Sunday, August 26, 2012

Updated: X Factor PH 4th Performance Night and Results Show: KZ Tindangan rocks the house

Last night was the 4th Performance Night on X Factor Philippines.  The finalists, nine of them left this time, gave tribute to artists who, as KC Concepcion puts it, have gone to the after life.

I am afraid that the show has become predictable and that KZ Tindangan is the consistent top performer left in the show, although there is the close competitor in the person or, shall I say, persons, of Daddy's Home.

Tindangan gave a mind-blowing rendition of Amy Winehouse's Rehab and as always she has delivered.  

Daddy's Home sang Whitney Houston's All at Once and they gave more than justice to the Bodyguard star's song.

Joan Da, again says no to being on the bottom 2 with her version of Aaliyah's Let Me Know.  This Sitti-look alike also got a lot of potential.  I can see her moving on through the Top 5 finalists. 

Who's going home tonight?  

It's anybody's ball game in this show which represents a marriage of talent and popularity, but  I still want to make a fearless forecast, that either Gabriel or Take Off, might be forced to say goodbye tonight.  Kedebon might get off the hook again this time, and that wouldn't really mean that the people love his singing.  

They might just want something, uhmm, okey, someone to make them laugh until their tummies ache.  Judge-Mentor Pilita Corales nailed it last night, when she said that Kedebon does a good job in distracting the audience by running around the stage and then nobody notices at all that he doesn't finish his lines and that he doesn't hit the notes well.  

The people's patience may have been stretched a little longer for this little guy, and his antics might have been casting a spell on them.  On the other hand, his fans might still have enough moolah to cast their text votes for him to make him stay just a little longer on the show.

Update:  Modesto goes home

Time is up for the most senior finalist on the show, Modesto Taran.  Along with Take Off (this time I got one of the bottom two right -- at last!), Mang Modesto found his way on the bottom two for the first time.  His butt too, was kicked out of the show for the first time.

However, there is nothing to worry at all for this guy.  For sure, Mang Modesto's life will be going somewhere towards a brighter path after his stint at X Factor Ph.  He may be the oldest in the bunch of finalists but surely the guy put up a very good fight during this first season.  I am pretty sure we will be seeing him around.

Kedebon stays

What is with this guy?  Enough said.  Since it is a Sunday, I'd do everybody including myself a favor and just shut my mouth up.



Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tips in going to medical residency Part 2 (Seriously this time.))

My blog post Tips in going to Medical Residency has been drawing in some readers of late.  Since it was merely a humorous recount of how my good-natured mother gave her well-meaning advice when I was at a crossroad, trying to answer where to apply for residency in Cebu City, I decided to get to a more serious business this time of giving tips for those who are about to encounter this crossroad in their budding medical careers.

1.  The choice of hospital is the most crucial decision.  Each hospital offers a training program distinctly unique from other hospitals.  The size of the training program is also closely related to the hospital bed capacity.

           So if you want a bigger program, meaning more residents within a program, you might as well take on the big hospitals.  Among the big ones, there is the big training program with (sadly) lesser guidance, academically, from able consultants and there is the big training program with adequate guidance from the medical experts in their respective fields.  For smaller programs with smaller hospitals, the work load may not be as heavy as those in big hospitals, but this may also affect your exposure to different cases in our field of specialty.

             Wherever you choose to train,  let me impart to you an Indian Proverb -- "It's the Indian, not the arrow."  Everything depends on you and wherever your decision brings you, it is how you play the ruthless game that is called residency.  

Taken during one of my nocturnal duties at the hospital. I trained in the base hospital of the medical school from which I graduated. Here I grabbed a bite of pizza, a going-away treat of one of the nursing staff. 

2.  You must at least have an idea of the people you will be working with as a slave in the next three years of our life.  It's good to go into residency training with people whose work ethics you already know from the start.  Beyond that, it's even better to surround yourself at work with friends, trusted friends whom you will enjoy learning with, knowing that whatever happens, they will be with you through thick and thin.  So if you have suspicious characters with potential talent of wrecking the already havoc-wrecked residency, maybe you'd like to think things over again.  

