Fourth year high school came and the teachers were announcing that all senior students were to create a research-type video blog as a project for two different subjects. My group of five decided to research and blog about the 300 Years of Devotion to Our Lady of Penafrancia. Lucky us, it was announced in August so resources were plenty. This was when I discovered a hidden gem in Naga City – Museo de Nuestra Senora de Penafrancia. Located on the corner of Magsaysay-San Felipe intersection, beside Naga River. Here is where the centuries old manto, rosaries, amulets and statues of Ina were displayed. At that time the entrance fee was just five pesos for students and ten pesos for others, so it’s totally worth visiting. The guide was so friendly, explaining the history of each artifact as well as sharing her experience of the miracles of Ina.

Sidenote, those who know Our Lady of Penafrancia know the countless miracles that happened with her help. One that I can never forget was about the sacrifice of the white dog. The carpenter who created the first statue of Penafrancia in Naga used wood and upon its completion, thought that the blood of a dog would be used to paint/color the statue. (shaking my head) So off he went and brought back a white dog, which was killed and whose blood was sacrificed to color the statue. The dog, dead of course, was disposed of in Naga River. Lo and behold however when the dog suddenly swam to land and was wagging its tail, alive and well. That was one of the miracles. The others can be read in the comics, I brought mine at the souvenir shop beside Naga Metropolitan Cathedral for 20 pesos. Buy it and read it if you have time. I wager that if you ask 5 people in Naga about Ina, 2-3 would have their own stories to tell on how Ina has touched their lives.

Going back, we traced the path of the Fluvial and Traslacion Procession by travelling from Basilica to Cathedral. We met a man along the way, a taho vendor, who apparently was also a voyadores! Amazing right? He himself has his own story to tell about the miracle of Ina. And with him, our research was complete.

You can actually view our blog here: Three Centuries of Devotion

Anyway, that project was given a high grade but the topic was not chosen to represent for the national competition. Another group was scouted to become the entry group for the DPSA contest. The DPSA or Doon Po Sa Amin Contest is a nationwide competition hosted by Smart Communications Inc. which encourages students from elementary to high school to represent a certain theme be it a place, cuisine, or products from their respective regions. From a large pool of entries, those who passed the initial screening will be given an invitation to set up a booth in the Mall of Asia Covention Hall where they will be given a chance to show/present their themes. Each award won has a corresponding cash prize and plaque with the grand prize for the grand champion of 30,000.00 pesos.  The members were handpicked by the teachers and I was chosen to be one of the technical directors. Here was where it became serious.

After many nights of pondering and brainstorming for a topic, the group, with our mentors eventually came to an agreement on a theme. We chose the humble Kinalas, and thus, Team Kinalas was born. Team Kinalas was led by Vernon, the over-all director, scripts and hosting were officiated by Janica and Cledz, photos, background and web design were handled by Madel, research and presentation was handled by Mayen and video and music directing was handled by Biboy and I.

At that time, the schedule for the group was to proceed to the Computer Laboratory after classes so as class ended at 5pm, we went to the lab and stayed until 8pm. The first problem was to determine the tagline for the website and thus, “Kinalas na Kakaiba: Orgulyo kan Naga”(A Unique Kinalas: The Pride of Naga) was formed. And so, we began our foodtrip/roadtrip/research.

74402_141260759254985_4710124_nIn Naga City, the street known for its Kinalas Eateries was Dayangdang. We asked around and most of the people stated that the Kinalas by Tiya Kamot was the best. However, finding Tiya Kamot was quite the challenge itself. Dayandang is a street full of corners and twists that finding the place took a while. Thank God that the driver of the tricycle we hired asked around and eventually, we found the place. No wonder it was hard to find. The place looked like an ordinary bahay kubo, it had no sign at that time that indicated it was an eatery, you cross a wooden plank to enter the yard where wooden tables and chairs were scattered. The first thing you will notice upon entering is the kitchen which was fully exposed where the customers can view the process of making kinalas. On once corner, a large pot over a charcoal stove was boiling away while the noodles were in a large basin alongside the toppings. Guess why Tiya Kamot was nicknamed so. Come on guess. Apparently it was a literal translation. Kamot meaning hand in Bicol was the term which stuck to this eatery because the noodles were handplucked by Tiya Kamot and thrown to the boiling broth. The elders say that this barehanded process added ooomph to the kinalas which was why patrons keep coming back. Anyway, for the sake for the sake of research the boys sampled the kinalas. However, the owner did not want to answer our questions so we moved on.

Try walking in Dayangdang and you’ll be surprised that in almost every corner and twist you take you’ll come upon another kinalas eatery. Each has its own pakulo – kinalas with beef, kinalas with rabut(ox skin), kinalas pork, and such.Finally through our walking, we finally came upon the coziest kinalas eatery ever.

