rAdIoLoGy NoTeS 03 12/27/2007 06:10:00 PM

I was given a "3 day" extention of my pre-residency by my most senior resident, just because the radiology department Christmas party was still on the 20th. I managed to get it down to 2 days, since I was definitely not missing the Silver Anniversay Celebration of Banilad Study Center on the 19th, and besides, I have to help out the rest of the day with the preparations....

Anyway, I was back in the hospital in the morning of the 20th just to give the department chairman my short biodata for the formal introduction of incoming residents the following day when the chief of the radiology technologists informed me that I would be emceeing that night... Oh well... It was my first time to emcee, and it was also the first time to emcee of my partner, the current 1st year resident (UNSA-ON!). My friend was right... lowest of the low... accept any assignment... I also sang a duet with one of my seniors that same night for our presentation (just won a consolation prize! Hehehehe!) and supervised the evening's games (which meant, I wouldn't be playing which is fine by me!), and I did sing a number on the videoke machine... In one night I did a lot of stuff I wouldn't be cought dead doing on other occasions... My seniors forgot to tell me of the exchanging gifts, so I wasn't able to join in, although I did get to pick one of the door prizes like the rest of the staff. The next day, I picked up another surprise from the chief of the radiology technologists--> a pear ham!

I learned the following day that I had it easy when I got to chit-chat with the other pre-residents of the other departments of the hospital... Someone had to wear a skirt three straight days in a row for the first time in her life. Another was told by their incoming chief resident to "sway a little more" when performing on stage for an inter-hospital presentation... Worst than taking the board exam! Yup, I had it easy...

Christmas Poetry 12/22/2007 05:30:00 AM

I just unearthed another old small steno notebook with two Chrismas Poems I would like to share with all of you to celebrate this season.

Christ Jesus was born

Here on earth on this day

Remember hHim then

In your hearts where he reigns

Sometimes you may think

That He has gone away

Maybe, you're just mistaken...

All along you might have searched for Him

Some place far from your heart


(c.1998, re-edited 2007)

Calling to your loved-ones

Hope is overflowing

Round the season's mantlepiece

Innocence and peace preside

Something is different

The air is light and cool

Must I need to tell you

At Christmastime

Spirits of love reign true


(c.1998, re-edited 2007)

Christmas Glitter Graphics

Banilad's Twenty-fifth Anniversary 12/20/2007 08:52:00 AM

Banilad Study Center turned 25 last December 19, 2007 and I was definitely at hand to join in the fun and celebration. We did have a few costume problems, electrical glitches and lots of rain, but the party went on! Presentations came from the BizMoms, Stars Club, the Rural Service Project Volunteers (the October group), and the Southcrest Chorale. Food was c/o Melon Catering. Oh, we also had the famous lechon de Cebu at hand.We also had video presentations of testimonies and pictures of those who have come to love the center.

Pictures (and probably a video as well) to follow!

Interesting Article on Marriage... 12/07/2007 04:44:00 PM

Love, Marriage and Happy Kids

Reports Show that Family Life Is Highly Beneficial

By Father John Flynn, LC

ROME, NOV. 25, 2007 ( The increasing trend toward cohabitation as an alternative to marriage brings with it severe disadvantages for children. The latest confirmation of how children suffer when brought up outside a stable marriage between a man and a woman came in a lengthy article published Nov. 18 by the Associated Press.

The article reviewed evidence from a variety of sources, and commented that many scholars and social workers "say the risk of child abuse is markedly higher in the nontraditional family structures."

Among the studies cited by the Associated Press was that published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2005. The journal reported that children living in households with unrelated adults are nearly 50 times as likely to die of inflicted injuries as children living with two biological parents.

Children living in stepfamilies or with single parents are at higher risk of physical or sexual assault, according to several studies co-authored by David Finkelhor, director of the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center, the article continued.

"The risk (of abuse) to children outside a two-parent household is greater,'' Susan Orr, a child-welfare specialist in the Department of Health and Human Services, told the Associated Press.

The problem exists outside the United States also. On April 15 a British newspaper, the Sunday Telegraph, reported that seven children under age 16 had been murdered in London alone in the previous two months. Many crimes such as these are being committed by juveniles, the paper noted.

