14 May 2010

Politically Misaligned Tooth of Wisdom with Silver Lining Fillings

I always think of blog entries and start typing with my head almost everyday yet there’s nothing I publish here. Is it lack of eagerness? Or just that when I am inspired to write, I am remotely away from any forms of technology. Time to get a smartphone, I’d say but I can’t really be bothered right now. I keep on procrastinating this part. It’s not entirely a bad thing because I know that I am spending my cash on my priorities in life.

So I am just stealing away my non-presence of mind right now to just write freely. I have a story to tell all my friends so I may as well compound this into a blog entry for you to read and comment about (click on “interpolation” link to comment please). My high on pills seems working well. Mind you, it is prescribed and an initial treatment to my “maybe” TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder, Wikipedia speaks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporomandibular_joint_disorder) or not. Two dentists with specialties on TMJ have different views about my case. Had my new dentist back in Makati City never mentioned this to me, I wouldn’t have known that there’s some illness like this. This jaw muscle is apparently connected to our brains, ears, sights, shoulder, back, and down to the toes. It’s a different animal than that of a useless appendix. I have been getting migraine more frequently and some other symptoms but I never knew that they would be all connected. I was really upset to hear that I have this and cannot undergo treatment since I live in Singapore, away from my new dentist. Some advised me to get a 2nd opinion here in Singapore so I did.

The Sg TMJ specialist dentist examined me and my x-rays thoroughly. For the first time, I’ve felt that a doctor is not in a rush and is friendly here! He explained to me as much as he could up to the medications I will need to take. The only thing is that he’s saying a totally different result to me against my PH dentist! So I have to sit down and be logical about both opinions. I need to check myself of what is prominent in my case. I just knew I don’t really have this stupid TMJ because ultimately, my jaw and my mouth can still open wide and all without pain. My ear pain may be coming from a different symptom and not connected to TMJ since this Sg dentist said I do not have. The only thing I may have is MPS (Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Wiki speaks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myofascial_pain_syndrome) , in which my right jaw muscle is working 24/7 even when I’m asleep because I tend to clench at all times and my jaw doesn’t relax during sleep. This is also caused by stress and tension.

Right. The Sg dentist said that I am really a control freak and he detected from the time I entered his clinic. Too much organisation and worrying actually doesn’t help the crazy happy me at all! I am just a natural worrier of all things even if I am happy and contented. I really need to plan ahead all the time.

I really need to relax better and the right way. How? I just have to pick my battles now. Just as simple as a mud in the floor tile makes me feel stressed. I should just let it go haha.

Okay, so it’s my first day of medication and I’d like to give it up already. I have been given a cocktail of painkiller + muscle relaxant twice a day for 2 weeks and a sedative at night for 5 nights. I just don’t think that I can work being drowsy and high. But I think I have to endure this and see what happens. I’ll try not to count the days left so I’ll be so happy when I reach the end of popping the blister packs of the pills.

But my instinct is now telling me if I need the third opinion. Should I? You’ve got to tell me. All I care about is to be healthy. I am very optimistic that I am simply okay but it would be great to know it with justification.

So enough of that, I am actually not upset or anything negative. I am actually grateful and blessed.


I just came back from a great holiday back in the Philippines. It was the election week and a better reason to hang around. This trip made me love PH again. This time, I had more time to spend more time with my dear friends and my Dad and brother JC. I have loved these people so much and I am glad to hug, talk and see them again face to face.

As much of a free soul as I am, I do not really miss home. I started to roam around away from the family for the longest time that both parties are used to me being away.

This time is different. When I parted ways with Dad and JC, I felt like I miss them already… and I realised that this feeling gave me more sense of peace now at home after being afraid of staying too long at my parents’ place especially since my mum passed on because I don’t want to feel too much sadness. This time, it’s just lightness. And I am glad.

This teaches you that when you create an environment of simplicity, positivity and happiness, everything around you will lighten up and give you rays of sunshiny path in your life.

I was also blessed to meet my former boss from my first job, Kim. She is one of the pillars of my wisdom. She taught me and shaped me so much that is why I am who I am, business-wise and woman-wise right now. She was there during the time that I was still a raw material, ready to be shaped into a Sotheby’s –type of a vase valued high to be bid highly by the rest. She had this amazing spiritual faith and being with her again makes me feel more blessed by God. This is priceless and I will repeatedly share this to the world.