33448_142199342494460_6185976_nKinalas Twin is located along the busy road connecting Dayangdang to Magsaysay. At first glance, it looks like a garage turned eatery. Tables and chairs were place row by row, the walls and floors were tiled, the kitchen as usual was exposed. Instead of charcoal however, they were using an LPG tank where a large pots of broth were boiling, alongside the noodles in a large basin, the special brown sauce in another pot and the toppings beside them. Here was where we were amazed. It was so clean, and the way that the noodles were served was like watching a show. The cook would get noodles using a long ladle, dip it in the boiling broth, place it in the bowl, add the broth, add the sauce, place the toppings and done. Yes, this is what is done in every other kinalas eateries but here is where you can appreciate the process fully. In less than 2 minutes, he was done and was already serving. See? Fast service. Fortunately, the owner himself was in charge of the cash register at that time, so upon paying, we asked if we can come another time for an interview and if he was willing to be featured as our main source of information for our blog. Thank God, after spending a whole afternoon looking for the perfect spot, we finally got a yes.

Our research did not end there however, near downtown Naga, there is a famous kinalas eatery. Aling Cely’s Kinalas was featured in a GMA show before. And so we went there, simply to taste and compare their kinalas from the others. However, since the eatery already had media exposure, we felt that it would be good to have another perspective from another eatery which was not yet known. And so, the group focused on Kinalas Twin.

Now, after several days of researching, we finally got enough data to put in our blog and so the blogging process commences. For the background of the site, we asked volunteer batchmates to pose as if in a food war with each other. Videos centered  on exposing not just kinalas, but also the landmarks of Naga, the process of Kinalas making, the team profile, and the interviews.

With all these, and with the website in finished, we finally clicked Enter. And so off our entry went to the DPSA website.

Days passed before we received that news that we were among those who passed the screening and was going to MOA. Apparently, that was not the end. The next task was to think of a theme for the booth. Since we were focused on kinlas eateries, we decided to create a sort of kinalas eatery in MOA. A talented teacher from Sabang High School was recruited to create the giant boy eating a bowl of kinalas as well as the background depicting a bahay kubo style eatery. And so, the booth was completed. Also, during this time, we were practically excused from most of the subjects and were instructed to finish this project first. Alongside us, our mentors were also busy, finding hotels to stay in, flight schedules and others.

189240_173739442673783_5233665_nAnd so the came to go, thankfully, another group also from our batch were picked. One of the member’s family were going with us, however, they travelled by land and they had a private car, so the props were brought by them. Upon leaving the airport, 3 hours later, we arrived in Mall of Asia.

189984_173739909340403_4435513_nThere was no time to spare, the moment we put down our bags, we picked up packing tapes, scissors, glue and glue guns and started putting up our booth. By dinnertime, we were finished and we were famished. And so, dinner was eaten at Chowking and we proceeded to the hotel.

The next day was the presentation day. Mayen, our representative, spent the night being questioned by our mentors for the next day’s event. We were all dressed in a business attire and when the judges passed, we were all smiles. All the while, giving silent encouragement to Mayen. We also visited the other booths from different schools. There was an entry from Naga Central School with the 300 Years of Ina as their theme! Hahaha, good thing we didn’t pursue it didn’t we? It would have been a Naga vs Naga battle then. Anyway, by lunchtime, the judges were done and we were given the free time to explore PROVIDED that we do not leave the MOA grounds itself. We went back to the hotel to change clothes for the awarding ceremony that afternoon.

The hosts were now awarding the high school entries. Hurrah hurrah! We won all the awards, including the Grand Champion award! Yeah! All hard work paid off! When we returned to the booth, we were met by the Naga City Councillors who apparently had a convention in the next hall. Congratulations were spread all around and so we went home victorious. 196989_173745589339835_7020360_n.jpg

When we went back to school, we immediately were summoned tothe principal’s office and were accompanied to City Hall where we presented the trophies to Mayor John Bongat, who immediately approved a donation of two basketball rings to NCSHS Covered Court, thus, our legacy was left.

Oh! I almost forgot, here’s the link to our blog: Orgulyo kan Naga, Kinalas na Kakaiba.