The news prompted politicians to promise more funding for disadvantaged communities, but the article commented that one of the main problems is that adolescents brought up in a single-parent family are more likely to end up in criminal activities. No fewer than 70% of young offenders are from single-parent families.

In England there are now three times the number of children being brought up just by their mothers than there were 30 years ago, the Telegraph added, resulting in one in every four children being raised without a father.

Divorce's bottom line

Divorce creates other difficulties, among them economic. A July 7 article from the British Telegraph newspaper reported that a study of more than 4,000 people found that on average, a man's income increases by 11% after divorce. By contrast, a woman suffers a drop of 17%.

Particularly at risk are the mothers of young children, who find it difficult to reconcile the demands of work and family responsibilities.

"We found that many women don't work at all after their marriage breaks down or have to work only part-time because they can't afford the cost of child care," commented Mieke Jansen, one of the authors of the study carried out by academics from the University of Antwerp in Belgium.

Similar problems were revealed in research carried out by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. According to a July 10 article from the newspaper The Australian, not only does divorce bring with it economic penalties but it also leads to unhappiness and harms both physical and mental health.

The study, titled "Divorce and the Well-being of Older Australians," compared divorced women who remain single to those who are widowed and stay single. Both men and women report problems of unhappiness and health, but women are particularly affected.

Another Australian newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald, reported Aug. 14 that marriage does indeed make people happier. During a visit to the country, Swiss economist Bruno Frey reported on the findings of a survey of 15,000 people over 17 years, examining the relationship between happiness and marriage. Frey said that one of the reasons people are happier in marriage is due to the greater level of commitment between the couple.

From England, a recent report by the Office for National Statistics found that married couples live longer and enjoy better health, reported the Times on Oct. 5. As well, children who live with their married parents are also healthier, and will remain in full-time education for longer.

Failure on the rise

In spite of ample evidence of the harm stemming from facilitating divorce, some countries continue to make it easier. The Spanish newspaper El PaĆ­s reported Nov. 16 that in 2006 the number of divorces increased by a stunning 74%. The rise occurred after the socialist government changed the divorce law in July 2005, allowing divorce proceedings to start without a period of one year's separation previously required.

Overall in Spain in 2006 there were 210,132 marriages, and 145, 919 marriages that failed -- between divorce, separations and marriages declared null.

According to a recent study by the Spain-based Institute for Family Policies, Europe is seeing a decline in marriages and an increase in divorce. The report, titled the "Evolution of the Family in Europe in 2007," said that the number of marriages in Europe decreased by 22.3% from 1980 to 2005, while divorces increased by 55% in the same period.

The latest figures do show a decrease in divorce in England and Wales, but it could well be partially caused by lower marriage levels. According to an Aug. 30 article published by the Guardian newspaper, in 2006 some 132,562 couples divorced. This is the lowest since 1977. The data came from figures published by the Office for National Statistics.

The fall in divorce, however, comes when in 2005 the marriage rate in England and Wales fell to its lowest level since records began in 1862.

One in three

Moreover, on Sept. 12 the Guardian published an article noting that the cumulative total of divorces in past decades means that now more than 20 million people in the United Kingdom -- a third of the population -- are affected by divorce and separation, either through their own relationships or that of their parents.

The figures come from a study published by the Center for Separated Families, a group that provides support for family members after separation.

Families are also under pressure in Canada, reported the Globe and Mail newspaper, Sept. 12. According to the latest figures, taken from the 2006 national census, married-couple families are still the majority, accounting for 68.8% of all census families.

Nevertheless, the number of cohabiting couples has more than doubled from the 7.2% of two decades ago to the current level of 15.5% of all census families. The number of lone-parent families has also increased, by 7.8% in the period 2001-2006.

Single-parent families are more important than the relatively low percentage would suggest.

Lone-parent families account for 26% in the category of families with children. More than 2.1 million children are now living in a lone-parent family. And, as in other countries, they are poorer. In 2005, the median household income for two-parent families in Canada was 67,600 Canadian dollars (US $68,861), according to the Globe and Mail. For lone-parent families it was only 30,000 Canadian dollars (US $30,559).

