I Should Have

Have I mentioned I’m still in my quarter-life crisis? I’m already 30 and seems like I’m stuck. I have no idea where the road will lead me. I’m just taking the path and flowing with the current. Honestly, I’m envious-jealous or whatever you call it with my colleagues, friends and what not. Checking my Facebook fred shows how exuberant and successful thely are. It made me anxious, covet what they have and what they have reached. Not really healthy on my mental aspect. Adding my current depressive state, it makes me go crazy. I then decided to stop looking at it, not entirely shutting it down. It made me realized a bunch of things that I should have done when I was a bit younger. Early to mid 20’s was my peak period and I realized I should have taken the chance to do things I should have done.

One, I should have travelled when I was youger. Should have met and created acquaintances when everything was seasonable. Two, I should have worked out early on. Humans are naturally attracted to good aesthetics, we vaue physical attraction at the onset. Now, I’m getting difficulties and challenges to meet this goal. Three, I should have said yes to Mark. Pretty simple, I was that finicky bitch. I know I have wrote about him. Now he’s the one that got away. Four, I should have taken time educating myself and learned new technology. During my early work years, I was too complacent of what I have. Now, I realized how new education and keeping up with technology is important to sustain your professional streak. Five, I should have worn protection. Me testing as HIV positive is no longer lingering in my mind. The question now is, what if. What if I wore protection. Perhaps 90% of PLHIV will agree their lives have been changed after testing positive. What if not. What will be situation like? 
Bottom line here is regret. I know it is never too late for these things. Catching up maybe an easy thing to do but the only factor that’s changing here is time. I am behind by 10 years and trying my best to follow suit. But when you’re too tired to think of anything, it’s a different story. I now hold the meaning of “do what you want”. In a nice way of course. Live while you’re young. Go travel, meet as many people as you want, quit the job that you hate and choose your boss. And most importantly, use protection. We don’t want to hear a point of no return.

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The Blame Game

HIV infection rate in the Philippines is growing and the blame game is ongoing, the government who lacks will to mitigate the crisis, the person involved for being risky or the exponential evolution of technology which places everything within reach.

You can’t really pinpoint something just to cover other else’s shortcomings. The Philippine government is slowly catching up when it come to prevention and information dissemenation. They have provided a straight up insurance for PLHIV thru Philhealth, they do information campaign, though not enough. The person behind the risky acts? Simple, they aren’t fully informed and well educated on the things they do. The solution? Fully accessible information, open mindedness, and acceptance. A system that will empower an individual to get tested. This is already enforced by local groups such as Love Yourself and the like. Technology is constant, it rapidly changes every year. You put the blame why a person has been infected because of Grindr or Tinder. Internet and technology is already a necessity. 

These three take part in preventing the undoable situation. It all boils down to proper information at hand. When you’re fully equipped with facts, figures, and details, use technology in a proper sense, risk will be minimized. Girl, you can search your crush’s name in Facebook, what more researching about HIV. Meeting someone in the 70s or 80s in a disco, bar, pub or parking lot doesn’t have much difference meeting someone in Grindr, Tinder or Facebook.

If John is unaware of the risks of having online encounters, it can be easily known through internet. If John doesn’t have an internet, government comes in. If John knows it will be safer to use protection during online hook ups, risks are greatly reduced.

You can’t blame one. Everyone takes part of thr HIV figures the Philippines currently have. The freedom of meeting someone online for hookups is all yours. You just have to know the risks involved, how to minimize it and who are your resources when it comes to proper and correct information, and that includes you.

I know there are different views on this. But the goal is just the same, saving those risky behaviours from HIV, promoting safe encounters, and placing extra care, assistance and support to those who have it.

Related article from Rappler

http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/in-depth/173761-orgy-tinder-social-media-sex-hiv-aids-youth-philippines

When In Taipei

June, one of the most colorful time of the year. I haven’t had the chance to join parades, celebration or what not. The closest one I have is when I was in Taipei, Taipei where they were urging for equal rights and gay marriage. I should say, I was very impressed how open and liberated Taiwanese people are. Of all Asian countries, they are in front of the line when it comes to LGBT issues. Now that they made history after legalizing marriage, I think Taiwan supersedes Thailand when it comes to LGBT issues. I know they are incomparable and probably have their own definitions but the point boils down to LGBT.

One night, I was strolling around Ximending area, Taipei’s shopping, fashion, and sub-culture district known for its bright lights, street food, clubs, and pubs. And met these people along the side of the streets peacefully expressing their minds about equality and gay marriage. Knowing I’m in an Asian “Chinese” territory, a celebration this big is quite surprising. I was there, standing and trying to observe how they do it. They marched so I followed along. It was just a night of expression and democracy. Not like the celebration vibe that we used to. Months after, it paid off and I’m overwhelmingly happy for them. 

From my experience, Taiwan hosts a good number of people who are very welcoming and open, unlike their mainland counterpart. Defintely good and wide selection of food and of course, good looking guys. Taiwan is a melting pot of China, Japan and South Korea. I’m a magnet for them.

There are a few good memories of Taipei of course and perhaps I’ll just keep it to myself. If I have stayed there, maybe I’m no longer single. Lol. 

Sounds like moving there is a pretty good idea? But please, no stingky tofu.

EFV’s Long Term Effects

See that Total Cholesterol field? It’s above the normal range and it flags me everytime I get my company annual checkup. It places me on the risk of having heart problems or any cholesterol-based ailments. I know this is a long-term effect of taking Efavirenz. I have been taking my cocktail – Lamivudine/Zidovudine/Efavirenz – the past 7 years. 