3.  The art of tightening one's belt.  Residency is not really that rewarding when it comes to the financial aspect.  Your brain gets fatter but you can feel your pockets grow shallower everyday.    

          I personally can attest to this since, I have been to residency twice with a long streak of moonlighting in between.  Moonlighting, which means, you go on duty in a certain hospital, you work as an employee but you are not under residency training, can actually rake big bucks of money you haven't known all your life unless you were born with a silver spoon and already held money in six-figure amounts with your own hands.  Some could even buy a second hand car within 1-2 years of moonlighting.

           During my (rich) moonlighting days, I could actually buy what I wanted, which is way different than now that I am in residency training wherein I really have to try my best to tighten my belt.  I will probably confess to you in the future when I have enough courage, my struggles and survival strategies as a financially-challenged resident physician.

               Consultants who have been to the same situation during their residency, try to uplift the residents' spirits by saying, "The money will come later."  A tiny spark in a long tunnel.  Some sort of assurance that better days are yet to come and the state of near-bankruptcy of most residents will not last forever.  There is some truth to that, I believe, because if there is one consolation that a doctor has, that is a financially comfortable life, maybe not really filthy rich at all times for most physicians, but a comfortable life with enough financial cushion.

               So think, that the money will come later, and they will come pouring in if you are a good doctor who really know your craft, and the way to start mastering your craft is doing your best during residency, which is the ultimate venue for training and preparation for the real battleground which is practice in the outside world. 

               To moonlight or not to moonlight? You might want to read more about moonlighting in the Philippines here and here.

4.  The art of mastering the blunt affect. As a resident, you will be subjected to a lot of humiliation from patients, their families and/or significant others, from your consultants, and even from your co-residents.  You must master the art of maintaining a blunt affect, and try to keep your slip of vulnerability from showing.  Most of these episodes are usually due to certain lapses of management of the patient's cases, and so the best thing to deal with humiliation and wrath from people from work is to just pick yourself up from the floor, pick up the pieces, and move on.  It's actually easier said than done.  But trying to smile, and even feigning it at the beginning will somehow get you through.  Just remember the lesson, and hold on to it, that's all.  Three things to remember:  Your utmost priority is the patient.  You are there for the patient's welfare, make sure he feels better than when he first walked into the Emergency Room.  You are there to comfort the patient, or give relief to whatever ailment he has, and in the worst case scenario, keep him or her alive by all heroic means, until the family is finally ready to let the patient go. Read more about my journey called residency training here and here. More tips in residency training on this side, too.


5.  There is no other way to go but into residency and therefore learn to make the most out of it.  In residency, you should be willing to learn because that is what you came there for.  However, willingness to learn is not enough, as the enthusiasm fades once in a while, with all the psychological warfare and physical battery you will go through in training.  It goes beyond just enthusiasm because it is actually your responsibility to learn.  A consultant once advised us in the department to read your books as much as you can during your duty hours so you can do whatever you want and have a life when you are off-duty.  A pretty helpful advice, although at the same time a pretty tall order. 
           Residency, therefore, is a real challenge.  Are you strong enough for it?  You have to be.  Cowardice and quitting are not options.  Good luck to all of us!

One sunny moment during residency training.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A nation mourns


I was doing my morning rounds at the wards when I overheard on the radio that finally, Hon. Sec. Jesse Robredo’s body was recovered from the deep seawaters of Masbate City.

            I felt a mixture of emotions rush all throughout my body.  I was happy that the secretary’s body was finally recovered, but it was a lifeless body that was found, the reason why sadness also looms.

            I saw in the news that the late secretary was a good swimmer.  I held on to that hope while the search and rescue operations were on, that God-willing, the secretary is able to make use of his swimming skills to save his own life, and would just be found swimming and holding on to a makeshift flotation device, probably a part of the private plane he rode in, or that he was just ushered by the sea currents to a nearby deserted island.  

