Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Hidden Epidemic

A lot of people put so much of their lives or the entirety of their lives to the heavens. The heavens will not live your life for you, you do. You have the power to weave your thread in the web of the universe.

I do believe that amongst the walking men in the this city of broken hearts and throbbing cocks lies the darkness of an epidemic eating away life. Gnawing silently inside our lustful bodies, moving from one host to another victim, expanding its wrath. We have the power to stop the epidemic, we have the power to survive. Know and have the power to act and stop the virus, before it swallows another life, perhaps you can stop it before it consumes you.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pulses: A play inspired by people living with HIV


Yesterday, I went (alone) to UP Diliman to watch a play that was told to me by a friend. That play was my first "independent" play to have watched since my highschool days where the last theatrical play that I get to watch was El Filibusterismo. So it has been such a long time since I watched one. This play was titled Pulses, and is a thesis for a group of graduating UP students. Even though this particular play is a student production; acting was exceptional.

Props were bare, but very smartly used. Music was melancholic, and it gave me goose-bumps. What made this play exceptional was the skills of the actors and how each one gave vivid life to the characters they portrayed. Some were funny, some were shockingly liberated, some were mild yet melancholic. All, were great, and everyone will surely be able to relate to a certain character; they may be gay or straight, a cross-dresser, or a straight couple who is so much in love, a prostitute, an OFW, a lonely gay guy living alone, or a young family. 

This was a play about the lives of people living with HIV, from all walks of life. Of how we live, and the things we go through, from the first day of diagnosis, progressing to the point where we have moved on. Personally, this play was not easy for me to watch at all. I thought it was going to be just okay, that it will be just a breeze, that I am just going to sit there and enjoy the production; just like when I watch Rent repeatedly. However, this one was different, basically because I... First-handedly experienced most of the scenes and stories portrayed in the play. I have witnessed and I know people going through or have gone through the exact same situations that the characters in this play had. As the emotional person that I am, and being able to absorb easily what is going on around me, I got drifted into the story, very easily. That said, tears gently poured out from my eyes just within the first few minutes of the play. I did my best to keep them in, but the scenes were all just too relatable, although not painful anymore; the memories and the emotions of way back just bursted in me. There were some scenes that were just all too familiar, very much familiar, that I felt transported to the exact same moment, that I can't stop but to just let it all out; I cried but not in sadness, but in memory of it. I had to stop myself from shaking and crying because the people beside me were already looking at me. I may sound exaggerating, but I just can't help it, it's different when someone (like me) experienced the same situation being portrayed.

The play is a great tool to open the eyes and hearts of many and give them an insight of what people living with the virus goes through and the people affected by it; like our parents, siblings, friends, lovers, acquaintances, counselors, doctors, the people we work with and who we are with at most times. It gave faces and form to what we don't see and to what we do not want to see with regards to the virus, that not only infects our bodies but influences our minds, and proper knowledge is one tool to fight it.

Pulses is a moving, powerful, and heart breaking play that opens our eyes to the hidden realities of the life changing effects of HIV.

"We are more than what our bodies make us to be" - Pulses

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Top Ten: Pet Peeves

1.) People who spit on the street, on the side of the bus, on plant boxes, everywhere.

2.) People who take so long to use use the ATM.

3.) Anyone who texts me in the following format: "wru na", "wer na u", "musta na u", "hw r u", "hwru".. Will surely not get a reply from me.

4.) I hate those who uses verbally on in anyway the word "me" in such a fashion that it is being inserted at the end or in the middle or at the start of a tagalog sentence. Like: Gutom na me, Pagod na me, Me na... Putangina, umayos kayong magsalita!

5.) I hate those with an auto-play feature turned on in their blog or profile. I know you want to share the music you listen to, but it is just very annoying.

6.) Call Center people who talk in an annoying accent in a very annoying way. Please drop the attention grabbing "maarte" english accent you have! No need to be annoyingly loud and enunciate every word you utter... Yung parang kinukulot mo ang bawat salitang sinasabi mo? So what if you work in a call center, ako rin nagkokolcenter, baket?