My initial side effect at hand was low RBC due to Lamivudine/Zidovudine but it was already taken cared of and it’s now on normal values. This time, cholesterol. have been talking to Google on how to possibly manage this. I’m actually quite confused why but I have been doing exercises and workouts and yet, having unfavorable results. Looks like it is within my eating habits. Fried food, fast food, oily and greasy mess. I already asked mon to cut out the frying menu and focus more on stews and grills. Taking the fat and skin out which is really my guilty pleasure. Maybe I’ll try the new pattern for a couple of months and see what will happen next. Being hospitalized is the least thing I want. 

5 Lifestyle changes to lower blood cholesterol

The Least Thing You Can Do

It has been 7 years since I was last diagnosed. Roughly. I don’t recall the exact date but it was definitely between February and March. The feeling of going back and forth to Makati Medical Center and until the diagnosis was given is such a remarkable experience. My overall physical health has greatly improved, though there were some instances that I needed to be in the hospital for some check up and medication. Went twice due to amoebiasis and another due to a minor fracture. It wasn’t good but then I realized one thing, to those people who are PLHIV and keeping it to themselves, the least thing you need to be is being hospitalized. You will be in a situation where you’re forcefully to disclose your status either to a family member or a friend. When you are rushed to the hospital and your stock of ARVs are left home, you’re done. You can’t just ask your mom to get it for you without her asking what it is for or ask the doctor if they have in their stock list. Girl, you are doomed.

When I was on a leg boot for 2 months, I couldn’t go out and organize my PHILHEALTH insurance, which is needed to claim your sets of ARVs, and what more to personally get my ARV refill in RITM. My tablets were about to run out and I had no choice but to think of how can I go about it. Luckily, I have a close poz friend who goes to RITM, I humbly ask if when he’s going and if he can claim the medicine on my behalf. Surprisingly, he agreed and even offered to bring it to my house. I asked the ARG staff if I can follow up my papers after being off cast and yes, they allowed me to.

Cutting the story short, the lesson here is to take care of yourself, lessen the chance of being hospitalized and if the time comes, you need to have at least a confidant where you can share your challenges with. For those who have disclosed their statuses to their families or good friends, good for you, you have one less thing to think of.

To my good friend, thanks for carrying my medicines. I owe you something. Like Starbucks, pizza or something?

Goals for 2017

It’s been a while since my last blog post. I’m not really running out of ideas but rather having inconsistencies when it come to creating one, and this 2017, one of my goals is to at least post once a month. Along with this, I have primary goals for this year. One is to acquire a skills certification, I’m still deciding yet what certification course to take. I’m already eyeing some IT certification classes like ITIL or Project Management. There’s also a possibility to take Quality Assurance, anything related to ISO practices and even passing a Civil Service examination. Honestly, at this point in time, I’m still in the middle of a quarter-life crisis and pretty malleable¬†where to go. But for now, my aim is to improve and widen my skill set to help me achieve my long term goals.

Travel more and further is another goal for this year. I’m starting to scrap the non-essential things to spend like weekly hanging out, dinner, movie, Starbucks and what not. I also started to save using a piggy bank to effectively save for a year end travel. If not plausible, by 2018. I’m also trying to complete all ASEAN countries, only 3 more to go – Myanmar, Laos and Brunei. Not a priority but an achievement if I can make it. Maybe I can also share some of my travel experiences here? (I know there’s a lot to say lol).

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Fourth is of course maintaining my well being. The golden rule of PLHIV is to take care of themselves and the least thing I can do is take my medications religiously. MY target is to aim for 100% adherence and maintain my undetectable viral load status. Practice safe sex is still a priority. It doesn’t mean I can go wild and rowdy with this undetectable status. So please, take care of yours too. We don’t want to go the hospital asking the doctor to remove a growing cauliflower in your butthole or be tested positive in Herpes or Chlamydia and die. Improving my aesthetic part is also in progress.

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Fifth, improve and boost my mental health. Not that I’m crazy or Schizophrenic, but rather to alleviate the depression I’m going through. Lessening the burdens one at a time. I know it may take a while but I have been in constant effort of doing so. In line with this, seeking improvements in my self esteem. Reducing the need to be social anxious. Try getting new sets of friends,but of course, by choosing them wisely. I’m not getting any younger.

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Lastly, maybe stay committed to achieve these. No one can really help but myself. I know it will be hard but I’d rather try. I have given up and I think another chance has been bestowed. SO why not.

How about you, do you have goals for this year? Write it down and let me know, maybe we can share some ways on how to achieve it.

Drifting Through The Wind

Quite honestly, if someone ask how am I doing?

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through winds, wanting to start again?

Not sure if am still on my quarter-life crisis. But literally lost. Like I don’t know what to do and I’m stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Not happy with work and planning to resign soon. Not getting any younger and it suck to find a new niche and restart my professional being. Workmates are really fucking shit and it is getting worse day after day. With travel, the excitement is declining, staying most of the time in my room and not going out. Getting anxious in meeting new people and setting like a hermit crab hiding from civilization. Nothing good is happening, aside from the favorable viral test results, which of course I am thankful for.

They kept saying to think positvely. Well, not everyone can easily do that. Especially to a person who lost the desire to feel anything. I guess this is really depression kicking in.
I heard that you can set your passion as a guide if you were lost of some shit, having to quit photography, I have now the urge the come back and somewhat pursue it on a low level. Trying to restart again. Baby step reboot as I call it. I’m even thinking of relocating.

Currently, I’m in the same exact spot last year when I felt the same thing. Found this (a hot sauce container just nailed it)

Maybe it’s nevet too late to begin again. Perhaps the question is how. There’s always the feeling of regret. But it won’t do anything now. Keep moving forward and keep finding what will make me (us, you) happy.