Monday, August 27, 2012


Today we celebrate National Heroes Day in the Philippines.

Encarta defined HERO as somebody who commits an act of remarkable bravery or who has shown an admirable quality such as great courage or strength of character. 

Jose Rizal, Apolinario Mabini, Andres Bonifacio, Gabriela Silang, Melchora Aquino. These are the few people in history that showed great amount of courage and bravery in defending our country during the time of war and invasion. Through pens, guns and by helping others.  

Today, OFW’s are considered modern day heroes. Filipinos who has to leave their family here and work abroad to secure a good future for them. 
Life is a constant battle. Every day we fight to live. Every day is journey to take.  And I believe that there is a hero in each of us. And I admire all my viral brothers for giving this battle a good fight. I know that since day one that we have learned that we are HIV positive it has made a great change in our lives. 

Hat’s off to all of you who have shown great courage to accept our condition. Disclose to your loved ones. And continue to dream big and make those dreams come true. Acceptance is the key to everything and a very good relationship with GOD. 

To the families and friends who have accepted us, thank you. For being strong for us. You are our heroes.

To the advocates and NGO’s for tirelessly and selflessly helping us.  For all the works you have been doing in reaching out to PLHIV’s, thank you. You are our heroes.

To all people living with HIV, saludo ako sa inyo. Sa atin. Tayo ang mga bayani ng sarili nating buhay. Tuloy ang laban. Tuloy ang buhay. Happy National Heroes Day to all of us.

Mabuhay tayong mga BAYANI ng ating BUHAY.

SET (Band) of Brothers

This has been another productive weekend for me. I felt that I have accomplished a lot of things. 

Good thing I decided to join the Self Empowerment Training (SET) of RITM.  SET is originally for RITM patients only, but they accommodated and allot slot for patients from other hubs (PGH, SLH and others). SET is actually a training/seminar for people living with HIV (PLHIV) especially those newly diagnosed who are having a hard time understanding and accepting their situation.

From the name of the training: Self Empowerment, after two days you are expected to slowly but surely understand and accept your situation. Take the driver’s seat and take control of your life.

Here are the few things that I have learned and enjoyed this weekend:

·         It all starts with acceptance.
·         Each of us has our ways of coping with things.
·         We learn from other people’s story.
·         Positive Self Image
·         I’m ok, you’re ok.
·         You have a lot of potential all you have to do is believe in yourself.
·         You define your own happiness.
·         The virus will not define us, our attitude on accepting and managing it will do.
·         The Power in Me – I have lots of good attitude, traits, qualities and I am proud of it.
·         What I am now is a product of my past. What I will become is a product of what I will do today.
·      We can still do things: Make our dreams come true and achieve our goals. With GOD as our guide.
·         Room 409
·         Ms. Singapore
·         Ms. Japan
·         Ms. Echusera
·         Cherifer for Ms. Japan
·         Solanie Hotel
·         INSPIRED!

The list could go on. But what I really enjoyed most is the experience of getting to know 14 other people of the same status. Sharing, listening and learning from each other. In just two days, I have gained new friends that I know I will keep for life. New friends to draw inspiration from, to go on and give this battle a good fight.

I am happy that through SET, I was also able to share my experiences and some of the things that I have gone through. I hope that in my own little way I was also able to inspire them as much as they inspired me. Now you probably know what our word for the day is, yes, INSPIRED! Because just hearing the stories from these AMAZING guys will inspire you to go on with life, dream big and make it come true.

To my SET Brothers, I am very happy to have met all of you. I learned a lot from you. You inspired me and I hope that I have done the same for you. You made me laugh. I really had a good time. Sorry, I have to leave for my first Big Fish event last Saturday. I know I missed a lot of kulitan. Let’s do it again soon? Just always remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. We are here for each other.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Two Songs

These are for those who gave this battle a good fight. I salute and admire you for being a warrior. 

You're an angel now, and while we are still here battling it out, protect us with your wings and watch over us.

The good Lord has other plan. He has called you to come home and suffer no more.

You will never be forgotten...Goodnight, rest now brother...

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The Road Less Travelled (or so I thought)

It's been more than a year since I got sero-converted. 

As discussed from my previous entry, it was an unexpected journey. The test was part of the annual physical exam. Voluntary. It just took a little convincing from a very good friend and an officemate to take it. And the rest as they say is history.

And so the journey to the road less traveled began. It did not disappoint, the road is narrow, cobbled and dusty. The first few steps felt like forever. It makes you feel like stopping and giving up forever and be stuck in that dark lonely alley. But there's a force within and a voice telling you to keep going and never give up. 

I have been walking on that road for more than a year now. I feel like I have been walking forever, sometimes I get tired. Especially when the road gets bumpy. It is still dusty and cobbled but eventually it gets wider. Along the road you will meet other travelers. They'll walk with you and make friends with you. They will share their stories and it's ok to share yours. For all you know, theirs is much worse than yours. And you draw inspiration from them. You help each other to reach your destination. Suddenly you realize the journey becomes pleasurable. You no longer notice the dust and the roughness of the road. You feel as if you are walking on a carpeted hallway. 

You also realize that you are not alone. There are a lot of wonderful people who will help you out. Walking side by side with you. Those who have walked and travelled this way before will help you out, leaving signs and marks to make it easier for you and for those who will soon start their journey after you. Yes, the road is bumpy, there will be a lot of twists and turns but you’ll get by. As the song goes, you’ll get by with a little help from your friends. In my case, I have met a lot of wonderful people from twitter. It started with a small group, and the numbers grew each day. Amazing people. Wonderful people. People whom you can draw strength when you feel weary. People who make you smile. People who make you realize that you can still make a difference despite of the virus. People who help you move on. 

This made me think, this road has been travelled to a lot of times already. A lot of people have been here. A lot has set foot on this road. This road less travelled is actually just a road less talked about. And I see no reason why we should be mum about it. Share your journey. Share your experience. Speak and be heard. Listen and learn. 

I am glad that I was able to experience this. This is one hell of a journey, and I will enjoy it while it last.