Looking back to all the things you’ve done and experience is like rereading your favorite novel. We all have a fare share of happiness, failures and success in the year 2016 but there will be always our favorite pages that we want to reminisce over and over again.

My 2016 wasn’t exciting as someone who has gone to the mountains, traveled the world or went to beautiful museums. But for me it was challenging because I had to face my fears and my doubts. I learned to fly with my own wings because I want to prove to myself that I can do it. 

So bear with me as I have my quick trip down the memory lane and share with you my 12 highlights of my 2016.

1. First time to celebrate Valentine’s Day with Boyfriend

II am a hopeless romantic person and I really love handwritten letters, going out on movies and simple dates. In my almost 24 years of existence, it was my first time to celebrate Valentine’s Day this 2016 with my significant other. What’s more special about this is that we’ve been together for almost three years but it was also our first time to celebrate it together. I am so lucky to have my guy who made time to see me and traveled for almost 5 hours just to see me on this very special day despite his hectic schedule. We attended mass in Sto. Nino Church, had a lunch buffet in Yakimix, watched a movie in SM Seaside and then stroll around the mall. Sadly, he has to leave by the next day because of work.

2. The Saline Option, Love Month Trilogy and Friendship Day

The Saline Option is a Christ-led medical students and professionals in MHAM influencing the institution and transforming lives for God’s purposes and glory. The mission of this ministry is to share God’s word to everyone most especially to the students, faculty and staff to help develop the Christian character.
I was a part of the core group since first year and it really helped me in all the stressors in my life. I learned how to handle negativity in life through God’s word and it gave me strength to pursue my dream on becoming a doctor. Every week we meet for worship and fellowship which happens every Friday. We call it “Thanks God It’s Friday” or TGIF. And this year, the group organized a trilogy event for the Love Month which is during TGIF. First event was May Forever which talked about the existence of forever in God’s Love. The second part of the trilogy was Love is ____, where were asked to define what is love for us and how it is defined through God’s word. The last part and the culmination of the Love Month Trilogy was Love Hurts, love hurts not because it is the counterpart of the joy when you are in love but because of the sacrifice you offer.
Friendship Day happened before the Junior Clerks final exams because they end early than the lower year. It’s a semester ender for everyone in The Saline Option. This is a celebration of love and friendship that we once shared during our worship and fellowship.

3. Celebrated our Second Year Anniversary.

This has to be a highlight of 2016 because our relationship on the previous year went on a rough road. I thank the Heavens that we were able to put up everything and we were still able to enter our second year of love-hate-cheesy relationship. For me there’s nothing wrong about posting on social media about the milestones of anyone’s relationship as long it doesn’t give an eye sore to the viewers. You can keep your relationship private but not a secret. My classmates and friends know how sappy I am when it comes to my boyfriend. I am just so happy that he came into my life. He is the only boyfriend that I introduced to my father and the only boyfriend that my parents treated like their son. Uhm. Okay, that sounds incest.

4. Tuli Mission

It was my first time to come in contact with a patient incising his prepuce and stitching it without a close supervision from the superior. Being a surgeon was one of my list for specialization that is why I was so eager to learn during our Tuli Workship in 2015. Unfortunately, I only experienced the Tuli Mission once because I have to go home for Summer and I have errands to do.

Also read: Tuli Operation

5. Hello, Junior Clerkship

My journey towards Junior Clerkship was a bumpy one because I was never the A student in class. Well maybe I can be categorized as “A” but A for average. I thought I was going to retake an exam or do case presentations for Pharmacology because my final grade didn’t make it to the passing. Once again, I thank the Heavens because the word “deliberation” exists.

And so I opened another chapter in Medical School and that is Junior Clerkship. I learned breaking down my walls on different type of people in the hospital. Patient-Doctor Relationship was my major weakness during Clinics because I don’t know how I should ask question without offending them or without sounding like I am superior. When conversing with a patient, you have to be understanding and all eyes and ears open. You should sound gently too. But as months went over, I learned the skills of taking a good patient history. I have also done some skills in clinics like Internal Exam, Leopold’s Maneuver and witnessed Hysterectomy, Cesarean and Pap Smear.
I am hoping and praying that I will pass Junior Clerkship and proceed to Senior Clerkship in the school year 2017-2018.
6. Family Outing in Siquijor

We rarely go out of town because my parents are busy. My mother was Dean of HOSM in one of the universities in Dumaguete that time and my father is a private lawyer. We had a chance to go to Siquijor as a family because my father had some business in there. I have been to Siquijor for a number of times already and it never fails to amaze me by its island beauty.

7. Summer Escapade in Panglao, Bohol

The story behind this trip to Panglao was that I felt that our Bohol experience together isn’t complete without going to Panglao Island. We already went to Bohol during Sembreak 2015 and it was only a Country Side Tour. I never regret going back because our adventure was different from the previous one. We were able to go island hopping, snorkeling, went to the cave and probably the most expensive trip we had since we checked into a fancy hotel.
8.  Became a Mental health Volunteer PH

This year, I signed up as a volunteer for Mental Health. I know how important for someone who is struggling with a mental health disorder to be acknowledged in the public nowadays. I know they need someone to stand for them and fight against the stigma when it comes to Mental Health. I am glad that I am part of this movement in eradicating stereotypes and promote awareness most especially through blogging and in social media. It was my pleasure that I was given the opportunity to be a part in the making of mentalhealth.org.ph. I was able to share my knowledge as a Medical Student on some dome Mental Health disorders.

9. Sembreak Roadtrip: Sipalay, Negros Occidental

For this year’s Sembreak, we decided to discover the other provinces of the Negros Island. We’ve been traveling to the neighboring islands like Cebu, Siquijor and Bohol but we never tried going somewhere far in Negros. So for a change, we decided to go on a roadtrip. The travel time was almost 6 hours and our tour was only a DIY. It was something new for our yearly adventures. Looking forward for more in the year 2017.

10. Joined Cebu Blogging Community

Another highlight in the year 2016 is when I joined Cebu Blogging Community. I still can’t believe that I was able to grab my ass out from my comfort zone and took my passion to the next level. Can I have a round of applause please? Thank you. Thank you.
11. Became an amateur indie actress.

I am a sucker of indie films most especially it is a Filipino Indie movie because it depicts the reality on what is happening in the society. When my classmate Jill approached me if I can do something for our entry in MediSine, without hesitation I told her that I can act. Haha. I’ve been into a lot of role plays in high school and most of them are portraying mentally ill characters. One reason that I agreed on the film is it will promote Mental Health Awareness. 
The film was an entry for the MediSine that was showed during our Christmas Party in Grand Convention. The title was Marica, a story of a medical student narrating how she battled with depression, portraying what it feels like to be alone and misunderstood, and why she chose to hide her real happiness. We won first place!

You can watch it here: MARICA – a short film

12. I survived.

The last but not the least is that I survived the year 2016 and now I am ready for 2017.
How about you? What are your favorite memories in 2016? 🙂
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Marica, a 20-something lady who loves to explore new things in the world while juggling her life in the medical field.

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