A Heart in Place

It’s been so long since I wrote that essay declaring my love for Medicine. Five years ago, I was 17 and hopeful. Dentistry proper was still a month away, and I entertained the notion of pursuing Medicine after graduation. I was young, naïve, and like Jon Snow, I knew nothing. I thought that life would work in your favor if you put in enough effort, if you wanted something hard enough—that things would magically fall into place, if you just pulled yourself together, gritted your teeth, and went through with it. I realized that magic, in real life, was nothing grand; it can be found in the little things: kind gestures, help when you most need it, the comfort provided by a person listening. I learned the hard way that people are made for some things but not for others. We have a niche in this world, where our respective skills, talents, and capabilities belong.

There is truth in the saying that nothing worth having ever comes easy. I was adrift for a while, untethered, searching. But even then, I knew what I really wanted. I could’ve been on my way to it earlier, had I written a different course for my first choice in that application form, or had I shifted as early as my second year in college. But I didn’t leave, at those crucial junctures in time when I had the opportunity.

So I got lost in the process, but I also found myself eventually.

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Study Saturday: Echo

Saturday commenced at roughly five minutes before eight in the morning. Despite wanting to sleep in, I begrudgingly lifted my weary head from my pillow and managed to extricate myself from the bed—which I barely slept on this week.

Oh, the joy of exams.

This week has brought me to highs and lows, and despite all the growth and maturity I’ve been claiming to have achieved, I still couldn’t prevent myself from being frustrated at not acing every academic requirement and from chiefly placing my self-worth upon grades. It’s a conditioned response I couldn’t unlearn easily, as majority of my life has been persistently occupied by academics. (I know, it’s a sad story. But I also had an angsty teenager phase, spent trying to write my heartbreak into songs and listening to OPM, then to the likes of Secondhand Serenade and Paramore.) Good thing I have Roi to basically knock some sense into me, whenever I’m worrying unnecessarily and thinking unhealthy thoughts, and he reminded me that it’s not just about the grades. To an extent, yes, but they do not define a person. They should not define a person.

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This is how it goes

Sometimes it comes suddenly.

A change so abrupt:

A painful 10 that shocks the nerves,

synapses hurtling like a train on broken rails,

too late for brakes,



Sometimes it comes quietly.

A growing mass pushing itself into the surface,

contours aching for attention like a sculpture’s:

The opus of furiously growing cells;

or the spectrum of bruises, watercolor underneath the skin,

with blood cells for artists.


It feeds and grows,

plunders the local city,

but it is never satisfied.

Soon it moves on, sails billowing,

rides the bloodstream towards distant lands. colonizing:

An empire built on countries stripped off of their autonomy.


By creating,

it destroys.


It all started with an episode of House MD. I have heard of the TV series before from a friend, who claimed it was his favorite TV show. Being the usual late-bloomer that I am, I paid no mind to the recommendation and proceeded with my life. However, one Friday after coming home from Manila, I found myself watching a guy lose track of his time, then it turned out to be a twisted case of somnambulism and addiction, and then I fell in love with the show.

Continue reading “Amygdala”