There are many students who fear of losing their scholarship or getting a failing grade in their subject, or graduating in the right time. There is nothing wrong with it. But, you keep on trapping yourself in a box labelled ‘pressures’.

We always think about what others would say if we get a failing mark.  We would also wonder if, even with failing grades, we’ll get a decent job. We tend to over think things thus, being unable to get a grip with the true essence of every happening.

We should always bear in mind that there have been a lot of graduates. But many are unemployed and underemployed. Let us also remember that there are people who did not graduate but eventually became triumphant in life like Fernando Poe Jr., Dolphy, Steven Spielberg, and Henry Ford. I’m not implying that we should throw our books into the trash can and head on to the real world. What I mean to say is the future is like a Jack in the box. You will never know when it will come out and surprise you.  You just have to be ready and face it head on.


You should just learn to enjoy your studies and just do your best. Always remember that you can do anything anyone can do. But keep in mind that only you can do it better. For me, I am enjoying learning the trades of hosting ranking and it keeps me busy during the wee hours.


There is another resolution that is commonly made by a lot of people all across the globe, “I will become more physically fit by dieting, exercising, etc.” This instance again shows how afraid we are of people perceiving us as plump or hideous. It shows us how afraid we are of being unhealthy, of losing people, and of dying. Again, there’s nothing wrong with it. But should people’s opinions matter? We should be doing this because we want to do it. Not because we want people’s opinion of us to change. Also, no one should be afraid of losing someone they love. Besides, we all know that our eventual end will be six feet under the ground. No one lasted forever in history either.


However, fearing of losing an important person in their life when they are not ready is natural. But shouldn’t we use all the time that we have to spend it with the people we love so that we won’t have regrets in the end?

Resolutions that are made may be the same as others in the previous years, they may be new, they may be out of this world, or maybe they are selfless. But have these thoughts ever been put into actions?

We always say that they serve as motivations for us to accomplish our goals. However, motivations are not enough. They will never be enough as long you do not budge and become proactive. Actions are needed for them to be accomplished not just thoughts.

Have you ever asked yourself “What if…? What if…? What if…?” What if instead of just thinking you were actually doing it? What if instead of doing the mañana habit you seized the moment and began?

We have lived behind the shadows of our fears for 19, 18 or 27 years.  Should you continue living in it? Or is today the time for you to step out of it, be free, and live your life?

What if?

Learn to conquer your fears today because they will be haunting you forever. But if you are not yet ready, I hope someday you will be. And you will have the audacity and say, “I will!”

Do not forget that fear is only in your mind but courage will always be in your heart!

Losing weight


Like most regular people I know, once they reach their thirties, they mellow down.  Gone are the hyperactive party-all-night-Fridays  or swim-all-day-weekends.  Instead, most prefer to stay home to read or maybe work on a presentation.

I was never the “fat” person (sorry, for the bluntness), I have been thin all my life without meaning too.  In fact, I was barely over 110 pounds or 50 kilos  during my college days.  My metabolism during my twenties allowed me to eat what I wanted and I never thought that one day I would struggle with my weight as my age caught up with me.


As I soldiered through medical school during my early thirties, I started gaining weight.  I’m not sure if it were the Oreos and chips I ate during all-night study sessions or the fact that I drank soft drinks (Coke zero, I mistakenly reasoned, ergo no calories or sugar) morning, noon and night to cope with the stresses of school.  Food was my reward, and at the same time my comfort measure when I was feeling down.


By the time I graduated, I was a solid 64 kilos.  At 164 cm height, I had a Basal Metabolic Index (BMI) of 23.7 which was still within normal limits in the World Health Organization (WHO) classification.


Internship stress


Enter the era of my training at the Hospital, the mecca of medical internship.  The stresses of adapting to the environment and the inherently toxic duties had me reaching for more comfort food, which were unfortunately junk, plus the fact I need to get a good parking for my Nissan Juke.


Except for pushing stretchers and wheelchairs of patients, or running to the third floor to assist on an operation, I never exercised.  This was the time I exceeded my ideal weight and reached 70 kilos.  I was officially overweight.  My cheeks puffed.  My old clothes failed to fit, but luckily my scrubs accommodated my extra bulk (especially on my belly).


My family has both a history of hypertension on both sides, plus diabetes on my paternal side.  My parents both died in their early fifties, which puts me at very, very high risk.  When my glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C) came out almost borderline for diabetes, and had one episode of palpitations while on duty in PGH, I was officially scared.  I was 37, overweight, and started having symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination).  That was the last straw.



Working on having a fit body and a fit mind needed a conscious decision every single day.  I realized we always have a choice, a choice between fried processed pork over grilled chicken, or getting a bowl of fruit over cake for dessert.  Making fitness as a choice was also made easier because my gym was closer to where I worked and lived, and my trainer not only instructed me but also encouraged me to complete every single routine.


Recently I had my glycosylated hemoglobin taken again, and it was 5.2 percent–within normal limits.  It meant that my sugar levels within the past three months had not been excessive.  Nowadays I rarely drink softdrinks or eat sugary food, but of course allow myself a chocolate bar or two on Sundays for a treat.


Losing weight wasn’t just about looking good, it also taught me about being determined and consistent with working towards your goal.  It does not take someone extraordinary to get back in shape, and age should not be an excuse.  I think I may even be in better shape now than I was in my twenties.


So this is my take-home message to anyone aspiring to lose weight for health or any other reason: if I can do it, anyone can!