Happy viewing! 😉

On Geometry, Qing Dynasty & Noli

As mentioned before, I don’t really recall my very first video project. What I do recall were the projects that entailed such effort to edit. During my high school years, the most popular video editing software was -surprise, surprise- Windows Movie Maker.🎉🎉🎉
Now at that time, I’ve been forced to learn the software since of my classmates  convinced me to go from music editing to video editing. The very first video I remember making, and it was quite a memorable one, was for a class project in Geometry, 2-Timberwolf. Now that class was composed of a great mix of people. We had the athletes, the leaders, the models, actors and stylists. You can just imagine how competitive we became when it comes to class projects. The project was about presenting the different shapes in an entertaining and educational manner. The class chose to represent the shapes through a Gay Pageant. Our “matons” were chosen to dress up in whatever dress my stylist classmates could come up with showing the shapes they were representing. It was a project wherein the class gave it all, booking a park for a photoshoot, closing all doors and windows in the classrooms to avoid the other sections from finding out our theme, booking the AVR just to crown the winner, and travelling to a member’s house just for the intermission number of the shapes to the tune of “Don’t Cha”. Take note ha, all 30+ students could fit in their house so you can just imagine how big their sala is. Why 30+? Well the remaining boys were needed to become instant back up dancers for the contestants, then there were the scriptwriters, the director, the cameraman/woman and the lighting directors. We didn’t recycle them too, mind you, another set of boys were present as the propsmen, inserting and removing chairs or adjusting lights as needed. The girls, of course,were present to assist in costume changes, make-ups and wigs. Yes, it was that much effort just for 2 minutes in the video. I mean, someone even brought a disco light for added flair! As for the photoshoot, everything that can fit the contestants were made to wear. Myself, at that time, I was wearing a Palos type cap and a headband underneath. Those were taken from me for the detective/mysterious type contestant and the girly, cutesy contestant as props, mainly to keep their wig in place hahaha. For the Grand Coronation Day however, the winner picked by the judges was the one who wasn’t even present during the photoshoot! Hahaha, I don’t know if certain envelopes were passed to the judges, if you know what I mean. ($$$) Nah, just joking, actually he was picked because the director said so. That’s it. Anyway, that was the summary of the video. Too bad I couldn’t retrieve the files from anywhere.

Moving back to the Qing Dynasty, a project for my Araling Panlipunan subject. Here the class was grouped into 4. It was also one project that we put so much effort into. First thing we did was to hire a tailor to make our costumes. Then we went to the pambansang venue ng lahat-Ecopark, to shoot the fighting scenes. A few months ago, while browsing my CDs, I found the video.


Aren’t we cute? Hahaha at that time of making that video, a teleserye was being aired. If any of you remember Kung-Fu Kids, we based some of the scenes from there.

My techie skill was challenged during my 3rd year in high school when I created an hour long video of Noli Me Tangere, casted by the class, as the final project for our Filipino subject. Once again, this was one wherein the class, a new mix of students, gave it their all. The Filipinas rented Filipinianas, and the Filipinos rented Barong Tagalogs. The Spanish rented tuxedos and the priars were left using a white blanket and a beard. This was one of the most memorable projects I’ve created. Why? Because for the first time in the history of my life, I finally get to experience a sleepover. Note: We were sleeping in a classmate’s ancestral home located in another municipality. Which was why #strictparents and I argued for quite a while before they finally gave me permission PROVIDED that I text them the address, who I’m with, which relatives are with us, their relation to the host, and where I am every 2 hours. Amazing right?
Anyway to get to the house, we rode skates, a vehicle I’m faimiliar with being the main form of transportation in my Lola’s town. However, this was differently styled. In comparison with the one I’m used to, this was somewhat hazardous. There was only one bench good for 4-5 people in the middle of the skates. Behind the bench is the motor which controls the vehicle. Then there was a horizontal wooden bar behind the bench where the other passengers were advised to hold as soon as they vehicle moves. That’s it. Agaw buhay kumbaga.

Anyway we first arrived in the ancestral home of another classmate to shoot one scene when Ibarra first arrived in the Philippines and was welcomed by a party. Then moved to the near church for the mass scene. However, the priest who welcomed us did not give us permission to actually shoot inside because of some of the subjects/text in Noli Me Tangere which placed the Churh in a bad light. He, however, allowed us to shoot in the nearby hall inside the vicinity of the church. The priest was kind enough to lend us the white cloth to be placed on the table as well as a small crucifix and monoblock chairs, though I don’t think that monoblock chairs were invented then, but what can we do? Lemonade out of lemons eh? After shooting one final scene with Ibarra, whom I was starting to pity now, wearing a tuxedo in high noon, we were finally headed to the main base.

Wow. That was how impressed I was with the ancestral home of my classmate. It had a wide, green lawn, chicken wire fence surrounded by rice fields. It was a bungalow type house with coconut trees surrounding the vicinity. It was huge. We were allowed to rest and the family provided us with dinner and sleeping tools. Girls in the master bedroom and the boys in the sala. Sleep was by rotation. I think some even slept on the yard, but, as the night deepened, reentered the house due to mosquitoes. I don’t know who was in charge of the time but soon after, they were waking us all up for the wedding scene. We were to be the audience. Simply put, they woke us up to clap. Period. Haha. Meanwhile, on the other side of the yard, Ibarra and Maria were shooting the elopement-fail scene. And finally, by the time the sun rose, we were done shooting! Together with the sun, we were welcomed to a bright new day by fresh buko provided by the family. Here is where I say Thank You to the Bulao & Tipones Family for extending their warm welcome to us and treating us like family. This is forever saved as a fond memory.


Little did I know that that project would give me the ticket to go places. Literally.