The Worst Thing on Being an OFW

Mga Puna

I used to think that spending Christmases or birthdays away from my loved ones in the Philippines is sad. I just realized that being hospitalized is way worse, especially for an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) like me.

The feeling of boredom, loneliness and uncertainty bitch-slapped my face when I woke up in the middle of the night and found out that I am indeed alone.

I could still remember the last time I was hospitalized in the Philippines. I was still in elementary when I got admitted in Polymedic Hospital (currently known as Victor Potenciano Medical Center) due to H-Fever (currently known as Dengue Fever). Well,using the phrase “currently known as” is a proof that I really am getting old and these events happened ages ago, back when Family Computer and Atari were the “must-haves.”

I am not a person who easily gets sick. If there’s one thing that I could really be proud of, it’s the fact that I did not have sick leave in 2012. Yes, that’s perfect attendance last year. But for 2013, I could not say the same. Well, even superheroes get sick and I am not bulletproof after all.

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thank you Sir Jay for capturing the moment!

This unfortunate thing happened on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. I was already a little under the weather when I woke up at 5:15am but I did not mind it, thinking that I will never get sick anymore. I had lunch and felt weird later in the afternoon when I got back to work. I had an uncomfortable feeling at the lower part of my back. I would not describe it as ‘shooting’ or ‘terrible’ pain, but it felt really tired, which urged me to go the the pantry and lie down.

 

THANK YOU NOTES

Thank you to my colleague Maria Ria, who, after she saw me lying down at the pantry sofa, a chain of events followed. Thank you to our doctors: Jey,Justine and Steve, who took time to look at my condition and advised me to go to Gleneagles Hospital, since it’s the nearest panel from our office. Thank you to our Head of Operations, Chris Helms, who made me realize that going to the hospital and taking the day off from work will not make me look like a bad employee. Though I never wanted to leave work and wished I could finish my shift, my condition showed otherwise. Thank you to Sir Beda, Sir Jay and Kuya Irving for bringing me to the hospital in a jiffy. When we reached Gleneagles and had my temperature checked, it was only then I found out that I was already running a 38.6 fever. Thank you to the ever-reliable Sharits, who drove all the way from Bukit Jalil to bring clothes for me. Thank you for always being available when I requested to bring my tab and book since boredom was killing me. Thank you to my good friend Fritzie who took time to visit me. Fritzie is an OFW working as a teacher in Myanmar. Our original plan was for her to stay at my place while she is exploring KL but it did not materialize due to this unfortunate incident. Having a familiar face in my hospital room helped a lot – Jezu Timbale Shin! Thank you to Edson, who consistently showed me what, who and how a true friend is. Texting and asking my condition maybe enough but a big thank you for taking the extra mile to visit me on my last day at the hospital. Though we never usually hang out after office hours, thank you for being there when I needed a friend. A huge difference it is being just a colleague and a friend for keeps.Thank you to those who prayed, who cared and didn’t care at all.

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1st Night at Gleneagles Hospital

 

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Fritzie from Myanmar… Jezu Timbale Shin!

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Edson aka Daddy E, the Father of All Nations

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Informing my family about my current condition in the hospital was the last thing on my mind because I did not want them to worry. My plan was to tell them I was hospitalized on the day of my discharge. But in the three days that I was admitted in Gleneagles Hospital, there was not a single day when I wished that my family was beside me. The silence in the hospital scared me because it screamed the truth that I was alone, and I had no choice but to get over it.

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cold food on a cold night

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have you ever heard somebody describing the food as “malamig pa sa ilong ng pusa?” (colder than the nose of a cat) ..well, the hospital foods were colder than the noses of 10 stray cats combined!

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so-called pancake

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what’s the use of having a menu when all the foods tasted the same?

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this is the type of give-away that I never wished to have…

Everytime the nurse woke me up to check my blood and temperature, everytime the hospital attendant informed me that she had to change the bedsheet and pillow case, everytime the staff brought my cold hospital food, I wished I was never in that situation. I may have thought a couple of times what did I do to deserve being hospitalized? But then I got ashamed of myself asking that question. God always has a reason for allowing things to happen. We may never understand His wisdom but we simply have to trust His will. 

It was Friday, April 19, 2013, when my treating doctor told me that the result of the X-ray was negative and it looked like it was a case of muscle cramps, fatigue and fever. He still requested me to visit his clinic though for a follow-up treatment next week in order to get the result of the blood test.

Being an OFW is not all glitz and glamor. After almost five years of working in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, it’s inevitable that I still feel sad and alone sometimes especially during unfortunate incidents like this. But I am a fighter as I have always been. I am still thankful that I am here, back in my room, writing a new blog post, I survived,  alive and kicking, ready to face a new day.

God bless us all!

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camwhoring makes me feel better

 

 

 

KLINIK SENTRAL in SRI PETALING, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – NOT TRULY ASIA!

Mga Puna

January 16, 2012 (Monday)

I went home directly after my dayshift because I was a little under the weather. I have been coughing and sneezing the whole day and I felt pretty tired.