And one of my ultimate goals is to spend more time with Lily, she's a very good friend of mine and we've been through a lot of good and bad times together - from Romy and Michelle days to Sex And The City moments to Real Women phase right now. It's great to just hang out and talk a lot again together. It feels like home.


So, my PH trip really went so well until I got to the ugly NAIA Terminal 1 airport. But to be fair, they've repainted its façade, surprisingly!

Things went smoothly checking in. Internet check-in rocks comparing to the looooong queue you have to go through without it.

Every OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) will need to have an OEC (Overseas Exit Clearance) every time they have to leave PH (you get it from either POEA or in PH embassies for a price). Yes… it’s another way for them to take money from their people since the OFWs are the biggest profitable resource of this country. I’ll simply put it that you have to pay the country to leave, after you visit back home while spending so much with pasalubongs (take home gifts) and treating your family and friends to malls and restaurants while on a visit.

The PH embassy in Sg issued me a multiple OEC, 5 to be exact. The last 4 trips, I got out with this clearance smoothly. The last one, which I used this time, it created a nightmare. I almost missed my flight because of a bullshit mistake that wasn’t even my mistake.

After my check-in, I went through the terminal fee section in which foreigners like most of you are, have to pay PHP750.00 or roughly US$16 before you go to immigration. For us OFWs, we just need to present this friggin OEC and we are exempted from paying this BS. The counter told me that my OEC didn’t have a date issued marked so she told me to go to the airport’s OFW centre to have them put a date on it. I started to flare up a bit, knowing that my past 4 OECs didn’t have any dates indicated either but I wasn't inconvenienced like this. I tried to calm down and when I got to the OFW centre, the clerk, an old lady said that she cannot put a date on my OEC and I need to go to POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Agency) and I won’t be able to leave the country. WHAT THE FUCK?! I debated that they would only need her to put a date and she said she can’t since I don’t have a receipt to prove that I was issued that.

Oh yeah… that OEC has my computer printed name, passport number and stamps from the embassy. Isn’t that enough? One friggin bullshit date! I could’ve written it myself but I thought it would be a special stamp.

When she said that, my life flashed before my eyes and I’ve lost my composure. I trembled, eyes swelled up in tears, with my new pixie hairdo (I just NEEDED to mention this :P), I cried. I really felt helpless. Applying for this one OEC in POEA in PH will take you 3 days just from queueing for one stupid OEC!

Then the clerk, as bitchy as she was, softened up and gave me an alternative to make a formal statement. It is to say that I never had any problem with the past 4 OECs without the date in them etc. Then I had to finish signatures etc in 2 counters, 2 times each and I was issued a new one.

Why did they even do that when they can just re-issue me with a new one plus a small payment in the first place? I’m sure I’m not the only one who experienced this. It happens hundreds of times everyday!

Then it reminded me why I didn’t go home for 7 months. It reminded me why I left. It reminded me why I’m burnt out by these ill-mannered systems. It is quite sad.

Since I said earlier that I will try to de-stress and pick my battles, this blog is a little release. It is not a great way to finish my PH holiday but the silver lining is that I am happy to be home here in Singapore.

But I can’t help but wonder (this phrase is such a Carrie Bradshaw journalism cliché): Now that the Philippine election is computerized, will they roll it out and apply electronic systems with other government services? I am thinking of different ways on how to improve how the government handles OFW services.

Look, OFWs work so stupendously hard, away from their families, sacrificing their lives to send money home or simply to improve their own lives. They are bringing in billions of dollars in a year (more than US$16 billion last 2008, according to POEA statistics) from remittances alone. Why can’t the government do something back for us? We are working in full modesty and we need to be treated right as well. I’m sure there’s a way to address this OEC bullshit. I am not the only one. I saw 3 DH Filipinas while I was at that OFW centre that cannot leave when their future employers already booked and are expecting for their arrival that day. Come on…

And this will connect to the same old senators on top 12 on the electoral race partial results so far. An actor leading the race??? Then the son of corrupted parents on the 2nd??? If Noynoy Aquino didn’t run, the idiot that we ousted years ago will win the presidential race again??? When will we ever learn??? The silver lining here is that I’m glad that Filipinos are still smiling no matter what and they forgive idiots who steal their right to better infrastructure and systems in their country.

Philippine government, when will be the time that you’ll give back to us? You always say don't ask what the country can do for you but ask yourself of what you want to do for your country instead. We're doing our part, how about you?

I am always unpatriotic but I care.

In conclusion, it is time for me to apply for my PR here in Singa. Same old story from a global Pinay.

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