Liam Rafael, November 9, 2017

I was recently in Manila for the birth of my BFF’s second son, Liam Rafael (or “Baby Rafa”), as he is known. I’m pretty much present for Ivy’s baby deliveries…only a day late for both.  Her son, Sebastian, was born on September 10, 2015, and I arrived, true to form, one day later. 🙂

She is about as much a family member as a friend can get, and I always feel welcome at their house in Makati. Embarrassingly enough, I am a seemingly permanent fixture at their place, and her mom (and sisters) treat me like family as well.

Quite a lovely feeling, of course. 🙂

Here he is, barely a day old, and already making eyes at the camera. 🙂 
“Another photo, Auntie Stephanie?” – Rafa
Try this angle… 🙂
Ok, off with you now, I’m tired. :-p


Anyway, I found my old Xanga blog, and it has been quite a fun find. I hadn’t thought about it in years, ever since I saw that Xanga had closed down, but lo and behold, it was back again.

Although I have changed, and don’t necessarily have all the same sentiments as when I had when I was in my early twenties, it was a pretty significant time, and while in medical school, it was pretty much a chronicle of the non-medical things that I thought about. #


“walking on sunshine”

Just when you think life’s a little bit heavy, an angel of an incredibly upbeat and positive song comes up on your spotify work playlist.

“I’m walking on Sunshine…”, crooned on the radio, and their soft voices and the guitar strums really got my attention. It was supposed to be just background music so I could work on my papers, but the “twinkly” opening bars were very catchy.

To be perfectly honest, it had been a very heavy day at work…talking to those who had terminal illness made me think of my own mortality and what little time I have (or we all have) on this earth. Two people talked of cancer, and how they knew that there wasn’t a lot they could do, but wait…and while doing that, be positive in their waiting.

Oftentimes, we make the mistake of taking too long…and waiting for too long, for something…or someone,  that we might never be with. Time is precious…it is the very essence of life, for once it goes through the sieve, it is gone forever.


(“And I don’t want to spend my whole life, just waiting for you…”) – excerpt of the lyrics


The beauty of this song, is it its simple and elegant harmonies, and simple wish. It is a reminder of that happy, giddy feeling of anticipation, for a loved one, which happens to be one of the happiest pleasures in life. And if things aren’t happy now, then they eventually will be.

So, alright, this post doesn’t make much sense, but I do love this song. Just what I needed to pick me up. 🙂





Sugba Lagoon, Del Carmen, Siargao

Sugba Lagoon, May 11, 2017. 


Was in Siargao, Surigao Del Norte for a week. It was absolutely beautiful over there.

The takeaway lesson for this trip was that, if you say yes to an invitation, you just might get the surprise of your life…and a positive experience to change your heart for the better.


On listening and kindness


For some time, I thought it was ironic, how, I was a therapist, and yet, I didn’t have anyone who satisfactorily could do “talk therapy” on me. I mean, living out here in the province, I could not really find a supervisor type of person who would help me along with how I processed myself and things that were going on in my life. There has to be a considerable amount of effort (a.k.a. travelling) before I get to talk to my colleagues or peers (or supervisor).

It’s not that they don’t have time, but it’s mostly because they all have their own lives to take care of (and not enough training on how to do so).

I am at a loss. In recent times, I have had some distressing personal issues to deal with, however, I never really got to talk to anyone about it. Mainly, it was just a lot of rumination, some writing, and then the development of rationalization and anticipation maneuvers, which can’t have all been good.

My biggest annoyance is when you’re trying to be vulnerable… you’re in a situation where even telling the story is hard, but you also have to deal with the person you’re telling it to giving you a smart alecky retort…or a totally moronic and unfeeling statement, which leaves you feeling worse than you actually feel.

If you’ve ever been in an emotionally distressing situation, you would sometimes notice that talking about it really helps, but only if you felt safe enough to say what you wanted to say, and feel that you won’t be judged for it.

Listening is not hard to do, actually, it is merely  a basic kindness we offer to people who need to tell their stories.

(And no, it is not always about YOU.)

(Also, I’ve filled notebooks full of musings and self-awareness…I need “processing” this time.)

Also, just a note…I posted something on facebook, and I was amused at how my experiment proved right. I wrote about the freedom of speech, but everyone thought I was talking about politics. Actually…I just wanted to say something about how I was not free to say things I wanted to say…personal problems mostly!  It figures…everything, and I do mean everything, has the potential to be “colored” by things.