And so I prepared my dinner. I took off my shirt, heat the pan and cooking oil and fried the ‘embutido’ which my mom bought for me in Manila before I went back to KL.

Maybe I was really tired. Maybe I was in a hurry. Maybe I was freaking hungry. Or maybe just plain stupidity. Since the ‘embutido’ was frozen and I was lazy to get a knife and cut it, I used the ladle and tried to cut the ‘embutido’ in half. The rest was history. I just realized that the cooking oil splashed on my body and burned around 1/8 of it.

I posted this on Facebook and was overwhelmed with the number of responses and advise that I received from my fans, err, friends.

Thank you to my mommy, Sharits, Fei Wong, Rick Simon, Geri, Kuya Ely, Mami Kengkay, KH Yong, Eden, Tito Felix, Sid and Sir Beda who called me all the way from Manila to give me advice.

Since I did not have any aloe vera, Sir Beda told me NOT to apply toothpaste on the burned area. He instructed me to wash my body and put lotion as a temporary cure. Of course I believed him. He would not be a Registered Nurse for nothing.

 

 

January 17, 2012 (Tuesday)

 

The next day, the pain still has not subsided and I did not have any ointment or medicine to cure the burn. I decided to go to the nearest Panel Clinic from my place. And boy, it was when my living nightmare started!

 

  • KLINIK SENTRAL in SRI PETALING, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

This was not my first time to go to this clinic. I have been here a few times before and I knew that I should present my Medical Card first before they even entertain me. The place was a bit rundown but I had no choice at the moment. Besides getting ointment for my burn, I also planned to consult the doctor because I was already feeling feverish due to my colds and as I have mentioned, I have been coughing and sneezing the whole day.

Receptionist A who could not speak to me in English asked me to write down my name on their list. When I started to ask her questions, she called Receptionist B who spoke basic English. I seated patiently in their waiting area until I realized that nobody’s attending to me anymore. So I got up and went to them.

Receptionist B told me that she could not verify my name in the system. I calmly told her that I have been in their clinic before and asked her to check again. Instead of checking, she told me to pay the treatment and reimburse from the insurance provider. I dunno if she just wanted to cut our conversation short or if she was just not in the mood to assist me because she has been telling me to pay first.

Being in the call center industry for many years, I know the importance of Listening. I also know that customers may not always be right, but they have the right to be treated right. First, Receptionist B did not even try to listen to me. Second, she did not treat me right.

I also mentioned to Receptionist B that I got burned with cooking oil and I needed immediate treatment. Instead of listening, she told me the three words that I dreaded to hear: ‘pay-and-file.’ I asked if she can verify this again but she was hesitant to do an extra mile. I asked if I can call my HR to verify this but it was as if I was talking to a blank wall. It was during this time when I lost it. I raised my voice and got everybody’s attention. I went outside and called my friend in the office, Edson (Terima Kasih! I really owe you one!)

I asked Edson to conference the call to our so-called ‘HR Services for your HR needs.’

I spoke with one lady from the department and told her what happened. She immediately told me to call the outpatient number at the back of my Medical Card. I asked again, ‘”So, it means you can’t help me?” She said bluntly, “No, you have to call the outpatient number at the back of the card.”

Edson called the hotline and I spoke with Subash, who was indeed very helpful. I explained to him what happened and he advised me that there should not be any problem with the card because it is valid in the system. I even went inside the clinic again and passed the mobile phone to Receptionist B. She has been talking to Subash and verifying my name through their system for around 30 minutes. When she came back, she told me in-a-matter-of-fact-way, “You have to pay first and reimburse from the insurance.”

Look, just to set things straight, I could actually pay the consultation because I still had fifty bucks in my wallet that time. But even if I could, I WOULD NOT. I have used this card time and again and I would like to prove a point that my name should be in their system and they should be able to assist me. Besides, when this unfortunate-cannot-verify-your-name-in-the-system-and-you-have-to-pay-first-and-submit-claims-to-the-insurance happened to me before, I was only able to reimburse around 50% of the total cost.

I stormed out of the clinic and went to KLINIK MEGA which was around 5 minutes away from the ill-fated clinic. Surprisingly, the staff in the clinic was able to verify the card and advised me that I could consult their doctor – in less than 10 minutes!  After I was given medication for my burned skin and my fever, I decided to pass by KLNIK SENTRAL again and tell them that my Medical Card is valid.

Receptionists A and B were chit-chatting when I reached the clinic. The lady doctor was also with them. I approached them and told them that I was able to use the Medical Card. I also added that I went back to their clinic in order to prevent similar things from happening in the future. Receptionist B was rolling her eyes as if she was the prettiest thing on earth (and she is not!). Receptionist A said something while I was talking to them which made me jump. She told me, “Okay, bye!”

This made me very very furious. I asked why she said that to me when all I wanted was an explanation to clear things out. I told them that I will file a complaint about this incident. This was when the lady doctor went out of the room and spoke with me. I told her that that they should teach their staffs the proper customer service. I showed her my burned skin which surprised her. She conversed with the receptionists in Malay and explained to me that Receptionist B thought I had heart burn and not burned skin. I was thinking, if Receptionist B understood me right and I ONLY had heart burn, she would actually treat me that way?