7.) I don't like those who take much of their time choosing and thinking of what to order in a fast-food counter, if you have not made up your mind on what to order, get out of the fucking line!

8.) Feeling Close - Ngayon pa lang tayo nagkakilala kung makahawak ka ha?!

9.) People who bumps you along the way without even saying sorry or being conscious about it. Eh kung itulak kaya kita?

10.) Singit na nga sa pila, deadma pa rin. One incident along time ago: "Miss may pila, nasa likod yung simula", deadma si miss. "Excuse me miss" sabay kalabit sa balikat "pumila ka naman, ang dami namin o".

Saturday, September 17, 2011

09172011: Learning to cook

Rice and steamed Cream Dory (spiced with cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, glutamate, garlic, rosemary)
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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Broken Wings

It's another Thursday for my check-up in the H4 Ward. Today, I was with Fred, an ex of mine who is also infected. Both of us arrived early knowing that it could be pretty crowded every Thursdays, however, despite of us being very early, we end up being the 13th and the 14th in the line. The morning was usual, after lining up, we went to the nearest fastfood and had breakfast then went back. Fred wasn't feeling well when we got there, his tummy has been in pain since he woke up and the medicines he had with him almost didn't help. After a few hours, my code and alias was finally called, it was my turn. The doctor checked my list of vital signs for the day which was all normal and asked a few questions regarding how I am adjusting with my new medicine. I said I am still experiencing fatigue and dizziness most of the time, but each time is becoming more tolerable. The doctor gave me a list of blood chem to do, so I'll be back there again. I forgot to check on how much medicines I have left, tsk. Better be back next Thursday to get my supply.

It was Fred's turn after me, same doctor. He was there for a check-up and to find out his CD4 result, and of course, to have his tummy checked. Patients are already pouring in the doctor's office and Fred's check-up was taking a while so I decided to go out.

I bumped into the Female OFW that I blogged about two entries ago; she lost her baby during birth. I asked how is she, she's still in shock, but staying strong. She said that she was discharged just in time to be at home for her eldest's 8th birthday. She can walk normally now, and she looks stronger. She may have lost her baby, but she regained her life back, somehow. I left her for a while to check who are still in the ward and came back to her with questions. What happened to Topher (Wiggly 3) and Sonny (Wiggly 1). She said that Topher's mom wanted his son to be transferred to a different hospital because Topher's condition is not getting any better and is having a hard time sleeping at night. Sonny was transferred to RITM for some reason, he developed several infections. The last time I saw Sonny, he was almost just skin and bones; that time the father said to me that he wouldn't want to eat anymore and is getting weaker and weaker.

I may not know Sonny personally nor I was close to his family and I never have spoken to him. He was the first one who was at the bed at my right when I was confined. For a few days I saw how he struggled, I saw how he cried in pain, I saw how he endured every high fever attacks he had every single night. I saw how sad he was, I saw pain through his eyes in the rare moments our eyes would cross. I saw how his father would wipe and clean up his frail body everyday and how his mom would embrace him when he is having chills at night. I saw how he fought and how his parents stood by him, yet he lost the battle. Sonny died after a few days of being transferred to RITM. It's very heart breaking for me to know that he had moved on, he was only in his early twenties, and I just saw him alive 2 weeks ago.

Fred sent me a text message while I was waiting at the Ward's lobby... He said that his CD4 count is now at 97. I was shocked by the news. I was so in shock that I didn't know what to reply. The gloomy day just became gloomier and gloomier. It's a fact that anyone with a CD4 count of below 200 with one or several opportunistic infections will be diagnosed as someone with an HIV Clinical Stage 4, or someone with AIDS. I am so sad with the news, I almost couldn't bare all the heart breaking stories I found out this morning. Fred's tummy is still under observation and he has a long list of lab work to be done, and some medicines to relieve the pain.

Now that someone very close and dear to me is going to a battle of his own. I want to be there for him.

Fred, you will never be alone in your battle. I will always be here for you, we will fight this dreaded condition together, and we will not only survive, but we will live. So hold on, and we will move forward and fight.

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