"Marriage is still the best framework in which to raise healthy, happy children," commented an editorial in the Globe and Mail newspaper the following day. The clock can't be turned back, the newspaper added. Even so, "Canadian families are unable to give their children the solidity that serves them best," the editorial concluded.

Conclusions that are very similar to those expressed on repeated occasions by Benedict XVI. "The devoted love of Christian married couples is a blessing for your country," the Pontiff said on Nov. 19 to a group of Kenyan bishops in Rome for their five-yearly visit.

"This precious treasure must be guarded at all costs," he recommended. Advice that governments in all countries would do well to heed.

© Innovative Media, Inc.

rAdIoLoGy NoTeS 02 12/05/2007 04:46:00 PM

People, prepare for my ranting!

I can say I have got the flow of things right already at work but I'm still getting used to all the jokes, teasings, etc.... I imagine that the next 4 years or so of my life will be just as the first weeks of pre-residency. I do feel at home, in my own way, although probably not in the way I want things to be.

I guess that's part of the adjustment.... sometimes people don't read you straight up or they miss-read you or worse yet, they don't have a clue... I think my case is more of "they don't have a clue." It just so happens that only one or two people I work around with know that I'm a member of Opus Dei (and an associate at that -> a celibate who lives with her family and doesn't stay in a center of Opus Dei) and whatever that's supposed to mean. Usually, the closest thing I get to explaining is to say "I'm single and not looking", and to give disapproving looks when double meaning jokes come my way.

Sometimes, I miss the comfort of the early months of my vocation when I was a graduating biology student and had several close female friends around me who knew exactly what it was all about (including one I had dinner with last Monday-> I.P., must be part of the reason I'm ranting right now!), and who would even remind me that it's time to leave a meeting so I can attend Holy Mass!

I should look at it in a more positive light though. It's a way for me to round out the rough edges of m y own personality by rubbing it up against those of other people. Growth will surely come of it.

And so I end this heartfelt ranting. If one of my colleagues reads it, well and good! I hope that if they do, they ask me personally for the full explanation of things in this rant since there's a whole lot more to the things I'm letting out right now.

If anybody else who reads this wants an explanation, by all means you're free to comment or PM me as you see fit.

Surprised by Friends 12/02/2007 08:37:00 AM

"True friendship also means making a heartfelt effort to understand the convictions of our friends, even though we may never come to share them or accept them."

-St. Josemaria Escriva -

(Furrow, pt. 746)

This happens to be one of my all-time favorite friendship quotes and an apt introduction to this particular post. I had several encounters with friends past and present this week, enough to reflect on a blog post.

I had arranged to have a chika-thon cum dinner with I.P., an old college friend, maybe to propose to her something of a generous nature as well. She's doing quite well and is now a working mom. Will finally get to see her tomorrow (and dinner is on her tab as well---this pre-resident still doesn't have a penny to her name). I shall be reminiscing a lot with her, that I can already foretell.

My bestfriend C.P.'s younger brother sent me an unexpected text earlier this week.... inviting me to go out with him and his big sister! I guess he will probably be tagging along when I meet her for a heart-to-heart pre-Christmas talk, and will probably appeal to her generosity as well. We'll probably drop him off to play some video games at the mall while we have our little exchange of confidences somewhere else. I remember expressing to her in no uncertain terms my dismay about an upcoming life-decision she decided to make, and found out she had gone on with it (but, with an unexpected twist!), so there will be a lot to discuss.

I was going through a social networking site when I was stopped by some somewhat disturbing photos of herself which Y had posted. I don't think I'll ever say to her anything about it electronically (our only mode of communication right now is via e-mail and social networking sites), but maybe I'll speak my mind if we do get to see each other when she happens to be in town... I know that her life took another turn, definitely what I never anticipated, but I'm wondering why it seems she's suddenly throwing everything she learned out of the door... It's dis-heartening to say the least...

