Wish Me Luck!

Hello, guys! Just so you know, I am still alive. I was on hiatus for a while because internship got a little toxic. Yesterday was our graduation (my 7th graduation, grabe!) hence I have so much feels right now but then today’s my first day for board exam review so I’ll just have to set aside the kaartehan for now.

Okay, isang kaartehan lang please.

 

Friends since Day 1 of med school!
Andrew and the contra-titas
My constants during internship

Just wanted to say thank you for staying with me through clerkship until internship. Kasama ko parin sana kayo kapag licensed MD na ako this September. So, wish me luck! I smell a beauty kit giveaway soon!

 

Trying to keep the sanity,

Rach ūüíõ

PS: Please, please include me and my friends in your prayers. Thank you, loves!

La Union: Second Time’s The Charm

They say that second time’s the charm, and in case of La Union, it is true!
The first time I went to La Union was almost four years ago, during the sem break of my first year in med school. My friends and I stayed at Urbiz Garden Plage, the one featured in I’m Drunk, I Love You (you’ll get this if you’re into Pinoy movies like me hehe). It was a memorable trip since it’s when I first tried surfing. Also, bonfire by the beach never fails. Ever.
On this travel diary, I’ll share how my friends and I literally just chilled in¬†San Juan, La Union.

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Travel Diary: Two Girls Plus Baler

I realized that one way to enjoy a trip is to always lower your expectations. I never thought I would have such a blast in Baler, Aurora, considering that I’ve only tried surfing once prior to that trip (with a coach, of course haha) and that I am more of a hiking/sight-seeing type of traveller than a beach lover. I learned that Baler is so much more than its big waves and happy surfers!

If you only have a night and a bit short of two days to spend for an out-of-town trip, I definitely suggest going to Baler in Aurora. Here’s a photo diary of what happens when you set two extroverted girls on a trip up north!

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Grateful

Before February, the best month ever, officially ends, I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of this blog. You may be a friend or a relative of mine who is sometimes obliged to like and occasionally share my posts on Facebook (hehe), a colleague in the hospital, or we may be perfect strangers (just like the song diba hahaha), basta whoever you are, I am always grateful for the time you spend reading my entries. I do hope that you learn from what I write or are entertained by my musings.

Two nights ago, before sleeping, I followed an¬†advice from the self-help books that I’ve read, and¬†started writing a list of things I was grateful for. I was about to write the 30th entry¬†(of course, this blog and all the readers are part of the list!), when I realized that the list may reach up to a hundred or more. I was not in the mood to write that much so I decided to stop, and just write¬†a list on a weekly basis, every Sunday (kasi ambisyosa naman na magawa ko to without fail every night, #realtalk). I slept with a happy heart, and woke up with a very big smile on my face (not kidding, sobrang gaan ng pakiramdam ko the following morning). So guys,¬†I guess it’s just normal for people like us to yearn for things (or people, char) we¬†don’t have yet, but the most important part is that¬†while we long and work hard for these things, we appreciate the people and experiences that we have/had in our lives. So there, thank you from the bottom of my heart, and happy second anniversary to us!

Here’s to more years of blogging, learning, and living!

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Rach

My morning skin care regimen plus the moisturizers and sunscreens that I love

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

I recently posted about the importance of knowing your skin type in order to follow an appropriate skin care regimen. In this post, I am going to share with you the few products I use every morning and the best moisturizers and sunscreens that I have tried so far. Here’s the truth — the key to a good skin is consistency, dedication, and discipline (naks, parang fitness lang haha). In short, there is no such thing as “a magical cream” to achieve a clear, healthy skin with just a single application!

My morning skin care regimen is so basic that I don’t have a hard time doing it every single day. Note that my skin is innately dry. However, I would still talk about options for those with an oily skin type. Here’s my regimen, including product reviews:

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On PMS and happiness

If there is one thing I am certain about in this world, it would be the fact that LIFE ISN’T FAIR. Why? Because women get premenstrual syndrome (PMS) every month while men do not have to deal with the effects of hormones on their mental stability. Well, except for those who have girlfriends with the worst PMS. They do have to deal with it, too; they have no choice. Haha!

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Skin Care Basics: Know Your Skin Type

Two years ago, I was completely lost on how to start a skin care regimen. I was clueless on¬†which type of cleanser to use or whether or not I should buy¬†a toner. I didn’t even know what a toner was for. Is it for cleaning the face or already a medication in itself? Moisturizer — do I really need that?

