Pinoy Pride and Prejudice


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FSO Hatta 3.jpg

I never really let anyone’s opinions get into my head, coz I’m too happy living my self acclaimed fabulous life. I don’t have much (yes I own a paddle board, a dslr, and a full 88key piano, all squeezed in a tiny shared rented room) , but I sure am blessed in different ways.  And I guess it can’t be helped sometimes coz when things are smoothly flowing you feel like you’re filled with God’s favor, there will always be elements that will make you feel you’re mortal. People can destroy you even with their words and accusations, thats the hard truth. Debate with me if you think otherwise. But this one thing I know is bigger than the hard truth; that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has brought me to this land, brought me out of my previous employer and will bring me out of this prejudice.




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“You’re not dead, but not alive either. You’re a ghost with a beating heart”

I almost forgot how it feels like to walk-to work-to face people (they are everywhere), feeling like a puppet being dragged to get on with life. I’ve been doing so many things the past couple of years. I’ve been winning battles, having adventure with friends,  and sunny days knowing my family’s love is with me.  I’m planted in an awesome community, my church. But  I feel like the ghost is creeping again. And I am suddenly reminded how my life was living like a ghost.

That feeling when you want to be happy but you know there’s no happy ending. You try to make sense of things. You analyze situation and you realize everything is meaningless. How you laugh with friends at the simplest jokes. How you wish for new clothes and latest gadgets.  How stupid you are to please people you don’t even like.  Meaningless, all meaningless! How talking to people can be so hard because you have to put up a face. Deep inside you want to talk to them with something else, a conversation deeper than a Targeryan language. You are sure they won’t understand but they’ll eat your head insisting they would. And the fact that they are insisting is already a CLEAR SIGN they really won’t understand. And you deal with the fact that you’re alone.  No one but your own smart head every minute of your breathing life going back and forth with your own thoughts.  Suddenly, you seem not to be afraid of anything painful anymore. Would you feel better if you just cry? But it’s not happening. Eating is just another chore.  Waking up is another meaningless task. It’s like carrying a big empty drum. You know it’s weightless, but when you drop it you’re done. And you still debate in your head wether it’s better to still carry it, or just get it over with,  the easy way.  Once and for all.

Oh I know this gate, I’ve been in here before and now I know it leads to nothing. More meaningless despair. Love conquers all, and knowing this makes me stronger to fight  and lead myself out back to the sunny days of dreams; music, adventure, and drones. Instead of looking at what I lack (which is a portal to nothingness), I will focus on what I have. I brought myself in this situation (me and my smart head, entertaining thoughts) and I  need to get myself out. The so called “divine intervention” is there, I just have to open my eyes and see it, like how Moses noticed the burning bush and went nearer. I will draw nearer, the call is already there! I need to move.

To be honest, I’m no expert in this. But if you’re someone going through something like this, there are people sincerely willing to help. And if you choose to carry the weight of that empty drum by yourself, try placing your love ones inside. That would give you a meaning to carry it further (should you really have to). It’s never easy to accept things we cannot change, but it could be easier to just let go and give it to someone who has endured all things. He listens and He still do miracles. Get to know Him before your head makes remarks.

Job 17:15
15 where then is my hope— who can see any hope for me?

Jeremiah 29:11
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Psalm 3:2-6
2 Many are saying of me,“God will not deliver him.”[a]But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.I lie down and sleep;I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.



Doing life with them





My Enigmatic Water


Caught myself swimming
in my thoughts of you today.
I've been lingering around this pool for some time now,
diving into some kind of a deep teenage dream.
I rise to the surface once in a while, 
but I return back digging up pieces of you
in my memory. I'm soaking wet every time.

I plunge to where I find you, 
lying in the sand. Your chest on mine, 
our bracelets intertwined. 
Can you feel the warmth inside me this time?
As I stroke my way to you, synchronizing the
rhythm to your heart beat. 
I could live in this lido forever.

Don't just be a silhouette. 
It pains me.I'm left here, 
chasing your shadow every time.
Face me. 
Exhale me a cloud of your cigarette, 
I can almost taste you. 
You are my sweetest surreptitious.

So I swim into the further. 
Nothing but cold water on my breast.
I'm drowning, I can't breathe. 
I'm suffocating, you are my air. 
Your tongue as a vessel,
You are my delicious secret
and I'm dying. I'm reaching for you. 