Then, yesterday, I got an unexpected phone call from S.S., med-school classmate, internship (a.k.a. senior clerkship) groupmate, and once-upon-a-time unintentional target of my somewhat insensitive tirade of "I don't wear anything sleeveless... The more you show, the less of a person you become!" I don;t remember apologizing for that so true fact, but I guess from the excitement of her voice when she called and her eagerness to get-together with me come Sinulog (fbig feastday in our city) when she'll be in town (even if I told her that there's a good possibility she'll have to look for me in the hospital since I already sort of volunteered to my seniors to go on duty as I had no desire to go out that day...), by-gones are by-gones. Now doing her residency in her hometown, she decided to give me a call after reading my account of pre-residency days in our class groupmail account.

Friendship is the spice of life, the little added thing that makes the unpalatable tasty.

rAdIoLoGy NoTeS 01 11/20/2007 04:24:00 PM

I'm enjoying my first few days at work. I relish the fact that I still have my weekends off, don't have any overnight duties, and the time I spend in the hospital isn't so hectic as well. There are a lot of things to learn, and a lot of books to read. I'm already doing a few preliminary reading, as well as performing some of the procedures (or observing how they are done) with the help of my seniors. The mostly male staff can really tease you a lot, but I'm taking things in stride.

~ o ~ o ~ o ~ o ~

A few fun (and/or corny) radiology jokes, mostly in the Cebuano context (items in pharenthesis entirely my un-copyrighted additions...):

*Surgeon: We cut and sew

OB-GYNE: We deliver

(Radiologist: We see right through you!)

*Patient(at Radiology Department Reception Area): Pwede mag-pa eksthrays? (eks-four, eks-five, eks-six?)

*Intern/Senior Clerk: Unsa pa imoha labs, Manang?

Patient: Ambot, Doc, naa man toh Chest Phah. Ambot unsa na... (Chest Phah?! Ah, Chest P.A. - meaning chest postero-anterior view!)

*Patient's Relative (to Radiologic Technologist): Sir, pwede kuhaon ang plackards? (Plackards?! Asa diay mo mag-rally? Ah! You mean plaka a.k.a. x-ray plate!)

Shimmering. Silver Spiderweb 11/10/2007 11:47:00 AM

Beholden by this

Web of shimmering thread, I

Cannot look away.


(c. 2007)

Ballad of the Hermit Crab 11/08/2007 05:01:00 AM

I trudge along

Unmindful of the morning's mist

And wearied throughout the night

Within the mangrove's roots

I seek out a new home

I ponder the empty shell

I ease myself out

Vulnerable in my nakedness

As I transfer to my new home

I trudge along again

Amidst the weeds of the sea

Alone, yet carrying my home with me


(c. 2007)

Cherrylyn Revisited 11/06/2007 11:42:00 AM

Here are some more pics of Cherrylyn, that little girl born blind from Sitio Ibo with the volunteers.

RSP Oct'07 11/01/2007 04:30:00 AM

I just came back from the year's second Rural Service Project to Sition Ibo, Barangay Pondol, Balamban, Cebu, (October 26-31) organized by Banilad Study Center. It was a whole lot of work and a whole lot of fun, too!

I was again assigned to oversee the administration (read: kitchen and house upkeep!), as expected. I got lots of help though from the other people assigned there as well. We had it easy this time thanks to the lovely resthouse we were staying in, with all the equipment we needed to run things smoothly.

Despite the rain (and getting wet, of course!), we were able to finish the septic tank for Sitio Ibo's public toilet, play games, read stories and teach the kids catechism (even had a party the last day!), hold livelihood classes for the mothers, have a one-day-only medical and dental clinic, go on an excursion to Binghay Marine Park, and explore the nearby river and go spelunking (just to the mouth of a nearby cave--people dindn't have flashlights!), and relax with our nightly get-togethers. We would also pray the rosary every afternoon at the chapel (kapilya) we had helped to construct last April. It became sort of our headquarters and where most of the activities were held as well due to the rains.

This will probably be the last rural service project for me, at least for the next four years, so I cherished the whole time I was there to work and relax. I think I have stored enough great memories though to last me the rest of my life!