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Simple Ways to Take Good Care of Our Parents

When I think about how my parents show their love for our family, I get an immediate feeling of gratitude. I just could not ask for a better mom and dad. But then, there’s also this sense of anxiety that kicks in. They never ask for anything in return but I wonder if I could ever repay¬†them.

On internship and wearing the white coat

Hi, world! It’s been two months since my last post and this is a sign that this blog and its author are still alive!

What’s up with life lately? Well, post-graduate internship has started! I’m an intern now, meaning I am in my fifth (and last!) year on the road to becoming a licensed doctor.


All of us were really excited to wear our coats (lakas maka-aura!) but the tropical climate proves to be a challenge. For my group, first stop was two months in OB-GYN, which is already coming to an end in about a week.

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How My Dad Quit Smoking

June is National No Smoking Month and I just wanted to share with you how my father successfully quit smoking. He has not smoked a cigarette for 19 years now. Imagine that!

Growing up, I have known that Tatay (how I call my dad) was a smoker. He usually smoked Hope cigarettes but I remember that he occasionally puffed Marlboro reds, too. He never smoked in front of the family (me, my mom, and my older brother) but I sometimes saw him holding a box while getting out of the house. He used to smoke about one to two packs per day, and it started when he was only 17 years old.

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On travelling solo and discovering the beauty of Bantayan Island

I have always wanted to experience travelling alone at least once. I never thought I would do it sooner and almost unplanned. When I was presented with the opportunity to go to Cebu with a very cheap airfare, there was no time to hesitate and so, I just took the plunge. It would be my first time to go to Cebu. I originally wanted to visit the southern part of the province. However, being a broke, unemployed girl in the middle of her summer break, going to Bantayan Island proved to be a lot cheaper than swimming with the whale sharks in Oslob and canyoneering at Kawasan Falls.

This trip was filled with a lot of firsts for me, making it so precious and memorable. Basically, it was my first time to:

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Sexually Transmitted Infections: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve beenfollowing me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen my post about a Post-Graduate Course in Dermatology that I attended a few weeks ago. It was actually a lecture series covering various topics — one of which I think is a very relevant issue, the infamous sexually transmitted infection. We know that Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach is an advocate of HIV-AIDS awareness, hence writing this blog post makes me feel like a legit beauty queen as well. Haha! You know I had that pageant stint when I was a kid, right? I was a chubby girl and I won the crown, how about that? Haha

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Travel Diary: Mui Ne, Vietnam

 

I learned about this town only a few days before going to Vietnam, when my friends and I were planning for the itinerary. This photo diary has long been overdue (translation: two years!). Nonetheless, I am sure the spots we visited are still top tourist destinations today because they were nothing short of beautiful.

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On scholarships, graduations, and finally getting a medical degree

 

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When I decided to take that long and winding road to becoming a doctor, I had no idea about how much money and tears it would cost me (mostly tears for me) and my family.

First and foremost, I have always been¬†my Lola’s (grandmother) scholar. She sent me, along with my brother and cousins to private schools in elementary and high school (except for me). I attended a public high school (with an outstanding science program) but she still supported all of us financially. Note that she was more than 70 years old at that time, but she still worked to help us achieve our goals. I was not pressured to study hard by anyone. Maybe I did my best to at least return the favor to my hard-working Lola and parents.

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Meet the best lola in the world, my wonder woman, Lola Dim
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Elementary graduation —¬†yes, I am that chubby girl at the center (read about how I lost weight here). I was the Class Valedictorian.

During college in University of the Philippines Manila, I had a scholarship grant from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) so I did not pay for tuition fees throughout those four years of education. I was lucky that my high school encouraged us students to apply for this particular scholarship because it really helped me. My Lola still supported us financially.

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During the UP Manila graduation (left) and College of Arts and Sciences recognition day (right) – I graduated with honors (cum laude). I can’t seem to find a high school graduation photo but I am proud to say that I was the Class Salutatorian.

Going into med school was a different story. After not being accepted by UP-PGH, I had to choose between University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center Inc. (UERMMMCI) and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynia (PLM). The former is a private school while the latter is government-subsidized. Going into PLM would mean less fees to pay for by my family but I just knew I would be happier in UERM. I was really selfish but I do not really regret this decision.

