about me, i am a mission dentist, in my opinion, this is life

Age Is Just A Number

And my number is 38.

photo 1

Cringe, I know… so close to 40.

Today I woke up to messages from my high school friends and the line being thrown repeatedly was, “Shit, malapit na tyo maging 40!” (Shit we’re almost 40). Where did time go, right? Can’t I just be in my 30s forever? I want to say that age doesn’t matter, but to be honest, I’ve started to feel the weight of my age on my shoulders. It is clear that even though my mind is clinging on to youthfulness, my body is transitioning to what it is slowly becoming–OLD(er).

When I was younger, I would wait excitedly for my birthday because it’s so fun to gain a year. I felt thoroughly accomplished and sophisticated with the maturity and that was the case until I turned 18. After that, I dreaded it every year. When I was closing in to my thirties, I got so obsessed with numbers–and making something out of myself. I don’t know why, but that’s how everyone was, so I guess I was just going with the flow. By 30 you want to be able to show the world that you’ve come so far. And so I plotted all kinds of goals for myself.

I wanted to be married by 30. I wanted to be a mother. I wanted to be rich. I had so many plans and dreams for my life… because I thought that will bring my life meaning.

photo 2

So what now? I am not “married”, not a mother, and not rich.

Eventually I realized the truth in the statement, “Age is just a number”. Because at the end of the day, all the hurrying and scurrying to meet deadlines did not do me good. The meaning you seek in life does not follow a world standard. The meaning you seek, comes from somewhere else.

Today I am thirty-eight (38) and soon enough I will enter my 40s. I don’t really have anything to show to the world, but I just want to be grateful for the chance to still try. And I guess what I can promise is that I will keep trying, until I am unable to. The other day I was talking to my DGroup about my life in the field and my DGroup leader asked me, “How long do you think can you do this for?” And I paused. I realized I’ve never really thought about that. “Until I can?” Until my hands permit me to do so?” And I knew that it is clear in my heart, that until God says, GO… I will go.


Age and My Hands

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve stopped (or maybe just taken a quick break from) coloring. I have set it aside because there are some instances, when I am performing a root canal, that I feel my hands getting really tired. That makes me worry so much because my survival is dependent on the ability of my hands to perform. And although I don’t want to say it out loud I usually wonder about it. What if one day I can’t move my hands anymore?

In 2010 a 72-year old OB successfully and skillfully performed Myomectomy on me. How about me? Will my hands be reliable in the clinic and the field, even when I become a septuagenarian?

photo 3

Age is just a number, but we are fearful of the number because we feel that it comes with so many limits. I see this in my aging grandma who insists she is still completely capable, and I see it in myself when I try to “defy gravity”. Age is just a number but of course this number will come with changes that will vary from one person to another. Just the other day my youngest sister was crying of debilitating menstrual cramps and she said, “Ganito ba talaga kapag tumatanda ka na?” Is this really how it is when you get older? We merely laughed at her, in agreement.

Age is just a number and this number comes with a lot of changes. My number is 38–and soon it will greater than that. But who cares?


“Old age may have its limitations and challenges, but in spite of them, our latter years can be some of the most rewarding and fulfilling of our lives”.

Billy Graham


Ultimately, I think, what matters is not how old you are or how far you’ve come. What matters is, you’re still here and you’re still trying.

signature 1

about me, i am a dentist, i am a mission dentist, in my opinion, my country: the philippines, my travels

Politicians and the Campaign Season

I went on a brief vacation to Mindanao last month, and I was lucky enough to be asked to tag along on three missions while I was there. My team has taken a brief hiatus, and I have been missing the field. So imagine my delight when I was asked to serve…

The thing about being “invited to missions” is that you sort of become a part of the purpose they wish to serve–whatever it is. But it’s okay, I always tell myself that I’m there for the people–not for the organizers.

Continue reading “Politicians and the Campaign Season”

i am a christian, in my opinion, love and relationships, stories of friends, this is life

The Haunting of Hill House and the “Poppy” in Our Heads

Spoiler Alert: Please be warned. This is heavy on spoiler details, so stop now. But really, go on. This is not a series review—it’s more of a reflection paper, so carry on. Haha. Are you confused now?

image from here

“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”

-Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

Continue reading “The Haunting of Hill House and the “Poppy” in Our Heads”

about me, i am a christian, in my opinion, this is life

Stop. Look. Listen.

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”

James 1: 19-20

My family call me hysterical. I remember my Papa scolding me for always raising my voice and throwing a tantrum in the middle of an argument.

Continue reading “Stop. Look. Listen.”

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.

Continue reading “The Death Curve”

about me, in my opinion, love and relationships, my travels, this is life

Looking for Love

New York is a lovely place. I love how busy it is–the city that never sleeps. We arrived in NYC at 10 o’clock at night. But with the interminable queuing at the immigration, we didn’t get on the train until 12 midnight. When we finally emerged from the subway and were hauling our luggage along Manhattan, we were desperate for a restful sleep. Much of our days and nights in New York were like that–walking, train rides, and foot cramping. We had a packed itinerary… so we were working on a schedule.

On the first day we were supposed to encounter Time Square before “Book of Mormon”, but we got heavily delayed at the Rockefeller Center, and only had time for dinner. This meant that we had to miss out on seeing the the LOVE-HOPE sculpture. It wasn’t that special. It may be overrated… but I guess the small time romantic in me wanted to believe in a chance at Love and Hope. Luckily that same night, we randomly passed by “HOPE” and I thought… maybe, just maybe, I’d get to find love here in New York, too.

And I did…

Continue reading “Looking for Love”

about me, in my opinion, my travels, this is my family

Miss Saigon: From West End to Broadway

In 1997, my Papa took my sister and I to our very first West End Musical and it was Miss Saigon. I grew up singing the songs and I have the entire soundtrack memorized, so it was the first (and only) musical on my list. I remember coming into the theater and being ushered onto the box seats. It was my first West End musical and I was watching it from exclusive box seats — what a treat!

Continue reading “Miss Saigon: From West End to Broadway”