Wednesday, December 31, 2008

thanking 2008.

Eight (8) is supposed to be the official lucky number for all two billion Chinese out there, and I guess this holds true even when you attach it to the Y2K prefix to form 2008, the eighth year of the new millennium. Now at its tail end, some people may prefer to look back on the year that was with much chagrin, citing the numerous global woes and the massive economic slump. For my part, however, reflecting for some time made me realize that indeed, I had a lot of things to be thankful for in the year 2008.

Here are my top ten reasons:

1. Academic Achievement
Admittedly, Year Level III was a year of “seconds”, “almosts”, and “what ifs”. Armed with newfound lessons, I entered Year Level IV keeping my fingers crossed and praying that I’d survive what many tout as the hardest year in med life, academically speaking. For someone who merely asked for a decent performance, I am immensely grateful to the Lord for bestowing me the great honor of emerging top-ranked and the only University Scholar in our batch, receiving two awards in the process. Furthermore, along came the added tidings that we were finally eligible to receive our BS BMS diplomas. More than divine providence, I call it hitting three blessings with one God.

2. OPD Rotations
I remember telling myself one time that if med school were only a bunch of OPD rotations, being a med student would certainly be ten times more exciting. There’s the fun and learning rolled into one – minus the soporific effect of didactic lectures and the physical toxicity of 24-36 hour hospital duties. As they say, you learn best by actually seeing and doing – with your mind and sanity intact.
3. Music and Theater
By now, some people already know I harbor a secret of becoming a Broadway star. But you can’t be one without seeing the real stuff first. This year, I was fortunate enough to have witnessed three fine theatrical performances – “Cinderella”, “Golden Child”, and “West Side Story”. The first was a pretty, grownup adaptation of the well-loved fairy tale, the second an insightful peek into the delicate innards of a Chinese family struggling through the times, the third a courageous attempt at giving justice to one of theater’s most enduring productions. And of course, there’s American Idol. ‘Nuff said.

4. The Last Minute Sembreak
To quote what I had posted before, there was really no sembreak. And it almost took an instant miracle to make one, the auspicious result of will and circumstance. Though I barely had a complete breather during that heavily-packed one week sabbatical, I must say it proved to be my most productive break yet.

5. Writing
In a cover letter I penned months ago, I described myself as one who “considers writing almost second nature.” Sadly, school and stress force me to habitually relegate this activity to the sidelines, only to be picked up with the occasional boon of free time and favorable ideas. Thus said, I happily reached another writing “high” this year when my review was adjudged winner of the Cinderella review-writing contest. I would like to thank Mr. Bill, Ms. Mikaela, Gibbs Cadiz, and everyone behind the competition. Most of all, to “chief judge” Ms. Lea Salonga herself for earnestly believing in what I wrote and ultimately serving as its inspiration. Here’s to more years of making beautiful words and music.

6. Cash
There’s no denying 2008 had been the most lucrative year of my life so far. I cannot remember of any year where I had been so financially-blessed. And it’s all due to four main reasons:

  1. ____
  2. ____
  3. ____
  4. ____
 Clue # 1: Three of them I earned out of my own efforts. One of them came out of pure luck.

Clue # 2: Two of them you will find in this blog. Two of them you will have to extract elsewhere.

Go figure.

7. New Experiences
In 2008, I played host to two batches of vacationing classmates – barely a week apart from each other. I stepped on neighboring Boracay and Guimaras soil for the first time and further got to know my own backyard more. In 2008, I hosted and co-organized three consecutive debut parties in the family – all within a month’s time – writing three separate scripts and organizing three separate programmes. I drank my first shot (okay, make that 5 shots) as a cheeky birthday favor for a classmate. I kept awake 24 hours inside a stifling labor and delivery room. Medical-wise, I did my first rectal exam (family medicine), spinal tap (anesthesiology), delivered my first baby, performed my first procedures, and had my first surgical assist (OB-GYN). Also in 2008, I hit my first car and barely grazed my first person – grave experiences that taught me to be more vigilant on the road. 

8. Meridian
It is definitely heartwarming to see an organization grow. Especially when it’s the one you’ve poured your heart and soul into for the past three years (Before, I had plans of joining MSS and Med Choir but found these too toxic.) This school year, I saw the stats jump with a dramatic 77.5% increase in membership. Moreover, many milestones were achieved in 2008 – the org had its first academic review, first mini-sports fest and first TRP performance – although I definitely have no plans of resurrecting my own shabby performance, thank you very much.

9. The Beijing Olympics
“If you saw the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, you would have been truly proud of being Chinese.” That was what my aunt (actually, two aunts) told me after being almost moved to tears by the stunning spectacle. How much more if you were one of the blessed few seated inside the leviathan Bird’s Nest, speechless at the marvelous sight of history getting rewritten before your eyes. Athletes like Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and Nastia Liukin were true inspirations, giving us not-so-athletic people enough hopes to pin on.

10. Friends and Family
They have always been there behind my back, and were it not for the people who have continually served as the wind beneath my wings, 2008 would have been stark meaningless. Instead of showering a trivial deluge of verbal ostentations, I am simply going straight to the point: Thank you. You know who you areJ

There’s an extra one, the most important one in fact…

11. Faith
2008 was not all bed of roses. I had my share of depressing lows and troughs, but I’m glad faith helped me get back on track again.

Have a prosperous New Year everyone!!!