about me, i am a christian, i am a dentist, i am a mission dentist

Touching People’s Lives

I’ve always wanted to be a dentist. My uncle was a dentist and I said, “I want to do that”, and when I finally became one I realized that it wasn’t so special. Haha. Actually, when younger individuals tell me they want to be a dentist, I’d always discourage them and say, “Oh do not make the mistake I made!”

Of course the main advantage you enjoy when you’re in private practice is that you have so much freedom, being your own boss and all. But that’s not much, really. It’s mostly hardwork and with very little gain. Things change, however, when you revert your focus.

I am a Mission Dentist

When I became a dentist for the Lord, I realized that there’s so much to gain from my profession and my skill. So much more than financial gain, which never is enough, I realized I found my purpose.

A few weeks ago, as I was packing up to leave the mission field in Mindanao, one of the younger volunteers asked one of the dentists, “Ilan nabunutan mo? (How many people did you get to work on?) And she laughed, “Di ko na alam” (Oh I dunno anymore). She looked at me and we both chuckled. I said, “Nung mas mabata pa ako mayabang pa ako… nagbibilang pa ako. Di na ngayon.” (When I was a younger dentist, I was so cocky… I would count. But not anymore). Clearly that is not the gain you receive. You do not go to the field to feel good about yourself; because that’s false humility.

The more places I visit, and the more people I serve in the mission field, I realize that the work I do is not really about pulling teeth for free (because other people do that, too) it’s so much more. As a mission dentist I am supposed to be a channel of God’s love; so that those who feel discouraged may find hope.

Touching People’s Lives

I understand that the road less travelled is less travelled for a reason. I remember being told once, “Sama mo naman ako minsan” (Take me with you one time). And as I began to talk to this person about what to expect–I felt him regretting what he had said. “Ang tagal masyado. Wala bang one day lang?” (That’s too long. Don’t you have one day missions?) I told him we travel far so we make the most of the trip by serving more than one site. And then came another complaint. “Ang layo naman. Sabihan mo ako kapag dito lang sa Manila”. (Oh it’s too far. Let me know when you have missions in Manila). And finally, when I told him that we aren’t paid–and that we pay for our own, I knew I wouldn’t hear from him anymore. “Ah kanya-kanya kanyang transpo?” (Oh you pay for your own transpo?) One time I was trying to recruit an MD for the field and he made it clear that he was too busy for it. The road less travelled… indeed.

You want to know something? I found myself on this road without realizing how I got here. It’s hard to explain–but simply put, it was not my choice. One day, I was called.

In the past, when younger individuals tell me they want to be a dentist, I discourage them and tell them to look another way. A month ago, I served in Rizal along with some youth volunteers. I was the only dentist, and three teenagers decided to help in Dental. I’ve worked with many youth volunteers in the field. They are pleasant individuals. Sometimes they’re very eager to help and sometimes they’re easily distracted. But that’s fine. I used to volunteer as a poll watcher for the elections and I think I was mostly there for the “fun of it”. I was too young to grasp the value of my presence there.

Anyway in Rizal, I worked with three teenagers. At the end of the day, I thanked them and I met the mother of one of the girls who said, “Doc yung anak ko gusto na daw nya maging dentista tulad mo.” (Doc my daughter now wants to be a dentist, just like you). I smiled and I saw the girl smile excitedly behind her mom. Then I realized that more than touching the lives of patients, God has put me here so that people may realize their purpose too. Just like the doctor who brought me to the field, one day I will help someone to realize their life’s passion.

I wanted to be a dentist, at a very young age. But back then I wanted it because I wanted to be my own boss. One day, that girl will make a decision to pursue Dentistry and when she gets her license, she will make a decision to answer God’s call. Bless her. Bless her and her young servant heart.

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about me, in my opinion, my travels

The Death Curve

I was on a leisurely motorcycle ride around Negros Occidental when I saw this along the stretch of sugar cane plantations. I saw it from a far, laughed at it, and decided I needed to go back around so I could take a photo of it.

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about me, i am a christian

Another Year… and So I’m 37

I love the sunsets. Apart from it being a beautiful sight to witness… I like what it symbolizes. HOPE. It gives a bittersweet representation of life. When the sun sets, it closes the day to mark its end, but it also leaves with the promise to come back tomorrow. Bitter. Sweet.

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about me, blogging

New Year, New Blog

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Goodbye old blog

It has nothing to do with turning a new leaf, really, but maybe so. The truth is that for a while now I’ve been going through my blog and I realized that I’ve outgrown it in so many ways. But since I’ve given it so much (since 2008) it really isn’t easy to move on. As a matter of fact, when I took a small hiatus from blogging between 2013-2015, I was in so much pain the whole time, so I went back. Writing is my only vice. I do not smoke. I only drink socially. I don’t pull tantrums. I don’t rant on social media. I don’t go on depressive, catatonic states to escape. I don’t indulge in retail therapy. I don’t binge eat. I don’t go adventure-tripping. People deal with life in their own way–and WRITING¬†is what I do. I read somewhere once, “Writers can treat their mental illnesses everyday”, and I agree with that. I have gone through many potentially damaging chapters in my life that hardly moved me because of my capacity to release¬†emotions through a collection of words. Well, it’s writing and the Lord, of course… I want to make that clear.

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about me, food is good, random

Seafood Can Kill Me

Part of my friend’s vacay itinerary is to visit DAMPA. It is a shop and cook kind of restaurant and it serves mainly seafood. You go to the wet market to buy the food and then you choose a restaurant and tell them how you want the food cooked. It’s a bit pricey, but the food is fresh and is cooked amazingly so it’s really worth the money you pay.
So anyway, when my family goes to DAMPA they know to order for me fish and chicken/pork. I am allergic to seafood so places like DAMPA is not really for me, but I enjoy it nonetheless. Anyway, on our drive to Macapagal, I only then thought to remind my friend about my allergy. “Oh shoot!” She forgot but I told her not to worry about it because I can just order something for myself–and I got steamed fish with tausi (very yummy by the way!)
On Instagram, I said: “Literally… to DIE for”

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about me, love and relationships, stories of friends

I Don’t Have A Lot of Friends

My Facebook and other social networking accounts may show that I have numerous connections, but those are professional and personal contacts (mixed with countless acquaintances). In my life, I have met and connected with lots of people but only a few people have made a true impact in me. My close friends are consist of camp neighbors (who are my childhood friends), high school friends (my soul mates), my dentist friends (college and workmates) and some loose friends not belonging to a specific category. These people hold a special place in my heart and I love them. Most of them I grew up with, but some I met later on in life–which shows that friendship is not determined by numbers and not even by proximity.
When I was living in London, I left my friends for two years. I was so far but I became very close to a lot of them while I was away through letters. My friends and I sent letters, back and forth, and soon enough my two years was up and I was coming back home. When I did, when I was finally back, it was as if I hadn’t left.

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