Saturday, December 17, 2011

TUMAKBO AKO PARA SA PASKO 2011 EDITION (The Road to House #320 Brgy 28)

After arriving from Manila last October, my self-esteem crushed, and itching to make a radical decision to change my life, a friend of mine, who is an avid runner, told me that there will be a Fun Run which will be held here in Laoag City on December. I have already started doing laps on the tracks as a way of conditioning myself for the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse. Her announcement came at a great time. She told me that when the organizers will start distributing forms to Fun Run "parokyanos" like her, she will reserve one for me. I registered, paid the fee, received my singlet & route map 2 days before the race, and partially helped indigents from Western River Side have a "bountiful" holiday season (i still have strong feelings against on this part, i am not a huge fan of dole-outs).

I am not a running virgin anymore. I lost my "running virginity" when i joined the Ilocos leg of the 35th Milo Marathon last July wherein i 'competed' in the 5k run. It was an impulsive move. It was more geared on proving to myself that despite lack of preparation, i will still be able to pass the finish line. Passed it i did, but my time suffered. I ticked in at a disappointing 1 hour 35 minutes. Almost 2 kms into the race i almost hit the Wall. I told myself "you're so fat, boy.. you won't make it!" I ran for a few meters and find myself walking again. I just couldn't do it properly then. Plus my feet were already aching, and my lungs started to fail me. But the sensation of finishing was amazing. It was a relief to finally stop. This was when i decided to shock myself after almost 5 months of non-acceptable exercise.

Takbo Para sa Pasko was my 2nd running experience. This time i was more prepared. It all started after a Singapore agency crushed the very essence of my existence. "Lose weight and we'll consider you, perhaps even hire you." they told me. My weight was even a huge wake-up call. That was when i vowed to immerse myself in rigorous lifestyle modification. I started with quitting sodas, and then i cut down my red meat consumption, i started running again setting up a personal goal every week, i did upper body strength and toning exercises, this is Lifestyle Modification Shangri-La. The running was partly for health reasons, and partly in preparation for an incoming Zombie Apocalypse. Rule # 1: Cardio. So when Takbo Para sa Pasko emerged, it arrived on a perfect time. I started training myself to finish 3k in less than 30 mins, achievable, until i realized who am i fooling? I need to step it up a notch in order for me to fully prepare myself. So i increased the distance, 5k in less than 30 mins. Then i figured, though possible, i am slowly killing myself with a rather ambitious goal, so i made the time frame 60 mins or less. I have had some ups and downs, best days and worse days, encounters with the Wall, stopped right there but mostly climbed it, then race day came, and it was all worth it.

My rule is always like this: "slow and steady, gradually increasing speed" so i won't prematurely deplete myself of oxygen. It always works but i still need more training in order for me to perform continuous running. That is always my problem, even if i have already built up my momentum, my stamina always fails me. Which i think is still okay at this point. I wish to correct it in the long run though. My body surprised me during the run. I was able to continuously run for almost a km and a half, a feat i couldn't do at the tracks (which is 5 rounds without stopping). I think my stride and form have improved since i did not experience the worse DOMS in my life since July's run. To think that i ran more this time than my first time. I was indeed prepared for this. I even made a "smiling friend" in the presence of the girl who overtook me just right after the turning point. She smiled when she passed me, i smiled back. It was not an "insulting" "ha-ha! eat my dirt fat boy!" smile. After i crossed the finish line, and we walked passed each other we smiled again. This sport was more than running and feeling good about yourself, it is also a healthy way to practice sportsmanship and make friends, even "smiling friends". The feeling of having a complete stranger recognize you and acknowledge you with a smile is rewarding. Or maybe she already knows who i am, i just didn't recognize her. Oh i hope she'll forgive me for i am not good with remembering names and faces!

I wish to run again soon. Hopefully i will be able to compete in a more advanced category. But i need to train first. I need to condition myself before deciding to level-up. More cardio for me, i guess. Iv'e been enjoying its benefits so far. Maybe on the next few Fun Runs i will be joining i would be competing at the 10k run. My goal: Half-marathon (21k) at Takbo Para sa Pasko 2012. :D

I need gear upgrade. New shoes, more shorts. :D

Monday, December 5, 2011


In our constant battle with injustice towards us Filipino nurses we are faced again with another obstacle: a DOH Circular Letter stating that DOH retained Hospitals are now prohibited from accepting Nurse Trainees and Volunteer Nurses. Okay, so.. big deal. No more unexperienced nurses to train, no more training fees, no more working without pay. While it may sound like great news to some, it posed a major threat on us. Nurse Trainees as very essential in the workplace: lesser events of understaffing, one gets to practice supervisory/managerial/leadership skills, and admittedly, it's a joy to impart new knowledge to novices who haven't grasped yet practicing nursing in the real world. Another thing is, their training fees is where our bosses generate our salaries. Now their abolishment from the faces of DOH hospitals greatly affected us. There have been proposals on how the hospital will continue to pay for our services. One is to cut down our daily basic salary, another is to cut down our number. Whichever the solution they almost came up with that time would have definitely cost us, and none of these would have benefited us other than the Hospital. Social injustice on our very faces. The nerve of those who are in the position to subject us in that kind of degradation. We are, after all, Professionals like the rest of them, but we are not treated as such. Then the answer to their prayers came. DOH encouraged these hospitals to adopt the ongoing RN HEALS (Registered Nurse for Health Enhancement and Local Service) Program []. Basically what our hospital did was it converted us Contractual Nurses into RN HEALS Trainees. The good thing about being RN HEALS is we have a relatively higher salary compared to when we were still funded by the training fees, we have a monthly P 2,000.00 allowance provided by the institution, and we are funded directly by the DOH which meant, supposedly, no more delayed pay dates. Sounds good but there's a catch: the contract's only good for one year, it is yet unknown to us if we will be renewed after the contracts end and we are required to submit paperwork which includes a journal on what we "learned" during our "training" as RN HEALS and a research paper... a fucking RESEARCH PAPER! And since we are constantly subjected to injustice in our institution, the good parts of being RN HEALS were altered. The P 2,000.00 monthly allowance were converted to Food Allowance (which we branded as RN MEALS) provided to us by the Dietary Department. The idea of eating hospital food is disgusting, but the fact that we will be paying P 90+ per meal is absolutely distasteful. We are being force-fed with food we don't want to eat while being cheated at the same time. Our salary was divided into 22 days, with every minute tardy, an amount is subtracted from our basic, if we absent ourselves with or without a valid excuse, we don't get paid for that day. We wonder where the money not being given to us will go... the removal of Nurse Trainees meant taking away the Pool Nurses as well. The Pool Nurses get their funds from us then Contracted Nurses, they equally divide to the Pool nurses the money they deduct from our salary everytime we absent ourselves or go on leave. Now, there are no longer Pool Nurses in our hospital, so where does the money go? Blatant corruption on our faces. And what are we doing about it? None... due to fear of termination. The Chief is a tyrant. It pains me that we are either too afraid or too indolent to act on this injustice.

By the time i would have posted this, i would have taken and passed the screening exam for a supervisory plantilla position in another hospital, i look forward to being called for the Personnel Screening Board, and hopefully by the end of this year or early next year i will not be experiencing constant degradation in the workplace ever again.