I was a University Entrance Scholar in UERM, meaning I did not have to pay for the tuition and miscellaneous fees for my freshman year. We literally saved about 250,000 pesos that year. The problem was that I overestimated my capabilities and underestimated the study of medicine. The effort I exerted during freshman year was so much more than how I studied from first grade to college combined. I did not understand why I just could not have an average of 88 (1.75 GPA) after all the late-night studying, missed day out with friends, and missed celebrations at home in the province. I would often call my parents in the middle of the night or past midnight just to cry and tell them how I was¬†having a hard time meeting the required grade. If I won’t get a 1.75 GPA (1 being the highest), I would lose my full scholarship. To make things worse, we were having a financial crisis that year.

One night, I called my parents crying and my mom asked, “Gusto mo bang tumigil muna?” I know she only wanted what was best for me and the whole family but it really broke my heart. The thought of not being able to reach my dream despite all my¬†hard work was killing me. I never thought poverty or not having too much money could actually hinder me from becoming a doctor. I felt hopeless; I thought that was the end for me. “Sana mayaman na lang kami,” I said to myself. There were so many questions in my head like, “Akala ko ba kapag masipag ka, walang imposible?”

Just when I thought everything was over, I had a call from my parents telling me that everything was going to be alright. During second year, I was a partial academic scholar (my average was 1.78 for first year, sayang talaga). It means I got¬†a 50% discount on tuition fee. On top of that, the UERM Scholarship Committee gave me an additional grant which further decreased the amount we had to pay for. Lola Dim still supported me financially, and some of my aunts and uncles also helped. The same thing happened for my third year. That’s when I learned not to be hard on myself. I knew I did the best that I could and a partial academic scholarship was still a great help. I am very thankful for the financial and moral support¬†I have received.

The transition from third year to fourth year was the hardest. I was really nervous because third year was the most difficult. I was not able to get an academic scholarship for the following year. But the transition was so hard to bear because Lola Dim passed away during my last month in third year. She was 89 years old. I always dreamed of the day she would see me graduate. I was devastated to hear the news that she would not be able to witness the fruit of all her hard work and selflessness.

Not having an academic scholarship was a great obstacle. But you know, there were a lot of people who were willing to help and give overflowing encouragements — the doctors from the scholarship committee, my sisters from the Sigma Beta Sorority, my brothers from the Beta Sigma Fraternity, friends, and of course, my parents, my family.

Today, I am writing this as Rachelle Carmona Ramilo, MD. I will forever be grateful to the institutions that¬†helped me, and the people who have always believed in me. From saying “Sana mayaman na lang kami,” I now say “Sana makatulong rin ako sa iba sa hinaharap.

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I really wish Lola Dim was there with me, Tatay, and Mami on the stage when I got my diploma (our diploma). I hope I made you proud, Lola. Maraming maraming salamat po.

Rachelle

THE READING LIST: On slowing down the aging process, exercising with a busy schedule, and the ideal image of beauty

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I am writing this blog entry in my hometown, Laguna. I’ve been here since last week and it’s really amazing to be surrounded by family! I am going to keep this short since my aunt and I are very busy stuffing our mouths with food (I am guilty of not being healthy this week) in between exchanging stories. I wish I have more friends who are a lot wiser and have had several colorful life experiences. It’s great listening to their anecdotes!

*For the new readers, The Reading List is a collection of articles about health, fitness, skin care or beauty that I find to be worth our precious time, posted every two weeks here on the blog. Enjoy!

How Busy Women Make Their Workouts Happen (via Well + Good)

If these women can, so can we!

No Approved Therapeutic Claims (via Endocrine Witch)

This is a good and brief read for both patients and doctors. Patients should always ask their doctors about their medications if they have doubts before taking them, while doctors have the responsibility to educate their patients regarding their disease and their medicine.

Six Lessons on Aging from a Scientist Dedicated to Slowing It Down (via Well + Good)

Genes, food, and exercise — all of these matter.

Looks aren’t everything, believe me, I’m a model.¬†(via Ted)

Here is something for the soul, especially for the young girls and women. It’s hard to reverse decades of brainwashing by the media about¬†the ideal image of beauty but here’s something to ponder on before we get too caught up in making our skin look whiter or our bodies thinner (for the wrong reasons). You can read the interactive script but the video is much better for there were images being flashed by the speaker.

If you have a nice article to share, please feel free to leave the link below!

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Rachelle