Eye Testing in Clinical Practice Vs. Commercial Practice



Currently employed in an esteemed Eye Clinic facility (clinical practice), I have nothing against commercial practice when it comes to vision care. In fact, it is in a commercialized practice that I received my first professional pay-out after graduating in college. I have worked in the top 3 most well known commercialized optical practice in the Philippines (namely, Sarabia Optical, Ideal Vision Optical, and Executive Optical) and I had wished to worked for George Optical (running in the top 3 nowadays so I heard). I was fortunate enough to be accepted, but due to personal circumstance I wasn’t able to push through.

Having been employed in the said prestigious commercialized practice, I can say that it has helped me as a professional, provide most options available for vision correction in the market. But let me be honest. I can’t say they offer the best options, and I can’t say it is the most ideal vision care provider there is.

Commercialized practice basically offer a lot of products. For frames alone they cater to branded and non branded products, latest trendy styles and fashionable eyewear in all sizes. There’s a variety of lens wear options that you probably haven’t heard of in your lifetime. Contact lenses are FDA approved for both colored and clear. The good thing about purchasing your contact lenses here is that most common powers are readily available. They can even help you put it on if it’s your first time. But they mostly have soft contact lenses. If you’re looking for special custom made lens (hard, scleral, hybrid, high power…), you are lucky if you walked in a good optical shop with good equipments to fit you with these. It won’t be readily available for sure, but that is not the bad news. The bad news is that most stores would refer you to visit an eye center facility first. Let ye be warned that they are absolutely excellent in marketing and selling their products. I was one of the second best in optometrist sales in 2012 (we actually had a competition for selling, thats how aggressive it is).

Like I’ve said, commercial practice can offer a lot of products, but I won’t be as confident as I am with clinical practice when it comes to their service especially for first timers. You see, doctors are not magicians where you walked in a store, do a 5 minute eye test and get clear vision voila! We analyze everything we investigate. I have experienced a patient bragging about a 5 minute eye test he considered was so genius and spend the rest of his hour looking for a frame. He ended up spending a fortune for glasses just to develop mature cataracts in less than a year. In a clinical setting, you spend the rest of the hour investigating your eyes and then discuss treatment options to the doctor(Optometrist/Ophthalmologist), that includes glasses and without glasses options. It is not magic, it is science and a lot of hard work for the medical team.

While it is true you can’t find fashion and trendy products in private practice, they offer wider range of treatment options and services. And while it is true that a visit to a clinical practice can get you trapped into long waiting queues, you are guaranteed of the quality of consultation service. There’s a saying that goes:


I’ll just leave that saying there and let it sink in for a while.

In another scene, someone was bragging about his 90 year old grandma who didn’t wear glasses, there’s actually science behind it. We didn’t study years and years not to know about such cases.

You’re wondering why your eye has a different power between the other? We don’t simply speculate to give you answers (you probably have axial length difference or different index of refraction). We have a technology for that. We actually measure how long your eyeball is without taking your eyes off. It’s just how we normally investigate patient’s cases, and sometimes you don’t’ even have to ask. Chances are we might already know the answer (through diagnostic testing), and we can show you evidences too. See for yourself.

You’ll never know what’s best of the best until you get your eyes checked. We all deserve the best service possible and we all deserve the most trendy and fashionable options but to wear correction or not to wear correction? that is the question I will leave for now. And if you want to know the answer, why not book a consultation at a credible clinical practice.

-Sherisse C. Condenuevo O.D. , Imperial Healthcare Dubai Healthcare City.

Responding to Modern Innovation in Vision Correction


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My 5-minute reunion with a previous classmate of mine got me browsing through the timeline of my career as an optometrist. Back in college days, I thought we already had enough management options in my field to the point  that I complain in getting all these treatment options in my system. I had to devise a flow chart in my mind where the endpoint of each patient visit is either patient satisfaction, or referral to Ophthalmologist. Now, I am employed under a prestigious clinical institution, I had to re-device my flow chart. I had to be more involved because we receive the referrals this time, the patient has no where else to go. Instead of putting a limit into my practice, I needed to embrace new technology and learning.

Working under a doctor hungry for avant-garde in our eye facility, I can say I am fortunate to be a part of technological modernization in my profession. From the art  and science of prescribing glasses, contact lenses, vision therapy and detecting eye problems, I am now involved in a myopia-GONE-IN-60-SECONDS-procedure! That’s without cutting/touching the patient eyes. While doing vision screening for patients, some are still amazed by the fact that the treatment will just involve patient looking at a light-bzzzzzbzzzzz (for the laser)-heal time-then voila! (that’s only one treatment option)

Sometimes I think patients are still not informed that along with the rise of technological advancement in the  market today, the high-tech innovations in the Optometry-Ophthalmology field is not far-off too. Believe me, it does not only make life easier for patients but also for practitioners as well. There are modern treatments available now, not only for eye diseases but also for refractive correction for the young and old.  I am surprised myself with the overwhelming rise of the options too, but I have to keep up as a practitioner too don’t I? Quoting from the words of a well known Naturalist:

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.—Charles Darwin

There are so many beautiful things out there to see. We are already living in the days where we can make the most out of our lives if we want to.  So I told myself I had to respond to the call of modernization, move out of my comfort zone so I could give the best attainable quality of life for others too, my patients particularly.  Fellow colleagues and patients, will you respond the same as well?