Sad Eyes 10/16/2007 05:53:00 PM

I see

That sadness

In your eyes

That you cannot hide

A star that

No longer shines

Since you said that last goodbye

Happiness eludes you



Finally...Accepted! 10/16/2007 05:45:00 PM

I finally got official confirmation that I have been accepted for radiology residency training at Hospital No.2! I am soooo happy! This is my first choice, afterall, and I already have a good idea of how the next four years of my life will go...

In the meantime, I have a little over a month till pre-residency in mid-November to end mid- December. Just have to iron out some more work details... January 1st marks the start of the real world of paid work to me!

My Week at Hospital No. 1 10/07/2007 10:10:00 AM

I just finished my last day rotating at hospital no. 1 as part of the residency application process. It was fun being an observer and learning as I went along the way. It was also nice to see a lot of my medical school batchmates who were training there already.

Answering the questions of the consultants and the chief resident was no fun though. I froze again, although unfroze enough to answer some questions decently.

It was odd to wear a long-sleeved smock (borrowed from a friend), though I can get used to it.

The duty was basically benign and the chief resident let me sleep through most of it.

Now, I can't see myself actually in training there, though I learned and enjoyed my stay there in the various sub-departments.

I hope hospital no.2 gives me a definite confirmation of my acceptance in their training program... Keeping fingers crossed!

Meanwhile, I have jst been paid to supervise data collection by an assistant of a consultant friend... Otherwise I'm bumming again.... I have more time to work on the preparations for the Rual Sevice Project come end of the month then!

Currently in the Process... 9/29/2007 06:59:00 PM

I had a written exam for my application for residency at one hospital, and interviews for the same hospital the following day. I ended up being shortlisted, and asked to go on duty for the week at their radiology department, along with two other applicants. I chose to go on duty October 1st to 7th, but so far, have not yet received confirmation for the duty week.

The following day, I had my interviews at the second hospital I had applied for, and ended up being accepted "unofficially". As far as I know, I was the only one interviewed. The department chairman and the training officer of the radiology department already know me, and the chief resident knows me as well. I'll be waiting for confirmation on when I'll begin pre-residency training (probably mid-November to mid-December per suggestion of the incoming 3rd year resident, who also knows me and whom I used to bug to give preliminary readings for my assigned patients' x-rays and scans in the middle of the night!).

Thus, that's where I currently stand. Though, I'm planning to have a hands- on look at the training in the first hospital, I'm definitely going to do my residency at the second hospital, for several reasons (...a very short walk from home, staff and training program already familiar to me, a chance to meet younger students and influence them positively somehow since will also have a chance to give lectures at the College of Medicine, probably even the College of Allied Medicine to radiologic technology students...).

I'm already looking forward to the next four years of my life, although I won't deny that I have my usual mixed feelings of anxiety and excitement...

Back to Reality! 9/20/2007 05:52:00 PM

Just got back today, and it's back to reality basically... I mean, the past two weeks of study, classes, readings, prayer, outings, get-togethers, sports, exercise, camaderie etc. is great, but it's not the real world. So, I'm glad to be home, in time for Jen-jen's ( youngest sis) 14th birthday... And I have an exam, among other things for my radiology residency applications... So a bit of studying is in order!

As an aside, I had loads of fun on my 27th birthday lat Sept 7 during the seminar. I got my chocolate cake and to finally (finally!) see Lord of the Rings: Return of the King straight! I'm currently reading through the whole series and I hope to finish before pre-residency in December.

A Change of Plans 9/04/2007 09:12:00 AM

I'll be off again in another few days to a two week seminar. And all the while I thought I'll be out in mid-November yet! Oh, well... I had to have the flexibility to adjust my schedule...

Nowadays I'm practically running around trying to get all my papers ready for my residency applications before I go off again! And I just found out a secretary lost all my papers (previously passed in May), so I had to reproduce the copies, and she plans to explain why the rest are missing. I think its more amusing than annoying. Age related forgetfulness!

I'll be celebrating my birthday there on the 7th. I'm turning 27, and 3 more years until I swear off the sweets to at the least delay the onset of diabetes mellitus (diabetes is a maternal heredo-familial disease for me.). I'm definitely going to make sure my cake will be chocolate. Will probably be incommunicado through email and the net during the whole time. Will be back on the 20th, also the birthday of my youngest sister, and a good friend.