The lady doctor even tried to console me and told me to go inside so that she could apply ointment on the burned skin but I refused. I told her that the damage has been done. She tried her luck again and told me that the ointment is good and it is for free; she will not charge me anything. I firmly said no and went home.

KLINIK SENTRAL in Sri Petaling Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia sucks big time! They don’t give a freakin’ care about the patient’s condition. The rundown place is a disappointment, the receptionists don’t give a damn about the clients, the way they treat their patients is a nightmare. If I was dying the moment I went there, I would have died already without anybody lifting a finger!

I have called MiCares (the assistance company of AIA, our Medical Card) and will file a complaint because of how the staffs in the clinic treated me. They should have known me better. I will NEVER go down without a fight especially when I know that I am right.

 

 

‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’

Mga Puna

If you think that Thais are only good in scaring us with their horror movies, well, think again.

‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ – Love came, love lost, love conquered.

Another sleeper-hit from Thailand after the success of ‘Hormones’ in 2008. Mario Maurer (Love of Siam) and actress-model Fern Pimchanok Leuwisedpaiboon showed us that time may change, people may change but hearts don’t.

On the other hand, Sudarat Budtporm (the equivalent of Philippines’ Eugene Domingo) who played Teacher Inn in the movie proved why she is Thailand’s hottest property today. Her presence commands attention and her comedic timing was very effortless.

Lemme say that this is one of the best teen flicks that I have watched in a long time. Anybody who fell in love will fall in love with this movie.

It would definitely remind the viewers of high school life, crushes, puppy loves, happiness, hopelessness, affection, attachment, awkwardness, and all the crazy little things that you do when you’re in love.

Survivor 22: Redemption Island

Mga Puna

11 years and 22 seasons later, my heart still beats faster than normal every time I watch Survivor. It still feels like the first time. I really am the biggest Survivor fan I’ve ever known. Survivor won’t be called ‘The Mother of All Reality Shows’ for nothing. If the first episode of Survivor 22:Redemption Island was an indication of what’s in store for the viewers for the whole season, this may be one of the best installments ever-produced! Go Boston Rob!🙂

Dal-awwwww!

Mga Puna

‎’DALAW’ – bad script, bad direction, bad movie. I gave up during the first ten minutes and felt like it was a waste of time and money. I had high hopes before watching this since Star Cinema redefined horror movies in the Philippines with ‘Feng Shui’ and ‘Sukob.’ I couldn’t even decide which movie was better because both of them were superb. ‘Dalaw’ is definitely one of the suckiest horror movies to date in the tradition of ‘Villa Estrella,’ another cinematic nightmare. My conclusion? I will NEVER EVER watch any Dondon Santos-directed movie again! I felt cheated and secretly wished that I watched ‘Father Jejemon’ instead. At least, with this Dolphy-movie, I’m ready for the worst.

Kris A. at her best...on still shot!

It’s Christmas and I’m Home Alone Again

Mga Puna

15 hours to go and it’s Christmas! It’s that time of the year again when everyone feels homesick and nostalgic. It’s just like a regular day for me here in Kuala Lumpur and as usual, I’m home alone. Can’t wait to be back in Manila on Dec 30!

I went home late because of our Christmas Party. I slept at 2am and woke up early in order to listen to Chico and Delamar of Monster Radio RX 93.1 through live streaming. Their topic today is hilarious! ‘The Top Ten Titles for a Sexy Christmas Movie.’ So far, some of my entries which were mentioned:

1) Let It Blow! Let It Blow! Lei it Blow!
2) Puto ni Bongbong, Bibingka ni Neneng.

I still have some titles in mind though:

1) Jingle Balls Rock
2) Si Santa, Ang Lalaking Walang Pahinga
3) Little Cummer Boy (about a boy who comes and celebrates with you on Christmas Eve)

Some of the entries worth-mentioning:

1) Feliz na Hubad (alternative title: Pulis na Hubad)
2) O Whorey Night (A Japanese Christmas Movie)
3) 12 Inches of Christmas

There. Nice thoughts on Christmas morning! Merry Christmas everybody!

Look! I've decorated my post in the office for Christmas!

My Christmas Baby

At least, we celebrate Christmas in the office.

Singapore Team

...with the China Team

On Memory Lane – ‘Malaysia-Singapore Trip 2008’

Mga Puna

Lemme say that this trip served as an eye-opener for me. One of my bestest-best friends Scottie and I became so much closer because of this. I dreamt big. Thanks to my ever-good friend Pads. I knew I would want to work in Malaysia the moment I saw the place, experienced the way of living and smelled the mouth-watering foods. Three months later,I was hired by a local company in Kuala Lumpur. Now I’m living my dream and having the best times of my life.

Some say American Dream is the ultimate dream. Some say Malaysian dream is at par with it. Well, I say ‘Dream big, keep your feet on the ground and always pray because faith moves mountains. If I can, I will because I’m definitely good at it!’🙂

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