At the start of 2017, I already felt it. The pressure creeping up on me every night before I sleep. People are making a difference, my co-millenials are making a move.Teens discovering cure for cancer.Twenty-one year olds developing famous apps. Some young millionare’s retiring at age 30; even my baby brother is taking care of my family now! What am I, a mere mortal should do to make a mark in this world too?

I’m getting old and I’ve been busy living my life (oh it’s my birthday today!) Taking the roads to where I know I would be happy, but somehow, year after year this bothers me. So I thought maybe I should document things, I get old too and I don’t want to forget the journey. So I started this writing countdown (March 1-23) since 2016 to share a part of me to the friends I have gained over the years. I may not be some kind of a famous icon, but I am a friend who listens to your stories and I keep them. I have a treasure chest you see, a chest full of memories…


Last Two

Tired and frustrated, I started ranting about all the wrong things on my way home. You know that situation when you tried to make it all work (really put your back into it and not only just verbally say it) but still thingsss doesn’t go your way? It’s disheartening, and it’s like a series of unfortunate events. Suddenly everything is wrong! I believe in the saying:”If there’s a will there’s always a way” so most of the time failure is not an option for me (I was once a hard loser). I started nagging “All this hardwork for nothing!”

Thank God for good food, I woke up from my negativity instantly (or maybe just HuAngry). See this is what happens when I spend overtime at work without accomplishing anything. One thing I have learned the hard way is to just let go of things you can’t control and move on, for each day has enough troubles of its own. God will always bless hardwork. I’ve seen it before.



“Counting down my arabian nights, I gaze up to the moon as if to tackle it face to face. I feel drowned from the agony of hundreds more nights like this. Remembering the cold misty breeze of my home town, the trees and the night crickets, the longingness for the future engulfed me whole. Like many other previous moonlit confrontations such as this, for a brief moment I would surrender home”— rewritten from my homesick moments 2 years ago.

I was never away from home this long. Yes I’ve been out of my mom’s nest since college days but I always return and slack off in my mom’s couch enjoying cable 📺 and jjampong noodles 🍜 with my brothers . I get weak at times, wanting to just go back and settle down. But I know God brought me here for a purpose. Not my will, but His be done. One more year before I go back to Dreamland!

#DreamlandLaTrinidad  #ZeroSevenFour #Benguet#BaguioGirl #DownToThree


Beloved Daughter

This afternoon, my senior nurse walked-in my peaceful almost-after-shift hours. Instinctively, I pretended I was busy with whatever. I was already expecting she would bother me with something urgent for tomorrow’s surgery (emergency as usual). Turned out, her purpose wasn’t me. She was telling the other nurse about her childhood memories. Curious about Indian culture I asked her, “sister, how many siblings you have?”. “Only 4 of us; all girls, but really, our papa treated us as queens! We didn’t have a lavished lifestyle but we were happy”, she responded. Something inside me broke.

These days, Im engulfed with the corporate world and its motto I call “endless productivity” and hearing this, melts me. I’m reminded we’re all human beings not a power source. We all speak the same love language. Growing up, I didn’t have a papa like our senior nurse did, but I am thankful I have experienced a lavished love of a Father. Indeed, great is the measure of our Father’s love.


Beauty Escape

Its been so long since I felt this; the warm familiar feeling, the weakened knees, and shivering… Okay, I’m just being dramatic over a fever today. Getting sick can’t stop me, I need to keep going. Depressed and a bit delirius, I felt ugly and ignored (and old 👵 ). So, fighting this insecurity which I know based on experience will bring me nowhere but sadness, I decided to leave the clinic and take a walk out in the afternoon sun.

I sat down shaded by a tree near the library. I took off my shoes and rubbed my toes in the cool grass, gazing up the branches. I thank God for moments like this: escape to freedom-temporarily. We all need this refreshments ocassionally because the beauty of nature heals at times. Truly, He made all things bright and beautiful, see I’m already feeling better.