I had this scene at the back of my head. He is finally found by the rescuers on a deserted island all by himself. He is waving to them, his spirits on a high, his energy unmeasurable, a glaring contradiction of his bearing.  His hair is disheveled, and his mustache slightly longer than he usually sports it, and there are minor scratches all over his body, and his clothes are tattered but still, he is a thing of beauty, a sight to behold.

But all that will just remain at the back of my head right now.

Reality has set in.

I couldn’t help but be teary-eyed looking at the news, hearing at the same time all the amazing attributes of this man.  He was a real silent worker, dedicated to his commitment of serving the people, without trying to make a big fuss out of it.  To top it all, indeed, it was the little things that he did that truly made him great, most especially to his family.  I could only shake my head in awe that in spite of his schedule he made it a point to be with his family each time he had a chance.

The late Hon. Sec. Jesse Robredo was a rare find, a real gem, in this time and age.  He was our light at the end of the tunnel that there is hope for change in the tradition of Philippine politics.  Indeed, there will be big shoes to fill by whoever is appointed to take his position in the government.

Thank you, Sir, for everything you have done for us as a country.  Thank you for your time, your life, which you have spent serving the people.  Thank you for setting an example to your fellow politicians, to the young and the young at heart, and to the Filipino people as a whole.  Probably that was your mission, to set an example, and to cast on a glimmer of hope, that things like serving the people through good and responsible governance can be done without veering towards the crooked side.  That there is such a thing as word of honor.   That our feet can still stand sturdy on the ground even if success is sky high.  That fathers, no matter how busy, can still make time for their children.  

You have also done your job as a father well.  A proof to that is when your eldest daughter Aika, had an interview on television last night.  Her grace and poise and disposition truly reflected that of yours.  Admirable in this time of loss that family is in.  Indeed, she is your daughter.
Thank you, Sir Jesse.  Rest in peace, sir.  You will forever be missed.     


Monday, August 20, 2012

AKA Jam: An unexpected homecoming

Everyone who was glued to their televisions last night to watch X Factor Philippines' 3rd results show was in for a shock of their lives when the two consistent top performers of the show, AKA Jam and Daddy's Home, found themselves at the bottom two.

I am not exempted among those who were shocked, and I just found myself throwing OMG's every minute when both acts did their survival performances, more so when the judges made their choices on who they want send home, especially when it was Mr. Gary Valenciano's turn to make a choice.  He is the mentor of both groups, and I could just imagine how heartbreaking it must be to make a decision to choose one over the other, let alone finding both his groups
on the bottom of the list.

There was a deadlock among the Judges' votes, two of them wanted AKA Jam to go, and the other two wanted Daddy's home to go.  To clinch the tie, the results of the text votes were revealed and was noted to be in favor of Daddy's Home and so the guys got the chance to stay on until next week.  Elimination was practically breathing on their necks before the announcement and it was an indescribably unpleasant feeling, I could tell.

338 A.K.A. Jam Tanggal sa Pinoy X Factor Philippines

It was a heartbreaking night, and everything was totally unexpected.  In my two previous reviews on this show, I haven't even got it right - not even once -  on who is on the bottom two.  I say, we all shouldn't take it away from our brains that after all, this is a popularity show and that evens out the playing field in this game of talents.  

2111 A.K.A. Jam Tanggal sa Pinoy X Factor Philippines

To AKA Jam, I really thought they would be among the Top 3 at least.  The girls were a formidable act admittedly, even if I found it quite weird, that the judges gave them a second shot despite of being eliminated as solo acts,  I have learned to eagerly watch out what these had to offer.

Well, well, well, the judges and the text votes have spoken.  I wonder whose names would come out on the bottom two next week.  Admittedly, this first season has turned out to be more exciting than I expected it to be.  Till next week's batch of surprises!


The Scuderia Ferrari

I had to separately publish this pictures since I had difficulty loading all of them in one entry.  One more look at the Scuderia Ferrari here.

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